September 9, 2014

All Hail Geraghty

Caption of the Day: [Subscribe]

kneel_before_clod.jpg

Posted by John Kranz at 10:42 AM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2014

Answering the tough questions...

Hat-tip: Weld County Sheriff (and Amy Oliver's husband) John Cooke.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:27 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Good stuff. Love the beverage choice, "cowboy."

Posted by: johngalt at July 16, 2014 2:42 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh -- missed that.

Posted by: jk at July 16, 2014 2:52 PM

July 8, 2014

Colorado's Economic Forecast is ... TBD?

What's up with the official Colorado Economic Forecast- State Revenue and Economic Quarterly Forecasts posted on the Colorado.gov website? The reports for the two most recent quarterly reporting periods are AWOL. (Has KDVR 31 noticed yet?) If you click through you can see that the reports from March 2007 until December 2013 are linked to a Colorado.gov page but the March 2014 report is an empty Dropbox page and the June 2014 report is - wait for it - a Google Docs survey by "The Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB)" that "is seeking feedback on its quarterly economic and revenue forecast."

Excuse me, shouldn't you actually be providing a quarterly economic forecast instead of asking us what we want it for? [Click continue reading for the text of the survey]

Okay, I'll tell you why I was looking for the official economic forecast of the Governor's Office of State Planning and Budgeting. I had just read about this Denver Business Journal survey where 56% of respondents said that state regulations hurt their business "a little" or "a lot."

And I had just reviewed this United States Small Business Friendliness Survey that grades Colorado's regulatory environment a B-minus, worsened from B in 2013. (And the scale only includes grades of A through C.)

And so, I wondered, as his re-election campaign approaches, what is the governor's opinion of Colorado's economic condition - past, present or future? The last time his OSPB published an opinion was in December of last year, when it summarized:

"As with the nation, however, economic progress across the state is uneven. Further, the economy is always vulnerable to adverse, often unexpected, events that could strain budget conditions."

I presume this is the best possible light that state economists are able to cast. That would seem consistent with the compilation of Colorado's other economic grades from the Small Business Friendliness Survey:

Ease of starting a business: A-minus, up from B-plus

Ease of hiring: A, up from A-minus

Regulations: B-minus, down from B

Health and safety: B-plus, up from C

Employment, labor and hiring: C, down from B

Tax code: C-plus, down from B-plus

Licensing: A-minus, up from B-plus

Environmental: B-minus, up from C-plus

Zoning: C, down from B-minus

Training and networking programs: A-minus, down from A

In summary five improvements and five declines, but there are some very ugly grades in there including C's (the lowest grade) in Employment, Tax Code and Zoning. Certainly not to what a state with "one of the nation's most educated, technically saavy workforces" might aspire. While we might expect to lead the nation in economic growth and development, under the administration and policies of the current governor Colorado looks more like a slow-moving state, making the governor's new state logo take on a whole new significance.

Slow%20Moving%20State.jpg

Forecast Survey_June 2014
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Posted by JohnGalt at 3:12 PM | Comments (0)

July 2, 2014

Jared Polis in Two Minuites

The entire show -- as usual -- is worth a watch.

But first. And then after. And then another time. Watch from 20:49 - 22:49. Colorado Springs Gazette editorial page editor Wayne Laugesen and Jon Caldara destroy rich-kid Rep. Jared Polis ($$$ - CO) who wants to run the state because he has dough.

And, watch it again.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:46 PM | Comments (7)
But jk thinks:

Littwin's a frequent guest and I like him well enough. But I really have to say he gets his clock cleaned on both fracking and climate change, which he brings up as a "gotcha" laugh line.

I'm not so naïve (stop laughing!) that I think property rights is a big sell to the low-info voter, but I think it can be positioned.

Laugesen makes a great start with the retired folks and middle-class investors; I have wanted to push the Willie Nelson Farm Aid angle. A lot of family farms can now continue to operate because of mineral revenue. A lot of families make $7,000 a year farming and get a $90,000 check from EnCana (peace be upon their holy name...) That lets them continue a tradition and lifestyle that is important to themselves and the community.

Posted by: jk at July 3, 2014 12:27 PM
But jk thinks:

You're out in the Weld hinterlands . . . am I wrong?

Posted by: jk at July 3, 2014 12:29 PM
But johngalt thinks:

My dirt-farming neighbor recently bricked over the exterior of his old farmhouse. He sure didn't get the money for such "extravagance" from selling hay, corn and barley. On a recent visit they seemed the happiest folks in the world. Not the kind of "we can't make ends meet" depression that is all to common in rural communities.

But that angle will have zero impact on the highly fertile Birth Control Voter. She might respond better to Laugesen's "billionaire on vacation wants to make blue collar guys stop working" angle. MIGHT.

Posted by: johngalt at July 3, 2014 12:38 PM
But jk thinks:

I was thinking more low-info, not hopelessly-wrong-and-proud-of-it info.

For out-of-staters and in-state intellectuals: things are getting good on Colorado TV. Poor Ken Buck got slaughtered in 2010 by constant #WarOnWomen ads with little response. Those are starting against Cory Gardner (Too Extreme for Colorado, would you believe it?), but there are some very good outside ads in his favor. In my favorite, a Millennial-aged female looks into the camera and says her generation cannot get jobs because of Sen. Udall's spending. Boom: engaging, understandable and -- !!! -- factual!

The pro-fracking forces are also defining the issues well beyond "we're really not poisoning your kids too much."

Homey may not be playing that this year, I'm reluctantly optimistic.

Posted by: jk at July 3, 2014 12:55 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Independence Institute has done the editing for you. Here is Wayne's 47 seconds on Polis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nuRE_DR66OM

"Out of touch." That's what comes to mind when I watch this.

Posted by: johngalt at July 3, 2014 5:19 PM
But jk thinks:

SWEET! (Though I don't know that 50 seconds is enough). I posted it on the George Leing FB Page.

Thanks.

Posted by: jk at July 3, 2014 5:40 PM

June 25, 2014

An algrorithm to choose lesser crazies...

I'll happily segue off confusion over my previous post's title.

Ari Armstrong posits a solution to the underlying game theory in a four-way primary: approval voting.

He suggests you vote for all candidates you "approve of." Most votes wins.

In other words, fewer than a third of Colorado Republican primary voters, or a little over 111,000 people (in a state with a population of around 5.3 million people), cast a vote for Beauprez--hardly a popular uprising.

Consider what might have happened under approval voting. The basics of approval voting are straightforward: Each voter gets to vote for as many candidates as he or she “approves” of. The candidate with the most votes wins. For example, if I had voted in this primary under approval voting, I would have cast a vote for both Gessler and Tancredo (despite my deep disagreements with the latter).


Gessler may well have been everybody's second. I note that I would split differently than Armstrong. I'd've voted for Gessler, whom I wanted, and Beauprez to block Rep. Tancredo.

Interesting.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:36 PM | Comments (10)
But jk thinks:

Not to say that you implied otherwise, but I have been pretty honest about how much I have "evolved" on this issue.

Perhaps the anti-modernity of religious zealots is just too much. Sharansky is wrong about a universal yearning for freedom. I'm still wrestling but rereading that, I am not in a mood to apologize for optimism.

Posted by: jk at June 25, 2014 6:08 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

No apology needed - and I don't think Sharansky was wrong. The Iraqis ten years ago were ecstatic about being free and being able to vote. Remember the purple fingertips? I do.

The explanation isn't that Sharansky was wrong; it's that things happen. For some - like the underclass in Iraq, and elsewhere in the Middle East - the relentless oppression and hostility pushes people to give up hope, accept one's lot, and pay the jizya or the danegeld. They still would like to be free, but better led than dead, right?

For some - and here I think of America, to our everlasting shame - 52% of the masses have been co-opted by free stuff. Freedom is okay, but they're getting an EBT card, healthcare at the taxpayers' expense, and an Obamaphone, without having to earn any of them. Trading their birthright for a bowl of red stew, as it were.

Sharansky was wrong, so much as many people around us let that longing for freedom get shouted down by some other pressure or some other bribe. Looking at our own country, I often think that people like us here are no longer the rule, but the exception.

That being said, never forget that in 1775, only 30% of us wanted independence; another 30% we fine with George III, and the rest were too busy with whatever took the place of Oprah back then to care which way the wind blew.

My point in bringing up that early post was not that you were wrong; it's that people gave up or gave in, and the times, they are a-changin'. This does not bode well for the course of the world.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at June 25, 2014 7:17 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Like, you guys are, like, saying that freedom and free stuff are in two different directions. "Economic Justice" says that I can, like, be free to exercise my civil right to food, water, healthcare, and a new smartphone like every six months. Where's the conflict? You racists! Stop confusing people that you hate!

Posted by: johngalt at June 26, 2014 3:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Back to the subject of this post for a moment: I seem to have started an argument with Ari Armstrong in the comments on the linked article. Maybe I'm Pollyanna but I'm growing in optimism over the Beauprez candidacy. I called it a "golden opportunity for the liberty movement." Am I wrong?

Posted by: johngalt at June 26, 2014 4:14 PM
But jk thinks:

I would not escalate the contretemps by calling Armstrong "a TEA Partier," but I think many independent types cast Republicans in to "establishment" and "liberty" buckets. Rep. Beauprez will e'er be in the establishment bucket.

The question is whether redemption is extant for GOP politicians. In Armstrong's defense, gravitation waves seem easier to prove.

Posted by: jk at June 26, 2014 4:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The lines of debate are curious because I place myself in the "TEA Partier" bucket and I'm standing up for Beauprez. That establishment bucket, however, has folks packed into the bottom and other folks hanging on the rim with one arm. Thad Cochran is irredeemable. Bob Beauprez is not in that class. I credit his western heritage, his electoral rebuke in 2006, and his stint as a talk radio jock. Like Governor Huckabee, speaking in stark terms about the political and philosophical issues of our day, brightly lit by the sunlight of the liberty movement, seems to have loosened some of those well-earned "establishment" scales.

I posit the better question is whether Beauprez or Hickenlooper, who recently apologized for signing gun ban laws, is better stock for a political makeover into something that is freedom friendly, if not exactly the torch in the Statue of Liberty's right hand. And I think that question has a unanimous answer.

Posted by: johngalt at June 26, 2014 5:38 PM

June 19, 2014

Hickenlooper Gun Ban Denial Goes Horribly Wrong!

I like the old-fashioned ways of politics better, where they actually got creative in their prevarication. The lies we're told today are so phony, so obviously transparent, it takes all the fun out of exposing them. But I will say we rarely get to see the unvarnished gut reaction when a politician is caught red handed in an outright lie. Full stop period. Like this:

"How many apologies do you want? What the f***!"

Only one for each lie, governor.

HT: Westword Blog post.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:34 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Sadly, he lost Mayor Bloomberg's emails when his hard drive crashed -- I guess we'll never know.

Posted by: jk at June 20, 2014 12:12 PM

June 18, 2014

David Harsanyi, Call Your Office

And Ben Franklin, and everybody who has even pointed out the evils of Democracy.

It seems their property rights can be stolen from under their feet by ballots while they are abroad defending ours by bullets. The Colorado Observer: Military Voters Won't Get Ballots in Loveland Fracking Fight

frack_mil_ballots.gif

Posted by John Kranz at 1:48 PM | Comments (0)

Private?

i_voted_weld001.jpg

"Political parties are private organizations; they may adjust their rules however they wish."

I've heard that and likely have said it. But my primary ballot is identical in every way to the mechanisms used n the General (except it does not have all those smelly Democrat names on it). Do they pay? Can we start a ThreeSources party and force the County machinery to process our ballots?

Posted by John Kranz at 11:40 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Well, not completely as they wish. State law allows candidates to petition onto a party primary ballot without participating in said party's caucus and assembly process. It's in the state constitution, I'm told.

Want to start your own government-supported private party? Look here: http://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/Candidates/FAQs/QPOandMinorParty.html

Posted by: johngalt at June 18, 2014 3:09 PM
But jk thinks:

Interesting, thanks for the link. I suppose my Libertario Delenda Est card would be rightly revoked were I to form a Minor Parties or Qualified Political Organization.

Posted by: jk at June 18, 2014 7:30 PM

June 6, 2014

Three Cheers for Boulder!

Okay -- I know his account was hacked now...

Nope. The lovely bride and I had a very nice evening last night. A good friend was playing at the St. Julien Hotel. It is across the street from my old office and I believe our band was the first one to play there.

We saw the ensemble Laughing Hands: a hyper-eclectic acoustic ensemble. I've seen them several times and cannot recommend them highly enough. Superb musicianship, unusual instruments, diverse repertoire -- they're great.

LaughingHands_stjulien.jpg
The backlighting challenged even the mighty Lumina 1020

The great conundrum is that, somehow, without Boulder, that doesn't really happen. I was beating up Austin last week, but it is the same deal. To say it coarsely: without the lefties we'd have Dunkin' Donuts and no Starbucks.

Mind you, we need some Federalism so that they cannot run the whole country, but there has to be a Boulder.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:27 PM | Comments (0)

June 5, 2014

Three Cheers for the ACLU!

They do get it right now and then: Skokie in 1978, and "Campaign Finance Reform" today.

Democrats pushing for a constitutional amendment that would give government the authority to regulate political spending by outside groups will do so without one traditional ally at their side.

In a letter submitted Tuesday to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the American Civil Liberties Union expressed opposition to the amendment, saying it would "lead directly to government censorship of political speech and result in a host of unintended consequences that would undermine the goals the amendment has been introduced to advance."


My buddy and Senator, Mark Udall (Daddy's - CO) looks to be betting the farm on three issues that are hard sells in Colorado:

GUN CONTROL

Democrat incumbent Sen. Mark Udall (Colo.) will receive support from an out-of-state gun control group in his reelection campaign, after backing stricter gun laws in the past.

Americans for Responsible Solutions, the group founded by former Rep. Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, has raised more than $15 million in support of candidates like Udall, who wants a return of the assault weapons ban. The group wants to limit gun owners to 10-bullet magazines, and to "examine" America's "glorification of violence."


CLIMATE CHANGE
Energy once again is dominating Colorado's U.S. Senate race with the announcement that climate change guru Tom Steyer is tapping his fortune to make sure Democrat Mark Udall wins another term.

Steyer, a retired hedge fund manager from California billed as a "green billionaire," founded NextGen Climate Action. He said Thursday he is donating $50 million to the super PAC to target seven Democrat races nationwide, including Udall's, and the group is expected to raise at least another $50 million.


Very important on Facebook that people sign Sen. Udall's petition demanding that Cory Gardner accept climate change. Umm, Yeah!!! Sure. I guess...

THE AMENDMENT THINGY

Looking for issues to push in this year's congressional elections, Senate Democrats are proposing a constitutional amendment that would enable government at the federal and state levels alike to heavily regulate campaign contributions and expenditures. The effort is driven by the Democrats' intense disagreement with Supreme Court decisions on campaign finance. The amendment likely will fail, as it certainly should. As in so many areas of governance these days, liberty--here the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment--is at stake.

The third peg was his Amendment overturning The First Amendment Citizens United v. FEC.

All of these have some traction in "Purple" Colorado. But Democrats get elected as "moderates" and, while Udall's new allies have deep pockets, they will be easy targets for attacks as -- excuse me, but I must -- "Too Extreme for Colorado!". The ALCU's demurring now removes any legitimacy the Amendment may have had.

I guess he'll have to ruin on his support for ObamaCare®!

Posted by John Kranz at 2:38 PM | Comments (0)

June 4, 2014

Family Guy Does Colorato Politics

Can't say I'm a fan of "Family Guy," but that may have to change:

Posted by John Kranz at 2:31 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

"Don't bring me down, bro'!"

Posted by: johngalt at June 4, 2014 4:34 PM

May 25, 2014

Because Boulder County Humans Still "Destroy Ecosystems"...

In a comment on Genetically Modified Good Causes I linked a Longmont Times-Call story about proposed "rights of nature' in the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan. It gives scant indication of what is truly being proposed.

Boulder County Planning Commission members agreed Wednesday night on a thus-far-unofficial comprehensive plan addition declaring county government's responsibility to support the continued existence of all of the county's "naturally occurring ecosystems and their native species populations."

That proposed language is vague enough to mean nothing, or everything, depending upon who is doing the "interpreting." For a hint how the anti-prosperity egalitarian socialists on the board of "Boulder Rights of Nature" might interpret it, consider this summary of their numerous demands as they appeared in a guest opinion by self-proclaimed Boulder environmentalist and president of the Boulder County Horse Association:

However, these multiple protections are not enough to satisfy a few environmental extremists who are quietly pushing for a "new paradigm:" the inclusion of a "Sustainable Rights of Nature Ordinance," which would, among other things:

1) "Eliminate the authority of a property owner to destroy, or cause substantial harm to, natural communities and ecosystems"

2) Accord "inherent, inalienable, and fundamental rights of Nature to all Natural Beings" including humans and "all living species of plants, animals, and algae"

3) Include a Statement of Law that "All Natural beings, Natural Communities and Ecosystems possess the inalienable right to exist, flourish, regenerate, and evolve"

4) Declare that "The Precautionary Principle Is Needed To Protect These Rights"

5) Find that "It shall be unlawful for any person, government entity, corporation (etc) to intentionally or recklessly violate the rights of Natural Beings, Natural Communities or Ecosystems"

6) Enforce "Damages" measured by the cost of restoring the Natural Community or Ecosystem to its [original] state before the injury.

But such extremism is warranted, says BRoN board member Dale Ball, because "We wouldn't think of our children as property to exploit, nor should we think that way of nature." Apparently nobody asked mister Ball how he feels about human abortion.

No, this is not about the principle of "protecting" nature. It is about regulating and controlling the behavior of other people. "Then we shall see who the superior one really is!"

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:41 AM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

Review Corner after next will be "Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong" by Robert Bryce.

And yet the neo-Malthusian mindset endures. In 2011, three analysts, Will Steffen , Johan Rockström, and Robert Costanza, published a report in which they claimed to have identified specific boundaries for the planet-- on issues like climate change, land use, water use, ozone depletion , and others-- "beyond which humanity should not go." [...] But it's the implementation part of their prescription that creates the rub. They write:
Ultimately, there will need to be an institution (or institutions) operating, with authority, above the level of individual countries to ensure that the planetary boundaries are respected. In effect , such an institution, acting on behalf of humanity as a whole, would be the ultimate arbiter of the myriad trade-offs that need to be managed as nations and groups of people jockey for economic and social advantage. It would, in essence, become the global referee on the planetary playing field.

Nope, nothing could possibly go wrong there....

Posted by: jk at May 25, 2014 2:16 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Perhaps this will be the actual manifestation of the Fourth Reich.

Posted by: johngalt at May 25, 2014 3:31 PM
But Jk thinks:

Naaah, just a kind of "global referee," enforcing planetary boundaries...

Posted by: Jk at May 25, 2014 5:12 PM
But Terri thinks:

Prairie dog colonies
Mosquito colonies
Ash borer
termites
dandelions

just trying to imagine what Boulder Cty will end up looking like when they face reality.
"We're all lawbreakers now"

Posted by: Terri at May 26, 2014 9:30 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Your list is a good starting point Terri but if "Natural Beings" goes down the evolutionary ladder as far as "algae" wouldn't it also include botulism? Polio? Cancer? Don't they have a right to "exist, flourish, regenerate, and evolve" in their chosen "Ecosystem" i.e. your body?

"Oh no, don't be ridiculous" they'll say, but they are the ones who wrote this ridiculousness! I am merely interpreting it faithfully, objectively and consistently.

Posted by: johngalt at May 27, 2014 5:07 PM

May 22, 2014

Log Cabin Republicans

Go All Robin Leach on Rep. Jared Polis.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:53 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Heard this on air a couple of times. Hope to hear it more. It's well done. Doesn't sound like a political ad at the beginning.

Gotta have a little fun though with my morning drive host who said "Log Cabin Republicans came out with a new ad..." Snort.

Posted by: johngalt at May 23, 2014 11:12 AM

May 20, 2014

Falsus Libertario Delenda Est!

Having recently escaped Colorado's Second Congressional District, I consider myself well-informed about Rep. Jared Polis (Libertarian? - CO).

He is currently the darling of the big-L Libertarians who are certain to have discovered the elusive "Libertarian Democrat:" cryptozoology's greatest prize! Rep. Polis is a regular on "The Independents" on FOX Business Channel. He received positive coverage in Reason:

A conventional Democrat in some respects, he also supports many causes that matter to libertarians: legalizing marijuana and hemp, restraining NSA surveillance, reforming copyright and patent laws, and making space for the virtual currency Bitcoin.

"A conventional Democrat in some respects." Yes, the obligatory disclaimer for interviewer Scott Shackford. Let me help you, Scott. He is a conventional Democrat EVERY FREAKIN' PLACE AND EVERY GORRAM TIME THAT IT COUNTS. Minority Leader Pelosi does not have to worry about his vote (including yea on ObamaCare on March 21, 2010).

When he's on his own, he pens a Libertarian Editorial in the WSJ. And he accepts campaign contributions in Bitcoin! He's like Mises reincarnate!

If they looked a little deeper, they'd see not only "A conventional Democrat in some respects," but a wellspring of dirigisme. The Blueprint [Review Corner] chronicles Polis as one of four überfunders of statehouse races providing the Democratic legislative majorities in Colorado which brought us draconian gun laws and insane regulations on energy -- especially to rural Coloradans. Thanks, Jared! Or shall I call you Murray Rothbard?

Today, he is in the press for using his considerable funding to force his energy views on the entire state. (Remember when Hayek did that?)

DENVER -- Democratic Rep. Jared Polis reminded Coloradans Monday why it's tough to tangle with a rich guy, outraising his pro-business foes in the latest campaign-finance reporting period on his proposed statewide anti-fracking initiatives.

One Polis group, Coloradans for Local Control, donated $1.45 million to another Polis group, Coloradans for Clean and Safe Energy, which is running the campaign to place a slew of anti-fracking measures on the Nov. 4 ballot.

That one donation--the only contribution so far to the Polis-sponsored issue committee--exceeded the combined $900,000 raised by two energy-backed coalitions during the two-week reporting period ending May 14, although their overall fundraising tops the Polis campaign's at $3.77 million.


Those damned oil companies and the nefarious Koch Brothers outspent in one day! By a statist who is feted as a "Libertarian."

If that's what they're like, I definitely want out! Libertario Delenda Est!

Posted by John Kranz at 3:36 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Snap! This is a kick-ass takedown of Jared NIMBY-King Polis and his Reason puff piece. This should be tagged in the Rant category. I'm going to come back and read it regularly whenever I'm feeling down.

Posted by: johngalt at May 20, 2014 5:07 PM
But jk thinks:

As I did lapse into all caps, it does indeed belong under "Rant" (added). I had self-visualized better self control when I started :) As the great philosopher Peter Green said, "Oh, well."

Thanks for the kind words.

Posted by: jk at May 20, 2014 5:11 PM

May 13, 2014

Mile High Takers?

I was born in Denver but am not one to rise to her defense. There always seemed to be a lot of begging in Boulder. I dunno -- sunshine? nice folks?

Posted by John Kranz at 5:48 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Denizens of Denver and Seattle are easily more gullible than New Yorkers, probably also more than the federal workers of D.C. Hey, if people stop feeding the animals...

Posted by: johngalt at May 13, 2014 7:15 PM

April 24, 2014

Oh Noes! Trouble for Sen Udall?

Alyssa Finley: Bad News for Colorado's Udall

Democrats are taking cold comfort in a New York Times/Kaiser Family Foundation poll this week that finds Senate Democrats leading Republican challengers in pivotal southern states with double-digit spreads in Arkansas and Louisiana. Meantime, a couple of new polls suggest that Colorado Democrat Mark Udall could be in serious trouble.

First, a word on the Times poll: The survey does not reflect likely voting. Nearly a third of the respondents in Arkansas didn't vote in 2012. Nor did a quarter of those in Louisiana and 21% in North Carolina. Among those who reported voting, President Obama was favored 31-28 over Mitt Romney in Louisiana and 38-31 in North Carolina. The president lost Louisiana by 17 points and North Carolina by two. Democratic Senators are likely to lead the unpopular president, but probably not by the 41 points that the poll suggests in Louisiana.
[...]
A new PPP survey has Mr. Udall leading by a mere two points, while an internal survey for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows Republican Rep. Cory Gardner up by two among likely voters. According to the Chamber's survey, six in 10 voters oppose ObamaCare and 55% view President Obama unfavorably. Roll Call prognosticator Stu Rothenberg said on CNN's "State of the Union" this week that Mr. Gardner could pull off an upset.

Not surprisingly, Democrats' strategy to counteract ObamaCare liability is to wage a "war on women" campaign against Mr. Gardner. On Wednesday, the incumbent released its first TV ad, which denounces his Republican challenger for sponsoring a bill to make abortion a felony and undertaking a "quest to outlaw birth control."


Too bad.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:58 PM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2014

Duh!

Talmey-Drake Research and Strategy Inc. said in a written report to the county [Boulder, CO] that focus groups have shown that "support for alternative transportation efforts is driven not by what would get a person out of their own car, but by the hope those programs get others out of their cars so the roads are less congested for them as they continue to drive."

Wow, who saw that coming? Certainly not the people who wrote this:

By investing in such programs as those that support cycling, walking, car pooling and public transportation, "Boulder County strives to make it easier for people to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels, while conserving natural resources and living an active, healthy lifestyle," the county said in a report detailing its sustainability programs.

But what if people don't want those things?

Here's my prediction: Boulder County residents will get the least popular "alternative-transportation program:" Making personal transportation advisers available to advise residents and businesses on how to shorten commutes and reduce car use. That'll get their heads right.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:30 PM | Comments (0)

April 9, 2014

Gladius! (Limited Engagement)

I want to share with all ThreeSourcers, friends and family, and anyone in the Denver area a great opportunity to see a Vegas quality live performance of acrobats, equestrians and clowns complete with lights, music and even a fire act. It is called "Gladius the Show" and one of the co-creators is a friend of ours, Erik Martonovich, a long-time fellow vaulter who grew up in Golden.

We opted for the "VIP" tickets, which gave us access to meet and talk with the performers after the show. My favorite parts were the gymnast who wound himself up and down on nylon straps with amazing grace, strength and flexibility, the combination of Roman riding and hanging from the ceiling, the high-speed CHARIOT RACE, and the four-horse Roman riding/vaulting finale.

It was truly impressive and well worth the modest ticket price (although I think I can post a 10% discount ordering code here later, to make it even more affordable.)

Shows continue daily at Jefferson County Fairgrounds Westernaires Arena, but only through April 20th. The time and money they have invested to create this impressive show have really paid off and I'm happy to endorse and promote them as much as I possibly can. Tell your friends!

Press clippings:

Denver Post

Fox31

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:23 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Saw your tweet on this; it sounded cool. Thanks for posting pictures (although, if you had the Lumina 1020...)

Posted by: jk at April 10, 2014 9:58 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Yeah yeah.

Dagny asked me to make it more prominent than the tweet. So I did, of course.

Posted by: johngalt at April 10, 2014 2:23 PM

March 22, 2014

"War on Women" 2014 Colorado Edition

While in full-blown gloat mode over the Affordable Care Act electoral distress facing Democrats in this midterm election, blog brother jk reminded [sixth comment] "There is a personhood amendment in his past" about GOP senate hopeful Cory Gardner. Gardner, on Friday, sought to disarm that line of attack. Lynn Bartels reports in the Denver Post.

He said that after learning more about the measures, which would have had the impact of outlawing abortion, he realized the proposals also could ban certain forms of contraception, a prohibition he does not support.

"This was a bad idea driven by good intentions," he told The Denver Post. "I was not right. I can't support personhood now. I can't support personhood going forward. To do it again would be a mistake."

The Udall campaign isn't buying it, of course, saying,

"Coloradans will see through this cheap election-year stunt," Harris said. "Gardner is showing a profound lack of respect for Colorado voters. Coloradans want a senator who always promotes and protects women's health, not one who simply pretends to during election years."

But Gardner cites the hypocrisy of that charge:

But he pointed to Udall, who in a 2012 opinion piece in Politico explained how his views had changed to the point where he supported marriage for same-sex couples.

"It was perhaps best said by Mark Udall, who said a good-faith re-examination of a position you've held in the past should be seen as a virtue, not a vice," Gardner said.

All told a fairly well balanced piece by Denver Post's Lynn Bartels, except that she closed with a detailed retelling of the "Personhood" history, including videotape.

Personally I support so-called Personhood laws for unborn babies, but only to criminalize harm done to them by individuals other than their mother, or her doctor. But the prohibition crowd will definitely try to expand them to include those cases.

Posted by JohnGalt at 5:22 PM | Comments (0)

March 21, 2014

Otequay of the Ayday

"A lot of people who were out of work during the recession are now working because of oil and gas, and energy in general," Hale said.

From Loveland (CO) Reporter-Herald - 'Oil and Gas Impact Loveland's Economy'

Last year, Hale counted up the number of jobs in Loveland directly tied to oil and gas in 2012.

She said 52 companies in Loveland employed 497 people who worked directly in the industry. The companies paid $37.4 million in gross wages, with an average salary of $75,232, according to Hale.

All this despite no drilling in city limits. All of this business is to support drilling in nearby Weld County.

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:53 PM | Comments (0)

March 20, 2014

Otequay of the Ayday

"This issue is one of common sense and fairness - if a community decides to ignore all the science and all the facts and ban responsible energy development, those communities shouldn’t be able to line up at the trough and benefit from responsible oil and gas development occurring in other parts of the State. It is the height of hypocrisy for the Boulders and Ft. Collins of the world to benefit from oil and gas taxes so long as they have an oil and gas ban in place." [the Peak emphasis]

FRAC YEAH! Where do I sign?

From Colorado Peak Politics - No Fracking Dollars for No Frack Communities Headed to Voters

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:58 PM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2014

Colorado Democrats' Anti-Frac Front is, well, Fracturing

Valerie Richardson in The Colorado Observer:

"You look at the kind of Democrats who have been elected in the last few election cycles, and they are to the left, way to the left of center in Colorado, and they'll support this fracking ban," said Wadhams.

The Democratic Party's ability to keep its far left in line and avoid fractious battles on issues has helped it win the support of the business community, which values political stability. That could change if business leaders suspect Democrats are aligned with the anti-fracking forces.

"So you're watching the fracturing of the base, but also as important, they’re going to alienate the business community and [even] the progressive business community," said Ciruli. "I don't think those people won't give to Hickenlooper, but they might not give to these Democratic Senate campaigns."

So Hick might still get donations but his base will not be behind him.

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:20 PM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2014

Post to Polis: Frack Off

Pinch me!

Still, the more gas is available worldwide, the less leverage Putin will have in bullying neighbors and in talks with European powers such as Germany, which also depends on Russian gas.

That's the Denver Post Editorial Board speaking. And if that doesn't sound enough like the words of Republicans Cory Gardner and Rand Paul [starting at 5:00], among many others, the Post continues:

Not everyone agrees, of course. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., was among 20 House Democrats last fall who wrote to the energy secretary expressing concern LNG exports "would lead to greater hydraulic fracturing activity," which is probably true. But we would hope most members of Congress appreciate that fracking can be done safely, and that America's new energy bounty offers a huge opportunity to assist pro-Western governments abroad.

Read more: Liquefied natural gas as a geopolitical tool - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/editorials/ci_25314888/liquefied-natural-gas-geopolitical-tool
Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse
Follow us: @Denverpost on Twitter | Denverpost on Facebook

Take that, Democrat.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:18 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

What do you expect from a party that would nominate an "anti-civil rights, anti-choice, anti-marriage equality" troglodyte to the Federal Bench?

Polis was on "The Independants" last night (Libertario Delenda Est has its own TV show and it is Purdy good). The topic was Bitcoin and he gets a sympathetic audience on the show. He can point to great libertarian bona fides.

Yet he gets a pass on his reliable votes for dirigisme because he pens the occasional liberty-friendly OpEd.

Posted by: jk at March 11, 2014 11:56 AM

March 6, 2014

Colorado GOP Straw Poll Results

To its discredit, Colorado's Republican Party chose to NOT conduct a statewide straw poll on any of the primary races in 2014. What are they afraid of, I wonder? To their credit, however, many counties chose to conduct straw polls independently. My county of Weld was one of them as was Douglas County, whose website has conveniently aggregated all of the county by county straw polls from:

Douglas, Broomfield, Pueblo (partial), Yuma, Larimer (partial), Adams (partial) Montrose, Weld, Teller (governor only), and Boulder.

Cory Gardner ran away with the US Senate preference poll with 83.6 percent to Hill and Baumgardner's 8.4 and 5.2, respectively.

The Governor's contest was, a contest:

Gessler - 30.3%
Beauprez - 22.5%
Tancredo - 15.7%
Kopp - 14.0%
Brophy - 11.9%
House - 3.6%

Others - 2%

My county seems to prefer Beauprez with 23.2%, followed by Gessler at 20.3%, Tancredo at 19.9%, Kopp at 15.7% and Brophy with 13.6%. House fared very poorly in Weld coming in behind Roni Bell Sylvester, who's 77 multi-county votes included 42 in Weld County.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:41 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Here are my gut feelings about this race:

Tancredo is running for two reasons. First, to reestablish himself as a Republican after the 2012 train wreck and second, to put himself in a position to endorse another candidate when he withdraws. The Power Broker play.

Brophy is running because RMGO hand picked him and offered to bankroll his campaign. His statement that "If I get 30% at State Assembly I'll go on to the primary, if I don't I'll go home and spend time with my family - either way I win" tells me he's not as committed as Gessler has proven to be.

House is running to establish statewide name ID, perhaps for a future campaign.

Beauprez polled so well here, as a write-in on most ballots I suspect, that he may decide to "volunteer" as a candidate at State Assembly. He may well boost his showing in the binding vote by delegates to 30 percent, from the 22.5 percent write-in by general caucus goers.

There are four names on the 2014 Primary Election Candidate Petition List: Tancredo, House, Sylvester and Beauprez. Sylvester has a snowball's chance. As does, I believe, House. So at worst, it will be a 3-way race. Gessler, Beauprez, Tancredo. I expect Tancredo to withdraw and endorse Beauprez.

Posted by: johngalt at March 8, 2014 11:25 AM

February 27, 2014

Colorado in the News

A very good mix-up today for pragmatic, Centennial State Republicans. Cory Gardner (R - CO4) will run for the Senate against Mark Udall (Scion - CO). Ken Buck will run for his vacated congressional seat, and Amy Stephens will end her primary campaign and endorse Gardner.

Jason Riley at the WSJ notes this is a strong play for the GOP and puts the Senate seat in play. An acrimonious primary is obviated and a top-tier candidate is recruited. I like Buck and will be happy to have him as my Congressman -- he would have to work to lose this district.

Some of my libertoid and Tea Party friends are not sure about Gardner's bona fides, but this pragmatist is pretty happy.

To sum it up, All Hail Taranto:

taranto140227.gif

Posted by John Kranz at 6:34 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

"He voted for the Patriot Act" they say, but so did every other Colorado congressman (and none of the democrats, but I'm sure not supporting a democrat over this single issue.) Also, I think they may have already had a pretty solid commitment to state senator Owen Hill, also in the race.

I was looking at Hill but fully expected Buck to get the nomination. I've been through a few of these cycles and have learned, like it or not, that the guy with the name recognition has a huge advantage in retail politics, both at the caucus and primary level. There's good cause for this, as each office serves as a vetting process for a higher one. Cory Gardner could be competing against the next Ronald Reagan and still win nomination handily.

Now, were Hill a current US Congressman and Gardner the state senator their fortunes would be exactly the opposite of what they are now. I hope Owen does seek a more prominent office. Quickly. Michael Bennet's term is up in '16.

Posted by: johngalt at February 27, 2014 7:18 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Three Sourcers have always been good about putting their money where their mouths are. However, beating Udall is going to take a lot of grassroots work. Thus, The Refugee challenges all Colorado-based Three Sourcers to volunteer to help the campaign in addition to a financial contribution; he will be signing up today.

ps, This will likely apply to Bob Beauprez when he announces to challenges Hickenlooper for guv. (The Refugee hopes to woo JK back from the dark side to that of goodness and light.)

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at March 3, 2014 10:38 AM
But jk thinks:

There is much power on the dark side . . .

I do not get you br, I've nothing against Mr. Beauprez.

Posted by: jk at March 3, 2014 1:03 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Except, perhaps, that he's already tried and lost. Like Tancredo. Keep in mind that is why Gardner replaced Buck for the Senate race.

Posted by: johngalt at March 3, 2014 2:59 PM

February 24, 2014

CU Geography Question

Visiting scholar and LOTR-F speaker Steven Hayward mentioned he was bringing in Jonah Goldberg. Jonah included pleas in his last G-File for some friendly seeds behind the lines in Boulder.

Well, that's tomorrow:

Syndicated columnist and author Jonah Goldberg argues that liberalism's attempt to be simultaneously rebellious and pragmatic gets both the past and the present wrong, and he is scheduled to make that case in an appearance on the University of Colorado Boulder campus Feb. 25.

Today's liberalism is highly ill-liberal, avoids genuine arguments by willful suppression of dissent, and substitutes the clichés of group-think in place of authentic principles, Goldberg contends.

"This stimulating lecture is certain to provoke vigorous argument and debate for weeks to come," said Steven Hayward, CU-Boulder's inaugural visiting scholar in conservative thought and policy, who invited Goldberg to speak.

Goldberg's lecture will be held Feb. 25 in Eaton Humanities 1B50, from 6:30 to 8 pm. A short reception will follow.

Jonah Goldberg's first book, "Liberal Fascism," was a number-one New York Times bestseller. He is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the founding editor of National Review Online.

He is also a Los Angeles Times columnist, a Fox News contributor and a member of the board of contributors at USA Today.

The Atlantic named him one of America's 50 most influential commentators. He lives with his family in Washington, DC.


Eaton Humanities -- where could a fellow who doesn't really care for long walks park? Blog friend Terri has also expressed interest.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:26 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

Dang, I have already committed to attend a school security committee meeting at that time. I hope you go and make a full report.

As for parking, don't you imagine that Hayward will send a rickshaw or a bike taxi to meet him at Davidson Mesa? Can't allow those breath-emitting cars into town, dontcha know.

I sure hope Jonah enjoys this healthy dose of smug-gazing.

Posted by: johngalt at February 25, 2014 9:48 AM
But jk thinks:

I was actually not concerned with Mister Goldberg's transportation needs, but rather my own. How altruistic of you to care...

This is just west of the Norlin Library on the quadrangle. That is pretty close to the big parking garage on Euclid, is it not?

Posted by: jk at February 25, 2014 10:36 AM
But johngalt thinks:

OOOOOooh. Yeah.

According to this map Eaton Humanities (23) is on the other side of Norlin Library (69-heh) from that garage (30.) It's at least a quarter mile walk, I would say. Another possibility is to look for a handicapped space along University Ave. near Macky Auditorium (62) or perhaps on Pleasant street if it is open at that time. It's a bit of a hill climb up from University but shorter I think.

Posted by: johngalt at February 25, 2014 12:42 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Well, didya go? Didya? The ill timed snowstorm last night may have put a damper on things.

I'm hoping to see the online video of the event at some point, just as I'm looking forward to watching the other event I missed last night - the Colorado GOP Senatorial Debate.

Haven't read it all yet but the URL is slightly misleading inasmuch as one candidate criticized the frontrunner: "Ken Buck hurt GOP in 2010."

Posted by: johngalt at February 26, 2014 12:37 PM
But jk thinks:

Weather Chicken, me. Brother Bryan went and posted some pix on Facebook.

Posted by: jk at February 26, 2014 1:17 PM

January 27, 2014

Liberty on the Rocks

I know at least one friend of this blog who is a big fan of Dr. Steven Hayward. He is the speaker tonight at LOTR-F!

Join us on Monday, January 27th, where your special guest speaker will be Dr. Steven Hayward, who is the inaugural visiting scholar in conservative thought and policy at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The title of Dr. Hayward's talk will be "Boulder or Rolling Stone? Reflections on Being a Conservative in a Liberal University."

After Dr. Hayward's presentation there will be short Q&A, followed by the opportunity to network with other local liberty supporters. Come for the event, stay for the food and networking - you're guaranteed a great evening no matter what!


I am a big fan as well and have been looking forward to tonight. The weather looks "iffy" as the meteorologists say. P() = 0.35 right about now.

Miller's Grille in Lafayette for those braver than me (a large set).

Posted by John Kranz at 2:11 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

I have a strong LOTR impediment in four young children. If I had just one or two, or if I followed the advice of blogger Amy Glass, who wrote: "You will never have the time, energy, freedom or mobility to be exceptional if you have a husband and kids."

WARNING: Post highjacking in progress.

Posted by: johngalt at January 27, 2014 3:53 PM
But jk thinks:

All's fair in love, war and blogging -- hijack away.

Shame we both miss a good one, drop N darlings off at Uncle JK and Auntie Riza's on the way...

Posted by: jk at January 27, 2014 4:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The anti-procreation Ms. Glass referred to a husband as being the "so simple anyone can do it" life choice but of course in my case it would be a wife. "I wonder if she ever considered the point of view of her opposite gender," he asks knowingly? Spoiler alert: Nope.

Posted by: johngalt at January 27, 2014 5:43 PM
But dagny thinks:

Uncle JK and Auntie Riza, should be careful what they suggest. The third one currently wants to grow up to be a, "Rock Star." We could drop them off and tell them that Uncle JK can teach them how to play the guitar within the 15 minute attention span of a 4 year old. "What?? I have no idea where they saw a video of Uncle JK and GREEN electric guitar..."

Posted by: dagny at January 27, 2014 7:12 PM
But jk thinks:

Rock Star is a superb vocational choice. Lucrative, challenging and lots of opportunities for creativity. Take that fire fighters!

Posted by: jk at January 27, 2014 7:42 PM

December 18, 2013

Belt Only - Suspenders Not Required.

In the present formulation I equate "suspenders" with laws restricting gun ownership in an "all of the above" school safety and security program.

Colorado's contentious new gun restriction laws were promoted as necessary to prevent tragedies like the Newtown school shooting. Gun rights advocates said the laws would be worthless for that purpose, and that the best way to stop school shooters was to put an armed officer in the school.

What stopped the terrifying incident from turning into a full-blown massacre was the rapid response of law enforcement, particularly the sheriff’s deputy assigned to the school, said Hickenlooper.

That's John Hickenlooper. Governor. Colorado. Democrat. Standing corrected.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:41 PM | Comments (0)

Set my people free!

Yaay, Colorado!

Reps. Dan Nordberg of Colorado Springs and Jared Wright of Grand Junction announced that they will introduce a bill to give a tax credit to anyone who gets fined for not buying health insurance -- at an amount equal to the federal penalty under the Affordable Care Act for not purchasing insurance.

The pair of conservatives are calling it the "Healthcare Liberty Act."

Posted by John Kranz at 1:55 PM | Comments (0)

December 16, 2013

Colorado School Shooting Silent Treatment

You, as have I, may be wondering why you haven't seen more news and opinion about the Colorado school shooting at Arapahoe High School last week. Maybe it's because only the shooter was killed? Unlikely. More likely it's because, as John Hayward at Human Events blog writes, "There is absolutely nothing in the Arapahoe High School shooting for gun control zealots to work with."

On the contrary, the incident demolishes some of their cherished beliefs, most obviously their talismanic faith in the power of regulations to suppress this type of violence. Given his political activism, it seems likely that Karl Pierson was well aware of the local gun laws, but those laws did not dissuade him from going on a rampage. According to CNN, what ended his rampage in just 80 seconds, preventing him from dealing far more injury and death, was one of the measures strongly endorsed by the National Rifle Association: an armed adult on school grounds.

Many more interesting tidbits in the linked article, like the killer's political beliefs, desire to attend the Air Force Academy, opinions about Republicans, etc.

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:38 PM | Comments (0)

November 27, 2013

Give Thanks!

Even if you do not live in Colorado, be thankful that Evie Hudak has resigned!

The rape survivors who testified against a bill that would ban concealed carry on college campuses and who were disrespected by Hudak in the process reacted to the news that Hudak had resigned:

"I am pleased that the people of Senate District 19 put enough pressure on Senator Hudak to cause her to resign her Senate seat. Her treatment of me and other women in March demonstrated Senator Hudak's belief that she knows better than the women of Colorado how they should best defend themselves. My sincere hope is that the Democrats consider, in their replacement choice, that the women of Colorado can make self-defense decisions on their own." -- Amanda Collins

"At Women for Concealed Carry, we are happy to hear of Senator Hudak's resignation. Although she says her votes on gun control bills make women safer, the facts do not support that. We told her that these bills would make us less safe. She refused to listen to us during testimony, but today’s resignation indicates her constituents expect their representative to listen. Colorado deserves better.









" -- Kim Weeks

The S&P 500 Closed over 1800 for the holiday.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:42 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:
Hudak’s resignation is the ultimate sign of weakness in the face of a massive voter backlash over the Bloomberg-backed gun control bills pushed through the Legislature this year. Rather than defend her votes before the people, she chose to employ a loophole that would allow her party to retain the seat.

The deadline for petition signatures to force her recall election was this Wednesday. I was following this closely and there was some doubt they would collect enough. Evie's party was not, it seems, willing to risk either her defeat or even the certification of a sufficient number of petition signatures. This is a full reversal from their strategy in the two previous recalls, which they took so lightly they did not even name an alternative candidate for voters to consider were the incumbent to be recalled.

If these three recall efforts do not convince politicians that public hearings are for politicians to actually LISTEN to constituents and legislate FOR the people instead of OVER them, I don't know that anything will.

For their part I'm afraid the Democrats merely consider the recall to be another political cudgel. A number of Republican state reps in very safe districts have been the targets of telephone push polling to ask if respondents would vote for a recall, before and after the reading of several horribly misleading position statements about the office holder. I received one myself. After giving my no answers I adjusted my identity from a 50-65 male to an 18-35 female. (Hey, if they can mislead ME...)

Posted by: johngalt at November 29, 2013 9:28 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Hey, is there any truth to the rumor that Evie plans to rehabilitate her image by applying for work as a rape crisis counselor?

Posted by: johngalt at November 29, 2013 9:31 AM
But Jk thinks:

You l-l-l-lied?

Many are disappointed that there will be no election, but I remain happy that a clear message was sent to not mess with gun rights.

Posted by: Jk at November 29, 2013 3:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

They misled me, I misled them. Fair trade in my book.

Posted by: johngalt at December 1, 2013 1:32 AM

November 22, 2013

"Congressmen" Udall and Bennet Vote to Discontinue US Senate

"When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

NYT- "Democracy Returns to the Senate"

For five years, Senate Republicans have refused to allow confirmation votes on dozens of perfectly qualified candidates nominated by President Obama for government positions. They tried to nullify entire federal agencies by denying them leaders. They abused Senate rules past the point of tolerance or responsibility. And so they were left enraged and threatening revenge on Thursday when a majority did the only logical thing and stripped away their power to block the president’s nominees.

Part of the Times' defense of this headlong rush to make the Senate indistinguishable from the House is that it only applies to Presidential appointment nominations, not including the Supreme Court.

But now that the Senate has begun to tear down undemocratic procedures, the precedent set on Thursday will increase the pressure to end those filibusters, too.

"A republic, madam, if you can keep it."

"Keep it? From what?"

"From becoming a democracy."

Yesterday, Colorado's two Democrat Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet joined 50 other Democrats to resolve that the United States Government shall henceforth have two majoritarian chambers with little difference between them. In the process they essentially "demoted" themselves from Senators to Congressmen, and I for one shall refer to them as such.


UPDATE: Investors Business Daily, on the other hand, says this is the furthest thing from democracy.

Appearing as himself in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," then-CBS radio commentator H.V. Kaltenborn called the filibuster "democracy's finest show: the right to talk your head off, the American privilege of free speech in its most dramatic form."

Of the excitement surrounding Stewart's fictional senator taking a stand against a majority deluded into believing the slanders spread against him, Kaltenborn said: "In the diplomatic gallery are the envoys of two dictator powers. They have come to see what they can't see at home: democracy in action."

Thanks to Reid and his power-hungry liberals, Americans can no longer see it either.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:13 PM | Comments (5)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Well, look on the bright side. There's no more basis for me to fret about the need to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment anymore. If they're going to be mere Congressmen, there's no point in having them elected as if they were actually Senators - REPRESENTING THE INTERESTS OF STATES.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 22, 2013 10:44 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I actually had something brighter in mind. This anti-constitutional power grab creates the necessity of not only reinstituting the filibuster, but provides a stonger basis for repealing the 17th Amendment.

Posted by: johngalt at November 23, 2013 10:33 AM
But jk thinks:

Dark days, freedom lovers. But I'll run my Blog Optimist Award certificates through the shredder (I've already exercised the accompanying Starbucks gift cards). This will not be walked back and this will not lead to a revival of interest in repealing the 17th. This is a ratchet click toward the majoritarianism that Progressives have seeked for more than 100 years.

Not with a bang but a whimper.

Posted by: jk at November 23, 2013 2:12 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Hey, while we're at it, since the states really are no longer sovereign and have become nothing more that vassal fiefdoms of the Federal leviathan, let's do away with the Tenth as well...

I fear that JK is right, and with every day that passes, I become more persuaded that this will end with a whimper if it doesn't get ended by a bang. We're in Fourth Box territory.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 23, 2013 4:24 PM
But jk thinks:

I hope my blog brother never gets a job on the Suicide Hotline. "Yeah, that's terrible -- and let me tell you something else..."

Posted by: jk at November 24, 2013 11:43 AM

November 13, 2013

The shelf-life of "common-sense"

"Common-sense" is one of those adjectives politicians use to describe legislation they're afraid will get them fired either way: if they support it or if they don't. It means, "If you don't agree with this you are senseless" and it has to be employed because if they didn't cover it with that fig leaf, there's little other reason for voters to agree with it.

Vulnerable Senate democrats are running away from Obamacare as fast as they can. That includes Colorado's Mark Udall but since "he’s not viewed as being nearly as vulnerable as [Sen. Landrieu, D-Louisana] or Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Arkansas" he isn't running as far. Fox31:

"I share the concern that some health insurance companies are choosing to cancel thousands of Coloradans' plans. That’s why my common-sense bill will allow Coloradans the option to keep their current coverage if they want or to purchase new plans through the Connect for Health Colorado marketplace that may better meet their health care needs."

What a swell guy - he wants to "allow" Coloradans options! We shouldn't be surprised. After all, he is well known as a pro-choice politician.

But don't let that power of choice go to your heads, fellow Centennial-staters.

With support building for a plan introduced by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, that would allow people mislead by the president's promise to keep their plans to actually do so indefinitely, Udall has come up with a scaled down version that would allow policyholders to keep their current plans, being cancelled under the new law, for two years.

"We're protecting the stability of the insurance market in the exchange while allowing people to hold on to their current plans a little bit longer," Joe Britton, Udall's deputy chief of staff, told FOX31.

So now we know that "common-sense" has an expiration date: 2 years.

I have a better idea. How about, instead, we "allow" the stability of the insurance market while "protecting" people to hold on to their current plans? But you shouldn't be surprised. After all, I am a well-known "extremist, hostage taking" TEA Partier.

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:53 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I hate common sense and common knowledge. The latter is an excuse to not provide documentation and the former is an excuse to abdicate reason.

I just referred to Snyder v. Phelps in a comment. Common sense dictates that you cannot let ignorant Midwestern homophobes desecrate the respectful services of our nation's greatest fallen heroes. Common sense says you can't burn the flag. Common sense says the ACLU should not defend the Illinois Nazis (man, I hate Illinois Nazis...) And yet law and reason hold sway. The term drives me mad.

Were more Democrats as thoughtful as Sen. Mark Udall, this would be a better country. But this is full-bore partisanship. The Democrats cannot back too far off -- repeat after me -- "the President's Signature initiative." Yet, they cannot get too close and be elected in any state less blue than Illinois.

Pass the popcorn.

Posted by: jk at November 14, 2013 11:32 AM

November 7, 2013

The Worst Day Ever!

You want to really cheese off a [L|l]ibertarian? Give them a great experience at the DMV.

I needed to get my license renewed. As I renewed online last time, I had to go in. [Horror music swells in background...] Well, I was in for a day of hell, no doubt, but all my suspicions would be confirmed. I'd have some good stories to tell without having to join the Army.

I was able to make an appointment online using the www.colorado.gov website. While it is not Amazon, it is not ObamaCare either. It was functional and serviceable. I made appointments for myself & the lovely bride, cancelled them and rescheduled at another time. Pretty easy, email confirmations were sent. Pretty slick, gub'mint boyz, pretty slick...

Arrived on my appointment day, there was a tablet to sign in. It looked up my appointment and vended a "take your number" slip with an estimate of 7:00. In less than five, I was called up. A pleasant and professional young lady started the process. When I needed to go to the car to find a proof of address, she handed me off to young man who was also very personable.

We both got in and out in a half hour. Everybody was nice. And today, two weeks before promised, our cards were in the mailbox.

jk_enemyofstate300.jpg

Damn. Ruined my whole day.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:37 PM | Comments (4)
But dagny thinks:

I bought a new horse trailer. The state expects me to pay for the privilege of buying a trailer and get a license and title in Colorado and so off to the DMV I went. When I arrived, I took a number (84). I looked up at the board for the next number to be called (24). No I am not making this up. Hoping against hope that numbers would be called quickly, I sat down. An hour later I was still nowhere near and I had another appointment so I left. Returned a few days later and discovered I needed more paperwork (VIN inspection). Wanted to have my parents go for me since they are retired and have more time between 8am and 5pm when I am supposed to be working. That takes even MORE paperwork (notarized power of attorney). Generally frustrated and angry with government for days. Hope that makes your day better JK. :-)

Posted by: dagny at November 7, 2013 2:05 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

A real [L/l]ibertarian would ask why government requires you to get their permission to operate a motor vehicle in the first place. Or is that more of an anarchist position?

A pragmatist would take the stance that government can dictate who gets to drive and who doesn't when they prove they can do certain grown-up things, like balance their checkbook, live within their means, and deal with more important tasks like ending burglary and operating a public school system that actually renders an education.

At least your DMV takes photographs that don't look like they were all taken in prison. Colorado seems to have that over California too, I guess.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 7, 2013 2:24 PM
But jk thinks:

Thanks, @dagny, I feel a little better. But a bit of NaCl in the laceration: your terrible experience (I am guessing) is at the hand of the Weld County Clerk & Recorder, mine at the State of Colorado. So, both local control and the implied efficacy of a more conservative polity are out the window as well. Sigh. The Communists will develop a cure for Multiple Sclerosis at this rate.

@Keith: As it happens, I am a lot more handsome than the picture implies...

Posted by: jk at November 7, 2013 2:35 PM
But jk thinks:

Yes, a hard-core, leaning big-L with streaks of anarcho-capitalism would lobby for private roads and private restrictions on their use. I would not oppose either.

In the world we inherited, the State builds and maintains the roads and I am fine with acceding to their control. I have long used driving as a privilege as distinguished from a right. (Well I used to, but the libertarian anguish at the example of roads has impeded that.) I do not find it immoral to require insurance or a license to drive on Colorado roads. When this was trotted out as a defense of the ObamaCare mandate, I was happy to draw an interstice between Colorado's roads and its oxygen.

Posted by: jk at November 7, 2013 2:45 PM

November 6, 2013

Nanny Bloomy!

Posted by John Kranz at 1:01 PM | Comments (0)

November 5, 2013

Election Night Colorado

A couple of big issues on the statewide ballot today. A nearly billion dollar annual tax increase, primarily to prop up public employee pensions, and a smaller tax on legalized marijuana.

Here are Six Items to Watch for in Tonight's Election from local pollster Floyd Cirulli.

And the latest, and last before returns begin to come out, voter turnout data statewide, by county. Lookie there, El Paso county turnout exceeds Denver's!

Posted by JohnGalt at 5:42 PM | Comments (8)
But johngalt thinks:

Billion dollar tax hike, introducing progressive rates to CO income tax, shot down by voters 2:1.

Posted by: johngalt at November 6, 2013 1:33 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Even more importantly, perhaps, at least three CO school districts (Douglas, Jefferson and Denver) elected a slate of anti-union school board members, including Douglas County where the members were re-elected after implementing sweeping reforms.

This growing statewide trend likely will reverberate nationally.

Posted by: johngalt at November 6, 2013 1:36 AM
But jk thinks:

The only slightly sour note was that the 51st State Initiative performed weakly, especially in my home county of Weld.

It was a always going to be difficult, but its tepid start effectively kills it. C'est le guerre.

Posted by: jk at November 6, 2013 1:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Blog Optimist here! IMO, it was never more than a shot across the bow of state government. For this "crackpot idea" to garner 40-plus percent in every county it was tested is nothing to sneeze at. Secede from the state? That's crazy talk! And yet, more than just the proponents and their relatives voted "Aye." Still enough support to lobby urban pols to straighten up.

Posted by: johngalt at November 6, 2013 2:34 PM
But jk thinks:

Fair point. Apres le deluge, even the Facebook page changed from trying out new flag designs to "Send a Message..." You are probably correct that that was accomplished. Staying optimistic, I'd suggest the 2-1 thumping given to Amendment 66 -- which would take money from rural counties to plow into urban school districts -- was more legible.

Posted by: jk at November 6, 2013 2:59 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Speaking of those urban school districts:

3. School Reform Slates Sweep The State: In perhaps the most underreported news of the night, school reform candidates from Northern Colorado to Jefferson County to Denver swept the school board races. The JeffCo school board "sleeper slate"ť victory surprised even us. Everyone had their eyes on Douglas County, where reformers beat back a union challenge backed by Obama's senior Colorado advisor and bankrolled with big national union money. But school choice supporters racked up victories in nearly every race they ran.

From CO Peak Politics' '7 Lessons Learned from the 2013 Colorado Election'

Posted by: johngalt at November 6, 2013 3:05 PM

October 8, 2013

Quote of the Day

Non Coloradan ThreeSourcers need pardon the rest of us for a month or so. On the ballot is Amendment 66 -- a $950 Million dollar tax increase to prop up union pensions and funnel money to big city union teachers. Now, opponents of the bill call it "a Billion dollar tax increase to prop up union pensions and funnel money to big city union teachers." But that is simply not fair, it is only $950 Million.

Pro-66 commercials have started up big time: "$133 brings back gym class!" "$133 hires more teachers' aides!" "All the money goes to the classroom [patently false]" and "You don't hate children, do you?" Well, that last one may have been South Park but it is early.

Doug Bruce, author of Colorado's TAxpayer Bill Of Rights (TABOR), has a lengthy email going 'round. I recommend the whole thing, but will award QOTD to:

The claim this tax is "for the children" is the biggest lie of all. No child gets one dollar. It all goes for government's near-monopoly on juvenile indoctrination. Nearly all the money will go for pay raises, either directly or by propping up their bankrupt PERA pension plan. The state treasurer, who sits on the retirement board, has written that all these billions can prop up the $25 billion deficit in profligate pension plans paying all of today's government workers (not just teachers) nearly full salaries for life, for not working.

You don't hate children, do you?

Posted by John Kranz at 6:29 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

If they grow up to be as willing to lie as the backers of Amendment 66 then yes, I hate children.

Posted by: johngalt at October 9, 2013 2:13 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Colorado Friends: it may be trite to say, but I feel your pain. This is a subject near and dear to heart, and I'm right with you on this.

Here's an interesting website, showing the annual per-student spending, by state: http://is.gd/PgOUxg . For Fiscal Year 2011, Colorado spent $8,724 per student. Despite attending California public schools, I'm actually capable of basic mathematics, and if you assume an average class size of 25 students (feel free to adjust accordingly), that's $218,100 per classroom for the year.

That sum ought to be sufficient to pay a teacher handsomely, including pension and other costs, purchase a goodly number of textbooks and supplies, a few field trips, and keep the lights running. That number is the reason I take umbrage every time I hear "we don't spend enough on education! We've got to pay teachers better!"

So where the hell is all the money going?

[You'll note, by the way, that California's number is somewhat higher, and a public school education here isn't worth half a damn. Our welfare schools are a national joke. I'll leave it to Coloradans to comment on the value of education there.]

It might be interesting to compare that $8,724 figure to annual tuition at a private school, which has to actually compete for a parent's business, and has to actually deliver an education in return for that money. Are you getting what you paid for?

By the way, I don't know whether the above figures includes revenues from various lotteries, car washes, and bake sales. I'm guessing that it doesn't include the last two.

Feel free to use the above argument to persuade your friends and neighbors, if they are persuadable. Your Amendment 66 needs to go down in flames.

And I don't hate children. Some of them have good marbling and are actually pretty good with a wedge salad and a side of steak fries.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 9, 2013 2:19 PM
But jk thinks:

Brother Keith, the same act of multiplication had me pretty seriously considering opening a charter school. More than the missing bake sales, I think that figure ignores capitalized expenses and maintenance on school buildings. I've seen figures closer to 15K.

I figured half that, four 25 member classes. Inexpensive space in an aging strip mall. Four well paid teachers and a couple aides. Teach civics out of donated pocket constitutions, literature from classics, math from Khan Academy.

A week long pipe dream but the numbers do not look bad. I never got very far but I do use that when people swear that schools don't get enough funding. If I've had a charm pill and tell the story well, they leave thinking about it.

Posted by: jk at October 10, 2013 10:26 AM

September 20, 2013

Flood Resources and Info

Some folks at work have put up a pretty good website: ColoradoFloodInfo.com.

I'm not even sure who it is, but get help give help get info, pretty cool.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)

September 11, 2013

Don't Tread on Us

"I recollected that her eye excelled in brightness, that of any other animal, and that she has no eye-lids -- She may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance. -- She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage. -- As if anxious to prevent all pretensions of quarreling with her, the weapons with which nature has furnished her, she conceals in the roof of her mouth, so that, to those who are unacquainted with her, she appears to be a most defenseless animal; and even when those weapons are shewn and extended for her defense, they appear weak and contemptible; but their wounds however small, are decisive and fatal: -- Conscious of this, she never wounds till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of stepping on her. -- Was I wrong, Sir, in thinking this a strong picture of the temper and conduct of America?" -American Guesser, aka Benjamin Franklin December, 1775
Posted by JohnGalt at 4:39 PM | Comments (0)

Ready, Aim, Fired!

Like Jim Geraghty, I went to bed last night (before my blog brother it appears) thinking the recall elections had been split. I saw Morse's grouchy concession speech, but the attempted fraud vote counting in Pueblo was slow and the CW was that the heavily-D district would not out Giron.

If I may quote Geraghty: "Nope,"

Charles Cooke:

None of it worked. This was the recall that was never supposed to happen -- let alone be successful. The nine men who set the ball rolling weren't supposed to be capable of organizing a town hall, let alone taking down the state-senate president. And yet they did it. Victor Head, a 29-year-old plumber who had never been politically active, took down a senator in a district that went Democratic in 2012 by ten points; a group of six concerned men from the AR15.com chat room removed the state's top-ranking legislator. "We are a quiet people," recall founder Tim Knight told his victorious friends when the results became known at the Stargazers Theater. "You may be tempted to ignore us. Clearly, that would be a mistake."

Perhaps Dave Kopel said it best:

UPDATE: Too good not to embed!

UPDATE II: Speaking of Glenn Reynolds. I'll give him quote of the day after linking to this same article:

The message the defeat of Morse and Giron sends to legislators all across the country is unmistakable: If you are thinking about pushing for new gun-control laws, you could face swift consequences.

Well, when you try to deny people’s civil rights, there should be swift consequences.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:35 AM | Comments (13)
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Wonderful news! I guess this means I can remove the charges that would blow up my wells...

It was unclear from the maps I perused whether Morse represented the late Robert Heinlein's former Colorado Springs home--I think the line missed it by a whisker. Still, given his love of shooting, the Second Amendment and a good political fight let's make him an honorary District 11 constituent. Democrats shouldn't be the only ones who get the dead person vote!

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at September 11, 2013 8:55 PM
But jk thinks:

Don't know if you have seen the exploits of Jon Caldera, ey, but a side note of this whole venture was a new same-day-voter-fraud-I-mean-registration law that allows any 22 day Colorado resident to cast a ballot if they have "intent" to reside at the address they use (Caldera registered and submitted a blank ballot).

This was supposed to take effect in the 2014 General election, but was curiously accelerated by -- what was that guy's name again -- oh, yeah: John Morse!

Ergo: district-schmistrict, in Colorado we vote wherever we want! RAH could have done whatever pleased.

Posted by: jk at September 12, 2013 1:13 PM
But dagny thinks:

Heinlein was, I believe, a staunch Democrat. He'd probably have voted for Morse.

Posted by: dagny at September 12, 2013 1:33 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Dagny--he was only a staunch Democrat for about the half of his life before he moved to Colorado. And he was always very pro-liberty and RTKABA. A lot like Reagan, and over similar time periods, he left the Democrats shortly after the Democrats left him.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at September 12, 2013 1:47 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I suspect he was more of a Zell Miller democrat. Today's are not our father's democrats.

Posted by: johngalt at September 13, 2013 12:31 PM
But jk thinks:

And yet sister dagny is correct to caution on appropriating historical figures for our own use.

Posted by: jk at September 13, 2013 1:30 PM

Headline of the Day

"TOTAL RECALL"

A perfect headline by Colorado's Complete Colorado linking to this Colorado Peak Politics article:

In a historic recall election Senate President John Morse was booted from office, capping the end of a long and passionate fight over gun rights in Colorado. It marks a wake-up call for Colorado Democrats, who are suddenly coming to the realization that they're not invincible after all.

In a legislative session this spring dubbed "one of the most liberal ever" by the Durango Herald's Joe Hanel, Democrats sprinted to the left on gun control, and virtually every other policy in the left-wing agenda.

The Morse recall results are a swift kick in their proverbial nuts. A reminder to legislators that getting elected office doesn't give you a free pass to do whatever your progressive paymasters demand of you.

A hearty congratulations to my compatriots to the south. It wasn't my fight but I cheered loudly and rooted you on.

Oh and by the way, the headline says "total" recall, alluding to the other senator facing a no-confidence vote, Pueblo Democrat Angela Giron. She's toast too, by a 20-point margin.

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:17 AM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

One very popular symbol of the TEA Party and the liberty movement in general is the Gadsden flag, recognizable for its "Don't Tread On Me" motto. It bears the likeness of a rattlesnake.

During hearings in the most recent Colorado legislative session, those of us who endorse that banner gave the legislative majority "the rattle." Yesterday we gave it "the fangs."

Posted by: johngalt at September 11, 2013 4:27 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"Total Recall?"

As long as we're going to use Schwarzenegger references, should we respond with "Hasta la vista, baby" or "you're terminated"?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 11, 2013 8:34 PM
But dagny thinks:

Anything but, "I'll be back."

Posted by: dagny at September 12, 2013 1:31 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Ladies and gentlemen, please walk away from the keyboards. Dagny's comeback is today's Winner of the Internet.

I will credit the source when I use that one myself.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 13, 2013 1:05 AM

July 22, 2013

Libertario Delenda Est

Tid bit du jour, courtesy of Jim Geraghty:

Second Amendment advocates aim to replace Democratic senators John Morse of Colorado Springs and Angela Giron of Pueblo. (They also tried to recall Senator Evie Hudak of Westminster and Representative Mike McLachlan of Durango, but failed to collect enough signatures.) Back in 2010, Morse won, 48.1 percent to 47.2 percent, with about 250 votes separating him from his opponent (and Libertarian Douglas Randall collected 1,258 votes).

If the Libertarians had any sense (hahahaha I do crack myself up sometimes), they would fold the party, stop running candidates, and become a powerful interest group along the lines of the NRA. They could direct large amounts of money to the best liberty candidates in both parties and publicize lesser known but philosophically kindred candidates in primaries.

Instead they act as spoiler to elect Jon Tester in Montana, the 60th vote for ObamaCare® and Rep Morse in Colorado, a majority voice for gun confiscation. Way to go.

Posted by John Kranz at 9:23 AM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2013

Ink by the bucket

The tiny town of Westcliffe, Colorado (pop. 417) is the county seat of rural Custer County in south central Colorado and, as the county seat, has to have a "paper of record" and apparently does in the form of the Wet Mountain Tribune, "Published every Thursday since 1883."

Now, it seems a dustup ensued when the paper of record criticized, and apparently sought to block, members of a local TEA Party group marching in the town's Independence Day Parade carrying rifles. (I think, perhaps, loaded and, perhaps or probably, those "scary" black rifles so maligned these days.) For its part in the dispute the Wet Mtn. Trib. managed to earn itself some friendly competition. Those wacky TEA Partiers decided to form and publish their own weekly. They call it Sangre de Cristo Sentinel. "A different view from the same mountains." They believe they'll do well with subscriptions in this rural market, where they estimate 80% of readers are conservatives. (And a print subscription costs less than a buck a week!)

The moral of this story is to not behave like you buy your ink by the barrel if you only buy it one bucket at a time.

Hat tip: 850 KOA's Mike Rosen show.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:20 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

$20 For a business card size ad. Should we run a few?

Posted by: jk at July 15, 2013 5:17 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes. I also intend to subscribe, since circulation is more valuable to the "wannabe journalists" than is our 20 bucks.

Posted by: johngalt at July 15, 2013 6:17 PM

July 13, 2013

La Plata County, Welcome to Oglala!

The Sherriff is not pleased:

"Under the new laws, I cannot issue a firearm to a deputy,' [La Plata Sherriff Duke] Schirard said. "Also, any citizen’s firearms that are recovered by the Sheriff's Office cannot be returned to them under the nice new laws."

Other than that?
He also said the new laws prevent him from returning to residents firearms that have been seized as part of an investigation or recovered as stolen property.

Another trouble with "North Colorado;" it would be a stupid name for Durango.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:19 PM | Comments (0)

The "Producer's Pledge"

"I am proud of my company's product and the profit we make by selling it to others - freely, and to our mutual benefit. Since certain government entities have materially restricted my ability to produce and profit it is no longer beneficial for me to sell my product in the jurisdictions of those government entities. I therefore pledge that I will no longer sell my product through distribution channels that serve the state, county, or local governments that restrict or prohibit my ability to produce my product."

The idea here is that when the voters of, say, Boulder County, Colorado, find their gasoline prices spiking and supplies becoming scarce they will finally make the connection between their voting habits and the supply of daily conveniences that they have come to take for granted.

If you are interested in the supporting "rant" for this idea, read on below.

Ayn Rand said,

"Productive work is the central purpose of a rational man’s life, the central value that integrates and determines the hierarchy of all his other values. Reason is the source, the precondition of his productive work—pride is the result."

Anyone who has ever felt the gratifying sense of an accomplishment after making or building something has a hint that this is true. But the central purpose? The central value? To answer those questions ask this one: What else, other than productiveness, gives man pride?

Just as the passage of the 2009 "Stimulus" Bill precipitated a civil uprising known as the TEA Party, the partisan overreach of Colorado's 2013 legislative session produced a movement advocating that many rural Colorado counties secede from the rest of the state. Practical problems with that idea spawned a call to rearrange Colorado's legislature such that every county is represented by its own state senator, regardless of population, as is the case regarding the several states in the United States Senate. But this too has a practical problem. The same problem that led to both the 2013 Colorado legislature and the 2009 United States legislature being controlled by a single political party. The problem is something Americans have long been taught to hold as a virtue. The problem is democracy.

Democracy is not the same thing as freedom. Democracy is the idea, not that people decide how to live their own lives, but that a large enough group of people can decide how everyone is to live his life. To understand if an idea is virtuous or not imagine its extreme. The extreme of democracy is ochlocracy. (Look it up.) The extreme of freedom is, liberty. And to understand just how mixed up and turned around political philosophy has become, consider the fact that those who once advocated for extreme freedom, whether from a monarch or from a religion, were called "liberals" but those known as liberals today are advocates of "social equality" and/or "environmental protection" via democracy - a decidedly anti-liberty prescription.

The men and women of rural Colorado have many reasons to seek separation from their neighbors in the urban counties but as one county commissioner said, "The mandate that tells us what kind of energy sources we may use was the last straw." And understandably so. In addition to producing food that feeds the urban county populations, many of the rural counties produce another valuable export product that results in billions of dollars in wealth creation and millions of dollars in tax revenues to state and local governments. That product, actually many products, is known as oil and natural gas.

For economic reasons the fastest growing process used today to extract oil and gas in the United States is hydraulic fracturing, or fracing. (Also spelled "fracking.") The only real difference between fracking and conventional drilling is that a water-based solution is pumped into the well after drilling and before pumping to create pathways through which the oil may escape to the well bore. That's it. It's not polluting and it's not sinister, although its detractors do everything possible to convince us, the people who vote, that it is both of those things. And many people are convinced. One such person is Washington County resident Steve Frey who said, "I don't want be [sic] in a 51st state. I don't want any part of their fracking that they're doing in Weld County."

I could not possibly agree more with Mr. Frey's contention that he has a right to be free from every aspect of the oil extraction process called "fracking" that he disagrees with, for whatever reason he chooses to do so. Industry must begin taking immediate steps, doing everything in its power, so that those who oppose its practices must not be forced to accept the severance tax revenues accorded to their local government by fracking. Unfortunately, government holds the reins on virtually every aspect of this unfair treatment of Mr. Frey and others similarly situated. Industry has but one thing it may control. Namely, to whom and to where it chooses to sell its product.

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:56 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Well said and well thought. But it strikes me as a very tough sale.

Trying to think of a producer who would eschew a sale, it would probably have to be more direct. Maybe I wouldn't sell to the Taliban, but withholding gas from a poor stupid Boulder guy's Subaru? It doesn't take many cycles to rationalize away that.

My employer sells bucketloads to gub'mint. I read your pledge first, as you presented and thought "we're not going to leave that money on the table" while he rest of your post loaded.

NED bless Magpul (though principled stands might be a plus in that industry) but while government seems pretty close to Atlas, I think business is light years away. And for every principled Galt, there are a dozen James Taggarts to patch things over. In fact, we probably make the Progressives' favorite error of conflating business-folk with Capitalists.

Posted by: jk at July 13, 2013 12:18 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes. Your very last point is key. And it is the only way we can convince producers to do this, as a moral issue.

"Do not conflate winning special favors from government with achievement. Cronyism and achievement are each other's mortal enemies."

(I quote because I just said it on Facebook.)

Just as peaceful Muslims lose credibility when they fail to denounce the crimes of Islamofascists perpetrated in the name of their faith, capitalists lose credibility when they fail to denounce and distinguish themselves from crony-capitalists.

I'm not thinking we would encourage individual gas stations to refuse fueling Subarus (while still selling to SUV owners) but for oil producers or refiners to stop selling to retailers who don't agree to temporarily padlock their pumps in those cities and counties. The producers will still have a world market to sell into. The retailers will be under public pressure to make a decision. If one agrees he will be the only one in the region to receive fuel shipments. This applies to all counties, even the ones that allow fracking.

There are details to be worked out, for sure, but to any extent such a plan is executed, especially just before an election, it will bring an important question into the public square: Do producers need consumers, or do consumers (and government) need producers?

Posted by: johngalt at July 13, 2013 1:04 PM
But johngalt thinks:
"We will rebuild America's system on the moral premise which had been its foundation, but which you treated as a guilty underground, in your frantic evasion of the conflict between that premise and your mystic morality: the premise that man is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others, that man's life, his freedom, his happiness are his by inalienable right." | Atlas Shrugged
Posted by: johngalt at July 14, 2013 11:01 AM

July 12, 2013

North Colorado on Jimmie Kimmel

Aaah -- it's what it is.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:05 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

The lame name charge is Righteous. We gotta think of something better to call our pipe dream. Stream of consciousness here...

New Colorado

Oilorado

Tearado

Colodonttreadonme

You get the idea. And you know you want to play along at home.

Posted by: johngalt at July 12, 2013 10:22 PM
But Jk thinks:

Oglala. Not mine but I dig it.

New Colrado was fun, but will make it harder -- we do have to get legislative approval from "old" Colorado.

Posted by: Jk at July 12, 2013 10:52 PM

July 1, 2013

Beat to the Punch!

Independence Institute

Posted by John Kranz at 5:35 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Scofflaws!

Posted by: johngalt at July 1, 2013 6:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Related: From Larimer County CO Sheriff Justin Smith on Facebook.

*The CBI advises local law enforcement to ignore and violate new Colorado gun laws*

The salacious details are at the link.

Posted by: johngalt at July 1, 2013 6:34 PM

Otequay of the Ayday

Rapists don’t disarm women, lawmakers disarm women. I work out five days a week. I studied krav maga. I can out-lift the majority of male hipsters. I can try to be as much like Lara Croft as I want to be but the bottom line is that nature has given me a different muscular structure, bone density, and stature. I will never be able to outfight the majority of men. Most women can’t take a solid punch from a man. This isn’t admitting a weakness, it’s admitting science. Weakness is when we try to deny science and refuse to give ourselves a fighting chance like the chance we have with firearms. A firearm is an equalizer for a woman. Your state legislator, Joe Salazar, told women that we were too stupid to carry firearms because we might “pop off at somebody.” His view was shared by his Democrat colleagues, as we later learned from remarks by the likes of Hudak, Rosenthal, and others. We believe in female empowerment in every aspect of life, apparently, but the power to buy our own birth control and carry a gun. These lawmakers are making sitting ducks out of the female sex and I’ve had enough. --Dana Loesch at the "Farewell to Arms" Freedom Rally near Denver yesterday
Posted by JohnGalt at 2:32 PM | Comments (0)

June 30, 2013

From My Cold Dead Hands, Governor!

Too early for the BBQ, but I did make it to Pri-Paired.

colddeadhands.jpg

Please come join us for Midnight Magazine Madness.

Sunday, June 30th we will be staying open to sell magazines up through midnight.

The Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwiches will be flowing.

Make sure you put your name in at the hat for the magazine and ammo give away.

Be the last person to receive a mag, the give away mags will be handed out at 11:59.

There may be special guest.............come see!

Tell all your friends and family.

I bought two, 30-round, .223 magazines as a statement of liberty and for a gun I might buy someday. It is either the coolest or most pointless thing I have ever done; I am still deciding.

Open until Midnight!

Posted by John Kranz at 3:50 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

Maybe I'll swing by on Monday and we'll tweet the governor pictures of us handing them back and forth to each other.

Posted by: johngalt at June 30, 2013 5:37 PM
But Jk thinks:

Yeah, if any of you need to borrow these, let me know.

Posted by: Jk at June 30, 2013 5:47 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm thinking we can work out a monthly lending program. I'll lend mine to someone else and borrow yours. Maybe Caldera wants to play too. Before we know it someone will be lending you some to replace yours!

Posted by: johngalt at June 30, 2013 7:15 PM
But jk thinks:

No, I've got it -- Hickenlooper Roulette!

You put five of your magazines and one of your buddy's in a cloth sack. You draw one out at random . . . you get the other guy's BOOM! You're a felon!!!

Posted by: jk at July 1, 2013 9:15 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I went for the big finale at midnight last night. Got a free mag! Someone asked, "Is Magpul going to start making smaller magazines? I hope they do. What else are Coloradoans going to do when they need magazines?"

"What we're going to do is change the law," said I.

Posted by: johngalt at July 1, 2013 2:19 PM

June 26, 2013

Project for Awesome

Segue machine, Engage! The previous post lamented that cheap money could not "create new technologies. It can't make older people younger."

Project for Awesome, originating in the Colorado Springs area as far as I can tell, shows us what can do - both of those.

P4A 2012 - SENS Foundation

[Wanted to embed but seems to be broken, or disabled.]

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:51 PM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2013

NoCo, by the Numbers

Posted by John Kranz at 4:32 PM | Comments (0)

Wildfire Grouch

ThreeSources is in danger of becoming the Grumpy Cat of the Internet. We rag on the Dalai Lama and Gandhi. But it is nice to have a place where one feels safe expressing contrarian viewpoints.

Pull up a chair, a torrent of invective follows for . . . fire victims.

Not the victims. I feel bad for them and worse for their animals. (If you can, donate to Humane Society of Pikes Peak Region. I just gave $100, so before you call me too many names, I offer that as mitigation.)

Three big fires are burning in Colorado, and the weather could hardly be worse for fighting them. I wish the best for those affected and salute the firefighters. But -- and I confess it is a poor time to talk about it -- the fires are treated and funded in a manner consistent with surprise. It's on par with shock over rain in Seattle. It is going to happen.

And when it happens we should be prepared. The western states' sharing of equipment and manpower is a good model to direct resources when needed. But the State and Federal Emergency funding is "wrong as pants on a trout."

The currently largest fire is Black Forest Fire in El Paso County East of Colorado Springs. One hates to go OWS on ThreeSources, but every home they show costs way over a million dollars. The homeowners have the benefit of living in a heavily wooded high-altitude location. Yet I share in the risk of fire.

People should live where they want, but need to bear the risk of their decisions. John Stossel admits that government insurance allowed him to rebuild his beachfront home and be able to insure it. He is honest enough to ask why less affluent residents in New York (and the USA) should support his lifestyle.

I propose a Statewide fire protection risk assessment that taxes property owners pari-passu with their probability of requiring expensive fire protection services. Pay for equipment and personnel out of that fund and raise the rates when it is empty. Those who buy or build in these areas need to foot the bill.

Next week: kittens are not really that cute...

Posted by John Kranz at 9:54 AM | Comments (5)
But Terri thinks:

Here, here!

However - I always assumed folks in those areas DID have to pay more for fire protection, no?

I always figured the Federal Money was just the OMG, we feel so bad, here, go drown your tears in dollars money.

Posted by: Terri at June 12, 2013 11:11 AM
But jk thinks:

I'd love to be proven wrong, but I think you pay more for a fire truck to come to your house when you burn the bacon -- that is risk-proportionate. But that the costs of fighting wildfires come out of general funds. Plus we just got $19 Million from the Feds.

I think flatlanders are subsidizing our more prosperous neighbors. I'm going to Occupy Aspen!

Posted by: jk at June 12, 2013 11:23 AM
But jk thinks:

I'll start at the Cappuccino bar at the Ritz-Carlton if anybody wants to join in...

Posted by: jk at June 12, 2013 11:35 AM
But johngalt thinks:

New Jersey got $61 B-Billion for their hurricane damage. That is $61,000 million. $19 million is pocket lint, couch cushion, petty cash hush money.

Let my highjack the point of this post though with the observation that the fire started near a highway intersection that is roughly a mile from an exit ramp on I-25. Denver Post: "As of Tuesday evening, a cause for the fire had not been determined, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said at news briefing." Drive-by arson, anyone? And right on cue, given that Denver media started blabbering about "extreme fire danger" on Monday, day one of the spring heat wave. Tweet, tweeet - here doggy, come.

Yes, I'm speculating. Arson is more likely to happen at 1 am than 1 pm. Still. How many people think, "I was going to play with matches in the dry grass today, but the news said that's dangerous right now. I guess I really shouldn't."

Posted by: johngalt at June 12, 2013 3:24 PM
But jk thinks:

"Fuel:" A FB friend closer to the fire than I am points out "Btw, it's really not that dry . . .look at all the photos, the grass if still green. I suspect this and Royal Gorge are arson."

Posted by: jk at June 13, 2013 4:04 PM

June 11, 2013

Oh No NoCo, Don't Go!

On the heels of it's dismissive editorial, which I linked in the comments on yesterday's post about an 8-county split from "Old Colorado" to form a new state, comes this spin-heavy "news" piece that clearly shows a nerve has been struck in D-town.

Mazurana said the process of breaking way from the state and starting a new one, is long and difficult. Both the state legislature and the U.S. Congress would have to approve.

"All the rest of the states are are not going to want to share their federal aid with this new state," Mazurana said. "And the state is not going to give up oil and gas money on a whim."

However, the notion could draw the backing of well-heeled conservative backers, he said. "The Koch brothers could come in along with some other wingnut groups." [emphasis mine]

I'm thinking of a new 501c3 application: "Colorado Wingnuts for Liberty and Property Rights"

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:27 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

"Colorado Prosperitarian Party" might confuse them with Progressive and be accepted.

I lost a comment yesterday. I hate to get too excited over a longshot, but the proposed split is a great idea, establishing Federalist principles at a scale closer to those at our founding.

The trick is to find another state that will be as reliably Democrat as NoCo will be Republican. Puerto Rico? Split off Marin County? The Congressional distribution will not likely change, but we need to find a Hawaii to our Alaska. The Democrats will not give two Senate seats to the other guys in perpetuity.

Posted by: jk at June 12, 2013 9:39 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Many of these hang ups could be swept aside by just defecting to Wyoming, rather than demanding 2 new senators from the thin air.

Posted by: johngalt at June 12, 2013 10:35 AM
But jk thinks:

Dude, you are a genius.

Posted by: jk at June 12, 2013 10:43 AM
But johngalt thinks:

We'll see. I just floated the idea to Independence Institute's Amy Oliver, who Jon Caldera credits for starting the idea via a Twitter hashtag: #WarOnRuralCO

Posted by: johngalt at June 12, 2013 3:36 PM

June 10, 2013

North Colorado/South Colorado?

Carolina and the Dakota Territory have done it. Perhaps Virginia and West Virginia are a better example. Commissioners of Weld County, Colorado, the third largest county in Colorado and third most productive in the nation, are publicly contemplating a split from the remainder of Colorado. Seven neighboring counties would possibly join us.

Commissioners said Thursday that failed legislative efforts to crack down on oil and gas, as well as increases in rural renewable energy standards were "the straws that broke the camel's back."

Conway told the Tribune that Weld County's main economic drivers, agriculture and energy, are under attack, even though those sectors contribute significantly to the state's economy. He said the county's return on its financial contributions to the state are minimal.

He's just being polite. Weld and other rural counties are the makers, Denver and other urban counties are the takers. This could be a win-win for the urbanites, who could finally wash their hands of the coal, oil and gas energy they so disdain. We'll just take our cheap, reliable energy and go away. Heck, we won't even ask for another star on the flag. Just give us the liberty that our ancestors were born with, and our descendents deserve to enjoy.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:46 PM | Comments (4)
But Alexc thinks:

More like this... and / or recombination. Why shouldn't the rural counties of neighboring states become a new one?

Posted by: Alexc at June 10, 2013 3:11 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm in.

Posted by: jk at June 10, 2013 4:39 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

Massachusetts and Maine are another example. Completely constitutional.

Posted by: T. Greer at June 10, 2013 6:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

For its part, the Denver Post is unimpressed:

Serious people with serious complaints don't waste their time on quixotic crusades. They roll up their sleeves and deepen their efforts to convince their fellow Coloradans that their arguments have merit.

Oh, you mean by giving public testimony on 6 bills in 90 minutes? Or maybe we didn't say loudly enough that mandating what kind of energy we use is immoral as well as unconstitutional. No, Denver Post, we have come to live in an Ochlocracy and we're not going to stand for it any longer.

Posted by: johngalt at June 11, 2013 4:18 PM

May 31, 2013

Honey Badger for Guv!

Posted by John Kranz at 6:15 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

I have the utmost respect and affinity for Secretary Gessler and believe his ideas are better for Colorado than those of potential primary opponent Tom "Bomb Mecca" Tank-redo. But I recently learned the person who "wins" an argument, judged by convincing others to agree with him, is the one who shouts louder than everyone else. Advantage: TT.

Posted by: johngalt at May 31, 2013 7:00 PM
But jk thinks:

Gessler says there's no place for name calling in a Republican primary. Bummer.

Posted by: jk at May 31, 2013 7:29 PM

May 30, 2013

There Is Hope!

Colorado SecState Scott Gessler is making an announcement at 5PM Mountain (three minutes from now):

Dear John,

I know there’s been a lot of talk about what our team will be doing in 2014. As I shared with the Denver Post, I’m frustrated with our state’s current leadership. I’m frustrated with the sharp left wing turn our Governor and legislature have made.

I began my service almost twenty years ago when I joined the Army, and I hope I’ve served you well as your Secretary of State and for the past few weeks I’ve considered if the best way I can continue my service is possibly a bid for Governor of Colorado. Today I’ll be on television to discuss those intentions.

Please tune in today to Channel 9 News at 5pm as I will be discussing my future and the future of our state.

I hope you will allow me to continue to serve you. In anticipation of today’s announcement will you consider a small contribution of $10 or $20 now? Click here.

Yours in Service,


Honey Badger Don't Care!!!!

Posted by John Kranz at 6:57 PM | Comments (0)

May 26, 2013

Review Corner

This book's procurement comes with a funny story. And a funny story must always be told.

I have enjoyed meeting many new liberty lovers at Brother Bryan's Liberty On The Rocks -- Flatirons (LOTR-F), but none more than Russ. A garrulous and impassioned liberty lover, Russ would distribute copies of Bastiat's The Law before the meetings. I'm embarrassed to say my own lovely bride had not read it until she got one of those. (Learning about Bastiat on the street!)

The night Jon Caldera spoke, he interrupted. "Don't give away 'The Law!'" thundered my favorite speaker at my favorite listener. "People need to read "The Blueprint', or Alinsky's 'Rules for Radicals!'" It was brutal but effective. Russ has now added both to his travelling library. I bought one of each at the last meeting and will review them on successive Sundays.

The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care) makes much sense after hearing Caldera speak at LOTR-F. The Blueprint describes how "the other guys" built infrastructure. While the GOP runs a campaign and then retreats to the Country Club after they lose, a powerful and wealthy group of Democratic donors fund continuing enterprises. And these groups have very successfully flipped Red Colorado to deep blue.

I think we all remember 2004 as "what the hell just happened?" The GOP did very nationally but crumbled in Colorado. This book describes exactly what happened.

Governor Owens, who now had to spend his final two years in office dealing with a hostile legislature, saw it differently. "They bought the state. We ought to treat this the way we treat naming rights to football stadiums--let's just put Pat Stryker's and Tim Gill's names on the gold dome of the Colorado state Capitol, because that's what happened." While many factors played a part, Owens pointed to one in particular. "Before campaign finance reform was passed, people tried to use money to influence an individual legislator here or there. Nowadays, big donors just buy them by the dozen."

However one chose to interpret 2004, it was immediately clear that the game had changed. Forever.


Is Colorado sui generis? Caldera himself is quoted in the book saying that the state is big enough to be important, yet small enough to be bought (my words not his*). The same players are expanding this to other states. They will not have surprise on their side, and some other media markets will be more costly to saturate. But they are very smart and very well-funded. And Republicans are ... well ... hang on a minute ... I had something....

The ThreeSources staple of tactics vs. philosophy is subject to examination. In short, do you hand out "The Law" or "Rules for Radicals?"

Discussion of issues that might divide the group was strictly verboten. "All the participants checked their political agendas at the door," said Polis later. "There was never any policy discussed. There were never any issues discussed. This was simply a group of people who believed that all of our issues, and regardless of what they were, what our differences were, would be better represented in a Democratic majority.

NARAL's Ganz agreed. "The basic concept was simple," she said. "A group of people and organizations that didn't like the direction the state was moving in came together to try to win elections so that policies that were being promoted by the state legislature and the governor actually shifted. The execution of that was the challenge. Although, it didn't seem challenging because the goal of those who came together--winning elections--was the same."


At the same time, what drove these people together? A very backward GOP dominated statehouse that was determined to push its social agenda. NARAL and Tim Gill and Jared Polis had a common enemy. A more libertarian GOP would not have been nearly as successful in uniting them.
Trimpa knew that equality for gays and lesbians would begin at the state legislature. "Ted understood that there needed to be changes in the legislature to move a more progressive agenda," said Lynne Mason of the Colorado Education Association. That meant electing Democrats and defeating Republicans.

Trimpa was ready to fight the Colorado Republican Party. He was hoping that after today's hearing on House Bill 1375, Gill would be ready too.


The GOP -- I dearly hope -- will always fight public sector unions. Perhaps if they read more philosophy, they might not facilitate such a phalanx against them.

It's well worth the read -- I'll go 3.5 stars. I am quite convinced its ideas are valuable but not convinced they are a blueprint for the forces of goodness and light.

*UPDATE: The full Caldera quote:

The beauty of Colorado is that it's big enough to be important but small enough that just a few people can radically change the political landscape. It's the best bang for the buck in American politics.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:56 AM | Comments (0)

May 22, 2013

The DMV

A good [L|l]ibertarian is offended at receiving good service from the DMV. It invalidates all he or she believes.

I submit this as great example of government "service." Simply pick the range of the first letters of all the cities around you.

dmv.gif

Posted by John Kranz at 6:15 PM | Comments (0)

May 16, 2013

Twin Tunnel Widening

This is cool. Colorado skiiers and mountain travelers are no doubt familiar with the Twin Tunnels on I-70 between Floyd Hill and Idaho Springs. They are a minor pinch point which cause major traffic delays. After many decades of inconvenience the Colorado Department of Transportation has finally managed to wrestle some funds away from riderless light rail train projects to improve infrastructure for - cars.

Sarcastic sniping aside, here is the project website. And below is the animation they made to show how the detour works. This was of particular interest to me because since the days of my youth I've always wanted to drive that abandoned road around the corner of the mountain. It looks like they've made a newer wider road instead, along with a new bridge, but I still want to get up there and check it out.

View the detour animation.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:08 PM | Comments (0)

May 15, 2013

He's Baaaaaaaaaack!

Noooo! Nooooooo! Noooooo!

2014 Tom Tancredo considering a run for governor in 2014

I will chair the "Weld County Republicans for Hickenlooper" if this turncoat gets the nod.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:31 PM | Comments (9)
But jk thinks:

Gessler, Yes!!! Honey Badger don't care....

Posted by: jk at May 16, 2013 12:25 PM
But jk thinks:

Some better-connected-than-I don't think Gessler is in ("will have a tough time holding his SecState job where he is really needed." Especially after the same-day-registration-voter-fraud act is signed today.)

Nobody in the stable is there? Beauprez? I also suspect that most guys smart enough to win are smart enough not to run - Gov. Hickenlooper will be formidable.

Posted by: jk at May 16, 2013 4:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Wayne LaPierre?

Seriously though, I want to know, who is Colorado's Ted Cruz?

Posted by: johngalt at May 16, 2013 6:28 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm always haunted by Peter Robinson’s "It's My Party:" The ideal GOP candidate probably has a job that pays ten times as much with one-tenth the nonsense. Every Unitarian Preacher, on the other hand, fancies himself a Democratic Senator.

To be fair, Hickenlooper is pretty qualified. But candidate recruitment is a hurdle.

Posted by: jk at May 16, 2013 6:40 PM
But jk thinks:

I thought John Mackey had more of a Colorado connection. I'd overlook carpetbagging -- Texas already has a Ted Cruz.

Posted by: jk at May 16, 2013 6:44 PM
But Jk thinks:

Sheriff John Cooke?

Posted by: Jk at May 18, 2013 8:14 PM

April 16, 2013

CO Governor Lamm's Mea Culpa

Two weeks ago a former establishment Republican said:

When the latest bubble pops, there will be nothing to stop the collapse.

The reward for his candor was a furious effort to discredit him.

This week a former establishment Democrat - a self-described "former Keynesian" said:

My generation of politicians has relentlessly and quietly encumbered the nation's future and pre-spent our children's earnings. We have also, tragically, locked in an economic crisis in our future.

Boy is he gonna get pounded.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:06 PM | Comments (0)

April 9, 2013

Brushfire Radio

Awesome! Blog brother Bryan is a big part of another great new venture, Brushfire Radio at libertycast dot net.

Brushfire Radio takes its name [6:40] from the Sam Adams quote, "It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen on setting brushfires of liberty in the minds of men."

I am very impressed with this young man. His knowledge and eloquence about liberty concepts is superb.

Bonus: Joss Whedon reference at 28:40.

UPDATE: Interview with LOTR-F speaker Jeff Wright is up.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:28 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Any chance of hearing last night's interview they did before LOTR-F?

Posted by: jk at April 9, 2013 4:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

They told me that last night's interview was to be the first for their fledgling media behemoth. I expect it will be posted soon.

Posted by: johngalt at April 9, 2013 4:33 PM

March 20, 2013

Otequay of the Ayday

Colorado Republicans have developed a reputation -- largely earned -- for being the anti-gay, anti-immigration, anti-women party, and then Republicans stand around after getting their asses kicked, election after election, scratching their heads and wondering what happened.

Ari Armstrong, on why Republicans Bear Responsibility for Colorado's Anti-Gun Laws

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:42 PM | Comments (0)

Why Did CO Governor About-Face on Guns?

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has artfully crafted an image as a reasonable, moderate, modern western politician - until now. Today he signed "landmark new gun laws" in the "traditionally firearm-friendly state" of Colorado. Why?

Colorado blogger Joshua Sharf explains that it is part of a national political strategy on the part of the Obama Administration:

It has been clear from the beginning that Obama plans to use gun control, not merely as a diversion from governing, but as a battering-ram issue to achieve his major 2nd-term objective: regaining the House of Representatives for the Democrats. To do that, he believes he must isolate the Republican House as being an obstruction to common-sense, practical gun control measures that most of the country agrees on. To do that, he must persuade enough Senate Democrats - especially Western Democrats - to back proposals that they really, really don't want to even vote on, much less support.

Colorado becomes the key to providing them cover. The proposals - poorly-written, full of absurd outcomes - will have to be portrayed as practical compromises. The debate on the national level will mirror the deceptive line taken here: confusing sales with temporary transfers, or even loans to friends; outlawing magazines of more than 15 rounds, but forgetting to mention that inheriting such a magazine from a deceased parent is a criminal act, a felony, even. Colorado's reputation as a western, freedom-loving state works in their favor.

So when Hickenlooper said, after the Aurora shooting, "Well, I mean I'm not sure there's any way in a free society, to be able to do that ..." it was a ploy to keep the gun debate out of the pending election.

This suited Hick just fine, since any suggestion that he was seriously looking at the sort of laws passed last week might have complicated the Dems' narrative about te Republican "War on Women" and civil unions.

But there is hope:

Ultimately, it makes the recalls of Sen. Hudak and Rep. McLachlan - along with whatever other vulnerable Dems can be included - even more important. Those recalls, like the recalls in Wisconsin, take on a national significance and urgency, not merely because of the issues involved, but because of the political implications at the national level. The promise of protection, of resources and money, to vulnerable Dems who backed him on this legislation, is the application of national resources to state races, just as the Blueprint was the application of state resources to local races. It is the Blueprint raised to a national scale. If Obama is able to implement that, then he will indeed have locked in substantial political changes that can change the society for the worse, for the long run.

On the other hand, if those promises can be shown to be empty - before the House of Representatives comes up for election, or has to vote on the national bills - then the entire narrative is turned on its head. Not only does Obama look like an unreliable friend, but the power of the issue dissipates. (That's one reason why an initiative is more useful in the event that we fail to take back both the legislature and the governor's mansion: only fiscal issues can be on the ballot in odd-numbered years.)

Hickenlooper, in 2012, specifically avoided charging voters up over this issue. Even in 2010, he didn't really mention it at all. Colorado has not had a vigorous debate on these bills or these issues. This was not something done by us. It was something done to us.

It's our move, Colorado.

UPDATE: This Denver Post story contemplates the Governor's political future:

Only a few months ago, Hickenlooper was mentioned as a potential 2016 presidential candidate. In poll after poll, his favorability ratings were higher than President Obama's and most governors.

But now Hickenlooper is attracting national attention as the Western governor backing gun control.

Asked whether the debate had hurt his image as a "quirky, lovable governor." Hickenlooper smiled.

"I'm still quirky," he said. "I'm not sure I was that lovable. And I am still relentlessly pro business."

Dear Governor - Magpul Industries, Alfred Manufacturing, other suppliers - they are BUSINESSES. With friends like you...

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:56 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

It's also going to be interesting in a state where many sheriffs and their deputies seem to be prepared to tell their governor, in no uncertain terms, to hike to hell on this issue.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 20, 2013 3:38 PM

March 15, 2013

Stan Kronke buys Outdoor Channel

In my prior post I linked to a Weekly Standard story entitled "Colorado Poll: Gun Control Politically Dangerous for Democrats." At least one thing is certain - this issue is bringing out the big GOP money to an extent I have not seen before. To wit: Kroenke Saves Outdoor Channel From Being Bought by Obama Advisor

Still unclear is whether Kroenke will become involved with the Outdoor Channel’s battle with Colorado Democrats. Executive producer Michael Bane said in a letter to state Sen. Steve King (R-Colorado Springs) that the channel had already cancelled a filming session scheduled for late March in reaction to the gun-control bills.

“The message we will take to our viewers and listeners is that these proposed laws are so dangerous to hunters and any other person, be she a fisherman or a skier who brings a handgun into the state for self-defense, that we cannot recommend hunting, fishing or visiting Colorado,” said Bane in the letter dated March 5.

“We reach millions of people, and quite frankly, we have a credibility that the Colorado government officials can no longer match,” he said.

So far the sale to Kroenke Sports & Entertainment hasn’t muted Bane’s views. He posted a message on his website Wednesday saying, “Urge Governor Hickenlooper to veto the mag ban!”


Posted by JohnGalt at 2:56 PM | Comments (0)

Colorado Sheriff would defy feds

The Sheriff of El Paso County, Colorado, Terry Maketa, told constituents yesterday that he would prevent gun confiscation in his jurisdiction if a "lawfully signed warrant" were not in play.

"I would step in the way if federal law enforcement was acting under some directive and seizing weapons without a lawfully signed warrant," he said, adding that he's not worried about that because he's received emails of support from federal law enforcement agencies.

"I think they would turn first, quit and join me before following something as ludicrous as that," he said.

This is welcome reassurance to the majority of Coloradoans who oppose big-city mayors' politically motivated gun control railroad job in the Democrat-controlled Colorado state government. Speaking of which,

"I don't have any plan to run for governor, for senate, for house," he said. "I say that knowing full well things can change."
Posted by JohnGalt at 2:32 PM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2013

H.B. 1224 -- Worse than Advertised!

And the ads were pretty bad...

Posted by John Kranz at 5:37 PM | Comments (0)

March 12, 2013

Governor Hick on Devil's Advocate

Serious discussion, great show.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:27 PM | Comments (1)
But Terri thinks:

Thanks for sharing. That was worth a listen.

Posted by: Terri at March 12, 2013 7:35 PM

Colorado is America's Canary

Dear America,

If you care to see what happens when a single political party controls the executive and both houses of the legislative arms of government, just look at what is taking place in Colorado. Editorialist Anthony Martin suggests Colorado Democrats appear determined to start a civil war.

A state that was once friendly to gun rights has now become a hotbed of leftwing political activism that directly challenges citizen rights -- unless that citizen wishes to smoke pot legally.

This scenario only further enrages gun rights activists who view such things as the height of hypocrisy -- touting citizen rights to smoke pot while at the same time attacking citizen rights when it comes to guns.

If you want to read about the "civil war" part you'll have to click through. I'll not be accused of incitement.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:31 PM | Comments (4)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"If you care to see what happens when a single political party controls the executive and both houses of the legislative arms of government..."

Dude. Been there, done that, lived to tell the tale. http://is.gd/ASoCyG

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 12, 2013 5:37 PM
But johngalt thinks:

See how easily we fail to notice when the pot is warmed gradually? We just glibly refer to the "Californication" of our state without looking to see how much further Kalifornia is trying to go at the same time. I'll share this around in Colorado circles.

My caution was meant for those in swing districts who might choose to replace their Republican congressman with a Democrat in 2014 because some Republican somewhere "frightens" them.

Posted by: johngalt at March 12, 2013 5:56 PM
But AndyN thinks:

If you care to see what happens when a single political party controls the executive and both houses of the legislative arms of government...
Were you worried that if you didn't appear balanced you'd offend someone? I believe that there are currently 24 states in which the GOP controls both the legislative and executive branches. Is there any evidence that those state governments are attempting to trample on the rights of their citizens?

The GOP has many problems, but this particular problem is specifically a Democratic party problem.

Posted by: AndyN at March 12, 2013 6:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Good question! I love good questions.

I wasn't concerned about offending anyone, as yesterday's "On Legislation and Human Rights" post should illustrate, but I was seeking to illustrate a general principle rather than a partisan lament. Now I will try to defend it.

I am less affected by the anti-liberty of Republicans than that of Democrats but I do recognize it when I see it and, as a proponent of consistency in ones principles, oppose it. For example, Arkansas just overrode the veto of its Democrat governor to implement what some call the nation's most restrictive abortion ban. If one accepts the premise that a state prohibition on abortion tramples a right of the mother, namely to control her own bodily functions, then this is an example of Republicans doing exactly what I condemn Colorado Democrats for: A partisan infringment of individual liberties.

Posted by: johngalt at March 12, 2013 7:08 PM

March 11, 2013

Liberty on the Rocks -- Flatirons

I've missed the last two, but it looks as if we are dug out of the fearsome "Blizzard of '13" and will attend this evening:

Join us on Monday, March 11th, where your special guest speaker will be Colorado Secretary of State, Mr. Scott Gessler. After the Secretary's presentation there will be short Q&A, followed by the opportunity to network with other local liberty supporters. Come for the event, stay for the food and networking - you're guaranteed a great evening no matter what!

This event is open to the public, bring your friends!

Posted by John Kranz at 4:00 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Excellent!

Posted by: jk at March 12, 2013 9:07 AM
But johngalt thinks:

What did he discuss?

Posted by: johngalt at March 12, 2013 3:03 PM
But jk thinks:

There are rumors of a video. Takeaways for me include:

-- "Honey Badger" Gessler is something of a HOSS. You can whine that there's not a dime's difference between Democrats & Republicans, but Sec. Gessler is a serious, grown-up friend for liberty. With just the right touch of partisanship, he gave a personal look at the undivided state government you decry in another post.

-- As Sec. State, he drastically lowered the fees and red tape around business licenses. Milton Friedman, call your office! We may not be Hong Kong yet, but that is an important marker of economic freedom and Colorado has moved forward.

-- Questions were heavy on vote fraud. Sec. G has done great work in this arena, but we are facing tsunamis in same-day-registration, registration of 16-year-olds when they get licenses, and mandatory mail voting. A bright spot has been his work to facilitate ballots to military voters in theatre. He served (I forget the branch) and this has a personal meaning.

-- like all LOTR-F: what's the best way for each to promote liberty, and encouraging anecdotes about how letters-to-editors, showing up at meetings, capitol testimony, &c. have actually moved legislation.

-- He is a good humored, likeable Republican. Folks are asking who the next R Governor is -- he'd get my vote.

Film at 11, if Mike gets it posted...

Posted by: jk at March 12, 2013 3:37 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I met Scott at a backyard BBQ, in 2010 I believe. I've tried to follow the partisan witch hunt against him over election reform issues but the full story is hard to come by. Would've been there last night but the in-laws paid a visit.

Posted by: johngalt at March 12, 2013 5:19 PM

On Legislation and Human Rights

I just left the following comment on Senator Giron's FB page after reading her (linked) blog entry, which states that she plans to vote yes on the five gun restriction bills in the Colorado senate today. I do hope that she reads it, and that she is willing to look into her heart and find a sense of consistency.

"For what little it may be worth, Senator Giron, I apologize for the classless behavior of some on the other side of this Constitutional issue from you. I can only guess that they feel powerless as a basic human right - the right to self defense - is being ever further questioned and eroded in the Colorado legislature. In these deeply contentious issues I, like Governor Hickenlooper, find it helpful to examine the issue from both sides. A good way to do that in this case is to imagine the reactions of you and your supporters if a Republican legislature and Republican governor were railroading seven (or even five) "common sense" abortion restriction bills. On the basis of Constitutional protections and the basic human rights of every individual, they would be just as wrong in doing so as the Democrats are in what they may choose to do today. Please reconsider whether the remainder of your legislative agenda is worth risking over this one issue that so many of your constituents will never forgive you for. Please tell the single-issue anti-gun lobbyists that you have more important things to do than to (politically) live or die on their hill. Please work to unite us around individual rights, not divide us along ideological lines."
Posted by JohnGalt at 12:17 PM | Comments (0)

March 8, 2013

That "Constitution" Thingy

"Can the governor call in question the right of a non-felon to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property?"

This is my starting formulation for a #StandWithRand type filibuster question, to be asked during Monday's third and final vote on numerous gun control bills in the Colorado legislature on Monday. Bills that quite clearly, I would argue, call this right into question.

HB1226- Calls into question the individual right to bear arms to defend one's person.
HB1229- Calls into question the individual right to keep arms.
SB197- Calls into question the right of a defendant to keep arms.
HB1228- Calls into question the individual right to keep arms.
HB1224- Calls into question the individual right to keep arms.
SB196- Calls into question the individual right to keep and to bear arms.

Those usurpations are not written into the bills of course, and their sponsors would certainly argue they do no such thing. That is a valid debate, and one which should transpire on the floor of Colorado's highest deliberative body, but until the governor answers in the affirmative the opening question, derived from Article 2, Section 14 of the Colorado Constitution, any other discussion is moot.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:01 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Not up on www.i2i.org yet, but did you see Jon Caldera's interview with Governor Hick? Media and government were everything they should be for half an hour. Caldera doesn't go for gotchas -- but he asked tough questions about disarming the young rape victim and precluding his future estate's passing his Glock 17 to his daughter, and capricious enforcement if he goes to Wyoming to buy replacement magazines.

I'll post an embed when I see it, but they rerun those on Monday nights and if you have it on a DVR somewhere, it is well worth watching.

Posted by: jk at March 11, 2013 9:50 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, I did see it. Devil's Advocate is on DVR autopilot at our house. Jon promoed it on FB so I was eager to watch. Even though no gotcha questions, Hick stepped in it when he said he thought guns could be bought on the internet without a background check. Not NEW guns. All gun dealer internet sales must ship to buyers via a local FFL dealer, and be delivered in person like every gun store sale.

There was more than this though too. Like his suggestion that issues be examined from both sides, which I leveraged in a FB comment to Senator Angela Giron this morning.

Posted by: johngalt at March 11, 2013 12:17 PM

A Perennial Headline

And yet another Colorado Democrat says something stupid about guns

Posted by John Kranz at 3:49 PM | Comments (0)

March 6, 2013

CO Gov. Hickenlooper: Pro-gun demonstrators "a small minority"

Amid the controversy over disarming rape victims and outlawing the products of a large Colorado manufacturing company, our state's governor recently told a news reporter he doesn't think that signing these bills into law would cost him during a re-election bid.

For all of their fervor, Hickenlooper sees the demonstrators a small minority.

"Not only do they not represent the middle, I don't think they represent the Republican party. I don't think they represent a large number of people," Gov. Hickenlooper said.

The governor may be right, particularly since he says the bills are being watered down "to fix certain issues, like not having to run background checks on family members when giving them your gun." But even if the measures are "reasonable" the state legislators have sat through hours of testimony by witness after witness, both in favor and opposed to the laws, who say the laws would not reduce crime or accidents, nor even have prevented any particular incident. The only valid justification for passing these new laws was offered by state Senator Ted Harvey who said, "What we are trying to do here tonight is to protect students and teachers from feeling uncomfortable by you carrying a gun to protect yourself. Every witness that has come up here tonight has said they want to feel unintimidated and feel free to debate on a college campus, and having you have the right to defend yourself against a violent attacker weighs more for them than for you and the right to self-defense." Or, to paraphrase, your right to defend yourself is, in the opinion of the majority, junior to "students and teachers" right to "feel unintimidated."

Governor Hickenlooper was, he says, troubled by the prospect of losing gun accessory and magazine manufacturer Magpul Industries, Inc and its 200 local jobs, plus several suppliers. But in true pull-peddler fashion he said he intends to make up for any lost business to the company by "trying to win Magpul more government business through his Washington connections."

HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa!

From the Magpul website:

Magpul's view on profits (and money in general) is summed up in the following quote by Ayn Rand (Francisco's Money Speech, Atlas Shrugged):

"Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value."

Good luck trying to buy them off with political favors, Mister Governor.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:50 PM | Comments (0)

March 5, 2013

On Being a Statistic

Don't know if this will get much play outside of Colorado.

I'm not going to add anything to this powerful clip, but when did the phrase "Don't be a statistic" drop out of our lexicon? Rep. Evie Hudak (D - Arvada) tells a rape victim -- to her face -- that "statistics are not on her side." If there is a better example of the collectivist mindset, I have yet to see it.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:30 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

Denver Post:

"The Colorado Coalition Against Gun Violence says that for every one woman who used a handgun to kill someone in self-defense, 83 were murdered by them," Hudak said.

A typical gun-grabber misleading statistic:

- How many women prevented an assault because they had a handgun, without "killing" the attacker? If it saves a single assault, isn't it worth it?

- How many of those murdered women never had their own weapon, but were victims of domestic circumstances? I'm willing to wager nearly all of them.

- Show me the statistic, CCAGW or whoever you are, for how many armed women were killed or injured versus how many attackers they deterred, killed or injured.

I have no idea who "Colorado Coalition Against Gun Violence" is. The Post story seems disinterested as well, only going so far as to dupe the witness into conceding that "the stats are against me." Yellow.

Posted by: johngalt at March 5, 2013 5:22 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

More shocking to me is the first Senator's answer! Tell me if I am wrong, but he pretty much said "the issue is not protecting you from violent attacks but ensuring that other students on campus feel comfortable when they are around you", right? In what world is this the right way to look at things?

I think Zenpundit might have been right when he suggested that for many, gun control is more about enforcing culture than it is making people safe.

Posted by: T. Greer at March 5, 2013 10:56 PM
But jk thinks:

Sen. Harvey's comment sounds very odd at first. In the end, he is apologizing for those who elevate their feelings of this woman's safety.

The ZenPundit post is right on. He even hits a riff I have been harping on:

Douthat's criticism of a reflexively angry but unimaginative and politically inept Right is correct, but class trumps mere Left-Right distinctions regarding gun control, with celebrity pundit Fareed Zakaria and conservative press baron Rupert Murdoch aligning with fellow Manhattan West Side billionaire and gun control zealot, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and various worthies in calling for UK style "gun bans".

Add the WSJ Ed Page and Larry Kudlow to the list. This is not your Daddy's left-right divide.

Posted by: jk at March 6, 2013 9:46 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Replacement link at denverpost.com:
http://bcove.me/38moha9i

Posted by: johngalt at March 6, 2013 3:10 PM
But jk thinks:

Replaced the embed -- thanks.

Posted by: jk at March 6, 2013 3:32 PM

February 23, 2013

When I Vote for a Democrat...

I voted for Democrat John Hickenlooper in the last Colorado Gubernatorial race, and he has only been slightly more disappointing than most of the Republicans for whom I pulled the lever (darkened the oval).

A trained geologist, he came out for fracking. A trained politician, he toned it down at his party's urging. A professional brewer, he cut taxes on craft beers. A professional politician, he did not extend tax cuts to other industries...

Insty brings word that he may rescue us from our new Democrat Legislature on gun rights:

Now, as Colorado jobs are on the line and Democratic lawmakers continue to humiliate themselves (and their state) at a national level, it's unsure if any new gun control laws will pass in CO. Which is fine by us.

Professor Reynolds adds "If I were in Colorado, I'd be trying to encourage him to come out in favor of civil rights, not gun control."

Posted by John Kranz at 10:24 AM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2013

Colorado House Passes Four Gun Bills

Did I mention that Democrats took over the Colorado State House and Senate?

Denver Post: "The four bills are: limiting magazines to 15 rounds, requiring universal background checks, requiring purchasers to pay for those checks, and banning concealed weapons on college campuses."

Concealed weapons on college campuses would be banned under a bill passed Monday in the Colorado House, legislation part of a Democratic gun control package that cleared the House the same day.

House Bill 1226, which bans concealed weapons on public college campuses, passed the House on a 34-31 vote, with three Democrats voting no.

Democrats argued guns and college students don't mix and that campuses are some of the safest places in America.

"There are a lot of students who simply are not ready to be in the presence of firearms," said Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, the sponsor of the bill. "It;s a dangerous mix."


"Democrats argued guns and college students don't mix and that campuses are some of the safest places in America." Non-sequitor much?

Posted by John Kranz at 4:31 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

Little known fact: Both Chicago, Illinois and Washington D.C. were once sprawling college campii populated exclusively by students. Fortunately, wise politicians made private gun ownership illegal before the carnage got truly out of hand.

Posted by: johngalt at February 18, 2013 6:22 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Say, I just saw your boy Joe Salazar (D-Hoplophobia) has solved the whole problem. He's figured out that women can't be trusted with firearms, because if they're afraid of being raped or assaulted, they'll probably shoot wildly anyway. And a rapist may change his mind and not commit rape after all, and besides, college campuses are already safe zones, so there's nothing to fear.

http://is.gd/VVROix

Therefore, it's okay to disenfranchise half of America of their Second Amendment rights on the basis of gender. Or something like that.

Nice to see California doesn't have a monopoly on pinheads.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 19, 2013 11:44 AM
But johngalt thinks:

The press called Richard Mourdock a crackpot for his rape comments, and rightly so. Where are they now?

Posted by: johngalt at February 19, 2013 12:46 PM
But jk thinks:

Richard Murdock and Todd Akin's comments sure aroused a lot of interest from my Facebook friends. Salazar's not so much. Crickets.

Posted by: jk at February 19, 2013 1:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Heh.

From: stlouis.cbslocal.com/2013/02/19/mo-house-bill-makes-proposing-gun-control-illegal/

Posted by: johngalt at February 19, 2013 5:16 PM

January 20, 2013

Boulder's Respect for Differing Opinions

Weld County MILF (umm, that's Mothers In Love with Fracking) Amy Oliver talks to Jon Caldera. I embed because I have referenced this clip a couple times. The whole thing is worth a watch, but be sure to see how the sweet peaceful hippies of Boulder behave (7:00 - 10:00) when encountering a discussion of science.


Posted by John Kranz at 11:30 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Thank you for posting. This story can't be over exposed. I spent my college days in Boulder and it was similar to this when the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center organized traffic-blocking street demonstrations against nuclear weapons, nuclear power, pesticides, or any number of other things that have never produced the "child poisoning" these, ahem, 'science awareness advocates' then foretold. But this is worse. Perhaps they are emboldened by the growing acceptance of the tactics of al Qaeda, or the Weather Underground.

Posted by: johngalt at January 21, 2013 3:11 PM
But jk thinks:

Yes, I was wondering when Caldera's fond remembrance of Kumbaya peaceful discussion days occurred. I did not show up until 1988 -- the civility was long gone by then.

Posted by: jk at January 22, 2013 10:36 AM

January 18, 2013

He's Dead Tonight

We had some chortles on these pages at the expense of the kooky denizens of Boulder, Colorado, who were holding candlelight vigils for "Big Boy" the elk who was slain at 9th & Mapleton.

I had chance to discuss the incident with a good friend of this blog. She (and that is the absolute last hint you can expect) suggested that it was rather un-ThreeSources-ish of us to assume that the good and brave representatives of Boulder Government were on the up and up -- and that the people were wrong.

That stings a bit, but I rubbed some dirt in it and had to confess that there were some disquieting elements of the story. Clearly, an officer discharging a weapon in the city limits should file a report. And clearly there was a lot of activity outside of official sanction.

It is hard to choose between what is correct, consistent, and honest -- and what can be construed as agreement with Boulderites. It's hard and our friend admitted such.

The perps are going down, and I have to admit that -- candlelight vigils notwithstanding -- the police operate under scrutiny to be entrusted with force, and they should be held accountable.

District Attorney Stan Garnett today announced that Boulder police officers Sam Carter and Brent Curnow were arrested this morning in connection with the Jan. 1 shooting of a towering bull elk on Mapleton Hall, saying investigators determined the two men conspired to kill the elk as a trophy and for its meat.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:59 PM | Comments (6)
But Terri thinks:

:-)
Sadly they make it far too easy to take whatever side is the other side of a typical boulderite position just by being so obnoxious.

Posted by: Terri at January 19, 2013 8:34 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Dear Abby, Earl Weaver, Stan Musial, and Conrad Bain all shuffled off the mortal coil this week, and Boulder is having a candlelight vigil for venison.

I'm clearly missing something, or perhaps Boulder is.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 20, 2013 1:05 AM
But jk thinks:

I think we are all in fulsome agreement about the kookery one encounters at 9th & Mapleton. On the date of the original post I was further animated by the behavior of the fair citizens (embedded above).

BUT. We all hold that government's being uniquely empowered with the use of violence, that it must operate within the boundaries we set. That holds for the FDA, USDA, EPA, US Fish SWAT team ... and the Boulder Police Department.

Laugh at the candlelight vigil. Hate the thugs who chase these young women to their car after a council meeting. Fine. But we must ask the BPD to follow their own procedures and not lie to the public.

Posted by: jk at January 20, 2013 11:47 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Unless the text messages say, "I'm conspiring to fabricate a justification and kill a trophy animal out of season" the claim that "texts between the officers revealed they planned the trophy kill almost a day in advance" does not appear founded in evidence. A later reference to the texts says one of the officers "can be seen referring to the elk." What kind of reference? Nice rack? Shoot him? Or, he's been acting strange?

Officers of the law must obey it to the letter. If the animal was acting suspiciously it should have been reported to superiors and dealt with by CDW. However, we are talking about a wildlife regulation violation here, not the tyranny of jack-booted government thugs. At worst I see them guilty of illegal hunting, failure to file a report, and being good ol' boys. I expect their union provided legal counsel will get them acquitted, but also that the image conscious Boulder PD will find a way to hand them pink slips.

Posted by: johngalt at January 20, 2013 12:54 PM
But jk thinks:

Ummm, yeah, I think not filing a report after discharging a weapon in city limits is a big deal. Me rong?

A deeper point is that the actions and motives of any government agency are immediately suspect at ThreeSources. Off with their heads if its the FOMC or the USDA or the Arapahoe County Anti-Doping Agency. Yet police enjoy a liberal benefit of the doubt. Armed government agents who belong to a public sector union are strangely above criticism.

I'm a law and order guy and a big fan of our brave first responders. And I would even support their being allowed to use a firearm without filing a report if no humans were hit. But I share the concern of our interlocutor when I have encountered it on no-knock drug raids. "Well, yeah, they busted into the wrong house at three in the morning and shot the family Yorkie and terrorized the kids. But hey, people make mistakes."

Chairman Bernanke, however...

Posted by: jk at January 20, 2013 1:30 PM
But Terri thinks:

"However, we are talking about a wildlife regulation violation here, not the tyranny of jack-booted government thugs."

We're also talking about a known animal here, not some random elk that happened to wander through.

As we all know each animal has it's own personality and just as "my" horse is far more interesting than that one out in the field and my family/neighbor/friends are more worthy than those people over there, this elk for 2 years had been a part of the neighborhood. Without real threat, and without complaint.

He was killed and he's missed and as much as we (me included) dislike the boulderiteishness of life there, the wildlife regulation that was ignored, the shooting within city limits on the sly, the good ol'boy network of the unionized police is the problem in this instance.
Candlelight vigils we may think are silly is not the problem.

Posted by: Terri at January 21, 2013 10:15 AM

January 10, 2013

The Greatest Day of All Time!

Chuck Berry was right about many things, including "you never can tell."

You wake up in the morning, thinking it's just another day to serve corporate interests and enjoy some coffee. Then boom! If you're me, you see it on Facebook -- Facebook!

Forbes:

Heading the list of the unhappiest U.S. cities to work in is Boulder, Colo., with an index score of 3.45. Boulder workers expressed the most pessimism in the Growth Opportunities and Compensation categories, which scored 2.81 and 3.29, respectively.

Boulder, Colorado -- the unhappiest city in the US to work in! I am so happy I might cry.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:03 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

If this were FB I would be clicking "Like."

(Obviously someone forgot to word the questions properly.)

Posted by: johngalt at January 10, 2013 3:01 PM

January 4, 2013

Liberty on the Rocks

Now that you know where it is Ellis...

Join us on Monday, January 14th, where your special guest speaker will be Mr. Rob Natelson from the Independence Institute, who will be discussing Article V of the Constitution, the article that allows a convention to amend the Constitution. After Mr. Natelson's presentation there will be short Q&A, followed by the opportunity to network with other local liberty supporters. Come for the event, stay for the food and networking - you're guaranteed a great evening no matter what! This event is open to the public, bring your friends!
Brother jg mentioned this in a comment and I went looking for video of Natelson on Jon Caldera's TV Show. Guess it'll have to wait until the 14th.
Posted by John Kranz at 12:20 PM | Comments (2)
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

How I wish I could be there, friends! I will be there in spirit. Having seen the room the imagination can fill in the rest...

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at January 4, 2013 5:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You (and we) can also check out the guest speaker on the same topic from Grassroots Radio Colorado's January 2nd show. Link to hour 1. If'n you like it then look for hour 2.

Posted by: johngalt at January 4, 2013 7:21 PM

January 3, 2013

Bambicide!

Nobody owned up to being a "Return of the Secaucus Seven" fan, but this one is out of the script:

Mystery solved: Boulder police admit officer shot elk, but failed to tell anyone

After initially denying neighbor reports that Boulder police shot a large bull elk at Ninth Street and Mapleton Avenue late Tuesday night, police officials today revealed that an on-duty officer did kill the animal, but failed to file a report with his supervisors or notify dispatchers.


Boulder?

Posted by John Kranz at 12:18 PM | Comments (7)
But jk thinks:

Nah, you've pretty much nailed it. I expect this will be a big deal. These are a serious panties-in-a-wad people. Investigations loom and I would not bet a month's tofu ration on the officer's keeping his job.

Nor is 9th and Mapleton real far from what we call "The Mountains;" it's a pretty short elk lope.

Posted by: jk at January 3, 2013 1:21 PM
But jk thinks:

My blog brother proceeds from the position that a human child's life is more valuable than an elk's. That would not poll well in the precinct bounding 9th & Mapleton.

Posted by: jk at January 3, 2013 1:24 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Maybe not a child, jk, but that mailman was a union member and a reliable vote! My gosh, man, he's one of their own!

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 3, 2013 2:19 PM
But johngalt thinks:

So many good jokes could be made, but I'll abstain. To understand the perspective of those bothered by this story, read the comments emailed about the animals "memorial" sevice, held "Thursday morning for the animal and placed pine boughs along the street" by one James Riemersma. "His only disturbance or damage being nipped off various plants and fauna, pawing up some sod here and there and bending a few fences." One wonders what adjectives might be used by the owners of the plants, sod and fences, and those who were trapped in their homes in fear of sharp antlers. More from Riemersma:

"If the shooter was not an officer of the law, whose life was endangered, the killing is a felony and the individual responsible shall be apprehended, prosecuted and held accountable."

First I'll ask this probable relativist, "Are you sure? Is anything knowable?" Then, "Are officers of the law above the law?" Also, "What laws must an ordinary citizen abide by when his 'life was endangered?" Next, possibly finally, "Do you expect every of your neighbors to be as cavalier about the unpredictability of this wild "majestic" animal in or near their homes as you so obviously are? Hypothetically, if he killed someone after you interfered with the police and prevented him killing the animal, shall you be apprehended, prosecuted and held accountable for murder?"

Posted by: johngalt at January 3, 2013 2:53 PM
But jk thinks:

We joke about Boulder, but Boulderite Jon Caldera showed some film (not on i2i.org yet) of fracking opponents who followed two young women to their car and yelled threats after the two represented their energy firm employers in a hearing.

Caldera was ashamed; I was incensed. These people are not harmless goofballs, they are totalitarians.

Posted by: jk at January 3, 2013 3:46 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I happened to see clips of that last night, at the end of a DVRed program that we finally got around to from CBS 4 Denver. Couldn't find the original story but here is the follow-up.

Posted by: johngalt at January 3, 2013 5:20 PM

December 20, 2012

Sarah Hoyt - "Ungovernable"

Sarah Hoyt, who grew up in the Socialist Paradise of Portugal and is a successful author of many a fine SF/F novel, sees the future...and has faith that the American people will weather the difficult times ahead with some measure of style:

Unogvernable:

I’ve said before that I became an American by reading Heinlein books. This is true at least to an extent, though I’d be at a loss to explain the process to you. I mean, if you knew how to do that, book by book, chipping away, so someone starts out wondering what’s wrong with all those Americans who don’t like taxes (don’t they know taxes are civilization? And have always existed) and ends up thinking getting a Don’t Tread On Me tattoo is a brilliant idea, even while immersed in a socialist, communitary system, we’d have no problems. We’d just use “the process.”

Mind, you, it is likely that the er… Heinleinizing (totally a word. Don’t worry your pretty head) of my opinions came from watching socialism up close and personal. Heinlein had help. But all the same, and even so, by the time I came to the States as an exchange student I had been, so to put it, primed to react to the US as “home.”

(...)

This is why statists of any stripe so often throw their hands up and call us ungovernable. Not that this gives them the idea they shouldn’t try. No. Instead, they try to devise more cunning ways of governing us. You have them to give credit for dreaming the impossible dream. It’s the one proof we have that the sons of beetles are Americans.

So… after sixty years of creeping statism, they’ve now “captured the flag” – they have actually got all of the important systems sewn up: news, entertainment, education, government.

They think – can you blame them? – that they won.

I won’t say they can’t hurt us. They can. The mechanisms they’ve seized hold of are important and they are – natch – misusing them.

I’m not saying that this will be easy. It won’t. Our economy is likely to be an incredible shambles, and I’ve said before I think we’ll lose at least one city.

But, listen, the problem with these sons of… Babel is that they might be American, but they’re not American ENOUGH. If they were, they’d understand “ungovernable” and this willingness for each of us to go it alone (often for common benefit, but on own recognizance, nonetheless) is not a bug. It’s a feature. And that it’s baked in the cake of a people who came here to escape the top-down spirit of other places. Some of the black sheep (or as one friend of mine calls it, the plaid sheep) attitude is genetic, hereditary, inborn. And enough of us have it.

Finally, let's note that Sarah is from COLORADO. There's just something about that place. Rand didn't choose it to be a star of Atlas Shrugged out of thin air.

Posted by Ellis Wyatt at 12:47 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

Not to diss on brother ew's excerpting skills, but read the whole thing. Touquevillian.

Posted by: jk at December 20, 2012 1:22 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

I see I spelt it "Unogvernable" in the link but I'm leaving it 'cause it's appropriately symbolic!

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at December 20, 2012 1:32 PM
But johngalt thinks:

An interesting comparison of American individualism and European specialization. One might expect comparative advantage to give Europeans the edge, but that's not the way this essay reads. Instead it gives them, stagnation.

Could it be that specialization, while more efficient, also creates monopolies? Or at least cartels. Supply is diminished and costs rise to the point where the nonessential is just dispensed with. A translation: Nonessential = luxuries.

So in addition to individual empowerment and, yes, liberation, the human tendency toward generalization also tends toward larger and freer markets. Whoa - felt a shudder just then.

Posted by: johngalt at December 20, 2012 5:36 PM
But jk thinks:

Sorry man, but I don't see any of that. I see a bit of class-distinction (Americans don't "know their place") versus a bit of boisterousness. A bit of community spirit. Yet even in the context of our specialization discussions I don't see it here.

Posted by: jk at December 20, 2012 6:17 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

I think it's not exactly specialization or generalization, but American's do-it-yourselfization that she is getting at. When merde happens, more Americans jump in the water and rescue the kid, fix the leak in the dam, put out the fire...whereas most Euros wait for the official, credentialed unionized repair person. Our government officials are always trying to turn us into that, but she thinks it hasn't really taken.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at December 20, 2012 7:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:
Part of the thing with Europe is the worship of the “experts.” “We’ll take it to the expert” or “We’ll have the expert do it.”

There is more than one thing going on here, I admit. One is a submission to authoritah. Another is a certain humility that "one person can't do everything." Though whether it is a chicken or its egg, this condition depends upon specialization.

Maybe it's my exposure to academia that makes me more sensitive. Whenever someone tells me I "can't" then I, like Heinlein, become more determined. "No, buddy ... YOU can't!"

Posted by: johngalt at December 21, 2012 4:04 PM

December 11, 2012

Liberty on the Rocks

You should've been there. But you're not here for recriminations -- you're here to get well.

Jon Caldera, who cancelled some early appointments because of illness, was not only there, but he brought his A game. The man is not only knowledgeable, but also puts Jimmy Fallon to shame for comedy. Our table was laughing all night. My first instinct is to reprint all the jokes. They were great.

My second instinct is to try to provide an overview of his important points about politics -- how to go from being right to winning. But blog friend and last night's tablemate, Terri. has done a good job of that.

So I will focus on a stupefying, counter-intuitive thing he said which makes much sense but contradicts almost all my tactical beliefs. We, who meet in the basement [laughter] are minorities. I have always reminded liberty lovers that we are not a majority to encourage the building of coalitions. We cannot chase away the <potential coalition member> because we are only the 9-19% and we need them.

Caldera embraces our minority status and suggests deploying the tactics of other minorities. He highlights gay rights. Homosexuals number around 3% of the population, yet they have been able to move the electorate from death->castration->mental disease...to endorsing marriage with full rights and benefits, which Colorado will have in a few years.

I tell people we are only 9% -- yet the 3% have achieved their entire agenda in a few decades. Because, Caldera would say, our tolerant society says "I may not like it, but, yeah, you can go ahead if it means that much to you." We could, he suggests, get the same tolerance for illegal business relationships. Where a woman wants to work for her neighbor at less than minimum wage in exchange for convenience and flexibility. [And there are some jokes in this section you will just have to wait for the video to hear...]

Colorado, Caldera points out, has a seat belt law but no motorcycle helmet law. Which is potentially more dangerous? Who cares? If the legislature is voting on a helmet law, the two blocks around the capitol will be besieged with motorcycles (and sweaty beefy guys in leather). Car drivers are busy picking up the kids and their freedom vanishes.

Realize you're a minority. Tell stories of how The Man is sticking it to you. Make noise (he suggested we start the civil disobedience by trashing the restaurant in which we were meeting).

Fun, fascinating and counter-intuitive evening. Brad taped it and I hope they will have video available. A (tri-corner of course) hat was passed for the group to buy its own camera for future events.

But another superb night for the group our blog brother Bryan cofounded. Another superb night.


Posted by John Kranz at 3:02 PM | Comments (0)

November 24, 2012

Emissions Retrospective

It has been almost ten years since I whined about the Colorado emissions test. Then again, it has been ten since I did it. My new car gave me four years off, then I moved to Weld County, which used to be too smart for such looters.

But some intrigue has brought us into the fold and I was coerced into assessing the State's progress today. To be fair, there are a few more locations. They accepted credit card payment. And the staff, in tiny Dacono, was friendly and the wait was short.

But the DMV bleakness still pervades. I made a 20 mile special trip -- did that save the air? I was offended to give my time to this charade. Glad our State has money to spend enforcing this.

Note to self: next time move farther.

Posted by John Kranz at 8:50 PM | Comments (0)

October 31, 2012

Obama's Solar Panel Cronyism: Move On, Nothing to See Here

"You better let him know that the WH wants to move Abound forward."
- Executive Director DOE Loan Programs, June 25, 2010

Composite video below from RevealingPolitics. Story based on DOE emails obtained by CompleteColorado.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:21 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Nice -- and further supported:

The new emails contradict claims by Obama and others in his administration that all decisions on the $20 billion DOE clean energy loans were made by career executives in the department.

Most recently, Obama told a Denver television news interviewer on Oct. 26, 2012, that the loan decisions are "decisions, by the way, that are made by the Department of Energy, they have nothing to do with politics."

Posted by: jk at October 31, 2012 5:35 PM

October 23, 2012

Clear the Bench Colorado

Impressive talk at last night's Liberty on the Rocks. Matt Arnold of Clear The Bench Colorado spoke on the importance of the Colorado Judiciary, some of the peculiarities of its structure, and -- most importantly -- how to make informed votes on retentions.

Having an historic (I just love using an as a article) opportunity in 2010 to "clear the bench" with four Colorado Supreme Court Justices up for retention, Arnold launched the site and organization to provide some hard to find anti-incumbent information. Two problematic judges were removed.

Arnold kept the site to evaluate judges up for retention and it is valuable. I don't think that I am what you'd call a disinterested voter, but I have seldom voted for judges. I kept to the Bryan Caplan theory of allowing more informed voters to choose. Yet last night, I learned of the incumbency racket. I did not ask the speaker about this, but suspect that the correct uniformed vote is to vote 'no' to balance the incumbency bias.

Of course, the better plan is to visit http://www.clearthebenchcolorado.org/ and become informed.

SIDE NOTE: One of the many benefits of Liberty on the Rocks has been seeing the important and substantive work being done for liberty by regular folk. Arnold is an impressive man: retired Army Captain, current reservist, a bright and commanding speaker. I imagine he could succeed at most things. Yet, he had no specific training for this. He saw a need and an important opportunity. (And, yes, there is a donate button when you're done...)

Posted by John Kranz at 11:23 AM | Comments (1)
But Terri thinks:

Thanks for the recap and website. After being in a bar for the Biden debate, I didn't want to go out for this one.

Posted by: Terri at October 23, 2012 3:45 PM

October 1, 2012

Liberty on the Rocks

Despite being interested in the speakers, I've missed the last couple of events. Not this time. Hey everyone, get a babysitter if you have to. [Not today, but a week from today.]

Join us on Monday, October 8th, where your special guest speaker will be Dr. Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute, who will be discussing his new book, Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand's ideas Can End Big Government. After Dr. Brook's presentation there will be short Q&A and a book signing, followed by the opportunity to network with other local liberty supporters. Come for the event, stay for the food and networking - you're guaranteed a great evening no matter what!

This event is open to the public, you're welcome to bring friends!

Ralphie's Sports Tavern 585 E. SOUTH BOULDER RD., Louisville, Colorado 80027

I've been planning to buy a copy of Mr. Brook's new book. This is a perfect opportunity. And with luck, I'll be able to buy that beer and payoff a year-old bet. (Which, it seems, may have been a good bet but in the wrong year.)

Posted by JohnGalt at 5:02 PM | Comments (4)
But Jk thinks:

Wow, that is quite a "get;" see y'all there. Anybody know if he'll have books? Or should I order one from Amazon?

Posted by: Jk at October 2, 2012 6:46 AM
But johngalt thinks:

The email invitation said that copies of the book will be available for purchase.

The last time I heard Yaron Brook speak was around the time of Iraq War II. (He was not a fan.) It was in a CU auditorium and I did not actually get to speak to him. That will likely change next Monday.

Posted by: johngalt at October 2, 2012 11:49 AM
But dagny thinks:

Seems like it might be a good idea to get our own books just in case there aren't enough available there.

Posted by: dagny at October 2, 2012 1:18 PM
But Jk thinks:

He might get a bigger %% if we buy them out of Yaron's 1983 Pontiac.

Posted by: Jk at October 2, 2012 2:16 PM

August 27, 2012

RIP Blinky

My first ever favorite television show was 'Blinky's Fun Club' on channel 2 in Denver. Blinky's real name was Russell Scott, who died today at 91.

blinky.jpg

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:02 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Yes, Blinky! "HAPPY BIRF! day to you...HAPPY BIRF! day to you..." RIP Russel!

Posted by: jk at August 27, 2012 6:23 PM
But johngalt thinks:

To me, the memorable part of the song was the way he sang "chil, a-dren."

Posted by: johngalt at August 27, 2012 6:28 PM
But jk thinks:

Yup -- forgive us, out-of-staters, we're having a little moment here.

Posted by: jk at August 27, 2012 6:32 PM

Liberty on the Rocks -- Flatirons

Join us on Monday, August 27th, where your featured speaker will be Mr. Richard Rhinehart, who will be discussing the privatization of national forest and park land. After Mr. Rhinehart's presentation there will be a short Q&A session, followed by the opportunity to network with other local liberty supporters. Come for the event, stay for the food and networking -- you're guaranteed a great evening no matter what! This event is open to the public, you're welcome to bring friends!
Posted by John Kranz at 2:54 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Bryan tells me we're on -- no cancellation for Tropical Storm Isaac. Repeat: Liberty on the Rocks will convene at the regular time!

Posted by: jk at August 27, 2012 7:37 PM

August 13, 2012

Colorado Reaction

Ari Armstrong acquires reaction fron Colorado liberty lovers (and also Rep. Tom Tancredo) at the ATF party.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:10 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

One negative reaction, at 5:30. "It was the natural liberal choice. Instead of freedom we'll get socialism-lite. We'll get efficiency with socialism instead of freedom. It's what I've come to expect from Mitt Romney."

I think I may have to turn over the mantle "John Galt" to that guy.

Posted by: johngalt at August 14, 2012 2:58 PM

August 3, 2012

Must be August

In the Centennial State, every August brings a new scheme to increase education funding. Union front groups spend buckets of dough running commercials about our state's starving education funding. There is never a mention of any problems -- or any reforms. Always "Dear Colorado: Please send money...Love, Teachurs!"

Thankfully, they always lose, but complacency is for fools. And it must be August. Sunana Batra of Colorado News Agency is on the case.

New push for school funding lacks punchline; backers mum

Are supporters of last year's failed ballot drive to raise statewide taxes for public education back for another bite at the apple? It's hard to tell for sure; organizers of a new campaign to address school funding aren't talking.

The campaign, billed as Colorado Commits, began running primetime television commercials on Denver-area stations in early July. Sponsored by the civic group Colorado Forum, the effort also has set up a website and a Facebook page arguing that the state's school system is underfunded. And an ad posted on Craigslist seeks to recruit field workers for the campaign, paying up to $12 an hour.


Posted by John Kranz at 8:19 AM | Comments (0)

August 1, 2012

Theater Shooting Not an Original Idea?

In the wake of the Aurora, CO mass murder at a movie theater it has remained a mystery why the murderer did such a thing. Charles Feldman of the Los Angeles affiliate of CBS reports that MTV's "Diggity Dave" received two phone calls from the murderer about a month before the crime.

Dave told KNX 1070's Charles Feldman that a young man who called himself "J**** H*****" phoned him in June about his upcoming film, "The Suffocator of Sins."

Dave wrote, directed and stars in the forthcoming takeoff of the Batman movie, which shows a young vigilante Batman shooting down evil doers. Some have said the YouTube trailer resembles a crowded movie theater. He describes the film as a "very sick and dark twist of the Batman movies."

Dave said H*****, 24, claimed to have watched the trailer more than 100 times. He was obsessed with the violence depicted in the trailer and dismayed that the film's character didn't use bigger guns, according to Dave.

I found the "official trailer" page for 'Suffocator of Sins.' "This video has been removed by the user."

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:46 PM | Comments (7)
But johngalt thinks:

Okay, that's a plausible thesis, but I'm not really seeing it in the data. Not counting school killings, workplace killings, hate crimes or familicides (the list you linked) there have been 8 "rampage killings" in the US. One in the 40's, 50's, 80's, two in the 90's and three since Barack Obama has been president. Hmmm, maybe there's a different correlation.

Beyond that anomaly, who among us remembers hearing about thirteen people murdered in New York and ten more in Alabama in 2009?

Posted by: johngalt at August 2, 2012 11:17 AM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Well jg, the theater killing had better staging, make-up and special effects, making it irresistable to the so-called "news media." I do recall the NY and AL murders, but AL was spread out in multiple locations, and the guy in NY was Chinese, which I cynically believe is not as interesting as a white guy for the carrion-feeders in "news". Also, both the perps were dead immediately, which ruined the opportunity for the networks to obsess for days and weeks over court hearings, etc.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at August 2, 2012 2:51 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Maybe I'm the only one who didn't hear, or don't remember, those 2009 rampage killings. I do feel quite certain I would remember them, however, if someone had connected the dots that both killers were distraught over having lost or been unable to get a job.

(Deduced from reading the Wiki page on each of the killers linked from the Wiki link in the first comment.)

Posted by: johngalt at August 2, 2012 4:03 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Murder as a result of not being able to get a job? You're thinking of Charles J. Guiteau, surely.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at August 2, 2012 5:08 PM
But jk thinks:

Stalwart of the Stalwarts!

Posted by: jk at August 2, 2012 5:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Guiteau was a 'demander of the unearned' one century too early. He'd have been right at home under FDR.

Posted by: johngalt at August 3, 2012 12:39 PM

July 26, 2012

Randal O'Toole, Call Your Office!

As the Obama Administration springs from the pages of Atlas Shrugged, so Colorado's Regional Transportation District leaps out of O'Toole's "American Nightmare" [Review Corner].

Under RTD's latest "rethink," transit will no longer take people from where they are to where they want to go. Instead, planners will try to coerce and entice people to live in places served by rail transit and go where those rail lines go. On one hand, this is far more intrusive on people's lifestyles; on the other hand, it is a far more limited view of the purpose of transit. Instead of "mobility for those who can't or don't want to drive," the new purpose is "mobility for those who are willing to completely rebuild their lifestyles around transit."

UPDATE: I am such a git! The linked CATO piece was written by . . . wait for it . . .Randal O'Toole.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2012

Heroes.

I have been thinking of this quote for a few days. It's time I can say it and apologize if I offend. I found it in an old post of mine. (I hope my Google searches for "penn jillette terrorist" and similar variants don't cause my hero too much consternation...)

Life, my friends, is both tenuous and tenacious. I think we owe it to the world to live it bravely. I bring you Christopher Beam ridiculing Penn & Teller's soi disant rigid libertarianism:

When I was in high school, I owned a book by Penn & Teller called How to Play in Traffic. It's mainly a series of jokes, gags, and madcap yarns by the magic-comedy duo. But it also channels the libertarian id of Penn Jillette. "I sincerely don't want to offend any of our readers, but I've got something to say," he writes. "It's very simple, but a bit controversial: The United States of America does not have a problem with terrorism. We just don't." Airport security is not worth the hassle, he continues: "Hey, we're alive, there's risk. Some planes are going to go down like falling twisted burning human cattle cars and there's no stopping it. No one can make any form of travel 100 percent safe. We'll take our chances. As for the victims of a security-free transportation system? Let's consider those terrorism victims heroes," he writes. Let's say they died for freedom. They didn't die for us to have our phones tapped and have our time wasted at airports." He then describes a prank where you create a screensaver for your laptop that looks like a countdown to detonation.

This, I'll confess, was about my first thought after the Aurora movie shooting. Let us live freely and act courageously. And when our brave companions die in the sky, at the cinema, or in the hospital, let us cheer the valiant heroics of a life lived freely.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:23 AM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2012

QOTD II

A modest and civilized society would give room to the families and friends of the dead to begin to process their shattering losses. It would give room to the police to do their work and gather evidence. It would leave room for citizens of this nation to reflect with soberness and seriousness on what has happened; to participate, if only for a brief time, in a national mourning of sorts. And it might even resist the impulse to leverage a massacre into a political culture war. It would be helpful if members of the press and politicians understood this, and acted in a way that showed some measure of decency and compassion. -- Peter Wehner
Posted by John Kranz at 7:00 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Interesting. My first apartment was a block away from the suspect's; my first house about a mile from the crime scene.

Posted by: jk at July 20, 2012 8:25 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Didn't L. Neil Smith's Probability Broach series center around Aurora? Also, have any of you ladies and gentlebeings met Mr. Smith? I have enjoyed his works for over 25 years.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at July 20, 2012 8:46 PM

Tweet of the Day

Peter Burns ‏@PeterBurnsRadio

This fucking coward doesn't deserve his name uttered or picture shown. Give zero publicity to this monster.

Peter Burns is a friend of Jessica Ghawi, handle @JessicaRedfield, who was caught up in the Aurora movie theater shooting last night and died. Redfield was a sports reporter covering the Colorado Avalanche and also interned at Denver sports radio station 104.3 The Fan.

Burns also Tweeted:

Sorry for the outburst. Just upset, angry, confused. So many lives, so many futures.

and

Just talked to @JessicaRedfield mom. She's asked to everyone share the wonderful stories. Please trend #RIPJessica. She loved Twitter.

UPDATE: Obviously my heart goes out to all of the victims and their families but as a semi-public figure Jessica is the first we've been able to get to know. Here is a tribute from a colleague. And a tribute blog by her brother.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:36 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

And Ari Armstrong's "He chose Evil. We choose to live" which links to this post of his.

Posted by: jk at July 20, 2012 12:27 PM

July 14, 2012

Good Doggie!

I have admonished a certain blog brother that appraising politicians -- like training a dog -- should be done on the most recent event. Yes, I could point out that Senator Mark Udall has raised taxes and opposed tax cuts over his years as my Congressman and my Senator.

Or I could applaud him for a supply-side beer tax cut.

"Beer is an important part of our economy. With the excise tax lowered, capital will increase and we can invest that back into the companies," he said.

Under Udall's proposed Brewers Excise and Economic Relief Act of 2009, excise tax on a barrel of beer would drop from $18 per barrel to $9 per barrel, and from $7 to $3.50 per barrel for smaller producers.


If only that same effect of increased capital and investment worked for other industries.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:20 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

The irony is obvious. Less obvious is the tacit admission that free-market policies are electorally popular - in Colorado at least, if not nation wide.

On the other hand, he did say of that increased capital that "we" can invest it back into the companies. How's about the company owners decide where and how to invest it?

Posted by: johngalt at July 16, 2012 3:27 PM

July 9, 2012

Liberty on the Rocks -- Flatirons

Tonight at Raphie's

Join us on Monday, July 9th, where your featured speaker will be Dr. Dave Kopel, who will be discussing the recent Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Healthcare Act. After Dr. Kopel's presentation there will be a short Q&A session, followed by the opportunity to network with other local liberty supporters. Come for the event, stay for the food and networking -- you're guaranteed a great evening no matter what!

This event is open to the public, you're welcome to bring friends!

Posted by John Kranz at 11:43 AM | Comments (1)
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Wishing I was there!

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at July 9, 2012 12:56 PM

July 5, 2012

"Colorado Burning" because "Climate Changed?"

Anyone who has read many stories on the Colorado forest fires has surely seen at least one account that links the events with "climate change." Stories like Huffpo's "Stunning NASA Map Shows Severe Heat Wave Fueling Wildfires" are an extreme example. But Colorado state climatologist Nolan Doesken has a much different explanation:

While it’s true that this June was the hottest June on record, averaging 75 degrees, or 7.6 degrees above normal, he said extreme heat was just one of the ingredients–and maybe not even the most important one–involved in this year’s perfect wildfire storm.

Mr. Doesken noted that July is inevitably hotter than June, but there are fewer wildfires in July because it’s also wetter. May and June are typically drier and windier than July and August, which are hotter but more humid.

He said the key to this year’s wildfire season was the lack of snow in March, which left trees more stressed than usual going into the dry spring. Was that caused by manmade climate change? His answer: a definite maybe.

"It’s tempting to say, ‘Ah-ha, this is the face of climate change,’ but it might not be. Or it might be one of several things," said Mr. Doesken. "The forests burn when the meteorological conditions are right, and when that’s the case, it’s going to happen with or without anything we call climate change."

The story continues, exploring more likely factors:

Forest-health advocates say there’s one thing missing from the climate-change-causes-wildfires theory: The forests are so poorly managed that it doesn’t take much for them to go up in flames. Twenty years of reductions in timber sales and environmental lawsuits have gutted logging on public lands, resulting in densely packed, tinder-dry trees that are practically designed for crown fires.

Bill Gherardi, president of the Colorado Forestry Association, said the state has historically seen 20 to 80 tree stems per acre in its national forests. Today, he said, the density has increased to 400-1,200 stems per acre.

The problems associated with the lack of forest management are well-documented. A 2011 report by the Forest Service found that the bark-beetle outbreak was partly the result of a drastic reduction in timber sales driven by appeals and litigation by environmental groups, as well as an inability to reach some areas due to inadequate roads.

In Region 2, which includes Colorado, the timber industry declined 63% from 1986 to 2005. “Consequently, few industrial resources were or are available to help the Forest Service in applying management practices in response to the bark beetle outbreak,” said the report, which was requested by Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.

So one explanation is 7.6 degrees warmer temperatures for a month and the other explanation includes 15 to 20 times higher density of trees that are diseased and dead, at least partially due to that very overcrowding. Given that tens of thousands of wildfires occur each year in the United States, Colorado's fire disasters are unprecedented for their severity rather than frequency. And that severity is driven more by wind and fuel density than by a dubious, anti-scientific theory called climate change.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:51 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

I cannot believe you are letting gun owners off the hook so easily.

Posted by: jk at July 5, 2012 4:29 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Glad you provided that link to the good ol' days when the Climatgate emails came out. I've been reading some archives but there are seven years of stuff here and I doubt I'll get to it all. I read some from around the 2008 election to get a flavor, and it was Good. Classy, If BHO wins a second term I don't think I'll be able to keep as cool as you guys.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at July 5, 2012 5:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. If this president wins a second term I don't think I will either!

Posted by: johngalt at July 5, 2012 5:27 PM
But JC thinks:

"Sometime people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn't fit in with the core belief. - Frantz Fanon

Posted by: JC at August 2, 2012 9:45 PM
But JC thinks:

"Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn't fit in with the core belief. - Frantz Fanon

Posted by: JC at August 2, 2012 9:46 PM

July 2, 2012

YouTube of the Day

I'll respond to Brother jg's thoughtful and serious post on Federal intrusions into appropriate fire mitigation and forest management with . . . . . . a cool YouTube:

Five-day time lapse of the Waldo Canyon Fire near Colorado Springs.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:15 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

Amazing images. The audio track however... Does anybody else find it out of place? Almost a celebratory tone accompanying a biblical disaster.

And where are the slurry bombers? Saw the lights of several jetliners but nothing closer to the ground. The high winds were certainly a factor, and this evidence now has me reconsidering what is the principal culprit in these firestorms: not fuels, but the oxidizer - sustained high winds.

Posted by: johngalt at July 2, 2012 8:25 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh. I turned audio off about eight seconds in.

On your second point, I believe the President retired all the firefighting aircraft to invest in education, infrastructure and green energy jobs.

Posted by: jk at July 3, 2012 12:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

What, did he reach the credit limit on his Chinese Express card? No, I don't think it was a matter of fiscal restraint. I think he just agrees with the enviros who don't think folks should build homes in forests.

Posted by: johngalt at July 3, 2012 3:18 PM
But dagny thinks:

Enviros don't think we should build homes at all. We should all live in caves.

Posted by: dagny at July 3, 2012 3:22 PM

Forest Fire Analysis Paralysis

Given the utter devastation that can result from forest fires near urban areas, and the near unanimity about why their frequency and magnitude is peaking, one may wonder why no efforts to reduce the threat seem to be under way. The good news is that 11 years ago, five federal government agencies joined efforts to create an integrated wildland fire managment system called Fire Program Analysis or FPA. A comprehensive computer modeling system, FPA would "help them weigh the benefits of fire suppression versus forest thinning, evaluate where to station people and equipment and decide how many planes to buy." The bad news is that the effort was undertaken by federal government agencies. Denver Post:

The idea was to figure out how much money to devote to fire suppression, and to reducing fuels to improve overall forest health, and where to do it.

But when the tool was used for a preliminary analysis in 2006, not everyone liked what it found, Botti said. The results showed which areas needed more resources and which needed less, throwing into uncertainty budgets used for staff programs and some administrative overhead, he said.

For instance, one recommendation was to move resources from coastal Alaska, where wildfires are relatively rare, to California, where they regularly wreak havoc in populated areas, Botti said.

"We're talking about a couple of billion dollars in federal wildland-fire funds here," he said. "Any time you tinker with that, it becomes political in a hurry. There was pushback from the bureaus that the answer was not acceptable.

Part of the problem turned out to be the presumption that a computer model could provide a sort of holy grail of fire management planning.

"Quite honestly, I don't think there was any plot" to scuttle the original system, he said.

But he agreed that people in Forest Service field offices feared -- and still fear -- a computer model that could deprive them of people and equipment.

Naaaah, nobody ever invests too much confidence in the pure and objective conclusions of comprehensive computer models!

But the failure of the computer modeling solution seems to me merely a scapegoat.

Asked how this year's fire outbreak might be different if the original FPA were in place as planned, Rideout said: "I think the responses to fire would be more cost-effective. I'm not sure whether we would have gotten to these fires any faster or later or better, or with less expense."

"More cost-effective" but not sure there would be "less expense?" How's that again?

Most officials seem to agree on the basic problem:

In 2008, the GAO reported to Congress that federal wildland-fire costs had tripled since the mid-1990s to more than $3 billion a year, citing three factors: "uncharacteristic accumulations of vegetation" from fire suppression; increasing human development in wildlands; and severe drought "in part due to climate change."

Setting aside the suggested causes for accumulations of vegetation and severe drought, both are clearly evident conditions. So why has the firefighting aircraft fleet been cut from 40 planes to 9? And why, during this period when the air fleet was dismantled, have federal wildland-fire costs tripled? Unfortunately, sometimes technology prevents the application of common sense: More potential for fire - expand fire mitigation and suppression resources. QED.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:39 PM | Comments (0)

Liberty on the Rocks -- Next Week!

Second & Fourth Monday in July

Join us on Monday, July 9th, where your featured speaker will be Dr. Dave Kopel, who will be discussing the recent Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Healthcare Act. After Dr. Kopel's presentation there will be a short Q&A session, followed by the opportunity to network with other local liberty supporters. Come for the event, stay for the food and networking -- you're guaranteed a great evening no matter what!

This event is open to the public, you're welcome to bring friends!


[Facebook link]

Posted by John Kranz at 1:22 PM | Comments (2)
But Bryan thinks:

I am forever indebted to the folks at Three Sources for promoting our events!

I can only hope to pay off your kindness by bringing in great speakers and sparking interesting conversation and/or debate!

Posted by: Bryan at July 2, 2012 1:42 PM
But jk thinks:

Or buying us a round...

Kidding! These are great events and I salute you and your cofounder for making an effective contribution to liberty.

Posted by: jk at July 2, 2012 1:48 PM

June 27, 2012

Gov. Hickenlooper and the Bark Beetle Epidemic

A few stories found with the search terms "Hickenlooper" and "bark beetle" - arranged in chronological order.

Summit County: Forest health pow-wow at Keystone - November 14, 2010

Forest health, fire risks and wood utilization will be on the agenda at the Keystone Conference Center Nov. 15 as top state and federal officials hold a forest health summit meeting. This image by Derek Weidensee shows an area in Montana where a fire burned through stands of mature lodgepole pines, while an area cut previously for regeneration apparently withstood the blaze relatively unscathed.

Top state and national officials, including Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, Gov. Bill Ritter and Senator Mark Udall, will gather at the Keystone Conference Center Nov. 15 for the Governor’s Bark Beetle Summit in a public meeting that hasn’t received much publicity.

Governor-elect John Hickenlooper has also been invited.

Gov. Hickenlooper appoints new Director of Paper Distribution in the Department of Natural Resources - April 1, 2011

“Scott’s success in selling paper will help Colorado effectively and efficiently move the large amount of bark beetle lumber from the forest and into the marketplace, creating tons of jobs and making lots of money,” Hickenlooper said. “This is a unique opportunity to resolve Colorado’s forest health and budget issues.” (...) “Scott will be a wonderful addition to our paper team, focusing particularly on the use of beetle kill in paper production,” Hickenlooper said. “We hired him based on his skills, personal drive and love for ‘That’s what she said’ jokes.”
112 homes hit by northern Colo. fire - June 15, 2012
Firefighters have been in a see-saw battle with the northern Colorado blaze, extending their lines along the eastern flank but losing ground on the west and north sides as flames burn through a dry forest thick with trees killed by bark beetles. (...) Investigators said lightning triggered the fire, which is about 15 miles west of Fort Collins and 60 miles northwest of Denver. (...) The fire is burning on land owned by private parties and the U.S. Forest Service. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who oversees the Forest Service, is scheduled to meet with fire managers on Saturday.

A 30-acre blaze near Lake George in Park County was 50 percent contained. It started Wednesday and was also caused by lightning.

Separately, a fire believed to have been caused by lightning destroyed a house four miles outside Rollinsville on Friday. Gilpin County sheriff’s spokeswoman Cherokee Blake said no one was hurt.

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed an executive order Thursday banning open burning and the private use of fireworks throughout Colorado.


Posted by JohnGalt at 7:16 PM | Comments (3)
But Robert thinks:

Thr second item really got me since it was on the official colorado.gov site :)

Posted by: Robert at June 27, 2012 8:59 PM
But jk thinks:

My blog brother's summation?

I have to admit that I have been pretty impressed with His Hickness (hey, when I vote for a Democrat...) both before the fire and after.

Beetle kill is a huge problem surrounded by passionate opinions but I can think of no better solution that harvesting it for paper.

Was this a big wet kiss for our Governor? Knowing my bro, I suspect not.

Posted by: jk at June 28, 2012 11:19 AM
But johngalt thinks:

My take is that using the dead timber issue as joke fodder looks, at the least, very insensitive in retrospect and that the governor should have known better even then. I know that I remember it being in poor taste.

Yes, harvesting the wood for any use is a good solution. So why isn't it happening? As I have heard but not yet verified the answer can be given in a single word - Environmentalists.

And finally, I couldn't help noticing the impotence of the governor's knee-jerk response of banning open fires and fireworks since every fire mentioned in that story was sparked by lightning.

Posted by: johngalt at June 28, 2012 12:06 PM

Never Fear! The President is on his way!

I was worried about the wildfires, but it's going to be fine. The President will be here Friday.

I'm going to lift Insty's whole post:

PRESIDENT DISASTER: Obama finally remembers Colorado exists, will head there Friday; Update: What about aerial firefighting fleet he shrunk? "They didn’t want to talk about it."

Click through for some great President Obama bashing, of which I ne'er tire. A few points to ponder:

@VioletTiger2: Remember when the MSM got on Obama's case for not going to Colorado, like they did when Bush didn't go to NOLA? Yeah, neither do I.

And a good piece on The Administration's shrinking the firefighting aerial fleet. Fans of Brother Johngalt will recall hearing about this before.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:12 PM | Comments (0)

June 18, 2012

Obama cuts Fire Fighting Aircraft

According to blogger Sean Paige at the Monkey Wrenching America blog, a contract with Aero Union, a fire fighting company with seven 4-engine slurry bombers, was canceled during renewal negotiations in August, 2011. No reason was given, just "We don’t want the airplanes, have a nice life." This brought the US Forest Service air tanker fleet down to 11 heavy aircraft, and today it's only 9. The report cites Rep. Dan Lundgren(R-CA) saying the fleet was 40 planes a decade ago.

This reminds me of that old lefty bumper sticker, "Wouldn't it be great if the Air Force had to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber?" Apparently, now they do.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:26 PM | Comments (0)

June 8, 2012

It's a Woman

Heh.

"I'm a big believer in stuff. It can be very comforting. You can't have too much stuff. You have too little storage space. (...) As you get older, you hang on to pieces of detritus that keeps you connected with the past. It breaks my heart when I see people selling comics collections they've spent a lifetime collecting.

Q: Why are they selling their collections? For money?

A: Sometimes it's money. More often, it's a woman. They're the de-clutterers most often."

-- Chuck Rozanski, owner of Denver's Mile High Comics in a fun Denver Post interview.

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:11 PM | Comments (0)

June 5, 2012

Liberty on the Rocks

Huzzahs to Blog Brother Bryan for a successful Liberty on the Rocks -- Flatirons meeting last night (that's a Facebook link).

Speaker Christopher Doss was most entertaining, provocative and educational; I also was able to meet several candidates, bore the house with two questions for the speaker -- and the food was good.

The group meets in the heart of Boulder County (Doss made some hilarious comments about Boulder from a national strategic perspective) every first and third Monday's at Ralphie's, 585 East South Boulder Road in Louisville. As a side note: anybody remember the name of the Italian restaurant in that space? I used to go all the time and hear Fred Shelton play.

Irrespective of the speaker, it is energizing to be in a room full of liberty lovers. I highly recommend attending. Of course, Blog Friend Terri and I cannot attend on the same evening. Were we to meet in person the space-time continuum would likely collapse...

Posted by John Kranz at 10:43 AM | Comments (3)
But Terri thinks:

Which reminds me.....I plan on attending on the 18th. :-)

Posted by: Terri at June 5, 2012 11:32 AM
But jk thinks:

I suddenly feel my old lumbago acting up...

Posted by: jk at June 5, 2012 12:21 PM
But Bryan thinks:

Thank you for the kind words JK. It was great to finally meet the legend in person after 7 years of working at the same company. It was also a pleasure to meet your wife.

A sincere thanks to both of you for attending the event and your questions! They were most certainly not boring!

Posted by: Bryan at June 5, 2012 3:55 PM

May 31, 2012

Move along, nothing to see here

Mitt Romney made a whistlestop visit to Craig, Colorado on Tuesday after seeing this video, which was sent to him by Frank and Kerrie Moe, the hotel-owning couple who star in it. The event was covered by the Denver Post and Steamboat Today, and one is left wondering if the Post's Sara Burnett was at the same rally as was Steamboat Today's Scott Franz.

In 'Routt County Republicans meet Mitt Romney' Franz opens, "Nancy Buchner said the sour economy motivated her to drive to Craig on Tuesday morning to see Mitt Romney." But in 'Mitt Romney in Colorado calls for government as "ally of business" Ms. Burnett implies that everything's just peachy.

Unemployment in Moffat County was about 8.3 percent in April — higher than the state average, which increased slightly to 7.8 percent last month. But local miners and the mayor of Craig said the local coal industry has been stable, with no layoffs or reduced hours at the local mines or the power plant.

According to Franz, however, local resident Buchner sees life differently in the remote coal-mining and power generating town:

"We really believe Romney has the tools and the knowledge to get the economy going," Buchner said, adding that she only recently became politically active because of the economy. "When I talked to different people (at the rally), they were worried about money. People cannot get jobs. This is not an election to sit out." She said she doesn’t think President Barack Obama can turn the economy around.

Not to worry though, Burnett says:

The Obama campaign counters that the president's "all of the above" energy approach includes clean coal, as well as wind, solar, natural gas and other sources renewable energy sources. They also note the president made one of the most significant investments in development of clean coal technologies with $3.4 billion in stimulus funding.

Now, one has to wonder if Burnett and "the Obama campaign" agree with Al Gore who says "clean" coal "doesn't exist." Clearly this administration will spend billions of taxpayer dollars on something while at the very same time regulating it out of legal existence.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:04 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Merciful freaking Zeus! FOX31 did this story -- together with the "Amercia" typo -- as a "The Wheels are coming off the Romney Campaign" story. It seems production is up and unemployment is less than surrounding areas. Ergo, yes, everything is fine and Governor Romney is insane to suggest there are any problems. They were astonished that the campaign would not retract this obvious "lie."

I weep.

Posted by: jk at May 31, 2012 4:25 PM

May 27, 2012

Eschew Sanguinity

On last week's post criticizing the City of Boulder's "Climate Change Preparedness Plan" brother JK glibly (sarcastically?) quipped that "if things get too warm here [in Weld County] I can drive right over the line [into Boulder County]" where presumably he'll be "saved" from the "deleterious" effects of global, or regional, umm county-wide climate change. Not so fast, dear friend. There's big trouble in little Nirvana.

Seems the CCPP is part of a larger Climate Action Plan (CAP) that is enabled by a voter-approved tax that expires next March. The tax collects $1.8 million annually for the City of Boulder's pet enviro projects. Apparently Boulder County thinks the city is on to something and they are contemplating a "sustainability tax" of their own. Boulder Daily Camera:

"I'm very concerned that if the county goes ahead, our CAP tax will stand a very good chance of losing," Mayor Matt Appelbaum said. "And that will just kill us. That will set us way back. It would be a huge loss for us if we lost the momentum. There are many programs that are just getting going."

Councilwoman Suzy Ageton said the programs will "crash" if the tax is not renewed.

"We're going to go off a cliff if this doesn't pass," she said.

One wonders if Boulder County's "sustainability tax" will be more sustainable than Boulder City's CAP tax.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:09 PM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2012

Obama's "Vulture Capitalist" Campaign Co-Chair

At the Liberty on the Rocks Flatirons kickoff meeting last week I was urged to follow CompleteColorado.com for my news and not give another dime of money or attention to the Denver Post. Today the site proved the worth of that advice.

As I first heard on today's Rush Limbaugh program, Complete's Todd Shepherd broke the story about former Denver Mayor Federico Pena, currently a western US campaign co-chair for Obama 2012, who "has been a partner at private equity firm Vestar Capital since 2000." The significance, of course, is that Romney's Bain Capital background is, in the words of the president, "part of the debate that we’re going to be having in this election campaign."

Obviously I have nothing against "vulture" capitalists, but let's debate: Is it unacceptable for a corporate turnaround artist to be president of the United States but perfectly fine if he just shills for some useful idiot to hold the office on his behalf?

Complete closes with this:

If the President intends to make this election about Romney's record at Bain, then Mr. Peńa and James Kelley must come clean about layoffs at Del Monte, Solo Cup Company, and Birdseye foods. If not, Mr. Peńa might not be available to stand on the campaign stage with the President at his next Colorado rally.

That is, unless the Dominant Liberal Establishment Mass Media says he can.

(More on this story at Colorado Peak Politics blog.)

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:35 PM | Comments (0)

May 22, 2012

Otequay of the Ayday

While Boulder County and the city of Boulder are developing a Climate Change Preparedness Plan, "we would never waste our money on something like that."

"We respect property rights in Weld County. I wouldn't say the same for the Boulder County commissioners." - Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer


Posted by JohnGalt at 2:44 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Excellent. If things get too warm here, I can drive right over the line.

Posted by: jk at May 22, 2012 4:40 PM
But jc thinks:

Hardly worth commenting on but I couldn't resist! ;-)

Denial of the facts (burying your head in the ground) does not justify inaction or mockery. How the human race reacts and responds to change is the crucial element here. We may not agree with any of the actions or responses of Boulder or Weld county in this matter. However, we better get our collective butts in gear and start thinking outside the box if we intend to add another millennium to the clock of human history on planet earth.

Posted by: jc at May 25, 2012 9:51 AM
But jk thinks:

Your comments are always welcome around here.

But it is neither denial nor dismissal. To live long and prosper on this planet will require ingenuity and innovation. Weld sees a future of discovery, Boulder fearfully seeks to preserve an idea of a lost past.

Posted by: jk at May 25, 2012 11:38 AM
But johngalt thinks:

"We?" What do you mean, we, Kemosabe?

Posted by: johngalt at May 27, 2012 12:08 PM

May 20, 2012

Liberty on the Rocks, Flatirons Kickoff Meeting

No doubt blog brother Bryan is too much a shrinking violet for "Shameless Self Promotion." Ere will I step into the breach.

He is co-founder of a Flatirons branch of Liberty on the Rocks, and their debut meeting is in Louisville Colorado tomorrow night.

Join us on Monday, May 21st, for our inaugural meeting to kick off the Flatirons chapter of Liberty on the Rocks. After you're personally welcomed by co-founders Mike Shelton and Bryan Cutsinger you'll be treated to the keynote speech, Why Freedom Works, delivered by none other than Representative Donald Beezley. You'll then have the opportunity to network with other local liberty supporters. Come for the event, stay for the food and networking - you're guaranteed a great evening no matter what!

This event is open to the public, you're welcome to invite friends!


Ralphie's Sports Tavern, 585 East S, Boulder Rd. 6:00 to 9:00 PM.

See you there!

Posted by John Kranz at 12:33 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

Still hoping to be there, at least for a while.

Posted by: johngalt at May 21, 2012 3:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

FYI- The parent organization is Liberty on the Rocks, apparently founded in Littleton but expanding nationally. http://www.libertyontherocks.org/

Our Bryan took the initiative to "start your own!"

Posted by: johngalt at May 21, 2012 3:47 PM
But jk thinks:

Amen to iniative. I am hedging a bit as I have a nasty twisted knee (I walk so dreamily with a good one). I hope to see everybody.

Posted by: jk at May 21, 2012 5:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Made it to the inaugural Flatirons LOTR meeting last night. Had a great time, met lots of people and learned some things too. (For instance, who knew that the Colorado legislature has a Randian member who quotes Bastiat in committee meetings? But that's a topic unto itself.)

Also learned that the concept of "Liberty on the Rocks" is modeled on the old "Public House" of colonial times, where folks would meet and discuss politics, philosophy and other affairs of the day over food and drink. Kids are welcome. Meetings are first and third Mondays of every month at Ralphie's Sports Grille in LOUISVILLE, CO. (Don't enter Lafayette into your GPS.) ;)

Posted by: johngalt at May 22, 2012 12:32 PM

May 17, 2012

Support ALEC

A story on Investor's Ed Page today introduced me to the American Legislative Exchange Council. Seems the organization has a process by which individual legislators from many states work together to craft model legislation, for potential implementation in state governments, that promote limited government, free markets, and federalism. Evidence of their effectiveness is the all-out campaign by Progressive groups to silence them.

So what's got the left so agitated? Is ALEC involved in organized crime? Has it stolen money from state treasuries? Bribed officials? Polluted the environment? Clubbed baby seals?

Nope. The left is targeting ALEC for the simple reason that it's been effective in promoting pro-business, free-market ideas and policies, mainly by drafting model legislation that lawmakers can use as a template in their own legislatures.

Those bills, mind you, still have to make it through their states' representative bodies, and then get signed by their governors.

In other words, it's democracy at work.

ALEC answers its critics directly on its FAQ page.

Q: What does ALEC have to say about its detractors, including Common Cause?

A: ALEC encourages all Americans to actively participate in the public policies of this country. As legislatures and governors pursue the best solutions for their states, ALEC understands and expects that some groups may oppose solutions that emphasize free markets and limited government. ALEC respects these disagreements. It is disappointed, though, that some have chosen rhetoric over honest discussion by attacking and distorting ALEC’s nature and record to advance their own political agendas.

ALEC is proud of its work and its limited role. It provides a venue for earnest discussion on important economic issues. ALEC does not lobby in any state. Its model bills and resolutions are public policy resources for state legislators. To the extent any ALEC model bill is successful, it is because it provides legislators and their constituents with the kind of free market, limited government solutions they want.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:10 PM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2012

Colorado Republican Resolution for Reproductive Liberty

Seventy (70) percent of 3266 delegates voted at the April 14, 2012 Colorado Republican Assembly to approve the following resolution:

38. It is resolved by Colorado Republicans that pregnancy, abortion and birth control are personal and private matters, and should not be subject to government regulation or interference.

Yes: 2,290

No: 976

APPROVED

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:23 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Like.

Posted by: jk at April 24, 2012 4:14 PM

April 15, 2012

The Paul Effect

I wrote yesterdayhttp://www.threesources.com/archives/010585.html that Rick Santorum's campaign "suspension" seems to benefit Ron Paul's more than Mitt Romney's campaign. A blog brother tempered any suggestion I may have implied of a Ron Paul nomination but this Examiner dot com article by Angel Clark suggests an alternate strategy:

“Ron Paul’s victories today declare his delegate-attainment strategy to be a success and they demonstrate that the media and Washington pundits are undercounting his delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa,’ said Ron Paul 2012 National Campaign Manager John Tate. “Taken together, these victories and those yet to happen forecast a prominent role for Ron Paul at the RNC. They also signal that the convention will feature a spirited discussion over whether conservatism will triumph over the status quo, all in relation to the end game of defeating President Obama,” added Mr. Tate.

Who could complain?

Article also contains more discussion of the Colorado delegate makeup, including the observation that State Party Chairman Ryan Call (whom I respect greatly) will not be Colorado's Delegation Chairman.

P.S. I Tweeted the link to 'Colorado Convention Weekend' to @cologop, @mittromney, and @ronpaul. I expect a comment or ten. :)

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:07 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I am sounding far more argumentative than I feel. But I happened to click on Angel Clark to see a collection of her posts (I was looking for a bio) and the corpus of her work seems to be a spate of articles on -- oh, look at this -- Rep. Ron Paul! And all the success he's having.

I love Ron Paul and swear he has stepped up his game in the primary process. He was on Kudlow the other night and has lost his "crazy uncle" vibe to warmth, seriousness and humor. I would love to see him welcomed at the convention though I have a bit of Brother br's concern that he not choose the moment for un-unifying antics. But I am not suggesting (nor implying you are) that one shorts the Romney GOP Intrade contracts.

Posted by: jk at April 15, 2012 6:17 PM

Colorado Convention Weekend

Wow! Where to begin. First, it's very liberating to no longer be restricted to 140 characters, and hunt-and-peck typing on a fingertip touchscreen. I used my new Windows Phone to fire off a large number of play-by-play type messages in the last two days but I admit that reading back over them myself it isn't easy to piece together the coherent story that I tried to tell.

The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels touched on the big picture in this evening's wrap on the Colorado Republican State Assembly.

The momentum was painful for Mitt Romney supporters, who had assumed when Santorum dropped out of the presidential race this week they'd have a much easier time in winning Colorado's delegate and alternate seats to the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August.

Instead, some of the Santorum's supporters united with Paul's backers to form the "Conservative Unity Slate" to win a slew of delegate slots. Four years ago, only one Paul supporter was elected to attend the national convention.

"This is a revolution," said Florence Sebern of Denver, an "unpledged" delegate who was wearing a Paul pin. She was part of the slate.

Slate supporters said they wanted to send a message to Romney about the importance of sticking to conservative values.

Bartels went on to explain how the Romney backers scrambled after Friday's non-Romney delegate landslide to elect as many pro-Romney delegates as possible on Saturday. They did win eight of twelve seats and by my unofficial count, the total contingent of Colorado National Delegates is therefore:

Romney - 13
Unpledged - 10
Santorum - 6
Unspecified "non-Romney" - 4
Super Delegates - 3
Ron Paul - 0 (4 Alternates are pledged Paul and and some of the "unspecified" may be as well, plus the Santorum and Unpledged delegates who have supposedly made verbal pledges to Paul.)

While this appears to be a Romney victory, closer scrutiny shows that Team Romney should be very concerned. If Mitt does not win the nomination on the first ballot of the National Convention in August his candidacy is probably finished. Given the choice between the party's "clear frontrunner" Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich or "crazy old uncle Ron," Colorado's conservative Republicans chose - Ron Paul. Maybe he's not "crazy" after all?

For some time now I've thought that I was something of a Republican maverick, being the only one in my family to defend Ron Paul's foreign policy against the "isolationist" charge. More and more, as I compared the well-groomed Mitt Romney to the Constitutionally principled Ron Paul I found the latter more pleasing. It seems that more of my "God, guns, and family" Republican brethren have shared my epiphany than I could have imagined.

There is another explanation. The shrewd conservative Republicans may be aligning with the Pauliacs merely as a means to an end. Stop the Romney inevitability, force a brokered convention, then mud wrestle on national television until someone other than Mitt gets to 1144. This seems like a longshot strategy with no clear alternative candidate and I hope it is not the motivation. If you agree to support Ron Paul, support Ron Paul. Let's be frank here - the one thing Republicans fear most is Paul supporters voting third party if Ron is not the Republican nominee. "Unity" they implore, "unity." Alright then, unify behind Paul.

I only found one other account of the Colorado Convention than mine and the Post's, and it is very good. Check out Leslie Jorgensen's explanation of the candidate slate strategies at The Colorado Observer. In summary, the 2012 Colorado delegate process was fascinating and foreshadows an even more fascinating Republican National Convention. Hold onto your hats, Republicans! And remember, no matter what, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul or the Man in the Moon ... UNITY!

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:47 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Thanks for the original reporting. And put me down as an 'Aye' for unity.

I love to read about the old days of picking the nominee at the convention, but I think that has gone the way of pickle barrels at the drugstore. Governor Romney may not have a majority of committed delegates, but he has 90% of the committed money.

Senator Santorum is out; Speaker Gingrich was talking like he was out when I saw him on FOX News Sunday; Rep. Paul will have a ground game going forward. But the Romney machine will find the remaining delegates easier to pick up. On your question of the Colorado slate, do you doubt Romney will win the Colorado primary?

I'm also reminded of Peter Robinson's It's my Party. The Mountain West is home to libertarian Republicans and it is dangerous to extrapolate their voice to the rest of the country.

Posted by: jk at April 15, 2012 11:46 AM
But johngalt thinks:

"Everything old is new again."

I thank you for your fair points. I agree with them all. I should emphasize that I only meant to say a Paul nomination is far more likely than many believe, not far more likely than any alternative.

Posted by: johngalt at April 15, 2012 2:49 PM

April 13, 2012

Colorado's 4th CD GOP Assembly -2012

Delegate fever is goin' around, and I've caught it. Most of Colorado's Congressional District GOP Assemblies are being held today at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. The last time I attended was 2010, an off-year election, and the Assemblies were in Loveland. I made my first ever attempt at blogging a convention that day and while it was a rewarding experience I had to use a laptop and post full blog entries. Today I'll try again with my unlimited talk/text/data T-Mobile HTC Radar 4G Windows Phone (yes, I'm an evangelist) and Twitter. Watch the #3src feed for my scintillating dispatches!

Oh yes, and the Colorado State GOP Convention is tomorrow at 9 am, at DU's Ritchie Center. Same gameplan.

UPDATE [jk]: I wanted to promote jg's tweet to a link: Colorado GOP Platform Resolutions (pdf). I think they are awesome! You get to #37 before I quibble with one, and the few I quibble with tend to be followed by an ameliorative suggestion. Very good stuff!

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:02 PM | Comments (14)
But johngalt thinks:

And a point of clarification - When I wrote "Help me out with this" above, that really was a question. I'm not sure that the delegates are obligated by the state primary vote and I'm still trying to confirm that. It does make sense, though, or else why have a primary election?

Posted by: johngalt at April 15, 2012 2:01 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm really starting to wonder if there will even be a Colorado primary election, at least with presidential candidates on the ballot. This guy says delegates will vote as currently pledged:

Todd King of Lewis, Colorado is one of the elected delegates from that slate. King is a Ron Paul supporter and will vote for Paul for president on the first ballot in Tampa. I asked him how the 17 unpledged delegates break down. This is his statement.

Click through if you're interested in the nitty gritty.

Posted by: johngalt at April 15, 2012 6:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Hmmm. There may have been a clue all along in proposed resolutions number 60 and 61 in the Colorado GOP Platform Resolutions (pdf).

Sometimes I feel like such a gomer.

Posted by: johngalt at April 15, 2012 7:14 PM
But jk thinks:

Interesting. I confess I expected a primary just because we've had them before.

Posted by: jk at April 15, 2012 8:59 PM
But jk thinks:

Interesting. I confess I expected a primary just because we've had them before.

Posted by: jk at April 15, 2012 9:00 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I was actually making a joke about not being a primary. I know there is one because I've seen it on the June page of the Colorado GOP Calendar. Turns out it's just for everything EXCEPT the presidential nominee.

Posted by: johngalt at April 16, 2012 12:12 PM

March 30, 2012

The Colorado Republican Party Resolves...

Now that Republican Party resolutions have been nominated and voted on at the county level, state party Chairman Ryan Call invites (via email) every Colorado Republican to "weigh in, and provide your input and comments directly on the initial draft of proposed resolutions and platform planks that have been prepared for the Resolutions Committee to consider."

My purpose is twofold: To alert those who may be interested such that they may get involved, and to highlight the open and transparent approach that is now being used to shape our party's platform - at least in Colorado.

This is the first time the Colorado Republican Party has ever solicited such broad input and participation in the development of our Party Platform in this way, but your opinion as to what we stand for is important to me.

In this historic election, I believe we must involve everyone who wants to have a seat at the table in helping decide what we stand for as a Party. And we must build and grow our Party, not narrow it.

And that’s why I’m asking you to give us your thoughts and opinions regarding the draft resolutions that will provide the basis for the development of our Colorado Republican Party Platform.

I recognize that not every Republican in Colorado will agree on every single one of these proposed resolutions, or with every plank in the eventual Republican Party Platform.

But I do believe there is at least one thing upon which we can and must all agree: that if we want to preserve an America that is full of freedom and opportunity, we must work together to make Barack Obama a one-term President.

Sincerely,

Ryan R. Call, Esq.

There is a full and an abbreviated online poll, and there will be two Resolutions Committee Webinars, on Saturday March 31 at noon and Tuesday, April 3 from 6 to 8 pm. Email me or Chairman Call for the web links.

UPDATE: I wanted to mention the Weld County resolutions at the open of this post but did not have a copy of them with me to embed. Click 'continue reading' to see them. They were voted on at County Assembly last Saturday but the results were never announced. I suspect 100% of them passed despite my not voting for most of the "Amendment to the Constitution" resolutions.

UPDATE 2: Weld County 2012 Resolution vote results. (The heading may temporarily read 2010 but that will be corrected soon.)

Resolutions*
for
Consideration
at the
Weld County Republican Party
County Assembly
March 24, 2012

(*The figures at the end of each resolution signify the number of precincts that submitted the resolution over the percentage of the 90 of 109 precincts that submitted resolutions.)

1. The Weld County Republican Party supports an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring Congress to operate the federal government under a balanced budget annually, and further, the Party supports the reduction of government regulation, taxation and spending, and the elimination of government waste. (83/92.2%)

2. The Weld County Republican Party resolves to support only Republican candidates and elected officials who oppose all forms of gun control and uphold the right of all law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. (51/56.7%)

3. The Weld County Republican Party opposes public funding of abortion and fetal or embryonic stem cell research, and further, the Party supports the passage of a constitutional amendment to guarantee that the right to life applies equally to all innocent persons at every stage of development. (39/43.3%)

4. The Weld County Republican Party resolves that all government employees and elected officials must conduct their duties in strict accordance with both the Colorado and U.S. Constitutions as amended, particularly in respect to protections for individual liberty and property ownership. (37/41.1%)

5. The Weld County Republican Party supports affordable health care based upon the free-market system and therefore calls for the repeal of the Patient Protection Affordability Act, also known as “Obamacare”, and further, the Party encourages the Colorado Attorney General to use every legal means to block its mandate upon Colorado citizens. (26/28.9%)

6. The Weld County Republican Party supports the right to exercise religious freedom in America as guaranteed by the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, including the free and public expression of Christianity. (21/23.3%)

7. The Weld County Republican Party supports fully securing and controlling all U.S. borders to stop illegal immigration and terrorist infiltration, and further, the Party supports a simplified foreign worker program but opposes all non-emergency government benefits, amnesty and sanctuary programs for illegal immigrants. (21/23.3%)

8. The Weld County Republican Party resolves that Congress make no law that applies to U.S. citizens that does not apply equally to Congress and conversely, that Congress make no law that applies to Congress that does not apply equally to U.S. citizens, and further, the Party resolves that Congress be limited to receiving the same Social Security and Medicare benefits as all other private U.S. citizens. (16/17.8%)

9. The Weld County Republican Party supports maintaining a strong, well trained and equipped national military force, providing good benefits for those who serve and have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, and further, the Party supports defensive military alliances to deter hostile action against America and its foreign allies, including the state of Israel. (13/14.4)

10. The Weld County Republican Party supports amendments to both the Colorado and U.S. Constitutions that restrict the legal definition of marriage to be a union between one man and one woman. (12/13.3%)

11. The Weld County Republican Party supports the requirement of the presentation of valid, government-issued, photo identification by every person desiring to participate in any public election before being allowed to vote. (9/10.0%)

12. The Weld County Republican Party supports less regulation of the U.S. energy industry to encourage domestic energy production and decrease America’s reliance on foreign energy sources, and further, the Party resolves that carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant. (7/7.8%)

13. The Weld County Republican Party supports the elimination of state and federal income taxes in lieu of a fair tax in the form of either a flat tax and/or a consumption tax. (6/6.7%)

14. The Weld County Republican Party supports an amendment the U.S. Constitution limiting the duration of Congressional terms. (6/6.7%)

15. The Weld County Republican Party supports entrepreneurial equality through free-market capitalism and rejects any business subsidization or favoritism by government at any level. (5/5.6%)

16. The Weld County Republican Party endorses a Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declaring that the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right that may not be infringed by any law or treaty. (4/4.4%)

17. The Weld County Republican Party resolves that all non-federal government officials within the State of Colorado shall assert Colorado’s sovereignty under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution. (4/4.4%)

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:11 PM | Comments (4)
But dagny thinks:

My Dear jg is too modest. He worked very hard on the county/district resolutions committee in drafting those resolutions.

Hopefully the stamp of jg and Three Sources remains as the resolutions move from the local to the state level.

Posted by: dagny at March 30, 2012 3:11 PM
But jk thinks:

I second the props for our blog brother.

Working for today's webinar, but will certainly do the poll and catch the next one.

Posted by: jk at March 31, 2012 8:12 AM
But johngalt thinks:

It was a labor of love. The level of influence* I was able to impart left me very satisfied. I intended to attempt the same feat for the State Resolutions Committee but this new process brings it right to my livingroom - and yours.

* My greatest single accomplishment was successfully lobbying to include resolution 15, originally below the cutoff of 6 precincts having put it forth. This led to the inclusion of 16 and 17, both of which also have merit - particularly 17. (On first review of the State Resolutions I noticed that the 10th Amendment issue in our #17 is asserted in #2 on the state roster of 60 resolutions. It is clearly a widely held principle among Colorado Republicans.)

Posted by: johngalt at March 31, 2012 11:49 AM
But Craig Buckley thinks:

Spurious lien filed on Longmont family's exempt personal property (HOME)by former employers. Weld County District attorney Ken Buck arrests fraudulent lien victim for harassment for having demanded lien be removed. Of the lien Weld DA Ken Buck stated to victim, You just need to get over it and move on with your life. There is nobody in this office who will help you.

http://www.corruptkenbuck.com

Posted by: Craig Buckley at August 9, 2012 10:50 PM

March 27, 2012

Centennial State Alert!

Just got a call from American's for Tax Reform, asking that I call my State Senator in support of S.B. 157. I have to say that it looks pretty good to me.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:50 PM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2012

JG agrees with Boulder DA

Like myself, Boulder's [Democrat] District Attorney Stan Garnett doesn't understand why the Obama Justice Department is so tough on the medical marijuana business. After all, aren't Democrats and weed activists fellow travelers? And, perhaps because I had dinner with the man 12 days ago (well, actually, different tables in the same Boulder burger joint) I agree verbatim with General Garnett on this sentence from his letter to United States Attorney John Walsh:

"The people of Boulder County do not need Washington, D.C., or the federal government dictating ..." WAIT! Stop right there.

But he continued, "how far dispensaries should be from schools or other fine points of local land use law," Garnett wrote.

I don't think Garnett helped his effort by suggesting what the US Attorney's priorities should be, but that probably won't be what makes or breaks the G-Men's "prosecutorial discretion."

In the "things that make you say, hmmm" department: The article also says that Boulder has an estimated 12 dispensaries within 1000 feet of a school.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:11 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

I think it is part of the First Lady's initiative to make schoolchildren walk more.

Flippancy aside, yaay DA Garnett for asserting our rights -- maybe he'll join The Filburn Society. (Do follow that link if you have not seen it!)

Posted by: jk at March 14, 2012 4:23 PM
But Bryan thinks:

It’s wonderful to see the Boulder DA standing up to the Feds on what really is a 10th Amendment issue.

It’s too bad that he and other Democrats (and some Republicans), don't apply this principal consistently on all of the issues that the Federal Government should not be meddling in.

Posted by: Bryan at March 15, 2012 12:52 PM

February 23, 2012

Constitutional Sheriffs

Among the "gifts" afforded us by the advent of the Obama Administration has been talk of state nullification of federal authority over American citizens. Now there are similar musings at the next closer level of government to the individual - counties.

I could highlight some between-the-lines disdain in author Nancy Lofholm's write up but instead I choose to commend the Denver Post for running the story at all, much less on its February 12, 2012 front page under the headline: Emerging movement encourages sheriffs to act as shield against federal tyranny

The headline tells enough of the story for my purposes here so I won't excerpt. Please click through if you want the details. Unsurprisingly, news of the Arizona Convention that prompted the story has generated controversy. A Denver blogger wrote about it as "Sheriffs for Treason." But is it? Does our nation not operate under the "consent of the governed?"

I wanted to post this as a companion to JK's Craig Colorado vs. Renewable Energy Mandates post last week. The mental image of Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz and his deputies meeting briefcase-wielding EPA bureaucrats at the front gate of the Craig power plant is a reassuring prospect. And today's story about the Gibson guitar raid is another case where one starts to wonder, Who is the sheriff in that county and what was he doing that day?

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:22 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

WHOA. The article you link to includes this:

"Colorado had the largest representation at this convention, along with California and Utah."

California? Can it be?

Well, just as Boulder is not Colorado Springs, California outside of the big metropolitan areas - the big eastern and northeastern counties especially - might fit right in with this. I've visited their website, and am very interested in what I see.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 23, 2012 5:48 PM

February 20, 2012

Colorado Caucus Update - February Edition

Unlike every other county in Colorado, Weld holds an intermediate set of local assemblies for selection of delegates to the state political conventions. As the next step after caucus night, the District Assemblies convened on Saturday morning and yours truly was elected as one of twelve delegates from District E.

My optimism in America and in freedom was renewed by this meeting of neighbors. The evangelical conservatives and the libertarian conservatives played nice together and exchanged views in what I thought to be a very constructive and open-minded way. No Ron Paul delegate or mention of the name Ron Paul was booed, or even grumbled. I made new acquaintance with several neighbors, including a gentleman who boards horses a few miles north of Atlantis Farm. A couple more questions revealed our mutual friend, blog sister Terri. And if this gentleman hadn't fully endeared himself already he would have when he requested, after the meeting was closed, that it not be held in a school building in the future since that pre-empted his Second Amendment right to self-protection. [PSA - Never attempt to rob a conflagration of Republicans.]

While we're here I'd like to share a link to Rick Santorum's speech to the Weld County Lincoln Day Dinner on February 5. I haven't watched the video yet but the speech was very good in person.

UPDATE: Skip to 13 minute mark if your time is limited.

Next caucus update in March.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:29 PM | Comments (2)
But Terri thinks:

That's excellent! He is definitely, as they say, good people.

Posted by: Terri at February 20, 2012 3:39 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And he spoke very highly of you too, Terri. Meeting him kinda made me rethink my idea to woo your horse over to board in our indoor arena. ;) Now, if he were a Democrat...

Posted by: johngalt at February 20, 2012 5:36 PM

February 11, 2012

Country Mouse, City Mouse

On July 21, 2011 Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies joined county animal control personnel in a warrantless raid on a private farm in Arvada, Colorado. Goverment agents were acting on an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers.

The owner, Debe Bell, 59, was charged with 55 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty after Jefferson County investigators found "deplorable conditions" at the Arvada farm. Nearly 200 animals were seized from her property at 12820 W. 75th Ave. in Arvada. The "deplorable conditions" included: Cages the animals were kept in were urine-soaked, caked in feces and had little or no food; with few exceptions they had no water; animal's fur was matted and caked in feces; 20 dead animals were found in a freezer.

After seizure the 200 animals were moved to a private animal shelter where they were cleaned, fed and watered then, adopted out to other owners. The original owner filed a legal motion to halt the adoption, which included sterilization of the confiscated breeding stock. "The court denied the motion," Mollie Thompson with the Foothill Animal Shelter said.

On January 27, 2012 a jury found Debe Bell guilty of 35 counts of animal cruelty. Sentencing is scheduled for March 20. Each misdemeanor count carries a potential sentence of up to 18 months in jail, according to the Denver Post.

According to Bell's attorney a potential fine of $1000 per count may also be assessed. The private shelter may also seek reparation for costs it incurred.

You've noticed by now I intentionally omitted the animals' breed. I did so to prevent your prejudice in this case from being affected by cute cuddly bunny rabbits. The County Court judge in Ms. Bell's case, however, had less concern over prejudice - she granted a motion by the state to prohibit defendant's council from referring to the rabbits as "livestock."

Ms. Bell and her attorney, having lost the legal battle under terms imposed by the court, appealed their case to the court of public opinion in an interview with Jon Caldera on the Mike Rosen Show Friday morning.

Among her comments:

"Rabbits are food." "Yes, I put the rabbits in my freezer. I also put in some chickens and some pork chops." "I sold rabbits to the Denver Zoo. Now they buy them from China." "Rabbit is the number one meat sold in California." "I thought I lived in America."

Also discussed (11:30) is the Crime Stoppers program and its well publicized $2000 reward for animal abuse tips.

No word yet from Colorado 4H.

I'm also including a link to the first account that I read of this story. It is on Huffington Post. The comments are, I believe, indicative of the mindset that enables our legal system to apply anthropomorphic attitudes to livestock and their producers.

UPDATE: More attentive blogs were on the case six months ago.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:43 AM | Comments (1)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I've so little free time nowadays, but I should post a reply here, and turn it into the blog post I've in fact wanted to make for a long time.

It is an absolute necessity that animals be seen as mere property, whether it's this case, Michael Vick with dog fights, or a case in Utah some years back I'll never forget. A father went nuts and stomped a poor dog to death in front of his kids.

I often like animals more than people. Animals can't be blamed for acting out of instinct, when I detest most of humanity for not having the sense God gave them. However, either animals are property, fit to dispose of as the owner wishes (without harming others), or they aren't. There is no middle ground. Once you say, "They're the person's property, but there are conditions," then you are saying they are not truly property. Once "society" can attach conditions, then society is the true owner, and the "owner" is merely using the animals with permission.

This is precisely what happened to Bell. She wasn't harming anyone, but the state declared that she didn't meet the conditions to keep the rabbits. They could have been Greyhounds, lions or salamanders, and the principle would stay the same.

Once you say that there are limits to how a person can peacefully dispose of property, then anything goes. While specifics always differ, you are advocating the basic idea that a person's neighbors, via "elected" representatives and their armed enforcers, can order someone about. This is how the state claims the power to control phosphates in our detergent, to make us apply for permits to add onto our homes, and to forbid us to farm because some worm might be on the land.

I don't want my neighbors to rule my life, just as I have no wish to rule theirs. If I noticed someone mistreating a horse, I'd confront the person with reason, not a threat to get government involved. I'd ask why, and ask if there's something I could help with. There was a news article a while back about an old horse taken far out somewhere, tied up and left to die. I think it's a shame it wasn't put down peacefully. Horses aren't really used for glue anymore, but if the idea was to leave it for the buzzards, at least it wouldn't have suffered. It's not my right to demand the owner do that, however. If he told me to go mind my own business, so be it.

Most people, however, would never talk to the person first. They'd simply call the police first when they think an animal is being mistreated. Government has conditioned them to be both cowardly and lazy.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at February 12, 2012 5:25 PM

February 8, 2012

#COcaucus Selcted Tweets

denverpost The Denver Post
With 100% reporting, Santorum wins #COcaucus with 40.2%; Romney 34.9%; Gingrich 12.7%, Paul 11.7% http://dpo.st/y6DdWi
11 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

KyleClark Kyle Clark
Well, it's official. The conservative grassroots told the CO GOP where to stick it. #cocaucus

EliStokols Eli Stokols
Santorum sweep is as devastating a setback to Romney as any suffered by a candidate thus far. High expectations, totally unmet in #COcaucus

HuffingtonPost Huffington Post
Paul: "We should have a right to keep the fruits of all our labors" #cocaucus #mncaucus #moprimary

BrandonRittiman Brandon Rittiman
Turnout in #COcaucus on track to be slightly less than the 70k who turned out in '08. Less than 9% of reg'd GOP voters.

Alex_Shrugged Alex Johnson
@anneherbst RT @denverpost: WATCH: Romney gets glitter bombed at watch party in Denver (VIDEO): http://dpo.st/xsunHn #COcaucus #Colorado

NARALColorado NARAL Colorado
#Santorum contradicts #Colorado values! http://www.prochoicecolorado.org/news/press/201202071.shtml #CoPols #CoCaucus

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:38 AM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

So what's the total delegate count so far?
MR 94
RS 71
NG 29
RP 8
Huntsman! 2

A long way to go to 1144... shewt, bag on the CO caucus, I want to vote in the Marianas! Any way you look at it (Mitt's, Rick's or Newt's), we're going to need the Ryan's, Barbour's, and the Christie's to lead the "idea parade."

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 9, 2012 11:33 PM

January 13, 2012

Mark Udall Survey

Hey, Centennial Staters: Senator Mark Udall wants to know What are you priorities for Congress?

One page survey, but a chance to be heard.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:59 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Dear Senator Udall,

"I am the TEA Party. I believe in liberty, not social engineering (left OR right wing.) The federal government should do ONLY what benefits EVERY American, not favoring select groups. The environment should be protected from egregious pollution, not minutiae. CO2 is essential for plant life, not a pollutant. I could go on.

You appear to be a reasonable man, but until you denounce the policies of your party and our president it is difficult for me to trust you."

Posted by: johngalt at January 15, 2012 1:26 PM

Tebow's Coming

To Boston.

With apologies to Three Dog Night.

Tebow's comin' Tebow's comin' (Tebow's a-comin') Well you better hide your heart, your loving heart Tebow's a-comin' and the cards say... a broken heart

Tebow's comin', hide your heart, girl
Tebow's comin', hide your heart, boy
Tom, Tebow's a-comin', you better hide
Bill, Tebow's a-comin', you better hide
Josh, Tebow's a-comin', you better hide
Girl, Tebow's comin', hide your heart, girl (hide it)
You better, better hide your heart
Tebow's comin', better walk

Walk but you'll never get away No, you'll never get away from the burnin' a-heartache I walked to Apollo by the bay Everywhere I go though, Tebow's a-comin' (she walked but she never got away) Tebow's a-comin' (she walked but she never got away) Tebow's a-comin' and he's comin' to git ya (she walked but... she walked but...) Get down on your knees (she walked but she never got away)

Tebow's comin' (hide it, hide it, hide it)
Tom, Tebow's a-comin', you better hide
Bill, Tebow's a-comin', you better hide
Josh, Tebow's a-comin', you better hide
Girl, Tebow's comin', hide your heart, girl (hide it)
You better, better hide your heart
Tebow's comin', better walk

Walk but you'll never get away
No, you'll never get away from the burnin' a-heartache
I walked to Apollo by the bay
Everywhere I go though, Tebow's a-comin' (he walked but she'll never get
away)
Tebow's a-comin' (she walked but she'll never get away)
Tebow's a-comin' and he's comin' to git ya (she walked but... she walked
but...)
Get down on your knees (she walked but she'll never get away)
Get down on your knees

No-no, no-no
Lord, I said no-no, no-no, no-no

(hide it) She can
(hide it) hide it
(hide it) You better
(hide it) Somebody
(hide it) You got t'
(hide it) Oh, my
(hide it) Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:05 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

Bring back the Virtual Coffeehouse.

Posted by: jk at January 13, 2012 3:56 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Now it's your turn BR.

Posted by: johngalt at January 13, 2012 4:28 PM
But jk thinks:

Hahahahahahaha! But is that a young John Bolton I see in the center?

Posted by: jk at January 13, 2012 5:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Dang, first JK and now my own dear dagny "doesn't like that kind of music." I think it's both fabulous and nostalgic. I've been a fan of Three Dog Night's music since before I knew who they were (or what kind of bad life choices they made.) I have vivid memories of walking around the backyard singing "Jeremiah was a Bullfrog" while listening to KIMN radio on my transistor radio.

["Pundints?" "PUNDINTS?" Why can't anyone properly pronounce that word? AAAARGH.]

Posted by: johngalt at January 14, 2012 11:48 AM
But jk thinks:

I was being flippant; I like 3DN okay. I would have preferred "Joy to the World" or "Never Been to Spain."

Posted by: jk at January 14, 2012 2:42 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I wasn't sure. I thought maybe you considered them an acid rock version of 'Chicago Transit Authority' or something.

I've always liked the way that Eli song gradually intensifies, and the image of an approaching inevitibility fit, I thought, with the Tebow-led Broncos march through the playoffs. Clearly, I was wishcasting.


Joy to the world
All the football fans, now
Joy to the Broncos down in Dove Val-ley
Joy to you and me

Posted by: johngalt at January 15, 2012 12:07 PM

December 4, 2011

Colorado Native Lager

Last spring I made my first attempt at growing hops. The plants never sprouted and I was quite disappointed, but others had better luck than I and the 100% Colorado brew from Coors brewing has been completed.

As soon as today, a batch of Colorado Native made with homegrown hops will hit store shelves, thanks to the efforts of 130 volunteer growers.

A year ago, AC Golden Brewing put out an invitation to its Facebook fans to accept a free hops rhizome, plant it and donate the harvested crop to the brewer.

The intent was to get AC Golden closer to its goal of producing a beer with all-Colorado ingredients. It's 99.89 percent local with Colorado barley, water and yeast. The missing fraction is hops — the flowery green herb that gives beer its sublime bitterness.

The yield was not enough to produce a year's worth of the brew, but it's a start. As for the product? I posted the following on the beer's Facebook page:

My two rhizomes never broke ground - perhaps they languished in the fridge too long before I planted them. I'll try again in the spring. But I picked up a 12-pack yesterday and ... love it! I love highly hopped beers but the first bottle I drank (from a glass) almost blew me away. I got a headache it was so hoppy! (Had just returned from a day near Blackhawk though so was perhaps O2 deprived.) Second bottle today was more mellow but very tasty, well balanced and on its way to being the only beer I drink for as long as I can get it. Lovely red-amber. Five stars!

Back in the day, Coors Banquet Beer, brewed only in Colorado, was not available east of the Mississipi River (a fact capitalized on in the storyline for the movie "Smokey and the Bandit.) Coors is now also bottled in Virginia and available nationwide. CO Native, however - only in Colorado, brothers and sisters.

Posted by JohnGalt at 8:49 PM | Comments (2)
But Terri thinks:

Excellent!

Posted by: Terri at December 5, 2011 11:40 AM
But jk thinks:

I remember sneaking Coors was a big deal when I was a lad. Visiting easterners would load a couple of cases in their car. My folks shipped a case to a relative in Alabama. When Reverend <name changed to protect the guilty> showed up to pick up his "canned goods" shipped from Denver, the wrapping was torn. The Huntsville postal workers delivered the contraband amid much jocularity.

I will try the native, though I had some of the New Belgium seasonal Snow Day and I am under its spell.

Posted by: jk at December 5, 2011 11:57 AM

November 30, 2011

Equal Time

Had a little fun at the expense of Keystone Staters this morning. Well, here's a David Harsanyi Tweet of the day:

A former Colorado sheriff accused of offering meth for sex is being held in the jail named for him

AP, who may have actually twittered the tweet in question:
Patrick Sullivan, 68, found himself on Wednesday in a jail that was named for him, facing charges of offering methamphetamine in exchange for sex from a male acquaintance.

Dressed in an orange jail uniform and walking with a cane, a handcuffed Sullivan watched as a judge raised his bail amount to a half-million dollars and sent him to the Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. Detention Facility.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:44 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Damn, I hope nobody ever names a jail after me!

Posted by: johngalt at December 1, 2011 2:47 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

If they did, it would probably be because you were their longest serving resident. (snicker)

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 1, 2011 5:11 PM

November 3, 2011

Headline of the Day

This was going to be an update, but I'm thinkin' Headline of the Day

'A Killing Field for Tax Measures'
It's still a tea party in Colorado.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:29 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Two more honorable mentions are yesterday's,

Tax Hikes Stopped Dead in Their Tracks

and today's

Sour Taste for Taxes

Both from the Denver Post.

For opponents of 103, such as Jon Caldara, president of the libertarian-conservative Independence Institute, any suggestion that Coloradans voted against the ballot measure because it was too small is crazy talk.

"That's like saying women aren't interested in me because I'm not bald enough," Caldara said Wednesday. "They (103 supporters) are dreaming. Last night, the people of Colorado overwhelmingly said, 'We can't afford more tax increases.' "

Posted by: johngalt at November 3, 2011 4:37 PM
But jk thinks:

"Not bald enough!" And I thought I could not like Caldera any better!

Posted by: jk at November 3, 2011 4:42 PM

November 2, 2011

Colorado Says Occupy This

Paul Gigot celebrates Colorado's off year results:

The antitax mood was equally clear at the local level. The Denver Post reports that "Aurora voters rejected a $114 million tax increase for recreation centers, Douglas County voters said 'no' to school tax increases, Cañon City voters rejected a tax for library improvements and Boulder voters appeared to be approving the creation of a municipal electricity utility but wouldn't pass a tax hike to fund it." That Boulder bit is especially rich, since the local utility measure is intended as a rebuke to the state's biggest electricity provider, Xcel Energy, which supposedly uses too much evil carbon fuel. Even the great and good liberals of Boulder don't want to pay to indulge their anticarbon principles.

In other news to give progressives heartburn, pro-voucher candidates prevailed for the school board in suburban Douglas County, where a voucher program has divided the area and is bogged down in legal challenges, and two reformers won seats on the Denver school board. Oh, and Denver voters rejected mandatory paid sick leave for all workers, 64.5% to 35.4%.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:25 PM | Comments (0)

November 1, 2011

Colorado Rejects Prop 103

A big sales and income tax increase, earmarked for education but including no reform goes down big and early.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:41 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

Oh ... thank ... GOD!

Heard it here first, brother. Thank you.

"Colorado was the only state with a tax increase measure on the ballot this year." Let this be a lesson to you, America: 65% to 35% say higher taxes just ain't that patriotic.

Posted by: johngalt at November 1, 2011 11:54 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Hearty congratulations - here's hoping that Colorado, and not California, sets the trend for the nation.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 2, 2011 12:27 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Crikey but I've been out of it.... when was the vote? where??

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 2, 2011 12:36 AM
But jk thinks:

Hahahaha, nb, mail-in ballot due yesterday. Where I live it was just Prop 103 and a few small positions, only one of which was contested. If you had to miss one, you picked a good one to miss.

The City of Denver, amazingly, also shot down an employer mandate for sick leave. Went down by the same margin. JG's lesson is for real. Colorado is no longer an anti-tax state, it's purple-leaning-indigo and if "for the children" loses 65-35, the tax appetite is indeed not there.

Posted by: jk at November 2, 2011 12:10 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

So, what's left to be on the ballot on Tuesday the 8th?

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 6, 2011 2:23 AM

October 29, 2011

Tebow Anyone?

This isn't, as the category suggests, merely a Colorado issue. The Tim Tebow phenomenon is a national one. For some reason this single player evokes or inspires either hatred or extreme admiration. Most seem to focus on his overt religiosity, and either despise or worship the example he sets. I don't see it that way at all.

I marvel at Tebow's ability to inspire and motivate his teammates. While sports professionals in the coaching, scouting and analysis business focus on his objective qualities they almost completely disregard his unique ability to lead. This causes them to make statements like "Tebow can't be an NFL quarterback." But many people believe that statement is wrong and I, for one, know it is wrong. And it has very little (but not nothing) to do with religion.

My sister emailed me a link to this TED Talk yesterday. The title is 'Benjamin Zander on Music and Passion' and it seems an unlikely place to find a key to success in life, but I did. It's 20 minutes long and you'll do yourself a favor to find that much time in your busy life to slow down, sit down, watch and listen and think. Here is Tebow's big "secret."

"It's one of the characteristics of a leader that he not doubt, for one moment, the capacity of the people he's leading to realize whatever he's dreaming."

Not only does this attitude make Tebow's teammates perform better, it makes him perform better. It does so in a way that manifests itself on the field of competition much more than on the practice field. And understanding it is so elusive that many deny its existence even after witnessing it with their own, "lying" eyes.

Tebow isn't the only NFL quarterback with this quality. I've seen it in Elway, Montana, Staubach, Griese, Jaworski, Fouts and Bradshaw among others. My dad saw it in Daryle Lamonica. It can be seen today in Brady, Rogers and Brees, and glimpses of it in many of the league's younger QBs. And just as importantly, some players of the position clearly do not have it. The ones I have noticed recently are Romo, Eli Manning and ... Kyle Orton. When a play fails each of them is as likely as not to yell, jesture, shrug or shake his head at one or more of his teammates. This is also inspirational leadership, but in the wrong direction.

I said Tebow's big secret has a little to do with religion and that something is "belief." Religion teaches men to believe.

UPDATE: Dad corrects that it was George Blanda he admired so.

UPDATE 2: Macho Duck challenged my inclusion of Donovan McNabb on the list of demotivational NFL quarterbacks. He's right. I put his name in my list before defining what it was a list of, i.e. finger pointers. An error of Saturday morning haste has been corrected.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:35 AM | Comments (5)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Uhhh......

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 31, 2011 8:25 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Uhhh ... I said I know Tebow is an NFL-caliber quarterback. I did not say he could turn water into wine. (Well, not over a three-hour span at any rate.)

How many other proven QBs have had similar issues this season? (Inaccurate passes, out of sync with receivers).

How many of them played their rookie season without a training camp to prepare?

How many games did Saint John Elway stink out of the stadium in his rookie season, and how many disappointing seasons did he have under a non-supportive coaching staff?

I never said he was a savior but understand that many feel his supporters have suggested exactly that. No, he's a rookie. But even at that he provides a greater sense of possible success than did the veteran Orton. Who thought Orton was going to bring the Broncos back against Green Bay? But before a 14-point meltdown in the last 5 minutes of the first half, Denver trailed by just a touchdown. Personally I think the Broncos suffer from "right handedness" as a team. Their best OT plays on the left side, but Tim's blind side is on the right. And the pass to Decker that went for a 100-yard pick six was an out route on the right sideline - a play that is easier for a lefthanded thrower if it goes to the left sideline.

I could go into greater detail on that meltdown, including a ridiculous 15-yard penalty on Denver's punter for chicken fighting with a blocker, or the two illegal blocks on the same play that the officials managed not to see. But the point is, Denver lost as a team on Sunday. Now they have a choice: Regroup, rally, gameplan around the defensive scheme that beat them and make a competitive effort at Oakland; or quit. My money is on the former.

Posted by: johngalt at November 1, 2011 2:14 AM
But johngalt thinks:

FWIW: Anyone remember the last time the Broncos played the Lions? Cutler, Marshall, Travis Henry, coached by Shanahan. Before Tebow or even Coach McDaniels. 47 yards rushing for the Broncos in a 44-7 loss to a team that, like the Broncos, would finish the season 7-9.

Posted by: johngalt at November 1, 2011 3:17 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee is a Tebow fan and hopes he succeeds. Elway was decidedly mediocre for four years before he really got a handle on reading defenses. So stipulated.

However, Tebow's inaccuracy is a real concern. He has to make 'em pay when they overload the box, and he has missed the targets thus far. The jury is out for now, but an inability to get first downs in Oakland will lead to a long day. Can the Broncos afford a multi-year project at QB? Orton is not the answer, and if Tebow cannot step up this franchise is looking at many bleak years.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 1, 2011 5:35 PM
But johngalt thinks:

In the 16 year career of John Elway Denver's Broncos had but two losing seasons. In the 23 years of Broncos history pre-Elway their record was over .500 just five times. In the 12 post Elway season the Broncos had a winning record for half of them, were 8-8 three times and below .500 three times. Elway was clearly a savior, but team performance without him is nothing like the bleakness seen before him.

Denver fans seem to feel "entitled" to playoff games and the occasional Super Bowl, yet conveniently forget that 30 of 32 teams don't go to the annual spectacle and most don't even make the playoffs.

Posted by: johngalt at November 3, 2011 4:31 PM

October 26, 2011

It comes from where?

Somehow, inexplicably, nobody has called to ask that their connection to coal fired power plants NOT be restored.

DENVER -- The October snowstorm is being blamed for numerous power outages.

More than 40,000 people from Fort Collins to Littleton were without power as of 5:30 a.m. By 9 a.m. that number had increased to more than 90,000 without power, according to Xcel's website.

Power outages forced the closure of the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley and the Boulder County Criminal Justice Center in Boulder.

In the Boulder area, Xcel is handling 157 outages affecting more than 13,000 people.

Boulder officials are treating the fast moving storm as a civil preparedness exercise, in the event that the Utility Municipalization ballot measure passes and city council takes over management of the power company. "The wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine," said Boulder's Mayor.*

* Quote is *ahem* non-attributable.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:18 PM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2011

Not Getting It

How much longer do we have to endure government economic estimates based on static analysis of tax rate changes?

In November the mail-in ballot votes will be tallied to decide whether Colorado will lose 7,400 to 11,600 private sector jobs [you know, the ones that pay their own way and don't require a new tax every year to keep them going?] The culprit is Colorado's Proposition 103, a five-year plan to hike three different state taxes on individuals and businesses, conceived and placed on the ballot almost single handedly by Senator Rollie Heath (D-Boulder) and his personal fortune.

Voters will decide between the projected outcome voiced by one Senator Mary Hodge (D-Brighton) who said "she’s optimistic that state finances will not take a turn for the worse," or that of Barry W. Poulson, Senior Fellow in Fiscal Policy and Professor of Economics (retired), University of Colorado, Boulder and John D. Merrifield, Professor of Economics, University of Texas whose analysis resulted in the job loss estimate in the lede. To understand the magnitude of the job loss you can read the paper or just watch this video from a Jon Caldera press conference that, somehow, I haven't seen reported by Denver's Fox 31.

By the way, there weren't enough dominoes to have one for every job lost. Each domino represents TWO jobs.

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:47 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Awesome!

For our out-of-state friends, this is about the only thing on the ballot most places. It should be very low turnout. And the Fox affiliate Brother jg torques me with runs a commercial every four minutes about "our children try so hard, but some have a four-day week, some have to pay to ride the bus, and our state is 49th in higher-education spending."

Colorado has been good in the past at rejecting these things but I think the polity is changing for the worse and fear this will pass.

Posted by: jk at October 22, 2011 11:50 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes and, setting the statistics straight, while spending may or may not be 49th as a fraction of the state's economy or some other measure it is 30th per capita.

Furthermore, educational results are not directly proportional to spending. For example, more spending on teachers and less on adminstrators would be helpful. American schools have on the order of one administrator per 3 teachers, while those in other, more successful, western nations are closer to one per 20 teachers. And there are domestic differences as well. For our below-average investmentColorado's SAT scores rank 15th in the nation.

Posted by: johngalt at October 22, 2011 2:06 PM
But jk thinks:

A friend had a bumper sicker: Colorado, 49th in education spending. I told him he should have his kids educated in Newark or Washington DC.

Posted by: jk at October 22, 2011 2:28 PM

August 17, 2011

Who writes this stuff?

A local story is a Headline of the Day nominee: Parker dog may be totaled by insurance company

Read more: Parker dog may be totaled by insurance company - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_18691337?obref=obnetwork#ixzz1VJPY6dH3
Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse

OK, they're talking about a business in Parker (Denver suburb) called "The Dog" thinks me. Nope.

A Parker woman was devastated when her dog was hit by a minivan last week and the driver's insurance company told her they'd pay for one or two trips to the vet and would then total out her dog.

Farmers' Insurance sent Marcia Pinkstaff a letter stating it would reimburse her for the initial trip to the vet and would consider paying for a follow up exam, but nothing more.

According to KMGH-TV (http://bit.ly/mYGv1u), a spokesman for Farmers said the phrase totaling out is industry jargon and refers to the property damage part of a policy.

Farmers' vice president Jerry Davies says he's sorry about the circumstances because he also has a dog.

Read more: Parker dog may be totaled by insurance company - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_18691337?obref=obnetwork#ixzz1VJPzdb1l
Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse

This story is proof that new hiring is taking place in the newspaper business. He's sorry "because he also has a dog?"

[Since I excerpted the entire story I figured I'd better leave the automatically inserted crumb trail text in place for copyright purposes. Readers will kindly advise whether or not it is helpful.]

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:26 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

The good trolls at Righthaven, for whom we fear excerpting Denver Post stories, have been getting their coprophagic asses kicked in courts of late.

I am tempted to say the witch is dead. In the words of avowed socialist EY Harburg: "She's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead."

Posted by: jk at August 17, 2011 4:09 PM

July 13, 2011

Leftist Democrat cites Laffer; Calls for Tax Cuts to Grow Government Revenue

First-term Democratic Congressman Jared Polis, representing Colorado's second congressional district including the very left-leaning city of Boulder, wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal today that among other things suggested lowering tax rates "to more reasonable levels" in order to "make revenues increase." He calls it Raise Revenues, Not Taxes.

In my home state of Colorado, and in 15 other states and the District of Columbia, local revenues have increased by millions of dollars since lawmakers decided to legalize and regulate medical marijuana. By reducing the current 100% confiscatory tax on marijuana to more reasonable levels, we can make revenues increase. If we were to nationally legalize, regulate and reduce federal taxes on marijuana, we could receive as much as $2.4 billion in additional revenue annually, according to a 2005 study conducted by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron.

If true, this could be the tip of a very large iceberg of new government funds. If lowering tax rates on the relatively small market commodity marijuana can bring in upwards of two billion dollars the results would be even more substantial when applied to mainstream commodities such as tobacco, transportation, communications, and even coal, oil and other fuels. And there's no reason to limit this new principle to excise taxes. Income taxes, capital gains taxes and inheritance taxes are all ripe targets for this simple approach to replentish the government's coffers.

Please call or write your congressman today and urge them to give their full support to Representative Polis' plan to pay off the debt and grow the economy buy cutting tax rates wherever they may be found. Congressman Polis is brilliant and his idea could be the bipartisan breakthrough we've been waiting for! And if his plan is implemented he deserves to be re-elected for as long as he remains its champion.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:58 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

At the risk of contravening the gag rule...

I think the point is that the Feds currently have a ridiculous fake tax on marijuana that exists only to provide the enforcement community with an Al Capone prosecution play: "Your honor, Mister Dogg failed to purchase tax stamps for that illegal stuff he was caught with." A bona-fide tax similar to liquor, collected by legal vendors would create an actual revenue source where none exists now.

Posted by: jk at July 13, 2011 6:24 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm not very well versed in marijuana law or taxation, but if Congressman Polis says reducing the tax rate on it will increase tax revenues I'm willing to take him at his word. Let's do it! Reduce the tax rates on marijuana and every other excise, income, capital gains, inheritance and any other tax across-the-board. I'm sure such a bill could easily be written within the 2000-page scope that has become fashionable since January of 2009. Then we can avert a budget crisis and consider omnibus goverment spending reform without fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Posted by: johngalt at July 13, 2011 9:15 PM

July 11, 2011

Yeah, This Is Going to Work...

Boulder is going to start its own environmentally friendly utility:

The prospect of Boulder turning out a major, investor-owned utility and creating a municipal operation is being watched across the country.

"If a large community like Boulder can do it, it sets an example for everyone," said Ursula Schryver, a vice president at the American Public Power Association, which represents the country's 2,000 municipal electric utilities.


This is not a joke, or at least a good enough one to fool The Denver Post

Posted by John Kranz at 6:34 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

I think the phrase I am looking for is "What could possibly go wrong?"

Posted by: jk at July 11, 2011 7:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

In an effort to keep Boulder's business Xcel has proposed building an extra 200 megawatts of wind power capacity to generate "renewable-energy credits" for Boulder. "Boulder would, however, be liable for costs associated with wind power - adding, by Xcel estimates, up to $4 a month, or 7 percent, to residential bills."

That sounds like a bargain. Why don't they take it? Longmont [Colorado's] municipal owned utility charges about 30% more per kwh for wind power than for coal generated watts.

Posted by: johngalt at July 12, 2011 1:42 AM

June 23, 2011

O No!

I live a handful of miles from "The World's Largest Liquor Store" and have been known to pop in once or twice for some uncoerced free trade. But they might be taking their Murray Rothbard too seriously over there.

The brothers who run the world's largest liquor store - Daveco Liquors - face racketeering and theft charges after authorities say they cheated Colorado and the City of Thornton out of hundreds of thousands of tax dollars.

In a 52-count indictment issued late Wednesday, prosecutors allege that the Sawaged brothers faked merchandise returns for millions of dollars worth of booze that never existed, allowing them to avoid paying sales taxes they actually owed.


No word whether the Bastiat "taxation is theft" defense will be employed.

On a serious note, these seem like very good people, well liked by a courteous staff. This is a shock.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:55 PM | Comments (6)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Bummer. A store with great selection. This will undoubtedly put them OOB.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at June 23, 2011 4:48 PM
But jk thinks:

I know it sounds naive to say that I am shocked. But in my years playing clubs, you can tell if the owner is a basically decent cat, crook or cokehead ten minutes after you walk in.

There was a general decency at Daveco that I would have sworn indicated honest leadership. Well, I guess President Bush muffed on Putin as well...

Posted by: jk at June 23, 2011 5:07 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Actually "taxation is theft" was Ayn Rand, but Bastiat had the general view that government cannot legitimately do anything your neighbors can't legitimately do as individuals.

Neither of them was an anarchist, but those two thoughts are the essence.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at June 24, 2011 8:47 AM
But johngalt thinks:

What a relief! When I heard on the radio they were accused of "racketeering" I thought there was criminal behavior alleged. Instead they're merely suspected of cheating on their taxes. Look where that got Timmy Geithner!

Posted by: johngalt at June 25, 2011 9:22 PM
But jk thinks:

Sliding scale jg: Sec. Geithner on one side, Al Capone on the other...

Posted by: jk at June 26, 2011 10:48 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Point taken vis-a-vis disparate treatment for the same act, but I haven't seen anything that puts the Booze Brothers in the same class as Capone, i.e. criminal gangster?

Posted by: johngalt at June 27, 2011 3:00 PM

June 16, 2011

All Hail Taranto

Not bad, James. Not bad:

Posted by John Kranz at 4:04 PM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2011

Only In Boulder

Said with pride in the Progressive Paradise, and frequently abbreviated to "OIB," Only In Boulder takes on a creepy, Orwellian cast when one begins to seek liberty.

But, I'll use it in the fun sense and, as Righthaven licks wounds from a big loss, I'll be so bold as to excerpt three paragraphs from the Denver Post:

Boulder police arrested a woman on an outstanding warrant after she was accused of chucking her pita sandwich at a cab driver in a fit of anger.

Sarah Renee Lane, 28, was arrested early Sunday near 11th and Pearl streets because she had an active warrant for failing to appear in court on a dog-at-large ticket, police said.

She brought attention to herself when she threw her food at the cab driver, splattering tzatziki sauce on his face and in his beard and making a mess of his cab, according to a police report. Witnesses told police she was angry that he wouldn't allow her to have food in his cab. The cab driver opted against filing charges against Lane.


When tzatziki sauce is outlawed...

Posted by John Kranz at 11:47 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

"Gyros don't splatter people, people splatter people!"

Posted by: johngalt at June 15, 2011 2:41 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Wasting organic produce is a serious crime in the PRB (People's Republic of Boulder), which is why they solved it so quickly.

Now if they'd just put that kind of effort into the Jon Benet case...

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at June 15, 2011 3:32 PM

April 6, 2011

Colorado Dems Choose Unions over Schools

When news of a 2011-12 budget compromise between Colorado's Republican House and Democrat Senate was announced this week the big story was that cuts to state funding of K-12 education would be $82 million less than our Democrat Governor had recommended - $250 million instead of $332 million. Despite this change and that Democrats are largely in control, the house majority leader's insistence on some relief from last year's new $60 million per year tax on local businesses earned him the blame of at least one house Democrat, Pueblo's Sal Pace:

"I think it's disappointing that a greater reduction in cuts to K-12 didn't materialize, and it could have if the speaker didn’t insist on corporate special-interest tax cuts," Pace told members of his party during a caucus meeting immediately after the budget compromise was announced. "We could have minimized the cut to schools to around $200 million if (McNulty) wasn’t protecting his (campaign) donors."

But Pace and his fellow Democrats had an opportunity to save far more than $40 million in cuts to schools by agreeing to another Republican proposal that was scuttled:

McNulty also pressed to allow local government agencies like school districts to raise the employee contribution rates to the Public Employees' Retirement Association.

In the end, McNulty got it all, except the local PERA hike.

No figures were given for what kind of savings could have resulted but PERA costs are counted in billions, not millions of dollars. So the Democrats had a choice to cut funding to schools or ask unionized teachers and state employees to pay a slightly larger share of their own retirement costs. Judging by which way they went it is clear that McNulty isn't the only one who can be accused of "protecting his (campaign) donors."

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:05 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

We need a Captain Renault category, for when we are "shocked, shocked..."

Posted by: jk at April 6, 2011 6:33 PM

March 28, 2011

Doing for Arizona what he did for Colorado

I was worried that Rep. Tom Tancredo (Convenient -White) would be bored after ruining the Colorado Gubernatorial race, but he's got a job:

Former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., an anti-illegal-immigration border hawk, dismissed Flake's conversion as "a load of baloney." In a Friday e-mail to supporters, Tancredo declared that defeating Flake will be a top priority of his Team America political-action committee.

Flake is finding his inner hawk as he prepares for a Senate race in 2012. I will withhold judgment until I see how far he "clarifies."

But anybody who ever thought that Tancredo would ever put liberty or limited government ahead of eradicating Mexicans needs to accept that it's "a top priority" to defeat the longest and most dedicated opponent of government spending and intrusion we've ever had.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:18 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

correction - "defeat" the longest and most dedicated ...

Posted by: johngalt at March 28, 2011 7:47 PM
But jk thinks:

Yeah! What he said! (since corrected, thanks.)

Posted by: jk at March 28, 2011 7:51 PM

The Pernicious Influence of Small Beer

Righthaven has had a bad month, and I am going to risk a three paragraph excerpt from The Denver Post:

The extraordinary influence wielded by the craft brewers was made clear in hundreds of documents obtained by The Denver Post detailing e-mail exchanges among Hickenlooper's staff, craft brewers, the Department of Revenue and the Division of Liquor Enforcement.

The ultimate outcome was Hickenlooper's office directing Revenue officials in early March to nix a rule on alcohol-content testing that state regulators had been working on for months with the liquor industry.

The rule in question was the result of a law passed last year aimed at requiring the state to enforce existing laws prohibiting restaurants, bars and liquor stores from selling beer with less than 4 percent alcohol by volume or 3.2 percent by weight.


My blog brothers begged me not to vote for the Democrat, but I had no idea he was in the pocket of "Small Beer."

UPDATE: Segued only by the deracinated, ADD of my inbox, a friend sends this link to Space Ghost Coast to Coast.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:18 AM | Comments (1)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee is exonerated. Let that be a lesson to you.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at March 28, 2011 12:30 PM

March 26, 2011

"It's critical that we get it."

Fair warning: Reading this story made me want to throw up.

Since sometime in the '70s Boulder County, Colorado voters have been approving tax hikes on themselves (and their neighbors) for the purpose of buying farmland between cities and towns to prevent its development and create an "Open Space buffer." In my youth I thought this sounded like a good idea. Over the decades I saw Boulder County become the largest single landowner in the county and the price of land there go through the roof. Have you ever seen those bumper stickers that read "Colorado is full - go home?" They were printed in Boulder.

Not even close to admitting maybe they've done enough already, the Boulder County Open Space Department has negotiated a purchase of 756 additional acres west of Longmont for the "not a dime less" price of $30,000,000.00. Thursday night the rubber-stamp Open Space Advisory Board unanimously recommended that the purchase proceed. But what really makes me sick are some of the quotes.

Seven people spoke during the advisory committee's hearing on the proposal. All but one backed the purchase.

"I very strongly urge you to buy it," said former Boulder County Commissioner Paul Danish.

Danish, who's now a Longmont resident, said one of his few disappointments in nine years as a commissioner was that he didn't get a chance to vote on buying the property, which he said has both environmental and urban-shaping values.

Purchasing the AHI Property would continue longstanding municipal and county government efforts to use open space buffers as a way of keeping the county's cities and towns from growing together into urbanized blocks, Danish said.

Try re-reading that last sentence and replace the words "the county's cities and towns" with "municipal governments." They need to spend $30 million to keep themselves from doing something they don't want to do?

Or this from "Hygiene Road resident" Nancy Dayton.

"I would hate to see the city of Longmont ever annex across 75th Street" and allow development there. "It's critical that we get it" in county ownership said Dayton, a former county Parks and Open Space Department staffer who noted that had been the county's goal as well when she worked there.

Of the seven people who spoke at the advisory board hearing, at least two of them were former goverment functionaries who strongly support the Open Space mission. Open government at its finest. But at least they have a really, really good reason for spending $30 million of other people's money - because Nancy Dayton "would hate to see" it be otherwise.

And next week these same people will wring their hands over the lack of "affordable housing" in Boulder County.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:01 AM | Comments (8)
But jk thinks:

"Tyranny of the Majority" loses its scare as the plebiscite gets smaller. It gets easier both to influence and escape the vote. For this reason, we create State and Federal constitutions to ensure that minority rights are protected.

In an HOA, town, city, county, or family, a simple majority generally rules.

Perhaps it's not definitional libertarianism, but I was comparing an open space purchase approved by the city, county, or plebiscite to what I thought was your suggestion that municipal governments should create these buffers through zoning and regulation.

I paid extra for a condo on the golf course, and both our development and the Anthem development across Hwy 7 established large open space buffers, which are advertised toward prospective purchasers "47 miles of bike trails."

I know it gets me kicked out of the CATO party, but I remain unconvinced that communal purchase of land is necessarily wrong.

Posted by: jk at March 27, 2011 12:08 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Brother PE ... hellllllp!

Posted by: johngalt at March 27, 2011 2:23 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

While The Refugee is generally sympathetic to JK's arguements, he would suggest that open space, parks and bike trails are not as non-coercive as advertised. In many cases, the conditions placed by governments on developers severely restricts the developer's rights. They may be able to develop less than half of the property and are required to put the remainder in open space, parks, trails, etc. Of course, the cost merely gets transfered to the homeowners who pay higher prices as a result. But they don't have to buy.

An alternative model is Texas where nearly all land is private and has very few zoning restrictions. As a result, you may get a mansion surrounded by trailers. Almost all building restrictions are at the HOA level in planned communities.

The Refugee abhors HOAs and does not want some busy-body telling him what color to paint his house or determine if he can build another horse barn. We all have a right to live anywhere we want, but not under the conditions (or price) that we want. Choose your own location.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at March 28, 2011 12:15 PM
But jk thinks:

Nice tag. The Refugee is correct that the integrated open space amenities I spoke of are coerced and I withdraw that portion of my argument.

No one has refuted my principle point that the residents of Boulder Colorado are free to band together to perform bad economics.

Posted by: jk at March 28, 2011 12:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You are correct: Just as individuals are free to band together and move to New Hampshire with the intent of creating a free state, other individuals are free to band together in the formerly free town of Boulder and create a people's police state. Ain't democracy grand?

Posted by: johngalt at March 28, 2011 4:03 PM
But jk thinks:

Jonah Goldberg makes a brilliant defense of Federalism using the analogy of college dorm rooms. He suggests that having a party dorm and a study dorm as a better solution to forcing the partiers to go to bed at ten and studiers' enduring loud music until ten.

Boulder does what it does and we all leave. Democracy's not so bad.

Posted by: jk at March 28, 2011 4:33 PM

March 17, 2011

Who Sez There's No Good News?

My Colorado Legislators! Huzzah!

The Denver Post gets Headline of the Day for "Bill to put Colorado on permanent daylight saving time springs ahead."

Sen. Greg Brophy [Wray Republican] deliberately timed his bill to be heard this week when, he said, he knew people would be cranky about having to adjust their body clocks once again.

"Are you tired? Are your kids' schedules upset? Isn't it crazy we go through this twice a year?" he asked the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. "I think it's time to stop this charade."


Posted by John Kranz at 12:14 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

No word on pi...

Posted by: jk at March 17, 2011 12:26 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

... or household AC cycles...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 17, 2011 2:24 PM
But AlexC thinks:

We should just go to GMT the world over.
Call it done.

Posted by: AlexC at March 17, 2011 3:29 PM

February 28, 2011

jk Defends Some Public Sector Union Guys

Being a law-and-order libertarian means having no real friends. I certainly want to empower citizens to utilize the full extent of their rights. And I don't shy away from criticizing law enforcement when they go too far.

But on a scale of Reason readers, I bet I am close to the top of the list in support for one's hometown Police Department. Charlie Martin accuses the Denver PD of siding with union lawbreakers against, well, him and Michelle Malkin. He sends Professor Reynolds the following email. I have no other knowledge of the incident:

UPDATE: Charlie Martin emails: “You might recall that when Alex Jones and his mob was attacking Michelle Malkin -- and giving me a blind-side kidney shot as I protected her -- the Denver police were not interested in intervening in the slightest. I eventually got an apology from the DPD, but if Jones had the physical strength to match his mouth I’d have been peeing blood.”

I'll be the first to suggest that it is disconcerting to consider law enforcement's "taking sides" in a union vs. taxpayer contretemps. And I know not what Martin's apology admitted. But I suspect that in Martin's telling, the incident acquires overtones more political than they actually were. I suspect that there is good cause to be slow to escalate a disturbance in a large crowd.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:28 PM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2011

Silly Governor, Laws Don't Create Jobs

Yesterday I wrote about thousands of "clean energy" jobs that could be eliminated if Colorado's largest power company cuts its solar power subsidy in half (per installation). I suggested that those jobs probably wouldn't have existed without the subsidy, which distorted market signals to create economic activity for an economically unviable product.

Today our former Governor explains how these unsustainable jobs were created and still has the gall to suggest we do even more of it.

Building this new economy starts with understanding how clean energy legislation can create jobs. During my four-year term in Colorado, I signed 57 pieces of clean energy legislation. In 2007, for example, we doubled the proportion of energy in the state that is required to come from renewable sources to 20 percent by 2020. In 2010, we increased that to 30 percent for our biggest utility. As a result, Colorado now ranks fourth among the 50 states in its number of clean energy workers per capita, and 1,500 clean energy companies call our state home — an 18 percent increase since 2004. Wind- and solar-energy companies that have built factories and opened offices in Colorado have brought in thousands of new jobs.

But governor, have you not heard that the American economy is no longer robust enough to support elective boutique energy "just in case" environmental scientists might be partially correct? It's about as popular with voters right now as free pensions and sweetheart health insurance for unionized Wisconsin teachers. Feel-good energy layoffs are happening now in the U.S. European plants are closing now. Why not just wait until the science and technology is sufficient for sustainable energy to be sustainable? It will save a lot of wasted money and effort building new plants and then closing them.

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:35 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

The answer to your most excellent yet rhetorical question is a review corner.

I'm a crazy mad fan of Virginia Postrel. I bought her "Substance and Style" for everyone who has ever worked for me since it came out. Yet, somehow I had missed her "The Future and its Enemies." With the title props to Dr. Popper, and my appreciation for the author, I cannot believe I let 12 years go by.

I got a hardcover as a freebie for a Reason donation (yes, and the T-shirt in the coffeehouse vid). I had left the Kindle® in the car yesterday and decided to read a real book.

Merciful Zeus! Just a couple chapters in, but she resurrects the famed "Baptists and Bootleggers" theory to bifurcate stasists and dynamists. The enviros want us living in caves so we don't spill a drop of oil, the Buchananite conservative wing wants us living in a tiny village so nobody can be divorced or gay, and the VP Gores of the world want to control every facet of life for everybody.

What Hayek calls the "Party of Life" and she "Dynamists" are thusly badly outnumbered.

She wrote it in 1998 with the full promise of the Internet in front of us. But if she had waited for the "Green Energy Economy," she would have a perfect example. With apologies to Swift and Toole, the dunces are truly arrayed in confederacy against us.


Posted by: jk at February 28, 2011 11:12 AM

February 26, 2011

"Sustainable" Energy Unsustainable

Live by the subsidy - die by the subsidy.

More than 200 supporters of solar energy rallied on the west steps of the state Capitol this afternoon to protest Xcel Energy's decision to cut incentives for solar system installations.

Had this been a "Teabaggers" rally the narrative would have been "Nearly 200 opponents of the Obama Administration rallied ..." But I digress.

"It has created a lot of fear in the industry. My job is on the line," said Gary Gantzer, a Boulder resident and installer for Namaste Solar who was at the rally with his two young children.

About 5,300 people work in the solar installation industry, and insiders estimate half those jobs could be at risk if the Public Utilities Commission lets the proposal stand.

So what you're saying is, those jobs might never have existed in the first place had those subsidies not been given. Given by whom, you may ask. Ratepayers.

A 2 percent charge on utility bills supports the program and other efforts to promote renewable energy development.

How much subsidy, you may ask.

Since 2006, the program has provided $274 million in incentives for 9,346 installations on homes and small businesses.

9,346 incentives over a 5-year period is about 1,870 subsidies per year. And the average cost of each subsidy: $29,317.

Just for fun - Number of years the average solar subsidy could pay the electric bill of an average American home? 306 (and 5 months.)

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:25 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

Mike Rosen took on this subject in his third hour today. His first impression was the same as mine - Subsidies created those jobs in the first place!

He also did a good job exposing how this is average rate payers helping solar proponents put expensive power systems on their homes at little or no cost to themselves.

And many callers defended the program on the basis that "fossil fuels have huge subsidies too." Yet not a single one of them could give an example of said subsidies. To paraphrase multiple callers - "I just read that they're there, and they're numerous, and they're huge." (No word whether it was from an authoritaritive source, like the internets.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 28, 2011 3:00 PM
But JC thinks:

Here is an example of subsidies.
Please comment to let me know if this resource is acceptable to you.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/servicerpt/subsidy2/pdf/execsum.pdf

Posted by: JC at March 4, 2011 1:35 PM
But JC thinks:

"Just for fun - Number of years the average solar subsidy could pay the electric bill of an average American home? ...306 [years] (and 5 months.)"

Just for MORE fun:
Estimated number of people on the planet = 6.9 billion
http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/popclockworld.html

Estimated global subsidies for oil in 2008 = 312 billion
http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2010/11/23/global-fossil-fuel-and-renewable-subsidies/

Estimated U.S. Energy Subsidies (tax expenditures (TE)) = 6.74 billion (subtracting TE subsidies for ALL renewables)
http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/servicerpt/subsidy2/pdf/execsum.pdf
Hold that thought - this is for U.S. subsidies alone

How many years could these U.S. subsidies power a single, average American home if every person on the planet had an average American home? Well? How many?

Thought experiment: What kind of impact would there be on global energy markets if every person on the planet had an "average American home"? (frightening)

Subsidizing Big Oil:
http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/vehicle_impacts/cars_pickups_and_suvs/subsidizing-big-oil.html

Posted by: JC at March 5, 2011 10:22 AM
But jk thinks:

You asked if the DOE site was an acceptable source. To be fair, I was still thinking about it -- I place moderate faith in gub'mint statistics and the DOE is toward the bottom.

Then you link to far more partisan sources.

We don't agree on much around here, but I suspect all ThreeSourcers would agree that neither oil, ethanol, nor unicorn farts should be subsidized. Let them all compete in the free market.

However, what many opponents call subsidies are simply standard features in the tax code. I'd love to clean up the tax code, but in the meantime, the only way a large company can exist in the US is to take advantage of all the loopholes.

GE and Whirlpool use these to pay pretty much zero taxes, but because they're making Energy Star appliances -- and grease the right palms -- they get less flack than the big bad oil companies.

Real subsidies need to go bye-bye, no arguments 'round here. But do you think they just happened last week? You want to subsidize "green" energy? In decades, that will be what's keeping us from transitioning to something better.

Posted by: jk at March 5, 2011 11:09 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Thank you for bringing the debate here from Facebook JC. When my online time is limited it will go to this page before any other.

If you have a point to make other than villification of American prosperity then you'll have to spell it out for me. That's a lot of info there.

But I think you may have mistaken the fun I poked at callers having no clue how government subsidizes oil for my personal approval of said subsidies, or denial that they exist. I want them ALL killed. All corporate welfare, whether for conventional, productive energy or for alternative, wishful energy companies - zeroed. We can argue about research later but I think we should agree on the corporate subsidy point. (Caveat: Namaste Solar and other small, local businesses fall under the heading of "corporation.")

It took until recently for me to realize it but when a Republican politician says he is for "all of the above" on energy policy he isn't just saying he is pro-drilling. Unless he says otherwise you must assume he is "pro-subsidy" for "all of the above." And if this can be verified, OFF WITH HIS HEAD! (Electorally, of course.)

Posted by: johngalt at March 5, 2011 11:23 AM

February 8, 2011

I'd've Tried the Black Eyed Peas Halftime Show...

"Only in Boulder" the denizens assert with great pride. As you start to question the collective municipal wisdom, the phrase takes a different meaning -- but I digress.

Unwelcome bear on Boulder hospital property chased off with country music

Maybe it was the country-western music or maybe it was just too loud to sleep. Either way, Colorado Division of Wildlife officials succeeded over the weekend in shooing away a hibernating bear after it was found holed up under a residence on Boulder Community Hospital property.


This facility used to be devoted to outpatient rehab, and I know it well from the lovely bride's 10 week stay. It is right at the edge where the town ends and the mountains begin. Not too suprising that a bear would be there.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:43 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Sheehan... Churchill... The names in this story are evocative.

I laughed at the suggestion that some other kind of music "might not have worked as a deterrent." Jeez man, if they played country-western music that loud in northwest Boulder I'm surprised they didn't turn out a few hibernating hippies too!

Posted by: johngalt at February 8, 2011 3:25 PM

February 7, 2011

Forsberg Watch

For those who've not yet heard, former Avalanche great Peter Forsberg (age 37) has re-signed with the team ($1M) for the remainder of the season. The team's next game is 7:30 pm tonight in Phoenix (Altitude 2). But he can't play until he gets an immigration work visa. Unless a miracle is pulled off today it looks like his first start will be Wednesday in Minneapolis.

Posted by JohnGalt at 5:34 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Yeah, ALL Colorado ThreeSourcers owe me an apology. Immigration troubles, indeed.

Posted by: jk at February 7, 2011 6:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You are welcome for that batting-practice fastball.

Posted by: johngalt at February 7, 2011 6:49 PM

February 3, 2011

MONORAIL!

Lest you think the President is the only guy who wants us all ridin' trains, The Denver Post reports:

The Metro Mayors Caucus is pushing for an election this year to double the current 0.4 percent FasTracks sales tax so the financially troubled transit project can be completed by the end of this decade.

The caucus, which represents about 40 mayors in metro Denver, coalesced around the 0.4 percentage-point increase after hearing poll results Wednesday that suggest area voters would pay a higher tax if they are convinced it will deliver FasTracks as promised by the Regional Transportation District seven years ago.


MONORAIL!......MONORAIL! ..."But Main Street's still all cracked and broken!"..."Sorry, Mom, the Mayors have spoken!"

Posted by John Kranz at 3:49 PM | Comments (4)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Point of curiosity - is there actually any public mass transit system which is self-supporting on the basis of fares collected and advertising space sold anywhere in America (not counting within the borders of theme parks)? I don't begrudge the existence of monorails, city busses, and subways if they're self supporting, but if I'm underwriting a portion of somebody else's ride to work, I have a problem with that.

Amtrak delenda est!

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 3, 2011 5:06 PM
But jk thinks:

I always guessed that the NYC subways might come close to break-even, but I could be worshipping government again. Maybe you're right.

I doubt it's destined for success in Colorado, though. We combine your SoCal love of cars with a fierce, Western independent streak.

Posted by: jk at February 3, 2011 5:45 PM
But AlexC thinks:

There is not a public mass transit system anywhere in the world that supports itself.

When those "robber barons" ran the railroads, they subsidized their passenger service based on freight traffic. Even so, with the advent of cars and airlines, passenger revenue fell even lower.

Because the government was involved, railroad were not permitted to cancel service or close certain routes (passenger or freight) to cut costs.

Which led to a raft of bankruptcies in the 50s and 60s.

... and now we have Amtrak with loses billions, while the major railroads make millions hauling more freight than ever.... unburdened with passenger service.

What a country.

Posted by: AlexC at February 5, 2011 2:25 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

The subway system here?! Surely you jest?

All right. New York's Metro Transit Authority cannot sustain itself at any level, whether you're talking about within in a single borough, the city proper, or any of the counties it serves. Both NYC and Albany give much Albany gives. Vanished into thin air was the supposed $833 million surplus of several years ago, after fares were hiked from $1.50 to $2 per ride. They're now $2.50, with big cuts in the discounts for multi-ride and monthly tickets. But hey, somebody's gotta pay for all the union workers' generous health care plans, and their ability to retire after 20 years. At the end of 2005, the MTA went on an illegal strike for three days, after they didn't get their demands for a guaranteed 8% pay increase every year for three years.

Here is a thorough take, and though it's several years old, it still holds true. This was my take, several months before the illegal strike. Nothing's changed, not just in the last several years, but in the last several decades. The subways grow slower and dirtier, and management doesn't care. I should consider myself that my train from Westchester merely gets delayed and/or rerouted because the controllers can't decide which track to use. If I were commuting in from Long Island, its line is perhaps the worst-managed railroad ever.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at February 6, 2011 10:53 PM

January 27, 2011

A Tight Weld

An extensive article in today's Denver Post profiled Weld County as the only county in Colorado without a dime of long-term debt. (Weld is home territory for JK, JohnGalt/Dagny and The Refugee). Whereas neighboring Boulder County has more than $564 million in debt and Denver has $8.7 billion, Weld provides its services without debt, without a sales tax or use tax and hasn't raised it's mill levy in more than 30 years.

Still, despite lower tax revenue, Weld was able to recently complete a $17 million jail expansion. "We put away $1 million here and then a million there over the years because we knew we had to expand the jail eventually," Kirkmeyer said. "We pay as we go."

It helps that the county gets help from oil and gas development. In 2009, when Weld got more than $20 million in oil and gas revenue, all of it was put in a contingency fund.

What a concept: save money for things you know you'll need and don't spend it just because you have it. It's perhaps worth noting that nearly every elected official in Weld County is a Republican.

The Refugee moved to Weld County from Boulder because of its strong property rights. He would like to propose a tagline: "Weld County: The Anti-Boulder." Kinda catchy.

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 2:37 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

It gets worse. When there was trouble ahead, the County cut spending, closing some offices on certain days, furloughing workers. Crazy.

Posted by: jk at January 27, 2011 3:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I knew that Weld County government was debt free but the article says that is still the case when all of the cities and school districts in Weld County are included. Nice.

I'll stipulate that the oil and gas severance tax revenue is a big reason that taxes are low and the budget is balanced. (Alaska anyone?) It sure is a shame that there's no oil or gas west of the Weld County line, though. For some reason there aren't many oil wells in Boulder County. And it would be so easy on all that open space!

Posted by: johngalt at January 27, 2011 3:24 PM
But johngalt thinks:

P.S. Commissioner Kirkmeyer is my neighbor.

Posted by: johngalt at January 27, 2011 3:25 PM
But Terri thinks:

Weld is also home to 3 of my dependents. (you can write off old horses, right?)

Posted by: Terri at January 27, 2011 3:38 PM

January 24, 2011

Sports Divas

Redskins fan and WaPo columnist Jason Woodmansee took Jay Cutler's NFC Championship performance yesterday as an opportunity to repeat his pleasure that the Redskins didn't make a trade to acquire the "jerk" Cutler. But that isn't the only thing he said. I think you'll get the gist by merely reading the title of his column: The assassination of the coward Jay Cutler by everyone. I've never been a professional athlete but I am an amateur and I have to agree with those who say they'd have to be chained to a bench to keep them out of a game of this magnitude. (I still recall Steve Yzerman trying to skate pre-game on a broken leg prior to a playoff game. "Yep, it's still broken." He didn't play. But he TRIED. He WANTED to.) Jay didn't seem to have the same feeling, or even much concern for his teammates still trying to go to the Super Bowl. Say it with me: "Super ... Bowl!" I'm with Woodmansee on one thing: I'm glad Cutler isn't a Bronco anymore either.

While we're on the subject of sports, some also consider the Denver Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony a diva. His contract expires after this season and he hasn't signed the multi-million dollar extension that the team has offered. Word is he's intent on signing with the Knicks who play near his supposed home town of Brooklyn. Let me be clear [guy thinks he's Barack Obama now] - I have no complaint about pro atheletes marketing their services to the highest bidder, or even to a favored bidder for whatever reason. And as a fan of the Nuggets I don't want to see any player on the team if he'd really rather be somewhere else. It would be nice if the Nuggs could get some compensation when he leaves but even if they don't, he's free to leave.

But there's another way to succeed in pro sports. In stark and refreshing contrast to the 'Melo situation is the developing long-term nucleus of the Colorado Rockies. Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and 5-tool outfielder Carlos Gonzales have both signed long term deals with the mid-market Rockies because they love the team, love the city, and want to lead by example to their teammates that there are values in sports higher than dollars - commitment and cameraderie. And these values lead to teamwork, which leads to - winning. They may not win a World Series as a result but they'll be competitive and they'll sell lots of tickets. (I know I'll be in the stands as much as I can.)

So Denver sports fans, take heart - We don't need 'Melo, we've got Tulo, Cargo and ... Tebow!

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:39 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

Opposing their rational self interest? WWARD?

[...]love the team, love the city, and want to lead by example to their teammates that there are values in sports higher than dollars

Posted by: jk at January 24, 2011 3:16 PM
But jk thinks:

But we do agree on young Cutler. I used to wonder whether his maturity would ever catch up with his (considerable) talent. Yesterday made it seem unlikely indeed.

Posted by: jk at January 24, 2011 3:19 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You don't think "winning" is in one's rational self-interest? I'm just saying there are more ways to profit than just dollars. If you press me I'll find a Rand quote proving that she agreed.

Posted by: johngalt at January 24, 2011 3:27 PM
But jk thinks:

I believe you can find a quote. But getting traded to the Yankees would not destroy a chance at winning. More importantly, I quoted your words because they did not mention any values that I would call individualistic.

Posted by: jk at January 24, 2011 3:41 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"More than three people never agreed on anything. Two is better, and one is best, for a job that one can do." -Professor Bernardo de la Paz in R.A. Heinlein's 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress'

Playing baseball is a job that one can't do. Even the great Babe Ruth couldn't win a game by himself. Sometimes it takes a team. Actively participating in the assembly of that team is a profoundly selfish act. Taking the teammates some stuffed suit gives you is the way of the Borg. [I knew there was a better metaphor than "machine cog" if I thought long enough.]

Posted by: johngalt at January 24, 2011 4:04 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Disappointed I didn't provoke any commentary related to the Tebow mention...

Posted by: johngalt at January 25, 2011 3:54 PM

January 22, 2011

The Blog Optimist Caves

It's all over. Hopeless.

The Denver Post (short excerpt used for illustration with attribution and link) calls this story the most commented and shared of the day.

Poor children who eat breakfast at school for free will have to pay 30 cents a meal for the last few months of this school year after Republicans on the legislature's Joint Budget Committee refused to provide additional funding for the growing program.

It was on teevee news this morning. A grandmother added the poignant political comment that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day." (When did I join the anti-breakfast party?)

NED forbid that parents could cough up $0.30 -- a buck and half a week -- to help the State provide the most important meal of the day. Where's the closest school? I was thinking the lovely bride and I would go enjoy a 60¢ repast. Hell, I'd even leave a nickel tip.

But the comments split up perfectly between the purview of the state versus starving, breakfastless kids on the other. That's an argument we're never going to win.

I'm going back to bed (after a delicious breakfast) all hope is lost.

UPDATE: Some FB comments:

@Mikhail this is the only meal some poor kids get all day. I can't believe you are so rude...its children we are talking about here...not like they can help if their parents are poor!!!!!

How awful...just in time for CSAP Season. Children should come to school satisfied and ready to learn...not on an empty stomach. This amazes me...and not in a good way.

God forbid we raise taxes on millionaires to relieve budget problems! Instead, let's cut programs for the needy! Can you say Bass Awkward? Sure you can its synonymous with Republican.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:06 AM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I don't get it. If breakfast is "the most important meal of the day," then why is it all these parents hate their children so much that they send 'em off to school without giving them one? That IS what parents are for, right?

And for all the mooching whiners who think that the public ought to be paying to provide breakfast to the children of deadbeat parents who won't feed their own flesh and blood: then drag your checkbook down to the nearest middle school, and write them a check. There's not a law on Earth preventing you from giving freely to the school of your choice.

Note to the parents of Alhambra: packing your brood off to school with a soda and a side order of Twinkies is not a nutritionally balanced breakfast, and I'm tired of picking up their leavings off my front lawn.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 22, 2011 5:37 PM
But jk thinks:

Actually, the idea of private donations was a third wing that opened up in the FB comments. I was thinking of donating and thinking about creating a web site where others could donate.

On the plus side, I love the Toquevillian solution to the problem and the demonstration that private charity really is an alternative to the gub'mint teat. But I don't know about the moral hazard.

I don't know how people in Colorado end up with kids that they cannot afford 30¢ to feed. No doubt that a few are sympathetic cases. A workmate of my wife's had her husband leave the country with another woman and all their money. She used public assistance temporarily to raise her three boys and get a two-year degree. Then she supported herself. If I believed 25% of the cases were like that...

What bugs me is the fungible nature of money. I don't want to buy breakfast so mom can afford another pack of smokes or dad another 40. Yet I don’t want to see a kid actually go hungry when six bucks a month could fix it.

Oh, ThreeSources Conscience – what should I do?

Posted by: jk at January 23, 2011 11:02 AM
But johngalt thinks:

And if I say kids won't go hungry in America even without their taxpayer breakfast I'm called a "Bass Ackward" Republican.

Church sponsored charity kitchens make it a point to never pass judgment on the souls who receive their charity. But when people go there for a meal they are conscious of the fact that they are accepting charity. Alternately, when your food stamps or state food debit card arrive in the mail it doesn't take long before the recipient considers it his "right" to receive it from "the man."

That's where we are with taxpayer breakfast - every kid has a "right" to a hot breakfast, even if his parents don't have time to prepare it.

Posted by: johngalt at January 23, 2011 11:16 AM

December 11, 2010

"Addicted to Foreign Coal"

That's the future rallying cry of back-to-the-cave types in China, Japan and Korea. And the source of that "evil" "foreign" coal? Colorado.

The New Elk Mine was opened in 1951 by CF&I Steel Co. to provide metallurgical coking coal for its blast furnace iron and steel production plant in Pueblo. In 1981, Wyoming Fuels purchased the facility and operated it until 1989. The coal preparation plant continued operating with coal from other nearby mines until 1996.

The mine will produce metallurgical coal that will primarily be exported to Asian countries, including Japan, Korea and China.

No mention anywhere of a government subsidy or incentive. Just buyers and sellers. How quaint.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:08 PM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2010

Denver Mayor's "I don't want to be Governor" Moment

(Or as my brother-in-law suggested, "I'm too sexy for this job.")

Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus.

I realize that all of you outta-staters must get pretty bored with the detailed coverage we've been giving the Colorado governor's race. I appreciate the effort it must take to have any interest whatsoever. But this time, this story, will be worth it - trust me. Not since candidate Obama was caught on tape telling a sympathetic audience that rural Pennysylvania voters "bitterly cling to their guns and religion" have I seen such a self-inflicted smoking gun of political idiocy. And to make it that much better, this time we have video.

For those who don't have time to watch at the moment (and because I'm such a sadistic bastard I want this Democrat's words repeated as many times as possible) here is the money quote:

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper: "I think a couple things, I mean, you know, the tragic death of Matthew Shepard occurred in Wyoming. Colorado and Wyoming are very similar. We have some of the same, you know, backwards thinking in the kind of rural Western areas you see in, you know, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico."

I can hear his poll numbers crashing in every non-metro precinct in the state. If ours was a 2-party race between fully supported candidates of the 2 major parties I'd be dancing a jig right now. Alas.

[Credit for transcribing the quote to NRO, linked through CompleteColorado.]

UPDATE: I thought the money quote needed more emphasis - MUCH more emphasis.

Posted by JohnGalt at 9:30 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

I saw that. Curious if that will come up in the debate tonight (TiVoing now).

Cui bono? Tancredo. I had decided to vote for Maes May have to bail out Hick after all.

Posted by: jk at October 22, 2010 10:29 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I thought of that. My original intro line was going to be "JK might have to vote Hickenlooper after all" but the last minute quip by my B-in-L was funnier.

This race is so insane it's hard to fault the reasoning for just about any vote. I'm just reverting to core principles: Won't vote for a statist; won't reward an insider hack hypocrite's highjacking of an election; this year's Republican nominee is a TPD - I'm votin' for him.

I feel even more strongly that way having watched tonight's debate. Maes ideas and policy goals are just head and shoulders above the other two guys from a free-market perspective.

Posted by: johngalt at October 22, 2010 11:22 PM
But jk thinks:

The debate was indeed disturbing. I'll agree on Maes's positions (mostly) but he and Rep. Tancredo sniped at each other like three year olds, making Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper look like an elder statesman. I agree with Maes that Tancredo should have honered the party process, but that's not very convincing in a debate. The three guys he had clapping for him was truly sad.

I went from disliking Tancredo to out and out fear. He is not stable enough to run our state.

Then, at the end, he provodes an eloquent assessment of the drug war.

Posted by: jk at October 23, 2010 10:54 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Friend. Pragmatist. I think you may want to start thinking about the bright side of "Governor Tancredo." [Maes- 5 points?!?!] I am. (His stance on the drug war seems like a very solid seed kernel.)

Posted by: johngalt at October 25, 2010 2:04 PM

October 20, 2010

Statism on the March in Colorado

JK recently wondered aloud why the job creation success in Texas doesn't constitute "Game, Set, Match for pro-growth policies" over the tax and spend statism models of Michigan, New York and California. The answer, of course, is that leftists don't want growth.

Today a radio ad tipped me to the existence of a website that explains the historical accomplishments of a Liberal Cabal in Colorado and warned of what they have in mind for the future. Not only do they oppose the tax limiting Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101, they plan to hike future taxes by $1.5 to over $5 billion in our state... anually. They call their three models, "Go Medium, Go Long, or Go California."

The impetus for the Colorado Reform Roundtable’s formation is the state’s mounting structural spending shortfall: in round numbers, Colorado government has about $1 billion more in permanent programs than it does in permanent revenues.

[Keep in mind that this is a recent phenomenon. See the graphs here, particularly state debt since 2000.]

From this sending off point, many of the left-leaning organizations that make up the Colorado Reform Roundtable contend that there is no way to balance the budget without significant tax increases. While many argue that the state should reduce spending to align its budgets, liberal advocacy groups scoff at the notion that spending cuts are the answer.

The fundamental belief that state government is starved forms the foundation for the formal tax hike plan that will likely emerge from the Colorado Reform Roundtable sometime in the months after the November 2010 election.

Now where have we heard this before?

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:44 PM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2010

Trouble in Green Paradise

Governor Ritter touted the benefits of the "new energy economy" as including not just new jobs, but clean jobs in clean energy. Alas, it seems that reality still exists. Fort Collins Coloradoan: Vestas Using Potentially Harmful Chemicals

A two-month investigation by the Coloradoan shows that a handful of employees working at the Vestas facility, 11140 Eastman Park Drive, have been injured by an epoxy resin used in the blade manufacturing process.

(...)

OSHA fined Vestas $1,500 and cited the company twice with eight separate violations for failure to train employees how to properly use respirators as well as a failure to complete incident report forms for injuries at the facility.

Vestas has had similar problems in Europe.

More than a year ago across the Atlantic, Vestas found itself in a similar situation. In June 2009, the Isle of Wight County Press newspaper in the U.K. reported that Vestas Blades Newport turbine factory, which has since closed, was fined almost $800,000 for health and safety violations pertaining to 13 employees who suffered dermatitis after exposure to epoxy resin between 2005 and 2007.
Posted by JohnGalt at 11:50 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Hahahahahhahahahahahaha! That's the greatest thing I ever read. If only some children had contracted cancer working 15 hour days, it would be truly perfect.

The only thing close is Penn & Teller's show on Recycling. Everybody is touting "all the great jobs" created. P&T go to a sorting facility and stand in waste deep trash crying "why oh why do we have to be Las Vegas entertainers when there are great jobs like this?"

Posted by: jk at October 18, 2010 12:12 PM

September 28, 2010

Thumbs up for Colorado's "Ugly Three"

That's the way I'm definitely leaning on Referendum 101 and Amendments 60 and 61 (the latter first mentioned at 3srcs here.) They've been slammed and slimed with voluminous advertising as "extreme" and as promoting "anarchy." They've been denounced by newspapers, state and local governments, and most politicians from both major parties for threatening to "bankrupt" Colorado and touch off a "voter approved recession." But jeez, they seem so tame when you look into the actual provisions.

» There is no “$1 billion reduction in state revenue.” The one-percentage-point reduction in the state income tax rate takes 10 years or more, is never more than 0.1 percent yearly, and occurs only in those years when income tax revenue grows more than 6 percent. If income tax revenue doesn't grow more than 6 percent, taxpayers won't get that 0.1 percent rate reduction. Reduction in state vehicle sales taxes is phased in gradually over four years. It totals well under 1 percent of total yearly state spending, now $19.6 billion.

And it goes on from there.

Now, in this "TEA Party election year" we should be able to count on Republicans to support limited government, right? Wrong. Colorado Union of Taxpayers:

“Many Coloradans are frustrated with the economy and the fee and tax increases by Governor Ritter and Legislators,” the letter said. “They are also suffering the consequences of earlier tax increases by Governor Owens’ administration. We share this frustration because we understand that in order to roll back and limit the scope of government in Colorado, we can count on neither Republicans nor Democrats.”

As I mentioned in a comment earlier today, if we can't get a Republican elected as governor then perhaps passage of these measures is even more vital. Like the man said, we must tie their hands or they will keep stealing.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:41 PM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2010

A "Right" to Loss Prevention

One of the bright spots of the recent Boulder, CO wildfire that destroyed 169 mountain homes in Four Mile Canyon is this story about loss prevention specialists responding like firemen to help save homes insured by the Chubb insurance company. The New Jersey based private insurer contracts with a Montana-based private company Wildfire Defense Systems to protect the homes of insureds. And Wildfire Defense Systems had negotiated an agreement with the Boulder Office of Emergency Management that stipulated their rights and responsibilities while working in the evacuation area. But, just hold on a doggone minnit...

Janice Wheeler, who lost her house on County Road 83 to the Fourmile Fire, likes the sound of Chubb's wildfire protection plan.

"I think it would be a very nice service to have," she said. "I would like to know that someone was specifically looking out for my house."

But Wheeler, an Allstate customer, wasn't entirely comfortable with the notion that people of higher means could buy additional protection for their homes when others couldn't.

"When you don't have that policy and someone else does, it sets up a have and have-nots kind of feeling," she said.

In America's entitlement culture you knew it was coming, didn't you? So which would you prefer, Janice? Outlaw such private fire suppression services or make them yet another government service offered to all residents "by right?" (Wait - don't answer that.)

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:23 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

This is Boulder County after all.

But it remains deeply disturbing that people prefer egalitarian privation to distributed prosperity. I whined seven years ago about the "Lexus Lanes:" even though it reduced congestion for all, we couldn't allow people to pay for express lanes. At least that one has a happy ending in Colorado.

Posted by: jk at September 22, 2010 2:49 PM
But johngalt thinks:

But there's a special irony in the private firemen situation: The fire protection specialists, or "Sparkies" I'll call them, are not provided by the insurer because the insureds paid more for their homeowners insurance; conversely, Chubb sends them to the rescue so that they can keep insurance premiums lower.

It's cheaper to pay the Sparkies, even quite handsomely, than to rebuild million-dollar homes that could have been saved from destruction with a bit of foresight, pre-planning and a well-placed garden hose.

P.S. Much of that foresight and pre-planning is available for free to those who choose to use them.

Posted by: johngalt at September 22, 2010 3:13 PM

September 21, 2010

End State Borrowing?

This may be the first mention of Colorado's three restraint-of-government ballot initiatives - Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101. Opponents (governments and pro-government groups) have dubbed them "the ugly three."

Is there enough anti-government spending sentiment in the current climate to pass any of these three tough measures? Do any other states have similar limits? Let the discourse begin.

Here's a pro-61 web ad:

There are some well written comments here.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:52 PM | Comments (0)

September 8, 2010

Democrat Betsy Markey - Triage Victim

Triage: –noun
1. the process of sorting victims, as of a battle or disaster, to determine Medical priority in order to increase the number of survivors.

This is the word chosen by the NYT to describe how the DCCC will choose to deploy its campaign funds across the country.

With the midterm campaign entering its final two months, Democrats acknowledged that several races could quickly move out of their reach, including re-election bids by Representatives Betsy Markey of Colorado, Tom Perriello of Virginia, Mary Jo Kilroy of Ohio and Frank Kratovil Jr. of Maryland, whose districts were among the 55 Democrats won from Republicans in the last two election cycles.

This Coloradoan story has claims by both Markey's campaign and the DCCC that the report is "not true" but also gives this explanation:

Colorado State University political scientist Kyle Saunders said the New York Times story could hurt Markey's fundraising among the Democrats' national donor base.

"In making these kinds of statements, the party committees are trying not to hurt any enthusiasm or momentum the campaign has in fundraising and voter mobilization; however, they do want to guide other outside and affiliated groups - without coordinating of course - as to their strategy," Saunders said. "There will be signals to these groups as to their thinking - and chief among those will be how the party and affiliated groups spend their money over the next two or three weeks."

Markey is running out of time before the narrative that she can't win becomes irreversible, he said.

If Congressperson Markey is to survive the disaster that has been the first half of the Obama Administration she'll have to swim from Fort Collins to Washington D.C. without any help from inside the beltway.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:41 PM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2010

Another Boulder Power Boondoggle

Perhaps you've heard about the "green" power initiative called "smart grid." According to Wikipedia, "A smart grid, is, in essence, an attempt to require consumers to change their behavior around variable electric rates or to pay vastly increased rates for the privilege of reliable electrical service during high-demand conditions." Well, who in their right mind wouldn't want THAT in their home?!

As it is often eager to do, the city of Boulder, Colorado wanted to be a pioneer in transforming the smart grid into reality so they colluded with utility company Xcel Energy to wire up 23,000 homes at a projected cost in the neighborhood of $20 million. Now that the experiment is over and the final price was $45 million Xcel says, "We would not do that again over the whole service area," But in bailing out on the added cost Boulder says, "There is not a clear consensus among the members of the Boulder City Council with regard to the value of SmartGridCity in its present state or the prudence of this investment."

What? Boulder City Council considering the "prudence" of "investing" residents' money based upon "value?" Pinch me!

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:20 PM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I've spotted the fallacy in your text. You have the phrase "... who in their right mind..." in a discussion of Boulder politics. That's like saying "... what thinking voter..." in a discussion of California politics. Sort of a sociological division by zero; logic fails, the fabric of the universe is rent asunder, Cthulhu awakens, and in the end, chaos.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at August 24, 2010 4:07 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Not exactly a fallacy, merely sarcasm. For anyone who jumps up and says, "OOOh, pick me, pick me" to have his behavior dictated by the capricious pricing schemes of do-gooder utility bureaucrats (who couldn't explain a BTU with both hands) is most certainly not in his right mind.

Posted by: johngalt at August 25, 2010 3:02 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm just glad I saw "couldn't explain a BTU with both hands" before I drank my coffee, Five stars for that'n.

Posted by: jk at August 25, 2010 3:13 PM

August 19, 2010

"Public" Utilities Malfeasance

Colorado's HB 1365, which I railed against last March, directed electric utility company Xcel Energy to "study" the economic benefits of converting existing coal-fired plants to use natural gas. But don't confuse them with any facts.

Xcel now says building brand new gas fired plants and tearing down the coal units would be cheaper still. How? Well, there are some tax benefits, but there's also a new 10-year contract with natural gas provider Andarko Petroleum.

It almost sounds as though it were a fixed-price contract, but one that long would be most unusual. Historically gas contracts run only a year, said Stutz.

Wouldn’t it be easier to make his case if the gas contract were made public? Perhaps, but he said the gas contract is proprietary information.

Hmmm. Proprietary information? Public utility?

But don't expect the Public Utilities Commission to look out for the public. Ron Binz, the chairman of the Colorado PUC, is an environmental activist.

Historically commissioners have not been involved in negotiating controversial legislation that they may end up implementing. A hands-off approach makes sense if you’re supposed to be a neutral arbiter. You rarely hear of judges at any level participating in legislation.

But Binz was quite active in the negotiations involving HB 1365 before it was introduced, as e-mails uncovered in a court proceeding revealed.

He’s also an advocate for climate-change legislation at the national level, and heads the climate task force of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

To quote Mythbusters' Jamie Hyneman, "Well THERE'S your PROBLEM!"

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:52 PM | Comments (0)

August 14, 2010

Go Colorado!

Stephen Moore brings some good news:

Add Colorado to the list of states that are saying to ObamaCare: not here, thank you.

Last week the state's Secretary of State certified that the Colorado Health Care Freedom Act had qualified for the November ballot. More than 130,000 Coloradoans signed petitions seeking to exempt themselves from major portions of federal health reform signed by President Obama in March.

Jon Caldara, the initiative's sponsor and president of the conservative Independence Institute, said the measure would make Colorado "a health care sanctuary state." If approved in November, citizens would be exempt from the mandate requiring them to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. They'll also be immune from government forcing them into a public or private health care plan against their will.


Posted by John Kranz at 4:57 PM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2010

Harsanyi Reports on "Strip it Down"

Our favorite columnist excerpts from an interview of the operator of "Denver's iconic topless bar" and we learn that she is, surprise, a conservative (OK, an economic conservative.)

BH: Books?

Matthews: I love to read. I have a Kindle, and I love it. We have a book club for the staff called Strip It Down. We meet once a week. It's a conservative reading group.

BH: Well. What do you read?

Matthews: Friedrich Hayek’s "The Fatal Conceit," "Super Freakonomics," the Federalist Papers. We talk about the prisoner's dilemma (a philosophical question about human behavior).

I couldn't resist linking this. It brings together three things we love at ThreeSources: David Harsanyi and free-market books.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:00 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Now there's a club I would join!

Maybe they'd tell me what the third thing is...

Posted by: jk at July 22, 2010 4:14 PM
But johngalt thinks:

If we want to join I think it'll cost us about 20 bucks per chapter. (Cash)

Posted by: johngalt at July 23, 2010 2:12 PM

July 7, 2010

Sanctuary to the extreme

We've seen news stories posted here to criticize police for excessive force in drug cases. Here's a news story that shows poorly on America's metropolitan District Attorneys, or at least the one in Jefferson County wherin Wheatridge, CO is located.

The Jefferson County DA's office said that neither Torres nor Cardona have been charged with anything at this point, even though Torres confessed to the crime. However, the homeowner, Wallace is facing twelve felony counts, including four counts of attempted first degree murder. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Four counts? Two bullets and two fleeing larcenists, I suppose. Attempted first-degree murder? Doesn't that require premeditation, and the absence of self-defense? And not even an illegal lane change ticket for the "immigrants?" Hey, what's that smell? Smells like ... sanctuary.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:10 PM | Comments (2)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Smells like someone in the DA's office is auditioning for a job in the US Department of Justice.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 7, 2010 4:02 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

God help me, I haven't been this incensed since the trespassers at that general counsel's home. Every cop and magistrate who contributed to this tragedy of justice should have a .45 shoved up their assholes, and the triggers pulled to the cheers of everyone who cherishes justice. The two thieves should be strung up by their wrists and turned into human piñatas for their victims.

Putting every last one of these criminals to death is guaranteed to save lives and property in the future.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 8, 2010 9:11 PM

One for the Ages

Last night the Colorado Rockies accomplished a feat not seen since 1901, when both the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers did it - they scored nine or more runs in the bottom of the ninth to rally for the most improbable of wins. (See all nine runs in 85 seconds here.) Catcher Miguel Olivo scored twice. Chris Ianetta and Seth Smith both hit 3-run home runs. Smith's came after lining out to first for the first out of the inning. Eight hits and a walk lead to nine runs, five of them charged against the Cardinals' closer.

I told dagny somewhere around the 7th, "This game isn't over. Those guys in the St. Louis dugout look like they're starting to relax but they'd better not." The score was 9-3 at the time. I won't claim to have predictive powers. I've just seen a lot of summer baseball at Coors Field.

A large fraction of the 32,922 in attendance, and likely of whatever television audience there was, never saw it. I don't feel so bad for the fair-weather Rockies fans though. The ones I really feel for are the Cardinals faithful, one time zone behind us, who went to bed thinking it was a win. Oops.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:52 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Oh man, that's nothing. There was this soccer game and a team was down 0-2 and they came back to tie!!!

Man, nobody has ever seen anything like that...

If I can tag along your sports post. Seriously, folks, the Tour de France has all the international cred and european pretension of the World Cup -- and it is honestly fun to watch.

Posted by: jk at July 7, 2010 3:22 PM
But HB thinks:

jk,

I am really getting concerned about your hatred of the World Cup. And please tell me you were not serious about the Tour de France.

Posted by: HB at July 7, 2010 11:21 PM
But jk thinks:

As "Deep Thoughts" would say, I think it goes back to the time a soccer player shot and killed my Dad. Maybe I should look into therapy.

About the Tour, however, no compromise. It is one of the great sporting events. I came out two years ago today.

But I would like to direct my friend HB to this post in which I claim:

I admitted that I enjoyed watching the Tour for the excitement of sport, the beauty of the French countryside, and the preternatural athleticism of the riders. This all holds. But I am going to add that Le Tour de France represents classical liberal economics and individualist values better than any other sport.


Posted by: jk at July 8, 2010 10:35 AM
But jk thinks:

And another ninth inning comeback for the Rocks.

Posted by: jk at July 8, 2010 10:37 AM

July 1, 2010

Western Conservative Summit 2010

Will ThreeSources give me expenses and per diem to cover this?

Truth be told, I'd shell out my own dough to hear Michele Bachmann.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:55 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

How much extra for no Rep. Tancredo?

The first time I saw Ms. Bachmann was on a YouTube my moonbat niece sent me. Bachman was on the floor of the house demanding the Ten Commandments and prayer time in public schools or such*. I replied "oh, she is clearly a nutjob."

That YouTube is gone (we've always been at war with Eurasia!) but I have not forgotten it. I have eyed her advances pretty warily since.

*I wish I could remember exactly what was said. I realize this is unfair. But I am not bashing religion here -- it was way over the top for a secular nation.

Posted by: jk at July 1, 2010 4:16 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

Michelle Bachman is an embarrassment to the Republican Party. I honestly have no idea how she was ever elected. Her seat always goes to Republicans, of course, but you'd think they would choose somebody capable to represent them. It is one of the richest areas in Minnesota - they have to have somebody better suited for governance than she.

Posted by: T. Greer at July 2, 2010 3:01 PM
But jk thinks:

At the risk of throwing a low blow, you boys did send Mister Franken to the Senate (corruption and theft are not allowed as a defense in such a "clean" State).

Posted by: jk at July 2, 2010 4:37 PM
But johngalt thinks:

If Rep. Bachmann has ever embarassed her party I haven't seen it. Every time I've heard her speak she's sounded reasonable and mainstream. Yes I know she's a Christian but who isn't, Republican OR Democrat?

I did some searching today for the YouTube video JK mentioned. I didn't find anything on the house floor but I found many left wing blogs villifying the bejeesus out of her. There was one video of her leading a prayer for repeal of Obamacare (as likely to work as any other impediment to bigger government) where she was calm and reasonable and some guy who, maybe it was his gathering she attended, started in with the whoopin' and hollerin' and hallalujah business. THAT guy was an embarassment - to humanity. Michele is still A-OK in my book. And I believe there is no God.

Posted by: johngalt at July 2, 2010 7:35 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm laughing, jg, as I went through the same process. I asked my niece if she still had the link. She found my reply and the link but the video was no longer available.

Trying to help (sweet girl) she sent me several of the ones you mention. Two minutes of Rep. Bachmann looking no stupider than your average Congressperson, wrapped in seething lefty "See!"

I don't expect you to take my word (I would not t'were our positions reversed) but it was bad enough that Mister Pragmatist called a rising GOP star a "nutjob" to a lefty.

Amusing, too, that the topic was religion in the public square, about which I am much more lenient than you. I wish I could see it again even if I could not share it.

Posted by: jk at July 3, 2010 10:42 AM

June 12, 2010

Norton on the attack

The Jane Norton campaign team has read the poll results on the wall and decided they need to do something dramatic.

"We can't wait for 2010 to stop Obama. (...) We need to repeal Obamacare, yank it out by the roots, and end all bailouts."

I agree, of course, but as I mentioned while blogging the Colorado GOP Assembly, Norton has previously said that it's not possible to repeal it, at least while president O is still in office.

"Well, realistically, I don't think you can repeal it, with the makeup we're seeing right now, and even if we were able to put in place conservatives in all the seats, you wouldn't be able to repeal it because of the President's veto power. There's two ways that you can approach it. One is not funding those 16,000 new IRS employees that it's going to take to implement and then police this. And then, also, insuring that each component of that 2,700 page bill is indeed constitutional."

But to be fair, she was for repeal before she dismissed it and then started campaigning on it again.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:07 AM | Comments (1)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

This could well be the catalyst for a new American Revolution. The GOP can't save us; they're admitting so right here!

It's going to take every American opposed to tyranny to refuse to obey this law. Only then will we have enough numbers to make it impossible to jail us all.

"We must all hang together..."

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at June 14, 2010 10:37 PM

June 11, 2010

Colorado Abortion Politics

Speaking of the Colorado GOP Assembly, the results are in on the 59 Platform Resolutions put to the 3300-odd delegates. I was interested to see the talies for the Resolutions I blogged about right afterward:

#30: It is resolved by Colorado Republicans that life begins at conception and is deserving of legal protection from conception until natural death.
79% YES, 21% NO

#31: It is resoved that Colorado Republicans support overturning Roe v. Wade.
78% YES, 22% NO

#32: It is resolved by Colorado Republicans that pregnancy, abortion, and birth control are personal private matters not subject to government regulation or interference.
74% YES, 26% NO

#33: It is resolved that Colorado Republicans oppose the use of public funds for destructive embryonic stem-cell research.
82% YES, 18% NO

#34: It is resolved that Colorado Republicans oppose the use of public funds for abortions.
94% YES, 6% NO

Conclusions:

While 4 of 5 Colorado Republican delegates support reversal of Roe v Wade, a similar majority believes that life begins at conception and is deserving of legal protection but not from the mother, whose pregnancy (or abortion or birth control) is none of the government's business.

What these delegates also denounced was public funding of abortions or stem cell research. Note the common thread - public ... funding ...

And finally, you can now tell all your Facebook friends that 3 out of 4 Colorado Republicans believe that abortion is a personal private matter not subject to government regulation or interference.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:01 PM | Comments (7)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Terri, you've pretty much hit the crux of the argument spot-on. First of all, we can all agree that murder is wrong. So, it comes down to when life begins. You believe that it begins at that moment of fertilization. Others believe that it begins with the first breath outside the womb. This is fundamentally a theological question (even for non-theists, I would argue), so who's theology should reign supreme?

In a secular society, I believe we need to take a non-theological approach. Because we define death as the absense of brainwaves, can we therefore define life as the presence of brainwaves? A fetus begins emitting brainwaves at about 12 weeks and the event is medically binary; they are present or not. Such a definition would allow abortion in cases of rape, incest, etc., and would give women a limited time "to choose." But, it would prohibit the beastly practice of partial-birth abortion.

Is this a compromise that would satisfy both sides, I wonder? Probably not - more likely to piss off both of them.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at June 11, 2010 4:55 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

It is a better compromise than we have now, and it has some logic behind it. I would accept this compromise, though it is not my preferred stopping point.* I doubt others would be so reasonable.


*I said this in an earlier argument (with JK!), but it works well enough to explain my reasoning here:

I would place my line at implantation -- blastocysts need not apply. The reason I support this line is twofold: 1.) For every implanted embryo, you have a dozen blastocysts that fail to implant. If the destruction of zygotes is equivalent to murder, then every Mother's body is a serial killer. 2) On a slightly related item, the majority of multiples seperate before implanting, making implantation a fair line for marking the creation of individual beings.
Posted by: T. Greer at June 11, 2010 11:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Personally, I'm with the 74%. (Never thought I'd ever get to say that.)

Posted by: johngalt at June 11, 2010 11:53 PM
But Terri thinks:

Actually I am for a woman's right to choose all the way up to the latest date of viability. (I realize this can be fuzzy)
I am against using public funds for any of it.

Posted by: Terri at June 12, 2010 9:07 AM
But jk thinks:

Put me down as a yes for "The BR compromise." And put me down as a yes for numbers 31, 32, 33, and 34. And, no, I don't see any contradiction.

I do have a pragmatic (natch) concern with the timeline. Bear with me as I was never a parent nor was biology my strong suit. But the BR plan -- while philosophically consistent -- provides a very short window between knowing you're pregnant (~8 weeks?), getting a medical evaluation, making an informed decision, scheduling surgery (12 week wait under ObamaCare). Is it realistic?

Posted by: jk at June 12, 2010 11:18 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I agree with BG (yep, brainwaves), and think the sensible, real world compromise that should be sought is at the half-way point of the pregnancy. 18 weeks should be plenty long enough to find out and decide.

Posted by: nanobrewer at June 13, 2010 10:35 PM

Buck Leapfrogs Norton

Shortly after the May 22 Colorado GOP Assembly JK commented that he didn't "see one position where Buck is clearly favorable." But Colorado voters in general seem to be more impressed with Ken's landslide victory at the state convention (where Norton chose not to participate.) In a recent Magellan Strategies poll via RealClearPolitics Buck now leads Norton by 10 points. Looking at where he's come from it is even more impressive.

norton-buck.jpg

As I suggested in my May 25 post, as more people get to know Ken they seem to like his message. Interestingly, the Buck and Norton lines cross almost exactly at the Assembly date.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:50 PM | Comments (12)
But jk thinks:

No.

I would drop it, but if you are volunteer blogging for the candidate, I suggest you get something more substantive than "his wife thinks he's really tough."

Salacious? Geraldo? I'm a self professed tea partier who's sick to death of the establishment Republicans. I’ve begged two of his supporters for two months to give me one thing. Yet I've heard no issue where he differs (I disagree with both on Immigration but maybe mean old Senator McCain will intimidate her into a guest worker program).

BR, I confer with your hunch, but in her favor she has held statewide office and the establishment GOP connections I decry will help her fund and staff a good campaign. I fear you've been away from Boulder too long if you think a GOP win is any kind of a gimme.

Posted by: jk at June 12, 2010 7:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Well, you did imply you were bored by the subject. If it doesn't mean anything to you that the business-as-usual establishment Republicans want Norton and a bunch of average Joes crawled over broken glass to support him at a convention one fine spring Saturday I'm not sure what kind of substantive difference you want. Buck wants a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Norton half-heartedly repeats TEA Party priorities. But I'll ask at the volunteer gathering on Monday and see if I can get you your "one thing."

And if you want me to rise to the bait on Maes you'll need to flesh out what you meant by "I don't hear anything" from us about him. I thought I'd made myself clear in covering Maes' Assembly performance, but maybe I was too objective. I really like the guy and think he'll be a stronger candidate vs. Hick than McInnis would.

Posted by: johngalt at June 13, 2010 1:34 AM
But jk thinks:

Certainly not bored, I might be coming off grouchy but the Geraldo comment stung a little...

We prize ideas around here and -- dare I use the term -- objective reason. I'll dial my grouchy knob down to four if you'll hear me out.

1. Nominating Buck is a risk. Norton has the money machine and experience to be, on paper, a more formidable candidate in the General.

2. Nothing wrong with backing a candidate who matches your principles more closely. Again I support this and am especially sympathetic at this time.

3. But when you take a risk, you have to know risk/reward. I have spelled out the risk. The reward has been pretty touchy-feely: Norton "seems" too establishment; my brother "thinks" Buck is the tea party candidate; Buck's wife "says" he will be more principled.

The highway dollars differential was good; Norton will always be tainted by support for Ref C & D (but she was part of the Owens Administration so I give her 3/4 of a pass); and a good whack at the sclerotic Colorado GOP has some value on general principle. But I am on both of their email lists and Twitter feeds and I have yet to see any empirical difference in their positions.

What are these people crawling over broken glass for?

Posted by: jk at June 13, 2010 11:13 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Put simply: An end to Republican politics as usual. If a candidate even SMELLS establishment, that's strike one. Dad thinks the candidate with less money actually has an advantage with voters this year. Hard to argue.

I read through Buck's website a bit more this morning. I don't think I've mentioned here that Buck claims to be "the only candidate for the U.S. Senate to sign the Americans for Tax Reform's Taxpayer Protection Pledge mean[ing] that I promise not to vote for tax increases as Colorado's U.S. Senator." If true (which I say only because I haven't looked it up myself yet) then that is a differentiator. How big depends on how big tax and spend are as issues for you. For me... BIG.

Ken believes strongly in HSAs as federal health policy. Jane mentions them too, along with a list of other good ideas, but concludes with a promise to "bring that same record of success to the Senate." But her record of success is incremental at best. Where's the passion? Ken talks about replacing employer sponsored health insurance with individually tax-deductable purchased policies. (Shouldn't health insurance receive the same favorable treatment as a home mortgage?)

I think the reason you haven't seen a great divide between the two Republicans is that they're both being careful not to hurt each other. Each contrasts his or herself with Bennet. Give them both credit for that. And if you're chief concern is electability, well, that's what the graph that prompted this post was all about.

Posted by: johngalt at June 13, 2010 2:16 PM
But JohnGalt thinks:

I've looked it up. Norton has signed too.

Posted by: JohnGalt at June 14, 2010 10:53 AM
But jk thinks:

Nope, you had me -- I'm all in!

Posted by: jk at June 14, 2010 3:57 PM

May 25, 2010

Fourth Strike for Jane Norton

Don Johnson at People's Press Collective writes that Tom Wiens decision to withdraw from the CO race for US Senate and endorse Ken Buck may be seen as a "third strike" against Norton.

On Saturday, Buck gained a lot of publicity and momentum at the GOP state assembly. Satuday night, Sarah Palin failed to endorse Norton as widely expected ... And today, Wiens drops out, forcing Norton to figure out how to stop Buck.

But he didn't mention Jane's fourth strike, namely that her chief campaign argument has now been dismantled by the latest PPP poll. Jane has been claiming that she is the best, or only, candidate to beat Michael Bennet in the general election. Trouble is, that's no longer the case. Either Bennet or Romanoff now lead either Norton or Buck by a few percentage points. (Summary courtesy of RealClearPolitics.com's May 19 page)

Colorado Senate - Buck vs. Bennet PPP (D) Bennet 45, Buck 39 -> Bennet +6

Colorado Senate - Norton vs. Bennet PPP (D) Norton 41, Bennet 44 -> Bennet +3

Colorado Senate - Norton vs. Romanoff PPP (D) Norton 41, Romanoff 43 -> Romanoff +2

Colorado Senate - Buck vs. Romanoff PPP (D) Buck 38, Romanoff 41 -> Romanoff +3

A look at the internals shows that Norton's personal favorability has been slipping, from 25/35 to 20/32 (favorable/unfavorable) but so has Buck's, from 21/17 to 19/24, and Romanoff's, from 45/15 to 31/26 and Bennet's, from 57/21 to 34/44. The biggest differences appear to be in the undecideds:

Bennet - 22%
Romanoff - 44%
Norton - 48%
Buck - 58%

As the only candidate with less than 50% name recognition (nearly 6 in 10 have no opinion of him!) Buck seems to have the greatest ability to make a move past the others (or, of course, fall further behind.) And then there's the factor of PPP being a Democrat polling firm.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:17 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

Strike Four suggests a historical anecdote: I was once jg's guest at a football game that was rather famous for being settled with a TD scored on fifth down.

RE: Norton v Buck, I still can't get into this one. I don't see one position where Buck is clearly favorable. He'll likely get my vote in a "throw the bums out" message, but I have yet to hear a compelling differentiation.

Posted by: jk at May 25, 2010 3:58 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Whose guest? I recall building a brick wall on my old Boulder house during that game. And ... it was played in Columbia.

Posted by: johngalt at May 25, 2010 7:37 PM
But jk thinks:

No, it was at Folsom Field. I rode my bike from Lafayette to your old house near campus. I broke my chain on the way back.

My recollection is that we did not notice. We cheered the Buffs late victory and read about the 5th down the next day.

It's seared into my memory, though I do not still have the hat. Was there a less famous CU fifth-down game? I fear another round of drug-legalization jokes will ensue.

Posted by: jk at May 26, 2010 9:53 AM
But jk thinks:

...and if that doesn't work, I'll do what I usually do when caught in hopeless prevarication and fantasy and say "I was being allegorical."

Posted by: jk at May 26, 2010 1:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

For your compelling differentiation I will generalize and say you should view a prospective Senator Jane Norton as a solid vote in the McCain Caucus. To whatever extent Senator Ken Buck tells the Arizona progressive, "No sir, I will vote my constituency instead" I say it's a good thing.

Posted by: johngalt at May 26, 2010 3:11 PM

May 23, 2010

Question 32

This is not your father's Republican Party!

I've made it well known around here that I consider the anti-abortion plank of the Republican Platform to be an electoral albatross. I know a vast majority of Republicans disagree with me, but now at least they're being asked the question. Among the 59 Resolutions which delegates were asked to vote on, sandwiched between #31: It is resoved that Colorado Republicans support overturning Roe v. Wade; and #33: It is resolved that Colorado Republicans oppose the use of public funds for destructive embryonic stem-cell research; was this gem:

32) It is resolved by Colorado Republicans that pregnancy, abortion, and birth control are personal private matters not subject to government regulation or interference.

Just ponder that for a minute. Republicans are being asked if Americans are actually capable of taking care of their own lives and decisions without assistance from a nanny-state government. What a concept.

At least one delegate was greatly offended. He fashioned a hand-written sign on a stick that read "VOTE NO ON 32!" and sat in his chair on the floor of the hall and waved it rhythmically. I let slip a wry grin.

But the greater significance of this question, to me, is that some Republican district somewhere in Colorado must have passed this resolution by majority vote for it to appear on the statewide resolution list. Glory be.

Posted by JohnGalt at 5:32 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

My previous precinct would have passed that easily. At the 2008 caucus, the rank and file was libertarian or very amenable to small government planks. The problem was an entrenched, establishment party leadership who saw it their right and duty to run things in a top-down manner.

I think the TEA parties have changed the expectations of the rank and file to throw off their Country Club Overlords. This might be the most significant and least discussed result of the movement.

Oh, and would not yes votes on 31, 32, and 33 be consistent?

Posted by: jk at May 24, 2010 10:49 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Upon reflection, we didn't vote on resolutions until the County Assembly. I can see Boulder County (where your former precinct is located) approving this. My goal in 2012 will be to get the Weld County Assembly to pass it too. (No fair for any of you to warn them. ;)

As for things being run top down, they've got to be run somehow. We followed Roberts Rules of Order and motions were always in order.

Finally, yes. It would be consistent to vote YES on all three resolutions, but including the two adjacent questions was not intended to expose any hypocrisy. I included them to impart the flavor of the environment, which also included resolutions that "life begins at conception and is deserving of legal protection from conception.." and "oppose the use of public funds for abortions" which were #30 and 33 respectively. Taken as a set, "One of these things is not like the others, One of these things just doesn't belong." (Apologies to Children's Television Workshop.)

Posted by: johngalt at May 26, 2010 3:33 PM

"Republicans put TEA Party Activist Dan Maes on Top of Their Primary Ballot

That's the way Fox News reported Colorado's GOP Convention vote today. I have the vote totals below and yes, Lynn Bartels did beat me to press with this one, but she only gives the share of the vote for each candidate, not the total votes. In my defense, I conserved my battery until the convention ended and powered up to look for wireless but it was pay to play and that is ten bucks that could be better spent on a Dan Maes campaign contribution.


The GOP state treasurer nomination goes to JJ Ament, with 2,788 votes to 690 for Ali Hasan. Hasan's 20% showing was below the 30% threshold to get him on the primary ballot.


The senate race was a little closer with Ken Buck's 2,701 votes surpassing Tidwell's 522, Greenheck's 56 and Barton's 35. Only Buck was voted onto the primary.


And then there was the governor's race. This one came down to the wire and the close finish was, I suspect, the reason it took nearly 2 hours to count and recount and verify and reverify the vote totals (after state party chair Dick Wadhams estimated 30 minutes.) Dan Maes drew 1,741 votes and party insider and long-time front runner Scott McInnis tallied 1,725. (YJ Mager received 21.) By a 16 vote margin the upstart "people's choice" candidate took the top position on the primary ballot. With 49% and 48% respectively, Maes and McInnis will face off in the primary election in August.

There is no picture of Scott McInnis because he and his family left before the voting ended to attend the wedding of Scott's eldest daughter in Estes Park. A campaign staffer made some cursory remarks to that effect.

In acknowledging his first-place finish Maes told the few of us remaining in the hall, "This is not about me. This is about you, the people, standing up and making yourselves heard. (...) We're just getting warmed up! (...) And to all of you Republicans in elective office out there, don't block me. This train is leaving the station and it's time to get on board. (...) The next step is to start sending in those contributions. It's time to start raising the money necessary to take this campaign to the next level." (Or something along those lines.)

UPDATE: Here's an interesting list of winners and losers from the Republican State Assembly

Winners

2. Dan Maes: Edging out the party establishment’s favorite Scott McInnis, even by the narrowest of margins, gives an added boost to his campaign. Having given a great speech and recorded a strong showing today, Maes knows he has a lot of ground to make up in fundraising. But he’s in the game at least until August.

3. Ken Buck: Once Jane Norton decided to skip the assembly and petition on, a Buck victory was a slam dunk. But the Weld County D.A. put on an impressive showing of 77 percent despite the undervotes and protest votes. Primary race? Game on.

4. Cory Gardner: Clearing the 4th CD Republican field with 60 percent is a big relief for Gardner, as the GOP unites strong in its best chance to take back a Colorado Congressional seat from the Democrats.

5. Tea Party / 9-12 Project: The growing influence and focused energy of these groups was on display in Loveland. Besides the medium-sized sea of red shirts for Dan Maes, how else do you explain Bob McConnell winning 45 percent to make the ballot in CD3 and Dean Madere finishing a respectable second in CD4? Fiscal conservatism is alive and well and ready to rear its head in Colorado.

6. Republican Party unity: I think this point may be lost on some, especially on the other side, who are wishing for the opposite to happen. But despite (or maybe because of) heated primary competition, there was less dissension and infighting evident than at any of the past three state assemblies.

Losers
1. Negative campaign tactics: Ali Hasan banked a lot of his success on attacks suggesting fellow treasurer candidate J.J. Ament is a “fiscal liberal.” The delegates — whom no one could describe as anything but right of center — weren’t buying. Meanwhile, non-participating gubernatorial candidate Joe Gschwendtner bombarded delegates with robo-calls before the Assembly urging them to vote against Dan Maes saying he can’t win, a strategy that appears to have backfired. (See #2)

2. Joe G: Gschwendtner’s campaign spokesman told Lynn Bartels earlier in the day: “After Dan doesn’t get his 30 percent, it will be McInnis and Gschwendtner.” Whoops. The late-entry campaign would have a steep enough hill to climb in a two-way race, but McInnis’ party establishment backing and Maes’ outstanding grassroots showing leave very little political oxygen.

4. Establishment backing: Many delegates this year seemed to be looking for candidates of integrity who have fire in the belly, candidates who send signals of running on principle rather than being handpicked by the powers that be. It’s certainly a reason Scott McInnis missed top line on the ballot, and it helps to explain why SD 16 candidate Tim Leonard was able to garner 70 percent support and avoid a primary with Mark Hurlbert.

UPDATE 2: Here's another local blogger's summary report.

Maes has won despite dismal fundraising and a few stumbles along the way. Putting some 70,000 miles on your car in less than 12 months while attending hundreds of political events can pay off. I think he comes off as being a bit smarter and more honest than McInnis, and he's willing to talk to both supporters and critics while McInnis is a glad hander who tries to avoid talking issues with supporters or, especially, the media and critics.
Posted by JohnGalt at 1:12 AM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

The TEA party has established itself as a force. I am still not certain it will be a force for good, but something had to be done.

Without it, Scott McInnis world have cruised to an easy nomination. I hate to harsh on the guy, but his picture is in the dictionary next to "establishment candidate." Bully for the TEA Party to give us a shot at Dan Maes.

PA-12 shattered my hopes for an überdevastating GOP sweep in November. And yet, perhaps better, primary results so far are increasing my hopes for a more supportable Republican Party going forward. In Congress, I have to be pragmatic, but statewide, I'd confess that I'd rather lose with Dan Maes than win with Scott McInnis.

Posted by: jk at May 23, 2010 11:07 AM
But jk thinks:

Again, thanks for your efforts and reporting.

I applaud all of you do this but I'm not sure how much my health permits. I can do the contribution thang and I did just hit Mister Maes's.

Posted by: jk at May 23, 2010 11:18 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Something tells me you'd find a way to mitigate health factors in order to cover the Miss USA pageant. ;)

Posted by: johngalt at May 23, 2010 6:09 PM
But jk thinks:

I try to be there when my readers need me, yes.

Posted by: jk at May 24, 2010 12:07 PM

May 21, 2010

CO-4 Midway/Final Report

At 4:15 pm MDT the speeches are over and the voting has begun. While waiting my turn I pulled out the laptop to write a few notes. Tom Lucero walked by and asked "are you just on the computer, playing around?" "I'm bloggin' man!" said I. So, ThreeSourcers, Tom Lucero says "Hi."

McInnis and Maes both received strong applause during their speeches but many more people rose from their seats for Dan than for Scott. Dan talked about his three point plan to take back Colorado: Reduce the size of government, cut taxes, and make real progress to stem illegal immigration. The details on immigration were to enforce existing Colorado law that is "much like the Arizona law," require all employers to use E-verify, and require unalterable photo-ID when appearing for social service aid.

Gotta runand vote!@

UPDATE- Just finished voting for Gardner for congress and Sue Sharkey for CU Regent. Now back to the report.

In case you were wondering, the gubernatorial and senate votes are tomorrow but those candidates spoke to our, and the other, congressional district assembly here at the Embassy Suites in Loveland.

Scott McInnis tried to sound tough. Tough on immigration. Tough in taking on Hickenlooper. Tough man, tough. His best line was his last: I can't wait to get to Denver and start the fight against Hickenlooper. Hey Hickenlooper, little buddy, I can't wait!

Low battery so I'm saving, just in case....

Jane Norton, who isn't even on the Convention ballot tomorrow (she's petitioning instead, hmm) and Ken Buck both spoke. Jane told us she is a pro-life, pro-business, pro-freedom, pro-2nd amendment, pro-10th amendment conservative. Polite applause. She said she's running for the senate because "Washington is broken" and she wants to go take it back. Polite applause. She even said she wants to repeal Obamacare. This is a flip-flop if memory serves, since she's said before that complete repeal is a bridge too far.

Here are the election results, as they're announced:
590 total votes (177 threshold to get on the primary ballot)

Gardner 359
Lucero 110
Madere 120

Sharkey 513
Barlean 76
write-in 1

Stunner!

I think I may have scooped Lynn Bartels with the speed of my reporting! :)

I wasn't terribly surprised that Lucero didn't make the 30% threshold to get on the primary ballot, but I don't think anyone expected Dean Madere to out poll Tom Lucero.

More later. Off to the barbeque.

UPDATE- I've renamed this post Midway/Final because the election results mark the end of the 4th CD Assembly. The next event we're attending is Dan Maes ice cream social this evening, then the State Convention tomorrow morning. I'm going to see if I can get Dan's thoughts on the recent PPP (Democratic) poll showing Hickenlooper and Ritter tied at 44% each. The poll didn't ask about Maes. After tomorrow, I predict they'll have to start.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:18 PM | Comments (0)

CO 4th CD Assembly Blogging

1:50 pm MDT: Sitting in the front row of the 4th CD Assembly in Loveland, CO wearing my Cory Gardner T-shirt. I'll try to post a few tidbits that may be of interest. So far:

Collected a Ken Buck T-shirt in exchange for my promise to wear it to the State Convention tomorrow. Huzzah!

Found a fellow Maes/Buck supporter who said "I'm a Republican but I'm for limited government and individual rights, which really makes me a liberal." He is against the drug war and prohibition of abortion. Sorry though, JK, he's also anti-illegal immigration.

Talked for about 10 minutes with Dan Maes. Asked him how I should respond to the next McInnis supporter who says Dan was pro-amnesty on the first version of his website. Dan said he has never said anything of the sort on his website or anywhere else. He told us he had lunch with Tom Tancredo to get the lowdown on the immigration issue and that Tom seemed to come away from that meeting with the sense that Dan isn't "tough enough" on immigration. That impression, after working through the grapevine, became "Dan's for Amnesty." Dan also told us a Post reporter asked him if he, himself, is hispanic. "Maes is a hispanic name" the reporter said. Well, Dan's eldest daughter with his first wife, whose father was from Chihuahua, Mexico, is part hispanic. Perhaps that's where that rumor started from. Dad and I were both very impressed with Dan. He looked me square in the eye. He also suggested asking McInnis supporters what Scott's articulated position is on ANY issue. That gibes with my sentiment. Scott is commitment-phobic.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:49 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

...and I would have attended the CO - 2nd District Assembly, but the other Republican has a cold.

Posted by: jk at May 21, 2010 4:41 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

Heh. Who does Tancredo think is 'tough enough' on immigration?

Posted by: T. Greer at May 21, 2010 5:31 PM
But jk thinks:

Thanks, tg, I was searching for the phrasing.

I know my buddies around here are angry that I see a little racism in the rush to enforce. One can be a principled defender of Law and order and national sovereignty and I accept that all ThreeSourcers are -- I just meet some people whom I am not sure fall into that camp...

I bring it up not to rub an old wound, but "Amnesty!" is the mirror image of "Racist!" Tancredoites hide behind it as quickly as La Mecha.

Posted by: jk at May 21, 2010 6:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I have to say I was a bit overwhelmed at the amount of cheering from the delegates (see story above) at every mention of the immigration issue. It definitely resonates, as favorability of the Arizona law indicates, but I hope Republicans don't make it their marquee issue in the governor's (or any other) race. As this post attests, at least Dan Maes won't.

Posted by: johngalt at May 21, 2010 8:58 PM
But jk thinks:

Thanks, jg, that is a big concern for me. We can disagree on a lot of issues (and candidates) but immigration is so emotional, a candidate can easily decide to make it a signature issue. Hey, they don't call it populism 'cause it lacks appeal.

I don't think for a moment that the Colorado GOP would support a liberal-on-immigration candidate in the near future. But I can see McInnis leading with it.

-- And great reporting, btw, we're going to have to hold a telethon to get you an extra battery.

Posted by: jk at May 22, 2010 11:50 AM

May 20, 2010

Political Dirty Tricks in CO Governor's Race

Earlier today I mentioned the Colorado governor's race in a comment to a post on nasty politics. I speculated that Johnny-come-lately Joe Gschwendtner, whose attacks on the impressive grass-roots candidacy of Dan Maes conspicuously fail to target Scott McInnis, is a stalking horse for the McInnis campaign. Now I can offer evidence that my amateur conspiracy theory is conspiracy fact.

Fellow state delegate Joe Harrington (whom I've never met) shared my suspicions and apparently investigated the phone number that the Gschwendtner calls are coming from (208 515 7472 in my case) and found that McInnis calls have come from the same number!

Here is Harrington's letter:

I have received several calls in the last few days from the Joe G campaign pushing negative information about Dan Maes. I went back and researched the phone number that this campaign is using to call all the State delegates and it is the same number as McInnis used in early March to call us about the caucuses. In talking to the Communications Director of the Gswhentner Campaign (Joe G) this morning he admitted that they didn't have a chance but were merely trying to knock Dan Maes out of getting the Assembly 30% threshold to be on the ballot in the primary.

At the same time information came out recently indicating that McInnis was pro-abortion rights during his term as Congressman (google Republicans for Choice McInnis to see more). It is apparent to me that this is a coordinated counterattack to try to deflect the heat from McInnis right before Assembly onto the Maes Campaign.

Whether you support McInnis or Maes this type of dirty politics should be exposed for what it is, and let the light of day in to show the truth to those of us who cared enough to give up our evenings and weekends to try to honestly assess who should lead our Party in November. Joe G isn't for real - he is a prop candidate set up to try to tear down Maes and that is all he is at this time.

I write this because I don't want any of us to allow negative campaign tactics and smear campaigns discourage us from voting on principle for who we think is right for our State in either the Governor's or Treasurers races as both of these races seem to have fallen into the gutter recently.

Please forward to other delegates that you may know who might want to see this.

Sincerely,

Joe Harrington

I've seen Dan Maes at Colorado TEA Parties. He's personally called me on the phone. He took a massive share of the March caucus support from the monied establishment candidate Scott McInnis - 46% to 52%. He is right on the issues and well qualified to lead our state back from the costly failures of the phoney "New Energy Economy" to a healthy reality of innovation, sensible regulation, and prosperity.

McInnis supporters strongest argument over the past months has been "only Scott can beat Hickenlooper in the general election." I had strong doubts on that count to begin with but the controversies that continue to accumulate around McInnis only weaken his position. In this anti-establishment climate I personally believe Dan is better positioned to beat the popular Denver democrat than is Scott. At this Saturday's Colorado Republican Convention this delegate will vote for, and campaign for, Dan Maes for Governor of Colorado.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:54 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Huzzah!

I have been very impressed with Maes (and simultaneous unwowed by the blinding charisma of Rep McInnis).

It seem that ThreeSources' Colorado division has been consumed with the Buck - Norton GOP Senate race. I lean toward Mister Buck for county solidarity and the enjoyment of seeing an establishment candidate get whacked, but still see no appreciable policy difference.

Maes, conversely, has struck me as a real TEA Party candidate. I wish you both the best at the convention!

Posted by: jk at May 20, 2010 5:15 PM

May 9, 2010

Otequay of the Ayday

Anyone remember my mention of the Senate Conservatives Fund? It was just before our little foray into drug legalization so I'll understand if you missed it. Here's part of Jim DeMint's endorsement of Weld County (CO) DA and GOP candidate for the US Senate Ken Buck:

"There are certainly other good Republicans in this race," said Senator DeMint, "but I believe Ken Buck is a conservative standout who will fight the establishment in both parties when he gets to Washington."

Music to my TEA Party ears.

"The purpose of the Senate Conservatives Fund is to help elect strong candidates who are overlooked by the Washington establishment," said Senator DeMint. "Ken Buck is one of those candidates, and I'm confident he will win if he gets his message out. My goal with this race is to partner with freedom-loving Americans in Colorado and across the country to help level playing field and give Ken Buck the support he needs to win the primary in August and defeat the Democrat in November. I am not trying to tell the people of Colorado how to vote; I am asking for their help because we need Ken Buck to save our country."
Posted by JohnGalt at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)

April 13, 2010

Colorado Primary Scramble

Heard a radio report today that Jane Norton now intends to petition onto the primary ballot instead of counting on 30% minimum support at the state GOP convention next month. ColoradoPols covers it here. She joins Tom Wiens as one of the candidates who doesn't energize the grassroots activists enough to waste a few weekend mornings supporting her (or him.) Apparently John McCain's PAC money can buy petition signatures more reliably than it can buy energetic supporters.

Related: Heard Dick Morris tell KOA Denver's Mike Rosen yesterday that "Jane Norton has to beat Bennet or Romanoff in November. It's imperative. Hopefully not very many Republicans will flake off and support a weaker candidate." Come on Dick. You'll just have to start helping Buck raise campaign cash after he's OUR nominee.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:30 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

I received a lengthy email from the Norton Campaign today, explaining their position. If Morris supports Norton, you've just made your most salient pitch for Buck!

Posted by: jk at April 13, 2010 5:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Blind squirrel, at your service...

Posted by: johngalt at April 13, 2010 11:18 PM

April 12, 2010

New Software Tax

Good thing this new sales tax on software doesn't have any onerous compliance costs:

Q: We have a customer that has a large presence in Boulder. We sold to a group in New Jersey, to be used in Poland, and paid for out of Chicago. But the Boulder facility may (they aren't sure) use the system with our software, but probably running on servers in New Jersey.

Colorado: If the software is sold for multiple points of use, the purchaser is liable to remit the tax, not the vendor. The purchaser should give the vendor a multiple points of use exemption certificate. Tax should be apportioned on the purchase price on the basis of the location of the users that are licensed to use the product at the time of purchase. If those locations are not know, the purchaser should use its best business judgment to identify the number of expected users in Colorado based on the facts as they exist at the time of the sale.

Boulder: A delivery or download address must be established to determine where taxation should occur. If it is not clear, Boulder would tax the use of the software here unless proof could be provided that a legally imposed tax was charged and paid somewhere else.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:55 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Sounds like the Boulder I was happy to move out of. 'Round nineteen eighty something I took out a building permit to convert my single car garage to a double. They charged me sales tax on my estimated materials figure and said, "You can tell your suppliers you've already paid the city tax." "What if I buy outside of Boulder?" I asked. "Then you'd be liable for that city's tax."

Great. Glad you're here to help.

Posted by: johngalt at April 13, 2010 2:34 PM

March 22, 2010

Colorado to Join ObamaCare Suit

Two great things about health care:

-- I am proud of the GOP
-- I am proud of my State:

DENVER (AP) — Colorado is joining at least nine other states in suing to block federal health care legislation.

Republican Attorney General John Suthers said Monday he will join the suit, despite the objections of Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter.

Suthers said the bill's requirement that most Americans buy health insurance or be subject to fines is an unconstitutional expansion of the federal government's powers. He says Congress has the right to control interstate commerce but can't force people to participate in commerce.

Suthers said his decision isn't politically motivated. Republican state lawmakers urged him to join the lawsuit earlier in the day but Suthers said he didn't meet with them to reach his decision.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:51 PM | Comments (2)
But Bilbe thinks:

Good story. True. I'm concerned about the GOP though: they need to proceed on several fronts: I believe most Americans would be horrified to realize that this changes the most basic agreement between the gov't & the governed; WHO NOW OWNS AND DIRECTS WHOM? So, education/clarification, probably through private ads. They need to broaden their views on potential cand's (who's that guy from FL? I think it's Marco Rubio? And Thune (or is it Thane?) So, Diversity & careful choice of the right cand @ the right time. 3rd: & have already shown signs of beginning to do: growing a set: knowing who & what they are & speaking the truth continually and clearly without rancor. So, know their ground & STAND UP for it. 4th (& final for now) better involvement by & coordination of Volunteers, who, aware of their danger too late (perhaps) are eagerly scrambling to find a way out of this affront to every man, woman, child and beast who ever died to keep us a free people.

Posted by: Bilbe at March 23, 2010 10:39 AM
But jk thinks:

Being an advocate of free speech, I leave one copy of the above comment -- it's moderately on-topic for blogspam.

I removed the duplicate and the link to a cellphone plan.

Posted by: jk at March 23, 2010 12:13 PM

March 18, 2010

Will She Even Bother to Run Again?

Despite what meager effort I and my family and those I emailed in CO-4 could make, today's fake CBO report gave Betsy Markey the cover she wanted to commit political suicide in this traditionally conservative district. I hope voters remember the "Markey Mistake" for a long, long time.

Markey's decision to vote in favor of the bill will almost certainly become a dominant issue for Republicans as they try to oust her in November. Markey in 2008 became the first Democrat in 36 years to win the 4th Congressional District seat, and national Republicans have made ousting her a top priority this year.

Two recent polls released by business groups opposed to the Democrats' health care bill showed a majority of district residents were against the bill.

Markey said her decision to support the bill was about policy, not politics.
"I'm not a career politician and I've said this before, this is not a stepping stone for another career. I'm not here as a place to retire," she said.

Ironically, I think she just did exactly that.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:15 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

She shoulda held out for the plane ride.

I've seen many TV commercials lately asking me to "call Betsy Markey and tell her to keep up the fight."

I think we lost, boys. I got overconfident less than one month ago. But today it feels very much over. Most have given up on stopping it and are choosing to revel in November's gains. Small damn comfort.

Posted by: jk at March 18, 2010 6:54 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I've been overconfident before. I don't know if my pessimism now is a reaction to that or just to the Markey disappointment. You do realize that if they pass Healthcare with this unsavory process there's no reason for them not to pass every other leftist wet-dream on their wish list too. Perhaps the spectre of that will be enough to stiffen the resolve of the less progressive Dems.

Laura Ingraham told Bill O'Reilly today that Bart Stupak told her for every vote Pelosi switches to a yes, his guys are switching a no. Sounds like Stupak might really be all in after all.

Might there be, dare I say it - Hope?

Posted by: johngalt at March 19, 2010 1:02 AM
But jk thinks:

My pessimism has the same source. Kucinich covers the left, Markey covers the middle, game over. I see that it is still a fight, but the bogus CBO score and the Speaker's calling for a vote portend bad things.

Posted by: jk at March 19, 2010 10:37 AM

March 17, 2010

Destroy America or Become a National Hero?

I just called my congressperson, U.S. Representative Betsy Markey of CO-4. Her website touts a report that she is one of the most centrist and independent members of congress. The House Switchboard number was busy so I called her office directly and got right through.

I asked if the congresswoman had decided how she intends to vote on the Health Care bill. Her staffer told me that she is waiting for a cost analysis by the CBO and has not yet made a decision. I said, "I am her constituent, residing near Fort Lupton, and I would like to encourage her to vote NO. I think if she votes yes then this won't be the United States of America any more and if she votes no she will become one of a handful of national heroes."

I was asked for my name and contact information, which I gave. (Not that they couldn't have guessed I'm a registered Republican anyway.)

Her D.C. office number is: 202.225.4676

UPDATE: 3/18 4:25pm MDT

The verdict is in: GUILTY

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:49 PM | Comments (0)

Colorado following California into Anti-Coal Stupidity

Watch out Pennysylvania, you're probably next. Yesterday Colorado's lame-duck governor announced a "Clean Air - Clean Jobs Act" that looks like it's on the fast track through the state legislature, having "bipartisan" sponsorship in both the house and the senate. The sponsoring GOP senator, in particular, draws my ire. It's been a while since I've felt the need to publish outside of the friendly confines of ThreeSources, but I wrote the editor of the Denver Post about it.

Re-thinking Josh Penry

Dear Editor,

Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry has been making a name for himself in conservative circles but it may be time to reconsider. The Post reported Tuesday that he co-sponsored Governor Ritter's new "Clean Air - Clean Jobs Act" that outlaws coal power in Colorado. Have we not learned from California's mistake? Electricity costs 40% more there, largely due to their coal ban. Why do it?

Penry isn’t quoted but reasons given include anticipation of federal regulations that could “lead to a 4 to 6 percent increase in rates.” That’s still 34% less than California. Xcel Energy and natural gas companies support the plan. The latter because coal always wins in a free-market; the former because they’ll get money for new plants and cover for raising rates. It’s like light bulb manufacturers encouraging the ban on cheap light bulbs.

And then there are coal’s higher carbon emissions. As Curtis Hubbard alluded last month on his Post blog, if the events of the past year haven’t convinced us that the whole ‘Climate Change’ issue was a fraud we have reason now to at least ask the question.

UPDATE - March 24, 2010:

Not long after my post I heard radio ads SUPPORTING this bill. They were paid for, if I'm not mistaken, by the Independent Petroleum Association of America, a natural gas lobbying group. [No, I just heard it again. It's America's Natural Gas Association.] Jackasses.

Fortunately, the coal guys are fighting back. Today I heard the first ad against the bill deriding the mad rush to pass the bill "and raise electricity costs for Colorado residents for decades to come." The ad was paid for by American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, a coal lobbying group.

Which to side with? The one that doesn't want to restrict the market - Coal.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:32 PM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2010

Caucus Nite!

In addition to Cory Gardner I'll be caucusing for Ken Buck tonight:

Whenever your caucus is, wherever you live ... GO. Find the grassroots candidates. Support them. Tell the McCain PAC money boys (and in Colorado's case, girls) to go home. The GOP primary is the only place you can make a real difference. By the time the general election rolls around it's just lesser-of-evils time. In Colorado, tonight's the night. 7 pm.

CO GOP caucus location info here: http://www.cologop.org/

UPDATE:

Caucus Report - There were 13 participants from our precinct who chose 4 delegates from 5 nominees. Yours truly was one of those selected (and the only one to be chosen unanimously, with 13 of 13 votes.) This is even more remarkable when you consider that one of the couples in attendance had expressed their strong preference for Jane Norton, since they know her personally. Even though I was unabashedly for her chief rival, Ken Buck, the both of them voted for me. I had chatted them up about the other races and the general condition of the country. I also volunteered to be precinct secretary and one of two precinct chairmen for the next go 'round. When given my chance at a mini campaign speech I said I'm not a member of any TEA Party or 9.12 groups but I attend the Tea Parties when they happen and that best describes my priorities. I said that I consider over taxation and regulation at the federal level to be the chief reason for the sad state of the economy these days. Charity should start at home and that sort of thing. In closing I joked that everyone should "vote for me because I WON'T buy your vote."

Our precinct/district results were:

Buck - 9/49
Norton - 4/20

McInnis - 7/42
Maes - 6/38

Gardner - 11/49
Lucero - 2/16
Brown - 0/9

Statewide results for Senate and Governor are here.

As of (Good Lord!) 1:15am MDT (last updated 11:25pm with 94% reporting) the numbers are:

Governor
McInnis - 15,213 (60%)
Maes - 9,952 (39.3%)

Senate
Buck - 9,324 (37.9%)
Norton - 9,295 (37.7%)
Wiens - 4,054 (16.5%)

Thoughts:

- If the rankings hold through the final count this is a major coup for the grassroots candidate Ken Buck over the much better funded Norton. I think he was just hoping for a good showing to get some credibility. An outright win is a bonus.

- Wiens spent a lot of ad money too, mostly hammering Norton for supporting the tax grab Referendum C. If he drops out none of his support will go to her.

- Buck's current margin of victory is 29 votes, of which two were my dad and me. It sure feels good to make a difference like that.

Good night. And, goodnight!

UPDATE II:
As of 10:30 AM 3/18, 99.69% reporting -

Governor
McInnis - 15,385 (59.1%)
Maes - 10,421 (40.1%)

Senate
Buck - 9,776 (38.2%)
Norton - 9,613 (37.5%)
Wiens - 4,223 (16.5%)

Buck's margin has grown - from 29 to 163.
Winner winner, chicken dinner!

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:04 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

Still not sure about Ken, I will keep an open mind. I definitely like the idea of Dan Maes over Scott McInnis.

This video is not compelling. The problem is...Lobbyists? Really? Fat cat bankers in Greenwich, CT? I just don't get it.

He tweets "Tonight, CO has the opportunity to stand against D.C. special interests. Please support my campaign at your..." Sounds like John Edwards! Gonna fight the drug companies for me!

Posted by: jk at March 16, 2010 7:23 PM
But jk thinks:

Headed to Legacy School in Frederick by any chance?

Posted by: jk at March 16, 2010 7:33 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You didn't like the improved fuel economy promise from his bumper stickers?

For Buck it's all about the national PAC money being funneled to Jane Norton. You can't blame the guy for feeling a little like Rodney Dangerfield: The NRSCC has reportedly reserved domain names for Norton's general election run already.

And no, it wasn't "fat cat" bankers, but "bailed out" bankers. When I hear that I think Lehman Brothers. I understand if you think he's just talking about arm-twisted TARP recipients. In the final analysis though, for me it's about the Republicans who brung us attempted amnesty, half-hearted SS reform, no adult supervision over spending and entitlements, Speaker Pelosi and President Obama versus the mad as hell types who reluctantly chose to take on the careerists and show Democrats what a REAL "party of NO" looks like.

And no, we weren't in Frederick but the other direction - Fort Lupton Middle School.

Posted by: johngalt at March 17, 2010 3:02 AM
But jk thinks:

Oh yeah, I love the message to the national GOP (cough losers! cough!) I was actually more surprised at Dan Maes's showing. I think the grassroots spoke loudly and clearly.

Ft. Morgan, huh? Big town! You probably went in early for sushi and stayed late to catch a show...

Posted by: jk at March 17, 2010 10:44 AM
But johngalt thinks:

You made the same mis-identification that my dad repeatedly makes. I have no idea why it's so easy to recognize Ft. Collins but Ft. Lupton is easily confused with Ft. Morgan. As for the civic charms of our nearby little burg, I've come to appreciate that what it lacks in size, demographics and amenities it makes up with history and friendliness.

Posted by: johngalt at March 17, 2010 12:31 PM
But jk thinks:

My best to your Dad. I make it <italics>repeatedly</italics> as well. No idea why. I go to Ft. Lupton for license plates and maybe drove through Ft. Morgan ten years ago.

Posted by: jk at March 17, 2010 7:23 PM

March 15, 2010

"I'm Going to Pick a Fight"

Those were the words of William Wallace [1:03] as he set out to meet representatives of English tyranny over Scotland. They're the same words I heard a GOP candidate for CO-4 say to a fellow debate attendee. She had asked him, "How long do you want to keep this job?" Cory's reply was, "I don't want to go to Washington to make friends, I'm going to pick a fight." There were only a few of us standing around him at the time so I don't believe it was a rehearsed line, but it sure made an impression on me: He's going to pick a fight with representatives of federal tyranny over America.

Cory was the only one of the four candidates not wearing cowboy boots so I joked with dagny, "Cross him off the list!" But by the end of the debate the other three had not won me over like Gardner did. I went to meet him afterwards and that's where the quote comes from. My question for him was whether he would have a problem having any of the other three candidates on his "team" to which he said, "Not at all." I had a better question for him this morning, which you can read about below the fold.

I intend to stand for election as a delegate for Cory at tomorrow's GOP caucus.

I called Cory this morning and he called me back. I asked him about his 2010 plan which, for spending reform, only says we need a balanced budget amendment. He said that the 2010 plan is a sort of bare bones summary. He essentially wants to push for a Colorado style TABOR law at the national level, which includes restraints on the growth of spending. He said that neither of these things is required in order to roll back spending. I said, "You're right, if congress wanted to cut spending they could. But what are you going to say when your colleagues say 'You're asking me to vote against something that's popular in my district - what are you going to vote against that's popular in yours?'" He said he's recently gone to the well of the Colorado legislature and proposed a cut in spending by the agriculture department, and that this is a big deal for a representative from a rural district. I agreed and asked if that sentiment would extend to the federal farm bill. He said, "Absolutely." He then explained that the 1996 farm bill was written by Wayne Allard and a senator from Kansas to wean farmers off of subsidies over a 6-year period but subsequent congresses, with Republican complicity, undid the effort.

We also talked briefly about government employee unions and ridiculous pension plans. He said that's a problem at the state and the federal level and it needs to be reformed at multiple levels. I asked if it is as simple as candidate McInnis' pledge to reverse the executive order allowing state employee unions. He said that Gov. Ritter's order gave state employee unions the right to bargain collectively - that's what would be reversed if McInnis or Maes is elected. He said it's an important first step but not the whole solution. (I was impressed by his inclusion of Dan Maes who I'm just learning about since he's getting zero press but is what I suppose you'd call "the TEA Party candidate.")

I told him I know that he has experience resisting the pressures to go along against his principles at the state level but the pressures in Washington will be even stronger. I said that I think Senator Bunning has some regrets about his career in congress. He agreed and said he plans to spend as much time as possible with constituents in his district instead of in Washington.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:34 PM | Comments (0)

March 12, 2010

International Club for Meddling with Local Government

One of moderator Amy Oliver's questions at last night's CO-4 GOP debate was about an international organization called the International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives, or ICLEI. They've changed their name to ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability.

Apparently they encourage local governments to impose environmental regulations all over the world. They describe "members" as "the strongest allies of ICLEI by contributing a yearly membership fee, but also by hosting ICLEI offices, financing events or contributing staff time to projects and activities." That would be staff time of the local governments they work for, paid by local tax dollars.

The online membership directory is unavailable: "Please accept our apologies. We are presently working to update our membership information pages. This page will be available again shortly."

They do, however, list the 1124 local governments these members come from. They include:

Arvada, Aspen, Boulder, Breckenridge, Carbondale, Denver, Durango, Ft. Collins, Frisco, Golden, Gunnison County, La Plata County, LAFAYETTE, Loveland, Manitou Springs, San Miguel County, and Westminster in Colorado.

Haverford Township, Lower Makefield, Meadville, Montgomery Township, Mt. Lebanon, Narberth, Nether Providence Township, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Radnor, Upper Dublin Township, and West Chester in Pennysylvania.

Find your town. Complain to your city council. I DON'T WANT MY TAX DOLLARS, IN THE FORM OF STAFF TIME, SPENT ON ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:13 PM | Comments (0)

February 26, 2010

Sucks to be Jane Norton's Spokesperson

Score one for Ken Buck:

Young energetically anti-big government PPC blogger Ari Armstrong, like many Coloradans, wanted to get straight what Norton meant this week when she said the Obama administration jobs bill was "too small," a response that suggested longtime government employee Norton was advancing a government solution to the jobs crisis. Armstrong didn't get hold of Norton; he got hold of her spokesman Nate Strauch. Suffice it to say, Armstrong got the better of Strauch in the exchange which, given what he has had to deal with week to week as Norton drops bombs at small gatherings across the state, is to say nothing against Strauch.

What Norton meant to say, explained Strauch, was that she would cut taxes to small businesses!


Hat-tip: @ariarmstrong

Posted by John Kranz at 2:23 PM | Comments (0)

January 6, 2010

Barone on Ritter

I am not making up this headline: Are Democrats exiting the sinking ship? Part 11: Colorado

I’ll get to Dodd in a later post, but it’s interesting to ponder what’s happening in Colorado. In 2008 it was a showcase for the popularity of Barack Obama. He accepted the Democratic nomination in Invesco Field, in front of a stage setting with fake Roman columns, to the cheers of tens of thousands. I remember seeing Ritter speak triumphantly at an earlier event, a concert in an amphitheater in the mountains above Denver, celebrating his own and Obama’s support of environmental causes (his official website calls him “Greenest Gov. in U.S.”).

Well, we certainly have the greenest President...

Part 12, takes on Senator Dodd:

It looks like a Torricelli move: Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd is announcing that he will not run for reelection this year. This has the look of a not very voluntary decision.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:11 PM | Comments (3)
But Keith thinks:

I'm thinking we'll be seeing the doddering Dodd in the future, either as Geithner's replacement, or as the Waitress Sandwich Czar.

Posted by: Keith at January 6, 2010 4:11 PM
But jk thinks:

Nope. CEO of Fannie Mae!

Posted by: jk at January 6, 2010 5:30 PM
But Keith thinks:

jk: Barney Frank's got dibs on that one. But Dodd could be an Executive VP at Countrywide.

If he were open to a private-sector job.

Posted by: Keith at January 6, 2010 5:46 PM

January 4, 2010

Fact. Joke. Observation.

The Fact (well, I heard it on the TV news...): The city of Denver now has more licensed medical marijuana dispensaries than it has Starbucks®

The Gag: Obviously, we need more Starbuckses...

The serious observation: One unintended consequence I missed as a fierce proponent of medical marijuana was the incredible cheesiness of the establishments. (Again, I am trusting local TV news, so NaCl a bit, but) most of the dispensaries have much more the vibe of a head shop than a Doctor's office. I remain a proponent of full-out legalization and can classify this as freedom's exploiting a loophole. But I remain disappointed that I was thinking of serving Angel Raich more than Snoop Dogg. Not as far as regret, but definitely disappointment.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:42 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2009

Play ball!

For a blog with PA and Colorado ties there's been a surprising silence about the NLDS between the Rox and Phillies, the only one of four first-round series not to end in a sweep. It's about time somebody changed that.

Dagny and I left the big girls with Opa and took the baby to the game last night. We were just as ready and willing to bundle up the night before but the baseball powers that be (Pelosi and Reed?) somehow decided that yesterday's 30.0 degree first pitch was sufficiently better than Saturday's 26.6 degrees that they gave us a start time of 8:07 PM MDT (10:07 pm Eastern.) Great. After the four and a quarter hour game we arrived back at the farm around 2 am, the same time the game ended on the east coast.

Today's first pitch will be warmer (it's 44.1 and rising at the moment) and in the daylight at 4:07 local time. But the weather isn't the story, Rockies pitching is. Losing Jorge DeLaRosa in his last regular season start was a body blow. Hammel has done well this year, being one of five Rox pitchers with 10 or more wins this season, but I'd have preferred to see him start a road game instead given his bipolar performances home vs. away.

I wasn't confident going in last night but still felt the home team would pull it out at the end. The magic never struck. The hill was too steep. While Phillies fans moan that Lidge walked two in the ninth, freezing Coors Field partisans howled on every first pitch ball and each of the eight, yes EIGHT, bases on balls given up last night by the pitchers we have come to rely on since June 5th. Today, however, I'm more confident. As Tulo says, those other games were never "must win." This one is. This team has pride and today's starter has the goods. The Phillies go back home today but the Rockies invite themselves along for a one-game playoff tomorrow. Winner-take-all.

I'm leaving shortly to witness the spectacle.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:57 PM | Comments (7)
But AlexC thinks:

Lidge makes me nervous! Prefer not to discuss to not jinx it!

Posted by: AlexC at October 12, 2009 9:00 PM
But jk thinks:

Well, congrats to the Phils. I will be pulling for them all the way.

I saw the box score with a '0' in the bottom of the ninth, turned off the computer and thought all night that the Rockies had won. Ignorance was blissful for awhile...

Posted by: jk at October 13, 2009 10:50 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Sorry jk, what you really wanted to see in the bottom of the ninth was an "x."

Confidence reigned throughout the game. First inning homer for the Phillies? No problem. The Rox delivered Roctober magic with 3 runs in the 8th for a 2 run lead. Huston Street had first pitch strikes that led to the first two outs of the ninth but with two on and two stikes to Howard, the last pitch was too good. For Howard, that is.

Congratulations Phillies. You out "Roctobered" the Rockies. I'm still unsure who I'll root for the rest of the way but the Phillies have a leg up in that dagny said she'll kill me if I root for the Dodgers. Hey, there's always the American League. Former Rockie Brian Fuentes closes for the Angels.

Posted by: johngalt at October 13, 2009 1:38 PM
But jk thinks:

And I might kill if you resort to the AL. Despite Ricardian elegance, I can't handle the DH.

Posted by: jk at October 13, 2009 2:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

It's settled then. Gee, that was easy!

Posted by: johngalt at October 13, 2009 2:54 PM
But jk thinks:

Well, it would be more difficult for me to enforce my threats than Dagny hers...

Posted by: jk at October 13, 2009 4:07 PM

September 28, 2009

CO GOP GUV Primary

Okay, who's paying attention? I have an inbox full of donation requests and I think I am following all the candidates on Twitter.

I cannot say anybody has caught my eye just yet. (Nor can I claim to have exerted the effort it deserves yet.) So, ThreeSources, Who? Why?

Posted by John Kranz at 6:30 PM | Comments (1)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Can't say that any of them have captured my imagination. Name recognition award goes to Scott McInnis, who was not a bad representative. He might be able to beat Ritter, mainly because Ritter has been so bad.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 29, 2009 11:33 AM

August 23, 2009

Hope for Home!

I have bemoaned the leftward, collectivist tilt of the Centennial State for years. Michael Barone thinks there may be some hope:

But now, Colorado seems to be going in the other direction. Gov. Bill Ritter, elected by 17 points in 2006 and seeking another term next year, is trailing former Republican Rep. Scott McInnis in the polls and runs only even against a little-known Republican state legislator. Michael Bennet, appointed by Ritter to fill Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's Senate seat, has a negative job rating and runs well under 50 percent against Republican opponents. Barack Obama's job rating in the state has been conspicuously below his national average -- closer to those of still rock-ribbed Republican Rocky Mountain states than the hip states of the Pacific Coast.

Campaigning, it turns out, is easier than governing.


Good piece. I gotta have something -- not much hope coming from the Broncos...

Posted by John Kranz at 6:21 PM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2009

People's Republic of Boulder

To non-Centennial Staters, the Sobriquet "People's Republic of Boulder" is used non-pejoratively by Boulder residents. proud of their quirky reputation. It sadly speaks honestly to the government and electorate's embrace of collectivism and general nanny-statism.

It took the city council until 12:30 AM to get the five votes needed to limit house size, but they were able to move it on to the next step:

Generally, the council agreed that the ordinance should affect all residential zoning districts, and houses should be contained by "bulk planes" -- or invisible three-dimensional envelopes.

The leaders did not, however, agree on how much of a lot a house should be able to cover, or whether the amount of finished square footage compared with lot size should be used as a regulatory tool.

UPDATE: [johngalt] I found the rest of this story on the internet. "Under the proposed rules the maximum size for new or remodeled Boulder homes is as shown below."

hippy%20bus.jpg

Posted by John Kranz at 12:48 PM | Comments (3)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

What utter rubbish. You should live in the Bay Area, where in any city or town you have the freedom to...oh, wait, bad example. How about New York City, where you can build a house or apartment building as tall -- ah hell, I give up!

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at August 20, 2009 2:29 PM
But jk thinks:

Gettin' sad is it not?

Two words: Tex As!

Posted by: jk at August 20, 2009 3:40 PM
But johngalt thinks:

UPDATE: I found the rest of this story on the internet. "Under the proposed rules the maximum size for new or remodeled Boulder homes is as shown here.

Have I mentioned that I moved out of Boulder in 2003? Boulder's city council was one motivation for fleeing. I've personally talked with three of the four councilmen (err, "councilpersons") mentioned in the story. Of them only Matt Appelbaum has any semblence of a clue.

Here are a few more two word answers to this story:

Weld County
Red county
Rid X (lice killer, for the inexperienced)

Posted by: johngalt at August 21, 2009 10:11 AM

March 26, 2009

Just another spring blizzard

Like jk said, the Colorado wing is snowed in. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!

These pictures are a bit misleading. The snow around the house ranges from bare patches to 3 foot drifts, depending on where the wind left it. Out in the field it's about a foot deep all over. The 4-wheeler is just 2 wheel drive and I had trouble getting through in a few places.

Thanks for the snow tube aunt Leah!

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:23 PM | Comments (2)
But nanobrewer thinks:


Thanks for the pix, JB. NB is down in Texas these days doing what the 21st century demands for employment (have laptop, will travel), and misses the mountains, the snow, and the Three Sources of my personal strength; two of which look a great deal like the ones riding that sled.

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 28, 2009 12:42 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I hope your Tejas assignment is as temporary as can be, NB. Being away from your spouse and worse yet, your kids, is one of the highest personal costs I know of.

I recently thanked an Air Force Lieutenant for his service - at DIA en route from D.C. to Warren AFB in Cheyenne - and asked him if he has a family. He did not. "It's because people like you do what you do that people like me can devote themselves to their family," I told him. I also apologized to him for his current commander-in-chief, but that's another story.

Posted by: johngalt at March 30, 2009 12:57 PM

February 8, 2009

Evil Possessed Demon Horsies

When my hometown makes the Wall Street Journal, it is usually not good news. Not since Bill Owens was Governor anyway. But this one made me laugh.

I do not travel for work anymore and I am long overdue to visit Sugarchuck and get some recording done, so I have not seen the public art in question:

DENVER -- The mustang rears on splayed hind legs -- his nostrils flaring, his eyes glowing red, his taut body a slick, sweaty sheen of blue. Anatomically correct -- eye-poppingly so -- the 32-foot-tall fiberglass sculpture makes quite a statement at the gateway to Denver International Airport.

But that begs the question: What kind of statement, exactly?

"It looks like it's possessed," says Denver resident Samantha Horoschak. "I have a huge fear of flying anyway, and to be greeted at the airport by a demon horse -- it's not a soothing experience."

Many people here agree, calling the muscular steed a terrifying welcome to the Mile High City.


I have not seen it but I like it already. Denver is a frontier, western city; I cannot see where it hurts to scare off a few wusses. And I like very much the idea of visiting football teams being greeted so welcomingly.

Keep the horse!

Posted by John Kranz at 12:17 PM | Comments (6)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Oh come on. Even a Yankee like me can appreciate that symbol of strength.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at February 8, 2009 1:18 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

And on the Western thing, somewhere in the old family photo albums are some pictures from when we visited Denver. There I was, 7 years old, sporting a cowboy hat for the first time in my life.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at February 8, 2009 1:19 PM
But jk thinks:

Sounds good, pardner...

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2009 3:46 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Spoken like two guys who have never seen it. This thing is UUUUGLY! It makes Mexican velvet art look classy by comparison. Target practice would be its only apt fate.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 9, 2009 12:07 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm with BR. I appreciate art when it inspires good thoughts and feelings. This thing doesn't.

http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/W3PYBnyspTrQGUPqkwr0ng?select=PECRNeXp-IN3GuugrCHM3Q

This is what happens when we let governments commission works of art.

Posted by: johngalt at February 9, 2009 3:59 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

That's a better picture than one I saw before.

Whew. Is it too late to change my mind? That's not a horse.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at February 11, 2009 11:44 PM

October 20, 2008

Colorado Bests Pennsylvania by Seven!

Both our Governors received "D's" in the Cato Rankings, but Governor Bill Ritter received a 49 to lead the D's; Governor Rendell got a 42.

Oooh! In your face!

Posted by John Kranz at 3:21 PM | Comments (4)
But AlexC thinks:

You'll have to ask the Rockies how their golf games are doing... because my Phillies are in the World Series.

Ahem.

Posted by: AlexC at October 20, 2008 4:28 PM
But jk thinks:

Well, yeah, there's that...

Posted by: jk at October 20, 2008 4:58 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I had to root for the Dodgers against the Phils because they're NL West, but as soon as they imploded the field was clear to root for that eastern team with the funny mascot.

I was looking forward to seeing how the Phils did against the Manny-less Red Sox but their multi-million dollar pitching staff couldn't silence the Rays the way they did the Rox. The two main differences I saw were that Rays batters were far more patient then the Blake Street boys. I chalk that up to better management. (disclaimer: I'm a huge Clint Hurdle fan.)

Anyway, it should be an exciting matchup between the young and talented Rays vs. the experienced and cagey Phils. Do you think Ryan Howard will FINALLY start hitting?

Posted by: johngalt at October 21, 2008 12:39 AM
But jk thinks:

I have no allegiance to the division, though it's hard to imagine an instance where I'd cheer for an AL team (DH-lovin'-collectivists...)

It happens that I have been a Phils fan my whole life, until our little backwoods got a team to replace them. Not sure why, I think the name amused me as a kid -- they were cemented to the second-to-last spot in the NL, but this Colorado kid held the flame.

Damn, those Rays are scary, though. I hope some of the early polling is proven to be overly pessimistic.

Posted by: jk at October 21, 2008 2:54 PM

October 15, 2008

More On 49

Flyover country makes the WSJ Ed Page:

When former Governor Bill Owens issued an executive order to achieve this objective for all state government workers, union collections fell by more than half. But that edict was rescinded by current Governor Bill Ritter, a Democrat and union ally. Thus the need for Amendment 49, which the state's unions are spending furiously to defeat.

What is remarkable about Amendment 49 is that it has the endorsement of most major newspapers in Colorado, including the center-left Denver Post. Perhaps that's because even many liberals understand that workers shouldn't be coerced into subsidizing political causes they don't agree with. In particular, income should not be intercepted by a third party -- in this case withheld by the government -- before it gets to the worker's bank account. Unions talk about raising take-home pay, except when they are dunning that pay to finance their own agenda.


No puppets, though.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:19 PM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2008

Colorado Amendment #49

Sorry, Keystone Staters, while you have a team in the NLCS (Go Phils!) we have to ponder a myriad of ballot referenda. I got an email link to this "High Brow" "Ivory Tower" explanation of 49:





UPDATE: Some might recognize John Caldera of the Independence Institute. I went to his website for more on 49, and found this column which (all three) Boulder Refugee(s) might appreciate:

I came to Boulder in 1984. Since then I graduated from CU, owned a stage-lighting business here, got married here and started a family here, lost my daughter to cancer here, represented the community as an elected official on the RTD board, and wrote a column for the Daily Camera for four years here. I own a home here and my kids go to government schools. After 24 years I think it is fair to say I have every right to call myself a true Boulderite.

But many of my fellow Boulderites don't feel the same way. You see, I am a free market conservative. I don't agree with the Boulder credo of, "I know how you should live." I've opposed tax increases, smoking bans, growth control, bans on "chain" stores and restaurants and all the things that make Boulder the elitist town it is. As the president of the Independence Institute I work for personal and economic freedom. Neither is in great supply here. And after 24 years here in Boulder, I still feel quite the outsider.


Posted by John Kranz at 11:01 AM | Comments (1)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Although this Refugee may share Caldera's larger polical views, he has little sympathy for Caldera's predicament. Your Humble Refugee was born in Boulder in 1960. The city's move toward People's Republic status started with the war protests in the early '70s and with the Danish Plan (anti-growth named after its author Paul Danish) in 1972. The last Republican representative to be elected from that district was Don Brotzman in 1970 (he lost in 1972 to Tim Wirth). This Refugee has a hard time believing that Caldera didn't know what he was moving into in 1984. He certainly had to know after four years at CU.

Once last point: you can't claim refugee status until you leave!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 14, 2008 5:14 PM

September 25, 2008

Appalachia On The Platte

The DC Examiner had an article on Senator Joe Biden's Coal-fired Gaffe Machine. While other gaffes were considered stupid, Chris Stirewalt considers the "no-coal-plants-in-the-USA" to be especially impolitic.

But Biden getting caught on tape last week denouncing the use of coal to an eco-warrior on a rope line will be a blunder that will put a wrinkle in Biden’s blue collar. “No coal plants here in America,” Biden said of his ticket’s energy plan.

It’s probably just something Biden said to dodge a question, since he surely knows that we get half of our electricity from coal and couldn’t meet the needs of the next two decades without burning even more.

But swing states Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Colorado all have substantial coal mining industries and residents who identify themselves as part of a coal culture.


Colorado coal culture? I have lived the past 19 years in communities that were founded on coal mining, but thought it all ended with the WPA. Minus ten points: the Colorado Mining Association claims Colorado is seventh in the USA in Coal Production.

So I can be personally offended by one of Biden's gaffes -- excellent!

Posted by John Kranz at 5:32 PM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2008

Centennial State Spirit

"Near Lyons" would be the foothills in Boulder County, pretty reliable Democratic territory, though I am not sure the participants live around there. I like the poll at the end of the clip.





Hat-tip: Instapundit

Posted by John Kranz at 8:55 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

You go grrlz!

One has to wonder though if they have trouble getting a good sight picture through their burkas.

Oh yes, that's right - they aren't required by religious law of the land to WEAR a burka. That's because they live in the United States of effin' America!

And that woman caller to Boulder's progressive radio station thought Sarah Palin was "frickin' scary." Wait'll she gets a load of THESE ladies!

Posted by: johngalt at September 15, 2008 2:51 PM
But jk thinks:

Progressive women are calling the Samtec Shrouded Header Hotline???

Posted by: jk at September 15, 2008 3:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Oops. My work is showing! Too many tabs open at once or something...

Try this one.

Posted by: johngalt at September 15, 2008 6:41 PM

August 7, 2008

Nostalgia for 2005

Stop the presses! Federalism works. Lower taxes increase prosperity -- as does reduced regulation.

In an article in American Magazine called The Path to Prosperity, (Do they have to pay Larry Kudlow to say that?) Amela Karabegovic and Alan W. Dowd summarize a report to which each contributed.

Common sense tells us that low taxes, limited government, and flexible labor markets will help to spur economic growth. The Fraser Institute’s 2008 Economic Freedom of North America (EFNA) report offers a striking, yet unsurprising, picture of the benefits that flow from such policies.

In 2005, the most recent year for which data are available, Colorado, Georgia, Delaware, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Tennessee, and Texas—states with consistently strong records of promoting economic freedom—had an average per capita GDP that was more than $4,300 above the U.S. average. Their total growth from 1981 to 2005 was nearly 20 percentage points higher than the U.S. average.


The report attempts to rank the 50 states and 10 provinces in freedom and economic activity as Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World index has done for countries.

What struck me as a resident of a highly ranked state was fear that the most recent data came from 2005. Colorado elected a Democratic Senate and reelected a Democratic house in 2004. Democrat Bill Ritter was elected governor in 2006 to replace Republican Bill Owens. Owens was dedicated to freedom and low taxes.

The new regime will not be so friendly to the taxpayer or employer. No doubt the state will fall in the growth rankings as well.


Posted by John Kranz at 1:16 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

"Owens was dedicated to freedom and low taxes.*"

* Until, that is, he decided to support the $10B tax increase known as "Referendum C" in the same election that CO voters chose that Democrat governor to replace him.

Colorado Democrats recognize the state's economy as a fairly unmolested 'golden goose.' Now they're in a position to gore that goose to their hearts' content.

Posted by: johngalt at August 10, 2008 4:41 PM

July 17, 2008

Why are we in Iraq?

"Joe from Denver wants to know, 'Why are we in Iraq and how will we know when we've won the war?'"

Listen to Bob Schaffer, Colorado's Republican candidate for the US Senate, explain it.

In politics this is what's known as a direct hit.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:29 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

But Bush Lied!!! There were no WMDs!! My poor Congressman was duped -- it's Bush's fault!

Posted by: jk at July 18, 2008 10:50 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

It don't get any better'n that!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 18, 2008 12:10 PM

February 6, 2008

If Guiness Says It...

This establishment is about halfway between JohnGalt's house and mine.

Denver Post:

Henry Sawaged has been telling skeptics — especially his brother — that he is running a cathedral of booze, a wine and spirit colossus unmatched anywhere.

Finally, last month, he got framed proof. It is a certificate from Guinness World Records declaring Daveco Liquors in Thornton the largest liquor store in the world.


Posted by John Kranz at 11:41 AM

January 14, 2008

RomneyCare: Coming to Colorado

Part of me worries about the Centennial State; the rest of me has given up. We have a Democrat Governor, both houses under Democratic rule, every tax increase passes easily, a massive light rail project passed in 2004.

Next is RomneyCare. Just because it is an abject failure in Massachusetts, why not have it here? (Justice Brandeis, call your office!)

Boulderite Brian T. Schwartz, Ph.D. calls it "Collective Punishment" in TCSDaily.

When government policies increase insurance costs, the first to drop coverage are the young and healthy. Those remaining in the insurance pool are at higher risk to incur medical expenses, so premiums rise again, which again drives out the healthiest remaining customers. It takes some nerve to support policies that make insurance prohibitively expensive and then make it a crime not to purchase insurance.

Compulsory insurance is based on collective punishment, a perverted form of justice found where troops patrol the streets and spitballs go splat. It punishes both the insured and uninsured for the misdeeds of politicians. Legislators should stop scapegoating the uninsured for the mess they've perpetuated. They should repeal legislation that inhibits the free market from delivering affordable high-quality medical care.


UPDATE: (Make lemonade Dept.) I found a good website: Colorado Freedom Report. Welcome to the blogroll.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:55 PM | Comments (1)
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

Rendell's trying to pass the same thing in PA! Surprised Alex didn't jump on this.

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at January 14, 2008 10:04 PM

December 20, 2007

Sen. Salazar Responds

To my letter:

Dear John:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me regarding federal agriculture subsidies. I appreciate hearing from you.

As someone who grew up on a family farm and ranch, I recognize the importance of ensuring the viability of our small producers and the future of rural America.

I understand your frustrations with large farms receiving the vast majority of federal agricultural dollars. I believe it is important to provide a strong and efficient safety-net for our small and medium-sized family farmers, and do all we can to direct agricultural payments to those who need them most.

The 2007 Farm Bill makes a number of important reforms that will improve the integrity of federal subsidy payments. The bill lowers the Adjusted Gross Income eligibility limit by seventy percent; eliminates the three-entity rule; requires direct attribution of subsidy payments; cuts the maximum annual subsidy payment allowance by five percent; and denies subsidy payments to owners of land that had once been used for agricultural production but is currently used for residential purposes. All told, these reforms will help reduce federal spending for the commodity title by $7.5 billion over the next five years.
I supported these reforms, and I also joined an overwhelming majority of my colleagues in the Senate to pass the 2007 Farm Bill by a vote of 79-14. The Farm Bill now awaits action in a House-Senate conference committee.

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your views. Please rest assured I will keep them in mind as Congress continues its work on the 2007 Farm Bill.

Sincerely,

Ken Salazar
United States Senator

Posted by John Kranz at 5:33 PM | Comments (2)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

So as someone who grew up sucking at government's teat, he continues to support the notion of stealing money from Peter to make a livelihood for Paul.

What a bastard.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at December 21, 2007 12:23 PM
But jk thinks:

Yup. As Democrat bastards go, I think he might be one of the better, but it was a heartbreaking loss in 2004. Pete Coors would have made an outstanding Senator and, I suspect, have been a favorite around ThreeSources. Sigh.

Posted by: jk at December 21, 2007 12:32 PM

November 30, 2007

Colorado Politics Prediction Market

A good friend has started a prediction market for all Colorado House races and Allard's Senate seat.



You can sign up at inklingmarkets.com to play on existing markets or to create a new (say, Pennsylvania) market.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:16 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Overconfident? I bought Bob Schaffer big as my first trade; the +16% you see is mine. This is a trade, I fear Udall will win, but this should tighten up. I'm guessing I could get out at Schaffer 40 before the election.

Posted by: jk at November 30, 2007 4:27 PM
But AlexC thinks:

I'll have to check that out for Pa... thanks.

Posted by: AlexC at November 30, 2007 5:05 PM

November 21, 2007

Only In Boulder

Boulderites love the phrase "Only In Boulder." It is used as a compliment. I saw a guy at the dog park in a tux and high tops last night -- OIB...

The city has much to recommend it. I am not impervious to its charms, but I am deeply suspicious of its politics. David Harsanyl, a Denver Post reporter who has written a book about the Nanny State, has a frightening story about its capital:

The story is so absurd, so unfair, so ludicrous, I had a difficult time believing that it could actually happen - even in Boulder.

You have to read the whole thing. The short version is that a couple bought a piece of property in the 80s and did not develop it. When they tried to build a house in 2006, they found that a Boulder bigwig now owned a significant piece of it:
Former Boulder District Judge, Boulder Mayor, RTD board member - among other elected positions - Richard McLean and his wife, attorney Edith Stevens, used an arcane common law called "adverse possession" to claim the land for their own.

All McLean needed was to develop an

"attachment" to it.

Undoubtedly, his city connections couldn't have hurt, either.


I certainly think Kelo v. New London was poorly decided, but it pales against this. Because this guy frequently trespassed, it is now his. And he will get away with it,

Only in Freaking Boulder.

Hat-tip: Insty (oddly, the place I learn about something that happened ten miles from my home...)

Posted by John Kranz at 11:08 AM | Comments (3)
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

Not an uncommon law unfortunately. I've heard of this before in a lot of places. This is why when children trespass on your land as a 'short cut', all them old farts yelling at them know the real deal. If it gets used enough, it can be seized!

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at November 21, 2007 6:54 PM
But jk thinks:

That's a drag for property rights. However, I will really enjoy owning the Starbucks drive-thru...

Posted by: jk at November 21, 2007 7:37 PM
But jk thinks:

Amazon just let me know that Harsanyl's book has shipped. I had to buy it after reading the whole title: "Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and other Boneheaded Bureaucrats are Turning America into a Nation of Children"

Posted by: jk at November 22, 2007 12:22 PM

November 10, 2007

Purple, Heading Toward Indigo

I started to hijack jg's excellent post on Global Warming and its foothold in the Colorado schools. I was going to digress enough that a new post is likely in order.

Out of staters may not have seen, but in our odd-year election, I think every single tax increase on the ballot all across the state passed. There's a hunger for government in the Centennial State. We gave both legislative houses to the Democrats in 2004 and elected a Democratic Governor in 2006.

People who think Americans yearn for liberty have every right to be disheartened that it is slipping away in a part of the country that cherishes independence and has had great prosperity from low taxes and limited regulation. If you can’t sell freedom in Colorado – and you apparently can’t – you need a new PR firm.

Ryan Sagar's Brilliant Elephant in the Room talked about little-l libertarians in the mountain west who tend to vote Republican. I certainly saw myself in that picture, but I do not see a model for electoral success. Nevada sends Harry Reid to the Senate, Arizona -- Goldwaterland, mind you -- has a Democratic Governor, New Mexico and Colorado are in play every election. Utah could not overcome Union resistance to school vouchers.

I think Giuliani might appeal to enough Republicans and moderates to carry Colorado, but I bet my current Congressman, Jeff Udall (yeah, one of those Udalls), will be our next Senator. As Sager says, John Kerry could have just as easily flipped enough votes in the Mountain West to win the election as in Ohio. The machine is broken out here. I don't know how to fix it.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:58 PM

April 24, 2007

Noah, Prepare the Ark

In the semi-arid high desert of Colorado, any accumulation of rainfall exceeding one inch in a single day is big news. Atlantis Farm is in danger of floating away today. (See "Precipitation" in the Daily Statistics table.)

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:36 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Better load the cats and horses up -- it is still pouring over here.

I am still reeling from jg's using a biblical reference. Is it, perhaps, raining fire?

Posted by: jk at April 24, 2007 5:49 PM
But johngalt thinks:

When in Rome...

Posted by: johngalt at April 25, 2007 1:43 AM

February 1, 2007

Propeller-Head? Moi

Dagny is rolling her eyes by now, but I just have to post a banner showing the local weather conditions at... Atlantis Farm.

On Monday I received my new weather station, assembled it and installed the batteries. Tuesday evening I mounted the sensor suite on a post in the yard. Tonight I installed the software and connected the console to the PC. Then I configured it to upload data to Weather Underground every 5 minutes, from whence this banner originates.

Dagny thinks it's cool, but not as cool as I do.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:29 AM | Comments (7)
But AlexC thinks:

My vote is for "very sweet."

Posted by: AlexC at February 1, 2007 1:46 PM
But jk thinks:

I live about 12 miles from jg, at about the same elevation. You can bet my weather is pretty close. I think we need to get the Pennsylvania weather now. AC? I'll find them both a home in the navigation bar.

What concerns me is that the Longitude and Longitude coordinates could be used by the forces of darkness and the enemies of modernity to program into their GPS bombs.

Posted by: jk at February 1, 2007 5:01 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Despite what I might think, I'm not sure Mrs AlexC would think $1,000 for a weatherstation would be that "sweet."

But my zip code is 19426 if you're interested.

Man... I'd like to see my poolside temp on the web though....

Posted by: AlexC at February 2, 2007 12:24 PM
But jk thinks:

I forgot. I was reminded on TV this morning that Pennsylvanians predict the weather with rodents. You wouldn't need a $1000 weather station.

Happy early spring! Happy Groundhog Day!

Posted by: jk at February 2, 2007 12:29 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, I was hoping you'd make it a permanent addition.

There are other stations available for way less than $1K. Some are from Davis (wireless version for $100 more) and some from elsewhere. I got a 40% discount on Davis through my employer that I could proxy for any interested ThreeSourcer.

There are other personal weather stations that may be even closer to you JK (and anyone else for that matter.) They can be viewed graphically here. (Just enter your zip code)

Posted by: johngalt at February 2, 2007 9:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Here are the personal weather stations around Collegeville, PA (zip code 19426) presented graphically on a Google Map. Which one is closest to you, AlexC? Maybe we can create a banner for that station.

Posted by: johngalt at February 3, 2007 7:05 PM

September 30, 2006

Red November, CO-4

The race is heating up in Colorado 4 and state wide for the governor's mansion. Ads are multiplying on TV and radio and in our mailboxes. Current status according to realclearpolitics.com is Republican pork slayer Marilyn Musgrave leading tax dodging, student loan defaulting, bankruptcy filing, tax hiking liberal democrat Angie Paccione by single digits. (It shouldn't be this close.) The governor's race is even more frightening with gun-grabbing, plea bargaining DA Bill Ritter leading congressman Bob Beauprez by double digits. (Maybe they're only polling in urban centers?) The actual election should be a nail biter.

Additional kudos go to Musgrave for being one of only 39 US Representatives (9% of the House) with a 100% rating from Americans for Tax Reform. Hat tip: Bob Beauprez campaign website.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:29 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I hope it’s a Red November. Colorado lost both state houses to Democrats in 2004 and the gubernatorial race is looking pretty frightening.

I hate to whack our beloved outgoing guv, but this underscores the folly of his supporting the “temporary” roll back of TABOR (TAxpayers Bill Of Rights). If Colorado goes all-Democrat, the limitations on taxation will blow away like a tumbleweed in Kit Carson County.

Posted by: jk at September 30, 2006 12:57 PM

August 29, 2006

Colorado sheep dip

A few weeks back I celebrated Rep. Marilyn Musgrave's (R-CO) position on Club for Growth's legislative pork scorecard. She voted fifteen times in nineteen chances to kill a pork bill in Congress. So imagine my surprise when my wife receives a political mailing that claims Musgrave "never saw a pork barrel project she didn't like." A prior mailing also charged, essentially, that Marilyn Musgrave and Tom Delay are the same person!

So who is making these charges? A Republican group! They're called "Coloradoans for Life." Yeah, they're Republicans. Right? Aren't they? Well, it's hard to tell with this shadowy bunch but it ain't bloody likely. In addition to slamming Musgrave they've also mailed us to say what a louse Bob Beauprez (R for CO governor) is, and run radio spots to say just how peachy Angie Paccione (D for Musgrave's seat) is. But they've chosen "Coloradoans for Life" as their official name. Why? Because rural Coloradoans and country radio listeners are predominantly Republican and will ignore every word CFL says if they know who is saying it. And CFL sure isn't saying who they are anywhere on their web site.

Ah, politics. Reminds me of the feed lot down the road.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:18 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Trekmedic - I think this qualifies as a "Red November Initiative" post, but I'm no blog techie. Your post said, "Email me and I'll send you the blogroll" or something like that. I don't know what I'd do with a blogroll unless it had cinnamon and frosting. (Starbucks French Roast - straight up.)

Posted by: johngalt at August 29, 2006 4:54 PM
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

(Sigh) Yeah, John, I'll add this story to my Red November Initiative!

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at September 1, 2006 10:00 AM

August 6, 2006

CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave, "Pork Slayer"

JK blogged a couple weeks ago about Club for Growth's legislative pork scorecard. Poor JK's representative, Mark Udall in CO's 2nd district, rarely saw a pork bill he would kill. Mine on the other hand, Marilyn Musgrave of CO-04, is a veritable "pork slayer" by comparison. Her score: 15 of 19. Who can say exactly why she failed to oppose four of the earmarks without in depth research (or maybe calling her office to ask) but who has time for that? A cursory analysis shows that three of them were agricultural earmarks (and hers is a heavily ag district) and a $4M "education research" sop. (I guess nobody is willing to take on the NEA.)

Despite the heavy rural component in CO-04 it also includes the heavily liberal Larimer county, home of Colorado State University and the usual "progressive" suspects. In '04 Musgrave beat an established state Democrat, Stan Matsunaka, 51% to 45%. It's not a 'gimme' district for the GOP so it attracts national attention from the DNC. This year appears to be no different.

There's already been no shortage of radio spots for Paccione, criticizing the "Bush/Musgrave" agenda on Iraq and illegal immigration. This weekend, Marliyn started shooting back. Her first radio spot cites Paccione's votes in the CO legislature for state tuition subsidies to illegal immigrant students, then informs us that ol' Angie defaulted on her very own student loans! The CO student loan board apparently took her to court and her solution was to declare bankruptcy. Ouch, that's gonna hurt!

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:59 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I thought you were in CO-07. Well done either way, but you have to leave a few of us moles back in Boulder County to see what they're up to...

Posted by: jk at August 6, 2006 5:31 PM

July 27, 2006

Three out of Nineteen

Club for Growth has created a scorecard for every congressional representative, based on his/her votes on Rep. Flake's 19 contra-porcine amendments.

Thanks to Congressman Jeff Flake's 19 anti-pork amendments, we now have every House member on record regarding their positions on earmarks.

And if you expected Colorado's Second District (Boulder and environs) to be inclined more towards statism than taxpayer freedom -- well, give yourself a gold star. Democratic Scion and former Boulder mayor, Mark Udall, scores a big 3-for-19 on opposing pork.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:17 PM

May 22, 2006

Fair Tax II

One of my coworkers lives in Boulder, and is pretty hot on the fair tax. You might remember his response from Congressman Udall.

He inquired about the fair tax of Senators Allard and Salazar.

See the extended entry.

Senator Allard:

    Thank you for your letter concerning "Fair Tax" legislation. I believe that the Federal tax burden on hard-working Americans is excessive and overly intrusive, and reform of the IRS is long overdue.

    I strongly support a simplified tax system. While I was a member of the Colorado legislature, we implemented a 5 percent flat tax for Colorado. We should take similar action on the Federal level. It is my belief that the tax code should be reformed to the point where American families can file their tax return on a one page sheet or post card. While this would involve the elimination of deductions and loopholes, it would be more than offset by a lower rate.

    While I support the concept of a flat tax, there are many details that would have to be worked out. In particular, I want to make certain that any reform is a benefit to the middle class. The vast majority of taxpayers are in the middle class, and they have borne the burden of the current system. Reform should also reward saving and investment.

    The "Fair Tax" legislation would implement a national sales tax. I am willing to consider this, and one aspect that I find appealing is the fact that this might permit the elimination of the IRS. However, mechanisms would have to be put in place to ensure that the collection burden on small business would not be excessive, and that the income tax could not be resurrected. The worst scenario would be for Americans to end up with the burdens of both an income tax and a national consumption tax. This is the unfortunate situation in many European nations.

    The first step towards a simpler, fairer system is elimination of the current tax code. It would be up to Congress to replace it with a simple, fair system that applies a low rate to all Americans. The replacement system must provide tax relief for working Americans without penalizing marriage or family, protect the rights of taxpayers, and reduce tax collection abuses. Finally, the replacement system must eliminate the bias against savings and investment and promote economic growth and job creation.

    Your thoughts will be helpful to me as tax issues are debated in the Senate.

Senator Salazar:

    Thank you for contacting me regarding tax reform.

    As you know, S. 25, The Fair Tax Bill of 2005, was introduced in the Senate last year. This legislation would repeal the federal income tax, abolish the Internal Revenue Service, and establish a federal sales tax administered by the states.

    I agree with you that the Nation's tax code has become too complicated and burdensome. However, I do not believe that abolishing the IRS is a viable solution.

    I support making the President's tax cuts permanent for 98% of Americans. I will fight to close unfair tax loopholes that encourage big corporations to move their headquarters overseas to avoid paying taxes, and other unfair tax breaks, while supporting corporate tax changes that encourage domestic investment. At the same time, I will be a strong voice for fiscally conservative policies that don't saddle our children and grandchildren with even more debt.

    I will keep your views in mind as Congress debates tax reform policy this year.


Posted by AlexC at 5:22 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Wow. Right in the city limits, huh? I live in Lafayette (ten miles east) and it is scary enough driving in behind all the Volvos and Subarus.

The Salazar comment saddened me. He is a decent Democrat, but it is an agonizing reminder what we lost when Pete Coors lost. The white haired gent you see strolling through the mountains in the commercials would have supported the Fair Tax, and would not have presumed to choose which 2% do not get to keep their Bush tax cuts.

Posted by: jk at May 22, 2006 7:29 PM