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Congrats on relaunch
On behalf of the Chestnut Hill Community Association Board, we’d like to congratulate the staff of the Local and the Local Board on the redesign of the Chestnut Hill Local, which was shared with us on April 1 at a special unveiling at the Woodmere Art Museum for board members and community partners. We are extremely pleased by the excitement and energy our new publisher, John Derr, brings to the team and to see paper’s usefulness for our community expanding. The new Community Section, the Entertainment Section (Chill Local) and the new Real Estate section are beautifully done. Bravo and congratulations on celebrating 60 years of publishing the Local!
The Special Edition of last week’s Local brought back some fond memories. As a former cartoonist, I especially enjoyed your article about the history of the Arnie and his creator, Richard Anderson. In that article you noted that R. W. Cat III had appeared in that space “…in the early 70’s.” That’s it!?
I take nothing away from Richard and his Arnie. That cat has carried forward the feline torch for more than 30 years, a most impressive run. I thought, however, that you might have given a little press to poor old R. W. as well.
The R.W. Cat III weekly strip appeared 130 times during a period of over three years during some pretty heady times in the Local’s history. R. W. and his subsequent accomplice, Mouse, sought to bring a smile to the readership and to occasionally ruffle a few feathers … be they dove or hawk.
The Local kindly published several of R. W.’s adventures in April of 1988 on the occasion of the paper’s 30th anniversary. In the 50th anniversary issue of the Local, you featured a very nice article about R. W. and me, including the reprint of a few cartoons.
I was hoping the old boy, now well into his ninth life, might get a little recognition at anniversary number 60.
Justin M. Baxter
Missing the facts in Trump apology piece
I am compelled to reply to an “Opinion” piece by Sharon Reiss [“Dems, media should be held to account…,” April 4], which flagrantly distorts facts and again demonstrates her illogical Trump loyalist partisanship. Without even awaiting the release of Mueller’s report, or even his summary of his own conclusions, she chooses to march in lockstep with the letter from Attorney General Barr, which is not even a summary of Mueller’s report.
Barr is unreliable for many reasons, including his unwavering loyalty to Trump. Both Reiss and Barr seek to influence public opinion without any factual support, merely parroting Fox News talking points. She claims Mueller found “no obstruction” when he came to no such conclusion. Mueller found much evidence of obstruction, just not enough to proceed with a criminal prosecution.
Mueller was only tasked with determining if there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. If Barr is to be believed, Mueller found no such collusion, but we know Manafort gave campaign polling data to a Russian linked to their Intelligence sector, Trump lied about the purpose of a June 2016 meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer in Trump Tower, and Flynn secretly talked to the Russian Ambassador about easing U.S. sanctions.
There is little doubt of the existence of Russian “election interference activities” and lots of communication between the Trump campaign, the Trump family and Russian individuals. The existence of election interference by Russians to help get Trump elected is exactly what U.S. intelligence concluded.
There is a plethora of hard evidence to support the unholy relationship between Trump, Deutsche Bank (which has been involved in Russian money laundering and bailed Trump out of major debt when no other bank would), Russian individuals and the election of Trump.
Trump’s loyalties are primarily to his business interests and his ego, and not with the United States. He presents the gravest danger to our democracy and our constitution since Nixon. Reiss should at least await the release of the Mueller report before spouting demagogic partisan drivel.
Same-old right-wing propaganda
Is it any wonder why newspaper readership is at an all-time low? Every single paper feels the need to include right-wing ignoramuses such as Sharon Reiss and their predictable, right-wing propaganda taken straight from the American conservative media.
As she resides comfortably in her social echo chamber of Fox, the National Review and AM radio gas bags (so much for a “liberal media”), she has not a care for the facts, which are that Mueller’s staff had already written a summary of his report and Barr was to use that, not his four-page, Cliffs Notes version that said almost the exact opposite of what Mueller’s report concluded.
I know what the hell I heard and read with my own ears and eyes. I heard her disgusting hero plead, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” Russia complies, and we’re supposed to pretend nothing is wrong with that?
High-level people in Trump’s campaign all had back channels to Moscow, whistleblowers from Cambridge Analytica knew Steve Bannon hired Russian spies to work for the campaign in clandestine ways and Trump let known Russian spies into the Oval Office, shaking their hands with a big, fat, greasy smile, while he locked out the American media. Trump all but kneeled to Putin in Helsinki in 2017; his meeting with the Russian dictator ended with the translator’s notes seized.
After all that, and much, much more, I’m now being asked to not believe what I saw and heard?
And, if Trump isn’t a Russian asset, where’s Mueller’s report “exonerating” him? It’s taking an awful long time to be released. Kenneth Starr’s report on Bill Clinton was released – unredacted – within days of completion and promptly posted on the internet, which was still in its infancy.
All might be well in your parallel universe, Sharon, but here in the real world, the party’s just getting started. How anyone can support that disgusting excuse for a human being in Washington defies all logic. It also doesn’t say much for the folks bowing to him.
Donna Di Giacomo
Too many questions left by Barr letter
What we have so far, being informed by Attorney General William Barr’s assessment of the Mueller Report, leaves much to be explained.
For example, Barr’s interpretation of the crime of conspiracy – collusion not being a crime by the way – is that Trump may not have been a witting participant with Russia during his campaign, but what has he been up to since? We do know that the Russian government and its agents were involved in the 2016 campaign and exerted influence and manipulation on members of Team Trump.
It’s obvious that Trump is a narcissistic bully who lies constantly (you can fact-check that) and possibly has even committed treason. Do we know what he discussed in private with our foremost adversary, Putin, on several occasions? Do we know why Trump always humbles himself to Putin and accepts Putin’s word over our own intelligence agencies?
Further, if he has nothing to hide, why won’t he release his income tax returns to the American people as he so often promised throughout his campaign? He seems to have a penchant for destroying democratic norms and respect for the rule of law.
As for obstruction of justice, might we be reminded how our president in his tweets and in the media made attempts to and did fire those in his administration who did not conform to protecting him from the Mueller investigation?
Trump is the one who turned this into a partisan issue. Mueller was taxed with the job of finding how a foreign entity infiltrated our election process and how we can prevent it in the future. Let’s not forget that Trump fired Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia probe – which, by the way, was the correct thing to do. He then replaced Sessions with Matt Whitaker, who interviewed for the job on live TV, who was replaced by Barr, who volunteered for the job with his infamous 19-page memo supporting presidential power from obstruction charges. What part of this is normal and transparent?
One can only hope and pray that our democracy doesn’t erode any further under this current administration, which is swimming with the sharks in the cesspool of autocracy and white supremacy.