Monday, January 15, 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


Monday’s letters: Don’t be fooled by drilling turnaround

Deal blocks drilling off Fla. | Jan. 10Don’t be fooled by turnaroundWhile I am very grateful that Florida has been taken off the table regarding offshore oil drilling, it is clear this is a political move to champion Gov. Rick Scott as he conside...
Published: 01/14/18

Sunday’s letters: Left wing late to the #MeToo cause

#MeTooDemocrats come late to the causeThe Times devoted an entire page to the #MeToo issues on Sunday. The ironies here for longtime observers are nearly boundless. Twenty years ago, folks like myself were called "prudes" and worse because we found P...
Published: 01/13/18

Saturday’s letters: A wall of towers isn’t progress

Skyline takes shape | Jan. 7A wall of towers isn’t progressFirst of all, once the 17 projects currently under way are completed, there will be no "skyline." There will be a wall of buildings blotting out the sun and sky. St. Petersburg has become...
Published: 01/12/18

Friday’s letters:

Gang raped at 17. Getting help at 65 | Jan. 7Help available for assault victimsEach sexual assault survivor has a unique story to tell, and Evelyn Robinson’s experience illustrates many of the emotions, and society stigmas, faced by survivors.Sex...
Published: 01/09/18
Updated: 01/11/18

Thursday’s letters: Opioid bill could do more harm than good

Opioid bill opponents line up | Jan. 6Bill’s potential to harm patientsLegislators are proposing putting more restrictions on physicians’ ability to prescribe pain medications. Yes, the addiction problem is a serious one, and the law seems well-i...
Published: 01/08/18
Updated: 01/10/18

Wednesday’s letters: Beware candidates backed by billionaires

DeSantis declares governor run | Jan. 6Beware the billionaire backingThis line says it all: "The congressman already has the support of the president and several billionaires." If you continue to vote for billionaire-backed candidates, you will g...
Published: 01/08/18
Updated: 01/09/18

Tuesday’s letters: Drilling not worth the risk to Florida

Trump’s plan: to drill | Jan. 5Drilling not worth risk to FloridaAs a Republican and a supporter of President Donald Trump supporter, I am appalled by the proposal to drill for oil off Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts, whose beaches and economi...
Published: 01/08/18

Sunday’s letters: Social media’s risk to children

Vlogger apologizes for sharing suicide video | Jan. 3Social media’s risk to childrenThe recent story about vlogger Logan Paul apologizing for his video on YouTube of a body hanging in a suicide forest in Japan has me deeply concerned. As a fifth-...
Published: 01/06/18

Monday’s letters: On energy, nation should look forward, not backward

Trump’s plan: to drill | Jan. 5Don’t go backward on U.S. energyThinking the threat of oil drilling off our beautiful coasts was off the table, again it raises its ugly head.Interestingly, from 2005-15 the U.S. reliance on petroleum imports fell f...
Published: 01/05/18

Saturday’s letters: Stop the attack on our environment

Trump’s plan: to drill | Jan. 5Stop attack on the environmentThe Trump administration’s attacks on the environment go even beyond the president’s refusal to acknowledge the reality of global warming.First, President Donald Trump seemed woefully i...
Published: 01/04/18
Updated: 01/05/18