Ken Buck Tweets False Choice: Security vs. Environment

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Representative Ken Buck (CD4) tweeted yesterday that  his amendment helps soldiers “focus on immediate national security needs, not climate change”.  However, the Department of Defense’s own analysis says that climate change is a major threat to stability worldwide, and should be included in all planning.

Ken Buck’s tweet on June 14, 2016:

Ken Buck's tweet

That’s Buck, standing with the military against evil Greenies.

And he’s using Bernie Sanders/ Elizabeth Warren language about “crony capitalism” just to confuse folks:

So what’s got Mr. Buck going all “Fight the Power” here? Rep. Buck doesn’t like the Department of Defense spending on renewable energy sources to power its facilities.

For example, Fort Drum, New York has a military base running 100%  on biomass.  The public might applaud this energy self-sufficiency – remember all that rhetoric about not being “addicted to oil”?  But Buck’s standing strong against it. Ken Buck’s amendment would have prevented using renewable energy on this project.

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Ken Buck and the Politicization of Policing

Rep. Ken Buck (right), with his gun.

Rep. Ken Buck (right), with his gun.

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

By Bob Seay

On the surface, Ken Buck’s “Blue Lives Matter” proposal looks good. (“Rep. Ken Buck introduces ‘Blue Lives Matter’ bill to make targeted killing of a police officer a hate crime”, March 17) Like Mr. Buck said, “I can’t imagine anyone would be opposed to protecting police officers.” I agree. My brother is a cop. I would do anything to protect him and his fellow officers.

But Mr. Buck’s bill is not intended to protect police officers. It is a cynical political ploy designed to further divide our country and to garner votes for himself and his Right Wing colleagues.

Conservatives typically oppose laws for hate crimes, which they often refer to as “thought crimes.” They maintain that all violent crimes should be prosecuted vigorously, regardless of who the victim might be. Colorado and many other states already require either the death penalty or life without parole for the killing of a police officer. There is no legal or prosecutorial benefit to be gained by classifying the killing of a police officer as a hate crime. There is, however, a strong potential political benefit to be had by exploiting the deaths of these honorable men and women.

Good cops resolve conflicts. Likewise, a true statesman sees the big picture and works to bring people together. With this bill, Buck has intentionally done just the opposite. His deliberate appropriation of the slogan “Black Lives Matter” is a giant middle finger to people who are legitimately concerned about the very real problem of the use of excessive force by rogue officers. The title “Blue Lives Matter” virtually guarantees that this bill will incite division and violence, much of which will be directed at the very officers that Mr. Buck claims to want to protect. It inflames the conflict and divides people. This is type of schoolyard taunting is very popular among the Donald Trump -Ted Cruz wing of the Republican party. It also has the potential to make the country explode.

If Ken Buck is really concerned about protecting police officers, then he should come out against armor piercing “cop killer” bullets. He should make it harder for criminals and potential terrorists to acquire military-grade weapons. He should provide funding for more training in conflict resolution so officers are better equipped to deescalate potentially deadly situations before anyone is killed.

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a total of 94 police officers were killed while on duty last year, 52 in traffic-related accidents and 42 from gunfire. These men and women died while protecting us and our values. They deserve our utmost respect and gratitude.

Ken Buck wants us to believe that those who oppose his bill are in favor of people killing police officers. Nothing could be further from the truth. We oppose his bill because we don’t want to make the job of policing more difficult and more dangerous than it already is.

Bob Seay is a Democratic candidate for Congress for CD-04. His website is http://BobForColorado.org 

 

 

 

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Ken Buck Ain’t No Racist (Maya Angelou Edition)

Rep. Ken Buck.

Rep. Ken Buck.

NBC News reports on a relatively mundane vote today in the U.S. House to rename a United States Post Office after author and civil rights activist Maya Angelou:

On days when the House of Representatives does not have much to do by way of work, the body names post offices. Usually these are fairly mundane affairs, the body will unanimously vote to approve the naming of a post office no matter what member puts the request forward.

That was the case today when a vote to rename a post office in California to “Medal of Honor” post office passed 381-0.

However, it was not for the next vote, cast to rename a post office in Winston-Salem, N.C. after Civil Rights icon Maya Angelou. That measure passed with only 371 votes.

Nine Republicans voted against the Maya Angelou bill and one voted present.

Maya Angelou.

Maya Angelou.

House Democrats responded indignantly:

Rep. Steve Israel, D-Ny., released a statement saying:

“Naming post offices is one of the most benign and bipartisan duties we perform in the House of Representatives, and there is rarely any opposition. That’s why I was shocked today as nine Republicans voted against naming a post office after Maya Angelou, indisputably one of our country’s greatest poets, authors and civil rights activists. The fact that these nine Members would cast a no vote shows a blatant disrespect and only adds to the damaging actions they’ve taken this year to reverse progress from long and hard fought civil rights battles.”

Today’s 371-9 vote to name a Post Office after Maya Angelou featured Colorado’s own Rep. Ken Buck as one of the very much in the minority “no” votes. We haven’t seen a statement from Buck explaining his vote, but this wouldn’t be his first brush with racial controversy since winning election in 2014. Not long after taking office, Buck took to social media to complain about President Barack Obama treating a group of “Hispanic students” (actually Native American) to lunch–a display that caused Buck, for whatever reason, to ‘lose his appetite.’

Anyway folks, when we find out what Rep. Buck’s problem with Maya Angelou is, we’ll let you know.

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Ken Buck Replaces Brophy with Former AFP Lobbyist

Hide your watermelons, kids: Brophy is back in Colorado.

Hide your watermelons, kids: Greg Brophy is back in Colorado.

Yesterday we came across a short entry from Legistorm.com that caught our attention because of the name that was not included in the story. Take a look:

A longtime staff member for retired Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Col.) has returned — again — to the Hill from a prolonged hiatus.

MacArthur “Mac” Zimmerman is the new chief of staff for Rep. Ken Buck (R-Col.) following a seven-year absence from Congress…

…Zimmerman waited until 2014 to return to politics, this time as a lobbyist for Americans for Prosperity.

The story includes an interesting summation of Zimmerman’s strange political ride since his former boss, Rep. Tom Tancredo, retired from CD-6 in 2007. Not mentioned in the Legistorm article, however, is why Rep. Ken Buck was looking for a new Chief of Staff in the first place.

Former State Sen. Greg Brophy had an unsuccessful run for Governor in 2014, but he ended the year on a high note when the newly-elected Buck chose him to run his congressional office in Washington D.C. Brophy had served as Buck’s Chief of Staff ever since…until a few weeks ago when Buck let him know that he would be resigning. There was no press release from Buck’s office, and we apparently missed this late Friday Denver Post blog entry from Mark Matthews in which Brophy declines to talk about his next professional role (if one exists).

We don’t know why Buck made a change at the top of his staff, though it is certainly noteworthy that his new COS, Mac Zimmerman, had been working for the Koch brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity. Buck has risen quickly in the Koch world, as we noted late last year when he was a featured speaker at a big Koch fundraising event in New York.

As for Brophy, we don’t know what he’s doing now…other than auditioning to be a “silencer lobbyist.” Trophy re-tweeted this message on Wednesday:

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Fort Morgan’s Cargill Plant Fires 150 Muslim Employees in Dispute over Religious Freedom

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

On December 23, 2015, Cargill Meat Solutions Plant in Fort Morgan fired 150 mostly Somali Muslim employees after forbidding Islamic prayers at work, saying, “If you want to pray, go home”. The employees are not eligible to be rehired for six months.

Screen capture of ABC news video

Cargill employees fired for praying at work. Attribution: Denver Channel, 12/30/15

The meat processors, some of whom had worked at the plant for 10 years, had been allowed, under long-standing policy, to take five minutes to pray during their own unpaid lunch and break times, in a “reflection room” provided by the plant. This policy, in place since 2009,  allowed its employees the freedom to pray at work, and allowed the company to produce meat products profitably and on time. Six hundred of the 2100 workers at Cargill’s Fort Morgan plant are Somali Muslims.

Then, suddenly, according to CAIR’s Hussein, Cargill cracked down and stopped allowing Muslim prayer at work. Members of other faiths, presumably, are still allowed to use the company “reflection room” to pray during break time.

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Six Degrees of Benghazi, with Rep. Ken Buck

Hee-hee. I get to press buttons.

Hee-hee. I get to press buttons.

Via Talking Points Memo, here’s Colorado Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) trying to connect the wrong dots:

Colorado Republican Rep. Ken Buck on Thursday blamed the President’s handling of the 2011 terrorist attack in Benghazi for Americans’ distrust of Syrian refugees today.

In a back-and-forth with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Leon Rodriguez, Buck argued that no one should be surprised Americans are deeply concerned about refugees considering the way Obama handled the aftermath of the Benghazi attacks.

“One of the reasons Americans are distrustful at this point. We have a president who after the murder of an ambassador in Benghazi and the murder of three heroes in Benghazi…told the American people that the attack was the result of a video,” Buck said. “You have a secretary of state that immediately identified that it was not the result of a video — that it was that it was a result of a well-planned attack.”

We suppose it’s unavoidable that some Republican politicians will reflexively scream “Benghazi!” whenever they are discussing any foreign policy matter, but come on, Ken! This is silly even for you.

Steve Benen of MSNBC tries to figure out what Buck is trying to say here. It’s complicated:

Initially, I took this to mean that Buck was conflating terrorists in Libya and refugees from Syria, but that’s not it.

Rather, the Colorado Republican was endorsing far-right Benghazi conspiracy theories, which leads him to believe the White House covered up some imaginary scandal, which then leads him to believe Americans don’t trust the administration, which then leads Buck to believe Benghazi is indirectly responsible for creating public hostility towards refugees from an entirely different country.

Could you connect the Paris terrorist attacks to Benghazi in six steps or less? Probably. Could you connect the Paris attacks to actor Kevin Bacon in six steps or less? Probably.

Maybe it’s Kevin Bacon’s fault!

(h/t to DawnPatrol)

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Ken Buck Speaks For GOP Delegation Against Budget Deal

Rep. Ken Buck.

Rep. Ken Buck.

As the Greeley Tribune reports, Colorado’s foremost right-wing ideologue in Congress, Rep. Ken Buck, is not happy about a long-term fiscal deal reached between congressional Republican leaders and the White House to put an end to the pitched battles over the federal budget that have caused major upheaval and uncertainty for several years. Buck’s statement is leading local stories about the deal despite the fact that all four Republicans in Colorado’s congressional delegation voted against it:

Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., voted against H.R. 1314, the budget deal negotiated by Congressional leadership and President Obama, which passed Wednesday 266 to 167 with solely Republican opposition.

The deal, released near midnight on Monday, was rushed to the floor for a vote on Wednesday, the news release from Buck’s office stated. The legislation increases the debt limit without any entitlement reform and adds an additional $80 billion in discretionary spending over the next two fiscal years.

In a statement, Buck expressed his vexation with the process and the outcome:

The deal, released near midnight on Monday, was rushed to the floor for a vote on Wednesday. The legislation increases the debt limit without any entitlement reform and adds an additional $80 billion in discretionary spending over the next two fiscal years.

“This budget deal blows through the debt limit and the spending caps we fought hard to implement in 2011,” Congressman Buck stated. “We’re trading short-term spending for the promise of long-term savings.”

And unceremoniously throwing outgoing Speaker John Boehner under the bus to the Washington Post:

“This is John Boehner’s deal,” said Rep. Ken Buck (Colo.), a conservative freshman and a member of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus. [Pols emphasis]

New Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has publicly washed his hands of this agreement, claiming “we are not going to run the House this way.” In private, however, it’s been suggested that even many of the Republican “no” votes on the deal are highly relieved by its passage–even in abrogation of the once-sacred “Hastert Rule” that no bill could come to the floor without the support of “the majority of the majority.”

The budget deal may have needed Democratic support for pass in a Republican-controlled Congress, but it’s Republican “no” votes like Rep. Mike Coffman who stand to benefit most from an end to the years of open warfare between Congress and the Obama administration over the budget. The uncertainty and quantifiable economic damage done by years of government shutdown and debt-limit brinksmanship have manifested as one of the GOP’s greatest liabilities with the broad American center electorate, even as the “Tea Party” fringe has demanded ever more confrontation.

In short, even as this deal is panned by the Ken Bucks of the world, it could be the GOP’s political lifeline going into 2016–a lifeline that, looking at the actual vote yesterday, they do not deserve.

Hopefully the fact-checkers are taking notes.

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Rep. Ken Buck on Speaker Paul Ryan: Not So Fast

UPDATE #3: CNN now reporting, Oh Lordy, Kumbaya:

Rep. Paul Ryan is pushing ahead with his — now likely successful — bid to be the next House speaker.

In a closed-door session, more than 70% of the House Freedom Caucus voted in favor of Ryan’s candidacy. But that is short of the 80% needed for an official endorsement, something Ryan has demanded.

It appears to be close enough for Ryan, and now he is just waiting for two other key House GOP caucuses to make their support known before he officially jumps in.

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Rep. Paul Ryan with now-Sen. Cory Gardner.

Rep. Paul Ryan with now-Sen. Cory Gardner.

UPDATE #2: The “House Freedom Caucus,” of which Rep. Ken Buck is a member, says it will not endorse Ryan for Speaker. If Ryan holds to his earlier requirements for seeking the position, the bus stops here.

You will never leave this place, John Boehner! Neverrrrrr!!!

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UPDATE: As Politico reports, Ryan’s requirements for running for House Speaker are not going over well with the right wing of the GOP:

Conservative media pundits chafed at Paul Ryan’s list of conditions upon which he would agree to the speakership, mocking him as “Emperor Ryan” and “King Paul.”…

…At one point on Drudge Report, headlines blared: “KING PAUL: PLEDGE YOUR ALLEGIANCE TO ME,” “DO IT BY FRIDAY,” “HE’S A DEM FAVORITE,” “OBAMA’S NEW PARTNER,” ‘F’ conservative rating,” and “WANTS TO SCRAP THOMAS JEFFERSON’S RULE.”

“[Ryan] wants to get elected after it is made impossible to get rid of him, then he will really get into specifics…Amnesty anyone?” Red State founder Erick Erickson wrote. “This would be a terrible, terrible deal for House Conservatives. It would gut their ability to pull the House Republicans to the right.”

This seems to be working out brilliantly.

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AP reports via CBS4 Denver on the quickly developing story of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s possible bid to succeed the outgoing Rep. John Boehner as Speaker of the House:

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan told GOP lawmakers late Tuesday that he will run for speaker, but only if they embrace him by week’s end as their consensus candidate — an ambitious bid to impose unity on a disordered and divided House.

Dragged reluctantly into seeking a job he never wanted, Ryan spoke to his colleagues behind closed doors, telling them he will run only with the endorsement of the major caucuses in the House. That includes the hardline Freedom Caucus that chased out the current speaker and his No. 2, and will now have veto power over Ryan.

Rep. Ken Buck.

Rep. Ken Buck.

Our local stalwart on the House Freedom Caucus, Rep. Ken Buck, isn’t doing much to encourage Ryan to make the jump:

“I think there are other candidates in this race, and I want to hear what they have to say,” said another Freedom Caucus member, Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado. [Pols emphasis]

Perhaps hoping to shore up support on his right, Ryan told House Republicans on Tuesday that there would be no immigration reform bill passed by the GOP-controlled House if he is elected Speaker — at least as long as Barack Obama remains President. Despite this concession, Freedom Caucus members reportedly remain concerned about demands by Ryan that the procedural tactic used this year to attempt to force Boehner to resign, the “motion to vacate,” be ruled out before he accepts the job. Or as New York Congressman Peter King colorfully explained, “He said he’s willing to take arrows in his chest, but not in his back.”

The Freedom Caucus indicated on Tuesday that it would stand by its endorsement of Florida Rep. Daniel Webster as the next House Speaker, but other candidates have been migrating toward Paul. Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who was a favorite of Colorado Rep. Scott Tipton, withdrew his own candidacy to back Paul for Speaker.

Ryan and other Republicans have been busy pushing the narrative that Ryan doesn’t really want to be Speaker, but would do it for the greater good of the GOP. Serving as House Speaker has not historically been a good launching point for a Presidential campaign, and Ryan is believed to still have his eyes on the White House; still, it would be hard to see Ryan not grabbing hold of the chance to increase his political power.

If Ryan is still having trouble getting support from the Freedom Caucus, perhaps he can ask his spokesman to appeal to Ken Buck based on a shared last name (Ryan’s spokesperson is named Brendan Buck).

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The Nuge Joins Forces With Ken Buck

Ted Nugent.

Ted Nugent.

Back in April, we took note of a photo Tweeted by Rep. Ken Buck from his Washington, D.C. office, proudly holding an AR-15 assault rifle with Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina. This photo struck us as a bit curious, since Washington, D.C. has very strict gun laws that outlaw Buck’s AR-15 rifle and the 30-round magazine attached to it.

After a morning of interesting back and forth between inquiring reporters and the D.C. Attorney General’s office, who at first insisted the weapon was illegal and that they were “looking into” the matter, the U.S. Capitol Police stated they had allowed Buck to display the weapon in his office under “regulations” that permit members of Congress and their staff to possess unloaded guns on Capitol grounds. The manner of how that regulation comports with local D.C. law was left unresolved, but Rep. Buck still has his AR-15 on display in the Cannon Office Building by all accounts.

Curiously, though, today we received this fundraising email blast on Rep. Buck’s behalf from aging rock star and famous “gun guy” Ted Nugent, which seems to imply a very different outcome to last April’s little brouhaha:

If we don’t stand our ground, Barack Obama (or worse, President Hillary Clinton) will take away our guns that we rely on to defend our homes, families, and country.

That’s why I need you to hear something completely insane…

You know they tried to toss a US Congressman in jail for having his legally owned AR-15 in his office?

That’s right – my friend Congressman Ken Buck was under investigation by the Washington, DC, Metro Police because the city’s Left-wing gun regulations are so restrictive, most people can’t even legally exercise their God-given Constitutional right to bear arms (even in a private place like your office)!

He put a picture online of Congressman Trey Gowdy and himself admiring his awesome American flag wrapped AR-15 and some vindictive liberal gun-hater sent it to the police. The rest is history…

Rep. Ken Buck (right), with his gun.

Rep. Ken Buck (right), with his gun.

So, if The Nuge means this blog when he says “some vindictive liberal gun-hater,” because we were the ones who posted the photo of Buck with his AR-15 that led to news inquiries, we guess that’s one thing. But in terms of the rest of the story “being history,” well, our readers know that Ken Buck didn’t face any charges or sanctions for his assault rifle on Capitol grounds–in fact, it’s still there.

But that version of the story, otherwise known as the true story, wouldn’t raise nearly as much money.

That’s why I’m helping Congressman Ken Buck. He’s a guy we can trust who will fight for the values we share – especially when it comes to the 2nd Amendment. Hell, they tried to get him thrown into jail for exercising his Second Amendment rights!

That’s my kind of guy. Bold, brave, and packing heat in his office to scare off liberals.

As our longtime readers know, this isn’t the first time that The Nuge has weighed in on a Colorado political matter. Ted Nugent endorsed Tom Tancredo for governor in 2014, which because a lively sidenote in that race after Nugent denounced President Barack Obama in a radio interview as a “communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel.” Nugent also said of our state following the passage of 2013’s gun safety bills, “if ever there was a poster child for apathy, disconnect, laziness, and abandonment of We the People, and moral dereliction, it is Colorado.”

We can assume from the former statement that Nugent, like Buck, “loses his appetite” in the presence of America’s first black president. But we would kind of like to know if Buck agrees with Nugent in his assessment of the state Buck represents in Congress.

Needless to say, we hope not.

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Ken Buck: Iran Wants To Nuke Julesburg, Colorado

A remarkable message from freshman Rep. Ken Buck posted to Youtube today, warning in the scariest terms he can muster against the proposed treaty between the “P5+1” group of nations–China, France, Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States–and Islamic Republic of Iran to prevent the latter nation from obtaining nuclear weapons:

Julesburg, Colorado.

Julesburg, Colorado.

For those unfamiliar with rural Colorado geography, the town of Julesburg, population 1,225, is located in the northeast corner of the state near the Nebraska border about 185 miles from Denver. Julesburg’s chief claims to fame were a former Pony Express stop and serving as the seat of Sedgwick County (population 2,380), before becoming known since last year as the most convenient location for Nebraskans to buy weed.

Needless to say, we have trouble imagining Julesburg on a list of targets for an Iranian nuclear attack.

With that said, ginning up opposition to the Iran treaty appears to be a significant goal of Republican political strategists for the August recess just now getting underway. The most recent round of public opinion polls on the proposal suggest that weeks of shrill scare tactics like Rep. Buck’s above have significantly hurt support for the treaty with the voting public. These latest polls are a major departure from polling earlier this year, which showed Americans overwhelmingly in support of the same treaty.

Much like Obamacare, the “failed stimulus” that didn’t actually fail, and so many other objectively good things that Republicans have managed to demagogue into undeserved unpopularity, this erosion of support for the Iran treaty is the direct result of agenda-driven partisans placing political goals above the nation’s best interests. The sheer repetition of talking points gives them validity, to the point in this case where Americans appear willing to reject a treaty negotiated not just by President Obama, but a group of the most powerful nations in the world. Although Republicans want to lay this treaty solely at the feet of Obama, they’re really telling Americans to give the rest of the world the finger to placate one faction of Israeli politics.

And as Ken Buck demonstrates better than we ever could, it’s getting ridiculous.

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Colorado Republicans Freak Out Over Iran Nuclear Deal

Negotiations_about_Iranian_Nuclear_Program_-_the_Ministers_of_Foreign_Affairs_and_Other_Officials_of_the_P5+1_and_Ministers_of_Foreign_Affairs_of_Iran_and_EU_in_LausanneAs the New York Times reports:

Iran and a group of six nations led by the United States said they had reached a historic accord on Tuesday to significantly limit Tehran’s nuclear ability for more than a decade in return for lifting international oil and financial sanctions.

The deal culminates 20 months of negotiations on an agreement that President Obama had long sought as the biggest diplomatic achievement of his presidency. Whether it portends a new relationship between the United States and Iran — after decades of coups, hostage-taking, terrorism and sanctions — remains a bigger question.

Mr. Obama, in an early morning appearance at the White House that was broadcast live in Iran, began what promised to be an arduous effort to sell the deal to Congress and the American public, saying the agreement is “not built on trust — it is built on verification.”

Leading Jewish progressive advocacy group J Street praises the agreement in a statement today:

The deal is complex and multi-faceted, and it will take some time to analyze all its features. However, from what we have seen so far and what we have learned from President Barack Obama and the negotiators, this agreement appears to accurately reflect the parameters set forth in the April 2 framework.

It also appears to meet the critical criteria around which a consensus of US and international non-proliferation experts has formed for a deal that verifiably blocks each of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon.

We congratulate President Obama, Secretary Kerry and the other members of the P5+1 for having the resolve, determination, patience and persistence to bring such a difficult negotiation to a successful conclusion.

It will be important for Congress to carefully review this agreement on its merits and at the same time be mindful of the likely consequences of its rejection: a collapse of diplomacy and international sanctions as Iran pushes forward with a nuclear program unimpeded. [Pols emphasis]

Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

Don’t tell any of this “diplomacy” stuff to GOP Rep. Mike Coffman, who is vowing to help scuttle the deal:

“The economic sanctions should be strengthened and only relaxed when Iran stops engaging in state-sponsored terrorism,” said Coffman, a Marine Corps combat veteran. “From my experience in the region, watching Iran fund terrorist attacks against my fellow Marines, I have learned that Iran cannot be trusted. I will stand with our ally Israel in opposing this agreement when it comes before Congress.”

Meanwhile, House freshman class president Rep. Ken Buck is more or less having a nuclear meltdown of his own via Twitter:

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The Charleston Shooting: Six Degrees of Earl Holt

UPDATE: One hour and twenty minutes after this post went up, 9NEWS’ Brandon Rittiman reports:

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colorado) will part with money he received from the leader of a white supremacist group which appears to have inspired the shooter who killed 9 people in an attack on an historically black church in South Carolina.

We’re happy to have brought this to his attention five years after the fact.

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Earl Holt.

Earl Holt.

Politico’s Nick Gass has a story today that, it’s safe to say, a number of Republican candidates for President don’t want you to read–but you probably should:

The leader of a white supremacist group mentioned by Dylann Roof in his alleged manifesto has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Republican campaigns in recent years.

Earl Holt, president of the St. Louis-based Council of Conservative Citizens, has given to prominent 2016 candidates Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum over the years, among others, while provocative statements in his name were posted online over the years, including on the conservative news site The Blaze, under the user name Earl P Holt III…

“If you think you can educate them, or embarrass them, or reason with them, or that your Christian compassion will be reciprocated, then you are the kind of person who will be completely baffled when they kill you, rape your entire family, and burn your house to the ground,” Earl P. Holt III wrote in a comment last year.

According to one account of a witness’ report, Roof said before opening fire, “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country.” Roof stands charged with the murders of nine black parishioners at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, last Wednesday night.

According to this story, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz intends to return his donation from the Council of Conservative Citizens’ Earl Holt, as does Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. Rick Santorum’s quote doesn’t expressly say he’s returning the money, but we’d be surprised if he didn’t at this point. With South Carolina Republicans (and even Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado) calling for the Confederate flag’s removal from the state capitol grounds in the wake of last week’s shootings, to not return these severely tainted moneys would be politically suicidal.

Rep. Ken Buck.

Rep. Ken Buck.

The local connection: a quick search of donations also reveals a donation from the same Earl Holt to–you guessed it–Ken Buck’s U.S. Senate campaign in 2010! We haven’t found any other donations from Holt to Colorado candidates, but we can’t call ourselves surprised that Holt took a shine to Buck’s unrepentant far-right Senate campaign. Heck, now that we know Buck can’t tell the difference between “Hispanic” and Native American students, he seems even more up Holt’s alley! We’d assume that the present controversy following last week’s tragic shooting would motivate even Buck to return Holt’s donation.

Then again, it is Ken Buck we’re talking about. So maybe he keeps it in, you know, Freedom’s™ name.

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BREAKING: D.C. Attorney General Investigating Ken Buck’s Assault Weapon

UPDATE #3: The Denver Post updates, authorities in D.C. wash their proverbial hands:

Tuesday, the U.S. Capitol Police, which are responsible for protecting Congress, said everything was OK. Same goes for D.C. authorities, who wrote Tuesday afternoon that Capitol Police were handling the matter.

That’s a slight change from midday Tuesday, when it appeared as if D.C. authorities might investigate the gun and the photo. [Pols emphasis] A spokesman with the Office of the Attorney General in D.C. said the matter had been referred to the Metropolitan Police Department.

Meanwhile, Rep. Ken Buck is doing what politicians do best with any controversy–fundraising!

The Second Amendment exists to protect your God-given right to bear arms. The actions by Anti-Gun Liberals against Trey Gowdy and me are just another attempt to strip us of our rights. Donate here today to help strengthen our fight against anti-gun activists.

It’s good to be a lawmaker. Original post follows.

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UPDATE #2: The Denver Post’s Mark Matthews:

The post soon attracted the attention of the liberal blog Colorado Pols, which raised the question of whether Buck was showcasing an illegal assault weapon in his Capitol Hill office. At issue was whether Buck was in violation of the strict gun laws of Washington D.C — which prohibit assault weapons that include the AR-15…

A spokesman with the Office of the Attorney General in Washington said the matter was referred to the Metropolitan Police Department. A call and email to D.C. police were not immediately returned with comment.

“We have received several inquiries about the situation and have referred them and all relevant information to the Metropolitan Police Department for investigation,” said Robert Marus, spokesman for the D.C. attorney general. [Pols emphasis]

Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do?

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UPDATE: The Hill adds an update that’s not good for Ken Buck:

The spokesman for the D.C. Attorney General Office reiterated that AR-15s are prohibited in the city.

“It is illegal to possess an AR-15 in the District,” the spokesman said. [Pols emphasis]

Note the absence of the words “unless you’re a Republican.” Developing…

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gowdybuckgun

The Hill’s Tim Devaney reports, but you read it here first:

Two Republican congressmen who posed for a picture with an assault rifle are coming under scrutiny from the District of Columbia’s attorney general office.

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) last week tweeted a picture of himself and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the leader of the House GOP’s Benghazi investigation, holding an AR-15…

Having the AR-15 in the Cannon House Office Building could be a violation of the District’s strict gun laws, and the Washington, D.C., attorney general’s office is “looking into the matter,” a spokesman told The Hill.

According to The Hill, Rep. Ken Buck claims he obtained permission from the U.S. Capitol Police to display his very real AR-15 assault rifle in his office in the Cannon House Office Building. Our understanding is that may not wash with the D.C. attorney general, however, even if the bolt carrier assembly for the weapon has been removed as Buck claims. For one thing, firearms law is specific that the “lower receiver” section of a gun is what counts legally, and that’s still present. And regardless of what other parts are present, the 30-round magazine attached to the rifle is illegal in D.C. without exception.

It’s not like pushing the boundaries of gun laws is unheard of among gun-happy Republican lawmakers. Here in Colorado, an unknown but significant number of state legislators take advantage of an obscure loophole in the law to carry concealed weapons in the state capitol building–a building where everyone else has to check their iron and pass through metal detectors.

In this case, we suspect Buck may have pushed the boundaries a bit too far. Stay tuned for updates.

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Ken Buck Poses With Illegal Assault Weapon?

Freshman Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado Tweeted this photo of himself yesterday:

gowdybuckgun

This is a photo of Rep. Buck with fellow Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina. The rifle they are holding is an AR-15 that Buck identifies as his own.

The problem? Assuming this photo was taken inside the boundaries of Washington, D.C., Ken Buck, the former district attorney of Weld County, Colorado, is now a lawbreaker. The AR-15 rifle is banned in the District of Columbia as an assault weapon, and gun magazines are limited to 10 rounds. As you can clearly see, Buck’s AR-15 (illegal in D.C.) is fitted with a 30-round magazine (illegal in D.C.). Under D.C.’s strict gun laws, weapons must also be registered–and obviously, you can’t do that if the weapon is already illegal to possess. All of these laws remain in effect even if your gun is painted with American flags.

Two years ago, NBC News’ David Gregory narrowly escaped prosecution in Washington, D.C., simply for bringing an unloaded 30 round magazine onto the set of his news broadcast. Short of a really good explanation we can’t think of right now–or, we suppose, the possibility this photo was taken across the Potomac in Virginia–we assume the D.C. Metropolitan Police will want to have a little chat with Rep. Buck about this.

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No Truth To Ken Buck’s ISIS/Texas Fearmongering

We took note earlier this week of an alarming claim by Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado via Twitter:

Rep. Ken Buck.

Rep. Ken Buck.

Ken Buck’s warning that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is “operating a camp just 8 miles from the U.S. border”–note the lack of qualifiers well-adjusted people use like “may be”–was based on a report by the conservative group Judicial Watch, which was then reported by the conservative Washington Times. According to Media Matters for America, Sean Hannity picked up the story on Tuesday, and it spread rapidly from there in the right-wing media.

But is there any truth to this frightening assertion? It doesn’t look like it. The same Washington Times story Buck cited quotes Mexican authorities denying there is an ISIS base anywhere near the U.S. border:

“The government of Mexico dismisses and categorically denies each of the statements made today by the organization Judicial Watch on the alleged presence of ISIS’s operating cells throughout the border region, particularly at Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua – El Paso, Texas,” Ariel Moutsatsos-Morales, Mexico’s minister for press and public affairs, told The Washington Times.

“The relevant authorities operating in the region have also confirmed the inexistence of these activities with their US counterparts, with whom they will continue to work closely and to exchange information at our common border,” Moutsatsos-Morales added.

KVIA-TV in El Paso checked with local American authorities, who dismissed this latest report of ISIS lurking over the border as unsubstantiated–just like previous similar reports:

It is similar to a rumor that U.S. federal officials dismissed months ago.

ABC-7 checked with several federal law agencies involved with border security and were told the report is unverified, and it is unlikely that ISIS is in Anapra or Juarez, Mexico.

Bottom line: unless this conservative advocacy group is privy to intelligence that nobody else has, including the governments of the United States and Mexico, there’s simply no evidence that any of this is true. For a sitting member of Congress to spread such a frightening, unconfirmed rumor without any kind of qualifier that it is unconfirmed is–needless to say–highly irresponsible.

On second thought, maybe we do need to say it, since it’s been two days now and no reporter has circled back with Buck to ask about it. No matter how safely conservative a district Buck represents, we have to think there are voters in his district who won’t appreciate this baseless fearmongering.

And we think they ought to know.

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Laura Woods Pushes “Gregory Golyansky Assistance Act”

Sen. Laura Woods, former gun dealer Gregory Golyansky.

Sen. Laura Woods, former gun dealer Gregory Golyansky.

A bill up for debate in the Senate Judiciary Committee today, Senate Bill 15-181, focuses on the rules for court-appointed receivers who take charge of assets during a bankruptcy proceeding or other lawsuit. Sponsored by hard-right Sen. Laura Waters Woods (R-RMGO), this legislation isn’t as interesting for what it does as who is supporting it.

The chief public proponent of SB15-181 is a figure our longtime readers will know well–although some may express surprise that he is still involved in Colorado politics at all. Gregory Golyansky, president of the conservative Colorado Union of Taxpayers, wrote an opinion piece for the Complete Colorado blog making the case for Sen. Woods’ bill:

My business of 16 years has been destroyed. I am unable to get the key to enter my own building. The court-appointed receiver is confiscating all the income from my real estate and using it, I know not how. In three years, he has not given an accounting of moneys collected, dispersed, or spent. The judge refuses to set any date for the dismissal of the receiver, and I am not even allowed to appeal any of these miscarriages of justice.

All of this has happened under Colorado’s existing receivership law, which as currently written allows both judges and receivers almost unlimited power over a person’s property.

The hopeful news is that Colorado State Sen. Laura Woods, along with nine other legislators, has introduced Senate Bill 181, which would reform the state’s existing receivership law and give the people more rights when under a receivership…

What Golyansky fails to mention here, among many other details, is the nature of at least one business he ran. An investigative report in the Denver Post revealed that Golyansky’s pawn shop business ABC Loan was a major source of illegal guns acquired by “straw purchasers” to be resold on the street and often used in crimes. David Olinger of the Post reported that an incredible 40% of multiple gun purchases traceable to criminal arrests in the state of Colorado were made at Golyansky’s pawn shop during the period it was in business. Guns sold by Golyansky were found at crime scenes from Colorado to Los Angeles. In 2005, one recipient of those guns was convicted in a triple murder in Aurora.

Despite his well-publicized connections to illegal guns and violent crime, Golyansky has somehow remained a credible player in Colorado conservative politics as the head of the CUT. And he’s been no less of a liability: in 2011, Golyansky was widely condemned, even by embarrassed Republican allies, after referring to government employees as “scum” and the “stormtroopers of communism.”

We have no idea how Golyansky manages to keep himself ingratiated with far-right conservative politicos like Ken Buck, Shawn Mitchell, and now Sen. Woods. But suffice to say, Golyansky is not someone any politician with a sense of self-preservation should be sharing a spotlight with. 

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When Ken Buck Is The Reasonable One…?

Finger on the button.

Finger on the button.

FOX News’ Chad Pergram with a surprisingly candid report on a tough week ahead for Speaker John Boehner and the fractious GOP-controlled House:

Next week could very well break the U.S. House of Representatives.

Or, if things go well, the House Republican majority could score two of its biggest legislative victories in quite a while, demonstrating it can govern.

The stakes are high as the GOP plans to debate and approve a budget. It’s a two-step in which Republicans slash spending but maneuver parliamentarily to bolster defense programs, satisfying both fiscal conservatives and budget hawks.

Or, the effort could blow up in the Republicans’ face.

In addition, the House will tiptoe through what has become one of the most-nettlesome votes in Congress: approving a replacement measure to cover the “doc fix” for physicians and seniors who use Medicare.

In the days since the Republican-controlled House and Senate released their competing budget proposals, each has been widely panned as reliant on “gimmicks” to achieve their stated goals–for this year, and to achieve the long held “Tea Party” goal of balancing the budget within a decade. The biggest problem is that, while both budget proposals would fully repeal the Affordable Care Act, they keep the tax revenue generated by it.

In other words, they’re totally unworkable.

The only thing we can add is that when freshman Rep. Ken Buck, one of the loudest and angriest conservatives in the GOP House says his chamber’s plan is not realistic, we’re obliged to take note:

Still, some Republicans aren’t even drinking their own party’s Kool-Aid when leaders extoll the merits of Price’s budget.

“I don’t know anyone who believes we’re going to balance the budget in 10 years,” claimed Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo. “It’s all hooey.” [Pols emphasis]

And one more problem: any conservative alternative likely would be even worse.

[T]here’s a problem when considering a substitute: If the House adopts a substitute before the base resolution (in this case, Price’s budget), that budget wins. The entire process comes to a screeching halt and members never get to Price’s outline.

One senior Republican leadership source told Fox “we’re screwed” if the House OK’s the RSC budget or anything. The source argued the top-line spending numbers in any budget more conservative than Price’s are too low and could have drastic fiscal impact on the entire federal government. [Pols emphasis]

So before we conclude that Ken Buck really is the voice of Republican reason in the budget debate, we should probably ask what his alternative would be. Because there’s every reason to believe what Buck wants would be much worse. The again, based on recent experience, the entire effort from the GOP to produce a budget that the President could sign with this dysfunctional majority is mostly likely a waste of all of our time.

We invite Rep. Buck and his colleagues to prove us wrong.

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Buck’s vote with Boehner screws talk-radio hosts

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

How you like me now?

How you like me now?

In standing with House Speaker John Boehner on Friday to avert the shutdown, albeit temporary, of the Department of Homeland Security, Colorado's new Republican Congressman Ken Buck apparently had second thoughts about his pledge to shut down DHS if necessary to stop Obama from allowing some immigrants to avoid deportation.

Asked by KLZ's Randy Corporon in January whether he would resist "public pressure and media assaults" and refuse to fund DHS along with Obama's immigration program, Buck said, 

Buck: "I can tell you this: Ken Buck will. I will make the case, and I will make sure that we are not funding those portions of his executive action that are so repugnant."

In another interview, delivered to KFKA guest host Nancy Rumfelt in January, Buck pledged stand firm against any moderating winds that might emanate from House Speaker John Boehner:

Buck: “Speaker and the leadership team know that they cannot count on me when they move to the middle, that I will be voting against leadership’s efforts in certain areas, especially is true when it comes to the fiscal issues, the appropriations bills and the regulatory issues. And I include Obamacare in that. But absolutely. The people in the 4th Congressional District can count on Ken Buck to be with the conservative votes when it comes to the bills that are coming up in the future.” 

Colorado Springs' Doug Lamborn did what Buck said he'd do, when Lamborn voted against temporary funds for DHS.

Lamborn: “I cannot support funding, even for a short period of time, the President’s unlawful executive action that violates the Constitution,” Lamborn said in a statement, reported by The Denver Post.

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Browns Canyon: Colorado’s Newest National Monument

UPDATE: Warm if somewhat qualified words from Sen. Cory Gardner, recognizing the role of his predecessor in today's news:

Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) called Browns Canyon a "national treasure with a long history of bipartisan support in Colorado."

"Senator Udall in particular was a champion of this beautiful site, and his legacy of protecting Colorado's landscapes is to be commended," Gardner said. "This monument will stand in lasting tribute to his public service. My preference is always to work through the legislative process, and in the coming days I will be introducing legislation to ensure that Colorado's state and local interests have a seat at the table in discussions about Browns Canyon."

—–

Browns Canyon.

Browns Canyon.

As the Denver Post's Mark Matthews reports, President Barack Obama is set to make former Sen. Mark Udall a belatedly happy man:

President Barack Obama this week plans to name Browns Canyon, in central Colorado, a national monument, a designation that adds a new layer of federal protection to the popular spot for whitewater rafting…

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and then-U.S. Sen. Mark Udall tried to pass legislation that would have preserved a similar area near Salida, but the bill failed to advance through Congress.

It's President Obama's second national monument declaration for Colorado, the first being Chimney Rock in September of 2012. Preservation of Browns Canyon was a long-sought goal of former Sen. Udall, but staunchly opposed by local GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn and perennially stillborn as legislation in a Republican-controlled Congress. When Obama declared Chimney Rock a national monument in 2012, local Rep. Scott Tipton managed to at least offer lukewarm praise for the decision. But this time, Lamborn and fellow arch-conservative Rep. Ken Buck are more or less foaming at the mouth:

"My message to the president is cut it out. He is not king. No more acting like King Barack. That is not how we do things in the U.S.," Buck said in a statement.

Lamborn struck a similar tone.

"I am outraged," he said in a statement. "This is a top-down, big-government land grab by the president that disenfranchises the concerned citizens in the Browns Canyon region."

Got that? The Antiquities Act has been on the books for more than a century, but it's "not how we do things in the U.S." Glenn Beck bluster aside, tourism-focused businesses from Buena Vista to Salida are delighted by this move, which they've sought for years to protect this popular destination and raise its profile. And they had no delusions of getting this designation from Congress.

We encourage you to raft the new Browns Canyon National Monument! We've done it and it's a blast.

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On radio, Buck says Obama wants to create a “majority vote” of people “receiving benefits from government”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Ken Buck.

Rep. Ken Buck.

Even if you're a just a talk-radio host, don't just say "Yap," as KHOW 630-AM's Mandy Connell did yesterday, when your special guest, in this case, Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), insults the President.

"He's a wonderful orator," Buck told Connell during her morning show yesterday. "And he makes everybody happy. The reality is, that he has no intention of flattening the tax code. He has every intention of making sure that he is creating a majority vote, a 51 percent vote, of people who are receiving benefits from the government that they wouldn't otherwise receive."

As I noted, Connell's reply to this was the utterance of "Yap." My own thought was more along the lines of WTF. This is what Buck got from Obama's State of Union Address?

Where's Buck's proof that Obama has a political agenda to create a "51 percent vote" of Americans "receiving benefits from government that they wouldn't otherwise receive."

Is he reading Obama's mind? If Buck has evidence for this wild and insulting accusation, we'd all like to see it. But if he doesn't, it's more grossness from our new Representative from Colorado.

Buck isn't a lonely District Attorney anymore–or a candidate making yet another gaffe that reporters don't have time to dig into. Now he's a Congressman who should be held accountable–even by radio hosts–for his insults and baseless mud slinging.

(more…)

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Ken Buck, Heal Thyself

A Tweet sent out by freshman Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado during last night's State of the Union address is provoking lots of secondary debate today:

Rep. Ken Buck.

Rep. Ken Buck.

Buck is referring to a poll released this week by Al Jazeera on the state of race relations in America six years into the first African-American presidency of the United States. The problem is, Buck is not reporting the poll accurately. As TPM reported Monday:

The Al Jazeera-Monmouth University poll found that 43 percent of Americans think race relations are worse under Obama, 40 percent said there had been no change and 15 percent said they were better.

Along party lines, 62 percent of Republicans said that race relations had gotten worse under Obama, while only 4 percent said better. Among Democrats, the numbers were more evenly split: 45 percent said no change, 28 percent said better and 25 percent said worse.

Based on these poll numbers, it's accurate to suggest that most Republicans think race relations have become worse since Barack Obama became President. But in truth, it's not even a majority of Americans in this poll who think so–barely a plurality. And if you combine the 40% who say there has been no change with the 15% who say race relations have gotten better since Obama was elected President, why, it appears a majority of Americans think the opposite of what Buck thinks they think!

To be honest, we have trouble considering Buck much of an authority on race relations at all, after he let slip that he thinks all brown kids are "Hispanic."

That said, we certainly aren't arguing that race relations in America are no longer a problem now that we have a black President. It's very difficult to get an accurate poll of the prevalence of racism in America today, since most people who harbor racist sentiments are able to suppress them long enough to not embarrass themselves publicly. But the over-the-top "resistance" over the last six years to what has turned out to be a fairly moderate administration by any objective policy measure is difficult to explain–without factoring some kind of prejudicial reaction to President Obama personally.

You know, like losing your appetite at the mere sight of him.

And with that, we suspect Rep. Buck is ready to change the subject.

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Obama’s programs to halt deportations are “so repugnant,” Buck would shut down security agency to stop them

(Ken Buck is not what you'd call a "compassionate conservative" – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Ken Buck.

Rep. Ken Buck.

Would the Republican-controlled Congress shut down the Department of Homeland Security to halt Obama’s program delaying deportation of undocumented immigrants whose children are U.S. citizens?

Colorado’s own Rep. Ken Buck would do it.

KLZ radio host Randy Corporon gets a moment of respect for putting the question directly to Buck during an interview Jan.15 on his “Wake-Up” show. (Beginning at 1:50:30 here)

Corporon: Republicans in the past anyway have shown a willingness to cave in the face of public pressure and media assaults. When the President says, ‘Hey look, Congress is messing with the security of the United States,’ are you guys in Congress ready to make the case that we’ve put the bills on his desk…and are you going to have a message that keeps you guys standing together and actually lets this thing play out.

Buck: I can tell you this: Ken Buck will. I will make the case, and I will make sure that we are not funding those portions of his executive action that are so repugnant.

So repugnant? Keeping parents together with their American kids? Keeping our communities whole?

Obama has used his executive authority to temporarily halt deportations of young undocumented immigrants who came here illegally as children. He's also launched a program delaying the deportation of immigrants whose children are American citizens.

Buck told "Righty" Corporon the Republican-controlled House is ready to shut down the government to stop this repugnancy (not a word, but I used it anyway to highlight Buck's own grossness.)

“If [Obama] vetoes the appropriations bill, he is shutting down that segment of government. And that will be on the President,” Buck told Corporon. “He did his best to put that on Republicans last time when we wanted to de-fund parts of Obamacare. With a Republican Senate, this will clearly be on the President’s watch, that he will be shutting down the Department of Homeland Security. “

(more…)

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Buck: “I don’t owe people who are here illegally anything”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Ken Buck.

Ken Buck.

"I don't owe people who are here illegally anything."

That's Republican Rep. Ken Buck, making us proud just hours before he was sworn in today as a U.S. Representative from Colorado.

One wonders if Buck would have said the same thing about my interred illegal immigrant Italian inlaws (IIIII), but it doesn't matter because Buck is in Washington now, not a hundred years ago.

Buck told The Denver Post's Mark Matthews that he wants to establish a guest-worker program for immigrants and then move on, piecemeal, to deal with the 11 million undocumented immigrants already in our country.

But how will he do this for people to whom he owes nothing?

Does Buck feel he owes undocumented human beings no respect? No compassion, not even some level of honor for the work they do in our country–and for the contributions they make to our communities? Apparently not. Nada.

How about a vaccination or two for the undocumented kids? Does Buck owe them that?

Owing nothing to the undocumented people in Colorado amounts to hating them. What else to call it?

Maybe I'm skewed from too much talk radio, but the hate toward immigrants from respectable people in Colorado, like Buck and State Sen. Vicki Marble (who said they spread "the disease"), seems to be on the rise.

Yet, I don't see reporters noticing. Marble's ugly comment stunk up my blog post and went nowhere else. Buck's line was at least reported, which counts for something, but was left hanging. Ugh.

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