Friday Funny: Cory Gardner’s Sad, Sad, Sad Joke Fail

This has been the week of debates in Colorado politics, and we've made sure to keep you updated on everything that has been said (and shouldn't have been said). But we didn't want to end the week without a look back at one of the saddest joke attempts we've seen in a debate in a long time. Poor Cory Gardner doesn't even get crickets in response to his joke — just complete silence — in Tuesday's debate at the Denver Post. Kudos to Sen. Mark Udall for keeping a straight face.

We decided not to edit the clip down to the final 20 seconds at the end, because the wait just makes the payoff so much more fail-tastic. If you just can't wait, jump ahead to the :45 second mark. Enjoy:

 

Udall ignored (D) voters, will they ignore him in 2014?

Colorado Senator Mark Udall is up for re-election in 2014. As anyone who follows politics knows, that is right around the corner and the campaign has almost certainly begun. (We can thank Republicans like Karl Rove for the never-ending campaign.)

Riding Barack Obama's coattails 2008, Udall easily won his senate seat:

Obama took six of the 11 Western states, spreading the Democrats' apparent majority inland from the West Coast to include Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico.

Here are the Colorado numbers from 2008:

Obama won with 54% and 1,288,576 votes.


Udall won with 53% and 1,230,994 votes.

(You'll note who got more votes than Mark Udall. This might be a standard occurrence in state votes, but it should not be disregarded in my humble opinion. A vote for Udall was mere millimeters away from a vote for Obama.)

Despite voters' clear mandate in 2008, and the obvious disgust with which they regarded Republicans nationally, our very wise Senator and his partner, both Udall and Michael Bennet, chose to use a tired, old strategy from the 90s: triangulation.

Triangulation has some logic behind it. And when wielded by the greatest politician of his generation, Bill Clinton, it seemed to work like magic. Democrats have been enamored of it since.

But there's a big "but" here that current Democrats in elected office haven't fully taken into account:

The 2008 move to the right by both Udall and Bennet immediately, and purposefully, hampered the ability of our newly elected president to act on his mandate and might've encouraged the historically belligerent behavior of Republicans.

The election is days away. Who will be this year's winner: Republicans, DC Consultants, or Democratic voters?

Reporters again try but again fail to get truth from Gardner on federal “personhood” bill

(Video clips added, here is part 2 of Gardner's debate disaster – promoted by Colorado Pols)

In an article this morning, Fox 31 Denver's Eli Stokols reports that senatorial candidate Cory Gardner shifted last night from repeatedly saying to multiple reporters (as documented in the video above) that there is "no federal personhood bill" to saying, repeatedly, that it's "simply a statement."

Stokols writes:

“The federal act that you are referring to is simply a statement that I believe in life,” Gardner said when asked about the Life Begins at Conception Act by Lynn Bartels.

When Udall repeatedly went back to the issue, Gardner stuck to script, repeating his line that his co-sponsorship of the measure is “simply a statement that I support life.”

Gardner also attempted to separate the House Life at Conception Act, which he signed on as a co-sponsor to last summer, from the nearly identical Senate version, which he claimed not to have seen, and dismissed the notion, pushed by Udall’s campaign, that the legislation could result in banning some forms of birth control.

In countering this nonsense from Gardner, Stokols cites an appeal from Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, explaining that “by legally defining that life begins at conception, — would simply bring the legal definition of “life” in line with the biological definition… in effect overturning Roe v. Wade."

Here's the audio of Paul's brutally honest statement of support for the Life at Conception Act.

(more…)

Gardner’s Debate Disaster, Part 1: Cory’s Health Plan

The Denver Post has posted video clips of a number of key exchanges from last night's pivotal U.S. Senate race debate between Mark Udall and Cory Gardner. We certainly encourage readers to watch the debate in its entirety, but these clips zero in on the most impactful moments–almost all of them major breakdowns for Gardner's central campaign messages. We'll be talking about these clips a lot in the coming days:

Our first clip is of Gardner's refusal last night to divulge details of the health insurance plan he claims was cancelled due to the Affordable Care Act, and for which an "equivalent" replacement was supposedly much higher cost. As we've covered in detail in this space, Gardner's claims are impossible to substantiate based on the experience of others buying insurance from the Colorado health insurance marketplace. FOX 31's Eli Stokols tried valiantly to get the details on Gardner's insurance plan, and was stonewalled in response. Last night, the Denver Post's political news editor Chuck Plunkett pressed Gardner for these same details, and got similar evasive talking points in reply. We're actually quite surprised to see that in the week between Gardner's disastrous interview with Stokols and last night's debate, Gardner didn't come up with some kind of better answer to this very basic question–a question central to Gardner's campaign, as he regularly claims that his experience with Obamacare is what motivated him to run for the U.S. Senate.

Last night, after listening to Gardner recite his boilerplate against Obamacare, Plunkett tried to get back to the question he had originally posed:

CHUCK PLUNKETT: Mr. Gardner, could we take just a few more seconds, and, and we wanted to try to get a specific answer to the question…

(Audience laughter, applause)

PLUNKETT: Why did you redact the portion of the specific plan your family was using?

CORY GARDNER: Because we found a solution, an insurance policy that we liked. That our family liked. The same kind of solution that 340,000 other Coloradans found. 340,000 Coloradans found a health insurance policy that they liked. What Senator Udall promised, is that if you liked your health care plan, you could keep it. He did not say–and what Senator Udall wants to do is to say is this. He wants to say that well, your policy didn't do this, or your policy didn't do that…

PLUNKETT: Mr. Gardner, I'm sorry, we, if you would like to answer the specific question, we have a few more times, a little bit more time…

GARDNER: Well I'm happy to debate the failure of Obamacare, this entire hour if Senator Udall would agree. 

MARK UDALL: Congressman, I think you ought to… (gestures)

GARDNER: Okay, let's do it, if you want to debate…

PLUNKETT: No no, no no but we've got all these question we want to ask, so…

LYNN BARTELS: Cory, hold off.

UDALL: If I might, Chuck I'd like to get a word in here, the Congressman hasn't…

GARDNER: Am I allowed a rebuttal, if he's allowed a rebuttal to this question….

UDALL: The Congressman hasn't answered this question, as you know, and I think he should answer…

BARTELS: Rebut at him, we're trying to get you to answer a specific question. [Pols emphasis]

GARDNER: Well then I'm allowed to rebut.

PLUNKETT: Wait a second, let's get control of the situation here. Every now and then, I will want, or Lynn will want, we'll look at each other and confer to ask a follow-up question if we think a question was answered. That's our prerogative. Sometimes if a candidate doesn't answer a question, that also tells you something about the candidate that voters can know. [Pols emphasis] But right now we're going to move on to…

(Audience laughter)

GARDNER: Now Chuck, I would like to address what you just said.

PLUNKETT: That's not applicable to just you, Mr. Gardner, that would apply to any candidate that doesn't specifically answer a question.

By the end, it was painfully obvious why Gardner won't divulge the details of his pre-Obamacare insurance plan. It's because something in those details would severely undermine the claims he has made. At this point, Gardner has taken almost as much damage from refusing to release these details than he would if he simply admitted he's not being honest–but for obvious reasons, Cory Gardner can't do that. The only thing Gardner can do now is fall back on old talking points, like the highly misleading one about 340,000 Coloradans who "had their health plans cancelled"–debunked by the fact that the rate of uninsured in Colorado has plummeted since Obamacare took effect. The truth is, most of the claims being made about Obamacare today have been debunked by health insurance consumers' own experiences, and simple arithmetic showing the number of uninsured has shrunk not grown.

For anyone who knows even part of the story–a growing number of voters, but especially political insiders in Washington following these races down the stretch–Gardner's credibility is totally destroyed by this exchange. Its damage can only be limited by limiting the number of voters who see it. And if Democrats are on their game, they'll spread this clip far and wide over the next three weeks.

Udall v. Gardner: LIVE BLOG!

Mark Udall, Cory Gardner.

Mark Udall, Cory Gardner.

The Election season rolls on, and so do we. It's time for another LIVE BLOG!!!

We're back at the auditorium of the Denver Post building for a debate for U.S. Senate between Sen. Mark Udall and Congressman Cory Gardner. The crowd is filling in, the coins are being tossed, and it's about to get all Senate-y in here. For those who want to watch the action themselves, check out DenverPost.com for the live feed.

*NOTE: The most current update appears at the top of the page. As always, unless it is in direct quotes, consider all statements paraphrased in the interest of time.


FINAL THOUGHTS
This felt very much like the end of Cory Gardner's campaign for Senate. Gardner came off as childish and petulant, smiling happily at himself whenever he thought of a new one-liner (though unaware that he was the only one laughing). Gardner also appeared ill-prepared and unsure of himself; his consistent refusal to answer questions — even Yes/No questions — absolutely stood out for everyone in the room and will no doubt continue to dog him for the remainder of the campaign. Gardner's ill-timed jokes and indecipherable answers made him look almost disinterested — like a teenager who has grown bored of this "Senate campaign thing."

On the other side, Udall was strong throughout the debate, but he didn't have to work very hard to outshine Gardner when the latter would offer only cliches and platitudes in response to every question. This was a cakewalk for Udall.

Gardner can only hope that the media coverage of this debate comes and goes quickly. If national media pick up on this horrendous performance, pundits around the country will be declaring that Udall has the race well in hand. Gardner entered the room with a shiny gray suit that seemed a little too big on his frame; he left much the same way.

(more…)

Tea Party Express Officially Endorses Cory Gardner for Senate

UPDATE: For the record, this is the same Tea Party Express that enthusiastically backed last year's shutdown of the federal government to stop Obamacare–the same shutdown Cory Gardner insists today he "never supported." Here's what TPE said then:

“Congress can and must use the ‘power of the purse’ to ensure that no more taxpayer dollars can be used to implement this bureaucratic train wreck,” said Tea Party Express Chairman Amy Kremer. “We support the efforts of principled public servants like Mike Lee and Ted Cruz who are giving the President and Senate Democrats a choice: Either continue funding the government without giving one more dime to Obamacare, or shut down the government to prop up an unpopular law that even their supporters admit will not work and cannot be enforced.” [Pols emphasis]

Hey, you know, forget all that.

—–

Gardner-Tea Party Express

All aboard?

Yesterday the Tea Party Express officially announced their endorsement of Republican Cory Gardner for U.S. Senate. From a press release:

Tea Party Express, the nation’s largest Tea Party political action committee, proudly endorses Congressman Cory Gardner for U.S. Senate in Colorado.

Tea Party Express Executive Director Taylor Budowich said, “In 2010, Cory Gardner was elected as part of the bold, Tea Party wave that swept the country. He delivered a promising vision of the future, rooted in conservative-minded reform and policy solutions. He is now taking that vision statewide, and challenging the failed, liberal policies of President Obama and Senator Mark Udall. We are confident in Cory’s resolve to bring common-sense, conservative solutions to the U.S. Senate; we encourage every Coloradan to vote for Cory Gardner on Election Day,” Budowich concluded.

This is not an endorsement that Republicans like Cory Gardner would like you to know about, which is probably why it only shows up on obscure news sites that accept press releases from paid submission companies such as Targeted News Service (no offense intended to those regular readers of InsuranceNewsNet.com). Gardner needs to be seen as a moderate candidate in order to have any hope of defeating incumbent Sen. Mark Udall, and public support from the Tea Party doesn't further that goal; the Tea Party is about as popular as a Raiders' fan at a Broncos' party, as Gallup continues to show.

On the plus side for Gardner, he does also have the official endorsement of Margo:

“As a conservative grass-roots activist, I support Cory because he has uncompromising integrity, he understands Colorado’s priorities and will stand strong to represent our state responsibly while protecting our freedoms in every decision he makes.”

Margo (Co-Developer – Coffee4Conservatives)

Gardner’s Weasely Flip-Flop on Human-Caused Climate Change

Was that what you wanted to hear? Good.

Was that what you wanted to hear? Good.

Politico's James Hohmann reports from yesterday's debate between Sen. Mark Udall and GOP challenger Cory Gardner, moderated by Manu Raju:

“Carbon pollution is real,” said Udall. “We’re prepared to put a price on carbon … I support putting a price on carbon.”

Gardner repeatedly pressed Udall to say what exact price he would put on carbon, but the senator declined. The Republican acknowledged that humans play a role in global warming and said he supports trying to reduce carbon emissions, but he said it cannot be done in a way that kills jobs.

“There is no doubt that pollution contributes to the climate changing around us,” said Gardner… [Pols emphasis]

As Huffington Post's Sabrina Siddiqui notes for the record and our readers know well, that's a big change from what Cory Gardner has said in the past about humanity's impact on global climate change:

Democrats were quick to point out that in January of this year, Gardner voted against an amendment that would have explicitly stated that climate change is real. The measure, which failed to clear the House Energy and Commerce Committee, stated that "Congress accepts the scientific finding of the Environmental Protection Agency (contained in the proposed rule referred to in section 4(2)) that '[g]reenhouse gas (GHG) pollution threatens the American public’s health and welfare by contributing to long-lasting changes in our climate that can have a range of negative effects on human health and the environment."

Gardner also rejected the theory of man-made climate change as a Colorado state representative in 2010. "I think the climate is changing, but I don't believe humans are causing that change to the extent that's been in the news," he said at the time. [Pols emphasis]

Much like when Gardner was caught red-handed lying to voters about his record on renewable energy, we assume there's some kind of semantic interpretation of his exact words that will allow Gardner's campaign to claim this is not the wholesale reversal on this issue it plainly appears to be. When cornered with the fact that the bill Gardner claimed he "cowrote the law to launch our state's green energy industry" had failed to result in a single renewable energy project, you'll recall his campaign responded that the ad says he wrote the bill "to launch," not "that launched" the industry. The tacit admission in their defense that the entire premise of the ad was false didn't even faze the Gardner campaign, and the ad continued to run for weeks afterward. To us, this seems like a very odd way to run for office, but Gardner has kept this race competitive close all summer. So clearly it's a tactic that has worked in the short term.

Unfortunately for Gardner, that only works so many times. With only very few exceptions, the press has stopped buying Gardner's reversals uncritically, and the fact that he's objectively not being honest is finally sticking in the public consciousness. And now, adding climate change to a growing list of issues, Gardner has gifted Democrats the means to defeat him–by living up to the charge that he will say anything to get elected.

Aurora Sentinel Rips Into Gardner in Endorsing Udall

Cory Gardner REJECTED!

Wherein Bill Russell = Newspaper Editorial Boards

As we say every Election Year, we don't attempt to list every newspaper endorsement of every major political race in Colorado. Rather, we keep an eye out for particularly notable endorsements and/or obvious trends. After an initial weekend of newspaper endorsements, one trend has glaringly stood out: By and large, editorial boards of Colorado newspapers apparently believe that Republican Congressman Cory Gardner is, well, a Con Man.

Earlier today we pointed out a key line from the Durango Herald's endorsement of Democratic Sen. Mark Udall:

Gardner’s dogged support for personhood says one of two things about him. Either his position on women’s rights is far out of the Colorado mainstream or the congressman will say anything for a vote.

If you thought that was rough, check out the Aurora Sentinel's no-nonsense editorial endorsement of Udall:

Colorado voters have tough choices to make on this year’s ballot, but the decision for U.S. Senate is clear and easy: Mark Udall.

Even if Republican challenger Cory Gardner were a credible candidate to represent one of the country’s most diverse and dynamic states in the U.S. Senate, Udall has proven himself in the House and Senate that he has all Colorado interests at heart.

Make no mistake, Congressman Gardner is not a credible candidate for the Senate seat. [Pols emphasis] His campaign has been decimated by deceits and distractions. It’s political bait-and-switch at its worse, and Colorado voters can easily see through it…

…We haven’t agreed with Udall on every vote and every position, but we know he can be trusted to make decisions based on thoughtful analysis of impacts on everyone in Colorado. Udall has the integrity to stand behind his votes and his politics, a quality Gardner clearly lacks. [Pols emphasis] We recommend trusting Udall with another term in the Senate.

Yikes!

As we wrote earlier, it's not uncommon for newspapers to write a nice paragraph or two about the non-endorsed candidate, but clearly there is a trend emerging here.

 

CBS/NYT: Udall 45%, Gardner 42%

We didn't want to miss mention of a new poll out this weekend from CBS and the New York Times, showing Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Udall with a three-point lead on Republican Cory Gardner–still well within the poll's +/- 3% margin of error. Here are your toplines:

CO_Senate_Oct

Interestingly, this month's CBS/NYT poll shows the same three-point lead for Udall as last month's, but the number of undecided voters has actually increased by a percentage point. In September, Udall's lead was 46-43%, where today his lead is 45-42%. Small respondent differences can of course easily account for this, but that continues to illustrate how close the race is–and will likely remain all the way down the stretch.

That said, holding this three-point lead is news Team Udall can feel good about, especially when you drill down into the details. Among respondents who are considered "moderates," Udall is winning 52-29. Because moderate voters are once again likely to decide the outcome of elections in Colorado, this is very good news for Udall — and an indicator that voters believe Gardner to be a strongly partisan candidate.

Supreme Court Won’t Take Up Gay Marriage Appeals; Colorado to Begin Issuing Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

POLS UPDATE #4: More reaction, Sen. Mark Udall:

"We are a stronger, better state when all couples are able to publically affirm their shared commitment and responsibilities to one another through marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court's move to let the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision in favor of marriage equality stand is a win for all Coloradans," Udall said. "We should celebrate what this will mean for so many of our friends, family members and neighbors. And while this is an important milestone for our state and for other states around the country impacted today, we still have work to do to ensure equality for Americans nationwide."

Udall has been a vocal advocate of striking down misguided laws that discriminate against committed, married gay couples at both the state and federal levels. Udall last year helped to pass in the U.S. Senate the bipartisan Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would bar employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. However, the U.S. House of Representatives has refused to act on the legislation. He also led the successful effort to repeal the harmful and discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

The Colorado House and Senate majorities in a joint statement:

"The Supreme Court's decision to let the lower-court rulings stand vindicates a lot of work by a lot of people over a lot of years," said Speaker Mark Ferrandino, the House sponsor, with Rep. Sue Schafer (D-Wheat Ridge), of the 2013 Colorado law allowing civil unions for same-sex couples. 

"It's gratifying that this moment came before my time in the legislature ends," the term-limited Speaker Ferrandino said, "but what really matters is that our state and our country will finally offer equal treatment under the law to all loving couples." 

"We knew this day would come," said Sen. Pat Steadman (D-Denver), who with Senate President Pro Tem Lucia Guzman (D-Denver) were the Senate sponsors of the 2013 law. "The only task left for us is to fix the obsolete Colorado laws now on the books and make them constitutional according to the decisions handed down by the courts, particularly the 10th Circuit." 

"The majority of Americans, and a majority of Coloradans, support marriage equality," Sen. Guzman said. "This is about families, and Coloradans know that families are the backbone of a strong, healthy state. This decision provides further opportunity for all families to succeed under the law." 

—–

POLS UPDATE #3: The Denver Post reports that Pueblo County is now issuing same-sex marriage licenses, the first jurisdiction in Colorado to do so after the Supreme Court's action today.

bomarriage

—–

POLS UPDATE #2: Colorado Attorney General John Suthers concedes the obvious. From the Denver Post:

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers on Monday said all 64 county clerks must begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear all appeals on gay marriage bans.

Suthers' announcement is an abrupt and unexpected resolution to the legal battles in Colorado, including the attorney general's previous successful efforts to stop to county clerks from issuing same-sex marriage licenses this past summer…

…"By choosing not to take up the matter, the court has left the 10th Circuit ruling in place," Suthers said in a statement. "We expect the 10th Circuit will issue a final order governing Colorado very shortly. Once the formalities are resolved clerks across the state must begin issuing marriage licenses to all same-sex couples."

—–

POLS UPDATE: Our friends over at "The Fix" sum up today's decision quite nicely:

The Court's ruling (or lack thereof) is expected to extend gay marriage to 30 states — and it's easy to imagine a number of other states will follow suit in seeking legalization since there will be no pending legislation in front of the Court to keep them from doing so. Will there eventually be a challenge to the legality of same sex marriage in front of the Supreme Court? Yes.  Does the makeup of the Court make some difference in how that decision turns out? Also, yes. But, by not acting on the current challenges, the Court has allowed the massive momentum in favor of gay marriage to continue. And not just to continue, but to grow.

Original post follows…

—–

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

What will Colorado's Attorney General do now?

The news out of Washington, DC this morning is that the Supreme Court has denied the appeals from opponents of marriage equality this morning: (AP News blurb). With the announcement, the stays of various Appeals Courts are vacated and gay marriage is now legal in all jurisdictions where appeals courts have found in favor of marriage equality!

AG Suthers said he wanted the courts to wait until a decision was handed down by the Supreme Court. This is the decision: the Appeals Courts are unanimous so far – gay marriage is a fundamental right! Will Suthers abide by the decision and ask for his stays to be lifted so that GLBT couples can join in the celebration of marriage? Or will he continue to delay and obstruct?

Redstate: Women love security, Climate Marchers are Evil, 6/9 of tossup Sen states lean Dem in 10/5 Yougov poll

I like to know what conservative pundits are saying to each other about politics. When conservatives talk to liberals, it tends to be so hostile, condescending, and designed to provoke emotional responses, aka trolling, that it isn’t very useful for discerning actual thinking and points of view. 

Hence, I listen to Redstate’s weekly briefings, and distill them here for you. In this one, Redstate host Aaron Gardner, bloggers Joe Cunningham, Caleb Howe, and Thomas LaDuke discuss national Senate races, agree that Islam is an evil religion, and that the quest to find moderate Arabian allies is futile, and most of all, enjoy mocking and insulting the 400,000 people who participated in the recent Climate Marches.

September 28 Weekly Update

Much of this hour-long chat hosted by Redstate's Aaron Gardner, was about Senate Races. These conservative pundits and bloggers are slightly more upbeat about their chances for taking the Senate this week.

Moe Lane says that Jodi Ernst will win her contest in Iowa, and that GOP will pick up 53 seats in the House. Oh joy.

At 4:46, Cunningham, talking about the Landrieu/ Cassidy LA race, says that “It depends on what magic Sarah Palin can run” -  seriously…

Aaron Gardner says that Colorado is "looking good" for Senate and Governor.  Really? I can see Senate being close, but Governor?

In North Carolina, in spite or perhaps because of their best voter suppression efforts, Kay Hagan is up 3 against her opponent, Tillis.  Hagan's hubby, and Tillis,  took stimulus money, but Hagan's hubby's stimulus-taking is obviously more evil b/c she's a Democrat.

In Arkansas, Cotton is up 7 against his Democratic opponent, Mark Pryor.

A caller named Omar Hasan asked about the war in Syria and Iraq. Aaron Gardner refused to answer his question because he didn't like Hasan's Arabic name, but then, the group spent half of their time discussing a workplace beheading by a Muslim man.

They started to have an interesting discussion about where workplace violence ends and terrorism and hate crimes begin, but derailed into a "Islam is an evil religion with no redeeming social value" diatribe. Yup, that attitude will sure win moderates to your side in the Middle East conflict.

Interestingly, these conservatives are all for a Congressional vote to authorize military force, although they didn’t go so far as to criticize Boehner for not calling for such a vote.

At around 18:00 in the video, Gardner cites a PPP poll to discuss Latino and female voter loyalty to each party in Colorado. He says that Hispanics still like Obama, although they don’t like Obama’s policies??? He also claims that the new “security issue” for women is ISIS. He expects to see women flocking to the GOP side because of fears about ISIS and Ebola. Yes, women are so freaking gullible, we just flock to where a big strongman (or a posturing chickenhawk) makes us feel marginally safer.

 

Redstate bloggers anti-science ideology was on stunning display, as they discussed the recent People’s Climate March.  Note: these bloggers are relatively young men, not old fogies brought up to believe that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. That age would put most of the oil and gas men in Colorado out of work – you need millions of years to compost ancient dinosaurs and plants into gas and oil. So I guess “young Earthers” are the true “No Oil and Gas Jobs in Colorado for you!” proponents. But I digress.

Huckster or Do-Gooder? No other choices for 400K + Climate Marchers

At 44:24, Gardner derides the “hypocrisy” of the Climate March, mocking celebrity leaders such as Leonardo de Caprio, and Robert F Kennedy, Jr.  He especially doesn’t like the statement that “It’s better to vote for a democrat than change your light bulb”. (Realistically, voting for Democrats will likely have more of an impact on mitigating climate change, so this is a true statement.)  Per Gardner: It’s a cult activity, it’s not science.” At 51:00, all the bloggers attack popular cable TV scientist Neil Degrasse Tyson. Tyson has vigorously defended the scientific point of view on climate change, and has come under considerable attack from climate change deniers because of it.

Gardner devotes the next five minutes to quoting someone else to explain that climate change is because of “changing winds”, not any human activity.

Then the bloggers get down to serious namecalling. “These people are evil”. “They are mad,  because they worship the creation, not the creator.” “There are only 2 types of people in the left wing factions: the corrupt huckster leader, and the naïve do-gooder.”

At 59:00, Thomas LaDuke has a strange logical moebius strip explaining away climate change. His “logic” seems to be that dinosaurs lived in a warm climate. Therefore ice caps were smaller. Therefore, global warming wasn’t caused by humans.  So we shouldn’t worry. The dinosaurs survived global warming, and severe climate change, didn’t they? Didn’t they?????  

 

Ask your nearest raptured raptor. But if someone sees you talking into  to your gas tank, blame it on Redstate. Stay tuned.

 

Oct 5, 2014

 Redstate Weekly Briefing  This was a much more scattered and silly Redstate briefing. However,  the conservative panelists analyzed today's Yougov poll, and decided that 6 out of 9 of the tossup states lean Democratic. The rest of the time was spent on a discussion of ISIS, ridiculing the contribution of climate change and drought to ISIS recruitment efforts, and discussing Ebola, leading up to Aaron Gardner warbling "My Ebola" to the tune of "My Shorona". Sensitive way to take impending plague deaths of 20,000 people seriously, Gardner.

According to the latest yougov poll, 46 states are solid Republican, 45 states are leaning Democratic, and the following nine are tossups:

  1. Colorado – Udall is up 3 over Gardner. Redstate's Aaron Gardner is still rooting for Cory G.
  2. Alaska , the Republican is up 3 over Begich
  3. Arkansas Cotton (R) is +4,
  4. Georgia Nunn (Dem) is +1
  5. Iowa – Ernst ("Make 'em squeal") R is up 2 over Braley, but polls differ
  6. Louisiana – Landrieu (D)  is up 4 over Cassidy, but there may be a runoff in December after the general election
  7. KS +10 for Orman, the Independent who will caucus with the Dems. Aaron Gardner, sore loser, calls Pat Robertson, the mainstream R candidate, an "old fool" at 15:00, but remarks, "As long as he votes what we tell him to vote, once he's in there…" to general yuk yuks.
  8. New Hampshire Shaheen (D) is +7 over Scott Brown,
  9. NC Hagan (Dem) is  +1

 

 

 

Gardner Gets Ridiculous: “They are different, they are not the same.”

FRIDAY UPDATE: Cory Gardner earns the dubious honor of Factcheck.org's Whopper of the Week, via Politico:

FACTCHECK.ORG WHOPPER OF THE WEEK: Rep. Cory Gardner, the Republican Senate candidate in Colorado, grabs this week’s honor for insisting “there is no federal personhood bill.” Gardner is a co-sponsor of the Life Begins at Conception Act. The bill would extend “equal protection for the right to life” under the 14th amendment to each “preborn human person,” and defines “human person” from the “moment of fertilization.” It has been described as a “personhood” bill by other cosponsors and anti-abortion groups. During an interview that aired Sunday on a Denver TV station, Gardner was asked why he remains a cosponsor of the federal personhood bill if he no longer supports the state personhood ballot initiative. Gardner repeatedly claimed there isn’t a federal personhood bill. We disagree, as we said in an earlier article called, “A Fight Over Birth Control in Colorado.” http://bit.ly/1yBN4nG

—–

“One is a federal bill, one is a state bill, one’s an amendment to the state constitution with a number of other implications. They are different, they are not the same.”

  — Cory Gardner, trying to explain his Personhood pretzel to the Durango Herald.

Anyone who has followed Colorado's Senate race knows about Rep. Cory Gardner's problem with the Personhood issue (which seeks to ban abortion by changing the definition of life as occurring at "conception"). But for those needing an introduction, here's a brief summary: Not long after he announced his bid for the U.S. Senate in March, Gardner abruptly declared that he was no longer a supporter of the Personhood issue in Colorado, which is on the ballot for a third time in 2014 after getting pummeled at the polls twice before. Gardner remains a co-sponsor of federal legislation called "The Life Begins at Conception Act," which is basically the same thing as the ballot measure in Colorado (don't take our word for it — this has long since been proven to be true).

Yes, everyone HATES Obama. We know.

Sorry, Cory, but the Internet thinks you’re full of shit.

Now, because Gardner has declined to remove his name as a co-sponsor of the federal Personhood bill, he has quite the messaging problem on his hands: How do you convince people that you are opposed to Personhood when you are officially listed as a supporter of a Personhood bill in Congress? Gardner's strategy has been to tell every reporter who asks that "there is no federal Personhood bill," apparently hoping that if he says this often enough, it will magically come true. In an interview with Fox 31 that aired on Sunday, Gardner repeatedly repeated his mantra that "There is no federal Personhood bill" to flabbergasted reporter Eli Stokols. If you missed the clip from that interview, you should definitely take a moment to check it out in all of its absurdity. Gardner has repeated this same line to numerous reporters, from 9News to the Denver Post to MSNBC's "Morning Joe" (this morning, in fact), and he has done it so often that it is tarnishing his credibility on any issue; you can't repeatedly lie about something that is easy for people to research themselves, and then hope that nobody looks at those lies as a very real character flaw.

Perhaps it was inevitable, then, that Gardner would attempt to take his ridiculous Personhood message to new heights of silliness. As Peter Marcus of the Durango Herald writes, Gardner's Personhood story has gone completely off the rails:

Even sponsors of the Colorado personhood effort equate the federal bill to personhood, and Gardner told The Durango Herald, “We wholeheartedly support both.”

FactCheck.org said voters should be aware that Gardner still supports a federal bill that would prompt the same concerns over birth control.

But Gardner insists that he has remained a sponsor of the federal bill because they are different policy proposals.

“They are two different pieces of legislation. Different from a procedural standpoint; from a legislative standpoint. So, they are not the same, and they are completely different,” Gardner told the Herald on Tuesday.

When pressed to highlight the policy differences, Gardner answered, “One is a federal bill, one is a state bill, one’s an amendment to the state constitution with a number of other implications. They are different, they are not the same.” [Pols emphasis]

 

 

 

You can almost picture Gardner as a talking robot with a broken circuit: They are different, they are not the same. They are different, they are not the same. They are different, they are not the same.

At this rate, Gardner is going to start telling reporters that the two Personhood measures are written in different types of font. He's really got nothing left. One is written in Times Roman, one is written in Arial. One is printed on plain copy paper, one is printed on a heavier paper stock. Why can't you understand the difference?!?

The scary thing for Gardner supporters is that his weirdly repetitive responses are transcending the actual issue. He's taken this one issue and used it to define himself as a candidate and a politician — if he were a poker player, this would be Gardner's "tell." You don't even need to understand Personhood to see that Gardner is not being honest, and if he's lying about this…

Wow, That Was Stupid

Brad Dayspring of the NRSC.

Brad Dayspring of the NRSC.

Last Monday, as Democrats were gleefully circulating video of GOP U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner's rough interview with FOX 31's Eli Stokols, Republican surrogates for Gardner were looking for something–anything–with which to change the subject.

As Talking Points Memo reports, they chose poorly:

On Monday, Republican operatives seemed to think they had a bonafide gamechanging gaffe on their hands. In a video debunked by Business Insider, Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) appeared to endorse one of the widely discredited 9/11 conspiracy theories in 2007. “There’s some evidence that were charges planted in the buildings that brought them down," Udall could be quoted as saying — if one were to take him completely out of context, which the Insider report showed he had been.

By the end of the day, even conservative news outlets were ripping the attempted opposition research dump, which was given to the news outlet by a "conservative tipster," as bogus.

The Business Insider story made clear that Udall was simply repeating a question back to an audience member at the town hall he was holding. More than once, he dismissed the allegations. "I’ve seen nothing to suggests that there was that kind of pre-placed charges in the building," he said later in the more complete video.

Still, GOP officials clearly thought they had something. America Rising, a top Republican opposition research PAC, went up quickly with its own analysis titled: "3 Things A U.S. Senator Should Never Say About 9/11." Brad Dayspring, the communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, urged journalists to ask Udall about his alleged "lapse" into trutherism.

The National Republican Senatorial Commitee's spokesman Brad Dayspring appears to be chiefly responsible for this rather brazen attempt to put the words of "9/11 Truthers" into Sen. Mark Udall's mouth, spreading an edited video clip originally posted by the conservative America Rising PAC. This failed with considerable loss of face for Dayspring, as reporters and Democrats chided him for pushing a story that was debunked simply by watching the unedited video. At no time did Udall imply agreement with the questioner, and the words attributed to Udall were actually his repeating the question back to be sure he got it right.

Dayspring himself appears to have a dubious history, having resigned from the office of Rep. Eric Cantor after an "almost physical" altercation with another Cantor staffer. A search for Dayspring turns up lots of stories in which he's accused of wild fabrications and rebuked by fellow Republicans. He also apparently has a thing for "SexyTwitPics"–we suppose he's not alone there.

What Dayspring doesn't appear to have…is integrity. But that doesn't appear to be an impediment to continued employment.

Big Government Republicans go on Offense in Springs

 

Everyone, well, except their own constituents, knows the Republican claim to be against Big Government is a well-planned and executed lie. They're really against any kind of big government that helps the Middle Class, that helps democratize our economy, our civil rights, our infrastructure, or our education system in any way. When it comes to going to war, spying on Americans (tho Obama does get several demerits for this, too), tax breaks for America's largest, most polluting and most profitable industries and corporations it can't ever be big enough.

What with the still-flaccid economy (thanks to their obstructionist brethren in DC), and a bipartisan set of budget cuts to everything, Republicans in Colorado Springs and El Paso County have gone on the offense to maintain our vast military and the local economy's reliance on Big Government, Military Industrial-strength spending:

While Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach and El Paso County Commissioner Amy Lathen may be warring (ha ha, funny.-ed.) over stormwater back home and plotting each other's defeat in next year's mayoral race, they were pulling together at the capital. And while they may be rooting against Gov. John Hickenlooper in the November election, they were working closely with his military team.

Who knew Hick had a military team? 

At stake are as many as 16,000 soldiers and hundreds of airmen who could be cut as part of a Pentagon plan to carve $900 billion from its budget over a decade. The pitch, made to military leaders Tuesday, is that Colorado Springs is a great town that loves its troops and keeping them in the shadow of Pikes Peak makes America safer.

"We are at risk," Bach said. "Everything is on the table."

Exactly as it should be in, ummmm, war. With just the right amount of fear mongering.

The delegation of 13 Pikes Peak region business and community leaders is spending three days in the capital where they plan to lean on Colorado congressional staff member and other key leaders to stave off the cuts. With a new war growing against the Islamic State group, they may find a receptive audience.

Lindsey Graham and John McCain: Mission Accomplished

The prospect of huge losses has energized state and local leaders. The General Assembly this year approved cash for an economic impact study of the military in Colorado and for a lobbying campaign.

The Regional Business Alliance and other local organizations have redoubled their lobbying for military money. In August, the business alliance gathered signatures on 3,600 postcards from locals pledging support for Fort Carson and its soldiers.

County Commissioner Peggy Littleton said a bigger effort is forthcoming. She's pushing for all 64 counties in Colorado to pass resolutions supporting the military.

That much bipartisanship would probably kill me. But just think if we were of one voice in supporting students, our aging bridges, local arts and cultural foundations rather than America's Mighty War Machine? Our economy, and its citizens, would boom. (Ooops, bad analogy.-ed.)

One issue that Air Force leaders told them must be addressed is stormwater, a longtime issue of contention in El Paso County that affects area bases. While military leaders won't endorse a measure on November's ballot to address regional stormwater needs, they said they want the problem addressed, said Andy Merritt, who oversees military issues for the business alliance.

"They want it fixed," Merritt said.

Great. Something Springs's leaders have been struggling with for years, something the anti-tax, Doug-Bruce-iopaths have taken to court, just needs the a-ok from a General officer or two. That Manitou Springs could be washed away any day isn't reason enough to fix this massive problem. Well, they are a bunch of liberal pot smokers anyway. 

Mark Volcheff, vice chairman of the alliance's Military Affairs Council and a retired Air Force major general, said Pentagon leaders won't hesitate to make deep cuts if Congress doesn't come up with more cash for the military.

We can only hope. And Ike must be spinning in his grave.

The interstate highway system has done more for our nation, for far less of an investment, than all the DoD contracts combined have done to stamp out religious extremism around the world. It's too bad we can't see the forest for the trees on this issue. And more napalm to burn it all down won't help in the way those same efforts and investments would help if the money went to bridges, schools and hospitals here rather than blowing those same things up overseas.

(That last sentence needs rewrite!-ed.)

BREAKING: Cory Gardner Has His Own Ken Buck/”Meet the Press” Moment

UPDATE #3: The full interview is now available on Fox 31's website.

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UPDATE #2: Watch Cory Gardner's complete refusal to back up dubious claims about his "cancelled" insurance policy:

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UPDATE: Watch the full devastating exchange between Eli Stokols and Cory Gardner on contraception and abortion rights:

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Cory Gardner FAIL

Rep. Cory Gardner, left, talking to Fox 31 reporter Eli Stokols.

In mid-October 2010, Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet and Republican challenger Ken Buck had a nationally-televised Sunday "debate" on "Meet the Press" — an appearance that proved disastrous for Buck's campaign.

Did history just repeat itself?

Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner appeared Sunday morning on Fox 31's #COPolitics interview show with Eli Stokols, and while he wasn't quite as awful as Buck on that fateful day in 2010…Gardner was bad enough that he may have just mortally wounded his campaign. We'll update this post with a link to the interview as soon as the video is available online, but here's what everyone will be talking about this week (and beyond):

Gardner was asked repeatedly by Stokols to clarify his story surrounding his family's health care coverage (a story sparked by Gardner waving his family's insurance letter at a hearing in front of then-Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius) and refused to provide details even after several questions from Stokols. Gardner has faced questions before about his pre-Obamacare health care coverage, but in front of Stokols he squirmed, dodged, and tried to attack Sen. Mark Udall whenever he was asked for more information. Stokols noted that Fox 31 asked earlier this summer for copies of Gardner's pay-stubs to prove the Congressman's claims that he had no other health insurance other than his mystery $650-per month family health coverage; when pressed about why his office would not provide that information, Gardner went back to attacking Udall.

It would have been difficult for Gardner to have looked less believable in his responses. We'd guess there will be more than one reporter who starts taking a new look at Gardner's insurance claims after this debacle.

Gardner also dug himself deeper (who would have thought that possible?) on his flip-flopping on the Personhood issue. At one point in the interview, Gardner says, "There is no Federal Personhood bill. There is no Federal Personhood bill." Stokols eventually responds by asking Gardner if he really thinks he can make the issue go away by just saying "there is no Federal Personhood bill," to which a flustered Gardner has no response. Gardner later takes his Personhood lie even further by stating, "I do not support legislation that would ban birth control — that's crazy."

The entire interview is really a doozy. Stokols, to his credit, tries very hard to get clear answers to straightforward questions, while Gardner tries very hard to do anything other than answer those questions; to anyone watching, it is very clear what is happening. Clips of this interview will no doubt be looped repeatedly from now until November.