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Blowing Smoke



President Trump's Administration (PTA) loves to blow smoke in order to keep Americans from seeing the real truth ("Press Time," Feb. 23). When Trump lost the popular vote, the PTA supported Trump's unfounded claim of millions of illegal votes for Hillary Clinton. When photos of Trump's inauguration showed a relatively sparse turn out, the PTA declared it a record based on "alternative facts." When the attorney general and others who were part of the Trump campaign were being investigated for possible illegal interactions with Russian operatives, Trump himself diverted attention by making the still unsupported claim that President Obama had Trump Tower "bugged" prior to the November election. There are many other examples as well, but this list should suffice to show a "smoky pattern" exists.

So now the PTA is blowing smoke yet again in an attempt to save the American Health Care Act (AHCA). It is standard practice that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) evaluate proposed bills to estimate their possible effect on the country's budget. The GOP knows that by Monday or so, the CBO will be releasing its report on the AHCA. The report will include estimates of the act's cost and also estimates of the number of people who will most likely lose health care coverage, facts that could have a negative influence on the AHCA's passage. Even though the CBO is nonpartisan and has long served as an important government advisory body, the PTA and other GOP members are currently attacking the agency's credibility in order to discount the soon-to-be-released findings, a step they hope will help keep the AHCA on track.

This is yet another example of PTA generated smoke, this time again by way of unfounded discredit. In conclusion, I would say it's pretty clear after nearly two month's operation of the PTA that we Americans need to pay close attention or the PTA's smoke could indeed succeed in blinding us from the truth.

Sherman Schapiro, Blue Lake


I keep hearing President Trump talking about removing immigrants who are "the bad guys/ violent criminals." This feels like a bait and switch. At this point, all immigrants (including two registered with DACA) are at risk of deportation. He has deliberately misled the public to hide the fact that we are terrorizing a significant portion of our population.

I believe that all people on American soil should get due process. I am deeply disturbed by the fact that the arrested immigrants are often being held in privately owned, for-profit detention centers. I have read stories of immigrants (New York Times) languishing in detention centers (under Obama) for a year or more, working for a dollar a day, essentially doing slave labor. Another alarming fact is the lack of accountability on the part of ICE. In many cases they are making arrests and not giving relatives or lawyers any details on where they are, how they are doing or allowing those arrested to communicate with family or a lawyer by telephone. In some cases, ICE is deliberately stonewalling local politicians who are making inquiries.

I am concerned that our government is asking local law enforcement to help with the deportations. Because being separated from your children and having them put into foster care is every parent's nightmare, I fear that the good people in law enforcement will be mentally scarred from the hands-on process of tearing loving families apart, in some cases friends and neighbors. I suspect it will cause burnout, and our best people will leave law enforcement.

Lastly, I believe that this callous, government-sanctioned mistreatment of a minority has emboldened white supremacists and bigots in general, leading to desecration of Jewish cemeteries, bomb threats to Jewish and Muslim community centers, and other hate crimes.

Honoree Cress, Samoa

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