Archive for October, 2012

Host of leading Spanish-language radio show endorses Obama

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Sen. John McCain was scheduled to appear on KBNO’s, La Voz del Pueblo, yesterday, two days after the radio show’s host, Fernando Sergio, endorsed Barack Obama for president.

Sergio told me yesterday that, despite his endorsement, anyone from the Republican Party is still welcome on his show.

“We are more than happy to talk,” he said, but Sergio, who didn’t make an endorsement in the last presidential contest, doesn’t sound like he’s going to change his own mind on Obama.

“Credibility is extremely important in this election,” says Sergio. “Who’s more credible? Who comes across as more caring? Who are you willing to trust? Obama comes out ahead. Ultimately I ask myself, am I willing to give the President the benefit of the doubt with the challenges he faced and this country one step away from the Great Depression? Overall, I think he’s a better choice.”

Obama was a guest on Sergio’s show in May, in what was likely the first appearance by a sitting president on Spanish-language radio in Colorado.

Romney declined repeated invitations to appear, but a parade of Romney backers talked to Sergio over the past six months including: Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, John Sununu, John McCain, Carlos Gutierrez, Craig Romney, and Ed Gillespie.

The interviews were wide ranging, Sergio told me, but in the case of Craig Romney, the Romney Campaign “asked us to make it more personal, not political.” This is in keeping with Craig Romney’s preference to tell family stories instead of policy details, even though the Spanish-Speaking Craig Romney has become Romney’s ambassador to the Hispanic community.

Asked why he thought Romney didn’t accept his invitation to chat on his show, Sergio said:

“When you look at the economy and education and other issues important to Hispanic community, like immigration, Romney doesn’t have an answer. So he’d rather let Marco Rubio do his bidding. We would have been happy to host him, and we would have been respectful. I would have challenged him on his position on the Dream Act [providing a path to citizenship for high-achieving undocumented students] and on his statement that the Arizona law could have been a model for rest of nation. I still remember the primary debate when Romney chastised Rick Perry for allowing undocumented students to go to college in Texas. Those things come back to haunt you.”

In 2008, Sergio told listeners there were “two good candidates, and they should choose the best one for them.”

Sergio says that until the election, he’ll emphasize voting.

“I’ll stress importance of voting, the importance of Latino vote,” he says. “If you want Barack Obama to continue to be our President, you have to go out and vote. There is no way he wins the state of Colorado, without the Latino vote.”

Coffman’s response to 9News Truth Test is in greater need of context than the ad itself, but 9News doesn’t offer it

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

One of the more memorable political ads this election is the House Majority PAC’s one-minute attack on Coffman for opposing embryonic stem cell research.

Reporter Chris Vanderveen fact checked the ad, as part of 9News’ admirable “Truth Test” series, and he found it to be true, but he mocked it for a severe lack of context.

I was surprised at this, because, I thought the ad was pretty straight forward. Too dramatic for my taste, but the ad isn’t targeting me (or the three people who read my blog).

The basic fact is that Coffman opposes embryonic stem cell research, which has huge medical potential.

The ad states: “Embryonic stem cell research could save lives, maybe yours or your family’s, someone you love. Only Congressman Coffman says no. ”

9News analysis: “This is a statement in dire need of context,” says Vanderveen. “While the National Institute of Health, among others, says stem cell research has huge potential, the medical community says it will take time.”

Okay, it might take time before embryonic stem cells might save the life of someone you love, but so what? Coffman is still opposing research that could save lives.

To Vanderveen’s credit, his piece quotes a 9News Medical Expert John Torres who confirmed this:

“The potential is huge, because stem cells can do so many things, as least we think they can, but it’s going to take a lot of time to figure this out. We’re talking a decade or two before we get to the point where it’s actually usable.”

Vanderveen goes on to paraphrase a comment from the Coffman campaign:

“A [Coffman] spokesperson says, [Coffman] isn’t against stem cell research in general, just embryonic, because the cells are harvested from embryos and he says that is a human life.”

The Coffman campaign’s statement is in greater need of context than the ad itself!

Why does Coffman think the cells flashed across the TV screen constitute human life?

As a backer of the personhood amendment, Coffman believes that human life begins at the fertilized-egg or “zygote” stage.

Personhood supporters like Coffman aim to codify this belief in law, so that the rest of us would have no choice but to adopt Coffman’s position, which includes a ban on all abortion and on embryonic stem cell research.

That’s because the “blastocysts” used in embryonic stem-cell research consist of about 150 cells formed four-five days after a human sperm has entered an egg. Many of the embryos used in research are donated by fertility clinics that ask women if they’d like to donate excess embryos to research. No pregnancy, as defined by the mainstream medical community, has occurred when a blastocyst forms, because it hasn’t even entered a woman’s uterus, much less implanted successfully.

So Coffman’s fringe position on abortion is linked to his opposition to embryonic stem-cell research.

Vanderveen concludes his Truth Test with the following comment:

“While the Democratic SuperPac is correct in its point about Coffman, Congress has a limited role at best when it comes to the future of stem cell research. And it isn’t clear it can cure all of the issues raised in this ad.”

Tell that to Rep. Diana DeGette, who’s made the advancement of embryonic stem cell research a focus of her career.

DeGette managed to push bipartisan legislation through Congress, expanding embryonic stem cell research, only to have it vetoed twice by President George Bush. Even though she lost, her efforts clearly kept pressure on Bush, who may well have stopped all embryonic stem cell research had it not been for Congress. (Recall the debate about cell lines.)

“As someone who just passed a bill through Congress twice to extend ethical stem-cell research, and was relying on every single vote I could find from both the Democratic and Republican sides of the aisle, I would say Congress had a pretty big role,” DeGette told me.

“And if, heaven forbid, Mitt Romney was elected and reversed the executive order on stem cell research, Congress would be back in the middle of it again.”

Barack Obama passed an executive order reversing Bush’s ban on embryonic stem cell research, much like DeGette’s legislation would have done.

“Because of President Obama’s executive order, there have been several studies that have gone to human-subject trials because of allowing research on embryonic stem cells,” DeGette told me.

DeGette is currently working on a bill that Coffman would almost certainly oppose. According to DeGette’s website, the bill, introduced with a Republican co-sponsor, would, among other things:

The ethical requirements defined by the bill mandate that stem cells be derived from human embryos donated from in vitro fertilization clinics that were created for reproductive purposes, but are in excess of clinical needs. The donated embryos would never be implanted in a woman, and would otherwise be discarded. The individuals who had sought reproductive treatment to begin with, must donate the embryos with written informed consent and without any financial or other inducements.

“Researchers say they need all the forms of stem cells to do this research,” DeGette said. “Different types of cells show different applications for different types of diseases. Parkinson’s and diabetes and nerve regeneration are diseases for which stem cell research has shown tremendous promise.”

DeGette: “If a candidate like Mike Coffman says, I don’t support embryonic stem cell research but I support other types, that’s not supporting the full range of ethical stem cell research, which could block off research into some diseases and would impede the progress of the research in general.”

In its Truth Test on this topic, 9News should have told us more about the ramifications of Coffman’s position. So there it is, if you want it.

Reporters should seek intervention with Coors on personhood

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

In a “Truth Test” check of a Perlmutter ad, 9News Brandon Rittiman concluded Thursday that it’s “arguable” whether Joe Coors opposes abortion, even in the case of rape and incest,” as Permutter’s ad asserts.

Even if you’re not a sponge for personhood trivia, like I am, you may know that Coors supported the personhood amendment in 2010, which would ban all abortions, including for rape and incest. He even donated $1,000 to the cause just two years ago.

Then, in August, he told The Denver Post that he would not support personhood again this year because the voters had already rejected it twice.

But Coors did not say that he withdrew his support for it permanently, or even that he disagreed with it.

So, given Coors support for personhood, how could 9News possibly find it “arguable” that Coors actually supports abortion in the case of rape and incest?

Well, because that’s what his campaign told 9News last month! Thursday’s Truth Test cites this 9News  interview with Coors, which was included in a September Truth Test:

…the Coors campaign says that Joe Coors would seek to ban abortion, but would allow exceptions in cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is at risk.

A spokesperson for Coors says he would encourage women who are pregnant from instances of rape or incest not to terminate their pregnancies. But he does not believe the law should “criminalize” abortion in such traumatic circumstances.

The Coors Campaign also told 9News in September that Coors “does not want to make any kind of birth control illegal.” (Hello. It’s widely agreed that the personhood amendment would ban some forms of birth control.)

On Thursday, 9News went further, reporting that now “Coors states he would not support Personhood efforts.” This may be based on 9News’ report in September that “Joe Coors is still pro-life, and feels he can be pro-life, even without backing personhood efforts.”

It’s unclear whether 9News is referring to not backing this year’s efforts, which has been Coors’ position previously, or whether Coors has, like Ken Buck and Paul Ryan before him, and done a big old flip flop.

So what do you do with this, if you’re a journalist at 9News or anywhere else?

It’s time for a direct intervention with the candidate.

How did he come around to endorsing (and donating to) the personhood amendment in the first place? Even if he’s not supporting the personhood amendment this time, why has his abortion position, as reflected in his previous support for the amendment, changed? Did he understand what the personhood amendment would do, when he endorsed and donated $1,000?  (You’d think he’d have known what exactly he was donating to, since $1,000 is not a penny-ante money, unless you’re Scott Gessler)

Why is Coors no longer anti-abortion, with no exceptions? Did he go through some kind of life transition? Why did his thinking change? In other words, how could this happen?

We need to hear from Coors on this.


With radio host raising nary a peep of objection, Gessler says stories about his reimbursements are “petty stuff” and Post is on a “jihad”

Friday, October 19th, 2012

In what appears to be his first public comments on news reports that he used his office’s discretionary funds to give himself what amounted to a $1,400 bonus, Secretary of State Gessler told KNUS this morning that the issues involved are “petty stuff” and The Denver Post is on a “jihad” against him.

KNUS Host Steve Kelley talks a lot about how tough it was for him when he was unemployed, before landing his KNUS gig. And I believe him.

But you wonder how can he sit there and let Scott Gessler call $1,400 “penny ante, petty stuff,” and The Post is engaging in “fly specking” (which, in case you didn’t know, means “to examine in minute detail” according to the American Heritage dictionary).

Kelley should have asked Gessler why, if he thinks $1,400 is so insignificant, like fly excrement, why he bothered to ask his staff to cut him a check for it, apparently without providing any justification for receiving the cash.

Kelley also let Gessler go on about how his predecessors used discretionary funds, without pointing out that they did so within the proper protocols of their offices, while apparently Gessler did not.

And then there’s the part about Gessler saying The Post is on a jihad against him.

Kelley should have pointed out that, to be fair, it looks more like the other way around, with Gessler repeatedly flogging The Post’s editorial board, equating “the left” with the “mainstream media,” saying the mainstream media doesn’t like Republicans sho shake things up, and more.

I hope Kelley addresses these matters next time Gessler is on the line.

Listen here to Gessler on KNUS Kelley and Company 10-19-2012, or read the partial transcript below:

Kelley: I know you’re on the front page of The Post this morning, with this $1,400 story. It’s a joke, in my mind. It looks like a ridiculous thing. You want to respond to that in any way shape or form. I looked at that and I said, ‘Come on.’

Gessler: Sure. Here’s what’s going on. I mean, The Post is doing a level of fly specking and holding sort of my spending to a standard that they’ve never done to anyone else and they’re certainly not doing to anyone else. You know, our governor uses his discretionary funds, and these are discretionary funds that don’t quite fall within the category of state business. He uses his discretionary funds to fly to Davos, Switzerland, and I don’t begrudge him that. I think it’s fine. My predecessor used his discretionary funds for all kinds of things. He went to Taiwan and used some discretionary funds to travel around Taiwan. And you don’t question–

Kelley: We’re talking about $1,400. Come on!

Gessler: So The Post is, I mean, they’re on this sort of jihad I think, and it’s truly a double standard. It’s one thing I’ve learned to accept because, ah, you know, let’s face it, The Post doesn’t always like me all the time. But I think most people will realize that at the end of the day this is really penny ante, petty stuff that The Post is talking about. The real stuff is, have we gotten a lot of people to register to vote. Are we running a clean election. How are our business registrations? Our fees are among the lowest in the country. Things are working at the office better than they ever have before. I think that’s the substance of what we need to focus on.

Kelley: Scott, thank you very much. I appreciate that. And we’ll see you down the road.

Gessler: Great. Thank you very much.

Kelley: Continue the good work.

Plenty to criticize in Boyles’ interview with State Senate candidate

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Bloggers mostly write their own headlines, and this time I had an especially hard time doing it. Here are some of the ones I was thinking of for this blog post:

Boyles fails to spotlight news, broken on his show today, that State House candidate Sampson faces a subpeona and possible contempt of court charges if he doesn’t present his birther evidence at birther trial in Indiana.

Boyles should find out whether State Senate candidate Sampson, who was a guest on Boyles show today, follows through with his threat to file a defamation-of-character lawsuit against another guest (and fellow birther)

You know Boyles had an exciting talk-radio show going when State Senate candidate Sampson tells Boyles to “put a muzzle” on the show’s other guest or Sampson will hang up!

Why didn’t Colorado’s number one birther, Peter Boyles, stop his fellow big-shot birthers from blowing each other up on his talk radio show?

If State Senate candidate Sampson won’t testify against Obama, will he lose his number-five spot on Denver Post Editorial Page Editor Curtis Hubbard’s top Colorado birthers list?

It all sounds pretty exciting, doesn’t it? It is, believe me. Read the transcript here. Better yet, listen to the audio. Or you can read the partial transcript below.

To summarize, Colorado Senate candidate John Sampson, who’s a top birther in Colorado, and big-time birther Orly Taitz were on Peter Boyles’ KHOW show this morning to dicuss their dispute over whether Sampson should testify at a birther trial in Indiana, as Sampson did at at birther trial in Georgia.

Sampson, a Republican running for Senate District 25, doesn’t want to go, which upsets Taitz to no end, as you’ll see below. And Boyles loses control of the situation.

TAITZ: In January, I had a witness, John Sampson, who is running for state senate in Colorado.  He’s a Republican.  He did appear and testify in Georgia in January and I subpoenaed him to testify now.  And he is saying that because he’s running for office he doesn’t have time, he’s not travelling anywhere until after November the sixth.  But this is extremely important, more than anything else he’s doing….

TAITZ:  But I have to tell you, a lot of people are angry now because, you know, there are 30 million people who read my website and they’re extremely angry.  Because [Sampson] provided an affidavit.  Now the judge is saying, “I need witnesses to appear and authenticate and say, ‘Yes, I’m the one who signed this affidavit.  Yes, everything is true, under the penalty of perjury.’”  If he does not do it, the judge is going to throw his affidavit in the garbage!  And this is extremely important.  He is one of the most important witnesses….

TAITZ:  Well, I need John to appear at trial on Monday.  This is extremely important.  And last time, when he appeared in Georgia, I paid for his airfare, hotel, his expenses to come to trial.  I will pay for him again.  It’s only one day!  He has to be there for only two hours. I’ll fly him there.  I’ll fly him back.  It’s extremely important.  It might be our only opportunity to remove Obama from office.  We don’t know what’s going to happen in elections….

SAMPSON:  Thank you!  A couple of things, Peter.  Number one, as you know and your listeners know, [clears throat] –excuse me – um, I’ve got my own political race I’m in the middle of.  And quite frankly, the polling data that we have showed that it is a statistical tie.  Every minute I take away from the campaign, I have more catch-up to do later on, and it adversely impacts my chances of getting elected to Colorado State Senate.  That’s item one.  Item two, is on March 26th, 2012 I was down in Phoenix, Arizona and met with Joe Arpaio and his crew.  And at that meeting, I was instructed, because there is an ongoing criminal investigation, that they would appreciate it that if I didn’t testify in any other hearings because of the information that I became privy to as a result of that meeting.  And once I get on the witness stand, Lord only knows what questions are going to be asked.  And as a result, and I’ve been in touch with Mike Zullo who is the lead investigator for this thing, and none of us are going.  And I understand where Doctor Taitz is with this, I really do.  And I applaud her efforts, but I’m in a bind right now, where I cannot honor the…

TAITZ: …I have actually filed a lawsuit in Arizona to compel [Sampson’s] appearance at trial and compel him – [inaudible:  “seem the on-trial person to subpoena”23:39]  and if need be, I will have to file something in Colorado.  And I have to tell you, if this is an even election, John’s chances will go down tremendously because people are supporting him knowing that he is supporting this issue, that he will be there testifying.  If he is just talking, and running for office–

BOYLES:  Orly!  Orly!  Orly!  Orly, it’s Peter.  Let me– Please.  Why do you – Do you think that John is not coming to Indiana because why?

TAITZ:  Because he made a deal with Arpaio.  Arpaio made a deal with the federal government where they actually dropped all the charges against Arpaio.  They withdrew a criminal complaint, a serious criminal complaint against Arpaio where he could have gone to prison for a number of years.  And I believe—

BOYLES:  You know—

TAITZ:  I really suspect, that a deal was made was made with Arpaio, that Arpaio —

BOYLES:  You’re—you’re—you’re—

TAITZ:  –would not bring any charges—

BOYLES:  You’re using—you’re using –

TAITZ:  Arpaio—let me finish! Arpaio used this case to raise a huge amount of money, seven million dollars.  He did not find anything! He only provided information that was given to him by me and a couple of other people.  And Arpaio went and did press conferences.  He [Sampson?  Or Arpaio?] issued a sworn affidavit.  All he’s asked is to appear in court and say, “Yes, I stand by this affidavit.  It’s true and correct.”  If he is asked any other questions, he can state, “I cannot provide anymore information because of ongoing investigations.”

SAMPSON:  You  know, Peter, if you can’t put a muzzle on her, I’m going to sh—I’m going to hang up!…

BOYLES:  But, Orly!  Orly!  Orly, do you think that Sampson is somehow in collusion, or in bed, or rolling over, because he won’t come to Indiana?

TAITZ:  Absolutely.  Absolutely.

SAMPSON:  You know, Orly, if I were you—

TAITZ:  Absolutely, and—

SAMPSON:  Orly, if I were you, I would go back to your office and I would pull a book entitled “Prosser  On Torts” and I would look up the words “defamation of character”, “libel”, and “slander”  –

TAITZ:  Oh, John!  Don’t threat [sic] me!  No!  No!

SAMPSON:  — because now you’ve crossed that line!

TAITZ:  No, don’t threat me!   No, I didn’t.  No, I didn’t.

SAMPSON:  And you’ve just accused me of taking a bribe—

TAITZ:  I did not!  No!  No, I did not cross—

SAMPSON:  –or a collusion with the federal government on this, on public radio!

TAITZ:  No! I did not cross the line!  You—you signed a sworn affidavit, sworn under the penalty of perjury.

SAMPSON:  [talking over Dr. Taitz] Well, why can’t you intro—Why can’t you — Why can’t you introduce that affidavit at trial?

TAITZ:  You’ve been subpoenaed!  You got a subpoena!

BOYLES:  Orly! Orly!

TAITZ:  You got a subpoena.  You have to appear in court.

SAMPSON:  The subpoena that you –

TAITZ:  Or you’re going to be in contempt of court.  Period!


TAITZ:  You are now in contempt of court because you are refusing to comply with a court-issued subpoena.

SAMPSON:  The subpoena you issued – [still speaking over Dr. Taitz]  Peter –

BOYLES:  Orly, hang on!  John.

SAMPSON:  The subpoena that you issued is defective, –

TAITZ:  Defective!  Why?

SAMPSON:  –because you have me listed on that subpoena as an employee of the Department of Homeland Security.

TAITZ:  No! No!  No!  No! No, it’s [inaudible]–

SAMPSON:  Go read the subpoena!

BOYLES:  Or—Or–Orly!   Geez.

SAMPSON:  It’s addressed to me in care of the Department of Homeland Security.

TAITZ:  No.  No, that’s not –not defective!

SAMPSON:  That subpoena was mailed to me by email.

BOYLES:  Orly!  Orly, can you not go on with your case without John?

TAITZ:  Listen, he is very important.  We will go on with the case.

BOYLES:  Okay.

TAITZ:  However, there is a high chance that the case will be dismissed….

BOYLES:  Hey, listen, I see John on Saturdays and Sundays out campaigning.  He’s campaigning for something that he wants.  I—I—I mean –

TAITZ:  Well, but what’s more important?  Something that he wants, or he owes this country?  He has—

BOYLES:  Well, it’s his country, too.

TAITZ:  Not only that, he’s obligated to be there!  The subpoena was served.

BOYLES:  All right.

TAITZ:  He will be in contempt of court if he does not show up.  And it is not a defective subpoena! The reason we have previously his prior address is because—his work address, because he was not providing the home address.

BOYLES:  I’m going to have to get—

TAITZ:  However, or if it went to his home address, the address is irrelevant.  A person can change his address.

BOYLES:   All right.  All right.  Hang on a second.  I’m going to leave—I’ve got to to give everyone a last comment, here and a pause.  John—

SAMPSON:  Yes, Peter.

BOYLES:  I mean, I like both of you. I understand both of you.  I understand your position. I understand her position.  Um—

SAMPSON:  I understand her position, as well, Peter.  The problem is, if there is a way I can get my entire sentence out without it being interrupted, I will.

BOYLES:  All right.  Go ahead.

TAITZ:  Okay, I—

BOYLES:  Orly, please! Orly, please!  John, I’ll give you, and then we’ll give Orly last comment.  John, please.

SAMPSON:  Okay.  The subpoena was received by email.  It was not personally served, number one.  Number two, the address that she has on that subpoena is so incorrect, it’s not even funny. It’s to the Department of Homeland Security, Detention and Removal Operations, 4730 Perry Street in Denver, Colorado.  ICE has not been at that address for at least two years, if not longer, because they moved to Centennial.  On top of that, the email is not, in my understanding in speaking to my attorney, does not constitute proper service.  It needs to be served, unless I am willing to waive service, which I am not, it has to be personally served on me.  This is a subpoena that is coming out of the state of Indiana.  She has already admitted on your show that she has filed suit in Arizona to compel Arpaio to come in. Now, I’m going to leave it with this.

SAMPSON:  Zullo and Arpaio have a cause of action against her for defamation of character. I have a cause of action against her for defamation of character, based upon the statements that she has just made, that allude to the – to her allegation, that I am somehow involved in some sort of a backroom deal with Arpaio and the federal government.  As a twenty-seven year veteran with the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of [inaudible “SUSA”?? 31:50] before that, I am vehemently upset about this.  It is insulting.  It is demeaning.  And it impugns my character and my credibility.  I am not , under any circumstances, involved in any backroom deal with anybody.  And to suggest that for a moment is just pure desperation on the part of an individual who doesn’t have her facts straight.  And I am going to refer this to my attorney.  And Ms. Taitz, I hope your malpractice insurance premiums are paid up because I have a very strong indication that I am going to be collecting on that. That is the end of my statement.  Peter, I have known you for a long time.  And I appreciate you standing up for me, but this goes beyond the pale….

TAITZ: He got a valid court subpoena and it was not only emailed, it was also mailed to his home address in Strasburg, Colorado. Whether he got it by mail, or whether he evaded service, it doesn’t matter.  He admitted, he just admitted on your show that he got the subpoena – that he didn’t get it by mail, but he got it by email.  He got it.  He’s under obligation to appear in court.  If he does not appear, he will be in contempt of court.  This is a matter of national security.  He is not asked to reveal anything that is secret—part of a secret investigation.  All he’s asked to do is to tell the judge that, “Yes, I am John Sampson.  This is my signature.  I signed this affidavit, and it is true and correct.”  That’s it! And he is on the stand.  He doesn’t have to say anything else.  If he is not doing this, he will be held in contempt of court.  And there might be legal action against him by six plaintiffs in this case who rely on his affidavit, relied on him to be here, based on subpoena, and [at] the last moment, he is refusing to show up and destroying an important case.  Not only for six people.  He’s destroying the case for the whole country.  This is a matter of national security.

BOYLES:  Okay.

TAITZ:  So, there is no excuse.  He has to be there on Monday at 10 am.  And you know what?  If he is not showing up, he is as good as lost this election, because a lot of people today are extremely angry. If you go on my website and see, people writing comments and things.  “What is wrong with John Sampson?  Is he a turncoat?  What is wrong with Arpaio?”

BOYLES:  I—I can tell you—Orly.  Orly, I’ve got to pause here and break it off.  I’ve got to tell you something.  I’ve known John a long time.  There’s nothing wrong with John.  I know Joe.  There’s nothing wrong with Joe. I know you.  There’s nothing wrong with you.  Um, but, everybody has to do this in their own manner.  I hope to hell that this thing doesn’t end up where I smell it’s going to end up.  It’ll be a bad day.  Both of you—


Boyles’ tweet suggests high-tech killing gun as immigration reform

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

I was kinda scared to see what KHOW talk-radio host Peter Boyles would suggest for “immigration reform,” but I clicked the link he attached to his tweet below:

Talk Radio 630 K-HOW@630khow

What would be wrong with using these for immigration reform? ~Pete LINK

And look where Boyles’ link leads, to this photo on his show’s page on the KHOW website. It appears just above “Obama Timeline — Part I And II,” which I didn’t look at:

Does it make you want to follow Boyles on Twitter, too?

If you do, or if you listen to his show, you find a guy who used to be hard to classify on the left-right scale–socially liberal and anti-establishment, pop.

He remains anti-establishment, which you admire sometimes if you hear him, but he’s been veering steadily to the Republican right in recent years as he’s glued himself to the birther issue, especially. But he’s also anti-undocumented immigrant, anti-Muslim, even anti-Denver Post.

So at the end of the day it’s sad to see this kind of image on Boyles’ website, sad for him, and sad for undocumented people who will feel the hate, and potential violence, that Boyles is whipping up against them.

Reporters shouldn’t miss CO State Senate Candidate’s meet-and-greet with Gessler

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

In an event that no reporter will want to miss, Secretary of State Scott Gessler is stumping tonight for State Senate candidate John Sampson, whom Denver Post Editorial Page Editor Curtis Hubbard recently called one of Colorado’s top five birthers.

So you’ve got Sampson, who questions whether Obama is a U.S. citizen, paired up with Gessler, who has the same question about thousands of unsuspecting people.

If that’s not a recipe for news, what is? Who knows what these guys will say to each other?

Colorado’s undisputed number-one birther, Peter Boyles, might show up and add some squirreliness and newsworthiness to the event. Boyles and Sampson have enjoyed a few radio love fests together.

I don’t think Rep. Mike Coffman would attend, but he’s unpredictable, and he’s sort of apologized for saying he doesn’t know whether “Obama was born in the United States of America.”

All this adds up to a potentially lively evening at John Sampson’s “Meet and Greet with Secretary of State Scott Gessler.”

Reporters can get the details here. The fun starts at 6 p.m.

Why does Coffman admire Chinese capitalism, while Obama and Romney bash China?

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Romney and Obama are expected to bash China in full force tonight, as they’ve been doing on the campaign trail, with Romney calling the Chinese “cheaters” and Obama promising to raise tariffs.

This is in stark contrast to Rep. Mike Coffman, who’s written that the Chinese have enjoyed “economic growth based on the free market principles that we have long abandoned in favor of the redistributionist policies of a welfare state.” (Littleton Independent, May 22, 2011) Republican Michele Bachmann took a similar position.

Back on May 22 of last year, Coffman wrote in the Littleton Independent about a recent trip Coffman took to China:

Coffman: “No doubt, it felt strange to travel to a country that is the largest holder of U.S. debt, continues to expand its industrial base at the expense of ours, and has enjoyed sustained economic growth based on the free market principles that we have long abandoned in favor of the redistributionist policies of a welfare state. The ruling elite of China are communists in name only but cling to power based solely on an ideology of economic growth that most of the population accepts in exchange for a complete lack of political freedom. The government knows that if they are unable to sustain economic growth then the Chinese people will question their authoritarian rule and unrest will follow. The Chinese are nationalistic in their pride; in only three decades this economic experiment has already lifted a third of their nation out of abject poverty.

If China takes center stage in the debate tonight, reporters might find out from Coffman if he’d toss out health insurance for kids, Medicaid, school lunches, and other parts of the “Welfare state” in order to make capitalism in America look more like China’s version.

Why does Suthers worry about social costs of pot legalization but social costs of repealing Obamacare apparently don’t trouble him

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers appeared on KLZ’s Grassroots Radio Colorado Thursday to discuss his opposition to Amendment 64, which would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana in Colorado.

Suthers offered a bunch of reasons for opposing Amendment 64, and the KLZ hosts asked him a few softball challenges, instead of letting him go off without a douse or two of resistance.

But one unchallenged statement from Suthers struck me as unbelievably ironic, given Suthers hard-driving opposition to Obamacare, even suing on Colorado’s behalf to stop it.

Suthers told KLZ listeners that he’s worried about the broader social impacts that marijuana legalization would have on Colorado, saying:

Suthers: You know, in a libertarian utopia, everybody would suffer the consequences of their own choices, but in America, you’re going to pay the emergency room costs, you’re going to pay the costs of this guy dropping out of school, the public assistance cost, and unfortunately, the prison cost.”

It’s something worth talking about, but Suthers has been one of the leading opponents of Obamacare, which would provide health insurance to tens of millions of Americans who don’t have it.

One of the overarching problems with having so many people uninsured is the social costs, which go beyond individuals getting sick, of course, and include everything from higher healthcare costs and lower economic productivity to crime and increased public assistance.

These types of things, which you don’t find in a Libertarian utopia, worry Suthers when it comes to marijuana legalization. Yet he’s apparently unconcerned about them when he’s fighting Obamacare, because he offers no practical alternative to Obamacare.

As Suthers makes the media rounds opposing marijuana legalization, talk-radio hosts and real journalists might discuss these matters with him.

Partial transcript of CO Attorney General John Suther’s interview on Grassroots Radio Colorado Oct. 11,

SUTHERS: I think we are going to see – we are seeing from medical marijuana and we’ll see even more from legalization — serious problems in our schools, higher dropout rates. And this is the society where we all pay for this. You know, in a libertarian utopia, everybody would suffer the consequences of their own choices, but in America, you’re going to pay the emergency room costs, you’re going to pay the costs of this guy dropping out of school, the public assistance cost, and unfortunately, the prison cost.

GUEST HOST CARISA ZGLOBICKI: Mmm-hmm. That makes a lot of sense. I was wondering if you could touch base on, you know, there’s a lot of talk about the economic benefits of the Amendment 64, and I wanted you to see—you know, hear your side on what that really means.

SUTHERS: Yeah, we’ll take on some tax revenue. But keep in mind, to this very day, the tax revenues that we take in from alcohol pay for about 10% of the social costs we incur from alcoholism. And I think you can project pretty much the same with marijuana legalization, any revenues the government takes in will be a fraction of the social cost that will be imposed.

Read the entire text of the Suthers interview here.

Post Poll doesn’t show that Romney is swaying voters, despite Post headline

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Denver Post reporters like to think of themselves as evidence-based folk. That’s what sets professional journalists apart from the rest of us, right?

So if you’re a clever headline writer at The Denver Post, why would you put the following headline atop a story comparing a new Post Poll showing Romney with 48 percent of likely voters versus Obama’s 47 percent with the Post’s previous poll, five weeks ago, showing 47 percent for Obama and 46 for Romney? (Both polls had a four percent margin of error.)

“Romney Sways Voters!” [I added the exclamation point because it might as well have been there.]

Despite what this headline in the Sunday print edition said, the poll, released partially by The Post Friday with more details Sunday, showed a dead heat, with the difference well within the survey’s margin of error.

The fact that Romney gained two statistically insignificant percentage points since the previous Post poll is obviously meaningless.

Former Post columnist Mike Littwin got it right in two tweets today:

D-Post fail: WaPo correctly calls its poll (Obama +3) “dead heat.” DP calls its poll (Romney +1) “shift in Romney’s fortunes.” #copolitics

More on D-Post fail. Gallup: Romney +5. WaPo: Obama +3. Any poll fallible. Yet DP tells readers its 2-point swing significant.

If you’re wondering, a poll’s margin of error means that, if the poll were conducted 100 times, 95 times out of one hundred times the poll results would be within the margin of error, according to John Sides, an Associate Professor of Political Science at Georgetown University and a contributor to the Monkey Cage Blog.

So, in the case of The Post’s recent poll, 95 out of 100 times the results would show Obama’s percentage of the vote between 51 percent and 43 percent (four points up or down from his 47 percent) and Romney’s between 52 percent and 44 percent, Sides told me.

“We don’t have much confidence that Obama was leading in the first [Denver Post] poll or Romney was leading in the second–or that there’d been any change,” said Sides.