In the last year, the News and Observer Editorial Board has called me many names: “lackadaisical”, “no Sam Ervin,” “not colorful,” “uneventful.” They have complained that I have “forfeited [my] credibility,” “disqualified [myself] as a fair and trustworthy investigator,” and am “incompetent.”
Additionally, its sister paper, the Charlotte Observer’s Editorial Board made the unfounded declaration that my “committee is lightly staffed and doesn’t include those with an intricate knowledge of Russia or have investigative skills.” It’s as if the Board is some sort of all-knowing, all-seeing Oracle of Delphi.
At least this week’s News & Observer editorial admitted through clenched teeth that I am “measured”, “cautious” and “deliberate” even if it ultimately decided I’m not doing a good enough job in my investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Meanwhile, pundits and politicians of both parties alike have praised my leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
It’s clear that I cannot earn unanimous praise from the editorial boards of N.C.’s two major papers outside of changing my party affiliation to Democrat. How about the supposed conscience of your newspapers cut me some slack until this investigation is over before drawing so many conclusions? Until then, I’ll continue my work as deliberately as ever.
Senator Richard Burr
Tax cut ‘effect’
Regarding “Pelosi immigration speech overshadows Democratic retreat” (Feb. 8): It’s been a little over a month since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and we are already beginning to feel the full effect of the new law. According to the latest estimates, over three million individuals have already received a pay hike, 401(k) bump, or bonus thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
The economy is continuing to grow, and most Americans are feeling optimistic about the future. Despite the popularity of the tax cuts, some politicians such as Nancy Pelosi continue to insult working Americans, calling the idea of a $1,000 bonus “crumbs.” But to the two-thirds of Americans who can’t even cover an unexpected expense of $400, an extra $1,000 bonus is a nice chunk of change. These tax cuts are a stepping stone to a brighter future.
It’s more important than ever that we safeguard our thriving solar economy in North Carolina. To that end, my wife Diane and I recently met with our state senator, Tamara Barringer, to thank her for her support of House Bill 589, which will nearly double the amount of solar in North Carolina over the next few years.
As a longtime birdwatcher and past president of Wake Audubon, a 1200-member local chapter of the National Audubon Society, I’ve seen how extreme weather and changes to the timing of seasons have already shifted the ranges of many bird species. Birds tell us that we need to transition to clean energy sooner rather than later to ensure that birds and people alike have healthy places to live.
Senator Barringer was generous with her time and assured us of her support for renewable energy. I encourage my fellow North Carolinians to sit down with their elected officials at the state and local level to urge their continued support for renewable energy so we can secure a healthy future for birds and people.
Make voices heard
Regarding “Trump official discusses offshore drilling with governor, legislators” (Feb. 4): 2017 was a very long year. Judging from its first month, it appears 2018 will be much the same. It’s hard to remember a time when I didn’t turn on the news the first thing in the morning and the last at night, or a time when I didn’t read two and often three newspapers a day. I have to know the latest chilling action, the most egregious comment or outrageous tweet to find out what I need to worry about.
There has also never been a time when I made more phone calls, sent more postcards and wrote more letters to governing bodies. Others are doing the same. I suppose this is a good thing? We have been encouraged to become involved in public affairs, and now we are.
What I grieve over most are actions that won’t be easily reversed. Public lands given away for mining, unqualified and radical judges receiving lifetime appointments and now, very close to home, the ocean off North Carolina potentially being opened for oil drilling. Accidents happen. Damage here would be incalculable. All North Carolinians have a stake in protecting this beautiful part of the state. We need to make our voices heard.