Wednesday, November 30, 2005

CO - Bush rambles for Musgrave

The Denver Post published a text of Bush's speech at yesterday's fundraiser for homophobe Musgrave.

Attrocities include...
"This is an enemy that has declared their intentions in Iraq. They've got one weapon, by the way -- their ideology is so dark, nobody believes in it except for a handful, but they've got the capacity to kill innocent people and have those images on the TV screens around the world, all attempting to shake our will and to get us to retreat. They have stated openly their desire to do to Iraq what they did to Afghanistan, to convert that country into a safe haven so they can plan, plot and attack. We will defeat the enemy in Iraq. We will do our job to protect the American people. (Applause.) "

Also in attendence was Delay's number one pawn Bob Beauprez. He was thanked by Bush for being in attendence. I will see Musgrave gets thanked for having him be there later on in the campaign when it becomes difficult for any of them to wash off the stench of one another.

[Meanwhile, thanks to maxentropy at kos for pointing me to the photo, whoever took the photo, and to the fine people at Soapblox Colorado for adding Heading Left to their 'what we read' blogroll. I read Soapblox every day and will add them to our links as soon as I can.]

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

CO - Bush Hearts Musgrave PHOTOBLOG

President Bush is in Denver today, raising money for the Marilyn Musgrave (R CO-4) re-election campaign. Musgrave, trying to hold off a challenge from Angie Paccione, seems unconcerned about tying her ship to Bush's, and really she has no other option. She is notoriously the the Congressdemon who brought to the floor this homophobic constitutional amendment...
"Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups."

I was on Capitol Hill this morning with the early protesters. It was still a bit cool with temperatures bouncing around freezing, but the sun was bright and the weather was not going to be a problem for turn out.

As has been true throughout the day, the majority of the early protest signs were directed at Bush and his misadventures in Iraq. I saw one 'Gay Rights = Human Rights" sign, but other than that there was little to tie Bush to Musgrave or her policies. Around 10:45 that changed as a banner was unfurlled by Soulforce Denver. They were the first I saw that really drew the media's attention to the specific differentiating point of todays rally.
At 11:00, as I was talking to Michael Hetner and Alan Franklin of Progress Now their show stopping billboard slowly made its way up the Capital's drive. Making its way around a tiny roadway congested by building construction was this work of art...

It was my second favorite sign of the day. Only losing top honors to my new hero...

By this point, the main stream media was starting to arrive in force. ABC News had a truck at the site, and Noticicas Colorado had a clear presence. WB and FOX seemed to confine their reporting to the Hotel Site itself, but many members of the print media were out with their notebooks. Mine caused many people to ask "Who are you with?" I tried on many responses, but felt the best saying "the First Amendment."
Circling the block, Progress Now became part of an odd convoy, consisting of them and the bloody abortion truck of Operation Rescue.

At 11:25 the protest began to move North on Broadway, and the crowd was upbeat and well behaved. (Is it an insult to call the crowd at a rally 'well behaved'? Back in Chicago it would have been.)

The crowd kept to the sidewalks, and obeyed the traffic signals. Police presence was very slight and the march, while uneventful, had some fine New Orleans Jazz playing.

There were not too many streets blocked around the Brown Palace Hotel, and the Progress Nowtruck made many circuits. Here you can see the billboard it displayed on the other side...

Just around the corner the Mt. West Regional Council ofCarpenters were picketing Brookfield Properties, a large landlord in the area for using M.P. Interiors. I spoke to members of Local 1068 and found them to be good people. I was rather suprised when later in the day, I ran into a man wearing one of their jackets carrying one of the very few Pro-Bush signs in the gathering. People around me said he was a plant, but in our discussion he seemed sincere, and he was carrying a card that identified him as Council Representative Ken Sanchez. He felt that support for our Commander in Chief was the key issue, and he said that he supported Clinton when Clinton was in office, and supports Bush now.

There were some clear plants in the crowd. Three members of the Boulder Young Republicans showed up carrying signs that said "Free Saddam. He hasn't done anything to you." and they tried to pass themselves off as liberals to any media that would believe them. Yes, I have pictures of them, but I have mixed feelings at even putting lying stupid people into a place where someone might want to cause them harm. I keep going back and forth on this, as they were there expressly to draw the cameras upon themselves and were not acting in good faith. Someone convene a blogger ethics panel and let me know if it is ok for me to post their names and faces.
I spoke for a moment with Denver area activist Chris Bailey, and we discussed CO-7 politics. She is a stronger supporter of Peggy Lamm than I am, and we discussed the various merits of Peggy Lamm, Ed Perlmutter, or even throwing our support behind someone more independent and progressive. Bailey always makes good points, and someday I hope she runs for office herself. She and I didn't agree on everything, but she handed me a flyer on which I am in perfcect accord with her. As far as CO-4 is concerned, there is only one choice...

I stood over at the entrance where Bush was supposed to enter. It was obviously misdirection, but I wanted to say hello to the Secret Service. The street was blocked by big buses that they kept running. Their engines added nice bass notes to the "No Blood for Oil" chant that rang around them. I asked Officer Church of the Denver Canine Unit why they had to keep the engines running, and he said "The driver is wearing shorts. He wants to keep warm."

I decided to sprint over to the other side of the building, and snapped a pic of this two
Bush simulacra as I went.

I saw the motorcade as it rounded the corner, and took this picture a moment before the Limo came close enough to see the flags. Of course, the batteries in my camera went out right then. Can the CIA do that? Do I need a tinfoil hat for my camera?

The motorcade zipped through a bit faster than comfortable for someone at the side of the road. The motorcycles really had to lean into the turn. George did not stop to mingle. A little slower on the stick were the two Press buses that got stopped at an intersection by a crowd of protesters. It was the one moment of civil disobedience I witnessed. They held the press up for long enough to let them know that Denver was not welcoming Bush with open arms, and then the blue and red lights started flashing and motorcylces made it clear that freedom of the press corps trumps freedom to peaceably assemble in the middle of Broadway and 17th.

With the main event behind me for the moment, I scampered off to find a wireless node so I could start typing this out and uploading. Along the way, I met Ruth, Ryan, and Nancy. They are all residents of the interweb, and I am waving hello at my screen in hopes they will see it soon. If not, I hope to run into them at Drinking Liberally when the Colorado chapter meets on the 14th.

I also met the team handling Emma Hardy's fantastic body puppets...

You may have seen them anywhere from Madison to Burningman, and if not check out her site. One of the team was Jason of Argusfest who will be holding an event at the Mercury Cafe on Dec. 8th. The food is yummy there, and the people are great. I will be the guy looking for a plug so I can blog.

Friday, November 25, 2005

CO-7 Do you have your transit papers in order?

My girlfriend was at this particular bus station the other day. It is about a mile from my house, and I use it all the time myself.
I am posting this so she knows that Lakewood, Colorado ain't no free country.

Woman arrested for refusing to show police ID during a random check on a public bus.

I think I might stop by the court on the 9th and watch this as it develops. Of course that means they will be watching me watch them, but then you will get to watch all that as it all happens. Let's call it all 'tyrannitainment'.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Fitzgerald's chess moves

Fitzgerald is seeking a new grand jury.

I have read a lot about how this is spurred by the Woodward comments, but I think it has been the plan all along.

I think that while Woodward will be a centeral figure in what comes next, Fitzgerald really has had his eyes onthe grand jury rules concerning recantation.

18 U.S.C. ยง 1623(d),
"Where, in the same continuous court or grand jury proceeding in which a declaration is made, the person making the declaration admits such declaration to be false, such admission shall bar prosecution under this section if, at the time the admission is made, the declaration has not substantially affected the proceeding, or it has not become manifest that such falsity has been or will be exposed. "

The rules allow for a suspect about to be caught in a lie to pivot around and clarify his testimony. Once the door shut on the first grand jury, however, everything said is locked in. By just bringing the single indictment, Fitzgerald may have tightened the noose around all those who thought they would be able to wriggle free before it was too late.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

CO-7 Perlmutter Campaign opens HQ.

As this astute blogger reported, I made a post over at dKos.
To save you the trouble of following the link to the link that leads you to my post (a possibility I hope will bring a moment of joy to my Mom) I will reprint both that post, and another I made about the same event


Ed Perlmutter, candidate for Colorado's 7th Congressional district, hosted a grand opening party today at his new campaign headquarters.
The room was filled with a who's who of Colorado Democrats, including current and former State Senators Mike Feely, Mo Keller, Deanna Hanna, Polly Baca, and Stan Matsunaka, along with a panoply of labor figures, fire fighters, and mayors. I had an opportunity to discuss the netroots with Stan Matsunaka, and he was very present to the importance of Daily Kos and other internet communities during his fight with Marilyn 'Defense of Marriage' Musgrave, and he was looking for ways to broaden involvement of supporters on the political web. I also found that the Perlmutter campaign staff was very open to helping create a dialog with the distributed national constituency and were interested in working with me to reach out to everyone who wants to help pull this crucial congressional seat out of Tom Delay's pocket. Ed gave a speech that started by alluding to the atrocities of the current administration, in which he invoked the proverb "Lies lead to ruin." As he went on, his message turned to a more affirmative message that focused on the policies he would advance, and he spoke of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as an example of a way to simultaneously improve national security, the economy, and the environment. After he spoke, I passed along a question from a post on Soapblox Colorado. I asked how his stand on issues differed from his Democratic Primary opponent, Peggy Lamm. He first responded by indicating how he had grown up and worked in the district, and how he had helped build and support the party while she had done little for the Democrats in Colorado, he indicated Dave Thomas across the room, who had run last cycle for CO-7 and said I could ask Dave how much help she had been. He also underlined her support of Republican Governor Owens in '02 as an example of her questionable commitment to party values. I acknowledged that, but I asked him to go outside of history and find an example of where a vote from him might differ from one that Peggy might cast. As one example, he offered, "I won't vote for guns as much as she will." I will ask him for more examples as time goes forward, and I will share what I hear.


"Change begins in Colorado's Seventh District"That is what Ed Perlmutter said was his campaign's mantra, and it was a theme that resonated with both his old friends from the Colorado Senate, and with the rising talents who filled his new headquarters.

He had been introduced by Mike Feely, who had lost the seat in '02 to Bob Beauprez by 0.07%, a mere 121 votes in a race that gave 9,422 votes to third party candidates. Mike reported that he had always said the only reason he ran that year was that Ed wouldn't. That Ed was running this time seemed to give him a sense that vindication was at hand. He seemed confident that this time his side was going to win. There was muttering in the back of the room that there may even be icing on this cake. Beauprez' attempt at a step up might just be a step off a cliff. The Governor's mansion could just be a mirage on his horizon. Feely introduced many people around the room, glancing from time to time at a list he had made to make sure that everyone in the long litany was acknowledged and thanked for their support and the differences they had made to their communities. Afterwards, I asked him if I could copy the list for a political blog, and he handed me the list itself and happily dictated out a few late additions. He hesitated over giving me one name. It was a past member of the State Senate who had served with Mike and Ed and several others in the room. Mike wasn't sure if the gentleman would want his name associated with the campaign. The man was a colleague and a respected friend, but he was also a Republican, so it seemed inaccurate to call him a supporter. It was a strange paradox. Even people who don't support Ed, respect him, like him, and well... support him. Many of the names on the list are familiar to anyone who has followed Colorado Politics, Baca, Pascoe, Keller, Matsunaka, Martinez. I think it was Sen. Keller who said that if we had any more legislators there, we would risk violating the open meetings act. I looked over at Deputy Attorney General Renny Fagan to make sure he was laughing. Some of the names are the vanguard of the slow but visible transformation of this swing district in this swing state. People like Mayor Jerry Ditullio of Wheatridge who won by 51.5% of the vote, Aurora City Council Member Larry Beer who managed to win with a 47.2% plurality, and Sue Marinelli of the Jefferson County School Board who won a three way race with 38% of the vote.Change was starting in the 7th, and these people intended to keep it moving across the map. In fact, if they could stop the map itself from moving on them, they felt the Republicans had no hope. The Republicans are attempting a last minute gerrymander that could dissolve away the Democratic advantage in the seventh. The people around me were confident that the Supreme Court would not decide to load the dice, and they expressed it with an optimistic fire that too many years of Bush makes hard to kindle in my heart. But they were sure that the GOP would have to ultimately resort to their standby solution for electoral problems and try to drown them in dollars. The word was that this could be a very expensive race. Feely tossed out a guess of 1.5 to 2 million dollars. I heard that advertising might cost, "225 a point," a phrase that, while absolutely meaningless to me, strikes me as an incredibly high amount. Checkbooks fluttered open and donors stepped to the plate. I am a man of humble means, but I made it a point to give a little something to the fight. But I also started thinking about where my personal talents are, and I started thinking about grass roots, and I started thinking about how amazingly large of a lawn we share. I think there is a possibility that the real agent of change is not on the map at all. I think it can begin in the everyhere-and-here of the internet, and then leap from Blog to Ballot, and create change in the places that are ready to be leveraged. I think that Colorado's seventh is ready. I think there is a good team wanting to win the fight. I think we are the secret weapon.
Where do we go from here?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Mugabe Tells US Ambassador to go to hell

On the surface of it, having the leader of your host country tell you to go to hell seems like poor diplomacy. But in this case, I have to say that career diplomat Christopher Dell deserves a handshake if he ever gets himself expelled from what has to be his least favorite job ever.

Reuters reports that Robert Mugabe got angry at our Ambassador when he gave a public statement critical of government land policies and human rights issues.
This was hardly Dell's first run in with his hosts. Not too long ago he was held at gunpoint for walking on their lawn, or trying to overthrow the government, depending on which side you believe.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Appropriate Entities

Yes, yes, we love the USA-PATRIOT act.
Of course we understand the need for the 'National Security Letters' that allow law enforcement to collect information on citizens without judicial review of any kind.
It makes perfect sense that the Feds no longer have to destroy information collected through NSLs about individuals that are not involved in terrorism or any crime whatsoever.
We are thrilled to hear that Bush signed an order recently that allows the Feds to share this information with States and Local agencies.

But would it be too much to ask for a little more information about who exactly the "appropriate private sector agencies" are that also get to listen in on the arbitrary wiretaps and read the ad hoc files that the FBI gets to collect on a whim?

I speak of Executive Order 13388 Sec. 1 (a) (iii)

Saturday, November 05, 2005

CO-7 Perlmutter opens office

As I just told the Young Angry Liberal, and the DKos community, Ed Perlmutter is having the official opening of his campaign office.

Saturday November 12, 2005, from 2 until 4:30 p.m.
2545 Youngfield Street, Golden, 80401
RSVP: 303-459-4729 or

I will be there with my blog on.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Congressman Flake

According to the Washington Times, Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona feels that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States," is probably a typo.
That pesky little line in the 14th Amendment needs some whitewashing according to some congressional Republicans, and they would like to pretend that certain children born in our country are really citizens of somewhere else.
I am not sure what rights they think citizens of this country still have, but it seems they feel it is still too much for some people, and that raising a few kids in an INS detention cell is just what the Constitution intended.
Of course, joining the other Flake was Tom Tancredo the Rep for CO-6. I guess that after his fine 'nuke mecca' suggestion, he should at least call for the firebombing of Brownsville, Texas.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


I like's headlines all the time, but this one deserves a special nod...

"President Bush's approval rating falls to 35 percent, or one degree Celsius"

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A small victory

A quiet piece of jurisprudence that should be made to resound like trumpets is a 12th Judicial Circuit case that I have been following.

A guy in Florida failed a breathalizer test. He got a DUI charge. He demanded access to the breathalizer's source code. The prosecution refused, citing trade secrets and various governmental blah blah blah.
The defendant just won the right to see the code. (.pdf file)

There was a lot in this case that made it favorable to the defense. For instance, it turns out that the internal components of the State breathalizers all had their chips in different places, and that undercut the prosecutions assertion that they followed a consistent method of operation, but in the end some general statements are made by the bench.

One that catches my eye...
"An instrument or machine that if believed, establishes the guilt of an accused subjecting them to fines, loss of driving privileges and loss of freedom should be made available to the defense for open inspection. "

Let me remind you that this was in the State of Diebold Jeb Bush Florida!

Anyone want to take a vote on if this ruling can be expanded that extra inch to include other governmental machines? My Aaronmatic vote counting machine will determine the results.

CO - Election Day

It was a day of referenda and local races in Colorado today. The big fight was over Ref. C and Ref. D. It looks like it was a split decision with C going up and D going down. I don't think it is of enough national interest to explain it all here, so instead I will just point you to this story that shows you what we like to spend our money on around here. You people probably spend yours on schools and fire protection. Not us.

(For those who want to follow this rabbit down the money hole, here is the first bread crumb for you to follow... Mobile Detect of Toronto.)

(Crumb two... that conference was in Colorado Springs and sponsored by the "National Homeland Defense Foundation" a "a group of Colorado civic leaders" who are "committed to promoting homeland defense partnerships".)

(Crumb three... As it turns out, Mobile Detect has offices in Toronto, Ottawa, and Colorado Springs.)

(Crumb four... Their own office in Colorado Springs? Not really. They have to share the address with a couple of folks including the Republican State Senator from Colorado Springs, Doug Lamborn. They get their own listing in the lobby though. If you follow this trail far enough, what do you think the odds are that the man who sits on the military Affairs committee also happens to sit in on their board meetings? Anyone want to bet me? Would it change things if I mentioned the trip he and his wife took to Canada last year that was a 'gift' from Suncor Energy?)