Check those in power


Two recent headlines are the most disconcerting I have ever read.


The first, on Feb. 23, read, “Trump on the hunt for disloyal officials.” Funny. It is my understanding that we pledge allegiance to the flag in this country, not to a president. Now perhaps people will believe that Trump asked James Comey for his loyalty while alone with him in the oval office.


Since the Senate was complicit in their silence and didn't have courage enough to stand up to him, Trump is no longer constrained in his efforts to subvert the Constitution and the rule of law for his own benefit.


The second headline, on Feb. 26, read, “Trump persists against justices.” In this effort, he accused justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor of bias against him and doesn't want them to hear any case involving his administration. Unlike Trump, the justices respect the Constitution. It's their job to interpret it regardless of their own personal feelings, a concept that, on a daily basis, escapes Trump.


Both Trump and those senators who voted to not hold him responsible for actions that even they admitted he was guilty of should no longer hold public office. I recall Rick Scott running on a platform of term limits. We should take him up on that and limit him to one term and vote out all the others as they come up for re-election.


America is not a one-man show and we need to recognize the purging of chosen targets because someday, if left unchecked, those in power will find a reason to come for you.


Donna McClelland, Leesburg


Bloomberg and poverty


In the Feb. 25 issue of the Daily Commercial there was a column written by Noah Smith of Bloomberg Opinion titled “Poverty is about stress, not laziness." I have two problems with the column.


First, I was hoping that no paper in America would print anything from Bloomberg, not because the owner, Mike Bloomberg, is running for president, but specifically because his staff has been instructed not to investigate anything about him or those Democrats running against him. Only investigate President Trump. I would think that any newspaper with journalistic integrity would no longer accept stories from Bloomberg under these conditions.


My second problem with the column has to do with the conclusion that poverty is due to stress, not laziness. This conclusion is largely based on a 2013 paper authored by Harvard economist Sendhil Mullainathan and several other co-authors titled "Poverty impedes Cognitive Function." It seems that the stresses of poverty cause inaction which has been traditionally seen as laziness. The suggested solution: “Welfare benefits should be unconditional. The assurance of a basic income check each month, as well as guaranteed benefits like health care, would allow poor Americans to re-focus on getting themselves out of poverty."


Other suggestions offered were: Perhaps legalizing marijuana, reducing the number of traffic tickets for minor infractions, and making evictions more difficult.


I have a suggestion: Let the academic authors of this viewpoint put up their money to fund a pilot program to see if it works. If so, I'll contribute to its further implementation.


This column comes from a Bloomberg opinion writer. I encourage all of Bloomberg's staff to also invest in funding a pilot program based on this brilliant study from Harvard. I wonder if candidate Bloomberg endorses this concept? If not, I'll bet Bernie Sanders will!


Russ Sloan, Leesburg