Letters: Rep. Gutierrez errs by backing FALN ex-leader

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U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Chicago, holds a shirt given to him by Clarisa Lopez, daughter of Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar Lopez Rivera, during a news conference Wednesday in Puerto Rico. Tuesday, President Barack Obama commuted the sentence Oscar Lopez Rivera, a former leader of Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional. He was serving 55 years for seditious conspiracy and weapons-related convictions. | Carlos Giusti, AP.

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Regarding clemency for Oscar Lopez Rivera (“Obama grants ex-leaders of FALN, Gangster Disciples clemency — Jan. 18), Congressman Luis Gutierrez, D-Chicago, said in a statement, “Thank you, President Obama, thank you on behalf of millions of Puerto Ricans on the island and around the world.” A more accurate and clearer statement would have been, “Thank you on behalf of Puerto Ricans who support my Independent political party.” Not every Puerto Rican is happy to see a terrorist be given clemency. I for one do not share in this so-called celebration.  Mr. Lopez Rivera might not have had direct participation in the bombings, but he was part of the FALN. I’m sure he was quite aware of their plans.

Janette Lopez, Belmont-Cragin

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Spend on kids, not golf course

Perhaps the group of people who has $30 million to spare would like to help the low-income children/students of Chicago rather than build themselves a “public” golf course (“Who wins with a fancy pro golf course on South Side” — Jan. 16).  Put your money to some good use, people. Truly help someone else.

Louise Johnson, Portage Park

A nod to Medicare for all

If President-elect Donald Trump is adamant that the Obamacare replacement plan must cover everyone, then the smoothest path is to implement Medicare for all. Insurance companies could be contracted to process claims for Medicare just as they now do for their insured clients. Any transition is going to be hard, but this one much less so.

Mary F. Warren, Wheaton

What goes around … 

According to the Sun-Times/USA Today story, “In Trump Nation, healing is overrated” on Jan. 18, Trump and his supporters aren’t worried about mollifying Hillary Clinton supporters. They don’t care how losers feel. After all, Trump won. Bigly. Of course, in two or three years, Trump Nation may experience voters’ remorse. Sad.

Bob Barth, Edgewater

Love what America stands for

Excellent column by Roger Simon (“Don’t hate Trump — love America” — Jan. 18). It’s wise advice to focus on love of country rather than hate for the  bully behind the curtain. It’s very difficult, though, to not hate Donald Trump, the man. I’m feeling a lot of free-floating anger at the moment. How about this as a compromise: I’ll hate almost everything that Trump stands for, and love almost everything that America stands for.

Tony Galati, Lemont

Don’t let Trump skate by

Come Friday, we will have a new president, one like no other the country has ever seen. Something to keep in mind: Donald Trump can avoid any issue he wants by use of distraction, just as a magician, or a con man, does. Do you remember that we never saw his income taxes? With the sole exception of Gerald Ford, we have seen these for every major candidate since George Romney in 1968. Trump’s business dealings are a black box and he refuses to disentangle himself in spite of inevitable conflicts of interest.  Instead, he continues his Twitter and press conference shouting matches. No less a figure than John Dean, who experienced firsthand how Richard Nixon thought and operated in the White House, is deeply concerned about what a Trump presidency will do to America. The Richard Nixon of Watergate, the enemies list, and the 1968 nonexistent “secret plan” to get us out of Vietnam. Dean sees Donald Trump not only as far worse than Nixon, but also likely to skate by the next four years because we have become inured to and exhausted by endless political and financial scandal. Somehow, the press needs to cut through the smoke screens.

Michael Hart, West Ridge

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