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It's the stench of more than 16,000 presidential lies. It's the stink of an attorney general who is willing to break and twist the law to protect and defend Republican criminals. It is the disgusting smell of a secretary of state who has lied, thrown his own employees under the bus of corruption and covered up the criminal behavior of Trump. It is the putrid odor of Steven Miller's bigotry that pushes policies that oppress Americans and refugees of color.

It's the fetid foulness of a criminal conspiracy at the highest level of the Trump administration to withhold military assistance to an ally at war with Russia in order to extort an investigation of an American political opponent. It's the noxious miasma of a massive cover-up by the entire Republican Party. It's the reeking mephitis of cowardice emanating from Republican senators who are terrified of a hostile tweet.

It's the rotting smell of America's destruction at the hands of ignorant Republicans. It's the acrid reek of Trump and Moscow Mitch burning our Constitution. It is the rancid stench of a dying nation.

Terry Stulce

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Lamar's transition from lion to mouse

Sen. Lamar Alexander started his political life as a lion. He agreed to be sworn in as governor of Tennessee three days early to prevent a shady former governor from throwing open the state prison gates by pardoning a substantial number of prisoners.

By his vote in the impeachment trial of Trump not to call witnesses, he exits his political life as a mousy Trumpian hack. His rationale for his vote was that the House managers had proved their case. But the removal of Trump from office is up to the people by the upcoming election. The people will become the jury.

In essence he has abdicated his responsibilities as an elected representative of the people, in this republic, to the people, as in a pure democracy. In a republic, the people elect representatives to make the decisions for them, rightly or wrongly.

Well, if the people are to be the jury, should they not see and hear all the evidence? The evidence should include all witnesses, to be examined and cross-examined.

Good luck in retirement, mousy Lamar. Perhaps you could land a job as a concierge at one of Trump's hotels.

Archie Thurman

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Alexander forgot his duty to Tennessee

Forty-one years ago, Democratic leaders in Tennessee saw a Democratic governor misusing the power of his office and remedied the situation by swearing in the newly elected Republican governor, Lamar Alexander, early.

Lamar has proudly said he was ready to do his duty for the good of the state. These events have served as a proud chapter in Tennessee history as elected officials of both parties took actions for the public good over partisan demands.

After years in the U.S. Senate, Lamar must now view Ray Blanton's petty crimes as only "inappropriate." If they name a public building for Sen. Alexander, it might be known as Hypocrite Hall.

John W. Myers, Soddy-Daisy

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