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Reading Clive Crook's recent commentary about the ex-president and Joe Biden made me wonder, "How old is Crook?" ("An extravaganza of unfitness," Opinion Exchange, May 2.) He must not be familiar with other older, well-known, successful people who are over 75-years-old and still working. Let me name a few. Warren Buffett, at 92, is an American business magnate, investor, philanthropist, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and actively works every day. His net worth is $113 billion. How about Harrison Ford, 80, who is starring in the "1923" and "Shrinking" series? His net worth is $300 million. Helen Mirren, who stars in "1923," is 77. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator, is 81. Chuck Grassley, the longest serving senator in Iowa history, is 89. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is 81; Sen. Mitt Romney is 76. Janet Yellen, the U.S. secretary of the treasury, is 76. Need I say more?

President Joe Biden has the experience and knowledge to continue the valuable work of his administration. He has only been in office two and a half years and has had to deal with the ex-president's failed policies. 2021 and 2022 have been the two strongest years of job growth in history. Health care and drug costs have been lowered, and he has overseen the nation's economic recovery from the worst of the coronavirus pandemic. We need to keep him in the presidency and help him to get the job done.

Rebecca R. McCaughtry, Red Wing, Minn.


Voting in primary elections is critical. It is there that the choices we may bemoan in November will be made. If you do not show up for the primaries, then don't complain about your choices later. This was my main takeaway from Clive Crook's piece. We may not like either of November's options, but by then there is no significant way to effect for whom you vote.

Rep. Dean Phillips has suggested we should have ranked-choice voting in our elections. I can see no better place for this than in the primaries. This would result in the election of candidates in the party we support, who best represent the ideas with which we most likely agree. It could also not allow crossover voting if we confine all the choices to one party.

Theodore Nagel, Minneapolis


Is common sense now extreme?

As I read the article in Monday's paper on the debt ceiling, I couldn't help but notice that the term "far right" was used over and over, eight times in fact — oh, and of course, "MAGA extremists" was also tossed in ("Far right is ready for fiscal war," May 1). I cannot recall ever reading the term "far left" used in any article, nor I have seen "Biden extremists." Is it really the "far right" that would like to see some common sense come to Washington, D.C., and deal with runaway spending? I don't think so — it is average people who are trying to survive! I, for one, am looking for someone to try to stop the insanity. There is no free lunch; someone pays! I am so thankful that we now have a group in Congress who cares about this country and has a plan for our good. Let's support this and at least make a start to turn this country around.

Connie Sambor, Plymouth


Thank heavens for Luger

Every parent concerned for the safety of their family owes a debt of gratitude to U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger for the action his office has taken to halt the epidemic of violent crime that has overtaken the city of Minneapolis ("Finally cracking down on gang crime," editorial, May 5). While politicians mouth platitudes about their concern for the "'unprecedented spike in violent crime in recent years' to street gangs that 'have held this community hostage,'" Luger and his office have acted to accomplish that desired result ("RICO charges target two Mpls. gangs," front page, May 4). I am sure Luger speaks for all honest, law-abiding citizens of Minneapolis, Black and white, when he says, "We have an opportunity to get our city back." So let's give credit where credit is due, for such courage is rarely seen these days.

Ronald Haskvitz, Golden Valley


Back in the 1960s the gangs were fairly benign with the baldies and greasers squaring off in occasional fistfights, a few beers and a joint or two but they evolved into the high-profile, violence-ridden gangs of today. Now after decades of local gangs increasingly gaining the upper hand in Minneapolis, currently deemed a crime-ridden city of fear and violence, the feds have confronted two major gangs for their alleged crimes. These gangs are responsible for much of the drug-dealing that continues to weaken and kill so many addicted citizens. They terrorize our city with robberies, carjackings and gun violence, while also waging retribution wars with rival gangs. Public transportation is not safe as well as the risk of traveling many areas of our city as the bullets continue to fly.

So why has it taken decades for law enforcement to respond to this menace that has been largely left unattended as gang members are recruited at ever younger ages? Our local police forces are way understaffed to do much beyond respond to the worst crimes after the fact. The situation has become a chaotic mess as forces attempt to regulate and control police activities, as they continue to risk their lives out there every day for us.

At least the word is out that criminal gangs are not welcome in Minneapolis, and will face consequences for their activities, but will they actually go down without a fight? With any luck they would eventually be replaced by new generations of young people focused on their educations, job training, meaningful careers and strong faith and families, actually making something of their lives and contributing to a better world. Stay tuned!

Michael Tillemans, Minneapolis


Tax on emissions is long overdue

Kudos to Timothy Taylor's piece on the importance of taxing carbon emissions vs. offering green energy subsidies ("Carbon tax medicine is a better Rx than green subsidy sugar," Opinion Exchange, May 4).

The takeaway should not necessarily be that taxing carbon is a better policy than green subsidies. Rather, it has been shown time and again by economists (Milton Friedman, for one) and conservative and progressive policymakers that taxing what we don't want (more carbon emissions) is as valuable a tool in the policy toolbox as tax subsidies for what we do want (clean energy).

Taylor states, "Both carbon taxes and green energy subsidies provide an incentive for a shift from carbon-heavy to lower-carbon or non-carbon sources. ... [C]arbon taxes also encourage conservation of fossil fuels by raising their price." He refers to economic modeling that demonstrates that tax dollars raised from a carbon tax are six times more effective at reducing carbon than tax dollars spent on subsidies provided in the Inflation Reduction Act.

Most of us get that the adverse effects of climate change are rising and affecting our economic as well as personal well-being. It is high time that we taxpayers and our policymakers recognize the need for sensible tax policies that include a tax on carbon emissions.

Gregory P. Olson, Eden Prairie


A one, and a two ...

Thank you for running the piece on the Murray Middle School "Adopt an Instrument" program ("Band kids craft stories to help pay for repairs," April 30). We were so happy to make the final contribution that completed 100% adoption of the instruments needing repair. This is a wonderful way to get community participation, and we encourage other schools to set up similar programs that will allow us to assist in enriching the lives of students in our community.

Jane Barnsteiner and Joanne Disch, Minneapolis