Friday, August 31, 2007

Mark Udall and Norman Hsu Contributions

Under public scrutiny, Boulder liberal Rep. Mark Udall took his $1,000 contribution from fugitive swindler Norman Hsu and donated it to charity (some say cynically). One day later, Hsu turned himself into police.

Will Udall now call for other Democratic groups likely to fund his own campaign to return their Hsu contributions? I'm beginning to see some of the reason for cynicism.

Lefty Activist Breaks Rank, Sours on Glowing Projections of Udall Victory

Some thoughtful comments from a reliably liberal Colorado political activist named Jeff Bridges (no, not this guy) have challenged the conventional wisdom on the state's 2008 Senate race:
Pundits across the country have named Colorado's U.S. Senate seat the most likely to switch parties from Republican to Democrat in 2008. I'm not quite convinced.

Republican Sen. Wayne Allard is retiring, and folks in DC believe that five-term Congressman Mark Udall from Eldorado Springs will handily defeat his ultra-conservative opponent, former 4th District Congressman Bob Schaffer....

So they say in DC. I think they're wrong, and Udall's folks have a very nasty and very tough fight ahead of them....

Read the entire post to grasp the logic of his argument. Interestingly, the comments have stirred up efforts from within the "progressive" blogger community to stymie the dissent from their prevailing optimism about Boulder liberal Mark Udall's likely chances to win a statewide contest. (Skip down to the comment section of this diary.)

Bloggers at Schaffer v Udall have been hoping the Left would leave the rose-colored glasses on indefinitely, continuing to overestimate the strengths of their candidate and the weaknesses of ours (continuing to label Schaffer as "ultra-conservative" is one form of denial that's a sure sign of the writer's own leftward political leanings). Perhaps Mr. Bridges' contrarian insights will rouse his comrades into action. Then again, we hope they don't.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Personal Note

Anyone who thinks that I don't sit here and laugh as I write about the foible's and follies of Mark Udall, his staff, and his supporters simply isn't reading my posts carefully enough.

Today's Wisdom From the Left

We're not going to give you many hints about this link, except to say that it probably wasn't plagiarized, which is refreshing. It also isn't a baseless attack on Schaffer, which is also a refreshing change. Knowledgeable folks will be able to guess the site they are being sent to:

It is no wonder that our standard bearers are so unattractive to Unaffiliated's and Republicans alike.

...Mark Udall seems to have nothing to say and has the unmitigated gall to aspire to the US Senate.

Does this mean that Udall is on the way out? Is Ken Salizar really IQ challenged? Is Diana DeGette really an unthinking, uncaring tax and spend lefty? Find out for yourself.

Udall is Still Cornfused

A month ago, we wrote an essay about Mark Udall's Cornfusion. Today, a report in the Durango Herald that was generally uncritical of Udall described this exchange at a meeting called to tout renewable energy:

The one question Udall seemed to stumble on concerned the downsides of corn-based ethanol, an alternative fuel that has been criticized for taking almost as much energy to produce as it produces. However, corn ethanol is strongly supported by agricultural interests and politically influential Iowa voters.

Ali Sabeti, a retired senior adviser of the World Bank who lives in Durango, asked Udall how long it would take Washington to end subsidies for corn ethanol.

"If anybody wants to help me out with this question, I'd appreciate your help," Udall joked. The congressman recovered quickly, saying the government should promote research into cellulosic ethanol to provide a greater balance.

Would it be too much to ask Mark Udall to be consistent when he talks about corn ethanol? When he talks to knowledgeable energy executives, as he did in Durango, he is skeptical. When he talks to farmers, he is enthusiastic. When scientists at CSU criticize it, he calls it a "bridge."

He is a green extremist whose positions don't make sense, even to him. Regardless, he wants to shove the Colorado economy into an uncertain future of his own design.

A Ride Down a Slide

Not long ago, we found Wendy Norris, a Mark Udall supporter, complaining that she couldn't promote bestiality, sex between sheep and humans (second comment). We wrote in The Colorado Index about the comment and the new state law making bestiality a crime.

The Norris complaint was on a post by Cara DeGette.

Today, in the Colorado Springs Independent, at the very bottom of a catch all essay that mentions Ted Haggard's latest foray into the spotlight, DeGette takes a nasty swing at Schaffer:

Perhaps Haggard should consider moving back to Colorado and challenging Schaffer in a primary bid for the Senate next year.

Lord knows, he has some issues.

It is hard not to think that Ms. Norris and Ms. DeGette have some very serious sexual issues of their own. DeGette and her close friends can't seem to avoid the temptation to write material about Republicans that is, to use a kind word, "strange."

Much as they might like to claim otherwise, Norris and DeGette are not journalists in the traditional sense. They are paid to smear Republicans. Apparently, anything goes.

Mark Udall has to know that we will be more than happy to link him to his supporter's more colorful and tasteless antics. If he wants to take a ride down a slide greased with chicken excrement, he can't expect to arrive at the bottom without some of it sticking.

Anyone who has ever worked with chickens will know why we picked that version of feces. Those who haven't can probably guess at least one of its two attributes: It is semi liquid and the smell is overwhelming.

Cynical Charitable Gift

Mark Udall is following the lead of Hillary Clinton's campaign and giving at least some of the tainted campaign money he received to charity.

Considering Udall's lifetime commitment to the environmental extremist movement, one might guess he would give the money to them. Or, one might guess that he would give the money to the victims of that movement, the people who have lost homes and lives to uncontrollable forest fires made worse by his own legislative efforts.

In a move that reminds us of Michael Dukakis' photo op ride in a tank during the 1988 Presidential campaign, Mark Udall is giving the money to the Colorado National Guard Foundation. He isn't doing so quietly, either. His campaign told his hometown paper.

For those of you too young to remember what happened, Life Magazine called the photo one of the "100 photos that changed the world." Their take:

Compared with the dashing WWII pilot Bush, the little Dukakis came off a clown, and the photo op blew up in his face.

There are many things a politician can do in a campaign that might seem believable and sincere, even when they are not. The tank ride wasn't believable, and neither is this.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Disenchantment with Udall over Drug Company Donation?

In what might mark the beginning of a trend, a left-wing blogger notes disapprovingly that the 2006 re-election campaign of Boulder liberal Rep. Mark Udall, now a Democrat candidate for the U.S. Senate in Colorado, took money from big drug companies. She writes:
We are seeing the housing market go bust, jobs lost to outsourcing, and our senior citizens, who are on fixed incomes, struggling to keep up with the rise in food prices and medicine.

On the other hand, who is NOT struggling? The drug companies, of course!...
However, Udall tells his campaign website readers about his views on health care policy:
...[A]s I have traveled around the district, many senior citizens have told me about the great difficulty they face in buying prescription drugs. Hospital administrators tell me that the single largest expenditure increase in their budget is on prescription drugs. Insurer's spending on drugs has shot up from $40 billion in 1996 to an estimated $118 billion this year. And almost four years ago, I released reports which shows that seniors in my district who don't have drug coverage pay twice as much for the medicines as do people who do have coverage.

Currently, Medicare does not cover outpatient prescription drug costs. We have an obligation to our nation's seniors to provide them with the lifesaving treatments they need and deserve. No senior should be faced with the choice of buying food, paying the electric bill or buying critical life saving medicines.
Typical Democrat rhetoric, to be sure. But if Udall is also taking campaign money from drug companies, shouldn't the base of his party's support in Colorado be concerned about which side of his mouth he is talking from? In this case, confusion may turn to disenchantment.

Of course, the answer to the nation's health care woes is not heavy-handed socialistic programs - it's free market reform through consumer empowerment. But that's not what Mark Udall is talking about.

Giddy Democrats

The elections are a year away and some Democratic prognosticators are predicting a fillibuster proof Senate and more. Mark Udall figures in those calculations, of course.

No one has pointed out to those prognosticators that Mark Udall is likely to be a private citizen in 2009 because he is too liberal for Colorado.

Attack Dog Loses Teeth

Bob Schaffer appeared on the Amy Oliver show and opined that Harry Reid and other Senate leaders were trying to lose the war. Many of us agree, which is why the approval rating of this Congress is so low. It is also why Harry Reid has disappeared from the airwaves.

Usually Colorado Media Matters would offer some sort of criticism. It didn't, making this news.

Udall Camp Recipient of Confessed Swindler's Contribution

Norman Hsu headlines today as a major Democratic Party fund-raiser who pleaded guilty in 1991 to grand theft swindling charges but skipped out on an agreement to serve a prison sentence. According to Federal Elections Commission (FEC) records, Hsu gave $1,000 to Boulder liberal Mark Udall's Senate campaign on June 25, 2007. (HT: Face the State)

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported alleged contribution laundering from Mr. Hsu through a middle-class California family:

Six members of the Paw family, each listing the house at 41 Shelbourne Ave. as their residence, have donated a combined $45,000 to the Democratic senator from New York since 2005, for her presidential campaign, her Senate re-election last year and her political action committee. In all, the six Paws have donated a total of $200,000 to Democratic candidates since 2005, election records show....

It isn't obvious how the Paw family is able to afford such political largess. Records show they own a gift shop and live in a 1,280-square-foot house that they recently refinanced for $270,000. William Paw, the 64-year-old head of the household, is a mail carrier with the U.S. Postal Service who earns about $49,000 a year, according to a union representative. Alice Paw, also 64, is a homemaker. The couple's grown children have jobs ranging from account manager at a software company to "attendance liaison" at a local public high school. One is listed on campaign records as an executive at a mutual fund.

The Paws' political donations closely track donations made by Norman Hsu, a wealthy New York businessman in the apparel industry who once listed the Paw home as his address, according to public records. Mr. Hsu is one of the top fund-raisers for Mrs. Clinton's presidential campaign. He has hosted or co-hosted some of her most prominent money-raising events....

Kent Cooper, a former disclosure official with the Federal Election Commission, said the two-year pattern of donations justifies a probe of possible violations of campaign-finance law, which forbid one person from reimbursing another to make contributions.

"There are red lights all over this one," Mr. Cooper said.

There is no public record or indication Mr. Hsu reimbursed the Paw family for their political contributions.

A lot more questions need to be asked here, starting with this one: With such a taint of swindling and possible campaign law violations hovering around Mr. Hsu, should Udall return the contribution?

Quick Observations

We didn't skip yesterday because we had no Udall news, but because we were working on another, more personal project. If we were being paid to blog, like many of the major left wing blogs in Colorado, we would have had to put blogging first. We don't get paid.

Some quick observations before we go back to our other priorities:

1. The left wing blogosphere has gone dead silent on their claim that Schaffer was selling his vote. That silence started the day the Rocky printed its editorial. Curiously, none have suggested that Mark Udall disgorge his $75,000 in union contributions on much stronger evidence that he sold his vote on an issue that he didn't support.

2. Caroline Bninski only has about 10 days of jail time left. We saw a left wing blog comment that Udall was "moving to the center" by supporting the troops. When we went looking for it to write about it, we couldn't find it again for a link, but it is out there. That gives more weight to the the suggestion that she was set up by Mark Udall and his staff, and that they consider her their "Sister Souljah."

3. We went a whole day without a single left wing blog calling Schaffer a name. Amazing!

Expect more posts at our normal frequency beginning this evening.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Closer Look at Udall's Bill to Open Cuba to U.S. Drilling

On July 25, Boulder liberal Rep. Mark Udall introduced a bill before Congress that would permit American oil companies to explore and drill off the shore of Cuba. In introducing the bill, he delivered the following speech on the House floor (excerpted for brevity):

Madam Speaker, today I am introducing a bill to permit Americans and American companies to take part in exploring for and development of energy resources offshore of Cuba and other nearby countries.
  • The bill would make an exception to all laws, Executive Orders, and regulations that now prohibit exports to or imports from Cuba or transactions in property in which a Cuban national has an interest. This exception would apply to transactions necessary for the exploration for and development of hydrocarbon resources--such as petroleum or natural gas--from offshore areas under the control of Cuba or another foreign government that are contiguous to the exclusive economic zone of the United States. The bill would also permit Americans to travel to, from, and within Cuba in connection with such exploration and development activities....
  • ...Under the bill, the only restriction would be that any exploration or development by an American company offshore from Cuba would be subject to the same conditions for protection of fish, wildlife, and the environment as would be the case if the activities were carried out in the parts of the outer continental shelf under the control of the United States.
  • Madam Speaker, I am not in favor of unlimited development of oil and gas wherever those resources may be found. In our country, I think some areas should remain off-limits to such activities, and that in some other areas it should be subject to restrictions to protect other resources and values. And if Congress were called to make similar decisions about resources in areas controlled by Cuba I well might support similar restrictions for the offshore areas the government of Cuba has decided to make available for exploration and development.
  • But I think that once the government of Cuba has made that decision, our Government should not insist on preventing American companies from seeking the opportunity to take part in those activities--especially since the American energy industry is unrivalled for its technical expertise and its ability to meet the technical challenges involved. My legislation would allow them to seek that opportunity. [emphasis added]
First, notice how admiringly Rep. Udall speaks of "the American energy industry." Left wing attack blogger David Sirota rails on Udall's opponent Bob Schaffer (republished here and here) for his "ties to the energy industry," predicting it will cause a rift in Schaffer's support among hunters and sportsmen. Will Sirota similarly rail on Udall for catering to "the energy industry" by sponsoring this bill? (A month has passed since a watcher first introduced readers to Udall's inconsistency in this area.) It hasn't happened yet.

Finally, Udall said: "I think some areas should remain off-limits to such activities, and that in some other areas it should be subject to restrictions to protect other resources and values." In other words, Cuba's coastline is great but Colorado's Roan plateau is off-limits. What criteria does Udall suggest to distinguish between drilling on the two? Does Udall favor economic benefits for Castro and the repressive Cuban Communist regime, but not for Colorado's residents on the Western Slope? Given Udall's record on environmental issues, his sponsorship of the bill to open up Cuban waters for American drilling demands these questions be asked ... and more.

Union Campaign Contributions and Udall's "Serious Reservations"

A watcher has published a letter from Boulder liberal Rep. Mark Udall to constituent Ralph Shnelvar about Udall's co-sponsorship of the ill-named Employee Free Choice Act, and asks the question: "Whose vote is really for sale?"

But then again, one can raise the same question from Udall's House of Representatives floor speech on the same bill:

Madam Speaker, I will vote for this bill. It can help working people, and it will send a strong message that we need a National Labor Relations Board committed to fairness in the workplace.

But as I said 2 years ago, I have serious reservations about lessening the role of the secret ballot in union elections. Workers should not be intimidated by pressure from either business or labor in making decisions about organizing a union.

However, it is clear that the NLRB has clearly failed to protect workers from intimidation and union-busting. That is why I support this bill even though it is far from perfect.

And while I support the rule because it allows the House to consider some meaningful amendments, I am disappointed that others were not included. For example, I thought we ought to have made changes to make the procedure for decertifying unions like those for establishing unions. We should also have considered setting deadlines for NLRB decisions.

I would hope those amendments, and others, maybe even a sunset clause, will be considered in the Senate not only because they could improve this legislation but because open debate on amendments might help reduce the divisions and polarization about this bill.

But the House should pass the bill, imperfect though it is, so the Senate can continue the process of reforming our labor laws to better protect workers' rights while also working towards balance, fairness, and objectivity in the way that the NLRB must do its job.

Rep. Udall had "serious reservations" about taking away workers' right to the secret ballot. But what role did $75,000 in campaign contributions from Big Labor play in quieting his conscience and downplaying his "serious reservations"? In any case, the Boulder Democrat sounds very conflicted.

Even the reliably liberal Denver Post editorial board called Udall on the carpet for his co-sponsorship of the bill:

And Udall, who wants to be Colorado’s next senator, should know that elections here are won by wooing over moderate, independent-minded voters. Casting votes like this won’t help. The proposal died only after Senate Democrats could attract only one Republican vote, from Pennsylvania’s Arlen Specter, to stop a GOP filibuster against the bill.

The misnamed Employee Free Choice Act also would have denied workers the right to a secret ballot on the question of whether they want to be represented by a union at all. The measure, which passed the House 241-185, is sure to be back because organized labor has made it the top priority in the new Democratic-controlled Congress.

But the tenets of the bill aren’t Western values, and our lawmakers should oppose this unprecedented intrusion of federal power into the collective bargaining process and private workplaces.

I can almost hear the campaign ad now: "Mark Udall... in line with a special interest agenda, out of step with Western values."

Tonight's Trip Around the Blogosphere

1. The Rocky's editorial yesterday seems to have shut down the left wing's self-generated frenzy claiming that Schaffer sold his vote.

2. The name calling continues, with three blogs adding to our count today. If the left wing blogs want to sully their reputation with childish name calling, we will help them. The score will go up next weekend.

3. David Sirota keeps rewriting the same post with the same links to his own stuff. One gets the impression that he really doesn't know Colorado all that well. That isn't surprising given that he just moved here. We've stopped following his links out of boredom. He seems to have lost his Gang of Four platform as the Post appears to have shut it down effective August 18th.

4. Sirota was part of the left wing echo chamber shoving the Schaffer stuff along. We wonder if he will devote any attention to the Mark Udall scandal involving $75,000 in union contributions. Will we see strident calls that Udall return the money? Probably not, because ethics and consistency are not strong points among left wing bloggers.

Selling a Vote

If this were a hyperventilating left wing blog, we would be convicting Mark Udall and sending him to prison. We would ask, repeatedly, if the Democrats had a viable replacement in the event that he gets disciplined by the House ethics committee.

We try to be a bit more calm and well reasoned than that.

Today, we are calmly asking readers to read Mark Udall's own words and judge for themselves whether he sold his vote for $75,000.

Sure, But Since When Has The Left Actually Needed Facts?

The Rocky Mountain News is running a spot-on editorial today refuting any implication of wrongdoing by Bob Schaffer in relation to a vote he cast as a Board of Education member.

Give Michael Huttner credit. The head of ProgressNowAction, a left-wing activist group, has ginned up plenty of media coverage by alleging Colorado State Board of Education member Bob Schaffer crossed an imaginary ethical barrier that would be impossible to enforce.

Huttner says Schaffer did something fishy when he cast a vote in a dispute between a charter school contractor and Denver Public Schools. . . .

Huttner argues that at a minimum Schaffer should return the contributions from Brennan and his wife, who also gave to Schaffer's 2008 efforts.

Look at the calendar. The Brennans' 2008 contributions to Schaffer came after the board's May vote, not before it.

Like I said, the Left has never needed actual facts to make a lot of noise. Sadly, this is very likely just the beginning of the smear campaign against Bob Schaffer.

And the Rocky is not likely to catch all of the lies. I hope the Schaffer campaign IS.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Closet Democrat?

In looking at Mark Udall's call for "a transit option on our I-70 corridor," we couldn't help but think of the way to pay for it. The more we thought about it, we think the Democrats have the right idea-we can use oppressively high taxes.

Clearly, this benefits the ski industry, so we need to put as much of the cost of the "transit option" on it as possible. How about a $25 per day tax on skiers? That would be for the low and mid-range ski areas. Skiers at places like Vail and Aspen can easily afford to pay $50 a day.

We could establish a special ski resort area sales tax of 10% over the amount now charged, and 20% on works of art.

A 5% annual property tax could be slapped on Ski "villas" worth more than $100,000 (chuckle).

Udall's claim of a need for more ski area workers can easily be satisfied by establishing a ski area "living minimum wage" of $40 an hour. Heck, why not $50 an hour? It's only money, and it isn't our money.

Democrats so love tax code driven behavior modification that they will like the added benefits: It will take a few years to build a transit system, and these proposals will eliminate the riff-raff from the ski slopes and the I-70 corridor.

The really neat thing about this set of tax proposals is that none would ever expire. More "good works" can be done for years to come. If we make the taxes high enough, we won't even have to actually build a "transit option" and can siphon all of the money off to our own purposes. To avoid criticism, we can revenue share 10% of the boodle with the impacted counties and towns.

Mark Udall will doubtless like these proposals and aggressively move to see them adopted. We're not so sure about Bob Schaffer, who doesn't seem like taxes all that much.

Our reputation as a "closet Democrat" can only be enhanced by this post. Maybe Tim Gill will fund us.

The First Rule of Politics

Mark Udall demonstrated that he fully understands the first rule of politics: If you are going to lie, make it a whopper.

"We are in the midst of a very dramatic beetle-kill cycle in our lodgepole forests," he said.

Mother nature holds the upper hand, he said, but we must do everything we can to mitigate the impacts. Udall said several years ago he encouraged the Federal Emergency Management Agency to consider disaster mitigation for communities like Winter Park that are facing lots of beetle-kill.

He said, "FEMA's response was not much better for us than New Orleans."

Mark Udall is only this year sponsoring a bill to reverse the laws he helped put in place to restrict thinning, and then only within a mile of these communities. Neither FEMA nor the Forest Service can overcome the laws that the environmentalist extremists put in place to restrict thinning, and to claim that their "response was not much better...than New Orleans" ignores that fact in an act of pure hypocrisy.

The story got buried quickly, but last month the Lake Tahoe fire victims were publicly blaming the Sierra Club for going to court to slow the thinning and road building that would have saved their homes.

Just this year, Udall put up an amendment that would have closed roads on Federal lands to the public.

Mark Udall is acting like a little kid who has spent his lifetime strewing nails on the street leading to his home and now angrily blames the fire department for not responding quickly enough when he set his own house afire.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

We missed this one-so no music

A msm outlet called Mark Udall a Liberal, upping our scoreboard by one. We feel a little bad about this one because the author is Robert Novak. Even so, if we are to use our methodology consistently, we have to count it.

This is the first obviously conservative msm author using this terminology. The Gazette editorial writer seems to be more libertarian and is responsible for two votes. Every other mention is from a liberal or left wing outlet or blog.

Colorado-2: Rep. Mark Udall (D) is vacating his seat in this district that includes Boulder, the Northwest suburbs of Denver, and many ski areas. It's a left-leaning district that has always liked liberal Udall, re-electing him with 68 percent of the vote last time. Bush received only 41 percent in this district in 2004.

The Mark Udall Is Not A Moderate Scoreboard
Extremist 2
Reliably Left Wing 2
Liberal 12
Moderate 0
Conservative (don't hold your breath)

Remember, we only count msm comments and comments from liberal blogs on this scoreboard. A conservative blog could call Mark Udall a liberal every day and would not get included in the tally. Also, we provide links to each previous instance so that doubters can examine our methodology.

Democrat Name Calling

In the past 10 days, starting on August 15th, Mark Udall Supporters have called Bob Schaffer a name 11 times.

The various left wing blogs do not call him the same name, and as far as we can tell, the voters are not going to latch on to any of the names used.

This is pretty childish, and if Mark Udall wants to be associated with this kind of politicking, we will be more than happy to accommodate him.

Links in a month.

Letter to the Editor--Roan Plateau

Earl Ashbury, who has no connection to the oil industry, wrote a wonderful letter to the Gazette, yesterday, regarding Mark Udall, Ken Salizar, John Salizar, and Bill Ritter. It is too long to quote here, but the bottom line is worth noting:

I don’t want to hurt our environment, either. But it’s not necessary to be a wacko about it. Drilling on the Roan Plateau, for instance, has been studied for years by government agencies, and plans have been instituted to drill in an environmentally wise way.

It will eventually happen. But in the meantime, the Salazars, Ritter and Udall will have made their obeisance to the environmentalists in order to keep their campaign contributions coming.

A Look Into The Future?

We just got the most interesting Google Alert:

False alarm on Schaffer

Rocky Mountain News - Denver,CO,USAMark Udall, accepted $75000 in contributions from labor unions in the first quarter of this year. In March, Udall announced his support for the so-called ...See all stories on this topic

When we followed the link, all we got was a blank page. Perhaps you can do better.

Mother Nature Bats Last

The Vail Daily News has some Mark Udall quotes from his Aspen fundraising trip. It appears that a few of the questions we suggested did get asked, if only indirectly.

The congressman then turned back to a waiting gathering of reporters to discuss the infestation of pine bark beetles that is laying waste to huge sections of the state’s mountain forests and prompting growing fears of wildfires.

“We can’t stop the march of the beetle,” Udall said. But, he added, the federal government can reduce the risk of forest fires in communities surrounded by forests.

He pointed to a bill that is in the early stages of consideration in Congress, the Colorado Forest Management Improvement Act of 2007,” which he conceded is “as much about preventing catastrophic wildfires” as it is about forest health. Among other things, it calls for the creation of “fire-risk maps” to aid officials in determining which areas need the most help, and the quickest help...

“We can’t come up with enough cash” for the government to do everything necessary to protect communities from forest fires, Udall said.

“In the end, Mother Nature bats last,” he said. “We just want to keep the game going.”

For a very long time, Mark Udall and his Sierra Club buddies have fought against thinning and the road building that would allow thinning. Home owners who thinned forest land near their properties on their own were breaking the law, and probably still are.

Now he says "We can't come up with enough cash." to fix the problem he fought hard to create, and continued to fight hard to create as late as this year by blocking access to roads on Federal lands.

Instead of trying to save the forests, Mark Udall is trying to avoid the embarrassment of seeing whole Colorado communities burned to the ground, knowing that he would bear direct responsibility.

The pine beetles could have been stopped, and probably still can be stopped or significantly slowed. Mother Nature does bat last, but we don't have to throw her forest fire side softballs.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Dem Divide: "Dump Udall"

Boulder liberal Rep. Mark Udall wants Colorado to choose him as our next U.S. Senator, but he is treading a fine line of confusion on the most important issue of our times. From the Aspen Times comes this gem:

Thursday, Udall's plans were momentarily derailed when protester George Newell positioned himself behind the congressman, directly in line with cameras of local photographers. Newell carried a sign saying, "Dump Udall. He Votes For War" - a reference to Udall's recent vote for passage of a $100 billion war bill sought by President Bush.

When one of Udall's staff tried to get Newell to step away, the protester reacted angrily, saying, "That's assault."

When Udall joined in with a politely-phrased request to get out of the way, Newell responded, "That guy just tried to shove me out of the way." Newell and Udall then exchanged words about Udall's recent vote on the war funding bill.

"This guy just voted $100 billion for the war," Newell said, to which Udall responded that he also had recently voted "to protect civil liberties, which I have always supported." Udall said it was his position to "support the warriors, not the war," and told Newell, "You and I both agree the war ought to end."

Again asking Newell to disengage, and getting another anti-war argument in return, Udall continued, "You end the war by tying the funding to a different direction, which I have voted consistently to do."

Ouch. It looks like walking a fine indecisive line only opens the rift in his party's base a little more.

And as a watcher pointed out about the broader cynical political posturing of Udall and the Democrats:

All enemies of the US have learned that if the cost in American lives can be made high enough, the US will cut and run. The political goal of the enemy immediately before the election will be to make the war as bloody as possible in order to try to elect people like Udall. That's not a criticism of Udall, but a fact of life.

If he really wants to protect soldiers, he needs to speak out against this macabre strategy.
He should say publicly and often that he doesn't want his party to benefit from a pre-election period made more bloody by an enemy determined to impact the outcome.

Democrats have cakewalked to power when the enemy uses those tactics and encouraged them through their silence. They are willingly walking to political power on the coffins of our young men and women. It needs to stop.

It's worth repeating because his analysis is spot on true.

Cross posted at Mount Virtus

Cakewalking Over Coffins

Yesterday must have been a rough day in Aspen for Mark Udall. He had an anti-war protester who was giving him and his staff grief, and doing so effectively. The Aspen Daily News had good coverage.

At the end of that article is the following quote:

Udall "was one of the few congressmen to vote against the war," his spokeswoman Tara Trujillo said later, "but now that we're in it he refuses to stop funding that will protect our U.S. soldiers in battle."

All enemies of the US have learned that if the cost in American lives can be made high enough, the US will cut and run. The political goal of the enemy immediately before the election will be to make the war as bloody as possible in order to try to elect people like Udall. That's not a criticism of Udall, but a fact of life.

If he really wants to protect soldiers, he needs to speak out against this macabre strategy.
He should say publicly and often that he doesn't want his party to benefit from a pre-election period made more bloody by an enemy determined to impact the outcome.

Democrats have cakewalked to power when the enemy uses those tactics and encouraged them through their silence. They are willingly walking to political power on the coffins of our young men and women. It needs to stop.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Can a Blogger Be "Bought?"

A Watcher admits that he can. The price is pretty high, though.

Killing The Economy In The Name of Global Warming

Before Mark Udall and his green extremists force march all of us into an unknown economic future (we borrowed this phrase) he would do well to read the editorial in yesterday's Gazette.

NASA has quietly changed its statistics:

Instead of 1998 being the “hottest year” in the United States since 1880, as some global warming alarmists claimed, it turns out that 1934 was. Instead of nine of the 10 hottest years since 1880 occurring after 1995, four of the hottest years were in the 1930s and the third hottest year was 1921. The 15 hottest years now are spread over seven decades, more than half occurring before CO2’s sharp rise in the atmosphere.

NASA’s error came to light thanks to alert Canadian blogger and mathematician Stephen McIntyre. NASA’s sheepish response was to quietly acknowledge the error, note the correction on a Web site and thank McIntyre for his trouble. The “mainstream” media, which is largely on board the alarmist bandwagon, shrugged off the story.

I used to work for NASA's Michael Griffin long before he went to NASA. I have a couple of Officer Efficiency Reports signed by him, so he would know my identity if he thought about it.

I'm not surprised either that NASA was wrong about the record temperatures, or that it is being quiet about its mistake, and Griffin has nothing to do with that sentiment.

NASA is a political organization. It was before Griffin got there, and it will be after he leaves. It's science is politically tainted, and its scientists are too quick to do and say what its congressional masters want. I saw that first hand in 1989.

Since Mark Udall has oversight over NASA as a subcommittee chairman, maybe he can look into how this temperature mistake came to be and what economic costs the nation will face because of it. Don't hold your breath. The new data doesn't fit Udall's orthodoxy or the snake oil being sold by him and his green masters, including the Sierra Club.

The DJ Just Shakes His Head

This morning, we noticed that Mark Udall got called a "progressive" by a left wing blog.

Republican Senator Wayne Allard has announced his retirement and progressive Democratic Congressman Mark Udall has a good shot at taking this seat.

Is someone who is "progressive" further left than someone who is merely a "liberal," or are the terms meant to be interchangeable? Republicans don't talk of politicians and blogs as "progressive," so we are posing a serious question this morning.

In the Republican lexicon, politicians and blogs are either "left wing" or "liberal," with "liberal" being far out of the mainstream and "left wing" being comically distant from the political center.

Since the term isn't clear, and since only the far left uses that term to describe itself, we are going to assume that if a blog describes a politician as a progressive, they mean either that he is left wing or that he is reliably left wing. We have the latter category, and that is where we will put today's comment on our scoreboard.

The Mark Udall Is Not A Moderate Scoreboard
Extremist 2
Reliably Left Wing 2
Liberal 11
Moderate 0
Conservative (probably won't happen)

Remember, we only count msm comments and comments from liberal blogs on this scoreboard. A conservative blog could call Mark Udall a liberal every day and would not get included in the tally. Also, we provide links to each previous instance so that doubters can examine our methodology.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Democratic National Convention Countdown

The Democrats, led by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, Governor Bill Ritter, and DNC Chair Howard Dean kicked-off the one year countdown to next year's Democratic National Convention (full videos of all the speeches at Slapstick Politics).

Funny, though, that the Democrats mentioned picking up seats in the West in the past few cycles, and hope for more in 2008--but fail to plug their Democratic candidate Rep. Mark Udall. Udall wasn't even in attendance, though many other elected Democrats were on hand to rally supporters.

Surprising, given the prominence attributed to the race as one of the most competitive and closely watched in the country, that neither the Democrat's candidate or even a mention of the import of the Senate race itself was made. Maybe the Democrats were too busy speculating on Bob Schaffer's future to remember they have a candidate who was AWOL at a high-profile (if somewhat symbolic) event.

Marching to a Different Drummer

Doesn't Daily Kos remind you of a tireless bongo drummer? No one ever marches to the beat of bongo drums, but the drummer wants to call the tune anyway.

Today, in one breathless piece Daily Kos managed to
1) admit that Mark Udall was a liberal, but claim it didn't matter.
2) call two prominent Republicans names.
3) declare victory in the Colorado Senate race because the Republicans lack a deep enough bench to replace Schaffer, as though they were looking, or even a needed to look.

Not a Moderate Scoreboard:
Extremist 2
Reliably Left Wing 1
Liberal 11
Moderate 0
Conservative (Wash out your mouth)

Name Calling Scoreboard
6, and this one has yet to account for the past two weeks of name calling.

The name calling scoreboard is intended to force left wing bloggers to be more civil or call attention to their incivility-their choice. Name calling is for schoolyard children, not serious political campaigns.

The not a moderate scoreboard is intended to demonstrate that no one thinks that Mark Udall is a moderate, least of all his liberal and left wing allies.

Why Isn't Mark Udall Moving Right?

If Mark Udall loses the premier Senate campaign in the nation, it will likely be because of a stubborn refusal to move to the center on any issue of importance.

Today, Reuters indirectly provides insight into why Mark Udall is running an unreconstructed flaming liberal campaign:

1. Left Wing Bloggers dominate the blogosphere and provide easy access to money and manpower resources. The price of accepting those resources is that candidates like Udall cannot afford to appear moderate, especially in an expensive campaign.

2. The left will ignore good news on the war. Left leaning candidates must do the same.

3. "Some liberals are so confident about Democratic prospects that they contend the centrism that vaulted Democrats to victory in the 1990s no longer matters,"

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mark Udall Fundraiser

It looks like Mark Udall will be in Aspen for a low dollar fundraiser this week. We have some questions that we think attendees might want to ask:

1. Udall is currently positioned so far to the left that it is hard to see how he can credibly move to the center where he has to be to win in Colorado. Is there a strategy to do that and is it really wise to wait until the last minute to implement it? If not, why should I be giving him any money?

2. Colorado's motto is "Colorful Colorado," and not because the pine bark beetles turn whole forests orange. Does he believe that the death of the forests around Aspen will add to or detract from the value of Aspen homes and/or the Aspen tourist industry?

3. Does he believe that he or the Sierra Club bears any responsibility for the deaths of firefighters who die in areas where it and he have resisted building forest roads or keeping them open.

4. Is Aspen still being considered as the site of his proposed Peace Academy, or does San Francisco have a lock on it?

5. Is it true that he now regrets orchestrating the incarceration of Caroline Bninski and he would now like to see her sprung?

6. Does Colorado have so much water that it can afford to give it away to New Mexico?

Just trying to help.

Disabusing a Liberal of a Cherished Fantesy

While most, if not all liberal blogs are written by hard core liberals, not all conservative blogs are written by hard core conservatives. In fact, most aren't, at least here in Colorado. For what it is worth, there are three blogs that I think reasonable people would call far right, and none of the bloggers involved write for schaffer v udall.

Today, I saw a quote on a far left wing democratic blog that appears to be funded by someone, some say Tim Gill. It said about this blog:

The far-righties are holding on tight to BS, while writing wild-eye attacks against Udall and treating BS as their lord and savior (it's very coulterish, or cultish?). They even go as far to claim Shaffer is a "realist" while Udall is extreme. It's comedy at it's best, since they think they are doing their guy good.

That charge was so far off base in terms of my politics that I took the time to write a 2000 word rebuttal. This blog's format is too small to post entries here, so it is posted elsewhere as "Why Mark Udall Will Be In Trouble."

Udall is in trouble because people like me and my co-bloggers, who can't be dismissed as "far-righties" are so mistrustful of his instincts. He is so far out of the mainstream that he seems to lack common sense when it comes to the major issues of the day.

And to correct a point that our friend made, no one on this blog has ever called Udall "extreme." We have merely reported that either the msm or liberal blogs have called him "extreme" or "liberal," or "reliably left wing" multiple times, to the point where we keep a scoreboard.

Added: We changed "is" to "appears to be" in the second paragraph within 5 minutes after posting this, should there be a future question. We try to be accurate. Tim Gill is thought, along with George Soros, to be the funding source for several left wing blogs and the organizations behind them.

Monday, August 20, 2007

And The Triangle Player Chimes In

We wanted to point out that it will be very hard to sell Udall as a centrist when the msm and Liberal blogs themselves routinely refer to him as either "extremist," or "liberal." We started keeping track and created a scoreboard that links to the sources. Recently, we started linking to our most recent scoreboard post so that readers could examine our methodology for fairness.

Today's blog is "Liberal and Loving It," so there isn't much doubt that the guy considers himself a liberal.

He was interviewing Will Shafroth and said about him:

The bottom line with Will is, I think, that he is Mark Udall reloaded. A nice, smart, thoughtful person who would do a good job and apply himself diligently. A reliable liberal vote who is unlikely to push much outside the conventional wisdom of this district.

It doesn't seem likely that anyone will take exception to our observation that he is saying that Mark Udall is a reliable liberal vote who doesn't push much outside the conventional wisdom of his Boulder district.

Our count is now
Extremist 2
Reliably Left Wing 1
Liberal 10
Moderate 0
Conservative (Lol) That's "laughing out loud" in Internet speak.

And no, there isn't any hidden message in the title of this post. It just follows the theme we are using for this scoreboard series.

10 Days Down, 20 to Go

Today, we can't help but think of Caroline Bninski, a Green Party protester who is rotting in a Boulder jail cell without the press attention and adulation heaped on Paris Hilton. She has served 10 days of her 30 day sentence.

When we first heard the story of her prosecution, we thought Mark Udall and his staff had acted properly and reasonably. We wrote several posts using that take.

As more facts came out, we have come to believe that Udall and his staff set the woman up and called the police seconds after she violated the agreement she and Udall's staffer had made.

We are thinking of sending her a cake. We wonder if the Boulder calaboose has an X-ray machine that they use on cakes.

Issues vs. Name Calling Part 1

One of the hallmarks of Democrat bloggers is their tendency to lean on name calling when they are short on issues. We would like to have this election fought out on a higher plane, between a liberal to reliably left wing extremist (not our terms, those are msm and liberal blog terms) Mark Udall, and a Republican, Bob Schaffer, who is much closer to the traditional Colorado center.

We are going to help Colorado Republicans, responsible Democrats, and Independents hold these blogs responsible for their actions.

In order to discourage name calling by left wing blogs, we will be calling attention to it. We won't repeat the names being used or initially provide links, because that would encourage name calling. We will provide a count update once a week, and when the links are at least a month old, we will provide one long list of links.

Of course, our "mean spirited step-sister" starts the count with two separate name calling posts that are actually reprints of other blog's name calling.

That's 4.

Later this week, or more likely early next week we will go back through our Google Alerts for the past two weeks to add to the count.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

This could be fun

It seems that our step-sister didn't go out of business after all and is watching what we write. We apparently caught them on the blog where they misspelled their own name on their URL.

They have a new url, which we are not providing so as to send you all back through their old one, which has been recreated and links to their new one. It's pretty funny.

There is a possibility that our step-sister has provided a photo. Judge for yourself how ugly she is. Nice hairdo there, sis, though people will wonder about the facial hair.

She has great taste in baseball teams but isn't old enough to have seen Bob Gibson pitch or to have sat behind a girder in sportsman's park. We did both. The game we remember best is the one where Gibson allowed 11 runs in the first inning. He left the game early, and so did we.

Sis says in her latest post:

For all their willingness to criticize I'm surprised they didn't notice I misspelled the URL. So, now it's changed, and I can't notify them as they don't allow comments.

We don't allow comments because someone tried to run what appeared to be a scam claiming to have made money at a site whose url he provided in a comment. We didn't want folks falling for it.

This relationship could be fun!

That Was Fast!

The blog, udallvschaffer, that we referred to as both the sincerest form of flattery and as our ugly and mean spirited step-sister made two posts and disappeared. The blog is gone, and the posts are gone, (but we will still count them on our scoreboard).

Both posts had called Bob Schaffer names, so it was off to an interesting start. That blog offered so much potential to poke fun at left wing blogging that we will miss it. We were waiting for "absurdicus," one of the listed contributors, to pontificate.

I had even made it a "favorite," and today I get "page not found." Oh the pain of seeing a favorite blog with so short a lifespan.

Perhaps Tim Gill decided he had better uses for his money.

When Looking For Dirt...

The left wing echo chamber has bounced a story about a single Bob Schaffer campaign contribution for weeks now. It started at ProgressNowAction, affectionately known as PlagiarismNow to this author because last spring it appeared to have lifted, word for word, three paragraphs from a Wikipedia article and only slightly modified a fourth without attribution for the body of one of its hit pieces.

It moved to the Denver Post for two printed articles. A far left wing Denver Post blogger, David Siorta, has worked it over as has about every left wing Colorado blogger we know of. It isn't news, it is a manufactured "controversy," and thus hasn't made it into responsible outlets like the Rocky Mountain News or the Gazette. We don't know of any of the smaller papers around the state that have repeated it, which doesn't speak well of the Denver Post's judgement.

Today, the Denver Post left winger is up for some well deserved criticism by a fellow Denver Post writer David Harsanyi for defending John Edward's hedge fund machinations while going after Bob Schaffer. He observes that Sirota isn't consistent:

Now, let’s remember, only days earlier, the same progressive was hyping a concocted “scandal” over Republican Bob Schaffer, for which he admitted he had not a shred of proof and not a single reputable person said had any merit.

That’s quite a display of consistency. I guess activists have their own set of rules.

Actually, only Democrat activists have their own set of rules. They use a microscope for Republican dirt and blinders for Democrat filth. We try to be consistent here.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A sense of flattery

I'd like to second A Watcher's sense of flattery that the Left has decided to emulate the work here on Schaffer v Udall. My high hopes may be in vain, but it would be nice to see our counterpart approach a level of civility and decency. It's going to be a long campaign.

Schaffer Exudes Blend of Realism and Confidence on Statewide GOP Tour

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer is on the stump crossing the state, speaking to local party groups candidly about where the Colorado GOP is at and optimistically about what it can accomplish. An article in today's Grand Junction Sentinel highlights such a stop for Schaffer along the Western Slope, as he spoke to the Mesa County Republican Party:

Schaffer, who addressed the county party’s monthly luncheon, said the Colorado Republican Party has to figure out where it parted company with mainstream voters.

“Frankly, friends, Republicans, we need to have a candid conversation among ourselves about what it is our party is for and what we exist to do,” Schaffer told onlookers.

He said in light of the Republican Party’s defeats in 2004’s U.S. Senate race between Pete Coors and Democrat Ken Salazar and 2006’s gubernatorial race between Bob Beauprez and Democrat Bill Ritter, some rebuilding is in order.

Schaffer, of Fort Collins, said he plans to travel Colorado over the next several months, “building the base … trying to get our party back up on its feet.”

“That’s a hard thing to say, but I believe it’s true,” Schaffer added. “And I think that even before we get to the point of proposing to take on Democrats, we’ve got to do a good job of getting our own house in line.”

This kind of frank talk is refreshing and necessary after two bitterly divisive election cycles. It helps immensely that the primary field is clear (despite the wishful thinking and hard work of certain liberal bloggers) for Schaffer to carry the party's banner. He's going to need all the time he has to get the job done. But if he stays consistent with his honest, realistic tone and his clear, confident vision, the Republican Party in this state will benefit greatly.

The drummer plays on.

The Democrats apparently think that this blog is effective. They just started a step-sister. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, but if past liberal conduct is prologue, we expect to be Cinderella to that blog's ugly and mean spirited step-sister. Is Tim Gill funding this operation, too?

The second post out of the box quoted Daily Kos as calling the Republican senatorial candidate "bat shit insane."

Independents who read this blog will note that it refrains from name calling and attempts to illuminate the issues in a thoughtful and thorough way. While the liberal bloggers work hard to create an echo chamber of innuendo and name calling, we don't source our material from conservative blogs, so you won't see much of an echo chamber effect here.

Our ugly step-sister did help us with our count project in one way. It reprinted a CQ assertion that Mark Udall is a liberal. The Daily Kos did the same thing. CQ's statement was:

Udall is generally liberal, although his record started moving toward the political center once he decided that he would run for the Senate in 2008

CQ provided no facts to back up the last half of that statement. If it is true, and we don't think it is, it says a lot about Udall. He knew he would be too liberal to be elected statewide in Colorado, so when he decided to run for Senate, he began trying to conceal his liberalism. It calls his integrity into question.

Given that this "Mark Udall is a liberal quote" was made by a msm outlet and echoed by two liberal blogs, we think that we can up our scoreboard by three.

We wanted to point out that it will be very hard to sell Udall as a centrist when the msm and Liberal blogs themselves routinely refer to him as either "extremist," or "liberal." We started keeping track and created a scoreboard that links to the sources. Recently, we started linking to our most recent scoreboard post so that readers could examine our methodology for fairness.


Extremist 2
Reliably Left Wing 1
Liberal 9
Moderate 0
Conservative (That would be a laugh)

Interestingly, CQ is the first msm outlet that we know of to make the claim that Udall was "moving toward the center," and they didn't bother to source it. Since they labeled him as a liberal we will ignore their modification.

Added 24 hours later: The blog, udallvschaffer, and its two posts have been taken down. This scoreboard operates like any other, once the game is played, once the posts are written, the statistics remain. You can run but you can't hide, or if you like, you can hide, but you can't run. More... and more...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Schaffer and Udall, a Sharp Contrast

Bob Schaffer attended a Republican Picnic in Boulder and said "This is a race we can win" He went about it in his usual positive and confident manner, stressing “lower taxes, more personal freedom, more prosperity.”

Those are the values of the Ronald Reagan version of the party, and those are the values that won and will win again the hearts of conservatives and moderates, of Republicans and Independents, and even of some thinking Democrats.

We first saw Bob Schaffer in his capacity as Chairman of the Leadership Program of the Rockies, a program that accepts both Democrats and Republicans who want to be future leaders. He is a dynamo.

A sign of how well received a campaign will be is the people it draws:

Before Schaffer arrived, county Republican chairwoman Marty Neilson expressed pleasure at the number of people showing up at the picnic shelter on what had earlier threatened to be a stormy August night.

Neilson said she was especially heartened because “there’s lots of people here I’ve never seen before.”

Schaffer is clearly off to the right start. His positive view of the future is a sharp contrast to Boulder liberal Mark Udall who is making a name for himself in Congress and around the state as the candidate of negativity. No way to win the war, no forest roads, no way to save the forests from fire and beetle, no drilling on the Roan, no to an oil and gas economy, and no to keeping Colorado water in Colorado, to name a few of his "No's"

Udall does seem to favor higher taxes and the Sierra Club's attempt to force march the Colorado economy into an uncertain Green future, without regard to the consequences.

A Most Precious Commodity

Mark Udall is working in Congress, with Ken Salizar, to give Colorado Water to New Mexico. There are some Republicans in on the game, to their shame, but Udall appears to be trying to aid his New Mexico cousin, Rep. Tom Udall, while selling Colorado "down the river."

But there is still more. In a more recent House hearing on its version of the Navajo settlement act, HR1970, Colorado congressman Mark Udall, apparently acting as surrogate for his cousin, New Mexico congressman Tom Udall who is HR1970's sponsor, lit into the fretting Bob Johnson, Reclamation's new commissioner, who is obviously only carrying stinging coals for OMB.

Declaring himself the undying friend of the Indian, Udall said OMB had to get over its queasiness about how the public was being asked to spend its money, for after all hadn't Governor Richardson promised at least $75 million toward a tax bill that will easily exceed $1 billion in construction costs alone? Wasn't that enough he intoned? Never once did Mark Udall, the man who would be the next Democratic senator from Colorado, ask questions concerning the baffling hydrologic study; never once did he elicit concern over the adverse impact this settlement would have on Colorado's legitimate rights to water in the Colorado River under the interstate compact; and never once did he show concern that more irrigation for the Navajo might actually cause them to lose more money than presently.

This is came from a long article by Phil Doe, who once worked in the Interior Department, and is chair of Citizens Progressive Alliance in Littleton, Colorado. Read it all, and weep!

Would Udall Favor Boulder Over The Rest of Us

The Colorado Index suggests a question for Mark Udall:

Mark Udall is doing his job as a Congressman from Boulder. We wonder what his priorities would be if he were a US Senator. Would he continue to cater to the crowd of NIMBY environmentalists in Boulder, or would he try to solve the problems in the other parts of the state ahead of Boulder's problem of its own making? Doing the latter might be good for Boulder and would be good for the environment.

Given that he is taking so much money from the greens, we would bet that he would favor the Boulder NIMBY's over the needs of any other area of the state. We would bet that he wouldn't require a change in Boulder policies as a price of widening US 36. Someone should ask him.

And The Beat Goes On And On

The calling Mark Udall anything but a moderate drumbeat that is. Usually we would only count a remark if it came from a msm or a liberal blog. This one comes from a blog that appears to be a non partisan hunter's blog. Udall is trying to buy hunter's votes with legislation as a part of David Sirota's "land politics" strategy, making this a legitimate blog to count, we believe.

This blog is located in Virginia and is terriermandotcom. He said:

Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) has introduced the "Teddy Roosevelt Bring Back our Public Lands Act," which would limit the amount of money that states can charge non-residents who hunt big game exclusively on U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management land. Duncan Hunter seems unaware that this law is unconstitutional under the 10th Amendment but don't spend too many brain cells thinking about it, as this legislation is not going anywhere. There is not even a Senate version of this bill. Ben Nelson, chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (a bi-partisan group consisting of more than half the members of the Senate and House who support hunting and fishing), is dead-set against this bill, as are such diverse Members of Congress as reliably right-wing Rep. C.L. “Butch” Otter (R-ID) and reliably left-wing Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO). So why was this bill even introduced? Simple: Election-year pandering to hunters.

That makes the count:
Extremist 2
Reliably Left Wing 1
Liberal 6
Moderate 0
Conservative Not in this lifetime

Our last post on this subject was here.

Gun enthusiasts will laugh at the previous post on this blog. Actually, almost anyone who isn't a total hypocrite will laugh at it. The hypocrites will grit their teeth.

Know Your Enemy

We use this title tongue in cheek because we Republicans shoudn't consider Democrats anything but friendly rivals with dynamically wrong headed visions for our country's future. Even though they take fuzzy headed liberal positions on almost every issue, they are not the Taliban. Well....

Today, Colorado Confidential has an interview with Mark Udall's campaign chief, Mike Melanson.

About a month ago, we reported that Udall's team didn't think any of the Democrat Presidential front runners would help them. If you read between the lines, this interview seems to validate that reporting.

We're not quoting any of the article because we think it important that folks read the whole thing.

We tried to throw a little humor into this with the first paragraph. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the Democrats didn't take themselves so seriously?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Rocky: Wrong on the Roan

The Rocky Mountain News, in a soft spoken and polite rebuke of Ken Salizar, Bill Ritter, John Salizar, and Mark Udall said that a drilling ban on the Roan was "wrong."

Like it or not, "old energy" is still economy's lifeblood...

In their public statements, backers of "clean" or renewable energy are often modest about the potential these power sources offer today's consumers. Even the most ambitious legislation, for instance, usually provides for a decade or longer for renewables to make up 15 percent or 20 percent of a utility's energy portfolio.

In practice, however, many of the same people oppose virtually all opportunities for major production of "old energy," such as on the Roan and the Outer Continental Shelf. Such opposition could of course force green technologies to assume a larger role even where they're not yet realistic options to coal, oil and natural gas...

Sen. Ken Salazar pressured the Bureau of Land Management to delay leases on the Roan for at least another four months, as requested by Ritter. And the energy bill passed by the House of Representatives earlier this month includes a provision from Colorado Reps. Mark Udall and John Salazar that would ban drilling on BLM land at the top of the plateau forever. would be foolish to ban the carefully regulated extraction of natural gas from huge deposits such as the Roan in the hope that the economy can survive unscathed a forced march into a green energy future.

And The Beat Goes On

The "Mark Udall is a liberal (or extremist) drumbeat," that is. We only report on this when a msm outlet or a self-described liberal blogger calls Udall a liberal or an extremist. Conservative blogs don't count.

Here is the updated score and a link to the last time we added to the score:
Extremist 2
Liberal 6
Moderate 0
Conservative (not likely)

This time it was Lady Juliana's Daily Blog. She describes herself thusly:

This is the blog of a young progressive transgender woman. Her interests are GLBT rights, women’s rights, the environmental, arts and culture, current affairs, sexy hunks, and world peace.

Anyone Notice A Difference?

Read the post immediately below this one. It is a carefully laid out comparison of the Bob Schaffer position on Education vs. the Mark Udall position. It is long and thoughtful, as are all of his pieces on his Best Destiny site.

Since he is not blowing his own horn, I'll blow it for him. If you want to understand the intricacies of CSAP, you should slide on over for an unbiased (everyone has biases, some hide them better than others) look:

CSAP Impressions Part I
CSAP Impressions Part II
CSAP Impressions Part IIB
CSAP Impressions Part III
CSAP Impressions, Part Last
CSAP Impressions, Post Script

These essays were written by a guy who draws no money from any source for his essays, either here or on his other blog. Compare the quality of his work with anything the Democrat hate machines like Colorado Media Matters, Colorado Pols, Square State, and ProgressNow put out. Most, if not all get paid by sources they won't name (thought ultimately to be Tim Gill and George Soros).

They have a candidate who is so liberal that he has never been called a moderate by any source we know of. People who are as far left as Mark Udall win in Boulder, but not in all of Colorado. Given that positioning, what are these paid media mercenaries left with? They try to trash Schaffer and sites like this one any way they can.

Over the next year to the election, you can expect quality from those who do their writing out of conviction, and name calling trash from the far left Democrat sites who get paid for propaganda. Watch and see.

Schaffer and Udall on Education

Since I've been spending a lot of time over the last several nights at my other site on educational issues, I decided that tonight's post should examine how our two would-be Senators would address the issue. For that purpose, I will be looking at statements from the two man's websites (Udall's Congressional one here, and Schaffer's Board of Ed one here)

A sound public education system is the cornerstone for a strong, modern society, and our children deserve the very best we can provide in order to secure their successful future. The world is changing before our eyes, and the demands of an increasingly globalized economy are higher than ever before, with new competition coming from China and India. Our students must have the tools to be innovative and competitive if we want our economy to remain the strongest in the world.
Education is America’s top civic priority. A well-educated citizenry is absolutely necessary to maintain the Republic. The reason I have been such a strong and consistent supporter of public education is because I believe it is Colorado’s primary obligation to assist parents in the transmission of knowledge, values and skills to their children in the most direct and effective way possible.

The differences here are subtle, but important: notice Udall talks about what "we can provide," while Schaffer talks about how to "assist parents." Again, a subtle difference, but would you rather rely on the state to "provide" for your children, or would you rather provide for them yourself, with help from the state?

On No Child Left Behind
In 2001, I voted for the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act because I felt it was an important bipartisan step toward the establishment of higher academic standards and accountability. Unfortunately, I believe it must be acknowledged that NCLB has fallen short of our expectations. . . .In the 110th Congress, I introduced the CLASS Act (HR 2070) to help achieve these goals. In addition to creating a more accurate measurement for student achievement, my bill would allow schools to better target groups with higher needs by offering transfer opportunities and supplemental resources to those groups alone instead of entire age groups.
After having helped draft the initial NCLB proposal while serving in Congress, I was ultimately compelled to vote against it. I did so for reasons of principle that today educators in Colorado and former colleagues in Washington say have proved sadly prophetic.The goals of NCLB - lifting educational achievement for all children, particularly the most vulnerable - are admirable beyond question. However, the mechanisms of implementation have seriously undermined state and local authority and imposed undue burdens and needless confusion upon educators across the land. . . .Fixing NCLB cannot degenerate into a simple flight from accountability. Colorado's education community must demonstrate that we have a better way to advance the worthy goals of NCLB.

Again, a subtle difference. It sounds like Udall wants to simply move the goalposts while adding to the federal dole, but Schaffer wants to decrease the federal role but leaving the goal in place.

On the Role of Parents
Udall: silent
Schaffer: It is the responsibility of parents to educate their children. It is the right of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children.

The contrast here couldn't be more stark. The fact that Udall doesn't even acknowledge the role that parents play speaks volumes about what he thinks is really important.

But the really important thing here is completely inadvertent on Udall's part. Read this statement very carefully:

Lower-income children in America are not keeping pace with their peers who come from more advantaged families. Studies have shown that this is largely due to the fact that many of these children come to school ill-prepared to learn. The years from birth to eight-years old are critical in a child’s cognitive and social development, and our investment in education should emphasize these formative years. High-quality, comprehensive early-childhood programs like Head Start have been proven to help with cognitive development, socialization and long term performance. Head Start has served low-income children and their families since 1965 and currently serves over 900,000 children and families annually. I will continue to work to fully fund Head Start and support early childhood programs.

Do you see the problem?"

Head Start has served low-income children and their families since 1965", but "Lower-income children are not keeping pace with their peers who come from more advantaged families."

Huh? So . . . ."I will continue to work to fully fund Head Start."

In other words, as a Senator I will FULLY embrace and FULLY fund programs that have never proven to actually work.

This is the line of offense for the Schaffer campaign: Democratic policies DO NOT WORK, but they continue to embrace them and think that all they need is more funding.

NCLB pumped more than $10 billion in new federal funds into education, but it seems that almost nobody thinks it has accomplished anything. Why should we think additional funding will make any difference in any other aspect of education?

I hope the Schaffer campaign embraces an offensive strategy with regard to education. Udall's a tool of Big Education, and Schaffer has a long track record of support for and reform of public schools. Which one will serve Colorado better?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Square State "Found" Us

Since we had linked to Square State several times, they did know that this blog existed. Note that although they name this blog, they are careful not to provide a link. They did provide a lot of bombast, though.

Mark Udall can feel proud to have these guys on his team, drinking buddies, so to speak.

The thing that people should remember about most left wing bloggers when running into stuff like this is that they are paid to for their "opinion." Actually, they are paid to be as nasty as they can be. If one of these paid bloggers started being truthful and responsible, their funding source would dry up.

No Conservative blogger receives a dime in outside funding, that we know of.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

When I Get Bored...

I check out [ Mark ] Udall for Colorado, looking for gems. They're not hard to find. It usually only takes a minute or so, and tonight was no exception.

In early 2006, he gave a speech called "Unity and security in the 21st Century." Not once did he mention in that speech his desire to establish a "Department of Peace," even though he had co-sponsored a bill just over two years earlier to create that Cabinet level position as well as a "Peace Academy."

If it was a good idea in mid 2003, why isn't it a good idea now?

Is Michael Huttner Really a Sleazeball?

Only his mother knows for sure. Others strongly suspect.

Face the State:

Huttner, on the other hand, is a man without character. A top GOP operative got it right when he called Huttner a “sleazeball who has engaged in character assassination for years.”

Mount Virtus:

I know it will make their skin crawl, but an honest look in the mirror will show the Lefty attack machine’s fabrications and distortions are more Rovian than Karl Rove himself.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The media microscope-out of focus

The Colorado Index examines the strange editorial priorities of some media outlets in "Bear Mauls Child, Flea Faces Media Microscope." Mark Udall is reported to have taken over a million dollars in campaign contributions from people and organizations whose agenda he is pushing against the public interest in Congress with amendments and votes. Bob Schaffer has taken $4,600 from a long time supporter who may have benefited from one vote. Guess who is under the media microscope and who has completely escaped criticism.

Udall's Campaign Chief Discusses "Nutroots"

Mark Udall's 2008 Senate bid will undoubtedly lead him and his campaign into the cesspool of the left-wing blogosphere, and his campaign manager's recent trip to the YearlyKos convention is a preview of the extremist viewpoints that Udall will take pains to avoid in the general election in his attempt to abandon his "liberal" image, even as he collects their money and pays lip-service to their demands.

Caroline Bninski Reports to Jail

Mark Udall and his staff got its pound of flesh on Friday when Caroline Bninski reported to jail. She is the peace activist who staged a peaceful three week demonstration under rules that she had coordinated with the Udall staff.

We at first supported the Udall position against her. Then we discovered that the police were called immediately after she broke the agreed on rules governing her demonstration

If Udall's staff agreed to the terms of the demonstration, and those rules were followed, then staffers had no business testifying in court that the whole demonstration was disruptive to the staff, even if it was.

Since Mark Udall and his staff finds the Constitutionally protected right of petitioning one's government under tightly controlled and agreed on circumstances inconvenient and disruptive, we wonder why he would be running for higher office.

For the record, if Udall's staff had waited as little as 30 minutes to call the police, we would still be on his side and this wouldn't have been written. This whole exercise reminded us of Bill Clinton's Sister Souljah moment when we discovered that there was an agreement and the cops were called only seconds after the agreement was violated. As vicious as Bill Clinton was, Sister Souljah never went to jail.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

John Andrews' Take on the 5th CD Primary

From the Denver Post:

Forcing [ Doug ] Lamborn into a bloody fight for renomination over the next 12 months (yes, it’s that far to the primary election) can only diminish GOP hopes of holding the Senate seat as Wayne Allard retires and hurt our chance of gaining seats — let alone retaking the majority — in the state legislature.

Fighting Democrats, not each other, needs to be the name of the game, I keep telling my party brethren and sistren. Seems too few are listening.

Democratic Circular Firing Squad?

The Denver Post has a bit more on Raf Naboa, the blogger who gave us those wonderful quotes about Joan Fitz-Gerald, Will Shafroth, and the brothers Salizar.

A fool and his blog are soon parted.

That's the moral of the short career of Raf Naboa, whose hoped-for 15 minutes of fame ended about 4 seconds after he used his position as "director of outreach" for Jared Polis to reach out and trash leading Colorado Democrats.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Bob Schaffer On "Your Show"

Scrolling through the archives, it appears (and I could have missed it) that Bob Schaffer's appearance July 8 on 9NEWS' "Your Show" was missed--here is the complete Schaffer segment.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Radiation Related Cancer

The Denver Post appears to be promoting a solution where anyone who ever worked at Rocky Flats gets full lifetime health care and perhaps $150,000. It hopes to draw Mark Udall into the scheme.

This issue has been the subject of a board created by former Energy Secretary Bill Richardson. That board ruled that if a cancer were likely 50% or more a result of radiation, the worker should get compensation. The Post asks what would happen if the odds were only 49%.

The board's decision left more than 10,000 workers without compensation. That means they will be forced to submit individual petitions to the government to try to prove that their jobs caused their illnesses, a process that is onerous and could take years. In the end, the workers could still be left without compensation.

The line needs to be drawn somewhere. One would think that after almost a decade of study the line was drawn reasonably. Although the Post admits that the line doesn't cut compensation off, it wants there to be no line. It will be interesting to see where Udall comes down on the issue.


It turns out that the guy looking for the Jared Polis logo got fired for his comments about well known Democrats like Ken and John Salizar. His former employer was apparently Mike Merrifield.

Maybe he will go back there and start a contest for a Merrifield logo. There is fertile ground there. We can't wait.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

In the Thrall of the Sierra Club

Liberal and Loving it inadvertently gave away the game plan for getting elected in Boulder. It demonstrates better than anything we could write why Mark Udall is in the thrall of the Sierra Club. The author has ten steps, but we will only repeat three of them:

1. Start sucking up to PLAN-Boulder and the Sierra Club. Most elections their recommended slate wins every seat. (So much for Boulder being a hotbed of independent thinkers.)

3. Continue sucking up to PLAN-Boulder and the Sierra Club.

10. And finally, do whatever you need to do to get that PLAN-Boulder and Sierra Club endorsement.

As a bonus, we will throw in another of the steps, just so you understand how sincere Mark Udall is and intends to be:

9. Find a "media person" who will help you write your position papers, answer questionnaires, etc. This is key because you need to tell each group exactly what they want to hear, in a way that you are not contradicting yourself.

Mark Udall is no John Edwards

John Edwards billed his campaign for $800 for two trips to the hair stylist. Mark Udall doesn't seem to know how to, or even if he should comb his hair. He just put up a campaign web site and his photo is of him in a plaid shirt and unkempt hair. He's just trying to portray a "regular fellow."

Most "regular fellows" we know comb their hair. We suggest Mark Udall buy a cowboy hat--or a comb.

Drilling Ban Is "Wrong"

The Denver Post says that the drilling ban that Mark Udall and John Salizar put in the (no new) energy bill is "wrong" and should be removed.

Now that Ritter has won his point, the Senate should remove the Udall- John Salazar amendment when the two chambers go to conference on the energy bill in September. A total ban on surface drilling would cripple efforts to tap the estimated 8.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the plateau, which amount to 4 percent of the proven reserves in the United States.

If Ritter tries to insert such a surface drilling ban into the BLM plan, he would trigger a bruising political confrontation with the oil and gas industry, which pumped $22.9 billion into the state economy in 2005, according to the Colorado School of Mines. He'd also snub the expressed desires of local leaders in the three impacted counties (Rio Blanco, Garfield and Mesa), as well as the influential Western Slope promotional group Club 20 - all of whom have endorsed the BLM plan.