Category: Fake patriotism

Socialism is already here and we love it

Republicans fought socialistic programs put in place by Democrats, that Americans now love and depend on, like Social Security, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act.

Many people fear socialism, but that’s because they misunderstand what it actually is.

Democratic socialism already exists at all levels of our government, and not only do we love it, we can’t do without it and when it’s threatened, we even fight tooth and nail to keep it.

In the U.S., we collectively tax ourselves to pay for programs and projects that benefit quality of life for society as a whole. That’s a form of socialism, and it’s how we live.

Examples of socialism are:

Rep. Tipton votes to cut Medicaid, CHIP

House Rep. Scott Tipton has voted against financial transparency in government, against protecting citizens’ access to health insurance, against working families and to protect wealthy Americans and keep their taxes low. He’s up for re-election this year.

On February 6, 2020 House Rep. Scott Tipton voted in favor of cutting funding for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), federal programs that cover poor children, pregnant women, the elderly and disabled people with health insurance who could not otherwise afford it.

Tipton voted “no” on House Resolution 826 (HR-826), a measure brought by Democrats that condemned Trump’s cuts to the federal safety net programs that protect Americans who have fallen on hard times.

Taking away health insurance

More than one million children have lost Medicaid and CHIP health insurance coverage under President Trump, and over 750,000 adults have lost Medicaid coverage. Trump’s latest budget calls for even more cuts to Medicaid and the and Affordable Care Act, and it includes deep cuts to Social Security and Medicare, while extending tax cuts for wealthy people, despite his promise he would not touch Social Security or Medicare.

Despite overwhelming evidence of the President’s guilt, CO Sen. Cory Gardner votes to acquit him

Republican Cory Gardner voted to protect Trump, who was documented to have violated U.S. law, from removal from office.

Colorado’s Republican Senator Cory Gardner voted this afternoon to acquit President Trump of the high crimes of obstructing Congress and abusing the power of his office, even though House Representatives presented overwhelming evidence during the impeachment trial that the President was guilty on both charges. A vote of two thirds of the Senate was required to convict the President. With the exception of a single Republican vote by Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, who voted to remove the President, the vote was divided along party lines.

The House accused the President of withholding taxpayer funds destined for Ukraine in an attempt to force Ukraine to announce fake investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden — a move that Trump envisioned would advantage him in the 2020 elections — and of blocking Congress from accessing witnesses and documents pertinent to the President’s actions.

GAO concluded Trump broke the law

Republicans have one last-ditch chance to save themselves, and the country

The President’s defenders deny any reason exists to remove Donald Trump from office. There’s nothing to see here. Everything is fine and normal, the President’s call with Ukraine President Zelinsky was “perfect” and he did absolutely nothing wrong. The impeachment is all a big hoax.

Meanwhile, House Impeachment Managers have presented days worth of detailed evidence, including the President’s own damning words, testimony from alarmed government employees, timelines and tweets detailing the totality of the President’s corrupt behavior, how he put his own interests above those of the country, intimidated witnesses, hid evidence of his wrongdoing, invited foreign governments to influence our elections, violated the Constitution and his oath to protect national security.

The difference is stark.

In the words former Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele:

“When national polling shows that these folks think that Donald Trump was a better president than Abraham Lincoln, you know this is fucked up.”

State Senator Ray Scott (R) attends Denver rally opposing childhood immunizations

Colorado State Senator Ray Scott

You can judge legislators by the company they keep.

The Colorado Times Recorder reported that Mesa County’s State Senator Ray Scott attended a rally on the state Capitol steps January 8 in which two thirds of attendees displayed signs opposing immunizing children against disease. Yes, you read that correctly: this was a crowd of people who oppose immunizing children against disease. Other points of view represented included opponents of public health, opponents of equal rights for LGBTQ persons, gun rights and anti-tax activists.

Also attending the rally were members of the white nationalist group the Proud Boys, designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

Ray Scott is planning on abdicating his seat in the legislature to run for Mesa County Commissioner this year, a position that pays three times what he currently makes as a state senator.

Citizens protest Pendley at new BLM office in G.J.

Protest Jan. 2 at BLM’s new offices on Horizon Drive.

About 35 people turned out in 27 degree weather to protest a visit from Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) William Perry Pendley, a right wing anti-government zealot who was appointed to head the BLM without Senate approval.

Pendley was scheduled to visit the new Grand Junction BLM office on the morning of its first opening day.

The protest was at the BLM’s new offices at 760 Horizon Drive, which is also the same building that houses the corporate offices of oil and gas purveyor Chevron.

Woman reports she was injured at “No One is Above the Law” pro-impeachment rally

A woman was pushed to the ground by a Trump supporter at the pro-impeachment rally Tuesday evening in front of the federal building on Rood Ave. at 4th Street in Grand Junction. The woman hit her head on the concrete and was injured. She recognized Congressman Scott Tipton’s Constituent Services Representative Brandon Bainer standing nearby and asked him to call 911 for her. She says he didn’t help her but instead said “I am on my own time and after 5:00.” The woman recognized Mr. Bainer because she goes to Congressman Tipton and Senator Cory Gardner’s offices frequently and has met him there many times.

Rallies to support impeachment planned in G.J. and across the nation

A rally to urge Colorado’s elected officials to impeach and remove President Donald Trump is planned in Grand Junction on Tuesday, December 17 at 5:30 p.m. in the parking lot behind the federal building  at 400 Rood Ave. Senator Cory Gardner’s office is in the federal building on Rood and House Representative Tipton’s office is in the Alpine Bank Building next door.

This national mobilization is scheduled the day before the House of Representatives is expected to vote on adopting two Articles of Impeachment (pdf) against President Trump that the House Judiciary Committee approved on Friday, December 13. The articles describe high crimes and misdemeanors the President has committed while in office:

Why Trump is being impeached: a helpful explanation for western slope Republicans

President Donald J. Trump

The large number of Trump supporters living on Colorado’s western slope no doubt vehemently oppose his impeachment. This blog is to help them understand why impeaching the President is imperative to protect our country, our democracy and our national sovereignty.

Trump has broken important U.S. laws, multiple times. In so doing, he has demonstrated that he poses a profound threat to our country. One of the laws he violated protects our country from foreign interference at very high levels of government:

Soliciting foreign interference in our elections

Trump has repeatedly invited foreign interference in our elections to benefit himself, an act that violates 52 U.S. Code § 30121, titled “Contributions and donations by foreign nationals.” This law states it is illegal for a person to solicit or accept “a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value” from a foreign national, “or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election” with a foreign national.

Performance evaluations for Janet Rowland’s first terms as Commissioner, by citizens

Performance evaluations by citizens of former Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland’s first two terms in office were disappointing.

A search of Daily Sentinel archives for information on Republican Janet Rowland’s first two terms as Mesa County Commissioner (2004-2012) turns up substantial criticism of her by Mesa County residents. These critiques amount to performance evaluations of her by the local electorate during her previous terms in the office.

For those who are unaware, Rowland is currently running for a third term as county commissioner. State law prohibits anyone from serving more than two consecutive terms as County Commissioner. She can run again if at a minimum of four years has elapsed since she previously held the position. That is the case with Rowland and the reason she is able to run again.

But just because the law allows someone to run for extra terms as county commissioner, is it a good idea?

Not in this case.

One more thing about commissioner candidate Janet Rowland…

Former County Commissioner Janet Rowland (January 2005 – January 2013) advocated a program that paid women with drug addictions $300 to get sterilized

Former Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland, who has already had two terms in the recent past and is now running for a third term, has given Mesa County voters plenty of reasons not to elect her again, but here’s another one, and get ready. This one is kind of creepy.

In 2008, Rowland promoted a program that paid drug-addicted women $300 to get sterilized so they couldn’t reproduce. The program, called Project Prevention, targeted its advertising mainly at women, and 37% of the women who had been sterilized under the program were African-American. In 2009, African-Americans made up just 12.4% of the U.S. population.

State Senator Ray Scott lied to the Daily Sentinel about social media blocking case

Full disclosure: I was the plaintiff in the lawsuit that the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado brought against State Senator Ray Scott for blocking constituents from his official social media accounts.

On August 31, 2019 the Daily Sentinel printed an article about the settlement we reached in the case.

Had the Sentinel contacted me for this article, I would have let them know that Ray Scott lied to them about several specific pieces of information regarding the case.

Ray Scott’s first lie:

Scott told the Sentinel that he blocked people from his social media accounts “only if someone posted a profane or inappropriate comment.”

That is absolutely false.

Court Settlement: State Senator Ray Scott must unblock constituents from his social media

Ray Scott

Senator Ray Scott blocked and banned constituents from his social media accounts simply for disagreeing with him on his policies. Then he got sued.

Every elected official in Colorado is now on notice: you cannot block constituents from your official social media accounts because they don’t agree with your point of view. If you do, you’re breaking the law.

ACLU of Colorado announced a settlement (pdf) today on behalf of Anne Landman, a constituent who State Senator Ray Scott blocked from his official social media accounts in 2017 after she was publicly critical of several of his policy positions. As a result of the lawsuit, Scott has now unblocked Landman and must refrain from censoring anyone else with critical viewpoints from his social media accounts as a Senator, or in any future elected position. 

“The overwhelming majority of cases has made very clear that the official social media pages of public officials, like Senator Scott’s, are public forums where individual’s speech is constitutionally protected,” said ACLU Staff Attorney Sara Neel. “Recognizing this, Senator Scott has agreed to unblock all users from his social media pages and will not block anyone else in the future based on viewpoint.” 

Beware electing Janet Rowland as county commissioner again

Former County Commissioner Janet Rowland (January 2005 – January 2013) once compared same-sex marriage to bestiality on a state-wide talk show, drawing condemnation from around the nation.

Janet Rowland is running for Mesa County Commissioner.

Yes, again.

She’s already been a Mesa County Commissioner — from January, 2005 to January, 2013 — but that doesn’t mean her being commissioner again is a good idea. It arguably is not a good idea. From her previous two terms, we have an abundance of experience with her and know what is in store if Janet Rowland gets another chance to be Commissioner. 

So let’s take a look at the past and see what it tells us.

Morally and ethically challenged

Certainly Janet has done some good things through her career, like trying to address child abuse and finding homes for foster kids. While those endeavors are laudable, we also need to take into account all the things she’s done that have set a poor example for kids, and our entire community and that have harmed the County.

Plagiarism

Shortly after losing statewide election for lieutenant governor as Bob Beauprez’s running mate in 2006, and while she was previously Mesa County Commissioner, Janet was a guest columnist for the Grand Junction Free Press, at the time a competing newspaper to the Daily Sentinel. She wrote several articles for the Free Press until one day a sharp reader noticed Janet had lifted most of one of her columns word for word from a government-published pamphlet, and brought this information to the attention of the Free Press’s editor.

 

Feb. 3, 2007 column in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel about Janet Rowland plagiarizing a guest column she wrote for the G.J. Free Press.

The Daily Sentinel reported on Rowland’s plagiarism on February 3, 2007:

A Mesa County official has plagiarized a government substance abuse booklet in her two most recent columns in the Grand Junction Free Press, that newspaper’s editor confirmed Friday.

The majority of Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland’s Feb. 1 column in the Free Press, titled “The importance of a strong parent-child bond,” was lifted verbatim from a 2006 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism publication titled, “Making a Difference: Talk to Your Teen About Alcohol.”

A reading of Rowland’s unattributed column and the text of the booklet revealed the two are virtually identical. The only differences were found in the column’s first sentence and its lead into several bullet points.

The editor said if Rowland had been a staff writer, she probably would have been fired.

 

Janet’s first reaction to the plagiarism charge was to claim she couldn’t even remember writing the columns. (Denial.) When that failed to tamp down the controversy, she next said the information she used in her columns had been intended for “mass duplication anyhow,” adding that if people wanted to make what she did out as something evil, that was THEIR prerogative. (Sour grapes.) Next, she blamed the plagiarism on others, saying she had included the necessary attributions in her column, but Free Press staff had edited them out. (Lying and blaming.) Free Press management quickly produced the emails that contained the articles exactly as they had received them from Janet for publication, showing that they contained no references or attributions.

It’s time to admit Republican firearm policies have completely failed America

Open Carrying US states map.svg

 

Americans young and old are getting slaughtered every day just going about their daily lives shopping in supermarkets, attending concerts and movies, going to services at churches, mosques and synagogues, going to school, going to work…

How did America get here?

Decades of Republican-backed liberal firearm policies have gotten us here. Republicans say they value freedom, but the people of this country no longer feel free. We live in fear of getting gunned down just living our lives every day because of the cumulative effects of liberal Republican gun policies.

The 5 Minute Mueller Report

Special Counsel Robert Mueller stated that after two years of investigation, his team was unable to exonerate President Donald J. Trump of committing crimes.

Don’t have time to read the whole 420-page Mueller Report (pdf)? That’s understandable.

You can download an audio recording of it for FREE and listen to the whole thing while you’re driving, doing housework or exercising. A free recording of it available here, on Audible.

If you don’t have time to read or listen to the whole thing, but still want to know why it’s such a big deal and why everyone is talking about it, here’s a quick summary:

Oklahoma is just the beginning of what life will be like under Republican rule

Oklahoma Republicans just passed a mind-blowingly strict law that makes abortion illegal in virtually every circumstance, effectively terminating the right of women in the state to control their own bodies and reproductive fate.

Oklahoma wasn’t alone in this, either. Other Republican-dominated states are also enacting extremely strict laws that effectively make abortion illegal, with some banning the procedure as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Republicans base these laws on their belief that a fetus is a fully legal person entitled to all the rights and privileges that all legal American citizens enjoy.

But if actually put into effect, what do these beliefs really portend for life in America?

ACLU Sues CO State Senator Ray Scott for Blocking Constituent on Social Media

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

May 13, 2019

 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Vanessa Michel, Director of Communications

Office: 720-402-3112, Mobile: 917-399-0733

Deanna Hirsch, Media Strategist

Office: 720-402-3122, Mobile: 720-971-2393

ACLU Sues Colorado State Senator for Blocking Constituent on Social Media

 

DENVER – ACLU of Colorado filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court this morning against Colorado State Senator Ray Scott for blocking constituent Anne Landman from his official Facebook and Twitter pages. Landman, a resident of Colorado Senate District 7 in Grand Junction, speaks out regularly on public policy issues and writes about Colorado politics on her blog. She also uses social media to interact with fellow constituents and elected officials. Landman had been able to interact with Scott and others in these spaces until June 2017, when she wrote an article critical of Scott’s position regarding climate change and posted it on his official Facebook page. In response, Scott blocked Landman from his Facebook page and official Twitter account.