Expand presidential records act
Generally speaking, I doubt a letter to the editor will influence any individual representative to vote one way or another, but letters from constituents will influence representatives in their votes.
Therefore, I ask the Tampa Bay Times to inform readers about the legislation introduced by Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., requiring the preservation of a president's social media records in addition to all other electronic records and communications as required by the expansion of the Presidential Records Act. In 2014, the Presidential Records Act was expanded to include electronic records and communications, but it did not specifically identify social media comments such as Twitter, Facebook or other social media remarks.
Quigley's bill is the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement Act, or the COVFEFE Act, which would broaden the scope of the Presidential Records Act of 1978 by including the social media as documentary material. The public use of Twitter, for example, does not fall into the category of appropriately exempt documents such as personal diaries and medical records because of the public nature of the communications in tweets and other social media.
Write your House representative or your U.S. senators to urge them to support the COVFEFE Act. It is good for American democracy.
Edward Coursey, Tampa
Vigorous defense and a firm refusal | June 14
Committee met stone wall
Clearly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions got his middle name from the wrong Confederate general. He should have been named for Thomas Jackson, as in "Stonewall." How can a man who cannot remember important events be an attorney, much less the U.S. attorney general?
Raymond R. Campbell, St. Petersburg
Jeff Sessions' "vigorous defense" is disingenuous. A person who has already made false statements under oath can hardly be incensed that others are skeptical about his behavior.
But even on the face of things his account does not hold water. He asks us to take it as assured fact that he did not discuss certain topics in his meetings with the Russians while, at the same time, stating that he can remember virtually nothing of what was discussed or even how many times they met.
Should a person so incompetent or with such impaired cognitive function be holding high office in our government? The intelligence experts say that in these kinds of matters a person may become an "asset" of a hostile foreign power "unwittingly."
Jonathan K. Jaberg, Largo
To those who don't know, "I can't recall" is a Southern expression which means, "Maybe I do recall or maybe I don't recall." In other words, it's a no-answer answer.
Personally, I had assumed that the attorney general of the United States would have an alert and bright mind, instead of one that can't recall a damn thing.
Don Hayes, Tampa
Affordable Care Act
Value of health reforms
Six years ago, I was self-employed and unable to afford health insurance. I was healthy and believed I could get away with self-payment because I just didn't need to go to the doctor. One morning I woke up with a shadow over my vision. That day I learned I had a detached retina, and six surgeries later I remain blind in that eye.
The cost to me was $40,000. Even if I wanted to buy insurance, my pre-existing condition made it impossible to cover anything to do with either of my eyes. The Affordable Care Act saved me because of the end of pre-existing conditions.
For six years, the Republicans sought to repeal ACA and when they now have an opportunity to repeal and replace they seem caught off guard — no plan, no idea of how to care for people who are less fortunate than the affluent and are unable to pay any amount for care.
I'm not a "taker." I'm a person who has worked hard my entire life but suffers financially even today because I don't have money to just "take care of my own medical situation." These uncaring representatives and senators and the president have no idea how the majority of us live.
Carole Costa, Largo
Medicare as single payer
Pitfalls and pricing
Here are some facts to consider when using Medicare as the template for single-payer health care.
Reading the various letters to the editor and opinion pieces, one would think Medicare for all is the answer. I turned 65 last year and enrolled in Medicare. I also looked up how much I had contributed over the years and what my monthly payment would be. To date, combined with my employers I have contributed $80,000 to Medicare and my monthly premium is $220 (which doesn't include prescription coverage).
We would have a tough time coming up with that $80,000 for all those who haven't worked for 45 years.
C.J. Moffitt, Odessa
School may drop name of Gen. Lee | June 14
Honor the worthy
I strongly support the renaming of the Hillsborough school for black historian Carter G. Woodson. As a white person, I believe we should follow the thinking and leadership of the African-American community on this issue. Public commemoration of Confederate generals and others who fought for white supremacy and the dehumanization of black people through slavery must end now. Instead, let this school be renamed for someone in whom the whole community can have legitimate pride.
Furthermore, perhaps it is time to create monuments and memorials to those who were lynched in our local counties. Do we really want to continue to forget the victims of racial terror but remember the defenders of white supremacy?
Eileen Senn, Clearwater