Coffman First Praised Trump for Planning a Summit with North Korea and Then for Canceling It

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U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) jumped on the radio this morning to say it’s a good thing Trump isn’t “so eager” to hold a summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

But three months ago, when Trump was facing criticism for impulsively pursuing a summit, Coffman said it was “positive” for Trump to meet with Kim Jong Un.

“I think that the fact that the president does not show that he’s so eager for an agreement is a positive,” said Coffman on KOA’s Morning News today. “I think that there’s still hope for an agreement. But it will be an agreement that will be for a lasting peace–and not the type of agreement that we’ve had by prior administrations, that the North Koreans have broken every one of them.” (May 24 at 50 seconds)

In March, when asked about Trump’s announcement of plans to meet with Kim Jong Un, Coffman called the development “positive.”

“I think obviously it’s positive when people are talking,” said Coffman, adding that he’d prefer a lower-level meeting, but economic sanctions and “containment is not the solution in and of itself.” (March 9 at 1 min 50 seconds)

Over the past three months, Coffman also changed his view completely about whether military force should be considered an option against North Korea.

The Aurora Congressman said March 9 on the same KOA 850-AM program that “obviously the threat of the use of military force is always on the table” (March 9 at 2 minutes 20 seconds) and then today that “certainly military conflict should not ever be viewed as an option.” (May 24 at 4 min 10 seconds)

A call to Coffman’s office seeking comment was not immediately returned.

Trump’s decision to meet with Kim Jong Un was met with surprise by Washington’s foreign policy establishment, in part because of the animosity that the two leaders had shown toward each other since Trump entered office.

In announcing the cancellation of his meeting with North Korea, Trump did not rule out the possibility of a future summit.

Robinson Claims Support for Colorado’s Red-Flag Bill Was Misreported, Disputing Record

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Back in April, KNUS radio host Craig Silverman reported that GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Robinson favored the “red flag” bill under consideration in the Colorado legislature, which would have allowed law enforcement officials to ask the courts for permission to seize guns from people who are deemed to pose a “significant risk” to themselves or others.

But Robinson is saying he actually opposed the legislation, which was killed by state senate Republicans after House Democrats, joined by two Republicans, approved the legislation in the Colorado House.

During a debate Saturday, presented by the Gazette/ColoradoPolitics/El Pomar, Robinson said:

Robinson: “We have to have the courage, we have to lead on a red-flag bill that makes sense. This last one did not. It did not have the due-process protections. But we could lead and make sure that guns are not in the hands of the mentally ill.”

Asked about the apparent inconsistency, Brett Maney, Robinson’s spokesman, told the Colorado Times Recorder via email:

“Doug’s been consistent in saying he supports Red Flag laws (something that he very clearly stated in the debate) and that he would support one with the proper due process protections in place,” said Maney. “He was disappointed that the bill was killed without any attempt to make those necessary due process changes, but without those changes, he thinks it’s better that it was killed.”

After hearing Robinson’s claim that he opposed Colorado’s red-flag bill, Silverman tweeted a photo of an email from Maney stating, “I agree with this bill and strongly urge its passage.”

Asked about Silverman’s email, Maney told me, “I assumed Craig was reaching out to get Doug on to discuss his support of the bill, so I didn’t detail his full position.”

During Saturday’s debate, Robinson also said he backs an “armed person in every school,” and he wants to “harden our schools,” citing a tool kit for greater school safety.

“We know the Democrats’ plan,” he said. “They want to take our guns away.”

By opposing Colorado’s red-flag bill, Robinson has thrown gasoline on the the fire  in the conservative underworld. The battle pits vocal GOP backers of the legislation, like Arapahoe County area district attorney George Brauchler, against KNUS hosts Chuck Bonniwell and Julie Hayden.

(more…)

Will Colorado’s Candidates for Governor Address Outdated Rules for Overtime Pay?

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The Bell Policy Center is calling on Colorado’s Republican and Democratic candidates for governor to address the outdated threshold for salaried workers to qualify for overtime pay.

Currently, only employees who earn less than $23,660 annually qualify for overtime. That’s a salary level that’s been in place since 1975 and includes only about seven percent of salaried workers in Colorado. Obama’s effort to raise it to $47,476 was blocked by the courts.

In a report released today, the Bell Policy Center points out that state governors can unilaterally set the maximum salary for overtime pay, and with the gubernatorial primary in full swing, the Bell Policy Center wants candidates debate ways to act on the issue.

“The current overtime rules contradict the purpose of the Fair Labor Standards Act, squeeze family budgets, and limit Colorado’s overall economic growth,” says Rich Jones, director of policy and research at the Bell Policy Center, a progressive-leaning organization. “Colorado policymakers — including candidates for governor — should discuss and consider ways to update our overtime rules so hardworking Coloradans can earn their fair share.”

Increasing overtime pay is one avenue, in concert with others, to fight Colorado’s “struggle with stagnant wages and rising costs,” states the Bell Policy Center’s news release announcing its report, which calls on the gubernatorial candidates to develop economic platforms that address the problem.

(more…)

Conservative Activist Wants Republicans to Become Unaffiliated And Vote for the “Weakest” Democrats

(Operation Chaos local edition – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Conservative activist and talk radio host Karen Kataline is calling on fellow Republicans to change their voter registration and become unaffiliated, so they can vote for “the weakest Democrat in the primary.”

“It’s easy to change party affiliation online,” states the North Suburban Republican Forum’s website, laying out Kataline’s case prior to her recent appearance as a speaker there. “This year, the deadline is May 29.  It’s just as easy to change it back [to Republican] for the general election.”

Over the past month, Kataline says she’s spoken to Republican audiences across the front range about this idea, broadly called Strategic Voting or Insincere Voting, including at the Arapahoe County Tea Party (a debate), Colorado Jewish Republicans, Denver Republican Breakfast, the Larimer County GOP breakfast, and the Jefferson County GOP Breakfast Club. She’s making her case on talk radio and online forums as well.

“There is no way to know if it’s working until we see the primary,” she said when asked if Republicans are accepting her idea, adding that she personally knows some Republicans who are going to do it. Others, she said, have told her they’d love to register as unaffiliated and vote Democratic, but they want cast a ballot in the GOP primary. Some hate the idea.

“I present it as an option, as a choice, not as, ‘You’re a bad person if you don’t do this.'” said Kataline, who describes herself as a author and commentator. “What I wanted to do, and I think it’s succeeding, is to get people to think about strategy and thinking outside the box.”

Asked if the groups she’s addressed back her proposal, she said, “There’s never even an implied endorsement. We like to think of ourselves as the party of individualism. So it’s your choice what you want to do.”

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Gardner sees Trump’s North Korea talks as “positive development” after denouncing Obama for lesser dialogue

(Right but that was OBAMA – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Senator Cory Gardner (R).

UPDATE #2 May 25: Now that the summit has been canceled, Gardner is still saying his North Korea policy forced the Kim Jong Un to agree to the summit.

Gardner on KOA 850-AM: “It’s that pressure that we brought to bear that actually made this summit possible in the first place, that pressure that started working in ways that we never imagined possible. And so we have to continue this pressure. We have to continue this approach. And we have to make sure that China and other countries around the world uphold to that very strict and rigorous sanctions regime.

And now Gardner’s policy can take credit for the failure of the summit.

———

UPDATE: In an NPR interview today, Gardner said he talked to Trump, and Trump agrees that he will not meet with Kim Jong-un without preconditions on denuclearization. For Gardner, this represents a flip back to his old position of insisting on precounditions. Gardner had abandoned this stance (See below.). For the president, it appears Trump hasn’t advocated this stance publicly, only in private to Gardner.

HOST (at 1 min 45 sec):You told The Daily Beast that there shouldn’t even be a summit if there’s no– as you just said — verifiable, irreversible path to denuclearization. So you clearly think that would be a precondition for these talks. You’ve been talking with President Trump about this. Does he agree with you?

GARDNER: Absolutely, he agrees.

———-

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) said on CBS last week that it was “certainly a positive move” for Trump to enter into talks with North Korea, even though he said the likely meeting should be taken “not only with a grain of salt but with perhaps an entire salt block.”

Gardner reiterated to CBS that the possible talks are a “positive development.”

But back in 2016 Gardner, when the Obama Administration reportedly engaged briefly in talks with North Korea without preconditions, just like Trump is doing but obviously at a lower level, Gardner was “extremely” disappointed, issuing this statement:

Gardner: It is extremely disappointing, yet unsurprising, that the Obama Administration would talk with North Korea without tough preconditions, including ending its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, human rights abuses, or cyber attacks. It was dangerously naive for the Obama Administration to offer concessions to Pyongyang’s Forgotten Maniac, Kim Jong-un, especially when we’ve seen the Iranian nuclear deal fail to change the behavior of that regime. Like Iran, North Korea doesn’t play by the rules, and it’s far past time that the United States meets its aggression with strength. My North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act changes U.S. policy to offer real solutions to counter North Korea’s belligerence. I’m proud it has been signed into law and it represents a significant shift away from the Obama Administration’s failed policy that has led to three nuclear tests since President Obama assumed office.” [Emphasis added]

Does that sound like the same senator who praised Trump’s outreach to Kim Jong-un as positive?

As recently as November, Gardner was warning against any talks without preconditions.

Gardner: Moreover, before any talks in any format with North Korea, the United States and our partners must demand that Pyongyang first adhere to the denuclearization commitments it had already agreed to in the past – and subsequently chose to brazenly violate.

What changed? Gardner didn’t return a call seeking comment, but judging from his media statements, it looks like his official explanation might be that North Korea has changed due to economic sanctions by the U.S. and others. But everything changed in just six months?

More likely: Gardner didn’t want to stand up to, or even criticize, Trump on the issue, especially because Gardner once claimed that he had Trump’s ear on North Korea policy.

That’s in keeping with Gardner’s stance toward Trump on many issues, as seen in Gardner’s 91 percent score of voting in line with the president and Gardner’s depressing silence on one pathetic and bizarre Trump antic after another.

Coffman Blames Everyone But Himself for Not Helping Dreamers

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Tom Tancredo y Mike Coffman.

It was good to see ColoradoPolitics dedicate a post to U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) announcement Wednesday that he supports a parliamentary maneuver to force a long-stalled vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on the Dreamer issue. Who’s not hoping this works? And it might.

But the ColoradoPolitics piece allows Coffman to blame everyone except himself for ignoring the Dreamers, when he’s been a major part of the problem.

Especially in this boisterous election season, ColoradoPolitics should not have posted this quote from Coffman without offering someone, somewhere, the chance to critique it:

“Democrats failed to make immigration reform a priority when they had control of the U.S. House, and Republican leaders have not made any progress to date,” Coffman said in the Wednesday statement. “I’m proud to be a part of this bipartisan effort to finally bring these important immigration reform bills to a vote.”

While it’s true that Democrats did control the U.S. House of Representatives from 2007-2009, Coffman is flat-out wrong to blame “Republican leaders” for the lack of progress on the Dreamer issue, as if he wasn’t part of the problem, even in recent years.

In fact, as anyone who’s tracked the heart-breaking immigration issue knows, the best chance that Dreamers had at gaining protection from deportation died in the Repubublican-controlled House in 2013, after the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly and bipartisanly passed a comprehensive immigration bill by a vote of 68-32. The immigration bill included the Dream Act, which includes a path to citizenship.

ColoradoPolitics even cited the 2103 immigration bill in its post that featured Coffman slamming his partisan colleagues and patting himself on the back.

“Whichever bill makes it to the Senate has at least a fighting chance. The Senate is where Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet had success with the Gang of Eight in 2013 to pass a bipartisan immigration reform bill, only to watch it wither away in the House,” reported ColoradoPolitics.

But the post left out the fact that Coffman opposed the 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill, and did nothing to stop his colleagues form killing it, leaving Dreamers desperate for help and the rest of us crying.

Facts Expose Former Congressman’s Bigotry, but He Doesn’t Care

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In April after a man drove a van onto a crowded sidewalk in Toronto, former Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo became a media critic on Facebook, writing that The Denver Post’s headline about the incident left out a key fact.

“Van Kills 10, injures 15 in Toronto; driver in custody”

“There is no mention of the actual killer (and by the way, it’s not the van),” Tancredo commented on Facebook. “I am going to go out on a limb here and say the driver was not a Southern Baptist. How can anyone, even liberals, defend this blatant bastardization of journalism? Of course examples of similar corruption of the profession are too plentiful to begin to document. These two just are too good to pass up. The word ‘terrorist’ can’t be used because it doesn’t fit their narrative that Islam is a religion of peace and that border security isn’t necessary.” [Emphasis added.]

But it turns out, the driver of the van wasn’t an Islamic extremist but some guy, who seems mentally ill.

Tancredo told me he doesn’t care, and he doesn’t regret his bigoted implication that the driver of the van was a Muslim, even though the incident shows why journalists don’t speculate about a suspect before they can find out the facts. It’s partly how they facilitate civil, rational debate.

All Tancredo wanted to talk about was the headline, which he thinks should have read, “Van driver kills 10.” That’s what he wanted it to say.

Because vans don’t kill people; van drivers do, he said, just like guns don’t kill people. That’s his point. Nevermind that the headline states, “driver in custody.”

No problem with the headline, in my opinion, but Tancredo’s inability to own up to his own bigotry toward Muslims, when the facts exposed irrefutably exposed him? That’s where the problem is.

Post Journalists: “Hey Hey. Ho Ho. Alden Global Has Got to Go”

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A flock of journalists, from an array of media outlets, covered a rally of about 100 people at The Denver Post headquarters today, pointing cameras at marching and chanting Post reporters, who called on the newspaper’s hedge-fund owner, Alden Global, to find a buyer who cares about journalism and the community.

One of the journalists covering the rally didn’t want to be interviewed about it, saying he needed permission from his bosses before commenting to the press.

But another,  KOA 850-AM’s Jerry Bell, quickly offered his take.

“It’s horrible,” Bell said when asked how it felt to cover the rally. “A lot of those people are my friends. I’ve worked side-by-side with them for years. It’s heartbreaking.”

Despite somewhat strong chants of, “What do we want? A new owner. When do we want it? Now,” an undercurrent of horribleness and heartbreakingness, not to mention vulnerability and sadness, indeed pervaded the rally today at the industrial-scale Post headquarters.

That’s because no one at the rally, or chit chatting on the side or anywhere on the internet, explained how The Post’s predicament, with a hedge-fund owner that’s chopping away at the newsroom, ends well.

No path toward a solution is on the table, but, still, the goal was clear, as expressed in a chant that went, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Alden Global has got to go.”

A dubious group of potential buyers, who rode a media wave after the Post’s former Editorial Page Editor Chuck Plunkett penned an editorial critical of Alden last month, has disappeared, at least for now. Plunkett himself resigned, after a follow-up editorial was rejected by Alden executives.

Plunkett spoke at the rally, expressing the painfully obvious truth that the journalists in front of him were uncomfortably protesting and marching.

But Plunkett also told the crowd and the reporters present, “Local journalism is way too important to be neglected, as it has been over the past few years. Local journalism is way too important to be censored, as we are starting to see now. We really need Alden Global to come around and start reinvesting in its newsrooms and start looking for a way to preserve journalism across all its holdings, particularly at the Denver Post. Or they need to sell to more responsible owners. That’s the message these people are trying to get out. And these people have been working hard, under impossible conditions, for way too long. And it’s time for the people of Colorado to stand up and help these folks, if they care about local journalism, and they should.”

Plunkett is soft-spoken and precise with his words, which makes him a somewhat unlikely character to become the poster child for saving journalism in Denver, but most journalists would be similarly ill-suited for the role. That’s their nature, as Plunkett himself expressed.

Yet, as the signs carried by The Post journalists read, “Democracy Depends on Journalism.”

So there’s hope. There’s still a lot of great journalists in Denver, outside The Post.

And the Post’s cause is so noble that big civic-minded money may well flow its way. That’s what I’m waiting for, at least.

Mitchell and Robinson Support ‘Red Flag’ Bill; Lopez is against it; and Stapleton Won’t Say, Radio Host Reports

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Mitt Romney’s Nephew.

UPDATE: A reader kindly pointed out to me that Stapleton came out against the bill on Saturday. He answers a question about the legislation here beginning at 19 min 30 seconds. He says, in part, “I know the bill. I have not read the bill verbatim. My concerns with the bill are, number one, as I have experienced during my career at the treasurer’s office during seven legislative sessions, eight to be completed, no bill that gets introduced during the last 10 days is a good piece of legislation. Nothing that’s rushed ever makes sense. And my concern is, this bill was introduced during the last couple days of the legislative session. ..  I am deeply concerned about the due process and lack of due process associated with the bill and what can be done to redress some sort of decision that was made on an individual unfairly….”

——–

Prior to his show on KNUS Saturday, host Craig Silverman reached out to all the Republican gubernatorial candidates to find out where they stand on the “red flag” bill, which allows law enforcement officials to ask the courts for permission to seize guns from people who are deemed to pose a “significant risk” to themselves or others.

Silverman (at 9 minutes here): “Victor Mitchell wrote back, and he said, I favor the bill. Doug Robinson wrote back, I favor the bill. You know what, I favor those responses. Greg Lopez wrote a response. It’s unbelievable, the statement he released in opposition to this [proposed] law. If it was a seventh grade paper, I’d give it a D. It makes no sense. It starts with a double negative. And it gets worse after that. And Greg Lopez, I like you, brother, and you came to my studio, and I was there when you gave that speech to the Assembly, but you are not going to get my vote. Maybe you’ll get other people’s votes…

As for Walker Stapleton, he has not gotten back to me. Anybody who knows Walker Stapleton’s position on this issue, give me a call, 303-696-1971 [studio line].”

Despite the support from some Republicans, it appears the red-flag bill, which was passed by the Colorado state house Friday, will die in the state senate, but not just because the GOP members of the Senate’s State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee, which will consider the bill, oppose the legislation.

In fact all the chamber’s Republican members would vote against it, according to GOP Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert, as reported by the Denver Post’s Jesse Paul Reported today:

When asked about potential GOP support for the legislation — House Bill 1436 — in the Republican-controlled Senate, Grantham and others brushed off the notion.

“There is no divide in the Senate,” Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert, R-Parker, told reporters.

Republican gubernatorial candidates part ways on whether to roll back Obamacare in Colorado

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Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Robinson told Colorado Public Radio this week that, as governor, he wouldn’t focus on rolling back Obamacare, putting him at odds with fellow primary candidate Walker Stapleton and Victor Mitchell.

Asked by Colorado Public Radio’s Ryan Warner whether he’d “roll back the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare,” Robinson said:

Robinson: “Really hard to roll things back, right? What we need to do is to change the incentives. So I would look at things as I said, like managed care. I would look at maybe increasing the co-pays or doing what Indiana did. They now charge a small premium to their Medicaid folks every month, it’s from $8 to $18 a month, and it makes a difference in how those people consume health care.”

Stapleton, the front runner in the GOP primary, would go further on Obamacare than Robinson, saying in a KOA 850-AM radio appearance last year and elsewhere he wants to get rid of the online marketplace where Obamacare-approved insurance plans are sold to the public.

In the KOA interview, Stapleton said that “we’re going to have to scrap the exchange” in Colorado, because it’s “not viable.”

Stapleton’s stance against the insurance market place, a core element of the Affordable Care Act, comes close saying he wants Obamacare repealed totally, though Stapleton has yet to say so explicitly.

But Stapleton has said Obamacare’s individual mandate, the federal requirement that Americans must have health insurance, is a “disaster.

Robinson is also against Obamacare’s health insurance mandate, which was intended to keep insurance rates down by ensuring that young and healthy people as well as old and sick ones are paying into the system.

It was eliminated under the new federal GOP tax law.

Stapleton, who is Colorado’s treasurer, presumably supports the Republican move to end the mandate, even though the provision is expected to throw 235,000 people off the Medicaid insurance rolls in Colorado by 2025, according to the Center for American Progress, a liberal research organization. 

Stapleton told me after a debate in February that he believes the federal government will turn Medicaid into a “block grant” for the states, and he gave no indication that he’d oppose such efforts to do this, like the Obamacare repeal bills that died in the U.S. Senate last year. He told KHOW radio host Ross Kaminsky the same thing in an Oct. 17 interview (at 56 min).

Stapleton explained to Kaminsky that he’d save Medicaid dollars by offering diverse types of health-insurance plans to different segments of the population, including “plans with higher deductibles, catastrophic plans.” He also wants to increase “community healthcare centers.”

Stapleton has said multiple times that Florida Gov. Rick Scott has done a “good job” managing Medicaid (at 56 min).

This raises questions because, according to the Orlando Sentinel, Scott’s “political career is largely defined by opposition to the Affordable Care Act.”

Scott even called on Congress to keep trying to kill the health care law after U. S. Senate Republicans failed three times in dramatic fashion to repeal it.

Republican GOP primary candidate Victor Mitchell, a former state lawmaker, is also hostile toward Obamacare.

Last year, he told the Colorado Independent’s Cory Hutchins in no uncertain terms that, as governor, he would “immediately” pull out of Colorado’s Obamacare exchange, and he believes this could be done without legislative approval.

Depending on how far Mitchell goes in extracting Colorado from Obamacare, the state could face the loss of hundreds of thousands of people from the Medicaid insurance rolls.

Former Parker mayor Greg Lopez would turn to health care officials for advice on what to do in Colorado, telling the Independent, “They’re the ones that have the solutions,” he said. “They’re the ones who have true optics as to what’s going on.”

El Paso County Republicans to auction off an AR-15, the weapon used to kill 17 Florida students

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We know some people want to have their own military-style semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle.

Despite the devastation this firearm inflicts on the human body, compared to that of a handgun, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) defends the rifle’s use for “pests,” like raccoons. Former State Sen. Laura Woods (R-Arvada) wants hers for killing coyotes.

But this is the weapon used to murder 17 high school students in Parkland, Florida, so you’d think that, even if you loved the AR-15, you wouldn’t trot it out for the world to see at this particular moment in history.

So why is the El Paso County Republican Party offering an AR-15 as one its first of six “live auction items” at its big Lincoln Dinner annual fundraiser, set for May 12 at the Antlers Hotel in downtown Colorado Springs.

I put the question to the chair of the El Paso County Republican Party, Joshua Hosler.

“Actually, we’re auctioning off two AR-15s, not one,” he replied. (I have to admit we had a laugh together at that response.)

“It’s not the weapons that are the problem,” he continued. “We have a human problem. To me, it’s a cultural problem.”

“I have a unique perspective,” he said. “I was in the infantry in the Marines, as a team leader in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I saved hundreds of people’s lives with the M-4, which is the military equivalent of the AR-15.  We stopped a lot of horrific things from happening. It’s personal, and very important to me. It’s my job to protect my family and my country. We have the best constitution in the world, and it allows people to have different opinions. And I’m proud of that. So you and I can disagree, and we don’t have to worry about anybody coming after us for doing it.”

In addition to the AR-15s, El Paso Republicans will also be auctioning off a painting for the Fallen Peace Officer Memorial, Hosler added.

The speaker at the dinner, by the way, who will likely precede the AR-15 auction, is U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who reportedly carries around a gun in his district and elsewhere.

Facebook deletes offensive meme that the Colorado Jewish Republicans refused to remove

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Facebook has removed a meme, shared by the Colorado Jewish Republicans, which stated, “Real Freedom is kick out Islam from this planet.”

In a note to Denver author and musician Dave Flomberg, the giant social media company wrote that the profile of Mark Sanders, who originally spread the offensive meme, was removed because Sanders’ Facebook profile “violated” Facebook’s “community standards.”

“I was especially disgusted that fellow Jews would use a meme that was so reminiscent of the kinds of propaganda that’s been used against us dating back to the blood libel,” Flomberg wrote in explaining why he reported Sanders to Facebook. “This kind of behavior only stokes the fires of hate used to burn so many of our families. Crap like that trades our morality for shitty clicks. We as a people are above debasing ourselves like this.”

If you visit the Facebook page of the Colorado Jewish Republicans, you’ll see that the meme has been removed.

Facebook did not specify how Sanders violated its community standards, but if you ask me, the meme clearly violates this standard, listed on the Facebook page:

One of Facebook’s Community Standards: We define hate speech as a direct attack on people based on what we call protected characteristics — race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, and serious disability or disease. We also provide some protections for immigration status. We define attack as violent or dehumanizing speech, statements of inferiority, or calls for exclusion or segregation. We separate attacks into three tiers of severity, as described below.

Dan Kopelman, president of the Colorado Jewish Republicans, thinks otherwise, stating earlier this week, “It’s talking about violent Islam,” said Kopelman. “It’s not talking about peaceful Muslims.

Erik Maulbetsch contributed to this post.

A meme on the Facebook page of the Colorado Jewish Republicans: bigotry or just provocation?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

When I look at the Facebook meme on your right, shared by the Colorado Jewish Republicans, I see the same kind of raw bigotry that Jewish people have faced for centuries.

The meme depicts a bearded man in a turban with a bloody sword flying in the air after being kicked. It reads:

“Real Freedom is, kick out Islam from this planet.”

Dan Kopelman, who’s listed as president of the Colorado Jewish Republicans on the Colorado Republican Party website, doesn’t see it that way.

“It’s talking about violent Islam,” said Kopelman. “It’s not talking about peaceful Muslims.”

Kopelman said he doesn’t know who, among a dozen authorized people, shared the meme on the Facebook page of the Colorado Jewish Republicans, which holds meetings at the East Side Kosher Deli with prominent public officials, such as Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and State Sen. Tim Neville (R-Littleton), who helped lead a discussion at the deli last summer on how to make America “red again.”

“It looks like somebody being provocative, and I have no intention of taking it down,” said Kopelman of the meme. “It’s not against anyone in particular. It’s kind of poking back at the people who have been poking at us.”

But when the meme says “kick out Islam from this planet,” isn’t it trashing the entire religion of Islam and advocating violence against Muslims, I asked Kopelman.

“Saying, being kicked off the planet in a cartoon with a drawing of a surprised-looking guy with a bloodied sword in his hand is not advocating violence,” replied Kopelman. “It’s a point of conversation. Just the implication that a conversation-making cartoon is the same as violence is offensive.”

But Jews are a persecuted group, I said to Kopelman. Don’t you sympathize with Muslims who are being attacked?

“You don’t hear about hoards of Orthodox Jews running around attacking, killing, and beheading people,” he continued. “You don’t hear about any group of Jews doing this.”

Muslims feel attacked too, I told Kopelman.

Kopelman called me hyper-sensitive, but I told him I didn’t think he understood how besieged many Muslim Americans feel, as they’re slammed with bigotry starting at the top, in the form of  from President Trump’s Muslim ban, and running to the bottom, in the form of bigots on local stations like KNUS 710-AM.

The motto of the Colorado Jewish Republicans is, “You are not alone.” But I don’t think Kopelman understands how lonely it can be to be a Muslim in Denver these days.

Colorado’s Democratic and Republican party platforms reveal some fundamental differences

Colorado Democrats and Republicans approved their 2018 party platforms at their state conventions earlier this month, and they show stark differences on issues ranging from tax policy and gun control to healthcare and abortion.

On tax issues Colorado Republicans  support “President Trump’s and the Republican Congress’ tax cuts,” while Democrats call for “restoring tax rates on top incomes” and “enacting a progressive estate tax.”

On guns, Colorado Democrats back “individual ownership of firearms for hunting and personal safety,” but they would, among other regulations, “ban assault weapons, bump stocks, and high capacity magazines” and increase the age for purchasing a firearm to 21.

Colorado Republicans “affirm the right of all peaceable and law-abiding individual citizens to keep and bear arms of their choice without any degree of prior restraint.”

State Democrats “support measures that promote equality for, and non-discrimination against, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer people in all aspects of their lives” while the state GOP advocates for “marriage exclusively as the union of one man and one woman” and asserts that the state has a “rational interest” in defining marriage as such.

On abortion, the state Republican Party supports personhood, which states that a “person’s unalienable rights begin at conception and continue until death.” This stance, if enacted into law, would translate into a ban all abortion and possibly some forms of birth control.

State Democrats took the position that “all people should have access to affordable, safe, and legal reproductive health care, including abortion, and should not be infringed on by the anyone.”

The state’s Republicans would repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood, while Democrats want “health care for all, as a fundamental human right, including Medicare / Medicaid for all.”

Legislative Trick Doesn’t Force Vote on Dreamer Bill in U.S. House

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) has taken little action on his promise to force a vote in Congress on a bill to help some Dreamers avoid deportation, but he’s touting another effort as if its comparable when, in fact, its not.

Coffman told reporters in Washington DC yesterday that he’s joined about 240 representatives to promote, in Coffman’s words, a “mechanism whereby we can have a vote, not just on one [Dreamer] bill but on four bills.” (Listen here at 9 min 50 sec.)

Under the parliamentary mechanism, called “Queen of the Hill,” four different Dreamer bills would be introduced, and the one with highest votes would move on to the U.S. Senate.

While this is a creative way to try to get a vote, the trouble is, House Speaker Paul Ryan would have to approve the Queen of the Hill procedure if a vote were to take place. And it already sounds like he’s against it.

BloombergPolitics reported yesterday:

But Ryan has final say on whether to pursue the plan. He’s said publicly that he doesn’t think this vote procedure is the best way to handle immigration because it gives the majority party — and congressional leaders — less control over the outcome. Trump continues to tweet about the wall he wants to build on the border with Mexico, as well as the need for legislation to address the immigrant status of people brought to the U.S. illegally as children, known as dreamers.

The only way to leapfrog the Speaker is through another parliamentary mechanism called a discharge petition, which Coffman has apparently dropped.

Last year, the Aurora Republican grabbed headlines by launching a discharge petition to allow some Dreamers to temporarily avoid deportation, but he has since mostly abandoned the effort, securing only five signatures, one of which is his own, while 218 are required.

Coffman opposed the best chance at passing the Dream Act when it was included in bipartisan immigration reform legislation that stalled in the U.S. in 2014.  He voted against the Dream Act in 2010 but has subsequently endorsed it.

During his news conference yesterday, Coffman said he “often meets with Dreamers” and decried the fact that no votes have been taken on the Dreamer issue since Trump announced that he would end the Obama’s DACA program, which allowed some Dreamers to stay in the U.S. for a few years.

Coffman’s office has not responded to multiple requests for comment about his efforts to help Dreamers.