Sounding off: Without consensus, no impeachment | TribLIVE.com
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Sounding off: Without consensus, no impeachment

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AP
Career Foreign Service officer George Kent and top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine William Taylor, right, are sworn in to testify during the first public impeachment hearing of the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill, Wednesday Nov. 13, 2019 in Washington.

In the last two impeachments, the facts were clear. Nixon was caught authorizing hush money, directing the cover-up, and using the IRS to harass accusers for starters. The consensus was that he had to go, and he resigned. Clinton was caught sexually exploiting a subordinate, lying about it under oath, and suborning perjury. The Dems and MSM saved him. The felonies were swept under the rug, but no one of either party questioned whether he committed them … not even himself.

In President Trump’s case, I have heard many legal experts argue it both ways. Yes, it was a quid pro quo. No, it wasn’t. Even if it was, does the suggestion of the quid pro quo rise to the level of impeachabilty? Yes, it does. No, it doesn’t. Is it possible that the phone call — just some talk, no action — even constitute a crime, let alone trigger a constitutional nuclear attack on the presidency? Yes, it does. No, it doesn’t.

In my opinion, you cannot overthrow the results of an election on maybes, “possiblies” and “it mights.” Of course, the Senate will not convict, especially now that Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi have honked off the Repubs. But the agreed merits of the case are not even close to being there. Schiff called witnesses who were “uncomfortable” with the phone call. So what? Their comfort does not bring down a president.

Until some sort of bipartisan consensus is reached, that serious breaches constituting “high crimes and misdemeanors” have occurred, then the will of the electorate must not be violated.

James F. Cataldi, Moon


Stop wasting resources on addicts

Regarding Narcan: It’s good to read that so much is being done to help citizens in our region get much-needed antidotes for the condition they have. Taxpayer funds are being used to educate, increase awareness and above all destigmatize their condition.

All of this is nothing more than a snow job of epic proportion. The powers-that-be will tell the masses a lie in hopes that if that lie is told enough, eventually it will be believed.

Opioid addiction is not a disease. Cancer is a disease. Addiction at its root is a moral failing, much like alcohol, gambling and sex addiction .

Let’s give the state two thumbs up for its initiative to stop opioid overdoses via town hall meetings, pep talks and free Naloxone handouts. Print the dates, times and locations in newspapers, and let the junkies and addicts take the rescue antidote home with them.

Too many resources and tax dollars are being wasted on this overdose problem.

I’m still waiting for the initiative to stop anaphylaxis. Why not hand out free life-saving EpiPens to reverse the deadly effects of bee stings and food allergies? That would make too much sense.

Paul A. Hornbake, Bolivar


Trump’s reactions

As impeachment progresses, President Trump reacts. His reactions seem to be aligned with the steps of impeachment. Eventually they will converge. At that point the president may believe that he has to undertake a very dramatic step to stave off the inevitable. What that final reaction is can be very frightening to imagine. His recent actions have escalated war between Turkey and the Kurds. What might be next?

Richard Boley, Murrysville


Pennsylvania Turnpike’s cashless ‘brainstorm’

Driving over 30,000 miles a year and a significant portion on Pennsylvania toll roads, plus having my E-ZPass credit bill to prove it, I have to opine concerning the brainstorm of totally cashless.

1. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is following the lead of the finely run states of New York and New Jersey, both top of the list of states with fleeing residents because of taxes.

2. Does anyone really believe that everyone, including out-of-state residents, are going to remit $4.70 immediately upon receipt of a invoice?

3. The mailing of hundreds of thousands of invoices is cost-effective?

4. The 43 cameras in the system are going to be very, very busy.

5. The turnpike will give violators 20 days to pay. OK, then what?

6. Having one of the highest gas taxes in the nation, and now one of the highest per-mile tolls, is not good enough for this commonwealth.

7. Lastly, in the future with these added expenses (postage, handling, IT, collection, etc.) and loss of revenue (payments not remitted, cash flow deficit), what then? Is the commission revising its liquidity plan, capital plan and debt management? Don’t worry, the governor has it covered: toll raises every January — forever!

Denny Biava, Mt. Pleasant


Apologies for being old, white, straight, conservative, Christian male

The guilt is just too much for me to take, so I need to confess. I humbly and contritely apologize to all for being an older, white, straight, conservative, Christian male … the current most reviled creature in America.

I apologize for working hard over the past 40 years, obeying the law, paying my taxes, respecting all others, being charitable to those in need, loving my family and friends, cherishing this great nation and its Constitution, and worshipping and fearing Almighty God.

I realize that my futile attempt to do the right thing and live a life of integrity and goodness falls far short due to my white privilege, masculinity, implicit bias, microaggressions, cultural appropriation, political incorrectness and a steadfast belief in God. My attempt to strive for high standards seems to have oppressed, harmed and offended so many.

I, and those like me, must be to blame for those who choose lives of crime, violence, dysfunction and depravity; refuse to earn what they demand as entitlements; ignore their responsibilities to family, society and the greater good; deny the consequences resulting from their poor life choices; denounce the very nation that protects their freedom to do such; wield hysteria as a political weapon; and thoughtlessly accuse others as the convenient cause for their unfortunate predicaments.

But it’s my dream not to be judged by my age, heterosexuality, gender, faith, politics or the color of my skin, but by the content of my character.

Steven Crichley, South Side


Support ‘heartbeat’ bills that protect children

There is nothing more sacred than the sanctity of life. It is truly a gift that has been provided to every human being on Earth from God — and it becomes a gift that we pass down to our children.

Unfortunately, this gift is being taken from countless lives here in Pennsylvania, due to the politicization of the right-to-life issue. There is something we can do about it.

Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Fayetteville, and Rep. Stephanie Borowicz, R-Centre/Clinton, have introduced companion bills in the Pennsylvania General Assembly that will forbid physicians from conducting an abortion if they can determine the baby has a heartbeat. Thanks to 21st-century medicine, more than 90% of all pregnancies are viable when a heartbeat can be detected. We believe relying on this scientific fact will place the focus where it truly belongs — protecting the child.

Please encourage your state legislators to protect all children by supporting Senate Bill 912 and House Bill 1977.

Albert Gnoza, Harrisburg

The writer is director of communications for the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference.


Presidential heroes, zeroes

November, being the month to honor the sacrifices of America’s veterans, seems the perfect time to recount the military service of some of our recent presidents.

Harry Truman served in the field artillery in World War I, memorizing the eye chart in order to gain induction.

Dwight Eisenhower served as a general in both World Wars, finishing World War II as supreme allied commander.

John Kennedy, despite severe back issues, was a Navy officer aboard two PT boats, even surviving a collision with a Japanese warship in WWII.

Lyndon Johnson was a naval reservist who requested combat duty but was assigned to the USA. Eventually, he was sent to the Pacific Theater as an observer by FDR.

Richard Nixon was a Quaker who could have avoided the draft legally but volunteered for naval service and was sent to the South Pacific in 1943.

Gerald Ford joined the Navy after Pearl Harbor and served in the Pacific during WWII.

Jimmy Carter graduated from the Naval Academy and served on submarines from 1946-53.

Ronald Reagan was commissioned in the U.S. cavalry and requested active duty in 1942 but was assigned stateside due to vision difficulties.

George H.W. Bush was a decorated combat pilot who was shot down in the Pacific and rescued, retiring after 58 combat missions.

Despite their flaws, these men all stepped up to serve their country. The same can’t be said of some other Oval Office occupants. Perhaps this should be a lesson about differentiating heroes from zeroes?

Tim Kaczmarek, Natrona Heights

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