mamajama55

About mamajama55

Teacher in northern Colorado. Nosy, curious, persistent.

Trump Supporter Who Poisoned Groundwater Places Trump Billboards on I76

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The plains roll on for hundreds of miles  under blank blue skies near Roggen, Colorado. Sage, scrub grass, fracking tanks, and a few cattle dot the vast landscape.  Roggen itself is a ghost of its former prosperity – the town consists of a grain elevator, a telephone co-op,  two churches, a convenience store, and a post office.

Yet, Roggen boasts two new roadside attractions: gigantic “Trump for President” billboards facing west and east, placed to catch the eyes of all travelers along I76.

Trump billboard on Cervi’s land near Roggen, CO

I wanted to find out who felt strongly enough about Mr. Trump’s candidacy to build, paint, and place these monumental political advertisements in this desolate area. I investigated, and found a family saga rooted in the heyday of Colorado political journalism, in the gas and oil boom years, including rodeo circuit stardom and family tragedy, and the criminal indictment and sentencing of the landowner, Mr. Mike Cervi, for violating the Safe Water Act by injecting petroleum wastes into the High Plains / Ogalalla Aquifer from 2001 – 2002.

Cervi’s Journal – the founding Cervi business

Eugene Cervi produced and edited Cervi’s Rocky Mountain Business Journal in Denver from 1954 until his death in 1970.   Cervi’s Journal later became the Denver Business Journal. “Gene” and his daughter, editor Cle Symons Cervi, were both inducted into the Denver Press Club Hall of Fame.   Gene Cervi was twice Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party, although he was critical of JFK. Later in his career, the “Journal” became more conservative and more pro-business in viewpoint.

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Bernie Sanders to Supporters: Run for Office, Keep Progressive Agenda Alive

On June 16, 2016, Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders  spoke to  his supporters for 25 minutes. Since I have been and am a supporter, I signed up, and took notes on the speech, the important points of which are summarized below. A video link is also included at the bottom of the page.

Screenshot of Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders speech to supporters, screenshot 6/16/16

Most of Bernie’s speech was a list of what progressive Democrats want and fought for, what we want our country to be and to do. As such, there are few surprises in the list.These are not “demands”, as we used to say in the 70s. These are the prerequisites for social and economic justice.

I didn’t expect, but was delighted by, Bernie’s call for his supporters to run for local political office: school boards, county commissioners, entry-level offices, however we can get our feet in the door. I applaud this and agree strongly. That is what it will take for real change. From the bottom up -that’s how change happens. As expected, Sanders called for the party to unify to defeat Donald Trump. He has pledged to support this effort, and will do so.

UPDATE: 6700 people responded to Bernie’s call for public service. Per Berniesanders.com, “The 6,685 supporters who expressed interest in running cover 51 percent of state house districts, 69 percent of state senate districts and every congressional district in the country.”

He called for his 1900 delegates to come in to the convention to create the most progressive platform in Democratic history, and to act on it. He called for a 50 state strategy – decrying the lack of support for Democratic candidates,  allowing right wingers to take red state governments unopposed.

He called for the Democratic National Committee to open its doors, welcome young people and working people. He called for the DNC to embrace a $15 / hour wage. He called for a party which has “the guts” to take on the pharmaceutical and fossil fuel industries. He called for stopping the  Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) –  it should not come to a vote during a lame duck session of Congress, he said. These are positions which sharply differentiate his policies from those of Hillary Clinton.

What Bernie did not say was more surprising:

  • He did not “concede” defeat in the primary election, although that was implied.
  • He did not endorse Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, although he emphasized that they have much more in common than not.
  • He included very little on foreign policy – only in points 29 and 30 below did he allude to the Department of Defense and wars abroad, and only to emphasize cutting waste in the DoD, and not to spend young people’s lives in unnecessary wars. This was primarily a domestic policy speech.
  • He didn’t talk about the drug war or marijuana legalization, although he criticized the prison industry and school-to-prison pipeline in point 27.
  • He did not call for an end to superdelegates, lobbyist contributions to the DNC. He did not say what his negotiations with rules committee would be. He did not mention today’s big news that unpopular chairwomanDebbie Wasserman Schultz is stepping aside as party chair to allow Brandon Davis to take over operations.
  • He did not mention the numerous allegations of fraud and voter suppression in the Democratic primary.

 

Here’s what the man did say:
1.    The revolution continues – like every movement for social change, civil rights, etc.
2.    In every state, we won the overwhelming majority of those under 45.
3.    We are mainstream, not a fringe movement.  Numbers. 12 million votes, 22 states, Stats on contributions, 75 million phone calls, 5 million doors, 740,000 meetings, etc. Showed that we could run a national campaign without big money contributions. Bulk of contributions came from low income and working people.
4.    In every state, we took on the entire political establishment. Senators, Reps, Governors, elected officials.
5.   6:35  This campaign has never been about any single candidate .
6.    It’s about ending income inequality. It’s about ending corrupt campaign finance by corporations. Creating an economy for all of us, not just the 1%.
7.    Ending status quo: Native American reservation low life expectancy, lower than 3rd world countries. Millions of Americans dying at a younger age than their parents: suicide, drugs, alcohol, highest rate of childhood poverty of any industrialized country on earth. Ending the disgrace, undocumented people exploited on their jobs.
8.    Tens of thousands of Americans dying every year from preventable diseases, because lack health insurance, high deductibles, costly drugs.
9.    Young single mom in Nevada in tears, asking on $10/hr, How can we make it ? Millions like her.
10.    Mom in Flint, Mich. Excessive lead in water, stunted intellectual development of her child. Thousands of CA homes can’t drink tap water.
11.    Homelessness is increasing.  veterans in streets – lack of affordable housing.
12.    Corporations avoid paying a nickel in Federal taxes, stash in tax havens.
13.    6:40 Priority this year is defeating Donald Trump. Makes bigotry the cornerstone of his campaign.  Trump wants to give hundreds of B of $ in tax breaks to very rich, is a climate change denier.
14.    Major political task: Defeat Trump, badly. My role in that process will begin soon. But can’t be our only goal. Must continue grassroots  movement.
15.    Must take our energy in to the Dem convention in Philly with >1900 delegates. I met with Sec. Clinton.
16.    No secret HRC and I have strong disagreements, on important issues but agree on others.
17.    I will make sure that your voices are heard. Democrats will pass the most progressive platform in its history and that we actually fight for that agenda.
18.    I look forward to working with Sec. Clinton to form aparty that has the guts to take on the Pharma, Fossil Fuel industries, others.
19.    Dem party must support raising Fed. minimum wage to $15 / hr.  women .79 / vs men $1. Women must have right to control own bodies. Protect right to gay marriage.
20.    As Orlando has made clear, Ban sale and distribution of assault weapons, gun show loophole, and have instant background checks.
21.    Stop the TPP, must not come to the floor in a lame duck session.
22.    Expand Social security, not cut it.
23.    Greed, recklessness of Wall st must end. Pass a modern Glass Steagal. No more “too big to fail”.
24.    Aggressively combat climate change, impose a tax on carbon. Must protect our water supply by banning fracking.
25.    To compete effectively globally, Make public colleges tuition free reduce student debt.
26.    Join rest of industrialized world – Health care a right, not a privilege
27.    Stop incarcerating more people than any other country – Rein in prison industry, criminal justice reform.
28.    Comprehensive immigration reform for 11 M undocumented people.
29.    Cut waste in every department including Department of Defense.
30.    Can’t keep throwing young people into perpetual unnecessary wars.
31.    6:47 Revolution means more than Fight for our ideals, defeat D Trump. At every level continue to fight for our nation to be just. Current DNC leadership has turned its back on dozens of states, like red states, allowed right wing to run unopposed, we need a 50 state strategy. Must provide resources to ignored and poor states.
32.    Leadership, DNC must open its doors, welcome working people and young people. That is the energy we need to transform the Democratic party and our country. Cold hard fact. Since 2009, some 900 legislative seats have been lost to Republicans.  We must Start engaging at local and state level in unprecedented way.
33.    Young people deeply concerned about country and community. Start running for office! School boards, commissioners, whatever! Be prepared to engage at that level.
34.    6:50 With energy and enthusiasm our campaign has shown, we can win significant numbers of offices at down ticket level. We need new blood. You are that new blood.
35.    Government is not the enemy.(what Republicans say). I disagree. Government must protect us and our planet. But we need to attract dedicated people from all walks of life to run for office.
36.    Tens of thousands of new Dr.s, medical personnel, where people lack care.
37.    We need child care workers, teachers.
38.    We need scientists, engineers, entrepeneurs to work for renewables, efficient and cost effective as possible. Construction.
39.    Business people who respect employees and environment.
40.    Conclude: we have begun the long and arduous process of transforming America. My hope is that when historians look back and find when we began reversing the trend towards oligarchy. They see that the political revolution began in 2016. 6:53. Dark screen.

Version 1 of this diary posted at caucus99percent.com

Video available here and here

Full transcript of Sanders’ speech from Burlington Free Press

To recruit candidates, go to berniesanders.com/win

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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PUC Hearings Slated on Xcel’s Solar-Killing Proposals

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

On Thursday, June 9, in Denver, and on June 16 in Grand Junction, Colorado’s Public Utility Commission will hear public comment from 4-6 p.m.about Xcel Energy’s new rate proposal.

solar panels in colorado

Solar Panels in Colorado -photo courtesy of the Sierra Club of Colorado.

The Sierra Club of Colorado is inviting public comment about the proposals, and asking supporters to meet early (at 3:15  pm) for a press event on the west steps of the Capitol, then walk with signs to 1560 Broadway to picket and to speak at the hearing. Sierra Club’s invitation reads:

Xcel’s new proposal called “our energy future” is moving in the wrong direction. It adds fees that negatively impact our families and communities – whether they have solar or not – and places corporate profit over the public interest.

Xcel tried unsuccessfully to drive solar competition out of Colorado from 2013-2015 by proposing an end to Net Metering. After a long consideration process and multiple hearings Colorado sent the signal to continue with net metering.

The Sierra Club is referring to Xcel’s second proposal:

Establishing a “grid charge” to recover distribution system costs for residential and commercial customers. The company is proposing to assess graduated charges that increase with a customer’s average use over their past 12 billing periods.

This proposal would charge solar customers a “grid charge” to penalize them for having the gall to install solar panels, which feed energy back into the electrical grid. They would like solar customers to pay extra for the privilege of generating their own power.

Xcel’s “Solar Connect” program is the same program which was rejected by the PUC in 2014. In 2014, Solar Industry called the proposal “Sleight of billing,” in which customers would have been billed for more solar power than was actually produced. Xcel’s own spin on the program somehow neglects to mention this aspect.

What happens when a utility gets to charge solar customers extra for installing solar:

The Pueblo Paws4Life no-kill animal shelter found out when they tried to be a Leeds Green building, and installed 234 solar panels on their roof.  Black Hills Energy(BHE) had a dual rate structure for solar installations, with some sneaky fine print in the contract. The shelter was a commercial installation, and so had to pay a “demand fee” to BHE.

Carol Warner, President of Paws4life, recounted what happened when the “demand fee” kicked in. The shelter’s utility bills rocketed to $12,000 per month, even though they were generating most of it from their own solar panels. The “demand fee” charges commercial consumers a rate consistent with their highest peak use. Paws4Life began to struggle just to keep the doors open.

BHE  has been no friend to solar in the Pueblo area, and many companies are going out of business.  BHE also has some of the highest utility rates in Colorado, and a bad reputation for price – gouging customers.

Rural Electric Associations across the state often have a confusing dual rate structure for solar, leading rural customers to erroneously believe that “solar costs more”. They do this because the PUC allows them to get away with it.

Communities across Colorado are letting the PUC know that they support renewable energy –  with mixed results:

Solar advocates in Weld County successfully defeated a proposed ordinance which would have prohibited  solar installations on agricultural land. (Fracking was still allowed on ag land, though). This happened after massive community protest of the BCCC’s original solar-killing proposal.

The PUC is also considering the city of Boulder’s planned  intervention in Xcel’s wind farm proposal. Boulder is trying to municipalize its electrical utilities; so the planned wind facility would be one they would try to purchase, if successful.

Governor Hickenlooper appointed a GOP lawmaker with ties to ALEC to the PUC. There was massive public protest, and Vaad was never confirmed by the Colorado legislature. Hick reappointed Vaad anyway.

Show your support of renewable energy. Let the Public Utility Commission know that we will not allow Xcel Energy to kill the solar energy industry in Colorado.

For more information, contact the sponsors of the press event and public input at the PUC hearing:

Alliance for Solar Choice, which advocates for rooftop distributed solar across the country

And Sierra Club  of Colorado.

Latest Maketa Indictments Highlight Problem of Police Domestic Violence

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Terry Maketa, former El Paso County Sheriff, was indicted Wednesday, May 25, 2016, by a Grand Jury on six felony counts, including extortion, tampering with a witness, and second-degree kidnapping.  The latter two charges stem from Maketa and codefendants Paula Presley and Juan San Agustin intimidating a witness to keep her from testifying against her abuser, a deputy under Maketa’s supervision.

From Benzel and Sun’s Gazette reporting:

After a sheriff’s deputy was arrested in August 2013 for assaulting his girlfriend, Maketa directed the woman to recant her story and tell investigators she “instigated the incident in order to allow (the deputy) to get his job back,” the indictment alleges. When the woman, a civilian jail employee, followed his instructions and provided a false confession about being “the aggressor,” she was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, assault and driving under the influence.

“Detective Lisa Kaiser, the interviewing and arresting officer, did not believe she had probable cause to arrest (the woman) for either crime, but arrested (her) because the order came from her superiors,” the indictment says.

Maketa was booked and bonded out of jail on Thursday, May 26 .  Maketa had resigned in disgrace in 2014, ahead of a recall effort, amidst charges of sexual misconduct, corruption, and incompetence in his office.

Terry Maketa's mugshot

Maketa’s 5/25/16 mugshot  Credit : Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office

Maketa was one of the so-called “Constitutional Sheriffs” involved in a lawsuit against Colorado’s stricter gun laws, including magazine size limits and background check requirements.

Colorado media outlets have capitalized on the lurid sexual content of the Maketa case – Westword,   the Denver Post, and the Colorado Springs Gazette have all run stories emphasizing the conduct of the “Shirtless Sheriff”. We’re all sick of that steamy shower selfie, so, please, Pols, don’t post it in this diary.

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Rescheduled Pols meetup Sat 4/23 2 pm at Jezebel’s in Denver

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

So we’re trying this again. Who’s in? If a later time works better, speak up. The weather is supposed to be good. 2 pm is still in time for brunch. They also have a happy hour.

Jezebel’s is at 32nd and Tejon in Highland. Great food, great atmosphere.  I’ll be there. I think (notaskinny)cook will. Anyone else?

Rescheduled: Pols meetup, Sat 4/23 in Denver 2pm at Jezebel’s

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Meet other Polsters at Jezebel’s (32nd & Tejon) in north Denver tomorrow. 303-433-3060

Meet Michael Bowman, and try to convince him to run for office. Meet the ever-charming (notaskinny)cook. Tell mamajama55 how to really fix education. Buy Duke a drink to show there’s no hard feelings over the Sanders /Clinton fracas. Or just come to enjoy the fabulous food and drink at Jezebel’s (run by fellow polster Whiskey Lima Juliet) , meet some congenial souls, and have a great time. See ya!

Homophobic Williams to run for Chaps’ old House seat

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Constituents of House District 15 in El Paso County have been represented for almost two years  by a homophobic, gaffe-prone politician with ethical challenges:  Dr. Gordon Klingenschmitt, aka “Dr. Chaps“. Now, unless mass sanity strikes, they will probably be represented by another gay-bashing, hot-tempered, inexperienced  politician: David O. Williams.

“Chaps” announced that he would not run again for HD15; he is now running against Bob Gardner for  SD12,term-limited Senate President Cadman’s district. Chaps’ long-suffering constituents should have had a reprieve from embarrassing stories about their duly elected representative. Klingenschmitt’s greatest hits have included claiming that a brutal assault on a pregnant woman was God’s punishment, saying that Rep. Jared Polis wants to behead Christians, and being under IRS investigation for possible  financial misconduct.

david o williams

David O. Williams, candidate for HD15

Unfortunately, House District 15’s new Republican nominee, David O. Williams, looks to be potentially every bit as embarrassing as Chaps. Homophobia? Check. Lack of elected experience? Check. Hot temper – Shoot first, then aim? Check. Dubious financial history, only ever employed in his father-in-law’s business, kicked out of the only two positions he’s ever been elected to ? Check. Add to this access to weapons and $2,000 from Rocky Mountain Gun Owners in 12/2013, and EPCO HD15 voters may have another embarrassingly rocky two years ahead of them.

David Williams is the son-in-law of his employer,  Doyle McAlister, who was a registered sex offender in 2013.  McAlister’s company, MKW Global Sourcing, is primarily in the Chinese export-import business.  MKW employs Williams as Program Manager.

Williams ran for HD15  in 2014, but Dr. Chaps got the nod from the El Paso County delegates. Williams’  homophobic behavior is well known, and has included booing a “Log Cabin” gay delegate; threatening someone else with an AR15; discriminating against funding of gay clubs as UCCS Student Body President, and fostering a climate of gay-bashing and bullying during his tenure, because of which he was finally impeached.

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Klingenschmitt on the Run from CGW, IRS Inquiries

(Run Chaps, run! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

UPDATE 3/13/16 The Gazette ran an article by Megan Schrader, which Klingenschmitt claims “clears me of all wrongdoing”.  Schrader’s article goes deeply into Chaps’ Pray in Jesus Name/ Persuade the World Ministries nonprofit finances, finding that Klingenschmitt spends about 75% of his donations on fundraising expenses – to Fund Raising Strategies, Inc, whose CEO is Klingenschmitt’s old friend Bruce Eberle. Eberle has worked for decades in the direct mail fundraising business. His various businesses market lists of conservative donors, and raise millions for right wing candidates and causes.

Questions still not answered by the Gazette article:

  • Why does Chaps have no Board for his nonprofit organization? Most nonprofits have a Board of Directors to guard against abuses and provide oversight – Klingenschmitt is the only CEO and is accountable to no one.
  • Why are there no grants made to any of the charities he said that he has raised money for? (the orphanage in Harissa, India, among others)
  • See Klingenschmitt’s Persuade the World 2014 tax return, below
  • Persuade the World ministries 2014 Schedule )
  • Why is there still an obvious conflict between the tax-free nonprofit PJIN show, and the clearly political guests, causes, and messages Klingenschmitt promotes on his shows?

Representative Gordon Klingenschmitt fled down a Capitol corridor Wednesday, invoking the aid of a Capitol guard to protect him from the probing questions of  Colorado Government Watch’s Dede Laugesen. Video follows:

Here is CGW’s report:

Confronted on camera at the State Capitol Monday with questions surrounding his controversial, tax-exempt charity, state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt shut down the attempted interview and had state troopers eject a Colorado Government Watch team from the public building.

Flanked by a uniformed Colorado State Patrol officer, the first-term Colorado Springs legislator refused an interview when approached outside the chamber of the state House of Representatives by CoGW Executive Director Dede Laugesen. Klingenschmitt then stormed off as Laugesen called out questions about whether the lawmaker was using his nationwide nonprofit religious ministry—which has raised more than $1 million since 2010—to drum up business for his parallel for-profit operation.

The state trooper blocked Laugesen and an associate from following Klingenschmitt—into a common area used by the public on the State Capitol’s second floor—and he ushered them out of the building.

As Klingenschmitt makes his hasty exit, Laugesen also asks him why his charity has no board or any other officers, and she notes there appear to be no tax documents or other records substantiating his claims to have raised money for an orphanage in India. He does not respond.

Klingenschmitt’s Persuade the World Ministries, also known as Pray in Jesus Name—a 501(c)(3) Colorado nonprofit corporation whose only officer is Klingenschmitt—took in more than $850,000 in tax-deductible contributions in 2014 and over $1 million since 2010, its latest tax returns show.

The operation has been under scrutiny for some time.

Among other things, it is the subject of a separate inquiry by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office following a complaint filed with that agency by Colorado Government Watch last fall, alleging violations of Colorado’s Charitable Solicitation Act. Colorado Government Watch also recently filed a complaint with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, calling for an investigation and audit of the operation. Klingenschmitt has declined to disclose donors and other details of his nonprofit operation.

Klingenschmitt, who also hosts a show as a televangelist on a national satellite TV network, has brushed aside our inquiries about his for-profit operations and how they tie in to his nonprofit activities. Most recently, he has not responded to our public letter calling on him to disclose his latest tax returns to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office for public inspection, as provided by law.

Readers, please note that this is based on painstaking research and writing I did in April of last year. Colorado Government Watch is welcome to it, but it would be nice if they would credit my work.

Klingenschmitt’s taxes and money will be difficult for any except the IRS or a government agency to sort out – Diener Consultants handled Klingenschmitt’s PJIN donations since at least 2011- 2014.  Diener is the organization most well known for vacuuming up the donations of gullible conservatives, and making them disappear, as they did with some poor sod’s $150,000 contributed for creating a non-existent fence along the border. Now Klingenschmitt’s fundraising is handled by Fund Raising Strategies, Inc, headed by Bruce Eberle. Eberle also has a dubious reputation for suckering gullible conservatives. He was involved with Americans for Tax Reform, and was integral to Florida’s effort to certify the dubious Bush “win” in 2000, through his direct mail lists used by millionsofamericans.com.

I understand that Colorado Government Watch has their own agenda – which, I think, is cleaning up some of the rampant corruption in El Paso County Republican circles, and that they hope to replace corrupt Republicans with clean(er) ones. Although that’s not my agenda, I applaud them for their efforts.

For the rest, it’s just entertaining watching Chaps run from the cameras.

State of the Union Open Thread

Polsters,  this is President Obama’s final State of the Union address. You can watch it live here. on PBS, or here on Huffpost. He is expected to urge Democratic candidates to carry on his policies, and he is expected to critique the hate and fear mongering from the right.

State of the Union, with Ryan dyspepsia.

It’s not known if he will talk about the ten American sailors being held captive in Iran.

The Congressional Black Caucus chose to make a statement by lining the aisles to greet and cheer for the President. Knowing that the right wing already has their talking points tweeting out about “weakness”, “ineffectiveness”, etc, they want to stand up for this President, and what he has managed to get done.

Like a good professor, Obama tells his audience what questions he will answer.

  1. How do we give everyone a shot at opportunity in this new economy?
  2. How do we get technology to work for us and not against us, especially given climate change?
  3. How do we keep America safe and lead the world without becoming its policeman?
  4. How can we make our politics reflect what’s best in us, and not what’s worst?

On the economy, he touts the fact that the American economy is strong, the jobless rate is down. He promotes the free pre-K for all, two free years of community college. He sounds a lot like Bernie Sanders.

Health insurance benefits should be portable, which was the point of the Affordable Care Act. And no, he’s not promoting a single payer program, even with the risk-free lame duck status.  A shame.

On technology, he announces a new National Health Institute research program to cure cancer. Joe Biden is in charge of “getting it done”.

He says that if you still want to debate the science of climate change, “Have at it. But you’ll be pretty lonely.” He’s promoting clean energy tech big time. Good call.

“In fields from Arizona to Texas, wind power is now cheaper than coal.”

“We’ve gotta accelerate the transition away from old, dirtier energy sources.”

Wow. It sounds like he’s advocating for a carbon fee. Go Obama.

So on to safety. “These days, we’re threatened less by evil empires, and more by failed states.” Nice.

Um, none of the generals in the audience is applauding. That can’t be a good thing.

“We don’t need to build up ISIL. We need to stop promoting the lie that somehow they are representative of one of the world’s largest religions.”

Paul Ryan is practicing his skeptical pose. He tries tilting his head first to one side, then the other. Now he’s trying a chin stroke. Perhaps he misses his beard.

“If you doubt the United States determination, or mine, just ask Osama Bin Laden. Ask the leader of Al Qaeda in Yemen. Ask the leader of the Benghazi attack.”

He reminds us that US forces saved millions of lives by halting the spread of Ebola in Africa.

Now he’s promoting TPP.  A reminder that he is a corporate centrist, and not a union supporter, in spite of the support unions have given him.

Reminder that he opened relations with Cuba – yes, another accomplishment.

He claims that we are on the verge of ending HIV/AIDS, and wants to do the same with malaria.  Can this possibly be true?

On to the meat of how our politics need to bring out the best, and not the worst, in us.

Trey Gowdy looks like the ghost of David Bowie with acid reflux. He is not feeling this “poltics bring out the best” deal.

A plea to stop targeting Muslims and immigrants.

Up to now, he’s been Reasonable Obama, pleading for sense and rationality from the irrational. Now on to the rhetoric of the Obama we know and voted for. Winding it all up with “We the people”. All of us. A better politics doesn’t mean we agree on everything.

His basic themes of unity and common interest, bipartisanship, the basic decency of the American people.

“Our public life withers when only the most extreme voices get all the attention.” I have no doubt that a President with the gifts of Lincoln or Roosevelt might have managed to bridge the divide. And I’m gonna keep trying to get better, as long as I hold this office.”

“We have to reduce the influence of money in politics”.

“We need to make it easier to vote, not harder. We need to modernize elections. This is America. We want to make it easier for people to participate.”

Changes in our political process – not just who gets elected, but how they get elected, depends on you. (paraphrased)

I’m convinced that Paul Ryan has an itch on the back of his neck, and is trying to scratch it by rolling his head back and forth.

Our future depends on your willingness to uphold your duties as a citizen. To vote, speak out, especially for the weak. Especially for the vulnerable. We need every American to stay active in our public life, not just at election time, so that our public life reflects the decency that I see every day.

Now he’s evoking the diverse American lives  – the student, the teacher, the protester, the police officer, the boss, the worker, etc.

Now he sounds like Walt Whitman, evoking the America we love. Clear-eyed, big-hearted, optimistic that unconditional love will bring us through.

And he’s winding it up.

Well, at the risk of rotten cabbages flung from the left and right, I liked this speech. I’m proud of our President, with all of his shortcomings and might-have beens. I think that he has been a leader who has kept us from going over Bush’s brink, has managed to buy us a little more time to save life on the planet.

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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Guandolo, you fool, I like hummus, not HAMAS….

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

John Guandolo.

John Guandolo.

John Guandolo, professional Muslim-hater, is pumping up the pity party. After his “Understanding the Threat” presentation at the Centennial Gun Club didn’t get quite the attendance he would have liked, he blamed HAMAS. According to Guandolo the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Southern Poverty Law Center, and anyone else who published articles calling him an “Islamophobe”….including me – is working with HAMAS.

Yes, dear readers, your very own middle-aged schoolmarm blogger is now, according to Mr.Guandolo, in league with HAMAS. And I thought I had only expressed a preference for hummus. Because hummus is yummus.

In fact, I did call Guandolo an Islamophobe, which means someone with an irrational fear of Islam. I don’t know how I could have been more precise. However, his headline blared:

UTT Trains Hundreds in Colorado Despite Efforts by Hamas

Guandolo falsely contends that Islamophobia is a capital crime under Sharia law, and that therefore, his life is in danger. He also claims to have called the FBI to defend him from these “threats”, but, alas,

Calls and emails to the FBI by UTT concerning these threats continue to be ignored.

(Perhaps it has something to do with him shagging a witness and getting kicked out of the FBI?)

I never received any confirmation from the Denver Police Department about whether or not they were granting officers inservice credit for attending Mr. Guandolo’s “training” on how to racially profile Muslims. Attorney General Cynthia Coffman never returned my calls or emails, either.

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Denver Police asked to Boycott anti-Muslim “Training” in Centennial

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Denver Police are being asked not to attend an anti-Muslim “Training” session tonight, put on by known bigot and Islamophobe John Guandolo.

RMGO’s flyer for the Centennial Gun Club event August 13-15

CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, put out this press release today:

In an email sent today to a number of Denver-area police departments, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper wrote:

“CAIR formally requests that your department investigate whether or not any officers will take Mr. Guandolo’s training and whether you believe the biased and agenda-driven presentations he offers will be of any benefit to your officers or to the communities they serve.”

Earlier this year, CAIR welcomed the withdrawal of an FBI representative from an event in Texas that was initially sponsored by the anti-Muslim hate group ACT! for America and featured Guandolo.

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners is sponsoring these “training sessions” at the Centennial Gun Club tonight, August 13, 14, and 15. I wrote to Attorney General Cynthia Coffman July 24, asking her to prohibit law enforcement from attending training to learn how to racially profile people, when I published this diary about Guandolo’s event. I never received a reply. Today, I called Denver Police Public Information to find out their response to the CAIR email on indoctrination of their officers. Again, no response. 

Guandolo makes a living spreading hate and fear of Muslims.

Southern Poverty Law Center considers Guandolo to be a spokesperson for hate groups.  Guandolo, kicked out of the FBI for having a sexual affair with a witness, claims that “Muslims do not have First Amendment rights to anything.” Fellow bigot Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy is worried about Somali nationals packing meat in Greeley; At the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, Gaffney said:

I don’t know about you, but it kind of creeps me out that they are getting jobs in the food supply of the United States.

– Southern Poverty Law Center, Disgraced Former FBI Agent….

Four other states – Kansas, Texas, Arizona, and Virginia –  have prohibited these nuts from spreading their views, at least to police officers and public officials on the public’s payroll. Guandolo’s organization certainly is a “hate group”, and should not be spreading anti-Muslim bigotry and racial / religious profiling in Colorado.

Bigots, Birchers, and Islamophobes in Colorado Mainstream Now

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Groups promoting hatred and fear of Muslims, gays, immigrants, unionized workers, and people of color are openly meeting in Colorado. These meetings are being promoted by mainstream Republican activists, and are aimed at influencing policy by informing local law enforcement and legislators of the  “threats” these groups pose. The John Birch Society had an Executive Dinner in Denver July 24.  RMGO is promoting an anti-Muslim training session for law enforcement, community and the public Aug. 13-15.

John Birch Society- the Founding Bigots

The John Birch Society met July 24, at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel in North Denver.  Many mainstream GOP activists planned to attend, according to their Facebook pages. The John Birch Society (JBS) has a long history of racism and religious bigotry in the United States, and was where the Koch Brothers learned how to prey upon the fears of the ignorant.

In the JBS world view, communists are everywhere.

The JBS had its origins in the McCarthy era, as an anti-Communist group.  “Birchers” preached that all Civil Rights Movement leaders and actions were Communist-inspired. My father, an editorial writer for the Post, used to rail about the “Goddamn Birchers” who would oppose every piece of civil rights or anti-poverty legislation in Denver, and tried to suppress his editorials in the 1960s.

Although JBS leadership now wears three-piece suits, and meets at $50 a plate fundraising dinners in nice hotel ballrooms, their messaging has changed very little: “Those people” (leftists, feminists, unionists, environmentalists, gays, Muslims, the UN, Democrats, people of color promoting Obama’s “race war”) are conspiring to take away your American way of life,  and they must be stopped, preferably with a hefty donation to the JBS. 

The JBS contributes heavily to “Right to Work” and other ALEC- generated legislation.  Colorado legislators are rated  on the JBS “Freedom Index”. Rated at 70% or higher: Mike Coffman, Doug Lamborn, Scott Tipton,  Cory Gardner, and Ken Buck . It will be interesting to see which of these Republican politicians attended the JBS dinner.

 John Guandalo: RMGO sponsored workshops August 13-15 on “Understanding the Threat” of the Global Islamic Movement

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Who’s Perry Haney, Again?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Perry Haney, running again to be a “career politician”.

So who is this Perry Haney guy who’s going to challenge Morgan Carroll for the CD6 Democratic nomination?

1. A Chiropractor, who has had his medical license restricted in two different states (IA and CO) because of unnecessary massage therapy, and overcharging patients. Pols, 12/13/1, quoting from the IA board findings.

2. A “moderate Democrat” who has donated $16,000,mostly to Democratic legislators or committees since 2009. He contributed to Scott McInnnis’ run for Governor in ’09. TRACER, contribution search.

3. Someone with no facebook presence at all, as Nancy Cronk noted in the #1 post. He seems to get around to Democratic fundraisers, and is mentioned by others, but has no social media presence of his own. This always raises a red flag for me; I interpret it as the track of someone who doesn’t want to be bound by past history. Facebook search

4. A perennial candidate for CD6,  Perry ran in 2012, and loaned himself $370,000 to do so. Pols, 2/2012 article

5. Haney flirted with the idea of running in CD3 in 2012. He ended up running, then dropping out of the running for CD6 , after he received a campaign finance complaint from Call’s CRCC . Haney had  raised substantial monies without committing himself as a candidate. Pols, Legal briefs on file with FEC.

6. A guy with good credit, apparently, as he took out a $1 million loan to self-finance the CD6 campaign. FEC page for Perry Haney. Morgan Carroll has no finances on file with the FEC as of July 17, 2015.

7. A candidate that Colorado Republicans love to write about (because otherwise, you see, they would have to write about Morgan Carroll). Colorado Peak Politics.

8. A candidate with no identifiable issues or positions, except that he’s “tired of career politicians in Washington”, and “thinks CD6 deserves better”. I agree.  To start with, we need a real Democrat, not just a Republican Lite contender like Perry Haney.