Printed Letters: May 26, 2017

No one should be above law in politics

The Sentinel’s Friday editorial “Let’s trust the process of independent query” approving the Department of Justice appointing Robert Mueller “special counsel” to lead the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump administration is probably a sound decision.

However, the editorial goes on to state that one of the tenets of good governance is a free press fulfilling its watchdog role.

The free press in this country being overwhelmingly liberal in their bias chooses whom to watch over and any Republican administration gets the media’s undivided attention. Not so much the Democrats as evidenced by eight years of an Obama love fest.

Further into the editorial writing about Mueller’s impeccable credentials the Sentinel goes on to state that bringing in a independent counsel will assure that no one, if the investigation finds wrong doing, is above the law.

Well, that depends if you’re Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, Lois Lerner, or Susan Rice, all prominent Democrats during the Obama era you are, up to this point, above the law. Where was the “special counsel” investigating the many scandals and egregious, perhaps even criminal, behavior of the aforementioned? Where was the “so called” watchdog media?

No one is above the law is a standard in the political world that only Republicans are held. Now is the time to re-introduce this concept and have it apply to all politicians Democrat, Republican and independents alike.

PAUL CURRIE-MILLS
Grand Junction

Don’t take away local voices regarding land management

I would like to share the following with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke:

I read in The Daily Sentinel that you decided to put a hold on the Resource Advisory Councils that serve to provide local input into BLM planning. Word is out that they needed to be evaluated because some are working and some are not.

First, rendering the RACS ineffective does one thing — it takes away local shareholder voice in BLM’s plans. This would be similar I think, to telling the shareholders of a publicly held company that they no longer have a vote in who represents them or policies affecting the company. The problem with this view is that we don’t get to elect who sits in your chair, the only real voice we have is through public testimony on the lands we own. By removing this voice, you are effectively taking full ownership of lands that belong to us all.

Second, how can you effectively evaluate something you have shut down? You don’t take a teacher out of the classroom and then evaluate her ability to instruct after she is gone. A system that involves local input from all its stakeholders in the planning of the local public lands is best evaluated when it is operating, not when it has been mothballed. Frankly, I see a very different motivation behind this edict.

I am fully in favor of review — everything can benefit from review, but the message you are sending to us at the local level is 1) you don’t want local input, 2) you don’t want local input right now (with the national monument lands review beginning), and 3) you do not respect that a very high percentage of us take our public lands stakeholder and stewardship role very seriously and do not want our voices taken away.

MARY HERTERT
Fruita

Medicare for all should be offered in lieu of AHCA

After following the lively discussions on this page and in the national press, it is clear that Medicare for all in lieu of the AHCA bill passed by the House of Representatives makes a lot of sense for Americans.

I have and love Medicare, as do many people of my generation. It doesn’t matter if they are Republicans, Democrats, independents or Libertarians, they all agree on one issue. Medicare works for them and their loved ones. I also talk to people who are counting down the years, months or days to qualify for Medicare. That says something, doesn’t it?

Medicare has lower administrative costs than private plans. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, administrative costs in Medicare are only about 2 percent of operating expenditures. Defenders of the insurance industry estimate administrative costs to be 17 percent of revenue. That 17 percent includes profit and very high salaries for administrators. That is a savings of 15 percent that can be passed to all of us.

Naysayers claim that costs for medical care are rising too much to make Medicare for all work. It is important that in this process we work to control the costs for medical care and, at the same time, meet the special needs that we and our families all have. Medicare can meet those needs. I want Medicare for my grandchildren. How about you?

Our senators need to make a cohesive national plan that will work for all Americans. Passing that responsibility to the states will destabilize health care.

Please call Sen. Cory Gardner to tell him the AHCA bill passed by the House of Representatives is not a solution to our health care crises but Medicare for all can be.

SHARON JORDAN
Grand Junction


COMMENTS

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Thanks to Paul Currie-Mills for confirming (“No one should be above law in politics”)that an uninformed segment of the Sentinel’s local readership is still chronically infected by the long-discredited right-wing talking points propounded by Faux News, etc.

The underlying points of the Sentinel’s editorial (“Let’s trust the process of independent query”) is that speculative accusations are not “evidence” and partisan spin is not “probable cause” – which is exactly why an independent nonpartisan investigation of the rapidly multiplying and serious allegations implicating this administration is necessary once (as here) probable cause has already been found.
 
Whether or not “the free press in the country” is “overwhelmingly liberal” (excluding right-wing talk radio and Faux News), it is entirely understandable why “any Republican administration gets the media’s undivided attention”—given the proven criminality of the Nixon and Reagan administrations and the manifest incompetence of the Bush and Trump administrations (all Republicans).

To the extent that the media enjoyed “eight years of an Obama love fest”, perhaps that was because he led the country out of the financial crisis and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, saved the U.S. auto industry, tried to stop the flow of American body bags from the Middle East, and extended affordable access to health care to millions.

Meanwhile, all the right-wing allegations against Hillary Clinton (classified e-mails and “Benghazi”), Eric Holder (“Fast and Furious”), Lois Lerner (IRS scrutiny of fake “social welfare” organizations), and Susan Rice (“Benghazi” and “unmasking”) all proved to be substantially unfounded and obviously motivated by Republican hyper-partisanship. 

In other words, no matter how hard they tried, multiple inquiries and investigations by Republican-controlled Congresses could not muster sufficient “probable cause” to justify a “special counsel” – because there was simply not any evidence of “many scandals and egregious, perhaps even criminal, behavior of the aforementioned”.  Meanwhile, the “’so called watchdog media” was there – responsibly doing its job by debunking the conspiracy theories propounded by right-wing media and to which Paul seemingly still subscribes.

Robert L., beautiful message, thank you. I would much rather sit in front of a sun sparkling lake than sitting and looking at a computer. We are here on this beautiful earth only for a few decades and it’s all about living day to day. We are all connected and human evolution will continue to evolve. Computers aren’t a part of nature’s natural cycle. Peace, harmony and love are the qualities I hope will increase.

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