2009: What a year!

2009 was quite an eventful year for the City of Longmont, regardless of where you stand on the issues.  Obviously, it was better for some than others.  Personally, it was pretty busy but overall pretty satisfying, too.

So lets go through it, month by month: Continue reading

Markey’s absurd statement about the Public Option

Congresswoman Betsy Markey made an absurd statement when she visited Longmont to talk about health care last week that no one seems to be questioning. And then she repeated it last night during her tele-town hall.

Markey claims the premiums for the government-run public option will cover the entire cost of the program. She said the public option will not be subsidized with taxpayer dollars the way Medicare and Medicaid need to be. Continue reading

Gift idea for your congressman: reading glasses

The not-so-shocking news came out that our excuse for a congressman (man, woman, person, whatever – I haven’t heard she’s ashamed of her gender or genitalia) Betsy Markey (Democrat CO-4) is going to run for re-election in 2010. As a congratulatory gift I suggest each and every one of you send her a thoughtful and much needed gift. A pair of reading glasses.

She admitted in a radio interview that she didn’t read the stimulus bill that she blindly voted for back in February, and as Amy Oliver pointed out it was nearly impossible to read the latest “cap and trade” bill either: “The final version ended up being 1428 pages long with some 276,000 words. At an average rate of 250 words per minute, it would have taken her 18 hours to read the cap and trade bill assuming she did nothing else — not sleep, not eat, and took it with her to the bathroom.”

I found out recently during a conversation with some people that they don’t care that she didn’t read it. I was asked how a particular Republican voted, to which I had to point out that person isn’t in the current congress. It was a nice redirect move that people attempt when trying to deflect blame from their own guy’s shortcomings, along with asking if I thought all congressmen read bills before they vote on them. I don’t think it’s too much to ask, so yes, they either read it, ask for more time, or vote against it.

But more to the point, I’m talking about my congressperson here, the one I get to vote for or against, the one that’s supposed to represent me. I don’t call or write congressmen from other districts or states – not that there’s anything wrong with that – but I just don’t. I might start though as it appears we’re currently stuck with a representative that isn’t all that bright, and is lying if she admits to reading this latest bill.

Speaking of representing, and I know how so many of our local political buffoons like to point out what’s red and what’s blue around here, who exactly is Betsy Markey representing? Is she representing Boulder or Denver? No. Let’s take a look at how this congressional district voted for President in 2008:

John McCain (Rep) 49.54%
Barack Obama (
Dem) 48.66%

So, Ms. Markey has voted for a stimulus package (that she didn’t read) that is working so well that they are thinking of another, since they underestimated the trouble the economy is in (to which I ‘d suggest they look at my weekly foreclosure reports). Then she goes and votes for this cap-and-trade (AKA tax and kill) bill that amounts to a massive tax increase and job killer. It doesn’t matter if this bill dies in the Senate – her vote in favor of it should be used as a sledgehammer on her during the next election cycle.

Speaking of jobs and foreclosures, you Obama/Markey voters who have or are on the verge of losing their jobs and houses, happy so far? Things going swell? That stimulus trickle down to you yet? Look forward to saving 2 cents a month on those neat (but dangerous when broken) light bulbs? Making plans for those gas guzzling vehicles that must go to lower our global temperature (or is it raise now)?

It’s okay to admit to being bamboozled (Obamboozled I like to call it), also known as a bait-and-switch. I just ask next time,
a) pay a little more attention,
b) stay off the bandwagon,
c) avoid the hero worship in politicians, or
d) vote on the Wednesday after Election Day.

(Picture source: eyesavecontacts.com)

More rubberstamping by Betsy Markey

Citizens in Colorado District 4 (Longmont, Loveland, Fort Collins, Greeley, Fort Morgan, Lamar, etc) were given another reason to be proud of their elected representative Betsy Markey. Just like the porkulus bill she voted for earlier this year (see my earlier piece “Local representatives: apologies expected“), she’s once again put her signature on a bill she probably didn’t bother to read at all. What did I refer to her and her ilk before, oh that’s right, rubber-stamping chimpanzees.

This time it’s the “cap and trade” bill, probably one of the biggest tax increases in history, but wasn’t that said about the porkulus bill? They just can’t stop outdoing themselves, these tax and spend types – at least they’re fitting the stereotype.

This from Face The State:

Markey says she reads bills before voting, but how could she?

Freshman U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey claims to read bills prior to voting in Congress, but it’s unlikely she had the time to do so before voting for federal “cap and trade” energy legislation Friday.

During an appearance on 9News’ “Your Show,” hosted by political reporter Adam Schrager, Markey said her approach to voting is to “read the bill, talk to staff and people on the committee and then go to constituents and listen to what they have to say.” But given that over 300 pages of amendments were introduced to the 1,200 page bill at 3 am before the final vote, it seems that not a single member of the House could have read the bill in its entirety. Insiders say even if a member wanted to review the legislation, a complete copy of the bill was hard to come by before the vote.

Markey’s “yes” vote has pitted her against fellow Democrats and her Republican challengers. Rep. John Salazar, D-Manassa, ultimately voted against the bill, citing his fears the legislation could raise energy costs and particularly hurt the coal industry in his largely rural district.

“Well if you read the bill, there’s no way you would vote for it,” said state Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, who is seeking the GOP nomination to challenge Markey. “Her vote represents the special interests that got her elected, but not the interests of the fourth congressional district. To disarm our economy and choke out investment in this country’s businesses is just irresponsible.”

The bill narrowly passed the House by 219-212, after hours of tense negotiations. If passed by the Senate in similar form as in the House, the bill would mandate a 17 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and a 83-percent cut by 2050. It also requires that 20 percent of electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020.

Multiple calls to Markey’s office were not returned.


Ms. Markey is on a tear, she must really be proud of her financial destruction for future generations. Like the above article says, she didn’t return calls, and it’s pretty clear she only talks to friendly media. She probably won’t talk to YOU if you disagree with her abysmal go-along-with-the-mother-party voting record (for the most part). But you can try calling her at (202)225-4676 or fax (202)225-5870. Someone who called her office was told Ms. Markey read the 1,200 page bill. Odds are someone there is lying.

You shlubs in Longmont who fell for her tactics (can’t say you weren’t warned) can’t go to District 4’s Longmont office because it doesn’t exist anymore. But I’m sure she thanks you for your misguided vote. It was Larimer County who put her over the top, and she keeps offices in Ft. Collins and Greeley.

Don’t misinterpret: this is less about this bill (which will probably die in the Senate) and more about elected representatives being derelict in the duty. I don’t believe for a moment that Ms. Markey or most, if not all, of the people who voted for this (or the porkulus bill) read hardly any of it or understood it. These people are just drunk with power and when it comes time to actually do their jobs they’re too hungover.

It also says something about their character, which appears pretty thin and weak. You’re either easy to bully by fellow representatives that add 300 pages at 3 in the morning and they tell you to “trust them” and vote for it. Or, being a new representative (and never forget, a fairly vulnerable and targeted one in ’10), you just go along with your party to get along.

Either way, pretty spineless.

For Markey, the wolves are from within

First off, I want to congratulate Congresswoman Betsy Markey for her vote against President Obama’s terrible concept of a budget. Here is her statement after voting: “I grappled with this budget but ultimately could not support it. I was elected to bring fiscal responsibility back to Washington, and I believe that Congress must be more aggressive in cutting our federal deficit. At a time when families all across the country are tightening their belts, we can do a better job of rooting out inefficiencies and cutting out government waste.”

Unfortunately, she was in the minority and it passed mostly along party lines 233-196. Ms. Markey was among 20 Democrats who voted against this budget, no Republicans voted for it.

More unfortunate is the attack about to commence on Ms. Markey and other so-called moderate Democrats from the loathsome left wing of that party. This starts at the bottom, the sewer of this party, and goes all the way to the top. President Obama let it be known to one of his own party members who voted against the stimulus “Don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother.” That was Oregon Representative Peter DeFazio, he saw the light and went ahead and voted for this budget. Coincidence, I’m sure.

Then, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen went begging groups like MoveOn.Org and Americans United for Change to back off going on the attack towards politicians precisely in Markey’s situation. Even Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said “These groups should leave them alone. It’s not helpful to me. It’s not helpful to the Democratic Caucus”. Problem is, people like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, and yes, Barack Obama have egged on this fringe element of their party for years to get where they are. Didn’t one of these characters say something along the lines “we own this (the Democratic) party now?”

In my last piece, I said she was about to disappoint a bunch of people who supported her. I should have added “God help you when you do”, because if you thought you were dealing with rational, sensible types, you were wrong. A local example was a Times-Call Open Forum letter to Ms. Markey basically reminding her who voted her in and what they expect. This is pretty much what I expected, but this other, much larger machine (that won’t be slowed by Obama) has a much higher chance of doing serious damage.

This isn’t proof of this party having a big tent, unless it’s just a big circus tent. It’s just a pack of malcontents with their own little clubs that by and large vote similarly. Whoever they perceive “the man” to be, or “the establishment”, that’s who they’ll rail against, as long as that’s the current popular thing to do. While in this fantasy of considering themselves as anti-establishment or even revolutionary, they really are just tools for a much bigger machine that is probably everything they’re against – depending on the wind or mood that day, week, or month.

And Ms. Markey, they have been unleashed, with you and some of your colleagues in their crosshairs. They know who the potentially vulnerable candidates are in 2010, yet I don’t think that will stop them. You’ve no doubt heard of the Republicans that are lining up for the race against you; expect primary challengers from your own party to suddenly appear. If not, maybe these wolves will leave you alone, for now.

Isn’t that a nice group of people you courted to win? Locally or nationally, they are no friends of the Republic or freedom loving people. Of course I’m not talking about the rank-and-file “normal people”; these are the radicals, attack machines, lunatic fringe, hateful types, and frankly, the screwballs of your party. You surely met them on the campaign trail, crazy eyes and just not right or all there. The ones you probably thought “sure don’t want to get on their bad side”. Too late.

Instead of saying the line that always seems to get me in trouble (“you made your bed, now sleep in it”), I’ll just say you have my sympathy.

Deciphering political doublespeak

I about fell over laughing when I saw the following tagline “Members of Congress must embrace accountability – People across the country are tightening their belts, and we must expect our government to do the same.” That was the op-ed title from U.S. Representative (Dem-04) Betsy Markey in a special to the Times-Call on March 25, 2009.

Six days earlier I wrote a piece requesting an apology for what our current crop of representatives pulled with their signing of the stimulus bill without reading it. I’m not going to jump to conclusions and delusions of grandeur that these representatives actually read it or care what I wrote, but I did log a lot of hits from U.S. House of Representatives and Democratic National Headquarters computers. They like Googling themselves apparently, cute.

But this pack of nonsense from Ms. Markey was just too much, and more than likely people bought it hook, line, and sinker. She just signed the bill that people are howling over because of these AIG bonuses, yet now proclaims she and her fellow representatives “must embrace accountability” and “tighten their belts”? This is the same old claptrap of “do what I say, but not what I do” in the guise of freshman, inexperienced politics. This of course includes their party leader, President Obama, whose last press conference was a clinic in doublespeak and dodging.

She mentions “implementing effective policies”, like these ridiculous deficits over the next 12 years? Like not noticing these AIG bonuses you signed for? She’s “proud” of her “efforts to bring real change to our government”. Sounds like more of the same, including the lousy congressional ratings. But what “change” has she brought? Once again, I’m all ears.

She worries about the word “accountability” being “in danger of becoming just another meaningless buzzword”. She’s right, and she’s engaging in that very activity. What total hypocrisy and double standards.

When I met and spoke to her my advice was to try to run a clean campaign and stay above the mud slinging, and that she’d probably have a good chance at winning. I wasn’t saying that because I necessarily wanted her to win. While being a nice enough lady, I saw her as a fairly inexperienced, unseasoned future bureaucrat who couldn’t even keep our fairly large union’s name straight. But I gave this suggestion because she needs to keep in mind the district she represents, which is not some heavily leftwing district by any stretch of the imagination.

You that were fooled into voting for her, you’ve also been put on notice by her, if you didn’t catch it. If you read between the lines of her op-ed she’s telegraphing that she’s about to disappoint a lot of people who voted for her. Sure didn’t sound that way during the campaign jumping fully onboard the Obama bandwagon like a bunch of other suckers. This is the problem with going all in with the hero worship when it involves politicians, whether its people seeking office or their minions. Of any party. Sooner or later these people let you down or will be let down, and they sure take it harder than finding out something like Britney Spears isn’t all she was cracked up to be, or the pundit (or governor) they follow is a pedophile, home wrecker, or tax cheat.

When in comes to Ms. Markey, this isn’t some newfound independent streak, it’s the classic art of political self preservation. She knows she’s in a mostly rural, fairly Republican district. She knows she won against an incumbent (and incumbent party) that wasn’t very popular. She knows she played dirty during the campaign. She knows candidates are lining up against her for 2010 already and that she’ll be in one of the national “targeted” races. She knows she needs either a) Republican votes to win, or b) hope, as in 2008, that Republicans don’t show up on Election Day, or both. She hopes op-eds like this one will fool enough people into believing what she says, and ignores her actual actions on The Hill.

Since I gave advice once, and know these blog entries somehow get the attention of certain sites (mentioned above), here’s another tip for Ms. Markey: be yourself. That’s right, be yourself. You were elected to represent this district, but being this is (still, for now) a representative government, you don’t need our constant approval or endless polls, nor do you need numerous town hall meetings to hear griping and your sycophants nudging. (But if you are going to have these kinds of meetings, can they at least be in non-partisan locations and venues?)

Stand and vote on your principles, whatever they may be. You won, with a majority even. Don’t just pander for the next election, actually do something, you may not have a second chance (as in term). And I think you know that. If how you vote now is contrary to what you “sold” during the campaign (for instance, did you say you were against the assault weapons ban? I didn’t hear that), explain it – don’t try to cover it up like this op-ed piece does. Your voting record will be closely scrutinized, count on it. Might as well make the best of it.

But while you’re at it, don’t forget you don’t just represent your party or the drones who would vote for you no matter what. You don’t just represent women, you don’t just represent this district or state. You represent this country above all else. Waste that and you don’t deserve support or re-election.

Local representatives: apologies expected

Oh, the AIG outrage! How could we have been so hoodwinked with these bonuses being paid out? Sounds like some people want blood for this, right?

Well, you don’t have to look far. Look right at your local representatives, that would be Markey, Polis, and Udall. If they went through the trouble to read what they sign they might have noticed this little gem hidden somewhere deep inside. But they or their staffers didn’t apparently, so they just blindly voted along anyway like good little rubber-stamping chimpanzees.

When asked about this, Jared Polis gave some smarmy response that, and I’m paraphrasing “yes, much of this was already looked at prior to vote, we knew for the most part what was in this.” Oh really? Did you know about these bonuses? If so, then your vote approved it, didn’t it? I haven’t heard Markey or Udall’s response to these bonuses or their blind votes; someone may need to wake them up.

Odd how silent many of their supporters are over this nationally and locally. All I’ve heard them complain about lately is lamenting over the signing of contracts (homes, credit cards, cars), not fulfilling them, and those darn consequences of breaking these contracts. Well, Congress just did you one better. They didn’t read these bills and budgets, signed them anyway, and we all pay the price for their (here it comes, these types favorite word) malfeasance!

Perhaps our local representatives, and their ilk who all voted for this fiasco should heed these words:

When you rush these budgets that are a foot high and nobody has any idea what’s in them and nobody’s read them. And it gets rushed through without any clear deliberation or debate, then these kinds of things happen.”

Who said that? Senator Barack Obama November 22, 2004

So go ahead, we’re waiting for your apologies. Better yet, your resignations.
Had requests for the source of the above Obama quote, I’ll do it one better, here’s the YouTube with the actual audio:

additional relevant quotes: Jared Polis said this was a “great bill”, and “There’s really no excuse for (members of Congress) not knowing what is in this bill.” During a question-and-answer session with the audience, Polis also addressed concerns that the package contains too much funding, or not enough. “Nobody knows,” Polis said, defending the act-sooner-rather-than-later approach. – from ColoradoDaily.Com
“We will hunt you down!” thundered Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis during the AIG bonus demagogue-a-thon on the House floor Thursday (3/19/09)

State capitol rally against generational theft

Since most of you probably had to work on Tuesday, or have what I like to call a “life”, you probably missed the rally held at the State Capitol over the so-called stimulus package. Aka Porkulis, AKA Generational Theft Act, or whatever you prefer to call it.

I had the day off and had to be in the area anyway, so I went down there – along with another contributor to this site, much to our mutual surprise. Regardless of where you stand on this issue, thought you might like to know what this observer saw.

Traffic and parking was tough, so I got there a little late and right about when I thought it was going to start, it was over. It was a pretty decent sized crowd for the middle of a weekday. There were plenty of speakers, but each only spoke a very short period of time, and the wind was a serious factor in trying to hear the speakers. I’m not sure if there were limitations on the time they had at that location, whether a permit was required, etc. Either way, I was surprised how quickly it ended.

But most of the fun occurred after the event was technically over. Lots of people stayed, milled around, and talked to each other. They had a real live pig, and also a roasted one. I thought the latter was fake, a prop, but it was real alright, and sure smelled good.

There were various factions representing all kinds of views, from parents concerned about their kids future, to 9/11 Truthers, and a small scattering of Obamacons. This one guy, who was wearing a soon to be copyright infringed t-shirt, just wasn’t getting the attention he demanded. So he just yelled louder, to no one in particular. I got closer to see what was going on and saw someone trying to engage him, and witnessed pretty much what I expected: certain types yell questions and platitudes, even if you’re trying to actually have a dialogue with them. This guy would make some idiotic assertion; the person talking to him would answer, or try to, but without even listening to the response this clown was on to another talking point.

Like most sane people, they got sick of him and just walked away laughing and shaking their heads. So what did this guy resort to? Apparently he had nothing left in his bag of wits other than a crack on the other guys’ hair, or lack thereof. Yep, that’s it, pretty sad. Then another speaker would flare up with some loud speech, people would look, or maybe gather around, then it would be over. The television stations and news agencies were all there, but I didn’t see any of them cover the activities following the rally.

I saw people talking to elected representatives about issues that concern them, and not all were of one particular political persuasion either. I got to meet a couple of these State Senators (Renfroe and Mitchell), and apologized for mine (Shaffer). I also got to meet Jon Caldara of the Independence Institute and radio/TV fame, but forgot to thank him for allowing me to use some audio from his TV show for my podcast (the ReCreate ’68 piece – Thanks!).

I also met syndicated columnist and FoxNews regular Michelle Malkin. I was standing near the Capitol steps and people were handing me their phones/cameras for me to take a picture of them with her. I was glad to do it, and then I got a picture of me taken with her (thanks for emailing it!). Never the shy one, I wanted to crack a joke for the picture, so I promised her I wouldn’t “Alex Jones” her. (He chased her around at the DNC in Denver like a wailing, well, pig). I then took a self-guided tour of the Capitol building, very impressive.

Some thoughts on the event: Some of the speakers were a little too partisan and this isn’t really a left/right, conservative/liberal, or Republican/Democrat issue. I was glad to see some speakers, most notably Mr. Caldara make that point. Your kids and mine, and theirs yet to be born, will be saddled by this for decades and some of those labels and parties may just be a memory by then. But this insanely large bill (and the one before it and the ones sure to follow) won’t be a memory; it’ll be their reality – as sad as it may be.

I’m not much of a rally attendee or marcher. I do my talking either here, on a podcast, at/to city council, or in the newspaper. I went to this event to say I was there on the day when my President signed away my future family members hopes of a life as good as mine and those before me. For you other parents (regardless of affiliation) who are equally concerned, even though I wasn’t one of the ones yelling in the crowd, I was there for you, too.

Does that mean I have a better answer or alternative? No. But at least I would hope my representatives (this includes you Congresswoman Markey, and Senators Udall and Bennet) would do us the favor of actually reading a bill of this magnitude before signing it. These three clearly did not do that and I consider this a dereliction of their duty. This proves they are just rubber-stamping political hacks. Thanks for nothing. No, thanks for worse than nothing.

You always hope your kids will do better than yourself, sort of improve on the current model. Now those hopes have been handcuffed. And while I can’t understand how some people are thrilled that the government is handing out billions (trillions with interest) and think it’s free money. It’s not free, it has to be paid back, or they’ll just put the money printing press on hyperdrive followed by hyperinflation. Either way, it’s tying future generations’ hands behind their back as they hope to try to strike out on their own.

They’ll likely strike out alright, but not the good kind.

You can see pictures of this event and more at the following Longmont Examiner page:
Locals attend Anti-Pork Roast on Capitol steps

Markey Not Ready For Primetime

I’m sure the papers and pundits will have their chance to dissect the debate Thursday night between the candidates for the 4th Congressional district, Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave and her challenger Betsy Markey, but figured I’d throw in my two cents here. The video of this debate can be found at http://www.9news.com/news/article.aspx?storyid=101504&catid=339

Prior to this debate, I’ve met and spoke to Betsy Markey where she gave a speech to our organization, and of course the recent candidate forum here in Longmont last week (as mentioned in my recent podcast). I’ve never met Marilyn Musgrave, and have never seen her speak more than a sentence, usually during a news broadcast. I haven’t followed her career nearly as much as some others around town, who do it quite often in an obsessive manner. So in many ways, this debate was an introduction to Ms. Musgrave for me.

From what I’d previously read and heard about Ms. Musgrave, she didn’t appear to really set the world on fire, in and out of her own party. Ms. Markey seemed to me a friendly person, but I was never quite sure of her accomplishments and got the impression she was just running as the typical Democrat going for the anti-Republican or anti-Musgrave vote but not a lot behind her. After the Longmont event and this debate, I did get a little more feel for her experience, especially in relation to her small business.

But what struck me about this debate and her previous comments was that Ms. Markey doesn’t really speak to the specifics of this district. Most of her comments were the same generic Democratic talking points that you can hear from any candidate in any state or district. Ms. Musgrave by comparison often brought up her own experience in Washington and how it relates to people and cities within the district she represents.

A couple of points on this debate: Ms. Musgrave was on the attack and her shots appeared to hit more effectively than Ms. Markey’s. She brought up a YouTube video of Ms. Markey saying “You say drill. I say no. Debate’s over” to oil drilling, which brings up a question of when it really happened (during the DNC?), and who filmed and uploaded it (friend of Markey’s or Musgrave’s?), there were two versions of that story.

The other shot Ms. Musgrave took was this “women owned business” issue that her representative leveled at Ms. Markey at the Longmont event. Ms. Markey skated around this again and tried to be a little too fine with her comment that her company never sought contracts as a woman owned business, but Ms. Musgrave provided quotes from Ms. Markey and information on her companies website that are clearly contradictory on this subject. We probably haven’t heard the last of this issue.

Ms. Markey tried to hit Ms. Musgrave on money she’s taken from Wall Street bankers. But this backfired when Ms. Musgrave pointed out that those contributions were from small community banks and credit unions.

In summary, Ms. Musgrave showed much more knowledge of who she’s working for, which is probably why the Denver Post, of all newspapers, recently endorsed her. Personally, I was surprised at the strength of her performance and easy familiarity with the issues and her district.

Perhaps it was nerves and first time on a stage like this, but Ms. Markey was not nearly at ease and fell back on the obvious, stuff we’ve already heard and already know. While Ms. Markey may have a bright future in politics, voters should be considering knowledge and experience. In this race, there’s really no comparison. Can’t believe I’m about to agree with the Denver Post (thanks, by the way for printing me often in YourHub!), but as they said: “Musgrave has earned a fourth term.”