TCEDA and North Korea

To the Editor:

I recently attended a TCEDA Board meeting. It was little like being in North Korea where, when you critique the system you are critiquing the Supreme leader.

The focus was supposed to be on the lack of transparency, lack of accountability and lack of hard data about how much new business and tax money the TCEDA has brought to our county. Instead most of the night was spent extolling how wonderful the TCEDA director was, how hard he worked ( 60 to 80 hours a week?) and what lovely and how many email he sends.

The TCEDA board apparently did not want to talk about transparency, accountability and value for money. At one point the County attorney read off a long list of tasks Mr. Cope performed while in England on vacation but claiming billable hours. Was this list recreated by Mr. Cope, recently from memory, because at the time of the Grand Jury investigation they were told that Mr. Cope did not keep daily records of his work activity.

I believe that an independent entity should do both a financial audit and a “best practices” review of TCEDA to prove to the taxpaying citizens of this county that they are getting the best value for their money. In fact an “annual audit” is required by the TCEDA agreement with the County and the City of Sonora but has never been done in the nine years of TCEDA’s existence. I would also recommend the City of Sonora and the County withhold their portion of the funds for TCEDA until these issues are resolved.

David Morgan


The greatest ever

To the Editor:

Yes, President Trump is the greatest chief executive America has ever had. Just ask him. He’ll unabashedly tell you so. To wit:

“I’m the least racist person you have ever interviewed.”

“Nobody knows more about trade than me [sic].”

“Nobody respects women more than I do.”

“Nobody loves the Bible more than I do.”

“Nobody’s better to people with disabilities than me [sic].”

“I have one of the great temperaments.”

“There’s nobody that’s done so much for equality as I have.”

“With the exception of the late, great Abraham Lincoln, I can be more presidential than any president that’s ever held this office.”

“[My] IQ is one of the highest.”

“[I am] a stable genius.”

“[I have] one of the great memories of all time.”

“[I have] always been the best athlete.”

“[My speech in Poland] was the greatest speech ever made on foreign soil by a president.”

“[My Cabinet] has the highest IQ of any Cabinet ever.”

We may also add that Trump is the humblest person who has ever existed.

It would be interesting to see how “Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations” would handle these and his myriad other citations. Perhaps a supplementary volume would be in order.

But there’s more weighty stuff. Much more. Although Trump holds third place (a modest and dubiously laudable bronze medal) in regard to presidential pulchritude — after William Howard Taft at 340-or-so pounds and Grover Cleveland at 255 — our 239-pound (wink, wink) leader is no slouch in that regard.

Mr. President, lighten up — in more ways than one.

Irwin Schwartz


Trump lies

To the Editor:

There he goes again — this time lying about the economy. But why?

He took his victory lap for a respectable 4.1 percent growth last quarter stating that it was “amazing.” (it was the result of a $1.9 trillion corporate tax gift).

Well, compared to the four quarters that growth under President Barack Obama was greater than 4.1 percent and considering the seven years of growth he inherited from President Obama, good would be more appropriate.

Trump told 4,229 lies in his first 558 days - 7.6 lies per day. But wait, he is getting worse, 1,000 in lies in June and July. (16.4 lies each day)

Does he lie to cover up the fact that in the past 28 quarters there has been only one negative quarter? That was the first quarter to follow the McClintock/Republican shutdown of our economy in 2013. Now they want to shut down the economy again, not over the ballooning deficits and rising debt, but over a costly and wasteful border wall.

Job growth has slowed in the first 18 months of the Trump presidency. Last 18 months job growth under President Obama was 4,301,000 versus 3,530,000 during first 18 months of Trump. Obama — 238,000 per month versus 196,000 per month under Trump. (source Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Most importantly is your real wages. Trump tells us stories about his “fantastic wage growth.” The true picture: Real wages declined precipitously in 2008, never recovered but grew nicely from 2010 to peak in 2016, stagnate from there on. A bright spot for many — California: minimum wages have grown by 23.6 percent since July 1, 2014.

Pathological lying is frightening behavior, especially from the most “powerful person in the world.” Let us all work together to restore integrity, respect and family values to the Mother Lode and America.

Domenic Torchia