Tax Bill Kills Democracy

On Dec. 19 we saw the last nail put in the coffin of representative democracy. That evening the Republican party passed a tax bill that will hurt the average American family, while enriching the already rich and powerful. This is the second time in the matter of weeks that the Republican party chose to go against the expressed wishes of a majority of the American people and do what was best for themselves and big business. The Republican majority at the Federal Communications Commission also voted to do away with Net Neutrality, against the wishes of a majority of the people, and they did the same in Congress on the 19th with a very unfair tax bill.

Of course, both of our senators voted for this bill because they both got a big windfall; in fact they were number one and three on the list of senators who benefited from a provision on real estate tax break. Also, Trump, the Kochs, the DeVoses and other big Republican donors got what they wanted: billions of tax savings paid for by the working families of America.

Bottom line, the Republican party didn’t represent the will of the average American; they chose to represent their donors instead. I hope that all of the Republican voters here in Tennessee remember this in 2018 and 2020. Their party just told them that they don’t care what they think; they only care about the donor class.

Mark Santoro, Hillsboro, Tenn.

More Tax Bill Outrages

The five tax bill articles in the 1/1-15/17 TPP are silent regarding the mean, cruel, vicious and malicious House and Senate provisions for tax deductions for hurricane victims in primarily red states such as Texas and Florida, while removing tax deductions for both earthquake and wildfire victims primarily in blue states such as California. Similarly, it appears that the red states of Texas and Florida received greater and more timely assistance for hurricane deductions than the more liberal commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

It also appears that the inhumane Trump administration and fellow Republican Congressmen have far greater tax concerns for the billionaires than the remaining 99% of our population including children.  

Edward L. Koven, Highland Park, Ill.

Dangerous Greed of Corporations and Politicians

Mr. Nader is always worth a read — especially true of his 12/15/17 piece, “The rule of power over the rule of law.” It is unbelievable what the US corporations and the self-serving politicians have been able to do because of their enormous greed. The old line, ‘it’s time to clean house,” is more appropriate than ever with a few exceptions.

I mourn the loss of one such exception. Sen. Al Franken — a major loss for the left.

William G. Wegener, Carnegie, Pa.

Who’s Got the Button?

Donald Trump’s recent Twitter commentary regarding his “Much bigger and more powerful” nuclear button should alarm, if not terrify, reasoned and civilized human beings world-wide. Trump’s nuclear bravado and veiled threat was in response to some recent commentary by North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un. This latest bombast rivals our president’s earlier proclamations that if provoked he would unleash “Fire and fury unlike the world has never seen.”

Historians will have to look long and hard to find any comparable events since the dawn of the nuclear age where an elected leader has told the world that he will with intent destroy an entire nation and murder over 29 million people. And this is not even approaching the sum total of horror that our Tweeter in Chief is boasting about. If such a scenario is to unfold it may well escalate on a global scale unimagined and easily trigger a nuclear holocaust where the least of our concerns would be nuclear winter.

All global citizens with even a modest concern for the future of their children and life on earth need to rise up and in unity refute and condemn what is happening right before our eyes. All of us need to share and send the same message-that any nuclear exchange is a planetary death sentence. We need to do everything we can collectively to mitigate and turn back this unspeakable nuclear evolution that is sanctioning and in fact normalizing the strategic options and viability of nuclear first strikes.

In late 2017 I had the good fortune to attend a function which honored one of the surviving victims of Hiroshima. As a child our survivor saw the first atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima with a parachute. This from a distance which allowed her survival. What we need to understand and internalize now is that the nuclear horror unleashed on Hiroshima is a fireworks display compared to our arsenals on hair-trigger alert today. We cannot allow a mindset and a mentality to exist or endure which proclaims and yes boasts about these weapons as legitimate war fighting options. The issue is not about war or vanquishing an enemy. The issue is and has always been about human survival.

Jim Sawyer, Edmonds, Wash.

Taking the Knee

I write in appreciation for the sports perspective offerings of Dave Zirin, especially his recent defense of (mostly) black NFL players taking a knee. It might be worth pointing out that the third verse of “The Star Spangled Banner” advocates the hunting down and murder of escaped slaves.

A study in black and white, Colin Kaepernick, a pretty good quarterback, can’t be hired because he took a knee. Tim Tebow, a decidedly mediocre quarterback, couldn’t be fired because he took a knee.

Dwight L. Olson, Niland, Calif.

Editor Notes: There is a difference of opinion over the meaning of the rarely used third stanza of the National Anthem, which contains the words, “No refuge could save the hireling and slave, From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave …” Some interpret it as racist, but others see it as referring to British mercenaries (“the hireling”) and escaped slaves who served in the British forces in return for the promise of freedom (which Britain honored after the war). Mark Clague, a professor of music history at the University of Michigan, writing for CNN (8/31/16), noted that Francis Scott Key, while a slaveholder, also represented blacks suing for freedom, most notably in an 1825 case of the slave ship Antelope (a precursor of the Amistad), and “The Star Spangled Banner,” in celebrating the defense of Fort McHenry, honored free and escaped blacks who were among the fort’s defenders. That said, we wouldn’t mind changing the anthem to “America the Beautiful.”

Don’t Believe Broaddrick Rape Claims

I agree with Gene Lyons [12/15/17 TPP]; I do not understand why so many so called liberal writers believe Juanita Broaddrick when she alleges that Bill Clinton raped her when there is not a shred of evidence to support her claim.

These are the facts:

1) She signed an affidavit that Bill Clinton did not rape her.

2) Ken Starr who had been an attorney for Paula Jones interviewed her and did not believe her.

3) She was never examined for penetration.

4) She became an ally of Tom DeLay when he needed a Hail Mary pass because it looked like Bill Clinton would survive impeachment.

Now the favorite talking point of the mainstream media is that Bill Clinton should have resigned. However, Americans have very short memories and you can’t relitigate the past. The reason Clinton survived is because he had a 70% approval rating and Americans did not want him removed from office. They thought he was a good president and his sex life did not interfere with how he performed as president. After all, we elected a president, not a pope. And when Kirsten Gillibrand uses revisionist history to say that Bill Clinton should have resigned, she has lost my vote forever.

Reba Shimansky, New York, N.Y.

Garrison Keillor Fired? That’s Absurd

I praise Garrison Keillor for refusing to display bitterness towards the woman who accuses him of sexual misconduct – despite his losing his job at Minnesota Public Radio, and having his life disrupted in heaven knows how many other ways.

I recently read a news story about the incident that led to the woman’s accusation against Keillor. According to him, he tried to console her when she was distraught and crying. He said he embraced her when, unknown to him, the back of her blouse was unbuttoned and his hand touched her bare flesh.

How can such action ever be called intentional, much less sexual misconduct?

David Quintero, Monrovia, Calif.

Editor Notes:Keillor also has stopped writing his column since the Washington Post fired him in connection with the same complaint.

Harrop Not Progressive

How can TPP condone Froma Harrop”s condemnation of Bernie Sanders of being the reason for Trump’s 2016 victory, when the major reason was the corrupt Democratic primary system managed by Debbie Wasserman Schultz? All the polls that I have seen show Bernie handily defeating Trump. Froma may be a popular columnist, but definitely not a progressive one!

Bob Bogner, Aspen, Colo.

Editor Notes: All the polls also showed Clinton defeating Trump. In fact, she won the popular vote by 2.86 million votes.

From The Progressive Populist, Febuary 2, 2018


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