Make inquiry open, independent
The investigation headed by special counsel Robert Mueller is limited to possible criminal activity. Mere collusion by a political campaign with a foreign government is not currently a crime. Probing the moral, political or other noncriminal implications of collusion with, or interference by, Russia is beyond Mueller's jurisdiction.
The entire issue of alleged Russian collusion should be investigated openly by an independent, nonpartisan commission, rather than by a special counsel behind the closed doors of a grand jury that typically hears only one side of the case.
President Donald Trump should direct Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to fire Mueller and appoint an independent, nonpartisan commission headed by Alan Dershowitz to hear all sides of the story, enabling the public to judge for itself whether there was improper collusion.
Ralph Warmack, Gulfport
Record of accomplishment
In such a short time, President Donald Trump has already proven to be one of the greatest foreign affairs presidents in history. He has surrounded himself with great military leaders, he is making great strides in the Middle East and our European friends are beginning to come around.
The stock market is great and jobs are coming along fine.
President Trump has done this with little help from the other side. Now is the time for all to come together and make America great again.
Charles F. Graham, Pinellas Park
Aiding families, reviewing safety | July 16, commentary
Welcome words, deeds
Thank you for sharing with our community TECO president and CEO Gordon Gillette's well-written, responsive column on the company's efforts, along with their prayers, regarding the tragic loss of life and injuries in the recent power plant accident.
We are blessed to have one of our own in Gillette, a USF graduate, always supporting our community with so much outreach, and now making any needed safety changes as well as helping to do everything to heal the families involved in this tragic accident.
Dale Kimball, Wesley Chapel
'Venezuela is still my country' | July 17
Your country needs you
"I may not live there anymore but Venezuela is still my country." That statement was made by a person who has been living and working in the United States for the past 18 years.
If she feels that Venezuela is still her country, maybe she should go back there and see if she can help straighten out the mess they're in.
John Waitman, Palm Harbor
Defense budget needs audit | July 14, letter
Waste and corruption
There was a recent letter to the editor suggesting the Pentagon needs to be audited. I wholeheartedly agree. There may be no part of the federal government more wasteful and/or corrupt. According to the Navy Times, there have been 30 admirals and other Navy and Marine personnel who have been ensnared in the "Fat Leonard" scandal. Some of the admirals are already behind bars.
Bloomberg Business recently asked, "Is the F-35 a trillion-dollar mistake?" In a 2015 Army Times article, it was reported that 129 brigade commanders had been fired since 2003. David Finkel, Pulitzer Prize winner and former St. Petersburg Times reporter, points out in his excellent book The Good Soldiers that the aftercare of the soldiers who fought in Iraq will probably cost more than the war itself.
I was honorably discharged from the Army in 1969 and have received a small disability check ever since. I have had a weekly doctor's visit at the VA for the last five weeks. The best (and cheapest) medicine is preventive medicine. Let's quit fighting unending wars.
John Burrell, Tampa
Russia is no friend | July 14, commentary
Beware of the tyrant
Thank you for publishing this Washington Post editorial. It should be read by everyone in America because it details clearly why Russia and Vladimir Putin are the enemy of America and the values we hold dear. Putin is a dictator, tyrant and oppressor in a superficially democratic system of government. He manipulates elections, prohibits freedom of speech and press, and people who oppose him mysteriously end up dead.
The really scary part is that President Donald Trump admires and has praised Putin for the authoritative manner in which he governs.
Marie Cunha, Hudson
Donald Trump is killing the Republican Party | July 18, commentary
Finding another path
Joe Scarborough was prescient in predicting Donald Trump would win the presidency. Hopefully his prediction about our two-party duopoly ending and an independent thinker emerging and saving us from ourselves will happen as well.
Forty-two percent of Americans identified as political independents in 2013, the highest Gallup has measured. Meanwhile, Republican identification fell to a record low, 25 percent. At 31 percent, Democratic identification is unchanged from the last four years but down from 36 percent in 2008.
An independent wave has already begun overseas. Emmanuel Macron, the recently elected president of France, has bucked the current nationalist, isolationist trend at home and abroad. Hopefully this example will move Americans to get behind a similar thinker.
After the disastrous beginning of the current Republican president, we could certainly use someone with Macron's instincts.
George Chase, St. Pete Beach