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Obama’s obstacles

EDITOR: In his Thursday column (“This president was indeed transformational — unfortunately”), George Will seems to disregard the fact that the Senate Republican leader publicly declared that the Senate would block anything that President Barack Obama tried to do. The few transformations he was able to effect have been good for more than just the upper percenters.

MARTHA JOHNSON

Santa Rosa

Palestinians’ bad choices

EDITOR: Recent letters by Mary Moore (“Israel’s settlements,” Jan. 1), Dan Vrooman (“A just peace,” Friday) and Robert D. McFarland (“Israeli settlements,” Saturday) epitomize the use of fake facts so common among anti-Israel zealots. Palestinian refusals to accept two-state solutions in 1937, 1947, 1948, 1967, 2000 and 2008 are the main reasons there is no peace.

The original Mandate for Palestine was 43,000 square miles. The creation of Jordan lopped off 32,500 square miles of it. Why aren’t the Palestinians looking to Jordan for a homeland?

Israel isn’t a colonial enterprise. Jewish kingdoms in the Levant predated the Muslim invasion by 1,000 years, and half of the Jewish population in Israel was driven out of homes in the surrounding Arab countries. Unfortunately, most Palestinian suffering is due to their own bad choices.

MARK P. RUDOW

Santa Rosa

Prescribing a cure

EDITOR: This amusing commentary concerning Trump Derangement Syndrome (“There is no cure for Trump Derangement Syndrome,” Dec. 30) sums up as lefties obsessing over the president-elect’s tweets every day in every way. There is no cure because they will not stop obsessing. There is a cure: Donald Trump stops saying crazy things.

He offered to put citizens to work and then named a labor secretary who loves robotics over labor and doesn’t believe in a living wage. Crazy, right? People need to work — for a decent wage. Idea: work on a jobs bill, the surest road to success for everyone.

Stop Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from killing the Affordable Care Act. Twenty-seven million Americans are on Obamacare and need it. Don’t let House Speaker Paul Ryan make 69 the retirement age for millennials. Raise the Social Security cap instead.

Stop thinking unpredictability is good. It is unstable. Stop talking up a nuclear arms race. Stop the bromance talk with Vladimir Putin. Stop campaign rhetoric about deporting 12 million people. Stop the Mafia don pay-for-play calls for U.N. members to pay the U.S. when they need help.

Stop thinking this is normal. It isn’t. Stop making other countries think the U.S. is crazy.

The beginning of success? Pass a hu-u-ge infrastructure and jobs bill.

PAMELA HOM

Santa Rosa

Sessions’ record

EDITOR: Sen. Jeff Sessions shouldn’t become the next attorney general. More than 1,400 faculty members from 180 law schools in 49 states have urged as much.

In their letter to the Judiciary Committee, they say: “Some of us have concerns about (Sessions’) misguided prosecution of three civil rights activists … Some of us have concerns about his robust support for regressive drug policies that have fueled mass incarceration … Some of us have concerns about his repeated opposition to legislative efforts to promote the rights of women and members of the LGBTQ community…”

J. Gerald Herbert, a former Justice Department lawyer who testified 30 years ago that Sessions referred to the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union as “un-American,” wrote in the Washington Post that more recently Sessions has emphasized the phantom menace of voter impersonation while downplaying the real problem of voter disenfranchisement.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, a member of the Judiciary Committee, says in a Boston Globe column that Sessions interfered with the hate crimes act. Sessions opposed the violence against women act. He led the opposition to Leahy’s amendment reasserting that America doesn’t ban entrance to people based on their religion.

We can’t trust Sessions to enforce the nation’s civil rights and voting laws.

PHYLLIS MESHULAM

Sebastopol

Milk vs. ‘plant juice’

EDITOR: Cows eat grass, hay and grain and make milk. Google it. Goats do it, sheep do it. Most are all organic in Northern California. Plant juice? There are lots of unnatural ingredients. How much juice do you get out of one almond? You need lots of fillers to get a gallon of nut juice. I wouldn’t want my grandson raised on chemicals. Before anyone calls out horrific cruelty imposed on dairy cows, they should take a ride out and visit a local dairy (“Milk labels,” Letters, Jan. 3). Not good for humans? Ha. It’s been the best for kids for 100 years. What changed? Plant juice isn’t milk and shouldn’t be labeled milk.

JOAQUIN BALISTRERI

Freestone