Americans Die, @ColoSenGOP Yucks It Up

SS El Faro, American cargo ship believed sunk.

SS El Faro, American cargo ship believed sunk by Hurricane Joaquin.

NBC News reports on the increasingly desperate search for the SS El Faro, an American-flagged cargo ship lost at sea during Hurricane Joaquin somewhere between Florida and the coast of Puerto Rico:

A cargo ship missing since Thursday with 33 crew members board was believed to have sunk 15,000 feet in the teeth of Hurricane Joaquin, which began strengthening and moving closer to its path almost as soon as it set to sea…

The Coast Guard planned to focus on findng “people in the water,” Fedor said. “We are not looking for the vessel any longer.”

The 790-foot ship, the El Faro, was likely swallowed by the Category 4 hurricane two days after it left Jacksonville, Florida for San Juan, Puerto Rico. When it set off on Tuesday, Sept. 29, Joaquin was just a tropical storm with wave swells of 7.5 feet and sustained winds of 65 mph.

Hurricane Joaquin.

Hurricane Joaquin.

The Chicago Tribune reports on damage assessments just beginning to take place in South Carolina, after moisture from Hurricane Joaquin collided with a cold front headed southeast across the United States to create a “1,000-year flood event.”

Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said he’s never seen flooding as bad in his 40 years as mayor.

“This was a record storm,” he said. “You know the amount of rainfall that we have experienced is unprecedented. I feel very fortunate that we were able to get through this as well as we have.”

At least seven weather-related deaths have been reported since rains began spreading over the Eastern Seaboard, which appeared to dodge the full brunt of Hurricane Joaquin as it veered out to sea.

It’s an horrific situation for the families of American merchant sailors awaiting word on the fate of the El Faro, and the citizens of East Coast states who have lost their lives in this massive storm. Coloradans still recovering from 2013’s devastating floods along the Front Range have some idea of what folks down there are going through today.

But unfortunately, the Colorado Senate GOP Majority Office is rather short on empathy.

While most of America, especially official America is expressing condolences to the families of the dead, the official Twitter account for the Colorado Senate Republican Majority is laughing it up–about a supposed “hurricane fizzle” that they think discredits those darned “climate alarmists.” Never mind that the storm appears to have killed several dozen Americans, on the El Faro and on the East Coast. To the Colorado Senate GOP, that the hurricane’s most damaging winds have moved away from the coast after sinking an American ship and killing Americans in South Carolina “rains on [the] parade of ‘extreme weather’ hucksters.”

In short, the Colorado Senate GOP’s desire to score political points via Twitter has now trumped common decency at a very basic level. Does Senate President Bill Cadman approve of this? Because it surer than hell reflects on him.

And in an objective, nonpartisan sense, it’s really disgusting.

KNUS Host Dan Caplis “Very Serious” about Senate Run

(All aboard the clown car! If it is an election year, Dan Caplis is talking about running for something! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Dan Caplis.

Dan Caplis.

On Channel 12’s “Colorado Inside Out” Friday, Westword Editor Patty Calhoun seemed to surprise moderator Dominic Dezzutti when she said Denver radio host Dan Caplis is considering a U.S. Senate run against Democrat Michael Bennet.

“Tim Neville, who announced [his U.S. candidacy] yesterday , a conservative, leaves a lot of room for someone else to jump in,” said Calhoun in response to Dezzutti’s question about the Colorado Senate race. “The most interesting one I’ve heard lately is, Dan Caplis is looking again at a race.”

“I appreciate Patty saying that because it’s true,” Caplis told me this afternoon when I called to confirm. “I absolutely have a serious interest.”

Caplis, a Denver attorney and longtime radio personality, told me he was fully behind the potential candidacy of George Brauchler, and thinks Brauchler would make a great senator. But when Brauchler decided against running last week, Caplis decided to consider entering the race himself, he said.

“I just need to make sure it’s the right thing for our family first,” said Caplis, whose talk show airs on KNUS 710-AM. “And then, beyond that, I’ll just take a good hard look at whether this is the way to make the best contribution that I can. I mean, that’s what most people try to do. That’s what I’m trying to do. Is this the best way to do that?”

Caplis, a conservative Republican, will announce his decision is six to eight weeks after meetings and further thought, he said, promising not to “drag out” the decision.


Clinton’s Colorado Campaign Ramps Up, Tackles Big Issues

Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton.

As the Colorado Stateman’s Vic Vela reports:

Volunteers for Hillary Clinton’s Colorado campaign this week received an education in “how to win a caucus 101,” laying the team’s groundwork for winning votes that won’t be cast for another five months.

“If we win Colorado, that puts Hillary in the best possible position to win the Democratic nomination,” Brad Komar, Clinton’s Colorado campaign lead, said in a call to volunteers Tuesday evening. Komar invited the press to listen in during the call…

In an interview with The Colorado Statesman following the call, Komar said many Colorado Democrats who have lived in the state for a long time know the caucus system “like the back of their hand.” But others might not have lived here or been eligible to vote in 2008, the last time a competitive Democratic caucus was held here — the same year then-candidate Barack Obama defeated Clinton for the nomination.

Komar, who ran Gov. John Hickenlooper’s successful re-election bid last year, said the organizing effort is just getting started but adds that Clinton has built-in advantages here.

“Hillary has a lot of institutional support in Colorado,” he said. “We have a lot of elected endorsers, just a lot of folks who want to help her. And that’s important in a caucus.”

Sources tell us that Colorado is taking a major role in Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s caucus and general election campaign strategy. Despite a summer of Republicans throwing the proverbial kitchen sink at her, Clinton remains the broadly-anticipated Democratic nominee for president, and her campaign views the caucus in Colorado as an opportunity to organize rather than any kind of political make-or-break. A press release from Clinton campaign chair Brad Komar today announced Hillary’s campaign leadership team in Colorado, headed by a face you’ll recognize:

“Coloradans are pioneers who collaborate from instinct,” said Governor Hickenlooper. “We were the first state where the people gave women the right to vote. That is why we are excited to finally crack that glass ceiling by electing Hillary Clinton as the first woman president of the United States.  From fighting for the rights of women and children across the world as Secretary of State to helping create SCHIP as First Lady which now provides health insurance to 8 million children, Hillary Clinton is a champion that has delivered results.”

That’s right–the same Gov. John Hickenlooper who made headlines last week after tossing out some throwaway speculation about the extremely well-publicized private email server Clinton used while serving as Secretary of State. Hick pulling his foot out of his mouth long enough to sign on to Clinton’s leadership council should help put that gaffe in its proper perspective. That’s Hick for you.


At Least She’s Not Your County Commissioner

Blount County (TN) Commissioner Karen Miller.

Blount County (TN) Commissioner Karen Miller.

It’s been awhile since we refreshed one of our longest-running features here at Colorado Pols: “At Least They’re Not Your Legislator…”

For today’s example, we take you to Blount County, Tennessee, where this is happening tonight:

A Tennessee county plans to take up a resolution begging God for mercy and asking that the deity not smite their community “like Sodom and Gomorrah” because of the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing gay marriage.

The “resolution condemning judicial tyranny and petitioning God’s mercy” was written by Blount County commissioner Karen Miller and will come up for consideration at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Miller’s resolution claims the “so help me God” part of the oath taken by lawmakers means they are committed not only to upholding the U.S. Constitution but also “higher Natural Law.”

As such, the resolution calls on lawmakers throughout the state “to protect Natural Marriage, from lawless court opinions, AND THE financial schemes of the enemies of righteousness wherever the source AND defend the Moral Standards of Tennessee.”

Hat tip to Pols reader BlueCat for the story.

Get More Smarter on Monday (Oct. 5)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218The Broncos are undefeated, and the Rockies are finally done flailing away. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).


► State Sen. Tim Neville is officially in the race for U.S. Senate, but that hasn’t prevented Republicans from continuing to seek out another potential candidate for 2016. As you can tell from this story in the Loveland Reporter-Herald, people are just throwing darts at walls at this point. Heck, things are so fluid that Dan Caplis is even doing his annual “maybe I should run for Senate” thing.

But back to the Loveland Reporter-Herald…here’s the best sentence of the entire story:

[Justin] Smith said in a previous  Reporter-Herald story that if elected, the issues he plans to tackle are the economy, national safety and international policy.

Why doesn’t Smith just say this instead: “If elected, I promise to focus on issues.”


► Vice President Joe Biden may decide on a 2016 Presidential bid as soon as this weekend. As Politico reports, confidants of Biden are starting to think he’s leaning toward getting into the race.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


Tim Neville Wastes No Time, Announces for U.S. Senate

U.S. Senator Cory Gardner, left, and Tim Neville Saturday in Denver. Gardner had been pushing Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler as his preferred candidate for 2016, until Brauchler dropped out last week.

Over the weekend, the U.S. Senate campaign of Colorado Sen. Tim Neville kicked into high gear after (presumed, we didn’t see any photos) launch on Thursday–though perhaps delayed by Thursday’s mass shooting incident in Roseburg, Oregon. Either way, on Friday Neville’s new Senate campaign Twitter account announced his run, and Neville attended GOP fundraising events in Denver and in Jefferson County over the weekend. In Denver, he had his photo taken alongside U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (above). In Jeffco, he served up barbeque with close political ally Sen. Laura Waters Woods:


As we’ve noted in the past, one of Neville’s biggest strengths in the 2016 Senate primary is a strong knack for “retail politics.” Neville is very much at home in one-to-one interactions with prospective voters, and is by all accounts an energetic field campaigner who will tirelessly knock on thousands of doors in search of the votes he needs. Combined with a strong conservative reputation that has already preceded him with a large percentage of Colorado GOP primary voters, it’s a big reason why the race for the Republican nomination is, as of this writing, Tim Neville’s to win.

We would kind of like to know what he’s thinking in that photo with Sen. Gardner, though.

Monday Open Thread

“We all know what Parliament is, and we are all ashamed of it.”

–Robert Louis Stevenson

No, the Globe isn’t Cooling

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The headline on pretty much sums it up: Stupid follows.


The article is by James Delingpole, who we can only hope for their sake is posting under a pseudonym.

The lead graph continues with this EARTH SHATTERING “scientific” news, in large type.

Scientists have discovered a hitherto unknown cooling process which may pose a serious threat to man-made global warming theory.

It then cites and completely misappropriates a real study, recently published by the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research.

According to a study by the Institute of Catalysis and Environment in Lyon (IRCELYON, CNRS / University Lyon 1) and the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS), the oceans are producing unexpectedly large quantities of isoprene – a volatile organic compound (VOC) – which is known to have a cooling effect on climate.

That part is the only bit worth reading, at least its as far as I got before I just went to the link.

I read the release that accompanied the study’s publication (the actual paper is in a journal, requiring a subscription), and I noted that it did not mention any global cooling trends, or even climate change over all.

It was specific to its actual research and did not mention, as it turns out, that it had suddenly upturned decades and decades of settled science and tens of thousands of peer-reviewed studies. So I sent an email to the scientists who did the study, to let them know the rightwing blogosphere had seized their science. 

The next morning, I had a reply. Of course their research had said nothing of the sort, and Breitbart’s misrepresentation of it was “alarming,” the respondent wrote.

I sent my appreciation for the scientist’s time and prompt reply. I was also struck by the fact that Mr. Delingpole either didn’t bother to take that simple step, or he didn’t give a damn what he had learned if he had.

The scientist’s reply is clearly not written in someone’s native language, but I think is worth including, verbatim and in full:

“Dear Pete,

thank you for the Information.

Our Studie, our paper and also our press release does not support the stated conclusions.

Therefore we completely disagree with…/global-cooling-discovery-may-sc…/ who misinterpret to an alarming extent.

We didn´t made any statement to the “man-made global warming theory” because there is enough scientific evidence since many years that the global warming of the past decades is man-made. So there was and there is even after our new findings no doubt about this.

Our new findings can help to make climate models a little bit more precise. But these small details doesn´t put the models at all into question. Every scientist know that a model has to focus on parts of a complex reality. And climate is very complex system. From our point of view it´s quite unscientific to say: “The model doesn´t include this detail, thus the model has failed at all” as it was done by

We can´t support this kind of unreliable conclusions and would like to say very clear: Our findings are no argument “that skeptics are right” with “the models used by alarmists to predict future climate change are fatally flawed”. Such interpretation would be a misuse of our research.

We didn´t made any statement about cooling effects. We showed just a new small detail that might have impact on the forming processes of clouds. But clouds can warm or cool. Cloud forming is a very complex system with still some open questions. “Clouds and aerosols continue to contribute the largest uncertainty to estimates and interpretations of the Earth’s changing energy budget.” (IPCC 2013,…/as…/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter07_FINAL.pdf )

This is the reason why we and other research institutes do cloud research since many years.

To put it in a nutshell: There is no question that the global climate becomes warmer. The question is just how much, how fast and how large the effects will change our live.

I hope my answer shows you clear that we completely disagree with the conclusions made by and there are good reason why these strange assumptions can´t be true.”

Best regards



This Week in Rhetorical Nonsense

John Andrews.

John Andrews.

Listen up, Polsters, we need your ideas!

Politics is full of ridiculous rhetoric, of course, but some diatribes stand out more than others for sheer absurdity. For example, check out the opening paragraph from an email we received this week from John Andrews, outgoing director of the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University:

Conservatives put the USA first, liberals the UN. This week’s spectacle at Turtle Bay reminds us why. Another divide: conservatives think character is destiny, liberals think biology is. That led to what may be the mainstream media clunker of the year, aimed at, but deflected by, the Formidable Fiorina. Read on & smile.

Is that some fantastic rhetoric, or is that some fantastic rhetoric? (that’s a rhetorical question). We’re almost positive that this is written in the English language, and we have a rough idea of what Andrews is talking about here… but even after multiple readings, this is still difficult to understand.

We’d like to start a new weekly feature whereby we spotlight some of the best rhetoric we can find, and we need your help. First off, we need a name for this feature, so please fire off some ideas in the comments section below. Please also send us your favorite rhetorical nonsenses whenever you find them by emailing us at

Let’s get rhetorical in here!

Post interview spotlights Brauchler falsehood that he was “one vote away” from getting death sentence in Aurora trial

(Comes to light just days after Brauchler bailed out? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler.

Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler.

Excellent reporting today by The Denver Post’s Jordan Steffen, who breaks the news that three jurors in the Aurora theater trial voted affirmatively for life in prison, according to one of the three jurors, who was previously thought to have been undecided.

Steffen’s interview is beautifully written, giving you a great sense of the juror’s struggles and a journalist’s experience talking to her, but what caught my eye, as someone who listened to prosecutor George Brauchler repeatedly say he was “one vote away” from getting the death penalty, were these three paragraphs:

“There were three,” [the juror] said. “Not one.”

…Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler has said he wouldn’t second-guess his decision to pursue the death penalty because of one juror’s position that led to the life sentence.

Last week, he said all of the deliberating jurors he’s spoken with have indicated that Juror 17’s account was accurate. He conceded that he hadn’t met with all of them.

More of an explanation from Brauchler would have been nice, because you have to wonder why a man of his intelligence and intensity would deliver rotten information about the jury count, without at least saying he wasn’t sure or acknowledging, as  juror 17 had clearly said after the trial, that juror 17 was against the death sentence and two jurors were undecided. That’s obviously three, not one, votes away from conviction.

Maybe Brauchler, who subsequently announced he wouldn’t challenge Sen. Michael Bennet, was just trying to make himself look good? But as a veteran prosecutor, he had to know that his misinformation could be hurting real people.

Steffen reported that the juror he interviewed ended “her silence because she could no longer bear to watch the weight of public scrutiny — what she described as a ‘witch hunt’ — fall solely on the shoulders of her fellow juror.”

Brauchler was partly responsible for the witch hunt, as today’s Post piece makes clear.

Get More Smarter on Friday (Oct. 2)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218Uh, anybody seen Tim Neville? It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).


► Is Colorado the future? Newsweek magazine seems to think so, and is devoting its next cover issue to the idea that Colorado is a microcosm of the future of politics (we know, we didn’t realize Newsweek still printed a magazine, either).

► The debate over whether or not Silverton should receive a Superfund Site declaration, which would free up funds to help clean up scores of polluted mines, continues to center around the idea that Silverton has a reputation to uphold anyway. There are about 629 residents of Silverton, but clean up polluted mines could protect tens of thousands of people downstream. You can probably guess where Rep. Scott Tipton comes down on the matter.

Over at POLITICO Pro (behind the paywall), an increasingly bleak assessment of GOP chances at winning Colorado’s 2016 U.S. Senate race after the party’s top choices have all bowed out:

“Not a single person in the current field has a snowball’s chance of defeating Bennet or even giving him a serious challenge,” said one prominent Colorado Republican, but still expressed hope that a “credible candidate” could still be recruited…

But a very long list of possible candidates circulated through Denver this week — including, Ryan Frazier, who lost a 2010 congressional bid, state Senate President Bill Cadman, state Sen. Kevin Lundberg, state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, state Majority Leader Mark Scheffel, Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith. “It’s literally back to the drawing board,” said Laura Carno, a local GOP activist.

Get even more smarter after the jump…


The Carbon Bubble is Here. Will We Just Let It POP! ?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The news from the North Fork Valley in western Colorado hit hard.  Again.  Another 80 hard-working men and women at the Bowie Resources coal mine will be laid off.  And although coal company executives, industry PR types, and their compensated politicians might like to point fingers at Obama, environmentalists and a ‘war on coal,’ the writing is on the wall.

Coal is in decline, and not just in the United States. And its not only coal. The big news on the drilling front last week was Shell pulling out of the Arctic.  Which is, again, not the only news troubling oil and gas investors.

What were recently ‘boom towns’ are now becoming ghost towns – in the Bakken and elsewhere as the fracking, unconventional energy, and shale industries rapidly contract.  More Halliburton layoffs in Grand Junction, Chesapeake laying off workers nationwide, jobs rapidly disappearing in Weld County, at the edge of the eastern Colorado plains and just recently ground zero for the Niobrara’s brief boom.

Here is the reality, looming large across all fossil fuel markets and regions: There is a “Carbon Bubble” that more and more economists, market analysts, and investors are warning about.

Among the latest sounding the alarm bells is the UK’s central banker, addressing the global insurance company Lloyd’s of London, as reported in the International Business Times:

The head of the Bank of England took a step few other central bankers have yet taken. He acknowledged climate change.

In a speech this week, Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor, said fossil fuel investments could impose “potentially huge” losses to investors as carbon assets become increasingly off-limits in a world attempting to stem catastrophic climate change.

Carney’s comments came on the occasion of the Bank of England’s first report examining the financial implications of climate change, which described how a heating world with rising oceans could wreak havoc on British insurers.

“Once climate change becomes a defining issue for financial stability, it may already be too late,” Carney was quoted saying in the Financial Times.

The issue is hardly relegated to the U.K. According to the British environmental group Carbon Tracker, which has pushed central banks to grapple with the issue, nearly 10 percent of the New York Stock Exchange’s $18 trillion market capitalization is tied up in fossil fuel companies, which would almost certainly take a hit in a stranded-asset scenario.

The issue worrying investors is that given the reality of climate change and the increasing costs borne broadly across all sectors of the economy from its impacts, already felt and only predicted to rapidly escalate, is the high likelihood of  ‘stranded investments’ in the already heavily leveraged fossil fuel economy, as Bloomberg reports:

In a stunning analysis this week, Goldman Sachs found almost $1 trillion in investments in future oil projects at risk. They looked at 400 of the world’s largest new oil and gas fields — excluding U.S. shale — and found projects representing $930 billion of future investment that are no longer profitable with Brent crude at $70. In the U.S., the shale-oil party isn’t over yet, but zombies are beginning to crash it.

To put it in the terms of an older wisdom: Eventually we will have to pay the piper.

Climate change is real and it is impacting us now.


Adams County GOP chair seethes at “cowardly, traitors known as ‘Republicans'”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Adams County GOP chair Anil Mathai.

Adams County GOP chair Anil Mathai.

Journalists aren’t reporting the seething anger of Colorado’s Tea Party conservatives at their Republican leaders for allowing the federal government to continue operating and/or for caving on what they see as GOP priniciples.

It’s an important story not only because it offers a tangible angle to explain the rise of The Donald and his ilk, but also because it shows the stress within the Republican Party  here in Colorado, as state party chair Steve House continues to face intense criticism from within.

I write a lot about talk-radio hosts, but but it’s not just the talk-radio hosts who are mad, but also folks like Anil Mathai, Chair of the Adams County Republican Party. He had this to say on Facebook:

MATHAI: The Republican Party in Washington DC has just passed a spending bill – understand they would rather Hussein Obama get everything he wants including funds to kill thousands of unborn children. WE HAVE THE HOUSE AND SENATE AND OBAMA GETS EVERYTHING HE WANTS – WHAT UTTER MADNESS!!!!! The Republican Party has become no different from the Democrat Party! Instead of supporting most of its voters, they decide to support evil and corrupt cronies. If the leadership and direction doesn’t change ASAP, we will have a Communist President in Nov 2016 and the cowardly, traitors known as “Republicans” will have the party collapse because of their arrogance. It is time to primary every RINO right now, it is time to clean house by demanding “republicans” actually support the US Constitution and the Republican platform. Sick and tired of the democrats in our party!!! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!! 3000 more children will die today because there is no Republican party who will help them and follow our written documents of first defending LIFE then LIBERTY then Pursuit of Happiness but instead must avoid a “government shutdown”!! GOVERNMENT over LIFE – TREASONOUS!!!!! Time for pitch forks and removal of “leaders” starting first with Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and every Republican that voted today to fund abortion instead of “shutting down the government” and listen to most Americans on ending the evil Planned Parenthood. CORRUPT COWARDS!!!! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!! [BigMedia emphasis.]

Mathai is the Republican leader of one of the most important counties in the state going into next year, in light of its surprise tilt toward Republicans in the last election.