#JebNoFilter Talks Sharknado, Because Why The Hell Not

It’s the summer of an off-year in American politics, a time when voters are about as tuned out to political subject matter as they ever are–which is always relatively tuned out, but even more so during vacation season 15 months from the next main event. But the political industrial complex remains fully staffed, and always looking for ways to bank-shot a moment of your attention. This chance to cleverly insert next year’s candidates’ names into the nonpolitical discussions of American voters going about their daily business in July of an off-year, so the theory goes, is of a high long-term value compared to the 24/7 barrage of paid political messaging we’ll all be subjected to in not too many months. The word “viral” is passé these days, it’s all about “authenticity.” Which makes it go viral. There are high-dollar seminars you can go to to learn about this.

The above should help explain Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush–excuse us, Jeb!–raving on camera about the Sharknado movie franchise. It’s #JebNoFilter, everybody! Watch out:

Here is the antidote to Donald Trump’s lunacy America is waiting for. The good news for Jeb! is that, unlike Trump’s every offending word, nobody will remember this Bush I-esque cornball stuff in the early primary states. Unless Saturday Night Live gets ahold of it, in which case they’ll remember the parody. That might honestly be a best-case scenario for the viral authenticity team.

Remember last year’s godawful Say Yes To The Dress Bob Beauprez ad? There’s a lot of, you know, experimentation in this business. Mistakes will be make.

Weekend Open Thread

“Stupidity, outrage, vanity, cruelty, iniquity, bad faith, falsehood–we fail to see the whole array when it is facing in the same direction as we.”

–Jean Rostand

Donald Trump Dominates Spanish-Language Media

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Ed O’Keefe of the Washington Post reports on a fascinating angle to the Donald Trump for President show:

While the national newscasts on ABC, CBS and NBC covered Trump’s visit to Laredo, Tex., coverage of the GOP presidential candidate dominated the national news broadcasts on Univision and Telemundo. Republicans fearful of how Trump is hurting the party’s image with the nation’s fast-growing Latino voting population need only play back Thursday night’s broadcasts as proof.

Univision devoted six minutes of coverage to Trump’s visit, while Telemundo gave him a total of nine minutes. No other Republican or Democratic presidential candidate was mentioned on either program. [Pols emphasis]

Even though he is just one of 16 Republican Presidential candidates, there’s no question that Trump has been taking the lion’s share of media coverage since he formally entered the race in mid-June. Trump has used his bombastic style to suck most of the oxygen out of the room wherever he goes lately, and while Republicans recognize the problem, there’s not a lot they can do about it at the moment because The Donald has his own, er, “Trump Card.

It’s probably a good bet that Trump won’t still be a Presidential candidate one year from now, but he’s already causing significant damage to a Republican Party that is polling at its lowest levels since 1992. That damage could be irreversible for 2016 if Spanish-language media continues to cover Trump’s campaign as though he is the de-facto GOP nominee; the last thing Republicans want to be doing heading into next fall is scrambling to convince Hispanic voters that Trump does not speak for the rest of them.

Greg Brophy Demands More Subsidies for Greg Brophy

It appears former state Sen. Greg Brophy is settling into his new life in D.C. as the Chief of Staff for Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley). He’s even taken to using Washington’s local bike share program, which allows him to get to Union Station and complain about things.

We know this because Brophy tweeted about it this week, snorting that he was using the “commie bike share program.” He also suggested he should be paid for not parking his bicycle somewhere besides Union Station, which he said always has plenty of empty spots on the bike rack.

So, what you’re saying is that you deserve — we’ll call it a “subsidy” — for your commie bike riding?

We’re talking about the same Greg Brophy who has received $113,000 in corn and wheat subsidies since 1999 from commies taxpayers. Perhaps he can start a fundraising campaign to help him pay for his bike share membership.

Get More Smarter on Friday (July 24)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218Here’s to unclogging the Internet tubes. Let’s 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).



► The circus that is the Republican field for President in 2016 is not making Americans feel better about the GOP, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center:

The Republican Party’s image has grown more negative over the first half of this year. Currently, 32% have a favorable impression of the Republican Party, while 60% have an unfavorable view. Favorable views of the GOP have fallen nine percentage points since January. The Democratic Party continues to have mixed ratings (48% favorable, 47% unfavorable).

The 32% favorability rating for the Republican Party is the lowest mark in Pew’s polling since 1992.

► Another week, another shooting; a man in Louisiana opened fire in a movie theater on Thursday, killing two women and injuring many others before taking his own life.

Get even more smarter after the jump…



Army To Recruiting Station Vigilantes: Go Home

AKA a security threat too.

AKA a security threat too.

Happy to relay a public service announcement from U.S. Army Gen. Ray Odierno to all the “good citizens” brandishing firearms outside local military recruiting centers in the wake of the Chattanooga shootings–as the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Tom Roeder reported yesterday from Odierno’s press availability in Colorado Springs:

“I’m concerned we’re really on the razor’s edge at 450,000 [total troops],” the general said before noting that his biggest fear is sending untrained troops to a future war because the Army lacked strength and readiness.

The smaller Army isn’t the only thing that Odierno expressed fear over.

The general said he’s also worried about armed bands of civilians who have taken up patrolling outside military recruiting stations in the wake of shootings in Tennessee last week that left five troops dead.

Odierno said he thinks the patrolling civilians, including a band that’s on watch outside a station near Academy Boulevard and Vickers Drive, are well intentioned, but could be doing more harm than good.

“I worry it creates a dangerous situation,” Odierno said, noting if an incident happened, confusion could lead to civilian deaths.

Army newspaper Stars and Stripes was a little more blunt:

The Army has warned its recruiters to treat the gun-toting civilians gathering at centers across the country in the wake of the Chattanooga, Tenn., shooting as a security threat.

Soldiers should avoid anyone standing outside the recruiting centers attempting to offer protection and report them to local law enforcement and the command if they feel threatened, according to a U.S. Army Recruiting Command policy letter issued Monday…

“I’m sure the citizens mean well, but we cannot assume this in every case [Pols emphasis] and we do not want to advocate this behavior,” according to the Army Command Operations Center-Security Division letter, which was authenticated by the service.

It may come as a shock to that vocal percentage of Americans who believe more guns are the solution to every problem, but guns around military installations–especially guns not under the strict control of military commanders–is not a solution to, you know, anything. In fact, it’s just another security problem for people who don’t need more security problems.

So go play some paintball or something, big boys.

Friday Open Thread

“Let us pardon reciprocally each other’s folly–that is the first law of nature.”


“Please Stand By” Open Thread

State Treasurer Walker StapletonWe’ve been having some confounding technical problems lately, culminating in a lot of downtime for Colorado Pols on Thursday.

We are working on moving to a new server/host — which is about as much fun as cramming a box of toothpicks in your ear — and we’re really, really, really hopeful that we can finish this process soon.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. Feel free to cast blame at random in the comments thread.

How The Hell Can You Oppose This Bill?

The Schlagetters.

The Schlagetters.

The Colorado Independent’s Nat Stein reports on legislation co-sponsored by Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, along with Reps. Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis in the House:

Sen. Michael Bennet joined 21 other senators to introduce a bill on Monday that would reinstate honor for the estimated 100,000 military service members discharged since World War II for their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Restore Honor to Service Members Act has 97 co-sponsors in the House version, including Democrats Reps. Jared Polis and Ed Perlmutter. An identical bill failed along party lines last session.

Before the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2010, service members outed as LGBT were forced out of the military with the status of “other than honorable,” “general discharge” or “dishonorable,” depending on the situation. Without honor, these veterans don’t have access to certain benefits they earned, such as health care, the GI bill and military burial. An other-than-honorable-discharge status is treated as a felony in some states, making it impossible to vote and nearly impossible to find employment.

“‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was a backward looking policy that undermined our national security and stood contrary to our national values,” Sen. Bennet said in a release. “It’s time to take steps that will help ensure these men and women receive the benefits they rightfully earned.”

The bill would correct the record by forcing the Department of Defense to remove mention of sexual orientation from discharge, reissue personnel records and hear oral testimony from people who experienced discrimination in the military. The move is more than symbolic — it would legally restore the rights that LGBT veterans have been denied.

With the end of the military’s much-reviled “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy,” along with changes in civilian law like the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down bans on same-sex marriage in the states, restoring/upgrading the discharge status of thousands of military members who were discharged over the years due to their sexual orientation seems like a no-brainer. We would compare such an action to the government’s apologies to segregated minority servicemen, or even Japanese internees–all similarly victims of past discriminatory policies that have now been repudiated. Of course we should do this.

Unfortunately, this measure by all accounts has very little chance of passage in the fully GOP-controlled Congress. Without at least a few Republican Senators willing to buck prejudice within their party and help move this bill forward, it remains what seems like a no-brainer, but in the present reality is a nonstarter.

And despite everything LGBT Americans have to celebrate today, that really sucks.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (July 22)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218Maybe we need to do this in reverse — just raise your hand if you are not seeking the Republican Presidential nomination. Let’s 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).



The petition drive in Jefferson County to recall three far-right Jeffco School Board Members is nearly complete — after only a few weeks of signature-gathering. Activists appear to be close to collecting more than 15,000 signatures well ahead of the September 8 deadline. 

► The August Congressional recess is just around the corner, but there’s a lot left to be done before everyone flees Washington D.C. One of the biggest looming decisions, finding money for federal highways and infrastructure, appears to be heading nowhere in the House despite Senate support.

Get even more smarter after the jump…



Caption This Photo: “Dr. Chaps” Flings BS (Literally)

This weekend, GOP Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt participated in the El Paso County Republican Party Cowpie Throwing Contest at the El Paso County Fair. Unfortunately, El Paso County’s most (in)famous state representative did not win this prestigious competition, reportedly on account of his chunk of manure disintegrating in mid-flight–but his mere participation was enough to give the world a truly memorable image.


Fling it, “Dr. Chaps.” Fling that cowpie to the sky.

Wednesday Open Thread

“Meanings are not determined by situations, but we determine ourselves by the meanings we give to situations.”

–Alfred Adler

Jeffco Recall Petition Drive Nears Completion Weeks Early

Ken Witt, John Newkirk, Julie Williams (WNW).

Ken Witt, John Newkirk, Julie Williams (WNW).

As the Colorado Statesman’s Vic Vela reports today, organizers of the petition drive to recall three right-wing members of the Jefferson County Board of Education are running way ahead of schedule, bringing in the 15,000 required Jeffco voter signatures to recall each school board member in a matter of a couple weeks instead of their nominal September 8th deadline:

Lynea Hansen, a spokeswoman for Jeffco United for Action, the group behind the recall effort, said Tuesday that the group is “over half way” to their signatures goal.

And, Hansen said, there are more than 1,000 petitions still being circulated. Petition circulators are being asked to turn in their signatures soon so organizers can start verifying names.

As part of a push for signatures this week, petition gatherers will line Wadsworth Boulevard at nine intersections from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Hansen said organized petition circulation is expected to wrap up by Saturday.

Successful completion of the petition drive so early guarantees that the recall of board members Ken Witt, John Newkirk, and Julie Williams will appear on the regular November ballot, along with the two candidates running to replace progressive minority members Lesley Dahlkemper and Jill Fellman. One of the principal talking points in use by opponents of the recall is that the election could cost Jeffco Public Schools hundreds of thousands of dollars–but that’s only if the petition drive wasn’t wrapped up in time to hold the recall election in November.

Judging from what appears to be an overwhelming response from Jeffco voters in only two weeks’ time, that’s not going to be a problem. This recall is moving forward at a best-case-scenario pace, exceeding even internal expectations by all accounts, and that means it’s time for the opposition to come up with new talking points.

While they can.

Another Veteran Journalist Exits Denver Post

Mark Jaffe.

Mark Jaffe.

In a note circulated earlier this afternoon, business reporter Mark Jaffe, an experienced journalist with particular expertise covering oil and gas issues in Colorado, announced he will take the buy-out offered by management of the rapidly-declining Denver Post. Prior to working for the Post, Jaffe was a business correspondent for Bloomberg News and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Jaffe joins veteran political report Lynn Bartels in exiting the Post, and with the buy-out process still underway, they may not be the last. We’ll miss their contributions on the issues affecting our state, and hope their replacements–if any, and for whichever outlet–are able to fill the considerable void left by their departures.