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April 25, 2011 03:47 PM UTC

Monday Open Thread

  • 56 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

“There are no big problems, there are just a lot of little problems.”

–Henry Ford

Comments

56 thoughts on “Monday Open Thread

  1. We had a board meeting this past Friday and one of the board members said something very very nice to me. “Other companies have a problem delivering software. Windward has a problem that it delivers new programs so quickly, marketing and sales are left scrambling.”

    ps – This is why I’m so critical of the delays in CBMS and virtually every other I.T. project for the state – software can be delivered quickly & well.

    1. I simply can’t believe the situation has been fubared as long and as completely as it has been.  My son–in-law is a software engineer and regularly leads complicated projects to fruition.  In the end, what’s so damn hard about stringing together a bunch of 0s and 1s?

      1. to ensure that the agencies involved do what needs to be done to fix it.  Is it because so few legislators even understand software development, testing and implementation?  Is it because the agencies themselves are so dysfunctional?  I don’t know – but it’s astonishing to me that the huge problems seem to be dragging on with no real end in sight.  What a waste of taxpayer dollars.

        1. Either the system is capable of working, or it isn’t.  I’m guessing the fixing of it is still outsourced – would I be correct?  What political will does it take to say “fix it, and fix it soon, or we’ll go after you for breach of contract and ask for a fix on your dime as incentive”?

          1. It depends on how the original contract was written.  It depends on how much of the lack of functionality involves change orders by the customer (the State).  And it depends on whether there’s money to pay for the change orders.

            When I do software projects for people, I usually bid them fixed-price.  That’s because I’m honest and want to please.  It also means that I often lose my shirt with changes because I can’t afford the same lawyers as big companies.  But I’ll tell you this, whenever I have had problems, it’s usually because I have bid to a lousy spec.  You bid to what you think the customer wants–to what they say they want in writing–then you find out that the customer really doesn’t know what they want.

            I’m not defending the poor performance of CBMS.  But I am saying that the State is probably just as culpable as the contractor.  

            1. a software development project, I would say you’re right.  On the project I was involved in, by the time the state finally awarded the contract, they wanted design to begin “yesterday.”  The state folks assigned to the project for the most part knew next to nothing about writing specs, and the newbies on the project who worked for the contractor weren’t much help (they wanted the specs to read as closely as possible to the existing public domain software – from another state – which the state was going to modify for Colorado’s use).  

              I’ve said for years that before the state bids and awards any software design project, they should contract with a reputable person or company to teach state employees how to move from well-designed work processes to the writing of specs for software which will support those work processes.  And of course the other key piece is that the state needs firm, well-written contracts which they’re willing to enforce.

              1. The state doesn’t know how to spec or manage the project and the contractor throws some mediocre programmers recently out of school at it. And then everyone’s shocked when nothing’s accomplished.

                Keep in mind the best programmers are 40 – 100 times better than the worst ones. Not double, but a factor of 40 to 100. The state and big consultancy companies see a company like mine accomplish an equivalent task with 4 programmers and they figure 8 will do it for them. Nope.

                Second, no programmer in the top 10% is going to work for the state or a large consultancy. Why should they? The pay sucks, the work environment is horrible, and you have peers that are not at your level. A thoroughly unenjoyable experience.

                With that said, I don’t know what the answer is. It’s not like you will get someone to leave Facebook to work for the state or whatever large consultant they hired.

                And you might find a small local software company with the talent that wants to do it – but they face the issue of no lobbyist and the state’s ABC (Anywhere But Colorado) purchasing policy. (And no, I do not want any state work for my company.)

                    1. things the same way each time.  I know that the Judicial Branch has done a lot of their software design in house over the years, but I don’t know if they’ve achieved better results and better efficiencies.  Very likely they have, at least to some extent.  I’m not up to date on their statewide database (since they laid me off several years ago) – at that time it appeared to be based on old technology but perhaps supporting their work to at least some degree.

                      Governments these days must have state of the art technology to serve the public efficiently and effectively.  At a macro level that seems to suggest an outstanding opportunity for vendors who specialize in the “special” world of government work, and can do it well.  I know there are many who specialize in government work, but I don’t know if any truly do it well.

                    2. of those who specialize in government work seems to be to buy in with a low bid, then get rich off of change orders.  They all seem to have some old code base that they use over and over and then make their money customizing it.

                      They only specialize in government work because they recognize that the government rarely knows what it wants at the time it puts an RFP out on the street, and such a business model works well for them.

    1. When it comes to Denver’s politics official party affiliation HAS NO BUSINESS IN DENVER’S BUSINESS

      I’m reaching out to the Citizen Voters of Denver to say enough is enough.

      Denver’s current Finance Committee; Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz, Councilman Charlie Brown, Councilman Michael B. Hancock, Councilwoman Peggy Lehmann, Councilwoman Carol Boigon and the @ Lager City Council members like Councilman Doug Linkhart as well as others?

      Our Auditor Dennis Gallagher and Clay Vigoda do they run Denver, are they the ones that okay the Denver’s illegal contracts?

      The Denver Police and Sheriff; Whistle-Blower protection under Denver’s Whistle Blower protection law; when a Denver’s City Council gave voted themselves a PAY Raise.. In one of the worst economical times and has no regard to its Police Department who has not received a Pay Raise in 3 years.

      How would you Citizen Voter feel if you wake up every morning and don’t know you might not make it back to your wife, girlfriend, children and friends?

      http://www.whoisdestroyingdenv…  

      1. the @ Lager City Council members like Councilman Doug Linkhart as well as others?

        So, far, I’ve been mired in the Pilsner of politics.  But I definitely am running for one of those @lager seats!

      2. If you are going to post this sort of thing you need to throw in some other elements to keep it interesting. How about some aliens or telepathic mind control beams? I mean, sure, the random capitalization of words, incoherence, and paranoia about vast conspiracies make for a pretty fine example of the unmedicated schizophrenic rant, but for real amusement value you should claim to be a Kennedy or something.

  2. This article, co-authored by two members of the Joint Chiefs states “…Americans are overreacting to Islamic extremism, under-investing in their youth, and failing to embrace the sense of competition and opportunity that made America a world power.”

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/a

    1. the stance that Islamic extremism is the most serious existential threat we’ve ever faced because then people would have to learn to live with the reality that most of what we’ve spent since 9/11, in both human and material terms, has been nothing but a tragic, crippling waste. And while things certainly aren’t all peaches and cream in Egypt and Tunisia, it’s instructive that things do seem to be proceeding in both states with much less continuing violence, more potential for positive developments and less influence from El Qaeda or the Taliban, or anything closely resembling them, than in any of the  states in which we have and continue to intervene militarily.  

        1. When it comes to Denver’s politics official party affiliation HAS NO BUSINESS IN DENVER’S BUSINESS

          I’m reaching out to the Citizen Voters of Denver to say enough is enough.

          Denver’s current Finance Committee; Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz, Councilman Charlie Brown, Councilman Michael B. Hancock, Councilwoman Peggy Lehmann, Councilwoman Carol Boigon and the @ Lager City Council members like Councilman Doug Linkhart as well as others?

          Our Auditor Dennis Gallagher and Clay Vigoda do they run Denver, are they the ones that okay the Denver’s illegal contracts?

          The Denver Police and Sheriff; Whistle-Blower protection under Denver’s Whistle Blower protection law; when a Denver’s City Council gave voted themselves a PAY Raise.. In one of the worst economical times and has no regard to its Police Department who has not received a Pay Raise in 3 years.

          How would you Citizen Voter feel if you wake up every morning and don’t know you might not make it back to your wife, girlfriend, children and friends?

          http://www.whoisdestroyingdenv…  

      1. Maybe in a place governed by logic and reason, and populated by folks who pay attention.

        Tough to back down?  Not in this country, all we need is to create a new bogeyman.

        China? — hey, we can find a smaller, easier bogeyman.  Pakistan? — don’t they have nuclear weapons?  Iran? — a definite maybe, getting warm now.

  3. When it comes to Denver’s politics official party affiliation HAS NO BUSINESS IN DENVER’S BUSINESS!

    I’m reaching out to the Citizen Voters of Denver to say enough is enough.

    Denver’s current Finance Committee; Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz, Councilman Charlie Brown, Councilman Michael B. Hancock, Councilwoman Peggy Lehmann, Councilwoman Carol Boigon and the @ Lager City Council members like Councilman Doug Linkhart as well as others?

    Our Auditor Dennis Gallagher and Clay Vigoda do they run Denver, are they the ones that okay the Denver’s illegal contracts?

    The Denver Police and Sheriff; Whistle-Blower protection under Denver’s Whistle Blower protection law; when a Denver’s City Council gave voted themselves a PAY Raise..

    In one of the worst economical times and has no regard to its Police Department who has not received a Pay Raise in 3 years.

    How would you Citizen Voter feel if you wake up every morning and don’t know you might not make it back to your wife, girlfriend, children and friends?

    http://www.whoisdestroyingdenv…  

    1. many, many folks haven’t gotten raises in a long time and there was no one on this blog that thought it was right for the Denver Council to do it though they did, by law, have to address it when they did

      1. He’s just a little nuts.

        Here’s his gripe: He turned in 427 signatures to petition onto the ballot, too many were deemed invalid, leaving him 124 short. At first he cried foul on the timing; his petition was given to the city on March 9, the deadline being March 10. They called him on the tenth. Somehow that was the city’s problem*. Later he would file a complaint that O’Malley had followed procedure too closely, as, oddly enough, not being in compliance with the law (arguably can be true, but probably not in his case (I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV)). Westword has it all, so I’m linking to the main tag page for Giavanni instead of a ton of articles.

        http://www.westword.com/search

        *FWIW, candidates who turned in their petition at a moment before the last possible one were given an opportunity to “cure” the petition. Wolf was the only of the three prompt candidates with an issue to do so.

          1. in my backyard.  We have a fox who has been living dug in somewhere in a clump of spruce and bushes in the far corner of the yard.  Usually we just see tracks in the snow or a glimpse in the early morning or near dusk.  Today, in the middle of the day, there she was (now we know for sure it’s a she) taking her three kits out for some training that involved lots of too adorable for words running and jumping and tumbling as fast as their short little legs can carry them which is pretty darned fast. I had to advise my husband against the unwise urge to get some meat out of the freezer for them. Foxes in our neighborhood seem to do just fine without any intervention.

            We’ve had our very own house fox for years but never saw kits before. Also have a house snake.  I hate snakes but Squiggy is harmless and just comes out to sun against the garage door in the spring or hang in the cool ground cover near the mailbox  in the summer so we peacefully co-exist.  I just don’t weed by the mailbox after June.

            1. Some of the best documentary recently, and family video, have been web cams set up to secretly record wildlife. Extra bonus that it’s in your backyard!

              Anyone out there who can help BC film this phenomena?

              Cool stuff, BC.

  4. Is anyone trying anymore or has the whole General Assembly given up and handing it over to a judge?

    Related question. I think today is the deadline for the Governor to appoint people to the Reapportionment Commission. Anyone know who he is appointing?

      1. Says Heath will introduce 1 or 2 “competitive” maps this week, does not give day.

        McNulty looking for a few Dem votes for one of his maps.

        Starting to get the urge to lock them in a small room together, no chairs, no toilet, until they work out an agreement.

        1. http://bit.ly/frWAy8

          Heath told The Statesman last Friday he was going his own way and that the committee was done, which is what prompted a slew of press releases on Friday from the Republicans.

          Apologize for tooting our own horn, but everyone else is four days late on this 🙂 CP called it correctly Thursday night after Heath issued his report (which I also had gotten).  

  5. We’re one of 14! Hurray!

    Happily it’s a great example of why this is all an exercise in stupidity.

    Our referred measure, brought to us by Lundberg and Joshi (shocked? Me not, too!), would define “proof” as… the US government says so (either by issuing a passport, or by INS verification (depending on the office you’re running for)), or giving a photocopy of your birth certificate.

    Nowhere in there does it give the right to our citizens to dispute another state’s authority.

    Someday the right will figure out that playing to the extreme base isn’t a good way to win elections, they’ll regret this. Maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of their lives.

    http://viewer.zoho.com/docs/ba

    1. …..but you can’t do anything against St. Ronnie, since he is the metaphysical base of the GOP:

      End Game for the Birthers

      Okay Teabaggers (yes, you too Donald Trump). It’s time for your “Come to Ronnie” moment.

      The photograph below shows Ronald Wilson Reagan’s actual birth certificate. The image at right is what’s on display at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley CA, and the one at left is the one provided to the media. They are identical. Just as a refresher, let’s remind folks that what has you “patriots” in such a tizzy, is that Barack Obama has never provided his actual 1961 birth certificate; only the computer-generated facsimile that each state gives you when you request a copy for proof of birth.

      So, if this is Ronald Reagan’s actual birth certificate, as the Reagan Library claims… then why does it say June 20, 1991 on the lower-left corner of both “actual” documents? Either this document confirms that Barack Obama’s birth certificate offers the IDENTICAL level of proof that president Reagan’s does… Or Ronald Wilson Reagan was a usurper. So which is it? Why do these two documents have the date 1991 stamped on them? Was Reagan thirteen years old when he died? Or, as most rational, non-racist folks might conclude; both Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama turned over the exact same documentation that is required by law  – that of the state in which they were born. Illinois in the case of Ronald Reagan, and Hawai’i for Barack Obama.

      Now, unless you can explain this, or you have some new, and preferably less insane evidence, this birth certificate controversy is officially OVER. Move on Teabaggers, 2012 is fast approaching, and we’ve got a score to settle with you fools.

      http://www.addictinginfo.org/2

      1. something from another state that’s been certified.

        Am I the only who almost hopes one of these would pass? Put a new standard for birth certificates and how many people would be short a DL?

        This Medicaid gutting seems to be working out well so far. Why can’t we let this bill get just a smidge down the road? The road no one will be able to drive on!

        Ronnie would still have been Pres. under this bill. 🙁 Sorry, sport. But so would Obama. Because even when the GOP is focused on something stupid, they aren’t really that focused.

  6. From the Washington Times:

    In a year when spending, deficits and debt have dominated the national debate, the recent push to strip Planned Parenthood of government funding is a reminder that the abortion issue retains its political potency.

    The decades-old battle nearly derailed the latest spending deal on Capitol Hill, and House Republicans say they’ll continue to fight federal funding of the group after Congress returns from a two-week break to tackle the nation’s borrowing limit, 2012 spending levels and the soaring national debt.

    “We believe very strongly that government dollars shouldn’t be used to fund abortion. I believe that is where the majority of the American people are and we will make sure that we continue in the spirit of the Hyde Amendment, governmentwide,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, told reporters this month, referring to the 1976 law that bans the use of federal funds for abortions.

    As part of the 2011 spending deal, the Democrat-controlled Senate agreed to hold an up-or-down vote on defunding Planned Parenthood, a measure that sailed through the House only to die in the Senate largely along partisan lines. Republican Sens. Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts, Mark Kirk of Illinois, and Olympia J. Snowe and Susan M. Collins, both of Maine, joined their Democratic counterparts.

    The vote has handed advocates on opposite sides of the battle new ammunition to use against their political foes in the 2012 elections, where Republicans hope to capture the U.S. Senate and oust President Obama.

    “Votes have consequences, especially for politicians who say one thing at home and do another in Washington when it comes to protecting life,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life group.

    The group is planning radio ads targeting Senate Democrats Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Robert P. Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania and Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

    To reiterate, this is not about abortion funding, regardless of what House Majority Leader Cantor and lying Washington Times headlines say.  Federal funds don’t pay for abortion, and abortion is less than ten percent of what Planned Parenthood does.

    This is about whether poor women who depend on government funding to plan and space their pregnancies, get tested for STDs, and screen for female cancers can access the provider of their choice. In many communities, there is no other provider to choose from.  As eliminating Title X funding was included in the recent budget battle (but the ongoing fight seems more a vendetta against PP), Republicans clearly don’t care, even though one dollar spent on family planning prevents four dollars spent on prenatal and pediatric care.

    Throwing the baby out with the bath water may be an experiment we’ll see soon.  States which choose to pursue stripping Medicaid and Title X patients from accessing medical care at Planned Parenthood may jeopardize all their federal family planning funding, as Indiana is about to find out.

    The head of Indiana’s social services agency expressed concern Thursday that the state could lose all $4 million of its federal family planning money if lawmakers cut off funding to Planned Parenthood of Indiana.

    The Senate voted Tuesday to cut off support to Planned Parenthood as part of an anti-abortion bill. Supporters said they did not want to help fund an organization that provides abortions.

    Federal law, however, prohibits states from picking and choosing which providers can offer family planning services to Medicaid patients. Violating that law could jeopardize federal money for other family planning providers.

    Denying birth control to poor women who are looking for help in taking responsibility for themselves is the hill the Republicans want to die on?  Moderate women will vote on this issue.  Young women will vote on this issue.  The 1/3 of American women who have used Planned Parenthood’s services will vote on this issue.  Do they think there are fewer of them than religious right loonies who weren’t going to get out and vote R anyway?  

    1. Especially where the presidential race is concerned.  The GOP may well find itself catering to the loons enough to lose a lot of Indies with their eventual primary winner but still not enough to produce someone acceptable to the fringe they’ve spent all this time pandering to but which has escaped their control. How many of that fringe will stay home (unless they have their very own true Tea Party Rep or Senator or Gov to vote for) or lodge protest votes with obscure third and forth and fifth party candidates?

      Imagine a host of 2012 candidates on the right taking votes away from GOP candidates. In an atmosphere in which a guy like Boehner is close to being considered a RINO by some of these people and in which 17% can still get you GOP front runner status in the polls, that’s at least a possibility. Ross Perot strength non-major party voting could happen again and not just on the presidential level.  

  7. From an op-ed penned by Mittens:


    Barack Obama is facing a financial emergency on a grander scale. Yet his approach has been to engage in one of the biggest peacetime spending binges in American history.

    http://www.unionleader.com/art

    AHEM…we’re at war on three fronts now, Mr Romney. 36 Servicemembers have died since the beginning of the month – would you like to tell their loved ones that they died during peacetime?

    1. his sons are done showing their support for this country by getting him elected, so, in his mind, the campaign/war/wars are over.

      Really shows how much military service and sacrifice is on his radar. Rumsfeld should pin a medal on him.

    1. and to have the cojones to release his own tax return to demonstrate how the rich (including he) need to pay their fair share is awesome.  I think there are thousands of people in the same boat as him – they are doing quite well and would be happy to pay more if our government could get their shit together and quit picking on poor people. I would.

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