March 13, 2008

Thursday Morning Linkage

First the bias:

After years of Colorado's MSM going on and on about the lingering effects of the drought from 2002, Colorado finally has a year where each basin is above 100%, and the overall snowpack is approximately 130% of the 30 year average. The story? The snow is going to melt (I know, shocking), and that means spring flooding! Nothing like a little MSM sensationalism.

Or perhaps the state's economy. The headline? "Colorado unemployment inches up to 4.2 percent in January." The story? Much, much different. The numbers:
Colorado's unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point to 4.2 percent in January as the labor market weakened slightly, state labor officials said Tuesday.

The number of Coloradans with jobs rose by 14,500 while the number of unemployed rose by 7,100, the state Department of Labor and Employment said. [a net gain of 7,400 jobs]

Total employment in January was 74,000 higher than a year earlier, but about 116,000 couldn't find work, up from about 104,000 a year ago.

"Colorado continues to display modest employment gains in the face of a national economy seemingly on the verge of contraction," said Don Mares, the department director.
The spin is clear--the rest of the country as a whole is not fairing as well, but Colorado is showing only "modest" gains. How about resiliency or, you know, strength?

But that isn't the whole story. Seems the estimated unemployment increases of the final four months of last year were nonexistent, and had to be revised:
The department also said its revised report on 2007 largely erased large increases in unemployment originally reported late last year.

After revision, adjusted unemployment rates stayed essentially flat the final four months of the year.

The department originally reported increases of one-tenth of a percentage point in September and four-tenths in both November and December.

The October rate had showed a decline of two-tenths of a percentage point.

Mares said the state's major labor indicators were mostly positive in 2007, with an average annual jobless rate of 3.8 percent, down from 4.3 percent in 2006.

The 2007 average was the lowest since 2.7 percent in 2000.

Total employment grew by 65,700 last year while the average number of unemployed residents dropped by 11,600.
Compared to the downturn a few years ago following the tech bust and post 9/11 effects, and considering the current oil, currency, and stock market uncertainty, Colorado looks to be doing quite well. Not excellent, but certainly better than a story leading with the unemployment rise (which could also be revised) or a "mostly positive, modest" description.

This one's a few days old, but it looks like the state's greenies and global warmenists are enjoying their time in the sun with Colorado's Democratic controlled House, Senate, and Governorship:
These are happy times for the environmental movement under the dome.

As the legislative session begins its second half this week, every one of the the dozen bills the groups have identified this year as priorities is still on the road to passing.

The bills touch areas of state policy from water use to power generation to wildlife protection. Two are awaiting the signature of the governor, who, by the way, doesn't seem to go a day without mentioning the "new energy economy." That phrase was at least partially created by the environmental community.

Both chambers of the legislature also have "pro-conservation majorities," as the environmentalists put it.

"There are many Democratic constituencies that have influence under the dome," said political analyst Eric Sondermann. "But my perception is that the environmental constituency is first among equals."
Nothing like a little payback from Gov. Ritter.

Has Colorado gone green, imbibing from Al Gore's global warming climate change kool-aid sippy-cup:
Environmental lobbyists say that, after years of getting their bills killed in Republican legislatures, their ideas have gained wider appeal in a world of rising gas prices and greater acknowledgment of climate change. They credit voters for bringing to power the current crop of conservation-minded lawmakers — mostly Democrats but also several environment-friendly Republicans — who in turn have looked favorably upon the environmental agenda.

"It really has been a pretty incredible shift," said Carrie Doyle, the executive director of Colorado Conservation Voters. "I think what's leading this shift are voters' concerns."

Environmental leaders say they also have become more politically skilled in recent years. They work to build coalitions more often, with farmers, ranchers, hunters, fishermen, local elected officials, business owners — anybody who might have an interest in land or water.

They shoot more for incremental change. And they are more willing to compromise on issues to see at least part of their goals enacted.
Incremental change? Translation--back door, Trojan horse approach. Death by a 1000 cuts. Same thing.

There is a cost to all this environmental correctness, as Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, points out, "All of us want to protect the air and the water and the land," Gardner said. "We just don't want to sell Coloradans down the river to get there."

Come on Rep. Gardner. The science is settled. Don't be a big business shilling climate change heretic!

In other news:

In another follow-up to last December's church shootings, Colorado Springs Police release a 450 page report that includes Matthew Murray's angry letter to God.

Democrat State Sen. Chris Romer's I-70 plan, updated with citizen input includes tolls, trucking restrictions, lane reversal, and trip preregistration. Yep, that'll work. Apparently, the bill is not being so well-received, even by members of his own party.

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