Email letters, November 11,  2013

You Said It comment on ACA was sagacious

Before the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act passed, the following appeared in the You Said It column in the Sentinel:

Let me get this straight: We’re going to pass a health care plan, written by a committee whose head says he doesn’t understand it, passed by a Congress who read it but exempts themselves from it, signed by a president who also hasn’t read it, and who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn’t pay his taxes, overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that’s nearly broke. What possibly could go wrong?

Disclaimer: I wasn’t the sage who wrote that.

JOHN TRAMMELL
Grand Junction

Promote Colorado’s clean coal, rather than over-regulating it

I see that the EPA held a “listening session” in Denver this past week, to gather input regarding carbon pollution standards for existing power plants. Any regulations they come up with are sure to cripple the economies of our coal-mining areas, like in Delta and Craig, and raise utility costs on the rest of us.

Western Colorado has some of the naturally cleanest coal in the world; it makes no sense for this industry to be killed, when coal is, and for the foreseeable future will be, used for the production of at least 40 percent of our electricity. While natural gas is a workable option for a generation, it cannot carry the load itself. There are too many obstacles to nuclear power – we haven’t built a new nuclear plant in this country in more than 30 years – hydro is not available everywhere, and solar and wind will only ever contribute a very small percentage of overall electrical generation, despite mandates attempting to dictate otherwise.


The reason is simple: Solar and wind are intermittent resources that cannot be stored. Therefore, they will always be more expensive and simply incapable of maintaining the level of electrical generation necessary to operate the grid.

It makes far more sense to promote our local clean coal industry than to saddle it with unreasonable regulations that will only cost jobs and raise the power bills for families and small businesses.

DENNIS WHITE

Grand Junction


Rep. Tipton’s constituents clearly support immigration reform bill

An overwhelming majority of Rep. Scott Tipton’s constituents support H.R. 15, the immigration reform bill in the House. It’s time that he signs on as a cosponsor.

Tipton has said he supports a DREAM Act-like bill, but that’s not enough. We need him to support a pathway to citizenship for all immigrants.

Immigration reform is popular in Colorado ... especially with employers who count on seasonal workers. Both of our senators — Mark Udall and Michael Bennet — already helped pass an immigration bill in the Senate.

Now we need Tipton to cosponsor H.R. 15 in the House. Tipton and Colorado need immigration reform!

SUSAN FULLER
Grand Junction

Democrats will panic when running for re-election

The circumstances surrounding Obamacare are slowly growing from a train wreck to a potential medical and financial disaster. We are tearing our current heath care infrastructure system apart before we have anything to replace it with. This is similar to a western pioneer taking down his tent before he finishes building his cabin.

Even with its faults, America currently has the best heath care in the world. The Obama administration is risking our present system by trying to replace it. We are already starting to see the deterioration and erosion in the medical environment.

We are sailing for the unknown with a bunch of idiots at the stern. I can’t believe we hired a Canadian firm to build the website when American companies lead the world in computer technology. Someone will be getting rich over that deal.

Obama should be proud of his efforts: Thousands of people will be losing their jobs, millions are seeing their insurance coverage cancelled, and the price for insurance is going up. The Colorado Division of Insurance just announced that 200,000 Coloradans will be losing their health insurance.

My prediction is that the public reaction to Obamacare will force the 15 Democrat senators running for re-election in 2014 to eventually panic. They will join with the Republicans and vote out Obamacare.  It is such a flawed program and Obama’s egotistical persona will not allow him to admit its failure until it is too late. A time extension would temporally save the program, but he will not let it happen. The American public, before the 2014 election, will have had enough.

The news about Obamacare will continue to get worse and so will the lies trying to explain it.

WILLIAM F. MCKNIGHT
Grand Junction

EPA should limit involvement in policing carbon pollution

Last week the EPA made a stop in Denver to elicit comments on how it should proceed with regulating carbon pollution from existing power plants. I was pleased to see that a strong contingent from the West Slope made it over to let them know how vital coal is to the economy of the region, and how clean the air in Craig is, with its coal-fired power plant, especially compared to places like Denver.

The EPA should limit its involvement and allow the states to come up with their own approaches to energy development. Especially in places like Colorado. Since it is without large-scale hydropower or nuclear plants, around 40 percent of electricity comes from coal. Solar and wind, the sources that the EPA and its allies presumably think should replace coal, only account for about 4 percent of total U.S. generation, according to the Energy Information Agency.

And, at any rate, U.S. total coal production and use only accounts for about 3 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

So, are we really prepared to kill hundreds of jobs, and entire small rural communities, in order to promote energy sources that cannot even currently contribute 5 percent to the grid, all to possibly make a dent in 3 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas production? Where is the sense in that?

Establishing artificial “renewable” energy standards, as the EPA seems intent on doing, will solve nothing, but will create tremendous problems for the economy, regionally and nationally. My message to the EPA is: Let us handle our own affairs. Chances are that we will still reduce pollution, but we can do it in a way that makes sense and does not cripple the economy for no good reason.

KEN ROBAR
Grand Junction

Rep. Wright knows community well, receives awards

Kevin McCarney in a news article calls House District 54 Rep. Jared Wright deceitful, but doesn’t elaborate as to why. Fact is, a deceitful representative couldn’t last more than a week in the Legislature and be half as effective as Wright was last session. Your word is all you have to go on amongst your colleagues, and Wright passed three bills in the minority as a freshman legislator, earning him the stripes of “a rising star” by his conservative peers. This is not the sign of a deceitful person to me.

What is a sign of a deceitful person is when someone such as McCarney, JJ Fletcher’s lapdog, claims that Rep. Wright’s bill to protect our rivers and streams grows government. It is a hogwash claim.

In fact, the Protect our Rivers license plate bill is completely voluntary — only for someone who wants to contribute to the cause. More importantly, it explicitly states in the bill that no funds generated by the license plates can be used for lobbying or political advocacy, only for projects occurring directly in our communities such as youth outreach, educational programs and programs that strengthen Western Colorado’s position at the table in fighting for our water rights against the Front Range. Seems to me, Rep. Wright knows his community well and has done a darn good job for us.

Oh, yeah, and then there is that whole side point that McCarney “deceitfully” brushes under the rug. Wright was one of the most conservative legislators in the whole government this year - ranking in the top 10 with groups such as the Colorado Union of Tax Payers and Principles of
Liberty. He also received an award from the American Conservative Union.

Thank you Rep. Wright!

BRENDA DEWEY
Clifton

Raising minimum wage will help, not hurt, economy

Is an increase in the minimum wage good for the economy or bad for the economy?

If the minimum wage goes up, a huge chunk of the working poor get a wee bit richer. Meanwhile, the billionaires get a wee bit poorer. Essentially all of this extra money working people receive gets spent immediately. When people spend more, the stores sell more, and the manufacturers make more, and they all have to hire more people to keep up with this new demand. Isn’t this good for our economy, which is 70 percent driven by consumer spending?

Meanwhile, the billionaires say a higher minimum wage will force them to hire fewer workers. This is a lie. What businessman worth his salt is going to hire fewer workers when his customers are buying more stuff from him?

To protect their big piles of money, the billionaires hire politicians who fight for them. These politicians, arguing on behalf of the billionaires, repeat the lie that a higher minimum wage is bad for business. These politicians, who are mostly Republicans, don’t work for you. They work for the billionaires. These billionaires and their lackey politicians are not patriots; they are parasites sucking the lifeblood out of “we the people.”

There is no way this country can prosper without an economically and physically healthy working class. This is a democracy, not a kingdom. This is supposed to be a place where a fair day’s work should get a fair day’s pay. It is not supposed to be a place where the lords take all the
profits and the serfs go home hungry every night.

Don’t vote for anyone who says that raising the minimum wage will hurt the economy. These guys are not your friends.

THOMAS PHILLIPS
Palisade

Another Obama goof is Syrian red line in the sand

Thanks to Don Boyles’ letter of Nov. 7, we have a partial list of President Obama’s incorrect statements (lies). Also thanks to The Daily Sentinel for publishing his letter.

Obama and his appointees have made so many goofs that it is hard to keep track of them all. One more I would include in Boyle’s letter is the Syrian line in the sand. Putin bailed out Obama by getting an agreement to encourage Syria to destroy its poison gas arsenal.


Obama did not apologize for lying. He only said he was sorry that “some people had their insurance rates increased or policies cancelled.”  His staff and writers told him that stating that we could keep our existing policies was not true but he went ahead with the statement, anyway.  Will he “man up” now and admit that he lied between 29 and 39 times?


The Wall Street Journal had the courage to state in the Oct. 30th publication “Americans are losing their coverage by political design.” (See page A14}
 
DAVE E. BROWN
Grand Junction

Tipton must represent constituents and support passage of H.R. 15

This past summer in Mesa County, District 3, we have been encouraging the business community to support immigration reform. We have gained the support of the agricultural community from Palisade peach groves to Olathe sweet corn.

We have met with Rep. Scott Tipton in town hall meetings and privately numerous times, and each time he tried to make excuses about why he couldn’t support reform. There are no more excuses. Reform is good for the economy, good for the social fabric and good for our international standing.

So, now after many months of foot-dragging, it is time for Tipton to do what his constituents elected him to do: Represent their interests.

Support H.R. 15 with a pathway to citizenship.

THOMAS ACKER
Grand Junction

Firefighters need to tone down attitude

Saturday we rolled past a vehicle off the roadway just as the fire department appeared on the scene. They appeared to be running around in confusion and pseudo-authority as they tried to manage traffic flow, but I saw little activity at the wrecked vehicle. These firemen seemed more concerned with playing cop than rendering aid.

As a former EMT, I was appalled at their protocol and was not the least bit happy with their Gestapo-style attitude. It is an accepted fact that cops in America will be overly authoritarian, but why do firemen act like that? When will the city be issuing them guns and tasers?

My advice to authority figures is to ratchet down the attitude a couple of notches.

DOUG QUINONES
Grand Junction

Attempt to introduce socialized medicine has failed
 
I hope that supporters of President Obama and his socialist attempt to control one-sixth of the economy of the United States are having second thoughts about him and his treachery.

The computerized attempt to introduce socialized medicine into the U.S. has failed miserably, resulting in millions of people losing their insurance coverage and/or finding that premiums are going out of sight for coverage they don’t want. They are probably asking, “What do I do now?’”

Now try to imagine what it will be like if and when Obamacare is finally available and routine claims for medical services are submitted to the inept and corrupt bureaucracy that has been approved by Obama to manage it: the Internal Revenue Service. 

To those doubtful Obama fans I say, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”
JOHN H. ROSS
Montrose

Pramenko’s column preferable to Parker’s on Sunday

Local “conservatives” hectoring the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) should ponder Dr. Michael Pramenko’s column in Sunday’s Sentinel (“Despite glee over health care woes, GOP has no real health reform plan”) – particularly in the absence of any fiscally viable and/or intellectually credible Republican “alternative.”


While it might be tempting to prefer Kathleen Parker’s companion column (“White House can’t spin the fact that it duped American on health plans”), Parker omits salient facts. Thus, first, when President Obama announced in 2009 “you can keep your policy,” that assurance was entirely true – because the ACA “grandfathered” all existing policies, even if non-compliant with its minimum coverage standards.


Second, before March 2010 when the ACA was signed into law, some 60 percent of individual health insurance policyholders were “churned” – i.e., received annual renewal letters that typically raised premiums by 10+ percent per year and/or cancelled/modified policy provisions. Since then, annual premium increases have averaged only 4+ percent per year.


Third, apparently, the ACA’s authors naively anticipated that reputable insurers would stop issuing non-compliant policies between March 2010 and Jan. 1, 2014 (when the “individual mandate” takes effect), and/or would upgrade those policies into compliance before that deadline. Unfortunately, some insurers succumbed to a temptation to exploit this windfall “business opportunity” by continuing to market non-compliant policies during that interim, hoping to retain those “baited and switched” customers after 2013.


Fourth, neither Parker nor the Sentinel mentions recently alleged (but still unverified) evidence of efforts to sabotage the ACA’s website using “denial of service” attacks.


Meanwhile, Pramenko accurately describes the so-called Republican “alternative” to the ACA – most recently touted by 3rd Congressional District Rep. Scott (“Tea Party”) Tipton – as disingenuous “window dressing” (costing $1 trillion more than Obamacare, while failing to eradicate discrimination based on “pre-existing conditions”).

Takeaway:  Trust Dr. Pramenko, not GOP politicians and their apologists!

BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction
 
Shooting enthusiast apologizes for littering by a few scofflaws

I found the front-page article in Sunday’s Sentinel regarding trash dumping on BLM land depressing. This problem is not limited to the Grand Junction area; we have the problem here in Delta County, as well.

A perfect spot exists in the ‘Dobies outside of Delta offering a free, safe shooting range. Unfortunately, certain people use it to dump their garbage, to target practice on old TV sets and appliances and to litter the ground with empty shot shells and cartridge cases. As a shooting sports enthusiast, I am appalled that my fellow shooters leave such a dismal mess behind.
Please know that not all shooting sports enthusiasts are so irresponsible. I make it my practice to police all of my brass and shotshells and to use paper targets on proper stands that I use and then take away when I am finished. The vast majority of my fellow shooters do the same.

I have also made it my practice to remove as much junk as I can load in my pickup and take it to the dump after each visit. The task is overwhelming, though, and unfortunately one person cannot make much of a dent in the problem. Our local Boy Scout troop also periodically cleans up this area, but again the task is daunting.

I wonder if these inconsiderate people know they tarnish the reputation of all shooting enthusiasts.  Are they the first to complain when the BLM proposes restrictions to access to BLM land?
As a responsible shooting enthusiast, I apologize for the inexcusable actions of this minority of scofflaws. I ask the public to try to remember that most of us respect the land and decry the irresponsible actions of this disrespectful minority. I call on those who abuse public land to clean up their act and respect the land — or risk losing all access to it.

I also applaud the Western Slope ATV Association for its efforts to clean up our public lands.

BEN ETHERIDGE
Delta

Despite loss of credibility, president still has approval rating of 39 percent

National debt will have doubled by 2016. Millions losing their preferred health care coverage to a disastrous and more expensive plan. We have lost the trust and friendship of our allies in Europe and the Middle East. Our enemies no longer fear us as our military strength is diminishing. The average income of Americans has gone down.

The president has lost all credibility with most Americans. And yet the president still has an approval rating of 39 percent. (Who are these guys?) Go figure!

L.W. HUNLEY
Grand Junction
 
Dr. Pramenko urged to remove medical mask

I read Michael Pramenko’s piece on health care in today’s Sentinel.

Now that Halloween is past, someone should remind Pramenko to remove his medical doctor mask so that we are able to recognize him as the same old social activist.


RICHARD RININGER
Grand Junction

President’s deceptions continue as Congress remains timid

This letter is the opinion of a non-establishment conservative. Is Obama sorry we “find ourselves” in this position? Whose lies and actions put 129 million of us there? Sure, he’s sorry — about as sorry as a rapist is when his victim gets pregnant. But this is just the latest in a long string of deceptions, cronyism and lies that have wasted trillions of dollars. Yet our Congress is so timid, or so corrupt, that he seems likely to escape any punishment.

Sadly, the Constitution contains no protections for itself, or the nation, against the election of clever power-seekers by uninformed voters. The decline of public morality means that those we elect will be at least as corrupt and lazy as the average. Those who wrote the Constitution were the most respected and accomplished of their time.

Now such people avoid politics, leaving the field to others who have accomplished nothing but are filled with flowery promises. We are no longer the kind of people who can be trusted with liberty under God, so we must now be ruled for a time by godless men and women who believe themselves to be God’s replacement. Good luck with that! 

WILLIAM COATES 
Eckert
 
Pramenko has a Pollyanna view of Leviathan health system

In his most recent screed on the Affordable Care Act, a local physician regales us with his usual pandering to some amorphous ideal while ignoring undeniable deception inherent in the law. The doctor’s Pollyanna evaluation belies the outrageous quackery that is Obamacare.
The Sentinel’s opinion pages have again given us balanced opposition, this time from columnist Kathleen Parker, to help counter the doctor’s errant opinion. Parker deftly describes false promises and deliberate omissions propagated by Obama’s administration, necessary to peddle this monstrous ruse to the American people.

The good doctor tells us to “Look beyond the deceit and disinformation.”  Ironically, he is commenting on those who oppose Obamacare, not the characters responsible for writing this monstrosity or those so disastrously implementing it.

The doctor’s written opinion is replete with the same optimistic ballyhoo we’ve been hearing from Washington D.C. for three years. Our health care under the ACA, by covering such things as contraception, abortion, mental health and sex change operations, claims to be the cure-all, so to speak, for an American health care system seriously broken.

His claim may be true that there is no other plan to answer all that he personally deems necessary, but The American Health Care Reform Act is a proposal that could be amended in some ways to partially ameliorate the doctor’s concerns. The finest quality of this realistic alternative is a prerequisite that demands repealing Obamacare.

Some horrific single-payer system run by tens of thousands of faceless bureaucrats, unnecessarily collecting immeasurable volumes of personal data and policed by a byzantine taxing agency run rogue is not a reasonable answer to the current system for all its flaws.

There is a better way than Pramenko’s dreamy vision of a Leviathan state consuming and controlling one-sixth of an economy already on the ropes.

ALAN METCALFE
Delta

Pramenko’s column showed lack of understanding of Obamacare

As one of the most dependable Obamacare shills, Dr. Michael Pramenko continues the political spin in support of the looming “train wreck.”  He still has not “checked his politics at the door,” as he has asked Obamacare opponents to do.

Thus, in his Sunday piece he claims the GOP has not put forth legislation to reform health care, while in an earlier column he said the GOP shouldn’t complain about Obamacare as it contained ideas first put forth by Republicans. So, which is it? 

Apparently, just like President Obama and the congressional Democrats, “it’s our way or the highway” regardless of what the opposition does. This is classic partisanship as practiced by Democrats.

Pramenko asks all to “look beyond the deceit and misinformation” about Obamacare. I’d like to, but that’s difficult to do when Obama has routinely spouted the falsehoods, “If you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance,” “Your insurance will cost $2,500 less per year under Obamacare,” and “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”  It’s obvious the deceit and misinformation has come from Obama and his supporters of Obamacare, not the opponents.

Finally, the last paragraph of Pramenko’s column was really precious and demonstrates how little he understands of what is going on in our country. He asks which of the Golden Rules our society will subscribe to?  1. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, or 2. The people with the gold make the rules. Well, it’s clear Obamacare supporters subscribe to number two.

With respect to number one, remember that Obamacare is for you and me and that the congressmen, Senators and Obama who wrote, passed and signed the legislation are trying to exempt themselves from some provisions of Obamacare. In fact, one Republican has introduced legislation to require full participation by Congress and the president in Obamacare. Why is that?  It’s because they have done to us what they want no part of for themselves.

As for number two, understand that five of the six richest counties in the U.S. are suburbs of Washington, DC. That is where the money is, and they are stealing it from the taxpayers to line their pockets. Obamacare is the most effective way for that theft to occur that has ever been invented.   

The sales pitch for Obamacare was to get the low information voter to sign on and vote for Obama; it was never about solving our healthcare problems. Unfortunately, Pramenko continues to sell something that will not do what he says it will.
                                           
RICK L. COLEMAN
Grand Junction

 



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