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Horton hears a WHAT from Rep. Markey?

Congress isn't all about taxing and spending, oversight of two wars and a health-care reform that targets one-sixth of the American economy.

No, sometimes it's about The Cat in the Hat. Freshman U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey, D-Colo., explains...

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Sen. Bennet, how do we renegotiate our taxes?

In the video below, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet touts health-care reform by recalling a conversation with a small-business operator in Colorado who said, "'The only people that I'm completely incapable of being able to negotiate anything with is my insurance company.'"

[Video queued up to :44]

We're concerned with another entity that won't take no for answer: THE TAXMAN.

If you drive a car, he'll tax the street.
If you try to sit, he'll tax your seat.

There's no negotiating with that guy!

See recent testimony to the Senate Committee on Finance from Chris Edwards, director of Tax Policy Studies at The Cato Institute, about the potential effect on small-business job creation from proposed Obama Administration tax hikes. In two words, NOT HELPFUL.

And DON'T MISS the look Bennet gives the interviewer, who says [at 1:50] , "Senator, I think a lot of people were surprised when they saw your name on that list (for a public option) because you've got a...In the short time you've been up here, people have thought of you as a centrist."

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Nanny State: bike-riding edition

"I guess I'm surprised at how much government people want to put in our lives," state Rep. Larry Liston, R-Colorado Springs, told Westword. "As if we don't have enough government already, they want it on our bikeways and streets and neighborhoods."

To prove his point, Liston took on a Democratic-backed bill in the Colorado legislature. The bill, which later passed the House, would require children "to wear helmets when using any nonmotorized apparatus with wheels that isn't being pulled," according to the Coloradoan.

Liston's amendment, which failed on Monday, would have also required...Well, see for yourself...

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Excuse me, Sen. Bennet, how about the STOP SPENDING ACT?

Appointed U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado is quite the self-styled redecorator of Washington, D.C., but he's picking out color swatches while the building burns down.

Today, he's announcing a whole set of reforms to ban lobbying by former members of Congress and even change the filibuster rule so that 55 (rather than 60) Senators must agree to end debate and vote on legislation. (But why not 54 or 53 or 52 or 51 or 50 or 49....oh, never mind.)

"This place does feel like 'Alice in Wonderland'," Bennet said on The Rachel Maddow Show. "It doesn't make any sense."

[Video is queued up to Bennet's comments at 7:40.]

He wants hundreds of billions of bailout money being paid back to go toward reducing the federal debt. That's a nice gesture, but considering that the federal debt is $12.5 trillion, it's like bailing out a boat that's under water.

He backed the Pay-Go legislation only to bypass it (along with his colleagues) for a $15 billion jobs bill.

Senator, please introduce the STOP SPENDING ACT and then VOTE AGAINST spending bills. That makes the most sense.

[Updated 3/4/10 to correct citation of federal debt.]

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Hickenlooper getting LIT UP by marijuana activist

The battle over regulation of medical marijuana in Denver is firing up pro-marijuana activist Miguel Lopez to call out Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.

"No Mayor Hickenritter!" Lopez shouted through a bullhorn during a protest Monday outside the Denver City and County Building. "No Governor Hickenritter!"

Seems not all Dems are "buds" with the mayor after all!

"We're going to be strong at the mayor's campaign for governor, voicing and making sure that at his campaigns our voice is going to be heard, you can let him know that," Lopez said. "We're not going to be disruptive or create chaos or disorder, but he's not our friend. I'm embarrassed that he's a Democrat. I think it's just a friendly face for the businessman that he truly is. And he's never taken a position on anything - on immigration, on marijuana. His position has always been, it's good to see people out practicing their First Amendment right, and doing that. You know? We don't need sideline Americans and I don't need sideline politician[s]..."

In January, Lopez was reportedly going to challenge Hickenlooper for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

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Rep. Lois Court's dim view of governing Colorado

The panel discussion was titled, "Ungovernable States: Prospects for Constitutional Reform in California and Colorado,” so we might have known what to expect.

Still, the statements from Colorado State Rep. Lois Court (who posed a stark choice between representative democracy and ballot initiatives; and objected to the concept of across the board budget cuts), gave us insight into why the belt-tightening of the Colorado state budget is decried by some Democrats.


What else are we to make of Court's remark [at 3:09 of the video above]: "So let's really think about what it is you sent us there for and what you want us to be providing for you with the tax dollars you send us, little as they are these days."

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Mayor Hickenlooper in 2009 on solar power

Make Colorado "the number one solar energy state" in America. So said Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper at a green jobs rally at the statehouse in February 2009.

[The full quote, at :54 of the video: "So, as mayor of Denver, I commit our city will work with the metro area - and I think I can speak for the entire metro mayor's caucus - and we will work with the rest of the state to make sure that we do have a comprehensive plan and we make this state the number one solar energy the United States of America."]

Now that Hickenlooper is running for governor, we're eager to hear if his view remains the same; if so, how he plans to accomplish that via policy and/or taxpayer subsidies; and how his thinking on renewables differs (or not) from the "New Energy Economy" of Gov. Bill Ritter.

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