Letters: How well is Joe Biden doing his job?

How well is Joe Biden doing his job?

Why do we hold presidents accountable for things that, under our Constitution, they can’t control?

Headlines and critics say Joe Biden isn’t doing enough to control inflation. Biden isn’t doing enough to control gasoline prices. Biden isn’t pressuring enough for women’s rights. Biden seems weak. Biden’s ratings plummet.

What do we expect he or any president can legally do? A president is the head of an administration, not a dictatorship. Biden administers the laws and directs the expenditures of funds that Congress authorizes. The president doesn’t pass the laws nor establish the funds. The Oath of Office he took doesn’t allow that power.

If one wants problems “solved” quickly, the attraction of an authoritarian in a time of political or financial stress can be attractive. But we don’t elect kings.

I’m amazed that the press doesn’t make these realities well known. Instead, the light behind the door to an authoritarian future is kept illuminated when, instead, it is the limitations of the presidency that require illumination for our form of government to survive. Otherwise, someday a tyrant will walk from behind that door and slam shut the freedoms we all cherish.

The implication that a president can do more opens the door to an autocrat. On the other side of that door, someday, will be a personality that claims they do have the power to address these things if you just believe. Believing rather than thinking simplifies life.

Kenneth Schifftner, Englewood

On election day in 2020, the average price of gas in the U.S. was about $2.12. Now it is more than double that.

Joe Biden campaigned on eliminating the fossil fuel industry. As president he has implemented those policies.

The large increase in the cost of gas and diesel fuel affects things we buy in the stores, is the basis of the high inflation problem, and is very hard on middle- and low-income people.

The U.S. is sitting on very large amounts of oil, natural gas, and coal reserves — enough where we can become an exporter again.

Immediately, President Biden should change his policies on fossil fuels. He should do everything he can to permit and encourage the oil and gas companies to explore, produce, and transmit these products efficiently.

Jim Welker, Loveland

Editor’s note: Welker is a former state representative.

It becomes more and more apparent that President Biden may not have the personality required to fight the anti-American and anti-democratic forces in the Republican party. The Democrats need a wartime president and Biden is not measuring up.

Robert Ward, Highlands Ranch

I am a Democrat. Do I want Biden to run again? No. Do I believe he is doing a great job now? Yes! Do I respect the knowledge and wisdom Biden has shown? Yes.

We need a leader who not only knows how our federal government functions with respect for all departments and branches, but we also need one who is loyal to the Constitution. We need a leader who has the respect of our allies. He is getting things done.

The 2022 election is about not permitting our federal government to return to the chaos of the Trump era. We do not need a bunch of ignoramus boneheads in charge! We need to hold on to the Senate. Sen. Mitch McConnell has done a good job in blocking bills Democrats have proposed like voting rights, required gun regulations, immigration reform and climate change. It is imperative we gain Senate seats.

Do I know which Democrat I want to run for president in 2024? No, not right now, but I know anyone they nominate will be running for the best for the United States and the citizens of this great nation based on the foundation principles.

Barbara Wells, Aurora

This is not the Denver I remember

I was born and raised in Denver. I relocated and returned two years ago after being away for 39 years and I settled in North Capitol Hill. Since returning, I have been shocked and disgusted with the deplorable conditions of downtown and its surrounding neighborhoods.

The state of the streets and sidewalks remind me of many third-world countries I have visited. I am disabled and use a mobility scooter. I am unable to ride down the 16th Street Mall without having to navigate to avoid myriad potholes and damaged sidewalks. It’s now impossible to avoid the homeless problem that is out of control. The majority of the problem has nothing to do with affordable housing but rather addiction and mental illness caused by the methamphetamine and fentanyl crises. (I do applaud the new fentanyl legislation that has been signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis.) We are now seeing villages of tarps and tents.

This is not an indictment of Mayor Michael Hancock or his administration’s handling of these problems. But instead, a wake-up call to all
residents and government officials. Denver will soon resemble a city lost.

Kevin Porreco, Denver

Respect for Rep. Cheney

Re: Liz Cheney is a profile in political courage,” July 10 commentary

Hooray, Krista Kafer.

I was surprised by your praise for Rep. Liz Cheney. Thank you.

When much of Congress is bought and paid for, Cheney is a shining star for ethics and patriotism. Her professionalism and attitude are exemplary. She seems “presidential” to me. While most of our senators and representatives represent their constituency and party, Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger know that standing up for the USA takes precedent over politics. They are true Americans.

Bill Diemert, Highlands Ranch

While voting at approximately 90% in favor of policies of the former Oval Office occupant, Rep. Liz Cheney is one of the few Republicans that Ronald Reagan would now be standing and applauding for her efforts in safeguarding the republic.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with her policy stances, she has placed country and Constitution before the cult of “ReTrumplicans” and should be honored for her patriotism.

RC Lloyd, Longmont

Cheaters’ lament

Re: “Message is clear: “Democrats cheat,” July 10 news story

Does extending voter access seem like cheating? Or does trying to suppress the vote of those who are likely to vote for candidates other than those you prefer seem like cheating? Does in-person voting mean less likelihood of cheating than bar-coded mail-in or dropbox collected ballots? Do the people who claim other people have to cheat to win in elections months before an election is held seem more likely to be trying to game the system than those they accuse?

In the recent past, I can identify at least four instances of suspected voter fraud perpetrated by supporters of the former guy: One was here in Colorado, where a man whose wife disappeared months earlier allegedly filled out and cast her ballot; a man in Philadelphia who submitted a ballot for both his deceased mother and mother-in-law; a group of snowbirds who cast ballots in both Florida and their home states; and, the former guy’s chief of staff who registered to vote in North Carolina while claiming residency where he did not live. These are just some examples off the top of my head, but they’re specific enough that you can track them down and verify them if you’re so inclined. What about all the talking heads in conservative media? Where are the specifics to back up their claims that Democrats cheat?

Douglas Hartman, Loveland

A once-in-a-lifetime chance

Denver’s planning department just finished an online open house to present how they would like to have the former Park Hill Golf Course developed. They have spent many hours planning for how a private company could develop this land. Now they are presenting this planning to the public as a prevailing plan from the neighborhood.

The city has wilfully avoided mentioning that the citizenry of Denver voted and paid for a conservation easement on this land to keep it open space. There are still members of the community who worked on this easement that will tell you that the intention was to keep the land as open space. One would think the city would be on the side of its residents, but they have done the opposite by spending to help the developer. And now they push a survey that only gives options for development as if development is the only option.

Yes, the city has a housing problem. We are all aware of that. But we also have a diminishing tree canopy and a shortage of parkland and open space. The golf course could go a long way in helping the open space problem. The city will never again have this opportunity to create a beautiful open space this large within the city limits. Please urge your mayor and your council person to work to keep Park Hill Golf Course as open space and to respect its citizens who voted for and paid for the easement. It’s the right thing to do.

Gary Martyn, Denver

Focus should be on change for Sun Valley neighborhood

Re: “Report reveals inmate origins,” July 7 news story

The focus on the Denver neighborhood of Sun Valley in the story subtitled “Most prisoners come from Front Range, but rates of incarceration high in some rural and small counties” is misleading, as Sun Valley is one of the smallest neighborhoods in Denver, and extrapolating 25 people to a rate of 100,000 people is inappropriate.

Instead, the map included in the article helps point to the disproportionate burden of policing and historical legacies of exclusion and poverty faced by the west and north neighborhoods in Denver, the often referenced “inverted L” from redlining.

At the same time, while the article acknowledges race/ethnicity and poverty as reasons for why residents may be within the criminal system, highlighting this small neighborhood of Sun Valley without acknowledging that residents of public housing in this neighborhood historically have been isolated without adequate services does a disservice to Denverites trying to understand current issues.

Rather, we should seek to understand better the impact of policing within these communities and push for better services, amenities and opportunities within under-resourced areas.

Marisa Westbrook, Denver

Fees to build new schools

Re: Cities suing over tax law,” July 2 news story

The lawsuit over the legislature trying to deny cities the ability to collect sales tax on school building materials entirely misses the big picture regarding school construction financing.

New school buildings are needed because developers keep building new houses, and the new residents who live in these houses add more children. As a result, existing residents are faced with property tax increases every few years to build these new schools. Either they have to vote yes and unfairly increase their property taxes, or no and let their own kids suffer in crowded schools. This is a grossly unfair choice.

So, instead of forcing existing residents to face increasing property taxes, the legislature should authorize school districts to impose school impact fees on new residential development and require cities and counties to collect these fees when they issue building permits. Because there are so many districts, it is unlikely that any of them would build enough new schools as to hit the “$100 million in five years” limit recently imposed on new fees. And if they do, they can always go to their voters and get approval, which would be very easy to get, since these voters are not paying the fees.

Even better, this cost would come out of developers’ excess profits. Once all this is done, the issue of sales tax on materials will seem a bit trivial and in the noise and, therefore, much more easily addressed.

Steve Pomerance, Boulder

We should be able to stop Putin

Our treatment of the war in Ukraine is cause for serious concern. If Russian President Vladimir Putin gets away with his unwarranted aggression, we are opening the door for other power-hungry leaders to do the same. Any country with nuclear weapons can imply nuclear retaliation and proceed to wage war to take over territory they want that doesn’t have nuclear power, knowing we won’t take effective action. China and Taiwan come to mind.

So far Putin may be decimating his ground forces, but he shows no sign of giving up. We need to look for effective ways to stop him. Could Ukraine solicit outside forces such as NATO to counter the war crimes so long as they don’t encroach on Russian territory? Putin claims Ukraine is Russia, but how far would he push it? There has to be something we can do.

Gordon S. Savage Jr., Elizabeth

About that “1776” tweet

It has been revealed that the Proud Boys had a nine-page document detailing the plan for the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, titled “1776 Returns.” On the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert tweeted, “Today is 1776.” Coincidence or collusion?

JM Jesse, Glenwood Springs

Gunnison County leads the way

Re: “Public lands need aid. A county has a plan.” July 13 editorial

On behalf of my fellow business owners and public lands users, thank you so much for bringing attention to the GORP Act. The editorial hits on so many major points about the need and importance of what you underline as Gunnison being the heart of the public lands in Colorado.

My family and I know and understand the importance of protecting habitat and providing management to these precious lands that are a part of our everyday lives. The years of collaboration by local groups on this is also an impressive array of people across the political spectrum and certainly something the rest of the country could learn from.

Arvin Ramgoolam, Crested Butte

Show your evidence

Re: “Those who lost their primary races need to look at themselves,” July 9 commentary

When people like C.J. Garbo publicly express doubts about the 2020 election, they should be required immediately, in the very next sentence, to explain themselves.

Like astronomer Carl Sagan said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

So if they are going to make outrageous claims about our elections, they should back it up with some damn good evidence.

Many people still believe the election was stolen because people like C.J. Garbo keep telling them it might have been. It is simply a cynical ploy to keep their gullible base misinformed. Casually throwing shade, evidence-free, on our elections does a disservice to the country and the electorate.

Kevin Erickson, Westminster

Cheney for president

The Democratic Party should nominate Rep. Liz Cheney as its candidate for president. Consider this:

1) It would bring in all true Republicans that detest what Donald Trump and his anti-democratic followers have done and are trying to do.

2) It would cause the far left fringe of the Democratic Party to shear off and become a splinter party nonentity like the Green Party, Socialists, Communists, et al.

3) It would bring in the vast number of the middle-of-the-road independent, unaffiliated voters.

When you quit laughing, think about it.

Jerry Connell, Littleton

Put eyes on speeders

Re: “New camera system targets speeders,” July 13 news story

Denver’s City Council should take a few lessons from Aurora’s City Council. Denver recently supported the costly changing of speed signs in residential neighborhoods from 25 to 20 mph.

Sorry to tell you this, but that will not slow down speeders. These speeders need to know they are being watched, and if there aren’t enough police officers to conduct enforcement, cameras seem to be a more reasonable approach to solving this issue. The Denver City Council surely would benefit from Aurora’s tutelage.

Helen Gonzales, Denver

Good riddance to DIA ads

Re: “Thieves steal key parts of DIA’s flashy welcome sign,” July 9 news story

I don’t condone theft, but I’m certainly not disappointed that DIA’s billboard “art” is inoperable.

Call it what it is. It’s not a welcome sign; it’s a flashy advertising billboard. DIA spent a lot of money for artwork that could have been a beautiful addition to the existing airport art, then ruined it with the advertising billboard.

Valorie Hipsher, Parker

Tears for the I-70 shooting victim, none for suspect

Living in the backwaters of Colorado, it horrifies and saddens me to see no outcries of rage about an innocent I-70 driver shot and killed during street racing. My heart goes out to the family that was forced to witness this horrific crime. I shed tears for them. I shed no tears for Jeremy Rocha, the person who has been charged with first-degree murder accused of the shooting.

Marianna Young, Monte Vista

Counseling needed for jurors

Re: “Parkland jurors must manage trial stress on their own,” July 3 news story

Terry Spencer reports the Parkland jurors deciding the fate of the murderer must live with the horrors they will hear about and see for a month before they can talk about it.

Denver County Court was supposed to offer counseling to jurors after a child sex abuse trial where I was jury foreman. What we heard and saw over a few days was traumatic. Testimony was so compelling that our deliberations were very quick, much faster than any in the court expected. Our judge had already been sent to work on another trial, and a different judge came in to receive the verdict. He had no idea what we had been through. After the guilty verdict had been read, instead of telling us a counselor was available if we wanted to talk with someone, he simply dismissed us.

I was in a horrible mental state. Instead of feeling relief at the trial being over and the perpetrator going to jail, I felt a heavy weight on my shoulders. I walked to my car in a fog. Fortunately, I called my best friend, a clinical psychologist. We spoke daily for three days before I began to feel normal. I was lucky. Later, he confirmed my suspicions that I was clinically depressed following the trial.

I fear for the Parkland jurors. We are all obligated to serve on juries to support and maintain the legal system in our nation. Our nation, states, cities, and counties have an equal obligation to care for jurors.

Mandell S. Winter Jr., Denver

Compare and contrast

Boris Johnson resigned as prime minister of the United Kingdom. Why did he resign? Was it the opposition party that made life so unbearable for him and voted him out? No, MPs from his own conservative party finally said enough is enough and forced him to relinquish his role as head of the British government. His own party members were fed up with his lies and hypocrisy.

Contrast that with the situation in the U.S. We had a president who for four years committed all kinds of misdeeds and even came to be impeached twice. But were members of his own Republican Party upset enough with his actions to vote to convict him? No, aside from a few brave Republicans in Congress with courage and ethical standards intact, Trump’s Republican allies continued to support him, and they continue to do so to this day. Where are the Republicans in positions of power who are willing to act on the basis of ethical and moral principles? Where are the people of integrity willing to act like the British politicians did and call their leader to account?

William W. Klein, Littleton

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