Re: Nov. 22 article, “Capitol Police to investigate graphic photo leak, Joe Barton says.”
Rep. Joe Barton has been caught with his pants down, literally, and as is the habit of most high-visibility “oopsies,” after the heart-felt explanation and apology, Lil’ Joe most likely will hightail it to rehab. Then, back to the D.C. in time for business as usual.
He was “caught” in a nekkid photo and now expects to be “released” — like nothing happened. What’s wrong with this picture? If he has any shame, he’ll swim away quietly into the sunset. Right? But remember Tom DeLay and now Attorney General Ken Paxton. Some fish are slippery. Stay tuned!
ALICE ADAMS, AUSTIN
President Trump has, of course, refused to release his tax returns, except for the one that was leaked. On that return, the proposed tax bill would cut his taxes by $31 million by repealing the alternative minimum tax and much more.
What about Ted Cruz and John Cornyn? What effect would the proposed tax bill have on their taxes? Cruz, at least, has released some of his tax returns. I strongly suspect that the current tax bill would substantially lower his taxes.
Are they promoting the best interests of the country with another $1.4 trillion in debt, or just their own best interests?
JAMES PETERSON, AUSTIN
Re: Nov. 24 article, “Surprised by Austin SWAT near your home? It’s for safety, police say,” and June 12, 2016 article, “The siege downstairs.”
It looks like the police department felt the need to allay the concerns of neighbors when its SWAT team attacks a residence.
SWAT team officers are combat-prepared, equipped with surplus military gear. The “flash-bang” grenades they use can cause blindness and hearing loss.
The incident mentioned in which a police officer was shot involved a raid on a home where an 18-year old was suspected of being a large-scale drug dealer. He was not. The police recovered 1.2 ounces of marijuana on the premises. The man, bearing a legally owned AK-47, came to the top of the stairs and fired on the officer whom he thought was an intruder. It’s time we took a hard look at this disturbing law enforcement practice.
VINCENT CARDELLA, AUSTIN
Old Republican men like Greg Abbott, Ken Paxton and Dan Patrick lost another round in their never-ending quest to suppress and control women. When Judge Earl Yeakel declared Texas’ latest anti-abortion law unconstitutional, he joined a long line of judges preventing state governments’ suppression of women.
Women have had to overcome men’s suppression in the past, like keeping them from owning property. They are now overcoming these Republican men’s suppression in controlling their medical decisions.
GREGORY L. CESHKER, DRIPPING SPRINGS
Re: Nov. 25 commentary, “Why movie ‘LBJ’ is a needed reminder about the presidency.”
Rich Oppel’s guest commentary on Vietnam would be justified if he had accurately assessed Lyndon Johnson’s misguided programs that over the last 50 years have ruined millions more lives than his escalation of the war: his war on poverty and other “Great Society” programs.
LBJ’s drastic expansion of the welfare state has led directly to our present level of unwed motherhood among all racial groups. This, in turn, has led to our problems with crime, drugs, a failing educational system and a culture of victimhood and entitlement — to list only the most obvious. “Impressive presidential leadership” is not a criterion for praise if that leadership results in tragic consequences, however unintended they might be.
W. E. DAVIS, AUSTIN