I couldn’t help but notice that Dana Milbank’s recent column (” ‘Obama derangement syndrome’ epidemic among GOP conspiracy theorists,” Aug. 29) ran directly opposite a letter to the editor from Rose Marie Russell of Westbrook, who claimed that President Obama was flouting the Constitution (“Throw Obama out of office for usurping others’ powers“). 

It is concerning to me that people who claim to be staunchly defending our Constitution actually have very little understanding themselves of this crucial document. 

Ms. Russell claims that “President Obama is ignoring Congress and writing his own laws,” which she calls “treasonous.” She does not detail which laws these might be.  

The president can indeed “write” a law, but only Congress can “introduce” and pass a law. 

In most cases, Congress has allowed the executive branch to determine how specifically to implement laws. 

All presidents have done this. There is nothing treasonous about it. 

She then claims that the American people (not Congress) can “throw him out of office” if they have the will. 

First, it would be great if the Portland Press Herald would vet letters to the editor a little more carefully, but that is a different matter. 

Second, it is clear in the Constitution that only Congress can remove the president from office through impeachment. 

Article 2, Section 4 states, “The President shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”  

The only way the general electorate can remove someone from office is by voting them out in the next election. And President Obama clearly won the last election with a majority of both the electoral votes and the popular vote.

The anniversary of the signing of the Constitution will be Sept. 17. 

I strongly urge everyone to take this opportunity to actually read the document we spend so much time defending and debating. 

Julie Mueller

Scarborough

Adventures of ‘Mark Trail’ puzzle even as they amuse

As a veteran reader of the “Mark Trail” comic strip, I was amused when he was marooned on a small islet and had to find a way to escape before the rapidly approaching low tide would submerge his refuge, leaving him to drown.

That was good for a chuckle from a strip that has always purported to be serious.

The “Mark Trail” strip in the Aug. 30 Press Herald has me amused and confused. Mark hears what sounds like a rifle shot, and by golly, it’s close! The rifle report is represented by a resounding “KRAKOW.”

While I can’t begin to equal Mr. Trail’s wilderness experiences, I have fired many different rifles. Never have I heard a rifle even approximate this particular sound.

It should be interesting to see where the strip goes with this story. Perhaps a renegade troop of AWOL Polish soldiers poaching in Lost Forest?

Will we be shocked to learn that Mark Trail is in actuality North Cairn?

Mike Mulkern

Portland

Idea of LePage turnaround will prove to be pipe dream

In his column of Aug. 25 (“LePage’s weak denials more harmful than a confession“), Dan Demeritt once again offers constructive criticism of Gov. Paul LePage. 

Unfortunately, his former employer does not take kindly to any criticism directed at him by either his detractors or sympathetic supporters like Demeritt.

In the face of LePage’s initial denial of his alleged comment “Obama hates all white people,” I agree with Demeritt’s contrary opinion: “I believe LePage made the comments attributed to him or offered up words very similar to what has been reported.”

I join Demeritt in his praise for present and former national officeholders who are Maine Republicans. 

But let’s be realistic: LePage is no Margaret Chase Smith, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins or Bill Cohen.

Demeritt defends LePage as a “good but hard man bringing an entirely new approach to a very tough job.” 

There have been many “hard” Republicans (and Democrats) who, in “tough” circumstances, have performed great services for their state and country without being offensive.

LePage’s “straight talk” and bullying tactics neither represent nor uphold the honorable traditions of a once-proud Republican Party. 

His derogatory comments are not only offensive to the majority of Maine citizens, but as Demeritt points out, they reflect very badly on his fellow Republicans. 

Only minority tea party extremists condone and encourage the governor’s speaking his mind freely.

Demeritt expresses his concern that LePage’s “weak” denial and “bad” cover-up of this latest incident will lead to disaster for his party. 

It is my opinion that LePage has been disastrous not only for his party but the entire state as well since the day he was elected.

Demeritt is optimistic that LePage will eventually make him “proud of … his accomplishments,” in spite of the governor’s record of being “inaccurate and just plain wrong many times in his public statements.” 

I cannot share his optimism.

Phyllis Kamin

Cumberland

Profits from Poland Spring not worth drain on resource

It was with great interest I read the front-page story (“For regulators and Nestle Waters, conflict by the gallon,” Sept. 1) on the interface between Fryeburg Water Co. and Poland Spring (Nestle Waters North America).

All one has to do is park by the side of the road in Poland and watch the big green tankers roll by every 20 minutes or so, pulled by a Poland Spring tractor. They are full of water from Maine’s aquifer.

Money from this endeavor is headed for the pockets of lawyers and board members of this Swiss-held company, Nestle (Poland Spring). Yes, it does bring jobs to Maine, but more importantly, it destroys and depletes a natural resource that Maine is known for, its water, and indirectly affects Maine’s biggest industry — tourism.

I would hope that the contract negotiations and outcome are not tainted by the quest for dollars lining the pockets of the corporate machine guised in the cloak of jobs for Maine.

Signing any agreement for 25 years, in my view, is not in the best interest of citizens or the natural resources of Maine.

Mike Schobinger

Norway