Friday, May 25, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Preserve presidential communications


Expand presidential records act

Generally speaking, I doubt a letter to the editor will influence any individual representative to vote one way or another, but letters from constituents will influence representatives in their votes.

Therefore, I ask the Tampa Bay Times to inform readers about the legislation introduced by Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., requiring the preservation of a president's social media records in addition to all other electronic records and communications as required by the expansion of the Presidential Records Act. In 2014, the Presidential Records Act was expanded to include electronic records and communications, but it did not specifically identify social media comments such as Twitter, Facebook or other social media remarks.

Quigley's bill is the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement Act, or the COVFEFE Act, which would broaden the scope of the Presidential Records Act of 1978 by including the social media as documentary material. The public use of Twitter, for example, does not fall into the category of appropriately exempt documents such as personal diaries and medical records because of the public nature of the communications in tweets and other social media.

Write your House representative or your U.S. senators to urge them to support the COVFEFE Act. It is good for American democracy.

Edward Coursey, Tampa

Vigorous defense and a firm refusal | June 14

Committee met stone wall

Clearly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions got his middle name from the wrong Confederate general. He should have been named for Thomas Jackson, as in "Stonewall." How can a man who cannot remember important events be an attorney, much less the U.S. attorney general?

Raymond R. Campbell, St. Petersburg

Memory lapses

Jeff Sessions' "vigorous defense" is disingenuous. A person who has already made false statements under oath can hardly be incensed that others are skeptical about his behavior.

But even on the face of things his account does not hold water. He asks us to take it as assured fact that he did not discuss certain topics in his meetings with the Russians while, at the same time, stating that he can remember virtually nothing of what was discussed or even how many times they met.

Should a person so incompetent or with such impaired cognitive function be holding high office in our government? The intelligence experts say that in these kinds of matters a person may become an "asset" of a hostile foreign power "unwittingly."

Jonathan K. Jaberg, Largo

Unimpressive performance

To those who don't know, "I can't recall" is a Southern expression which means, "Maybe I do recall or maybe I don't recall." In other words, it's a no-answer answer.

Personally, I had assumed that the attorney general of the United States would have an alert and bright mind, instead of one that can't recall a damn thing.

Don Hayes, Tampa

Affordable Care Act

Value of health reforms

Six years ago, I was self-employed and unable to afford health insurance. I was healthy and believed I could get away with self-payment because I just didn't need to go to the doctor. One morning I woke up with a shadow over my vision. That day I learned I had a detached retina, and six surgeries later I remain blind in that eye.

The cost to me was $40,000. Even if I wanted to buy insurance, my pre-existing condition made it impossible to cover anything to do with either of my eyes. The Affordable Care Act saved me because of the end of pre-existing conditions.

For six years, the Republicans sought to repeal ACA and when they now have an opportunity to repeal and replace they seem caught off guard — no plan, no idea of how to care for people who are less fortunate than the affluent and are unable to pay any amount for care.

I'm not a "taker." I'm a person who has worked hard my entire life but suffers financially even today because I don't have money to just "take care of my own medical situation." These uncaring representatives and senators and the president have no idea how the majority of us live.

Carole Costa, Largo

Medicare as single payer

Pitfalls and pricing

Here are some facts to consider when using Medicare as the template for single-payer health care.

Reading the various letters to the editor and opinion pieces, one would think Medicare for all is the answer. I turned 65 last year and enrolled in Medicare. I also looked up how much I had contributed over the years and what my monthly payment would be. To date, combined with my employers I have contributed $80,000 to Medicare and my monthly premium is $220 (which doesn't include prescription coverage).

We would have a tough time coming up with that $80,000 for all those who haven't worked for 45 years.

C.J. Moffitt, Odessa

School may drop name of Gen. Lee | June 14

Honor the worthy

I strongly support the renaming of the Hillsborough school for black historian Carter G. Woodson. As a white person, I believe we should follow the thinking and leadership of the African-American community on this issue. Public commemoration of Confederate generals and others who fought for white supremacy and the dehumanization of black people through slavery must end now. Instead, let this school be renamed for someone in whom the whole community can have legitimate pride.

Furthermore, perhaps it is time to create monuments and memorials to those who were lynched in our local counties. Do we really want to continue to forget the victims of racial terror but remember the defenders of white supremacy?

Eileen Senn, Clearwater


Friday's letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation Month Thanks, jurors, for your service Trial by a jury of one’s peers is among the bedrock guarantees that make our representative democracy exceptional. Without it, the courtroom fates of defendants and civil litiga...
Updated: 11 minutes ago

Thursday’s letters: Heated chemotherapy won’t treat most ovarian cancers

Heated chemotherapy has promising results | May 16Cancer treatment not a cure-all While we were pleased to see the story about ovarian cancer treatment, we are concerned that the article could mislead many patients. The treatment described has be...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/24/18

Wednesday’s letters: A princess gives us a lesson to live by

Royal treatment | May 21Princess offers advice for us allThe radiant and joyful Princess Anna Noela Lokolo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, recent Eckerd College graduate, has given us a huge gift in her parting words. "If people have a negat...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Central High School bomb threat suspect to be tried as adult | May 4Angry mob rhetoric not helpfulWe have observed the public discourse surrounding the case of Mizella Robinson with increasing unease. A sampling of the more common sentiment...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant Opposed to the TECO solar plantAs a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant in rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18