My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Media Lies And MisRepresentations

Two candidates in this category tonight.

First, the Denver Post front-page reporting on the poll it released yesterday. Specifically, this headline and subsequent reporting.

Seeming split over same-sex issues on ballot

Coloradans appear ready to ban gay marriage while endorsing legal benefits for same-sex couples, but a new poll shows the state is not willing to legalize marijuana.

There's the lede, placed very low on the front page Sunday. But here's the actual poll results:

Constitutional Amendment 43, which would define marriage as only between a man and a woman, is up 8 points, with 51 percent in favor and 43 percent against.

But Referendum I, which would create domestic partnerships that extend many legal protections of marriage to same-sex couples, is also leading. Of those polled, 47 percent were for the amendment and 42 percent were against it.

And earlier in the same article are these pieces of information:

"There is kind of a rule of thumb that if an initiative, shortly before an election, is at less than 50 percent ... it is fairly unlikely to pass."

The poll was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research from Oct. 24 to 26 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

So, how, exactly you might ask, did the Post distort this story? Well, in several ways. First of all, this is a poll of registered voters, a group that skews toward the liberal by a few points. So for Amendment 43 the number is probably more like 54-55%. Secondly, by the same logic, Referendum I is probably, at best, a dead heat, well under the magical 50% mark.

So, had the numbers been reversed, does anyone out there doubt that the headline would actually be "Marriage Definition in Trouble; Partnerships Comfortably Ahead." The distortion is in not addressing the skewing of the numbers and in titling the headline in a way that makes it look like the state is divided on this issue. In reality, the poll reveals that its likely that Colorado voters next week will reject the gay agenda, and by a a bit of a margin, as well.

The second candidate is from this morning's Rocky Mountain News--on the front page in really big letters:

GOP Pointing Fingers

Actually, that may not be the headline. The website does not actually have the front page headline, it only has the milder article headline "Republicans Take A Look In The Mirror."

But more importantly, Lynn Bartels' reporting only includes quotes from two actual Republicans--Greg Brophy, state senator from Wray (so still active in politics, though not deeply engaged right now) and Mike Beasley, a former lobbyist for the governor.

So this article--or more importantly, the headline--deliberately gives the impression that the fissures in the GOP are starting to form and widen. In reality, she only talked to a person who is out of politics and another who is not currently campaigning, so, also, not really in the game.

All the serious Republicans are too busy right now to assign blame. But that doesn't slow Bartels down--it's never too early for a good obituary, eh?


Campaign Ads I'd Like To See, part . . .

[Rick O'Donnell alone on screen with a black background]

I'm Rick O'Donnell, and I approve this message.

[Over O'Donnell's shoulder fade in picture of Ed Perlmutter hugging Nancy Pelosi at a recent event]

My opponent, Ed Perlmutter, has embraced Nancy Pelosi's call for "A New Direction for America." Let's take a closer look at that.

[over-the-shoulder newspaper clipping supporting this . . .] According to the Labor Department, the American economy has created over 4 and a half million jobs over the last three and a half years, resulting in an unemployment rate of just 4.6%; these jobs have been spread over every sector of the economy, with wages increasing steadily with job growth. Do we need a new direction on that?

[over-the-shoulder view of the stock market big board] The Stock Market has recently hit an all time high; all the major indices are up over 7% for the year, and with the Federal Reserve actions recently, there's no sign of it stopping any time soon. What would the new direction look like on that? Up? Not likely.

[over-the-shoulder view of generic military] Using tools that Congress provided, law enforcement and intelligence have disrupted a number of terrorist plots to strike inside the U.S. Do we want a new direction in that respect? When you consider that Nancy Pelosi hailed the short-lived ending of the Patriot Act, and wants the President to stop surveilling terrorist phone calls into the U.S.A., does a "new direction" seem like a good idea to you?

[over-the-shoulder picture of newspaper clipping] In 2003, the President and the Republican Congress passed sweeping tax cuts. As a result the American economy has seen three years of robust growth, and at the same time tax revenues to the federal government have increased so much that projections of deficit reduction are two years ahead of schedule. What would a new direction on taxes look like?

My opponent, Ed Perlmutter, is a good man and an honorable public servant. [newspaper clipping] But there's a reason the Denver Post described him as "a Democrat's Democrat." If he gets sent to Washington, he'll become Nancy Pelosi's Democrat, and that means higher taxes, which will slow down the American economy, and that means further interference with the jobs of the people who protect this country every day.

I'm Rick O'Donnell, and I'm asking for your vote, because the American journey is a long one, at times difficult, and simply changing directions without knowing where you're going is usually a recipe for disaster.


Campaign Ads I'd Like To See, part . . . .whatever

[onscreen General Tommie Franks, or some similarly decorated and recognized American war hero]

You've heard a lot lately in the news and from Democrats about the Tet Offensive.

Just to refresh your memory: the Tet Offensive was an attack launched by the VietCong, in January of 1968. The attack went on for the better part of a year, even though the VietCong achieved no--zero--military objectives.

During the course of that battle, about 4,300 allied soldiers were killed, including 1,100 Americans. By contrast, estimates of VietCong dead range from 45,000 to 60,000--more than a 10 to one kill ratio, during which the VietCong achieved absolutely nothing.

Unfortunately, that is not the story the American people heard. Thanks to Walter Cronkite and the rest of the media, the American people heard about a devestating campaign that "mired us in a stalemate". After that, the Congress started to de-fund the war effort, and a military effort with noble intent became an inglorious episode in American history. Eventually, after we had to completely abandon the South Vietnamese, literally millions were killed by the Communists and Pol Pot.

The reason I'm going through this history with you, is because I believe in the maxim that "those who don't learn history are doomed to repeat it."

The battle for Iraq has not been pretty, nor has it been without its setbacks. But while we've been building hospitals and schools and rebuilding a power grid, shepherding through three free elections and trying to bring that country into the 21st century, the American media has relentlessly hyped the ugly side of the war, turning "Abu Graib" into a household name while refusing to show the brutal, barbaric killings our enemies have regularly engaged in.

Now you have Democratic candidates for Congress like Ed Perlmutter talking about a "new direction in Iraq." He doesn't say what that direction is, he doesn't put forward any actual ideas, he just wants something else, something easier. Some in the Democratic leadership have called for a pull out from Iraq in the next eight weeks.

Well, I've heard this before. This sounds all too familiar to me, and I'm here to urge you to not to lose your spirit or your courage. The consequence of declaring defeat and running away from Iraq now would be dire--for Iraqis, for the region, and for the world. What the terrorists in Iraq have that the VietCong never did is the ability to strike at America from across the ocean.

We should have learned THAT lesson on September 11th. Let's remember all of our history, and choose to elect to Congress people who will give our troops the support and the time they need to get the job done.


Fight Like A Girl

[all the following courtesy Hugh Hewitt]

Why, one wonders, does it take the mild, smallish second lady to finally take down the MSM?

For two years now, the GOP has been completely bumfuzzled by the way they've been treated by the old media. I've speculated before that that inability to take on the bias and get the message out may be worth between 8 and 12 points in this election cycle.

Well, this video should be sent out to EVERY Republican spokesperson, candidate and office holder in the country.

partial video here.

transcript here.

My favorite line?:

BLITZER: Because of the dunking, you know, using the water and the dunking?

CHENEY: I understand your point. It's kind of the point of a lot of people right now to try to distort the administration's position. And if you really want to talk about that, I watched the program on CNN last night, which I thought as your 2006 voter program? Which I thought was a terrible distortion of both the president and the vice president's position on many issues.

It seemed almost straight out of the Democratic talking points, using phrases like "domestic surveillance." When it is not domestic surveillance that anybody has talked about, or ever done. It's surveillance of terrorists. It's people who have Al Qaeda connections calling into the United States.

So I think we're in the season of distortion, and this is just one more.

The best part of this exchange is what happens not more than 90 seconds later:

CHENEY: You know, Jim Webb is full of baloney. I have never written anything sexually explicit. His novels are full of sexually explicit references to incest, sexually explicit references -- well, you know, I just don't want my grandchildren to turn on the television set.This morning, Imus was reading from the novels. And it is XXX- rated.

BLITZER: Here is what the Democratic Party put out today, the Democratic Congressional -- Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Oh. So it actually WAS straight out of the Democratic talking points.

So what lessons does the GOP have to learn from Lynne Cheney? How about these:

A. Be prepared. She was on the program, ostensibly, to talk about her children's book! but all of the newsworthy parts of the interview had absolutely nothing to do with her book. It would be easy to say she was sandbagged into that interview, but given the drubbing she dealt to Wolfie, it looks like she suckered him, instead.

But the point is, she was well-informed about all the issues, she was able to reference the culture immediately and relevantly (note the Imus reference), and she KNEW both the background and the important facts (like that CNN had a program last night in which it talked about a man she knew the background of).

B. Challenge Assumptions. You know the OldMedia has its blinders, but that doesn't mean you have to confine your talk to their terms. Note, in particular, how she challenges the assertion that the man referenced earlier was "innocent."

C. Call A Lie a Lie, a Distortion a Distortion, and Bias Bias. I particularly like how she chucks in the line about bias as an accepted assumption, a la OldMedia, but doesn't dwell on it or ask for any breaks from it.

Sadly, most of the time Republicans go on TV they get this "deer in the headlights" thing going with regard to what they're doing, and they fall back--usually very clumsily--on the tired old talking points.

If more Republicans dealt with media like Lynne Cheney, the entire superstructure of the media bias would crumble. By the end, Wolf Blitzer looked like a thoroughly scolded schoolboy in front of a veteran teacher, all pretense and no substance.

Note: Gov. Mitt Romney had a wonderfully similar moment the other day when he reminded an idiot reported that he was the one who represented the people and the reporter represented only the media. That has to happen more often.

Championship Speculation

First of all, congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals, world champions for the 10th time. Taking full advantage of a Detroit Tigers pitching staff that forgot how to throw to people without masks, the Cards took the series 4-1, bucking the historical trend of this rivalry in which twice previously the winner of game four lost the series.

Secondly, condolensces to my friend and Detroit native Ben: better luck next time.

And then, just a thought: I wonder if anyone has ever done a study on the effects of hometown championship winning with voting patterns. In other words, would the Cards winning the series improve the mood in and around St. Louis in a way that would effect the election which is now 11 days away? And, would that mood improvement translate into a marginally larger vote for the incumbent, Jim Talent?

Hey, in a race that's neck-and-neck, any little advantage could be huge. Sadly, while watching the game, I did not see any footage of Jim Talent sitting in the stands with a Cards' hat on and pennant in hand.

You know, gotta take advantage of any opportunity the world affords you.

And THAT Is An Even Better Counterpunch

That Michael J. Fox ad I wrote about the other night has had another incarnation, this time in Maryland against Michael Steele. Fortunately, the Steele campaign appears to have been ready--and they deliver a crushing counter here.

Here's the transcript, courtesy of Powerline:

I’m Dr. Monica Turner.

Congressman Ben Cardin is attacking Michael Steele with deceptive, tasteless ads. He is using the victim of a terrible disease to frighten people all for his own political gain.

Mr. Cardin should be ashamed.

There’s something you should know about Michael Steele. He does support stem cell research, and he cares deeply for those who suffer from disease.

How do I know? I’m Michael Steele’s little sister.

I have MS, and I know he cares about me.

Like all good punches, it is direct, it is short, and it is devestatingly accurate.

When you combine that with the news that Ben Cardin pulled out of another event with Michael Steele, the night after he (in the words of the WashPost) "stammered and stumbled during a faceoff with the Republican nominee, Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele", and you get the feeling that things aren't all sunshine and roses at Cardin campaign headquarters.

Be clear: if the Dems lose their seat in Maryland, their hope of taking the Senate die early in the evening of November 7th; and that makes you wonder what sort of a cascade could wash across the nation that night.


This Is A Campaign Ad Waiting To Happen

New Jersey's Supreme Court has left it to the Legislature to decide the rules for gay couples who want to marry in the state.

In a 4-3 ruling Wednesday, the court said the state constitution gives same-sex couples the same civil rights afforded to heterosexual couples, but the lawmakers must decide how to grant those rights.

"The Legislature must either amend the marriage statutes to include same-sex couples or create a parallel statutory structure, which will provide for, on equal terms, the rights and benefits enjoyed and burdens and obligations borne by married couples," the court held.

Before I get too far, notice how the media is already starting to run interference on the issue: "a 4-3 ruling"? Makes you think that there was some dissent on the court. In fact, the "3" were the judges who thought that the state HAD TO CREATE MARRIAGE FOR GAYS NOW and call it "marriage"! They were narrowly voted down by the 'radicals' who think the legislature might first get a pass at naming whatever they call the arrangement. And if this is how FoxNews is obscuring the truth of the ruling, is there any doubt that other news organizations will bury the truth even further?

To continue my original line of thought . . . New Jersey has now joined Massachussetts in mandating that the state recognize and create a structure--be it the real thing or a parallel arrangement-- for homosexuals to have the civil status of marriage.

Was anybody out there looking for an October surprise? Voila!

There are any number of problems with this ruling, but I'll just highlight one (from NRO's Bench Memos) to pique your interest and get you looking around:

The court’s opinion (37-43) provides a clear warning to any states that are thinking about providing significant statutory protections to gays and lesbians: Once you do so, judges will rule that your failure to provide all the rights and benefits of marriages is irrational.

Keep that in mind, those of you out there still a little undecided about Referendum I: once you provide some statutory rights, the black robes will surely swoop down and mandate marriage.

Something tells me the "conservative base" is not going to have any trouble showing up for the Constitutional right and duty on November 7th. The only thing at issue is whether the candidates can turn this to the right advantage. Let me take a quick pass:

[candidate Bob Beauprez alone on screen]

Does it really matter who is governor?

In New Jersey and Massachussetts, the liberal activist State Supreme Courts have mandated that those states recognize gay marriage, or some close copy of it. And even though those two states' legislatures have said marriage is between one man and one woman, seven men and women in black robes have decided that the judgment of elected officials don't matter.

In Colorado, for the last two years the state legislature has been run by Democrats--the only thing standing between them and a bench full of liberal activist judges and--to use the Rocky Mountain News' own words--"cockamamie schemes", has been the common sense of a Republican governor. A state with a Democratic legislature and a Democratic executive always ends up with a Court system packed with liberal activist judges.

So if it matters to you that marriage be a matter between a man and a woman, and if it matters to you that your elected representatives actually get to make decisions instead of 7 unelected men and women in black robes, then I urge you on November 7th to vote Republican. And, while you're at it, vote Yes on Amendment 43 and No on Referendum I.

Some things are important enough that the voice of the people should be heard--not just the voice of a handful of activist judges.

Does it matter who is governor? You bet it does.

Not exactly poetry, but you get the gist.

If the Dems were hoping the GOP faithful would stay home this election, they just got the worst news they could get--nothing animates the Right like the imperial judiciary.

thank you, New Jersey.


Now, THAT'S a Counterpunch

Last night I wrote about the Claire McCaskill ad in Missouri which exploits Michael J. Fox.

Today, courtesy The Corner, I saw the response. Must watch.

The only thing that's missing from this ad is the FACT!! that the non-controversial alternative of adult stem cell research has already started producing cures and treatments. And that sort of thing matters.


Boy, That's A Bit Over The Top

I just saw the Michael J Fox ad run in Missouri by the McCaskill campaign.

My first impression? Over the top, out of bounds, unnecessary. It struck me as a desperate move taking advantage of the affliction of a famous person . . .

to propogate the lies that the Left has invested in about embryonic stem cell research. ANY cures brought about by this research are at least 20 years away; in the meantime, the Left is completely--even stubbornly--silent on the more promising research into adult stem cell research and cord blood stem cells.

But, not being one with a vested interest in this research, maybe my credibility isn't real strong. So I cede the rest of the space for this discussion to the guest blogger at Hugh Hewitt's site, Dean Barnett--who, by the way, suffers from cystic fibrosis.

The most distasteful aspect of the ad is the way it exploits Michael J. Fox’s physical difficulties. Fox is an actor, and clearly knew what he was doing when he signed up for the spot - no victim points for him for having been manipulated by the McCaskill campaign. The ad’s aim is to make us feel so bad about Fox’s condition that logical debate is therefore precluded. You either agree with Fox, or you sadistically endorse his further suffering as Fox accuses Jim Talent of doing.

This is demagoguery . . .

While Michael J. Fox (like me) has some skin in the stem cell game that most people don’t, that doesn’t give him any special appreciation of the moral issues involved with embryonic stem cell research. Sick people may want cures and treatments more than the healthy population, but that doesn’t make them/us experts on morality.

The ad’s disingenuousness also merits consideration. While Fox mentions “stem cell research,” the word “embryonic” is strangely lacking. Given that the entire debate centers on the ethics and morality of embryonic stem cell research, this omission is noteworthy.

This Can't Be Right

9News has published the results of its latest commissioned poll, done by Survey USA:

With only 15 days until the election, Ritter is leading Republican candidate Bob Beauprez 56 percent to 38 percent, according to the poll which was conducted exclusively for 9NEWS.

Really? 56-38?? That doesn't quite pass the smell test for me. And, as I've mentioned before, since Survey USA refuses to make its internals available, there's no way to parse the numbers.

What there is for sure is a survey conducted on a Friday through Sunday, which we all know favors the Democrats traditionally. Beyond that, there's nothing to work with.

That said, a goofy number and a traditionally skewed sampling day are not likely to add up to all 18 points. That can't be great news for the Beauprez campaign.


They Can't BOTH Be Right

From the Saturday NYTimes:

There is something unusual bubbling in Democratic political waters these days: optimism. . .

“I’ve moved from optimistic to giddy,” said Gordon R. Fischer, a former chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party. “I really have.”

Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, who is in line to become chairman of the Financial Services Committee in a Democratic House, offered wry evidence of the changing perception of the race. His office, Mr. Frank said, has been contacted by a portrait-painting firm offering to talk about possibilities for the traditional committee chairman’s painting, one of those perks of power long absent from the lives of House Democrats.

From last Sunday's WaPo:

Amid widespread panic in the Republican establishment about the coming midterm elections, there are two people whose confidence about GOP prospects strikes even their closest allies as almost inexplicably upbeat: President Bush and his top political adviser, Karl Rove.

Some Republicans on Capitol Hill are bracing for losses of 25 House seats or more. But party operatives say Rove is predicting that, at worst, Republicans will lose only 8 to 10 seats

Oh, gee . . . who to believe?

It seems there are several possibilities:

:the White House is clueless
:the White House is a lot smarter than everybody else
:the Democrats are wrong
:the Democrats are engaged in a massive campaign of "Oh, Yeah? Well, we were MORE confident FIRST! So, nyah!"

Let's take a look at these.

The White House has shown the capacity of late for cluelessness. Starting with the idiocy of letting the Persident do in effect a "drive-by" of New Orleans one year ago, through the continuing difficulties in finding success in Iraq, to the folly of the far-too-late agreement with the House to build a border fence, the White House has been a bit short of its normal political adroitness for some time now.

On the other hand, Rove et al. have won three elections in a row, in conditions that would not at all suggest that they should have won three in a row. In every way and in every situation, the White House has managed to out-maneuver the Democrats and win elections. So . . .

I don't remember who it was exactly, but there is a story out there that one Democratic operative gleefully said one November day two years ago "Mr. Kerry, let me be the first to call you Mr. President"--of course, wrongly. For three straight elections the Democrats have managed to screw up what seemed to be insurmountable advantages, including being very bad at reading polls. So . . .

Doesn't it strike anybody else as weird that six days after one establishment mouthpiece says "the White House is confident" the other mouthpiece comes out with "the Dems are confident"?
I know they've been trying to kill talk about what happens when they win--because that will scare the HELL out of the country--but why let the cat out of the bag now? Is it that there's a shift that they're starting to pick up and they don't want to let the base get anxious?

I don't know the actual answer. I would say history is clearly on the side of the White House--the whole Bush/Rove mystique is built on being right about stuff like this. I don't see them coming out with such a bold statement just to shore up the base. Being wrong after a statement like this one would just be begging for mockery, and might even go farther to disillusion the people who the White House needs to work with. And, the Democrats do have a bit of a history of being wrong. Nobody thought 2002 would go the way it did, until the Dems got carried away at a funeral.

But, just looking objectively at what's going on around here--seeing how tonight I saw about a dozen ads in the Denver metro area about the 4th Congressional race (which is not in the metro area) while seeing almost NO ads for Rick O'Donnell in the 7th (which IS in the metro area)--I have a hard time thinking the White House knows that much more than anyone else.

Quick Hits

--You could have knocked me over with a light breeze to read this:

Of the two major contenders, O'Donnell is better equipped to champion thoroughgoing reforms of federal policies. He offers the promise of intelligence, energy and genuinely new ideas. . . .
Congress needs persuasive, independent thinkers to tackle the daunting issues that will face Washington in the years to come - and O'Donnell clearly fits the bill.

--The hypocricy is so thick you could cut it with a butter knife

For a law enforcement officer to break the law and be congratulated by a congressman is something all Coloradans should be disgusted by," said Ritter.

And not that I disagree . . . but where was Bill Ritter on the NIE leak? . . .or the revelation of the SWIFT financial tracking system? . . . or the revelation about the NSA terrorist surveillance program? . . . or . . . .or . . . Tell me, on the grand scale of things, which leak does more to endanger the public?

--Just what are the Democrats so upset about? Seriously, this ad does not even once mention "vote Republican" or "Democrats will get you killed"--if it wasn't for the obligatory reference to who paid for the ad, you would nover know it came from the Republicans.

And why the kneejerk outrage over this ad? Is it that the Dems know that every time the electorate is reminded of the real world (as opposed to Foley world), it tends to look to the party that takes the world seriously? That being the GOP?

--16 days until the election, and I still haven't seen any sign that the Republicans--at least the ones in my neck of the woods--are hitting hard on the strength of the economy or the weakness of the Democrates. Not feeling very encouraged, yet.


Quick Hits

--Favorite education quote of the day [courtesy NRO]:

Nearly 40 percent of U.S. 8th-graders said they were confident in their math skills. Only 6 percent of South Korean kids expressed the same sentiment. But the latter significantly outperform the former on credible international math tests. Similarly, while 66 percent of U.S. teachers said they tried to connect their math lessons to students’ daily lives, only 14 percent of Japanese teacher expressed the same aspiration. But it will be the Japanese students whose math lessons connect to their daily lives as adults — because they will have actually learned math.

--So It Isn't Just Me [courtesy Brit Hume]:

But a study by the Business and Media Institute says when it comes to the economy, broadcast network news stories are overwhelmingly and intentionally negative.

The year-long study of evening news programs revealed more than twice as many negative economic stories as positive — and the negative stories were in full -length reports — while the positive were in shorter forms.

--Yes, the Tet Offensive analogy is quite appropriate

As I wrote FIFTEEN MONTHS ago, Tet is exactly the right analogy:

The NLF and the NVA [Vietcong] lost around 35,000 men killed, 60,000 wounded and 6,000 POWs for no military success. The US and ARVN dead totalled around 3,900 (1,100 US). But this was not the conflict as the US public saw it. Without there being an active conspiracy the US media reports were extremely damaging and shocked the American public and politicians. Apparently the depth of the US reaction even surprised the North Vietnamese leadership, as well as delighting them.


Another Example Of Why John McCain CANNOT Be President

McCain before his favorite constituency, Chris Mathews:

I think that gay marriage should be allowed, if there‘s a ceremony kind of thing, if you want to call it that. I don‘t have any problem with that, but I do believe in preserving the sanctity of a union between man and woman.”

And then two minutes later, after the commercial break, and [presumably] a quick debrief with his Presidential campaign advisors:

On the issue of the gay marriage, I believe that people want to have private ceremonies, that‘s fine. I do not believe that gay marriages should be legal."

The issue here isn't gay marriage. There are a great many people who think gay marriage should be legal--I disagree with them, but holding that position does not disqualify someone from consideration for being President.

At issue is McCain's nearly pathological tendency to say reckless and even stupid things off the cuff when he's trying to please the media. There is no more dangerous place in Washington than between John McCain and a television camera--in fact, one report had another John McCain moment (on, of all places, Hardball) as the real catalyst behind the Gang of 14.

This is not the sort of man that I want as President.

Great American, honorable man . . . lousy Republican. Dangerous legislator.


We're Just Getting Killed

From the Rocky Mtn News:

Independent political committees collected a whopping $7.2 million during the third quarter of 2006 to help their candidates battle for the governorship and state legislature. . . .

By the way, somebody remind me to send a thank-you note to Senator McCain after this is all over.

Six Democratic 527 committees raised $5.4 million while the Republican 527, Trailhead, raised about $1.8 million between July 1 and Sept. 30, according to filings with the Internal Revenue Service.

No wonder I couldn't get through a single commercial break of television tonight without seeing two devastating attacks on GOP candidates without an effective answer.

Ladies and gentlemen, as I wrote a couple nights ago, if you've got the money, NOW WOULD BE A GOOD TIME TO SPEND IT!!

I've been disappointed by the Republican performance in the Congress over the last year, but that would be swiftly replaced by anger if the next three weeks pass without a credible attempt by the GOP to hold the Governor's office, the 7th CD, and to regain the legislature.

One More Thing From Today's Rocky

In the article cited earlier about Pat Stryker, there is this little nugget:

The GOP is taking the challenge to Musgrave seriously. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) had spent $968,987 in the district through the end of last week.

That is about four times what the committee has dished out - $234,891 - in the neighboring 7th District, long considered one of the biggest campaign battlegrounds in the country.

That is just disturbing. I realize that Marylin Musgrave is a high-value target for Dems, but she has substantial structural advantages in her race. Great registration advantage, incumbency, historical conservatism . . .

all the things Rick O'Donnell does NOT have going for him. And the 7th is also a high-value target.

So why has the NRCC spent more than four times the amount in the 4th as in the 7th?

Almost makes you think they gave up on it very early. Not very encouraging.

Well, Denver USED To Have A Centrist Newspaper

But not so much any more.

I submit as Exhibit A, today's Rocky Mountain News, page 5A:

Top article: Hefty 11th-hour funding from a well-heeled independent booster could help one Democratic challenger in her bid for an Election Day upset.

Got That? "Independent booster." Remember that.

Bottom article: The major Republican backer of the controversial Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads that torpedoed John Kerry in 2004 is providing the money behind a negative ad playing in suburban Denver's 7th Congressional race.

Got that? "Major Republican backer." "Negative ad."

Well, so . . . we've established the playing field here. What else do we find out?

In the top article: Heiress and philanthropist who directs charitable work through the Bohemian Foundation, founded by her family.

In the bottom article: Texas homebuilder Bob J. Perry, who has close ties with former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and White House political strategist Karl Rove, has recently pumped at least $7 million into groups supporting Republicans and taking out attack ads against Democratic congressional candidates

Getting the picture that the coverage may be just a LITTTTTLE bit slanted?

And then there's this, just for kicks:

Perry was the single largest contributor to the Swiftboat group in 2004. In all, he donated more than $8 million to 527 groups that election cycle. The Swiftboat ads featured a group of Vietnam veterans making unsubstantiated allegations challenging Kerry's record of wartime heroism. Kerry's hesitation to fight back was seen as major flaw in his campaign to defeat President Bush.

Since then, the word swiftboat has become a staple in the debate on the ethics of using non-supported allegations to attack candidates or ideas.

Yes, of course, that one's from the bottom article.

So, according to the Rocky Mountain News, an "independent booster" who is a "philanthropist" who directs "charitable work through her foundation" pours $720K into a race for a "Democratic challenger['s] . . .bid for an upset, while a "major Republican backer of the controversial Swiftboat Veterans . . ." and has "close ties to TomDeLay and Karl Rove" puts in about $246K to "take out attack ads."

Got all that?

Did you notice, by the way, how the first two numbers linked to Bob Perry were $7 million and $8 million?

Like I said, Denver USED to have a centrist newspaper.

One day after this election, some independent group is going to analyze the news coverage during this election cycle, starting at about Hurricane Katrina, and continuing through the exit polls, and conclude that the Democrats benefitted from the news coverage by anywhere from 10 to 12 points. In fact, over the weekend I had every intention of writing a lengthy analysis of the Denver dailies' coverage of the economy over the last two weeks . .

but it proved to be too difficult. WAY too much material to work with.

If this election, by some miracle, does not result in a Democratic landslide, it will only have been through the grace of God and the deep-rooted wisdom of the people of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Reagan.


Seeing Red . . .

hopefully not Cardinal red.

As in, Arizona Cardinals.

In a rare event, the Arizona Cardinals have been on national television in each of the last two weeks. And for two straight weeks, they've just barely managed to find a way to lose.

Heck, tonight they had a 23-3 lead late in the third quarter. Then they give up a defensive touchdown, one of the most trustworthy backs in the league (Edgerrin James) fumbles later which turns into another touchdown, and then the Bears run a punt back for a touchdown.

Even with all that, the truly impressive rookie QB Matt Leinart leads the Cards right down the field in position for a relatively short 40-yard field goal for the win . . . . wide left.

I couldn't help but draw mental comparisons to another team that is identified with the color red. That being the Republican Party.

Go late into the game with an advantage: 15 seats in the House, 5 in the Senate. Have a series of gaffes that let the other team into the game: Katrina, Dubai Ports, Mark Foley, Abramoff, etc. .
Make a late push to get into position: money advantage, strong economy, gas prices coming down.

Let's just see if Rove and company are better closers than the Cardinals--geez, I hope so.


I Hope This Isn't Part Of A Pattern

Heard on Fox News' Special Report, a report by Carl Cameron covering the race for an Ohio Congressional seat:

[no transcript, quote from memory] The Republican incumbent has a nearly two to one cash-on-hand advantage going into the last three weeks, but with all the available ad time in the Columbus market already bought up, it's unclear now what options remain for . . . .

I hope that reality is not indicative of the state of play all over the country--particularly here in Denver.

Down-Ticket Races

Ben has done some yoeman's work on a couple down-ticket races that don't get a lot of play. As usual, his analysis is sharp.


This Speaks For Itself

From the Sunday morning Washington Post:

Amid widespread panic in the Republican establishment about the coming midterm elections, there are two people whose confidence about GOP prospects strikes even their closest allies as almost inexplicably upbeat: President Bush and his top political adviser, Karl Rove. . . .

Now, far be it from me to question the wisdom of people who have won three consecutive elections against all odds and history, but . . .

The question is whether this is a case of justified confidence -- based on Bush's and Rove's electoral record and knowledge of the money, technology and other assets at their command -- or of self-delusion. . . .


. . . A huge effort to raise money by Bush, Vice President Cheney and first lady Laura Bush seems to be paying off: By Taylor's calculation, the various GOP campaigns and party committees will have a $55 million money advantage in the final three weeks of the campaign.

Ah. That huge money advantage ties in to this Rick O'Donnell press release from yesterday:

Coloradans for Rick O'Donnell today released record-breaking numbers from the 7th Congressional District.

In filings due this week with the Federal Election Commission, the O'Donnell campaign reports that as of Sept. 30 it has raised $2,366,063, has cash-on-hand of $775,128 and had another strong fundraising period from July 20 to Sept 30, raising $663,690.

Which is all well and good. But until this money starts getting used a little bit, I'm pretty sure I put the White House optimism in the category "whistling past the graveyard." And, in case anybody missed it, absentee voting starts any day now.



Air America Radio, the liberal talk and news radio network that features the comedian Al Franken, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday, but will stay on the air while it reorganizes with funding from its investor group.

I have a theory about liberal talk radio.

Liberalism is, as a philosophy, heavily dependent on emotion. If you can't be angry about it, or feel sad about it, or fake compassion for it, it has no place on the liberal agenda. Example: welfare reform. The liberal end of the spectrum was uniformly against it, on the grounds that it would leave children starving and homeless as they were tossed off of welfare. The reality, of course, was that once there was an incentive to get off of welfare, most of them did--it was a smashing success. But since it didn't feel like the government was taking care of the poor, it must have been a horrible idea.

The problem with emotion like that is that it depends alot on imagery . . . and imagery does not particularly work on radio.

Radio is a place for reason, rationale, lengthy in-depth discussions, and, well, talk. Imagery doesn't come through the radio, there has to be a willingness to engage and to be thorough with the issues.

And, I know . . . there's a reason I WON'T listen to Michael Savage, and only have about 10 minutes patience for Hannity or Laura. Even Rush, though he's a true broadcast professional who understands better than anyone how to keep an audience (hell, he pratically invented the medium), gets pretty tedious for me after just a little bit. I prefer the show of someone who is a law professor and gets the law, and who has served in government in a counter-terrorism capacity.

But, then, I'm a geek.

The others, I think, have an audience and hold their audience because they are the only strong voice in media of MILLIONS of people who are (favorite word) disenfranchised by the dominant media.

And so liberal talk radio serves a population that is already over-served, and does so with a product that doesn't really reach its population at its emotional core. Which is why it will never really work.

Just a theory. . . while I'm laughing at the demise of Air America.


Uh-Oh. Is This Their Wellstone Memorial Moment?

I wrote a couple nights ago that the Dems were not--surely they were NOT--dumb enough to have another Wellstone Memorial moment to squander their advantage this year.

It's possible, just possible, I was wrong.

Enter Claire McCaskill, stage left . . . far left . . .

There may be a problem with one of the most effective television ads being run by Democrat for U.S. Senate candidate Claire McCaskill. Her campaign can't prove it is true, KMBC's Micheal Mahoney reported.

The commercial is called "Josh." It is named after Kansas Citian Josh Lansdale, a medic who served and was wounded in Iraq."

I returned from Iraq with a busted ankle and post-traumatic stress. It was six months before I could see a doctor," Lansdale said in the McCaskill ad. . . .

Mahoney reported that he went to one of the addresses for Lansdale, and for more than a week, Mahoney and the McCaskill campaign tried to contact Lansdale. Mahoney said he even asked Lansdale's mother to have him call KMBC. . . .

Talked with Colonel Jack Jackson this evening and was told, although this is not verified at this point, that the Kansas City Hospital has no record of appointments for a Josh Lansdale.

Ohh. Whoops. And, with the appropriate sense of both timing and substance, the Talent campaign has swung back.

Claire McCaskill approved the ad, she spent at least about a quarter of a million dollars airing it around the state and now she can’t prove the ad is true," said Talent senior advisor Lloyd Smith. "McCaskill can settle this right now by providing the media with the veteran’s appointment schedule as verified by the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Kansas City. If she doesn’t, Missourians are entitled to believe the ad is a fraud and that McCaskill is not telling the truth."

This has to play everywhere. If the Dems are hoping to close the deal by inventing sob stories about former military, they should at least find real military.

I suppose that just shows how little the Democrats understand the military. I mean, really? wouldn't you think SOMEONE in the campaign would know it might just be possible to authenticate their story?

And, Of Course ,The Post Is Running For The Dems [UPDATED]

Today's example is a combination pointless hit piece/real story burial. First, ON THE FRONT PAGE:

Panama trip has pol on hot seat
Republican congressional candidate Rick O'Donnell, who has blasted politicians who accept perks, took an expenses-paid trip to Panama with his girlfriend arranged by a TV station doing business with a state agency he headed.

Of course, later in the article--below the fold--you find this useful bit of information:

"Based upon the state ethics guidelines I follow, it's 100 percent permissible, 100 percent allowable, because I was there in my official capacity as the head of higher education with our sponsorship agency," he said.

And this lovely bit of information:

Scott Chase, spokesman for Perlmutter, had encouraged a reporter to look into the trip, saying the Perlmutter campaign had learned about it from a former employee of the commission.

Really? The Post doesn't see a problem with that? In paragraph 19 we learn that a reporter for the Post became a tool for the Perlmutter campaign, and that story ends up on the front page. . .

And the Post doesn't see a problem with that?

But there's other mini scandals to look into right now also. Like the sweetheart real estate deal that Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid got--which netted him $1.1. million--and where does it show up in the Post?

Not sure. I don't waste my money subscribing.

But the story is not on the website anywhere.

So the Post finds a trip to Panama (whoo-whee!!) by a candidate worthy of the front page, but buries a story about the Senate Minority Leader's breach of Senate rules worth a cool million unworthy of a web page.

One might ask what the real difference in the two stories is . . .

but one really doesn't have to.

UPDATE: here is a link to the Post story on Harry Reid's land deal. It was not available through the Post website search engine a couple nights ago, but Curious Stranger has provided he link.

I think the point is still good, though. On what page of the Post did these 13 paragraphs show up, and how does that placement compare to the 20-plus paragraphs the Post devoted to the O'Donnell story?

Now the Rocky Is Running Interference For The Democrats

Just a sample of the three stories that appear on the front page of the Rocky Mountain News elections web page.

Ritter woos students at CU Democrats rallyTom Wanebo, of Denver, carries a man-size load Wednesday after a rally for Bill Ritter at the University of Colorado. To communicate his vision for Colorado's future, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate is visiting college campuses throughout the state over several weeks.

Awwww. Isn't that nice?

Many agree: Ritter wasn't soft as DA Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez has come out swinging in recent debates with Democrat Bill Ritter, going straight at his opponent's record as Denver district attorney.

Well, whew. That's a relief.

Beauprez toes the Republican line Some people on Capitol Hill are as predictable as the sunrise - and Rep. Bob Beauprez is one of them.

Oh. Guess he must just be a tool.

Or is that the Rocky Mountain News?

Seriously, if this is what is considered news coverage, much less balanced news coverage, I'll stick to reading blogs.

Not The Answer I Was Looking For

Well, today I got an answer to a question I asked a couple nights ago.

I noticed underneath the tag line of the conclusion of a commercial for Marylin Musgrave and slamming Angie Paccione that the commercial was paid for by the National Republican Campaign Committee. Wonderful. They're in the game.

Which is just about when I noticed this story in today's Rocky:

The campaign of 4th Congressional District hopeful Angie Paccione took a hit Wednesday when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee pulled a significant chunk of advertising time earmarked for her support.

Good. Nice Goin'.

How about we direct a little of that money at races that ARE competitive? Like, oh, I don't know, the 7th Congressional Campaign of Rick O'Donnell.

Geez, sometimes I wonder about the national strategy people. I like Rick O'Donnell, and for the most part the individual Republican candidates are good people who I like and can support. But between the observable follies of the campaign and the legislative follies of the Senate, it's really hard to make a broad case for Republicans.

A little too three stooges for me.


Do Not--I Repeat, DO NOT--Relax

My friend and blogfather Hugh Hewitt (and when I say "friend", I mean I've had dinner with him twice in large groups) posits the idea today that the tide has turned, and the Democrats have reached their high water mark.

Far be it from me to dispute the wisdom of HH, but . . . I think he's wrong.

I think Hugh is vastly underestimating the Democrats' capacity for dirty tricks. The DUI story hit the weekend before the election; I don't remember what the late trick in 2002 was; the Rather thing was what? 10 days before the election.

I don't think the Foley thing is by any stretch of the imagination the last thing Dems are gonna hit with. And, given the way the GOP has handled the Foley thing, I'm pretty sure that we can manage to screw up the next thing, too.

I honestly believe the GOP got lucky in 2002--that was shaping up as a close race, and was looking like the Dems had a decent shot at big wins, and then there was the Wellstone Memorial. The Dems were just dumb enough to start celebrating their wins too early, and the complete distastefullness of their efforts probably cost them control of the Senate. Which, for all I know, probably cost them the White House in 2004.

Now, as I've said all along, the one biggest thing the GOP has working in its favor is the fact that their opponents are the Democrats. And the Democrats have a nearly limitless ability to "miss an opportunity." So, there's still the hope that the Dems will help the GOP.

But I doubt it. And even if they did, it's not like the media is going to seriously report on it.

And if you have any doubt about that last point, just read Michael Barone from yesterday (courtesy RCP).

And for that matter [okay, now I'm kind of ranting]. . .

What the hell is wrong with the GOP? Are they really as naive as they seem to be?

I think the smart people really thought that all that needed to happen was for the economy to continue its strong performance, and then everything would be okay.

They forgot to account for the fact that getting that news out to the public would actually, you know, require some effort on their part. Which so far . . . HAS NOT HAPPENED!

So the MSM is not only whole-heartedly trying to shoot down the Iraq effort, its done everything in its power to bury the good news about the economy, its done its level best to turn Mark Foley into the biggest story since the moon landing . . .

but somehow Hugh thinks the GOP has a chance to rebound in the next four weeks.

Color me skeptical.


Interesting, Albeit Meaningless, Straw Poll

Found on Captain's Quarters, this is an interesting poll which guages relative acceptability of GOP Presidential hopefuls, the first choice of those candidates, and the feelings about a couple limited fields. Give it a look, and then link over to CQ to get the results.

UPDATE: for some reason, my blog does NOT like the script link, so instead I'll just direct you to where I was the poll, right here.

Just a Question Tonight

The Perlmutter campaign has taken a pretty smart tack, in my opinion, in the race for the 7th Congressional district: Perlmutter puts up ads highlighting his family and his values system, while leaving it to other entities--the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), for instance--to level the devestating attacks on Rick O'Donnell. Perlmutter can claim to be on high ground (however weakly) while still being sure that the hard-core attack ads still get aired.

For his part, Rick O'Donnell has also done the personable thing, with a couple nice ads about his geekiness and how much he's learned in the last twelve years. He's also put up a couple short attack ads on Perlmutter's positions, but they're pretty short hits, and not too frequent.

Which leads to my question:

Where the hell is the RCCC and the National Republican Party? If they were going to do anything to help out Perlmutter of Beauprez this year . .

now would be a good time.


Campaign Ads I'd Like To See, part VI

It would seem the Perlmutter campaign has gotten inside the O'Donnell campaign's OODA Loop. Before the O'Donnell camp could be done talking about an 11-year old essay and get back on even ground, the Perlmutter camp--excuse me, the Democratic National Committee--has moved on to new ground: stem cell research.

I saw the ad during the evening news; the theme is the same--one more vote for George Bush's agenda; but the target is embryonic stem cell research. And, I have to admit, it's a very effective ad. The conclusion is that Rick O'Donnell would choose his radical agenda over the life of her (sad-faced young girl with some disease), or of him (sad-faced old man who we assume has Alzheimer's Disease).

Unless the O'Donnell campaign responds--quickly and with devestating effect--this ad could be the end of this campaign.

Sooo . . . . .

[Rick O'Donnell alone on screen, talking to the camera] Hi. I'm Rick O'Donnell, and I'm running for Congress.

My opponent, Ed Perlmutter, with his deep-pocketed friends back in Washington, have recently run ads criticizing something I wrote more than a decade ago, and criticizing my position on embryonic stem cell research.

What that ad doesn't mention is that embryonic stem cell research, by ALL accounts, is at least a generation away from rendering cures for anything; what that ad also doesn't mention is that adult stem cell research and umbilical cord stem cell research are both way out in front of embryonic stem cell research; what that ad also doesn't mention is that adult stem cell research could render cures for diseases much sooner, and without the ethical complications of killing fetuses; what that ad also doesn't mention is that Ed Perlmutter wants the government to fund embryonic stem cell research because the private sector has not shown any interest in funding embryonic stem cell research.

Why isn't the private sector funding this? I don't know, but I've never known the private sector to be slow to invest in potentially promising--and lucrative--cures.

But what that ad DOES tell you is what Ed Perlmutter and the national Democrats want to talk about--decade old essays and controversial, unproven technology. And that's fine--they can talk about that all they want.

In a day and age when a madman in North Korea, who has starved two million of his own people to death, defies the international community and develops a nuclear weapon, my opponent is welcome to talk about these issues.

Because what he absolutely DOES NOT want to talk about is how he thinks the CIA and law enforcement should get a warrant before listening to terrorist phone calls, no matter how much the delay may cost us. What he DOES NOT want to talk about is how he thinks the men who planned and perpetrated the attacks of September 11th deserve all the same legal protections--and more--that our men and women in uniform have earned. What he DOES NOT want to talk about is how he has said his first act as a congressman would be to sign on as a sponsor of a bill that would force an immediate retreat from Iraq, regardless of the fact that by the terrorists own admission we've killed more than 4,000 of them there.

In other words, what my opponent DOES NOT want to talk about is keeping America safe. And in an age when a regime whose number one export is weapons technology has just developed a nuclear bomb, I find that attitude, well, radical.

Probably a little long. But it's about damn time, in my humble opinion, that the GOP took the gloves off. We're already getting massively outspent; let's at least hit hard when we do swing.


Whoa. Deja Vu All Over Again

Is it just me, or has the media frenzy of the past week had an eerie familiarity?

North Korea successfully tested of a nuclear weapon late Sunday night, a senior Bush administration official confirmed to FOX News. . . .

The U.S. Geological Service, however, said it detected a 4.2-magnitude tremor at 10:35 p.m. EDT, which could mean the device was potentially deadlier than initially believed. Australia also said there was seismic confirmation that North Korea conducted a nuclear test.

So, you know, the world seems to be a pretty serious place.

So could we please get more information about Mark Foley's love life?


Why did I ask about the eerie familiarity?

Anybody remember what the big story was in August of 2001?

Does the name Gary Condit ring any bells?

Campaign Ads We Need To See, part V

[generic GOP candidate--let's say Rick O'Donnell-- alone on screen talking to the camera]
Hi. I'm Rick O'Donnell, and I'm running for Congress.

This country has a limitless ability to foster innovation, create wealth, and encourage the participation of everyone in the American dream. If you don't believe this, you only have to look at the last five years.

On September 11th, 2001, our country suffered the worst attack by a foreign power on our soil, ever. [picture of burning World Trade Center] The impact on the economy was measured in the billions of dollars. [various pictures representing the different things talked about] As a result of this attack, the budget deficit jumped up, the stock market plunged, unemployment increased, and this country took on the necessary burden--and cost--of fighting the terrorists on their own soil.

But America has responded. The American economy has grown at over 4% for the last five years {somebody should get the exact number here}, home ownership is at record levels--especially among minority populations, the Dow Jones stock average set a new record high in early October, the budget deficit has been cut in half one year ahead of schedule, gasoline prices have dropped almost 80 cents in the last five weeks, unemployment is at just 4.6%--well below historical averages, and wages are on the rise--increasing by 4% last month alone.

[back to candidate alone onscreen] I'll bet you didn't know some of that. Why wouldn't you know that the economy was so strong right now?

Well, that's a question for your local media.

But a more important question for you is this: why would you want to change the policies that have led to this unprecedented economic activity?

Ed Perlmutter in Congress would vote to make Charles Rangel the chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Charles Rangel has promised to raise taxes on EVERYBODY. A family of four would see an average increase in their taxes of over $2000 a year.

So the Democratic solution is to not just take money out of your pocket, but to do so in a way that all but guarantees that economic conditions in the country will worsen at the same time.

That's the choice you face on November 7th. I can promise you that in Congress, I will never vote for a tax increase on families, nor will I support policies or people that hurt small businesses and the entrepeneurs that make this country work.

My opponent wants to talk about something I wrote 11 years ago. I would encourage you to make your choice based on what is right for you and your family in the future.

Thank you.


Campaign Ads I'd Like To See, part IV

also known as .. . .

Campaign Ads We NEED To See Before It's All Too Late

[Photo of Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Ritter with large subtitle "Democrat"][voiceover] As a District Attorney, Bill Ritter built a substantial track record of tailoring plea bargains for illegal aliens to help them avoid deportation. Candidate Bill Ritter announced in an October 3rd debate that he supports giving children of illegal aliens in-state tuition to Colorado colleges. This, at a time when Colorado's families are seeing the cost of in-state tuition skyrocket.

[split-screen Photo of CD7 Candidate Ed Perlmutter and Teddy Kennedy with large subtitle "Democrat"] When Congress began working on solutions to the illegal immigration problem in our country, Democrat Ted Kennedy proposed granting immediate legal status to those 11 million illegals. In effect, the Kennedy plan is amnesty, a mistake we've made before with disastrous consequences. Democrat Ed Perlmutter supports Ted Kennedy's Amnesty Plan.

[photo of Colorado state capitol] In May, Republican governor Bill Owens ordered the state legislature into special session to deal with illegal immigration, over the objections of the Democratic leadership of the legislature. During that session, Democrats killed in committee bills requiring a verifiable identification for immigrants, requiring verification of work eligibility, restricting certain public benefits for illegal aliens, and comprehensive immigration reform.

[photo of Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.] Responding to the will of the American people, the American Congress last week passed legislation to build 700 miles of a barrier across our Southern border, as a first step to stemming the tide of illegal immigrants. 160 of 205 Democrats in the House voted against it, and 15 of the 16 Senators who voted against it were Democrats.

[photos of Americans of all races and colors] America is a country of immigrants, made up of people from every corner of the earth.

[photos from pro-illegal immigrant rallies, especially of the Mexican flag flying over the American flag] But our forebears came in legally and became a part of American society. They worked hard and expected to EARN the American dream, which their children are now enjoying.

If you are concerned about illegal immigration, remember that actions speak louder than words. Remember that Democrats at all levels of government have acted to block immigration reform at every turn.

Remember, on November 7th, that only one party is serious about immigration reform . . . and it's not the Democrats.

Local Media Invested With The Democrats, As Well As The MSM?

The bewitching Mrs. BestDestiny likes getting her evening news from the local NBC affiliate, channel 9 KUSA. And so, some days, I get a smattering of what the local media is reporting as news to our little hamlet of Denver.

Today, I watched with special curiosity, given the nature of the good news this day.

What? You didn't hear either? Must have been watching the evening news, too.

Media bias is very often revealed in what stories DO NOT get reported.

For instance, on Tuesday the Dow Jones Industrial average hit all-time record highs for both inter-session trading and for closing bell. For some reason, this story got exactly zero seconds of news coverage during the four o’clock news—9News could not even be troubled to announce that the stock averages were all up for the day while flashing their numbers on the way to commercial break. In addition, there was exactly zero mention of this story during the first twenty minutes of the 5 o’clock hour. Both broadcasts, however, had plenty of time to devote 45 seconds to the story of a drunk bear.

Contrast that coverage with the number of stories 9News has run in the past 13 months titled “pain at the pump,” factor in how little coverage there has been of the sub-5% unemployment, and you begin to understand why the media is perceived as biased.

With coverage of the economy like this, it’s remarkable that consumer confidence numbers ticked upward last month. Or was that another story you didn't hear about because you get your news from the major media outlets?


Re: Bill Ritter: Hang 'Em All--With Their Own Words

I'm gonna try to do something novel tonight: I'm going to "write" a post using almost none of my own words. I'm just going to give you a sample of other people's--all principals--writings about the same subject.

That way you can come to your own conclusions.


Denver Post editorial endorsement: He must have the will to seek bipartisan solutions with a divided legislature and a restless business community.

He needs firm resolve that won't wilt under political pressures.

He must see government as a force to advance the health and education of Coloradans. And, in this perilous time, to safeguard our borders from enemies, drug runners and the risks of natural disaster.

[First of all, at current, and near as anyone can tell for the near future, the legislature IS NOT divided; I guess to the Denver Post having liberal Democrats as well as moderate Democrats in the majority counts as "divided"][Yeah, I couldn't help myself]

Rocky Mountain News editorial endorsement: . . . our endorsement today is a bit of a gamble given Ritter's limited experience. It could even turn out to be a major mistake. But based on the Bill Ritter we've known over the years and watched on the campaign trail, we don't think that's likely. It will be an error only if Ritter himself proves to be a reckless liar, and we've seen no evidence for that being the case. . . .

He is not on record before this year regarding the majority of matters he'd be dealing with as governor. So there is no way to verify whether what he now describes as his opinions regarding the proper role of government in everything from business regulation to higher education are long-held convictions or the carefully designed themes of campaign consultants. . . .

Granted, some of what Ritter says makes us uneasy. He has grossly oversold renewable energy as a tool of economic development. Will he push the state to go on a perilous energy diet in the name of combating global warming, as California seems poised to do? He talks about K-12 education funding as if Colorado were in worse shape than almost every other state, when that isn't close to the truth. Will "more money" be the answer to every question regarding education reform and student achievement during his tenure? We hope not.

Bill Ritter's WebSite: Everyone must play by the same set of rules. I support existing federal laws that prohibit welfare benefits for undocumented immigrants. Nor should illegal immigrants be able to obtain a government-issued driver's license.

I support tougher enforcement along the border and swift prosecution of employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers. As Denver's former District Attorney, I know full well the frustration of repeatedly asking INS/ICE agents to retrieve convicted illegal-immigrant felons for deportation, only to be ignored and forced to release these criminals back onto our streets.

Denver Post Story: The Denver district attorney's office under gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter approved plea bargains that prevented the deportation of illegal and legal immigrants charged with drug, assault and other crimes.

The office allowed defendants to plead guilty to trespassing on agricultural land instead of the crimes they actually were accused of 152 times from 1998 through 2004. Other counties - Jefferson, Adams and Arapahoe - had only 75 convictions combined for the crime, according to court records.

Former Denver District Attorney Norm Early, who was Ritter's predecessor, laughed when he heard about the farm charges in urban Denver. . . .

A 24-year-old man born in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, was charged in 2004 with theft and pleaded guilty to the farm charge, according to documents filed in the case by the district attorney's office. A note in the file said "refer to immigration."

That apparently didn't happen, because a few months later he was arrested in a gang-related drive-by shooting and charged with attempted murder.

Rocky Mountain News Story: Amazingly, the Rocky Mountain News has seen fit to ignore this story altogether, instead on Saturday running a story on the "new attack from the Beauprez campaign," as well as a "reprise" of its endorsement from Friday.

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