‘Something to celebrate’

According to the Weather Channel, as of Dec. 15, our afternoons will begin to get longer. That’s a good thought. We won’t notice significant change in the short days, though, until the end of January.

Happy spring, everyone!

Wendy Best

Parkdale

‘Formula for instability’

It’s our duty as individuals and private citizens to pay our bills and balance our household budgets. If we run up huge debts and never pay them, we experience very unpleasant consequences. The national debt is somewhat different: The numbers are much, much bigger and the government has the ability to tap various sources of credit and finance that are not available to us ordinary folks.

So, we may be tempted to shrug it off when we hear that the debt has increased — again. Big mistake! Although there is much to be outraged about in Washington these days, we shouldn’t overlook the fact that the Trump administration and its Republican henchmen in Congress — thanks to their 2017 tax “reform” — have added more than $3 trillion to the debt in the last few years. It’s now at an all-time high, surpassing $23 trillion.

This in spite of the Republican cries for “fiscal responsibility” during the Obama administration, in spite of Trump’s promise to eliminate the debt in eight years, and in spite of their claim that the tax cuts would stimulate the economy and that the “trickle down” benefits would increase tax revenues and shrink the debt. Well, none of that seems to be happening — though the wealthiest 1 percent are doing better than ever. What are we to do?

The Democratic candidates for president have a variety of tax and finance proposal for us to consider. It’s our duty as citizens to consider them thoughtfully and advocate for the plans and the candidates that we think will serve our country best.

We know what we’ll get with four more years of Republicans in power: Higher debt, higher concentration of wealth in fewer hands. A formula for instability.

Peyton Helm

Hood River

Errant president

The last vestige of the monarchy, the pardon, is enshrined in Section 2 of the constitution. It’s often been abused by our presidents, whether it’s Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich, or the long list of Trump’s actions which include Sheriff Arpaio, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, and recently the pardon of a U.S. Navy SEAL who was tried for murder and convicted of posing with a corpse. This is also known as corpse abuse. 

There are many ramifications that were never considered by the president, such as the retirement of the Secretary of the Navy, the stain on the Navy and all SEALS who serve or will serve, along with the breakdown of discipline in the ranks knowing that the president says something as sick as abuse of corpse is just fine. It reminds one of the posing of soldiers with strings of ears during the Vietnam conflict. 

Is this what we deem as acceptable in our military? Has the pardon as enshrined in the Constitution been abused to the point that a change needs to be made to Article 2 in order to limit the power of an errant president?

Rob Brostoff

Cascade Locks

Support full inquiry

Several Supreme Court decisions have established that Congress, in its power to legislate, has broad power to investigate and “to issue and enforce subpoenas.” But in the case of its current investigations, its subpoenas have been repeatedly ignored.

Refusal by potential witnesses to respond and share what they know about matters of national importance is obstruction of those congressional powers.

I urge our Congress members to support compelling every person called by Congress to testify and tell what they know. With his silence on the matter of non-compliance, 2nd Dist. Rep. Greg Walden is neglecting his oath of office, which requires him to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law.

I urge Mr. Walden to support a full and unobstructed impeachment inquiry, insist that subpoenaed witnesses testify, and insist that every thread identified by the Mueller report and congressional testimony is followed wherever it leads.

Rhonda Starling

Mosier

Accountability

“The trouble is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There’s no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.”  — Arundhati Roy

Ms. Roy was not referring to impeachment but could have been. With the actions this president has taken, I’m shocked the American public is not protesting in the streets.

Imagine the right’s reply if Obama’s name was exchanged for Trump. Howls of outrage would mandate justice. There is no innocence here. Everyone in the country is accountable. Either you believe in the Constitution and the rule of law or you are so distracted by the clown show as to enjoy the entertainment value at the expense of our country.

David Michalek

Hood River

‘Honor Oath of Office’

The call record and testimony from top Trump officials confirms that President Trump has broken the law and abused the power of his high office.

Trump asked Ukraine to interfere in American elections. He blocked critical military aid to a U.S. ally struggling to defend against Russian attack. He tied together his request for interference and the withholding of aid to a bribery scheme for his personal benefit. He continues to obstruct Congress to cover up his crimes.

Now, our members of Congress, including Rep. Greg Walden, face a choice. They can vote to impeach and remove Trump from office. Voting to impeach honors their oaths to defend the Constitution and the rule of law. Or they can vote not to impeach and remove Trump from office. Voting against impeachment for these crimes confirms Trump’s false belief that he is above the law.

If Congress fails to hold Trump accountable, he will feel free to commit even more egregious crimes.

It is a very grave action to remove a president from office. However, when a president acts against his own oath of office, willingly breaks our laws, and undermines our democracy, it must be done. Our duty as citizens is to demand it. Congress’ duty as our sworn representatives is to impeach and remove Trump.

Mr. Walden swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

His oath is to our country, not just this president.

Beth Flake

Hood River

Study the Constitution

Listening to the four experts on the constitution during the judiciary committee’s hearing on Trump’s impeachment, I am so impressed with the founders of our country. These founders in the late 1700s were able to create an amazing document, “the Constitution.”

Imagine being at that convention over 200 years ago, coming up with a document so far reaching that the articles written then and the 27 amendments since still apply and will continue to serve us long into our future.

If only the leader of this country had the time to study the constitution we wouldn’t be in this situation, but alas, he has no time for the constitution when Fox cable television is on.

Ron Yamashita

Hood River

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