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Letters: Confused by Congress' conflicting Constitution comments

Johnson City Press • Feb 22, 2019 at 6:00 AM

Want to have your voice heard? Send a Letter to the Forum. Authors must sign their letters and include addresses and phone numbers for verification. Letters may be no longer than 300 words and will be edited for grammar, style and length. Send your submission to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717 or [email protected].

Confused by Congress’ conflicting Constitution comments

Will the real Republican please stand up? In the Saturday (Feb. 16) Press, Lamar Alexander and Phil Roe presented two irreconcilable portraits of themselves. Degrees of social and fiscal conservatism is one thing, but this is well beyond those boundaries. No surprise that Donald Trump is at the center of it.

On page A2, Senator Alexander, as we have every reason to have expected, denounced Trump's "emergency" executive order as the assault on the U.S. Constitution that it is. The power of the purse, the taxing of the people and the spending of their money, belongs exclusively to Congress and the president cannot assume that role by executive order (or, in his case, arrogant whim before taking off for Mar-a-Lago and a casual golf weekend).

On page A5, Representative Roe flushes the Constitution and the previously sacrosanct separation of powers down the drain in his almost robotic support of Trump's executive order. Just like that, he relinquishes the exclusive power of the House of Representatives to Trump for a misguided project the country, by wide margin, does not support and which Trump himself admitted was not an emergency. Roe's tacky dog-whistle, and in my opinion racist, claim that a wall would have prevented undocumented immigrants from straining the budgets of our school systems and hospitals serves no useful purpose but whatever damage it does is limited. At least it doesn't threaten our constitutional safeguards for the sake of a made-up emergency. Think of this, and Lamar Alexander's words, when you see Phil Roe on the local news pushing his misguided agenda.

MARION GROVER
Johnson City

Leave coaching to the pros

In response to the "Bad Play, Coach" letter (Feb. 15), let me just say that:

1) A university hires a coach to coach. Presumably, that's partly because the coach knows more about how to communicate, evaluate or motivate a team than your average letter writer. How a civilian in the stands can tell whether a team is truly, from a basketball perspective, "unselfish, mature and patient" is beyond me.

2) The ETSU players' performance against Furman wasn't so much a disgrace to the university or fans or coaches as it was a disgrace to themselves. After seeing hundreds of hours of practices and games, a coaching staff can discern if a team's performance was so poor that it was unrepresentative of the skills and usual efforts of the team. Certainly a coaching staff can evaluate effort and judgment better than a civilian, and certainly a coaching staff has a right, even a duty, to describe what they see.

3) Considering that Coach Forbes apologized to the team on multiple occasions for publicly using the word "disgrace," I don't see why there is any issue at all.

Meanwhile, I have great confidence that the ETSU coaching staff has a better handle than I do regarding whether the team played unselfishly, maturely and patiently. They are professional coaches. We are non-professional fans. Big difference.

BOB DIETZ
Johnson City

Check your facts

If you don’t have facts, just make them up! That’s exactly what Phil Roe did recently with his comments about illegal immigrants. Phil and 45 lie to a base that doesn’t bother to fact check or even care if they lie.

On a conference call with the Johnson City Press (Feb. 16), Phil stated that there are many undocumented immigrants in the Johnson City school system. Debra Bentley, with the Johnson City School System, responded that school students are not documented by immigration status. Phil must have workers in the school system or he’s lying and making up his own reality.

Roe, Hill and Van Huss are the absolute worst representative ever for Northeast Tennessee and sadly so many in the area vote for them and their BS.

KEITH LEEPER
Johnson City

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