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Letters to the Editor Tuesday, May 30 – Three, from readers in Schenectady, Ballston Spa and Galway

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Biden personifies political Swamp

Joe Biden is The Swamp personified. Like an arrogant high priest and so many politicians, he’s used his position for self-gratification. He’s the face of the wretched Swamp, where high ideals and honesty go to die.
In 2020, Biden proclaimed that he could unify us and heal America’s soul. Once elected, he quickly stuffed that idea and only pulls it out of his bag of dirty tricks when it suits him.
Racial division is important to Joe, but not something he wants to fix but only use. The race card, like for so many Democrats, is a vital tool for maintaining power.
Joe has excelled at nurturing corruption.
From Ukraine to China and places in between, Joe has shown the world that playing dirty will not only win you votes, but big bucks as well. Joe made millions off his name while in office.
Many of his family benefited from Joe’s corruption. If nothing else, Joe is a family man. And he did it while representing “we the people.”
What a guy. It’s OK to be corrupt, just play by the rules of the Swamp and be cool about it.
Joe is joined by many creatures in the Swamp.
Within the Swamp there is even a Deep State where the heads of agencies like the F.B.I., C.I.A., and the I.R.S. reside.
It can be a very scary place, unless, of course, you play by the rules. Unlike that miserable Mr. Trump, who dared to do otherwise.
Art Pagano

Trainer Bob Baffert unfairly targeted

It was disappointing to read your characterization of Bob Baffert, the highly successful and beloved trainer in the May 21 Mike MacAdam column (“Baffert’s day provided dark, light of racing.”) It’s clear you have jumped on the “Baffert bashing bandwagon.” It was a rant that belongs in the op-ed section.
The multiple infractions were with a couple of his many horses. Medications present in trace amounts that do nothing to enhance race performance. Churchill Downs and its racing commission came down extremely harsh on Baffert.
NYRA and Pimlico followed suit to protect their interest, the “sacred” Triple Crown races, without due process to Baffert.
They had their scapegoat and tried to destroy him.
Then in this year’s Derby, the race favorite horse, Forte, trained by Todd Pletcher, got scratched in the morning of the Kentucky Derby for a “minor hoof bruise.”
Suddenly two days later, the story breaks that this horse failed a drug test last September after winning the Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga. Pletcher’s horse was disqualified from that race and Pletcher was given only a two-week suspension (versus two years for Baffert) for a similar offense. This made him ineligible to run in the Preakness and pursue the Triple Crown.
Suspicious. Churchill Downs likely found out about this story at the last minute.
Think about the other forces at work here before you condemn him.
John Lobos
Ballston Spa

Help workers use mental health care

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and as a business owner and as someone who has seen the effects of mental illness on people I care about, I encourage everyone who gets coverage through their job to take advantage of all the resources available if they feel they need help.
Our company makes it a priority to check in with our team to make sure they are supported at work. If you are a business and provide insurance that covers mental health services to your workforce, it is so important to also provide information on what services are available to your staff.
Employer-provided plans offer a variety of tools like telemedicine, in-network doctors, and even a hotline that many plans provide so people can get all the information relevant to the care they need. I truly believe that a staff that understands the offerings in their health care plans are more likely to use them.
While Mental Health Awareness Month is a great way to bring attention to this important topic, I’m hopeful local businesses will make it a priority all throughout the year and ensure their employees have access to coverage with their employer-provided health insurance.
Jack McCabe

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion, Opinion, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady


Mr. Pagano’s letter is a startling compilation of unsubstantiated charges of corruption and evil against Biden and others in the ominous but vague and undefined “Swamp” and “Deep State.” Incredibly, he ends his letter by claiming that Trump defied the standard corruption in Washington and was therefore villified by the supposedly secret machinations of evil Democrats controlling the F.B.I., C.I.A,, and I.R.S.

I won’t even attempt to list all of the crimes Trump is alleged to have committed but many of us have heard direct evidence of:

1) his attempt to extort Ukrainian President Zelensky into investigating Biden by threatening to withhold military aid approved by Congress.

2) his call to Georgia Secretary Of State Brad Raffensperger attempting through threats, intimidation, and pleading to “find” the votes he needed to win Georgia in 2020.

3) his participation in developing the illegal “Green Bay Sweep” and, arguably inciting insurrection, in his vain attempt to retain the presidency.

4) his mishandling and illegal storage of top secret government documents and obstruction of justice by lying about continued possession of such documents followed by issuance of a search warrant and discovery of over a hundred more such documents in unsecured locations like his desk drawers. Jack Smith is investigating whether or not Trump showed off these documents to unauthorized individuals and the possibility he tried to retain them for personal gain.

In addition to this criminal behavior he has lost a civil suit to E. Jean Carroll for slander with a judgment of $5m. due Ms. Carroll. He has praised dictators like Kim Jung Un and Vladimir Putin. He told more lies while in office than can be counted. He offered quack remedies during the COVID pandemic causing death and injury to many Americans.


christophe Stalka

Art Pagano keeps trying to write his own reality. He posts about Washington It can be a very scary place, unless, of course, you play by the rules. Unlike that miserable Mr. Trump, who dared to do otherwise.

No one will forget Jan 6th and Trumps failed coup Art but you keep clicking those ruby slippers together and hoping.

Christophe, we should not forget to mention his associates of ill-repute, people like Rudy Giuliani, Alex Jones, Steve Bannon, Mike Flynn, Mike Lindell, Sydney Powell, MTG, Lauren Boebert, Andrew Clyde, Paul Gosar, Reince Priebus and on and on.

Bill Wemple

If this is the same Art Pagano who was my English teacher at Galway so long ago, I’m profoundly disappointed in the ignorance being displayed in his letter. You would think advancement in age would correlate with increased wisdom, but apparently there’s been a huge backslide in this case. So tragic.

Hats off to Anthony and Christophe for giving Art Pagano a well-deserved backhanded slap for his letter, which was nothing but a litany of unsubstantiated assertions and nasty sarcasm. He was obviously just venting his spleen.

As for John Lobos’s letter attempting to excuse horse trainer Bob Baffert’s infractions, for which he was penalized in three states, I couldn’t detect any lies, per se, but I’d argue that he left out important elements of the truth. Baffert has been punished many times for drug violations over the years, not just for the disqualification of Medina Spirit’s win in the Derby (although the fines issued by state racing commissions are nothing more than a slap on the wrist). In addition, a number of his horses have died on the training track in the morning, including Justify, his last Triple Crown winner. In many cases, he offered excuses that were the equivalent of “the dog ate my homework” variety. Baffert once got a fine reduced for violating the amount of the pain-killer Lidocaine a horse can have in its system by claiming that one of his assistants was wearing a Lidocaine patch on his back.

But I would quickly add that Baffert’s not the only trainer who pushes the envelope. With the exception of two or three trainers – Christophe Clement, H. Graham Motion, Bill Mott and maybe one or two others – all the leading trainers use drugs, most of them legal. For instance, virtually all horses run on Lasix, an anti-diuretic that prevents bleeding in a horse’s respiratory system, but also has a side effect of improving a horse’s performance on the racetrack. For that reason, New York used to ban Lasix, along with virtually all drugs that are commonly allowed in other states. But NY tracks were not attracting many top-named horses because of those restrictions, so the racing authorities relented.

I could go on enumerating problems with American horse racing, but I’ll end up boring folks who aren’t fans of the “sport.” Suffice it to say, unless the industry makes significant – and costly – changes in racing’s rules, thoroughbred racing will go the way of boxing. (Can anyone name the heavyweight champion of the world?).

It’s now become a startling characteristic of the MAGA to apparently have no trace of self-awareness, as Mr. Pagano demonstrates. Standing in a fetid swamp of toxicity, announcing it’s everyone else that smells.

It’s also become painfully clear they all suffer from a lack of attention and will blurt out, and act out in any way trying to draw attention to themselves.

How pathetic is that?


Biden just made a bipartisan deal with McCarthy and has many other bipartisan deals with republicans.
Biden doesn´t attack anyone and everyone that disagrees with him.
Biden speaks clearly of the positions MAGA´s have put themselves in, but still does not attack them personally.
Biden encourages Americans to yield to their ¨higher angels,¨ be considerate & kind, have empathy.

These are UNIFYING qualities.


Art Pagano–The so-called Deep State helped elect 45 when the FBI announced 10 days before the election that HIllary was under investigation!


In addition to the names Anthony posted of the former President’s swamp creatures let me add to some of the same names and a few we don’t member as there were so many. Hope fully soon we will be able to add the former President himself to this list of swamp creatures and maybe Guilliani and Bannon again next year.

Drain the Swamp!
Rick Gates worked as a deputy to Paul Manafort on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign was sentenced to 45 days in jail and three years of probation.

Paul Manafort chaired Trump’s 2016 campaign and also worked as his campaign manager, received a 7 1/2-year prison sentence but Trump pardoned him.

Michael Cohen an attorney for Trump from 2006 to 2018, received a three-year prison sentence.

George Papadopoulos served as an adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign, served 12 days in prison and 12 months of supervised release.

Roger Stone a former adviser and confidante of Trump was convicted and sentenced to more than three years in prison and was pardoned by Trump.

Michael Flynn retired Army lieutenant general served as a national security adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign and later as national security adviser lied about his contact with Russian officials. He formalized a deal to plead guilty to making false statements to the FBI regarding his Russian contacts, but later withdrew it when Trump’s attorney general, William Barr, instructed the Justice Department to drop all charges against him. Trump issued a pardon for Flynn as well.

George Nader was an informal foreign policy adviser to Trump, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Elliott Broidy was a fundraiser for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and inaugural committee, he forfeited $6.6 million in the plea deal and Trump pardoned him.


The thing that is keeping this country from unifying and healing its soul isn’t Joe Biden as president – it’s the right wing fringe that still believes the election was stolen, that there is an existence of a deep state, and that Donald Trump is actually a positive person for this country who deserves to be re-elected as President in 2024. Tell me you’re conservative. Fine. Tell me you believe the country should elect a new leader to take the country in a different direction. Okay. But don’t tell me that Donald Trump is either conservative or a positive force on our country and politics. That’s objectively untrue.

What the hell, I’m going to add my voice to the chorus of responses to Art Pagano’s letter. So far, nobody has mentioned that the Trump Administration’s penchant for lying actually turned deadly. As the Covid pandemic swept the nation, the administration took aim at scientists and medical experts by what the Union for Concerned Scientists called “an egregious pattern of ignoring, sidelining, and censoring the voices of scientists and their research.” I remember Trump “assuring” the nation on television that the number of coronavirus cases would “within a couple of days . . . be down to close to zero.” Yeah, right. By the time he left office a year later the country had experienced millions of cases and 400,000 deaths from the virus.

In the meantime, he recommended people receive injections of bleach or take the anti-malaria drug chloroquine, which he promised would be made available without a prescription. He called it “a game changer.” It’s not like he didn’t know better. He understood that the virus was “aerosolized,” meaning it was airborne, by the time he was interviewed in the White House by Bob Woodward, who warned Trump in advance that he was taping the interview. It wasn’t a “gotcha moment.”

Trump was covering his abundant ass because he was afraid to confront the virus head on by taking steps that might be unpopular with his base. And wouldn’t you know it, the ambitious Trumpistas, like Ron DeSantis, fell right in line, causing more illness and death than necessary.

Trump’s administration would have been laughable if it weren’t so (deadly) serious.

Bill Marincic

Do you, know what the Washington swam is? It is the exact same thing as your merry band of lefties. You all have TDS, you all only believe your own version of the truth and you attack anyone who goes against what you believe. You are the Capital Districts’ version of the swamp. You attack with words while the professionals attack with the White House, FBI, and other agencies like the IRS. Own it, it’s all yours.

BM, we don’t attack. We correct unsubstantiated and false opinions with facts and logic and you can’t take it.

You are the one failing to back up what you claim and insulting those who disagree while expecting others to take you seriously. It ain’t workin’ BM.

Bill Wemple

If you’re still supporting Trump, you’re basically in the same league as the Flat Earth society. You may have a few million followers in MAGA, but there are literally a few Billion people around the world that laugh AT you, shaking their heads about your nonsense. Look in a mirror to find your own derangement.

Stop, please stop acting like such a crybaby.
I promise you that “the lefties” are basing their (our) claims on what the courts have already revealed and passed judgement on. Because “the lefties” are on the side of law and order.

Remember when the Republicans were on the side of law and order? They even adopted it as their nickname but they don’t any more.
Just like we never hear they’re on the side of “family values”. Don’t hear that too much either lately.

The Republican politicians, whether they admit to it or not, act on the whims of Donald Trump. There’s your TDS.
Own it, it’s all yours.

“Version” of the truth, Marincic? There is only one version of the truth — the truth — just like there are no “alternative facts.” The earth is flat and it revolves around the sun, the earth is round (or ovoid), “heaven,” whatever the hell that is, is not “up,” the devil exists only in your addled brain.

And no I don’t know what the Washington “swam” is. Please enlighten me.

Oops, sorry . . . I meant “the earth ISN”T flat.” So I’ll forgive Mr. Marincic’s typo for writing “swam” instead of “swamp. We all make mistakes.

BM’s hero Trump, he who can’t contain his admiration for Putin, must be shaken by this news:

Aljazeera, 30 May 2023:

“On Tuesday morning, at least eight attack drones entered Moscow’s airspace before being shot down by the city’s air defences, a few hitting residential buildings on the way down.

The Russian government accused Ukraine of a “terrorist attack”, which Kyiv officials wryly denied.”

The gall of Putin’s Russia; accusing Ukraine of a terrorist attack after ruthlessly invading and bombing Ukraine for over a year, demanding territorial concessions with no justification.

Trump and Putin have this in common, feet of clay. Their outsized egos will never be satisfied and they will continue to lead disappointing and failing lives.

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