[ {"id":"773f1ddc-49b2-5510-9efa-f0bfb4df7127","type":"article","starttime":"1484617500","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-16T18:45:00-07:00","sections":[{"commentary":"ap/commentary"},{"column":"news/opinion/column"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Jonah Goldberg: Obama\u2019s farewell address a campaign rally in disguise","url":"http://tucson.com/ap/commentary/article_773f1ddc-49b2-5510-9efa-f0bfb4df7127.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/ap/commentary/jonah-goldberg-obama-s-farewell-address-a-campaign-rally-in/article_773f1ddc-49b2-5510-9efa-f0bfb4df7127.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/ap/commentary/jonah-goldberg-obama-s-farewell-address-a-campaign-rally-in/article_773f1ddc-49b2-5510-9efa-f0bfb4df7127.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Tribune Content Agency","prologue":"He was in his self-aggrandizing element.\u00a0","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["government and politics"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"ecdd235b-d6ea-5a4d-8bc6-d70ea2b17419","description":"Jonah Goldberg","byline":"Glenn Kaupert / Chicago Tribune, 2003","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"255","height":"330","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/cd/ecdd235b-d6ea-5a4d-8bc6-d70ea2b17419/57f2f97b79693.image.jpg?resize=255%2C330"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"66","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/cd/ecdd235b-d6ea-5a4d-8bc6-d70ea2b17419/557b6569c9ce4.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"388","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/cd/ecdd235b-d6ea-5a4d-8bc6-d70ea2b17419/5408ff49b4022.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"574","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/cd/ecdd235b-d6ea-5a4d-8bc6-d70ea2b17419/57f2f97b79693.image.jpg?crop=255%2C143%2C0%2C93"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"773f1ddc-49b2-5510-9efa-f0bfb4df7127","body":"

Barack Obama formally ended his presidency the way he came in, talking to adoring fans about how lucky we are to have him in our lives.

Indeed, given the hand-wringing over how Obama\u2019s successor is all about entertainment and theatrics, it was somewhere between ironic and absurd to watch the outgoing president hold a campaign rally for his \u201cfarewell address.\u201d

And yet, we\u2019ve become so inured to this kind of self-serving pomp and circumstance that no one seems to care. From what I can tell, no liberal commentators minded at all, and most conservative reviewers went straight to the substance \u2014 or lack thereof \u2014 of Obama\u2019s remarks.

I\u2019ll get to that. But it\u2019s worth pointing out the gaudy grotesquerie of the spectacle, because it highlights not only how low we have sunk, but the depths to which we may yet plunge given how Obama helped further transform the presidency into a totem in the culture wars.

The first presidential farewell address, and the standard for all to follow, was given by George Washington. It was \u201cgiven,\u201d not delivered, in that it was published as a letter to the American people in the American Daily Advertiser under the title \u201cThe Address of General Washington to the People of the United States on his declining the Presidency of the United States.\u201d

James Madison helped write the first draft toward the end of Washington\u2019s first term. When Washington decided to run for a second term, it was put aside. When he opted not to run for a third term, he gave it to Alexander Hamilton to revise.

With a bullpen of writers like that, it\u2019s no wonder that Washington\u2019s farewell ranks among the great works of literary statecraft, but the most remarkable thing about it was that it was given at all. To voluntarily relinquish power for the benefit of democracy was one of the most radical acts of political humility in history.

During the Revolutionary War, King George III asked the American painter Benjamin West what Washington would do if he won independence for the colonies. West replied, \u201cThey say he will return to his farm.\u201d

\u201cIf he does that,\u201d the king replied, \u201che will be the greatest man in the world.\u201d

Few presidents dared to invite comparisons to Washington until the populist egotist Andrew Jackson opted to write his own letter to the American people. It was the longest presidential farewell ever \u2014 more than 8,000 words.

Of course, the era of radio and television necessitated that presidents address the people directly. Whether that amounted to progress is for others to decide. But until Obama, it never occurred to a president to deliver a televised address from anywhere but some dignified official venue \u2014 the Oval Office, the House chamber or even West Point).

Obama, who has said he\u2019d love to run for a third term if he weren\u2019t barred from doing so (thanks to FDR flouting the Washingtonian tradition of serving only two terms, forcing Congress to amend the Constitution), went a different way. He did the next best thing and held a campaign rally as if he were running again. Obama is never more comfortable than when he\u2019s in front of an audience that already agrees with him and shares his stunning self-regard, which helps explain why his was the longest televised presidential farewell ever.

The whole speech seemed written to be the final chapter of the \u201cCollected Speeches of Barack Obama,\u201d which is why he concluded by referencing his 2008 \u201cYes We Can\u201d speech.

The substance of Obama\u2019s farewell was a high-flown rehash of his greatest hits. He spoke again of Congress being \u201cdysfunctional\u201d in the abstract, but what he surely meant is that Congress isn\u2019t working properly when it declines to do what he wants it to do. Hence the insinuation that disagreement with his views on climate change is contrary to the \u201cspirit\u201d of America and the Enlightenment. He called for a \u201cnew social compact\u201d that was indistinguishable from his legislative agenda and insisted that the essence of democracy is the commitment \u201cthat we rise or fall as one.\u201d

That is not the spirit of democracy at all; it\u2019s the spirit of the \u201ctribalism\u201d and \u201cnationalism\u201d he\u2019s come to disparage. But that has always been the spirit of Obamaism. When people agree with him, that\u2019s democracy working. When democracy rejects his counsel, that\u2019s the bitter Bible-clingers rejecting the better angel of his nature.

"}, {"id":"2545ad57-9829-5df2-945b-df09c1deaaec","type":"article","starttime":"1484611200","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-16T17:00:00-07:00","sections":[{"letters":"news/opinion/letters"},{"mailbag":"news/opinion/mailbag"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: Lobbyists becoming too powerful","url":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/article_2545ad57-9829-5df2-945b-df09c1deaaec.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-lobbyists-becoming-too-powerful/article_2545ad57-9829-5df2-945b-df09c1deaaec.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-lobbyists-becoming-too-powerful/article_2545ad57-9829-5df2-945b-df09c1deaaec.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"Re: the Jan. 11 article \"No, government should not be run like a business\u201d Author Alison H. Jones gave a cogent explanation of the difference between government and business and why their roles should not be conflated. Unfortunately, some of the world\u2019s governments ARE a business and are run that way by virtue of state crony capitalism.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["letters"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"620","height":"457","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?resize=620%2C457"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"73","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/55d4bbb53928a.preview-100.png"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"168","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59&resize=300%2C168&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"2545ad57-9829-5df2-945b-df09c1deaaec","body":"

Re: the Jan. 11 article \"No, government should not be run like a business\u201d

Author Alison H. Jones gave a cogent explanation of the difference between government and business and why their roles should not be conflated. Unfortunately, some of the world\u2019s governments ARE a business and are run that way by virtue of state crony capitalism.

This is not the case in the US now but with the growing power of lobbyists after the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, the US may well go that way.

Lindrith Cordell

West side

"}, {"id":"9c2129d5-41eb-5582-be44-c3a87cc9bc46","type":"article","starttime":"1484611200","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-16T17:00:00-07:00","sections":[{"letters":"news/opinion/letters"},{"mailbag":"news/opinion/mailbag"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: FBI Director Comey's inconsistency","url":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/article_9c2129d5-41eb-5582-be44-c3a87cc9bc46.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-fbi-director-comey-s-inconsistency/article_9c2129d5-41eb-5582-be44-c3a87cc9bc46.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-fbi-director-comey-s-inconsistency/article_9c2129d5-41eb-5582-be44-c3a87cc9bc46.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"When FBI Director James Comey gave his infamous July press conference saying that the investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of her private server was over, and then going on the characterize her behavior as \"extremely careless,\" many lawyers said that his behavior was against FBI protocols. Despite this, two weeks before the general election, Mr. Comey went on to publish a letter to eight Senate and House committee chairmen telling them that more emails had been found during a separate investigation.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["letters"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"620","height":"457","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?resize=620%2C457"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"73","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/55d4bbb53928a.preview-100.png"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"168","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59&resize=300%2C168&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"9c2129d5-41eb-5582-be44-c3a87cc9bc46","body":"

When FBI Director James Comey gave his infamous July press conference saying that the investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of her private server was over, and then going on the characterize her behavior as \"extremely careless,\" many lawyers said that his behavior was against FBI protocols.

Despite this, two weeks before the general election, Mr. Comey went on to publish a letter to eight Senate and House committee chairmen telling them that more emails had been found during a separate investigation.

The press and Mr Trump suggested that evidence of wrong doing by Mrs. Clinton was soon to be revealed.

However, days before the election, Mr Comey sheepishly wrote the same congressional committees that nothing had been found.

This week, when asked about the current FBI investigation of the Russian hacking, Mr. Comey said that \" he could not comment on an ongoing investigation.\"

The upcoming investigation by the Inspector General into Mr. Comey's behavior and that of the FBI, while welcome, is too little, and too late.

Charles Fleming

Midtown

"}, {"id":"8a4f0021-b95d-5cb5-b92e-af6d0e94cdea","type":"article","starttime":"1484611200","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-16T17:00:00-07:00","sections":[{"letters":"news/opinion/letters"},{"mailbag":"news/opinion/mailbag"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: El Encanto neighborhood and \"Naked\" streets","url":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/article_8a4f0021-b95d-5cb5-b92e-af6d0e94cdea.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-el-encanto-neighborhood-and-naked-streets/article_8a4f0021-b95d-5cb5-b92e-af6d0e94cdea.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-el-encanto-neighborhood-and-naked-streets/article_8a4f0021-b95d-5cb5-b92e-af6d0e94cdea.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"Re: the Jan. 11 letter \"El Encanto neighborhood elitism\" Despite the allegations of the letter writer, we in El Encanto welcome friends and visitors to our historic neighborhood with very narrow \u201cnaked\u201d streets (that is a technical term!). That means there are no curbs, no sidewalks, and no center lines.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["letters"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"620","height":"457","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?resize=620%2C457"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"73","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/55d4bbb53928a.preview-100.png"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"168","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59&resize=300%2C168&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"8a4f0021-b95d-5cb5-b92e-af6d0e94cdea","body":"

Re: the Jan. 11 letter \"El Encanto neighborhood elitism\"

Despite the allegations of the letter writer, we in El Encanto welcome friends and visitors to our historic neighborhood with very narrow \u201cnaked\u201d streets (that is a technical term!). That means there are no curbs, no sidewalks, and no center lines.

Parking is complicated. Parking next to hedges means the car probably ran over the irrigation system that keeps the hedge alive. Parking on both sides of the street means that an emergency vehicle cannot get through. Parking in front of someone\u2019s driveway, be it wide or narrow, restricts their ability to enter and exit their property and is illegal.

When overrun by cars, residents will often post no-parking signs to protect their property. Please respect those requests. It is complicated to know where property lines are when there are no curbs or sidewalks, but walking across people\u2019s property is trespassing.

Please be considerate of our neighborhood.

Margot Garcia

President, El Encanto Estates Neighborhood Association

Midtown

"}, {"id":"3efc27f9-583c-5584-b4d8-60f9f2eae8b0","type":"article","starttime":"1484611200","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-16T17:00:00-07:00","sections":[{"letters":"news/opinion/letters"},{"mailbag":"news/opinion/mailbag"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: Enough Already!","url":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/article_3efc27f9-583c-5584-b4d8-60f9f2eae8b0.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-enough-already/article_3efc27f9-583c-5584-b4d8-60f9f2eae8b0.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-enough-already/article_3efc27f9-583c-5584-b4d8-60f9f2eae8b0.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"Every day there are opinion letters slamming President-Elect Trump. It's time to back-off and see what happens before all you snowflakes melt. By the way, the mantra is that Russia influenced the election and, if actually so, looks like it greatly helped Mrs. Clinton. as she received the majority of the votes.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["letters"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"620","height":"457","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?resize=620%2C457"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"73","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/55d4bbb53928a.preview-100.png"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"168","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59&resize=300%2C168&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"3efc27f9-583c-5584-b4d8-60f9f2eae8b0","body":"

Every day there are opinion letters slamming President-Elect Trump. It's time to back-off and see what happens before all you snowflakes melt. By the way, the mantra is that Russia influenced the election and, if actually so, looks like it greatly helped Mrs. Clinton. as she received the majority of the votes.

Rosalie Wright

Northwest side

"}, {"id":"bf64def2-eb28-535c-a2cb-cd6c981c518e","type":"article","starttime":"1484524800","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-15T17:00:00-07:00","sections":[{"letters":"news/opinion/letters"},{"mailbag":"news/opinion/mailbag"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: Stark contrast","url":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/article_bf64def2-eb28-535c-a2cb-cd6c981c518e.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-stark-contrast/article_bf64def2-eb28-535c-a2cb-cd6c981c518e.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-stark-contrast/article_bf64def2-eb28-535c-a2cb-cd6c981c518e.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"Having watched President Obama's farewell speech and President-elect Donald Trump\u2019s news conference the following morning, I was struck by the stark contrast of the two leaders in terms of style, substance and tone. Obama's speech was laced with altruism, acceptance and a clarion call to our better nature. Trump was confrontational, egotistical, and on full display for yet another time, his demeanor resembled that of a petulant adolescent.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["letters"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"620","height":"457","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?resize=620%2C457"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"73","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/55d4bbb53928a.preview-100.png"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"168","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59&resize=300%2C168&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"bf64def2-eb28-535c-a2cb-cd6c981c518e","body":"

Having watched President Obama's farewell speech and President-elect Donald Trump\u2019s news conference the following morning, I was struck by the stark contrast of the two leaders in terms of style, substance and tone.

Obama's speech was laced with altruism, acceptance and a clarion call to our better nature. Trump was confrontational, egotistical, and on full display for yet another time, his demeanor resembled that of a petulant adolescent.

Jack Pirtle

Foothills

"}, {"id":"861e4f3f-b62e-54fb-9a4c-9cff113f1c49","type":"article","starttime":"1484524800","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-15T17:00:00-07:00","sections":[{"letters":"news/opinion/letters"},{"mailbag":"news/opinion/mailbag"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: Was U.S. rebuff of Israel a mistake?","url":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/article_861e4f3f-b62e-54fb-9a4c-9cff113f1c49.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-was-u-s-rebuff-of-israel-a-mistake/article_861e4f3f-b62e-54fb-9a4c-9cff113f1c49.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-was-u-s-rebuff-of-israel-a-mistake/article_861e4f3f-b62e-54fb-9a4c-9cff113f1c49.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"The state of Israel has been in violation of international law with its settlement policy in the occupied territories since 1967. The international community has regularly criticized Israel\u2019s settlement strategy, but left it only with words and without any painful sanctions. This behavior and the waiving of effective sanctions only serves to strengthen the ultra-right in Israel as well as Palestinian extremists and undermines the peace process on both sides.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["letters"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"620","height":"457","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?resize=620%2C457"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"73","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/55d4bbb53928a.preview-100.png"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"168","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59&resize=300%2C168&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"861e4f3f-b62e-54fb-9a4c-9cff113f1c49","body":"

The state of Israel has been in violation of international law with its settlement policy in the occupied territories since 1967. The international community has regularly criticized Israel\u2019s settlement strategy, but left it only with words and without any painful sanctions. This behavior and the waiving of effective sanctions only serves to strengthen the ultra-right in Israel as well as Palestinian extremists and undermines the peace process on both sides.

Adherence to the idea of a two-state solution is nothing but empty rhetoric and has not gone unnoticed in Israel. It allows the Israeli right to triumph and the Israeli left to despair \u2014 just like the moderate Palestinians, who, as it looks, cannot expect anything positive from Washington under the future Trump administration.

By the end of the Trump administration, the expansion of the settlements will have reached a point where the idea of a two-state solution will have the same realistic expectation as Spain\u2019s hope to retake Gibraltar or Argentina\u2019s fantasy of annexing the Falkland Islands.

Frederick Leinfest

Oro Valley

"}, {"id":"999066d3-f92c-5496-9d1a-1d82e3a6f1ea","type":"article","starttime":"1484524800","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-15T17:00:00-07:00","sections":[{"letters":"news/opinion/letters"},{"mailbag":"news/opinion/mailbag"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: Republicans take a page from Democrats on Obamacare","url":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/article_999066d3-f92c-5496-9d1a-1d82e3a6f1ea.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-republicans-take-a-page-from-democrats-on-obamacare/article_999066d3-f92c-5496-9d1a-1d82e3a6f1ea.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-republicans-take-a-page-from-democrats-on-obamacare/article_999066d3-f92c-5496-9d1a-1d82e3a6f1ea.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"The Republicans in Congress have taken a page from the playbook of Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats, saying: We have to repeal Obamacare so that we can know what will replace it! Once again, our legislators ask us to trust their pig in a poke. Who exactly are they keeping the details from? And why the lack of transparency?","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["letters"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"620","height":"457","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?resize=620%2C457"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"73","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/55d4bbb53928a.preview-100.png"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"168","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59&resize=300%2C168&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"999066d3-f92c-5496-9d1a-1d82e3a6f1ea","body":"

The Republicans in Congress have taken a page from the playbook of Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats, saying: We have to repeal Obamacare so that we can know what will replace it! Once again, our legislators ask us to trust their pig in a poke. Who exactly are they keeping the details from? And why the lack of transparency?

Ira Adler

Foothills

"}, {"id":"4795930f-1838-5691-9fff-01504729ad16","type":"article","starttime":"1484524800","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-15T17:00:00-07:00","sections":[{"letters":"news/opinion/letters"},{"mailbag":"news/opinion/mailbag"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: Abortion debate","url":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/article_4795930f-1838-5691-9fff-01504729ad16.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-abortion-debate/article_4795930f-1838-5691-9fff-01504729ad16.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-abortion-debate/article_4795930f-1838-5691-9fff-01504729ad16.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"The GOP\u2019s staunch anti-abortion mantra may begin to backfire on them. The ideology (regardless of how one personally views abortion) is riddled with inconsistencies. If one espouses a pro-life agenda, why not embrace contraception to avoid the human tragedy of unwanted children? Why not embrace gun safety, civil liberties, expanded health care? Why not question support of the death penalty?","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["letters"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"620","height":"457","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?resize=620%2C457"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"73","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/55d4bbb53928a.preview-100.png"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"168","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59&resize=300%2C168&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"4795930f-1838-5691-9fff-01504729ad16","body":"

The GOP\u2019s staunch anti-abortion mantra may begin to backfire on them. The ideology (regardless of how one personally views abortion) is riddled with inconsistencies. If one espouses a pro-life agenda, why not embrace contraception to avoid the human tragedy of unwanted children? Why not embrace gun safety, civil liberties, expanded health care? Why not question support of the death penalty?

When Americans sincerely choose a pro-life stance, it would be more honorable if they were \u201cpro-life\u201d throughout the lifespan, not just during gestation! Besides, if men had to carry and deliver babies, this abortion debate would have been resolved long ago. Wake up, America; it\u2019s time to move on.

Naomi Colburn

Oro Valley

"}, {"id":"73ae052e-d074-59f9-8198-d70e88e75562","type":"article","starttime":"1484495100","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-15T08:45:00-07:00","sections":[{"gassen":"news/opinion/column/gassen"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Sarah Gassen: 'Make America Great Again' is a retreat","url":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/column/gassen/article_73ae052e-d074-59f9-8198-d70e88e75562.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/column/gassen/sarah-gassen-make-america-great-again-is-a-retreat/article_73ae052e-d074-59f9-8198-d70e88e75562.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/column/gassen/sarah-gassen-make-america-great-again-is-a-retreat/article_73ae052e-d074-59f9-8198-d70e88e75562.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"Remembering Jan. 20, 2009.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["gassen","inauguration","2008","obama","trump"],"internalKeywords":["#columnist","#latest","#columnists"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"cd99ecfa-2f11-54ea-9495-7f42c39edb32","description":"","byline":"Mamta Popat / Arizona Daily Star","hireswidth":2400,"hiresheight":1600,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/d9/cd99ecfa-2f11-54ea-9495-7f42c39edb32/5407ce6c3214d.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"413","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/d9/cd99ecfa-2f11-54ea-9495-7f42c39edb32/5733bb60f1eb9.image.jpg?resize=620%2C413"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"66","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/d9/cd99ecfa-2f11-54ea-9495-7f42c39edb32/5407ce6c40533.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/d9/cd99ecfa-2f11-54ea-9495-7f42c39edb32/5407ce6c41878.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/d9/cd99ecfa-2f11-54ea-9495-7f42c39edb32/53ff79ac9aae6.preview-1024.jpg"}}}],"revision":15,"commentID":"73ae052e-d074-59f9-8198-d70e88e75562","body":"

As Inauguration Day looms at the end of the week, I\u2019m taking a trip down memory lane. Destination: January 2009.

This thoroughfare is pretty crowded.

I recall the elation, the expectation, the excitement. In a few short days George W. Bush and Dick Cheney would be gone, and we would be there, in front of the U.S. Capitol, with so many thousands of fellow Americans, to witness and welcome in a man, a family, whose very existence in the White House demonstrated progress and change.

We walked for miles. We stood for hours in the low-20s cold, amid new friends. We shivered, our own Midwestern roots having long given way to the allergy to cold that comes from making a home in the Arizona desert. We laughed with the family from one of the Dakotas, or maybe it was Wyoming, I forget, who left their coats unzipped.

Standing in that crowd, we celebrated the change of power, the change of vision and the hope that our nation would find its way again. We cheered progress. We cheered unity. We cheered the triumph of hope over fear. We cheered a new president, Barack Obama, but it felt like so much more than the embrace of one man. It was the embrace of America \u2014 an America we recognized, full of potential.

And now, eight years on, thousands of other people will gather on Mall in front of the Capitol and celebrate the swearing in of the man they\u2019re putting their hopes in, Donald Trump.

They will feel the excitement, the expectation, the feeling of belonging. They\u2019ll chat with people from across the country and be heartened that so many others share their views of America \u2014 what they claim as their America.

But those hopes, affirmed in Trump\u2019s promise to make American great \u201cagain,\u201d is about retreat.

It\u2019s a look backward, to a time when one\u2019s experience of America\u2019s greatness depended very much on who you were, where you were born, if you were straight, the color of your skin, your gender, if you had a disability, your wealth \u2014 or lack of it.

Is the desire to return to those specific realities motivation for most Trump supporters? I can\u2019t say. But the a campaign fueled by a desire to \u201cmake America great again\u201d leaves room for examination.

When did America stop being great?

And how far back should we go? Eight years? Twenty? To the Voting Rights Act? The World War II? Back before suffrage? Emancipation? The Bill of Rights? Back to the Continental Congress, or Ben Franklin\u2019s appeal to Parliament? Back to rule by a royal family?

And how will we know America is great again? When unemployment is down? When millions of people have gained health insurance? When the auto industry is solid again? When the stock market is in good shape?

Because if those are the markers, we\u2019re already good to go. But that\u2019s not it.

Wanting to return to a time when your own life was better, and more predictable, is understandable. The ability to make a good living, even what constitutes a good living, has changed.

What could be taken for granted in decades past \u2014 the viable industries, job security with a high-school diploma, the ironclad dominance of the white male \u2014 no longer hold.

Standing in that massive crowd eight years ago went beyond cheering change. It was an honor to participate in the living idea of our nation.

Jan. 20, 2009 was about change as improvement. But progress creates pushback, and that\u2019s where we are today. It will be rough going, and we have much to be on guard against and to protect in the coming years.

A U-turn may be a change in direction, but it\u2019s temporary. We will find our way forward again.

"}, {"id":"8ec51854-4d49-5449-874d-56bf78f8f736","type":"article","starttime":"1484448300","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-14T19:45:00-07:00","sections":[{"commentary":"ap/commentary"},{"column":"news/opinion/column"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Ruth Marcus: The art of journalism in the Age of Trump","url":"http://tucson.com/ap/commentary/article_8ec51854-4d49-5449-874d-56bf78f8f736.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/ap/commentary/ruth-marcus-the-art-of-journalism-in-the-age-of/article_8ec51854-4d49-5449-874d-56bf78f8f736.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/ap/commentary/ruth-marcus-the-art-of-journalism-in-the-age-of/article_8ec51854-4d49-5449-874d-56bf78f8f736.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"The Washington Post","prologue":"Be careful with declaring Trump's words \"lies.\"","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["newspapers","journalism","news media","media"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"0cb471d7-0f14-559e-8060-bf2235aa06c7","description":"Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post Writer's Group.","byline":"James Kegley","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"547","height":"620","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/cb/0cb471d7-0f14-559e-8060-bf2235aa06c7/540f54985cd99.image.jpg?resize=547%2C620"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"65","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/cb/0cb471d7-0f14-559e-8060-bf2235aa06c7/557b65a5aceab.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"340","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/cb/0cb471d7-0f14-559e-8060-bf2235aa06c7/540f54986f88a.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/cb/0cb471d7-0f14-559e-8060-bf2235aa06c7/540f54985cd99.image.jpg?crop=547%2C307%2C0%2C99"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"8ec51854-4d49-5449-874d-56bf78f8f736","body":"

The approaching presidency of Donald Trump poses daunting challenges for the journalists covering him, not merely because he has described them as dishonest, low-life scum or because of anxiety over whether the new administration will adhere to basic norms of access, such as daily briefings and regular news conferences.

The president-elect\u2019s behavior presents fundamental questions, recurring daily if not hourly, about the best way to serve our audience. These are technical issues of craft, ordinarily of interest only to journalists themselves. In the Age of Trump, they are imbued with real-world consequences.

Should news organizations depart from customary restraint and label Trump\u2019s falsehoods as outright lies? Should the media treat Trump tweetstorms with the rapt attention devoted to more traditional presidential statements, or refrain from such reflexive coverage in order to avoid being distracted, perhaps intentionally, from more important matters?

And given the physical constraints of headlines, how should news organizations handle a presidential claim \u2014 say, to have saved thousands of jobs \u2014 when the underlying details \u2014 the jobs may not be as numerous as advertised; the positions might have remained in the United States anyway \u2014 may be far more nuanced, if not disputed outright?

The media wrestled with these questions during the presidential campaign and adjusted their behavior. Fact-checks migrated from mere sidebars into essential components of the main story. Reporters steeped in a tradition of elevating objectivity above other demands increasingly deployed terms like \u201cfalse\u201d and \u201cwithout factual basis\u201d in straight news reports. Television chyrons called out the candidate\u2019s falsehoods in real time.

The proper use of the L-word became a subject of debate recently when Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Gerard Baker told NBC News\u2019 Chuck Todd that he was reluctant to employ a term that connoted not mere falsehood but intention to deceive. \u201c\u2018Lie\u2019 implies much more than just saying something that\u2019s false,\u201d Baker said. \u201cIt implies a deliberate intent to mislead.\u201d Ascribing that \u201cmoral intent,\u201d he added, creates \u201cthe risk that you look ... like you\u2019re not being objective.\u201d

Count me with Baker. The media shouldn\u2019t hesitate to label an assertion false, but it should be cautious about imputing motive. \u201cThis statement is false\u201d or \u201cThis assertion is untrue\u201d carries as much weight as \u201cTrump lied,\u201d and without the inflammatory baggage. It informs the audience but does so in a way more likely to leave the broadest audience willing to absorb the information.

Trump critics have also argued for disregarding \u2014 or at least, not constantly responding to \u2014 his tweets, on the theory that his goal is often as much to distract as it is to inform or, more likely, inflame.

Harvard political theorist Danielle Allen, writing in The Washington Post, counseled \u201cStoic equilibrium\u201d and \u201cdisregarding any and every tweet\u201d by the new president. \u201cIf he can\u2019t get his words and views expressed through Congress, through the White House press secretary, through official White House statements, they don\u2019t merit our energies,\u201d she argued.

But when a president speaks, whether from the Oval Office or through a 140-character message, the world listens.

The Trump press corps shouldn\u2019t respond to every provocation with equal intensity or outrage. But we are going to have to learn how to cover tweets and policymaking at the same time. In that quest, the limitlessness and instantaneity of the internet are journalism\u2019s allies.

Perhaps the hardest problem \u2014 and the most important, given the millisecond modern attention span \u2014 involves how to accurately portray Trump\u2019s conduct within the confined space of a headline, or a broadcaster\u2019s capsule summary. This task will demand constant vigilance and endless creativity on the part of those of us committed to practicing journalism in the Age of Trump. It will, in some circumstances, require some diligence on the part of our audience to probe beyond the first impression.

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The shortest honeymoon on record is officially over. Normally, newly elected presidents enjoy a wave of goodwill that allows them to fly high at least through their first 100 days. Donald Trump has not yet been sworn in and the honeymoon has already come and gone.

Presidents-elect usually lie low during the interregnum. Trump never lies low. He seized the actual presidency from Barack Obama within weeks of his election \u2014 cutting ostentatious deals with U.S. manufacturers to keep jobs at home, challenging 40-year-old China policy, getting into a very public fight with the intelligence agencies. By now he has taken over the presidential stage. It is true that we have only one president at a time, and for over a month it\u2019s been Donald Trump.

The result is quantifiable. A Quinnipiac poll from Nov. 17-20 \u2014 the quiet, hope-and-change phase \u2014 showed a decided bump in Trump\u2019s popularity and in general national optimism. It didn\u2019t last long. In the latest Quinnipiac poll, the numbers have essentially returned to Trump\u2019s (historically dismal) pre-election levels.

For several reasons. First, the refusal of an unbending left to accept the legitimacy of Trump\u2019s victory. It\u2019s not just the demonstrators chanting \u201cnot my president.\u201d It is leading Democrats pushing one line after another to delegitimize the election, as in: he lost the popular vote, it\u2019s James Comey\u2019s fault, the Russians did it.

Second, Trump\u2019s own instincts and inclinations, a thirst for attention that leads to hyperactivity. His need to dominate every news cycle feeds an almost compulsive tweet habit. It has placed him just about continuously at the center of the national conversation, and not always to his benefit.

Trump simply can\u2019t resist playground pushback. His tweets gave Meryl Streep\u2019s Golden Globes screed priceless publicity. His mocking of Arnold Schwarzenegger for bad \u201cApprentice\u201d ratings \u2014 compared with \u201cthe ratings machine, DJT\u201d \u2014 made Trump look small and Arnold (almost) sympathetic.

Finally, it\u2019s his chronic indiscipline, his jumping randomly from one subject to another without rhyme, reason or larger strategy. In a week packed with confirmation hearings and Russian hacking allegations, what was he doing meeting with Robert Kennedy Jr., an anti-vaccine activist pushing the thoroughly discredited idea that vaccines cause autism?

We know from way back during the Republican debates that Trump himself has dabbled in this dubious territory. One could, however, write it off as one of many campaign oddities that would surely fade away. Not so, apparently.

Kennedy says that Trump asked him to chair a commission about vaccine safety. While denying that, the transition team does say that the commission idea remains open. Either way, the damage is done. The anti-vaccine fanatics seek any validation. This indirect endorsement from Trump is immensely harmful. Vaccination has prevented more childhood suffering and death than any other measure in history. With so many issues pressing, why even go there?

The vaccination issue was merely an exclamation point on the scatterbrained randomness of the Trump transition. All of which contributes to the harried, almost wearying feeling that we are already well into the Trump presidency.

Compare this to eight years ago and the near euphoria \u2014 overblown but nonetheless palpable \u2014 at the swearing-in of Barack Obama. Not since JFK had any new president enjoyed such genuine goodwill.

And yet it turns out that such auspicious beginnings are not at all predictive. We could see it this same week. Tuesday night, there stood Obama giving a farewell address that only underscored the failure of a presidency so bathed in optimism at its start. The final speech, amazingly, could have been given, nearly unedited, in 2008. Why, it even ended with \u201cyes we can.\u201d

Is there more powerful evidence of the emptiness of the intervening two terms? When your final statement is a reprise of your first, you have unwittingly confessed to being nothing more than a historical parenthesis.

"}, {"id":"94474cf8-50e3-510a-b9b8-02fc23ef3663","type":"article","starttime":"1484445600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-14T19:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1484458024","sections":[{"guest":"news/opinion/column/guest"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Joseph Morgan: Tucson has right to destroy relinquished guns","url":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/column/guest/article_94474cf8-50e3-510a-b9b8-02fc23ef3663.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/column/guest/joseph-morgan-tucson-has-right-to-destroy-relinquished-guns/article_94474cf8-50e3-510a-b9b8-02fc23ef3663.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/column/guest/joseph-morgan-tucson-has-right-to-destroy-relinquished-guns/article_94474cf8-50e3-510a-b9b8-02fc23ef3663.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Joseph Morgan\nSpecial to the Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"Passion about firearms is overshadowing principle of self-determination.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["joseph morgan","mark finchem","guns","tucson","jan. 8","2011 mass shooting","conservative"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"15c873b3-0ff0-542c-a107-864b7399fdd7","description":"Tucsonans turned in these guns in exchange for a $50 grocery store certificate during a city buyback in 2013.","byline":"Brian Skoloff / The Associated Press 2013","hireswidth":1752,"hiresheight":1182,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/5c/15c873b3-0ff0-542c-a107-864b7399fdd7/58658bac5e71f.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"418","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/5c/15c873b3-0ff0-542c-a107-864b7399fdd7/58658bac5d45b.image.jpg?resize=620%2C418"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/5c/15c873b3-0ff0-542c-a107-864b7399fdd7/58658bac5d45b.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"202","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/5c/15c873b3-0ff0-542c-a107-864b7399fdd7/58658bac5d45b.image.jpg?resize=300%2C202"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"691","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/5c/15c873b3-0ff0-542c-a107-864b7399fdd7/58658bac5d45b.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C691"}}}],"revision":9,"commentID":"94474cf8-50e3-510a-b9b8-02fc23ef3663","body":"

As a new legislative session begins, the Old Pueblo finds itself in the political and legal crosshairs of foes in the Arizona state government. Tucson is at the forefront of a battle raging across the country over what powers local municipalities do and do not have in their attempts to combat the problem of gun violence. Particularly at issue is whether city officials have the authority to destroy firearms that have been surrendered to, or confiscated by, them.

Historically, Americans have strongly believed in the idea of self-government. This principle is embodied conceptually in \u201chome rule,\u201d an idea that preserves the autonomy of municipal government within a state for purely local matters. For Tucson\u2019s officials this means that all guns their municipality possesses can be disposed of at their sole discretion.

Following the mass shooting of January 8, 2011, Tucson began a policy of liquidating guns that people voluntarily turned in to the Police Department for destruction; they also got rid of most weapons that had been taken from criminals. Almost immediately, local gun lobbyists opined that the city was violating state law and vowed that if they couldn\u2019t get the courts to agree, they would \u201cwork with our friends in the Legislature\u201d to change the law to prevent the firearms\u2019 destruction.

Enter Oro Valley Republican Rep. Mark Finchem. In 2013 he won approval for his bill withholding state shared sales tax revenue from any city that destroyed a gun rather than putting it up for public auction. Tucson\u2019s leadership responded by refusing to acquiesce to the measure\u2019s demands, and as a result has been taken to court by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich; Tucson officials, for their part, argue that the new law amounts to little more than illegal coercion.

At the heart of the issue: Who has the power to govern? Arizona, since its inception, valued the concept of local autonomy, hence, the state constitution adopted home-rule charter provisions for cities that would allow them to remain as nearly independent as possible from the state Legislature.

Opponents of the destruction of guns argue, pragmatically, that doing so is a waste of public resources and thus, the state must step in to save local anti-gun politicians from themselves. However, republican government is predicated on the notion that people vote for their leadership and indirectly for the laws they pass. So, if the residents of Tucson had a problem with it, then they should be the ones to do something about it, not the state.

Some, like Brnovich, contend that these particular firearms regulations must be done away with because they hinder the constitutional right to bear arms. This is a big reach. Nothing in the policy is preventing people from owning or buying weapons, nor is it even mandating that people turn in their guns for liquidation.

Our nation\u2019s history is filled with examples of bad laws or public policy and that is to be expected in the grand experiment of government. Mistakes will be made. At the heart of self-government, encapsulated in our federated system of national government, is that decisions of regulating daily life should be left as much as possible to local communities. This is even spelled out in the 10th Amendment, as all powers not delegated to the U.S. are left to the states or the people.

The irony is that Rep. Finchem and his colleagues are huge proponents of self-determination and rigorously combat any attempt by the federal government, perceived or real, to retard state sovereignty. Yet, because he and his political allies find it so abhorrent that guns are being destroyed, they have sought to take legitimate power away from the residents of Tucson.

"}, {"id":"8db79579-c293-5899-8387-e3667f281a44","type":"article","starttime":"1484438400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-14T17:00:00-07:00","sections":[{"letters":"news/opinion/letters"},{"mailbag":"news/opinion/mailbag"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: Bad, bad guns","url":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/article_8db79579-c293-5899-8387-e3667f281a44.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-bad-bad-guns/article_8db79579-c293-5899-8387-e3667f281a44.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-bad-bad-guns/article_8db79579-c293-5899-8387-e3667f281a44.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"Re: Recent letters about gun safety in response to mass shootings Why yes, just the other day, I was walking by a gun store. I saw a pistol get off the shelf, load itself, run out the door and start shooting people at random. Some people always blame the gun. None of them think about the mentally unbalanced individual that is holding that gun.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["letters"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"620","height":"457","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?resize=620%2C457"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"73","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/55d4bbb53928a.preview-100.png"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"168","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59&resize=300%2C168&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"8db79579-c293-5899-8387-e3667f281a44","body":"

Re: Recent letters about gun safety in response to mass shootings

Why yes, just the other day, I was walking by a gun store. I saw a pistol get off the shelf, load itself, run out the door and start shooting people at random.

Some people always blame the gun. None of them think about the mentally unbalanced individual that is holding that gun.

We already have more than enough gun laws in this country. In my opinion, two things need to be done. First, enforce the laws we already have. Don't give felons a slap on the wrist and turn them loose. Second, this country needs to do way more for the mentally ill persons in it, before they have a problem.

Yes, I am a proud Life Member of the NRA and the USCCA.

Tom Reininger

Southeast side

"}, {"id":"e430a4f7-e877-51fe-8792-1f861445b87b","type":"article","starttime":"1484438400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-14T17:00:00-07:00","sections":[{"letters":"news/opinion/letters"},{"mailbag":"news/opinion/mailbag"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: It is the little things","url":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/article_e430a4f7-e877-51fe-8792-1f861445b87b.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-it-is-the-little-things/article_e430a4f7-e877-51fe-8792-1f861445b87b.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-it-is-the-little-things/article_e430a4f7-e877-51fe-8792-1f861445b87b.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"Re: the Oct. 15 letter \"Thanks to a Good Samaritan\" On Oct. 15 you published a letter from my mother, Bobbie Gilkerson, who thanked a Good Samaritan for stopping to help her after she took a nasty fall. As I sit writing her obituary, I keep reflecting back on that incident. A stranger turned a bad day into a good one. I live in Delaware and was grateful that someone stopped to help. My mom retold the story many times, always focusing on the help, not the hurt.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["letters"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"620","height":"457","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?resize=620%2C457"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"73","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/55d4bbb53928a.preview-100.png"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"168","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59&resize=300%2C168&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"e430a4f7-e877-51fe-8792-1f861445b87b","body":"

Re: the Oct. 15 letter \"Thanks to a Good Samaritan\"

On Oct. 15 you published a letter from my mother, Bobbie Gilkerson, who thanked a Good Samaritan for stopping to help her after she took a nasty fall.

As I sit writing her obituary, I keep reflecting back on that incident. A stranger turned a bad day into a good one. I live in Delaware and was grateful that someone stopped to help. My mom retold the story many times, always focusing on the help, not the hurt.

She died suddenly on Dec. 23. She was filled with happiness from seeing family and friends \u2013 and filled with faith that there is still good and kindness in the midst of all the turmoil in today's world.

The ripple effect of that one small act of kindness was powerful and is still felt here. As we enter this new presidential era, I thought this was a timely reminder to never underestimate the power of a kind word or a warm smile. In the end, we are more alike than we are different.

Jo Ellen Cockley

Midtown

"}, {"id":"fcb4ba2b-5f48-53a9-bde9-19b31bab87a4","type":"article","starttime":"1484438400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-14T17:00:00-07:00","sections":[{"letters":"news/opinion/letters"},{"mailbag":"news/opinion/mailbag"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: Hard to reach Sen. McCain via phone, email","url":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/article_fcb4ba2b-5f48-53a9-bde9-19b31bab87a4.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-hard-to-reach-sen-mccain-via-phone-email/article_fcb4ba2b-5f48-53a9-bde9-19b31bab87a4.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-hard-to-reach-sen-mccain-via-phone-email/article_fcb4ba2b-5f48-53a9-bde9-19b31bab87a4.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"I am a Tucsonan and member of the Southern Arizona Political Action Group. SAPAG is a group of ordinary people who have come together to demand change. We consider it a responsibility of our citizenship to inform our political representatives of our views. It is difficult for me and many SAPAG members to reach McCain by phone or email. Without exception, when I have called him using DC and Tucson phone numbers, a recorded message said \"Due to the high volume of calls\" McCain's voice mailbox may be full. It was.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["letters"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"620","height":"457","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?resize=620%2C457"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"73","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/55d4bbb53928a.preview-100.png"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"168","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59&resize=300%2C168&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"fcb4ba2b-5f48-53a9-bde9-19b31bab87a4","body":"

I am a Tucsonan and member of the Southern Arizona Political Action Group. SAPAG is a group of ordinary people who have come together to demand change. We consider it a responsibility of our citizenship to inform our political representatives of our views.

It is difficult for me and many SAPAG members to reach McCain by phone or email. Without exception, when I have called him using DC and Tucson phone numbers, a recorded message said \"Due to the high volume of calls\" McCain's voice mailbox may be full. It was.

The recorded message provided an email address for the Senator. The email I sent to that address resulted in an auto-response: \"...due to the high volume we receive we can only read and respond to comments and concerns sent through the Contact Form which you can access here.\"

I call upon this newspaper and its readers to inform Senator McCain that his constituents expect easier, more direct access to him.

Margaret Winchell

Foothills

"}, {"id":"3850341c-b593-55c3-8c01-09746bb56d31","type":"article","starttime":"1484438400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-14T17:00:00-07:00","sections":[{"letters":"news/opinion/letters"},{"mailbag":"news/opinion/mailbag"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: Dangerous drivers on Houghton Road","url":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/article_3850341c-b593-55c3-8c01-09746bb56d31.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-dangerous-drivers-on-houghton-road/article_3850341c-b593-55c3-8c01-09746bb56d31.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-dangerous-drivers-on-houghton-road/article_3850341c-b593-55c3-8c01-09746bb56d31.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"I was very saddened by the recent tragic accident on Houghton Road, but very frustrated listening to those interviewed talk about how dangerous Houghton Road is. South Houghton Road is not a dangerous road, but a road heavily traveled by dangerous drivers. I too am a morning commuter, and I offer these suggestions. Do yourself and other commuters a favor. Get out of bed five minutes earlier so you\u2019re not in such a rush. Drive the speed limit, and don\u2019t pass in no-passing zones.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["letters"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"620","height":"457","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?resize=620%2C457"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"73","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/55d4bbb53928a.preview-100.png"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"168","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59&resize=300%2C168&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"3850341c-b593-55c3-8c01-09746bb56d31","body":"

I was very saddened by the recent tragic accident on Houghton Road, but very frustrated listening to those interviewed talk about how dangerous Houghton Road is.

South Houghton Road is not a dangerous road, but a road heavily traveled by dangerous drivers. I too am a morning commuter, and I offer these suggestions. Do yourself and other commuters a favor. Get out of bed five minutes earlier so you\u2019re not in such a rush. Drive the speed limit, and don\u2019t pass in no-passing zones.

If you\u2019re not in such a hurry, you won\u2019t feel the need to speed and pass everyone along the way. Don\u2019t blind oncoming traffic with your high beams. This is a road with two high schools, which means many students driving to and from school. Let\u2019s set a better example for these less experienced drivers and allow everyone to arrive safely at their destinations.

Pat Blake

Vail

"}, {"id":"545e7bd2-8918-5a9a-94ee-9b12393c6bae","type":"article","starttime":"1484438400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-14T17:00:00-07:00","sections":[{"letters":"news/opinion/letters"},{"mailbag":"news/opinion/mailbag"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: The ACA has helped me a lot","url":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/article_545e7bd2-8918-5a9a-94ee-9b12393c6bae.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-the-aca-has-helped-me-a-lot/article_545e7bd2-8918-5a9a-94ee-9b12393c6bae.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-the-aca-has-helped-me-a-lot/article_545e7bd2-8918-5a9a-94ee-9b12393c6bae.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"I have Parkinson's. I have been diagnosed for 15 years. I am in my early 60s. Prior to signing up for the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, my insurance premiums were $950 per month for just myself! My premium was lowered to approximately $400 when I signed up for the Affordable Care Act. In addition, I would not have been able to change insurance companies because of my pre-existing condition.\u00a0","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["letters"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"620","height":"457","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?resize=620%2C457"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"73","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/55d4bbb53928a.preview-100.png"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"168","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59&resize=300%2C168&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"545e7bd2-8918-5a9a-94ee-9b12393c6bae","body":"

I have Parkinson's. I have been diagnosed for 15 years. I am in my early 60s. Prior to signing up for the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, my insurance premiums were $950 per month for just myself!

My premium was lowered to approximately $400 when I signed up for the Affordable Care Act. In addition, I would not have been able to change insurance companies because of my pre-existing condition.\u00a0

The Affordable Care Act has helped myself and my family. Please encourage readers to write their Congressional representatives or to call them concerning this very important piece of legislation, as I have done.

Sandra Larriva

Northwest side

"}, {"id":"f061d67d-cae5-538b-b03c-2c650248c5ec","type":"article","starttime":"1484438400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-14T17:00:00-07:00","sections":[{"letters":"news/opinion/letters"},{"mailbag":"news/opinion/mailbag"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: Why do people resist facts?","url":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/article_f061d67d-cae5-538b-b03c-2c650248c5ec.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-why-do-people-resist-facts/article_f061d67d-cae5-538b-b03c-2c650248c5ec.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/letters/letter-why-do-people-resist-facts/article_f061d67d-cae5-538b-b03c-2c650248c5ec.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"If after extensive tests 9 out of 10 doctors told you that you had a serious, possibly terminal condition would you believe them? And if they said you could improve your health if you stopped doing something, would you stop? I think most of us would say yes to both of these questions. Then why, when more than 90 percent of climate scientists have essentially said the same about the planet do so many Americans not believe them?","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["letters"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"620","height":"457","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?resize=620%2C457"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"73","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/55d4bbb53928a.preview-100.png"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"168","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59&resize=300%2C168&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/50/450d33e5-026d-5f3a-ac28-07980a7de4f7/57294d6d56ce9.image.png?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C59"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"f061d67d-cae5-538b-b03c-2c650248c5ec","body":"

If after extensive tests 9 out of 10 doctors told you that you had a serious, possibly terminal condition would you believe them? And if they said you could improve your health if you stopped doing something, would you stop?

I think most of us would say yes to both of these questions.

Then why, when more than 90 percent of climate scientists have essentially said the same about the planet do so many Americans not believe them?

Because of the persuasiveness of politicians.

Some politicians have connections to corporations, such as fossil fuel industries, that will benefit from our ignoring climate change.

Would you take a politician\u2019s advice on your health? If not, then why listen to one on the health of the planet?

Climate scientists, like doctors, collect the best information they can and draw rational conclusions

Climate change is not a political issue. It\u2019s a scientific finding, like the results of a medical test for our planet. We ignore those results at our peril.

Mary Sue Waser

Sierra Vista

"}, {"id":"a6ed8a72-05df-5897-92c4-c79fb3cb07fb","type":"article","starttime":"1484382600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-14T01:30:00-07:00","priority":35,"sections":[{"fitz":"news/opinion/column/fitz"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Fitz: The Inauguration is on the menu at the Arroyo Cafe","url":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/column/fitz/article_a6ed8a72-05df-5897-92c4-c79fb3cb07fb.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/column/fitz/fitz-the-inauguration-is-on-the-menu-at-the-arroyo/article_a6ed8a72-05df-5897-92c4-c79fb3cb07fb.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/column/fitz/fitz-the-inauguration-is-on-the-menu-at-the-arroyo/article_a6ed8a72-05df-5897-92c4-c79fb3cb07fb.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"A perfectly good breakfast with perfectly good friends","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#columnist","#fitz","#topcolumn","#localcolumn","#latest"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"fe035d9d-2372-5396-a3b6-575d2be80256","description":"David Fitzsimmons, Tucson\u2019s most beloved ink-stained wretch.","byline":"Steven Meckler/","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"454","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/e0/fe035d9d-2372-5396-a3b6-575d2be80256/572be4294feab.image.jpg?resize=620%2C454"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"73","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/e0/fe035d9d-2372-5396-a3b6-575d2be80256/540116af67f2b.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"220","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/e0/fe035d9d-2372-5396-a3b6-575d2be80256/540116af6881e.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"749","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/e0/fe035d9d-2372-5396-a3b6-575d2be80256/540116af5d6cb.preview-1024.jpg"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"a6ed8a72-05df-5897-92c4-c79fb3cb07fb","body":"

\u2018I watched the entire Donald Trump press conference on Wednesday.\u201d That\u2019s what I announced when I walked into the Arroyo Cafe, like I had survived a terrible ordeal in the desert.

From the kitchen, Carlos shouted back at me. \u201cCallate! Not one more word about Se\u00f1or Trump. Not one!\u201c

Sour Frank barked, \u201cIt\u2019s a free country! I like Trump.\u201d

Lurlene pinched her nose as if a javelina had just sprayed her plate. Rosa waved me away with her coffee pitcher like there was a cloud of killer bees. Nobody wanted to hear one more word about the Great Tweeter. Romero looked like he was going to throw up if I said the president-elect\u2019s name aloud.\u201dI\u2019m eating here, amigo.\u201d Even the cow skull over the cash register winced.

Sour Frank slapped his friend Romero on the back. \u201dWhat are you having this morning, Mr. Bleedin\u2019 Heart? Crow? Humble Pie? Eggs Benedict Arnold?\u201d

\u201cJerk.\u201d

I said, \u201cWe all got four more years of this. Better get used to it.\u201d

Sour Frank smiled. \u201dEight.\u201d

Lurlene rolled her eyes. \u201cCarrot Top doesn\u2019t know a thing about the border. First it\u2019s a wall. Then it\u2019s a fence. First Mexico\u2019s paying for it. Now we\u2019re paying for it. He goes back and forth so often in his mind he oughta get his lonesome brain cell a green card.\u201d

Sour Frank said it was unpatriotic to diss our president-elect like that. \u201cHe\u2019s a good man.\u201d

Lurlene, madder than a cornered javelina, disagreed.

\u201cDon\u2019t get me started on how important trade with Mexico is. If Drumpf decides to punish Mexico with high tariffs, Arizona is going to get caught in the cross-fire like a jackrabbit at Apache Pass.\u201d

Sour Frank declared the world was not ending \u2014 as far as he knew, anyway \u2014 and that he was going to watch the inauguration \u201cof the one man who can save us\u201d and that we should give Trump a chance. \u201cHe\u2019s going to make us great again. Mark my words.\u201d

I spit out my coffee.

Lurlene said, \u201cWe had a saying on the ranch. There are three things you don\u2019t give a chance. Scorpions, black widows and New York City landlords.\u201d

I told everyone I have to watch the inauguration. \u201cCartoon material. On the up side, I\u2019ll get to see some amazing celebrities. Scott Baio and Mel Gibson. \u201d

Sour Frank grimaced. \u201cYou\u2019re a hater.\u201d

\u201cWrong. I\u2019m the loyal opposition. There should be no \u2018conflict of interest\u2019 for citizen Trump. He should have only one interest. Upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States of America. By treating the presidency like one more Trump enterprise he\u2019s disgraced our republic\u2019s highest office before he\u2019s even entered it.\u201d

I told Frank I was donating to Planned Parenthood, Pro Publica and the ACLU. In Frank\u2019s name. \u201cHow do you spell \u2018Sour\u2019?\u201d

\u201cYou\u2019re funnier than a three-legged Tarantula. I\u2019ll tell you what. This \u2018deplorable\u2019 is donating to the NRA and Breitbart.\u201d

Rosa announced she was going to host a film festival at her casita as an alternative to the inaugural festivities. Rosa listed her lineup.

\u201cA documentary about 2016 called \u2018Idiocracy\u2019 and a bio-pic about Trump called \u2018Being there.\u2019 We also have \u2018A Face in the Crowd.\u2019 It\u2019s a prophetic black and white oldie about gasbags.\u201d

Romero suggested \u201cThe Manchurian Candidate\u201d and \u201cThe Music Man.\u201d

Baxter, the cowboy poet, planned on watching old \u201cTwilight Zone\u201d episodes on Inauguration Day. \u201cWhen Trump enters the room, all I hear is the \u2018Twilight Zone\u2019 theme. You\u2019ve entered a dimension of sight and sound and half-truths and lies, where Russia\u2019s our pal and Wall Street is your best friend.\u201d

Sour Frank chafed. \u201dYou\u2019re all jumping on the one man who can shake things up and get us on the right track. You all oughta watch \u2018Primary Colors\u2019 just to remind yourselves what a dirtball \u2018Slick Willie\u2019 was.\u201d

I asked Frank what he was going to do.

\u201cAfter the Inauguration I\u2019m going to organize.\u201d

I slapped Frank on the back. \u201cA rally?\u201d

\u201cMy sock drawer. Eight years is a long time y\u2019all.\u201d

"} ]