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Sounding off: What are Trump’s accomplishments?

September 3, 2018

We can get perspective on Trump’s accomplishments by comparing to the best deeds of recent presidents.

Where Johnson and Obama improved health care for the poor, Trump is weakening it.

Where Johnson and Obama helped extend equality to blacks, Trump is empowering white supremacists.

Where several past presidents helped women’s rights, Trump is denigrating and disempowering women.

Where Johnson made immigration more fair, Trump is implementing inhumane policies, separating immigrant children from their parents.

Where Carter reduced Israel-Palestine tensions, Trump is inflaming them.

Where George H.W. Bush and Clinton worked to improve trade, Trump is starting a trade war.

Where Carter stressed ethics, Trump is stocking his Cabinet with billionaires and bankers.

Where Reagan and George H. W. Bush reduced nuclear tensions by negotiating, Trump is raising tensions by canceling agreements and tweeting.

Where George W. Bush helped Africa reduce HIV, Trump is insulting Africa and cutting humanitarian aid.

Where past presidents educated themselves, invited debate and read briefing books, Trump is watching TV.

Where Nixon strengthened environmental protection, Trump is denying global warming, thereby threatening the livability of the planet.

Almost all of Trump’s accomplishments as president are hurting the United States.

Paul S. Heckbert, Edgewood

Library’s reading list is politically charged

End of humanity

Death row

Destruction of the world

Cadavers

America’s racial history

Haters

Drugged and raped

Racism

Teen mutilation

Cultural barriers

Transgenderism

Dark side of American prosperity

These were the topics comprising the majority of books on the Sewickley Public Library’s high school suggested summer reading list in 2017. As a local resident who is concerned about education in America, I wrote to the library expressing what I believe to be is a lack of balance in the compilation. First, not one book was written before 2004, thus no classical literature. Second, with scant exception, the subject matter of the selections deals in fatalistic or politically charged themes. I was hopeful for a more balanced approach in summer 2018. To my chagrin, this year’s list is identical to the last with the exception of a substitution for “The Hate U Give” (a work from last year’s list inspired by Black Lives Matter).

It boggles the mind to witness our culture looking in on itself wondering, in genuine bewilderment, why our youth are so deeply troubled, why we suffer with such cruel violence, why family units struggle to stay intact and why our population is so profoundly uneducated when we pour subject matter such as is exemplified by our public library’s suggested reading list into the minds of our fragile yet curious and malleable youth. What outcome should we expect?

I am hopeful for improvements in 2019.

Stacey West, Sewickley

East Pittsburgh must fire Rosfeld

The East Pittsburgh Police Department must fire Michael Rosfeld now. To keep him on the force sends a message that the death of Antwon Rose II is an acceptable part of police work.

Racial bias trainings are not enough to promote safety. We also need consequences when lives are taken. If officers can take a short paid break and then return to work after killing someone, there is hardly a motivation for them to act better. And waiting for a guilty conviction before firing is not enough. Police know better than anyone that the court system fails to convict many guilty people. Just look at the officers who shot Mark Daniels, Leon Ford, Michael Brown, John Crawford III and Tarika Wilson. None of them were convicted.

At the East Pittsburgh Borough council meeting July 17, council members said, “Trust us.” But how can we trust them when they keep employing officers who threaten the lives of their residents? This is the same empty phrase I heard at meetings with Pittsburgh police after they killed Mark Daniels. This is coming from the same city government that hands black parents ordinances telling them to keep their children out of sight, with no bike riding or basketball allowed in East Pittsburgh front yards or public streets.

I’d rather trust the protesters who are blocking our streets. Their children are being murdered and they still use peaceful tactics to pursue justice. We will all be safer when our city starts to listen to them.

Jess Ansel, Shadyside

Hempfield, use casino revenue for police

To the Hempfield Township supervisors: With the 3 percent in extra revenue coming in from the mini casino that you don’t know what to do with it, here’s a no-brainer: Get a township police department and let the state police do their jobs, which will now get worse with the casino. If a small town like Jeannette can afford a police department and Hempfield is probably three times larger, someone is not doing the math correctly.

Michele Vanetta, Jeannette

Trump is doing what Obama pledged

This is crazy. Trump is fulfilling Obama’s campaign promises and getting lambasted for it.

Obama said “Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel.”

Obama put tariffs on tires from China and got flak for doing it.

Obama said we “can’t have half a million people pouring over the border without any kind of mechanism to control it” and, during his presidency, said, “We need comprehensive immigration reform.”

Obama pledged to eliminate the waste and duplication of agencies in government.

Obama said in 2012 that Russia was not a threat, al-Qaida was.

I could go on and on. Politics is nuts.

Susan Stiles, North Huntingdon

Letter is wrong on Casey, Trump’s ‘principles’

Maury Fey’s letter sure has some facts wrong.

First, he’s wrong when he claims that since America’s founding, presidents have nominated people for the Supreme Court and Congress has examined and confirmed them. He has apparently forgotten that President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland, but the Republican Senate simply refused to do its duty and examine him.

Second, he’s wrong when he calls our Sen. Bob Casey an obstructionist on the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination. Casey found Kavanaugh weak on women’s rights, civil rights, gun control, health care, big money in politics, and protecting clean air and water. Any of those Kavanaugh weaknesses are a reasonable cause to vote against his nomination.

Third, Fey’s wrong when he calls Trump a “principled” leader. Do the 22 women suing him for sexual misconduct think he’s principled? Do the 60 or more suits claiming he didn’t pay what he owed make him principled? Does the fact that he screened his rental applications to exclude people of color make him principled? Or maybe it’s the over 3,000 lies he’s told so far.

Donald A. McAndrew, Murrysville

We support Trump to resist socialism

Wow, how revealing the letter “Supporters, see the real Trump” was. The writer said you only need to listen to Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert and the mainstream media to find out how “this crooked guy is destroying the good in America and our allies.”

His examples — “putting babies in cages,” “increasing the prices of everything we need to live,” “destroying our air and water,” and “going to Russia for money” — are all parts of the “fake news” this writer must limit himself to. If he would extend his news sources to some of the political columns in this paper and the syndicated radio and internet shows that provide opposing views and news omitted from the highly partisan mainstream media, he could broaden his faulty, one-dimensional viewpoint.

The basic reason President Trump’s supporters remain loyal is to resist our country’s creeping socialism and to free up entrepreneurship and free enterprise to create jobs for the working middle class, who voted for him and who are the engine of this great country. Socialism, where government owns or controls most of the major industries and distributes most of the country’s wealth as it sees fit, has never worked, whereas American capitalism has created a country with the greatest freedom, the most dynamic economy and the highest standard of living in modern times.

Ron Raymond, Buffalo Township

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