Election interference

OK, let’s say the Republicans are right.

Let’s say that what President Trump did was unwise, but it’s not illegal to ask another country to interfere in our elections. He should remain in office.

If that’s so, then it’s going to be much more difficult in the future to stop other countries from interfering. And when the Democrats invite their participation — tough luck.

If Trump isn’t punished for doing it now, no one will ever be punished for doing it.

Henry Tubb


Render impartial justice?

Who thinks more than half the Senate has taken seriously its responsibility to listen to the evidence, consider the facts and render justice in President Trump’s impeachment trial?

Our own Sen. Richard Burr rendered spinning toys to his colleagues. Sen. Rand Paul worked a puzzle and clowned with Post-its. Others read books and magazines or slept. Some left the Senate for short (and long) periods of time.

Is this the U.S. Senate or a junior high classroom?

No wonder Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wouldn’t allow cameras.

These are our elected officials, folks.

Dell James


Looking for trouble

“He was just a jerk,” some will say. “That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the right to defend himself.”

From what the news stories say about Robert Anthony Granato, he did more than defend himself. He went looking for trouble and he found it (“Self-defense claim in Hanes Mall shooting,” Jan. 17).

Granato allegedly took his gun, went into a bar, drank and mouthed off. Who in the world would go to a bar carrying a gun and expect something good to come from it? For that matter, shouldn’t we expect grown-ups to know better than to mouth off like that? What kind of men are we raising that he’d think it was acceptable to talk to women the way he did?

“Prosecutors believe they have a solid first-degree murder case,” the Journal reported, and it’s no wonder. Not only should Granato not have pulled the trigger; he shouldn’t have had a gun in a bar in the first place.

Gun rights are not absolute. The Republican state legislators who voted to allow people to carry concealed weapons into bars were fools. In the midst of the recent controversies over gun rights, it should be obvious that guns and alcohol don’t mix and they never will.

Tommy H. Simmons


Common-sense steering

Re: your editorials: “An assault on environmental sense” (Jan. 15) and “A crisis of tainted water (Jan. 24), I had quite concluded that “common sense” had vanished from our parlance. Thank you for pointing out the “lack-there-ofs” in the federal government’s efforts to dismantle so many critical environmental protections. Let us hope environmental organizations will continue to bring lawsuits to mitigate those efforts!

On a more positive note, I would like to point out that both Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis exhibited great common sense in steering through the Senate legislation totaling $39.6 million to build a new levee and other flood protections in Princeville. Recall, in 1885, Princeville was the first town incorporated by freed slaves after the Civil War. In Hurricane Florence, Princeville found itself inundated by 23 feet of water. In Hurricane Matthew, in 2016, 80% of the town was underwater. Burr and Tillis deserve our appreciation and thanks for their efforts.

There is an even more significant piece of legislation, however, for our senators to propose and steer through the Senate: HR763; the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. Only by placing a true price on carbon can we expect the critical investment in sustainable energy innovation and development needed to bring the planet’s horrific 416 parts-per-million carbon level down toward the more sustainable 300 ppms. The rising sea levels, the catastrophic flooding and the raging fires across the planet are sending a message. We and our senators need to heed it!

Wendy Glen


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