Monday, July 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Congress should step aside

Special counsel; broad power | May 18

Congress should suspend inquiry

I have complete confidence that Robert Mueller, working with the FBI, will resolve all issues concerning alleged Russian interference in our election. His broad authority will allow him to investigate other issues including unmasking, illegal surveillance and obstruction of justice.

I have little faith in congressional hearings, which too often provide a stage for grandstanding politicians making points for re-election.

I would suggest Congress suspend its investigations, go back to the business of the people and wait for the results of Mueller's investigation, which likely would make further congressional hearings irrelevant.

Harold Dean, St. Petersburg

House Bill 785

Sign stroke bill into law

While the Florida legislative session has come to an end, the wait for those who have been impacted by stroke or may one day suffer from the nation's leading cause of disability and fifth-leading cause of death has begun.

Thanks to Rep. MaryLynn Magar and Sen. Bobby Powell, who stood up as stroke champions this session, Gov. Rick Scott now has a bill on his desk that would work to improve clinical outcomes for stroke sufferers.

The bill addresses funding statewide research and strengthening the state's network of hospitals to provide a consistent level of top-quality care to every patient.

Every four minutes a life is lost to stroke, underscoring the need to prioritize stroke care and the need to smartly invest in research. Governor Scott, Tampa Bay is counting on you to stand up against heart disease and sign this session's stroke legislation, HB 785, into law.

Charles Sand, M.D., Tampa

Bilirakis defends health bill vote | May 15

Voters' political negligence

The story about the Tennessee woman who tried to run down her ACA-hating congressman got me thinking, and so did the article about Rep. Gus Bilirakis.

Voters commit gross negligence whenever they vote for someone because his father held the seat for decades, or because she "seems nice" or "goes to our church" or seems "patriotic." In this age of instant mass communication and instant mass destruction, a congressman or senator is either getting you closer to what you need or keeping you away from it.

Before you need anything else, you need good health. It's the foundation to everything else good that may come in your life. Bilirakis is not your friend, your pal, your neighbor or a guy that you owe anything to at this stage of the game. He stood in the way of decent health care not only for the hundreds of thousands of his own constituents who foolishly counted on him to do right by them, but also many tens of millions of other Americans across the nation who need good health care.

He did so by voting with impunity for a colossal tax cut for the tiny fraction of America's richest families and wrapped that tax cut in the lie of an "improvement over Obamacare," something the Republican bill most definitely is not.

Bilirakis and the GOP played their loyalists for a bunch of suckers and won.

Steve Douglas, St. Petersburg

He can't hide from this vote

My wife and I voted for Rep. Gus Bilirakis in 2014 and 2016, but his tactic of keeping his head down in a time of national disturbance will change our vote in 2018. We understand his sense of safety in a gerrymandered district, and how the hundreds of thousands of lobbyist dollars and a family name and legacy allow him to shrug off a sector of his constituents. We heard him say at a town hall in February, "I listen to what is said and will take those ideas back to Washington." The next day the Times quoted him as saying, "But I am not changing my votes."

When the House voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and support the American Health Care Act, Bilirakis dutifully voted with the herd. He uttered barely a word, as if by being quiet he would escape notice. This bill removes millions of lower-income people from health care, and the savings in federal money is passed along as tax cuts for the upper 1 percent income population.

If anyone has written to this congressman recently, you no doubt received a letter with the canned sentence, "During my time in Congress, I have repeatedly opposed and voted against the misuse and wasteful spending of your tax dollars and believe that Congress should carefully consider which programs are funded with taxpayer money."

Sir: You cannot have it both ways.

Chuck Hawkins, Safety Harbor

Pants on fire claim on health care | May 14, PolitiFact

Insurance for all

Thanks for the research and the clarification that people really do die from lack of health care insurance. Since the question seems to be how many thousands of Americans die each year because they lack health insurance, it is time to make sure all Americans have insurance.

The recent health care bill that passed the House that would end health insurance for millions. Now the Senate is taking up the bill. Time for us to call, write and visit our senators, asking them to write a bill so all Americans have affordable health care.

Willie Dickerson, Snohomish, Wash.

Trump accused of leak | May 16

Presidential prerogative

I find it appalling that your newspaper would print an accusation that the president leaked sensitive information to Russia. First of all, the president is the ultimate authority on who gets told what. Presidents have released such information for years. Franklin Roosevelt told Winston Churchill about the atomic bomb, but other people were locked up or lost their job for saying anything about the bomb.

This is a non-story that will grow bigger by virtue of exaggeration by the liberal media who are attempting to destroy a duly elected president.

Wayne Parlow, Ridge Manor


Monday’s letters: More reaction to Trump

Trump sides with Putin over U.S.A. | July 17 editorialVoters will have to protect national securityThe American intelligence agencies are in unanimous agreement that Russia involved itself in the 2016 election, all to benefit the candidacy of Dona...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Sunday’s letters: What to do about the National Flood Insurance Program

Time’s running out on flood insurance | Column, July 18Kill the flood insurance programThe Republican ethos (Sen. Marco Rubio) is that government should not interfere in markets and that privatization should be implemented whenever possible. That...
Published: 07/19/18
Updated: 07/20/18

Saturday’s letters:

Time for more civil debate"Politics" is an activity which involves power and control, arriving at decisions based on differing interests. Normally, leaders weigh the needs of the individual with the abilities of the country. Can America afford a soci...
Published: 07/19/18
Updated: 07/20/18

Friday’s letters: Trump’s excuses about Helsinki

Trump got tripped up | July 18 A dangerous mix-up for a president President Donald Trump would have us believe that he misspoke when he stood on the world stage with Russian President Vladimir Putin and expressed belief in Putin rather than the un...
Published: 07/18/18
Updated: 07/20/18

Thursday’s letters: Watch what Trump does ... and what he says

Trump sides with Putinover U.S.A. | Editorial, July 17 Watch what he does — and what he says, too Anyone who still takes issue with the allegation that Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit to be president need only look at his shameful and ...
Published: 07/16/18
Updated: 07/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: Leave fireworks to the professionals

Nobody is scaring birds with fireworks | Editorial, July 16Leave fireworksto the professionalsThe situation with fireworks has gotten completely out of control. I was at Curtis Hixon Park on the Fourth of July, and numerous people were exploding ...
Published: 07/16/18
Updated: 07/17/18

Monday’s letters: Make investment in the Rays an actual investment with an actual return

Paying for ballpark will take teamwork | Editorial, July 12An actual return on investmentMuch attention has been given to the cost of the proposed Rays stadium in Ybor City and who will foot the bill. The three-legged stool of the Rays, the busin...
Published: 07/12/18
Updated: 07/16/18

Sunday’s letters: Stop burning of sugar cane near the Everglades

Florida’s land of black snow | Bill Maxwell column, July 1Don’t burn sugar cane, periodIn this column, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King got a lot of things right about how sugarcane burning negatively impacts the Glades communities w...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/13/18

Saturday’s letters: The dangerous days before Roe vs. Wade

The reality of back-alley abortions | Column, July 11The dangerous days before RoeI am a 71-year-old retired nurse. I still remember when abortion was illegal and birth control was restricted to married women in the United States. In 1983, I set ...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/14/18

Thursday’s letters: The Rays’ Ybor City stadium will be magnificent

Rays’ big dream is small ballpark | July 11The new stadium will be gorgeousI had the pleasure of attending the unveiling of the Tampa Bay Rays "next-generation, neighborhood ballpark." I was blown away. As an 18-year resident of Tampa Bay, and ma...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/12/18