Trump’s dangerous attacks on the press

Amid last week’s tumult over the Trump-Putin summit, the Department of Justice issued a report on cyber attacks on the United States. From the attorney general’s Cyber-Digital Task Force, the report covers a range of foreign operations, including “disinformation operations.” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said during the Aspen Security Forum last week that “covert propaganda and disinformation are among the primary weapons. … ‘These actions are persistent, they’re pervasive and they are meant to undermine our democracy.’”

On the same day the report was issued, an oft-repeated piece of propaganda that undermines our democracy was released by President Donald Trump: “The summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media.” The president of the United States constantly insists that the news media, except Fox News, is “fake” and the “enemy of the people.”

Trump’s “fake news” mantra is an easy sound-bite, but dangerous for our country. We must defend the free press and counter Trump’s attacks on news media. Leaders in Congress, including our Maine senators and representatives, must speak out. If Republicans objected every time Trump utters his “fake news” epithet, it might influence the president in the same way Republican backlash against Trump’s recent defense of Vladimir Putin led him to revise his wording.

Those who remain silent consent and endorse Trump’s destruction of a pillar of democracy, our independent press. Democracy depends on informed citizens, and we need leaders to defend our right to be informed through independent reporting.

Marilee Lovit


Poliquin’s astroturf allies

I just received a letter from Rep. Bruce Poliquin, touting himself as a protector of Social Security and Medicare. He bragged that he was “selected to receive the Guardian of Seniors’ Rights Award for 2018.”

What Poliquin didn’t mention was that this “award” is conferred by a right-wing outfit called 60 Plus, founded by the billionaire Koch brothers to advocate for privatizing Social Security and Medicare and ending the estate tax, which affects only the wealthiest Americans. In fact, 60 Plus exists only on paper, for the purpose of eroding the social safety net that older Americans rely on and have paid into all their lives.

Whose side is Poliquin on? Not Maine seniors if he’s colluding with a right-wing astroturf group that has as its mission ending Social Security and Medicare and awards those members of Congress that are willing to do it for them.

Kathryn Newman


Trump’s blunders

My wife was going through some messages and articles on her phone, and came across an article of interest. The article basically stated that people who voted for the current president would probably do so again even if collusion with the Russians was proven. This statement floored me and made me wonder just what would this president would have to do to not gain the vote of his followers.

Would he have to kill someone on the street in New York City (he hasn’t done that yet, but he stated that he could get away with it if he did)? Would he have to lie outright to the voters (which he has done)? Would he have to commit treason (some question as to whether he has already done this)? Would he have to show us he doesn’t have a grasp of worldwide business and how his decisions could impact the voter (he has already done this)? Would he have to commit adultery (he has done this numerous times)?

This president has blundered through his time in office, and unfortunately, the country is going to pay for his decisions as Congress doesn’t seem to have the backbone to control his actions.

While change can be a good thing, the decision to support change needs to be fortified with some sort of reason. Reason seems to be something severely lacking in the decision of some in the Republican Party. We can only hope that time will reverse the mistakes made.

Richard Barclay