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Letters to the editor: June 20, 2017


Re: June 11 article, “How to score concrete results helping the poorest of the poor.”

Michael Barnes’ article shows how volunteer advocates work effectively with elected officials.

Rep. Michael McCaul is a leader on global education, tuberculosis and maternal and child health. His actions prevent needless child deaths and empower young minds for a brighter future. He understands that “strategic development assistance is not charity; it is an essential, modern tool of U.S. national security,” as Adm. Mike Mullen and Gen. James Jones observed recently. Reps. John Carter, Lloyd Doggett, Bill Flores, Lamar Smith and Roger Williams and Sen. John Cornyn have also taken some actions at Results’ request.

Honest, open relationships with those serving in Washington are necessary for advocates to prevent the disproportionate and shortsighted cuts to international development programs proposed in the administration’s budget.

ANNE CHILD, DRIPPING SPRINGS

Regarding Gov. Abbott, the Texas Legislature and Austin:

I get that most of you don’t like Austin, but I don’t like your politics either, and I don’t particularly like most of the legislation you crank out every two years. That said, I play by your rules; a majority voted for you, and I live in a democracy, or so I thought.

The people of Austin voted (a majority won) on rules for Uber and banning plastic bags.

We also love our city, and we love our trees. You all continue to do the bidding of the developers and want to turn our city into Dallas. Go ahead: Chop down all the heritage trees, and while you are at it, blast out Barton Springs.

Your moves are dangerously dictatorial, and it angers me that you all are all about “local control” until you are not and it doesn’t suit you.

ILENE MCGARRIGLE, AUSTIN

Re: June 10 article, “Republicans shrug Comey revelations off.”

What hypocrites! If a Democrat did what Trump did, they would be calling for their head. There would be talk of impeachment. This doesn’t just apply to Republicans; Democrats do the same thing. Where are their morals and ethics?

They put their own self and party interests above what is morally and ethically right. It’s no wonder why this country has lost its moral compass. Heck, they would probably have defended President Richard Nixon.

JOHN AINTABLIAN, AUSTIN

An open letter to Gov. Abbott:

As attorney general, you sued the federal government how many times because you didn’t want Washington telling us what to do? You repeatedly railed against “growing government oppression” and were quoted in this newspaper (April 22, 2015) in a speech at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s celebration of a new building as saying, “The threat to our freedom is coming from our own government and our own leaders.”

Since being elected governor, however, you now support the Texas Legislature trying to tell the cities what to do. Ride-hailing driver requirements, plastic bag bans, short-term rentals, heritage trees, annexation rules, the bathroom bill … now I too can say I feel a threat from my own government and my own leaders. You do see the irony here, right? Or do you?

CATHY BENNETT, AUSTIN

Maybe some folks could get off the “hate Trump” bandwagon if they were aware of certain aspects of the Paris accord that have been carefully hidden from the general public. For example, how many of us are aware that according to Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg the planned expenditures by the United States for all aspects of the Paris accord would amount to more than $100 trillion by the end of the century, by which time the predicted change in the earth’s temperature due to these expenditures would amount to three-tenths of 1 degree?

Can anybody imagine some other uses for $100 trillion? I sure can.

KENNETH K. EBMEIER, ROUND ROCK

Our attorney general, Jeff Sessions, testified repeatedly under oath before the Senate committee on June 13 that he simply could not recall whether certain potentially illegal/egregious contacts/conversations took place between Russians and members of the Trump campaign before the last presidential election.

I am willing to accept that, take him at his honorable word. My question is whether a person with such self-admitted recall issues is a desirable and qualified person for such a demanding office. Perhaps a cognitive exam is in order.

TERRY CONLAN, AUSTIN

Re: June 14 article, “Sessions denies Russian collusion.”

As has everyone else, the Associated Press article that ran in the American-Statesman buried the lead of the Sessions testimony.

Finally, about the fifth from the last paragraph: “Sessions maintained that he had not been briefed on the Russia investigation between the time of his February swearing-in and his March 2 recusal.”

All of intelligence agencies agree, Russian meddling in our election was, and remains, a major threat. Yet our nation’s top law officer is totally incurious about the whole matter. So of course Sessions was not “… aware of or took part in any collusion between Russia and the election campaign.” He was willfully, blissfully ignorant about all that, per his own telling — “I don’t even read that carefully.” That is the real indictment of Sessions. We are under attack, and he takes no note, very clearly does not care to take any note. No, he’s not a traitor — he is a dolt.

DAVID VENHUIZEN, AUSTIN



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