Brady’s is latest graft case

I'm saddened but not shocked by the revelation that Congressman Bob Brady allegedly paid a rival to quit a political campaign ("Aide: Brady campaign paid rival to quit," Wednesday). I'd like to be shocked by this news, but corruption is too in-our-faces and bipartisan to ignore.

Corporate politicians have become like corporate businesspeople, working to eliminate competition and establish by hook or crook a virtual monopoly in their markets. Winning — and by a large margin — is everything. Brady compromises himself by becoming an alleged briber; Trump compromises himself by allegedly taking things of value from Russian President Vladimir Putin's plutocrats. These sorts of practices undermine democracy and capitalism. Our country's exceptionalism is hemorrhaging. And most of the citizenry yawns, some likely thinking, "It was ever thus." Others not thinking about it. Sad.

I thank the Inquirer for staying on the political corruption beat. There's always hope that some of us citizens will rise up and not take it anymore.

Don DeMarco, Philadelphia, donald.demarco@verizon.net

A congressman for everyone

In a political atmosphere consumed by extreme partisanship and an "us against them" attitude, Congressman Bob Brady is an anomaly.

I and several other residents of Waterfront Square Condominiums and Spa reached out to Brady concerning a neglected animal. He called us several times to coordinate efforts with local and state groups and had his legislative assistant work with us. Brady never asked our party affiliation, proving he believes it is his job to work for everyone in his community.

The congressman has consistently received a 100 percent rating from the Humane Society. He is on the House Armed Services Committee and is a sponsor of H.R. 1243, the Best Practices Act to phase out the military use of goats and pigs in combat trauma training in favor of high tech simulators. He also Committee and a cosponsor of a bill that would end the use of animals for training about the treatment of combat trauma injuries.

Michelle Shields, Philadelphia, lance901@comcast.net

‘Every life has meaning’

Columnist Christine Flowers is right in saying that "others won't see this case as black and white" ("Echoes of Terri Schiavo in Charlie Gard case," Wednesday). Nothing is black and white except bathroom tile, and most especially when "this case" involves a severe and irrevocable medical situation.

Light may cancel out the darkness, but Flowers spreads ashes over her own case in suggesting that Charlie's parents "wanted to make whatever residue of life that pulsed … have meaning," as she suggests of Terri Schiavo's parents.
Every life, however brief, however fraught, has meaning. The question here is whether what of life remains to this child should be sustained by mechanical means. Even his parents recognize that his brain is damaged beyond restoration. What Charlie has now is the "residue"of the machine-free life he briefly experienced after birth.

Given the dreadful disease he is suffering, only the mercy of the divine and the truth of fate will bring him out of "life" to the absence of pain. The courts were trying to make the parents see this. It took a while.

Anne Slater, Ardmore

Trumpcare will hurt charities

The trickle-down effect of the potential Trump health-care plan will be charities such as Melanoma International Foundation getting swamped with patients needing financial assistance. Since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, we have had a reprieve from patients needing financial help to get a biopsy or treatment for metastatic melanoma. The plan on the table, what little we know so far, will increase this need vastly. We do not have the funds to help them as much as we would like. Those charities that do have the financial resources to do so don't provide this assistance.

The irony is that the folks who are making the decision about health care for the country have incredible coverage — paid by us, the taxpayers, who also pay their salaries. One of the plans not discussed but that would save money would be to minimize coverage for all federal employees.

Catherine M. Poole, president and founder, Melanoma International Foundation, Glenmoore