Republican senators face no-win scenarios with Trump

first_imgCategories: Editorial, OpinionOrrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., are both well-known senators from red states in the West. Both have relationships with President Donald Trump that are altering their political careers. But that’s where the similarities end. As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Hatch was instrumental in getting Republicans’ tax reform bill to Trump’s desk by Christmas, as the president demanded.Despite criticisms that the bill would mainly benefit the wealthy and corporations, while causing the federal debt to rise, Hatch passionately and angrily defended the bill’s premise.When the tax bill passed, Trump and Hatch exchanged praises at a celebration ceremony at the White House, with Hatch gushing: “Mr. President, I have to say that you’re living up to everything I thought you would. You’re one heck of a leader, and we’re all benefiting from it.”In addition to supporting the tax bill, Hatch was a key player in urging Trump’s administration to drastically shrink two national monuments in UtahIn our rankings of where GOP senators stand on Trump, Hatch leans positive overall.Earlier this year, Hatch was generally positive of Trump’s controversial decision to fire James Comey as FBI director, though he called out the president for not clearly denouncing white supremacists this summer in Charlottesville.Much of this is at odds with the state Hatch represents: Utah’s Mormon population was very skeptical of Trump during the campaign. Trump ultimately won the state, but a third-party challenger earned a fifth of the vote in November, a sizable chunk for a candidate with hardly any name recognition. Flake, an unapologetically vocal critic of Trump, has decided to not run for reelection.Hatch, on the other hand, is taking heat from his state’s biggest newspaper because he’s an avid supporter of Trump.The takeaway for GOP senators: You’re damned if you join him, damned if you don’t.Really, it’s the same no-win scenario they’ve been struggling with since Trump won the GOP presidential nomination.A controversial, complicated president has somehow maneuvered the Republican Party’s base to a place unrecognizable to the establishment.Flake and Hatch took two very different paths in this new Trumpian GOP, but they could ultimately lead to the same place: an end to their senatorial careers.Flake spoke out against Trump as a presidential candidate and this year authored a book, “Conscience of a Conservative,” blaming his party for the rise of Trump. But his poll numbers in his home state dropped and a pro-Trump primary challenger gained traction.He realized he couldn’t win a Republican primary opposing the party’s leader, no matter how unpopular that leader may be more broadly with the American public and Arizona general election voters.In announcing his retirement from the Senate, Flake basically admitted his anti-Trump stance cost him his chance at reelection.Hatch’s political problems are very different. He’s become a vocal Trump supporter, but he’s taking serious heat back home for that.The Salt Lake Tribune’s editorial board just called on him to retire precisely due to his work with Trump.In a Christmas Day editorial, the editorial board said Hatch shouldn’t run for an eighth term in 2018 because of his “utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power.”The editorial focused largely on Hatch’s pro-Trump creds to back up that extraordinary characterization of one of Utah’s most well-known politicians. Hatch hasn’t said whether he will run for reelection in 2018, but during the 2012 election he suggested these six years would be his last in office.Though it is unlikely that Hatch would face a strong challenger in the GOP primary, like Flake has, his siding with Trump could cost him votes in the general election.And while it may seem unlikely that a state as red as Utah would elect a Democrat to the Senate, anything seems possible after Alabama.Right now, Hatch’s prominent association with Trump is manifesting in high-profile criticism from a major paper that has called on him to retire in the past. But it’s definitely his association with Trump that’s earning him such scathing criticism.Both he and Flake could ultimately learn the same lesson: A year into Trump’s presidency, Republican senators still have no winning formula to deal with Trump.Amber Phillips writes about politics for The Washington Post blog The Fix.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

Take a look at other influences on kids

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionRe March 1, letter, “Smoking in movies is harming children”: The writers of that letter are of the opinion that the media is so influential in our lives and the lives of our children, so much so that a scene with a character smoking a cigarette, or even the mere presence of a cigarette or other tobacco product, is so powerful and convincing so that to make the child or young adult pick up the smoking habit.  Does the same rule not apply to the virtual tsunami of gruesome blood and gore violence that is in our media, video games, television programming having an influential impact on the very same children?I should think it does.Sean BryantSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Consider all options to address drug use

first_imgAs a public health professional tasked with understanding, developing and implementing evidence-based strategies to address health and safety issues, I’d like to correct a fundamental logical fallacy in the Feb. 28 letter, “Safe injection sites a whole level of stupid.”In the United States, we have adopted a criminalization approach to drug use that has thus far succeeded in incarcerating large numbers of people who pose no threat to public safety, increasing the number of people dying from drug-related fatalities, and shifting the focus and resources of law enforcement away from more serious crime. Over the last 40 years, we have spent nearly $1 trillion on the war on drugs, with no demonstrated impact on the amount of drugs in the U.S. or the number of people consuming them. Any fiscal conservative would consider this a poor return on investment not worthy of continuing.What we do know about safe/supervised drug consumption services is that they succeed in ways that arrest and incarceration fail. They reduce the incidence of disease, save taxpayers money, reduce the nuisance of public drug use, and provide a crucial entry point for people who use drugs to enter treatment — all without increasing crime or drug use. Across over 100 such sites globally, there has not been a single fatal overdose within one of these facilities. The same cannot be said for public restrooms and other places where people without other options currently consume drugs. Having toured such a site first-hand in Amsterdam and having met with local law enforcement and other officials, I found that community support is also strong. So, if we know that what we’ve done up until this point has not actually worked, has caused more harm than good, and has wasted taxpayer money, and we also know that these public health interventions have proven to be effective elsewhere, we are left with the question of what exactly is a “whole level of stupid?” Perhaps it’s trying the same failed approach over and over hoping to achieve different results.Keith BrownScotiaMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady teens accused of Scotia auto theft, chase; Ended in Clifton Park crash, Saratoga Sheriff…EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Monday, Dec. 23

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionStefanik defense of Trump ignores plot In explaining her “no” vote on impeachment Dec. 18, Rep. Elise Stefanik said that the case against the president was “easily disproven” because security assistance and aid was eventually provided to Ukraine and because there was no investigation into the Bidens conducted.Trump didn’t get the result he wanted, so he’s off the hook?For those watching holiday reruns, it’s like arguing that the burglars in “Home Alone” didn’t commit any crimes because they didn’t succeed in making off with any of the McCallisters’ stuff.Like Harry and Marv, the president and Giuliani bungled their operation and got burned and humiliated as a result.But their failures don’t exonerate them of the crimes they did commit.Extortion, solicitation and conspiracy are crimes themselves, whether or not they attain desired ends.Stefanik’s “explanation” evades the serious charges in the case. The 2019 Arctic Report card https://arctic.noaa.gov/Report-Card/Report-Card-2019 has just been issued.The report says: “Warming air temperatures are driving changes in the Arctic environment that affect ecosystems and communities on a regional and global scale.”According to Matthew Druckenmiller from the National Snow and Ice Data Center ,“… thawing of permafrost may now be acting to accelerate global climate change.” He indicates that melting permafrost brings about further change as it releases more carbon into the air.We have family in Alaska where we lived in the 1970s and ’80s. What happens there affects us, not just because of the family connection, but because of what it means to our weather here in New York or any of the other places in the country where we have family and friends.When we lived in the Arctic, seeing the amount of ice on the ocean and walking on the permafrost every day made it seem like it would be there forever. Now we know, more than 30 years later, that things were beginning to change even then. We just couldn’t see it.Serious climate changes are happening in faraway places where we can’t see them. That doesn’t mean they aren’t happening.Florence CarnahanSchenectady There have been many sequels to “Home Alone,” but I’d like to see one where Stefanik volunteers to drive a getaway car for Harry and Marv.Janette SchueNiskayunaMcConnell vows not to honor his oathWhen the United States Senate sits as the jury for impeachment, its oath is very different: “I solemnly swear (or affirm) that in all things appertaining to the trial of ____, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help me God.”So, when the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that he is in lock-step with the president, he has violated the oath before he even takes it.Sadly, elected officials are more interested in getting re-elected than doing their jobs and serving the public interest.Bruce S. TrachtenbergNiskayunaThe writer is a former town justice.center_img Climate change not always visible to allIf you look at the globe you can see that it’s round, a facsimile of our planet Earth. There’s no line that stops what happens in one place from impacting what happens in another. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

Retail

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Sent to Coventry

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Preston Lancashire hot spot

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Pitch fever

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GVA Grimley buys outlet agency

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Window on the weird

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