Letters to the editor: February 6 to 12
Water, snow, and ice — so
mundane of substances, though
rarest in the galaxy, even
counting lives of primates,
insects, and plants. OK, add
bacteria, but are viruses
admitted to the list?
And what of derivatives
created inside our brains — theories,
games & sports, fellowship
or ostracy, treaties for
outlawry to make Peace permanent?
Unfortunately retribution, not resolution, has become the norm when equal but separate branches of government face ideological differences when interpreting and subsequently performing their sworn constitutional duties.
Sadly, Congress today continues to be plagued by a bipartisan majority of its members. This majority believes their political longevity is only possible through exploiting a system where majority oversight frequently targets weaker minority members’ perfect for public displays of ethical misconduct, when those responsible for such should be under investigation.
Furthermore, decades of failure by Congress to execute proper checks and balances have also allowed the exponential rise in the Executive Branch’s power, especially from the 1980s, promulgated by both parties perversion of the Unitary Executive Theory.
No one should be surprised how the current occupant of the Oval Office interprets the privileges empowered to its predecessors, or whose successors will enjoy when it comes to be the most powerful position in human history.
Both the current Senate Majority and Minority Leaders should be ashamed of themselves for allowing institutional implosion with their perspective roles in the partisan impeachment of a president during an election year. The exploitation of foreign interference in our domestic politics should horrify you, equally should a House bent on partisan reciprocity and a Senate who fails to properly function as intended by the framers due to ideology, not via the constitutional mechanisms empowered to it.
Robert Caro’s “Master of the Senate” is the quintessential read for those who truly want to understand the fundamental principles of the Senate and how such power was yielded at a time when it was possible to cross barriers which today seem impossible due to the partisan divisions which have extinguished any hope for communication and compromise amongst its members.
The current leadership of the Senate, as should our President, remember the words of Henry Clay, “Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees; and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people.”
Oregon Township, PA
Two of our area’s newly elected representatives—Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-Rhinebeck) and Sen. Jen Metzger (D-Rosendale)—campaigned hard in 2018 on the issue of expanding broadband access to underserved rural areas. They recognized that reliable internet access is an economic imperative for our small businesses and a necessary tool for citizens in the modern world. To their dismay, the FCC under Trump’s administration announced this month that New York would be one of two states that would not be eligible for billions of dollars in federal aid for broadband improvements.
On entering the House of Representatives, Delgado requested his assignment to the committee on infrastructure, which addresses broadband issues. Delgado, along with a bipartisan group of NY representatives, wrote to the FCC that its criteria for funding are deeply flawed, as they wildly overestimate the number of New York households served by high-speed internet. Its guidelines also permit providers to mislead consumers about the speed of their access. He has proposed the Broadband Speed Act and the Community Broadband Mapping Act, both of which would establish accurate and realistic guidelines for determining communities’ needs.
Metzger herself has introduced legislation (S5696) “directing the [NY] Public Service Commission to conduct a comprehensive review of broadband availability across the state and set targets for covering the remaining unserved and underserved areas.”
New Yorkers might feel that the FCC’s decision, like the 2017 tax law that severely curtailed the deductibility of state and local taxes, is another disguised, vengeful arrow aimed at our blue state. But all of us, red and blue, should support our representatives’ challenge to the FCC and demand a fair share for New York. Write Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th SW, Washington DC, 20554 or firstname.lastname@example.org