“The Latest: Trump says shutdown could go for ‘years’” (sacbee.com, Jan. 4): You know that Trump's giant ego will not allow him to compromise, even though he is making it financially rough for hundreds of thousands of federal workers and contractors. The weak-kneed Senate (McConnell) enables him to continue since they don't really care about anything else but their agenda. Republicans and Trump are similar in that respect. They don't care about who they hurt as long as they get their way. I don't see why they don't just pass the House bill, which they passed before without wall funding and then the House and Senate can override his veto.
“Netflix and chill no more - streaming is getting complicated” (sacbee.com, Jan. 5): Mae Anderson's AP article suggests that streaming is going to get expensive as Disney, Warner Bros. and other video producers launch their own services. She assumes, as many writers do, that the choice is between signing up for many services or to do without. The less affluent, however, have another alternative. Sign up for one service for a month, or a few months and then cancel and switch to another. Watch many of the major services, but do not pay for all of them at the same time. Yes, streaming will be more complicated but it does not have to be expensive.
Richard Bruce, Davis
“Trump walks out of shutdown talks with Dems, says ‘bye-bye’” (sacbee.com, Jan. 9) The government shutdown is a disgrace and a crime. Our president is trying to strong-arm Congress into approving funding for a wall by torturing hundreds of thousands of Americans who work for the government. The president and Congress could end the shutdown by simply funding the government. Then they could continue their fight over the wall. But the president refuses to approve any funding bill that does not include the wall. So, who loses? Neither the president nor Congress; they still get paid. We lose — the furloughed employees and the American people. The president said, “They will adjust.” Imagine your income suddenly stopped; what would you do to “adjust”? The president said to contact our congressional representatives. Do it and tell them to fund the government and get those federal employees back to work now – wall or no wall. It is only right.
“No breakthrough in shutdown talks as Trump stands by demands” (sacbee.com, Jan. 6): This stalemate is a glaring example of a serious fault in the Senate rules. No one should be able to simply refuse to bring a bill up for a vote because the president has indicated he won't sign it. With McConnell's refusal, Trump (or any president) becomes a dictator, in effect. This is especially troubling with Trump, because he already behaves like one much of the time. If a bill fails, that's one scenario. If it passes (which is the reason McConnell won't bring anything up), the president can still veto it. And there's a possibility of an override. Whatever the final result, it's the process our founders intended. The current procedure has not only produced tragic consequences, it diminishes the concept of limited power with checks and balances at the very core of our democracy.
Time for Democracy
“Trump walks out of shutdown talks with Dems, says ‘bye-bye’” (sacbee.com, Jan. 9) Our government is being held hostage. It is time for constitutional reform, eliminating the electoral college and either making the house-of-lords Senate democratic or getting rid of it. Checks and balances don’t work when an undemocratic body appoints a Supreme Court that wields virtually unchallengeable power. Too much power is in the hands of one individual, the president. Instead we should have a parliamentary system. Constitutional change will be difficult, but to continue with our clearly undemocratic system is courting disaster and fascism.
“Gavin Newsom made these 10 promises on the campaign trail. Let’s see if he can keep them” (sacbee.com, Jan. 3): California has some 25 percent of the nation’s homeless population. Perhaps that’s more because California governments, state and local, actually attract homeless from throughout the country due to California’s heavy emphasis on providing services. It would be interesting to see how many of these homeless folks have an actual connection to California as opposed to coming here just for the services provided. If that premise is true, California will never solve the homeless crisis as we will just keep attracting more people. Perhaps services should be limited to those who can establish a connection to California through birth here, a former job or residence in California, or family residing in the state. Making California less attractive to folks coming from other states may diminish the problem while allowing for better services for California’s actual homeless.
“‘You’re here again.’ Mom says she was shamed at Fresno OB-GYN for having another baby” (sacbee.com, Jan. 4): It should be noted that in China, the Communist government can force ordinary women like teacher Stephanie Yang to have abortions even though they want to have their children to create a family with their spouses. The Chinese-American mother of three who was shamed by a nurse for having another child should be allowed to put to shame the Fresno clinic, which probably also performs abortions. In America, having children can also be exercising one’s reproductive freedom.
“Congress has the power, duty to defy Trump” (print edition, Jan. 9): Trump wants to fulfill a campaign promise, and it is not against his character to seek a fight. The Art of the Deal failed first when Mexico said they would never pay for a wall, a Republican majority wound’t fund it, and saying he would own a government shut down. Trump has little credibility left and when he is feeling weak he lashes out. He now has the Democrats who will give him no political victory, ever. The strategy should be to appeal to those concerned that Mexico is NOT paying for the wall, and our taxes will go up as well as the national debt. Republicans claim that the federal government wastes tax payers hard earned wages on bridges to nowhere, alternative energy, the arts. Yet a 5.7 billion dollar public works project that people and drugs will go over, under, and around it is worth it?
WP Taylor, Carmichael