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Readers sound off on inspectors general, ranked choice voting and Mitch McConnell


Manhattan: The sign of a healthy democracy is to allow criticisms to be publicly aired. The Trump administration’s attempts to silence Michael Atkinson, inspector general of the intelligence community, is alarming. It is an affront to all Americans, and blatantly against the law. I speak on this issue as a former career federal prosecutor, former colleague of Atkinson, and as senior staff to the former attorney general of the United States Department of Justice. Most importantly, I speak as the newly appointed MTA inspector general.

It is outrageous that an inspector general has been prevented from alerting Congress about the substance of what he has characterized as a “credible” complaint. Throughout my career, I have seen the critical role inspectors general play as the last bastion of checks and balances against government corruption by alerting others to acts of wrongdoing.

When I was appointed as MTA inspector general, my only marching orders were to be fierce, transparent and independent. Inspectors general shine a light on their agencies through which corruption is rooted out and good government promoted. Silencing an inspector general directly undermines public confidence.

I know this firsthand from the MTA, which supports the work of its inspector general and has never tried to silence my office regardless of the headaches our work may bring them. As my office is increasingly transparent in posting our findings online and communicating directly with the public, we have seen a significant increase in complaints from all aspects of MTA stakeholders — employees, riders, taxpayers and management. I take this as a sign of confidence in the important work of inspectors general. The public deserves no less from its federal government. Carolyn Pokorny, MTA inspector general

Staten Island: What a quantum leap in snooty arrogance Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal displays when she posits that implicit bias exists by the medical profession when treating black pregnant women (“City Council member wants life-saving anti-bias training for all medical students in New York state,” Sept. 19). She wants state lawmakers to mandate bias training for the medical profession, especially white male doctors. She assumes that because black pregnant women have a higher death rate than white pregnant women, racism must be involved. She does not take into account lifestyle, economic variances or other contributory factors. No, it must be bias and prejudice. Perhaps the councilwoman would be happier if the white pregnancy death rate increased and surpassed the black rate. The political climate is already hot enough in this country without Rosenthal casting doubts on the medical profession. Joseph Valente

Bronx: “America’s Got Talent” is an enjoyable show, but it needs more variety. It would be nice to see more animal acts. I was disappointed with Howie Mandel’s negative comment about Lucas and Falco, the wonderful dog act. Can he train a dog like Lucas has? I doubt it. Shame on you, Howie. Lucas and Falco, you are a great team. You are winners! Marsha Kolin

Rochdale Village: To Voicer David Bishop: The Cross Bronx Expressway is certainly part of Robert Moses’ transportation infrastructure’s legacy that certainly has not positively affected us. Obsolete when built with no entrance ramps, it’s a parking lot in both directions 24 hours a day. He destroyed the Tremont neighborhood for the Cross Bronx. Judging from yesterday’s standards, history must judge him harshly! And no public transportation on the “modern” Verrazzano Bridge? Saul Rothenberg

Hollis: President Trump has three close friends — the heads of Russia, China and North Korea. Thus, when indicted in 2020 or early 2021, he has three countries to which he can flee, since none of them have a extradition treaty with the United States of America. Richard P. Lerner

Rockaway Beach: Being anti-fascist is not being anti-American; resisting exploiters and defending the non-rich is not being anti-American. On the other hand, those who collaborate with or give comfort to destroyers of our physical or biological world, or who tolerate national aggression or bullying, or who tolerate the exacerbation of wealth inequality would not have joined the American opposition to Adolf Hitler. Stephen Wohl

Clifton, N.J.: On Sept. 17, 1787, the Constitution of the United State was completed. It was signed by the majority of delegates attending the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. They are probably all turning over in their graves, saying “what a waste of time.” Alice J. Dymek

Long Beach, L.I.: Democrats are going nuts over getting President Trump’s tax returns and trying to find the trail of money given to Stormy Daniels. How about checking Stormy’s tax returns? Did she claim the money? Carole A. Michelman

Far Rockaway: In response to Voicer Carmel Harrigan: I read your response with utter disgust. The do-nothing, spineless, corrupt Republican Party will meet its demise in 2020. We will win the presidency and the Senate and repair the damage that has been done by “draining the swamp.” Your MAGA ideology and all the insanity with this administration will serve as a reminder to America that this too shall pass, God-willing. Ora Reed

Laurelton: Should we in New York end up with ranked-choice voting, which I am against, you can ensure that your first-choice candidate gets your vote in every round of voting by ranking him or her first and omitting every other candidate. You can rank one, some, or all of them as you desire. It is your vote; cast it for the candidate you support and don’t be manipulated into casting it for anyone you do not support. Will Lertola

Manhattan: To Voicer Vincent Nuzzolo: Your statement regarding the Mets 9-11 box score on 9/11 doesn’t classify as original. It was all over television the next day! Marsha Diamond

Bloomfield, N.J.: Beto O’Rourke thinks he has a solution for all those nitwits sticking their gum on street signs. He will go to their homes and confiscate their Bazooka! Bob Molee

Delray Beach, Fla.: Mitch McConnell says he won’t bring any bill to the Senate floor for a vote unless he’s sure Trump will sign it. He didn’t have a problem bringing the bills to overturn Obamacare to the floor when he knew full well that President Obama would never sign them. If there was ever a hypocrite in the Senate, it is McConnell. Barry Rudd

Plainview, L.I.: Why should the U.S. risk war against Iran when Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is quite capable of (and practiced in) murdering and dismembering all the Iranians and Yemeni Houthi rebels involved in the attack on his oil fields — and then hiding their remains together with Jamal Khashoggi’s? Richard Siegelman