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11 months in, nagging fears float on a stream of consciousness

None of the rhetoric here in America is funny anymore.

North Korea wants to blow up Guam, but only as a training exercise for blowing up California.

Samantha Bee and John Oliver are no longer on my DVR. I look at the cartoons and columnists in The Boston Globe, The New Yorker, and The New York Times, but I am not laughing anymore. I can’t. I just can’t.

We have all been in this presidency for 11 months. The cartoons, stand-up routines, and media commentary continue to be a prominent part of our daily lives. Is a military general in charge in the People’s House, and if so, what does that mean? Everything on Pennsylvania Avenue is a smoke screen for something else.

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How do we turn off the laughs and concentrate on the serious business of government? As a retired state employee, of the nonmanagement variety, I am scared speechless by this pending tax legislation.

My daughter and I just returned from a trip to Havana: mind-boggling poverty, hundred-year-old buildings in serious decay, skinny stray dogs everywhere, and people who will starve to death when American tourist dollars are banned from their country.

One reasonable answer to this letter would make my day.

Lydia Bogar
North Grafton

More media scrutiny won’t be what dislodges him from White House

Letter writer Robert M. Skladany should understand that the media he hopes will help usher President Trump out of office has lost credibility with many Americans (“Trump poses a clear and immediate danger to the world,” Dec. 1). Because almost all Republican politicians, including thoroughly decent ones such as Mitt Romney, are painted in the media as malicious, the political marketplace now discounts individual portraits.

Perhaps Trump would have won last year’s election even if more voters trusted media elites and valued their opinions. As it turned out, Trump made CNN and other pillars of the industry reliable targets for scapegoating. In return, he got startling amounts of coverage — enough to make Skladany’s call for added scrutiny difficult to imagine.

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If Trump survives the coming efforts to dislodge him, lack of attention won’t explain it. A lack of disenchanted loyalists will.

Michael Smith
Cynthiana, Ky.

Frost/Nixon lesson on presidents and the law

Donald Trump’s attorney says the president cannot be charged with obstruction of justice. He must have gone to silly school, not law school.

No one is above the law in this country. No one. If you need reminding, here is former president Richard Nixon answering a question posed by British journalist David Frost in 1977:

Frost: “Would you say that there are certain situations — and the Huston Plan was one of them — where the president can decide that it’s in the best interests of the nation, and do something illegal?”

Nixon: “Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.”

Turns out, this was not the case at all.

Denny Freidenrich
Laguna Beach, Calif.

Pay some attention to the man behind the tweetstorm

Does it occur to anyone that the minute the Mueller investigation appears to get closer to Donald Trump or his campaign or White House staff regarding possible collusion with the Russians, he throws a bombshell of one kind or another: suddenly recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, accusing the FBI of malfeasance, calling individuals he disagrees with names, decrying CNN for “fake” news, provoking North Korea’s leader, tweeting and retweeting, etc., etc., etc.?

Doesn’t anyone recognize that these are distractions, misdirections, diversions?

Trump is very good, as a magician is, at causing you to look elsewhere while he does his tricks.

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Why isn’t it possible to call this out for what it is — causing you to forget, perhaps only temporarily, the issue at hand: Trump’s dishonesty with respect to Russia and his possible cooperation with that government to undermine our election?

Sara Mae Berman
Cambridge

Amid abuse allegations, mighty are felled —
except one

Re “ ‘He said it.’ Billy Bush reaffirms Trump ‘Access Hollywood’ tape is real” (Dec. 4): Powerful men from many professions have lost their positions after their alleged victims have come forward to accuse them of sexual abuse. But one man, Donald Trump, who holds the most important job in the land, despite bragging that he had molested women in the past, seems to be immune. What is wrong with this picture?

Stan Fleischman
Newton Highlands