Cory Garner Running Against ED? Markey

In a new ad, out this week, Cory Gardner, running against Betsy Markey in CD-4, jumps all over Rep Ed Markey (D-MA) for a couple of votes.

In fact, his opponent, Rep. Betsy Markey, voted against both bills.

Links after the jump.

From the Markey (Betsy) campaign press release:

The two citations used in the attack on Markey (Betsy)’s vote on the FY 2010 Budget are Roll Call vote 192 and Roll Call vote 216.

Roll Call 192 can be googled like this:…

Roll Call 216 can be googled like this:…

“Rep. Gardner has taken lying to new lows with this attack ad, and he should stop broadcasting it immediately. Colorado deserves better than Gardner’s half-baked hit jobs,” added Markey (Betsy)’s campaign spokesman Ben Marter. “Frankly, Massachusetts deserves better too.”

Nice work, Cory.


Politics Today: A Cult of Me

I’ve explained to many people, most of the time, with my tongue in my cheek, that I am a me-ist.  I don’t discriminate against people on the basis or race, or gender, or religion. I discriminate equally against all people who are not me.

Saying that is usually good for a laugh, but lately I’ve been seeing a lot of it in the political discussion.  People who honestly believe that they have a corner on the market of political ideas and solutions.

For example, I close friend of mine, has, since Senator Bennet was appointed in early 2009, argued that his refusal to take a position on the Employee Free Choice Act represents him as spineless or indecisive.  She claims that “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”  But, I’m not sure. First, it isn’t politically astute to take a position on a completely hypothetical issue, especially if it’s a divisive issue.  Secondarily, Senators and Representatives don’t vote on ideas, they vote on bills.

But, even more than the political calculus, the fact that a Rep. disagrees with you does not indicate that he/she does not have a position, or that that position is not moral or well-founded.

But we have a large number of people, the tea party on the right, and the PUMA-types on the left (those enraged by some vote or other that Rep. Markey or Sen. Bennet made), who are acting like petulant children.  Stomping their feet and whining, and losing sight of the fact that when a Senator or Representative gets elected from their district, they, that one person, really has no right to expect 100% agreement with the Rep.

I’ve seen criticism of Rep Markey, couched in the frame that she’s not a Democrat, so she is unworthy of a vote.  Or criticism of Sen. Bennet, couched in anger at financial votes that it would take advanced degrees in finance to truly understand.  But our Cult of Me seems to act as though getting 76% or 51% or 94% of what you want is reason to try to get better.

Given that this is politics, and part of that game is to argue about the merits or people and positions, but this seems egotistical and somewhat selfish, the assumption that it’s socially acceptable to lash out the very second that what you get is not 100% of what you want.

My thought is that if you think you deserve to agree with your rep 100% of the time, you ought to run yourself.  And, when you get elected, my guess is that you’ll find you won’t get to agree with yourself 100% of the time.  Not if you want to be effective.  So, I ask the COPols community, what the hell is wrong with us?


Greeley School Board Member To Start Newspaper

I’m not even sure what to do with this.  I suppose when you go to Bible College and run a tiny radio station, spewing hate-filled rants, and homeschool your children while serving on the local school board, you think $20,000 and $2,000/mo will start a newspaper.  Anyone from InDenver Times out there to check those numbers…

Anyway, from Greeley-Evans School District 6 School Board member (emphasis on member), Brett Reese:

… a new, competing newspaper may be in fact on the horizon for Greeley.  An anonymous donor- a local businessman in Greeley, has offered to match up to $10,000 of all donations towards establishing a local, objective newspaper.  I’m excited.  We have to raise the funds by February 1, 2010.   This is legitimate.  This newspaper will absolutely focus on the truth unbiased one way or the other.  At this stage I think it’s appropriate that we focus on two things for this new newspaper.  First gathering a board of advisors.  30 or 40 local people willing to make some financial contribution monthly, maybe $50…

Now, I made sure to use copy-paste from the original, ranging rant against the Editor of the Greeley Tribune, and I fully expect Mr. Reese to demonstrate his misunderstanding of fair-use, copyright, or other newspaper-related subjects, by suggesting that he’s being plagerized or something.

But this is awesome.  I’m entertained by this buffoonery.


Did We Just Get Sold Out?

David Sirota just twitter’d that the AP is reporting that the Obama Administration is willing to compromise on a Public Option.


I’m beyond words.  I’ve been hoping and praying that my assessment that Pres. Obama is intelligent and capable (vs. naive and incompetent), and that the fact that he hasn’t started playing tough offense is because he has a plan.  Now, it’s beginning to appear that this hope is the same as my (former) fervent hope that Mike “Genius” Shannahan was lulling the opponent into a sense of security, and into a trap.

Now, I’m beginning to think that I’m again a victim of wishful thinking.  And worse, I cannot but feel totally betrayed by an administration that promised change and then changed what he promised after we elected him.  


Busy Day For The Astroturfers

It’s going to be a busy day for the Anti-Healthcare-Reform astro-turfers tomorrow.  The seem to be starting early in the morning in Ft. Collins, and ending the day in Highlands Ranch, after stops in Greeley, Longmont, and Wheat Ridge.

I say ‘stops’ because this looks like tightly scripted rallies, designed to be more photo opportunity than real effort to show an opposing view.

According to an involved Douglas County twit, @ChristaHuff, the rally is making stops at 7:30am in Ft. Collins, 10am in Greeley, 12:45pm in Longmont, 2:00pm in Wheat Ridge, and finally 3:15 in Highlands Ranch.

If you want to attend, or follow along, here’s a link to a Google Map of the route.

However, based on the timetable of this effort, it looks like there will be single large group in Ft. Collins and Greeley, but that group may break up later in the day, with parts of it going to Longmont, Wheat Ridge, and Highlands Ranch.

I’ll be twittering (@lofdev) and trying to get some photos up as the Greeley event goes on.  If you happen to be at the rallies, take some photos and let’s see if we can identify the folks who are actually from the places where the rallies take place.

Oh, yeah.  The route for Friday is pretty ambitious, too.


Health Care: Post’s Vincent Carroll Needs a Lesson in Logic

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

In today’s Denver Post, columnist Vincent Carroll uses some absurd logic to echo the fringe-right-wing’s argument that the American health care system isn’t broken.

I’ll start with this gem…

Admittedly, the United States does spend more on health care, at nearly 16 percent of its gross national product, than any other country. Even relatively big-spending Switzerland, France and Germany devote only 11 to 12 percent of GDP on health care.

On the other hand, we’re also wealthier than other countries. As people grow richer – here, in Europe and any place you care to name – they tend to devote more resources to their health. So in the natural course of affairs, we should be spending more than others, although probably not as much more as we do.

I’m not sure how Mr. Carroll’s world works, but as I have gotten wealthier (and that’s a pretty thin use of the term), I have devoted a smaller percentage to health care.  For example, I require insurance for a single person, which costs, say, $600/mo.  If I make $2,400/month, I’m spending 25% of my income.  As I grow wealthier, and make, say, $6,000/mo, that percentage drops to 10%.  I don’t spend more, proportionally, as I get richer.  That’s absurd.

Mr. Carroll goes on to argue that WHO rankings are meaningless using a strange variant of a red herring.

But what about the allegedly inferior results? Let’s first dispose of that 37th place ranking, since it’s become a staple of the indictment of U.S. health care at least since Michael Moore exploited it in his movie “Sicko.” To appreciate how strange the ranking is, you really have to ask yourself just one question: Would I prefer to be treated for a serious ailment or injury in Oman, Portugal, Greece, Colombia, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Chile, Dominica and Costa Rica as opposed to the United States?

If you answered no, along with most other sane people, you have begun to see the problem: All of those nations, some of them quite poor, appear above the U.S. in the oft-cited WHO ranking. Meaning the ranking must be flawed.

Call me a bit crazy, but that list does not contain the names of 36 nations (it’s incomplete).  It does, however, contain the names of two European nations, cloaked by four Middle Eastern countries (aren’t we experiencing some tension with various Arab/Middle Eastern countries), and four Central/South American countries (isn’t illegal immigration from Latin America another hot-button issue).  I’m impressed, because that’s a crazy-good red herring, soaked in the mercury of xenophobia.

The rest of the column is pretty much unreadable, but it includes several straw men, including an absurd argument about how the L.A. Lakers lost ground in a post-season survey because they had the resources to do better.  Applied to the U.S. health care system:

The rankings are also adjusted “to reflect a country’s performance relative to how well it theoretically could have performed.”

Call me crazy, but shouldn’t we get the best imaginable health care system if we’re going to throw 16% of the GDP of the richest nation on Earth at it?


Ken Buck’s Legal Bills

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Last October, Weld County District Attorney (and, dare I say, lackluster, Senate Candidate), Ken Buck, raided Amalia’s Tax Service in Greeley.  He was looking for evidence that undocumented aliens were using other people’s social security numbers to file taxes and receive refunds.

The ACLU filed suit against Buck, as well as Weld County Sheriff, John Cooke, in January.  They successfully argued that Buck’s search warrant violated the 4th Amendment by not detailing, particularly, the persons and items that were being sought.

Today, the Tribune, has revealed that this fight has cost taxpayers almost $100,000.  And this does number does not include attorney’s fees related to the case’s pending Colorado Supreme Court appeal (and the likely appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court).

The whole business around this case has me confused.  A few weeks ago, didn’t the U.S. Supreme Court rule that in order to successfully prosecute ‘identity theft’ against someone using another person’s social security number, the prosecution has to demonstrate that the offender actually knew the number was another person’s.  If he simply makes one up, prints a face SS card, works under the number, he did not steal an identity.

So, the ACLU has successfully had “Operation Numbers Game” halted under the 4th Amendment.  SCOTUS has said that the prosecution will have to prove intent w/re the identity theft charge, even if the ACLU loses on appeal.  What’s Buck doing here?

Is this a taxpayer-funded campaign event?


Sen. Renfroe Ask Congress To Save Us From… Him?

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

This past Saturday, Sen. Scott Renfroe (SD-13), spoke up during a meeting in which Congresswoman Betsy Markey (CO-04) and Senators Udall and Bennet brought together all the players in the continuing crisis surrounding the failure of New Frontier Bank.  

Sen. Renfroe first acknowledged that he was a shareholder in the bank, and that his father was on the board of directors.  He then, however, went on to tell the panel, that if they “didn’t do something now, that this area is not going to succeed.”

Essentially, the government, that he and his friends (Sen. Schultheis, Gardner, Lundberg, Brophy, Penry, et al) rail against, has to step in and save northern Colorado from the mess that he and his father helped create. …More below the fold.

Call me crazy, but the biggest problems at New Frontier Bank seems to have been the over-leveraging (ratios of capital to loans of 1:30 or greater), and the industry-wide practice of making sub-prime loans.  But not according to Sen. Renfroe, when I asked him during the meeting.

After he spoke, I caught him at the back of the room and asked him, “did you just tell us that government was the solution?”  He chucked and said that he guess he had.  I followed up and asked him from whom we were being saved. “Aren’t we saving ourselves from you and your father?”

Oddly, he answered quickly and fairly well (rehearsed?) that the problem came because the loans we fine, until new regulations came into place.  As I understood his answer, it was not over-leveraging or bad loans, but the reining in of over-leveraged banks.  Essentially, the FDIC and overzealous regulators caused the failure.

This kind of thinking is amazing, especially in light of the fact that around $1.2B of loanable money has just evaporated from N. Colorado borrowers.  There just isn’t any capital to base loans on.  The net effect of this is going to be that nearly $700M of loans are going to be called in, most of which cannot be re-issued, either because no area banks have the available dollars to loan, or because the loans were sub-prime.  The effect on Northern and Eastern Colorado is going to be disasterous.

Now, I’m not one to wish business failure on anyone.  But, had many of the folks who are going to fail in the next weeks or months, failed over the past decade, rather than being propped up by sub-prime loans and shady practices at NFB, then we would not be looking at a massive swath of the economy collapsing simultaneously, and sending ripples through the entire economy.

The practices of NFB may have been standards for the industry since 1999 or 2000, but NFB and its Directors seem to have taken the practices to an extreme, and the northern Colorado economy is going to pay a high price for it.  And folks like Sen. Scott Renfroe, who helped rack up the bill, get standing ovations (and support from GOP Candidates) asking the government to save us.  Unreal!



(That cheering you hear comes from the Ryan Frazier section of the “long shot in hell” audience. – promoted by Colorado Pols)

According to the Greeley Tribune, the ACLU has successfully put a halt to the Buck’s illegal immigration busting plan, Operation Numbers Game.  From the Tribune…

Judge James Hiatt put a stop to the identity theft investigation called Operation Number Games, saying deputies wrongly seized federal income tax records to pursue suspected illegal immigrants.

The judge today ordered Weld District Attorney Ken Buck and the sheriff’s department to return or destroy all evidence seized. Buck left the courtroom after a short discussion with his attorney, and he would not comment about the order. His attorneys said they would appeal the ruling.

I’m not sure how this will affect Buck’s Senate bid, but he sure seems to be prosecuting for political gain (think dog poop).