Thursday, January 31, 2008

Udall: Sounding the Alarm to Subsidize Art While Letting our Forests Burn

We already pointed out that Boulder liberal Rep. Mark Udall is trying to cover his tracks on his poor record of wildfire prevention. As was pointed out, he told the Rocky Mountain News:
"I have been sounding the alarm on the beetle and wildfire risk problem for our forests since my first year in Congress," Udall said Wednesday evening.
Well, apparently the alarm was drowned out by his concern for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) budget. In 2006, Udall voted No on a bill amendment that would have cut $30 million from the NEA budget and committed most of those funds "to the United States Forest Service to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires."

Is Udall really concerned about the "wildfire risk problem" Colorado faces? Maybe, he'll think about it after making sure your tax dollars have sufficiently subsidized artwork, including many controversial pieces that you may recall in recent memory.

Lest you think this vote was an isolated incident, Udall opposed similar amendments in 2002 and 2003 and 2004, choosing to fund postmodern sculptures and other outside-the-mainstream art projects rather than ensuring Colorado was adequately protected from wildfires.

Udall's campaign probably hasn't counted on their candidate's weak record on forest conservation being highlighted. But we are glad to perform the public service.

Skewing the Scoreboard

Our friend at Liberal and Loving It decided to try play games with our scoreboard today. His attempt elicited a belly laugh:

Ok, the schaffer v udall blog is tracking the number of times Mark Udall has been called conservative (presently 0). So here you go - Mark Udall is a very conservative congressman. I base this on his tireless work to conserve the environment and his extensive opposition to change (in our climate).
We make the rules, and we try to keep them rational. Just as we won't count a conservative blog calling Mark Udall a liberal, we won't count a liberal blog trying to claim that he is a conservative or even a moderate.

If you folks want to rack up some "conservative" or even "moderate" hits on the Mark Udall is not a moderate scoreboard, go find a conservative blog to call him conservative. And no, we won't count a faux conservative blog that lacks history.

As for the claim that Udall is a conservative because he claims to be a conservationalist, we think that Mark Udall's biggest vulnerability is his environmental record. Coloradoans who go to the polls this fall need only, as Mark Udall himself said, "picture dead forests in their mind's eye." If there is a big fire and if people die in it, Udall and John Salazar will and should bear a good deal of the blame.

As for opposition to climate change, the environmentalists never seem to be willing to count burned forests as contributing to the atmospheric carbon dioxide load. The left's carbon footprint is enormous, but they pretend it doesn't exist. We had three forest fires in excess of 500,000 acres each last year. Udall's answer as of today: Lets do a study, but lets not build forest roads or clear cut fire breaks.

You folks on the left have painted yourself into a corner and it is going to take one heck of a long time for the paint to dry. The sad thing is that you don't appear smart enough to realize it.

Water Storage Issue

Yesterday, we ran across more name calling by a left wing blog. Since we don't do any linking to blogs that engage in name calling, we won't be linking to them.

They opined that Bob Schaffer could be attacked because he had supported a referendum that would have spent $2 billion for water storage projects. Since that blog is part of the big blue lie machine, they claimed that it was $4 billion, but what is a little exaggeration among friends?

Today, we discover that Bill Ritter is talking about water storage to the corn farmers.

"Really, we can help ourselves a great deal with conservation, with re-use, with shared use between municipalities and agricultural land," said Ritter after his speech. "And then we have to decide at what level we embark upon greater water storage."

That is going to make it very difficult to play the water storage card against Bob Schaffer.

Still Dragging His Feet - And Lying About It

We've called Mark Udall a liar before. He doesn't just tell little lies. He tells big lies on the Hitler theory that if you make the lie big enough and repeat it often enough, people will believe it.

Today, in the Rocky Mountain News, he was quoted as saying:
"I have been sounding the alarm on the beetle and wildfire risk problem for our forests since my first year in Congress," Udall said Wednesday evening.

Mark Udall has been a Sierra Club toady since his first year in congress. The Sierra Club's position on wild fire risk was to oppose thinning until the Hayman fire in Colorado.

By pure chance, the Hayman burn area included a small experimental area where thinning had occurred. The fire didn't burn hot enough to kill the trees in that area while the other, unthinned areas burned so hot that the soil was fused and even the roots were consumed.

That demonstrated that the Sierra Club had been wrong to oppose thinning, so they modified their position slightly. Instead of coming out against thinning, they went to court to oppose the road building that would have made thinning possible.

Mark Udall has aided the Sierra Club with their mindless roadless policy. Last year, he was the author of roadless legislation.

Even the bills he just introduced do not propose thinning. They propose studying thinning.

What is needed now is clear cut fire breaks and the forest roads that would permit the dead wood to be hauled out. Without fire breaks, the dead forest will burn until it runs into natural fire breaks, and it will burn hot. Mark Udall isn't ready to propose that, nor is he willing to propose a total relaxation of timbering restrictions in areas that will die anyway.

The sad thing is that Mark Udall and his partner in this crime against Colorado, John Salazar won't even fight hard to see this legislation pass. To do so would risk the funding flow from Sierra Club members in California who don't have to look at the dead trees or fear running for their lives in a fire.

Mark Udall's campaign motto should be "Burn Colorado, Burn."

And the big blue lie machine churns on.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Cara Degette Claims It's Not News

There is a strong suspicion abroad that Colorado Confidential is partially funded by Tim Gill and George Soros, directly or indirectly, so it comes as no surprise that Cara Degette would be downplaying the secret memo exposed by Lynn Bartels.

If you want to watch the big blue lie machine in full spin mode, read her editorial. It isn't a story, it is an editorial.

Then go down and read the comments. Sheep lover Wendy Norris opines as to how happy she is that some folks who disagree are racking up the visits and page counts. We found this to be a curious comment from a supposedly highly successful site, so we looked at the site meter (it's open, not password protected).

The site is designed so that each visitor must rack up at least two page hits, and the average number of page views per visitor is 1.9. Since they installed their site meter, they have averaged just under 1500 visitors and 3000 page views per day. It's not that impressive, given the hype. We'll help them with a link.

Don't They Know The Law?

We had to chuckle at this weak comeback to the disclosure that four Colorado millionaires plan to put their foot on the throat of Bob Schafffer as reported by Lynn Bartels in the Rocky Mountain News:

"Talk about hypocrisy," said Matt Sugar, spokesman for the Colorado Democratic Party. "And if Dick Wadhams is so interested in disclosure, perhaps he could enlighten us as to what millionaires are on the secret list attending Bob Schaffer's fund-raiser in Cherry Hills this Thursday with the president of the United States."

The last we heard, Bob Schaffer has to report the names of his contributors, admittedly not until mid-April, but he can't avoid reporting them. Matt Sugar is being dumb. This may not qualify as a big blue lie machine lie, but it seems silly to run the risk given the number of lies Democrats seem willing to tell to get their guy across the line.

The 2d CD Blogging Debate

Our friend (who we have never met) at Liberal and Loving It pulled off a coup. He got the three candidates for the 2d CD seat being vacated by Mark Udall to debate on the internet.

Because there would be 14 separate links, we will only link the blog and let the reader scan down. The last post is dated January 29th.

One of the reasons that we point readers to that debate is that it is a good window into the mind and motivations of Mark Udall, who went unmentioned.

They all want to get rid of the Bush tax cuts to fund their pet projects. None is admitting that they expire in 2010 regardless, and there is no money to be had from them.

Only Jared Polis among them didn't aspire to be a grandparent, and we would guess that their mention of the subject was a gentile subconscious dig by the other two, but perhaps not.

None seemed to know or want to admit that Ted Kennedy was the major author of No Child Left Behind. They all chafed at the impacts of that law.

There is much more. It is a good read, but if you are a conservative, don't expect much there that will make you happy. On the other hand, if you want to sample the environment that brought us Mark Udall, it is there in full liberal flower.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Holy Cow! Mark Udall Supports Nuclear Power

In a stunning about face, Mark Udall finally faced reality when he said in response to the State of the Union:

"I believe we've got to take another look at nuclear power because of the carbon footprint it doesn't have," said Udall. "But we do it taking into account the challenges that nuclear power presents, cost-wise and environmentally."

Mark Udall has lied to the public before, and he is very likely lying again. His Sierra Club masters don't support nuclear power, and he hasn't in the past. Note the caveat:

"But we do it taking into account the challenges that nuclear power presents, cost-wise and environmentally."

At no point has Mark Udall suggested that the public should take the costs of other forms of renewable energy into account. It didn't ever matter if the lifetime wind or solar power production costs are several times as much as coal. Damn the costs!

He was willing to try to stuff a 20% renewable mandate by 2020 down the throat of the nation. He specifically excluded nuclear power from the allowable sources of renewable power.

These are words from Mark Udall. He has lied to the public before. We need to see deeds.

Exposed: Left-Wing Billionaires' Plans to Smear Schaffer Early

Not that this news is terribly surprising, but the Rocky Mountain News reports today that the Colorado Democrats' Left-wing billionaire power bosses are planning to spend a hefty amount attacking U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer and other Republicans:
Two years ago, two of Colorado's richest Democratic benefactors plowed more than $7 million into Democratic candidates and causes.

Now a confidential memo to one of their advisers suggests that it would take contributions of nearly $12 million to finance independent political groups trying to influence the outcome of the presidential, U.S. Senate and 4th Congressional District races.

The money - to be spent by political groups known as 527s - would help buy TV ads, radio time and mailings, according to internal documents obtained by the Rocky Mountain News.

The memo was prepared by political consultant Dominic DelPapa and sent to Al Yates, who wears many hats, including adviser to Pat Stryker, a Fort Collins heiress. Stryker and philanthropist Tim Gill, of Denver, spent $7.46 million in 2006 to try to swing elections for Democratic candidates and causes.

More specifically, on the Schaffer-Udall race:
The memo doesn't say who would contribute the money, and DelPapa wouldn't reveal any details. His memo outlines a proposed media strategy that suggests spending $5.1 million of the proposed $11.7 million budget on the Senate race alone.

Part of the Senate budget calls for a $1.9 million advertising campaign in March and April that would target Republican Bob Schaffer, who likely will face Democrat Mark Udall in the U.S. Senate race. "Define Schaffer/Foot on Throat," the campaign effort reads, according to a financial spreadsheet marked "very rough preliminary paid communications budget."

These few paragraphs sum up the attitudes of the respective sides:
"I would be careful if I were you about reading more into this than actually exists," said Yates, a former Colorado State University president active in civic affairs.

But [state Republican Party chair Dick] Wadhams said that the memo seemed clear to him.

"This is nothing short of coordinated character assassination by a handful of left-wing billionaires," he said. [Emphasis added]

Is it just me, or does that remark by Yates sound like a line from a movie script where the Mafia boss gives a little friendly advice to a potential informant? Maybe not how he intended it, but it sure sounds funny.

Some may expect that inconvenient figures like investigative journalists shouldn't get in the way of the powerful Left-wing political machine and its Boulderized agenda for Colorado, including its Boulder liberal U.S. Senate candidate Mark Udall. But their job will be made more difficult by the fact the truth is out there, including the well-chronicled months of information on this site.

Most telling, it says a lot about the Left's expectations for this race that they plan to spend so much money, and to start the dirty campaign smear in the spring. Brace yourselves.

Big Blue Lie Machine Revs Up

Those prognosticators in other states who have predicted an easy Mark Udall victory rather than a close race might be right after all.

The Rocky Mountain News is reporting that there is a proposal afoot for two millionaires, Tim Gill and Pat Stryker, to spend $2 million in 527 money this March and April to "step on Bob Schaffer's throat."

They have done it before:

The memo was prepared by political consultant Dominic DelPapa and sent to Al Yates, who wears many hats, including adviser to Pat Stryker, a Fort Collins heiress. Stryker and philanthropist Tim Gill, of Denver, spent $7.46 million in 2006 to try to swing elections for Democratic candidates and causes.

Didn't these same folks try to unseat Marilyn Musgrave by creating a 527 that claimed that she wasn't Pro Life?

The big blue lie machine is going to have its furnace stoked in a big way. All of those do gooders who wanted big money taken out of politics only wanted the traceable big money taken out.

Monday, January 28, 2008

John Kerry Endorses Mark Udall On Daily Kos

As an aside in a Daily Kos posting decrying the "Swiftboating" of Democrat candidates, John Kerry tossed this comment in:
"I’ll defend people like Mark Udall in a Senate race in Colorado"
What exactly will John "Genghis Khan" Kerry be defending Udall from?
The right-wing has nothing to offer but fear and smears, and they are gearing up to deliver plenty of it. Already we hear of a conservative group with ties to the Bush White House – Freedom’s Watch – that plans to spend a quarter of a billion dollars on this election. I think we all know enough about how the right-wing operates to know that this money won’t go to helping voters make informed choices. That money will go to smearing candidates across America, up and down the ballot.
Republicans spend money on "fear and smears", while well-funded Democrats use their campaign funds for responsible voter education.


So we are adding John Kerry to the list of Udall endorsements--the type of ultra-liberal, Washington-insider, establishment endorsement that "moderates" like Mark Udall can ill-afford.

Will Voters Remember At The Polls?

In ten months the voters will be going to the polls. It will be interesting to see if they can connect the dots between what Mark Udall and Bill Ritter have been doing and how it impacts their daily quality of life.

Take food prices. They are going up sharply. The Boulder Camera reports on food price inflation without identifying Mark Udall, Bill Ritter, or the Sierra Club as in any way responsible:

In the western United States, the costs were even higher. With a recorded 6.4 percent gain in December 2007 and a 4.7 percent increase for the full year, the region, which includes Colorado, boasted the largest increases among the four U.S. Census areas for those periods...

One of the major underlying factors is the rising cost of fuel. The energy needed to produce, transfer and store food items is coming at a bigger price tag, he says.

"At the same time, some of the raw product costs -- particularly for the costs of manufacturing, wholesale ingredient prices -- were up substantially," he says. "The retail end of it kind of held the line as much as they could."

And then there's the demand for ethanol.

"You've got these government mandates that we're supposed to be producing so much corn," said Jeff Thredgold, a regional economist for Vectra Bank Colorado. "What it has done is push corn prices dramatically higher, which has an impact."

The higher prices of corn, a key ingredient in feed and a variety of foods, have carried forward to products such as tortillas, cornbread, beef and poultry.

Democrats count on the votes of people who live on a fixed income. That voting block is eventually going to get wise to the fact that Mark Udall and Bill Ritter are paying their extreme environmentalist agenda on the backs of the poor through higher food and fuel prices, higher property taxes, and higher utility bills. Will they remember at the polls?

Fund Raiser

The Boulder Daily Camera reminds us:

On the Republican side, President Bush is scheduled to attend a $5,000-a-couple fundraising event Thursday at a private Cherry Hills Village home on behalf of Bob Schaffer, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Mark Udall, D-Eldorado Springs, for the U.S. Senate.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Voters Should Be Prepared "In Their Minds Eye"

Mark Udall admitted yesterday that voters will have the dead and dying forests "in their mind's eye" as they go to the voting booth this fall:

"What we have to do it understand what our mountains are going to look like, prepared for that in our mind's eye, but then mitigate the threat from a die-off this catastrophic," he said

The legislature is busy these days with making a turtle the state reptile. "Colorful Colorado" is the state motto, but do we need to put dead forests in the minds eye of tourists? Let's have a motto that more clearly states our plight.

How about "High and Dry Colorado?" "Forest boneyard" might work. Thanks Mark, and thank Maggie Fox and the Sierra Club, too.

Cleaning Up The Forests

Mark Udall is opposed to cleaning up the forests. It would require building forest roads. Heaven forbid!

Today, the Rocky Mountain News made a proposal to remove dead timber that will never be allowed to happen, and it admits as much:

But these productive solutions are possible on a large scale only if federal and state lawmakers act quickly to provide the economic assistance and regulatory relief needed to develop viable commercial applications of significant scope.

As unpopular as it may be with some groups, [ and politicians like Mark Udall, John Salazar, Bill Ritter, and Ken Salazar ] relaxing certain zoning and environmental restrictions is as critical as finding funds for new machinery or other start-up costs. Removing barriers to quick production is essential because of the natural timetable at work in Colorado's forests.

The Rocky didn't go far enough. Forest access roads must be built and maintained. Clear cuts must be established as fire breaks. Environmentalist terrorists like Mark Udall and his Sierra Club must be put on notice that their foot dragging won't be tolerated. Does anyone have the courage to do that? Not likely, unless it is the voters.

Spilling Secrets

For those who might wonder about the "spinning" post and the earlier "Schaffer pot" post, you can read about the motivation and strategy this morning at thecoloradoindex.

It did work.

Blogging can be fun!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Up On One Foot And Spinning

After this author called for Bob Schaffer to withdraw from the race, we wanted to see if Ben had taken our writing priveledges away.

Foolish individual that he is, he hasn't done so yet.

One of David Sirota's colleagues once described him as trying to gain attention by standing on one foot and spinning. We went one better.

Since it works for David, we are going to give it a try with the following:

Hey Denver Post: Are you going to write about Mark Udall's admission on Thrusday that he was a pot smoker?

Hey Rocky Mountain News: Since when is it not news that sitting US Congressman Mark Udall had his automobile confiscated by the cops as a 20 something for ... carrying a lot of marijanua in the back seat (or whatever)

Hey Gazette: Were you aware that there is a US Senate race in Colorado this year and Mark Udall, the guy whose staff tried to send Caroline Bninski to jail for a year, got kid glove treatment when he was caught with pot?

Hey Boulder Camera we know that you like your pot but why the Silence on your favorite son Mark Udall's admission that he lost his car and got a year's suspension in 1972.

I don't see how David Sirota does this. I'm dizzy already. Follow this link for the whole story. Maybe Google will pick it up now.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Born on the 4th of July

We saw this yesterday, but avoided writing about it because there was so much other Udall news.

The Colorado Springs Independent made this somewhat incoherent statement (it is easy to see how it happens in the day of word processing-we do it too often, ourselves):

This, even though Udall isn't liberal enough for some progressive liberals in the 2nd Congressional District, who complain they've been ignored, particularly when voicing their views on the war in Iraq.

It sure looks like an acknowledgement that Mark Udall is a liberal to us, and yet the left wing Independent then tries to claim that Udall is a moderate:

Yet Udall's moderate positions, including his stance to continue funding the war, have attracted a potential spoiler. Green Party candidate Bob Kinsey, a retired schoolteacher who lives in Denver and has run previously for Congress, sees himself as a grassroots alternative to voters dissatisfied with the commercialized election process

It's just another lie from the big blue lie machine, but there is a reason for it, admits the Independent:

"Democrats who seek to reach statewide voters usually must project an image of being moderate and pro-business," [ Bob Loevy, a Colorado College professor of political science ] says, adding that Democrats who want to win the big races "must get to the middle."

So, that brings us to our scoreboard:

The Mark Udall is not a moderate scoreboard:
extremist 2
reliably left wing 10
liberal 29
moderate 0
conservative (chuckle)

We started this scoreboard when we noticed that liberal blogs and the msm were routinely calling Mark Udall a "liberal," "reliably left wing," and even "extremist." We do not count comments from conservative blogs and we didn't count a comment on a liberal show by a conservative politician. Those who would like to check our methodology can follow the bread crumbs backwards.

Folks Back East Less Pessimistic

Real Clear Politics has been pessimistic about Bob Schaffer's possibilities for months. They follow the conventional wisdom of the folks back east. The folks back east spend a lot of time studying their navels and not much else. Scary.

Today, they are a bit less pessimistic. They have published an optimistic John Ensign quote, which is equally scary. This will be a close race:

Colorado is a potentially vulnerable state for Republicans due to the retirement of incumbent Senator Wayne Allard, and the state's recent penchant for voting Democratic. Bush carried the state by just 5 points in 2004, after defeating Gore in 2000 by 9 points. According to the most recent polls, the race between former Republican Congressman Bob Schaffer and Democratic Congressman Mark Udall will likely be close, but Ensign said he still expects Schaffer to win.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Loon In The Attic Drops Out

David Sirota's Loon in the Attic announced today that he is dropping out of the Presidential Sweepstakes. It seems that his day job is in jeopardy.

See you in Denver this summer, Dennis Kucinich.

Perhaps you and Mark Udall can stand together for a group hug and a photo op. If not, we do own Photoshop. How about a nice composite of the two of you walking down the street in front of the Peace Academy marching band? Were you a pot smoker, too? The photo in the Denver Post article could be easily modified to add a reefer. Carrying a banner really only requires one hand.

We have so many good ideas and so little time.

Mark Udall Flip-Flops On War In Afghanistan

"To put troops in there seems like folly"--Mark Udall on Afghanistan, Sept. 2001

"The real central front in the war on terror . . . This is the right fight . . . It's a war of necessity as opposed to the war of choice"--Mark Udall on Afghanistan, Jan. 2007, after his recent 36 hour trip

He was against it before he was for it--Mark Udall's opinions on the war in Afghanistan have changed just a bit

After what was likely a staggeringly comprehensive 36 hour stop in Afghanistan, Democrat and Senate candidate Mark Udall was prepared to repudiate his earlier feelings on taking the war to the terrorists in Afghanistan which he originally believed to an erroneous, if not outright dangerous move:
"I returned believing more than ever that we have to finish the job in Afghanistan...that we have to return our focus — which I think has been fuzzy — to the importance of the effort underway there," Udall told reporters in a conference call Wednesday.

Udall, a longtime opponent of the Iraq war, calls Afghanistan "the real central front in the war on terror."
. . .
Udall said he agreed with the Pentagon's recent decision to add 3,200 U.S. Marines to the battlefield, bringing the U.S. commitment to more than 30,000 troops. But he said more forces would be available if the military began a phased redeployment of troops currently stationed in Iraq.

"This is the right fight," Udall said of Afghanistan. "It's a war of necessity as opposed to the war of choice."
. . .
"At this point, because of the instability in Afghanistan, and frankly the increase over the last year of violence and the (rebuilding) of the Taliban presence in the south, I think we have no choice but to continue our presence there and even build on it," he said.
Udall even endorses a "surge" in Afghanistan by redeploying troops currently in Iraq, and advocates the type of "nation building" that he vehemently opposes in Iraq (from his press release):
“I came back from Afghanistan in awe of our troops and the work they are doing with the Afghan people to make their country a stable and secure place to live.

“If there is a message I want to convey to my fellow Coloradans, it is that we cannot allow the Taliban or Al Qaeda to defeat us in this part of the world.

“The American people understand who attacked us on 9-11. They also understand that after nearly 7 years we still haven’t fully defeated the Taliban, or Al Qaeda and we haven’t eliminated Osama bin Laden. Finishing those jobs are critical, and we have to get them done.

“Afghanistan and Pakistan are the true central front of the fight against Islamic terrorism and I believe the U.S. needs to do more to counter growing instability in those countries. However, I am deeply concerned that the Bush Administration’s focus on nation-building in Iraq has led us to neglect nation-building in Afghanistan.

“I opposed the war in Iraq in part, because I was worried that this would happen – and my fears have borne out. We are not losing in Afghanistan, but unless we can secure more resources – including additional NATO forces – we could lose ground in this critical part of the world, and the consequences would be disastrous.

“The Administration is belatedly coming around to the view that we need more forces in Afghanistan. A ‘surge’ in Afghanistan makes sense, but it should be linked to a redeployment strategy I’ve called for in Iraq.
A true change of heart or political expediency?

Let's take a look at those earlier feelings on Afghanistan.

Blame America first, of course, and questioning any action in Afghanistan just one week after 9/11 (9/19/2001):
Udall said the global barrage of American culture is seen as the U.S. flaunting its opportunities to lands that have very little. "They see these images and think it's not possible for them."

Of the 1.2 billion Muslims in the world, few "really have functioning democracies" where they live, with "safety-valves" for social resentment, such as protest or elections. Anti-Americanism is the only real outlet for anger, he said.

But pressing a ground war into Afghanistan could be counterproductive, he said. The Soviet Union sowed the rugged land with bombs during a 10-year occupation and still pulled out in defeat. Dragging Pakistan into the conflict could bring nuclear rival India, and possibly China, to the battlefield, Udall said.
From the same meet-and-greet with CU-Boulder students that day, Udall questioned the need for military action and actually suggested that President Bush push democracy in the region:
"Military effort may only have short-term benefits," Udall said.

He said he is supporting an initiative that is gaining consensus on Capitol Hill to place more spies and special forces on the ground in Islamic fundamentalist countries like Afghanistan.
. . .
"To put troops in there seems like folly," Udall said of Afghanistan.
. . .
The Bush administration, he said, should encourage and promote democracy abroad.
Later that day at Boulder High School, Udall riffed on students' "Blame America" meme:
Many students questioned the United States' past military policies, noting the government trained and financed Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan during the Cold War.

"U.S. foreign policy is not guiltless," said junior Keely Rew. "Saying it's 'good vs. evil' is just propaganda."

For the most part, Udall seemed to share students' concerns.

"We should acknowledge that we've helped to fuel rage and despair in other parts of the world," the Boulder Democrat said. And "our war is not with the Afghan people," he said. "I'm not convinced that sending ground troops to Afghanistan makes sense."
Well, well, well.

Amazing what political expediency in a state-wide run for Senate will do to one's feelings on the war against terrorists in Afghanistan.

This can't possibly please the anti-America, anti-war, "progressive", impeachment wing of Udall's Democrat party. The Representative from Boulder realizes that Boulder viewpoints don't play that well in the rest of the state, and has backed away from them in an attempt to push his "moderate" credentials in a clear toss-up of a race for Senate that was once touted by Democrats as an "easy" pickup.

Exit question: how will Udall explain this shift in policy support to his constituency in the People's Republic of Boulder?

A Young Lady I Once Knew

I once knew a young lady who lived on Tall Oaks Drive in Milford, Ohio. She was a blond, like her mother. At seven, she had a smile that lit up the room. Her face and smile fit her name - Dawn. She was my daughter's best friend.

Her father was a Coast Guard reserve officer and I was a young Army Captain living in a definitely non-military community. We lived there three years before going on to Germany. He also moved from Tall Oaks Drive, but we kept in touch, and still do.

We had lived in Colorado for a few years when we got the news. Sixteen year old Dawn was riding with two friends when they were all killed by a drunk driver.

She'll never brighten a room with that smile again.

Now comes the news from the Colorado Springs Independent that Mark Udall was (edited on 24 Jan to correct some wording) stopped and had his car seized. If he was smoking dope, he might have been charged with DUI, but he was a Congressman's son so he appears to have gotten a possession charge. To this day he doesn't take it very seriously:

It's 1972 in Arizona. A longhaired Mark Udall, in his early 20s, is driving when he's pulled over by a police officer. Something's askew. The officer searches his car. Udall is arrested for possession of marijuana.

Now a 57-year-old congressman, Udall recounts the episode during a recent interview in his Westminster office.

Shaking her head, his spokeswoman, Heather Fox, says she sensed she should have cut off the interview earlier.

"No, no," says Udall, waving his hand to dismiss Fox, who interjects that she was only kidding. "It's out. It's in the record. ... As George Bush put it, "When I was young and reckless, I was young and reckless.'"

The boy who killed Dawn and her two friends was "young and reckless," too. There are a lot of parents, siblings and friends of drunk driving victims like Dawn. We wonder if they will dismiss Udall's (also edited to remove two words) choice as casually as Mark Udall does.

Edited to add: Upon re-reading the interview, there isn't any admission that Mark Udall was stopped for DUI, but there also isn't any evidence that he wasn't. In 1972, cops didn't stop people because they had long hair, and they didn't search cars for the fun of it. Did the search occur because the cop smelled pot? Was this hefty sentence a plea bargain, and if so what were the original charges? Why did he lose his car? There is much more to this story than meets the eye. If Mark Udall wants to avoid this kind of speculation, he needs to be much more forthcoming about the event and its date and place.

Darth Vader Wants Answers

Ok, we were chuckling as we wrote this title, but we know that many, many public officials and employees look on Jared Polis as the Darth Vader who financed Amendment 41 without bothering to read it first.

He is calling for an investigation of the state school board expense account. He claims to have never made a claim for funds but the records seem to say otherwise. It isn't a big amount, but the story will be interesting to follow because if he really didn't take the money (likely), then who did? Where did it go?

It turns out that Polis did take a $200 gift but his Amendment 41 doesn't seem to apply to him. Others, according to the Rocky Mountain News aren't happy:

But the idea of Polis accepting a gift when other elected officials could not rankled critics of Amendment 41.

"This reflects an arrogance that says the law applies to everyone but me," said Katy Atkinson, who led the unsuccessful campaign to defeat Amendment 41.

Polis did not report the gift on his disclosure forms to the secretary of state.

"The rules never seem to apply to him," said Mary Alice Mandarich, campaign spokeswoman for one of Polis' opponents, former Sen. Joan Fitz-Gerald.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

We Post Them As We Find Them - Big 40

The Seminal, a new Ohio left wing blog has decided to take sides. Read this and guess who they picked (drum roll):

Now, after careful research [ mostly conducted by reading Schaffer v Udall ] on the campaigns and personal histories of the two men, I feel comfortable giving my full support to Democratic candidate Mark Udall. Ultimately, the decision was an easy one; the positions on one side attracted as much as the other repelled.

They go on to write about our scoreboard:

The pro-Schaffer blog referred to above thinks painting Udall as a "liberal" will hurt him with Colorado voters, who they believe prefer "moderate" candidates. As such, they're keeping a tally of the different labels that are used to refer to Mark. Their scorecard reads...

One label, however, is conspicuously absent from their scorecard: "progressive." Mark's record distinguishes him from the "liberal" crowd, which includes disappointments like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

He belongs to better company. Mark Udall is a progressive candidate for a country badly in need of progressive leaders, and he enjoys my full support.

We actually do have a label for "progressive" and have used it in the past. A politician who is progressive is farther to the left than "liberal," so we count that label in the "reliably left wing" column. Had the Seminal writer followed the bread crumbs back far enough, he would have discovered our substitution.

We might not have written this elsewhere, but the original purpose of this scoreboard was to prevent both of the two major Denver papers from trying to claim that Udall is a moderate when his own party was celebrating his liberalism. Colorado is cursed with Bill Ritter who is governing of late as a left wing lunatic because the Denver Post scammed the public (or perhaps got itself scammed), telling all comers that he would govern as a moderate. The Post has now referred to Mark Udall as "solidly liberal," so we keep this up for entertainment value and possible future use.

The Mark Udall is not a moderate scoreboard:
extremist 2
reliably left wing 10
liberal 28
moderate 0
conservative (chuckle)

We started this scoreboard when we noticed that liberal blogs and the msm were routinely calling Mark Udall a "liberal," "reliably left wing," and even "extremist." We do not count comments from conservative blogs and we didn't count a comment on a liberal show by a conservative politician. Those who would like to check our methodology can follow the bread crumbs backwards.

The Yellow Rose of Texas

Californian in Texas, subtitled "the ramblings of a liberal Californian" opines:

[ Mark ] Udall is further left than governor [ Bill ] Ritter and senator [ Ken ] Salazar, but he does have a small advantage because of the state's Democratic trend in recent elections.

Since the conventional wisdom is that both Ritter and Salazar are liberal, with Bill Ritter seen as moving farther and farther to the left daily, Californian in Texas obviously believes that Mark Udall should be classified on our scoreboard as "reliably left wing."

The Mark Udall is not a moderate scoreboard:
extremist 2
reliably left wing 9
liberal 28
moderate 0
conservative (chuckle)

We started this scoreboard when we noticed that liberal blogs and the msm were routinely calling Mark Udall a "liberal," "reliably left wing," and even "extremist." We do not count comments from conservative blogs and we didn't count a comment on a liberal show by a conservative politician. Those who would like to check our methodology can follow the bread crumbs backwards.

Frugal Bob Schaffer

A mini-scandal is brewing on the state board of education concerning reimbursable expenses. One member, in one year, claimed almost $26,000 in expenses.

Bob Schaffer continued his record of protecting the taxpayer, spending just over $500 in the same period. The scandal, if it is a scandal, won't touch him.

Jared Polis got going away gifts and a $3500 going away party. It must have been some party. There are a lot of weddings that don't have that kind of budget.

Polis is in a hurry to distance himself from the scandal and has offered to reimburse the state.

CBS4 has the story.

More Lies From Udall's Allies

The Rip Van Winkle of conservative sites, Colorado Senate News, may be awakening from its annual eight month's slumber.

Last year, we thought it the best political blog site in Colorado. The liberals had nothing that compared. Then the legislative session ended and so did the need to keep the site up. This year, it is off to a slow start.

Senate Republicans are up in arms over a Bill Ritter nominee to the Public Utilities Commission who hates coal powered electric power plants:

Lawmakers are challenging Environment Colorado Executive Director Matt Baker's fitness for his new post given his lengthy history of fighting coal-fired power plants--which generate fully 80 percent of Colorado's electricity...

Why would we be writing about this here? Simple, it is another example of an environmentalist being willing to lie to the public to push his agenda:

Baker appeared to be retreating from his stance against coal last week after his pending appointment set off a barrage of criticism. He told the Denver Post, "We can't be anti-coal or anti-natural-gas and expect us to meet our power needs."

Yet, his previous statements to the press and the public as well as his activist organization's own Website reveal strident opposition to the use of coal in power...

Under the headline, " Fighting Coal Plants," Environment Colorado's fall 2005 newsletter boasts, "Cleaning up dirty, coal-fired power plants and preventing new ones from being built is a top priority for Environment Colorado."

The organization's Website devotes page after page to promoting an anti-coal agenda, in one case pointing to an advertising campaign in the New Yorker magazine that included the pronouncement, "THERE IS A ‘SILVER BULLET’ FOR SOLVING GLOBAL WARMING… NO MORE COAL."
Mark Udall routinely lies about his environmentalist agenda, to the point where we have established a label "Udall as a Liar." Randy Udall, Mark's brother wrote a long argument against oil shale recovery and was quite willing to lie, sometimes in the same paragraph with information he, himself provided that showed he was making false arguments. We are in the process of tearing that series of environmental lies apart elsewhere. Now, we have this guy. What is it about environmentalists that they can't be truthful?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More Evidence of a Race Too Close to Call

No movement for the Schaffer-Udall Senate race in the latest rankings from the independent blog Political Realm, as Colorado still ranks fourth in likelihood of races to change party hands in November:
Congressman Mark Udall (pictured) may still have a slight edge but former Representative Bob Schaffer, not the first choice, has shown strength in recent polls that show the two neck and neck. Republicans are hoping for presidential coattails from their nominee, while Democrats are hoping the blue trend continues in Colorado. VERDICT: Toss-up
Any political junkie with spare time might want to compare the Political Realm's forecast with those done by Election Advantage or Election Projection. (And then maybe compare their prognostications with actual results later on.)

Douglas County Vulnerable?

Mark Udall and the Democrats are trying to make political inroads into Douglas County.

It is a story that doesn't seem to have made it into the major papers though we had heard about it elsewhere.

U.S. Senate candidate Mark Udall believes he has a shot of competing in Douglas County, an area often looked upon as the state's most secure Republican stronghold.

Udall, D-Colo., is scheduled to hold a fundraiser Feb. 2 in Highlands Ranch. Democrats feel they have made significant headway there in recent years. Party officials say Udall's appearance proves the county, particularly House District 43, is an area in which Democrats could win in an election.
Putting this down in a lighthearted way - What was it the judge said to Alferd Packer, Colorado's cannibal? Something to the effect of:

"There were seven Democrats in Hinsdale County and you ate five of them."

We think that there are more than seven Democrats in Douglas County, but where are the Alferd Packers when you need them?

Udall on Legal Ethics Reform?

This author just wrote a long essay promoting legal ethics reform on thecoloradoindex. It was titled Roe Will Be Law Forever, Suck It Up.

It contained the following passage:

Roe v Wade came about because of the actions of a few secular judges who were raised up in their professional life in an environment where the Constitution was not seen as democracy's shield. It had become and remains liberalism's sword. Liberals believe that the ends justify the means.

That brings us to our question for Mark Udall:

If the upbringing of children can impact their life's choices, why would an unethical upbringing of lawyers not also impact their choices as judges? Do you support getting rid of unethical lawyers as early in their career as possible, before they can be nominated to be judges?

We'd bet not.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Race Looks More and More Like One Udall Could Lose

A 21-year-old political junkie from Maryland has been keeping tabs on all 35 U.S. Senate races slated for this November, and issued today his latest rankings of which seats are most likely to change party hands - with 1 most likely to change and 35 least likely to change (previous ranking in parentheses):
5) (4) Colorado (Open, Allard-R) As polls continue to show a tight race, this looks increasingly like a seat Fmr. Rep. Bob Schaffer (R) can hold for the GOP. With a lead in cash and name ID, Rep. Mark Udall (D) still has a slight edge, but this is going to be one of the marquee races this year. [Emphasis added]
Not exactly what you want to read if you're a Democrat strategist or left-wing blogger, but anyone following the polls and day-to-day news from this campaign - like we do here at Schaffer v Udall - would have a very difficult time trying to refute this basic analysis.

Independent-minded conservative Republican Schaffer vs. Boulder liberal Democrat Udall: Agreeing with the "dead heat" we've been projecting for months, it seems clear that Colorado will be host to "one of the marquee races this year."

Can't Wait to See the Photos

Mark Udall is in Afganistan this weekend to upgrade his collection of military photos for his campaign web site. We wonder if the Udall folks are savvy enough to check them before they publish them. You have to watch the Spec 4's more than the LT's, but watching Spec 4's can be fun.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Allard Secures $12 Million - Where is Udall?

The Rocky Mountain News is reporting that Wayne Allard got $12 million from the Federal Government for our dying Colorado forests.

The money would be in addition to the $12 million in federal emergency funding announced Wednesday by U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard , R-Colo.

Allard said he had secured the money, which includes $8 million for the Forest Service and $4 million to reduce beetle-killed trees on state and private lands.

It makes us wonder why Mark Udall couldn't have tried to get these funds last summer. He announced a small scale bill but hasn't pushed it in deference to his Sierra Club allies and contributors.

I Left My Heart In San Francisco

As promised yesterday, we are incrementing the scoreboard by one. The Seminal, a self identified liberal blog called Mark Udall a liberal.

The Mark Udall is not a moderate scoreboard:
extremist 2
reliably left wing 8
liberal 28
moderate 0
conservative (chuckle)

We started this scoreboard when we noticed that liberal blogs and the msm were routinely calling Mark Udall a "liberal," "reliably left wing," and even "extremist." We do not count comments from conservative blogs and we didn't count a comment on a liberal show by a conservative politician. Those who would like to check our methodology can follow the bread crumbs backwards.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Liberal Fan Club In A Close Race

The out of state folks at The Seminal are obviously fans of this blog. Well, perhaps not fans, but we are clearly a resource.

Their reporting is a heck of a lot more accurate than it was just a few days ago. They quote the Independent Thinking video at length. That is what comes from being careful to provide links.

After an abysmal first essay, which Ben panned, they put out a well balanced second essay that describes the contest as being where we think it is:

That, coupled with the recent blue streak in Colorado politics (all branches of the state's government will have a Democratic majority if a Democrat wins in '08) has made it one of Time Magazine's Top Ten Senate Races to Watch.

The outgoing Senator Allard won his 2002 reelection with only 51% of the vote, and in the 2004 Senate elections Coloradoans sent Democrat Ken Salazar to Washington, also with 51% of the vote. Though it has a conservative track record, Colorado is clearly a state that now swings both ways.

We wouldn't want our new friends to put too much stock in the legislature being in the hands of Democrats as it has been cleverly gerrymandered by agents of the State Supreme Court. Republican legislative candidates in aggregate routinely get more votes than Democrat candidates. The district this writer lives in goes 80-20 Republican while just a few miles south, the Democrat wins by a nose. That is what gerrymandering will do, and it leads to overconfidence and misleading assumptions by folks who don't live in Colorado.

We also wouldn't want them to put a lot of stock in either the win by Ken Salazar or Bill Ritter. Both ran as "moderates" and faced a divided Colorado Republican party. Bill Ritter has turned out to be so far to the left that the Denver Post, which supported him in 2006, regularly eats his lunch. That won't help Mark Udall, whose liberal blogging and msm friends (including you) regularly call him a liberal to the point that we keep a scoreboard. (We'll update the scoreboard later tonight or tomorrow as we have time.)

There is a more than even chance that having the Democrat convention in Denver will be unhelpful to Mark Udall.

This isn't the gimmie that many on the left thought it might be just six months ago. It will be a close race. We commend The Seminal for observing that Bob Schaffer:

is a formidable opponent, as demonstrated by his recent appearance on the television program Independent Thinking. There he expressed views that are bound to resonate with Colorado's conservative voters.

Strike out the word "conservative" and just leave it at "resonate with Colorado's voters."

They are correct when they say:

It's going to be a fun one out west.

So much of the liberal blogosphere in Colorado is untruthful and unethical that we are quite happy to see a well written and balanced essay from a liberal source. No Democrat blog in Colorado would have written what you wrote. They get paid (literally) to be nasty. Welcome to the arena of civil discourse.

A New Year's Resolution?

One of the challenges of writing for multiple blogs is the need to keep the topics somewhat separate. If we wrote on the same topic at all of the blogs every day, there wouldn't be a lot of point in readers skipping from blog to blog to see what we've written.

Today, as we contemplated what we might put on the Colorado Index tomorrow, we realized that we owe our readers part 2 of our critique of Randy Udall's claim that no one should exploit the Colorado and Utah oil shale because it supposedly won't make them money. We called the piece "We've Decided It's In the DNA - Part 1."

So, what is in the Udall family DNA? The willingness to tell whoppers to advance their green causes. We've caught Mark Udall lying multiple times, to the point that we have a "Udall as a Liar" label.

As we thought about the subject, we came to realize that we haven't heard quite so many new whoppers since the new year. We were wondering if the Democrats have decided that telling obvious lies isn't in their interest. Did they adopt a resolution for the new year? Time will tell.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Udall's Voting Record vs. His First-Time Junket to Afghanistan

Boulder liberal Rep. Mark Udall's hometown newspaper reports today that he is making a first-time trip to Afghanistan, ostensibly to visit American troops. First time for a member of the House Armed Services Committee after more than six years of our nation's military presence in Afghanistan, having liberated the country from the Taliban.

Based on Udall's record, the timing raises legitimate questions concerning possible political motivations behind the junket. The National Republican Senatorial Committee agrees:
Sadly, it's not the first time Udall has been a Johnny-come-lately to the issue of homeland security and defense. Udall's record on the issues leaves more than a little to be desired:
  • Udall voted against authorizing nearly $289 billion in Fiscal Year 2000 defense funding -- including funds for six F-22 fighters -- twice (RCV#424, 9/15/99; RCV#241, 6/7/00)
  • Udall voted to cut $3 billion in Fiscal Year 2001 defense spending (RCV#194, 5/18/00)
  • In 2003, Udall voted against $87 billion in supplemental funding for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan including funds for body armor, armored humvees, and health care for National Guard members and reservists (RCV#601, 10/31/03; CQ Weekly, 11/8/03)
  • Udall voted against a bill intended to expedite the delivery of armor to troops on the ground in 2004 (RCV#234, 6/14/04)
  • Udall voted against $453.5 billion in defense spending in 2005 (RCV#669, 12/19/05)
  • In 2005, Mark Udall voted against $50 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan (RCV#669, 12/19/05)
  • And last year, Udall voted against protecting funding for homeless and disabled veterans from cuts, against increasing military housing funding by $275 million, against lowering college loan rates for graduates serving in the military or National Guard, and to prevent senior military officers from working at major defense contractors for a year after retiring. (RCV#714, 7/24/07; RCV#71, 1/31/07; RCV#421, 5/24/07)
"Mark Udall's first trip to Afghanistan smacks of political expediency. Our brave men and women have been proudly serving in Afghanistan since 2001, but Udall waits seven years until he is running for the U.S. Senate to visit them," NRSC Communications Director Rebecca Fisher said. "When Mark Udall finally visits our brave men and women in Afghanistan, he should explain to them why he's repeatedly voted against sending them the resources they need to be successful."
Might we add that Udall more recently also voted to defend Democrat colleague Rep. Pete Stark for his slander of the U.S. military? And now he's going to come back with election-year photo-ops with the troops? If our men and women in uniform could share their honest opinion about Udall and his policies, what would they say?

Video: U.S. Senate Candidate Bob Schaffer on Independent Thinking

We told you Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer had a nearly flawless and "totally honorable" performance in his televised interview last night on Jon Caldara's Independent Thinking. If you don't want to wait for the episode to re-air on Denver's KBDI, or if you live outside the viewing area, now you can watch it right here, compliments of the Independence Institute's My Space webpage:

Interview with Bob Schaffer

Add to My Profile | More Videos

Bob Schaffer on Independent Thinking

If you want to know why Bob Schaffer is giving Mark Udall a really good run for his money, watch the repeat of Independent Thinking tonight on KBDI at 5:30.

The performance wasn't flawless, but it was close. We have yet to see Mark Udall in a similar format, but it is hard to see how Udall will be able to top Schaffer's effervescent personality and positive politicking style and message.

If Mark Udall comes across as a liar in the multiple posts that we have observed his untruthfulness, Bob Schaffer came across last night as totally honorable. Other than Wayne Allard, he is the only Federal Colorado office holder who kept his term limits pledge. It will be interesting to see if Udall can top that story. We'd bet that he cannot. We'd bet he won't even try.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fitz-Gerald IS Running, It Turns Out

It seems that Joan Fitz-Gerald is actually running for the seat being vacated by Mark Udall. We were wondering as she ducked an opportunity to appear on Jon Caldara's Independent Thinking debate last week.

While she lacked the courage to submit to questions from a libertarian, she jumped at the chance to appear in a debate before the Boulder Press Club.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Little Remediation for Out-of-State Observers

A new team of Web writers for "The Seminal" - originally from Northwestern University, no less - has declared its intention "to follow four key Senate races in 2008," including Colorado. Like the authors of Schaffer v Udall, these writers are independent (or so they assert), but unlike us they are avowedly Leftward-leaning. Here's their introduction to Colorado:
With republican [sic] incumbent Wayne Allard out of the race, Colorado is looking like one of the best pickup opportunities the Democrats have in 2008. Possible Republican candidates for the seat include former U.S. Rep. Bob Schaffer, Delta County Commissioner Wayne Wolf, U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez and a slew of others.

The Democratic challenger will be popular Congressman Mark Udall. Udall is a strong proponent of responsible redeployment from Iraq, as he explains in this statement:

We must end our continued entanglement in this war, but we must do so in a way that inhibits the development of terrorist bases, manages to salvage our national reputation in the region and keeps faith with the humanitarian obligation we have to the Iraqi people.

I believe that we should begin the process with a phased withdrawal that makes clear to the Iraqi political leadership that they alone have the ultimate power to settle their differences and build a stable society. America can help. The United Nations should help. But in the end, the solution to unending war in Iraq rests with the political will of the Iraqi people.

He is also focusing his campaign on education, health care and energy independence. You can contribute to Udall's campaign here.

Since I look forward to reading their analysis of the race in the coming weeks and months, I thought it would be best first, as a kind gesture, to save some of their readers from confusion and misinformation, and to point out the need to stay up-to-date with events in our fair Centennial State.

Basic facts:

1. Wayne Wolf is running for the 3rd Congressional District, not the Senate.

2. Bob Schaffer is the only declared Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate race. Bob Beauprez, who is not running, wrote on his own blog in early October:
Udall’s chief opponent in his quest for the Senate is the rock solid Bob Schaffer, but the Boulder liberal is also concerned that he may get challenged by a candidate from the left that could slice off 5-7% of the electorate that otherwise would be his.

3. Speaking of a marginal challenge from Udall's Left, the only other declared candidate in this race from either major party is Left-wing Kucinich activist Mark Benner.

Other observations:

1. Udall, who The Seminal describes as favoring "responsible redeployment from Iraq," has voted several times for an irresponsible "cut-and-run" strategy, even as the "surge" showed signs of success.

2. For awhile, the issue statements on Udall's site were down. As a public service, we reposted some of them here.

3. To provide balance to The Seminal's link to Udall's contribution page, here is where you can go to donate money to the campaign of principled former Congressman Bob Schaffer.

Democrats Will Be Taping This

Stolen from The Cauldron, Jon Caldara's stealth blog:

Get out your day planners and calendars. Tomorrow the 17th is a big day. We’ve got a big Independent Thinking tomorrow night airing on KBDI channel 12 at 8:30. True to his term limits pledge, U.S. Senator Wayne Allard is not seeking re-election, leaving the seat open in a competitive race that so far includes Democratic hopeful Mark Udall and Republican State Board of Education member Bob Schaffer. I will be interviewing the Republican hopeful about his strategy to keep the seat in Republican hands.

A Slap In The Face To Mark Udall

The Coloradoan managed to issue Mark Udall a slap in the face:

Sometimes, the best thing politicians can do is to step aside and let science lead to decisions.

And a report released Monday by the U.S. Forest Service that shows the infestation of pine bark beetles has extended to the Front Range and Wyoming is a good opportunity.

It is no secret that Mark Udall has always opposed both forest road building and more than token forest thinning. He is selling his vote to the Sierra Club for big dollars. So, now he wants to hold a "workshop" on the issue. Just more of the same politics.

Sadly, this report could become a lightning rod for extremists [ like Mark Udall and his allies] who say that no intervention is needed or for those who would advocate massive and intrusive thinning programs. More than likely, the best solution is in the middle somewhere.

Allowing the infestation to go unchecked would affect key economic factors in Colorado, including the skiing and recreation industries. Such a scenario would raise the risk of a catastrophic forest fire in Colorado followed by devastating floods. Water supplies also could be placed at risk.

If every timber company in the state and region (there are only a single handful) started cutting wood 24 hours a day, they couldn't make a dent in the number of fire breaks that need to be prepared to stop a catastrophic Colorado fire. Frankly, if every adult in the state went into the woods and did nothing but thinning for the next several summers, we still are likely to have a catastrophic fire.

Newspapers like the Coloradoan have to start telling the public the truth about the magnitude of the problem. Negative comments about "massive and intrusive thinning programs" aren't helpful because they 1) couldn't be mounted or paid for even if they were contemplated and 2) provide cover for those extremists who want to prevent any thinning.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

And Still There Will Be No Roads

In an article that the Gazette did not put on the Internet it reported:

Every large, mature lodgepole pine forest in Colorado and Southern Wyoming will be dead within three to five years...

In an effort to dodge blame, Mark Udall and his wild eyed allies in the environmentalist movement have claimed that this is a natural event, happening every 150 years. The US Forest Service disagrees:

Rick Cables, the US Forest service's regional supervisor described the die-off as "a huge, unprecedented event with major social and economic implications.

Perhaps most at stake are the state's water supplies. A lack of soil cover and the potential for forest fires as the dying trees dry out could leave reservoirs and rivers clogged with sediment more likely to pour off the landscape.

It is time for Mark Udall and his Sierra Club allies to recognize that this disaster needs to be managed, and that it cannot be managed without a reasonable access to the trees. That means roads. They supposedly love wilderness but don't much care if it is green or brown.

Surprised Mark Udall Wasn't There

Officials, including Bill Ritter, cut a ribbon on a solar energy facility on Fort Carson. The Gazette forgets in writing this puff piece that whether the federal government pays for its power directly or with federal tax rebates, it still pays the full bill for its power. Playing games with the accounting doesn't make it cheaper. If it did, we taxpayers should demand that all of the Department of Defense power needs be paid for with tax rebates.

The scope of the project is mind boggeling.

“This project is the largest solar project on an Army base,” said Erik Rothenberg, spokesman for 3 Phases Energy Services, part of the private public collaboration. “It is the sixth-largest solar project in the United States, the 70th largest in the world.”

Supposedly, the project cost $13 million dollars, but we question the figures. Our bet is that it does not include a hefty sum in tax credits. The story mentions tax credits but doesn't mention how much those credits were. Currently the Federal tax credit is 30%, or more than $6 million for this project. We don't know if the state also provided a tax credit.

If one assumes a very conservative interest rate on a $20 million investment of 5%, just the interest costs of this energy is $1 million a year. That $1 million assumes that the project never has to be paid off. If this lights 500 houses, the real cost of the electricity is $2000 a year per house. Just the electricity, and assuming no need for capital repayment or rainy day fund for repairs.

It looks like very expensive power to us. Mark Udall, who wasn't there, might argue that it was good public policy to build this solar collector, but he and others need to be honest about the costs involved. Pretending that a $20 million project cost $13 million to construct isn't fair to the taxpayer.

Just a Stunt

Big time leaders call "summits" to validate their positions as "Big Time Leaders." Mark Udall wants to host a summit on homeland security.

The Denver Post said a lot about the Mark Udall inspired "summit" on homeland security:

[ Mark ] Udall is not on the House's Homeland Security Committee. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Golden, is.

What a silly subject to have a summit on. Anyone who attends will be wasting taxpayer dollars and time. Much ado about nothing. Prediction: This meeting will never be held.

Aides for Ritter and Udall were not sure when such a summit would be held.

Perhaps next week, Mark Udall will announce that he is hosting a summit on the Prebles Jumping Mouse. He does have expertise in that area. Perhaps he can explain why that rodent is endangered in Colorado but not in Wyoming.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Drinking the Kool-Aid

Jim Spencer has always lived in his own little world, and now that he works for Colorado Confidential, he slurps down and passes out their Kool-Aid by the bucket full.

He writes:

But the numbers show something else. Democrats are most likely to win if they stick to the strategy adopted by Democratic U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar and Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter. That strategy can be summed up in a single word:


Salazar and Ritter have enraged some of their party's base with their moderate positions on issues. The Democratic presidential nominee will need that same image of moderation to have a chance to win Colorado as the national Democratic party hopes to do for the first time in more than a decade.

For the same reason, Democratic Senate candidate Mark Udall must battle every attempt to brand him "a Boulder liberal."

What Spencer says is true. What he ignores is that liberal blogs and msm outlets routinely call Mark Udall "extremist," "reliably left wing," and "liberal." Just a week ago, Spencer's old employer called Udall "solidly liberal." Udall has called himself a Boulder liberal.

We are wondering if Jim Spencer has resigned himself to always writing easily debunked lies for Colorado Confidential. It is hard to see how he could expect to be reemployed by any media outlet that valued its reputation if he continues to ignore these kinds of fully documented facts. Stop passing the purple Kool-Aid, Jim.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Let's NOT Kick Off The US Senate Race

The Denver Post editorial board is obviously becoming bored with the US Senate race. They want the candidates to stop raising money and start spending it. Both would be very foolish to do so.

The post proposed a bunch of their own issues and framed them in a way that they thought would help Mark Udall and damage Bob Schaffer. Where are the conservative issues that Schaffer must run on if he is to win? Judges, Taxes, Spending, Energy prices and production to name but a few. This is still a conservative state.

Let's let the debate be full throated in the fullness of time, but this is January. Write the editorial in June or July, if necessary, and write it about issues that people across the political spectrum in Colorado really care about.

This was a silly editorial and a silly time to write it.

Say Oink! for 2034

The Gazette has done it again. They have discovered that 1984, or perhaps 2034, is alive and well in California.

Those who don't believe that a major goal of the environmental extremists is to control all aspects of our lives simply aren't paying attention.

The California Energy Commission, whose policies tend to spread to other states, wants to protect the integrity of the power grid by giving state officials hands-on ability to regulate private thermostats. The commission’s proposal would require that all new heating and cooling systems include “nonremovable” FM receivers so state authorities can control them remotely. Big Brother’s virtual hand would enter the living room at will, without invitation.

Politicians like Bill Ritter and Mark Udall and their extremist supporters like the Sierra Club want to make it impossible for the grid to meet demands 100% of the time. That is the dirty little secret of renewable energy. It may be "renewable," but it isn't constant.

When renewable energy can't meet the demand for power, they will resort to turning down thermostats remotely in winter and up remotely in the summer.

Note that the legislature in California has delegated this power to a five person unelected commission, so voters who freeze in winter and broil in summer will not be able to identify, let alone vote the responsible politicians out of office:

The five-member energy commission plans to vote on the proposal Jan. 30. If passed it would become part of California’s building code by May, said Michel Shames, executive director of California’s Utility Action Network — a nonprofit charged with protecting consumers from corporate and utility abuse.

2034 is the new 1984. George Orwell missed the date because the technology didn't support his nightmare, but by 2034, it will. You can thank people like Al Gore, Bill Ritter, John Salazar, Ken Salazar and, most of all, Mark Udall for designing and implementing this Brave New World. They are the pigs on the farm this time around. Oink!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ohhh, So Much Material, So Little Need For Taste

Bill Ritter and Mark Udall have expressed interest in ass judging this summer. We kid you not.

We'd bet that Gary Hart, Ted Kennedy, and Bill Clinton will also have an interest in judging this contest, given their history and interests.

A warning to Ted: It will be much harder to escape from a car that you drive into the Colorado river, so try to stay sober here. If you can't stay sober, try to drive alone.

And for Gary: We understand that Monkey Business III is moored at Dillon reservoir. Bring your own babe, but you knew that. Thank Mark Udall and the Sierra Club for the beautiful and romantic brown pine trees surrounding that lake.

Bill: Hillary won't much appreciate you issuing Presidential knee pads while she is giving her acceptance speech, though she might be too busy to notice. If you ignore this advice, just don't give her a standing ovation. Please! If you do give her a standing ovation while being compromised, you needn't worry about being charged as a sex offender. Bill Ritter will be quite willing to see that it is plea bargained down to agricultural trespass so that Hillary can let you stay in the White House without the need to notify the neighbors.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Curse of E-85

This week, The Gazette had an E85 editorial:

To appreciate this fuel, one has to adopt compassion for wealthy beneficiaries of corporate welfare. Alternatively, one must believe all of the following: 1. We’re threatened by global warming; 2. human activity causes global warming; and 3. ethanol results in a net carbon emissions decrease that will reduce the problem.

Belief number three requires a wild imagination or wishful thinking, considering the fact American ethanol is made mostly from corn. Just to harvest this low-energy crop requires behemoth diesel-burning combines. Unlike high-energy crude — often transported through more eco-friendly pipelines — low energy corn must be shipped for processing by diesel-powered trucks or trains. In a 2005 issue of the journal Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, University of California-Berkeley geo-engineering Prof. Tad Patzek showed that up to six times more energy is used to make ethanol than the final product contains.

The damage doesn't stop there:

The conundrum rests partly in the fact that most small-business owners live by the natural rules of a free and fair market, while others don’t have to. Jack the price of a penne pasta dish too high, and customers won’t buy it. Conversely, if an entrepreneur wants to build a multi-million dollar plant to refine ethanol that nobody needs, he can do so without fear. The federal government [ prodded by Mark Udall and Ken Salazar ] will pay him to sell a product that makes little sense, and in this case, the ripple effect inflates food costs.

How much does it inflate food costs? Mark Udall, Bill Ritter, Ken Salazar, and John Salazar don't believe that 4.5% inflation is enough. To them, it is just another excuse for more income redistribution:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported in December that 2007 saw the largest increase in food prices since 1990. The agency expects prices to rise at least another 3 percent this year. Products made with wheat and soybean oil are expected to inflate so much that the cost of home cooking will increase 4.5 percent. We can logically expect the price of corn fed beef to continue soaring.

Paint Your Wagon

John Kerry's email is fouled up. The system is sending ghost emails, or so reports the New Political Communication Unit. The second ghost email has the following paragraph:

Follow this link to learn more about Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire, Mark Udall in Colorado, Tom Allen in Maine, and Jeff Merkely in Oregon. They're all good, progressive voices, and if we elect them all to the Senate, we'll have gone a long way in forcing a new direction in our country.

The link isn't provided by NPCU, but if John Kerry thinks Mark Udall is a progressive, which is actually well west of liberal, then we will happily add it to our scoreboard. We count progressive as "reliably left wing:"

The Mark Udall is not a moderate scoreboard:
extremist 2
reliably left wing 8
liberal 27
moderate 0
conservative (chuckle)

We started this scoreboard when we noticed that liberal blogs and the msm were routinely calling Mark Udall a "liberal," "reliably left wing," and even "extremist." We do not count comments from conservative blogs and we didn't count a comment on a liberal show by a conservative politician. Those who would like to check our methodology can follow the bread crumbs backwards.

Senate Candidate Udall Trying to Hide Boulder Liberal Udall

Boulder liberal Rep. Mark Udall is giving his hometown the cold shoulder. He doesn't have time to answer his constituents' questions and concerns? Is he afraid to confront the high school students who inspired him to support the Department of Peace idea, now that he has taken a U-turn against the proposal?

Are the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate and his staff afraid more people might notice there are two Udalls: one who panders to the radical Left in his hometown of Boulder, and another who pretends to be a centrist on the campaign trail in the rest of Colorado? Udall can't hide from his constituents all year ... Or can he?

Udall Rebuffs Request For Boulder County Town Meeting

The Longmont TimesCall is reporting that Mark Udall has rebuffed a request for a Town Meeting.

He simply doesn't have time.

Several Boulder County Democrats at Wednesday night’s meeting said that while they’re sensitive to [ Mark ] Udall’s congressional and political campaign scheduling needs, they still think it’s important that their congressman try to show up in person before his term expires at the end of the year.

The county Democrats issued their offer to host a town meeting with [ Mark ] Udall after several party members at last month’s executive committee meeting objected to his vote for a trade agreement with Peru that had been sought by Bush.

PlagiarismNowAction Expanding its Reach

This week, Lynn Bartels of the Rocky Mountain News promoted a new Michael Huttner web site. Michael Huttner is a lawyer with lawyer like ethics. He operates ProgressNowAction in a way that appears to be willing to plagiarize other's work, claiming it as their own product of months of research. He also apparently feels free to remove posts from liberal writers that don't fit his agenda.

His new site will doubtless be operated to the same low standards as what we have come to call PlagiarismNowAction.

The site has one YouTube video, which indicates that they will be going into the video editing business. The video is of such poor quality that one is reminded of what one might see out of a high school video class. They tried to stuff a minute's worth of ideas into 30 seconds, perhaps on the theory that their audience has a very short attention span.

We asked, in a comment to the article:

I'm more than a little curious as to why Bartels would promote the new Huttner site. It has one item, and that item is a 30 second YouTube commercial with such poor production values that it needs to be played over and over to understand what it is trying to say.

Did [ Lynn ] Bartels or her editors actually look at the Huttner site to decide if it was really newsworthy, or is Huttner such a valued source that the RMN just pumps out what he says without any quality check?

We received no answer.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Remaking The World

Many writers are likening global warming to a religion. Its proponents talk like it is a religion. Mark Udall's campaign website uses religious terms when it says "I believe that the truth of the one true god has been revealed to a consensus of scientists..." Well, it doesn't really say that, but that is the tone:

I believe that it is time for universal acknowledgment of what is already the scientific and public consensus-global climate change is occurring and human activity is a primary contributor to that change. The problem presents a major environmental challenge that requires an immediate response from our state and national government.

The scientific and physical evidence of global climate change is overwhelming. The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global sea level."

Like any pseudo religion, the practitioners and high priests of global warming will use any method, short of death, to promote their belief system. In earlier times, death wasn't shied away from.

Today, CNN was threatening a form of death - corporate death through shareholder lawsuit - against major companies who failed to confess their carbon emissions to shareholders.

A host of well-known companies are leaving themselves open to shareholder lawsuits because they're not telling investors enough about how much they contribute to global warming or what it might cost them to clean up, according to a recent report.

But the companies most exposed to lawsuits aren't the big utilities but a cadre of less obvious firms.

The fact that there are no laws on the books that would make these companies liable doesn't slow these pseudo religious priests down:

The firms that ranked below average are at greater risk of shareholder lawsuits if and when a cap on carbon dioxide emissions is passed, the report said.

This global warming movement, led by Mark Udall and Al Gore, is costing the economy in untold ways. These people won't be satisfied until we are living in caves and burning firewood again. No, even that wouldn't make them happy.

DSCC Big Blue Lie Machine Still Churning

You would think that the Democrats who are supporting the Mark Udall candidacy would have figured out that this author takes great pleasure in pointing out their fibs, falsehoods, and fabrications.

It is quite obvious that no one in that campaign believes that Mark Udall can be elected if they stick to the truth. They can't even be consistent in their lies.

The liberal blogs have raised a hue and cry over the fact that Bob Schaffer won't spell out his positions. Mike Saccone wrote an essay on "Schaffer's Silence." The DSCC is so lacking in material that it started its own "Parody site" on the theory that if Schaffer wouldn't spell out his positions, it could make them up. Since that site was founded, Schaffer still has not spelled out his positions (and shouldn't be in a hurry to do so).

Today, Lynn Bartels of the Rocky Mountain News provided the following quote from a DSCC spokesperson:

"Bob Schaffer must figure that since he has wholeheartedly endorsed George Bush's agenda, he might as well get something in return," said Matthew Miller, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman.

Matthew Miller and the DSCC must figure that Lynn Bartels will publish any inconsistent lie without questioning its inconsistencies. We are curious, as Bartels should have been, about the basis for the statement that "Bob Schaffer...has wholeheartedly endorsed George Bush's agenda..."

This, folks, is how the Big Blue Lie Machine Works: Keep throwing out lies and some will slip into the msm.