Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Letter Without a Title

This is in response to Sue Ward's letter accusing Tedra Cobb of "blanket statements" on affordable healthcare. Not sure if it qualifies as blanket or not, but Donald Trump said his replacement for ACA would be "terrific" and there would be "insurance for everybody." Progress seems as slow as that on the Great Wall of Mexico. There certainly was no improvement in AHCA that Rep. Stefanik voted to send to the Senate. It was estimated that would've cost over 64,000 of her constituents their health insurance. Not terrific, nor insurance for everyone. Since that Keystone Kops attempt at repeal and replace, Mr. Trump has just sought to continually undermine ACA. Rep. Stefanik has done nothing to stanch that.

Aside from the order killing the individual mandate, pushing short-term and association health plans is probably his most destructive actions. These are exempt from consumer protections required under ACA. There seems to be a theme under the Trump administration when it comes to protecting consumers. Anyone not familiar with caveat emptor likely should become so. Quoting a New York Times fact check on the recent Trump editorial in USA Today: "The Justice Department ... would no longer defend provisions in the Affordable Care Act that protect patients with pre-existing conditions."

Tedra Cobb has years of experience in the healthcare field and will work to ensure that folks in the North Country have access to insurance. Elise Stefanik spent two years voting ACA repeal bills to be sent to Barack Obama for veto. She has spent another two years as a bystander while it's been systematically crippled.  

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Letter to Maggie

In response to this: Link

I'm a naive follower of the Democratic Party responding to Maggie Alitz's letter accusing the Democrats of slandering Brett Kavanaugh. They didn't slander Neil Gorsuch, so there must be something different about Kavanaugh. We don't know if he's truthful about sexual abuse. He paints himself as a drinker, but never to excess. "In denying the possibility that he ever blacked out from drinking, and in downplaying the degree and frequency of his drinking, Brett has not told the truth." That's Chad Ludington who was present when Kavanaugh began a brawl that ended with Chris Dudley's arrest. He was aggressive when drinking as a youth and still seems belligerent today as evidenced by his attitude toward questioning by Senator Klobuchar. Further evidence of his lack of judicial temperament is his blaming questioning of him on "revenge on behalf of the Clintons."  Advice and consent by Congress isn't slander or conspiracy. Questioning his honesty and disposition is allowed.

Yes Ms. Alitz, Abraham Lincoln was a Republican and responsible for the emancipation of slaves. But Donald Trump is the sad culmination of the devolution of the party that began with the Southern Strategy put forth by Richard Nixon. That was a plan to win over southern Democrats who were angry about Lyndon Johnson's actions to advance civil rights. Lincoln would not have approved. You've left the Democratic Party and joined the Republicans, for whatever reason. Great! So did Strom Thurmond (in 1964 over civil rights) and Donald Trump. It was not a Democrat who found "fine people" among the neo-Nazis, Klansmen, white supremacists and other assorted racists in Charlottesville. It was Mr. Trump.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Letter For Leonardo

I'm writing in response to Ken Tingley's Sunday column referring to a spokesperson for Rep. Stefanik who said Tedra Cobb was a bad candidate because she hasn't raised much money. I assume this is Leonardo Alcivar since he has also called Ms. Cobb the "worst congressional candidate in America." This has to be exclusive of Republicans since where would Corey Stewart and Duncan Hunter rank? Web search these two fine examples of today's Republican Party.

Tedra Cobb has raised $452,127 with 69% from within the district. Elise Stefanik has raised $1,972,762 with 10% from the 21st. Looked at that way; Ms. Cobb has $312,000 from potential constituents to $197,000 for Ms. Stefanik. Who is more apt to represent upstate New York? The one campaigning on small donations from North Country folks? Or the one who has built a war chest on rewards from hedge fund billionaires, defense contractors and other special interest groups? Whose interests are Ms. Stefanik going to protect: her constituents or the people who are funding her campaign?

Is Mr. Alcivar an upstate New Yorker? No, he's a Washington insider from the swamp in D.C. Apparently from a part that President Trump has yet to drain. I realize Ms. Stefanik spent her childhood and teen years in the North Country, but she must be getting pretty comfortable in the marshy environment of lobbyists and other noxious critters.  Vote local, vote Tedra!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Idleman Praise

I'd like to send praise to Sara Idleman for standing against putting retired deputies in Washington County schools. The number of school shootings, I found, for New York State is 2 with 3 injuries and zero deaths since 1990. That was from ballotpedia. Maybe the supervisors have different stats, and 2 in 28 years is too many, though I'm not sure you can assess the odds of an officer stopping either of them. The article mentions unintended consequences. I found instances online of an accidental discharge of a weapon by an SRO and several others who had lost or misplaced weapons. None of these incidents led to injury. There have been cases of officers having sex with students, as well. Not to impugn the character of all officers, but apparently these are things that happen.

On the bright side for the schools, the sheriff is selecting the deputies. That should relieve them of legal liability in the case of "unintended consequences." The NRA and gun manufacturers use a tragedy like Parkland to convince people all schools are in mortal danger and need armed guards. Good job on their part, but a poor one on ours for not resisting their lobbying. Seattle has passed legislation requiring gun owners to safely store their guns. The NRA has brought suit against it. They also prevent, using their congressional lackeys, CDC funding to study gun deaths by keeping the Dickey Amendment in place. I wonder if the supervisors would support trigger locks, gun safes and the renewal of research, as well as armed guards in schools.

Thank you to Mr. Bauberger for his informative letter.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Hiring Advice

If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen! - Trump tweet

And if anyone is looking for a good National Security Adviser, I would strongly suggest you don't retain the services of Michael Flynn. Or H.R. McMaster.

And if anyone is looking for a good Press Secretary, I would strongly suggest you don't retain the services of Sean Spicer. Or Anthony Scaramucci.

And if anyone is looking for a good Secretary of State, I would strongly suggest you don't retain the services of Rex Tillerson.

And if anyone is looking for a good Whatever Omarosa Was, I would strongly suggest you don't retain the services of Omarosa.

And if anyone is looking for a good President, I would strongly suggest you don't retain the services of Donald Trump.

And firing advice from Lindsey Graham:

“You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job (as president) in this constitutional republic if this body determines your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role,” Graham says of Clinton in the nearly 20-year-old clip.

“Because impeachment is not about punishment,” he said. “Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”

Thursday, August 16, 2018

McRaven Letter

Former CIA director John Brennan, whose security clearance you revoked on Wednesday, is one of the finest public servants I have ever known. Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John. He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don’t know him.

Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.

If I thought I still had mine I'd offer it up. Probably wouldn't quite the same impact.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018