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Forum, May 13: Aiding and abetting practices that are anti-democratic

Published: 5/12/2019 10:00:16 PM
Modified: 5/12/2019 10:00:14 PM
Aiding and abetting practices that are anti-democratic

The recent Los Angeles Times editorial (“Running up a big tab: Taxpayers footed a $1,000 bar bill at the president’s Mar-a-Lago golf resort, and that’s just for starters,” May 7) notes that American taxpayers are being soaked millions for the benefit of President Donald Trump’s “business enterprises.” But never is there a peep about such self-dealing being in violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.

We are also experiencing attempts to practice what some Republican legal theorists call the “unitary executive.” This apparently includes such matters as stonewalling or denying the authority of Congress to conduct oversight of the executive branch as a co-equal branch of the government. We also have initial efforts to ignore congressional authority over the direction of appropriations to operate this government, what is often termed “the power of the purse.”

Also we have the Republican Party and Fox News abetting this would-be unitary executive — the Republican Party by its ongoing subversion of accepted electoral practices through political gerrymandering and other voter suppression tactics, and Fox News through its ongoing blatant spinning of news in favor of the unitary executive, i.e. fake news.

Several henchmen of this unitary executive include Attorney General William Barr, Rudolph Giuliani, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, along with the Republican Party generally (if passively) abetting its anti-democratic practice.

It has been said that while history does not actually repeat itself, it does rhyme. Back in March 2016, the Valley News published my letter in which I criticized Clive Crook, a columnist for Bloomberg News, for his wishy-washyness with respect to Trump’s “fascist” tendencies. I wrote: “if it looks like a fascist and quacks like a fascist, the possibility that it is a fascist should be seriously considered, not dismissed.”

When Benjamin Franklin came out from the final session of the Constitutional Convention he was asked, “what have we got — a republic or a monarchy?”

“A republic,” he replied, “if you can keep it.”


Springfield, Vt.

Open the Medicaid home visit program

As a registered nurse with a master’s degree in health education and a home visiting nurse with TLC Family Resource Center, I hope that lawmakers will pass SB 274, which would make home visiting available to more New Hampshire families.

Home visiting makes a difference in the lives of children and their parents on a daily basis. I see it when we are able to help a homeless family of four apply for subsidized housing and get out of the homeless shelter. I see it when we are able to help a woman with three children get help with substance use treatment so her kids can avoid going into foster care. I see it when we are able to connect a pregnant woman with gestational diabetes with emergency healthy food resources.

However, none of these families meet the criteria for Medicaid home visiting because of age restrictions or family size.

Several years ago, the state restricted Medicaid home visiting to first-time moms who were under age 21 and pregnant or in the first two weeks postpartum. Those restrictions eliminated my more high-risk families who are often older, have multiple children or suffer from negative social determinants of health such as substance use, poverty and mental health concerns. It is time to open the Medicaid home visiting program back up to all pregnant and parenting women by passing SB 274.



Foster parents needed in N.H.

May is foster parent awareness month, and there is a real need for foster homes for children of all ages and sibling groups in Sullivan and Grafton counties.

Foster children need a safe place to live while their family works to put itself back together. If you’ve ever thought about becoming a foster parent, now is the time to call. You decide what you can handle.

Free classes will begin June 1 at the SAU 43 building, 86 N. Main St. in Newport. To learn more about the foster care program, call 603-271-4771 or visit



American people are under a spell

Four decades ago, the Rev. Jim Jones, charismatic leader of an American cult in the Guyanese jungle, ordered his followers to murder a U.S. congressman and several journalists and then kill themselves. More than 900 people died.

Adolf Hitler became Germany’s messiah and the Germans accepted him as their cult leader. He had a spell on them. They would do anything he told them to do, including turning a blind eye to the atrocities they knew their messiah was committing.

Jim Jones, Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump have many similar traits.

All three men promised a utopia, told their followers they are better than everyone else, saw themselves as messiahs. All three lied endlessly. All three are hypocrites and traitors. All three are bullies and, as we know, bullies are often cowards.

When Jones realized he was going to be caught, rather than going back to the U.S. and face disgrace, trials and prison, he drank poison. First, however, he instructed his cult to feed the poison to their children, and then to themselves. Who could do that unless they were under a spell?

Hitler also took his own life when the end was imminent.

Trump will see the end when, finally, a few of the Republicans in Congress develop a conscience. Until then, each and every one of them is a traitor to our beloved Constitution and country.

Trump, though, is far, far more powerful than Jones or Hitler. He is the most powerful man in the world with his fingertips on the most powerful weapons. My only hope is that the generals know this and are taking appropriate actions.



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