As an Army veteran, I proudly took an oath to support and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. All of our representatives also took this oath.
By all reports, our democratic process was attacked by a foreign source — and there is an investigation underway to determine if that attack was aided and abetted by domestic sources. This investigation is being led by a highly qualified Marine veteran — and Republican — who has sworn the same oath of office that I and our representatives took.
Any attempts by any representative to hinder said investigation is, in my view, guilty of violating their oath of office. This investigation must be allowed to run its course without interference to ensure the viability of our democracy.
JOHN GOSSETT, CEDAR PARK
It’s time to change the way we draw electoral districts in Texas.
For too long, our elected officials have drawn district lines to give their own party an unfair advantage. Gerrymandering tactics have impacted both sides of the aisle at various points in our state history. It creates a situation that undermines the opportunity for competitive races, effectively silences the votes of Texans and rewards extremism in politics.
We need to support the fight for fair maps. We need our representatives and senators to champion this critical issue in their districts and in the next legislative session. We need a public outcry from all.
Heading into primaries, question your candidates on their stance of how Texas draws lines. Make it a core issue. This session came and went with no movement in redistricting committees whatsoever. We can no longer afford inaction.
VALERIE STREET, TEXAS PROGRESSIVE ACTION NETWORK PRESIDENT, AUSTIN
Re: Jan. 7 article, “Trump calls himself ‘very stable genius.’”
The article states that President Trump is set to have his first physical examination as president this Friday. Then comes the forehead slapper: This exam does not typically involve having the president undergo a mental health evaluation.
For obvious reasons, the mental status of the leader of our country should be as important, if not more so, than physical status. It’s mind blowing he or she should not be subjected to a mental status exam.
The mental problems exhibited by Trump may only be related to his adolescent and narcissistic personality, but the American public deserves to know if he, or any president, is mentally stable and mentally competent.
DRU EDRINGTON, GEORGETOWN
Reading articles about man in the Oval Office brings to mind the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield. His jokes were all centered around the line, “I get no respect.”
While the Secret Service provides security for the president’s physical health, his staff and aides try to provide security for what appears to be a most insecure individual.
DAVID FREEMAN, AUSTIN
Re: Jan. 8 article, “Trump huddles with GOP lawmakers.”
As lawmakers huddle at Camp David, they must consider the continuation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. It is especially important to Texas, which has the second-highest rate of uninsured children in the nation, according to a 2016 report by Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families.
Taxpayers pay when kids are uninsured.
When uninsured kids get sick, their parents have no place to take them other than a public hospital’s emergency room, which by law cannot turn them away. And if those parents cannot pay the extremely expensive bill? The taxpayer picks up the tab.
I call on my representative, Michael McCaul, and Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz to see to it that CHIP is renewed. Texas children and their families and taxpayers are counting on you!
MARTHA ROGERS, AUSTIN
Two programs that began with good intentions have been exploited by various businesses to make a profit. I am referring to the free mulch program and the short-term rental program.
Next week, when the free mulch is available for pickup at Zilker Park, the majority will be loaded up on large trailers with a crew hauling it away by commercial operators. It will be all picked over — gone by the time I try to get a few bags of mulch. I stopped going years ago.
Meanwhile, property-managed limited liability companies are now converting their residential units to short-term rentals.
It may be time for the city to revisit these programs and decide if the programs are operating as originally intended.
SARAH SHAW, AUSTIN
The Trump tax cut created a $1.5 trillion hole in the deficit and will now require massive cuts to services. This cut and defund idea came from Texas.
Several years ago, Republicans in Texas created a deficit of more than $20 billion with their tax cuts for the business community. The Texas comptroller warned lawmakers the flawed budget was fiscally irresponsible, creating a hole in the budget and causing massive cuts to education and services. Texas, by law, requires a balanced budget, so what better way to cut education than to create a massive debt then blame education?
With a newly created $1.5 trillion hole in the budget created by the Trump tax cuts, look for massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare and education because, “we can’t afford it anymore.”
It’s another perfect plan.
JOHN COBARRUVIAS, HOUSTON