Email letters, November 14,  2013

Health care fiasco evinces lack of common sense

As best I can determine, President Barack Obama went through his litany of promises, in various venues, that were taped and broadcast some 29 to 36 times, according to sources found by Googling.  These were all “If you like (fill in the blank), you can keep (fill in the blank). Period.” 


Never, repeat, never was there a qualifier of “maybe” or “if your plan meets the new requirements we, the government, have determined you need, regardless of age or sex.”


This leads me to believe his staff and department secretaries are either uncommonly stupid or were too afraid to correct him. Or, perhaps, this was all planned this way. The current explanations of “What he meant was….” do not make sense and are equally untrue. We all heard what he said.


In my past Air Force work on satellites and boosters, we had highly complex software that we exhaustively tested time and again to ensure it worked as designed. Common sense tells one that complex programs need a ton of review, testing and more testing in an end-to-end configuration. Apparently a lack of intelligence and common sense abounds in our government. Frightening!


CREIGHTON BRICKER
Grand Junction


CMU goes 2 (er, too) far in trying to be hip

Irony can be quite ironic. While we older people fret over the use of text message language and try to entice students to use language correctly in the interest of clear communication, CMU sends emails concerning a “Teacher 2 Teacher” organization on campus. Are teachers supposed to allow students to substitute numerals for prepositions in the interest of adapting to pop culture? 

To paraphrase Edwin Newman in “Strictly Speaking,” the English language has enough words as it is; no need to invent new ones (e.g., “funner” and “funnest”). He might also say the language’s prepositions work well; there is no need to substitute them with numerals.

MIKE MORAN
Grand Junction
 
Change those in charge of our government

In the news the other day it was said that one well known Democratic member of Congress has used extortion on some large companies and businesses to get his way. These companies and businesses have to go to him and his family to be able to function.

It’s no wonder the United States government cannot do anything productive. It’s time for a complete change of people in Washington.

RAFAEL SALAZ
Grand Junction

GOP must stop infighting, remember basic beliefs
 
There are those in both political parties who are more liberal or more conservative than the establishment party. They want uncompromising candidates. Given how equally divided our country is, it doesn’t take much to swing an election to the opposition. The primary process is intended to iron out differences.

It can be argued that Democrats lost the 2000 presidential election because of the votes that were lost to the Green Party candidate, Ralph Nader. He did get 97,000 votes in Florida. Those who voted green would feel more comfortable in the Democrat Party than the Republican Party. In 1992 it was the third-party candidacy of Ross Perot that cut enough of the Bush support to give that election to Bill Clinton.

Republicans should remember the Perot candidacy. He thought spending was out of control. Today our government is worse, and the tea party represents those who fear this spending the most. All Republicans want candidates who will stand up for the principals of balanced budgets and smaller government. The tea party isn’t as unique as it seems to think it is. We need to stand together.

If you oppose the government making decisions for you as it does in Obamacare and you believe in smaller government that balances its books, you are a Republican, period. We need to stick together in order to achieve our mutual common sense goals. To win we need stop the infighting.

DAVE KEARSLEY
Mesa

Both good news and bad news coming out of Obamacare rollout

With Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announcing the number of people who enrolled in the government health care exchange sites, there is good news and bad news. The bad news is that in the first month of enrollment that only 106,000 people enrolled while more than 1 million received notices that their health insurance will be canceled.

With more than 300 million people in the U.S., the good news is this:  At the same rates of enrollment and cancellation we don’t have to go to other countries to cancel people to enroll the 30 million that were claimed not to have health insurance here.

Whew, what a relief!

RICK L. COLEMAN
Grand Junction
                                           
Limerick’s limerick, essay on fracking worth reading
 
The University of Colorado and the Center for the American West are engaged in a program that should be of great interest to those of us on the Western Slope. The center is engaged in the following:

“In October of 2012, the National Science Foundation Sustainability Research Network awarded a five-year, twelve-million-dollar grant to a consortium of scientists and engineers from nine different institutions, including and led by a team from the University of Colorado. The goal of the grant is to provide the material for a more productive, more evidence-based consideration of natural gas development, maximizing the benefits of this resource while minimizing the negative impacts—on human and natural communities—of its production. The Center of the American West holds the role of outreach and public communication in this collaboration.” (From the Center for the American West website).

Dr. Patty Limerick is director of the center and won a MacArthur Fellowship in 1995 (the so-called genius awards). She brings a moderate voice to the discussion and attempts to clearly define what is known and what needs to be known and to clarify the many misconceptions that are present in the current dialog on fracking. Regardless of your point of view, if you care about this technology, you should visit the website and read Limerick’s essay-synopsis in progress (including the, um, limerick).

GARY STETLER
Grand Junction

Republican health care bill would cover ‘far fewer currently uninsureds’

With daily headlines (“Health care rollout numbers intensify concern, criticism”) fueling grounds for pessimism – and with vulnerable Democrats scrambling for political cover – Alan Metcalfe’s letter (“Pramenko has rosy view of leviathan health law”) is entirely understandable.

However, as John Trammel’s companion letter (“If Obamacare won’t fix rising health care costs, what will?”) suggests, Metcalfe — and Bruce Taylor’s “GOP has indeed put forth many health care reforms” —repeat the same error that he accuses Dr. Pramenko of committing:  their “Pollyanna view belies the outrageous quackery that is” inherent in “Republican alternatives” to the Affordable Care Act.

Metcalfe (like Congressman Scott “Tea Party” Tipton) touts the American Health Care Reform Act of 2013 (H.R. 3121) as a proposal “that could be amended in some ways to partially ameliorate” Dr. Pramenko’s concerns. Metcalfe’s question-begging reference to unspecified amendments typifies Republicans’ reliance on “monstrous ruses” to mislead the gullible into believing that they are offering a credible “alternative.”

The primary objective of H.R. 3121 is to repeal Obamacare – which would neither “ameliorate the doctor’s concerns,” nor those of millions who already benefit from it.

Meanwhile, H.R. 3121 remains in committees — apparently still in search of Metcalfe’s nebulous “amendments” —because it would cover far fewer currently uninsureds than the ACA, would cost some $100 billion more annually than the ACA, benefits higher income taxpayers more than lower, relies on “high risk pools” akin to those that failed in several states, and undercuts the authority of state insurance regulators.

The American Health Care “Reform” Act would perpetuate discrimination based on “pre-existing conditions” by protecting only those with “continuous coverage” and relegating others to “high risk pools” with doubly unaffordable premiums – thereby defeating the purpose of a nationwide “risk pool” and competitive insurance markets (the approach that has proven successful in Massachusetts).

BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction

Veterans Day observance deserved greater coverage

What a disappointment that your paper the day after Veterans Day printed an abbreviated article on page 2 regarding the observance at the Western Slope Vietnam War Memorial Park in Fruita. The front-page heading gave preference to the plight of dog adoptions in a very lengthy article.

Our family has always loved and owned dogs. A dog story would be welcome any time. Veterans Day is once a year. The public is not aware of what a God and country-honoring observance it was.

The program began with a helicopter flyover provided by an individual since military flyovers are no longer allowed. Thank you for the pictures of Mathias Mulumba singing our national anthem and six-year-old Hudson Himes leading the Pledge of Allegiance. The address presented by the honored speaker was very encouraging.

Unfortunately, there was no mention of the inspirational invocation and benediction by the Fruita minister; the 15-year old young lady from Fruita Monument who sang God Bless America, America the Beautiful and Amazing Grace; the pipers and drummers; the releasing of the white doves; the lady who sang The Lord’s Prayer; or the military salute.

Our debts to those who have preserved our freedom should be recognized as heroes! Veterans Day is such a time.

CHARLOTTE MILLER
Grand Junction

 



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Thanks to Dave Kearsley (“GOP must stop infighting, remember basic beliefs”) for reminding us of the crucial fiscal lessons of recent history.

Without revisiting the outcome of the 2000 presidential election, “it can be argued that” the most fortunate (for Democrats) result of that “regime change” was that 9/11 happened during the “failure of imagination” of Bush/Cheney rather than Gore/Lieberman.

1992 was much more instructive.  As Dave accurately remembers it, Ross Perot ran as a third-party candidate precisely because “he thought spending was out of control” – after twelve years of “Voodoo Economics”, during which Republicans Ronald Reagan’s and George Bush Sr.’s profligate deficit spending more than tripled the national debt.

During Democrat Bill Clinton’s eight years, twenty million new jobs were created and he (along with Newt Gingrich) achieved a balanced budget – leaving Republican George Bush Jr. with an annual budget surplus, which he promptly dissipated with huge tax cuts.

During the ensuing eight years, no net new jobs were created and Republicans’ profligate deficit spending – and return to “Voodoo Economics”—doubled the national debt again, bequeathing to Democratic President Obama two off-budget wars, the worst financial crisis in memory, and the largest national debt and annual budget deficits in our history – not to mention the unfunded Medicare Part D.

Since then, President Obama has halved annual deficits – even though federal revenues (as percent of GDP) are at their lowest since 1950.  While one-third of recent deficit reductions is attributable to spending cuts (including “sequestration’), two-thirds are due to the partial roll-back of the “Bush Tax Cuts” and renewed (albeit still sluggish) GDP growth.

Thus, if you still cling to the “basic [fact-free] belief” that “spending is the problem”, you’re likely a “Tea Partier”.  If you profusely proclaim to “stand up for the principals” (sic) of “fiscal conservatism” but fail to “practice what you preach”, you’re just a typical Republican.

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