Letters: GOP and Dems handed gavel to extreme speaker

Congress let us down by handing Mike Johnson the gavel

The House Democrats shot themselves in the foot by continuing to only vote for Hakeem Jeffries for speaker. When moderate Republican non-Trumper Tom Emmer was nominated, they could have voted him in easily and had a speaker who could work both sides of the aisle as well as anyone. But no, their continued holdout resulted in Republican conservative, anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ, pro-Trump Mike Johnson. Watch what you vote (or don’t) vote for; you just might get it.

Jerry Witt, Commerce City

Our democracy just seemed to be further threatened by the election of Mike Johnson as U.S. House Speaker. While I was saddened to hear the death threats against Rep. Ken Buck, I am more sad that those threats actually may have influenced him to vote for Johnson, a 2020 election denier who schemed to reject electors in crucial battleground states.

In voting for Johnson, Buck, along with Reps. Lauren Boebert and Doug Lamborn, Colorado’s other GOP congressional members, now own the very beliefs of MAGA Johnson and the GOP. In endorsing Johnson, there can be no confusion about what the current GOP stands for: a national ban on abortion, a national ban on marriage equality, an unconditional right to own weapons, an attack on Social Security, Medicare, health care, a restriction on free speech in schools, and finally, an attack on voting rights and civil rights. I write this letter because the Colorado GOP congressional members represent not simply their district constituents but all residents of Colorado. One may not be crazy about Democrats, but the choice between authoritarianism, cloaked as “Christian Nationalism,” and a constitutional democracy is clear.

Losing our democracy, what once was unthinkable, now seems plausible. We must come together while respecting our differences, pay attention to history, expand our political awareness, and not allow this extreme minority MAGA movement to destroy America. Sitting congressional members who have denied the 2020 election and who have endorsed Johnson and MAGA’s political agenda and ideology must be voted out of office in 2024. America’s democracy is at stake.

Rebecca Parnell, Centennial

Representative Ken Buck is a consummate conservative in the mold of Republicans from the not-too-distant past. But now there is no place for the likes of him in the GOP. This speaks volumes about the current state of the Republican party. For his replacement, only sycophants of Donald Trump (or others lacking in integrity) need apply.

Guy Wroble, Denver

We can’t afford water giveaway

Re: “How should we manage the drying waterway?” Oct. 29 news story

The Post’s recent article about the negotiations to better manage the Colorado River failed to mention the most important issue: reducing or eliminating subsidies that make Colorado River water artificially inexpensive, especially for agricultural users.

Water withdrawals for agriculture and livestock account for about 70%-80% of water use in the basin. Federal and state water policies have highly subsidized the price of water, which promotes using water to grow crops that would otherwise be uneconomical. For example, the largest user of Colorado River water, California’s Imperial Irrigation District (IID), charges its agriculture customers $20 per acre-foot of water used. By contrast, in May 2023 the Biden administration agreed to pay water users in the lower basin states of the Colorado River — Arizona, California and Nevada — $1.2 billion to conserve at least 3 million-acre-feet of Colorado River water through the end of 2026.

The federal government will pay significantly more to not use water compared to what IID charges its water customers. This is a clear indication of the market distortion that policymakers must address. To reach a sustainable solution for managing the Colorado River requires establishing a more rational pricing of an increasingly scarce resource.

Ronald L. Rudolph, Golden

In their negotiations over water, parties should prioritize farmers’ crops — give them enough and make them use it wisely. If that means more for California, where the food we all eat is grown, that’s OK. We’re one country. But nothing for Saudi Arabia’s alfalfa or Nestle’s bottled water, i.e., no water exports from the Southwest. Don’t steal from the tribes, don’t steal from Mexico, and don’t steal from the wildlife. All deal-breakers should be decided by science: no more pacts that allocate imaginary resources.

Lastly, we need to put the brakes on population growth, which is gravy and biscuits to state government officials and eco-devo departments, so please get some folks at the table who will say “No!” the first time Arizona starts with, “Oh, but we need to plan for growth.” No, we don’t.

We need to plan, at best, for no growth. Not doing so is a recipe for disaster. We need to be realistic if we’re going to save our communities and our environment. I’d like to hear even one government official who sees the long stretch like this.

Susan Williams, Lakewood

Visiting the scene of the crime

Re: “A new and unvarnished look at Sand Creek massacre,” Oct. 29 news story

A couple of years ago, I visited the Sand Creek Massacre site after an event I was at in Holly. Reading a placard describing that scene at the beginning of the trail to the pavilion tore my heart out. That trail follows a path where one looks out over the killing field. I will forever not get that image out of my head. As I began traveling back home, I was stunned to see a sign for a town named Chivington. Why?

Greg Albrecht, Aurora

Science of abortion reversal debated

Re: “The courts sided with Catholic pregnancy centers unfairly targeted by state lawmakers,” Oct. 29 commentary

I was frustrated and alarmed reading Krista Kafer’s latest column about the recent court decision regarding Colorado Senate Bill 190, the bill that bans abortion reversal treatment. Kafer presents the treatment as sound and effective, citing “several studies” that show the treatment is more effective and less dangerous than simply not taking the second dose of the medicated abortion regimen.

What she doesn’t say, however, is that medical groups such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) do not support the treatment. The ACOG says the treatment is “not supported by science” and is “unproven and unethical.” A 2019 study to test the effectiveness and safety of the treatment was ended early. In an effort to present this as the state unfairly targeting faith-based medical centers and their First Amendment rights, Kafer misleads the audience by portraying this treatment as safe and effective when in reality, it’s unproven and potentially harmful, and that’s dangerous.

Adam Stevinson, Arvada

Krista Kafer nailed it. A small faction of abortion rights extremists strong-armed the Democratic caucus and pushed through Senate Bill 190, which punitively targeted Pregnancy Resource Centers which are commonly affiliated with religious organizations. Not only did they blatantly challenge the First Amendment rights of these centers, but they also didn’t hide their animus in hours of testimony at the state Capitol.

The bill also sought to ban the use of progesterone to mitigate the abortifacient effects of mifepristone – the first pill in the two-drug medication abortion regimen. Eliminating this option has nothing to do with improving abortion access but rather is all about denying a woman’s agency and removing her choices.

Opposition to abortion pill reversal was never about the science since there is low-level, but multifaceted and compelling evidence to support the practice. Instead, their true motivations were revealed in testimony from ACOG to the Medical Board – they didn’t want to acknowledge that women change their minds about abortion since it would contradict their preferred narrative and lead to “abortion stigma.” They cared little about the desperate woman in their exam room who believed she made a tragic mistake and wanted to save her baby.

I hope my fellow Democrats take the judge’s decision as a wake-up call. It is past time to look beyond a narrow proabortion focus and support all attempts to serve women who face a challenging pregnancy.

Thomas J. Perille, Englewood

Truth or bias in war coverage?

Re: “Why would reporters take the word of a terrorist organization?” Oct. 29 commentary

Instead of the foolish and meaningless blather by Doug Friednash on Sunday, I wish you had published the remarks of the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.

To quote some of his statements:

• “I have condemned unequivocally the horrifying and unprecedented 7 October acts of terror by Hamas in Israel. … It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum.”

• “The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.”

• “They have seen their land steadily devoured by settlements and plagued by violence; their economy stifled; their people displaced and their homes demolished. Their hopes for a political solution to their plight have been vanishing.”

• “But the grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify the appalling attacks by Hamas. And those appalling attacks cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”

The situation in the Middle East is a heartbreaking tragedy, but it is not the fault of The New York Times, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Rep. Ilhan Omar, or some freelance photographer.

Susan Gamble, Denver

Doug Friednash is right. “The New York Times irresponsibly led the way…” The NY Times does this regularly.

“We should also demand that news organizations rid themselves of so-called journalists who have a clear conflict of interest.”

Their slogan should be corrected to “All the BIASED news fit to print.”

Charlie Kirchoff, Denver

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