House, Senate ceding power to president

U.S. Ambassador Gordon Sondland has admitted that congressionally approved funding to Ukraine was made conditional on political investigations conducted to benefit President Donald Trump’s reelection.

Remember, the president declared a national emergency to divert funds from approved spending plans to construction of his border wall. We had a pointless government shutdown over it. There was broad agreement that there was no emergency. This action was simply driven by Trump’s political considerations.

Congress has sole authority for all government spending, per the Constitution. Republican senators and representatives are watching the separation of powers built into our Constitution destroyed by a president who refuses to acknowledge any limitation on his authority.

He has surrounded himself with “yes” men who constantly say “Great Idea, Boss” to the least informed president in the last 100 years.

The House and Senate are ceding power to an individual. This is an early step on the road to authoritarian government. We are moving toward a government controlled by personalities, not institutions.

We are being pushed down a slippery slope by Republican legislators without spines who are afraid of the president and his “base.” Their sworn obligation is to the nation, not their party.

Derry Beck, Sarasota

Vote for politicians who work, like Trump

Every year we spend billions on California fires. The cost in lives and money lost is staggering. Why not run water pipelines through the fire areas? They could create high walls of desalted water from the ocean. It would be quick and easy to lay now that the landscape is bare. That’s one idea.

Wouldn’t it be nice if our politicians would talk about ideas that will make our lives easier and safer? Everything we read or hear is scripted.

We pay politicians big money to run our country. All we get in return is a bunch of people fighting like children. It’s time we stop voting for parties and start looking for people who want to go to work for us.

We finally get a hardworking president and the only thing the opposition wants to do is destroy him. Think what he could do if he had some help. He’s accomplished more in three years than most recent presidents did in their combined terms. If you can’t say anything useful, then don’t say anything. He’s our president.

Larry J. Tracy, Sarasota

Resources unlimited in this age of plenty

How can my conservative friends and family support Trump with such vigor? They are smart, good people. I've identified two reasons for our differences.

First, we see the world through different lenses. Their view is supported by their exclusive use of Fox News and conservative websites. My view is supported by a plethora of sources that occasionally includes Fox.

Second, they view the world based on a "zero-sum" understanding of economics. In short, the more they get, the less I get.

I believe we are living in a time of unlimited resources. We have no shortage of food, water or energy. If we need more of something, we simply make it with ever-increasing efficiency.

Most of our ills are the result of too much of everything. Our challenge is a distribution problem best illustrated by the differences between the very rich and the very poor.

If we can be patient with each other as we learn to manage the opportunities and challenges that the Information Age presents, we'll be just fine. The sky is not falling. The sky is not even the limit of our possibilities.

Lin Williams, Venice

‘Trump’ gave speech about neighborhood

I must respond to the letter printed Nov. 6 regarding the neighborhood Halloween party in a community on Stickney Point Road (“At party, ‘Trump’ gave MAGA speech”). I also live there and attended the party.

The partygoer in the Trump mask spoke about making our "neighborhood" great. I would not characterize that as a political speech.

And to be fair, it should be said that his wife was dressed as Hillary Clinton. The party continued after his speech and fun was had by all.

We have plenty of Democrats, as well as Republicans, living here.

Also, I have never once witnessed xenophobia, racism or bigotry in my neighborhood. No place is perfect. However, this is pretty close to paradise for me.

Pamela Baglien, Sarasota

Partygoer right to oppose racism

To the author of a Nov. 6 letter, “At party, ‘Trump’ gave MAGA speech,” who described running into bigotry at his neighborhood Halloween party and how he spoke out against it:

First, bravo for your courage in speaking out amongst your neighbors, pointing out that we should keep politics (and hatred) from holiday celebrations.

Second, there is a house for sale next door to us. We would love to have you live here!

Donna McCalden, Sarasota