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I'm dumbfounded by the Star Tribune's reprint on Feb. 12 of a recent Wall Street Journal editorial titled "Biden's doddering document defense." It's about special counsel Robert Hur's nearly 400-page report concluding that charges against President Joe Biden for mishandling classified materials are unwarranted. Hur also opined that Biden had a "poor memory" and "diminished faculties." The Star Tribune reprint spends little or no time on the charging decision and all time on the memory conclusions. Well, here's the point: Hur is a lawyer, not a medical professional. He lacks any qualifications to determine or to arrive at medical conclusions of any kind concerning memory. Any conclusion that memory might be a defense before some future jury is pure nonlegal speculation.

As reported by Judd Legum in the newsletter Popular Information on Feb. 12, the Wall Street Journal (and hence the Star Tribune) reports Hur's amateur medical judgments as a political crisis for Biden and an existential threat to his re-election campaign. Legum points out, "The actual threat to Biden's political prospects is the deluge of negative media coverage based on Hur's conjecture." He also reports that "just three major papers — the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal — collectively published 81 articles about Hur's assessment of Biden's memory in the four days following the release of Hur's report." Only one of those stories mentioned a key fact, Legum says: Hur is completely unqualified to render a judgment on Biden's mental capacity. The Wall Street Journal did not produce any articles explaining that Hur's evaluation of Biden's mental health has no medical basis. Nor does the Star Tribune.

David Fisher, Bloomington


As one of the millions of Americans who is Biden's age, I am puzzled that gerontologists and celebrity octogenarians are either silent or in denial since reading the recent report on Biden's disorganized documents and related conversations. Our gray matter changes along with the graying of our hair. After a few decades we forget which year we began working at one company or another. We forget which safe place we put a new purchase last week. Naturally, if we live this long, we are going to be different from how we were at 35. A long-familiar name or word sometimes refuses to come to mind instantly.

Being an octogenarian is another adventure along life's trails and travails. It would be refreshing for Biden and the first lady to be interviewed by a trusted journalist, with a trusted gerontologist consultant, and be candid about being eight decades old. I would like to see and hear them tell their observations and also laugh a little.

Jane Lang, St. Paul


To Joe Biden: There is a simple way to transform an apparent insult into a positive message. Don't let Hur's words define you. The people who support you know that you are not perfect but you are a person of integrity, honesty, compassion and human lapses. Appearing "sympathetic" is much more admirable than someone who appears egotistical. Appearing to be "well-meaning" is to be lauded compared with someone who is vindictive. Being an "elderly man with a poor memory" is much better than being a younger man who falsely claims that he won an election.

Call me old-fashioned, but as a 73-year-old man I still believe in a just democracy, in the rule of law, in being compassionate toward those less privileged, and in crafting legislative compromises. As a wise elder statesman once said, "The very soul of America is at stake." Joe, I won't forget to vote for you and democracy on Nov. 5.

Kevin Corrado, Minneapolis


Famous quotes:

"I am not a crook." — Richard Nixon

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman." — Bill Clinton

"I never met this woman." — Donald Trump

We can now add "My memory is fine" from Joe Biden. If his memory is fine, perhaps he should face the consequences of his actions that his predecessors have had to endure, and not hide behind his infirmity to avoid trials.

Michael Tillemans, Minneapolis


The natural candidate to replace Biden would be Vice President Kamala Harris.

The problem is her approval rating is lower than Biden's — 28%, according to an NBC News poll conducted Jan. 26-30.

In addition to her low approval rating, she would suffer the same criticisms as Biden on the border, inflation and Gaza. Add in the racist and sexist rumors that will follow her on social media, and you have a candidate who will have a difficult time beating Trump. There is no upside having Harris as the nominee.

If Biden decides not to run, Harris should follow suit.

So who does that leave? Gov. Gavin Newsom in California? Any candidate from California will have limited appeal in swing states. It would take little time for Republicans to show the problems in California of high crime, high taxes, immigration and a further left view on social issues than the rest of the country. And how would people of color respond to a white man replacing Harris as the nominee?

Given the late date, other candidates who are not nationally known would have even a more difficult time. They risk being defined by the Republicans, far-right groups and international adversaries before they get a chance to introduce themselves on the national stage.

Embrace Biden. He is your best shot at this point. Undermining him only helps Trump. This election is too important.

Jim Piga, Mendota Heights


Star Tribune readers of the Feb. 12 reprinted editorial "Biden's doddering document defense" would be well to remember that the Wall Street Journal is owned by Rupert Murdoch. The editorial says special counsel Hur concludes that "no criminal charges are warranted" because Biden would get a sympathy acquittal due to his faulty memory. That flimsy rationale undercuts our whole fact-based judicial system. The reason is, and Hur's report later specially states, "These facts do not support a conclusion that Mr. Biden willfully retained the marked classified documents in these binders."

Unable to legally hang Biden, Hur embarks on a politically motivated rant completely irrelevant and outside the bounds of legal evidence that should reasonably constrain a special counsel. The WSJ conveniently omits the current and much more severe mental lapses by Trump, who not only cannot distinguish Nikki Haley from Nancy Pelosi, he couldn't identify whether a photo showed one of his ex-wives. The piece also ignores the shockingly opposite reactions of these two men when improperly retained documents were discovered.

Notwithstanding historical memory lapses, Biden's mental acuity is demonstrably, and critically, vastly superior to the dangerous chaos beneath Trump's dyed locks.

David Braden, Edina


What is this but antisemitism?

When I and many others attended recent Minneapolis City Council meetings to speak against the now passed resolution for a cease-fire in Gaza, we held signs sharing our concern that this would lead to increased antisemitism. There can be no clearer example of how this has come about than Basim Sabri's email to Mayor Jacob Frey telling him he was no longer welcome at the Karmel Mall because "I thought you were just a Jew" ("Sabri bars Frey from mall over vetoed resolution," Feb. 13). If his objection to Frey was strictly over his vetoing the initial resolution, then it would make sense he would also attack and bar the three council members who voted against the resolution, none of whom are Jewish, from his mall — but he did not do that.

Mayor Frey is the only person he called out, and while he tried to walk his comments back, saying it was about Zionism, it clearly was about the mayor being Jewish. Our community should not tolerate such speech, and I hope that the City Council would speak out against it also.

Sheldon Berkowitz, St. Paul