Archive for the 'Colorado State Legislature' Category

With Boyles’ encouragement, Tancredo says he’s “not sorry” for flipping off protesters

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

On Sunday, ColoradoPols posted a video of GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo flipping off protesters gathered in opposition to the recall of State Sen. Evie Hudak.

Tancredo discussed the birdie video on KNUS’ Peter Boyles show Tuesday, and Boyles had the chance to encourage his friend Tancredo to apologize for un-gubernatorial behavior.

Instead, Boyles essentially begged him not to apologize and was quite pleased when Tancredo said bluntly, “No, I am not sorry.”

Tancredo: Really and truly, I mean, I am not happy.

Boyles: Do not say you’re sorry! Do not, Tom.

Tancredo [laughing]:  Happy is what I said.

Boyles: Please don’t say you’re sorry.

Tancredo: No, I am not sorry.

Boyles: Don’t say you’re sorry.

Tancredo: It’s just that these people have been harassing these folks for days now. It’s lucky it didn’t turn into something else, to tell you the truth.

Boyles: That’s good.

Listen to Boyles and Tancredo discuss the flipping-off incident

Later, Tancredo reiterated his non-apology in a great story on Channel 4.

Obviously, Boyles should apologize himself to Tancredo for begging him not to apologize, and then they both should swear off future craziness like this, right?

Good questioning in radio interview raises more doubts about secession

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway, who’s been pushing for rural counties to secede from Colorado, admitted in a radio interview last week that “first and foremost” his secessionist campaign aims to let the world know “there’s a problem,” and, aside from secession, he’s got “ideas and suggestions to move this ball forward,” including ideas about how urban and rural leaders  “communicate with each other.” 

But wait! Conway is allegedly so fed up with the State Legislature that he’s ready to walk away from Colorado. How could there possibly be any middle ground left?

That’s what Colorado Public Radio’s Ryan Warner, who interviewed Conway Oct. 29, asked him. And here’s Conway’s response:

Conway:  …I have conversations with a lot of folks who much more liberal than I am, come from a different party than I belong to.  And you know what I found?  When you sit down and you actually engage in a dialogue with people, the thing you quickly find out is there are about 80% of the things you can agree upon.   But what happens is, we spend all of our time on the 20% that we disagree on.  And we don’t spend any time on the 80% of the issues that we agree upon.  

Warner:  Sean, you know what surprises me is that you’re someone who believes so strongly in coming to the table, but you’re someone who’s advocating for leaving the table.  I’m trying to square those two things about you.

Warner put it nicely, and gently.

Another way of putting it is, do you really walk away from the table when you agree with your opponents 80 percent of the time? Shit, I don’t even agree with my allies that often. Or my wife.

I don’t agree with myself 80 percent of the time.

For reporters, Conway’s 80-percent statement again raises questions about why he’d lead a fight for secession, which is clearly an extreme move, the nuclear option. It smells overwhelmingly like a media stunt, no? Why doesn’t Conway try harder to get along?

These are questions that should come up tonight as the secession election results are analyzed.

Media omission: Recall leader’s acknowledgement of “slow week” may confirm Kopel’s prediction that Hudak-recall a “tall hill to climb”

Friday, November 1st, 2013

On Channel 12′s “Colorado Inside Out” Friday, , the Independence Institute’s Dave Kopel, whose gun connections run deep, said it’s a “tall hill to climb” for the Hudak-recall campaign to collect 19,000 signatures required to trigger a vote on the recall measure.

Today, speaking on KNUS radio, Hudak-recall spokeswoman Laura Waters (appearing with her colleague Mike McAlpine) confirmed Kopel’s prediction, saying that her campaign has been struggling up hill of late.

Waters @32:00: Well, we’ve had a little bit of a slow week, a little bit of weather, a little big of distraction, a little bit of opposition. And so we’re a little bit behind right now in our numbers where we want to be. The rumor mill is floating that we’re turning in our petitions next week. That could not be further from the truth. We’re not ready. We’re not there yet.

Listen McAlpine and Waters on KNUS 11-1-2013

On Channel 12, during the top-rated (by me) public affairs show, “Colorado Inside Out,” Kopel said: “It’s tough because Hudak was elected in a presidential-election cycle year. The minimum number of signatures you need as a fraction of the votes you got is much higher. It’s a tall hill to climb.”

Kopel, whose libertarian Independence Institute opposes Colorado’s new gun-safety laws, said it’s up to Dudley Brown’s Rocky Mountain Gun Owners to perform the “large feat” of collecting the signatures.

Kopel: “We will see if his organization [Rocky Mountain Gun Owners] has the on-the-ground competence to do large feat of signature gathering,” said Kopel.

 

 

Reporters should note that Hudak-recall leader registered to vote in Hudak’s district the day after the recall-petition drive officially started

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Reporters covering the Hudak-recall campaign should note Wednesday’s Spot blog post by the Denver Post’s Kurtis Lee, reporting that a “leader in an effort to recall Democratic Sen. Evie Hudak registered as a voter in the lawmaker’s district Oct. 5 — a day after organizers were certified by the secretary of state to begin gathering signatures to have the recall placed on the ballot.”

Lee wrote:

Mike McAlpine was a registered Republican from Boulder, but on Oct. 5 he changed his voter address and party affiliation to unaffiliated, according to Colorado voter records. His new address is the same Arvada address as Laura Woods, the woman who on Oct. 4 had the recall petition format certified by the secretary of state.

McAlpine could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday.

The newly registered Arvada voter — and Hudak constituent — told The Denver Post in a recent article, “We’re not being heard. We have legislation without any real representation.”

Reporters should also note that McAlpine wasn’t just a run-of-the-mill Boulder Republican before suddenly becoming an extroverted unaffiliated voter in Arvada.

McAlpine was a Boulder Republican precinct leader as recently as February, 2012.

This might explain McAlpine’s apparent ties to Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Association Director Dudley Brown, a well-known GOP operative. McAlpine’s new Arvada voter-registration address, 7034 Carr Street, was cited in an email from Brown as the staging ground for the first day of Hudak-recall convassing.

In a “A Personal Note from Dudley Brown,” Brown emailed supporters:

“The Recall Hudak Too group will be starting to gather signatures TOMORROW, Saturday, October 5th [BigMedia note: This is the same date McAlpine registered to vote in Hudak's distict]. Here are the details: Recall Hudak Too, Saturday, October 5th, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m., 7034 Carr Street [BigMedia note:This is McAlpine's voter-registration address], Arvada, CO 80004.

Bottom line: Going forward, journalists reporting on the Hudak recall should state, when quoting spokesman McAlpine, that McAlpine registered to vote in Hudak’s district the day after the Hudak recall officially started.

It’s obviously relevant information because it brings into question the legitimacy of McAlpine’s complaints about Hudak, since he hasn’t even been one of her voting constituents. This information deserves to be kept front and center in recall campaign coverage.

Boyles bullies Mauser into retracting Mauser’s factual statement that Hudak-recall leader called Mauser a Nazi

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

In an editorial Monday, The Denver Post slammed  Mike McAlpine, a leader of the Evie-Hudak-recall campaign, for calling pro-Hudak protesters Nazi “Brownshirts,” which, The Post pointed out, is “particularly ill-suited because Hudak  is Jewish.”

Gun-safety activist Tom Mauser, who lost a child at Columbine, was one of those protesters, and, appearing on Boyle’s show Friday (Audio 1 at 30:00), he objected to being called a Nazi. McAlpine originally delivered the “Brownshirts” comment on Peter Boyles KNUS show Oct. 21.

Continuing his free-fall from respectability, Boyles told Mauser that McAlpine did not level the “Brownshirts” attack, and then Boyles bullied Mauser into retracting his statement that McAlpine used the term “Brownshirts”, even though McAlpine did, in fact, say on Boyles’ show that pro-Hudak protesters were “Brownshirts.”

After enduring Boyles for too long, Mauser departed from the show, and guess who joined Boyles? McAlpine!

Boyles told McAlpine all about his conversation with Mauser, telling McAlpine directly that the “word ‘Brownshirt’ was never used by you.” (Click on Audio 2 here)

Not a word emerged from McAlpine’s mouth to correct Boyles, even though Laura Waters, another leader of the Hudak recall campaign, told Boyles: “Thank you for that clarification.  It wasn’t [McAlpine who said "Brownshirts."]

Boyles hasn’t responded to my emails asking for an on-air correction.

If he made one, I haven’t heard it, and his treatment of Mauser was so gross, and it’s even worse if you hear the audio (Audio 1 beginning at 30:00), you might want to join me in trying to get Boyles to apologize: Email him: Peter@710KNUS.com.

You can see the entire transcript of this exchange by clicking here, and I’ve pasted some of the worst of it below:

BOYLES:  Would you retract that from Mike [McAlpine]?  That’s all I’m asking.  [audio thud]  Tom?

MAUSER:  Would I retract it?

BOYLES:  Yeah.  Would you retract that he didn’t say that.

MAUSER:  He did say “Brownshirts”.

BOYLES:  No, he didn’t.

MAUSER:  What did he say?

BOYLES:  Well, I don’t –. Hey, I – a caller said “brownshirts.” I remember it.  You want to get Mike [McAlpine] – call Mike up.

MAUSER:  Oh, okay, Oh, it was a caller that said it?

BOYLES:  Yeah.  A caller said it.  He didn’t say it….

Boyles tells Mauser toward the end of the exchange:  You know what you’ve turned into?  You’ve turned into one of those people I can’t speak to anymore because you keep coming up with things that aren’t true!…

Later  in the show, with McAlpine and Laura Waters (Click on Audio 2 here):

Boyles: …We had quite a knockdown, drag out with tom Mauser this morning

Boyles tells McAlpine: First of all,  I need to make this clear, because I was making it clear to [Mauser], the word “Brownshirt” was never used by you and “goon” was never used by you.   And his first accusation was you said those things.  And I said no, that you had not said those things.  That in fact, the word “goon” was me, and I think a caller – when we were naming the crew of people to help, and somebody used “brownshirt”, but it certainly wasn’t you.

WATERS:  Thank you for that clarification.  It wasn’t.

BOYLES:  And he came in loaded for bear {?}  to talk about “Brownshirt”  And I said, “First things first.  I said ‘goon’ and ‘Brownshirt’ was made by a listener.”  And I asked him to make an apology to you, and it took a couple of minutes.

Media omission: Spokesperson for successful recall campaigns says Hudak recall an “uphill climb”

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Political reporters should have noted that the spokeswoman for two recent recall-election campaigns in Colorado said Sunday that a new recall effort targeting Democratic State Sen. Evie Hudak is an “uphill climb.”

Speaking on KNUS radio’s Backbone Radio Sunday, Kerns said:

“…I think that’s going to be an uphill climb to get [the 20,000 Hudak-recall signatures] qualified but, hey, I will not do what others did to us in the two recalls. I will not be a naysayer. And I do really wish them the best in qualifying that recall.”

Listen to Kerns say Hudak recall effort will be an “uphill climb”

I hate it when someone’s obviously a naysayer, and then they say they’re not a naysayer.

That’s the worse kind of naysayer, but probably the kind journalists should pay attention to, especially given Kerns’ credibility of having been on the front lines, from start to finish, of both successful recall campaigns in Colorado.

Kerns also said:

Kerns: The district of Evie Hudak is much more metropolitan, in the Denver metropolitan area, as opposed to Colorado Springs and Pueblo. So you’re going to have much more of that metropolitan Democrat Denver involvement…. A couple of other things I think they will find challenging in the Hudak recall is not only is that district more metropolitan Denver, but those 20,000 signatures are due Dec. 3, and we are quickly approaching Nov. 1.

Talk-Radio Host Matt Dunn: That’s a lot.

Kerns: So they have 30 more days to get those.

Partial transcript of appearance by Jennifer Kerns on KNUS Oct. 27

Kerns: I think this one is going to be a little bit of a tougher climb than the first two recalls were. For example, more signatures will be required just to place this on the ballot.

Dunn: A lot more.

Kerns: A lot more, about 20,000 signatures required, just to qualify this for the ballot. That’s not even including then the campaign that has to be run against her. So that, I think, is the first challenge. The district of Evie Hudak is much more metropolitan, in the Denver metropolitan area, as opposed to Colorado Springs and Pueblo. So you’re going to have much more of that metropolitan Democrat Denver involvement…. A couple of other things I think they will find challenging in the Hudak recall is not only is that district more metropolitan Denver, but those 20,000 signatures are due Dec. 3, and we are quickly approaching Nov. 1.

Dunn: That’s a lot.

Kerns: So they have 30 more days to get those. Now I know they’re working hard. they’re out there. They’re on street corners. They’re in shopping centers. They’ve got the support of groups like the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. But I think that’s going to be an uphill climb to get that qualified but, hey, I will not do what others did to us in the two recalls. I will not be a naysayer. And I do really wish them the best in qualifying that recall.\

Listen to Kerns say Hudak recall effort will be an “uphill climb”

Raise your hand if you think Boyles objected when his guest called recall opponents Nazis

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Speaking on a radio show yesterday, Mike McAlpine, one of the leaders of the effort to recall Democratic Sen. Evie Hudak, called Hudak supporters Nazis.

“I mean, these people – the Brownshirts — have been doing it for decades and decades,” McAlpine told KNUS’ Peter Boyles yesterday morning, referring to Hudak supporters he encountered over the weekend in the Westminster area. “You and I recognize it.” (Listen to McAlpine on Peter Boyles Oct. 21 @ 1:30)

Raise your hand if you think Boyles, who surely knows how the paramilitary “Brownshirt” Nazis helped Hitler gain power, objected.

Seeing no hands raised, I’ll tell you that Boyles chose to respond with a breathless: “Yeah! Yeah!”

Boyles offered to create a “goon squad” to support the Hudak-recall petitioners. He’ll post photos on the KNUS website to identify recall opponents and where they live, he said.

“Look, I’ve said this a thousand times: If the progressive gets his/her hands on the helm you can start to say goodbye to 1st amendment, 2nd amendment, the 4th amendment, the 5th amendment,” Boyles said on air.

As for evidence of Nazi activity in Westminster against Hudak opponents, there is none. Over the weekend, “Alan” on ColoradoPols posted a video of a discussion among activists and police during which recall supporters could cite no evidence of voter intimidation, much less Nazi brutality.

On Boyles’ show this morning, McAlpine again made accusations of voter intimidation but there was no documentation, other than an inconclusive photo on Boyles’ web page, which could be interpreted any which way.

McAlpine said that after his complaints on Boyles’ show Monday, and to the Secretary of State’s Office, police are responding more quickly to his complaints.

That’s good. Because Boyles spent a lot of air time today promoting his goon-squad idea. You wish you didn’t have to take Boyles seriously, but you do.

Tin foil hats in vogue among conservative radio hosts

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Tin foil hats are the hot fashion at conservative talk-radio stations this week, with hosts, like KNUS’ Peter Boyles, saying Monday he thinks the United Nations Small Arms Treaty, signed Wednesday by the United States, might really be aimed at bringing on world government. (Listen to Boyles say Small Arms Treaty and IPCC might lead to world government.)

If a really smart guy like Boyles chooses to spread lies about the Treaty, which is about saving innocent lives, mostly in Africa, how can you expect other talk-show hosts down in Colorado Springs to correct callers and guests when they air paranoia and falsehoods about the Treaty, even if the guest is State Senator-elect Bernie Herpin, who just defeated John  Morse in a recall election?

Herpin was a guest on Colorado Springs’ KVOR radio Sat. morning, with Herpin taking questions from callers (Listen here):

Caller: “And basically I think that’s part of the ultimate goal to use [the Small Arms Treaty] to disarm American citizens across the board.  And I think that’s why Obama is supporting the Morse / Giron gun control the way he did.”

The KVOR guest-host Tom Antkow didn’t correct the caller. Instead, the conversation degraded further, and he and Herpin eventually agreed that the Treaty is part of a plan, supported by President Obama, for the United Nations to control America.

Herpin: The United Nations wants to restrict or control the sale of small arms throughout the world, and including the United States.  Hopefully, our Senate will not ratify – our U.S. Senate will not ratify that treaty.

Here’s where host Antkow and Herpin agree that the Small Arms Treaty is part of the New World Order, favored by Obama, under which, as Antkow put it, “they want to control the United States through the United Nations.”

HOST:  It’s that New World Order, you know.

HERPIN:  [chuckles]

HOST TOM:  And they want to control the United States through the United Nations—

HERPIN:  Yep.

HOST:  — and I think Obama is a big proponent of that.  He wants to get the United Nations –

HERPIN:  Right.

HOST:  — to kind of control everything, so. Listen to Ankow and Herpin trash Small Arms Treaty on KVOR 9-28-13

Is it too much to ask book-loving Boyles or gun-loving Antkow to inform someone like Herpin, before he enters the Colorado Senate, about what the Small Arms Treaty would actually do.

Here’s the gist of it, as reported by the New York Times Wed.:

The treaty, which took seven years to negotiate, is considered by rights advocates to be a landmark document that would for the first time impose moral standards on the enormous cross-border trade in conventional arms that fuel conflicts around the world, most notably in Africa.

It is devised to thwart sales to users who would break humanitarian law, foment genocide or war crimes, engage in terrorism, or kill women and children. Although the treaty has no enforcement power, its disclosure provisions could embarrass and shame violators…

The National Rifle Association and other American gun-rights advocacy groups still object to the treaty, contending it infringes on the Second Amendment. They have vowed that it would never be ratified by the Senate, even though language in the final draft specifies that nothing in the treaty could infringe on any nation’s constitutional rights. [BigMedia emphasis]

Even someone who can fold a tin foil hat can understand that the treaty isn’t about confiscating guns, right?

I just hope Herpin remembered to take off his hat when he signed off from his KVOR interview Saturday, and he’s not still wearing it when he’s sworn in as a new State Senator tomorrow.

Or maybe Boyles and Antkow will be present at Herpin’s swearing-in ceremony, and they can all wear their tin-foil hats together.

 

Transcript of conversation between KVOR guest host Tom Antkow and State Sen. Bernie Herpin on KVOR radio Sat., Sept. 28. Listen to Ankow and Herpin trash Small Arms Treaty on KVOR 9-28-13.

HOST:  All right.  We are going to take a call from Don.  Don, you want to talk about guns also.  So gosh, guns are always popular. CALLER DON:  Yeah, yeah, I do want to kind of supplement on what Ron was saying, and I mean, you know,  why Morse and Giron did what they did.  I’m going to say, this is not just a local or a national agenda, it’s really actually an international agenda.  Because I don’t know what Bernie Herpin can do about it, but I’m going to make him aware that John Kerry signed the UN treaty– HERPIN:  Yes, I know that. CALLER DON:  And I think, that’s kind of, you know, under the radar.  And basically I think that’s part of the ultimate goal to use that to disarm American citizens across the board.  And I think that’s why Obama is supporting the Morse / Giron gun control the way he did. HOST:  All right.  Briefly, Bernie, tell people about the United Nations resolution, I think—or bill that Kerry got involved in.  Thanks for the call. HERPIN @16:45:  Thanks.  Yeah, that’s – the United Nations wants to restrict or control the sale of small arms throughout the world, and including the United States.  Hopefully, our Senate will not ratify – our U.S. Senate will not ratify that treaty. HOST:  It’s that New World Order, you know. HERPIN:  [chuckles] HOST TOM:  And they want to control the United States through the United Nations— HERPIN:  Yep. HOST:  — and I think Obama is a big proponent of that.  He wants to get the United Nations – HERPIN:  Right. HOST:  — to kind of control everything, so.

Talk-radio host should correct House Minority Leader’s assertion that Amendment 66 would raise taxes on small business

Monday, September 16th, 2013

On a Sept. 5 show, KFKA talk-radio host Tom Lucero told Colorado House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso that government shouldn’t be an obstacle to small business.

Agreed. But talk-radio hosts shouldn’t be an obstacle to small business either. Or to educating our children.

But Lucero established himself as such an obstruction by failing to correct DelGrosso when the new Colorado House Minority leader claimed that Amendment 66, which would raise income tax to support education, would be a burdensome tax on small businesses:

DelGrosso: Well, the reality is, I think it’s mid- to upper eighty percent of all businesses in Colorado are small businesses.  And close to eighty percent of those small businesses are set up either as a sole proprietorship, an LLC, or an S Corp., which means that their taxes that their business makes flows through onto their personal income tax.  So, you will see about 80% of businesses in Colorado see a tax increase as a result of this.  [Listen here.]

But Amendment 66 doesn’t affect Colorado taxes on businesses. It’s a tax on “individuals,  estates, and trusts.”

It’s true that some business owners (like me) choose to take profit from their businesses (e.g., in the form of dividends) and account for it on their personal income tax filings.  But that’s because it’s their income! So they pay personal income tax on it, just like they would income from any other source or employment.

If you make income from a business, whether you own the business or not, you pay income tax. The individual would be taxed, not the business, under Amendment 66, and no one will be taxed twice.

With Lucero apparently agape at the fictitious thought that small businesses could be facing a new tax, DelGrosso went on to say:

DelGrosso: When the taxes go up, not only does that get passed along to the consumer, another way that that affects folks is that affects pay raises for the business.  So maybe, because the taxes went up, I’m not going to be able to give pay raises this year.  I’m not going to be able to hire somebody, or I’m going to have to let somebody go, or I can’t expand.

It’s hard to imagine a small business owner who would look over his personal budget, including the income from his LLC or S Corp, and decide not to invest more in his business due to the tax increase under Amendment 66.

ColoradoCommitsToKids calculates that an individual making the gross median income of $57,000, will pay an additional $211 in tax. A small businessperson who claims gross income on his individual income tax return of $150,000 will pay an additional $24 per week. Double that and it’s still not enough for the greediest capitalist to do much with.

But, collectively, it’s enough to give our kids the opportunity they deserve to succeed on Colorado.

That’s why media figures like Lucero, whose background as a former CU Regent should sensitize him to the educational needs of our kids, should counter DelGrosso’s misinformation with facts. Or have an educator on the show who can.

GOP Chair put “a little cold water on our parade” during recall campaign, newly elected State Senator Says

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Yesterday, I urged reporters to keep an eye on a sub-plot that’s emerged in the wake of the Republican recall victories: The “liberty” wing of the state GOP has apparently been re-energized by the election, and this could lead not only to a civil war among Colorado Republicans but also to serious election losses this year and into the future.

I mean, last time the base of the GOP got uppity in a sustained way, Ken Buck took down Jane Norton and Dan Maes fearlessly squeaked by Scott McInnis. (Maybe the insurgent air will inspire Scooter to write Musings Part II: Water Jaxine-Bubis Style.)

Happy and hot after Tuesdays wins,  the “liberty” faction isn’t being polite about its dissatisfaction with the state GOP establishment, as evidenced by Tom Tancredo’s comment yesterday, slamming State GOP Chair Ryan Call and expressing his amazement that the State GOP gets any “credibility whatsoever.”

Though he was kinder toward Call than Tancredo was, newly elected State Sen. George Rivera hit the State Chair in a more home-spun way during an appearance on KNUS’ Peter Boyles Show this morning:

Rivera: To be honest with ya, Chairman Call did come down and kind of threw a little cold water on our parade and so on. But, you know, after the meeting and so on, I sat privately with Chairman Call and I told him, I says, ‘Chairman, you don’t know Pueblo. You’ve not been here when we’ve been doing our campaigning and seen the support we’ve got from the folks.’ And I says, ‘I believe you’re wrong. And I believe the numbers will come out, and you guys will be very surprised.’ Hopefully this will get him to kind of take a different look come 2014.

Boyles: I don’t believe it.

George Rivera on KNUS Boyles Show 9-12-2013

You don’t need to know much about Tea-Party activists to understand that they’ll see this type of rain-on-your-parade behavior by Call as patronizing, to put it mildly.

They’ll undoubtedly think similarly of Call’s advice to Rivera on Tuesday afternoon, reminding him, like a well-intentioned mother might remind her son, to give a “gracious” concession speech, as opposed, presumably, to the hateful, spit-filled Tea-Party variety. (This was first reported by The Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels.)

Obviously, no concession speech was needed because Rivera won the election, and Tea-Party activists were snickering about Call’s “gracious” advice Thursday while they lambasted the State GOP for getting the Pueblo recall effort wrong every step of the way.

We’ll undoubtedly be hearing a lot more about this in the coming months or years or decades. Civil wars, we all know, don’t heal very fast, and, to the my real point, they make really good news stories, with intrigue, passion, and late-night stabbings.