March 30, 2007

Colorado Senate Passes Anti-Iraq War Resolution

The Colorado Senate passed a "statement" against troop escalation, in an entirely pointed display of political grandstanding that accomplishes little except putting the state's Democratic delegation on record as opposing the war. As if that was ever in doubt.

It passed along party lines--no surprise there:
The resolution, which now goes to the House, passed on a straight party-line vote, with 20 Democrats in favor and 14 Republicans opposed.
. . .
"The war in Iraq has dragged on for five years," said Sen. Ron Tupa, D-Boulder, co-sponsor of the measure. "Certainly, when we have Colorado lives on the line, it's appropriate for us to weigh in on the issue."
. . .
Littleton Republican Sen. Mike Kopp, an Army veteran who served in the first Gulf War, said he has received letters from soldiers in Iraq who complain that the resolution diminishes their sacrifices.

"We can chose the politics of abandonment or loyalty to our troops," he said.
More quotes (video):
"If you have an opinion in a democracy, you have to say it," said Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon (D-Denver), one of the sponsors of the memorial. "Silence is consent and I don't consent."
. . .
"We are not qualified to opine on force levels," said Sen. Steve Ward (R-Arapahoe County). "We have no particular expertise regarding the need for or against escalation. We are not experts on national security or the tools needed to achieve it."
Jason Bane believes that despite the resolution having absolutely no legal effect, it is important to put into the record that the Colorado legislature opposes the administration's policies.

That would matter if the resolution received unanimous or even broadly bipartisan support. The fact that the resolution was passed entirely on party lines makes it clear that the resolution represents the view of Colorado's Democrats, not the state legislature. A fine but important point of difference.


Education Kerfuffle

"A special place in hell"--Ben DeGrow chronicles the education battles in the legislature.


Tom Tancredo To Make Official White House Bid

Tancredo will formalize his announcement Monday in Iowa on talk radio:
Tancredo's "For A Secure America" exploratory committee surpassed the $1 million mark in fundraising last week, and he said that made it "certainly more likely" he would go forward with a full-fledged candidacy.

The official word is expected to come at 8 a.m. MST Monday, when Tancredo appears on the "Mickelson in the Morning" talk show on AM radio station 1040 WHO in DesMoines. Tancredo already is in Iowa in anticipation of that appearance.
However, Tancredo leaves potential GOP candidates for his CD-6 in the lurch, as he has not made any decision (he doesn't have to, either) on whether or not he will run for his seat in 2008 should he fail in his Presidential aspirations.

Should he wait until later this year, or even after the Super Tuesday primary in early February '08 to make some announcement on reelection, Tancredo ensures a GOP scramble for the primary (if he does not run). Though the seat is considered safe, a late showing by the eventual candidate (except, once again, Tancredo) might make the otherwise large margins a little more expensive and certainly too close for comfort in an election when the GOP is looking to take back seats lost last year.


Churchill Recommendation To President Hank Brown Within Week

Bringing the Ward Churchill debacle one step further, but still potentially months from completion (via PirateBallerina):
According to the policy, if the president and the P&T panel concur that dismissal is warranted, the president would forward the case to the regents for a final decision. If the president does not believe dismissal is warranted -- regardless of the P&T recommendation -- the case would be closed. If the president believes dismissal is warranted but the P&T panel disagrees, the president must return the case to the panel, which has up to 15 days to reconsider its decision and issue a second report to the president. If the president still believes dismissal is warranted, he can then send the matter to the regents, but there is no timeline in the old policy for doing so. Churchill would then have 20 business days -- a full month -- to respond to the president's recommendation in writing and decide whether he wants a hearing with the board. Any action the regents take on the recommendation must be done in public, the policy states.
The description of even one section of the old, arcane removal procedure no doubt spurred calls for the revamped system (100 days) just recently approved.


March 29, 2007

Thursday Link Sweep

Colorado Conservative Project--has the GOP hit bottom yet?

No money for security at the Dems convention? Drunkablog says pay for it yourselves.

Best Destiny explains the excuses offered by Sen. Ken Salazar and Rep. Mark Udall for their votes on "phased redeployment" and "timetables".

Mount Virtus--Colorado Republicans begin Presidential endorsements--Colorado Confidential has the Dems' picks

Musgrave (CD-4) top target of Dems in '08

Democrats propose free college for all low-income students--a "golden ticket."

Sen. Ken Salazar takes on Bush over Iraq War


March 28, 2007

Iraqi Immigrant Sues Tom Tancredo For $5 Million, Claims Defamation

Red meat indeed:
A jailed Iraqi immigrant has sued Rep. Tom Tancredo for $5 million, saying that the congressman defamed him during a controversy over so-called catch- and-release immigration enforcement last year.

The immigrant, Gavan Alkadi, 46, reportedly emigrated to the U.S. at age 15, but has been in legal limbo for the past several years. He faces deportation proceedings prompted by his various brushes with the law.

Colorado Bureau of Investigation records show he has been arrested more than 30 times in Colorado since 1981 on suspicion of offenses that include DUI and assault. Many of those charges were dismissed.

. . .
"U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo had caused Me Mental Stress and No Sleep Because I am always Thinking Why and How I Became his Poaster child," Alkadi wrote in the filing, which includes many spelling and punctuation errors.
So I guess Tancredo can kiss the illegal legal (legal resident--but uncertain status) Iraqi immigrant vote goodbye.

Tancredo an Alkadi last year:
"What prevents our government from doing this - simply repatriating the undesirable alien to his own country of origin, regardless of whether or not the receiving government agrees to accept him?" Trancredo asked in a letter this week to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.
. . .
Between his 2005 deportation order and his release in May, he was also sentenced to two years' probation in Boulder County for drug possession.

"I was shocked to learn recently that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Colorado released a dangerous Iraqi into the community despite his extensive court record," Tancredo wrote.

Rusnok said ICE abided by procedures and court precedents.

Alkadi was detained Tuesday because he failed to report to ICE as required by the conditions of his earlier release, Rusnok said. Tancredo told the News he thinks his letter precipitated the arrest.

Alkadi's case is not unique, according to the federal report. In many cases, countries such as China and Iran impose such onerous documentation and travel requirements that they block the deportees' return, the report said.

Tancredo said it is time for the U.S. to deport them anyway.

"We cannot be a haven for all of these crooks," he told the News.
A criminal who has an uncertain legal status--"legal limbo"--as a resident of the United States is also unwanted back home in Iraq. That sucks.

But what is up with getting arrested 31 times? Even if the charges are dropped--due to lack of evidence or an unwillingness to press charges, it is clear that Alkadi is prone to becoming unhinged. If he is still an Iraqi citizen, he should get a one-way ticket back.

We have enough criminals who are American citizens, and don't need legal immigrants/residents or illegal immigrants doing jobs Americans already do in too large a number. This is one type of diversity America could do without.

Freedom Folks has more daily on crimes that don't happen committed by criminals who aren't here. Legally, that is.


Blog Maintenance: New Trackbacks And Comments

Slapstick Politics now has trackbacks--and a new comments section from Haloscan.

All of the old posts will display previous comments, and links.


The Start Of A Meme--McInnis The Wonder Moderate

Democrats seem eager to paint any forthcoming GOP candidate for Senate--especially Bob Schaffer--as the dreaded "social", "traditionalist" or "ultra" convservative candidate (=evil, of course), while painting Scott McInnis as the friendly "moderate" who was the GOP's only hope for retaining a seat held by the conservative Sen. Wayne Allard.


To make Rep. Mark Udall seem less liberal.

A head-to-head match-up between Schaffer and Udall would be a true test over the political divide in Colorado. Neither candidate can easily be branded with the meaningless "moderate" label--meaningless in the sense that it usually only indicates the ideological position of the person using the term, and is not a helpful characterization of the candidate. For McInnis, this has turn into code for "less socially conservative", which is now being used as the attack on a potential Schaffer run.

It is no surprise that Democrats wish to capitalize on what they perceive as a sudden lurch to the left in American politics, and hope to establish some of their more liberal members as "mainstream" (another word for moderate), and not really "liberal" or the even "progressive". If the American voters truly moved that far to the left, their would be no need to abandon the labels or avoid accepting one's identity as a solid liberal on the issues.

By portraying Udall as a successor to the "moderate" Ken Salazar or Bill Ritter, Dems are appealing to Colorado's independent spirit, unaffiliated voters, and a general disdain for extreme West or East Coast liberalism, outside of the Boulder-Denver-Aspen areas. Demonizing Schaffer with the social conservative label--and therefore the only extremist in the race is both logical and also indicative of the extent to which they believe Udall is weak on his record as a "latte-sipping" Boulder liberal.

Note--the source for the statement that McInnis was the only GOP candidate with a chance to succeed comes from the NY Sun--from a blogger/editor of, a place for a "moderate or a small 'l' libertarian Republican". Perhaps this writer overlooked the Hogan & Hartson lobbying connection that weighed heavily, perhaps more so, on McInnis. The money and the attacks that that job created for McInnis created heavy incentives for him to avoid a costly Senate run. No one doubts that an election would be a tough call, but losing a lucrative position to run for an office that paid less, carried no guarantee of actually being his, and would result in endless bashing through the many variations of the "McLobbyist" theme undoubtedly steered McInnis into the "also-ran" category.

Hotline has some thoughts on Colorado's Senate race.


March 27, 2007

"Festival Of Democracy", Massive Protests Planned For 2008 Denver DNC

Moonbat protestors have dubbed their planned actions a "festival of democracy"--more like carnival of lunacy--and have already called for street theater and riots, turning Denver into Chicago (1968 Democratic Convention):
Plans were unveiled Monday for four days of "massive protests" during the 2008 Democratic National Convention, including a four-day "festival of democracy" that may be held in Civic Center.

But even as plans were laid for protests, concerns were raised about police spying on lawful dissent.

The Recreate 68 Alliance, which includes several groups involved in the annual Columbus Day protests in Denver, said it would work to bring thousands of activists here during the August 2008 gathering.

"You'll see large mass actions similar to the immigration rallies" last spring, predicted Glenn Spagnuolo, of the All Nations Alliance.

Spagnuolo said activists had just begun meeting to plan their actions.

The group wants to sponsor a festival to run during the convention and bring speakers, entertainment and free food to a local park.

"We hope to work with the city to create a festival that will be fun and exciting and peaceful," said Mark Cohen, of the All Nations Alliance.
If recent protests are any indication, the "festival" will be anything but fun, exciting or peaceful. The top concern for the moonbats? Police spying.

Spagnuolo should be familiar to everyone as one of Ward Churchill's lackeys.


Blogs For Borders Video Blogburst 03/27/07

Freedom Folks has this week's edition of the Blogs For Borders Video Blogburst.


March 26, 2007

Monday Link Sweep

The Colorado Index offers its daily Colorado GOP blogger roundup--check them out daily for the most comprehensive sweep in the state.

A new Colorado news digest, Face the State, makes its debut.

The (smoking) ban that won't die.

Ward Churchill: "Actually, I do have black ancestry." (video) Plans to add Asian, Polynesian, and a variety of other ethnicities are also apparently in the works. (update from comments--PirateBallerina was on this a week ago--they have the rest of Churchill's speech)

Tom Tancredo appears to be headed toward a legitimate Presidential run, having hired Bay Buchanan as an advisor, and will not be campaigning for CD-6 in 2008.


Musings: Colorado Political Trends, Senate Speculation

One liberal suggests that Bill Owens is the only candidate that won't cause another GOP self-destruct. Why? He is not a "rightwingnut" conservative like Bob Schaffer.

Political Pale Horse, on the other hand, argues that a Bob Schaffer/Mark Udall showdown will offer Colorado the clear choice between a conservative and a liberal--with the conservative earning the victory. The editorial staff at the Grand Junction Sentinel, however, thinks Scott McInnis was typical of "centrist, Main Street Republicanism" that the GOP needed against the "formidable" Mark Udall. They put in another nod for former Gov. Bill Owens.

An interesting 2007 survey suggests that Colorado's ideological divide along party lines is actually quite stark--conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats--and might explain the tendency for the 2nd largest segment of Colorado's voting population to be unaffiliated independents who might have voting tendencies, but are otherwise estranged from both parties. The most recent numbers for voter registration by party (Feb. 2007):
In fact, in many of the largest counties the unaffiliated bloc constitutes a larger number than at least one of the two parties, and in a place like Boulder County, actually outnumbers registered members of both parties!

Citing the LATimes, one liberal writer notes that the nationwide shift toward the Democratic party signals the death knell for what he dubs "traditional" (fiscal) conservatives, leaving the GOP a party made up of only social conservatives. This ignores the vast majority of Republicans, libertarians and others committed to fiscal conservatism that are horrified by the Bush administration's spending, and would like to see a return to Reagan-era calls for lower taxes and restrained spending policies. An explanation for some Republicans jumping off the GOP bandwagon (and not necessarily switching over to the Democratic side) comes from this perception of fiscal irresponsibility.

The nationwide trend to Democrats could be explained by voter weariness of a Republican majority and President, backlash against the war by unaffiliated independents who at first rallied to the GOP after 9/11, or any other number of causes. The thought that what remains of the GOP is nothing but a socially conservative group of profligate spenders is quite a stretch.


Not All Immigrants On Board With Boycott

Some for economic reasons, others simply unaware of boycott:
Immigrants in Colorado have been asked not to wire funds to relatives in Latin America, not to purchase gasoline, not to eat out for a week.

The economic boycott - to run through next Sunday - is being led by immigrant advocates to call attention to immigrants' economic contributions and to put pressure on policymakers to pass laws that protect those living in the country illegally and provide them with a path to legalization.

Emily Parkey, a spokeswoman with the Colorado Immigrants Rights Coalition, one of the groups leading the boycott, said organizers want to show the state and businesses that immigrants, regardless of their legal status, contribute to the state's economy in the form of sales taxes, their spending and labor.

The effort is similar to a May 1, 2006, boycott, in which thousands participated by marching in cities across Colorado and the United States.

But despite the thousands of fliers distributed in Denver and cities across the state about the boycott, few immigrants seemed aware of it Sunday.
Others note the loss of income, cite the possibility of losing their job, or the ineffectiveness of boycotts as reasons for not joining, even though they express solidarity with the call for immigration reform.

The state of Colorado will no doubt endure this economic boycott unscathed as it is doubtful that enough people will restrain their normal levels of spending to enact any meaningful effect on the economy. Local businesses in smaller towns with large immigrant populations may see a downturn, but it probably will not even approach the type of economic effect that a weather event like the December blizzard had across the state.


March 24, 2007

Denver's César Chávez Parade--"Fair Immigration Reform"

--Denver Post staff writer Elizabeth Aguilera inflated crowd estimates (or was given inflated estimates), reporting that there were 1500 marchers, when in fact the video below contains the entire march, from beginning to end, and passes in less than three minutes, and would give a very liberal estimate of perhaps 400-500. Either the police estimates were way off, or parade organizers generously overinflated their numbers.
--More from the marchers:
Hundreds of immigrants and their supporters marched from the Auraria campus to West High School Saturday to honor Cesar Chavez, and to call for immigration reform.

Chavez was a farm worker who worked tirelessly for migrant worker's rights.

Organizers of the march renewed their call for a one week economic boycott, saying they want to show how big an impact immigrants and their supporters have on the economy.

"We are human beings," said Pilar Carrillo of the group Rights For All People. "We need to be treated with respect and dignity."
The article, of course, does not specify whether or not the immigrants in the march had legal status--if they did, there would be little reason for the march. Chávez himself held little patience for illegal immigrant workers. And who says that immigrants, legal or no, aren't human beings, and should not be treated with respect and dignity? Everyone here should be treated in this manner, regardless of status. Enforcing the laws of the country is in now way a sign of disrespect or dehumanization, despite what the marchers claim.

Denver illegal immigrant activists and open borders advocates called for "fair immigration reform" during their march commemorating César Chávez, to kick off their weeklong state-wide boycott of Colorado businesses to begin tomorrow and end April 1. Turnout was undoubtedly lower due to the constantly falling rain--it was quite chilly--but still about 400 marchers chanted, held signs, made catcalls to police and onlookers. Perhaps learning from the backlash at previous immigration demonstrations, there were almost no Mexican flags, except for one at the very beginning, captured below.

La Raza and the flag of Aztlan were, however, still in attendance, as were several "No human being is illegal" signs.

Marchers chant familiar slogans: ¡Si, Se Puede! and ¡Un pueblo unido, jamas sera vencido!

Stills from the video:

Today we march, tomorrow we vote! (Oops, what's the Mexican flag doing here? Didn't you get the memo?)

"La Raza--Youth Leadership Conference"

César Chávez Peace and Justice Committee (UFW) complete with Aztlan eagle

The Time is Now, Fair Immigration Reform"


March 23, 2007

Anti-Moonbattery At Colorado School, 6th Graders Decide Global Warming Not Man-made

So, Al Gore is not smarter than a 6th grader.

A visit from the profit prophet of doom Al Gore is no doubt in order--didn't these students get the "debate is over" memo?
Humans don’t cause global warming, a jury of sixth graders at Trail Ridge Middle School concluded Thursday after hearing opposing arguments from their peers.

“They’re pretty young for this kind of thinking. They did great,” paleontology teacher Ken Poppe said after the 40-minute “trial” in his classroom.

With Earth’s warming accepted as a tenet, pre-teen “lawyers” and “scientists” debated whether humans have caused it.

Eleven jurors listened intently as prosecutors and defendants flashed contradictory graphs tracking global temperatures, carbon dioxide levels, polar ice cap statistics, volcanic activity and sea surface temperatures — all of which were found Wednesday in the school’s computer lab.
. . .
Ken Poppe said he let students choose which side of the debate to argue. Poppe personally believes global warming is cyclical and not affected by humans, while his Colorado State University student aide David Richards believes the opposite. Both, however, said they presented both sides equally to the students leading up to Thursday’s debate.

“What I think is not the issue. It’s what the students dig up and how they present the case,” Poppe said.

Only one parent questioned Poppe’s decision to hold a global warming debate. That mother expected him to present Al Gore’s global warming movie “An Inconvenient Truth” as indisputable facts, Poppe said. After he explained his neutrality in the classroom, the mom allowed her child to participate in the debate, he said.

“You don’t understand someone’s position until you can argue it to their satisfaction,” Poppe said, quoting a famous physicist. “I don’t believe in Darwinism either, but I can argue it as well as any Darwinist.”
Not a Darwinist? Maybe he is one of those kooky "creationists"--making his double-plus ungood thought crime against the global warming religion consensus all the more sinister.

And what is with giving the students a choice? There is no choice on global warming! The Goreacle said so!

NewsBusters applaudes the students, but notes that the MSM will ignore the story, due to the nature of the debate's outcome:
So much for consensus.

Of course, the most important aspect of this event is likely how the media ignored it. Sure, this is just one middle school in a city outside of Boulder, Colorado, with a total population of 83,000.

However, given the huge attention being paid to global warming, and the Congressional testimony of soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore just days prior, isn’t it rather safe to assume that if the verdict had gone for the AGW believers, this would have been covered as a puff piece by many media outlets?

Can’t you envision Meredith Viera and Matt Lauer getting all gooey over how darling these kids were, and how amazingly clever for their age? And doesn’t this just show how important and dire this issue is, and how clearly settled the debate if a group of sixth-graders can see the truth that the skeptics can't?

Of course, none of that happened because the outcome didn’t fit with the media’s view.

As a result, precious few will know that global warming is indeed being debated -- even by children -- and not everyone is as convinced as the alarmists in the media and their prophet, Al Gore, continue to arrogantly assert.
The leftist moonbats are angry that Poppe, a creationist and "incompetent scumbag" is corrupting the kids' education with "crackpottery".


Schaffer Support Grows

Club For Growth heartily endorses former Rep. Bob Schaffer:
The Club for Growth PAC is pleased to hear that former Representative Bob Schaffer is considering entering the race to succeed retiring Republican Colorado Senator Wayne Allard.

During his three terms in Congress from 1997-2002, Bob Schaffer was a dedicated defender of taxpayers and a strong proponent of lower taxes, limited government, and greater freedom. He even earned the nickname “Honest Bob” for fulfilling his campaign pledge not to serve more than three terms as a U.S. Representative.

The National Taxpayers Union awarded Rep. Schaffer five grades of A for 1997-2001 and a grade of B+ for his final year, ranking him number 31 out of the House of Representatives’ 435 members in 2002. The NTU scorecard is based on every vote that “significantly affects taxes, spending, debt, and regulatory burdens on consumers and taxpayers.” In the same vein, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste gave Rep. Schaffer a lifetime rating of 85 for his six years in Congress, making him a “Taxpayer Hero.”

“I served with Bob Schaffer in the House of Representatives,” Club for Growth President Pat Toomey said, “and I speak from personal experience when I say that Bob Schaffer would be a fantastic addition to the U.S. Senate. In the House of Representatives, he was a committed supporter of free-market principles, and I have no doubt that his support would continue as strongly in the U.S. Senate.”
Bill Armstrong declares "this is Bob's turn":
Former Sen. Bill Armstrong, a Colorado GOP giant who signaled in recent days that he would support Schaffer, said McInnis’s exit would open the door to Schaffer’s best chance at the Senate.

Armstrong’s support is paramount in the state.

“My expectation is that Bob Schaffer will be the nominee and should be the nominee and would have the greatest chance as a Republican to win,” Armstrong said. “This is Bob’s turn; it’s his time.”

After honoring a term-limit pledge in 2002, Schaffer ran in the 2004 Senate primary, losing to beer baron Pete Coors. Coors went on to lose 51–47 to now-Sen. Ken Salazar (D).

McInnis’s broken term-limit pledge and job as a lobbyist have raised questions about his candidacy in GOP circles. Armstrong, for one, is a stickler for term-limit pledges.


Illegal Immigration Activists Select César Chávez Parade To Kick Off Weeklong Statewide Boycott Of Colorado

Piggybacking open borders/illegal immigrant activism--read: amnesty--onto the larger context of "labor struggles" with a statewide boycott of Colorado businesses from March 25-April 1:
The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, or CIRC, and the student group M.E.Ch.A. approached the César Chávez Peace and Justice Committee of Denver and asked to participate in the sixth annual march Saturday.

"Our mission is to promote the work of César Chávez in labor struggles, so there is a connection to other societies," said Ramon Del Castillo, a committee founder and professor at Metropolitan State College of Denver. "The question of labor and wages is a universal human right that we all have, and he promoted that. In the end, César Chávez was a civil-rights activist and not just a union organizer."
. . .
The immigrant groups will be calling for fair immigration reform and will use the event to kick off a week-long economic boycott - Sunday through April 1 - intended to show how much undocumented immigrants and their supporters contribute to the economy, said Julien Ross, coordinator of CIRC.

"César Chávez utilized the boycott through his career, and it's fitting and just that as we honor César Chávez, we will be utilizing one of the tactics that he made so effective," Ross said.
. . .
"It really reminds us that we are flowers from the same garden," Del Castillo said about longtime U.S. Latinos and recent immigrants. "Those of us in this society for two and three and four generations and longer have reaped benefits of that (previous) movement and should use our knowledge for work with the undocumented workers to help them."
As explained before, temporary boycotts like these only result in heightened consumption before and after the target dates, as people stock up or resume their normal habits.

Interesting that they would choose Chávez as a model for helping illegal immigrants--his United Farm Workers opposed illegal immigration and the farmers who employed them, in some cases reporting suspected illegal aliens to the INS.

Anything goes for the moonbat/amnesty solidarity coalition, I guess.

CIRC has a detailed list of upcoming "events".


Ecoterrorists In Denver Setting SUVs Ablaze

--suspect arrested, 6 cases of arson

Grant Barnes was taken into custody near Garfield St. and Bayaud Ave. Thursday night, March 22, 2007. CBS

. . . developing . . .

Earlier reports were vague, but now it appears more likely that SUVs in Denver are being targeted by determined environmentalist moonbats (video):
A normally quiet block in Cherry Creek was awakened early Wednesday morning by an explosion. They heard the wailing sirens of fire engines pulling up outside. And they went to their windows and saw the flames, rising 15 feet into the air from the body of a black SUV parked along the curb.

"You wake up and you see your car burning and you have no response to that," said Chris Dykes. "It's surreal."

More surreal is that Dykes's Hummer H2, parked outside his home on Monroe Street, was one of three vehicles set ablaze in the same neighborhood on the same night.
. . .
Neighbors are suspicious: "My first thought when I saw a Hummer up in flames was: environmentalists, trying to prove a point of some sort," one said.

Three letters, markered onto the driver's door and rear window of Dykes's SUV, could be the calling-card of a group known for using violence to destroy things--like SUVs--deemed to be hazardous to the environment: the Earth Liberation Front, or "E.L.F.".
. . .
But, neighbors, who three weeks ago were warned not to park their cars outside after a slew of tire-slashings, suspect that the incidents are all related.

"This was planned out," said one neighbor who asked not to be identified. "We saw the investigators remove the detonating device from underneath the car. They didn't go to all that trouble just to blow up a car. They wanted SUVs."
Hope the arsonists purchased carbon-offsets/indulgences.

Is this the beginning of a trend?


University of Colorado Regents Expedite Tenure Removal Process--100 Days

Unlike the current firing procedure--a Ward Churchill soap opera lasting more than two years--future misconduct by a tenured professor will result in a process lasting approximately 100 days:
The University of Colorado Board of Regents on Thursday drastically shortened the amount of time it takes to fire a tenured professor, approving what CU officials believe to be one of the quickest faculty-dismissal timelines in the country.

Under the new timeline, the process will take about 100 days. In the past, it could take years for the university to fire a tenured professor for misconduct.

"This will be a model that other universities across the country will look to," Regent Stephen Ludwig said. "That's something we can be proud of."

The new timeline, as well as several other changes CU has made to its tenure processes, is due largely to the controversy surrounding CU-Boulder ethnic-studies professor Ward Churchill, who in an essay compared Sept. 11, 2001, victims to Nazis and who, after a lengthy investigation, was accused of plagiarizing, fabricating and falsifying material in his research and writings.

CU's chancellor at the time, Phil DiStefano, started the process to fire Churchill in June 2006. Churchill's case is still pending, two years after the initial review of his research was launched.
Churchill's legal representation is not amused by the rapid procedure:
In the meantime, Churchill is on paid administrative leave and continuing to draw his $96,000 annual salary. "It should take as long as it takes to be fair," David Lane, Churchill's attorney, said of the new timeline. "You can't put a timeline on fairness. It's more politics from CU."
The faculty, however, is on board with the change:
At their Thursday meeting, CU's regents passed the timeline changes unanimously and with little discussion.
. . .
The 100-day timeline speeds up several steps in the process and eliminates a handful of others after the university president receives the hearing committee's report. Heckler said none of the other universities that the tenure committee studied have such a rapid timeline.

CU-Boulder English professor RL Widmann, the CU faculty- council chair, said university faculty have embraced the tenure changes as a way to improve the university. The speedier timeline received broad support at the council's Feb. 8 meeting, she said.

"These processes are agony for everybody," Widmann said of the firing procedures. "So if we can shorten the timelines, we can reduce the human misery involved."
The University of Colorado can avoid much "human misery" by refusing to hire repugnant academic frauds like Churchill in the future.

Churchill has taken cover from the current procedure, a plodding minefield of endless committees and reviews passing the buck from one bureaucratic nightmare of red tape to another. Continuing to draw a hefty salary while not actually performing any duties typical of a professor--like teaching, for example. In a fast-paced world of constant news updates, two years seems glacial, and no doubt lessens the visibility of a case that was once the rage in the blogosphere and amongst the talking heads and public in general. A Churchill dismissal or absolution now will likely elicit little more than a statement of "good riddance" or a shrug of
"how typical".

Too bad changes like this are undertaken only after the university's reputation has been dragged through the mud and its credibility put through the ringer.


Denver Area Students Skip School, Protest Iraq War

A few hundred students kipping class to protest Iraq (pssssst--the big demonstrations were last weekend, kids):
A couple hundred students from metro-area high schools skipped classes Thursday to gather at the state Capitol to protest the Iraq war.

The students met at the Auraria Campus at 10 a.m., then marched to the west steps of the Capitol, where an hour later they decried the U.S. presence in Iraq, saying that the money spent on the war should be used to fund schools and college scholarships.

"By walking out, we have taken the initiative to get noticed," said 17-year-old Lalito Pacheco, a student at Thornton High School.

The students, some of whom were middle-schoolers, held signs while they cheered on the speakers. Some signs read, "Books not guns," "Impeach Bush" and "They have money for war but they can't educate the poor."
Quote of the day, courtesy of the local moonbat vocational academy:
"It's an imperialist war based on manifest destiny," said Julio Tapia, a student at Emily Griffith Opportunity school.


March 22, 2007

McInnis: Other Viable Candidates Must Unify GOP

Scott McInnis throws out a few more names to add to the list of potential GOP candidates:
There might be other viable candidates, McInnis said.

“If the party can’t unify, they can’t win a statewide race, but if they can unify, they’ll be able to recruit people like Russell George or Rebecca Love Kourlis,” McInnis said.
Both of them would start out with almost zero name recognition, like many of the other potential second tier candidates whose names have been tossed about. McInnis, however, points out the obvious--the GOP's candidate should unify the party, energize the base, draw out the fundraisers, and pump up the volunteers. Even a unanimous candidate will fail if the campaign they run isn't anything short of vigorous, bold, and effective.

Was McInnis pushed out? Unlikely--there might have been pressure to defer to another candidate like Bob Schaffer, but at this point it seems McInnis probably felt he did not have the drive for both a potentially bruising primary (almost inevitable, despite his attempts to avoid one), and an equally tough general election. Hogan & Hartson will provide a rather cozy "fallback", and this is perhaps the most compelling reason McInnis withdrew his candidacy so early.

Democrats believe McInnis was too "moderate" for Colorado's GOP:
State Democratic Party chairwoman Pat Waak said McInnis' decision to withdraw "may give a signal that Colorado Republicans are not interested in moderate candidates."

She said McInnis has a history of voting against a gay marriage ban.

"If that is the reasoning behind his announcement, it is sad that the Republican Party still doesn't understand that the state, and the country, is looking for solutions, not ideologies," Waak said.
In reality, it looks like the Democrats are simply rolling out their campaign tactic of characterizing any of the GOP's potential candidates as "too conservative", and will likely try to push the meme that the "moderate" McInnis was pushed out in favor of more "right-wing" candidates.

If Colorado looks for "moderate" candidates, with Sen. Ken Salazar and Gov. Bill Ritter representing the most "centrist" of Democratic candidates, then what are they doing championing "latte liberal" Rep. Mark Udall (D-People's Republic of Boulder)? Udall's Club for Growth ranking (10%) was the lowest in the state--topping even liberal Rep. Diana DeGette.

(cross posted from Political Avalanche)


March 21, 2007

Official-McInnis Out, Leftists Gloat

That was quick.

It's official--Scott McInnis is out:
Former Congressman Scott McInnis announced today that he will take a pass on the 2008 U.S. Senate race, clearing the way for what could be a wide-open contest for the Republican nomination.

McInnis, who was widely regarded as a front-runner for the GOP nomination, said he will remain involved in politics, but that the contest was not right for his family.
. . .
"My decision is based on doing what is right for Colorado, and ultimately what is right for my family," McInnis said in a release. "I appreciate the warm reception and encouragement that I received from many Coloradans," he said.

"I thank them for the privilege of service they afforded and bestowed upon me for many years. I will look forward to continuing to work with the next generation of leaders to uphold the ideals and values that make Colorado great."
McInnis probably read the "McLobbyist" writing on the wall from the left, and sensed a lack of momentum from state GOP fundraisers and activists.

A departure this early, even before the possibility for a GOP primary became reality, demonstrates the lingering effects of both the 2004 and 2006 elections cycles, both of which saw heated GOP primaries result in general election losses.

It also reflects the likelihood that the 2008 race will hinge largely upon fundraising support and a unified party backing the eventual candidate. The Dems have settled on Rep. Mark Udall, and now the Republicans will have to try to find the best possible candidate over the coming months.

Ben DeGrow
broke the story Monday.

As for alternative candidates like former Rep. Bob Schaffer and AG John Suthers:
Schaffer said he believes voters lurched to the left in 2006 when the GOP lost two key Colorado positions to Democrats, the governorship and a seat in Congress, both of which were open. He said voters may be ready to go the other way next year.

"That's what I'm evaluating, whether the pendulum will swing back to the center, which would give Republicans an advantage," he said.

Nate Strauch, a spokesman for Suthers, said the attorney general also is evaluating the race.

"He hasn't ruled out a run, but he's not in the race at this point," Strauch said.
And the Dem's frontrunner Rep. Mark Udall?
But "I don't think he's invincible," Straayer said. "Wadhams knows how to spell 'Boulder' and he knows how to spell 'liberal."'
So will Colorado by the time the race ends.

MyDD thinks former Rep. Bob Schaffer looks weak in 2008.

DKos suggests that McInnis decided not to lose to Democratic candidate Rep. Mark Udall (D-People's Republic of Boulder).

DownWithTyranny! says Schaffer is a "pawn" of the "religionist right".

The DSCC envisions
McInnis' replacement as woefully behind in fundraising and organization--19 months out.

Plans to launch from ProgressNow, the successor to

ColoradoConfidential cites a lack of political backing, fundraising, high negatives, and an apparently inevitable primary.


2008 Colorado GOP Senate Straw Poll

Who is your first choice to be the Republican candidate to replace Sen. Wayne Allard in 2008?

Vote at Ben's.

Looks like former Rep. Bob Schaffer is in the early lead.


Scott McInnis Out?--Updated and Bumped (Again)

**Update 2
Washington Post appears to confirm McInnis' imminent withdrawal from the race.

The Denver Post says McInnis is "assessing" his options--code for trying to figure out a way to exit the race gracefully:
Republican Scott McInnis said in January that "there was no question" he would run for the U.S. Senate if Wayne Allard decided not to seek re-election.

But two months later, McInnis is still "assessing" a run as the road toward a possible nomination has become bumpier.

Not only does the national political environment still show voter dissatisfaction with Republicans, but GOP backers have paused at some of McInnis' past political decisions and current status as a lobbyist.

Additionally, former Sen. Bill Armstrong, known as the "godfather" of the state GOP, isn't backing him, and has thrown his support behind former U.S. Rep. Bob Schaffer - who hasn't decided whether he is running.

"I have told Scott that I favor Bob and that I think it's Bob's turn," Armstrong said. "Bob has maintained the support of traditional Republican activists. He is the most likely Republican nominee."

Armstrong has strong connections to conservatives, including James Dobson of Focus on the Family, and the Club For Growth.

McInnis has declined all Denver Post requests for interviews over the past few weeks. Neither he nor his spokeswoman returned calls Tuesday.

Although he has formed an exploratory committee - often the first step toward officially running - McInnis now appears less certain than he was two months ago.

"He is continually assessing the environment and getting critical feedback from around the state," his spokeswoman Susan Smith said Monday. "He is exploring whether to get in or out."
ColoradoPols appears ready to confirm that McInnis is out.

Political Pale Horse doubts McInnis will drop out, but notes that anything is possible.

Colorado Confidential also seems skeptical
at a McInnis withdrawal so early in the campaign.

Ben DeGrow at Mount Virtus believes that there is a strong likelihood based on a credible source that former Rep. Scott McInnis will bow out of the race for Sen. Wayne Allard's seat in 2008.

The Colorado Index says that a "major announcement" will be made by a candidate tomorrow.

The news of the National Republican Senatorial Committee's recruitment of Colorado's Attorney General John Suthers certainly opens the possibility.

Should McInnis withdraw, as Ben asks, is it time to draft Bob Schaffer?


March 20, 2007

Senate Democrats Back Bill Allowing Foreign Flags In Colorado Schools On A Permanent Basis

Colorado's Senate Democrats want to change the law, allowing permanent displays of foreign flags, instead of temporary ones:
The Senate voted Monday to relax an earlier law meant to protect the American flag, giving initial backing to a measure that would allow schools and airports to keep banners of other countries on permanent display indoors.
. . .
Under the current law, foreign flags can be displayed only temporarily in public buildings. The bill would allow foreign flags to be permanently displayed inside public buildings as long as the U.S. flag was also included and displayed more prominently, following the federal flag code. Williams said schools and Denver International Airport must periodically move their foreign flags around under the current law in order to make them temporary displays.

Schools already must display a U.S. flag in each classroom, and that wouldn't change under the proposal (House Bill 1050). The revision remove a section that says people who display foreign flags anywhere where they know they could cause a breach of the peace can be charged with a petty offense. That carries a fine of up to $500 and up to six months in jail.

Sen. Lois Tochtrop, D-Northglenn, failed to convince senators to keep that section in. She said it would help protect the American flag from being subordinate to a foreign one.

"I'm just concerned that we want to protect our flag, the flag of the United States of America that many people right now are going through grave danger to protect," Tochtrop said.
The POW-MIA flag is an acceptable allowance, but the overwhelming non-necessity for permanent displays of foreign flags outside of reasonable places like an international airport reinforces the previous criticism of flag displays such as the one from Colorado world geography teacher Eric Hamlin. Why should taxpayer supported public buildings be permitted to display foreign flags on a permanent basis--what possible justification is there?

This move by Senate Democrats comes after the Eric Hamlin flag flap last August, where the teacher argued that pedagogical requirements called for foreign flags to be on display, before revealing the real reason for his flags:
A seventh-grade geography teacher at Carmody Middle School in Lakewood was suspended with pay Wednesday after he refused to take down foreign flags displayed in his classroom.

Eric Hamlin, 36, said the flags of China, Mexico and the United Nations were relevant to the unit on the fundamentals of geography he teaches in the first six weeks of the semester.
. . .
"Since flags are symbols of a nation and the people who live in that nation, if a flag of a foreign nation in a geography class can't be displayed, and only the U.S. flag can be displayed, we're sending the message that America is number one, everything else is below that," Hamlin said.
. . .
"The flags should be able to fly to celebrate diversity," Hamlin said.
The goal is "celebrating diversity" and ensuring that students don't think of America as number one--not the pedagogical excuse of trying to teach world geography. As we wrote last year:
Maps are fundamental to the study of geography. Flags are not. One might convey the entire meaning of a flag in a lesson that last no more than one single class period. Having taught at the university level, items such as flags or other visual materials usually require no more than a few moments of comment, before moving on. You do not learn the geographic position, importance, or "global perspective" of a country by viewing their flag for weeks at a time. "Cultural awareness", Hamlin's term, comes not from constant viewing of flags, but readings and other materials more suited to the study of other countries and cultures. Hamlin is being naive at best, and disingenuous at worst.

His true agenda, however, goes a bit beyond the mere display of flags in the classroom for any didactic purpose. Like Jay Bennish before him, Hamlin has other issues of concern.
The flags in question? A United Nations flag, the flag of China, and this flag:


Blogs For Borders Video Blogburst

Freedom Folks has this week's edition of the Blogs For Borders Video Blogburst.


March 19, 2007

Colorado Springs Iraq War Protest Leads To Arrests

Colorado Springs police to launch internal investigation into the arrests Saturday of 7 protestors at the St. Patrick's Day parade:
While the images are disturbing, Cintron said two citizens have called police headquarters expressing support for the police actions. "They said the officers showed great restraint in handling the protesters," Cintron said.

However, members of tembers of the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission maintain that they were not at the parade to protest, but to peaceably march wearing their green T-shirts, carrying a banner reading "Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission" and holding signs with messages like "Kids Not Bombs." Eric Verlo, the chairman of the PPJPC, had obtained a $15 permit for the group to march.

Shortly after the event began, a parade organizer allegedly called in police to remove the group. At that point, many of them sat down in the street, were subsequently arrested for refusing to disperse, and have alleged brutality at the hands of the police.

Lawsuits to follow?

Colorado Springs' St. Patrick's Day parade marred by "peace" group arrests--protestors suffer injuries (video):
Colorado Springs police arrested several war protesters Saturday after officers blocked them from marching in the city's St. Patrick's Day parade.

The exact number of arrests was not immediately available.

About 35 members of the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission had a permit to march under the name of a business owned by commission chairman Eric Verlo. But organizers asked police to block the group when they saw their anti-war signs.

"I didn't shove him, but he turned around and said, you never touch the back of a police officer," peace activist Esther Kisamore said. "He grabbed my wrist and put it down and he had me on the ground."

Activist Mark Lewis, in an email to CBS4, included pictures of what he said was 80-year-old peace activist Elizabeth Fineron being pushed by a parade official and police.

She was dragged, "Which completely removed her pants," Lewis said in his email. "(There are) wounds to her skin as she lay on the side of the parade route. She is still in the hospital having these wounds treated and the damage to her shoulders."

Parade chairman John O'Donnell said organizers don't allow "social issues" in the parade.
Any guesses as to how long before "police brutality" charges crop up?


Barack Obama Visits Denver

Barack Obama quietly visited the Mile High City Sunday to build support and raise funds. "Obamamania", however, gripped those in attendance, as he was introduced by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. (slideshow)

But perhaps the mere presence of the candidate stumping in Denver 19 months out says more than the typical boilerplate Obama used in addressing his supporters, even as he tried to deal with charges of inexperience (video):
Obama acknowledged critics who say he lacks experience, but he said experience in Washington isn't all it's cracked up to be. He said he has a lot of experience as a state lawmaker working to fix the death penalty, walking the precincts and as a civil rights lawyer.

"I say to them, `Look, I understand I'm a relatively young man. When you say I don't have enough experience, what you really mean is that I haven't been in Washington long enough. I've been in Washington long enough to know Washington needs to change," he told a cheering crowd of hundreds of supporters at the fundraiser at an events center.

Obama said the United States needs a better health care system, better education and a better energy policy. He also said the United States needs to get out of Iraq.

He then appealed for supporters to get out the vote and for help with fundraising, telling them "this campaign is a vehicle for your hopes and dreams."
Candidates like Obama recognize the state's importance not just in terms of electoral votes, but also visibility--as Denver hosts the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Democrats want to lay the foundation for a successful showing at next year's convention; Republicans would like to shore up support in a state many view as vulnerable to a Democratic swing, in spite of its superior number of registered voters. Both parties are courting the unpredictable independent unaffiliateds that populate much of the state.

Colorado--flyover country no longer.

Obama did have something to say regarding the war in Iraq:
But the crowd gave its loudest response when Obama reminded them of his early opposition to the war in Iraq.

"I am proud of the fact that I was against the war in Iraq from the start," he said, adding he is just as proud of co-sponsoring a bill that calls for a gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq by the spring of 2008.

"There are no military solutions to be had in Iraq," Obama said.
"Cut and run" will apparently be Obama's foreign policy.


March 18, 2007

AG John Suthers Courted For Senate Run

ColoradoPols notes Suthers' rather unconvincing win last November in what many thought should be a cake-walk against an underfunded, under-the-radar Fern O'Brien. Apparently that hasn't squelched calls for the AG to mount a primary challenge against former Rep. Scott McInnis:
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said he is being courted to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated in 2008 by Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo.

“I’ve had conversations with people on several levels,” Suthers said. “The (National) Republican Senatorial Committee is obviously very interested in winning this race, making sure that the best possible candidate is in the race.”

Suthers, who has served as Colorado’s attorney general since 2005 and as the state’s U.S. Attorney from 2001 to 2005, said while he is not actively pursuing the seat, he will consider stepping up.

“It’s my impression that no one is gaining a great deal of momentum right now, and I’m keeping my powder dry, as they say in politics,” Suthers said. “So, I haven’t ruled it out, but I haven’t jumped in.”

Asked on Friday if he thought he would make a good candidate, Suthers quickly replied, “Oh, yeah.”

Citing his success in the 2006 election against Democrat Fern O’Brien, Suthers said he knows he could garner support from unaffiliated and Republican voters alike.

“I will tell you this: For us to win, we’ve got to do something Republicans haven’t done very well in Colorado over the last several years, and that’s get a lot of unaffiliated votes,” Suthers said. “And I was one of the few that got a lot of unaffiliated votes this past time.”
Depending on your point of view, Suthers either barely coasted to victory or withstood the nationwide anti-Republican sentiment and proved he had at least the ability to win a state-wide race.

The race for Sen. Wayne Allard's seat will be exponentially more difficult, given the national scope of its importance and intense media scrutiny. He will need to prove that he has the ability to draw the kind of fundraising and support from the base that will bring at least the possibility of victory. Suthers himself notes the importance of the great Colorado unaffiliated bloc--an increasingly unpredictable and available contingent, given the candidates involved and the national mood. For a decade, Republican candidates appeared to be gaining inroads and securing majorities at all state levels only to see a reversal of fortune over the last two election cycles as demoralized Republicans and truly independent unaffiliateds switched over to the Democrats.

That the NRSC is sending feelers out to ascertain interest in campaigning for a seat that former Rep. McInnis has expressed interest in can only underscore a sense of uncertainty in the latter's ability to beat the expected Democratic candidate Rep. Mark Udall (D-People's Republic of Boulder). Perhaps the "McLobbyist" attacks have had some effect already.


Iraq War Parade/Protest In Denver

**Welcome Michelle Malkin readers!
***Updates and bumped, scroll for Denver parade/protest pics and video--
Michelle Malkin--Blogburst: Gathering of Eagles--30,000 strong
Bryan at Hot Air
Hot Air Films--The Gathering of Eagles
Gateway Pundit has coverage of moonbat Cindy Sheehan's drivel, more on the Gathering of Eagles in DC, and anti-war moonbats clashing with police at the Pentagon
And the troops themselves? An “Appeal for Courage”--“to fully support our mission in Iraq and halt any calls for retreat”

So, where's the local coverage?
Thankfully St. Patrick's Day stole the thunder from Denver's protestors, as the Denver Post had only a blurb to describe the events along the Front Range, along with photos that did not include the most moonbatty posters on the scene.

The anti-war movement ain't what it used to be:
In many ways, this is not your father's anti-war movement; but in others, it still very much is.

Internet technology has given even small and disparate anti-war elements the agility to organize and broadcast their message, and even their music. But activists also worry that point- and-click protest has dulled the urgency of takin' it to the streets.

Student involvement, which in many ways defined the anti-war movement during the Vietnam era, has been conspicuous by its relative absence. College kids are more plugged in than ever yet noticeably detached - a circumstance frequently ascribed to the lack of compelling self-interest the draft provided for a previous generation of campus activists.

Consequently, gray-haired protest veterans of Vietnam, nuclear and environmental campaigns dominate the core of today's anti-war movement - "retreads" is the term one longtime Boulder activist half-jokingly invokes.

The number of people at today's "Denver March to the Capitol" numbered approximately 300. A few St. Patrick's Day marchers also joined the protest later, and passing cars provided a redundant cacophony of horns, no doubt chiming in to support the signs calling for Bush's impeachment and an end to the war.

A few of the "sponsors":
Amnesty International, Bread and Roses, Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army, Communties United Against Police Brutality, The Green Party Colorado, International Action Center-Denver, International Socialist Organization, Muslim American Society- Freedom Foundation, PeaceJam, The Revolutionary Anti Imperialist Movement-Denver, Students For A Democratic Society, Veterans For Peace, Weekly Vigils To Impeach Bush, What About Us

"This is what democracy looks like!"

Shareef Aleem, a Ward Churchill sycophant recently acquitted of assault on an officer, calls for impeachment. The crowd's verdict? Guilty!

A view of the gathering protestors, with a monument in honor of Colorado's men and women who proudly served in the armed forces in the foreground.

Trying to drum up some honking horns as cars passed by.

The usual leftist propaganda tables. All on sale, of course.

I guess the Civil War and WWII don't count.

Witches, "Gasholes", and the ubiquitous anti-imperialism, anti-capitalist, anti-American platitudes.

The rally is set to start.

Bush--worse than Bin Laden?

A sign of spring--peace signs in full bloom.

Local Muslims lead the chant "This is what democracy looks like!"

It wouldn't be a protest without papier-mâché puppets, at least these take their inspiration from Picasso's "Guernica".

There weren't many Iraq War "veterans" against the war.

Who would Mohammed bomb?

So Allah doesn't like Mohammed?

The obligatory Palestinian flags, and local "copwatch" observers.

Rallying the passersby.

All good "sheeple" follow, according to the t-shirt.

PS--The only one not to make an appearance at today's "festivities" was Che Guevara. "Workers of the World" and other Communist claptrap did manage to show up--offering their wares for a small price.


March 17, 2007

NREL Funding Increase

To the tune of over $100 million.

That's some budget cut for the National Renewable Energy Lab.

Sen. Ken Salazar touts the funding increase.


March 16, 2007

Another May Day Boycott

Local Denver illegal immigrant activists and open borders advocates have also called for a week-long boycott at the end of March, this boycott appears to be a rehash of last year's May "festivities" (h/t Moonbattery):
Immigrant and worker rights groups called Thursday for an end to raids and deportations of illegal aliens and are planning a May Day boycott to press home their demands.
. . .
Participants in the "Great American Boycott" say they will not shop, work, go to school or participate in any economic activity on May 1, but will instead hold rallies.

The movement's website encourages supporters to join with them "against a common enemy: the U.S. government." Similar campaigns last spring called for pro-immigrant reform.

At a press conference Thursday, speakers from organizations including labor and anti-war groups spoke out against the crackdown.

Bishop Felipe C. Teixeira of the Immigration Pastoral Center in Massachusetts said that the recent raids had shown "the face of racism and discrimination."

"No human being is illegal," Teixeira said. "Together, united, we can defeat the imperialism of the U.S.A."

Emma Lozano of the Chicago immigration-rights group Centro Sin Fronteras suggested that the best way to gain recognition from the government was to use economic power.

"We need to stand up and show them that we will hurt them in their pockets," Lozano said.

"This country has exploited the undocumented labor for over a century and grown rich off of it," she said, adding that "we are not asking for anything, we are demanding our rights."
There is no such thing as a right to be here or in any country illegally. What they are seeking is amnesty, and are ready to paint anyone who opposes them as knuckle-dragging xenophobes.

What else?

Defending/enforcing U.S. laws on immigration=imperialism, racism, and discrimination.

How nice.

Freedom Folks
has more daily on the brave anti-imperialist boycotters.


Casino Smoking Ban Extinguished

**Update--casino smoking ban "snuffed"

Almost--the push for a statewide ban on smoking in all public places still appears to have legs, but exceptions like the casino exemption have strong economic/market factors that provide the necessary legislative resistance to possibly prevent their passage.

What has never made any sense is the totalitarian aspect of smoking bans, given the more dangerous and immediate impact that drinking presents. Alcohol should be and is legally available and is also rightly illegal within the context of driving. Most casino aficionados probably fear an accident in the canyon caused by poor driving conditions or the frequently inebriated drivers, not a puff here and there of second-hand smoke. It's not like it's a shocker that people, God forbid, smoke while drinking and gambling. That's just beyond the pale.


The Post Office Strikes Back

At a mailbox near you:
Thirty years ago, in theaters near and far, far away, a movie opened the imaginations of millions, combining the magic of mythology and special effects to launch the "Star Wars" phenomenon.

A star of those films - the brave little robot R2-D2 - is about to take a turn collecting mail as the Postal Service and Lucasfilm Ltd. commemorate that movie launch.
. . .
About 400 mailboxes will be covered to look like the stout droid. "When you look at a mailbox, the resemblance to R2-D2 is too good to pass up," Bizzotto said.

While postal officials would like people to look for these mailboxes and maybe even drop in a letter, Bizzotto urged people not to tamper with them, noting that's a crime.

Several of the R2 D2 boxes will be in Colorado.

Here are their locations:

- 900 Auraria Parkway on the Auraria campus, Denver

- 299 Fillmore St., on the corner of 3rd and Fillmore, Denver
Co-branding is a popular marketing scheme these days, and using borrowed appeal--the inherent popularity of the Star Wars brand to prop up the USPS' sagging importance in the age of emails, fax, FedEx and UPS--makes a good deal of sense.


A "Super Duper Tuesday" For Colorado?

And a great opportunity to showcase Colorado's nine electoral votes, widely believed to be up-for-grabs in 2008:
Rep. Michael Garcia told 7NEWS he will sponsor legislation to move Colorado's primary from March to Feb. 5. At least 20 other states are considering a similar move.

On Thursday California Gov. Arnold Schwarznegger signed legislation moving that state's primary from June to February.

Political analysts say that for years, candidates have thought of Colorado and California in terms of campaign dollars and not western issues.

Backers of an earlier caucus or primary hope the candidates will spend more time in the region.
. . .
California joins a handful of other states that have already scheduled Feb. 5 primaries. But 15 other states -- including Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Texas -- are considering moving their contests to the same day.
Some are skeptical of the actual amount of candidate attention Colorado will receive from the moved-up primary. At the very least, candidate visits are likely to escalate. Democrats like John Edwards and Bill Richardson have already come calling.

With many states ready to push up their primaries (or caucuses), the ultimate result will simply be a longer campaign schedule for the eventual winner. Anyone who comes in lower than third in such a mega-primary would be unlikely to continue campaigning, as funding shifts to the frontrunners. Only those angling for a shot at VP or with large personal warchests will persist through spring 2008. At this point, late summer conventions appear to be entirely unnecessary for anything more than a televised rally, with each party's candidate predetermined for months.

Modern presidential campaigns costing hundreds of millions of dollars practically necessitate a longer election cycle, complete with earlier candidate announcements, more vigorous jockeying for early fundraising support, and wrangling the all-important endorsements. California, and potentially Colorado, are only now awakening to this reality.

In Colorado, each party's goal will no doubt be to secure volunteer and campaign networks and infrastructure that will lead to victory a very long nine months after the primary. Expect blogs to do a good deal of heavy lifting, both with the partys' overt support and on their own initiative. Bloggers will undoubtedly help shape the pre-primary campaign tone, rallying their fellow voters and party faithful at a time when most Americans will be thinking about the holiday season and tax preparation.


Dick Wadhams' Plan: Paint Colorado Red

First, a little bipartisan love from Dick Wadhams' erstwhile adversary and counterpart, Democrat Mike Stratton.

On a more serious note, Wadhams' intention to return Colorado to the reliably conservative and Republican state it had been for the past decade before the 2006 election appears to be a daunting task, and the message should be simple, he says:
"The campaign and the candidate have to continue to state who they are and what they stand for," Wadhams said. "And they have to be able to do it in terms the voters can understand and rally around."
Seems simple and sounds like common sense. Unfortunately, the past two election cycles have seen Republican candidates either unable or unwilling to take charge in framing the debate or creating an image of what they, and ultimately Republicans, stand for, instead allowing their Democratic opponents to control the messages being heard.

With Wadhams around, this will be much more difficult. Democrats interested in attacking Wadhams--note, not his message, but the standard ad hominem attacks--have called him the heir to Karl Rove, or charged him with all sorts of mudslinging tactics, as if this were something that only GOP candidates committed. From some of the descriptions, one might wonder if in fact his name was actually "Darth" Wadhams. The brilliance of Wadhams comes from keeping Democratic operatives continuously focused on him, rather than the candidate they oppose and their own message.

The importance of staying on message, as former Sen. George Allen learned all too well, or at the very least coming up with a coherent presentation, as failed gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez found out, can mean the difference between a successfully executed campaign and, well, becoming the butt of electoral humor. Gov. Bill Ritter's catchy "Colorado Promise" campaign slogan combined with Beauprez's primary-inspired "Both Ways Bob" moniker provided enough cover for the former DA, shifting all attention onto the Republican candidate in an election year when anyone with an -R after their name was automatically a prime target.

Wadhams' strategy worked well in both of Sen. Wayne Allard's campaigns. Tom Strickland, Allard's Democratic opponent, faced the inescapable "Toxic Tom" and "Lawyer-Lobbyist" appellations that kept him on the defensive and brought Allard to victory. Presented as an ordinary veterinarian and citizen legislator, Allard was able to craft his own message for Colorado voters.

Proof of Wadhams' success? Take a look at former Rep. Scott McInnis, who faces the rhetorically similar "McLobbyist" (he and Strickland work for the same firm) from his Democratic opponents. Or the fact that the state GOP rolled out the red carpet to draft him for state chair. At the very least, the amount of ire from the other side of the aisle should be a great indication of just how formidable Wadhams is believed to be.


March 15, 2007

Winston Churchill Not An Anti-Semite

Actually, Churchill may have been--and very unique for his time--a philo-Semite.

Power Line and historian Martin Gilbert debunk the new alleged Churchill essay.

More debunking
--the article was ghost-written for Churchill and killed.


State Senate Wastes Time On Foreign Policy Resolution Opposing Iraq War

Wasting your tax dollars, that is--the state of Colorado has no authority to take positions on foreign policy (even though places like the People's Republic of Boulder think they do). Individual politicians can blather all they want, but this type of political grandstanding does little to grapple with the state's own issues, something the Democrats have claimed that Republicans neglected for years:
Diggs Brown told people about the progress he saw when he was helping to train a new army, teach English and collect school supplies in Afghanistan.

Gayle Lowe-Kaplan talked about the time her son's Marine unit helped secure an Iraqi town on an election day, when only one villager showed up and an ambush killed one of his friends.

"His convoy was ambushed. He spent three hours alone in the middle of the night with his friend, Sean, whose brains were coming out of his head," she said.

Both testified Wednesday at a state Senate committee hearing on a resolution that criticizes President George W. Bush's decision to send more troops to Iraq. The committee backed the resolution with a party line vote of 3 to 2.

More than 170 people packed the Old Supreme Court at the state Capitol for the hearing. The crowd thinned out as the hearing wore on for about four hours.

Minority Republicans had harsh words for the hearing, with Sen. Andy McElhany of Colorado Springs calling it a "political circus routine."

Colorado and 28 other states are either considering or have passed resolutions or written letters to Congress as part of an organized effort by the New York-based Progressive States Network to pressure the president and Congress to change course.

In Colorado, only Democrats, who hold a 20-15 majority in the Senate, came out in favor of the resolution, sponsored by Sens. Ron Tupa of Boulder and Ken Gordon of Denver.
The Democratic-backed non-binding resolution says a great deal about how the left feels about the state's soldiers and military families.

Of course they will claim it is "for the troops".

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