Stooges stick together
“Trump’s stooges: Devin Nunes and Tom McClintock deny reality of Ukraine scandal” (sacbee.com, Sept. 26): Your description of Devin Nunes and Tom McClintock as being unhinged is particularly apt. Observers of these misrepresentatives have watched their steady progression from ineffectual backbenchers to virulent conspiracy theorists. McClintock has abandoned his penchant for Jeffersonian quotes to parrot Kremlin and “alt-right” talking points. His reality is not defined by allegiance to his Constitutional oath or by service to his constituents. Instead, McClintock is motivated by his desperate attempts to protect the man whom he once described as an exemplary leader. He has adopted a particularly Trumpian modus operandi: deny, deflect, distract, deceive. Will McClintock wake up and acknowledge the truth of this president’s betrayals? Nope. McClintock, Nunes and the third California stooge, Kevin McCarthy, will persist to the end. Stooges stick together.
“Stephon Clark’s killers are free. But question Sacramento police and you’re a cop hater” (sacbee.com, Sept. 26): I was intrigued by Marcus Bretón’s comments, condemning the investigative conclusions of the FBI, state attorney general and Sacramento Police Department in regard to the Stephon Clark shooting. Here is a columnist with no investigative or legal knowledge making a baseless personal conclusion. About the investigations, he says, “I am tired.” My response: Good, why don’t you retire from The Sacramento Bee? I have been a subscriber for over 50 years, and an end to his liberal and often left wing comments on all matters would be welcomed.
Medi-Cal quality measures
“California health advocates urge bold action to improve quality of Medi-Cal managed care plans” (sacbee.com, Sept. 25): This article reports that the California Health Care Foundation recommends increased quality measures for Medi-Cal managed care. As a medical student at UC San Francisco who plans on working with Medi-Cal populations, as well as a current graduate student at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, I strongly agree with the importance of quality improvement. Medi-Cal is an important source of care for individuals who are low income, disabled and in long-term care. Patients have complex social determinants of health that arguably requires more, not less, quality efforts to reduce health disparities. Quality metrics require a significant amount of resources, but it can save healthcare dollars and improve patient outcomes. For example, Medicare’s quality efforts include addressing readmissions, and data shows rates are decreasing. Unlike Medicare, Medicaid state quality measures are voluntary. Legislators should consider mandating standardized quality metrics across states in order to provide high quality care
Never enough water
“California farmers face ‘catastrophic’ water restrictions. Can they adapt to survive?” (sacbee.com, Sept. 25): Your lengthy report on farmers’ concerns about the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) missed the point. We’ve never had enough water for everything we want to do in California. And with climate change upon us, we never will. Groundwater levels in the Central Valley have been dropping continuously since the 1960s. Increased pumping by farmers during the recent drought led to hundreds of wells going dry, leaving thousands of people without drinking water. SGMA is a responsible first step on California’s very difficult road toward successful climate adaptation. As a state, we have many hard choices to make in the coming years as temperatures rise and water supplies become more and more stressed. We must figure out how to manage all our water needs within the reality of our water supply. Agricultural communities must be participants in that conversation.
Protect us, Senate
“Trump and California keep clashing. Will it help him fight impeachment and win in 2020?” (sacbee.com, Sept. 25): What a ridiculous headline and article to feature as we formally call out the unethical and unacceptable behavior exhibited by the president of the United States. Even a GOP consultant quoted in the piece emphasized that he was not a supporter of President Donald Trump. California has every right to push back and, in fact, must push back against a person that continues to act in an unsuitable manner, such as picking on a teenager who is courageously speaking out when the “leaders” have failed to do so. What happened to First Lady Melania Trump’s “Be Best” initiative and anti-bullying campaign? I do not vote on party lines. I vote for the person, based on the information available to me, that will best serve our collective interests. This guy is only out for himself and has been from the beginning. Will the Senate show true U.S. leadership and protect the nation?
Climate change is happening now
“Environmental science is facing a public-trust crisis. Here’s how to fix it” (sacbee.com, Sept. 24): Wayne Linklater makes a great argument about the problems facing scientists. And though I agree with him, I think there are more pressing matters at hand. Instead of worrying about who is right or wrong, I think we should act on what we do know: Climate change is happening. We have real evidence on what works and what is undecided. Things like recycling, planting trees and reducing plastic use, driving and electricity are a few ways that help minimize our footprint on the world. Yes, I think it’s important for scientists to work together so we can have unbiased facts about climate change, but it can be hard for someone to let go of their opinions. How long will it take for them to gather the right facts? Our time is running out, and we need to make changes now.