10/29/09

"Cash for Clunkers": another Obama Bust

We spent $3 billion on Obama's "Cash for Clunkers" program.

Obama and his henchmen pimped it to nearly orgasmic heights of economic ecstasy.

Edmunds says it was a bust.

Edmunds' report on 'Cash for Clunkers'

I can't wait for "Giggles" Gibbs to start taking potshots at Edmunds. How dare they question The Emperor's New Clothes?

How to raise campaign funding

From the Democratic National Committee, over on Barack H. Obama's my.BarackObama.com website:




DNC uses flag desecration to raise funds



What can you expect from a White House that sells itself to the highest 'donor':

Democratic donors rewarded with White House perks

Of course, the Orchid Office denies it all:

White House pushes back

Meanwhile, the Orchid Office is taking shots at AP now, over their article on the White House's fact-stretching about jobs:

Number of jobs credited to the stimulus overstated by thousands

Further meanwhile ... anyone heard anything decisive from the Orchid Office about that 'splendid little war' in Afghanistan? Otherwise known as "Obama's Splendid Little War"?

Quack!

The 'consumer option'

That's what Nancy Pelosi is calling it. Apparently, we don't call it 'the public option' now. Now, it's the 'consumer option'.

Other than the name change, it still quacks. It's still a duck.

It's like 'terrorism'. Remember when the Obamanians did away with that? We no longer have 'terrorism'. We have 'man-caused disasters'.

Of course, they've kind of back-pedaled on that one a bit, and today you will hear Obamanians use the 'T-word'.

But for the present, we no longer have a 'public option'. It's a 'consumer option'.

Harry Reid may be backing off some on his 'HarryCare' bill, given that Joe Lieberman has flatly refused to vote for it so long as it has the '... option'. Several Blue Dogs are hemming and hawing over it as well. Harry doesn't have the votes to get HarryCare through the Senate.

So this morning, Pelosi is dragging 'PelosiCare', with the 'consumer option', out for a dog and pony show.

Stand firm, Joe. Stand firm, Blue Dogs. Send 'em back to the drawing boards in their secretive little back rooms. Note that the back rooms are no longer 'smoke-filled'. That's politically incorrect ... unless, of course, you are ... the President.

"You lie, Joe!"

No ... not Joltin' Joe, our beloved Gaffer-in-Chief.

Not Joe Wilson, though there is some poetic justice here.

No ... that's the left's reaction to Joe Lieberman's opposition to HarryCare, and presumably PelosiCare. Bill Jacobson has it over on Legal Insurrection:

Dems to Leiberman: "You lie!"

An excerpt:
  • Hullabaloo: "But it always seemed absurd to me to trust good old Lieb since he's become a bitter, angry, resentful, creepy, arch conservative, vengeful old fuck (which isn't all that different than he always was, but he used to be a little bit constricted by his religious image.)"
  • Crooks and Liars: "Can we strip this traitor of his chairmanships already?"
  • DownWithTyranny!: "Of course the loathsome snotrag lies with every breath he draws. He's wholly owned by the Moneyed Interests.... Okay, the gloves are off. Now that the little bug has taken his stand, it's time to squash him."
  • Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns and Money: "his office should be transferred to a broom closet somewhere in Camden."
  • Emptywheel: "He is either completely ignorant about health care works (unlikely, for a Senator from Connecticut). Or, he’s lying his ass off as to his rationale."
  • mcjoan at DailyKos: "Lieberman doesn't care, and knows that Politico and AP and WaPo and any number of outlets don't care, so he'll keep on lying."
  • Bill Scher at HuffPo: "Lieberman Lies About the Public Option."
  • MyDD: "Joe, you ignorant war-monger, you."
  • OpenLeft: "Liar."
Like ... wowsers. What a nice bunch of people, hmmmm? And this is the bunch that threw the big hissy fit over Joe Wilson's "You lie!".

10/28/09

Livin' large in Obama-land

David Slaughter is running against incumbent Jackie Abrams over in Ward 1.

Mr. Slaughter is apparently of the opinion that it is the responsibility of the taxpayer, of the city administration, to cart visitors around the area.

This view seems to stem from the experiences of the Australian Visitor, a lady who saved up for a number of years to come visit Bents' Old Fort, and who ran into a number of 'issues' during her trip. Most of the 'issues' she suffered were demonstrably the result of her own lack of planning and research for the trip. We draw from Slaughter's website:

La Junta currently has 3 buses that service our area on a year round basis. Usually this works well but as a example early this year we had a visitor from Australia who for the last 10 years saved her money so she could come and visit Bents fort. When she finally got to Colorado shortly after a severe hail storm to find that there were no rental car's available.

This visitor to our lovely city paid someone in Denver $500.00 to bring her from Denver to La Junta, and then upon arrival was unable to find a rental car, so she ended up riding a borrowed bike (thanks to Beth Klob) from downtown La Junta to Bents Fort and back in 90 degree plus weather. That situation is totally unacceptable.


So, because one visitor planned so poorly, we are to fund through tax bux a shuttle service to Bents' Old Fort and other such sites?

Tell me ... when you plan a trip, do you not check out local transportation? Availability of rental cars? Local eateries? Local accommodations? That sort of thing? I once arrived in Denver after a violent blizzard ... yet it never crossed my mind that the Denver city government owed me transportation or a place to stay.

Consider this: Why doesn't the Chamber of Commerce take it upon themselves to organize a shuttle service? You know, like motels do. Airport shuttles, that sort of thing. The local government doesn't run those. And, how many tourists actually show up around here with no transportation? And why, if visitors and tourists are so important, is the best the business community can do is give our bedraggled tourist a borrowed bike and tell her to hump it on out there on her own?

I thought this was The Smile Hi City, priding itself on good ol' small town neighborliness and hospitality.

Was it really that hard to find someone to cart the woman out to the fort and wander around for a bit? Where's all that old Wake Up Breakfast bonhomie? Just what about the situation is so 'unacceptable'? The fact that the lady rode out there in the heat, thanks to her own lack of planning, or the fact that none of the promoters of The Smile Hi City could -so it seems - make the effort to show a visitor some of that down home Smallville hospitality? OTOH, I've talked to several people who would have taken the Austrialian Visitor out to the fort, and enjoyed the opportunity... had they but known. Leece and I would have; we love Bents' Old Fort. We would have piled the Visitor and the kids in the van and had a 'cultural exchange'. We could have swapped recipes for Wallaby Stew for recipes for Prairie Dog Curry. We could have sung "Waltzin' Matilda" together, and "Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road" and so on. But that's all another story ...

Jackie Abrams, on the other hand, has invested heavily in the community, keeping the Book Stop open, and serving on the Airport Board. Did you know that the last Airport Fun Day was funded entirely by sponsors, and the city's tax revenues allocated for the event were not required? The Airport Board and Ms. Abrams had a lot to do with that. The golf course should do so well...

Ms. Abrams is looking at ways to get things done without looking for government handouts. She's doing more than just looking ... she actually does get things done. Mr. Slaughter, on the other hand, thinks the government should do it.

Recently, we had the Ace of Spades take city council to task for not giving them more, even though the city has been supporting their rodeo grounds activities for years. It wasn't enough, and they came to council throwing a fit. Over the wrong bit of land as it turns out, but what the hey, facts just get in the way.

Then we had the golfers, we still have the golfers, throwing hissy fits over their country club action and the taxpayers not doing enough to support their fun in the sun.

Now we have Mr. Slaughter, opining that the city should be providing tax revenue funded transport for whatever tourists happen to dribble into town.

I didn't know that Otero County and The Smile Hi City had gone for Obama. Apparently I missed it, and we've been all this time ... livin' large in Obama-land ...

10/27/09

Coming to grips with the vital issues of the day

"Why ... on the eve of the most important domestic policy debate in a generation, are the president's advisers talking about Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News?" he wrote. "America needs ... Barack Obama to change the tone and go back to attacking problems rather than personalities."

White House bid to marginalize critics is backfiring


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is on track to exceed last year's fundraising by more than $10 million, thanks in part to the Obama administration's decision to target the pro-business group, according to the organization's president.


Ya think?

Time to get off the pot ...

An editorial from the Chieftain:

Time to act

I don't think this is a case of a president trying to appear 'measured'.

I think this is a case of a superficial suit, full of glib promises and catchy slogans and not much else, finally coming to face reality.

His left wing moonbat base is going to go nuts if he ups the ante in Afghanistan. That's really what has him worried. He's fudging on everything that he promised during the campaigns, is still campaigning, and is focused more on Glenn Beck and FoxNews than on taking care of the business of the nation.

"I won't risk your lives unless it is absolutely necessary," Obama told service men and women at Naval Air Station Jacksonville on Monday. He promised a "clear mission" with defined goals and the equipment needed to get the job done.

Yeah yeah yeah ... we've all heard that before. What's next? "The light at the end of the tunnel"? Nope. That's been used. "Peace with Honor"? Nope. That's been used. How about "Mission accomplished"? Nope ... that's been used. How about "The troops will be home by Christmas"? Nope. That's been used so many times in so many wars it's an inside joke.

Let's see ... what vitally important military policy can our commander-in-chief come to grips with ... ah ... how about "Don't ask, don't tell". More superficial crap that has the leftie moonbats in a tizzie but contributes nothing of consequence ... other than to Obama's "Dig me, am I cool or what?" mindset.

Obama's "splendid little war"

"Splendid little war".

That was a term used in the early days of Vietnam, back before the big US troop buildups. You'll find it used in Sheehan's "A Bright Shining Lie".

Obama continues to blame Bush for Afghanistan.

Glenn Beck continues to go nuts over Afghanistan - and pretty much everything else Obama is trying to pull.

Obama's liberal base is foaming at the mouth over the war, and a lot of other things as well.

Meanwhile, we have this:

Official resigns in protest over Afghan war

"I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States' presence in Afghanistan," Hoh wrote in his resignation letter, dated Sept. 10 but published early Tuesday. "I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end."

The move sent ripples all the way to the White House, the paper said, where officials immediately appealed for him to stay out of fear he could become a leading critic.


Why does Matthew Hoh's letter send 'ripples' all the way to the White House?

"We took his letter very seriously, because he was a good officer," Holbrooke said in an interview with the newspaper. "We all thought that given how serious his letter was, how much commitment there was, and his prior track record, we should pay close attention to him."

Somebody should pay close attention to him. "Somebody" should probably quit screwing around with FoxNews and start paying attention to things like the war(s), the economy, healthcare, jobs, and a whole lot of other things.

Perhaps "Giggles" Gibbs and the rest of the Obamanian henchmen are so focused on Glenn Beck because, like Hoh, Beck is correct in much of his assessment of just how far up their collective backsides the Obamanians have stuck their heads. I'm finding it hard to believe that here I am, saying "Beck is right", because heretofore I've classed him as one of the far out whackjobs, along with Ann Coulter. But he's making more sense these days, even if, unlike Hoh's rather measured and thoughtful commentaries, Beck is a ranter.

In any case, it isn't Bush's war, and it isn't Bush's economy, and it isn't Bush's problem any more.

It all belongs to Barack H. Obama, and it's about time he quit his 'Dig me, am I cool or what?' campaigning and urinating away mountains of money and got down to actually doing something useful.

10/26/09

Selling out

Here is a good editorial from the Chieftain:

Save our towns

Interestingly enough, at the 'meet the candidates' gathering a couple of weeks ago, not one of the candidates for the Swink school board had a clue about how re-valuing land - as the result, for instance, of taking it out of production as the result of a water sellout - would affect school budgets.

Pace's proposed bill will be one to watch.

Fact-checking Obama's claims

The Obamanians are claiming that the health insurance industry is making 'obscene' profits (Pelosi) while the 'bodies pile up' (Soros' MoveOn.org).

Is that true?

No.

As is usually the case, the Obamanians think you and I are too stupid or too lazy to figure it out.

Here's an interesting article:

Health insurers profits

Of course, that's from Fox, and as we all know from the Obamanians' latest rants, Fox is hardly a news network, like MSNBC and other 'unbiased' sources.

Obama needs a boogieman to jam this health care fiasco down our throats. For the moment, that boogieman is the health insurance industry.

10/25/09

The sophisticated Europeans ...

Remember how the Europeans embraced The One?

That seems to be changing:

Barack Obama must stop campaigning and start governing

Essentially, however, Mr Obama won because of his persona – post-racial, healing, cool, articulate and inspirational. In a sense, therefore, his greatest achievement in life is being Barack Obama. Or the campaign version, at least.

Therein lies the problem. While campaigning could centre around soaring rhetoric, governing is altogether messier. It involves tough, unpopular choices and cutting deals with opponents. It requires doing things rather than talking about them, let alone just being.


A-yup.

Then we have this, from unabashedly left-winger liberal apologist Clarence Page:

Obama outs Fox, but reveals a big flaw

Surely President Barack Obama and his advisers don't really think that their feud with Fox News will do anything but enhance the cable network's viewership. A deeper problem is what the flap reveals about Team Obama, which seems to be more comfortable with campaigning than governing.

I'm not happy about that. It does not fill me with glee to see Fox News star Sean Hannity joyfully replaying Obama's 2004 come-together speech about how we're "not red states or blues states" but "the United States of America" and asking where is Obama's promise now?

I don't agree with Hannity on much. He's only a tad more serious-minded as a news clown, in my grumpy view, than his colleague Glenn Beck. But, as much as my wife might run from the house when she hears me say it, Hannity's right on this one.


"News clown"? Sean Hannity? Ummmm ... that's a bit harsh. I'd agree if Page had stuck with Glenn Beck.

Ah well. Speaking of news clowns, I have to go watch Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, and Keith Olbermann. Talk about 'fair and balanced'...

Here's more on this from Bill Jacobson, over on Legal Insurrection:

What if he can't?

10/23/09

"The Chikaga Way"

"They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way."

–Jim Malone,"The Untouchables"

That's the Obama and Rahm Emanuel Way.

The Bullies of the Orchid Office. Obama and Emanuel.

The Chicago Way

An excerpt:

In recent weeks the Windy City gang added a new name to their list of societal offenders: the Chamber of Commerce. For the cheek of disagreeing with Democrats on climate and financial regulation, it was reported the Oval Office will neuter the business lobby. Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett slammed the outfit as "old school," and warned CEOs they'd be wise to seek better protection.

That was after the president accused the business lobby of false advertising. And that recent black eye for the Chamber (when several companies, all with Democratic ties, quit in a huff)—think that happened on its own? ("Somebody messes with me, I'm gonna mess with him! Somebody steals from me, I'm gonna say you stole. Not talk to him for spitting on the sidewalk. Understand!?")

The Chamber can at least take comfort in crowds. Who isn't on the business end of the White House's sawed-off shotgun? First up were Chrysler bondholders who—upon balking at a White House deal that rewarded only unions—were privately threatened and then publicly excoriated by the president.

Next, every pharmaceutical, hospital and insurance executive in the nation was held out as a prime obstacle to health-care nirvana. And that was their reward for cooperating. When Humana warned customers about cuts to Medicare under "reform," the White House didn't bother to complain. They went straight for the gag order. When the insurance industry criticized the Baucus health bill, the response was this week's bill to strip them of their federal antitrust immunity. ("I want you to find this nancy-boy . . . I want him dead! I want his family dead! I want his house burned to the ground!")


"Bi-partisanship" to Obama means you get to play if first you agree with him. Once you get past that little roadblock, then he'll give you some Wagyu scraps from the Orchid Office table.

Until then, you're The Enemy. You'll have Rahm Emanuel stabbing at the table screaming "He's dead! Dead! Dead!" in a psychotic frenzy.

And you'll know you've hit the Big Time when you get a rotting fish, presumably wrapped in the Chicago Tribune, delivered to your doorstep, compliments of The Obama Regime.

What a collection of thugs we have running the government.

"... a deliberate campaign to marginalize and ostracize recalcitrants ..."

That's how Charles Krauthammer describes the Nixonian tactics openly in play by the Obama Regime:

Fox wars: The 'post-partisan' president makes an enemies list

An excerpt:

Fox and its viewers (numbering more than those of CNN and MSNBC combined) need no defense. Defend Fox compared to whom? To CNN -- which recently unleashed its fact-checkers on a "Saturday Night Live" skit mildly critical of President Obama, but did no checking of a grotesquely racist remark that CNN falsely attributed to Rush Limbaugh?

Defend Fox from whom? Fox's flagship 6 o'clock evening news out of Washington (hosted by Bret Baier, formerly by Brit Hume) is, to my mind, the best hour of news on television. (Definitive evidence: My mother watches it even on the odd night when I'm not on.) Defend Fox from the likes of Anita Dunn? She's been attacked for extolling Mao's political philosophy in a speech at a high school graduation. But the critics miss the surpassing stupidity of her larger point: She was invoking Mao as support and authority for her impassioned plea for individuality and trusting one's own choices. Mao as champion of individuality? Mao, the greatest imposer of mass uniformity in modern history, creator of a slave society of a near-billion worker bees wearing Mao suits and waving the Little Red Book?

The White House communications director cannot be trusted to address high schoolers without uttering inanities. She and her cohorts are now to instruct the country on truth and objectivity?


The White House pool pretty much told Obama to take the Rahm Emanuel fish and shove it where the moon don't shine:

White House loses bid to exclude FoxNews

Obama also said:

"... I think the American people are a lot more interested in what we're doing to create jobs or how we're handling the situation in Afghanistan."

Yeah. We are. So far, Obama has neither created jobs, nor has he handled the situation in Afghanistan. His highly touted "plan" for Afghanistan, announced last spring with a fair amount of self-serving fanfare, has gone. Our "allies" are telling us to go fish until Obama comes up with some kind of a strategy. So far, all he is doing is waffling, shuckin' and jivin', and still ... still ... blaming Bush.

Jeez. It's your war, Barack ... you really gotta stop worrying about campaigning, and about FoxNews, and get with the program. That is, if you can figure out what your program is. And then, tell the rest of us what it is.

Oh ... here's another commentary on Obama's Nixonian approach to the press:

Time for Obama to Grow Up

10/22/09

The Tesla Tango

I'm thinking of buying a Tesla:



Yup.

Doncha think Leece and I'd look good, tooling down Colorado Avenue in that thing?

And we can, thanks to you.

You can pay for a good chunk of it. You and the rest of our Friends and Neighbors will contribute $42,000 toward the $109,000 sticker price.

Well ... that still leaves it at a fairly stiff price, one I don't think we'll really consider very seriously ... but Gosh Durn It, don't you feel warm and fuzzy that you and I and the rest of We the Taxpayers will be subsidizing, one way or another, a high end hundred thousand dollar car for wealthy enviro-whackos? These babies will be buzzing all over the Republic of Boulder ... and we'll be pushing our ten year old rust buckets around.

You gotta love the Obama Regime and the Ritter Raiders.

Colorado offering $42,000 tax break to Tesla buyers

10/19/09

High times at Tamarisk Hills

Here are some interesting tidbits about water out at Tamarisk Hills. The information is drawn from minutes of city council meetings; utility board meetings; rate schedules; budget sessions; articles from Tribune-Democrat archives. All of it is a matter of public record.

There are several 'government accounts', or 'government irrigation accounts' serviced by the city. Those accounts are the cemetery, the city's parks, OJC, and ... the golf course. None of the 'government accounts' are charged a facility fee to pay for the RO plant. But if you are a residential user, or a business user, you are charged that facility fee. Looking at my last water bill, I see that I was charged a 'facility fee'. I'll bet you were, too. But not the golf course.

The current rate for water is $1.80/1000 gallons for all city residential and business users, including government accounts. This is the 'commodity charge'.

In the 1990's, the golf course was using about 36 million gallons per year to irrigate about 36 acres. This does not include water used by or in the clubhouse.

In 2000, the water rate for all city parks, the ball fields, OJC, and the golf course was $0.64/1000 gallons. This was before the RO plant came on line. In 2000, the golf course used 39 million gallons of water.

In 2002, the rate went up to $1.16/1000 gallons for those users.

In 2004, rates were adjusted for the golf course and the cemetery to provide relief on the utility bills. Rates for the golf course were set at $1.16/1000 gallons for the first million gallons, after which the rate dropped to $.064/1000 gallons.The golf course was receiving a special, lower rate.

In 2004 the RO plant came online. At the same time, water use in the overall water system dropped because of the drought and watering restrictions in town. Water use at the golf course does not appear to have dropped at all during the drought.

In 2007, as the result of a rate study by the Utilities Commission, rates for city and industrial water were set at $1.35/1000 gallons. This applied across the board, to all customers in the city, not just the golf course. The special rate for the golf course was discontinued.

In 2008, the rate went to 1.45/1000 gallons for all city customers, including the government accounts, which, as noted, includes the golf course.

In 2009, the rate went to $1.80/1000 gallons for all city customers, including the golf course and the other government accounts. The golf course has not been subjected to any rate increases not suffered by everyone else ... and in 2004, they were given a special, lower rate.

From 2001 through 2005, the golf course used about 40 million gallons per year.

Since 2006, the golf course has used at or over 45 million gallons of water per year. In 2008, the golf course used 45.2 million gallons.

Water use at the golf course has increased by about 25% since the 90's, despite the city's investment in sprinkler technologies specifically designed to conserve water. This usage also increased during the drought years while other customers, limited by water restrictions, used less water. Rather than use the special lower rate authorized in 2004 to reduce the amount spent on water, the golf course actually used it to increase water usage.

The golf course has 36 irrigated acres. This does not count the clubhouse. Since the 1990's the golf course has increased water usage on those acres - there has been no increase in irrigated acreage - from 36 million gallons of water per year to over 45 million gallons.

In the last two years, the budget line item for water at the golf course has increased by 33%.

Tippy Martinez Park, Potter Park, City Park, Tiger Field, ball park on 22nd Street and Veterans field combined come to 76 acres, with a total water usage of 28 million gallons per year. The cemetery, with 38 acres, has been using about 10 million gallons per year.

Despite the City administration's investment in water conserving sprinkler technology, the golfers have increased their water usage consistently, by approximately 25%, since the 1990's. Their acreage out there has not increased, so they are not watering more land. Rather than suffering unilaterally applied rate increases, they have either been subject to the same rates as everyone else, or, as we see in 2004, actually given a break on water rates.

While residential and other business customers were given rate increases, at that time (2004) the golf course saw a rate decrease. When they got that rate decrease, rather than hold the line, they increased water use ... and then complained that they weren't being given enough in the budget to pay for their increased usage. City council responded by voting to increase that budget line item by 33% in the last two municipal fiscal years.

Yet the golfers want more, asking for another $30,000 at the last council meeting.

The fees for our kids' athletic programs went up 20%. Pool fees went up 17%.

How much have golf fees gone up?

It would appear that the golfers are absolutely clueless as to what has been going on regarding support for their playground.

Nonetheless, we expect to see them in front of council again this next Monday night, demanding more. Not asking, but demanding, as though it is only their rightful due.

Isn't it about time that council put an end to this foolishness? Right now the concessionaire is pocketing all of the money made from the restaurant, the pro shop, the cart and cart storage rentals, the apartment rental, and the driving range. The concessionaire is paying $1 per year rent for this city property - while the aircraft owners are paying nearly $10,000 in rent for the T-hangars - and the concessionaire's utility use is subsidized by the city.

The contract between the city and the golf association and concessionaire expires at the end of this year. Don't you think it's about time for a new contract, which allows the golf course to be run in a business-like manner?

The sun doesn't shine in Bent County ...

Apparently the crime wave over in Bent County has gotten completely out of control, with city council candidate Mike Diez reportedly calling for citizens to carry concealed weapons in order to compensate for the Las Animas Police Department's alleged inability to deal with crime in that Fair City.

As we see reported in The Bent County Democrat by intrepid girl reporter and editor Lola Shrimplin (shades of Brenda Starr and we hope she doesn't vapor-lock over that 'girl reporter' thing), the citizens of Las Animas bent the Las Animas Police Board's ears for an hour or so with concerns about crime.

Then ... Board President Janice LaSalle took the board into executive session, without announcing the statutory cite, the reason for the executive session, or a motion and second and subsequent vote by the board to have the session. Anyone who attends board meetings here in The Smile Hi City is well aware that all of those are requirements these days for going into executive session.

But the real corker, according to Shrimplin's article, is this:

No recording of the session was made.

"We can't record an executive session. That's why it's an executive session," LaSalle said when asked about a recording.

Is LaSalle really that ignorant? And what about reports that a non-member of the board - Clarice Ratzlaff -was invited to sit with the board members, and allegedly remained with the board for the duration of the so-called 'executive session'?

For LaSalle's edification, excerpted from 24-6-402, CRS: Meetings - open to public. :

(II) (A) Discussions that occur in an executive session of a local public body shall be recorded in the same manner and media that the local public body uses to record the minutes of open meetings. If a local public body electronically recorded the minutes of its open meetings on or after August 8, 2001, the local public body shall continue to electronically record the minutes of its open meetings that occur on or after August 8, 2001; except that electronic recording shall not be required for two successive meetings of the local public body while the regularly used electronic equipment is inoperable. A local public body may satisfy the recording requirements of this sub-subparagraph (A) by making any form of electronic recording of the discussions in an executive session of the local public body. Except as provided in sub-subparagraph (B) of this subparagraph (II), the record of an executive session shall reflect the specific citation to the provision in subsection (4) of this section that authorizes the local public body to meet in an executive session, the actual contents of the discussion during the session, and a signed statement from the chair of the executive session attesting that any written minutes substantially reflect the substance of the discussions during the executive session. For purposes of this sub-subparagraph (A), 'actual contents of the discussion' shall not be construed to require the minutes of an executive session to contain a verbatim transcript of the discussion during said executive session. The provisions of this sub-subparagraph (A) shall not apply to discussions of individual students by a local public body pursuant to paragraph (h) of subsection (4) of this section.

There is an exception to the 'recording' requirement:

(B) If, in the opinion of the attorney who is representing the local public body and who is in attendance at an executive session that has been properly announced pursuant to subsection (4) of this section, all or a portion of the discussion during the executive session constitutes a privileged attorney-client communication, no record or electronic recording shall be required to be kept of the part of the discussion that constitutes a privileged attorney-client communication. The electronic recording of said executive session discussion shall reflect that no further record or electronic recording was kept of the discussion based on the opinion of the attorney representing the local public body, as stated for the record during the executive session, that the discussion constituted a privileged attorney-client communication, or the attorney representing the local public body may provide a signed statement attesting that the portion of the executive session that was not recorded constituted a privileged attorney-client communication in the opinion of the attorney.

But according to Shrimplin, there was no attorney present, and in any case, LaSalle made the flat statement that the session was not recorded simply because it was an executive session. She made no claims of 'attorney-client' privilege.

10/11/09

The California Chief Justice; Chickens' Rights; Gay Rights

California's Chief Justice says the state government is dysfunctional:

California Chief Justice says state government is dysfunctional

An excerpt from this rather interesting article:

[California Chief Justice Ronald M.]George a moderate Republican, has been critical of the initiative process in the past, but his remarks to the national group signaled a sense of urgency and willingness to push for reforms.

George noted that in November, voters passed initiatives to regulate the confinement of fowl in coops and passed Proposition 8, which overturned part of a California Supreme Court ruling that gave gays and lesbians the right to marry.

“Chickens gained valuable rights in California on the same day that gay men and lesbians lost them,” George said.

George was the swing vote in the historic May 2008 decision to end a ban on same-sex marriage. Legal scholars said the 4-3 ruling he wrote would define his legacy. The George court is considered moderately conservative, and until the marriage ruling, cautious. The court has only one Democratic appointee.

10/10/09

Artwalk

The Artwalk was today. Unfortunately, the weather led to cancellations at the Barista and the Kiva. The visiting artist and performer were unable to travel because of black ice and other bad weather.

Nonetheless, there was a good crowd at Somewhere on San Juan.

Dan Ballard had an excellent slide show of his work, including the best shot of the ancient temple at Angkor Wat that I have ever seen. He even had one of the Bolovens Plateau in southern Laos. This area was known to US forces as the center point for Operation STEEL TIGER back during the war, and suffered some of the most intense bombing of the war. The main passes - Mu Ghia and Ban Karai - from North Vietnam into the Ho Chi Minh trail fed directly into this area. Ballard said that you could still see the craters from the bombing but that they were pretty much filled in with vegetation. His photo confirmed that Laos remains one of the most beautiful countries in the world, though as in Cambodia, leftover landmines continue to be a major problem.

Jeremy Manyik was also there. Tookie had the opportunity to chat with him about paints and composition of his artwork.

Here are some photos of patrons and artists:

Jeremy Manyik took the time to answer Toot Sweet's questions about paints and composition.


Tookie and the palette.


Tookie and a horse sculpture.


Patrons examine one of Manyik's paintings ...


While other patrons chat about artsy things ...


Leece chats with Nancy Bennett.


Plants outside the Kiva, covered with ice. The artist scheduled to visit had to cancel because of the weather.


More ice.


Next up: The Mennonite Relief Sale is at the Rocky Ford Fairgrounds next weekend. This is one of the most enjoyable events of the year.

The Golf Association Board

So while we've been hashing over the 'issues' surrounding the golf course, one group has been hanging pretty much in the background and not taking much heat.

That would be the Golf Association Board.

The relationship between the golfers, the concessionaires (the Chiaramontes), the city, and the Golf Association Board is somewhat convoluted. On the one hand, we have a contract between the city and "the concessionaires". That's the deal that gives them the dollar a year rent for all that city-owned ('taxpayer-owned') property; the subsidized utilities for that property; and which allows them to keep all of the profits from the pro shop, the restaurant, the cart shack rentals, the cart rentals, the driving range, and the rental of the apartment out there. Shoot, there might even be more.

But what is the board doing to smooth things out?

Not much. They're just letting it all ride. They apparently see nothing wrong with the way things are run out there. They don't see it as their responsibility to bring the golf course management more into line with the way other courses are run. They don't see it as their responsibility to see that the course and club are run as a business.

Nope. They apparently believe it is the responsibility of the taxpayer to fund their playground.

Their leader said, at the last council meeting, that they have been 'good stewards' of our tax dollars.

I obviously disagree with that statement.

The golf board has just been floating along, expecting We the Taxpayer to take the load for them. It's a lot easier to blame the city administration for so-called 'inadequate funding' than it is to take the heat for running the thing as a business, which would almost surely mean the golfers would end up paying more for their fun.

That seems to be coming to an end. The contract is up for renewal. The current contract expires at the end of this year. Will council approve 'more of the same'? Maybe, but I have my doubts about that. The golfers are a noisy bunch but there are a lot more people who are wondering why they've been coddled for so long. Remember - this isn't about closing the golf course or about letting it fall apart. It's about ending the taxpayer-subsidized playground atmosphere out there; it's about ending that sense of entitlement the golfers seem to have.

I would suggest that the board quit their collective whining and get to work on an arrangement, on a proposal to the city, that is more business-like and more professional. Otherwise, I would expect the city governing board - City Council - to end the current relationship, put out a real RFP, and hire a professional that can run that place as a business and not as some good old boys' Fun in the Sun private resort.

I would also suggest that the La Junta Chamber of Commerce pull its head out of wherever it has it stuck and get on the bandwagon to make that golf course pay for itself. That nonsense we had from Mr. Klob goes a long way towards explaining why the Chamber is so ineffective.

One more thing ... we city employees are not second class citizens. We pay our taxes, sales, property, and income. We even pay Governor Ritter's "fees" (yuk yuk wink wink nudge nudge). We have as much right as anyone else in saying what we believe to be wrong, as well as what is right, with our city. Even those of us who live in The Holy Land or in North La Junta or out in the country still pay a substantial amount of taxes into the City of La Junta; some of us own property in the city, and almost all of us shop there. With sales tax making up just under half of the city's fiscal intake and property taxes funding La Junta's schools, we really aren't interested in the attitude that we have to shut up and put up with this foolishness.

10/9/09

Applying the Nobel judging standard

The KC Chiefs have been declared the winners of the 2010 SuperBowl because they have been trying hard, even though they are 0 and 4.

You're with us or agin us ... you're probably a terrorist, too

From the DNC:

“The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists - the Taliban and Hamas this morning - in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize,” DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse told POLITICO. “Republicans cheered when America failed to land the Olympics and now they are criticizing the President of the United States for receiving the Nobel Peace prize - an award he did not seek but that is nonetheless an honor in which every American can take great pride - unless of course you are the Republican Party.

“The 2009 version of the Republican Party has no boundaries, has no shame and has proved that they will put politics above patriotism at every turn. It’s no wonder only 20 percent of Americans admit to being Republicans anymore - it’s an embarrassing label to claim,” Woodhouse said.


Wait a minute ... the Taliban are 'terrorists'?

Since when?

Obama war council focuses on Al Qaeda

I thought we were going to have a cup of coffee ... maybe a beer ... no, wait, the Taliban are fundamentalist Muslim murders, so no alcohol as they have high moral standards ... I thought we were going to have a cuppa Java with the Turbaned Moonbats? Now they are 'terrorists'? The DNC must not have gotten the memo.

Losers

These are the people the Nobel Committee passed over in favor of Obama's non-accomplishments:

Sima Samar, women's rights activist in Afghanistan: "With dogged persistence and at great personal risk, she kept her schools and clinics open in Afghanistan even during the most repressive days of the Taliban regime, whose laws prohibited the education of girls past the age of eight. When the Taliban fell, Samar returned to Kabul and accepted the post of Minister for Women's Affairs."

Ingrid Betancourt: French-Colombian ex-hostage held for six years.

"Dr. Denis Mukwege: Doctor, founder and head of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. He has dedicated his life to helping Congolese women and girls who are victims of gang rape and brutal sexual violence."

Handicap International and Cluster Munition Coalition: "These organizations are recognized for their consistently serious efforts to clean up cluster bombs, also known as land mines. Innocent civilians are regularly killed worldwide because the unseen bombs explode when stepped upon."

"Hu Jia, a human rights activist and an outspoken critic of the Chinese government, who was sentenced last year to a three-and-a-half-year prison term for 'inciting subversion of state power.'"

"Wei Jingsheng
, who spent 17 years in Chinese prisons for urging reforms of China's communist system. He now lives in the United States.

You'll have to admit that there isn't much there, compared to the Obamessiah.

When asked by a reporter what he would do with the $1.4 million in prize money, The One had no answer.

Now it has been announced he will give it to an as yet unspecified charity.

ACORN, perhaps?

The Mennonites are coming!

It's coming up on the 3rd weekend of October .. it's time for the Mennonite Relief Sale, October 16 and 17, at the fair grounds in Rocky Ford.

Here are some photos from last year's event:

2008 Mennonite Relief Sale

This is one of the coolest events of the year, here in the Valley.

Here's a link to their main site:

Rocky Mountain Mennonite Relief Sale

Note that it kicks off with the dinner, from 5 PM - 7 PM, at the 4-H building on the fairgrounds. Dinner is a BBQ pork sandwich and the country soup bar for six bucks. Last year's was pretty good, almost as good as a Down East Baptist pig pickin'. Some of the booths will be open Friday evening.

Arkansas Valley Fairgrounds
105 N. Main Street
Rocky Ford, Colorado
Free Parking and Admission

Lynn Horner, Chairperson
lhorner at centurytel.net
719-384-8066

"Jeeeeeeezzzzus needs a new Mercedes!"

Or maybe it's a luxury private jet.

Gotta spread the Word in style, you see.

Benny Hinn, that paragon of Christian virtue, is being investigated for fiscal fraud:

Benny Hinn: Charlatan or Man of God?

Yeah. Of course, the investigators are the same Congressional Clowns who have given Charlie "Income Tax?" Rangel a complete bye.

Remember that quote from the assassin in "Angels and Demons":

"Be careful. These are men of God."

You gotta see the flick.

Then you'll understand the likes of Benny Hinn very well.

Remember this?

Hinn and Hilliard resign Oral Roberts regents posts

How to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 11 days

How to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 11 days

The salient summation:

The short path to the Nobel Peace Prize: Party, go to meetings, skip church, release federal funding to pay for abortions in foreign countries, party some more.

Good grief.


Good grief, indeed.

Mike Huckabee has something sensible to say about it:

"There will be an outcry from those on the right who will say that Obama's nomination, made two weeks into his presidency, is impossible to justify, but I think such an outcry will sound like right-wing whining," Huckabee wrote. "The better response is simply to allow those on the left to explain what he did in his first two weeks as President that merited such recognition."

Yes. And so far, 'those on the left' aren't doing very well.

As one young Obama fan this morning said, "It doesn't matter what Obama did or didn't do ... he's not George Bush!"

There you have it.

The Nobel prizes. Cheaper than dirt.

Fall sale!

Golfsmith's Fall Sale!

Here's the Callaway sale:

Save on Callaway Odyssey

Look at that! You can get a Callaway FT-iQ Tour Driver for only $299.00! That's $230 off the already ridiculously low regular price of $529.99!

There are lots of other deals going, too!

See? If our golfer friends all shop the Fall sale, they'll save enough so they can help take that load off the Chiaramontes, who, according to Chamber of Commerce rep Tim Klob, are actually working for free out at Tamarisk Hills.

It's enough to make me want to suggest to City Manager Rick Klein that he take that city employee COLA raise and donate it to the Chiaramontes!

Speaking of Fall sales, those idiots we have in Congress are looking at a second 'stimulus' package. Of course, they have no idea how to pay for it, and there are hints they might not even try.

Come 2010, let's vote these twits back into the Stone Age.

And Obama is nabbing the Nobel Peace prize. I guess groveling before the Europeans and apologizing for America does have a payoff. There is no truth to the rumor that the Committee was offered ward boss positions in Chicago in exchange for the prize.

Nobel observers were shocked by the unexpected choice so early in the Obama presidency, which began less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline.

They gave him the prize based on less than two weeks in the White House?

Does anyone else smell a political rat?

10/8/09

The Baucus Concepts on Health Care

Over on Legal Insurrection, Bill Jacobson has a good observation about the Baucus Health Care Concepts:

Baucus' rosy numbers will fade

This is the thing that the Congressional Budget Office has and is analyzing, telling us that it is 'deficit-neutral'. That is, it will not add to the $1.4 trillion deficit that Obama has run up. Well ... OK ... there was a bit of a deficit at the first of the year. Obama has only tripled it.

Thing is, this Baucus deal is not even a bill. It's a markup document listing a collection of 'concepts'.

As we see in Jacobson's article, many of the assumptions in the Baucus markup are wishful thinking at best, and the CBO recognizes this in its assessment:

These projections assume that the proposals are enacted and remain unchanged throughout the next two decades, which is often not the case for major legislation. For example, the sustainable growth rate (SGR) mechanism governing Medicare’s payments to physicians has frequently been modified (either through legislation or administrative action) to avoid reductions in those payments.

See also:

Why the CBO estimates shouldn't count for much

Now, Senator Olympia Snowe is a Republican sitting on that committee. Though she is a Republican, she is entirely capable of voting for this markup 'Non-Bill'. She voted with the Democrats on other crucial bills, bills that have resulted in a sky-rocketing deficit and terrible wastage of tax dollars.

You might want to give some thought to asking her to vote "No" on this thing.

You can contact her here:

Email Senator Snowe

Here is what I sent to Senator Snowe:

Dear Senator Snowe,

The health care markup currently being considered in the Senate Finance Committee is a non-legislative expression of 'concept'.

It is not a bill.

Please vote "no" on this markup.

Note also that the CBO has identified a number of assumptions that lack any connection with reality in the fiscal sense. This is how CBO has ruled the non-bill to be 'deficit-neutral'. This is an unrealistic ruling. The non-bill can easily, almost certainly, end up expanding the deficit by a considerable amount. I remind you of the $1.4 trillion deficit we now face. Do you really expect us to take up more of a legislative cross to bear?

Congress has not handled our tax dollars in a responsible manner, especially in the last 10 months.

Please vote 'No' on this.

Ballot Issue 300

That is the lodging tax measure that is on the ballot.

Here is an update from Ron Davis:

We now have plenty of flyers ready to go….feel free to canvass anytime prior to the 19th of October. Just let me know what blocks and I’ll send it out on the daily update and update the City Map so we know what we have covered.

We have 2 people who have stepped up to canvass already ... thank you to them.

Bill Dutro will do 22nd to Mountview from Raton to San Juan

Sallie Hibbs will do Santa Fe to San Juan from 1st to 10th.

For those of you who didn’t get this yesterday…here was yesterday’s email:

Attached you will find the meeting notes of the October 1, 2009 Committee for La Junta Lodging Tax (Ballot Issue 300). Thank you to Susie Sarlo for putting them together. Also attached are the flyers we will be distributing. There is no need for you to print the flyers……I have plenty copied and available. If it becomes more than my budget can handle, we will have them printed and cut, but for right now we are OK. Please contact me and I will get you as many as you would like.

Note: You can download the Ballot 300 handout and the meeting notes in PDF format from WritingPlaces.com:

Handout but note also that Ron has a pile of these things and you don't have to run off copies. Give him a call.

Meeting Notes

Many of you had offered to help any way you can and it was the feeling of the group that the most valuable use of people’s time would be to ask individuals to canvass the various neighborhoods of La Junta before the 19th of October when the ballots have to be in the hands of the voters. We feel the most important message to get across is that the ballot will say it is a “tax increase”, because the City of La Junta will collect it….but it will not be paid by the residents of La Junta unless they stay in motels in La Junta!

The easiest way to do this may be to have people email (or call) me as to what streets you would be willing to walk, and then I will update everyone as to what streets and neighborhoods are covered. Once again, I have flyers available….call me or email and we’ll arrange for you to get them.

The main dates to note in the meeting notes are:

Public Forums: October 8 (Thursday) at 7:00 PM at Casa Del Sol Aspen Center and October 13 (Tuesday) at 7:00 PM at Casa Del Sol Aspen Center.

We also have spots reserved on TTO October 16, 21 and Nov 2. If you are willing to be on the radio to help promote Ballot Issue 300, please let me know.

Finally….we would like to compose an ad to put in the paper that is a “montage” of motel bills showing actual lodging taxes we pay when we travel. If you have bills that itemize a LODGING TAX…please get me a copy of it ASAP, so we can put the ad together.

This Ballot Issue is of great importance to our Community. We need all of your help, as well as anyone you can recruit. Please pass this on to anyone and everyone you can think of who can either help canvass or visit with their neighbors. We do not feel that we need to raise a lot of money to spread the word, since money is tight for everyone right now; we are counting on networking…….100 of you talking to 5 people who do the same!

Remember, the ballots come out between the 12th and the 19th of October, so we need to get the word out before them.

Please feel free to call or email me with ideas and/or suggestions.

By the way….some of you may get this more than once…….all the better…..Please, PASS IT ON!

Thanks for your help in advance.

Ron Davis
Director - La Junta Economic Development
————————————————————
tel
719.384.6965 cell 719.469.1081 fax 719.384.6960
1802 Colorado, La Junta, CO 81050
www.LaJuntaEconomicDevelopment.net

www.visitlajunta.net

McChrystal and de Tocqueville

We've changed one of the quotes up in the Blog Banner. We've added a good one from de Tocqueville.

It can be said that there are four documents, or publications, with which every American must be familiar in order to understand how our country came to be and its foundational concepts and principles.

These are:

  • The Declaration of Independence
  • The Constitution of the United States of America
  • The Federalist Papers
  • Democracy in America

That last was written by a French nobleman, one Alexis de Tocqueville, on a visit to this country back during the rise of Jacksonian Democracy.

I have been re-reading Tocqueville's work, and am finding that in many cases he was and still is amazingly astute, insightful, and accurate.

I like the edition that I have, even though it is paperback and well-worn. It has a good introduction, by Richard D. Heffner, and points out some of the weaknesses of Tocqueville's observations as well as his strengths. This is good, because as with any literary work, especially those of subjective nature, external balance is often necessary and useful.

In any case, I came across this passage the other day:

Force is never more than a transient element of success, and after force, comes the notion of right. A government which should be able to reach its enemies only upon a field of battle would soon be destroyed.

General McChrystal's philosophies on the conduct of war seem far more consistent with Tocqueville's view than with ... oh ... say the likes of Joe Biden and his desire to do it all by remote control.

In Vietnam, it was Westmoreland's 'war of attrition', with it's increasingly unrestricted use of increasingly heavier weaponry that drove the Vietnamese peasant out of the villages and into the slums of Saigon and other cities. 'We had to destroy the village in order to save it' was a concept that drove the Vietnamese peasant into the arms of the Viet Cong.

McChrystal seems intent on not making those mistakes again.

I can only wonder if Obama deserves such a commander in the field ... or will McChrystal end up under the Obama Express like so many others.

It's all for Free!

Nope. No, it isn't an Obama fan jumping up and down with joy over the possibility of getting bailed out, or getting more of that Free Federal Munny, or having Obama take over his/her credit card payments.

It's a comment about how the Chiaramontes do everything for free out at the golf course, and how the golf course is the cat's meow compared to such wasted efforts as the library.

Here it is, from a Facebook entry:

Tim Klob my undestanding was they are willing to take a cut on the things like maintenance and improvements. but the current budget isnt even enough for water. yeah they only pay a buck a yr for rent on the pro shop. but figure bill and linda are there 7 days a week mowing lawns, maintaining the city owned golf carts, fixing sprinkler systems, and keeping books. for free. how many people come to town to golf vs. to go to the library?

and here's my post over there in response:

From 1 Jan 09 - 30 Sep 09, 83,510 people passed through the library doors.

Total registered users: 4810. About 1/3 are out of town users. Of course, though most don't stay overnight, those out of towners drop some money while here.

The library is the biggest draw into the city center. You'd think the Chamber of Commerce would know that, and you'd think a sharp business community would be able to figure out a way to exploit it. Apparently not.... Read More

As for that 'free' nonsense - and it is indeed nonsense - I draw your attention to:

http://lajuntablog.blogspot.com/2009/10/mccune-surcharge-for-tamarisk-hills.html

and

http://lajuntablog.blogspot.com/2009/10/water-water-everywhere.html

and

http://lajuntablog.blogspot.com/2009/10/lies.html


Sounds to me from Mr. Klob's comment and from other comments floating around that many golfers are completely unaware of the arrangements out there at Tamarisk Hills.

In addition to keeping all the profits from the cited income sources, Chiaramonte is pulling down somewhere around $20,000 from the golf association.

Given that Chiaramonte pays only a dollar a year rent and his utilities are heavily subsidized by We the Taxpayers, I'd say "free" is a term best left for the wind blowing out the golfers' asses.

You can find the Golf Association's rather pathetic 'budget analysis' here:

Fairway Follies

I'm sure you will agree after looking at those 'budgets' that whoever does those things is either incompetent as an accountant, or if he's a real accountant, is apparently trying to obfuscate what's really going on.

Two good ones from Chris Muir

Over on Day by Day:

Coin of the Realm

Suffer the Children

10/7/09

Letterman the Loser

Here's a good commentary on that barfbag, Letterman:

David Letterman Made Fun of Philanderers For Years as he Pursued Own Affairs

Excerpt:
n March 2008, Letterman was taking potshots at Eliot Spitzer, then governor of New York, who was embroiled in an investigation into a high-end prostitution ring. "It's so sunny and bright outside that, earlier today, Eliot Spitzer came out of a brothel squinting," Letterman cracked in a monologue. But in Spitzer's case, he didn't stop at lampooning. During an indignant rant, he called for the scandalized governor to step down. "I mean, can you imagine," said Letterman, "if this happened to me how fast they'd have my ... (backside) out of here?"

Apparently the mainstream media has different standards. They have always tolerated dirtbags like Letterman as well as Congress tolerates theirs.

Lies?

Our good pal and admirer "Calico" takes exception to our characterization of the water usage out at Tamarisk Hills. He/she says water use has gone down the last three years.

Not according to the water department.

"Calico" also "resents" the characterization of the handout-seekers at council the other night as 'rich white people'.

Sorry, Calico, but I was indeed there and saw not one brown or black face in the crowd. We took photos of everyone who spoke in favor of the handout/bailout/whatever ... all white faces there. Didn't see anyone from the north side of the tracks there either.

Try again. Do a little better next time. But as always, thanks for taking the time to comment ... you've helped make the case for us.

Oh ... one other thing ... the line item for that water in the city budget has gone up 33 percent over the last couple of years. You're hardly getting screwed by the city out there at Tamarisk Hills. You want to see who's screwing you take a look at the contract between the city and the Chiaramontes.

10/6/09

Well done!

City Manager Rick Klein revealed on the radio this morning that the reps from the City Employees' Association had come by his house this morning.

Why?

To tell him that if the money just isn't there for those COLA raises, then that's the way it is, and they stand behind him nonetheless.

There ya go. Well done, guys. I never enlisted in the Employees' Association because I don't like outfits that smack of unionization. I was once a member of the Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and I was greatly underwhelmed by them. Kind of a mini-UAW. However, I'll join an outfit that stands behind a guy like Rick Klein, and in fact, I just did so.

The ball's in the golfers' court, if we can mix a sports metaphor. Are we going to just see more selfishness, or are they willing to tighten up a bit too?

We aren't holding our breath over it, here at Blogger Central.

The McCune Surcharge for Tamarisk Hills

Or "fee". But not a "tax". (Wink wink nudge nudge ... "never use the word 'tax' ..."). McCune and Mark Sarlo got a great chuckle out of that one.

I'm not sure why we shouldn't use the word "tax". Apparently Mr. McCune and Governor Ritter, and possibly Mr. Sarlo, share the viewpoint that the citizenry - we hoi polloi - are too stupid to understand that in either case, the government has its hand rooting around in our pockets. In McCune's case, however, he did at least limit his money grab to the golf course.

But let's look at that a bit, shall we?

McCune indicated we would be surprised by the amount of money such a "fee" would bring in.

Actually, "we" wouldn't.

Let's look at something else. How about the city charges Chiaramonte fair rent for the operation out there? Right now, Chiaramonte is paying the city $1 per year for that entire operation. One buck.

Look at the airport. Rental for the T-hangars is bringing in $9,999 of the $10,000 in rental fees collected by the city. Chiaramonte's $1 makes up the rest.

How much of that $30,000 the golfers want to irrigate Tamarisk Hills would be made up by charging Chiaramonte fair rent?

Right now, Chiaramonte is keeping all of the profits from the restaurant, the pro shop, the cart rentals, the driving range. He pays $1 rent for all of that, and his utilities are subsidized by We the People. Why?

The golfers have stated that Chiaramonte is overworked and underpaid. Really? Then I guess McCune is correct with that "You'd be surprised ..." comment regarding how much a "fee" would bring in. How much could it bring in if the Chiaramontes are 'overworked and underpaid'?

Almost all, if not actually all, of the people who spoke before council last night have really good jobs - the hospital CEO, for example - or are retired from really good jobs. Yet none of them even hinted at raising the fees they pay to play. It's OK for our kids to pay more, but not for some of the wealthiest people in the city. I say screw that "fee" nonsense (don't say 'tax'! - yuk yuk wink wink nudge nudge) and just raise the memberships and greens fees and everything else out there by 20%. I wonder, though, how much of it they'd see, because if it were done that way, how would you be able to keep it separate from the Chiaramontes take?

The golf course should be run like a business. If the golfers want more money for more water, then raise their prices out at the golf course like any other business. Chiaramonte keeps the profits from the restaurant, the pro shop, the golf cart rentals, the driving range, and the city-owned apartment. He pays one dollar a year for that, and his utilities are subsidized by the citizens of La Junta. One of our avid fans, "Calico", takes exception to that 'golf cart rentals' thing, claiming that Chiaramonte owns the carts and so should keep the money from renting them. OK. I can't help it if the golf association is too collectively dumb to make that lashup pay by leasing carts themselves, renting them out, and using the take for course maintenance. How much is it? Well ... one course in the general area is only open six months a year, and they take in $17,000 just from cart rentals. There's half of your water handout. Add that to fair rent and where are we?

On top of that, the golfers have the unmitigated gall, the effrontery, to come before council and the citizens of La Junta and ask for more?

And we couldn't bring up The McCune Surcharge without mentioning the manner in which McCune got in his cheap shot at city manager Rick Klein. When the 'issue' of the city employees' and the COLA came up, McCune made mention of his 30 years with the city and 'how the employees always came first' when he was working for the city. The implication, of course, is that Klein was screwing the employees.

That's nonsense. McCune must be remembering an alternate universe, both in the nasty little slam on Klein and how well he and his cronies back then took care of the employees.

There was a lot of chutzpah present in Council Chambers last evening.

Water, water, everywhere?

La Junta's golfers, representing less than one percent of the town's population, and even less of the population of the surrounding area, showed up in force at last night's council meeting.

Why?

They want more money. They want at least another $30,000 to pay for the 45 million - yes - million - gallons of water it takes to keep their playground green and clean.

Despite the city's investment of tax dollars in SmartHead technology for the course's sprinkler system, the golf course has increased usage from about 40 million gallons to 45 million gallons for each of the last two years. In other words, while home owners and other business owners are moving to xerescaping, cutting back on grassed areas, the golfers have been increasing water usage by five million gallons a year.

And they want you to pay for it.

Mayor Rizzuto said - to tumultuous applause from the golfers - he will not support any budget that allows the golf course to deteriorate. On the face of it, that sounds like he pretty much caved in to their demands, but Rizzuto did mention other methods of course maintenance and design might be considered.

H.R."Mac" McCune proposed a "fee" be assessed to transactions out at the golf course, to include sales in the restaurant, pro shop, driving range, greens fees, cart rentals, and so on. Initially he blurred his suggestion with mention of the city sales tax, prompting councilman Eugene Mestas to ask for clarification. McCune said the "fee" (not a tax, he emphasized several times, wink wink nudge nudge) would apply only to the golf course,also noting that the intake from such a fee would be substantial. Surprisingly so. For a moment there, with all the yukking it up over the difference between a "fee" and a "tax" (wink wink nudge nudge) I though maybe Bill Ritter had joined the Golf Assocation.

Yes, I'd agree with that "surprised" bit. Remember, we have never been privy to just how much money changes hands out there at our tax-dollar subsidized restaurant and pro shop - which includes the rental of the apartment, the golf carts, and the driving range intake. All we have heard from the golfers is how the Chiaramontes are grossly underpaid and overworked. If that is the case, then how could we possibly be "surprised" by how much such a "fee" would bring in?

Meanwhile, of all the proposals, not one included raising the fees for the membership. Nope. With the exception of McCune's play on words, all of the golfers' suggestions had the taxpayer funding their 45 million gallons of water. Our kids took a 20 percent hit in swimming pool fees this past year. How about the golfers taking a similar hit in their fees? No? I didn't think so ...

One of the ideas presented had us piping - how and at what cost left up in the air - untreated water rather than RO water out to the course. While RO water might cost more than untreated water, I think we're missing a point here: How does that water usage fit with the overall water picture here in the valley? How does it jive with agricultural requirements? Relationships with downstream communities? Water allocations throughout the water basins in the state?

It kind of reminded me of all those heavily irrigated road medians up in Denver - you know, the ones where the water is pouring off the green and flowered medians into the gutters, right there by the sign that says "Well water is used for this irrigation".

Water is water, isn't it?

In any case, the issue has never been closing the golf course or letting the golf course go to pot.

The issue has always been transparency is what is being done with our tax dollars, particularly with regard to the contract that gives a privately-owned and privately-run for-profit business pretty much free run with a pile of tax dollars, and no accountability.

That's the issue.

The golfers have brought another one to the table, however, and that is water usage and how much of an already squeezed budget should be handed over to them for their playground.

Ed Salazar of the La Junta Employees' Association questioned that as well, when he observed that city employees are not receiving a COLA this year. A COLA is not a "raise". It's an "allowance" (wink wink nudge nudge), something that H.R. "Mac" McCune and Bill Ritter should be able to understand. "Cost Of Living Allowance".

Salazar said the Assocation represents all city employees. That is not entirely true. I am not a member, and have never been a member, and while I don't like not getting a COLA, it's clear to me that a lot of other people in the valley are flatlined as well. With the economy the way it is, I don't think I'd be bitching overmuch about COLAs.

Nor do I think, with the economy the way it is, I'd be caving in to a bunch of rich white people who are more interested in their own playground than what is happening to the rest of the valley.

As one retired fellow said ..."we'd probably move if the golf course wasn't here."

Highway 50 leaves town both east and west. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

10/5/09

"They both deserved each other ..."

"... Musharaf and the Americans ..."

While simpletons like Jesse Jackson are posturing and pandering to the radical left over inconsequential nonsense, they are missing an excellent tidbit that goes straight to the heart of the Republican administration:

Billions in US Aid Never Reached Pakistani Army

This was from 2002 - 2008.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The United States has long suspected that much of the billions of dollars it has sent Pakistan to battle militants has been diverted to the domestic economy and other causes, such as fighting India.

Now the scope and longevity of the misuse is becoming clear: Between 2002 and 2008, while Al Qaeda regrouped, only $500 million of the $6.6 billion in American aid actually made it to the Pakistani military, two army generals tell The Associated Press.


Even while money was being siphoned off for other purposes on Pakistan's end, the U.S. imposed little control over or even had specific knowledge of what went where, according to reports by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The reports covered 2002 through 2008.

The reports found that the Pentagon often ignored its own oversight rules, didn't get adequate documents and doled out money without asking for an explanation.

For more than a year, the Pentagon paid Pakistan's navy $19,000 a month per vehicle just for repair costs on a fleet of fewer than 20 vehicles. Monthly food bills doubled for no apparent reason, and for a year the Pentagon paid the bills without checking, according to the report.

Daniyal Aziz, a minister in Musharraf's government, said he warned U.S. officials that the money they were giving his government was being misused, but to no avail.

"They both deserved each other, Musharraf and the Americans," he said.


Robert Gates has been Secretary of Defense since 18 Dec 2006. Before that, we had ... Donald Rumsfeld, from 20 Jan 2001 till Gates took over.

It all happened on George Bush's watch. What has Barack Obama done to fix it? Or is he too busy apologizing and doing 'date trips' to Copenhagen?

Jesse Jackson rewrites history

Jesse Jackson, that paragon of Christian virtue, is on the 'blame Dubya' bandwagon over Chicago being flushed down the Olympic toilet.

According to Jackson, it's all because George Bush refused to sign the Kyoto treaty.

Jackson, another one of those Constitutional scholars who must have studied under Professor Barack Obama, apparently does not realize that the Senate must approve treaties, with a two-thirds majority. It's right there in Article II:

He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur ...

The US Senate voted unanimously against the Kyoto Accord.

When?

July 25 1997. Take a gander of the "Byrd-Hagel Resolution".

Who was president then?

William Jefferson Clinton.

Do you think any of the leftie moonbats are going to be confused by fact?

Not a chance. Jackson, the Virtuous Christian Pastor ("... be careful ... these are men of God ...) says otherwise.

10/2/09

Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion: We Lost The Olympics Because of Bush

"Losing" the 2016 Olympics is all George Bush's fault.

Yup. That's what the leftie moonbats are saying. Here's some commentary with links, from Bill Jacobson over on Legal Insurrection:

Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion: We Lost The Olympics Because of Bush

It couldn't possibly be because of murderous violence, political corruption, and a collapsing infrastructure. It has to be Bush's fault.

Whackjobs.

McChrystal's War

Good read:

McChrystal's War

Letterman the Consumate Scumbag

The guy is a real marvel.

Letterman is the piece of crap that took those cheap shots at Sara Palin's daughter. Remember that? When he said that Palin's daughter had been knocked up by Alex Rodriguez?

Palin had this to say about that:

I would like to see him apologize to young women across the country for contributing to kind of that thread that is throughout our culture that makes it sound like it is OK to talk about young girls in that way, where it's kind of OK, accepted and funny to talk about statutory rape. It's not cool. It's not funny.

She's right. It isn't funny. She also noted:

No wonder young girls especially have such low self-esteem in America when we think it's funny for a so-called comedian to get away with such a remark as he did. I don't think that's acceptable.

The Palin-bashers blew that off. Letterman's 'cool', you see. Such a hipster.

Turns out Palin was right on the money about what a creepy low-life scumbag Letterman is. Here's a guy using his position to have sex with his subordinates. It's like a bad remake of "Nine to Five". The boss is busy boinking his private stock, the secretarial pool. That's Letterman.

Then he went on the telly and managed to make himself look like the suffering victim. OK ... they bagged the extortionist, good deal. A crime's a crime ... but Letterman as a 'victim'? Give me a break.

We shouldn't be surprised, given that Letterman works in and with a crowd of people that think Roman Polanski is getting a raw deal. After all, according to Whoopi, it wasn't, like, you know, 'rape-rape'. It was just Polanski diddling a 13 year old. Not all that big a deal by Hollywood standards, and the man has suffered so, being exiled to all those luxury resorts.

What a collection of walking barf bags.

Heave Ho'in' the Big O ...

COPENHAGEN - Chicago was eliminated in the first ballot of voting for the 2016 Olympics on Friday, a stunning defeat for President Obama who put his capital behind an enormous campaign.

How could Obama have known there were so many racists on the International Olympic Committee?

10/1/09

"The policy's not there ..."

McChrystal Now Just One of Many Leaders as Obama Rethinks Afghan Strategy

Rethinks?

I have my doubts that much thought went into it in the first place.

Obama is discovering that there is a lot more to being the Commander-in-Chief than spewing out a lot of telepromptered sound bites catering to his far left moonbat base.

While he and his Chikaga henchmen are hemming and hawing over the 2016 Olympics, and coming up with more sound bites that amount to nothing of substance, our service men and women are dying in Afghanistan. Iraq, too, for that matter.

The war is apparently a low priority to the Commander-in-Chief:

Until Wednesday, McChrystal had spoken with Obama only once since he took command in June. Now he and other top military commanders are struggling to convince other members of Obama's national security team that McChrystal's recommendation for a troop increase should be approved.

Joe Biden is weighing in, now, apparently an expert on war-fighting:

Now officials like Vice President Joe Biden are pushing for a different approach in Afghanistan that de-emphasizes troop strength in favor of precise strikes on Al Qaeda, particularly with the use of unmanned drones in Pakistan.

The problem with drones, of course, is that they are not 'precise' strikes. We have killed quite a few civilians with those drones. Drones have their place, but they are not a panacea; they are not the way to win the war.

In April, Lahore newspaper The News published figures provided by Pakistani officials indicating that 687 civilians have been killed along with 14 al-Qaeda leaders in some 60 drone strikes since January 2008 - just over 50 civilians killed for every al-Qaeda leader.

US sources dispute the figures, but they will not cite their sources.

We've done this kind of thing in the past, you see, using 'technology' rather than actually engaging the enemy on the ground. However, our technology has improved considerably. Nowadays, apparently, we only kill 50 civilians for every bad guy. That's quite an improvement.

Chairborne commandos like Biden always have an answer. Too bad it's always the wrong one.

"I hope you knew to use a condom ..."

That's what our Billy Mays Pitchman President's 'Safe Schools Czar' told a boy who reported to him that he had had sex with an older man.

President Obama's "safe schools czar" Kevin Jennings said Wednesday he "should have handled [the] situation differently" when he didn't report an underage student told him that he was having sex with an older man.Jennings, the founder of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, was teaching high school in Concord, Mass., in 1988 when a sophomore boy confessed an involvement with a man in Boston. He told the boy, "I hope you knew to use a condom."

In a statement, Jennings said: "Twenty one years later I can see how I should have handled this situation differently. I should have asked for more information and consulted legal or medical authorities."

Twenty years later I'm surprised Jennings didn't jump the kid himself.

What is this nonsense? The man was a teacher. He occupied a position of trust and responsibility. And the best he could tell this kid was "I hope you knew to use a condom"?

Is that part of that Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education process?

Get rid of this clown. It's bad enough that Obama's thieving rats cheat on their taxes and plead stupidity, and get away with it.

Now we have one of them aiding and abetting pedophiles, covering up for one, and 'regretting' it when he's outed.

That makes it ... OK? One of those 'admissions of convenience'?

Fire this clown.

Obama's Safe Schools Czar

Ain't gonna happen, though. It isn't the Chikaga Way. Paying off one's pals is far more important.

Speaking of which:

Cause and Ineffectual