Longmont

Why Not Wait?

Bob Seay

First published at BobSeay.com

Should Congress impeach the President? Why not just wait for the 2020 elections and let the voters decide?

These are legitimate questions. Voters, having expressed their preferences at the ballot box, are rightfully suspicious of efforts to overturn those results. Colorado Republicans were reminded of this when they tried and failed to recall Governor Polis and several members of the Colorado legislature.

Many Democrats were disappointed when Speaker Pelosi refused to hold impeachment hearings immediately after regaining control of the House in 2018. Despite this political pressure, Pelosi refused to consider impeachment for presidential actions within the scope of the Constitution. Nancy Pelosi respects the election process and knows how Americans feel about overturning an election. Although she disagrees with President Trump, the Speaker of the House respects the constitutional authority of the President.

President Trump is not facing impeachment because Democrats disagree with his policies. President Trump is facing impeachment because he broke the law.

The President broke the law when he threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine unless the Ukrainian President promised to smear Joe Biden. This was the quid pro quo, which literally means “this for that”, to which witnesses testified before Congress. The “quid” was American military aid which Ukraine needed to defend itself from an increasingly aggressive Russia. The “quo” was that the Ukrainian government would help President Trump in the 2020 election. It was as if President Trump told the Ukrainians, “Nice country. It would be a shame if something happened to it.”

The evidence is clear. The only question is whether President Trump’s actions rise to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors” required for conviction.

So why not just wait for the 2020 elections?

Congress must impeach to protect the integrity of the Constitution, which members of Congress have sworn to support and defend. The authors of the Constitution were concerned about corrupt foreign influence and made specific provisions to guard against it. Government officials, including the President, are forbidden from accepting “any present… from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” President Trump has referred to this as “the phony emoluments clause”, but it is as much a part of the Constitution as the Electoral College that put him into office. Dirt on Joe Biden, if such dirt were available, would be a gift from the Ukraine, paid for by the American people.

Congress must impeach to protect the integrity of the presidency. Future Presidents need to know that Congress will not tolerate a President who exploits their office for personal gain.

Congress must impeach to protect the integrity of our elections. Americans need to know that our elections will not be influenced by foreign governments who wish us harm. Americans need to know that American elections are decided by American voters and not by outsiders working against us.

If the President is not impeached, future Presidents will know they can extort foreign governments for personal benefit. Future Presidents will know they can use the United States Treasury as a campaign slush fund. They will know they are above the law.

This is why this President must be impeached in the House and convicted in the Senate. Americans need to know their Constitution works.

Matt Garrett

There’s a very interesting story here.

I sent Matt a short list of questions as a private citizen and after receiving his answers, asked if I could publish them on FRL. His response was curious to say the least. He claimed he wouldn’t change any of his answers, but because I didn’t tell him I was a news outlet, he retracted it all, with some elaborate (and pointless) claims of privacy.

Matt, you’re a public figure now. If this is how you react to the spotlight, I really don’t think City Council is the place for you.

Based on your website, you have absolutely zero experience as a Council member and see City Council as little more than a booster for local businesses.

Also, based on my findings on the web, you’d be a developer’s dream – happy to sign off on virtually any project.

When I first heard about your bid for Council, it was obvious you were the candidate for the GOP even if you didn’t say so. Clearly Trump has made the GOP brand too radioactive. I understand your desire to distance yourself from that dumpster fire.

However, transparency seems to be tough for folks on the right and this exercise proves that.

I would strongly urge Longmonters not to send Mr. Garrett to Council or our beloved hometown could easily see a series of very-unwanted ‘deliveries.’


Questions sent to Matt Garrett that he decided the public didn’t need to see answers to:

I sent Matt a short list of questions and below are the questions and his answers to same. – FRL

(Not published at candidate’s request)

From your website ‘Where I Stand’ :

“Longmont’s small businesses need to have major support from all city government, using every resource available to promote local purchasing.”

Q : Can you characterize (give 2-3 examples of) what you consider ‘major support’?

Matt:

(Not published at candidate’s request)

===========================================

“City government should not be obstructionists.”

Q: What specifically has council obstructed? Why do you think they did so?

(Not published at candidate’s request)

===========================================

“Large and small corporations representing a broad range of business models should all feel welcome…”

Q: Can you give an example of the kind of business that Longmont is lacking or that you’d like to see?

(Not published at candidate’s request)

===========================================

In your interview with John Fryar you are quoted:

“Garrett said he might be considered “a little bit to the right” on the political spectrum because “I have a lot of conservative approaches to economics and government involvement.””

Q: Can you be specific? What approach in use by council now would you change?

(Not published at candidate’s request)

===========================================

(same interview)

“…cited his opposition to any hydraulic fracturing operations from the surfaces of properties within Longmont’s boundaries.”

Q: Do you believe fracking is environmentally safe in any location?

(Not published at candidate’s request)

===========================================

(Not published at candidate’s request)

Still Dirty After All These Years

The Times-Call still has absolutely no shame nor class. That they keep supporting this kind of political assassination in the name of news is sad. Oh well, anything for a buck, right?

This lovely little hit piece came out recently when the Longmont GOP decided to Trump it up.

Attack mailer against Joan Peck. Funded by the absolute worst of Longmont’s rightwing crew.

First, let’s look at the small print at the bottom of this little hit piece:

Gabe Santos, Julia Pirnack, Leona Stoecker, Bob Askey, Bonnie Finley, Dale Bruns

These six have done more to damage Longmont than any other force – and they’ve been at if for a LONG TIME.

Gabe Santos, still slime mongering

Julia Pirnack, still queenly

Leona Stoecker

Leona Stoecker, still shadowy

Bob Askey, still staunch GOP

Bonnie Finley, still scheming with oil

Dale Bruns, still skulking

Where have we seen this little cabal in action before? The Pink Letter – a heavy-handed lie fest orchestrated by one of Longmont’s absolute worst.

Longmont, you deserve much better than these people. Vote their cronies and their influence OUT of YOUR home town. Your grandkids will thank you for it.

 

Sex on Autopilot

Just read about Stephen Bradley Mell, now 53, who pled guilty in court to sex crimes.

In the air.

With a 15-year-old.

TimesNow News has more background and it’s really sordid.

Mell clearly groomed his victim, arranged for a time and place, then knowingly put a dangerous vehicle on autopilot so he could have intercourse with a fifteen-year-old girl.

I mean, what could GO WRONG?

Final upshot: yet another victim in the neverending stream of abused, rich guy horks up some cash, hangs out for a few years and in all likelyhood, gets out and does it again – except now with expert support from people like Jeffrey Epstein.

Seven years in prison, five of supervised release, $40,000 fine, $32,500 restitution, $5,000 for Victims of Trafficking Act assessment.

Honestly? That’s it?

No punishment for doing something so reckless with an aircraft??

Does the FAA endorse sex while flying? They must… because I didn’t see a peep about them in the article. I’m just thinking of the people on the ground who could have easily gotten screwed as well if any of a number of things had forced the plane down.

One more case of aerial moronity.

YO. Air community. Let’s be safe up there. (cause it’s US you crash down on)

The GOP and Women

Dust bowl mom

Almost a century now of GOP abuse of women.

Women: “Can I have birth control?”
Republicans: “No.”

Women: “I couldn’t get birth control so I got pregnant. Can I have an abortion?”
Republicans: “No.”

Women: “You prevented me from having an abortion so I’m carrying the fetus, but my employer won’t provide reasonable accommodations and is threatening to fire me. Would you please pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act?”
Republicans: “No”

Women: “I had the baby, but I’m out of work. Can I have WIC and food stamps until I get back on my feet?”
Republicans: “No.”

Women: “I found a job, but it doesn’t offer me insurance. Can I have government guaranteed insurance?”
Republicans: “No.”

Women: “My kid got sick and I got fired because I missed time caring for him. Can I get unemployment?”
Republicans: “No.”

Women: “I’m having a hard time getting my kid from school consistently. Can we fund after-school programs?”
Republicans: “No.”

Women: “I’m prepared to work to support my family. Can you make sure that a full-time job’s minimum wage is enough to do that?”
Republicans: No. But what’s the matter with you and your family, that working two jobs can’t lift you out of poverty? And what kind of a mother are you, letting someone else watch your child while you work? If your child doesn’t do well in school or gets in trouble, it’s entirely your fault. You shouldn’t have had a child if you weren’t prepared to take care of her.”

Encrypted Police Radio

American police departments have used two-way radios for 85 years to great advantage, and with no adverse effects. But recently the Times-Call reported that without prior public notification, our Longmont Police Department has begun encrypting previously open radio communications between dispatch and officers so that the public cannot hear a single word. They call it a “pilot program” but it has no end date. I find this entire action extremely disturbing.

Longmont Police notice about encryption of dispatch radio.

The argument is that sometimes sensitive information is broadcast that has the potential to compromise victim privacy and perhaps, officer safety. The police spokesman insists that this move will not affect transparency, but how could it not? No secondary distribution or publication of police-filtered accounts could possibly replace the real-time radio narrative of police and citizen interactions in our community. Other local municipalities are also encrypting communications, but that is no reason for Longmont to get on some imaginary bandwagon. There is a need to balance privacy against the public’s right to know, but this is going too far.

What is the records retention policy for all these hours, days and weeks of regular communications? Will every second of every police communication be recorded and backed up forever in case it’s needed? We need to know that. Attorneys will definitely need to know to prepare for defense or prosecution of future cases.

What’s especially difficult to understand is that it was reported that this was not done in response to a specific issue or complaint from any quarter, just some vague “buildup of concerns.” Clearly this is a solution in search of a problem. I normally don’t buy into slippery slope arguments, but will make an exception this time, and here’s one reason why.

About a month ago, it was reported that the Long Beach, California police department has adopted the use of a cell phone messaging app called TigerText that automatically and permanently deletes messages a short time after they are read. There is no possibility of data recall, and these conversations cannot be “discovered” in subsequent legal actions involving the police, especially in complaint proceedings against the department.

“I find it odd that we have a communication system that circumvents everything that we are supposed to be doing,” one officer said. How novel, an automatic electronic cover-up system that obliterates transparency when it’s needed the most.

Long Beach PD quickly suspended TigerText after civil liberties advocates and media outlets raised concerns that the app could be used to hide evidence useful to the other side in criminal and civil court cases. The city said the decision to halt the use of TigerText came “pending further review of whether the use is consistent with the city’s record retention policy and administrative regulations for the use of mobile devices.”

Do we know if the Longmont PD is also using the TigerText or Signal apps in their text communications? Please ask, Times-Call.

So I fail to see much difference between encrypted radio communications and self-deleting texts. They all lead to the same bad end, a severe compromise of the public’s right to know what their taxpayer funded police are doing, and how they are doing it.

The City Council should request and receive regular detailed information about this pilot-program-with-no-end, and be part of the implementation decision going forward because it doesn’t sound like they are now. And I hope they decide that this pilot program should be ejected without a parachute.

Charlie Fellenbaum

The writer is a former news reporter and photographer, and a Longmont resident for 12 years.

Coup d’état?

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), days after his swearing in (so his oath should have been fresh in his mind) – made a thinly-veiled threat that if the investigation into Trump’s crimes isn’t stopped, the United States is in danger of a “coup d’état”.

REALLY?

Mr. Gaetz, if the GOP impedes the investigation into Trump’s crimes, your entire party will be labelled as traitors for all time.

Sit down, shut up and READ YOUR DAMN OATH you oaf.

This is an open message to ALL Trump supporters – you idiots START a civil war and we’ll FINISH IT. When we’re done with  you there won’t be two bricks on top of each other in the red states. It will make Sherman’s march look like a church picnic.

Seriously. Stop the talk of insurrection. Do it now. It’s disgusting and unAmerican – which is becoming the GOPs callsign.

Racism against Native Americans persists

Note: the opinions expressed in this column are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of High Country News, its board or staff. If you’d like to share an opinion piece of your own, please write Betsy Marston at betsym@hcn.org.

Evelyn Red LodgeEvelyn Red Lodge is a contributor to Writers on the Range, the opinion service of High Country News. A writer in Rapid City, South Dakota, she is a correspondent for Native Sun News Today and member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

During my 13 years in Rapid City, South Dakota, I’ve learned that racism and ignorance almost always go hand-in-hand. The West was “won,” many people learn in school, but what did westward expansion mean for the Native people who were already living on the land?

The lure of gold brought explorers, miners and then homesteaders to South Dakota during the 19th and early 20th centuries. I imagine that most of those “invaders” — from my point of view — didn’t think twice about booting the local people out of the way. But that was then. The question today is why racism persists when America prides itself on tolerance and respecting diversity.

Here are examples from my life that reveal the kind of blatant racism I’ve experienced, as well as some of the unconscious racism that is sometimes almost comical.

I go to a Rapid City council meeting where a white local suggests placing statues of Native Americans in Founders Park, rather than in the proposed First Nations Sculpture Gallery in Halley Park. As Native author Elizabeth Cook-Lynn put it, the suggestion was made “without a hint of irony.” After all, who were the original founders if not Native people?

I go to the veterans’ parade where the 7th United States Cavalry, formed in 1866 to protect homesteaders and raid Native villages, is still honored. These days, of course, more Natives serve in the military per capita than any other ethnic group, according to the director of the National Museum of the American Indian. But few Natives march with the veterans in the parade.

I find a Black Hills trail guide listing the 7th Cavalry Trail as if it’s fun for people to follow the trail of mass murderers who killed anywhere from 75 to 125 babies, children and women at Wounded Knee in 1890.

Members of the 7th Cavalry Drum and Bugle Corps perform in a parade in downtown Rapid City, S.D., Nov. 11, 2007. Rapid City hosted the parade to honor those who have served and are currently serving in the U.S. military. The 7th Cavalry Corps is a volunteer marching band that dresses in authentic 19th century costume during parades in the area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller) (Released)

I buy a Happy Meal for my daughter only to find a 7th Cavalry Custer doll inside. She gets upset when I try to explain why I think it belongs in the trash.

In a jewelry shop along Mount Rushmore Road, I look at the gold for which my grandparents’ territory was invaded and spot a wine-bottle holder depicting a Native chief chugging a bottle of wine. Old stereotypes die hard. According to a recent study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Drug Dependence, alcohol consumption by Natives is shown to be generally less than that of Caucasians in the United States.

Just walking downtown in Rapid City, the so-called City of Presidents, I spot the stores along the way that used to sport signs saying “No Indians or Dogs Allowed.” I go to He Sapa — the Black Mountains — where I look upon the faces of past U.S. presidents who helped wipe out so many Indigenous peoples. I remember that Natives were only declared to be citizens by the United States Congress less than 100 years ago.

In 2015, I feared to go to any sporting event after a drunk beer salesman poured beer on Native students at a hockey game and shouted, “Go back to the reservation!” Within days, dumping beer on Natives had become a common occurrence at other venues.

I picked up the local newspaper four days after the drunk hockey fan did his business, and the question was raised on the front page: Had the Native students who were attacked stood for the national anthem? (Not that it should make any difference, but it was reported that the students did stand.)

I feared to walk on the north side of Rapid City in 2009 and 2010, after at least two Native families with children were egged while racial slurs were hurled at them. “Go back to where you came from!” is a laughable favorite. One Native woman, who was disabled, was run off the road while driving her car. Urine in bottles was thrown on other Natives. Some Natives were shot with pellet guns.

At the same time — and I am glad to report this — many of the attackers were held accountable after much public outcry:

The jewelry store owner removed the wine holder featuring a drunken Native from her window after local media asked why she’d given it prominence.

The newspaper removed its victim-blaming story from its Internet site.

Two 21-year-old women were arrested in the incident involving the disabled woman, becoming the first in the state to be charged with its new hate-crime law, “malicious intimidation or harassment.”

As for failures in the quest for justice, the drunk hockey fan was eventually acquitted of his one and only charge of disorderly conduct. And I am unaware of any charges brought against anyone for the attacks involving egg and urine throwing and pellet guns.

Racism persists, I am sorry to report. I still feel it every day.

Full disclosure: I am a Facebook friend to Evelyn Red Lodge – FRL – Thanks to High Country News!

The GOP and the Tall Tree

From Shareblue Media:

Missouri state Rep. Warren Love said on Facebook that he hoped Confederate statue vandals are lynched.

Missouri state Rep. Warren Love

Ever since the deadly neo-Nazi riot in Charlottesville, which centered on a condemned statue of Robert E. Lee, efforts to remove Confederate monuments have intensified.

But the statues, many of which were erected by white supremacist groups explicitly to protest Black civil rights, still have defenders.

Several Republicans, including Donald Trump and Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie, insist the statues are necessary to honor Southern history, even as they hypocritically allow Black heroes of the Civil War era to go unhonored and forgotten.

On Thursday, Missouri state Rep. Warren Love took his defense of Confederate statues to a violent extreme.

After a Confederate monument in Springfield National Cemetery was vandalized, Love took to Facebook to write, “This is totally against the law. I hope they are found & hung from a tall tree with a long rope.”

The idea of an elected lawmaker calling for people who defaced a statue to be lynched is horrifying. Love is explicitly invoking a terrorist act historically used by the KKK and white supremacist mobs.

During the 19th and 20th centuries, Black men were lynched for everything from trying to register to vote, to looking the wrong way at a white woman. Whites who were too outspoken in sympathy for Black rights were also targeted. People seen as a threat to the white social order were randomly made examples of, to terrify the rest into compliance.

Love’s post was met with immediate outrage. State House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty thundered that Love “invoked a form of political violence used throughout the South to keep African-Americans subjugated for generations following the fall of the Confederacy.” Missouri Democratic Party chair Stephen Webber demanded his resignation. Sen. Claire McCaskill agreed, calling his comments “unacceptable.”

Amazingly, Love is not even the first Republican lawmaker this week to threaten racial violence.

On Tuesday, Georgia state Rep. Jason Spencer warned former Black Democratic lawmaker LaDawn Jones that if she keeps criticizing Confederate statues, “I can guarantee you won’t be met with torches but something a lot more definitive. People in South Georgia are people of action, not drama.” He added that people who do not watch what they say “will go missing in the Okefenokee. Too many necks they are red around here.”

Republicans insist their support of Confederate statues has nothing to do with white supremacy. But their impulse to echo the threat of white terror betrays their motives.


Author

Freelance Political Writer

Matthew Chapman

Video game designer and science fiction author from Texas. Can be found on Twitter @fawfulfan.

Remembering LBJ

Lyndon B. Johnson – 8/27/08 – 1/22/73 – 36th President of the United States

Any of you folks from my generation remember this picture? It was taken 45 years ago today. High school teacher >> Congressman >> Senator >> Senate Majority Whip >> Senate Majority Leader >> Vice President >> President >> derelict. What a long, strange trip it was.

I remember Lady Bird took some heat for telling the hippies to “get a haircut.” Though both were diehard liberals, Lady Bird took a stand against us longhairs. Yet when LBJ retired, he grew his hair out, as if in solidarity. Or maybe as an apology. Whatever the reason, it was in defiance of his own wife’s cleanup campaign (which also included a war on billboards).

Lyndon Johnson was a complex man. He did so much good during his 5+ years in office, yet he’s the president who told us “We have to save face” in Vietnam. To which, those of us nearing draft age wore T-shirts that read “Save Lives, Not Face.” Mine was dark blue with white lettering.

He pushed through civil rights legislation (against the will of the Dixiecrats), established his landmark Great Society, and when the day came when he was challenged by “Mr. Conservative” a mere year after ascending to the White House via Lee Harvey Oswald’s marksmanship, LBJ crushed Barry Goldwater like a smoldering cigarette butt.

It’s odd to think that I’m older today than he ever lived to be. His oddball ways notwithstanding, I don’t think he was a bad man. I think he was a decent man who tried to do the right thing during tumultuous times, but those times simply swallowed him up. I don’t think he lived long enough to ever admit that the escalation of Vietnam was a colossal mistake, but I KNOW he knew it.

In fact, I believe it’s what killed him. He died from a heart attack, five months after this picture was taken. 58,000 + 1.

RIP, LBJ

Bruce Lindner, Portland, OR

Bruce Lindner is a political commentator, humorist, coffee expert and part-time mechanic.

Longmont Council Needs Prodding to Adopt Drop Zone Fees

When will the next one land on Airport Road?

For several months, the Longmont city council has been considering a signficant increase drop zone fees, which would be based on the drop zone square footage of 338,000 sf (recommended by the USPA.) The fees would go from the current $7,800 to $70,000 per year.

Longmont airport advisory board Aug agenda and June minutes – search for keyword $70,000

For many years, Mile-Hi Skydiving has been getting a free ride, while the airport enterprise fund can barely meet operating expenses. They were paying zero dollars for the 40-acre drop zone area until we made council aware of the oversight. Then they began paying the annual permit fee of $7,500 codified in the city ordinance – still a paltry sum compared to the damage they are causing. Worse yet, in 2016 Longmont tax dollars – to the tune of $40,000 – were siphoned from the General Fund to pay for airport expenses. Your tax dollars were misdirected and taken away from other worthwhile public projects and amenities.

The drop zone fee proposal has languished since the AAB began reviewing it, and has not moved forward for at least 3 months now.

At least one council member has suggested that it would be very helpful for Longmont residents to speak at their meeting (PITBH) and urge them to proceed with the fees, without further input from the AAB. Your opportunity is tonight, Tuesday 8/22 at the Longmont city council meeting, 7 pm – I hope you will be there and also send an email to council. We must have Longmont residents driving this issue – I cannot do it for you but will provide full support.

Longmont city council email address

June 20, 2017 email: Kimberly: Attached is the information you requested regarding the airport. The answer to question 4 below is as follows: In 2016 the General Fund funded $40,000 for “Development Funds for Airport Utilities and Drainage Master Plan”.

Valeria Skitt
City Clerk

Many thanks,
Kimberly Gibbs
Founder, Citizens For Quiet Skies, Boulder County, Colorado

Stop by our table at the Longmont Farmers Market – Sept 2nd and Oct 7th

Surprise! Ken Buck Shows Up for Work!

Longmont Area Democrats had their “with or without Ken Buck town hall meeting” and guess who showed up? The man himself. Think activism doesn’t have any effect – there it is. Buck started out on the defensive and got more shrill as the meeting wore on. He hacked his way through a series of questions, tossing out rhetoric, GOP talking points and some good ole fashioned bullshit – which the crowd called him out on. It got tense a few times and I think the organizers wished they had a whip and chair – but the Dems calmed down and Ken didn’t run away (as GOP candidates are wont to do when faced with any substantive resistance). It was a great meeting – the Dems were fired up and Buck scurried away with his pants still smoking, staff hustling to keep up. Thanks to Shari Malloy who asked me to shoot this meeting – and a special thanks to everyone that came and spoke!

Photos at Flickr.

My friend Kate Beier asking Ken Buck a question:

Unity in the Community 2017

From the Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce:

Unity in the Community is a Chamber premier event that welcomes business, non-profit and political leaders from the region and the state. Unity is open to the public at no charge and provides a unique opportunity to network with a vast number of representatives from the business, political and non-profit sectors.

Date and Time: Feb, 23 2017   5:00 pm – 7:30 pm
RSVP Deadline: Feb, 22 2017 at 05:00 pm (Please call 303-776-5295 if past deadline)
Location: Plaza Convention Center, 1850 Industrial Circle, Longmont, CO 80501 (Map)
Cost: Chamber Member:  $ 0
Non-Member:  $ 0
Seats: Limited Seats Remaining


Cory Gardner – photo by MDWray

I’ve been informed that Cory Gardner might very well be there.

If you’ve been trying to see him or ask him a question, this might be just the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.

Please be sure to attend and take LOTS of photos and videos – FRL is happy to publish your best. Always fun to see Cory’s face when he’s being asked a hard question.

Enjoy!

Littwin: Gigantic, enormous, colossal, unpresidented women’s march drives Trump mad

From the Colorado Independent:

These are, as they say, early days. And as the nascent Trump era progresses — if that’s the right word — we will continue to see things we’ve never seen or heard before.

For starters, we’ve never heard an inaugural speech like Trump’s American carnage address.

We’ve never seen a counter-inaugural demonstration drawing an astonishing 3 million across the country, many of the protesters wearing pussy hats and many carrying signs about a president keeping his tiny hands off the First Amendment. If you think you were stunned by the turnout — the 100,ooo-marchers-strong aerial shot of Civic Center is a remarkable testament to those Coloradans trying to take their country back — imagine how Trump felt.

We’ve never seen a press secretary, on his first day, ordered by the president to read out a pack of lies about, of all things, crowd size and insist they were true – period. Or see a presidential counselor say the lies were actually “alternative facts.” Or see Orwell cited quite so accurately quite so early in a president’s tenure.

We have seen Trump embarrass himself many times, but never quite as he did, as president, at the CIA, standing in front of the wall honoring the CIA dead, using the occasion to accuse the press of willfully deflating his inauguration numbers and of falsely creating a rift between him and the intelligence agencies that he had compared to Nazis.

We’ve never seen a president, in his first days, hold a meet-and-greet with congressional leaders and tell them the already clearly debunked lie that he had lost the popular vote only because 3 to 5 million illegal immigrants voted for Clinton, who apparently was not smart enough, as several observers have pointed out, to wield these voters in, say, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

He can’t let go — of anything. He can’t move on — from anything. Getting elected isn’t enough. It has to be the greatest election. The most colossal crowds. A global movement. And still that won’t satisfy. We can only imagine what the GOP congressional leaders were thinking – that they have to pretend for four years that this is remotely normal. Remarkably, in the face of Trump’s allegation of massive voter fraud, no one called for an investigation. A better response, of course, would be to call for an intervention.

Read the rest at the Colorado Indpependent.

Fracking Forum Features Foolishness

If you’re looking for entertainment in Longmont, no one serves up better than the Longmont Republican Women. Their recent forum “The State of Fracking in Colorado – A panel discussion” was one of the best comedy performances I’ve seen so far in 2016.

Ken Buck

Ken Buck clearly enjoyed the open bar

Featuring none other than Ken Buck, Weld County’s well-lubricated supporter, the oil barons favorite semi-roughnecks Matt Lepore (Director, Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission) and Dan Haley (President, Colorado Oil & Gas Association).

Longmont Councilman Brian Bagley, Moderator

Longmont Councilman Brian Bagley, Moderator

Doing an admirable job as straight man was Longmont’s Ward 1 City Council member Brian Bagley. I have to say his material and delivery were on point, making it child’s play for the Three Spooges to work their magic on the audience.

Moderator Bagley asked the setup questions and the Spooges knocked em down – without interference from those pesky Dems who chose to sit out this comedy cavalcade.

Matt Lepore gave an outstanding theremin-like performance in which he lulled the 99% GOP audience, crooning that they had nothing to fear from fracking. Mesmerizing!

Matt Lepore, Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commision "See? It's magic and it works!"

Matt Lepore, Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission
“See? It’s magic and it works!”

Dan Haley, President, Colorado Oil & Gas Association doing his very best Stan Laurel impression

Dan Haley, President, Colorado Oil & Gas Association doing his very best Stan Laurel impression

Dan Haley was a bit lackluster compared to Lepore (no small feat that!) and routinely seemed to be thinking “I Dunno…” before looking over at Buck, clearly wishing he could be as thoroughly soused.

Bagley’s questions covered a lot of territory and included questions about citizen initiatives. The Spooges responses ranged from “pshaw” to “balderdash” and were well-received by the mostly white-haired well-heeled crowd. One especially high point was when asked about safety concerns, Ken Buck burbled on about how fracking was safer than oil tankers “…like the Exxon Valdez…” and “…pipelines…” to which the crowd responded with howls of glee. I have to say I’ve never seen a complete lack of integrity used to such good comedic effect.

The crowd included some of Longmont’s quasi-luminaries as well as some career politicians clearly hoping to garner some media exposure. Here’s the ones FRL spotted:

Paul Danish Soon-to-be contender for Boulder County Commish

Paul Danish
Soon-to-be contender for Boulder County Commish

Dale Bruns Bruns Concrete & Construction

Dale Bruns
Bruns Concrete & Construction

Sean Conway Weld County Commish at large

Sean Conway
Weld County Commish at large

Greg Brophy Melon farmer

Greg Brophy
Melon farmer

WHOOPS! Not quite incognito...

WHOOPS! Not quite incognito…

There was even a lobbyist!

John Clarke Clarkestrategies

John Clarke
Clarkestrategies

As I left the event, feeling almost light-headed from all the Ben-Gay fumes, I was politely accosted by none other than LRW’s ever-so-gracious President, Rebekah Vicknair! She oh-so-politely asked me if I would stop leaving “…things…” on their Facebook page. I apologized for exercising my First Amendment rights but reminded her gently that I still had such rights – assuming Mr. Trump didn’t win the election. I suggested that if she and her cohort would be willing to reveal the name of the person behind the slur on my dead wife, I’d give them a permanent pass. I also mentioned Longmont’s one-time GOP mouthpiece and she demurely feigned ignorance. Truly, a comedienne of soon-to-be-legendary stature! I salute you Ms. Vicknair for your unstinting commitment to comedy. It made me laugh out loud.