Biden’s a walking “Daisy” ad

Back in 1964 in the presidential race of Democratic President Lyndon Johnson and Republican Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, there was a television advertisement put out by the Johnson campaign called the “Daisy” ad. It signaled the beginning of what today we call negative advertising, and still remains one of the most controversial political advertisements ever made. It proved negative ad campaigns worked, and this one was only aired once. Pandora’s Box was forever opened that day on this subject, and like today, I guess the ends justified the means.

The point of the ad was to scare voters about Senator Goldwater, and his comments about using nuclear weapons in Vietnam, a war the Kennedy/Johnson administrations started. So on top of Vietnam, we can also thank these people and their party for the negative ads everyone seems to complain about these days.

Well, someone in this race has made a case that electing Democratic Illinois Senator Barack Obama for President could have similar consequences. Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy…Remember I said it standing here. If you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy. And he’s gonna have to make some really tough — I don’t know what the decision’s gonna be, but I promise you it will occur. As a student of history and having served with seven presidents, I guarantee you it’s gonna happen.

What’s “gonna happen”?

Oh, by the way, this is not a negative ad from the Republican Party, this is Democratic Vice-Presidential Candidate Joe Biden, all but assuring us we’re going to face near imminent attack, or something, if his running mate wins! He didn’t stop there: I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate…And he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you – not financially to help him – we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re rightgird your loins.”

I have problems with those that vote strictly for reasons of personal gain, and I know some that are doing that very thing, which is their right. And while I can make the best out of just about any situation, it’s not inconceivable that I’d personally benefit from higher pay (but hopefully not high enough to hit Obama’s idea of “rich”), an improved collective bargaining contract, and possibly a bloated and very nice retirement deal with an Obama presidency. How’s that? Politicians always look out for their own pay, health benefits, and retirement plans, and when they do, some of us reap those rewards. That doesn’t make it right though.

But it’s hard to find a silver lining on a promised and guaranteed attack or crisis. At first I thought he meant a financial crisis requiring tough and uncomfortable decisions affecting us all, like a full fledge Depression. But he didn’t mean that at all, he meant something big, 9/11 big. Otherwise, why would he throw in the line about girding our loins, and how it’s not going to be apparent that the decisions President Obama will make are “right” initially? Is that admitting error before the fact? Some kind of pre-emptive lowering of the bar?

Talk about instilling confidence. And people make fun of Sarah Palin? This Biden is a walking, talking gaffe-o-matic. Let’s just hope this prediction of his, no matter who wins, is just another one of his many insertions of foot in mouth.

LA026: Police & firefighter unionization, Brandon Shaffer no friend to voters, and Longmont becoming laughing stock

October 20, 2008 Show

Oxygen by Dusty Hughes

Longmont 2A – Collective bargaining of police and fire employees Times-Call Editorial rebuttal by Mike Violette/CO FOP Continue reading…

“Laughing Stock of the Community”

While I was trying to pull together some audio for my next podcast, (which originally was going to be completely devoted to the Police/Firefighter bargaining issue, and hopefully still will be), I ended up with way more sound than I can use in one show just from the most recent Longmont City Council meeting of October 14, 2008.
Of course the line of the night, and if you suffer through the entire meeting you will surely agree, was Councilmember Mary Blue’s statement “We’re already the laughing stock of the community, we just want to compound it”. And this was before most of the ridiculous and tedious antics that made this meeting go nearly until midnight. Ms. Blue couldn’t have been more correct. But I’ll add, it isn’t all of council that is a laughing stock, and some of that stock resides in the crowd that often attends and makes fools out of themselves in Public Invited to Be Heard.
Ms. Blue’s main point was the haphazard way in which this current council goes about the business it tries to conduct in chambers. As I predicted, they are behind and floundering on the current budget, and it doesn’t help when councilmembers stray from the agenda and bring up all kinds of motions that go nowhere and waste time. Best example in the last couple of meetings is Councilmember Sarah Levison. I’ve never seen so many motions die due to no second, or voted down when a second actually occurs.
Nearly every one of these pointless motions could be a story or Times-Call article in themselves. For instance, anyone remember how council voted down having a meeting on November 11th, Veterans Day, well, because it’s a holiday and the whole veteran thing? At a late hour, Ms. Levison tried to revive this and sneak it into a part of the Consent Agenda. Sean McCoy tried to second it, but when councilmembers Karen Benker and Mary Blue said they’d remove their own second from the original Consent Agenda motion, he backed off. But boy did they want to undo the previous NO vote and to heck with veterans.
Even after City Manager Gordon Pedrow made it clear there were no more funds for any projects unless other projects were cut or unfunded, Ms. Levison still tried to move some projects from “unfunded” to “funded”. In one case there was a question of conflict of interest to the point Ms. Levison had to remover herself from voting. It failed anyway, more time wasted.
Another item which I found extremely troubling, but I believe I predicted this as well some time in the last few months, was when Ms. Levison wanted to skip the hassle of waiting for the Election Reform group and just put in the budget money for publicly financed campaigns! I know I said somewhere that this group, which Ms. Levison helped put together, would come forward with suggestions, but that council would disregard what didn’t fit their narrow agenda and vote in what they wanted and ignore this group by and large. I didn’t expect it to happen so blatantly and as rapidly as this! Much more on this and reaction from this group upcoming on this little gem.
Believe me when I tell you I’m only scratching the surface on council’s recent meetings. Watch it for yourself; it’s not something to be proud of. I’m glad to see Councilmember Blue put it the way she did, because she was right on the money. We’re in the midst of a sad and often befuddled governing body currently. It does not give me pleasure, nor does it Ms. Blue I assume, to have to point out this obvious sad state of affairs. See the price for not paying attention even for local elections?

Brandon Shaffer: Not a voter’s best friend

How would you feel if you, along with almost 700,000 other Colorado voters (equaling 65.9% of the voters), voted one way but a newly elected representative tried to overturn that result, more than once? Worse yet, how would you feel if that representative voted to take away the right for you to vote on that issue again?

That’s exactly what current State Senator Brandon Shaffer did with Senate Bills SB06-223 and SB07-046. These two bills, which Senator Shaffer co-sponsored and voted in favor of, would’ve effectively overturned Amendment 36 (this amendment would have changed the way in which the state apportioned its electoral votes). The latter senate bill had an amendment to it that would “refer to people under referendum”, Senator Shaffer voted NO. Bottom line, he wanted to undo the voters will in 2004 and not give them a chance to be heard again on this issue.

Why would he do this? These bills were the brainchild and pet projects of Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon. You didn’t think Mr. Shaffer moved up the ranks to Assistant Majority Leader in the Senate so quickly just on looks, did you? When you’re a good soldier for your leader and your party, there are perks. I asked the question, but didn’t get an answer, as to how often Senator Shaffer voted against his own party. On all the important bills that I looked over he towed the party line straight down the line. Even if that meant undoing and silencing your vote.

Bipartisan? Independent? Hardly. Tell Mr. Shaffer you don’t like your vote played with and vote NO on retaining him in his State Senate District 17 seat.

Other local representatives of note on this issue: Representative Jack Pommer (Dem-11) voted similarly to Senator Shaffer, and is running for re-election. Representative Paul Weissmann (Dem-12) should be commended on this issue for killing it in his committee.

LA025: Government bailout, Betsy Markey not ready for primetime, and partisanship in local government

October 13, 2008 Show
Fuzz by Lords of Fuzz

Bailout = SkyNet?” and audio from T3

Continue reading…

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

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.”


Let it go, Longmont

The people of Firestone have spoken in favor of annexing the Union site. Why continue to fight, Longmont ? Time to let it go.
Longmont’s Mayor Roger Lange stubbornly insists that the city must protect its eastern buffer. It’s an argument that makes no sense in view of the current lay of the land around the Union property.

The image/graphic shown below is from LifeBridge & 4C–produced more than five years ago, but remains illustrative today. (click to enlarge)

LifeBridge/Union is already surrounded by development on three sides…the large Meadow Vale housing development to the east…the Vista Commercial Center to the south…and the LongView community to the west. To the north, there is plenty of city-owned land for Union Res. and surroundings, enough for expanding the reservoir if needed.

Building Union doesn’t change any of these entities, nor does it disrupt Longmont ‘s eastern boundary. If Union has Meadow Vale on the east side, LongView on the west side (both in unincorporated Weld Co.), plus increasing development on the south side of Hwy 119–how in the world is the Union plot compromising Longmont’s eastern buffer? Clearly, this bogus argument shows partisan politics at its worst from our city leaders.

Further pursuance of this matter amounts to pure spite by the Longmont City Council, and a disgraceful waste of city time and resources.
Dave Larison
Dear Mr. Mayor,

The comments in DTC this a.m. over Longmont ’s official attitude about the Firestone Election define to me just how far the City of Longmont has fallen in esteem with the general public in less than ten short months. I have not seen the Administration make a full disclosure to the People of Longmont what the costs of these lawsuits against Firestone will be. And a professional presentation defining, not white washing, the systemic risk is to the city’s financial system the new Council’s blunder has presented the public from the hostile business atmosphere policy that drove LifeBridge out of the City’s jurisdiction after Council approved the project to the people of Longmont .

Right now Council’s policy is popular with a handful of people constituting an oligarchy in a City of almost 100,000 people which (these people) do not represent nor have anything in common with except breathing the same air. There is more to the responsibilities of being on this City Council than just representing introverts posing as social progressives to the exclusion of any other interest or purpose in life. Many people have seen government destroy their 401ks and retirement programs; blame for drop in property values starts at home, the mortgage crisis situation and repossessions right now has stabilized and there are less resale homes on the market now than this time last year. So what’s holding back recover is primarily City policy and that will come out in public as time and events move on beyond the election.

Even though it is not required by law, wouldn’t it be prudent and politic to make a full disclosure to the public before an uncontrolled witch hunt starts of its own initiative?

Richard Yale

LA024: Union annexation passes in Firestone, federal bailout akin to SkyNet, and sparring with Betsy Markey

LA-w-ChrisOctober 6, 2008 Show

Oxygen by Dusty Hughes

Union annexation passes in Firestone
My take and opinion over the last year

Bailout = SkyNet?” about similarities between real life and fiction Continue reading…


Okay, much of this is tongue-in-cheek, but not completely.

When talk of this $700 billion bailout was being bandied about, and if it would work or not, a scene from “Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines” popped into my head. I’m sure Arnold won’t mind me using his kisser on this story as we met on the set of an old movie of his (“Commando”) and chatted between scenes about airplanes as he flirted with my girlfiend (now wife). Of course, the first and obvious question “Are you ever going to make Terminator 2?” But I digress.

As the GooGoo Dolls once wrote in a song “reruns have become our history”, I figured it would be easier to paint a mental picture using popular culture for some of our friends who live through fiction and get their news from comedy sources, or former sportscasters who think they’re comedy sources. Yes, I had to suffer through The Olberfuhror (aka Keith Olbermann) in his early sportscasting days pre-ESPN. Again, digression.

Remember the scene in T3 when the military leaders and their civilian contractors thought they had the answer to a growing virus problem with their systems? Think of the players in this bailout situation as those characters. So, with hesitation from some, but not all, they take the action they think will solve it – put SkyNet in control to eradicate the problem, in this case a virus. But why was there hesitation? Why is there still hesitation and trepidation over this bailout? Just like in the movie, people felt rushed into judgment, and most went along.

In the last couple of days since the bailout, I’ve heard financial talking heads say things that are not all that comforting: hoard your money and don’t spend it! I don’t think that’s what will bring us back from this supposed brink. May have the opposite effect and cause a panic and a run on banks, not good.

But back to fiction, it’s easier. In the movie, the humans, including some who had the best of intentions, fell for the trick and sealed humankind’s demise. In this bailout, I don’t think those passing it are evil, just scared. Granted, some are opportunist no doubt, with all this ridiculous pork that has nothing to do with the point of the bill. But I hear much fear and doubt coming from these people, not grandstanding.

It doesn’t calm people or markets fears when it appears our leaders are collectively holding their breath, now does it?

My concern is that not only will this not work, but not far down the line it’ll be required again, and again. We’re already seeing our largest state, California (the Arnold thing is all starting to make sense, no?), putting its hand out for a, well, handout. Somehow I doubt it will stop there.

Can I just skip through this chapter on the DVD?