Polls open in Colorado in less than 15 hours and, perhaps more importantly, close in less than 27 hours. "Our long national nightmare is almost over" someone once said, and it feels like it applies again in this event. It's almost over except for the lawsuits and recounts and more lawsuits.
I predicted last week that Trump will win with over 300 electoral votes. I can't prove it of course, and I'm a partisan, but there's my marker.
For those who are convinced the Colorado is in the bank for Hillary due to the lateness of the Comey letter versus the start of early voting, here is some counter factual.
As of this morning, November 7, 645,020 registered Democrats have voted in Colorado.
In the same report, 652,380 registered Republicans have also submitted their ballots.
This is a net 7,360 advantage for Mr. Trump, if one assumes that D's and R's vote in equal proportion for their party nominee. That is consistent with the IBD national poll, but Colorado voters are, as they say, "weird."
The big wildcard is the unaffiliateds. a whopping half a million, 527,706, have voted early.
In every poll I've seen Trump leads Clinton with the uncommitted crowd.
I took a friend to a dispensary. Speaking of "True Colorado," it was right next to the JAX Feed & Grain store in Lafayette -- now that's Colorado!
I was pretty impressed with a few things:
-- not only open at 8:00 am, but doing a brisk business. Dang, stoners have grown far more ambitious since I was a young man. No, seriously, it was a good crowd, some young professional people. If they're up at eight I am guessing they are on their way to work.
-- the staff was friendly and professional. Young at tattooed: I knew I wasn't a Goldman Sachs, but helpful and professional.
-- there is much Kabuki around safety. You need a zipper bag which locks to remove your purchases. I presented an ID in the lobby to be allowed into the room "with product." Then my ID was checked again at purchase. (They scanned the stripe -- does that get sent to AG Loretta Lynch?)
-- There is a steam-punky, 1890s vibe because all products are from new and small companies. They attempt slick and corporate but fail. Nor is it hippie-ish. Just an obviously inchoate industry, which I liked very much.
Thanks to the Feds, all purchases are cash. That is probably the freakiest part of the endeavor. I hope this is repaired. But my friend said "Thank God we live in Colorado!"
A couple of lads from Alabama, whose mug-shots do little to dispel stereotypes of my Father's birthplace, were -- it seems -- extremely careless with their campfire. And this being Colorado in July:
We must someday open the topic of mens rea. Harvey Silverglate and I are quite concerned that we now commit "Three Felonies a Day" [Review Corner], not only without criminal intent, but without knowledge. Gibson guitars had no criminal intent in importing half-finished fretboards from India, yet they faced the cold steel of the Fish & Game SWAT Team (I wince every time I type that). Because they violated "The Lacy Act."
Stossel and Reason have shown numerous egregious examples. One guy goes to prison for importing lobsters in plastic instead of cardboard. Prison -- for something he had done as a business for may years. The answer is mens rea reform: no jail for some stupid law you had no idea existed.
Yet, there must be exceptions. The two lads from Alabama are in the clink. They face not only my specious ridicule, but severe charges -- especially if life is lost in the blaze. I'm not sure I agree with that. I'd offer them mens non rea leniency.
But they were "Extremely Careless." And even the bad kids in the back know where I am heading. Sec. Clinton was negligent in an area that was her job to understand. I don't know about the Alabama Arson Squad, but her malfeasance included the desire to shield or conceal public information.
Lock up the stupid campers if you must, but not if Sec. Clinton skates.
Denver breweries may have to turn away some of their friendliest customers now that city inspectors have begun to crack down on allowing dogs in breweries throughout the metro area.
An incident this week at Prost Brewing Company sparked confusion for Denver brewers when city inspectors said the brewery was in violation of a city law stating dogs cannot be in an establishment that serves food.
And, in blues news: "Grits ain't groceries, eggs ain't poultry, and Mona Lisa was a Man."
Dudley Brown and his Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, not highly regarded by Three Sourcers, made news again last week, albeit under the radar of the "Great Rocky Mountain Delegate Heist for #NeverTrump." What went unmentioned in reports of Darryl Glenn's upset thumping of Tim Neville was that Neville was strongly promoted by Brown's RMGO group. Another Colorado lightning rod, former congressman Tom Tancredo, says the defeat marks the "end of an era" in Colorado politics.
But Brown has chosen to fight against the Convention of States. And in doing so, he has tipped his hand as to where he really stands on our rights. In fighting against the Convention of States Project, a campaign he wages in hysterical emails full of misinformation and straw men arguments, he has raked in millions in donations, especially to NAGR: $12.5 million in 2014 (the most recent information available), and $16.5 million in 2013.
Worse, Brown has threatened to primary any legislator who supports a resolution applying for a Convention for Proposing Amendments. But it is precisely this kind of arrogance, this deal-making, this pressuring in order to advance his own agenda for his organization – in other words, this cronyism – that the voters are overwhelmingly rejecting this cycle. He asked for this with his actions, and he got it.
Those legislators and candidates in Brown's camp would do well to note the toxicity that extended to Neville and how the voters made their distaste for Brown and RMGO plain by rejecting his candidate. If they wish to remain in office, they should consider distancing themselves from him and his insider politics.
Donald Trump has stopped whining. For now. Now his position is that he is on a "glide path" to win the GOP presidential nomination outright, with 1,265 delegates, before those delegates convene in Cleveland and start talking about all the reasons not to nominate this man as the standard bearer for the party.
According to AP's Stephen Ohlemacher, Trump enters the New York primary with 744 pledged delegates. From here he must:
Win New York with 50-plus percent.
Win 22 of New York's 27 congressional districts, again, with 50-plus percent.
Win Connecticut and take 22 of 28 delegates.
Win Delaware's 16 delegates.
Win 32 of 38 Maryland delegates.
Somehow, win 23 of Pennsylvania's 54 delegates.
Win Indiana and most congressional districts, 45 of 57 delegates.
20 of 31 delegates from West Virginia, where delegates are elected by name.
Nebraska? Yeah, right. 36 delegates out of reach.
Add 5 more delegates from proportional states Oregon and Washington.
Now Trump arrives at June 7 with 984 delegates. To reach the nominating majority, Trump must:
Sweep the winner-take-all states New Jersey, Montana and South Dakota. 107 delegates total; win 5 of New Mexico's 24 proportional delegates; and win a big majority of California - 39 of 53 congressional districts AND the statewide contest, totaling 130 delegates.
984 plus 112 plus 130 equals ... 1,226.
Except that, according to the Green Papers political blog, Trump has 757 "hard" delegates, not 744 - a difference of 13 delegates. (Presumably the statewide delegates from Missouri, still undergoing a recount.)
1,226 plus 13 equals 1,239. Trump is the nominee with two delegates to spare. If you believe he can win South Dakota and Montana (and all the other rosy scenarios in a perfect combover storm.)
A one-question quiz, to see who's paying attention...
Q: Which state, in reaction to what happened to their delegates at the 2012 Republican National Convention, changed its delegate election rules earlier this year in a way that may be to the detriment of the Donald Trump campaign?
Tick tick tick tick...
A: Colorado! Right? Umm, no.
As the Denver Post, among others, has explained, Colorado made no changes to its rules for electing delegates. Rather, it discarded the traditional non-binding straw poll, because the national party had made that non-binding poll binding in 2012, and the standing Convention rules would have made it binding in 2016. So The COGOP State Central Committee members voted to skip the non-binding poll. Delegates were then elected the same way they've been elected since 2004.
The state that wants to "steal the nomination" from Donald Trump is, his own home state of New York.
The New York Republican State Committee approved the rules change last year, marking the first time in decades that GOP presidential candidates won't be allowed to select their own delegates from the Empire State. Instead, the state party will decide.
The new process rewards longtime party loyalists in the state - taking power away from the presidential candidates and their most fervent supporters in the April 19 primary.
The change could have a significant impact on Trump, who is heavily favored to win his home state's primary.
There is one thing in common between the New York and Colorado situation - the attitude of those who've had enough of Trump's winning whining.
Trump, ultimately, will have a chance to use his deal-making skills to keep his New York delegates aligned behind his nomination, Walsh said.
"Trump bills himself as the greatest dealmaker, so here's his chance," Walsh said. "Let's see if he can get a deal. If he doesn't, he's done."
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump ratcheted up his criticism of the Republican Party and its process for selecting delegates for the GOP nomination, calling it "not democracy at its finest."
In an interview on Tuesday, ABC News' Jonathan Karl asked Trump whether he and his campaign were ready for the delegate-by-delegate fight that is dominating the primary.
"No, I was ready for a democratic race, meaning, you know, democracy," Trump said. "And this is not democracy, this is not democracy at its finest."
Really? Is that your basis for criticizing the Republican Party Mr. Trump, that it isn't democratic?
"I think we're doing very well but despite that, it's a rigged system it's a very unfair system and it's not democracy," he added.
With respect sir, there's another party that practices what you preach, and does it quite well. It's called the Democratic Party. They even have super delegates, which allow them to practice super democracy!
Republicans don't blindly award the party nomination to whatever Tom, Dick or Harry has the most chalk marks next to his name. First, you must earn a majority* of delegates to the national convention, not a mere plurality. Second, party rules are carefully designed to promote a system of reflection and contemplation that leads to a nomination of the best candidate, the one who best understands and promotes a republican form of government, not merely the most popular from among a field of many.
Most of the delegates you earned came from early states where your support was stronger than any other individual candidate, but far less than a majority of state Republican voters. Now that the field has narrowed, delegates are coalescing behind the candidate they believe is best for the party and best for the country - and it isn't Donald Trump.
The system isn't "stealing" the nomination from you sir, it is working just the way it is supposed to, because in the ongoing campaign the Trump appeal has hit a ceiling.
However, if the national convention isn't settled on the first ballot, it looks likely that many of the 50 delegates from the Palmetto State would desert Trump, who came in first in the primary, but with only 33 percent of the vote. The national convention will go to multiple ballots if Trump does not win at least 1,237 delegates out of the 2,472 available from 50 states, six U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. Currently, Trump has 743 delegates to Cruz’s 545 and 143 for Kasich.
However, South Carolina is not the only place Trump has failed to organize at the state level. He is facing delegate setbacks in Virginia, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Tennessee, Louisiana, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Wyoming, Washington State, Missouri, and California.
And yet, for the most part, this reality didn't become national news until the Colorado GOP Assembly. Well done, Colorado Republican brothers and sisters.
The Denver Post's Joey Bunch explains Colorado's Democratic and Republican caucii, prior to Super Tuesday (March 1.)
"So will we have a winner Super Tuesday? Well, yes and no. The Democrats will have a preference poll but it really doesn't mean that much. It basically just tells you which way the wind is blowing on Tuesday, because those delegates can still change their mind all the way to the nominating convention in Philadelphia.
Republicans aren't even bothering with the straw poll. The reason being because the national party says that the winner of the caucus, those delegates are pledged to that person all the way through and in 2008 that didn't work out so well for Colorado. Rick Santorum won the caucus but then he was out of the race in a month, so Colorado was irrelevant at the convention."
This reporter is obviously a right-wing establishment stooge because he completely ignored the part about the process being rigged to stop Trump.
Still, [Sanders Campaign Manager] Weaver expressed displeasure about how how the party reported the results. "It is certainly disturbing that the information gets sent to one campaign and not to another," he said.
[Colorado Democratic Party Chairman] Palacio said he didn't tell the Sanders camp about the divergent numbers "because it didn't necessarily affect (them). It was our mistake that ended up affecting the estimation of Hillary's campaign."blockquote>
Not seeming to recognize that if the delegate doesn't actually go to Hillary, it goes to Bernie instead.
Then: "There's going to be so much winning you're gonna get tired of winning." Now: "Great anger - totally unfair!"
Try to imagine Putin whining like this.
Cruz's ability to outmaneuver Trump in Colorado doesn't have anything to do with fairness. But it does suggest something about Trump's temperament and his skills as a leader.
If he can't understand the challenges that he faces as a candidate or be flexible enough to respond to a shifting landscape, and if he can't assemble the best and brightest people needed to win - no matter the rules - what does that say about his claims that he can do a great job running the country?
My 30-second speech at liberty tonight will be an improvisation on this basic riff:
Kipling had the great line "If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs." And I've always enjoyed the quip: "...then you probably don't understand the gravity of the situation."
But I lost my head and despaired when I saw Donald Trump's early successes overtaking the party I had hoped to drive more toward liberty. I missed caucus for the first time in 20 years.
But many brave Colorado Republicans did not fold (including blog brothers and sisters) and I am proud today of a state party I have often derided. Senator Cruz was not my first choice, but he is a great practical choice. And could be considered one of the top three most constitutionally constrained major party candidate in my lifetime.
Not only was Trump shut down, but Dudley Moore's Senate Candidate came up short. I heard good things from several Facebook friends about Darryl Glenn -- and now from brother jg.
The story of the day from yesterday's GOP State Assembly is clearly the landslide victory of El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn in the US Senate nomination contest. The favorite of the nine candidates on the assembly slate, Tim Neville, received just 696 of the nearly 4000 votes available. Meanwhile, on the strength of an inspiring speech, Glenn convinced 2664 delegates, a whopping 70 percent, to choose him. My sense was that the race was fairly even among four of the candidates going in but Glenn clearly caused massive vote switching, including mine.
The Colorado Springs Gazette wrote in an editorial,
It happened again. An underdog tapped the emotions of fed-up Republicans, tired of business as usual, and defied the widely assumed outcome of a major political event. Upsets seldom get bigger than this.
The Republican Party is getting a political blood transfusion. For Democrats, this may not be good news.
The retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel displayed a commanding and confident presence which, combined with unambiguous lines about Republican ideas, principles and leadership, brought the house to its feet.
"I'm tired of hearing about Republicans reaching across the aisle. We need to step up and lead, ladies and gentlemen," Glenn said. It appeared to close the deal among a crowd that believes House and Senate Republicans have squandered majority status and buckled under a popular Democratic president.
The convention was a showcase of diversity among candidates and a long parade of white, black, Indian, straight, gay, male and female speakers in positions of power. Nothing resembled the party's old established white male image.
Make no mistake, however, Glenn did not win simply because he's black - he won because he answered the grassroots yearning for voices that cut through the platitudes and doublespeak that says one thing to get elected and falls into line when they get to Washington.
And Glenn isn't the only fresh face we promoted this week. Calandra Vargas came seemingly out of nowhere to win top-line position in a primary election with incumbent 5th Congressional District Representative Doug Lamborn.
Republicans are breaking their outdated mold, as seen Friday and Saturday in Colorado Springs. Democrats should take heed. They aren't facing grandpa's old GOP this year.
I predict an interesting and exciting primary contest over the next two months.
UPDATE: More on Ms. Vargas from her LinkedIn page [emphasis mine]:
Political and Campaign Professional
January 2011 – April 2016 (5 years 4 months)
Legislative Aide for Colorado Senate Republicans
Executive Assistant for Committee to Elect Paul Lundeen
Deputy Campaign Manager, Bentley Rayburn for US Congress
Campaign Manager, Mark Waller for Colorado Attorney General
Colorado Director of Social Conservative Coalitions for Mitt Romney
Legislative Aide Colorado House of Representatives Congressional District 5 Colorado Internship, Office of Doug Lamborn
Foreign Policy Research Assistant at Heritage Foundation, Young Leaders Program
UPDATE: Some words from Ms. Vargas' floor nomination speech, where she came within 18 votes (for Lamborn) of knocking him from the June primary ballot in a race with no declared Democrat opponent:
Vargas said "the Republican Party has failed us, nationally and locally."
"It's time to get serious. I don't know about you, but I'm done. That's why I'm running today," Vargas said. "What are you willing to do to make sure our party has a future? What are you willing to do? Do you want a congressman who shows up at election season and gives a nice speech and a list of things you want to hear? Or do you want a congresswoman who is an outspoken leader, who won't settle, is a team player and who will confront liberals and who also believes it is her job to make the Republican Party a party we can all be proud of?"
What began on a cold March 1 night with, for Colorado Republicans, ended with a boom yesterday - GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz added thirteen more pledged delegates to the twenty-one he had earned in our state's congressional district assemblies in the preceding days. Thirty-four pledged, in writing or verbally, to vote for him at the Republican Convention in Cleveland, plus the state GOP chair, national committeewoman and national committeeman, all of whom are likely to vote in kind with their fellow Colorado delegates.
In his address to Colorado Republicans, Cruz said the election is about three things... jobs, security, and freedom.
His speech detailed his plans on all three issues.
First, he appealed to blue collar workers, promising full-time higher-paying jobs.
Then he promised to protect individual freedoms, which he believes are at risk if liberal Supreme Court justices are appointed.
"I will not compromise away your religious liberty, and I will not compromise away your second amendment right to keep and bear arms," he said.
He also promised to take a hard stance against ISIS and other groups.
"We will have a commander in chief who stands up and says to the world we will defeat radical Islamic terrorism," he said.
Delegates afterward told KRDO Newschannel 13 they were impressed.
Side note: The reporting on this is both curious and biased. Most of the stories with images show something related to Bernie Sanders' meaningless Wyoming victory over a story primarily about the GOP contest. And many of those stories are disjointed and mis-edited. Truly bizarre. Especially this one.
Personal photos to follow ...
UPDATE: Senator Cruz from our vantage point, stage left. H/T sister-in-law Leah.
After recently learning [first comment] that former long-time Democrat Boulder County Commissioner Paul Danish has changed his registration to the eevil Republican Party and is running for his old seat, I also discovered that he's been writing columns for the Boulder Weekly newspaper. Here is an excerpt from a great one of those, and it involves the principal reason he decided to challenge an incumbent commissioner at the polls.
Government should pay a decent respect to people's fears and concerns. But it should also pay a decent respect to scientific fact, the imperatives of successful agriculture, and the truth.
And the truth is that after 20 years of growing and consuming GM crops the question remains: Where are the victims?
Usually this is the point in the conversation where GMO opponents start talking about the precautionary principle: "Above all, do no harm." The problem with the precautionary principle is that it doesn't take into account harms that can come from inaction. Maybe that's why it's a principle and not a law of nature.
And when the world is faced with an existential threat - the sort of threat that a combination of rising temperatures, rising population, and rising expectations presents - the precautionary principle may have to take a back seat to the survival principle: "Whatever it takes, baby."
I'm old enough to remember a time when people who thought this way were not principally called "Republicans," they were called "human beings."
I am a huge proponent of disproportionate representation in the Colorado Legislature. For all our positives, we have a structural problem in the balance between rural and urban polities. The best solution I have heard was to give equal representation to each of her 64 counties.
Enacting that would face intense political hurdles from those losing power, plus the "sacred principle of 1-man, 1-vote" would be contravened.
Ilya Somin has a great piece in the Volokh Conspiracy examining the principle, obvious contradictions like the US Senate, and case law and legal challenges going forward.
Before Reynolds, the most common form of unequal apportionment was one in which rural districts got greater weight relative to urban ones. But urban areas have relatively greater concentrations of celebrities, intellectuals, academics, journalists, lobbyists, unionized public employees, and others who wield disproportionate political influence by means other than voting. Giving extra voting power to rural areas may, at least in part, simply counterbalance these advantages of city-dwellers. Other types of unequal apportionment might also help offset non-electoral forms of political inequality. Inequalities in apportionment might also, in some cases, help diminish the negative effects of widespread political ignorance by giving greater weight to areas with higher proportions of relatively well-informed voters.
Short, informative, and interesting -- I think all would dig it.
I have a hard and fast rule against responding to direct mail fundraising. You support something, you get more of it.
But Jon Caldera has sent a brilliant eight page letter warning of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's continued intrusion into Colorado politics. It begins with "Heeeeeee's back" and closes with this clever appeal:
But think what the enemies of reform had to do. In order to win they had to embrace our policies. This is amazing.
In order to win the JeffCo recall, all the replacement candidates campaigned that they wouldn't reverse the policies of the reform board. They campaigned that they wouldn't return to funding charter schools less than other schools. They campaigned that they'd keep pay-for-preformance. They won't close a new charter school that's freeing 500 children to get better educations. They have a new, first-in-the-nation union contract which ends seniority, payroll dues deductions, and ends a coin-flip to decide teacher employment (yes, literally).
For those familiar with the term, the Overton Window in education reform has moved dramatically in Colorado, and in order for the unions to win they had to embrace that change. They could only run the recall on personal attacks, the board is "disrespectful," and fibs, "the board violated open meetings laws." They couldn't and didn't run on the policy changes made. Wow.
Yeah, but. Cannot one file this away with Sen, Harry Reid's getting the NRA endorsement? It's okay if they win and enact their policies as long as they lie?
An "unfortunate truth" happened on the way to proving anthropogenic global warming "believers" are more likely to take actions to mitigate wildfire in the UFI (urban-forest interface) - scientists proved the opposite.
Respondents in the study were placed on a continuum from 'believer' to 'skeptic' based on their attitudes about the degree to which climate change affects wildfire risk in Colorado. Although over half of the study respondents agreed that climate change has increased wildfire risk in the state, those respondents were not necessarily more likely to take action on their private property to mitigate potential damage from future blazes.
The researchers did, however, find a correlation between climate change denial and risk mitigation actions.
"A small but distinct portion of respondents who reject climate science as a 'hoax' are also the ones who reported doing significantly more risk mitigation activities than other respondents," said Hannah Brenkert-Smith, a research associate in the Institute of Behavioral Sciences at CU-Boulder and lead author of the study.
The findings suggest that attitudes and actions related to climate change and risk mitigation are more nuanced than they are often portrayed in the media, and that focusing on locally relevant hazards may be a more useful tool for educating and galvanizing residents in fire-prone areas of Colorado.
"The conventional wisdom that a belief about climate change is a pre-requisite for mitigating local climate change impacts was not found in this analysis," said study co-author Patricia Champ of the U.S. Forest Service's Rocky Mountain Research Station. "This was a bit of a surprise."
Raise your hand if you're surprised.
I'm proud of my alma mater for publishing this study report, showing that their "conventional wisdom" is anything but.
Democratic presidential primary candidate Bernie Sanders is holding a rally in Boulder on Saturday, his campaign announced.
The Vermont senator, an Independent who has attracted large crowds in Colorado and other states and who is popular among progressives, plans to hold the rally at Potts Field at the University of Colorado at 2 p.m.
I know, I should let it go. But I have watched Reason Magazine and the sadly-cancelled Libertarian Hour of Power "The Independents" on FBN heap constant and effusive praise on my old Congressman, Jared Polis (Owner - CO). Poor folks, they cannot bear to be aligned with the GOP, so they must hunt mythical Democratic Libertarians. Polis accepts campaign donations in Bitcoin (oooo!) and supports gay rights. Clearly, a Libertarian.
When newly elected Jefferson County School Board member Julie Williams suggested last fall that the AP US History curriculum was incomplete and might warrant "a review" she was lynched by the education establishment and an army of willing pawns for trying to "whitewash history." Well...
Now the College Board, creator and owner of the AP test and curriculum, agrees with Ms. Williams.
According to the College Board Website: "[T]he 2014 edition of the 'AP U.S. History Course and Exam Description (CED)' sparked significant public conversations among students, educators, historians, policymakers, and others about the teaching of U.S. history."
It now includes "improvements to the language and structure of the course," a statement on the APUSH Website reads. "Every statement in the 2015 edition has been examined with great care based on the historical record and the principled feedback the College Board received. The result is a clearer and more balanced approach to the teaching of American history."
Our humble little vaulting club has grown in size and skill level, to the point where the Mile High Vaulters are the second largest club competing at the AVA National Championship this year. And the best part - Northern Coloradoans have a chance to come and watch them compete for top honors at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland!
Come on, y'all! (There's not much talk like that in the equestrian vaulting community. That's all me.)
Possible sub-head: 'The modern reprise of Don Quixote.'
Since the wee hours of the TEA Party movement I've been pleading for elected representatives to call shenanigans on the Washington "establishment" that fleeces the citizenry while telling us "we're looking out for you." My representative, Congressman Ken Buck (A Republic - CO) is proving to be such a man.
While he angered my fellow liberty and conservative activists by not walking the plank in a futile effort to oust Speaker Boehner (Washington D.C. - OH) he proved his constitutional bona fides by being one of only 34 courageous Republicans to vote NO on the TPA bill, aka "Obamatrade." And now he is fundraising on it.
Bully, Congressman! I'm in. Don't tell dagny but I put my money where my blogging is.
Join me by visiting Ken's donate page. He suggested $25, which sounded fair to a tightwad like me.
From the "courageous Republicans" link above:
"Americans should be proud that 34 Republicans put their country before their political party today," Americans for Limited Government president Rick Manning tells Breitbart News. "Their vote to stop Obamatrade dead in its tracks is one that sets the stage for tomorrow's defeat of enabling him to fast track the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other treaties. The nation owes these 34 heroes a debt of gratitude."
It's been a while since we've held a ThreeSources blogger bash. Three years, in fact. Well, let's do it again! I'm the Secretary of the Weld County Republicans now so I can probably make sure we actually get our assigned table this time. Plus Rick Santorum will not be making an 11th hour appearance this time so attendance will not be standing-room-only.
RSVP deadline is Friday at noon. Reply in the comments and I'll buy your ticket(s). You can reimburse me at the event.
Here's the sales pitch I made to my family members, shamelessly plagiarized for shamelessly self-promoting to my fellow bloggers:
I talked to Opa tonight about inviting the entire SNP gang to the Weld County Lincoln Day Dinner and he thought it would be fun. The keynote speaker will be the new Chairman of the Colorado GOP, Steve House. Steve has a reform oriented agenda intended to appeal to a more diverse and liberty minded audience of Colorado voters.
But speeches are only part of the evening. There won’t be dancing but it will still be a rare chance to get dressed up, find a babysitter, and let someone else do the cooking and cleaning for a change while you just relax and have fun.
The dinner is a week from Saturday at the UNC Ballroom in Greeley at 6:30 pm. As Secretary of the Weld GOP I can make sure that we all get to sit together, at adjacent tables of 8. Tickets are $40 each and I have a deadline of Friday at noon. Please consider joining Jodi, Opa and me. I think you might be pleasantly surprised at the new direction of Colorado Republicans under its new leadership.
Please RSVP by tomorrow night.
To make room for bikes, Boulder to test fewer vehicle lanes
"Right-sizing" pilot programs to be installed this summer after City Council weighs in
For the out of towners, I have to share that I have completely stopped going to Boulder for anything. I can sneak into company HQ when needed using country roads to the outskirts. But Boulder proper is impermeable to automotive traffic, and it is generally accepted that the pooh-bahs on City Council like it like that: suckier traffic will force alternatives at the margins.
The lovely bride and I moved our medical stuff up to Fort Collins -- thirty miles away instead of fifteen, but obviating Boulder traffic.
The fix is so obvious, though, I did not see it. Convert some of the traffic lanes to bike paths. Now, why didn't I think of that?
Now that weed is legal in Colorado, Washington, and probably more states very soon, prominent former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney says"he doesn't want to set a bad example for his children and grandchildren by using marijuana." Instead he prefers wine or "a nice margarita."
Hasn't he gotten the memo that marijuana is safer and better for you than booze? I would have expected a more enlightened decision from a long-time vegetarian advocate. Next he'll be saying he's Taxed Enough Already, or something stupid and white like that.
I put these on FB -- sorry for the duplication, but here you can click for high-rez.
Even my overpriced Lumina 1020 could not capture the splendor (due to operator limitations, surely). I have never seen a rainbow like that ever. Should I be building an ark and looking for a male Havanese?
Trollin', Trollin', Trollin', Keep Those Doggies Trollin'...
One of the last bills to die an ignominious death on the last day of our State Legislature is a repeal of the Rain Barrel Ban; repeal would allow Centennial Staters to capture and store 110 Gallons of water from their roof.
DENVER -- Colorado's only-in-the-nation ban on backyard rain barrels is sticking around for another year.
The state Senate moved Tuesday to reject a bill to allow homeowners to use up to two 55-gallon rain barrels. The maneuver was a late-evening vote to delay the bill, meaning it won't make it to the governor's desk before lawmakers conclude work for the year.
A Facebook friend is displeased.
I put my contrarian's hat on, thanks to a talk with Brother jg's State Senator last month:
It was a purposeful appeal to authority, and the bad typing simply highlighted my passion. As Sheriff, Cooke led the charge against the bad gun bills. He is nobody's statist. This is, though, a "common sense" issue. I am definitely not making the sale in a crowd that is quite friendly to liberty.
Am I *gasp* wrong? Dozens of comments not shown are all against.
While Nevitt relied on fundraisers, establishment support, and the public backing of high-profile elected officials, O'Brien simply ran a bootstrapped campaign where he explained his qualifications and differences between he and Nevitt to any voter who would listen.
And it is was refreshing to see a well-qualified candidate defeat a well-connected but unqualified candidate.
Just when you thought the advance of world socialism and the self-serving crony government Leviathan is invincible, something like this comes along and ruins your whole dystopian future worldview. What's a tinfoil hat wearer to do?
News this week that the town of Erie, Colorado has embarked on a growth program in an effort to attract commercial activity and its concomitant tax revenue to fund city services.
[Erie Mayor Tina] Harris said that the commitments to so much water infrastructure and residential construction were made in order to attract the kind of commercial tax revenue for which the town is still starved.
"We wanted to be able to have commercial development in town, like King Soopers, like a Super Target in the future, hopefully -- just the amenities that our citizens would want to have in town," she said. "We had to have enough rooftops to get those amenities even interested in Erie, so previous boards made decisions to build so much residential to try to prove to the commercial industry that Erie had enough residents that would be their customers."
Well I have one suggestion: Stop trying to ban oil and gas development, and its concomitant tax revenue! Perhaps instead you might try negotiating a deal where they are given streamlined permitting in preferred areas in return for a municipal surtax. Wouldn't that prove something to commercial industry about Erie's priorities? Or does that make too much sense for you to consider, Ms. Mayor?
Democratic and Republican legislators are drafting a measure to create a presidential primary in Colorado, The Denver Post has learned, a significant shift in one of the last dozen or so states that operates on a caucus system.
Most of the legislation's details are still being negotiated, but the tentative plan would put the primary in a prominent spot on the 2016 calendar and make the swing state a top prize in the nominating process.
My chief objection would be if it binds all of Colorado's delegates to vote for the primary winner. I suppose that would be alright if they were only bound on the first ballot but really, at this point, what difference does it make if most of the other states already have primaries instead of caucuses anyway? Our form of government is becoming more democratic, and less republican, and nobody really even notices.
Most ThreeSourcers are aware of the dynamics that cause politicians to resist actually solving problems that they claim to champion, and that those factors cause the same to happen with social activist groups - think Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Coalition. But what never occurred to me until now is that, sometimes, the same thing can happen in gun rights advocacy.
JK dubbed the National Association for Gun Rights the "People's Gun Rights of Judea two weeks ago. He directed ire at the NRA for blacklisting pols who associate with the competing group. Without any opining on the NRA in its own right, it is becoming painfully clear that the NAGR and it's Colorado predecessor, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) are not gun owners' friends.
A full-blown public war of words has developed between RMGO and Colorado liberty groups and the Independence Institute. Independence's president, Jon Caldera, held a radio telethon of sorts to lay out the depth and breadth of RMGO malfeasance. In short, it is opposing state legislation that would EXPAND gun rights, in the form of increasing magazine capacity limits, for the express reason that ANY limitation is an infringement on gun rights and gun owners should hold out for full repeal of the law.
"Shut your pie hole and go buy one [magazine of 16 round capacity or more] and ignore the law," said Dudley Brown, president of RMGO. But ignoring the law doesn't make it go away, and the law's existence helps RMGO raise money through political donations by citizens who fear that the law will be expanded, not rolled back. Okay Dudley, will YOU ignore the law? Will you stop fundraising on it?
The fetal homicide bill introduced Tuesday by Senate President Bill Cadman includes an unborn child, at every stage of gestation from conception to live birth, as a "person" for the purposes of homicide and assault offenses.
However, it specifically says it does not apply to an act committed by the mother of her unborn child or a medical procedure performed by a physician or other licensed medical professional at the request of a mother of
her unborn child or the mother's legal guardian.
But not for Democrats:
Cadman told The Denver Post the bill protect's [sic] a woman's right to choose abortion, but Democrats decried it as an attempt to put "personhood" into law.
I decry the Democrats utter refusal to consider the humanity of unborn people. After all, the feds crossed this reasonable and obvious rubicon eleven years ago.
Dear dagny is reserving her emotional investment until at least June but I will go on public record that I am on the Rocktober bandwagon already.
Arenado nearly doubled up the guy at third, too, which is even more incredible.
That said, part of my prescription for a successful season is to keep the starters healthy. Rest them regularly and coach them to hustle, but not take dangerous risks that could end their season. Nolan got away with it this time but even he said after the game he probably wouldn't do it if he had a do-over.
District Attorney Stan Garnett (D-People's Republic of Boulder) will not pursue murder charges against a woman who forcibly removed a 7 month fetus from her mother, killing the child.
"Colorado law defines homicide as the killing of a person by another," Garnett said.
Fine so far, except that this terse definition doesn't make any allowance for self-defense.
"A person does not include a fetus, even if the child is born following the injury that ultimately leads to its death. It's on this point of law that Colorado is absolutely unambiguous." [emphasis mine]
"A prosecutor cannot file murder charges when a baby that is killed has not lived outside the womb," he said. "District attorneys do not decide the law. They enforce it as it is written."
As much as I disagree with the law as written, I can't disagree here. But a decision was made in this case:
"At this time, neither the autopsy or the investigation have provided any evidence that the baby exhibited any signs of life outside of the womb, therefore the circumstance is not being considered a live birth," [County Coroner Emma] Hall [D-People's Republic of Boulder] wrote. [emphasis mine]
I'm left wondering what Ms. Hall might consider "evidence that the baby exhibited any signs of life outside the womb." Her first report card, perhaps?
Garnett said it had been widely reported that witness David Ridley told Longmont police immediately after the incident that he had seen the baby, named Aurora, take a gasping breath.
"Upon a more thorough examination of this witness by the Longmont Police Department, the witness clarified that Aurora was still and her mouth was open, but she was not breathing," Garnett said.
The ol' "didn't inhale" defense. Well, with every measure of respect Mr. District Attorney, bullshit. This juror believes the witness' initial statement, not the one obtained by police officers in your county "upon a more thorough examination" and after he realized or was informed that a breathing baby is a murder victim. And the witness did not even see the baby until the suspect had transported her across town. If she was still taking a "gasping breath" at that time, she was clearly breathing in some manner or other before then.
So the child/baby/fetus that was ripped from her mother will receive only as much justice as a charge of "first-degree attempted murder" and some assault charges. And the suspect will walk on that charge because she didn't injure any of the mother's vital organs, so couldn't have been attempting her murder and, as the DA so has so speciously explained, "a person does not include a fetus."
If a child takes a breath in a bathtub and there is no medical examiner there to hear it, does it really make a sound?
How can these people sleep at night?
UPDATE: [8:38 am MDT 3/28] I gave more thought to the legal fig leaf Garnett is standing behind in this case. Namely, "District attorneys do not decide the law. They enforce it as it is written."
I thought he may have weighed in on last year's gay marriage controversy, where several counties including Boulder began issuing same-sex marriage licenses in contravention of federal law within days of a 10th Circuit Court ruling the federal law unconstitutional, despite the ruling having been stayed. Apparently he did not. However, he did have something to say on the matter in 2010 during his campaign against incumbent Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, when a Massachusetts judge made a similar ruling:
"This decision is an appropriate endorsement of states' rights and local control, respecting the right of individual states to resolve important and controversial issues for themselves. As Attorney General, I will work to uphold the will of Colorado voters." [emphasis mine]
Despite this pledge to essentially "decide the law" for Coloradoans, Garnett lost the campaign for Attorney General - but should Colorado voters not expect him to live up to his own pledge as the Boulder District Attorney?
This isn't directly comparable, as the "will of Colorado voters" in the present case is expressed by the large number of individuals who made their opinion known to the DA rather than by ballot initiative. But the principle remains - in some cases the law "as written" is unjust.
The so-called Net Neutrality rules imposed on service providers for the "information superhighway" last week were sold as essential to prevent companies from restricting internet access for those who can't afford to pay higher tolls on the "fast lanes."
Today I read opposition to this point of view from, of all places, Boulder, Colorado.
"In my view, (the tolls) make a lot of sense if we want to use this efficiently, and I think we have to," Nuzzi said.
You see, "When roads and parking lots are free, he said, they tend to become overused."
Oh, "the internet is different than roads and parking lots" you say? I will admit that is true - when government prohibits the allocation of limited capacity by price, and the capacity is overused, it's much harder for voters to see slow internet connections than traffic jams and packed parking lots.
I think we can safely say that Colorado's 51st State, secessionist movement has fizzled. A better metaphor is drowned -- 100 year floods both captured the media's attention and forced moderates to cling to existing security institutions.
Well, it was a good time and it highlighted the urban-rural divide in State politics. I had warm thoughts as I read a WSJ editorial reporting that 15 New York towns want to trade the Empire State for neighboring, fracking-friendly Pennsylvania.
That part of Pennsylvania is booming. Upstate New York, as anyone who drives through it can attest, is an economic bummer.
James Finch, town supervisor in Conklin, New York, described to a local TV station the difference in life on either side of the state line. "Everybody over the border has new cars, new four-wheelers, new snowmobiles," he said. "They have new roofs, new siding." Life in New York's Southern Tier towns is "desolate."
Governor Cuomo has created an American version of the Cold War's East Berlin--with economic life booming on one side of the divide, while an anti-economic ideology stifles it on the other.
Colorado has been buffered from bad government by the Taxpayer Bill Of Rights (or TABOR after a local landmark): spending increases beyond inflation/population growth must be voted upon, and surpluses . . . say from whopping weed sales . . . must be returned unless they can convince the electorate to let them keep it.
Democrat Rep. Joe Salazar says your money is his -- look it's printed right on there!
Erie Mayor Tina Harris, who was held to standards on these pages, has mastered the non-apology apology, so critical to political success.
What I was expressing with this comment is the people paid to come into our community were not presenting their message and petition from an Erie point of view. They did not understand the issue from an Erie point of view. In other words they did not sound like Erie. They did not look like Erie because their effort was not an Erie based effort. It was not a comment on something superficial. It was a comment on their message and its lack of being Erie centered. I should have said it that way, instead of shortening it to what I did.
The comment was an attempt to ensure Erie resident's voices held more weight than paid representatives. After all, my duty is to speak for and stand up for Erie residents over all others. I should have remembered, when taking a stand there are always people who will try to weaken your stance. The lady who posted the video has helped me understand, "every single word, every phrase, will be analyzed." While I do not appreciate the manner she has gone about teaching me this lesson, I do understand the message. As Leon Brown said, "The person who does you wrong, is also teaching you a lesson. Respect them for this, if nothing else."
They may have had numbers, but the withering rationality of Brother JG held the day!
Two weeks after the Erie Board of Trustees narrowly voted to delay its consideration of a one-year fracking moratorium, the town's elected leaders struck down the measure along the same 4-3 line Tuesday night.
Enough Boulderites have polluted the freedom-loving polity of Weld County, that my home town of Erie is voting on a fracking ban. There was a hearing last week which I could not attend. Brother jg emails that it is continued or brought to a vote tonight. I will see whether I can attend.
Thank you for your time. I write to urge a no vote on any bans or moratoria on fracking or energy development in Erie.
Weld County has practiced safe energy development for a long time. My wife and I moved into the county in 2008 and we love it here. I own no mineral rights nor directly profit in any way from energy production. All the same, I am a strong proponent of property rights and it is unfair of me to determine the disposition of others' property.
I do benefit indirectly from the economic activity, lower energy costs, and tax revenue from energy production.
I have no doubt that those who seek to restrict it have good intentions. But they are wrong on property rights, wrong on the externalities of energy production and wrong to oppose an important economic source of wealth for Weld County and the State of Colorado.
Two weeks after the Erie Board of Trustees narrowly voted to delay its consideration of a one-year fracking moratorium, the town's elected leaders struck down the measure along the same 4-3 line Tuesday night.
Click through for details, and for a picture of blog friend Brad Beck giving testimony.
The city also needs a marketing campaign to engage the community in a shared goal, he [Boulder Senior Environmental Planner Brett KenCairn] said. (...)
"What motivates a community to participate in this level of transformation?" he said. "The way we have been framing the problem and the goal is now part of the problem. Aspirational goals are deeply personal. Climate as catastrophe is not a good motivator."
Question: Once regional drivers pass the city limit sign, don't they belong to someone else's ambitious climate goals?
There was one more ballot return count from the SoS office this morning. The next count will be the final one, and will be proceeded by the actual vote tally, so only eggheads like me will even care.
While a far cry from the heady day of October 24, when the R-D differential was 12 points, we're still looking at 7.3 points at the moment - 5 points better than in 2012. And another ray of optimism for Republicans, or everyone who's opposed to redistributionist, authoritarian Progressive Democrats, is that this election has seen significantly fewer young voters and significantly more "seasoned" ones.
UPDATE: RNC Chief of Staff Mike Shields talks about Colorado early voters:
"Our work has been focused on getting these voters to the polls early or to vote absentee if possible, so that we build up our vote totals ahead of Election Day and cut into the Democrats' traditional early vote advantage," Shields added. "While we're turning out low propensity voters, our data tell us that Democrats have actually been turning out voters who would vote regardless."
The Unaffiliated sentiment is the biggest factor. It looks like we'll soon know whether or not there's a War on Womyn. *
* It can't be called a war on all women anymore, now that our president has told us that "we" don't want moms to stay at home and raise families. Or at least, not a war on those women by Republicans.
"Sometimes, someone, usually mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. And that's not a choice we want Americans to make."
Having basically sworn off the sitcom genre since, I dunno, The Cosby Show, I hadn't heard of Last Man Standing until my brother-in-law finally suggested it. The latest episode 'School Merger' [sign in to your TV subscription provider required] features the grandson (with a enviro-leftist son-in-law father) dressed up as an "earth destroying" lump of coal for Halloween, and a reference to Governor Hickenlooper as a fictitious candidate (because, what, you expect me to believe that's a real name?)
Here's a taste that doesn't require authentication.
DVR'ing is recommended.
Did I mention that Mike's wife, Vanessa, is a geologist who works for a coal company? Har!
Between Wednesday and today, 244,245 more ballots were returned by Colorado voters.
68,557 were unaffiliated with a party
76,542 were registered Democratic
96,427 were registered Republican
The derivative of the R-D margin, which I had projected at -1% per reporting interval, slipped to just -0.3%. The second derivative, i.e. the "momentum" of the Republican vs. the Democratic "ground game" is therefore positive at this point.
I wrote this essay in May 2003, comparing the private sector amenities available to a customer buying an oil change to those at the State-coerced Clean Air Colorado emissions test.
I endured the latter yesterday (hmm, reminds me -- I need the former) and decided that the essay needs an update. Indulge me and read the old one, even if only to see how little my prose has matured in 138 months.
To be fair, some things have improved. I still have to drive ten miles (spewing foul exhaust all the way there and back) but now, instead of Boulder, I can take pleasant country roads to the Weld County location and grab a Starbucks a half-mile away. The web site lists wait times and I did not wait long right before noon on the second to last day of the month.
Being Weld County, the people are more pleasant -- although I was never greeted or thanked. I was waved into a bay when it was time and told where the waiting room was. The cheap seats had seat cushions and there was thankfully no TV. When completed, it was parked for 10-15 minutes before someone came to print papers and take my money. O blinding hour, Oh terrible holy day -- they take credit cards now!
To be clear, nobody was surly or officious. My only complaint -- except being forced to take an hour out of my day for "emissions theatre" -- was the long wait at the end to get me out. But the last oil change I got was at a Jiffy Lube in Longmont. They had a Starbucks machine in the lobby, satellite TV, comfy chairs, and staff that respected your time.
And the Great American Tire location of which I spoke so lovingly? It has been empty for many years. The market has spoken. But, pacé Sec Clinton, State coercion is creating jobs:
The liberal Denver Post endorsed Mr. Gardner, chiding the Democrat for failing to talk about substantive issues. Mr. Gardner has jumped on that contrast, too, ramping up his focus on kitchen-table issues like the economy, energy, education and the environment -- which polls show are resonating well with independents and Denver suburbanites, crucial voting blocs. He also seems to be holding his own among Hispanic voters.
Mr. Udall has now all but given up on claiming he has a winning message; his campaign has been reduced to promising that the party's vaunted ground operation will grind out a surprise victory. And maybe it will. But this year's Colorado is hardly proving a blueprint for future Democratic campaigns. It's modeling gone wrong.
I just commented on The Three Sources Platform? post that, in Colorado's 2012 general election, less than 1 percent of the ballots returned were by registered Libertarians or American Constitution Party members. That doesn't seem like much until one considers that the turnout amongst registered Democrats was 35% and Republicans 37%, with Unaffiliateds making up 28% of the vote. The narrow 2-point margin between the parties whose candidates might actually win can easily be swamped by an unequal split amongst U's, and the minor party votes may or may not make a difference in any individual race. (Usually, it should be noted, not.)
The 2012 election results were mixed, with Democrats and Republicans winning about equally, Democrats having a slight edge in both legislative houses. So the question now becomes, what does 2014 look like? We won't know for sure until election weeks come to an end on November 4th but because of the Secretary of State's practice that I highlighted last week, early voting returns tabulated by party affiliation are available to the public and are updated Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week. So how do they look? Not good for Democrats.
Republicans are up 7 points to 44%.
Democrats are down 3 to 32%.
The margin is therefore up from 2% to 12%. (That's plus 10 points, boys and girls.)
(Unaffiliateds are down too, from 28% to 23%)
And this breakdown has been fairly consistent since the first of four data dumps, starting last Friday, as shown in the graph below.
I recall past discussions of a collaborative effort to list the principles that ThreeSourcers could agree upon, and that we thought would gain supporters and promote liberty at the expense of Leviathan. I believe we have a possible starting point with the platform of Libertarian for Colorado Governor Mike Dunafon:
He stands firm on the following issues:
- More Individual Liberty
- Less Government Regulation & Surveillance
- More Support for our Veterans
- An End to the War on Hemp
- Protect the 2nd Amendment
- Private Property, Commercial Liberty
- Marital Equality for ALL
- Women control their bodies
- Local Control of Education
- Release Non-Violent Drug Offenders
- Critical Thinking
- Independent Leadership
- Liberty & Freedom for all Coloradans
And where does this differ from the modern GOP? Drug war and social issues. Period.
What if the GOP released its pit bull bite from those marginal causes? More young voters. More female voters. More minority voters. More liberty and less Leviathan.
Just imagine Wyclef Jean and Snoop Dog with prime time appearances at the GOP convention, and Romney-like GOP candidates arriving at appearances to the rap refrain of Mayor Mike Dunafon!
I need to get out more. This video dates to 2012, during the Romney-Obama campaign season, but Breitbart and I are just discovering it now. Why? Because it was, and apparently still is, on the Facebook page of a Jeffco 8th grade government studies teacher. Yee Haw! Where were the cool teachers when I was in 8th grade!
It's a very catchy tune with talented vocals but it does have me waxing nostalgic for the day when lyrics were unintelligible. And by the way, if one is "sick and tired of all the hatred you harbor" should she refrain from saying "You say you think we need to go to war well you're already in one, 'cause it's people like you that need to get slew..." and writing a chorus of "F*** you, F*** you, F*** you?"
And yet I do agree with Ms. Allen on one thing: It's not me, it's you.
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.
Forecast Survey_June 2014
The Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) is seeking feedback on its quarterly economic and revenue forecast. Please take a minute and respond to our survey. The forecast can be accessed when clicking submit.
Please indicate your organization.
Colorado State Government Agency
Local Government Agency
Government Agency Outside Colorado - Federal, State, or Local
Economic Forecasting or Analysis Enterprise
Other Private Sector
Citizen accessing for my own use and information
What is the main reason(s) you read the OSPB forecast?
Please check all that apply.
General Fund Information
Cash Fund Information
Economic Statistics and Data
Economic Analysis and Explanation
If you have used or read previous OSPB forecast publications, on a scale from 1 to 10, how useful and informative would you rate the publication?
A 10 indicates extremely useful and a 1 indicates not very useful.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
OSPB may conduct an additional short survey as we continually improve the forecast publication. If you would be willing to participate in a short survey about the forecast at a later date, please provide your email address.
If you have any feedback regarding OSPB's economic forecast documents, please comment here:
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.
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.
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:
"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?
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.
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.
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:
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."
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...
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 AmendmentCitizens 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®!
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.
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?
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!
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."
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.
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!
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.
"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]
"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.
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
Follow us: @Denverpost on Twitter | Denverpost on Facebook
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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."
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.
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
"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."
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.
"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.
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.
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.
"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
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.
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:
Happy days are here again. The skies above are clear again. Let us sing a song of cheer again. Happy days are here again. #COrecall
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.
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.
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.
"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.
"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.
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
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.
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"
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.
Colorado SecState Scott Gessler is making an announcement at 5PM Mountain (three minutes from now):
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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...
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!”
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."
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.
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!
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."
"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.
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."
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.
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."
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...)
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.)
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!
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.
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."
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
"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."
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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. :)
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.)
Weld County Republican Party
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%)
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.
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.
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?
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.]
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
Get down on your knees (she walked but she'll never get away)
Get down on your knees
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
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.
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.
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%.
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 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.
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.*
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.
Read more: Parker dog may be totaled by insurance company - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_18691337?obref=obnetwork#ixzz1VJPY6dH3
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
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.]
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.
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.
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.
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 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."
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!"
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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!
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!"
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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)
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:
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.
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.