Obstruction? No question
Trumpicans will find some solace in the attorney general’s ethical cleansing of the redacted Mueller report. Democrats will fume at Barr’s heavy thumb on the scale. Those who do not bear allegiance to either congregation, like myself, are left with disturbing questions and few insights.
Since we have allowed the bar to slip so low, a president who regularly, daily lies has become acceptable. One hundred and two pages of the Mueller Report document the extensive contacts between the president’s men (and women) and those working for the Russians. But thanks to legal niceties, there is no indictable collusion.
That the president tried ever so hard to obstruct the investigation is clearly proven. That his aides were fearful of complying with his unlawful orders was fortuitous.
Given the supine position adopted by the Senate Republicans, who have hitched their political ambitions to the Trump star, impeachment is unlikely. The Democrats in the House will continue their investigations, as they should. The Constitution provides for a check on the powers of the president.
Waiting in the wings, of course, is the SDNY and its continuing search into the murky doings of the Trump Organization, the Trump charities and the Cohen allegations about campaign malfeasance, including hush payments before the election to a porn star and a playmate.
Absent collusion and clearly defined obstruction, we are left with corruption, the slime and stench of which has marked this presidency. Let us remember that Trump promised to drain the swamp, and in truth there has been a steady stream of loathsome swamp creatures leaving the oval office and its environs.
What we have left is a cesspool.
Paul Neumann, Modesto
Teach children to obey officers
Re “Police need better training to reduce deadly force incidents” (Page 8A, April 23): Sen. Anna Caballero seems to think that deadly force incidents will be lessened by more training of police departments and officers. The truth is that more education is needed by parents.
Parents need to teach their children that when an officer asks them to stop, answer a question or obey a lawful order, following his or her orders is the right thing to do. When they run from the officer, reach for their phone, or refuse to take hands out of their pockets, they are escalating the tension of the situation and increasing their chance of getting hurt or arrested. Yes, they have rights, but there is a time and place to exercise those rights. Society is quick to blame the officers for these deadly force incidents. We also need to look at our younger generation and realize that some of these young people’s actions are the cause of these situations. Our officers need our support; they do a job most of us wouldn’t want .
Robert G. McManus, Modesto
Too much business regulation
Re “Beloved Bloomingcamp Ranch could be closed due to water problems” (Front Page, April 20): I would like to ask Darrin Polhemus (deputy director State Water Board) at what point does common sense and reason come into his thinking process? There comes a time when button-pushers such as Polhemus need to retire and allow someone else to man the helm.
The fact that a small and cherished business such as Bloomingcamp’s is facing the very real possibility of being shut down over zealous interpretations of state water regulation is a travesty . California unfortunately enjoys the reputation of being over-regulated, and situations such as this do nothing but add fuel to that fire. When common sense is thrown out the door, we all suffer the consequences.
Jim P. Matthews, Modesto
Harder schooled DeVos
I admired Representative Josh Harder’s candid questioning of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos who proposed eliminating all of the literacy programs that help children learn to read after she stated that literacy was the “foundation of learning.” Harder questioned her hypocrisy.
All children deserve access to books and literacy programs to enable development of reading and writing for learning and expression. Literacy is a lifetime skill. Harder prioritizes education and I am pleased that he is fighting for the right to provide a better future for our children.
Linda Davenport, Turlock
Op-ed Harder fatigue
Enough with all the letters and one editorial telling us what a great job Josh Harder is doing. We get it. You want him to be re-elected in the next election. But does The Modesto Bee have to lead his re-election campaign?
I am glad he seems to be off to a good start and has had some town hall meetings, but we will see what happens when he has to stand up to Pelosi.
Steve Kraus, Oakdale
Warning teens is working
While Alcohol Responsibility Month is a good time to talk to your child about underage drinking, it should not be a one-time discussion.
Research is clear that parents are the greatest influence over a youth’s decision regarding drinking or not drinking. Talking to your son or daughter early and often about alcohol is critical, and these conversations are making a difference. According to the annual Monitoring the Future survey funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, binge drinking among 12th grade students is at historic lows, down 55 percent over the past two decades.
Even if parents believe their teens are tuning them out, it’s important to keep up the dialogue. The fact is teens are listening, and they’re making better decisions.
Benjamin Nordstrom, Executive Director, Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, Arlington, VA
Scholarship event appreciation
I want to thank all the good people for supporting the Ernie Bucio and Evin Yadegar MJC Scholarship fundraiser, and the musicians who volunteered their time and fine musicianship: Camaraderie, Central Valley Brass, Hilmar Community Band, Gottschalk Music Center Concert Band, Ernie Bucio’s Little Big Band, the Elegant Ladies of Jazz, NewHorizonJazz, New Horizons Concert Band, David Dow’s OPEN JAM, Talisman, Esoteric, How It Ends, and the MJC Jazz Band.
Ruthie Carrillo, Ernie’s sister, ran the raffle. Thanks goes to her and our many generous donors.
Lastly, I thank Hanibal for again hosting this event, which sadly also honors his (late) wife, Evin .
It is a very exhausting but rewarding event. We all got a chance to remember Ernie and Evin together and at the same time carry on the efforts of helping upcoming young musicians.
Karen Dunbar Bucio, Modesto