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Colorado’s Mike Coffman is acting ‘UnAmerican’

By: wadenorris Wednesday May 23, 2012 6:17 pm

It seems that Mike Coffman of Colorado is doing his best to hand his congressional seat over to the Blue column, but for those not familiar with Mr Coffman, he is not just a dumb birther caught with a live microphone.
Mike Coffman was Colorado’s former Secretary of State before running for Congress.
And in 2008, when politicos thought Colorado could have been one of the deciding states in the Election, Mike Coffman did his very best to try to become the Katherine Harris of the 2008 election.
Let’s go back to that year in this diary:

“At Issue: Forms used by Voter Registration Drives. They include a place for people to include their Driver’s License Number, State ID Card Number or Social Security Number (only requires last 4 digits). There is a box present which states “I do not have a Colorado Driver’s license or Dept. of Revenue identification number” which people are supposed to mark if they are going to only give an SSN.
The Secretary of State has included in his Rules (dated July 2008) that any new voter who does not mark that box and only gives their SSN shall not be registered to vote. In mid-September he issued a memo to the County Clerks telling them specifically to not register anyone who does this.”

Coffman issued this ruling that said that people who did not check a small box would not be registered to vote.
This was in late July of 2008 – after voter registration drives had turned in tens of thousands of first time newly registered voters – many were from the group I was working with at the time.
After this, the New York Times found Coffman’s office were purging thousands from the voter rolls, far exceeding the number of people who died or moved out of the state.

Also, during the election year, Colorado Ethics Watch discovered through filed motions, that:

Coffman’s State Elections Director was discovered to be staying at a loft owned by the software salesman who manages the Voting Machines (DIEBOLD) for our state, machines that have already been de-certified, then re-certified by Coffman. She resigned pending an investigation, and it calls into question the veracity of our voting machine process.

hear that info here:

and was caught also doing this:

Mike Coffman broke the law last year by allowing his database manager Dan Kopelman to manage the database while he was running a Republican voter database company on the side.

Mike Coffman openly disenfranchised voters by voter purges, used onerous rules to attempt to disqualify newly registered voters, had his State Election director’s living arrangements being paid for by DIEBOLD, and, had his database manager running a partisan Rebublican voter database company while managing the supposedly non partisan voter database of Colorado.

Incidentally, Coffman ran for his congressional seat that year in 2008, using voting machines he approved and in which his office counted the votes for that district.

Mike Coffman may be a birther, but he is no dummy, and has shown in his past decisions as Secretary of State that he worked very hard to try to prevent people from voting for Barack Obama in 2008 in Colorado, which makes him not just a birther, but dangerous.

Oh, and by the way – the Democrat running against him is Joe Miklosi – and guess what he did before he ran for office?
He worked for Progressive Majority helping elect local Democrats to office in Colorado.

Joe Miklosi’s campaign has a petition to ‘stop hiding’ from Reporters on his ‘un-American’ comments on President Obama.

Also contribute to this Act Blue page “Mike Coffman is acting ‘Un-American’”

Just for fun:


2012:The year without a Winter

By: wadenorris Monday April 9, 2012 7:09 pm
Winter Vision

(By Kansas Poetry (Patrick) via flickr)


Last year in Denver,Colorado, there was snow on the ground through the end of April and warm temperatures were not really felt until mid May.
Since the end of February this year, Colorado has only had 2 days that I can count where there were wintry conditions, and that was with lows of 30 degrees at night. What I can remember though, are March temperatures in the mid 80s occurring on four to six different dates, mirroring average temperatures for mid June.

Trees have already blossomed, and there are grasshoppers, bees, butterflies and lots of pollen in the air – something we should not see until late May or early June.

The Washington Post has reported that these first three months of 2012 have shattered records, especially in March.

In March, at least 7,775 weather stations across the nation broke daily high temperature records and another 7,517 broke records for night-time heat. Combined, that’s more high temperature records broken in one month than ever before.

More from the Washington Post:

The winter that just ended, which in some places was called the year without winter, was the fourth warmest on record. Since last April, it’s been the hottest 12-month stretch on record, Crouch said.

But the month where the warmth turned especially weird was March.

Normally, March averages 42.5 degrees across the country. This year, the average was 51.1, which is closer to the average for April. Only one other time — in January 2006 — was the country as a whole that much hotter than normal for an entire month.

The “icebox of America,” International Falls, Minn., saw temperatures in the 70s for five days in March, and there were only three days of below zero temperatures all month.

“When you look at what’s happened in March this year, it’s beyond unbelievable,” said University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver.

NOAA climate scientist Gabriel Vecchi compared the increase in weather extremes to baseball players on steroids: You can’t say an individual homer is because of steroids, but they are hit more often and the long-held records for home runs fall.

They seem to be falling far more often because of global warming, said NASA top climate scientist James Hansen. In a paper he submitted to the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and posted on a physics research archive, Hansen shows that heat extremes aren’t just increasing but happening far more often than scientists thought. What used to be a 1-in-400 hot temperature record is now a 1 in 10 occurrence, essentially 40 times more likely, said Hansen.

And the reports of extreme winter warmth has gotten noticed by lots of people.

Occupy the EPA

By: wadenorris Thursday October 6, 2011 3:03 pm

Last week, concerned citizens gathered outside an EPA hearing in Denver to demand a change in the EPA’s ‘Haliburton’ loophole.

Testifying with them, was former EPA official Wes Wilson who filed a Whistleblower lawsuit against the EPA. Mr. Wilson was there specifically to testify about the EPA allowing Oil and Gas companies to inject toxic chemicals into the ground for the purpose of Hydraulic Fracturing, without disclosing those chemicals for public review as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act. This is known as the ‘Haliburton loophole’ passed in 2005.

Wes Wilson, who was featured in Josh Fox’s ‘Gasland’, had a lot of community groups with him including What the Frack and Food and Watch as well as families – many of whom have suffered directly from fracking fluid contamination on their land.

Dozens of communities from around the United States, from Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Pennsylvania are complaining that they are near these (fracking) activities and they are getting ill.
We have no rigorous investigation of how these air pollutants are harming people…

OccupyDenver HITS DAY TEN

By: wadenorris Sunday October 2, 2011 9:26 pm

A local Occupy update:

I was surprised when I went downtown today to learn that the Occupy Denver rally has been going on for 10 days. Surprised because according to my local news, there is no such thing as ‘Occupy’ anything.

What does make the news is that legislators – Democrats and Republicans – just voted to have 1.7 million dollars worth of gold re-plated on the Capitol’s Dome. It is the clearest example of what one 99 percenter described as a literal metaphor of the phrase

‘let them eat cake’

Pictures and videos on the 10th night of Occupy Denver…


Supreme Court deals setback for Environmental Activists and Refugees

By: wadenorris Saturday April 23, 2011 11:59 am

On September 21, 2009,
the Second Circuit made an important decision on a case known as
Connecticut vs American Electric Power.
Without going into too much detail, this was a case where several groups like the Audubon society were trying to stop coal plant emissions because it was harming the value of their land trusts. The lower court ruled as other courts have, that Climate Change was part of the political realm, not the courts.
However, the appellate court overturned this decision on the grounds that the Energy company were causing a public nuisance, and nuisance cases have been heard by courts for decades.

“Nowhere in their complaints do plaintiffs ask the court to fashion a comprehensive and far-reaching solution to global climate change, a task that arguably falls within the purview of the political branches. Instead, they seek to limit emissions from six domestic coal-fired electricity plants on the ground that such emissions constitute a public nuisance that they allege has caused, is causing and will continue to cause them injury.”

Unfortunately, as of April 20th, 2011, it seems that even the ‘liberal’ judges on the Supreme court are going to side with the Utilities :

Justice Elena Kagan also questioned the scope of the case, refuting Underwood’s argument that public nuisance pollution suit was like any other pollution suit. “All those other pollution suits that you’ve been talking about are much more localized affairs. One factory emitting discharge into one stream—they don’t involve these kinds of national/international policy issues … I mean, there’s a huge gap, a chasm between the precedents you have and this case, isn’t there?”

Justice Ruth Ginsburg, meanwhile, questioned the court’s jurisdiction in setting standards for emissions. “Asking a court to set standards for emissions sounds like the kind of thing that EPA does,” she said. “The relief you’re seeking seems to me to set up a district judge, who does not have the resources, the expertise, as a kind of super-EPA.”

This case has been watched particularly closely by lawyers representing groups of people who are likely to become Environmental Refugees.
Even though there are hundreds to thousands of people currently being displaced by Climate Change, they do not have a defined status as a group, hence they are not really ‘refugees.’

According to the definition by UN High Commissioner on Refugees, (UNHCR) a Refugee is someone either inside or outside their national borders fleeing persecution due to their affiliation with their social group – for instance ethic, religious, political etc.
But a person whose island is swallowed up by rising sea level has no rights under Refugee law, in fact, they are considered ‘Migrants’ meaning they are ‘voluntarily’ leaving their country.

Professors Andy Pittman, Pr. Jane McAdam and Anna Samson of the University of New South Wales explain this issue in this video. (an hour video)

Right now there are already staggering numbers of Refugees that need help.
10 million traditional refugees,
13 million refugees displaced within their own borders,
6 million refugees who were considered ‘stateless’
1 million ‘people of concern’

Add to that the costs associated with Climate Change.
The U.N. Development Program estimated that industrialized nations must provide $86 billion a year by 2015 for people most vulnerable to catastrophic floods, droughts and other disasters that scientists fear will accompany warming.

At some point, the Governments of the world are going to have to get involved.
What is the hold up for giving people displaced by Climate Change ‘refugee’ status?

It is simple. If you establish that people displaced by climate change are refugees, then the governments of the world are compelled to aid them and/or to stop them from becoming refugees.

Right now, it is a big leap to say that a wave washing over your island is a form of persecution, but the practices of the Industrialized countries through pollution, are in fact, the source of this persecution.
If this was established as international law, then Governments would have to cease and desist from engaging in this persecution, namely by no longer using contributing to the problem of Greenhouse gases.

This is a place where fossil fuel companies like Coal and Big Oil do not want to go.
If Environmental Refugees were given status, then that type of tax subsidy could make the US a participant in state sponsored persecution

The other main issue is cost. Governments around the world are dealing with a recession, so who is willing to step up and pay for humanitarian aid such as water purification, food, and the most costly, relocation?

And where will the people be relocated to? Immigration is already a touchy subject in this country as well as many other Industrialized nations.
My argument is one that is based on the Civil Rights movement. Industrialized nations are causing the problem, therefore they should pay the costs and lead the way to reform.
But that is just one idea.

There is a pending case centered on Environmental Refugees off of the coast of Alaska. This is the Kivalina Islanders lawsuit – which was reported in this article in the Atlantic.

This legal argument in this case on behalf of the U.S. Citizens living on Kivalina, is that much like the Tobacco companies conspired to hide documents proving they knew Tobacco was bad for a person’s health, the Fossil Fuel industries and energy companies also have conspired to deny climate change even though the have evidence otherwise.
In September 2009, I had the opportunity to be part of a panel on Environmental Refugees at an Environmental Justice conference at the University of Oregon Law School.
While I was there, I had the privilege of meeting
Brent Newell of the Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment, who is a legal counsel for the Kivalina people – he had been hoping the Nuisance case brought by Connecticut vs American Electric would be the turning of the tide vs. Coal Companies.

In addition to meeting the legal counsel for the Kivalina, I also got to meet Professor Maxine Burkett, of the University of Hawaii Law school.
I would say that she and I had the most similar view on this issue.
Her view on a remedy for the Environmental Refugees was to address this issue based on the model of reparations.
This model has 3 basic requirements.
1) An apology from the offending party for the action or harm.
2) Monetary compensation for losses caused by the action or harm.
3) A guarantee that this action or harm will not happen again.

This last requirement is the essential point.
If, for instance, you were to win lawsuits against polluters, then you would probably only get monetary compensation, but the pollution would probably still continue in other parts of the world.
With the reparations model, the pollution, which is the harmful action, would need to cease. And since pollution is worldwide, this would be the end of the fossil fuel industry as we know it.

To date, this solution remains the best hope to reverse the discrimination and persecution against Environmental refugees by the fossil fuel industry, since our Supreme Court doesn’t seem to have the guts to do the right thing.

Denver’s Mayoral Race – Pay To Play?

By: wadenorris Wednesday April 20, 2011 6:20 pm
Denver - Civic Center: Denver City and County Building

Denver - Civic Center: Denver City and County Building by wallyg, on Flickr

Denver’s Mayoral race is coming down to the wire with 4 potential candidates still in the mix – Michael Hancock, Doug Linkhart, James Mejia, and Chris Romer.This race shines a spotlight on the direction of our political process.

Does one become elected to higher office through public service or by means and connections to the wealthy?
In the case of Hancock, Linkhart and Mejia, public service to Denver was accomplished either by serving on the City Council (Hancock and Linkhart) or in the administration of the Mayor (Mejia).

Chris Romer took a different path to higher office.

In our neighboring state of New Mexico, Bill Richardson started an ambitious program to expand the New Mexico highway – called Governor Richardson’s Investment Partnership. This plan was funded by some creative investment plans – now known more widely as Credit Derivative or ‘default’ Swaps.
There was an investigation into this swap investment because, coincidentally, JP Morgan hired Denver Politico Mike Stratton to secure interests in New Mexico to the tune of $269,000 – when he was also connected to Richardson’s Political Action Committee.

JPMorgan paid Michael Stratton, president of Denver-based Stratton & Associates, $269,000 in 2003 and 2004 to help win public finance business relating to “state, county, and local government and corporate entities” in New Mexico, according to records filed with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. Stratton’s firm gave $2,000 to Richardson’s first gubernatorial bid in 2002, and Stratton advised the governor on his 2008 presidential campaign, according to New Mexico records and the firm’s Web site.

But wait, it gets murkier – Richardson actually had to withdraw his name from the Obama administration’s cabinet nomination because of the investigation by the feds into the too close for comfort relationship between Richardson’s swap funding plan to Democratic ‘bundler’ David Rubin and his group – CDR:

Earthquakes and Climate Change

By: wadenorris Saturday March 12, 2011 11:46 am

In September of 2009, just after back to back earthquakes in Samoa and Indonesia, I wrote an article entitled “Climate Change, A whole lot of shaking going on” where scientists have theorized that Earthquakes are increasing due to an unlikely cause – Climate Change.

The theory is that while Earthquakes on different Tectonic plates do not cause others to occur, for instance the Samoan and Indonesian quakes happened within one day of each other, they can be correlated to other quakes and seismic activity – specifically to ‘glacial quakes’ caused by fast melting and moving multi-ton glaciers on Greenland.

It’s been nearly 2 years since then, let’s reconsider this theory, and remember, 2 years is not even a blink of an eye in Geologic time.
Consider since September of 2009 the following events:
Haiti suffers the worst Earthquake in 200 years January 12th of 2010.
Next,While not covered widely by the news, an unexplained Earthquake swarm begins and continues in Yellowstone Park just 7 days later.
A month and a half later Chile is hit by an 8.8 quake that displaced 1.5 million residents.

Earthquake swarms have also been recorded in the Mt. Saint Helens region – setting off renewed fears of an eruption.
Increasing earthquake swarms in California are puzzling scientists but seem explainable due to its tectonic location, however, tectonic location can not explain the Earthquake swarms occurring now in Arkansas.
February 2011 – Christchurch, New Zealand has its worst quake in 80 years.
Finally, April of 2010 Iceland’s long dormant Eyjafjallajökull Volcano erupted closing British Airports for months. It appears that the same area began experiencing an Earthquake swarm on March 10th, 2011 – the day before Japan was hit by the 8.8 Earthquake – the worst in Japan’s recorded history.

While the number of quakes has remained constant, the number of high intensity quakes has increased. Already, in the decade of the 2000 to 2010 we have had more 8.5 Earthquakes than the 1970′s, 80′s and 90′s combined – 4 total, with none in the 3 previous decades.

Without dismissing other theories for these quakes – ranging from gas drilling to the prophecy of the Mayan calendar – consider the Climate Change theory again.

From the original article:
…the Earth’s tectonic plates have sensitive fault lines, which when triggered to move, cause earthquakes and volcanoes. As a sphere, the Earth ‘reflects’ vibration internally, so that an earthquake in the South Pacific is picked up by seismologists across the world — say in Alaska. The Indonesian quake resonated so strongly that it set off quakes in Alaska. (Samoa also had a 7.9 earthquake in March.)

Now, add in this to the equation. In Greenland, and to a lesser extent, Antarctica, ice sheets and glaciers are melting and more importantly, sliding in rapid bursts. This is caused by moulins, which are holes that melting water form from the top of a glacier to the bottom. The water then lubricates and melts the underside of the glacier, causing them to detach from the bedrock — and creating a ‘slip-n-slide’ for glaciers that weigh in the megatons — some the size of Manhattan.

Robert Corell, chairman of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, said in Ilulissat [Greenland] yesterday: “We have seen a massive acceleration of the speed with which these glaciers are moving into the sea. The ice is moving at 2 meters an hour on a front 5km [3 miles] long and 1,500 meters deep. That means that this one glacier puts enough fresh water into the sea in one year to provide drinking water for a city the size of London for a year.”
The glacier is now moving at 15km a year into the sea although in surges it moves even faster. He measured one surge at 5km in 90 minutes – an extraordinary event.

The result, each ‘slide’ of these multi-ton glaciers sets off an ‘ice quake’ that register an average of 3 to 5 on the Richter scale. This might sound minor, but these are occurring multiple times a year. This means that the Earth is being jolted repeatedly by these ice quakes, destabilizing faults lines which has many, many consequences.


The latest scientific discipline to enter the fray over global warming is geology.
And the forecasts from some quarters are dramatic – not only will the earth shake, it will spit fire.
A number of geologists say glacial melting due to climate change will unleash pent-up pressures in the Earth’s crust, causing extreme geological events such as earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.
A cubic metre of ice weighs nearly a tonne and some glaciers are more than a kilometre thick. When the weight is removed through melting, the suppressed strains and stresses of the underlying rock come to life.
University of Alberta geologist Patrick Wu compares the effect to that of a thumb pressed on a soccer ball – when the pressure of the thumb is removed, the ball springs back to its original shape.
Because the earth is so viscous the rebound happens slowly, and the quakes that occasionally shake Eastern Canada are attributed to ongoing rebound from the last ice age more than 10,000 years ago.
Melting of the ice that covers Antarctica or Greenland would have a similar impact, but the process would be accelerated due to the human-induced greenhouse effect.
“What happens is the weight of this thick ice puts a lot of stress on the earth,” says Wu. “The weight sort of suppresses the earthquakes but when you melt the ice the earthquakes get triggered.”

The Earth’s crust is more sensitive than some might think. There are well-documented cases of dams causing earthquakes when the weight of the water behind a dam fills a reservoir.

Alan Glazner, a volcano specialist at the University of North Carolina, said he was initially incredulous when he found a link between climate and volcanic activity off the coast of California.

“But then I went to the library and did some research and found that in many places around the world especially around the Mediterranean they see similar sorts of correlations.”
“When you melt glacial ice, several hundred metres to a kilometre thick . . . you’ve decreased the load on the crust and so you’ve decreased the pressure holding the volcanic conduits closed.

“They’re cracks, that’s how magmas gets to the surface . . . and where they hit the surface, that’s where you get a volcano.”

(written over 2 years before the historical eruption in Iceland)
And it is not likely to slow down, but may instead speed up:

quakes ranged from six to 15 per year from 1993 to 2002, then jumped to 20 in 2003, 23 in 2004, and 32 in the first 10 months of 2005 – matching an increase in Greenland temperatures.

That is tripling of earthquakes in a 15 year period and more importantly an exponential change in the activity.

This trend is causing changes exponentially. For instance, since the Arctic has opened an ice free passage, the Arctic is no longer a stationary sea — currents from the Pacific and the Atlantic are encroaching into the Arctic circle and creating an additional heating feedback loop — which is as equally dangerous as a heating feedback loop as the loss of reflective ice.
This video reports the feedback loop that Greenpeace scientists are seeing in Greenland – as reported by Al Jazeera – and curiously missed by the US media.

“Greenland’s ice sheet has more than doubled its contribution to sea level increases in the past 7 years due to rapid and unpredicted loss of ice….There are large volumes of warm subtropical waters flowing through these fjords very quickly (causing melting)…One glacier is traveling 38 meters every day.

This report indicates that glaciers have tripled in their speed of movement towards the ocean since 2004. There are many consequences to this activity.
First, Glaciers entering the ocean immediately cause sea level rise – threatening life for millions of people and animals of low lying islands..
Second, each time a glacier moves, another quake occurs – sending a jolt throughout the Earth – destabilizing numerous fault lines.
While the debate about the danger of Climate Change has been discussed in gradual changes throughout the next century, it seems that Climate Change is much more direct and destructive resulting in exponentially stronger Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Tsunamis.

It’s time for our politicians to stop make concessions to Fossil Fuel industries in the name of ‘Energy concerns’ and start making decisions based on limiting just how dangerous Climate Change is going to be.

Time to Roll out the Obama/Clinton 2012 ticket

By: wadenorris Wednesday November 3, 2010 1:37 pm

Nothing personal against Senator Biden, but the Sarah Palin – teabag type of GOP is here to stay.
Whomever the 2012 GOP ticket consists of, its probably a safe bet that one of the spots will be a mama grizzly aka Palin or Haley. Having Hillary in the VP slot will provide a buffer to GOP ‘Mama Grizzly’ attacks.

And, let’s face it, the midterms have shown us that the President needs to shore up the fractured base heading into his re-election.

This is not a new idea – it has already been written about and I have to agree with Mr. Hutchinson’s assessment: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/earl-ofari-hutchinson/obamahillary-is-the-winni_b_752014.htm

As Obama’s VP in 2012, Hillary will bring the same top notch political qualities to the reelection campaign that she brought to the 2008 campaign. … She will still be a role model and inspiration for millions of women young and old. She will prove that women can hold a top political power spot that requires providing valuable policy guidance and expertise on tough domestic and foreign policy issues…

Hillary will also bring another priceless quality to the ticket. She is not intimidated by the GOP smear machine.

That last part about not being intimidated by the GOP is the most important.

By many observer’s reckoning, President Obama came to Washington with a Senator’s mentality. He tried to reason with the unreasonable, and in the end, it took Obama an entire year to get us a watered down form of Health care reform that the base was not inspired by and that the Democrats were unable to campaign on in the midterms. Heck, the only people running the Obama platform of Healthcare were Republicans.

Biden has not been an attack dog for the President, certainly not garnering the fear and loathing of Darth Cheney.

The face of the attack dog in the Obama administration was Rahm Emmanuel.

Yet, Rahm proved his pettiness by axing Howard Dean and his successful 50 state strategy (how’s that working for us?) and by meddling in Primaries in Colorado and Pennsylvania which will be giving the incoming GOP House something to ‘investigate’ (read witch-hunt) – and he certainly did not know how to appreciate the activists, to whom he called ‘f*&cking retarded’.

The President can claim that he was too busy with the incredible mess that President Bush left him to inherit to notice these gaffes by Rahm, but that excuse is exactly that, an excuse – and people don’t want excuses, they want leadership.

By picking Hillary for VP, Obama can remain calm and collected and Hillary can begin to twist arms in the Senate, a place where she was successful in her own right.

The Sarah Palin/Michelle  Bachman echo chamber is about to get much, much louder.

We need a counter punch to that idiocy and Hillary is it.

This will also put the Big Dog back in the inner circle of the White House  – and let’s face it, Bill Clinton is still the most popular Democrat with the party faithful. This will also give Democrats a long term successor in 2016.

As for those that worry that putting Hillary in the VP slot will be akin to giving her and Bill too much power in the second Obama administration, I say this to you – we’d better do what we must NOW to ensure that there will be a second Obama administration at all – and deal with the other issues after he wins his second term.

I am sorry to say this so soon, Mr. President, but it is 3 am and you need some help in the White House.