What has this nation come to when the highest law enforcement officer in the country has been exposed as having lied when being questioned about his competency to fulfill the position of attorney general ("Sessions: Will sit out election probes," Friday)? The time has come for polite descriptions such as "misrepresented" or the infamous "alternate facts" to be eliminated and the raw truth to be told.
During his Senate confirmation hearings, then-Sen. Jeff Sessions was asked whether he had had contact with the Russians during the presidential campaign, and he said, clearly and positively, "I did not have communications with the Russians." In fact, he had two meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during that time.
It is only three weeks since Michael Flynn was forced to resign as national security adviser because of his false statements. Is this a pattern that the new administration is setting?
|Marlene Lieber, Medford
The left is using the Russian connection again to try to stall President Trump's promises of action for America. This is not fooling any of us. We see it as a method of giving some on our side a way to be diverted, but we are not fooled. Republicans in power have one job, to implement the Trump agenda as fast as they can. Any acquiescing by members of Congress to these obvious diversions will be seen as attempts to stall. Blow off this and future BS by the Democrats and the left and get our needs as Trump outlined them done. Got it?
|David Cook, Loveland, Colo.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, candidate Donald Trump encouraged African Americans to vote for him, asking rhetorically: "What do you have to lose?" If events of last week are indicative, the answer is emerging.
Last Monday, the Justice Department, headed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, withdrew its challenge to the controversial Texas voter ID law as intentionally racially discriminatory. On Tuesday, Sessions announced that his agency will cease monitoring police departments accused of civil rights abuses.
The adverse impact of these actions on African Americans is undeniable. The efforts of certain state legislatures to suppress voter rights by enacting laws that inordinately disenfranchise minorities will continue unabated. Furthermore, tensions between African American communities and the police charged with protecting them will be exacerbated, because of the absence of federal oversight.
And this is only week seven of the Trump administration.
|Patrick J. Hagan, Ardmore
As one who has spent years working to get Pennsylvania out of the liquor business, I was gratified to read the Inquirer's editorial calling on Gov. Wolf to sell the state monopoly and put the liquor business back into the private sector ("Time to sell State Stores," Feb. 23).
While such a move would generate much-needed cash revenue, the Inquirer also gets it right when it says, "The broader point is that the state has no business being in the booze business."
On four occasions, starting in March of 2013, the House has voted for full privatization. In February 2015, the House voted 114-87 to end the liquor monopoly, with the Senate voting four months later to do the same. Wolf vetoed that bill.
The bill Wolf signed last year was a compromise version - the first, small step toward privatization. It must not be the last.
Pennsylvania has no more reason to be in the liquor business than it has in running gas stations or pharmacies. It's time to finish the job, and I plan to lead that fight.
|Mike Turzai, speaker, State House of Representatives, Harrisburg
State House Speaker Mike Turzai says, "Pennsylvania needs to overhaul state government" because we're using outdated economic methods ("Pennsylvania budget process isn't sustainable," Tuesday).
Perhaps a start would be cutting the country's most-bloated state legislature - 253 lawmakers for 12.8 million people. Congress has just more than double that number (535) to represent 325.7 million Americans. The minimum salary for a Pennsylvania legislator is $86,479 (second-highest after California) Those in leadership positions get much more; Turzai, for example, $134,995.
After 10 years in office, at age 55 they can all retire with pensions and lifetime health coverage.
Add $179 a day for expenses, and hundreds of staffers' salaries. Turzai wrote: "We need every department and every program to justify its existence." How about his own?