Month: October 2020

Efforts to oust Trump undercut Mueller probe

first_imgCategories: Editorial, OpinionIt should come as no surprise that some congressional Republicans are doing their best to sabotage the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into possible links between President Donald Trump and Russian interference with the 2016 election.To that end, they’re maligning the FBI and resurrecting the inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s State Department emails, settled more than a year ago. Trump “is unfit for office and we have laid out the criteria for impeachment,” he said in a telephone interview this week.He cited a December forum with five legal experts who, Steyer said, have concluded that Trump’s impeachable offenses include abusing the power of the pardon, inciting domestic violence, recklessly risking nuclear war and undermining freedom of the press.He said the impeachment drive will serve the purpose of educating citizens about Trump’s misdeeds even though the odds of succeeding in the Republican-dominated House of Representatives are nil.The campaign certainly is helping the 60-year-old activist’s political footprint.The digital petition drive has about 4 million signatures and has run $20 million worth of commercials in which Steyer plays a featured role.Last year, Steyer had expressed interest in running for governor of California in November to replace incumbent Democrat Jerry Brown, who is retiring.Now, riding his impeachment campaign, he’s making noises about running for president. That’s misguided.Policy disagreements are a poor standard for impeachment.As the Watergate saga unfolded between 1972 and 1974, congressional leaders took care to build a carefully constructed and documented case for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon. Nixon resigned in 1974 rather than face certain removal from office.Before that happened, the House Democratic majority leader, Tip O’Neill, was furious at liberal representatives, including one from his home state of Massachusetts, for demanding impeachment proceedings prematurely.Steyer’s critics within his party, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., make the same point today. Albert R. Hunt is a Bloomberg View columnist and former executive editor of Bloomberg News. What is surprising is that the probe is also being undercut by vehemently anti-Trump Democrats, including the liberal hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer and his allies in Congress.Steyer is bankrolling a “Need to Impeach” drive urging an immediate start to impeachment proceedings against Trump, even before the special counsel has issued any findings.Steyer has a fast-growing digital petition drive and is airing national television commercials and Facebook videos.But impeachment fever, sure to grow with some of Trump’s recent bizarre behavior and a new book portraying him as a clueless, accidental president, still is premature, and poses political risks for Democrats. It’s infuriating to a collection of progressives working to develop counter-strategies if Trump tries to fire Mueller or pardon anyone under investigation.“The key battle now is to protect the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller against any interference by President Trump and any efforts by his acolytes to falsely discredit the investigation,” said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a liberal-leaning good-government group.“Tom Steyer’s ad campaign appears to focus on Tom Steyer,” Wertheimer added, noting that it isn’t helping the effort to defend Mueller. Steyer claims that there’s no reason to wait for the special counsel’s findings. “Why do we take the latter group seriously and ignore the former group?” Tanden said. “Tom is supporting an important conversation about Trump’s fitness.”But in most polls, a plurality or narrow majority opposes impeachment now, and that worries Democrats who hope to score well in this year’s congressional and statehouse elections by winning in some moderate or conservative venues. “The last thing Democrats need is a litmus test on impeaching President Trump,” said Paul Begala, a top Democratic strategist.“Democrats can and do resist him with all their might when he tries to gut Medicaid, kill Obamacare, discriminate against Muslims or immigrants, or raises taxes on working folks so he can cut them for corporations.“But they should let the Mueller investigation come to a conclusion before they reach for the ultimate punishment of impeachment. Otherwise the risk is that voters think the only thing Democrats stand for is opposing Trump.”Steyer has insisted that Democrats should be “way past the point” of waiting for the special counsel’s conclusions.Mueller, he insists, is only investigating several of Trump’s offenses, and Steyer says there already is a clear case for the top charge, obstruction of justice. He made his fortune as a hedge-fund and private-equity executive and has committed to spend all of it on philanthropy and political candidates and issues.He has given hundreds of millions of dollars to progressive candidates and causes, especially those involving environmental advocacy.Steyer claims that Democratic congressional candidates who don’t support impeachment proceedings are ignoring the will of their constituents.“If you are running for office and say it’s not dangerous, not urgent, you disagree with our analysis, then what is your solution?” he said.His campaign is gathering momentum; already, 58 House Democrats are calling for action on impeachment.Steyer points to polls showing that 40 percent or more of voters back impeachment.He has prominent supporters like Neera Tanden, president of the liberal Center for American Progress, who notes that more Americans favor impeachment proceedings than approve of Trump. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

Grateful to person who returned card

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion This is a special thank you to whomever returned my credit card that I had recently lost.I believe it fell out of my pocket during one of my daily three-mile walks. The honest person who found it brought to the Scotia Police Department. Later that day, a police officer personally returned my credit card to my home. There was no name given as to who returned it.I am very grateful for the honesty and integrity of the individual who found it.Maria L. Isopo-BarringerScotiaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesSchenectady teens accused of Scotia auto theft, chase; Ended in Clifton Park crash, Saratoga Sheriff…EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

We can keep guns out of our schools

first_imgWe should not have to shoot our children to stop them from shooting others in our schools. The time of talking about this is over. We are a smart nation. We sent men to the moon and performed other space achievements that are amazing.No let’s keep guns out of our schools. If guns can’t get in, no one can be shot. We do a good job at airports, government buildings and military bases — one way in and one way out.This can be a start of a new industry in America and put multi-thousands of veterans, retired police officers and others to work.Our world has changed, We have to change with it. We know how to do this, it’s long overdue. This is only the beginning of changes in our country to keep us safe from many things. The time for talk is over; the time for action is now.Sid GordanSaratoga SpringsMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Sunday, April 7

first_imgLet resource officers decide own protectionThe folks in Saratoga are engaged in a heated debate: Should school-resource-officers (SRO) carry firearms? The debate has been only yea-or-nay.Let’s compromise: The Board of Education authorizes the carrying of weapons. It implements a program of qualifying, recruiting and training that ensures well-trained employees. The object is to protect our children while avoiding accidents and/or mistakes. (There are myriad programs available.)The compromise: Let each SRO now decide whether to arm or not. Some may, some may not.We know SROs are there for only one reason: Our fear of an active shooter — a lunatic with a gun, intent on mass killing. SROs do not deal with unruly students or passing notes or fighting behind the bleachers. The most important thing? Deal with an active shooter.We’ve asked these individuals to put their lives on the line to protect our children. We’re asking them to face down an armed assailant. Would they rather do it by jumping up and down, waving their arms and shouting loudly or by being similarly equipped with a firearm? The Gazette has advocated for no firearms in schools. Let those risking their lives decide.I know what I would choose if it was my job. I know what I’d rather see if it was my child in the classroom. It would be interesting to see what the SROs themselves would choose.George NigrinyGlenvilleMore from The Daily Gazette:Cuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccineEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionTrump fails to respect America’s freedomsMost people know Norman Rockwell’s iconic American paintings “The Four Freedoms” (1943) showing ordinary people enjoying the freedom and security in daily life that our country guarantees. President Donald Trump, however, does not uphold these historic American rights.Freedom from Want: Trump seeks to abolish the Affordable Care Act, even though there are more than 20 million Americans, and many more with pre-existing conditions, who before the ACA were uninsured and could not afford to get sick.Freedom from Fear: Trump pushes a massive wall at the Mexican border by provoking fear of invading hordes of dangerous criminals. But in fact, the immigrants are mostly asylum seekers who voluntarily enter into custody at normal border crossings, resigned to a prolonged legal wait for a fair hearing.Freedom of Worship: Trump has moved to block entry into the United States by people from selected, predominately Muslim countries. And the ambiguity of his words after the Charlottesville violence has helped to unleash an upsurge in anti-Semitic violence.Freedom of Speech: Trump’s statement following the Mueller investigation labels support of the investigation “treason.” But dissent without fear of retaliation in this country is enshrined in the First Amendment, and for Trump to call it treason is horrific.So as measured by “The Four Freedoms,” President Trump shows a blatant disregard for sacred American principles. He breaks the presidential oath of office whereby he swore “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”David GerhanRotterdam Church must step up on St. Clare’s pensionKudos to The Gazette for its insightful March 31 editorial regarding the St. Clare’s Pension Fund debacle. As an active, practicing Catholic, I’m embarrassed at the diocese’s handling of the entire situation. There is plenty of shame to go around. Shame on St. Clare’s for underfunding its pension program for so many years. Shame on Ellis for not making some provision to invest in the pensions of the St. Clare’s employees who would spend a considerable portion of their careers serving the Ellis community. And, finally, uber-shame on the diocese for not stepping up to the plate, especially in light of what the New York State Legislature has offered to provide.In view of the scandals the church faces on other fronts, you would think that a reasoned and rational leadership would understand one of the most basic maxims of relating with the public: Perception becomes reality.Instead of pointing fingers and seeking at every turn to explain in legal terms why the diocese has no fiduciary responsibility for the St. Clare’s Pension Fund, the diocese needs to take ownership as the shepherd takes care of his flock. Appeals and collections that fund far-off lands and macro causes seem hypocritical when we refuse to take care of our own. Frank J. CiervoNiskayunalast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Friday, Jan. 24

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionTonko not looking out for girls’ safetyIn Decatur, Georgia, a kindergarten girl went to use the girls’ bathroom. A boy followed her into the bathroom, pushed her against the wall, and sexually assaulted her. The public school defended the boy saying he could use the girls’ bathroom because he identified as female. The public school ignored parents’ complaints and continued to allow the boy to use the girls’ bathroom.What happened to that little girl in Georgia can happen here. Recently, a 17-year-old girl from Brooklyn was attacked in a library bathroom.Males following females into bathrooms with intent to rape is common. Policies championed by Congressman Paul Tonko allow biological males to use the girls’ bathroom. Tonko elevates the desires of a few over the safety of girls. He even calls safety measures to protect girls “bigoted.”In reality, Tonko’s the one who’s bigoted towards girls. His policy opens the door to pedophiles and perverts. He doesn’t care that little girls can’t defend themselves. He tells parents too bad … so sad.Moms who care about the safety of women and children want Tonko out of office. We will vote for a woman who values our children’s safety, and her name is Liz Lemery-Joy.Jennifer RichardsBurnt HillsLowering OT would mean adding officersUnless you are saying that city legislators and the executive should add police officers, your Jan. 17 editorial (“City must get a grip on police OT“) on police overtime misses the point: There is precious little overtime if you have sufficient staff; with enough police officers, detectives and specialized unit officers you can limit much of the overtime to emergency situations.Every year we see editorials castigating officers for the long hours they put in and the corresponding overtime pay they earn while protecting the public.Clearly the council and mayor have applied a cost-benefit analysis and have decided that paying overtime is better than adding officers. So when you say the city should do something, are you advocating adding officers, which will have short-term costs of education and training, but long-term savings, savings that could save the public and the safety of the men and women who put their lives on the line for us?Bruce S. TrachtenbergNiskayunaThe writer is a former town justice.More from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

Older property must go to curb falling returns

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Glasgow office market set for huge increase in take-up

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Ken in secret pow-wow with 30 top developers

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Laing draws up top 10 of possible buyers

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Industrial: Raising the stakes

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