Trump sets low bar for integrity

Matthew Gagnon raised an important question in his recent column, “We shouldn’t cheer those secret recordings.” Based on Omarosa Manigault Newman’s recordings, especially those done against standing security protocols in the White House Situation room, Gagnon asked, “is that the world we really want to live in?”

I agree with Gagnon’s opinion that we should condemn Manigault Newman’s breaching of national security norms. But he misses the far more important point: as President Donald Trump has repeatedly ignored security protocols to protect American interests, including an unprecedented meeting alone with Vladimir Putin, he has established a pattern for disregarding such norms. This is the far more corrosive behavior.

Standards for leadership, statesmanship, professionalism and integrity are set at the top. I see an extraordinarily low bar in the Trump administration, and in such an environment, we may expect — but not condone — behavior like Manigault Newman’s.

As a Republican, there have been presidents with whom I’ve politically disagreed. But I’ve never been so dismayed by the lack of core American values of decency that this president has projected upon the world stage. That’s the far more important story.

Rob Hazen


High stakes with Kavanaugh nomination

Perhaps it’s a long shot since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scrapped the Supreme Court filibuster, but I think it is worth calling Sen. Susan Collins to urge her to oppose the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. There is a lot at stake with this nomination — reproductive rights for women, gay rights, health care, protection of the environment, to name a few.

If for no other reason, President Donald Trump is under investigation. Despite his work with Kenneth Starr to investigate President Bill Clinton, Kavanaugh has since argued that presidents are essentially above the law. He opposes presidential transparency and has advocated for unchecked presidential power. Additionally, his record in the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is replete with siding against the environment.

There is a lot more at stake than just an empty seat on the bench.

Starr C. Gilmartin


Yes on Question 1

As hard as it was getting home care for our dad in the last years of his life, our family was fortunate because he had the resources to pay for it. Most families in Maine are not so lucky, which is why I urge everyone to vote “yes” this fall on Question 1, the universal home care citizen initiative.

My dad, a World War II Navy veteran, was a stubborn, fiercely independent man. His end-of-life dementia caused him to turn on his helpers and send them away. The 24-hour care we were finally able to arrange for him cost far more than most Maine families can afford.

Question 1 would ensure all elderly and disabled Mainers needing home care can get it, regardless of income. It pays for it by asking the state’s wealthiest residents — those making more than $128,000 a year — to contribute a little more in taxes.

Along with his family, some great people cared for our dad. But finding those kind of skilled caregivers is getting harder because industry wages are so low. The universal home care initiative would ensure decent pay and benefits for these essential workers.

Maine is the oldest state in the nation and only getting older. If we want to ensure our state’s senior citizens, as well as our disabled citizens, get the care they need at home — instead of being forced into a nursing home after spending down all their savings — we should pass Question 1.

Jackie Bachman

Northeast Harbor

Oust Trump

It is time for someone to lead our pitiful president off the stage.

His erratic firings and tweets at bizarre times of the night are increasingly sounding like either a raging child caught in the coils of a temper tantrum or the yowl of a ravaged mind caught in the hates and fears of his own making in his isolated world.

In neither case is it possible for him to clamber out of his rumpled pajamas and assume a rational and reasoned mantle of a commander in chief.

It has gone beyond embarrassing to watch. It has begun to unravel the very fabric of our society. A quirk of our election process landed Donald Trump in the Oval Office. Another quirk of our election process enables two people to help him escape: the Senate majority leader and the House speaker.

They should act.

Patricia Schroth


Golden the real deal

Apparently it’s not too early for Halloween. Already we have the first outside-interest-financed Rep. Bruce Poliquin television attack ad on Jared Golden, a U.S. Marine veteran.

The ad plays on local stations often during the evening news. Here is Poliquin, all sunshine smiles and family values in full color. And here comes Golden, in horror film black and white, running toward the camera as dog whistle words display: Liberal! Radical! Plan for Medicare! (Whatever works or may work!)

It’s going to be a long three months, but I think Mainers will see through the fake ad and others that will follow it. Golden is the real deal, and Poliquin’s record of selling out Maine is perfectly clear. In black and white.

M.B. Peterson

Kittery Point

Question 1 helps veterans

I’m a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy and Air Force. I just turned 84. I flew soldiers back and forth to Vietnam, Korea and all over the world.

I am the veterans adviser at Togus. Every year, politicians scream that we need to do more to help homeless veterans. Right now, elderly and disabled veterans are stuck between the choices of a nursing home, veterans home or moving in with their kids, rather than staying in their homes.

Question 1 on the ballot this November would expand homecare so that veterans can stay in their homes. When I finished in the service, my wife and I moved to Hampden in the mid-1980s. The house I live in now is the same house where we lived when she passed away. I want to stay in our home and pass it on to my nine grandkids and 12 great-grandchildren.

Question 1 would allow me and thousands of Maine veterans to stay in their homes. Vote yes on 1.

Ray Lupo