Full crisis mode


Now, with Attorney General William Barr's reputation for integrity in serious question for lying under oath to protect Donald Trump, we seem to have hit full crisis mode in our distrust of anything an elected (or unelected) official says.

Of course Barr's boss the president has led the country deep into this morass of dishonesty. The Fact Checkers database has now tallied over 10,000 false or misleading statements made by Trump in 828 days.

Sixty-one of those misleading statements or outright lies were delivered at Trump's campaign rally in Green Bay on April 27. One of Trump's most vicious lies is that Democrats and doctors conspire to kill newborns.

"The baby is born," Trump said, "And the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby." Did anybody at that Green Bay rally feel uncomfortable with how outrageously Trump slandered both doctors and mothers?

Those who wonder how formerly conscientious public servants like Barr get sucked into the black hole of sacrificing their honor for Trump should consult former FBI Director James Comey's May 1 op-ed in the New York Times, "How Trump Co-opts Leaders Like Bill Barr."

"Accomplished people lacking inner strength," writes Comey, "can't resist the compromises necessary to survive Mr. Trump and that adds up to something they will never recover from ... You use his language, praise his leadership, tout his commitment to values."

In the end, says Comey, "Mr. Trump eats your soul in small bites."

Comey's editorial helps explain why politicians Trump has insulted, such as Ted Cruz (whose father Trump scurrilously implicated in JFK's assassination), have become his ardent defenders.

It's going to take a lot more of Comey's kind of truth-telling to crack the shell of lies around this presidency.

Thomas R. Smith

River Falls

On being special



Are you "special?" Our parents may have said we were special at one time like "I just love you, you are so special" and that hopefully happened for everyone. But today, being "special" has taken on a new meaning, like I am more "special" and my needs, ideas and wants are more "special" than yours.

If the sign says "stay on the path" or "stop for pedestrians" it might not apply to you because of your "special" circumstances, like being late for a meeting. There are a lot of circumstances necessitating that you use your "special" card to be given "special" allowance.

Unfortunately, our justifications for being "special" have taken us beyond the simple issue of adhering to signage. We have learned to ignore the hardships and financial consequences that other people face by self glorification like saying "I worked hard for this" or by marking the other person as less "special" because he/she is deserving of less or, for some reason, is facing consequences deemed to be of their own making, like laziness or drinking. Having a good reason for being more "special" makes it a lot easier to proceed in our daily life.

However the circumstances around being "special" have now polluted today's politics. Being "special" dictates the legislation for specific people, ideals, religions, ethnicities, or lifestyles. The justification for being one of the"special" people has been magnified by political spin and media hype. Large groups of people are demonized for being poor, for not speaking the right language, for living in unacceptable situations, for being the wrong color or religion, and for wanting what you have. As Americans, we have embraced these justifications because it makes it more palatable to don the mantle of indifference if we can find a reason. And when does it become intolerable? Well, perhaps it will make a big difference if something happens that makes you less "special." We are the creators of our current political dilemmas and we can be the remedy.

Deborah Monicken

North Hudson

Negative reactions amaze me


The negative reactions to D.M. OKeefe's column on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report and the Constitutional requirements for impeachment amaze me. I take issue with the following criticisms.

While demanding the truth from OKeefe, one critic called Donald Trump "the most corrupt president in history," a judgment without proof until or unless the New York state's attorney general files charges and proves corruption during his presidency. Are the Washington Democrats afraid the precedent for Emoluments Clause violations that could lead to impeachment won't be litigated before November 2020?

OKeefe uses traditional explanations of crimes for impeachment, the same as Constitutional attorney (and Democrat) Alan Dershowitz. It would take half a column to compare and contrast alternate interpretations. Dershowitz and Judge Andrew Napolitano disagree on interpretations. Stating her source would have been helpful, but why is OKeefe described as having no legal expertise with which to comment when her critics do the same?

If Mueller provided a roadmap to impeachment for the House of Representatives, what's the Judiciary Committee's reason for Attorney General William Barr testifying to anything? Any House member can file articles of impeachment, so why not do so without political grandstanding?

One of the definitions of "condemn," which OKeefe uses to describe the purpose of House impeachment, is "to express utter disapproval of; censure," in addition to charging with crimes. The House can use impeachment for censure, based on alleged crimes, knowing that two-thirds of the Senate will not vote for removal from office. This, in effect, becomes a political maneuver. I believe this is the objective OKeefe assigns to the present Democrat-controlled House. Otherwise, why don't the president's political opponents accept AG Barr's interpretations of the Mueller findings.

Finally, it's curious that the opinions of other RiverTown columnists are rarely challenged, including those of a former university economics instructor. Economists often disagree on theories and policies, often with political objectives for supporting either.

Stephanie Brown

River Falls

President Trump presented facts


Sarah Yacoub vehemently refutes the truthfulness of President Donald Trump's statements "when he told the people of Wisconsin and described a healthy baby being born, wrapped in a blanket, and then contemplated for slaughter" and subsequently suggested "Ask any doctor, this isn't happening as Trump would have us believe."

Watch and listen to the Jan. 30, 2019 video WTOP's "Ask The Governor" where Virginia Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam, (a pediatric neurologist), defended the Virginia Democrats 40-week abortion bill saying, "If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that's what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother." Infanticide.

It's not "ask any doctor," rather, it's the butchers killing 900 + babies every day at Planned Parenthood clinics, including Wisconsin, incredibly arguing "Keep Wisconsin Safe, Healthy, and Strong!"

President Trump is the most pro-life president in history. Thank God.

Ms. Yacoub posited "To our members of the Wisconsin legislature; Zimmerman, Magnafici, Stafsholt and Schachtner: Where do you stand on Trump's lie? Guessing you all know it's a lie. Are you willing to silently stand by and let the people of Wisconsin be misled? Your voters deserve to know."

NEWSFLASH: Voters in Wisconsin and every state know the truth based on facts.

Ms. Yacoub owes President Trump et al an apology.

The state of New York is currently celebrating the fact you can now abort a baby up until birth and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Democrat) ordered One World Trade Center's top lit up pink to celebrate the fact you can kill viable human beings until the moment they exit the birth canal.

What was the basic rubric behind the bill's passage? There's not a single fetal or maternal condition requiring third trimester abortion. Not one. Delivery, yes. Abortion, no.

So, in what world is this protecting the fetus? In what world is this protecting the mother? In what way is this not just merely making an excuse to kill more babies?

Mary Grosenick


Climate solutions within our reach


A letter in last week's Star-Observer, "Climate Change Propaganda" caught my attention. That day, May 2, I attended a forum sponsored by the St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club about climate change. The forum, called "Saving the Places We Love," was co-sponsored by the Roseville Rotary and the Minneapolis City of Lakes Rotary. Rotary International is non-partisan and non-political to a "t." If readers would like unbiased information on the topic of climate change I encourage them to read the April issue of the Rotarian magazine. You will find factual and non-partisan articles about climate change issues and how to move forward toward solutions. There are personal stories about the impact of climate change and a hefty dose about Rotary initiates world-wide seeking solutions, from agriculture and renewable energy to protecting forests and raising awareness about why that is important. The forum was prompted in part by Rotary International's challenge that clubs take some type of action on the issue.

Hudson has two Rotary clubs. If you know someone in Rotary, ask to read their issue of the Rotarian on climate. Or, simply google the Rotarian magazine. Again, you are looking for the April 2019 issue titled "Climate Solutions Within Our Reach." You will be able to access the online magazine even if you are not a Rotarian. To quote Sallie Lacy, a 2006-2007 Rotary Peace Fellow, "We need radical changes to the way we consume and produce, as well as enormous investment and political buy-in."

Judy Freund


Mueller report was a political tool to attack the president


Two-and-a-half years, $35 million effort by Robert Mueller and his virulent anti-Trump team investigated Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to win concluded "no collusion." Two words!

Shameful, biased, hysterical media. Connecting dots that didn't exist. Intent on tearing down and burdening a president.

We should demand to know when Mueller reached his conclusion - and how long he let President Trump govern with falsehoods surrounding him - an act of amazing irresponsibility by Mueller.

Mueller's team knew they didn't have a prosecution on obstruction of justice to go forward. If Mueller had brought the case, he would have lost.

Is Jerrold Nadler (Democrat) a constitutional illiterate? Doesn't he know separation of powers?

If Democrats wants to proceed, there is no case based on law.

Mueller Report. Verbose 448-page distraction. Hundreds of pages of smear. An assault on our system. Attorney General William Barr saw through the smear, gossip and innuendo.

Mueller didn't like Barr's four-page summary and penned a letter to him expressing concern over how his report was portrayed by the media is irrelevant!

Read the letter, read the report, and decide for yourself.

According to attorney Alan Dershowitz, "Attorney General William Barr's appearance in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee showed he was right on not charging President Donald Trump with obstruction of justice. What's most important is that Barr is 100% right on obstruction of justice and Mueller is 100% wrong. You can't indict a sitting president for doing what he's supposed to do: pardoning, firing, or anything else that's authorized by the Constitution. So, Barr wins and Mueller loses."

With an impartial U.S. attorney general now in place and the report in the hands of the Department of Justice, Obama-era cronies and Democrats are about to feel the full weight of their misdeeds.

Democrats are seeing their worst nightmares come true as Mueller's witch hunt exonerated President Trump and the evidence collected points to wrongdoing by their own party and former deep state conspirators.

The long teeth of justice are about to bite unscrupulous Democrats in a big way.

Jennifer Semmler