June 30, 2008

FBI Agents To Descend On Denver During DNC

No specific number, but it will be large:
"Hundreds" of FBI agents will be in Denver during the Democratic National Convention, according to James Davis, the FBI special agent in charge of the Denver field division that oversees Colorado and Wyoming.

The FBI is "responsible for gathering intelligence on, primarily terrorist activity, any possible terrorist activity with regard to the convention, and make sure we get that intelligence to our partner agencies so they can be prepared," according to a "Colorado Matters" interview that aired today on Colorado Public Radio. The audio is available here.

Davis also said that, "We don't have any information right now about any credible threat to the convention on a terrorist level."

Host Ryan Warner asked about the number of additional FBI agents that will be in town.

"I don't want to say exactly how many, but I can tell you that it's in the hundreds," replied Davis.
Convention protestors will be particular tuned in to this segment:
Earlier in the interview, regarding the possibility of disruptive protests at the convention, Davis said the FBI is looking at "tactics and groups similar to what we've seen in conventions in the past and other major meetings" such as "blockage of streets and attempts to disrupt traffic flows, that sort of thing."

Davis would not say whether undercover FBI agents have joined protests groups or attended their meetings.

More generally, Davis acknowledged the possibility the convention could draw criminal activity - and that law enforcement partner agencies were aware of that.

"Criminals are smart enough to recognize that law enforcement is going to be very busy during that time. General crimes, things that occur regularly, are more attractive - I think - to criminals at that time when they know that police are going to be heavily otherwise occupied."

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DNC Protest Groups File Bigger Lawsuit, Seek More Concessions

Give 'em an inch:
Groups wanting to protest at the Democratic National Convention filed new court challenges to Denver and the Secret Service's rules governing protests and parades, saying they violate the public's right to free speech.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents 13 protest groups, has filed an amended complaint in federal court asking U.S. District Judge Marcia S. Krieger to order the city and Secret Service to make changes.
What are the protestors seeking?

Glad you asked:
Move the "public demonstration zone," a fenced area where groups would be allowed to protest, to be within sight and sound of delegates entering the Pepsi Center.

The zone is currently planned for a corner of Lot A, or VIP parking, farthest from the Pepsi Center entrance.

"No human voice, or any other sound ... can ever hope to reach a person at the entrance to the Pepsi Center from inside the Public Demonstration Zone," the ACLU wrote in court documents.
No sound perhaps, but the wafting patchouli/body odor might be overwhelming. Believe me, the delegates will know the protestors are there.

Allow protesters to hand out leaflets to delegates or others attending the convention who are within the "hard security zone," or secured perimeter, of the Pepsi Center. The city has said this will not be allowed, according to the ACLU lawsuit.
Nope. Security concerns aside, leaflets aren't "green." Come on protestors, get on the "green" bandwagon!
Allow parades to pass near the Pepsi Center and at times when delegates are present.

The city's approved parade route runs from near Civic Center, west on Colfax Avenue and north on Speer Boulevard, and ends at Seventh Street and Auraria Parkway, which is the entry and exit point for the public demonstration zone in Parking Lot A.

It does not include Chopper Circle or Ninth Street, as the protest groups want.

The city is allowing parades only between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Convention organizers have said delegates will arrive at the Pepsi Center around 3 p.m. each day.
Unlikely, though corraling thousands of protestors left over from the afternoon parades into the small public demonstration zone in Lot A or getting them to disperse before the Pepsi Center will be a tall task.
Approve alternate parade routes for two groups. One group wants to hold an immigration parade that would start at 29th Street and Speer and run south to Sunken Gardens park. The other wants to march from Civic Center to the federal courthouse at 18th and Stout Streets to urge the release of political prisoners. The city has denied both requests.

City officials and the Secret Service have said they must balance the rights of people to express themselves with the need for security during the DNC, scheduled for Aug. 25 to 28.

They insist the public will still have ample opportunity to communicate with the delegates and others attending the convention.

Krieger has scheduled an all-day hearing for July 29 to consider the ACLU's requests.
Protestors want "Parade-A-Palooza" and the city has bent over backwards allowing at least SIXTEEN hours of parades during the four days of the convention. That is all, apparently, not enough.

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Democratic National Convention Countdown, No. 61-56

Democratic National Convention Daily Digest and Open Thread
Wednesday June 25-Monday June 30, 2008--No. 61-56

Featured story:

DNC protestors have filed an even bigger lawsuit, seeking additional concessions from the city.

Monday June 30

More on the ACLU lawsuit and security fence around protestors at the DNC:
The fence around the public demonstration zone outside the Democratic National Convention will be chicken wire or chain link, authorities revealed in U.S. District Court today.

That may allow protestors to be seen and heard by delegates going in and out of the Pepsi Center during the convention.

But the American Civil Liberties Union and several advocacy groups have filed an amended complaint to their lawsuit against the U.S. Secret Service and the city and county of Denver that says protestors and demonstrators may have their First Amendment rights violated by security restrictions.

Hillary Clinton will decide if, when Bill Clinton will speak at the DNC.

Sunday June 29

•Careful where you take those photos--181 "terrorist liaison officers" are watching for suspicious activity, including shooting photos and video with "no apparent aesthetic value" (which would be true of all coverage of moonbats)--and will, no doubt, be in operation during the DNC:
Future terrorism "is going to be noticed earliest at the most local level," said Robert Riegle, director of state and local programs for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Washington.

Civil liberties watchdogs warn of unprecedented new threats to privacy.

"The problem is, you're drafting individuals whose job isn't law enforcement to spy on ordinary Americans and report their activities to the government," said John Verdi, director of the open-government project at the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

In Colorado, TLOs report not only illegal but legal activity, such as bulk purchases along Colorado's Front Range of up to 150 disposable cellphones. TLO supervisors said these bulk buys were suspicious because similar phones are used as remote detonators for bombs overseas and can be re-sold to fund terrorism.

Taking photos or videos can be deemed suspicious because "surveillance is a precursor to terrorist activity," said Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Steve Garcia, an analyst in Colorado's intelligence fusion center south of Denver, which handles TLO-supplied information.
Rocky Mountain News--city should hold Tent State to the 11 conditions set forth in its "conditional" permit to hang out in City Park:
Denver needs to take a firm stand in negotiations with the anti-war group Tent State University.

The student-run organization recently received a conditional assembly permit to bring potentially thousands of protesters to Denver and set up a tent city in a corner of City Park during the Democratic National Convention. But one of their leaders seems less than thoroughly committed to abiding by the terms of the deal.

How many protesters might participate isn't clear. The permit sets aside space to accommodate 20,000, but Tent State organizer Adam Jung says he wants to bring 50,000 here. Such talk may be nothing more than PR, but that's why as negotiations move forward, "conditional" is the term to remember.

The city expects - as it should - the Tent Staters to abide by all 11 conditions set forth by the Parks and Recreation Department in an order it issued June 20.

Among them: No camping. No alcohol. Get the approval of neighborhood associations, the Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Make sure PA systems for music and other performances don't disturb the neighbors. Provide portable toilets, drinking water and trash collection for the site.

In other words, satisfy the same expectations any group hoping to bring a large number of people to occupy a major portion of a Denver park would have to meet.

We're not confident Tent State can meet those goals. Indeed, Jung told the Rocky that he hopes for flexibility. Perhaps the city could provide outhouses and churches and nearby residents could offer their showers, he said. As for camping, which is prohibited by ordinance in City Park: "If we have to figure out a way to remove all of these people at 10 or 11 at night," Jung said, "it becomes very problematic."

Saturday June 28


Drunkablog--apparently not even DNC delegates are buying into the convention's moonbatty "carbon credit challenge."

Drunkablog--AP's writers can't count; Recreate '68 still "not exclusionary" despite everyone's reluctance to discuss the group or plans for the DNC (and everyone has a "little bit of magic inside them" according to R 68's Glenn Spagnuolo--oh, and fluffy bunnies, colorful rainbows, and unicorns)

Friday June 27

Barack Obama responds to Ralph Nader's comments; rules for Denver city workers released--what they can and can't do during the DNC; Denver cabbies promise "smooth ride" for DNC.


Drunkablog's daily DNC roundup--non-credentialed DNC bloggers will have a second opportunity to rub elbows with the high and mighty in the Leftosphere--including Kos--at "The Big Tent"; MSM types are quite unhappy about their proximity to the unwashed masses of protestors in Lot A next to the Pepsi Center; some moonbats are worried about CIA plants and government infiltration into groups like Recreate '68 for the purpose of promoting violence and discrediting the protestors; the Colorado delegation to the DNC has a little politically correct quota management to take care of--wait for it--too many men!

More on "The Big Tent"; proximity of protestors and MSM types (including pictures, maps); DNC "podium guy" retires.

Thursday June 26

•While the DNC has been bombarded with volunteers in Denver, the RNC is having some difficulty rounding up volunteers in Minnesota.

Ralph Nader: Obama trying to "talk white."


•Drunkablog--no "pointed sticks," gas masks, projectile launchers, or, um, "giant puppets" in Arapahoe County, with possible plans to extend a similar prohibition in Denver for the convention; Denver submits to ACLU's request releases a "redacted" copy of its inmate torture handbook jail manual.

Drunkablog's daily DNC roundup--you can have organic or unionized products at the DNC, but not both.

DNC "Convention Captains" announced.

Denver Congresscritter Diana DeGette launches series of online videos--"Denver's Finest"--to assist attendees and delegates to the DNC.

Wednesday June 25

Barack Obama's sister stumped for the Dems' candidate in Denver.


Drunkablog's daily DNC roundup--Tent State's leader is just a humble Missouri farm boy; the city will be getting $50 million from the Feds to offset security costs (including some very specialized equipment; and more on the "cultural events" planned for the convention.

More on the $50 million for DNC security (it took Boston 2 years to be reimbursed).

All previous Daily Digests can be found here.

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Guest Column: Supreme Court Unleashes Legal Beast To Trouble Colorado's 2nd District

By Julian Dunraven, J.D., M.P.A.

I have never liked campaign finance reform laws. The notion that one can take the influence of money completely out of politics seems, at best, woefully naive and, at worst, ridiculously absurd. Nonetheless, in so many ways our lawmakers and activists continue to try. After they finish attempting to put all sorts of fetters on the evil beast of our political system, the Supreme Court inevitably comes by and proceeds to cut about half the restraints. Of course, this simply creates a very angry beast that has to lurch clumsily about using only one leg and one arm. And people wonder why campaign regulations are always such a disaster. Well, the Supreme Court has, yet again, taken its judicial scissors to the latest Congressional fetter: the Millionaire Amendment of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA). And yes, the beast is already crashing about angrily.

Let me try to sum up the bizarre laws at issue in very brief terms. Between the meddling of Congress and the stilted reasoning of the Court, the government may impose limits on how much money people may contribute to any given campaign, but not on how much money the campaigns can spend. Also, there is no limit to how much an individual candidate can contribute to his campaign. The reason for this is that money is speech. Contributions may be limited because they still express the message of support for a candidate but, in being limited, also prevent corruption or the appearance thereof. However, the candidate is free to use as much of his own speech/money to promote his cause as he wants. To limit that would be to limit his speech too directly.

Naturally, this creates an advantage for rich candidates. They can spend their own money without limit while a poorer candidate, who may have rich friends, cannot get as much money out of those friends because of the campaign contribution limits. Thus, Congress passed the so called Millionaire Amendment so that if a rich candidate used enough of his own money, the contribution limits for the poorer candidate would be near tripled while the contribution limits for the richer candidate would remain the same. This would continue until the two candidates had eliminated the financial difference between them.

Now, though, Justice Alito, writing for the majority, has declared in Davis v. Federal Election Commission that this balancing scheme is unconstitutional. Apparently, this imbalance does not directly limit speech, but creates a substantial penalty for a rich candidate who chooses to exercise his right to speech robustly (i.e. spend a lot of his own money and trigger the provisions of the amendment). Thus, the Court has declared that the law must go.

Naturally, the government has objected that this means that rich candidates will once again have a huge advantage in elections given the contribution limits. The Court is aware of this. However, Justice Alito reminds us all that it was Congress who created this problem in the first place with its bizarre attempts to regulate campaign contributions. Congress also has the power to fix this situation. He recommends:
If the normally applicable limits on individual contributions and coordi nated party contributions are seriously distorting the electoral process, if they are feeding a “public perception that wealthy people can buy seats in Congress,” Brief for Appellee 34, and if those limits are not needed in order to combat corruption, then the obvious remedy is to raise or eliminate those limits. But the unprecedented step of imposing different contribution and coordinated party expenditure limits on candidates vying for the same seat is antithetical to the First Amendment.
In my own humble opinion, Congress would be well advised to adopt Justice Kennedy’s recommendations from his dissenting opinion in Nixon v. Shrink Missouri Government PAC, 528 U.S. 377 (2000). He pointed out that all of these attempts to limit the flow of money just serve to create problems or push it underground where there is virtually no accountability or transparency (such as 527 groups). Thus, he suggests that, rather than limiting contributions or expenditures, Congress should simply require that all contributions be reported and made public. Certainly, the internet is more than capable of providing instant access to this information for anyone who wants to know. In that way, the public could judge for themselves whether a candidate was too beholden to any particular donor or interest group and vote accordingly. Now there is a novel thought: trusting the voters to make decisions themselves.

For those of you interested in what the dissent had to say, Justice Stevens seems to think there is nothing at all wrong with this imbalanced scheme. Indeed, he goes so far as to contend that Congress should limit both contributions and expenditures. It seems he feels that if the campaigns were forced to spend less, then the quality of their message would be forced to improve and he would not have to ensure watching so many of these annoying and repetitious political advertisements on television any longer. It is rare that a Justice so plainly expresses his personal opinions and tastes as a matter of law. Preventing the Court from being populated by others who feel at liberty to do so may be the single most important reason to elect John McCain as our next president—despite the fact that he is partially responsible for saddling us with these nightmarish campaign laws in the first place.

In the meantime, we shall watch the beast of our current system flail about in the 2nd Congressional district where the millionaire idiot author of Colorado’s ethics debacle, Jared Polis, just triggered the now unconstitutional amendment and his opponents, Joan Fitz-Gerald and Will Shafroth, are left without the benefit of the increased contribution limits it would have provided them.

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Colorado Senate 2008: Schaffer/Udall Updates

At Schaffer v Udall, a Rocky Mountain Alliance 2.0 project, you'll find out:

Why Mark Udall welched on an online debate to be co-moderated by SvU and liberal blogger and all-around stand-up guy David Thielen (one of the few), after Bob Schaffer had already agreed to the blog-centric showdown.

How you can submit questions to the candidates for their first televised debate on July 14.

•What the connection is between Mark Udall's wife and a group launching attacks on her husband's Senate rival.

Where Udall really stands on gun control--before he was against it.
Blogger Ross Kaminsky of Rossputin.com has unraveled the early attacks on Bob Schaffer in a series of posts:
This is the first in a series of articles responding to three front-page articles in the Denver Post by reporter Michael Riley which attack former Congressman and current Senate candidate Bob Schaffer for a fact-finding trip Schaffer took to the Northern Marianas Islands (“CNMI”) in 1999.
Ross is up to part 6--here are the links:
Part 1

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Blogs4Borders Video Blogburst 063008

Freedom Folks has this week's edition of Blogs4Borders.

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June 28, 2008

Guest Column: On Heller

**Note--this should have been posted yesterday, but was left as a "draft" (and that's why it starts out with "Today")--EP

Today, virtually every newspaper and broadcaster across the nation has been trumpeting the news that we have a newly expressed fundamental freedom: an individual right to keep and bear arms, courtesy of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in The District of Columbia v. Heller. If you woke up this morning breathing a bit easier and feeling a little more free, that is why. What every article and story will tell you is that the Court struck down the D.C. handgun ban. However, most stories seem to be missing two important points: the opinion was quite funny, and it went a lot further than people seem to be grasping.

Justice Scalia wrote for the majority. To read his opinion is to be transported back to grade school, listening to your teacher patiently instruct you on basic grammar. If you ever wondered what use it was to learn all those annoying rules governing punctuation, Scalia will be happy to explain how one of your basic rights rests upon the use of three commas in the Second Amendment.

The amendment reads: "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Throughout, the opinion, Scalia expounds on the use of those commas, the differences between prefatory and operative clauses, and even goes so far as to dissect and rearrange the Amendment as a grammar school teacher might demonstrate to his students while diagramming sentences. Remember those sentence diagrams? He then instructs us as to the differences between singular and plural, the use of verbs and their objects, modifiers, prepositions, and idiomatic usage. English teachers everywhere should be rejoicing.

In the footnotes, scattered throughout, one can imagine that Teacher Scalia has just been interrupted during lecture by a question from a student-a particularly annoying little boy who bears a strong resemblance to a miniature Justice Stevens. Scalia, like any good teacher, generally responds by patiently explaining why his pupil's assumptions are mistaken. Occasionally though, like all good teachers driven to distraction by particularly annoying students, Scalia offers a sharp rebuke, openly speculating as to whether Justice Stevens might have leapt through the looking glass to study law with the Mad Hatter. He also describes Stevens' grasp of the English language as "dead wrong," "an absurdity," and "grotesque." Judging from Scalia's remarks, by the time I got to the dissent I was expecting to find near illiterate ravings.

For example, here is a small sample of the opinion as Scalia responded to Stevens' contention that "bear arms" did not just mean "to carry weapons or armor" but "to carry weapons in a military context."
In any event, the meaning of "bear arms" that petitioners and JUSTICE STEVENS propose is not even the (sometimes) idiomatic meaning. Rather, they manufacture a hybrid definition, whereby "bear arms" connotes the actual carrying of arms (and therefore is not really an idiom) but only in the service of an organized militia. No dictionary has ever adopted that definition, and we have been apprised of no source that indicates that it carried that meaning at the time of the founding. But it is easy to see why petitioners and the dissent are driven to the hybrid definition. Giving "bear Arms" its idiomatic meaning would cause the protected right to consist of the right to be a soldier or to wage war--an absurdity that no commentator has ever endorsed. See L. Levy, Origins of the Bill of Rights 135 (1999). Worse still, the phrase "keep and bear Arms" would be incoherent. The word "Arms" would have two different meanings at once: "weapons" (as the object of "keep") and (as the object of "bear") one-half of an idiom. It would be rather like saying "He filled and kicked the bucket" to mean "He filled the bucket and died." Grotesque.
He also remarks that:
A purposive qualifying phrase that contradicts the word or phrase it modifies is unknown this side of the looking glass (except, apparently, in some courses on Linguistics). If “bear arms” means, as we think, simply the carrying of arms, a modifier can limit the purpose of the carriage (“for the purpose of selfdefense” or “to make war against the King”). But if “bear arms” means, as the petitioners and the dissent think, the carrying of arms only for military purposes, one simply cannot add “for the purpose of killing game.” The right “to carry arms in the militia for the purpose of killing game” is worthy of the mad hatter.
In any case, Scalia manages to save the English language from being tortured and ravaged by Justice Stevens. As a result, we now have a solidly expressed individual right to keep and bear arms defined by a most amusing opinion. We have quite a bit more than that too.

Most articles are reporting that Scalia's opinion preserves gun control laws regarding schools, certain public places, and bans on automatic weapons. This is not precisely true. The opinion simply states that those items were not at issue before the Court and will therefore be presumed to be valid until specifically contested. Yet the Court just issued a very broad embrace of an individual right to keep and bear arms, especially in the interest of self defense. Moreover, it also adopted, as a standard for protected weaponry, that which is "in common use at the time." The only limit the Court articulated was to say that, "that the Second Amendment does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes."

In the dicta, Scalia acknowledged that, as standard issue for our infantry, M-16s might be protected. However, as they are not commonly used by the citizenry, they might not be protected. As he points out toward the end of the opinion, the Court only expressed a fundamental individual right to keep and bear arms. He openly invites further lawsuits to help determine just how far that right may go-much to the chagrin of the dissenting Justices who rightly see a flurry of litigation coming and the probable overturning of a good number of longstanding regulations.

This is an exciting time, the first formal expression of a right we have had for 200 years. I look forward to seeing how we develop this right. In the meantime, teachers, you now have solid evidence which to prove to your truculent students that good grammar can lead to greater freedom.

Julian Dunraven, J.D., M.P.A.

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June 26, 2008

From The Frontlines--Join Michelle Malkin For Troop Care Package Web-A-Thon

**DO NOT tip my PayPal jar if you want to donate to "From the Frontlines"--head on over to Michelle's place to hit up the right donation place--all inadvertent PayPal tips received today WILL BE FORWARDED to "From the Frontlines"

**Sticky Post**

Starting 2pm MDT--Michelle Malkin has issued a challenge in a "web-a-thon" for the troops:
’ll be in beautiful Mountain View, CA all day today for “From the Frontlines,” our ground-breaking web-a-thon for the troops. Move America Forward’s Melanie Morgan and I will go live on Ustream.TV and right here at MichelleMalkin.com (as well as at HotAir.com) at 4pm Eastern/1pm Pacific. (Just hit the play button on the embedded video player above when showtime arrives; if you’d like to join the live chatroom, make sure to register at UStream beforehand!) I’ll be updating this post all day as I liveblog the event from UStream’s studios. Thanks to all our fellow bloggers who’ve helped spread the word!

We’ve got a star-studded line-up of troops, military charities, celebs, and talk radio stars — from Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin to Dr. Laura and Laura Ingraham to musician John Ondrasik and “Lone Survivor” author and Navy SEAL hero Marcus Luttrell — who’ll be joining us in our eight-hour marathon fund-raising drive to help send the largest number of care packages in history to our men and women in uniform serving overseas.

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Liberty Prevails--2nd Amendment Lives!

Narrowly, no thanks to the liberals on the court.

Hot Air has an excellent roundup and analysis on the 5-4 decision.

New RMA 2.0 blogger Steven M. Nielson of The New Conservative has even more.

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June 24, 2008

Democratic National Convention Countdown, No. 62

Democratic National Convention Daily Digest and Open Thread
Tuesday June 24, 2008--No. 62


DNC will be simulcast in Spanish for the first time ever, via Comcast.


20K protestors led by Tent State will assemble in City Park (with permit), but no overnight camping (illegal) will be allowed.

•Protestors near Pepsi Center will be peering out through a wire mesh fence.

•Drunkablog--Younger generation of activists with plans for the DNC nauseatingly featured in the Post, with CodePink's Zoe Williams and Tent State's Adam Jung.

•Drunkablog--Students for a Democratic Society reaffirm their "non-violent" plans to disrupt the DNC.

•Drunkablog--Recreate '68 unhappy that new parade permits won't include routes of the group's own choosing.

All previous Daily Digests can be found here.

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20K Anti-War Protestors Plot DNC Camp Out At City Park

There's just one snag--they can't stay past 11pm--but first the moonbats from Tent State discuss the small city they are hoping will arrive in Denver:
Neighbors are bracing for 20,000 anti-war protesters planning a five-day camp in City Park during the Democratic National Convention.

The city issued an assembly permit for Tent State University to bring the tribe of college kids from across the country for an "alternative university" Aug. 24-28 in the southwest corner of the park.

"Come to Denver to end a war!" declares the Web site for Tent State University, which describes itself as "a a positive, youth-led initiative to fund education instead of war."

Tent State will be a staging area "to experience real democracy" and DNC protests and it will be a campus for "classrooms" teaching nonviolent antiwar tactics and strategies, the Web site says.

But organizers have to iron out some big kinks before they can pitch the tent city just two months from now.

While city statement said the permit is for "approximately 20,000 participants," chief Tent State organizer Adam Jung said he dreams of luring up to 50,000 protesters if he locks up hot music acts ranging from political hip-hop to Southern honky tonk.
Honky Tonk?

Now for that pesky city law that might put a crimp in their plans:
The hang-up: Overnight camping is illegal in the park.

That means each night, thousands of protesters could be forced to exit the park by 11 p.m., roaming the city for places to sleep. Jung says there's not enough nearby hotel rooms at prices college students can afford.

"It's not a camp out," said City Councilwoman Carla Madison, whose district includes the 314-acre park, home to Denver Zoo, a golf course, tennis courts, a lake with paddle boating, and popular music and arts festivals.

"The park closes at 11 p.m. and they have to be gone," she said.
But if you think that the city is planning a hard-line application of its laws, then think again. More negotiations and "dialogue" are planned:
"Now, don't ask me how it's really going to shake out," Madison added. "But that's the way it's going to be: that they can put their tents up, but they can't camp out in them."

Organizer Jung is hopeful that ongoing negotiations with city officials will allow the group to camp overnight at the park.

"We've met with the mayor and we've met with police officials and they're very reasonable people," said Jung, a 28-year-old, raised in a Missouri farm family who hopes to draw people from across the political spectrum to the tent city. I think the city is open to it.

"Our main argument is, if people are allowed to camp, is that we retain control over the entire event," he said. "We're bringing in professional security, so we can direct the energy and we can keep it safe and ... a very positive event."

But, he added, "If we have to figure out a way to remove all of these people at 10 or 11 at night, it becomes very problematic."

"That's what happened in Chicago," Jung said, referring to the 1968 Democratic National Convention's notorious clashes between Vietnam War protesters and Chicago riot police.
Recreate '68 in City Park.  At least it will be a scenic riot.

Also with "professional security." That should go well.

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June 23, 2008

Denver: DNC Protest Area To Have "Wire Mesh Fence"

To keep the moonbats at bay, the Democratic National Convention security plan includes a "wire mesh fence" of an undisclosed height to surround the protestors over in Lot A at the Pepsi Center.

Essentially another of those non-update updates that releases a crumb of information--followed by more whining from Glenn Spagnuolo of Recreate '68:
City officials released a few more details Monday for groups that want to protest outside the Pepsi Center during the Democratic National Convention, including the fact a wire mesh fence will be used to mark the protest area.

But other key components — including what portion of the parking lot will be designated for protest groups and how high the fence will be — were not disclosed. However, the city said it didn't plan on topping the wire mesh fence.

And then there was the issue of the marching route for protest groups and how far away it would be from the Pepsi Center during the convention Aug. 25-28.

Apparently, it was far enough to bring howls of protest from some of the protest groups.

"New York City let us march right in front of Madison Square Garden. I could put my foot on the first step," said Glenn Spagnuolo of Recreate 68. "If New York can let 600,000 people march in front of Madison Square Garden, then they should let 25,000 people march in front of the Pepsi Center."

But city officials assured protest groups that delegates going to and from the Pepsi Center during the convention would be within earshot of protestors and that there would be plenty of other chances for protestors to speak out throughout the city.
Not enough, apparently.

**Update--more details, via the Post:
There will be "wire mesh fencing" but the city "does not anticipate topping the fence," which was a major point of dispute at the 2004 convention in Boston, where razor wire topped the protest area.

More details below from the city of Denver's statement...

- Permits are not required to enter or use the public viewing area.

- Persons using the public viewing area will be protected from unreasonable search and seizure, or conversely may be subject to search and seizure, under Constitutional standards.

- No one will be allowed to obstruct the public viewing area in a way that would prevent free use of the area by others.

- The public viewing area will be open to the public, subject to laws that apply to public areas, including juvenile curfew laws and laws that govern overnight camping in parks and on any public right-of-way.
No worries. The moonbats will camping everywhere else.

Drunkablog--unfailingly--has a roundup and photos of the to-be-enmeshed Lot A, where the animals in a zoo moonbats will be "contained" within "earshot" of the delegates at the Pepsi Center.

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Climate Change Blasphemy Must Be Prosecuted Says NASA Scientist

It always amazes me to see how people view the legal system. Dr. James Hansen, vaguely referred to by The Guardian as one of the world's leading climate scientists (presumably due to the fact that he becomes hysterical more swiftly than the others), now thinks we should prosecute oil company executives for, "high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of actively spreading doubt about global warming."

Last time I checked, expressing doubt as to any theory, and then trying to disprove that theory, was part of the scientific method--not a violation of the criminal code. But never mind that, we have important criminal accusations to consider.

So, what are crimes against humanity and nature anyway? Article 7 § 1 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court defines crimes against humanity as:
any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:

(a) Murder;

(b) Extermination;

(c) Enslavement;

(d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population;

(e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;

(f) Torture;

(g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;

(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;

(i) Enforced disappearance of persons;

(j) The crime of apartheid;

(k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
Strangely, it says nothing about climate at all. Even if it did, Global Warming might be widespread, but could hardly be called a systematic attack upon any civilian population by oil company executives from the lawful operation of their businesses.

That leaves crimes against nature. Crimes against nature are not international crimes at all. They are generally part of state law. They forbid things like masturbation, oral sex, and sodomy. After the Supreme Court’s opinion in Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), most of the so called crimes against nature are unconstitutional as they violate our fundamental right to privacy. Of course, bestiality and necrophilia are both still forbidden, but Global Warming just does not seem to fit into this category does it? Then again, perhaps it does.

It seems the oil companies have violated neither international nor domestic law with their pernicious doubts about Global Warming. Of course, this is not the real problem here. The particular criminal charge does not matter so long as we can find one that will work to silence these doubters once and for all.

Generally speaking, true scientists want a lot of doubt expressed about their theories. They want the whole scientific community to have a go at them, and, if they still stand up, undamaged, at the end of the day the whole world is likely to embrace them. Such is not the case with Global Warming, though. Almost any rational person can manage to find considerable holes in the Global Warming theories. A scientist would say this means it requires more research and study.

Dr. Hansen and his ilk, however, remind us that this is about more than just science or law: it is about moral goodness. More research and more study takes time. Persuading lawmakers to act takes even longer. But we know what is evil now. Global Warming is evil. Those who doubt it are evil. There are many of them out there—doubting—and they are getting away with it!

There was once a time when our legal system would have accommodated such thinking. Indeed, both Church and State tried for a long while to prosecute irritating “doubters” for insufficient belief. Back then, though, we did not use those words. Instead, we used words like Inquisition, heretics, and blasphemy. The system had a splendid effect upon morality, but apparently science lagged a bit. We called that time the Dark Ages. Ironically, today, any government that tried to manage belief in such a way would be prosecuted for crimes against humanity. See supra, Article 7 § 1(h).

Julian Dunraven, J.D., M.P.A.

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Democratic National Convention Countdown, No. 65, 64, 63

Democratic National Convention Daily Digest and Open Thread
Saturday June 21, Sunday June 22 and Monday June 23, 2008--No. 65, 64, 63


•Need an autograph for your favorite liberal friend? The DNC will host a slew of liberal/progressive authors, and a Presidential exhibit that includes a recreation of the Oval Office from Clinton's administration (um, ewww), a limo, Air Force One mockup, and other Presidential paraphernalia. But about those authors:
The working list of authors to stop by for book signings during the four-day DNC includes Madeleine Albright, Maya Angelou, Jimmy Carter, Stephen Colbert, Maureen Dowd, Elizabeth Edwards, John Edwards, Al Franken, Newt Gingrich, Al Gore, Bill Moyers, Nancy Pelosi, Robert Reich, Frank Rich, Cokie Roberts and Donald Shriver.
How'd Gingrich get in there?

•With private donations seemingly unable to close the gap for the Democratic National Convention fundraising efforts, the DNCC is looking to corporations to make up the difference.

More DNC celebrity rumors and sightings.

Catering to the DNC crowd "still up in the air."


•Mount Virtus--A Denver teacher contract and union labor battle could spice up the Democratic National Convention in August.

All previous Daily Digests can be found here.

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Blogs4Borders Video Blogburst 062308

Freedom Folks has the latest edition.

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June 20, 2008

Democratic National Convention Countdown, No. 66: Parade-A-Palooza, Hollywood "Intellectuals"

Democratic National Convention Daily Digest and Open Thread
Friday June 20, 2008--No. 66


DNC Parade-A-Palooza--everyone that wanted a permit to march from 11am-3pm during the convention got their wish, though the grumbling over the route hasn't subsided. Also, Mike Rosen lets us know how he really feels about Recreate '68 and the other protesting moonbats.

The "Creative Coalition"--Hollywoods "brightest" liberals will hold forth on issues "topical" to the convention--including such intellectual luminaries as Quentin Tarantino, Spike Lee, Susan Sarandon, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Neil Patrick Harris, Dana Delany, Barry Levinson, Matthew Modine, Alan Cumming, Cheryl Hines, Rachael Leigh Cook and Wendie Malick.

Raising money for the DNC really is important--the DNC volunteer coordinator resigned--"not empowered to do my job."

All previous Daily Digests can be found here.

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June 19, 2008

Guest Editorials--Global Warming Legal Theories, Guns And Church Security

From now until the election SP will feature guest editorials/rants on everything from politics to the environment to religion and everything else in between. Today there are two--First up, JD (who has blogged here before) tears apart a new radical environmental legal theory, and Meg offers her take on an article concerning security (read: guns) at Churches and argues for guiltless self-defense.

There is no censorship at SP, and though the view may from time to time depart from SP's "politics." This is excellent for two reasons--1) the only true "diversity" is a diversity of opinion guaranteed by the Constitution and the only method for providing a true forum for the exchange of ideas; 2) additional voices strengthen any blog. I welcome them both, and if you have responses or questions, leave them in the comments. I know they'll be appreciated.

JD--first read this:
University of Oregon law professor Mary Wood is tired of waiting for government officials to take action on global warming. So she’s devised a new legal tool to hurry them up.

...Wood has developed a theory that claims the atmosphere is an asset that belongs to all but is held in trust by the government. The government has a legal obligation to protect that trust from harm, she argues…
The legal response:
What utter nonsense. Even the news page at her own the law school’s web site seems to acknowledge that her theory will probably lead to frivolous and nuisance lawsuits; the only benefit might be pushing the Federal government to negotiate with environmentalists in order to discourage those lawsuits.

She has some severe problems with her theory, all of which she glosses over by claiming that, as an academic, she will leave actual litigation strategy to practicing attorneys. Of course she will. That is because there is no way to implement her strategy in actuality.

The Clean Air and Clean Water Acts are both federal statutes and have clearly articulated enforcement provisions upon which the courts can rely. They do indeed flow from the public trust doctrines in common law. However, they also go considerably further than the origins of the common law doctrine, which basically held that submerged and submersible land was to be held and preserved by the state for public use in navigation, fishing, and recreation.

If Congress wants to go beyond the common law and write another law to deal with global warming, it is certainly entitled to do so. At that point, the courts would gladly enforce it. Congress has not done this, though, which is why Prof. Wood is promoting her theory. Instead, she wants the courts to extend the common law doctrine themselves. This will not happen.

Courts are hesitant to extend the common law unless it clearly fits with extant legislation. While the courts may tell the EPA that it needs to look at carbon emissions as part of its mission as defined by statute, it will not tell the EPA what standards it needs to set. With that sort of hesitancy, the courts are not about to go so far beyond statute as to order the EPA to take up the fight against Global Warming. They would need clear legislative direction before they would ever do such a thing.

Prof. Wood is attempting to take all the environmental protection cases and laws and argue that, en mass, they provide a basis for viewing the global atmosphere and climate as a public trust. Sure, the air in Denver is a public trust as it clearly affects the health and well being of the people who live here. It is also clearly regulated by statute. The same cannot be said of the entire global atmosphere and climate. There are not clear laws regulating that here in the U.S. More to the point, the U.S. cannot legislate to the rest of the world. Without worldwide effort, any effort is largely pointless. Treaties and executive agreements, not court rulings, provide the only means of achieving worldwide action.

Let us ignore that fundamental problem for a moment, though. Let us assume that the U.S., by its own actions, could have a major impact on the world climate and atmosphere. A court would still want to know what that impact could be. The sad truth is that no one knows for certain. There are a lot of theories, but no absolutes, and the range of different models is severe. Also, before declaring the atmosphere and climate public U.S. trusts, courts must balance the uncertainly of any action against the negative impact on commerce and personal liberty such action would have. That we can measure with certainty, and it is enormous. The bigger the impact, the higher the standard the court will set before it rules. Can it be shown that there is an extremely important state interest at stake which cannot be protected by less restrictive means? I rather doubt it. Environmentalists would have to admit that we would be creating major economic upsets for extremely uncertain results. The opposition would then show that the earth has undergone numerous climate shifts over time, that it is unclear how much impact humans are having, and even more unclear as to whether we can do anything about it if we are a major factor. Faced with that, the courts would universally hold that this is a political issue which must be decided by the political branches.

No court is going to extend the common law without clear legislative instruction on such a thin pretext. No amount of creative argument will change that. No matter how many scientists are brought in, an equal number can be brought in by the opposition who either disagree or show different results—even while agreeing in principle. The courts won’t touch this. It is too big and too broad. Bring a case that says aerosols are destroying the ozone, and they may happily outlaw those particular aerosols. A certain type of fishing is driving sea turtles to extinction? Fine. Pick your venue; even the WTO adjudication body will help there. But global climate change? Too big, too broad, too political. In truth, I would call it a matter of faith, and the courts have done a very good job of maintaining the separation of church and state.

Julian Dunraven, J.D., M.P.A.
Our second editorials takes aim (sorry, couldn't help myself) at the issue of guns in Churches, a particularly important topic given the twin shootings at religious venues last December here in Colorado:
The Denver Post profiled a church security workshop that took place last Thursday in east Denver. Church representatives came to the workshop presumably to learn how to formulate plans to make their churches a little safer in the wake of madman Matthew Murray’s shooting spree at New Life Church in Colorado Springs.

Unfortunately, the Post’s article has the usual slant. The headline? “More churchgoers are carrying guns: Trend since shootings is risky, church leaders told”. There was no mention of Jeanne Assam, the woman whose bullets brought Murray down; she was again referred to as “a New Life security officer.” No mention of New Life’s senior pastor Brady Boyd’s praise of the security plan that had been implemented that Sunday. Assam had heard of the shootings in Arvada and suggested that the church increase security measures just in case. Boyd credited the security plan with saving dozens of lives. Instead, the article makes it sound as though New Life had sunk into total chaos during the Murray rampage, detailing how members retrieved their guns from cars or tried to wrest them from Murray, supposedly confusing police and making things “stressful.”

The response at the security workshop? Each church should come up with a “hazard plan,” including so-called surveillance for firearms. “It’s important to know who’s armed in your church,” according to Sgt. Gene Enley of the Littleton police. Add this to the statement by Bill Ray of the Trinity Springs Church in Elbert County: “We can [develop a hazard plan]… but we can’t have guns in our church.”

We can’t have guns in our church. It’s important to know who’s armed.

Same old anti-gun, fearful attitude, despite Assam’s blazing bravery and showcase of what concealed weapons can do to save lives. My questions… Who will maintain the list of church members who have concealed weapons permits (CCWs)? Who will have access to this list? Will there be judgments of certain members’ “qualifications” to carry a gun, despite the fact that all CCW holders in the state have to pass stringent requirements? What will happen to those who do not self-report, especially if there is a crisis?

Some more blunt questions: Does anyone care about CCW holders’ privacy… or safety, for that matter? What is the point of concealed weapons permits if someone else knows that you are carrying? These skittish church officials probably encounter dozens of people every day with a concealed firearm, and they have no reason to know that these folks are armed. Bottom line: my concealed weapon is no one’s business but mine. It’s bad enough that the state must pass judgment on me that I’m worthy to carry a concealed weapon. My church doesn’t need to get in on this game, too.


I am a member of the group that Grover Norquist calls the "Leave Us Alone Coalition." I dislike people who think that they know better than me how to run my life. I think that the government is way too involved in citizens' everyday life, and sadly some have come to depend on it. In a nutshell, I think the government should spend more time protecting rights and sticking to functions written into the Constitution, and less time on inventing rights and creating new functions of government. Colorado is better than most, but we could easily go the wrong way, especially with some of the leadership. You'll find my hands-off approach reflected in my writings, and I have even been known to stray from the "traditional" conservative path in doing so. I promise to try to keep things interesting for you when you hear from me. --In the interest of total disclosure, I work as an engineer for the government, in an area firmly written into the Constitution: national defense. Ahh, there, I said it, so don't try to blast me as some kind of hypocrite. After all, I serve YOU as a civil servant. Do note, however, that none of my comments necessarily represent the views of my agency, the DoD or the United States Government.

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June 18, 2008

Democratic National Convention Countdown, No. 68, 67

Democratic National Convention Daily Digest and Open Thread
Wednesday June 18 and Thursday June 19, 2008--No. 68, 67


Abortion opponents announce their DNC protest plans:
Abortion opponents plan eight days of prayers, demonstrations and rallies surrounding the Democratic National Convention - and Wednesday they challenged Denver officials to respect their First Amendment rights.

In all, the groups expect as many as 1,000 out-of-town protesters to hit Denver for the convention scheduled Aug. 25-28 at the Pepsi Center, and they've already gotten permission to use Denver parks for gatherings.

They also plan to hit the 16th Street Mall, "encircle" the Pepsi Center, and maintain a presence outside the hotel of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, said the Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, a Washington-based group.

His organization and Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust announced plans for their demonstrations during the convention.

Mahoney said he hoped an afternoon meeting with Denver City Attorney David Fine would pave the way for an amicable co-existence between abortion opponents and law officers.
The group plans its encircling prayer vigil two days before the convention opens, and has no plans to enter the designated protest area:
Mahoney said that his group had filed lawsuits in New York in 2000 and in Boston in 2004 to win the right to demonstrate, and he indicated that it could pursue that strategy again if it fears that its First Amendment rights are being threatened.

"To the city of Denver - demonstrators are not terrorists," he said. "Don't treat us like that."

Among the events announced Wednesday was a prayer at the Pepsi Center on Aug. 23, two days before the convention starts, in which Mahoney envisions demonstrators circling the building and laying hundreds of roses in protest of abortion.

He also said his group would not be present in the demonstration area set aside in a parking lot adjacent to the Pepsi Center.

"I would never go to a protest pen," he said. "It is absolutely despicable. As far as I'm concerned, the First Amendment applies everywhere that I can see."
•Video--DNC parade route controversy, the Rocky interviews Glenn Spagnuolo, discusses the route and its effects on Denver traffic, businesses.


•Recreate '68 splinter group "Alliance For Real Democracy" promises non-violence, won't discuss split with erstwhile allies:
Members of the Alliance for Real Democracy wouldn't talk Tuesday about Re-Create 68 or the split.

But they released bylaws that say the group "will not use or return violence - verbal or physical - toward any person or other creature," and will not damage property, bring weapons to protests or use illegal drugs or alcohol during events.
•Spagz and co. urge everyone (along with band Freedom Kage) to "Come Up to Denver"--yet another protest group planning a little DNC action:

Enviromoonbats are planning a "Green Frontier Fest" the Sunday before the convention that will include human-powered carnival rides and the groove-a-licious "Consciousness Carnival."

All previous Daily Digests can be found here.

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Recreate '68 Splinter Group "Alliance For Real Democracy" Promises Non-Violence, Won't Discuss Split

The non-violence is in their bylaws--take that Glenn Spagnuolo!
A new coalition of protest groups promises free concerts, art displays, classes for activists and a "massive" anti-war march during this summer's Democratic National Convention.

The Alliance for Real Democracy is made up of 12 groups, many led by activists in their early 20s and 30s.

. . .
"This is as much a part of the process as going to a very formal convention," said Jojo Pease, an organizer with Students for a Democratic Society.

Some of the groups were previously affiliated with the Re-Create 68 Alliance, but split off after a disagreement over tactics.

Re-Create 68 has promised demonstrations that will rival those at the notorious Democratic convention in Chicago held in 1968, which was accompanied by street battles between police and anti-Vietnam War demonstrators.

Members of the Alliance for Real Democracy wouldn't talk Tuesday about Re-Create 68 or the split.

But they released bylaws that say the group "will not use or return violence - verbal or physical - toward any person or other creature," and will not damage property, bring weapons to protests or use illegal drugs or alcohol during events.

Re-Create 68, meanwhile, has said that if confronted with violence by police, members will defend themselves.
Who they are and how they party:
The Alliance for Real Democracy includes groups such as CODEPINK, the Green Party, Tent State University, the Denver International Socialist Organization and Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Members declined to say how many people they are expecting at their events, and some details - such as dates and locations of concerts - have not been finalized.

The anti-war parade is scheduled for the Sunday before the convention, which starts Aug. 25 and runs through Aug. 28 at the Pepsi Center in downtown Denver.

The concerts will include a guitarist who played in protest of the Vietnam War during the 1968 convention in Chicago, as well as a local hip-hop group, according to organizers.

Among other events planned is an "aerial image," in which thousands of people will use their bodies to form a message to release detainees at Guantanamo Bay and to stop torture, said Zoe Williams, a member of CODEPINK, an anti-war group whose name is a play on President Bush's color-coded terror alert level.
Alliance for Real Democracy--the kinder, gentler version of Recreate '68.

Same moonbats, minus the heated rhetoric. And bodies, lots of bodies, apparently

**Update--Drunkablog has another Recreate '68 roundup, and asks the question no one else would (or wants the answer to, really): But will they be naked?

My eyes, MY EYES!

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June 17, 2008

Democratic National Convention Countdown, No. 69

69 days baby, yeah!

Democratic National Convention Daily Digest and Open Thread
Tuesday June 17, 2008--No. 69


•The latest on the DNC fundraising shortfall--$11 million and change.

•Canceled media walkthrough at the Pepsi Center has been rescheduled for July 8.


Drunkablog notes the new threat to civilization--pepper spray weapons, and the new conspiracy theory--Recreate '68 is another government covert operation possibly in league with Rush Limbaugh.

Get out the tinfoil hats, those are Blackhawk helicopters you hear buzzing Denver, and they have nothing to do with the Democratic National Convention.

How's that "Green Delegate Challenge" working out for the DNC?  Not so much . . .

All previous Daily Digests can be found here.

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Grand Canyon Sunset Timelapse

Shot this Saturday evening from Mather Point on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon:

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PoliticsWest Webcast: GOP Woes

Missed this last week--a good general conversation on the GOP electoral woes, changes in the electorate, voter trends, libertarians vs. social conservatives, etc.:

Colorado GOP chairman Dick Wadhams, Eric Sondermann, an independent political analyst and founder of Denver's SE2 consulting firm, David Harsanyi, a Denver Post columnist and author of the recent book "Nanny State," and Jessica Peck Corry, a public policy analyst for the Independence Institute and a blogger for PoliticsWest--moderated by the Denver Post's Chuck Plunkett.

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June 16, 2008

Blogs4Borders Doubleheader

Cuz I missed last week--Freedom Folks with the past two Blogs4Borders video blogbursts--060908 and 061608.

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Democratic National Convention Countdown, No. 72, 71, 70--Vacation Wrapup Edition

Democratic National Convention Daily Digest and Open Thread
Saturday June 14, Sunday June 15, and Monday June 16, 2008--No. 72, 71, 70

Drunkablog posts the final guest countdown.

All previous Daily Digests can be found here.

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We Now Return You To Your Regularly Scheduled Programming . . .

Vacation is over--the DNC countdown will resume this evening. Thanks to the Drunkablog for his fine efforts to keep the countdown going. Lots happened while I was away, and I'll have a summary catchup post roundup for the last week.

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June 13, 2008

Democratic National Convention Countdown, No. 73

Democratic National Convention Daily Digest and Open Thread
Friday June 13, 2008--No. 73

The intrepid Drunkablog has today's roundup--and more on the marathon 4 hours/day protest parade-a-palooza during the DNC.

All previous Daily Digests can be found here.

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June 12, 2008

Democratic National Convention Countdown, No. 74

Democratic National Convention Daily Digest and Open Thread
Thursday June 12, 2008--No. 74

Drunkablog's latest Democratic National Convention roundup has been posted.

All previous Daily Digests can be found here.

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June 11, 2008

Democratic National Convention Countdown, No. 76, 75

Democratic National Convention Daily Digest and Open Thread
Tuesday June 10 and Wednesday June 11, 2008--No. 76, 75

Drunkablog continues the countdown roundup . . . Recreate '68 fears the "crap cannon" . . . Denver law enforcement, firefighters, and hospitals prepare for a biological catastrophe . . . DNC protests could feature at least 3 parades per day.

All previous Daily Digests can be found here.

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June 09, 2008

Democratic National Convention Countdown, No. 77

Democratic National Convention Daily Digest and Open Thread
Monday June 9, 2008--No. 77

I hereby decree that Drunkablog will be doing the counting down this week, as yours truly is on vacation.

All previous Daily Digests can be found here.

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June 08, 2008

Democratic National Convention Countdown, No. 79, 78

Democratic National Convention Daily Digest and Open Thread
Saturday June 7 and Sunday June 8, 2008--No. 79, 78

More than 560 Denver metro-area law enforcement officers to participate in security at DNC.

Obama's DNC political director chosen

With nominations processes over, Democrat and Republican get-out-the-vote campaigns are getting into gear with DNC right around the corner.

Less than two weeks left for DNCC to raise $40 million for DNC.

With a fundraising crunch in place for DNC, one party for all state delegates will be enough.


ACLU lawsuit over DNC security information will resume tomorrow, June 9:
The American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of protesters say it's "a fallacy" that authorities must keep the parade route and protest area for the Democratic National Convention a secret for security reasons.

Police in St. Paul, Minn., site of the Republican National Convention in September, have disclosed both locations - and that convention is one week after the Dems come to Denver, the ACLU wrote in a court filing this week.

For the RNC in 2004, New York police revealed the information two months before the event, they added. For the DNC that year, Boston officials made the locations public nine months before the convention.

The protest groups and the ACLU are suing the city of Denver and the Secret Service to get them to reveal the locations, saying they can't plan protests or schedule speakers until they have the details - a violation of their First Amendment right to free speech.

On Monday, they'll argue a federal judge should order the Secret Service and the city to provide the information.

Lawyers for the Secret Service and the city argue revealing the information too soon would jeopardize security. The public demonstration area - essentially the ending location of the parade - is the closest protesters will be able to get to the Pepsi Center or the delegates.


Drunkablog--Recreate '68 coalition implodes; more on the fracture over claims of "non-violence" and "self-defense" tactics

Prepare for the MSM invasion--Katie, Bryan, Charlie, Tim, George, Bob, Keith and Chris will all be here (and more!).

According to the far-left moonbats, credentialed Dem bloggers are "lapdogs, kapos"

All previous Daily Digests can be found here.

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June 06, 2008

Democratic National Convention Countdown, No. 80

Democratic National Convention Daily Digest and Open Thread
Friday June 6, 2008--No. 80**

Clinton backers rally around Obama.
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Denver) switches support as superdelegate from Clinton to Obama, stresses need to focus on November and back the Democrats' candidate.

The Friends of New Orleans, the fundraising focus of the new all-state delegate party, stresses that it is not a sponsor of the event, and has plans at both Republican and Democrat conventions (also includes a partial list of the state delegation parties scrapped by the financially ailing DNCC, and the venues they affect):
FONO quickly put out a news release saying it was "not now and never was a financial sponsor of the event" and had planned fundraisers at both the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul and at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

The FONO fundraisers had been scheduled since last year because both political parties wanted to mark the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
DNCC transitions to planning with Obama's team and campaign needs in mind:
DNCC Chief Executive Officer Leah Daughtry acknowledged the transition Thursday in a statement.

"As a result of our earlier- than-ever head-start last year and the tremendous amount of groundwork laid since, we are well-positioned for a seamless integration with Senator Obama's campaign," the statement said. "As we enter this final phase of preparation, we will now turn our focus toward shaping the programmatic and thematic aspects of the convention to reflect Senator Obama's vision for the country and what he will accomplish on behalf of the American people."
State Democrats and other elected party officials will be able to take advantage of the DNC's bountiful spread after all, despite Amendment 41:
Steak dinners, champagne bars and wine-and-cheese receptions will be plentiful during the Democratic National Convention in Denver Aug. 24-28.

So will state elected officials, who are expected to show up in force at the free shindigs.

They can attend with impunity because nearly two years after voters approved an amendment that bans gifts to elected officials, the law is still in limbo.

In the meantime, lawmakers are free to party on during the DNC.

The five-member Independent Ethics Commission created by Amendment 41 to investigate complaints of misconduct isn't fully operating.

It now looks as though the rules under which the commission will function won't be in place until Aug. 31, which means the law isn't in effect until then.

Unknown DNC security plans for the Pepsi Center could snarl traffic, shut down light-rail transit.

Former Westminster chief of police argues that the biggest threat to the DNC won't the moonbats at Recreate '68, but the moonbats at the ACLU.

All previous Daily Digests can be found here.

**Today we are adding a new "Headlines" section for general, quick-link DNC-related articles from the MSM. Our MSM section will feature short excerpts of the more important stories.

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DNC Moonbat Splitsville Expands As Recreate '68 Coalition Fractures Over Tactics

**Update--someone claiming to be Adam Jung says that the Adam Jung quoted in Drunkablog's comments isn't him.

Fair enough.

But Whitmer and Spagnuolo's comments still appear to be from them, so I'll keep them up.

Apparently the Kool-Aid Recreate '68 poured wasn't strong enough, as more moonbat protest groups part ways with Glenn Spagnuolo's "non-violent" coalition (big h/t Drunkablog):
Activists who plan to protest at the Democratic National Convention this summer are splitting with the umbrella organization, Re-create 68, because of concerns over its rhetoric and tactics.

The new coalition, called Alliance for Real Democracy, is a network of local and national groups, including Code Pink, United for Peace and Justice, the American Friends Service Committee, the Green Party of Colorado, the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Colorado Street Medics, and Students for Peace and Justice.

"We've separated ourselves; we're not part of Re-create 68," said Claire Ryder, chairwoman of the Denver Green Party.

Ryder said many activists had attended Re-create 68 meetings and were not comfortable with its organizational techniques.

Nevertheless, she said, "This has all been very difficult because a lot of them are our friends. We've worked together on a lot of other issues over time."

Glenn Spagnuolo, an organizer with Re-create 68, said he doesn't mind the new structure.

"More power to them," he said.
And less power for you, Glenn. Spagnuolo popped up in the comments at Drunkablog to refute some of the groups alleged to have broken away, stating that they have asked the Post for a retraction.

What else does Glenn have to say? Well, that the "liberal Democrat" groups--including the Greens, mind you--are somehow illegitimate by virtue of class (rich) and race (white). Recreate '68, on the other hand, expresses solidarity with the legitimate view of the oppressed minorities--or some Marxist claptrap like that:
Spagnuolo characterizes the groups that are splitting with his as liberal Democrats who are largely white and middle-to-upper class and want their party to guide the country out of the war in Iraq.

He described Re-create 68 as representing minorities, anarchists, communists, socialists and "radicals" who don't support Democrats or Republicans.
Hey, when moonbats turn on one another, hilarity ensues. There is also a run on tinfoil, or so I'm told.

Drunkablog has more comments from Spagnuolo, Benjamin "Ward Churchill is my hero" Whitmer, and accusations that the Spag-man himself is not a member of the proletariat but a member of the bourgeoisie as well as being white.

Wow, that's a double-whammy.

Whitmer's blog calls Adam Jung of Tent State (the first group to bail on the non-violent thugs activists of Recreate '68) a "f-ing liar," says "good riddance" to the parting groups, while also criticizing their "pacifism" (refusal to self-defense, or resisting arrest, depending on who you ask) and accusing them of "bootlicking toadyism."

Contrary to expectations that this might disrupt convention protest plans, it seems that the true radicals are on target for unrestricted protestation without the mitigating moderation of some of the other moonbat groups. With separate groups there will be more separate, uncoordinated events--perhaps with each side trying to outdo one another in escalating their rhetoric or street theater.

Can't be shown up on your own radical protest turf.

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Unknown DNC Security Plans Near Pepsi Center Could Snarl Traffic, Shut Down Transit

With less than three months until the Democratic National Convention, security plans for the area surrounding the Pepsi Center remain a point of contention, and do not appear to be resolved anytime soon, at least in regards to traffic congestion and potential closures:
Security requirements for the Democratic National Convention may result in closing or restricting light-rail service and traffic on streets surrounding the Pepsi Center.

But less than 12 weeks away from the opening gavel in Denver, security planners aren't ready to tell downtown commuters, businesses and residents what to expect.

"It's going to be closer to the time of the convention," said Malcolm Wiley, the U.S. Secret Service's spokesman for the event.

At this point before the last Democratic convention in Boston, transit and road closure plans already had been publicized for a month and a half.
Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper insists the city will be "open for business," but the main thoroughfares and light rail lines in that part of Downtown Denver could be out of commission for the duration of the convention:
If the Secret Service requires the C and E lines to shut down, those riders could transfer at Broadway, Alameda or Osage stations to other lines. If it permits the C and E trains to operate but not stop at the Pepsi Center station, there would be little impact.

If traffic is kept off Speer Boulevard or Auraria Parkway, similar to I-93 in Boston, it could be only for the 4 p.m.-to-midnight period when the main convention sessions are held.

Speer carries about 49,000 vehicles a day at Wewatta Street, next to the arena. Auraria carries 28,500, according to the latest Denver traffic counts.
As soon as the security personnel release information, we will of course relay that on the blog.

Stay tuned.

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June 05, 2008

Democratic National Convention Countdown, No. 81

Democratic National Convention Daily Digest and Open Thread
Thursday June 5, 2008--No. 81


From the 16th Street Mall--"The key here is that green is the new patriotic color."

The DNCC's replacement party for state delegations--sponsored by Friends of New Orleans and led in part by Donna Brazile--could be held at the Colorado Convention Center.

An update on corporate funding of political conventions--expected to exceed 80% of total cost in 2008 (the rest coming from public funds):
Since 2002, federal law has barred the political parties from accepting unlimited corporate contributions known as "soft money," a ban enacted to get rid of the donations' corrupting influence. But the FEC has continued to allow big bucks to flow from corporations to local committees set up to host the conventions, reasoning that they're more focused on promoting their cities than on politics.

A closer look at the groups' fundraising, however, blows away that rationale, says the institute's Steve Weissman. "Only Democrats are fundraising in Denver, period," he says, and Republicans in St. Paul. "Contrary to the FEC's conclusion, political considerations have a lot to do with host committee fundraising activity," the report concludes. Further evidence of that, it says, is that about half the private money for this year's conventions is to come from out-of-state companies.

Denver fundraising has been led by Steve Farber, an attorney and longtime Democratic donor. He has been aided by Gov. Bill Ritter, Sen. Ken Salazar, Mayor John Hickenlooper and Rep. Diana DeGette - all Democrats. Their fundraising has taken them far beyond Colorado; they met with sponsor Lockheed Martin in Philadelphia, casino interests in Las Vegas and Wall Street executives in New York. Ritter wrote a thank-you note to Chicago Democratic donor Fred Eychaner for his $250,000 contribution, and got Safeway and Amgen on board in a trip to Washington.

Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida will be boycotting the Denver convention.


Denver's moonbats spout conspiracy theories about the city's security plans and possible equipment purchases.

All previous Daily Digests can be found here.

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Denver's Moonbats Grow Paranoid, Unknown DNC Security Measures Draw Outlandish Conspiracy Theories

**Update: Welcome Michelle Malkin readers--for all the latest moonbat-related Democratic National Convention news, bookmark our DNC countdown, updated daily and marking the march to August 25th (just 81 days away!).

"They'll bring out all the technologies they can get their hands on. I wouldn't put anything past police in terms of crowd control"--activist Ben Yager


Denver's organizing moonbats allege that the city's counterprotestor activities will be grossly disproportionate to the situation, including use of the "brown note" of urban legend, longer-lasting tasers, and a microwave ray gun:
Beware of the Brown Note.

That's the word among some political activists as the Democratic National Convention nears.

As legend has it, the Brown Note is an infrasonic frequency believed to resonate through human body parts and cause a loss of bowel control. Some protesters are convinced that Denver police will amplify such low frequencies to subdue them in August.

"They'll bring out all the technologies they can get their hands on," says activist Ben Yager. "I wouldn't put anything past police in terms of crowd control."

Sounds paranoid?

Maybe. But Mayor John Hickenlooper's administration is only fueling conspiracy theories by refusing to disclose what equipment it's buying with $18 million in federal money. Even after being sued last week, the city insists on keeping its list a secret.

"Commenting on specific security preparations is not helpful to ensuring their effectiveness," says city spokeswoman Sue Cobb.
The "brown note" myth has been debunked, but that doesn't stop the moonbats' wild flights of fancy when it comes to police equipment and security tactics employed at the convention:
In May, council members gave their nod to major expenditures such as a new SWAT vehicle, communications equipment and an amplification system. Rather than any serious discussion about why such big-ticket items may be needed, the council's safety committee instead chose to crack jokes.

"I'm not quite sure I know what a SWAT vehicle is all about," said Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz.

"Can we use it for insects?" quipped Councilman Doug Linkhart to much guffawing.

The city flat-out refuses to say how it plans to use the $385,000 amplification system that council members approved with little public discussion. That's why activists like Yager are buzzing about the Brown Note, real or imagined, and sonic weapons that cities such as New York have mounted on SWAT trucks to control protesters.
The moonbattish nuttiness gets even more delicious when Recreate '68 bigwigs like Glenn Spagnuolo start spewing insanity positing theories about Denver's security plans:
The source of much chatter is Glenn Spagnuolo, co- founder of the Re-create 68 activist alliance and who claims to have inside information about the Police Department's cache of so-called less-lethal weapons — a term as absurd as "low-fat Oreo."

As Spagnuolo tells it, the list includes new Taser guns that stun people for 20 seconds (as if the 5 seconds in the good old days wasn't long enough).
Don't tase me, bro!

Here comes the MOALLW--"mother of all less-lethal weapons"--and the protestors who love them:
Activists also prognosticate that Denver will dispatch the mother of all less-lethal weapons — a microwave ray gun said to cause a burning sensation in the skin. The Pentagon hasn't used the system in Iraq, lest it be accused of torture. Lefty activists speculate that Raytheon is seeking to test a limited-range civilian version for domestic crowd control in Denver this summer.

"That, we think, is not a conspiracy theory," says Re-create 68 co-founder Mark Cohen, 62, who cut his teeth in activism when the highest technology that protesters feared was wooden billy clubs.

In a letter to the city Tuesday, Hickenlooper touted the convention as a "tremendous marketing opportunity" for Denver. Being the skilled marketer that he is, you would think the mayor would be the first to put an end to wild speculation about his police and their new bowel-moving sci-fi toys.

Unless, of course, it's true.

In which case I would remind the mayor that we aren't hosting a war but a convention — and a purportedly democratic one in a time of turmoil and widespread distrust of government and its all-too- heavy hand and secretive ways.
Even the most gifted humorist couldn't imagine a parody more demonstrative of the distance with which the moonbats have placed between themselves and reality.

In the blogosphere the phrase "you can't make this stuff up" comes up a great deal--and in this case, the saying assuredly fits.

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