U.S. Attorney in Colorado Warns Congress that Legalized Pot Could Lead to More Traffic Fatalities

March 5, 2014
By
Congress will hold more hearings on legalized marijuana use in Colorado.

Congress will hold more hearings on legalized marijuana use in Colorado.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. attorney for Colorado on Tuesday told a House panel that legalization of marijuana for recreational use has fueled fears that it would lead to more traffic accidents and fatalities.

Attorney John Walsh said that federal law enforcement officials have no plans to target casual marijuana users in Colorado, however the prevention of drugged driving associated with marijuana use would be a top priority for the Justice Department.

Thomas M. Harrigan, deputy administrator for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), also told the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on government operations that 28 percent of drivers killed in car accidents tested positive for marijuana.

“I would note — and I believe the DEA has the same concern — that we are highly concerned about the increase in the rate of drugged driving and in Colorado, it’s an issue we’re facing right now,” Walsh said. Read more »

Obama’s Contentious Nominee Fails Despite Udall, Bennet’s Support

March 5, 2014
By
Debo Adegbile

Debo Adegbile

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s controversial nominee to head the Justice Department’s civil rights division was rejected in a bipartisan Senate vote Wednesday due to concerns the nominee aided in the legal fight of a convicted cop killer.

The confirmation of Debo Adegbile failed on a procedural vote of 47-52. Colorado Democratic Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet voted in favor of the nominee.

Adegbile is currently employed as a Senate staffer to Democratic Sen. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, who also chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Adegbile previously worked for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

The defense fund helped overturn the death sentence for Mumia Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther who is serving a life-sentence for the 1981 murder of a Philadelphia police officer. Read more »

Governor’s Office Lags Behind in Worker Survey

March 5, 2014
By
Expected staff turnover and low morale were some of the problems highlighted by Colorado state workers in the “Governor’s Office” category.

Expected staff turnover and low morale were some of the problems highlighted by Colorado state workers in the “Governor’s Office” category.

DENVER — A recent survey of Colorado state employees gave strong overall marks to the executive branch but didn’t reflect particularly well on the Governor’s Office.

Headed by Gov. John Hickenlooper, that office received below-average ratings on the 2013 Employee Engagement Survey in areas such as leadership, morale, and workload.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of State’s Office received some of the highest marks in the anonymous survey of state employees, outperforming the Governor’s Office across the board in leadership, efficiency, effectiveness and elegance.

Not surprisingly, the results released last week have seeped into the gubernatorial campaign, given that the Democrat Hickenlooper is running for reelection and Secretary of State Scott Gessler is seeking the GOP nomination. Read more »

From the Cheap Seats: Obama Plays Checkers with Russia

March 5, 2014
By
President Obama’s pledge is coming full circle.

President Obama’s pledge is coming full circle.

If Cheap Seats weren’t a believer in human freedom and dignity, the president’s latest foray into play-acting as a leader would be hilarious.

Barack “After my election I have more flexibility” Obama is learning the price of flexibility, if indeed he is capable of learning.

Cheap Seats rather doubts it.

To understand Cheap Seats’ skepticism, let’s recall some of Barry the Feckless’ finest moments.

It was in March 26, 2012, that Obama snuggled up to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev to tell the Russian that he couldn’t wait to surrender.

“This is my last election,” Obama cooed into Medvedev’s ear. “After my election I have more flexibility.”

He was presumed to have been discussing his interest in ditching American nuclear superiority, but now it looks like Obama was going for total supplication.

But now Medvedev’s boss, former KGB goon Vladimir Putin, has decided to start rebuilding the United Soviet Socialist Republic. Read more »

Lawmakers Demand Review of Problem-Plagued Colorado Health Care Exchange

March 4, 2014
By
Patty Fontneau, executive director of Connect for Health Colorado

Patty Fontneau, executive director of Connect for Health Colorado

DENVER — The House on Tuesday will debate legislation mandating an audit of the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange that has been plagued with problems since its debut last year to assess its strengths as well as its weaknesses.

The measure, House Bill 1257, is opposed by Patty Fontneau, the executive director of the exchange known as Connect for Health Colorado. Fontneau argues that a performance audit is unnecessary because the exchange has been repeatedly reviewed by federal agencies including the Internal Revenue Service.

“One of my concerns is that we’d be audited on best practices, but I don’t know which best practices,” said Fontneau, who admitted she had met several times with the state auditor to review the scope of the audit.

The measure is sponsored by Republican Reps. Jerry Sonnenberg of Sterling and Dan Nordberg of Colorado Springs and would clarify language in the existing law to authorize a state audit of the exchange’s income and expenditures, evaluate the integrity of the accounting system, assess security risks to confidential health records and personal information, and evaluate hiring practices and background checks. Read more »

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