Letters to the Editor


Betrayed by Zinke

There are many reasons why Rep. Ryan Zinke does not represent Montanans. Just a few days back in Washington, D.C., he not only voted, contrary to campaign promises, to make it easier to dispose of public lands, he voted to undermine essential public health protections and put Montana kids and families at risk.

Federal agencies including EPA and FDA set safeguards under the law to protect the public from air pollution and kids from tobacco. Thanks to their work, the nation has made huge progress in improving public health. Under the Clean Air Act, EPA has issued air pollution safeguards that have dramatically improved the quality of our air. And under the Tobacco Control Act, FDA has imposed new requirements on tobacco products to keep them from being marketed to children and protect the public.

But Zinke voted in favor of H.R. 26, a bill that would in effect strip the ability of these and other agencies to establish life-saving public health protections and eliminate the oversight system that protects the public's safety and health. The proposal is a sweeping attack on federal safeguards that would require all new economically significant regulations to be approved within a narrow window of time by both chambers of Congress before taking effect.

Clearly, this bill is a giveaway to polluters and the tobacco industry that would undermine lifesaving protections for our lungs and mean more air pollution and fewer restrictions on tobacco products being marketed to kids. How is that good for Montana kids and families? My adult daughter suffers from asthma and I have a 10-year-old granddaughter and 11-year-old grandson. I am concerned about their futures. As they grow older, their chances of being exposed to tobacco and air pollution increase.

Now more than ever, our elected officials must stand up for Montanans and prevent the rollback of public health protections.

DeAndria Gutzmer


Hacking distraction

The "hacking" language distracts us from the bigger case for charging Trump with illegitimacy (in my opinion) as president, which is the question of conflicts of interest and the fact that he won't release his tax returns nor divest himself from his business enterprises ("All too legit," Jan. 19). This may very well dovetail with the fact of Russian hacking and subsequent leaks. We may find that Trump is uniquely qualified to be blackmailed. But I don't think we need to wait for that to come to light to call him an illegitimate president.

Megan McNamer


Don't blame voters

The thing is Dan, Trump lost by 3 million votes ("All too legit," Jan. 19). Now if you say gerrymandering in the Rust Belt got Trump elected, or that Trump received more votes than anticipated, fine, but Americans overall did not vote for Trump. This country had 16 years to fix the electoral college issue, and especially Democrats failed to take the problem seriously. Blame it on a number of things, but not the majority of American voters.

Sandy Johns

Posted at facebook.com/missoulaindependent

It's not him, it's you

I can actually deal with Trump, because no one will take him seriously ("All too legit," Jan. 19). It's that 25 percent of our neighbors that voted for him that I am disgusted with and worry about.

Ellen Holland

Posted at facebook.com/missoulaindependent

Unsatisfied customer

My experience has not been good ("UM's other (other) problem"). It feels as if the school is doing everything in its power to convolute the registration process and create needless obstacles that delay graduation in order to milk their students financially.

I know it's a business, but at least pretend like you care about your students!

Robert Sullivan

posted at missoulanews.com

Unclear on the concept

Last week my girlfriend and I wrote Sen. Daines a letter expressing our concern about Scott Pruitt's appointment to head the Environmental Protection Agency. While I was pleased to get a quick response from his office, what it said was most troubling and pointed to the misguided understanding that Mr. Daines has with the concept of regulation.

In his response, our Senator wrote that he acknowledges "how special our environment is to our way of life," but then continued that "Mr. Pruitt will bring balance to the agency, ensuring it protects jobs."

Since when is protecting jobs a responsibility of the EPA? It is my understanding that the EPA exists as a counterbalance to industry run amuck. Any effort to "balance" outside concerns within a regulatory agency can and should be seen as binding its hands and diluting its effectiveness.

Our country was founded on checks and balances, and an effective independent EPA is just that. Yes, regulations can often hurt short-term financial goals, but I would hope that most of the American public and the citizens of Montana are wise enough to know that sometimes you need to make sacrifices in the short term to protect a way of life in the long term.

We are resourceful people. We can endure regulations and adapt while still keeping our Western values. But without any regulation, we risk losing the very environment that sustains us and the wild places that define us.

Jamie Drysdale


It's a theory...

God Bless America! Congratulations to the people of planet Earth. America, sovereign under God, is once again sanctified in Godly leadership. A united America is the goal. New alliances and strengthened existing alliances to rid the planet of the destructive Islamic radical terrorists is the promise! Heavenly father, by Your will and loving grace, may President Donald John Trump deliver Your will by truth, courage and your loving care. May the veil of wickedness continue to lift for all people to know Your will. I am grateful to Your only begotten son Christ Jesus, and thru Him I pray, amen.

David Passieri

Saint Ignatius

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