(D) Mark Udall*
(R) Cory Gardner*
(D) John Hickenlooper*
(R) Bob Beauprez*
(R) Cynthia Coffman*
(D) Don Quick*
(R) Walker Stapleton*
(D) Betsy Markey*
(D) Joe Neguse*
(R) Wayne Williams*
(D) Diana DeGette*
(D) Jared Polis*
(R) Scott Tipton*
(D) Abel Tapia*
(R) Ken Buck*
(D) Vic Meyers*
(R) Doug Lamborn*
(D) Irv Halter*
(D) Andrew Romanoff*
(R) Mike Coffman*
(D) Ed Perlmutter*
(R) Don Ytterberg*
"We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men."
What Western Slope/ Mesa/ Garfield County questions would you folks like to ask Abel Tapia? Apparently, he is willing to publicly answer some questions. I'm planning to ask him
For example, Scott Tipton, your current CD3 Rep, is reputedly "good on water", which partly accounts for his electability. He, reputedly, understands "rural issues".
So what are the water and rural issues you Western Slope people would ask him about?
Question 1: When is he gonna get his ass over here?
We'll handle the rest of the questions if and when he actually shows up.
Seriously, mama. The idea that we on the West Slope would need to go through an intermediary to question Abel Tapia is insulting.
We 'Western Slope People' wanna know what he recommends we use to clean out tooths. (Agree–somewhat with Ralphie–the question comes across as a bit pedantic, we know who our current Congressman is, we know where he stands on the issues, and we hope that Abel knows what the 3rd CDs issues are already. As far as questions go, come and we'll ask). If the question is "What do people in the 3rd CD think the top issues are?" it comes across much better. IMO
Exactly, ct. People like to be ASKED for their vote. I mean, we know he'll be here–he'll swoop in one day for the fall Club 20 meeting and to meet with the Sentinel editorial board. But that won't cut it. In order to win CD3, he needs to win Pueblo and the San Luis valley by a lot, and not lose the rest of the district too badly. I don't think people around here are going to be content with a candidate who phones it in.
Whatever. This was my idea, not Tapia's – he's not "phoning it in".. I'll ask my questions, publish Tapia's responses here, and pass on your concerns about his no show in Mesa County.
Ralphie, obviously you don't need to go through an intermediary. Try to be a bit less thin-skinned. I meant no insult.
Thin skinned has nothing to do with it. People here don't even know who Abel Tapia is. Only he can fix that.
Ralphie is absolutely right. Tapia won't come anywhere close to winning Mesa County, but if he could get to 40 percent he'd have a shot. But he needs to get over here early and often.
I'll pass it on. My question about what the WS issues are was really more for me than for either Tapia or myself; I don't think I know what people really mean when they say that Tipton is "good on water", or he "gets rural issues". So if I ask Abel Tapia questions, I'd like to make sure that I'm informed enough to ask good ones. Certainly did not intend for that to sound condescending.
To me, from studying Tipton's positions, he is a reliable advocate for corporate interests vs. the environment or people. But he is perceived as a guy who gets rural Colorado, so something weird is going on.
Not THAT weird. He uses his franking privilege to tell people how great he is.
Tipton does mostly what the Western Slope water buffaloes want him to do, hence his rep on water. As for getting rural areas, he's from and still lives in Cortez. That's enough. It isn't one of the 3rd's cities,'' Grand Junction or Pueblo.
How does he feel about local, grassroots, ground up efforts to protect communities and existing economies from ill-advised drilling plans by out-of-state billionaires, like at Thompson Divide or in the North Fork Valley (Colorado's 'Farm-to-Table' capital with the highest concentration of organic farms in Colorado)?
CT, Congratulations and welcome to the Obama economy:
Right, 'cause the Recession that started in 2008 was all his fault.
Damn Socialist Muslims and their time machines…..
If those socialist muslims have a time machine couldn't we go back and have a couple three of Deadeye Dickless Cheney's 5 deferments cancelled. The only problem I see with that is that people like Deadeye Dickless have a tendency to get good people maimed or killed.I'm prety sure I'd not have wanted to have him in my unit although "friendly fire"had a way of solving some of those problems.
Tax Deductions for college loans?
Tax Credits for college loans?
Interest rates on college loans set at 0%?
College loan payments set to 5% of your income?
AC all your comment on the cartoon really illustrates is the conservative disregard for education and their fundamental disregard for the "market"economy.
Very concise and very true
This pope must really be givng American conservative Catholics heartburn.
I'm from a very conservative parish here in Yuma County (ground zero for Dumphuckistan) and our could put every liberal Catholic of my ilk in one bench in the back row and have room for the visiting nuns. Watching the mental gymnastic of our priest try to 'explain' what Francis really meant is as entertaining as watching VEEP.
Pope Francis: "If we destroy creation, creation will destroy us."
That's it in a nutshell, ct. And as far as situation at the VA there are two very good letters in the Post today, one from a vet, the other writer doesn't say, pointing out that the problems with long waits are nothing new but are the result of long term starving of the VA of funds, aggravated most recently, the scond writer says, by the huge nuber of casualties from two off budget wars.
The first letter writer, the vet, says he's disappointed in the American Legion, to which he has long belonged, for calling for firing people which he believes won't solve the core problem. What would solve the problem, he says, would be hiring lots more doctors, nurses and other personnel so that efficient, adequate care could be provided. That means adequate funding regardless of deficit concerns. I agree. It's not like there aren't other things that could be cut like all the tax dollars that subsidize the big O&G corporations for starters. Vets should be our top priority, not poor starving billionaires.
Both letter writers place the blame where it belongs. Not on the most recent President and Director but on long term government starving policies that make it impossible to do the job right. Agree there, too. As long as the GOTP prevents adequate funding nobody is going to be able to wave a magic wand and fix the wait problem. It's simple arithmetic. So many healthcare workers can only get to so many people in so much time.
We need more money for taking care of our vets, not for further bloating our elites who apparently have some serious pee pee back up problems since none of there's is trickling down. By now they collectively must have accumulated such a bladder full, I'm surprised it doesn't blow.
From my POV as a family member of a disabled vet (ex-hubby), the problem is not going to be solved only by allocation of more dollars. The dollars that are going in are not being used effectively for vets, due to restrictions on capital construction and facilities. It may be that they need to hire more qualified people, as BC said.
In Pueblo, the phone system won't put veterans through to a live person to make an appointment until they have spent ~ 10 minutes going through the menus. Then they do get a call back, but it still takes 30-60 days to get an appointment. This is per today's Chieftain, and also from anecdotes from local veterans.
In Denver, vets face similar issues with long, tangled phone menus which often lead in circles, and long waits for appointments. When they see someone for an emergency (as they recently did with my ex), they "outsource" it, because they no longer have on site triage facilities for certain kinds of emergencies.
So there is clearly money, in the VA budger if they can pay Anschutz hospital to basically keep someone in a bed for 4 days, but there wasn't any "smart" treatment, no records sharing, no communication with primary care Dr. But it isn't being spent wisely.
I have a friend who is a PCP in Washington state, and she tells a similar story – good budget, but wasteful use of resources.
The phone system issues need to be addressed but even there, we need more live persons available to make those appointments and help patients when the menu doesn't give them what they need. That means more money to pay those people. Then, no matter how many people are helping vets get through and make appointments or how efficient the menu system is, we can only make so many appointments for so many patients in a reasonable amount of time with minimal waiting time according to the number of doctors and other personnel available to see and process those patients, give them the info they need, ask the questions, record the data, advise on options, provide the therapy, oversee their medications to keep track of combinations, side effects, etc.
To do any of that better, simple arithmetic says the system needs more doctor, nurses and other healthcare and support personnel and that costs money. This isn't about just throwing more money at the VA in a general way. It's about adequate funding targeted toward providing the numbers of healthcare and support personnel needed to take care of our vets in a timely fashion.
Better facilities, communication and computer record systems are crucial and sorely needed but without enough staff for the person to person hands on care which all of that is meant to facilitate, what good are the best facilities, the best systems? Quality healthcare is still a labor intensive endeavor. We can't short change the VA on human resources and expect to have adequate numbers of personnel to match the needs of our vets.
Coffman is using it to ding Obama even though he has been in Congress for a while and the GAO first ID'd the problem back in 2005, again in 2007 and 2012. Crickets from Coffman until now. I guess using Vets to get sent back to DC on the taxpayers dime is OK, rather than using those tax payer dimes to actually fund tehm.
This is worth watching: O'Reilly takes on Rove over the state of the VA when Bush left office.
One item that should come out of this review is that there needs to be a procedural or cultural shift. Right now there's an apparent preference for covering up scheduling problems. That needs to become a strong motivation to reporting scheduling problems. It's hard to fix what's being hidden, and like the cheating scandal among the various missile officers, the root cause seems to be a "do or die" mandate that results in poor choices being made in order to prevent negative personal consequences.
Exactly — it's the problem of setting unrealistic, absolutist goals. Like with No Child Left Behind, where 100% of students had to reach proficiency, or the schools faced severe consequences, or the missile officers had to score 100% or they would get passed over for promotions. Obama indicated that it was the metrics for patient appointment scheduling that drove this abuse and cover-up.
As with many problems, it's like squeezing a balloon — focusing on just one area leads to distortions and problems in others. You have to have a highlevel perspective to optimize the entire process to arrive at a sensible strategy, with the means to actually implement it. Congress has contributed to this problem as much as anyone.
But I also suspect that this is one organization that could stand some serious streamlining, and a little less bureaucratic overhead.
Not disagreeing on overhead and beureaucracy in the VA – and I doubt many would.
Metrics aren't bad – in fact the appointment wait time metrics are vital to understanding the VA's problems IMHO. Punishment tied absolutely to metrics is bad, and I suspect that it is this which drove the falsification.
Agreed — setting a goal of appointments within 14 days is fine — making the downside of missing that objective appear worse than falsifying records is the problem.
Carrots and sticks need to be in proportion to the ability to meet the objectives. As with many large organizations (yes, private companies too!), often you are given responsibility, but not the resources to succeed, so the natural fallback is to hide failure any way and as for long as you can.
Pope Francis is, IMHO, very much like Obama. Both men are decent, good men with a "god given" ability to articulate the hopes and wishes of literally billions of people. However, neither has the executive talent or perhaps the will to follow through with the hard work. The Pope is in control of billions of church wealth in property and art. Francis has not made one single gesture, (other than giving up red shoes and adopting a personal life style more in keeping with well off old men than popes), towards divesting the church of its wealth.
Obama is President of a country with immense educated talent and yet he makes no real effort to utilize that talent. He manages by campaign slogans and sounds like a frustrated father in a household of women who makes empty threats "I won't stand for that" and is consistently ignored.
Both men disappoint.
The problem I see for both men, especially the Pope, is that they're really little more than the titular head of large, generally conservative, organizations with a lot of lethargy and inertia built in.Any divestiture inititiatives on his part would be met with stout resistance from the College of Cardinals and the body of the Catholic church.
You may well be right, especially in regard to Obama. But in effect, you are saying that the federal government is not responsive to elected officials…..may be true. That is precisely the argument that the right wing makes for drastically reducing the size of the federal government.
However, the Pope has absolute authority, he does not have to govern by consensus, nor does his share his power with any other church institution. He has the power to excommunicate any clergy or layperson who would defy him. Indeed, not this pope, but other modern popes have excommunicated priests and nuns that called for the ordination of women. The college of cardinals has real power only in electing a Pope.
The Pope presides over a huge bureacracy. I don't think you understand how that works.
I just pray he has a good taste tester….and a spare.
R.I.P. Pope John Paul the First
I'm not so sure about that. First, there is a lot of liberalism among Catholics. The sense of charity and in particular the duty to the poor (the latter of which is seldom emphasized by Protestant denominations) is the sort of thing that informed modern American liberalism, and the fact that the Democratic Party was long the one for Catholics to join (because the Whigs, including their Know-Nothing wing, became Republicans), had a lot to do with that party's evolution into the liberal one.
Second, the cardinals themselves elected Francis as Pope. I'm sure his opinions have been well known among them for a long time. There was a period in the 60s and 70s when such opinion was more freely expressed by the Church's leading figures. The long period of John Paul II and Benedict XVI's papcies may have suppressed it, but it clearly didn't stamp it out.
That said, you're right – the Pope's authority is not as absolute as the Church's detractors would have you believe, and of course JP and Benedict spent decades promoting conservative priests and bishops through the ranks.
And of course it's fantasy to suppose that they would EVER divest their property.
Those of us who lived in Latin America during the 60s, harbor no illusions about the church's committment to the poor. Liberation theology attracted priests who saw it as a way to change the church's relationships with oppressive oligarchies. That never happened. Those priests were marginalized and many were excommunicated. Some like Padre Camilo Torres became martyrs.
Francis's action during the horror of Argentine's "Dirty War" mirrors that of JPII during the Nazi occupation of Poland, certainly not wholehearted cooperation….but not open defiance, either.
American catholicism is different from that practiced in Latin America.
My original point was that Francis will not make changes in the church's wealth and his platitudes about rich and poor are elogouent, but essentially meaningless in indicating any major shift in the relationship between the church and its wealth.
This was the best Chruch divestment ever…
EXCEPT, this was a huge scandal in Germany long before Francis came on the scene. The church hates scandal. I think this was a wise pr move, although I don't think that Germany has a large population of the poor homeless.
President Obama certainly isn't perfect but any disappointment with the national government was caused just as much by the Republicans as it was by the Democrats and the President. The day President Obama was inaugurated in 2009, the Republican leadership met and decided to be against everything and anything the President was for, including policy problems and solutions the new President didn't know exsisted or that they would arise. That's why it takes 60 votes to get anything done in the U.S. Senate. The Republicans insist on imposing that rule hundreds of time in order to stifle anything Obama favors.
On bills where Republicans are the prime sponsors they immediately remove their names if President Obama announces he favors a specific piece of legislation. Why? You'd think they would want their ideas to become law.
The Republicans have gamed the system to impede the President no matter how much they favor a bill for the sole purpose of making this particular President look bad in the eyes of the American people. And to an extent they have succeeded but why, and what good has that done the country? What is so unique about this President that everything he wants to do must be stopped? I shudder what the answer to that question may be.
You can make the argument the President hasn't been aggressive enough in foreign affairs but if you're in the White House and you know the Republicans won't back anythting you support, how aggressive would you be; and that raises the issue as to whether because of thier behavior toward President Obama, haven't the Republicans sent the message to Putin and other dictators that they have a free hand because of course they can count on the Republicans blocking anything the President wants to do.
The Republicans have made a mess out of naitonal policy and teir blindness has contributed to the appearance of weakness abroad.
+1000 although I really do wish president Obama could have been a more effective president than he has been. Still light years better than either alternative he was up against in 2008 and 2012. And lord knows we need the next one to be a Dem, too to undo the damage of a conservative majority Supreme court. An effective GOTP prez effectively implementing horrible policy and appointing horrible Supremes would be the real nightmare. Demographics will probably prevent that from happening.
I could not agree with you more, particularly your last sentence. I believe I have said elsewhere that the Republicans endanger our national security with
their tactics. However, Obama had the responsibility to figure out how to combat those tactics. Politics is about winning. As I have "perhaps" mentioned elsewhere, the Democrats, led by the party head, Obama, have simply not been up to the task. Carvelle should have been in the White House, heading up a War Room, Tom Foley should have been in an undisclosed location giving "suggestions" on how to work Congress. The Democratic party (with the invaluable help of OFA) should have mobilized in each Congressional District in the country. The Republicans declared war on the Obama administration the day after the President was inaugurated. The Democrats played Chamberlain and then went out to lunch.
@Dwyer – I see this dynamic in a completely opposite sense: what Francis is giving liberal Catholics like myself is backup and credence for our demands that the church get back to a gospel-based ministry and away from their conservative political platform. For years I've had to suffer, in ad nausea, as my conservative friends use the positions of prior Popes to justify an extreme pro-life agenda while supporting pre-emptive war, tax cuts, gutting safety nets and a embracing the 'prosperity gospel'. Without fail, they would use the doctrine flowing from the Vatican as their 'cover'. Now, I have the opportunity to use that same reasoning to back up my liberal positions.
Whether we're talking about the Vatican or Congess, both have become all-but-useless in how we affect any human being on a daily, relevant scale. One is controlled by lobbyists, the other by the College of Cardinals. The real action and change happens on the ground in a very localized way – far beyond Vatican City or Captiol Hill. Obama never said he could make the change – it was going to take a majority of us. Likewise, the Pope's magic will be in empowering those of us at the parish level.
What Francis has done is what I always imagined that the Christian religious should be doing (I'm an atheist, as a note): modeling Christ. For the first time in as long as I've watched the Church, it finally has a Christ-like leader. Before Francis, the Church had been so focused on telling people how to live according to God/Christ's proscriptions; demanding that people walk a "Christian" path. Now there's Francis saying, "walk with me a bit."
Although the machinery of the Vatican will resist, and may successfully outlast, this Pope, I can see him doing exactly what Michael has suggested– fuel the fire of the Catholic left. Francis hasn't set aside much of the Catholic dogma that I think is so harmful (gays, abortion, male primacy, birth control, &c.). He has, however, made it a point to say "that's all what it is, now let's get back to the business of people: poverty, injustice, the planet." It's not all the change that's needed and it may not last, but it will be a powerful force moving forward if it can take root in the Church writ large.
Tell that to the "nuns on the bus" who continue under "scrunity" or "supervison" or some such medieval scourage by the Vatican and continued by this Pope, for the great sin of advocating for the health needs of the poor and not aggressively
The battle between the 'Nuns on the Bus' and 'The Boys' I think is a good one. It reminds us, daily, of the absurdity of the Churches positions. It's earned media, raises awareness – and I would argue, beneficial. Akin our librarian posting pictures of Green Zone Mke.
Well, I did imply that this would take some time. Also, there are some hints a a different perspective forming on the part of the Pope.
Of course, you're right, words must be met with action, but I doubt I'd ever be satisifed with the Catholic Church's teachings (viz. atheist), and I'm willing to be hopeful and see what happens.
Right. I mean he's the Pope. He isn't going to turn his back on traditional Catholic doctrine and I don't agree with any religion's formal doctrine. But he certainly brings a sincere concern for ordinary people, poor people, people who need help and love and respect, over doctrinal nit picking. That has been sorely lacking.
As a non-Catholic, not any kind of Christian, I appreciate it and the tone he sets with an emphasis on concerns we can all get behind, no matter what our religion or lack thereof. And he truly is a modest man, a down to earth man, not isolated or into the glitzy trappings and that is having a positive effect too.
That's a very nice change from every other Pope I can remember in my lifetime. I'll never agree with Catholic doctrine but I hardly can expect the Pope not to or to be quick to make radical deviations from what has been tradition for centuries, like an all male celibate clergy. So as far as Popes go, this one is my hands down fave.
What exactly can you do now within your parish community that you could not do before Francis? How can you "demand" that the church get back to its gospel-based ministry and away from their conservative political platform. How does the Pope "empower" you? I am unaware of when the church had a gospel-based ministry, but that may just be my limited experience, and as I say my time in Latin America and the exposure of one time assistant pastor in a parish we had attended as left me quite cynical.
I have a totally different take on the American catholic church's embrace of the Republican Party. The American hierarchy needs the protection of the Republicans because of the continuing financial and criminal consequences of the pedophile scandel. Their greatest fear is that the statute of limitations will be rolled back and that trial lawyers will sue on behalf of who knows how many victims of priests, and that could destroy the institutional church that would not have funds to continue.
As I have said before, the whole so-called life issue is a political strategy on the part of the Republicans and the church has joined with them for the sole purpose of electing Republicans. I do not doubt the honest opinions of the faithful on the life issue.
I remember well the quote of one bishop, that, of course,I can not find to source now, who was asked in regard to the pedophile scandal: "What would Jesus do?" and the response was something to the effect that "Jesus did not have to contend with the American legal system."
Dwyer, just an FYI:
Trends in Party Identification of Religious Groups by Religious Affiliation
Dwyer, this is why many, many Catholics never open themselves up about their work within or outside of the church. For me to even write on this blog that I'm 'Catholic' (albeit a poor one) almost always brings out some kind of subtle attack vis-a-vis the pedophiles, or the Vatican bank or whatever. I can embrace my faith (it comes from my mothers Irish side, and includes priests and nuns) and the core values it gave me, mainly social justice, and support the things that are important to me. I can't fix decades of hiding pedophiles; I can't sell the assets of the Vatican. I can't get the the Conferene of Catholic Bishops to leave the 14th century. And I don't have to run away from my faith to be 'me'. I can love unconditionally, and I can be non-judgemental. I can give a shit about my fellow man and be williing to speak my mind when I see an unjustice. The Pope empowers me because he has affirmed, through his words, that it's OK to be 'me'.
You have defended your faith well and I believe that your statements have been treated with respect on this blog.
I introduced the topic of Francis and Obama by expressing my belief that both men were eloquent in expressing the wishes of billions, but that ultimately could not deliver on implied promises and I stated why. This was basically a political argument.
However, you chose to speak personally about your religious I chose to respond, as my conscience compelled me. As a catholic child I was taught to trust priests and that the powers of the priest were "divinely instituted." As a catholic parent I accepted the obligation to teach my children the same. As a catholic parishoner I stood in the congregation and proclaimed my belief that the catholic church was holy. When I learned that priests had used these "divinely instituted" powers to destroy children, physically, emotionally, and most importantly, spiritually, and that the church had covered up these crimes, I could no longer teach a child to trust a priest, I could no longer stand in a congregation and proclaim that the church was holy; my conscience told me that of course it was not holy.
My values did not change. The church violated its "divinely instituted mission." To quote Luther, Here I stand."
If you choose to publicly identify as a catholic, then I think you must be prepared to address the issue of pedophia and it relates to the entire catholic theology. As educated catholics, we are both familiar with the term "rationalization."
I respect your position. I would hope that you would not belittle mine by suggesting that pedophila is nothing more than a smoke screen to hide anti-catholic sentiments.
Please don't misinterpret my response as belittling you. I've been a problem child within our parish for a long time – my parents would tell you my first words as a child was 'Why?". Anyone looking for a blind follower of the faith wouldn't be looking for me. I'd be considered a heretic by many. To the chagrin of many of my Catholic friends I don't wear my religion on my sleeve, I choose to manifest it in how I treat people and live my life.
Unfortunately, the pedophile issue is a 'legal issue' now – and I, for one, wouldn't lose any sleep over large awards – that's the neat thing about 'faith' – it will transcend beyond anything a court system will impose. My attendance at Mass has a lot less to do with the Church – and more to celebrate the heritage of my family before me who did a lot of good work in the church.
Perhaps I'd feel different about some things if I had a personal connection to someone affected by the pedophile scandal. It's horrible – and that statement isn't meant to diminish anyones anguish. As terrible as it is, we don't have a corner on sex abuse. It's an imperfect world world, full of imperfect (and often evil) people.
We had a kid whose first sentence was "Why?" Thanks for that memory. Ya, we were personally affected by the
pedophia; we see it as a basic fheologically issue, not just a legal one.
Good discussion. Let us leave it at that.
@Dwyer, I just realized I hadn't responded to this question. About six weeks ago I had a very public exchange in our Parish Hall with our priest, whom I was observing (with a small group of parishioners) saying what were untruths about the President (and Democrats in general). Amongst other things, I suggested he check out the Ninth Commandement of 'bearing false witness'. I felt what he was perpetuating was in direct contradiction to Francis' messages – and it was. The problem with small parishes like mine is that everyone lives in a bubble…and when the leader of that bubble perpetuates an environment that is clearly political in nature (anti-Democrat)…the bubble only fortifies. The good news? While he hasn't responded to me directly since then, I'm told, third-party, that he admired my 'spunk'. If nothing else, making them uncomfortable when I'm present hopefully makes them 'think twice' before words part their lips.
Sirens went off in my neighborhood, so I closed the windows, drew the blinds, turned everyone off…computer and TV. Turned on the battery operated radio and could not find a local station, specifically KOA, that had news of the weather alert. Did anyone else find a radio station broadcasting local news?
I finally turned on the TV and got good local coverage on all three stations.
Weather's a little too much like science for talk radio . . .
. . . "Taqiyya"!!! . . .
. . . now that's what I'm talkin' about . . . !!!!
not "turned everyone off" but turned everything off….
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