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Archive for April, 2008
Posted on April 24th, 2008 in Colorado Politics, General, Random and Miscellaneous | 1 Comment »
Gov. Bill Ritter on Wednesday signed into law the Spam Reduction Act, which provides state enforcement authority similar to federal authority against unwanted e-mails.
To Ritter’s credit, Spam Reduction is an act of bipartisan goodwill, a positive headline needed to take attention away from a serious $300,000 campaign finance violation.
Bill Ritter (invoking classic Monty Python): “I don’t like Spam!”
Cross posted at Ritter Watch
Posted on April 23rd, 2008 in General, National Politics, Random and Miscellaneous | No Comments »
RUMOR: Obama is a Muslim.
Obama is not currently a Muslim. He’s a Christian of some sort in the “hate Whitey” sect.
RUMOR: Obama is an enlightened space alien sent to save humanity.
All evidence points towards Obama being a below average man who his wife stopped asking to do chores around the house because he was always getting his head stuck in the mop bucket.
RUMOR: Obama tried to bomb the Pentagon.
That was his friend.
Satire. I needed that.
Posted on April 23rd, 2008 in Colorado Politics, General | No Comments »
Rep. Kathleen Curry, D-Gunnison, said after she gaveled down Rep. Doug Bruce, R-Colorado Springs, for calling Mexican immigrants â€œilliterate peasantsâ€ during a Monday debate, she was bombarded with threatening messages via e-mail and telephone.
â€œThe hate mail is off the charts, and thereâ€™s issues with people in terms of this response,â€ Curry said. â€œIt has really bothered me.â€
She said hundreds of threatening, acerbic messages have clogged her cell phoneâ€™s voicemail and her e-mail inbox.
Since the news report leaves little sense of the exact nature of the phone calls and emails, it is difficult to comment intelligently. How much of it is from constituents legitimately angry from a free speech viewpoint (though they’re misguided to think that speech on the legislative floors isn’t bound by some standards of decorum, they’re right to make the point that this does not rise to the level of an ethics investigation), and how much of it constitutes actual threats or obscene language?
An investigation is a fair approach to figure out these sorts of questions. On the one hand, there is every right and reason for citizens to petition their elected representatives and express their opinions. And immigration is undoubtedly a hot-button issue. On the other hand, people who think public officials are fair game for obscene slander and violent threats – whether they be on the Right or on the Left – are terribly mistaken.
This isn’t a political issue, it’s a civic and legal issue.
But while I’m on the subject, let me take the opportunity to echo the comments of Colorado blogger Night Twister about the Rep. Douglas Bruce comments that set this whole story in motion:
The Republican brand in Colorado is suffering enough these days, and comments like these from our leaders are not helpful. It only gives the opposition more ammunition to use against us. There are other ways to oppose a bill without resorting to these types of tactics. The House Speaker was right to cut him off, and there will apparently be an ethics investigation going forward. To that, I disagree. Rep. Bruceâ€™s comments, while offensive, were well within the bounds of free speech. Let the people in Colorado Springs whom he represents deal with him at the voting booth.
Of course, it now looks highly unlikely that any sort of formal censure will proceed against Rep. Bruce. And that is a good thing. Republican voters in his district indeed should be the ones to decide whether they want to continue with a representative who tends to distract from, and even work against, the causes they all purport to share.
Posted on April 22nd, 2008 in Climate Hysteria, Colorado Politics, General, National Politics | No Comments »
Following up on Bill Ritter’s Earth Day “climate change” regulations, I ran across this recent Gallup survey report on Americans’ environmental concerns (H/T Bill Smith).
As I noted before, it seems like an appropriate way to commemorate Earth Day by celebrating the remarkable progress made in cleaning our air and water in the last 35 years.
Public opinion seems to evidence that trend. According to the Gallup poll, Americans’ greatest environmental concern consistently has been water pollution, yet even so the percentage of Americans “worried a great deal” about the problem has declined from 72 percent in 2000 to 53 percent in 2008.
After multi-millions spent to scare people into joining High Priest Algore’s Church of Eco-Theology, only about 37 percent of Americans are very concerned about “The ‘greenhouse effect’ or global warming” – a tick down from 41 percent the year before.
By comparison, acid rain – the “global warming” of the 1980s – still has a following of 23 percent.
Posted on April 22nd, 2008 in Climate Hysteria, Colorado Politics, Fiscal Policy, General | No Comments »
Gov. Bill Ritter celebrated Earth Day beneath an unblemished blue sky this morning by enacting several major pieces of his Climate Action Plan, including a statewide greenhouse gas emissions reduction standard.
I’m curious to know why the phrase “an unblemished blue sky” was included in the lead sentence. It would have been a lot more compelling to read that Ritter was standing beneath “a smog-filled sky,” or that he was “drenched in sweat from the Climate Change-induced heat wave.”
But then again, Steven Hayward at Human Events explains how the radical environmental agenda has been a victim of its own success:
Time magazine this week is running its sixth cover story about global warming, but one of these days the editors of Time and other publications are going to grow bored with yet another â€œgreenâ€ issue, just as the media grew bored with the AIDS crisis, civil rights, the NASA space program, and other once front-burner issues. No doubt something else will come along (the threat of asteroids perhaps?), because it is the nature of the media and activist groups to find some new panic to ride. For the time being, ruin an environmentalistâ€™s day by celebrating Earth Day for the enormous progress it represents, not the panic they want you to feel.
Sounds like a great idea to me. I’m going to celebrate the “unblemished blue sky,” while Gov. Ritter seeks to burden the state’s businesses and consumers with new and costly regulations.
Posted on April 22nd, 2008 in Education, General, World Events | No Comments »
Yesterday I was privileged to meet Ethiopian journalist and scholar Habtamu Dugo. He shared a small part of his story with me. As one who like most Americans easily can take for granted the freedoms we enjoy, I was humbled by his steadfast courage, gracious modesty, and passionate eloquence.
This evening Habtamu will be speaking at the Independence Institute:
A persecuted reporter and academic, Mr. Dugo will share his experiences exposing human rights abuses in Ethiopia, restrictions on freedom of the press and what happens when a journalist dares to defy the brutal Ethiopian government.
Mr. Dugo will join us for a reception at the II offices on Tuesday, April 22 at 5:30 p.m., followed by his presentation and Q&A at 6 p.m.
If you are able to make it this evening, it will be an opportunity you don’t want to pass up.
Posted on April 22nd, 2008 in Colorado Politics, General | 1 Comment »
The Denver Post reports today the latest in Gov. Bill Ritter’s campaign spending problems:
The complaint, from Rep. Kent Lambert, R-Colorado Springs, prompts the process for reviewing campaign-finance violations. Without the complaint, it is unclear whether the Secretary of State’s Office could have begun a formal inquiry.
“There are some very specific rules you’ve got to follow,” Lambert said of campaign-finance laws. “This seemed to violate at least several of them and needs to be investigated further.”
Last week, Ritter, a Democrat, announced that his former campaign manager, Greg Kolomitz, wrongly used inaugural funds to pay off more than $200,000 in campaign debt and also overpaid himself by about $83,000.
At the least, Bill Ritter’s six-figure violation represents a case of grossly poor management. The investigation that follows today’s formal complaint will reveal whether there’s anything even more serious to be found.
Cross posted at Ritter Watch
Posted on April 21st, 2008 in blogging, General, National Politics | No Comments »
On the eve of the most crucialest of all crucial votes in this media-obsessed rollercoaster of a Democrat presidential showdown – also known as the Pennsylvania primary – I wanted to turn attention to a major example of in-your-face media bias provided in coverage of the event.
CNN contacted students in several political clubs at Penn State to arrange for the interview and two weeks ago their cameras and crews arrived at the university to film the segment with the on-air personality.
21-year-old journalism student Chelsea Brown, though, was less than impressed by Sanchezâ€™ bellicose confrontations during the taping with several of the students including herself. I spoke with Miss Brown after the interview and she told me was offended and shocked by Sanchezâ€™ lack of professional comportment.
This is just a snippet of the student testimony provided in the story. The good news is that Sanchez and his crew later apologized.
But the reason I decided to link to this story was to highlight Warner’s example of true citizen journalism, making actual phone calls and doing original reporting. That, and the fact that the subject of his story was Penn State University.
I haven’t been back to “dear old State” in the 7 years since I walked away with a dusty degree, but I’m glad to see there’s still some interest in a reasonable political debate – at least from the students CNN attempted to badger, er, interview.
Good work, Warner.
Posted on April 21st, 2008 in Colorado Politics, General, property rights | No Comments »
Via the Independence Institute’s (disclosure: where I work) Property Rights multimedia page, here is the “East Denver Story” of Daniel Gallegos, whose family’s property was confiscated by the Regional Transportation District (RTD) at well below fair market value:
The video is also up at The Property Rights Project blog (along with links to Gallegos’ speech and other key documents), at the Caldara blog, at the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Open Market blog, and at Rocky Mountain Right.
Posted on April 21st, 2008 in blogging, Colorado Politics, General, My Life | 1 Comment »
Follow-ups on Samsphere Denver:
If you were at Samsphere Denver and posted on the topic, but I overlooked you, please drop an email or a comment with a link to your post, and I’ll put it up.
Posted on April 21st, 2008 in blogging, Education, General | No Comments »
It is my pleasure to share the following notice with my readers: Dr. Jay P. Greene, head of the University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform and Manhattan Institute scholar, one of the sharpest minds in the world of education policy, has started a blog under his own name.
In only a few days Jay already has provocative posts up on the proximity of teachers union headquarters to state capitols, comparisons of sexual misconduct data on male public school teachers vs. male Catholic priests, and more evidence of the myth on K-12 education spending. ( As he explains on the introduction page, all views expressed on the blog are his, and not necessarily those of the respective institutions for which he works.)
I would invite you to check out Jay’s new blog.
Posted on April 20th, 2008 in Colorado Politics, Fiscal Policy, General, Labor | No Comments »
Mark Hillman has a great post on “You Must Be a Colorado Democrat” if:
If you think taxing marriage will reduce child abuse, you must be a Colorado Democrat.
If you plan to pay for new programs with revenues from the oil and gas boom but then punish oil and gas companies with higher taxes and ridiculous regulations, you must be a Colorado Democrat.
If you believe illegal aliens should get a break on college tuition but decorated veterans should not, you must be a Colorado Democrat.
If you believe itâ€™s OK to require a photo ID to buy beer or cigarettes but not to vote, you must be a Colorado Democrat.
If you believe businessmen and women are motivated by greed but labor union bosses are not, you must be a Colorado Democrat.
If you think making someone pay higher taxes is a “freeze,” you must be a Colorado Democrat.
If you believe trial lawyers want to sue for more money to help their clients, you must be a Colorado Democrat.
If you think thereâ€™s really a difference between a tax and a fee, you must be a Colorado Democrat.
If you really believe in governmental efficiency or bureaucratic flexibility, you must be a Colorado Democrat.
If you believe an unemployed trial lawyer is a bad thing, you must be a Colorado Democrat.
If you think freedom of religion doesnâ€™t apply to churches, you must be a Colorado Democrat.
If you believe good education comes from relaxing academic standards but getting tough on soft drink sales, you must be a Colorado Democrat.
If you think we should raise taxes on working families to hire more college professors, you must be a Colorado Democrat.
If you worry more about the cost of keeping criminals behind bars than the cost of putting them back on the streets, you must be a Colorado Democrat.
If you think its wrong for government to legislate morality â€” except when it pays for that legislation with other peopleâ€™s money, you must be a Colorado Democrat.
If you have any more ideas to add to the list, leave a comment on the post or contact Mark directly.
The official business of Samsphere Denver is over. Thanks to the Sam Adams Alliance for putting on a great event, the repercussions of which may be felt in Colorado for a long time to come. The Left won’t be sleeping so well tonight.
Posted on April 19th, 2008 in Colorado Politics, General | No Comments »
Don’t forget about the Cory Voorhis fundraiser tomorrow, especially if you or your friends in the Denver area are looking for something to do on Sunday afternoon. This is a great cause!