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Panorama: The Financial Mind Eraser

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Mile-High Headlines for Wednesday, October 29

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Market Confidence, Consumer Skepticism
The wild Wall Street roller coaster is taking the economy on a harrowing ride. Log onto E-Trade. Sell the gold. Invest in mining. Buy more widgets!) Stocks soared Tuesday as the Dow Jones industrial average jumped nearly 900 points–its second-largest point gain ever (the first being earlier this month, on October 13). Colorado’s 50 most-traded public companies did quite well for the most part, according to the Denver Business Journal, including DCT Industrial Trust and Newmont Mining, both up by more than 20 percent. “But if investors hope the rally signals a change in the market’s fortunes, they may be disappointed,” according to the Los Angeles Times. As the Journal notes, the financial crisis has taken a “massive toll” on consumers’ views of the economy. The consumer Conference Board’s confidence index hit its “lowest point yet,” meaning holiday retail sales could be quite sluggish. And if consumers were thinking of charging their way back to the old days, they might want to read The New York Times, which notes that the days of mailboxes full of credit card offers and “sky-high credit lines” are coming to an abrupt end.

A Better Senate Candidate?
If moderate Republican Scott McInnis was running for Congress, he could totally whoop Democrat Mark Udall’s butt in the race for U.S. Senate. That’s according to none other than the boastful former Third District congressman himself. In an interview with The Colorado Independent, McInnis implies that he was the better man for taking on Udall than hardcore right-winger Bob Schaffer, who is trailing miserably in the polls. McInnis cites “difficulties with the right wing of my party” and concern about getting through the primaries in the interview. “Both parties have a pretty radical element to them,” he tells the Independent. Some members of McInnis’ party are upset by the remarks, according to the Rocky Mountain News, viewing them as bitter. But McInnis insists (via the Rocky) that his comments aren’t a criticism of Schaffer. Rather, he says he was commenting on the question of “how does this party rebuild after the election…” Meanwhile, The Denver Post reports it wasn’t for “purely personal” reasons that McInnis didn’t enter the race, which has been his story. McInnis now admits Republican leaders in Washington, D.C., told him they preferred to handpick a conservative–Schaffer.

Born Identity
Transgender individuals feel as if they are trapped in someone else’s body. Therapists call it “gender dysphoria,” and 5280 executive editor Maximillian Potter took a thorough look at the issue in “Second Nature” earlier this year, telling the story of Luc, a young Boulder County public school student born as a male. Luc became Lucia and “wanted to be treated like any other girl at school,” sparking controversy and concern. Now, Australian researchers have identified a link between an adrogen receptor gene “involved in testosterone action and male-to-female transsexualism,” according to BBC News. The bottom line in the study, paired with complimentary research, is that “biological factors are being implicated in gender identity.” In other words, Lucia and others like her appear more and more, according to science, to have been born that way. But try explaining that to the Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, which recently chided the University of Pittsburgh for revising its policies to protect students, including transsexuals, based on gender identity.

TV: The Fickle Side of Journalism
The 10 p.m. newscast by 9News is the Denver area’s top rated. And, as news director Patti Dennis writes, anchorman Bob Kendrick has been “a big part of our growth over the past five years.” Yet after the November sweeps, Kendrick will be swept aside, reports The Denver Post’s television critic, Joanne Ostrow. Dennis cites only a “significant time of change in our industry” and a “challenging economic climate” in the decision. It is unclear whether Kendrick, who declined to discuss the issue, would be able to move to a competing station. Dennis, meanwhile, has “no idea” whether Adele Arakawa, who probably earns around $500,000 a year, might anchor solo for a time. Kendrick’s salary was “presumably much less but still more than the station was willing to pay,” Ostrow writes. It seems a shame to lose Kendrick after reading Nancy Koontz in Blacktie Colorado: “When Bob Kendrick is unscripted and unplugged, he’s the funniest guy around!”

Snowboards Cause a Stir in Vail
Pictures of curvy vintage Playboy centerfolds on Burton snowboards’ new “Love” series are causing a ruckus in Vail and a debate over what’s appropriate on the slopes, according to the Vail Daily. The boards crop out the naughtiest bits but still show plenty of skin, leading one mom to apply the unwritten Magazine Rack Code to the boards: “If people buy a Playboy, they typically go to their bathroom or their bedroom (with it). They don’t sit in the middle of town square to view it.” Last week, The Bennington Banner in Vermont reported that the Burlington-based Burton faced as many as 150 protesters holding signs such as “Love does not equal porn.” Protesters also took issue with boards depicting self-mutilating cartoon characters.

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A Melo-less Coach
Carmelo Anthony won’t start in the Denver Nuggets’ season-opener tonight against the Jazz in Utah. He’s got to sit out two games owing to that DUI arrest last April, leaving coach George Karl looking to either Dahntay Jones or Linas Kleiza as possible starters, according to The Denver Post. But Karl hasn’t made up his mind. He’s trying to get the Nuggets to play better on defense, and Jones happens to be more “defensive-minded.” Yet Kleiza, who tends to be “offensive-minded,” might put some points on the scoreboard. Karl was asked if he’d favor putting the team’s game-point hogs–Anthony, Allen Iverson and J.R. Smith–on the court late in games when Anthony returns. Karl replied, “They can score–but can they defend?”

Pollster: Amendment 48, which would define a fertilized human egg as a person, looks like it will be roundly defeated on Election Day. A Rocky Mountain News/CBS4 poll shows the constitutional amendment–the first of its kind in the nation–failing 68 percent to 27 percent. Sixty-one percent of those opposed were in the “definite no” category…. And 64 percent of Colorado voters support Amendment 50, which could raise maximum gambling bets to $100, allow craps and roulette in casinos, and extend gambling hours in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek, according to another Rocky/CBS4 poll. Three-quarters of additional gambling tax revenue would go to state community colleges under the amendment.

Cheapest Gallon of Gas ‘Round Here: $2.26, Sinclair/Bradley, 5160 W. 65th Ave. (via www.gasbuddy.com).

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