From the Cheap Seats

The Colorado Observer Ceases Publication

August 1, 2014

As the editor of the Colorado Observer, I am sorry to report that we are ceasing publication Aug. 1. We’ve run out of money. I hope we are able to find additional funding in the near future to resume operations, but it’s possible this marks the end of our run as an online publication.

The Colorado Observer launched in February 2012 with a mission to bring readers “Colorado news, analysis and commentary from a fresh perspective.” I believe we’ve done that.

We have tried to cover the top news stories with voices and viewpoints that are often overlooked, while exploring in greater depth issues that tend to receive short shrift in major media outlets.
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One Quarter of Dougco Teachers Drop Union

July 31, 2014

ABC-appleThe teachers’ union representing the Douglas County school system has lost one-quarter of its membership, signaling a growing frustration within the ranks that dues are used to finance politics instead of professional development.

The significant drop in membership of the Douglas County Federation (DCF) was revealed in a July 21 letter from two board members to Courtney Smith, union president, and was based on the union’s most recently released tax returns.

The letter pointed to the drop in membership as undeniable proof that teachers had chosen the district over the union and the need for major changes within the organization.

The letter called for union leaders to “unequivocally reject” five financial practices, including the use of dues for elections and a means of political leverage on the board, demands the district pay dues without providing a return of services, and failing to use union funds for professional teacher development.

“You should strongly stand for not pulling money out of the classroom to run a union,” said the letter signed by Kevin Larsen, board president, and Doug Benevento, vice president. Read more »

House Passes Health Care Bill for Scandalized VA

July 31, 2014

HouseWASHINGTON – The House on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a $17 billion emergency spending bill on veterans’ health care to hire additional medical workers throughout the federal system that has been plagued by scandals.

The legislation passed on a 420-5 vote with rare bipartisan support from the Colorado delegation, and is expected to pass the Senate this week before Congress adjourns for the August recess.

The measure comes on the heels of investigations into 26 veteran health facilities nationwide including Colorado, where excessive delays in receiving health care has been linked to at least 40 deaths.

The legislation primarily allows veterans to bypass hospitals and clinics operated by the Veterans Affairs Department including the Fort Collins clinic to seek care at private facilities.

“The reform would allow veterans to vote with their feet if they received substandard treatment at a VA facility,” said Colorado Republican Rep. Mike Coffman, a veteran of the Gulf and Iraq wars. Read more »

Denver EPA Hearing Fuels Climate Change Debate

July 30, 2014

EparalleyDENVER—Anthony Delgado had a message Tuesday for Environmental Protection Agency officials as they consider enacting tough new emissions standards on coal-fired power plants: Don’t do it.

“They’re going to regulate us to the point where they’re going to close up the coal mines,” said Delgado, a coal miner from Craig. “In our community, that would close up the town.”

Delgado was one of dozens of miners and family members who rode in from northwest Colorado on five buses to take part in an Americans for Prosperity rally near the state capital to protest the proposed rules.

A few blocks away at the EPA building in LoDo, national environmental groups drummed up support for the power-plant regulations, insisting they are needed to combat climate change. The proposed rules would require a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions from power plants by 2030. Read more »

Poll: Democrats’ ‘War on Women’ has Backfired

July 30, 2014

demdonkeyDENVER—Colorado Democrats are convinced that the “war on women” tactic is a surefire election winner, but a poll released Tuesday shows that some women voters may be suffering from battle fatigue.

The right-leaning Colorado Women’s Alliance (CWA) issued the results of polling indicating that 77 percent of women voters surveyed “clearly see through the so-called Democrat ‘War on Women’ messaging strategy,” according to Magellan Strategies.

Those weren’t just staunch Republican women. The poll, conducted June 3-4, targeted 500 women viewed as swing voters: registered independents, Republican-leaning independents, and “soft” Republican voters.

The poll also found that “67 percent of respondents agree that women in America do not fear a government bureaucrat taking birth control away from them, but what they fear are politicians using the issue of access to birth control as a political tactic to scare them into a voting a certain way.”” Read more »

Anti-Fracking Effort Funded by Outside Billionaires

July 30, 2014

green loansDENVER—Colorado’s so-called grassroots anti-fracking effort is being funded by a shadowy network of wealthy left-wing donors in California, New York and Washington, D.C., according to a Senate report released Wednesday.

The explosive report, “How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA,” highlights Colorado’s anti-fracking movement as an example of how rich philanthropists are funding behind the scenes the national environmental agenda.

“The members of this elite liberal club funnel their fortunes through private foundations to execute their personal political agenda, which is centered around restricting the use of fossil fuels in the United States,” said the report.

The findings were issued by the Republican minority staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which oversees the EPA. Read more »

House Set to Vote on GOP’s Border Crisis Measure

July 30, 2014

Border-Patrol_03WASHINGTON — House Republican leaders are putting the final touches on legislation set for a vote Thursday to stem the flow of unaccompanied juveniles flooding the Texas-Mexico border.

The measure would spend nearly $660 million on border security measures, including video conferencing capability at more than 300 detention facilities for judges to rule on whether the illegal immigrants should be sent home to Central America or allowed to stay with family members in the U.S.

“That would really speed up the process. It’s innovative,” said Kentucky Republican Rep. Hal Rogers, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

President Obama has asked for nearly $4 billion to deal with the crisis, while signaling he would scale back deportations and issue more work permits to those who crossed the border illegally.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are threatening to attach their amnesty measure to the GOP House bill. Read more »

Choosing Between the Economy and Environment

July 29, 2014

CRED_LadiesBy Kelly Brough, President and CEO of the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce, Diedra Garcia, President and CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver and Tamra Ward, President and CEO of Colorado Concern.

We shouldn’t have to choose between the energy we need, the environment we love and the economy we deserve. Thankfully in Colorado, we know we don’t have to.

The stakes are high when it comes to energy production in Colorado. Tapping into our energy resources is a huge economic driver that creates jobs, infuses funds into local communities and schools and brings us closer to energy independence as a country. But, it’s also something we have to do thoughtfully in order to protect our precious environment. Read more »

Cheap Seats: Obama’s Messy Missile Issue

July 25, 2014

Obama and Medvedev

Obama and Medvedev

Cheap Seats Quiz, identify the speaker and the circumstances:

“My concern is obviously that there’s been a lot of misinformation … This should snap everybody’s heads to attention and make sure that we don’t have time for propaganda, we don’t have time for games, we need to know exactly what happened, and everybody needs to make sure that we’re holding accountable those who — who committed this outrage.”

If you guessed Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina discussing IRS intimidation of President Obama’s political opponents, you would be right — in principle.

Gowdy didn’t say it, though Cheap Seats is reasonably sure the statement sums up his sentiments on the subject.

The actual answer is Obama himself, on the subject of just exactly who was responsible for shooting down a passenger-filled jumbo jet over Ukraine and killing all aboard. Read more »

Cheap Seats: The Cooling of Global Warming

July 24, 2014

That cold chill you feel when Sen. Mark Udall talks about “climate change” is more than a figment of your imagination.

It’s actually getting colder.

That’s not just Cheap Seats saying it, that’s the official word from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

NOAA’s Climate Reference Network went to work in 2005 reading thermometers at what it humbly described as 114 pristinely sited temperature stations spread out fairly uniformly throughout the U.S.

The network’s temperature readings show that the U.S. has been getting cooler over the past decade, down about 0.4 degrees Celsius.

That’s not terribly surprising given the geological belief that the earth is entering a new Little Ice Age.

Consider that the Great Lakes last winter froze over for the first time since 1979, when all the rage was the coming Ice Age. Read more »

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