How Florida voted | Dec. 19
Increase for Alzheimer's research
Kudos to Congress for looking beyond partisan politics and passing the omnibus budget resolution this month. Among many issues included was critical funding for Alzheimer's disease, providing a 60 percent increase over last year's allocation. I know our local U.S. representatives — Kathy Castor, Gus Bilirakis, David Jolly and Dennis Ross — have all been highly supportive of this increase. Florida has twice the number of dementia cases per capita as the rest of the United States due to our age structure (1 in every 40 Floridians has dementia).
Alzheimer's costs more than heart disease or cancer and kills almost as many people, yet research support is 10 to 20 percent of that for these other diseases. This new funding is the down payment on several future years of increases so that the breakthroughs in the lab can translate into meaningful treatments for patients and their families. The Florida Legislature now needs to step up and increase funding for Rep. Matt Hudson's Alzheimer's research program. Please let your legislators know where you stand on these issues.
David Morgan, CEO, USF Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute, Clearwater
The art of the unreal | Dec. 22
Stop enabling Trump
Isn't it time for everyone (including the news media) to stop enabling Donald Trump's outrageous behavior? Why don't we all stop kidding ourselves and admit that Trump is a liar? He doesn't "embellish," "exaggerate" or "stretch" the truth. He tells lies.
It's been confirmed that thousands and thousands of Muslims in New Jersey did not applaud the downing of the twin towers on 9/11; that blacks are not responsible for 81 percent of white homicides; and that the Mexican government does not send "bad" people over the border.
The lies Trump has told while running for president are too numerous to mention, but it's time we stop indulging him and treat him like he treats others.
Anthony Edl, Odessa
Listen to the message
There seems to be much consternation and hand-wringing in the mainstream media about Donald Trump's success in the polls. The media consistently misses the essence of Trump's appeal because they refuse or cannot accept his supporters' grievances as valid. They are shooting the messenger instead of listening to the message.
Trump is the only way for some of the electorate to get the attention of the political class that runs our country. The message that Trump is delivering is that many of us no longer view the establishment and their well-rehearsed spokesmen as legitimate or credible. That's why when they attack Trump it has no negative effect. Find someone with credibility to criticize Trump and maybe it will work.
Dan Corson, Riverview
Scrutiny for all
I read with interest your front-page political fact-check article on Donald Trump, complete with the unflattering caricature. I am looking forward to your equally fair and balanced report on Hillary Clinton, caricature included.
Your fact check can start off with her little self-aggrandizing lies like dodging bullets in Bosnia, her daughter jogging around the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attack, being named after Sir Edmund Hillary, trying to join the Marines and claiming all of her grandparents were immigrants.
Then you can examine some of the really big recent lies like the Benghazi attack video, having no classified material on her private email server and Donald Trump videos being used for ISIS recruitment. And if you really want to do an in-depth examination of Clinton, look again at Travelgate, her cattle futures trading explanation, her role in the "bimbo eruption" and of course Whitewater. The list is endless.
Pat Jennings, Dunedin
Raise gas tax, invest in transport | Dec. 24, letter
Find other revenue sources
I find it disturbing that people advocate raising the gas tax as a means to fund transportation. I don't know what world the letter writer is living in, but gas prices in the $3 to $3.50 range are ridiculous, especially to people living on fixed incomes.
We are already taxed too much. With the economy rebounding and unemployment decreasing, why not redirect funds from programs like unemployment and welfare to fund these issues.
Charles Barber, Brooksville
Sing along with new twists on old carols Dec. 24, John Romano column
John Romano's cutesy twist on Joy to the World implies that only "madmen, rednecks, kooks and zealous crazed nuts" are happy with guns. This is insulting to me and millions of other law-abiding gun owners who are none of these things. Can't you at least lay off such divisive, liberal language during this Christmas season?
Bill Lindall, Seminole