Health Care – The Start of the Republican Civil War

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Today the House Freedom Caucus announced it will seek either permission from Speaker Ryan but if that fails a discharge petition to bring a repeal bill to the floor in September to repeal Obamacare. It is a mirror image of the 2015 bill President Obama vetoed. If they go for a discharge petition, they will need 218 signatures from members of the House. Although the success of the petition is unlikely, it is their purpose that strikes me.

Congressman Meadows (R-N.C.), chair of the Freedom Caucus, wants to put moderate mainstream Republicans on the spot to see if they will vote against the same repeal they voted for in 2015 when they knew President Obama would veto it. Undoubtedly, any moderate Republican who won’t sign the discharge petition or vote for complete repeal on the floor will be targeted by the so called conservative donors and groups in the 2018 primaries.

They are going down this path even though 50% of the public supports Obamacare and far less than half that number want it repealed.

They are going down this path even though repeal will mean 32 million people will lose their health insurance according to the projection from the CBO. Many of those people reside in bright red districts, especially in the South and Midwest.

They are going down this path even though repeal means many rural hospitals in America will be forced to close leaving millions of Americans without emergency hospital services which are absolutely necessary to save lives. In many places, hospital care will be hours away.

They are going down this path even though they know that the newly uninsured will fill hospital emergency rooms which will cause insurance companies to raise the premiums of for those who have purchased insurance just so hospitals in cities can financially survive.

They are going down this path even though they know the free market will not provide affordable health insurance.

That raises the question why in the face of such awful facts, the Freedom Caucus and Mitch McConnell want to vote on a complete repeal of Obamacare which may very well cost them the majority in both houses in 2018? In both the House and Senate the purge is beginning. The so called conservatives will not tolerate or compromise with their moderate members. Any moderate who won’t vote in support of repeal will be targeted next year in the Republican primaries. Blinded by ideology they prefer civil war within the party and defeat in the next general election. It is mindless politics.

Cory Gardner – Please Hold Town Hall Meetings – No More Excuses

The repeal of Obamacare came to a screeching halt this evening as two more Republican senators announced their opposition to the bill pending in the U.S. Senate. One of them said the senate should start over, hold committee hearings, and receive input from all sides. An eminently rational position.

While we can’t count our chickens until they hatch since President Trump and some Republican senators are trying to “save the day” by calling for a bill that simply repeals Obamacare, one thing is very clear – Cory Gardner has more than enough time to come home during the August recess and meet with us in open town hall meetings. There is no longer an excuse to avoid us, ignore us, or characterize us as troublemakers or anything else.

Twenty percent of our economy is directly affected by federal healthcare policy. The Republicans campaigned for seven years on a slogan without a program. Obamacare now has the support of 50% of the electorate with less than half that number that want the ACA repealed.

The public (voters) want a health care system that provides care at a reasonable price. It is time Republicans stop demonizing Obamacare, forget about the misrepresentation that the Obamacare markets are collapsing (they aren’t), and stop the nonsense that premiums are increasing when Republicans voted to withdraw funding that stabilized the markets but above all it is time for people like Cory Gardner to listen to his constituents.

Trump Refuses to Disown Comment About Violence Against Clinton

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Another day, another chance for Donald Trump to disown a comment that directly calls for violence against Hillary Clinton – and – again he didn’t do it. Instead,  even though he was aware of New Hampshire St. Rep.  Al Baldasaro (R) comments over a month ago, today he responded by denying he knew about Baldasaro’s comments (not true) and he called Baldasaro “a very fine person.” Really?  An elected public official calls for a candidate to be put in front a firing squad and all Mr. Trump can say is he is a very fine person.

Trump simply can’t bring himself to disown people like Baldasaro and others from the extreme right who advocate the most heinous conduct against their fellow Americans. His refusal is reprehensible and it legitimizes those who assert violent behavior.

The Republican Party is dominated and run by radical extremists. They aren’t conservatives. The American voter should take advantage of the general election to retire the Republican Party into history.

Time to Honor a Colorado Public Servant

(Armstrong has been fighting cancer and is reportedly not doing well — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen_William_L_ArmstrongMany times we raucously and vigorously debate issues, candidates, and the political world we live in but tonight is a time to thank someone who is gravely ill for his service to our state and our nation. United States Senator Bill Armstrong (R-CO) served Colorado for nearly three decades as a state representative, state senator, three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and two terms in the United States Senate. Regardless of his political philosophy or stands on issues, he was foremost a gentleman to everyone, including those with opposing viewpoints. He was always well informed and prepared to defend his positions.

After his public service was completed in 1990, he continues to this day to serve our young people as President of Colorado Christian University. His deeply held and sincere Christian faith has set a standard of conduct that everyone can appreciate and emulate.

Public service, especially elected office, requires great sacrifices by elected officials and their families. Senator Armstrong made those sacrifices on our behalf. Tonight please offer your thoughts and prayers to him and his family.

Governor Christie Endorses Donald Trump for President

Chris Christie and Bob Beauprez.

Gov. Chris Christie and Bob Beauprez.

POLS UPDATE: The New York Times reports:

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey endorsed Donald J. Trump on Friday, a major turn in a wild race and one that gives the New York businessman a major boost as he heads into the pivotal “Super Tuesday” contests.

Mr. Christie was a candidate for president himself until he came in sixth place in New Hampshire’s primary. Seeing his political career facing an abrupt conclusion after his failed presidential campaign, he expressed his anger Friday at Senator Marco Rubio, who he was said to be upset with, blaming the “super PAC” backing the Florida senator for halting his momentum in New Hampshire with a string of slash-and-burn ads…

At Friday’s news conference announcing the endorsement, which was peppered with demeaning insults of Mr. Rubio by the two men, Mr. Christie repeatedly attacked Mr. Rubio, calling his behavior at the debate “desperate” and reflective of a “losing campaign.”

Gov. Chris Christie’s endorsement of Donald Trump is by far the highest-profile support Trump has received so far in this campaign, and may prove critical for Trump heading into Super Tuesday. As for Christie, it’s a clear-headed recognition of who he expects to win the GOP primary–and backing at a key moment we expect a President Trump would richly reward.

“President Trump.” Let that burn in real good, folks, because the odds of that actually happening just measurably increased–by how much being a question we’ll debate for days. Original post follows.


What more can anyone say? So much for the Republican establishment’s move to stop Trump.

Buck to be removed as president of the freshmen House Republican

According to The Hill, Congressman Ken Buck’s vote against the trade bill will cost him his position as president of the freshman Republicans in the House.


Speaker Boehner is letting it be known that he is sick and tired of the extreme right-wing Republicans blocking everything and everything the President requests.  I realize many subscribers to Coloradopols are against the trade bill but this may be a sign that Mr. Boehner, who in the past was always a deal maker, wants the House to actually function again. 

Gov. Brownback backs down and calls for tax increases – Are the Republicans in Congress Listening?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas.

Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas.

Wow, after years of reckless tax cuts covered over by the now completely discredited notion, known as the Laffer Curve, that reducing taxes will automatically generate increased economic activity and correspondingly the government bank account will overflow with new revenue, Gov. Brownback has reversed course and yesterday called for Kansas to increase taxes, including a 79 cent per pack increase in the cigarette tax, raising the tax on other tobacco products from 10% to 25%. The tax on beer, wine and liquor would jump from 8% to 12%. The intent is to close, in part, the looming $710 million deficit over the remainder of this fiscal year, which ends on June 30th, and the next fiscal year. However, even these tax increases are only expected to raise $394 million. To make-up the difference, he intends to slow down the pending income tax cuts but remains committed to his goal of eliminating the income tax. In his state-of-the-state address Thursday, he attempted to posture his tax increases as taxes on consumption (which is now apparently OK) as opposed to taxing productivity; but the bottom line remains the same.His experiment has failed, completely. The Laffer Curve doesn't work.

President Reagan tried it in 1981 with a 25% across the board reduction in federal corporate and personal income taxes and the federal deficit exploded. 

Just over a decade ago, George W. Bush was inaugurated President and inherited an $800 billion annual surplus. He decided to drastically cut taxes making the same assumption that Reagan had and the one Brownback made four years ago that huge tax cuts would drastically stimulate economic activity and generate even more tax revenues than the government collected before the tax cuts. What happened? The annual deficit exploded and the promise of increased tax revenues turned out to be a mirage.

Besides Brownback's failed experiment what else has been going on in states controlled by Republican governors and legislatures? Lets look at the Republican nirvana called Wisconsin. Gov. Walker and the Republican dominated state house and senate cut taxes again making the same assumptions as Reagan, W, and Brownback and what happened. Wisconsin is now staring a $2 billion deficit in the face. One Republican leader in the Wisconsin House said he just couldn't understand why state revenues did not increase as expected. Its hard to believe someone who has been paying attention, for even a nano second over the past thirty-four years, could say that. The Laffer Curve is a hoax and a failure.


Is Mike Coffman Running for the Senate in 2016? David Balmer thinks so.

One of the questions that will undoubtedly be asked in 2015 is who will the Republicans nominate for the U.S. Senate nomination in 2016. Perhaps more precisely, who on the Republican bench has the knowledge, experience,fund raising ability and the "fire in their belly" to face office against U.S. Senator Michael Bennet? Many Republican names come to mind, including Congressman Mike Coffman who won an impressive victory in the 6th CD this past November but does the congressman intend to run for the Republican senate nomination? He hasn't said a word about it. No one knows, except perhaps St. Sen. David Balmer. Since the November election, Balmer has been contacting and meeting with business groups and individuals to raise money for his campaign that he hopes will finally launch his congressional career that stalled many years ago when he lost a Republican primary for the U.S. House in North Carolina. The other question is does Congressman Coffman know he is running for the U.S. Senate yet? 

Beauprez tries to “manufacture” economic issue

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

“Both Ways” Bob Beauprez (right).

According to the Denver Post this morning, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez said one thing during the primary campaign and is just now attempting to verify his unfounded statements. In spite of Colorado's booming economy, like 2006, Beauprez has launched his campaign based on a message that rules and regulations promulgated by state agencies plus state taxes have held back Colorado's economy. Last week the reporter on Colorado Public Radio asked him which regulations he is talking about. His responded by saying Utah's governor had reduced the number of state regulations by 300+. Of course that didn't answer the question which Colorado regulations is he talking about. For taxes he doesn't have any better answer except he would eliminate the personal property tax which of course will be a financial disaster for county governments in places like Routt (Steamboat Springs) and Moffat (Craig) counties.

Now this morning,via the Post it is clear Beauprez doesn't have a clue about which tax policy or regulations to repeal. He's made these statements about both before having any evidence to back them up. Do we really want someone as our governor who paints himself into a corner before having the facts.

Beauprez told the Post his meetings with entrepreneurs and captains of industry will be private.In other words, after the meetings, he will craft a general statement about all the bad regulations and taxes we have but he'd better be ready to talk about the consequences of cutting taxes, especially on higher education tuition and transportation projects, both of which are key drivers of our long term economic health. Also, and just as importantly, he'd better be ready to speak to the consequences and trade-offs if a regulation is repealed. So far his campaign boils down to this: He shoots off his mouth first and then tries to find evidence to support his unfounded statements. An inauspicious beginning for his general election campaign. 

Coffman flip-flops on Obamacare

(Wow – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Mike Coffman.

Rep. Mike Coffman.

As everyone knows, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman is locked in a very competitive race with former Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff. Coffman's ultra conservative record includes scores of votes to repeal and defund Obamacare. In other words he wants to destroy the President's signature policy accomplishment. As late as March 26, 2014, less than a month ago, Kurtis Lee of the Denver Post reported that Coffman had joined U.S. Senator Marco Rubio in demanding Speaker Romanoff join them in calling for the repeal of Obamacare.

A lot has happened in the past twenty-seven days. Over eight (8) million people have found health insurance on the state and federal exchanges thanks to Obamacare. Millions of uninsured people now have basic health care under Medicaid and healthcare costs are rising at the slowest rate in over fifty (50) years and, as fr those skyrocketing premiums predicted by the hard right – it isn't happening. Where does that leave Mike Coffman and his insistence on repealing Obamacare because in his opinion it is a disaster? he facts and public opinion are now running against him and as usual he has now flip-flopped on the issue less than a month after he demanded that his opponent call for the repeal of Obamacare.


Douglas County School Board Should Be Shown The Classroom Door

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Well the evidence is in and for all the upheaval over the past four years in the Douglas County schools because of the 2009 election of so called conservatives to the board of education and the subsequent implementation of their policies to terminate the ever evil teachers union and to send public money to private sectarian schools, they have nothing (repeat nothing) to show for it. The scores below represent the percentage of children in the Douglas County school district proficient in the three primary areas of learning:

                   2009        2013

Math            69%        70%

Reading        81%        82%

Writing         68%        69%


Abraham Lincoln and the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare)

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

This evening the Democrats won a great victory in Congress and upheld the principle that budgets and more importantly, the credit of our country, should never be held hostage by a relatively small minority of members who don't like a particular law (in our case the Affordable Healthcare Act – AHA) or the individual who proposed it and saw it through to become the law of our land. Although a great victory has been won, this is not a time to gloat or rub noses in the dirt.

Senator Cruz, as late as this evening, from the floor of the Senate addressed his colleagues and harangued the AHA as the cause of great misery for the average American. He alleged it was costing average Americans a great deal of money, that their health insurance coverage has been canceled by the AHA and that businesses are cutting the hours of their employees across the country to avoid providing health insurance under the AHA. He offered no proof but it wasn't a moment where a detailed analysis or documentary evidence is expected. On the House side, Speaker Boehner acknowledged defeat, but again asserted he will continue the battle to repeal the AHA and he cited many of the assertions attributed Senator Cruz in the preceding sentence.

Let that debate begin but let it be based on facts and experience rather than unfounded theory or worse. And they should keep in mind the words of the the greatest Republican:

Let me not be understood as saying that there are no bad laws, nor that grievances may not arise for the redress of which no legal provisions have been made. I mean to say no such thing. But I do mean to say that although bad laws, if they exist, should be repealed as soon as possible, still, while they continue in force, for the sake of example they should be religiously observed.

A. Lincoln


Words from a “Real” Republican

With the Washington "shutdown" in progress, it is time for Republicans to reflect on what one Republican said many decades ago at the end of his long and distinguished career of service to the citizens of our country. He didn't make harsh demands on the opposing political party, he didn't tell them it was his way or else. He found a way to work things out and when he took his final leave, he left us with words that ring true to this day and will forever more as long as free people establish and nurture republics. This is what he said:

Our people expect their President and the Congress to find essential agreement on issues of great moment, the wise resolution of which will better shape the future of the nation. My own relations with the Congress, which began on a remote and tenuous basis when, long ago, a member of the Senate appointed me to West Point, have since ranged to the intimate during the war and immediate post-war period, and finally to the mutually interdependent during these past eight years. In this final relationship, the Congress and the Administration have, on most vital issues, cooperated well, to serve the nations good, rather than mere partisanship, and so have assured that the business of the nation should go forward. So, my official relationship with the Congress ends in a feeling — on my part — of gratitude that we have been able to do so much together. 

President Dwight David Eisenhower. Farewell to the Nation, January 17, 1960.

Written from his perspective in the executive branch, it applies to the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives today. Laws and the policy they are based upon cannot be crafted or made effective by demanding repeal of whole programs already enacted and implemented. Such jarring shocks as proposed by the House for repeal or one year delay or a shutdown of the federal government serve no ultimate purpose other than partisan advantage. If the Republicans are sincere, they will vote to reopen the government and present amendments to the Affordable Health Care Act (AHA) that insures health insurance for Americans. 

No one can argue that people with pre-existing conditions could not purchase health insurance or that medical costs, as a percentage of GDP, was skyrocketing toward 20% of our economy. President Obama and the Congress addressed those problems and others when the AHA was enacted almost four years ago. Whether it was precisely the correct response to those issues is really beside the point. These issues created real problems, not only macro economically, but also very personal ones for individuals left without insurance. Undoing the AHA and forming a line back to the past does not advance the well being of the American people.

The Republicans in the House have demonized the AHA from almost every angle one can imagine, but they have not answered the practical questions about how they would insure Americans health care. They have not "cooperated well, to serve the nations good." 

It is one thing to criticize, but it is hard work to solve these kind of problems. Once the public sees through the facade of the shutdown, they will ask Republicans, if we repeal the AHA, what do you propose, we as a people should do to insure adequate health care for our citizens? I hope they have the answer. 


Republican War on Women Continues Unabated

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ).

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ).

(Excerpt added – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Today, in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Franks (R-AZ) stated in committee the chances a woman will become pregnant from a rape is rare and therefore his bill banning all abortions after 20 weeks doesn't need a rape exception. He went on to say that rapes must be reported within 48 hours so someone who is 20 or more weeks pregnant couldn't use a rape exception anyway. Of course, his comments seem to reflect the Todd Akin view of women and their rights to control their bodies.

Franks, a social conservative first elected in 2002, objected to a Democratic amendment that would make exceptions in cases of rape and incest.

"The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low," Franks said, according to The Post…

Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY's List, said the bigger issue is the intent of Franks' bill and not just his comments Wednesday.

"The Republican assault on women's rights and opportunities never seems to end," Schriock said in a statement. "They're supporting the same anti-woman policies that led voters to reject them during the last election, and trying to rebrand themselves with the hope that nobody will notice."

This is just the latest example of the Republican Party's never ending assault on women and their rights. The Republicans have blown two chances in the past two election cycles to take control of the U.S. Senate and the White House in 2012 based in large part on their blunt and politically damaging views about women. It looks like they are going to make the 2014 election cycle the third one in a row. Many people have commented that someone should take the shovel out of their hands but the Republican Party seems to be digging the hole with a backhoe.