Printed letters, October 24, 2013

The Connect for Health Colorado website is complicated and should be simplified for easy use.

As a teacher for the Delta literacy program through our library, I was among those assigned the task of being familiar with this site to help our students.

As a teacher, I sat there and read tab after tab. Eventually I found a page that listed health care plans starting at $726 a month. I know that my dyslexic daughter and my ESL students will stop at this point and give up telling themselves it’s too expensive.

Please redo this site. Do away with 95 percent of it. Create a simple application starting with income, lots of white space, five questions per page, arrows to proceed and finally a choice of two or three policies we can afford based on where I live. Make it simple, please.



Only Dems created equal, 
everyone else pays the bill

Before all heck breaks loose in America over Obamacare, I just want to make sure I understand Democrats properly. Just because I work hard, give people jobs, did not abandon my wife or children, don’t work for the government or a union, am a legal citizen, and don’t want to call Democrats mommy or daddy, I’m supposed to pay thousands of dollars a year for Obamacare while I watch President Obama and the Democrats handing it out free to people who vote for them. Then they exempt their business buddies from Obamacare and subsidize themselves, their buddies and millions of other people’s premiums even though the government has no money! Is that correct, Democrats?

Charge others, but if they try charging you you’ll storm the Capitol as you did in Wisconsin. I think the Declaration of Independence says all men are created equal. But now it’s changed to: “All Democrats are created equal; the rest of you pay the bill.” That’s not a foundation that will work in America.


Grand Junction


Neither party shows intent 
to follow the Constitution

Is Colorado the capital of Upside Down World? We have anti-smoking ads that point out how harmful and dangerous cigarettes are, yet we pass a constitutional amendment that encourages the consumption of marijuana cigarettes. It encourages users and producers of mind-numbing drugs to come to Colorado, while other laws encourage hunters and producers of guns, ammo and accessories to move away.

I’d feel much safer living next door to a gun-owner than to a user of mind-altering drugs, but that’s just me.

I hear President Barack Obama blames the shutdown of the government on the House Republicans. By refusing to negotiate unless 100 percent of their demands are met, the House Republicans are in essence “holding a gun to my head,” he claimed.

But I also see that Republicans were negotiating like there was no tomorrow and passed eight bills, which Obama ignored until 100 percent of his demands are met. I understand this is called “blackmailing.”

Since our nation is not 100 percent in favor of Obama’s agenda, I suppose it makes sense for him to try to punish everyone. When he punishes Democrats, it doesn’t make them angry with him. Instead they become angry with those who feel we should obey the Constitution. Unfortunately, neither the Democrat nor the Republican leadership feels much need to follow the Constitution.


Grand Junction


Political ‘terrorists’ in House 
cost our economy $24 billion

I read in the Friday edition that Rep. Scott Tipton is insisting the president and the Senate begin negotiations with the House of Representatives. My question for Rep. Tipton is: With whom would they negotiate? The speaker has completely lost support of his own caucus. Do they negotiate directly with tea party leaders?

It seems the only thing the House wants to negotiate for is the delay, defunding and repeal of the ACA. That’s not going to work and he knows it.

The House has voted more than 40 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It has never passed. Why would the president and the Senate agree to negotiations on a law House members clearly don’t have the votes to repeal?

He makes it sound as if the House saved the economy from the brink. Nothing could be further from the truth. More than 100 House Republicans voted to keep the government shut down and allow the good faith and credit of the United States to be questioned. These House members have cost our economy $24 billion and nearly 1 million jobs.

These people are nothing more than political terrorists. We should never negotiate with terrorists.


Grand Junction


Rep. Tipton deserves thanks 
for voting to end shutdown

We all owe a huge thank you to Congressman Scott Tipton for his vote to end the government shutdown and debt debate. By doing this, he put the health of our economy ahead of easy rhetoric and blaming others.

 We should carefully debate spending, taxes, and health care, but once Congress has passed a spending law, the United States should never consider not paying its bills.

The time to debate is when the spending bill is being voted on. If a bill doesn’t go the way some want, their efforts should go to convincing the public of their view – not holding the government hostage and making our country look foolish in the eyes of the world.

Thank you, Rep. Tipton, for your leadership and careful weighing of the difficult issues.


De Beque


Small-business owners back new carbon pollution standard

As a business owner, I know that limiting air pollution from power plants will have a positive impact on my community, productivity and the success of my business. That’s why I support EPA’s recently updated carbon pollution standard for new power plants.

A recent letter to the editor referenced the Grand Valley’s seeming apathy on addressing climate change because of oil and gas jobs here. I and many folks I know care about climate change and realize that it is not something that will hurt the economy, especially the natural gas industry. Since coal-fired power plants produce 40 percent of the carbon pollution in the United States, any plan to address climate change must start with limiting that pollution from those plants first.

In 2012 more than 125,000 small business owners put their support behind the standard, because of the clear market signals it sends, while also encouraging investments in cleaner, safer technologies. These kinds of investments lead to more jobs and economic growth, while limiting the health risks from carbon pollution. We deserve cleaner air, healthier children and more jobs.


Grand Junction


BLM did not receive $1,000 
for Rabbit Valley Trail Ride

In a recent letter to the editor, Cherlynn Crawford wrote about the cancellation of Rabbit Valley Competitive Trail Ride by the BLM. While I appreciated her thoughts on the subject, it is important to note an error: The BLM was not paid $1,000 for a permit for this ride.

I am not sure how this got misinterpreted, but the permits for special events annually are $50, along with a pre-event fee of $100. After the event, that $100 is applied to the total due, which is figured at $5 per person per day. With 60 riders competing, this would total $600. I think Crawford was trying to show that the BLM actually stood to make money on this event.

While we can’t blame the BLM for cancelling our event due to the government shutdown, it is truly disappointing that the permit for use of our public lands, couldn’t be honored when everything was in place for the event. It cost our group a great deal of money, time and energy with no way to negotiate.

SHARON ROPER, Ride Manager

Rabbit Valley Competitive Trail Ride

Grand Junction


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Gary Yeager (“Neither party shows intent to follow the Constitution”) apparently did not have the benefit of the Sentinel’s previous and more informed editorial (“’Compromise’ shouldn’t be dirty word in politics”, October 16, 2013), which rejects the central tenet of the “Tea Party’s” perversion of “constitutional principles” – i.e., no compromise.

Despite paying obligatory lip-service to Yeager’s false equivalency between the parties, the Sentinel aptly noted that – in crafting H.R. 2775 ending the “government shutdown” (until January 15, 2014) and averting “debt limit” default (until February 13, 2014)—Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) repudiated the “uncompromising and unrealistic members of his party” (which heretofore included 3rd C.D. Representative Scott Tipton), whose irresponsible antics wasted at least $24 billion.

For his troubles, McConnell obtained an additional $2 billion for his home state – funding a dam and locks project on the lower Ohio River.

Similarly, Colorado’s Democratic Senators Bennet and Udall – working behind-the-scenes—garnered an additional $350 million “earmarked” for Colorado flood relief, along with $636 million for nationwide wildland fire suppression activities.
As the AP reported (“Congress narrowly avoids default”), Hal Rogers (R-Ky), House Appropriations Committee Chairman (and the only GOP House member to speak in favor of the bill), emerged as the lone Republican voice of sanity.  Contrary to his intransigent ideological colleagues, Rogers (like Democrats) insists that current “sequestration” spending levels are far below what are actually needed to run the government. 

However, the lengthiest – and perhaps procedurally most significant – section of the bill is the “Default Prevention Act of 2013”, which codifies McConnell’s 2011 proposal to avoid the next “debt ceiling” crisis by authorizing the President (until February 7, 2014)  to unilaterally “suspend” (raise) the statutory debt ceiling, subject to Congressional acquiescence or rejection. 
Tipton – apparently persuaded by growing calls for his resignation—voted “AYE”.

Lee Cassin’s gratitude to Scott Tipton (“Rep. Tipton deserves thanks for voting to end shutdown”) is misplaced.  Rather, as Gary Harmon’s report (“Tipton:  Senate, Obama must negotiate now”, October 18) implied, Tipton still seeks to befuddle his gullible loyalists and evade “personal responsibility” for his actions.

Since 2011, Tipton has enthusiastically supported Republicans’ efforts to “deny President Obama a second term” and sabotage his presidency by effecting “gridlock”.  As widely reported, that cynical “strategy” has cost our economy some $300 billion and 900,000 jobs.  “Heckuva job, Scotty!”

On October 1, 2013, Tipton voted for the anti-democratic rule change that guaranteed a prolonged shutdown.  Only when local economic impacts within the 3rd Congressional District prompted calls for his resignation did Tipton vote for H.R. 2775 – ending the shutdown and averting default, but only after those 16 days of shutdown had already cost the national economy (i.e., wasted) at least $24 billion. 

From March 23, 2013 (when the Senate passed a budget resolution differing from the House version, thereby requiring a conference committee) through September 30, 2013,  Speaker Boehner – on twenty separate occasions—refused to appoint conferees, while Senate Republicans filibustered Majority Leader Reid’s appointments.  Thus, for six months, House Republicans “refused to negotiate” – fecklessly hoping to extort the repeal of ObamaCare by threatening shutdown and/or default. 

On October 1, 2013, with the shutdown then underway, Boehner finally appointed House conferees and staged a laughable “photo op” with an empty conference table – because, as President Obama warned for two years and Leader Reid confirmed, Democrats rightly “refused to negotiate during a shutdown” and/or under threat of default.

On October 16, 2013, H.R. 2775 effectively required what Republicans had previously refused to do – “negotiate” and resolve budgetary differences by December 13, 2013.

Thus, Tipton persistently proves just how contemptibly low his “intellectual high ground” really is.

Lee Casin wants us to thank Rep Tipton for ending the shutdown..but we first need to understand it was something Rep Tipton voted to ensure happened. Something he voted to ensure ended only when the narrow stroke of a particular conservative ideology was satisfied.
    Section two (2) of H. Res 368, a Republican rules change submitted at 11:30 pm 9-30 and passed by 1:11 am 10-1, about 1 1/2 hours. Short and sweet. Section two (2) reads: “Any motion pursuant to clause 4 of rule XXII relating to House Joint Resolution 59 may be offered only by the Majority Leader or his designee.”
    Clause 4 of (House) rule XXII: “A motion to dispose of House bills with Senate amendments not requiring consideration in the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union shall be privileged”...this meant the House had to vote on H.J. Res. 59.  H Res 368 made this clause, pursuant to H.J. Res 59 only, a resolution that would have funded the Government and ended the shutdown, unenforceable.
    When Rep Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), not the Majority leader (Eric Cantor) or his “designee”, tried to get H.J. Res 59 back on the House floor to end the shutdown using Clause 4,rule XXII, he was informed by the acting Speaker, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), H. Res 368 sec 2 supersedes clause 4 of rule XXII. The shutdown continued…ensured because of this rule change jammed through in the wee hours of the morning before the shutdown even began.
  Rep Tipton voted along party lines to pass H Res 368.
    Can’t find myself slapping him on the back for ending something he helped initiate and ensure continued.

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