Here’s what I remember, Doc. In the weeks and days leading up to the election, it seemed like all of the bad news and e-mail leaks were about Hillary. I mean, we knew they had the dirt on Donald, but no one seemed to want to touch him. They even let go of the tax-returns thing. Also, I remember that the GOP was a virtual mess, fragmented and disorganized. And the Democratic Party had it pretty together, relatively speaking. The next thing I remember was the look on the news anchors’ faces on election night as the impossible was happening. Something seemed unreal, out of whack. Next thing I knew, I blacked out and had all of these weird Alice-in-Wonderland kind of visions of a Twitter King who blanketed the country with all kinds of bad news while he went on happy victory tours. Then came all of the articles scolding the Democrats like schoolchildren for how badly they’d miscalculated and failed to connect with your average Joe and therefore the billionaire beat them soundly. And then, and then, talk of Russians and Putin, and yet no one seemed to care. Doc, I’m so mixed up. Where am I? Is this still Kansas?
Janice Thurn, Golden Valley
• • •
The conclusion of the Central Intelligence Agency that operatives aligned with the Russian government interfered with the presidential election to support the candidacy of Donald Trump is chilling, but not surprising (front page, Dec. 10). The reaction by Trump and his surrogates, however, truly is terrifying.
To this point, the CIA has been cautious in assigning responsibility and motivation for the intrusion in our electoral process. The newly released report presents compelling evidence. Predictably, Trump denies the report’s accuracy and impugns the competence and integrity of the CIA. Any information that he finds uncomfortable is met with derision. Any person who displeases him faces personal attack. Quite simply, Trump is a vindictive, serial liar.
The implications for our country are enormous. Will he lie to his fellow citizens about the economy, national security and their civil liberties? The answer clearly is yes, since he already has done it. Will he lie to foreign governments about trade and military affairs? Will he sling petulant, personal attacks at foreign leaders? Domestic and international relations are not a boardroom game. The president’s words and deeds have critical impact.
The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Trump is psychologically incapable of consistently demonstrating maturity and telling the truth. These dispositions must be muted or the consequences will be disastrous.
Phil George, Lakeville
• • •
The raw internet is observing there is not one single identified source to back up the ludicrous CIA propaganda that Russia hacked the U.S. election.
As a retired journalist, this once again illustrates why I have contempt for contemporary journalism. Not well-educated, naive and not grounded in classical objective reporting. Just regurgitating press releases. A disgrace.
Daniel Cunningham, Minneapolis
• • •
Some things do not change.
James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s chief of counterintelligence in the late 1950s and ’60s, said that “what the CIA learned about Russia was what they wanted us to know” and was “disinformation.”
This was proved true when the USSR broke up and its files became available.
Today’s headlines about Trump being helped by Russia should be viewed skeptically.
Ken Kimble, Brooklyn Park
• • •
We’ve just learned that although our president-elect has time to monitor his Twitter feed, he doesn’t have time for national-security briefings (“Trump rejects intelligence briefings,” Dec. 12). Priorities.
Earl Roethke, Minneapolis
• • •
The last time we had a president who couldn’t be bothered with security briefings (he was busy chopping wood at his ranch while terrorists were learning to fly planes without learning how to land them — information of which he could and should have been aware), the Twin Towers came down. The founding fathers created the Electoral College specifically to prevent unqualified candidates from ascending to the presidency. If ever there was a time for electors to fulfill their responsibilities to protect our country from a dangerous demagogue, it is now.
Craig Laughlin, Plymouth
• • •
Framers put the Electoral College as an intermediary in the election process to prevent the country from electing a demagogue, an incompetent and/or a party promoted by foreign governments. With Donald Trump, we have all three. Nothing in federal law prevents electors from voting their conscience. State laws differ but would likely fall to federal law in a court challenge.
Will electors do their job and fulfill their duty to protect the sovereignty of the U.S., or will they simply vote the party line? If so, perhaps it’s time we scrap the Electoral College as being unable to carry out its primary reason for existing.
Robert Veitch, Richfield
• • •
Electors are being urged to go rogue and vote for a different Republican, but how can that even be considered? Had it not been for Russia’s interference, which is now confirmed (and terrifying), Hillary would’ve won. The only just outcome is for the Electoral College to vote her in.
Rachel Anderson, Minneapolis
• • •
A labor secretary who abhors labor; an education secretary who abhors public education; a Treasury secretary who abhors Wall Street regulation; an EPA secretary who abhors polluter regulations; a Homeland Security director disposed to right-wing conspiracy theories.
You get what you vote for.
Populism just ain’t what it used to be.
Richard A. Pommier, Long Prairie, Minn.
It’s hard for me to discern how it would be an improvement
When I hear or read that the Rochester rail proposal still has life (front page, Dec. 10), the word that comes to mind is “folly” — defined as “lack of good sense; foolishness” or “a costly ornamental building with no practical purpose.”
The main selling point is the high speed and the fact that the trip time could be reduced from 80 minutes down to 30 or 45.
What isn’t talked about is convenience. What if you need to be in Rochester at 7 a.m. but the train doesn’t leave until 8? How many trips a day will be scheduled? And you still have to either drive to the station or get a ride from someone.
If you don’t feel like driving to Rochester, you can engage one of the current shuttles with adult fare for a round trip at between $44 and $64.
Promoters of high-speed rail have not mentioned fares. But they do say that operational costs would be covered by passenger fares, along with hauling some high-value freight such as medical supplies. They also mention that real-estate development along the route would help. I do not understand that. How could development along the route help with nonstop trains just whizzing by?
Mike McLean, Richfield
What’s with the joyless take on winter from the Star Tribune? A few weeks ago it snowed a little, and the headline was “Snow causes commute hassle.” On Saturday, we finally got our first, real snow, a month behind average, and the headline could have been “Winter wonderland returns” but instead it was “Winter storm brings first snow emergencies.” It wasn’t that bad, and my family is thankful for it — now we can have some fun outside. Is this all that matters — commute hassles and snow emergencies?
Rich Kronfeld, Minneapolis