Mile-High Headlines for Tuesday, October 28
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With one week to Election Day and Electoral College votes anticipated to heavily favor Democrat Barack Obama, disturbing but isolated pockets of hate are emanating from the heartland. Yesterday, federal agents foiled an assassination plot by two neo-Nazi skinheads in Tennessee, according to The Associated Press. The two men wanted to kill Obama and shoot or behead 102 black people, including school children, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. And in Colorado Springs, a deer head was thrown into the parking lot of an Obama campaign office over the weekend, according to police, who characterized the incident as a “threat,” according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. The buck’s antlers were removed to make the head resemble a donkey, the Democratic Party symbol, according to police. Obama’s campaign did not respond, but McCain’s campaign called the act “despicable,” perhaps “hate speech.” There have been threats reported on both sides. Recently, in West Hollywood, a display featured a likeness of Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin with a noose around her neck. Police determined the effigy was not a hate crime or threat because it was part of a Halloween display, according to Reuters. Meanwhile, Michelle Obama makes her way to the Springs today in a swing-state tour The New York Times says is “making more voters comfortable with the idea of a black first lady.”
Schaffer Is an Ordinary Joe
Oil businessman and former Congressman Bob Schaffer still hopes to replace retiring U.S. Senator Wayne Allard, although he’s lagging in the polls. The Republican is on a 20-county tour of the western half of the state, according to Steamboat Pilot & Today, and, it turns out, he’s sort of related to Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher of Ohio, according to the Rocky Mountain News. Neither Schaffer nor his wife, Maureen, have met Joe, a distant cousin of Maureen’s father, the Rocky writes. But the little tidbit is likely a welcome headline as Schaffer and his political brethren are hampered by an “unpopular president” and “fundraising doldrums,” according to USA Today. Yet Schaffer appears optimistic, telling the paper he expects most of the 10 percent of undecided voters (according to his own polling) to go his way. Meanwhile, a coalition of seven unions will send voters 49,000 mailings in support of Democrat Mark Udall, according to The Colorado Independent.
Really, Tom? Really?!
Either Tom Tancredo is running for governor in 2010 or he’s kinda joking about it. The exiting congressman, who ran for president on an “immigration reform” platform, told a gathering of the Mountain Republican Women that he was preparing to run, according to the Rocky Mountain Right. The conservative blog notes that the controversial Tancredo recently toured state GOP organizations and participated in press events that attacked Democratic Governor Bill Ritter. The sites bloggers aren’t very psyched about the prospect of a Tancredo campaign, opining it “could easily be the proverbial last nail in the coffin of the Colorado Republican Party,” noting that Ritter is “most vulnerable on fiscal issues” but Tancredo supported the $700 billion Wall Street bailout. PolitickerCO followed up, quoting a Tancredo spokesman as saying the five-term congressman was merely kidding around about running with former Colorado first lady Frances Owens on the same ticket. In a time-will-tell response, Rocky Mountain Right says it stands by its story.
War Continues to Make Soldiers Weary
Soldiers training at Fort Carson have recently griped about the cold, crappy food, and rough terrain full of cacti. As the war on terror enters its seventh year, the Fourth Brigade Combat Team is preparing to deploy yet again, and the soldiers “know it’s taking a toll on their ranks and straining their relationships,” according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. But duty is duty in an all-volunteer Army. And there is more bad news for the guys and gals in desert camo: Involuntary extensions of combat deployments for many soldiers will be extended through 2009, according to USA Today, “despite pledges earlier this year by top military officials to reduce reliance on the policy known as stop loss.” Last month, under the policy that keeps troop levels from plunging, more than 12,200 soldiers were forced to remain in the Army even though their service commitment had expired. The same number will probably be affected each month throughout 2009, says Army Lt. Col. Mike Moose. Meanwhile, another USA Today article reveals an alarming 15 percent of women vets have reported sexual abuse during military duty.
Woes Continue in the Newspaper Biz
You know news for the newspaper business is bad when the silver lining for Denver’s two dailies is that their drops in circulation are no longer the worst in the nation. Still, The Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News figured in a “pack of dismal sales figures,” according to the Denver Business Journal, which notes the Post’s Monday-Friday circulation dropped 6.5 percent in the six months ending September 30, compared to the same six months one year earlier. The Rocky’s sales were down 6.6 percent, and The Sunday Post’s sales decreased by 9.1 percent. And yet, as noted in Panorama yesterday, a new paper, The Denver Independent, is slated to launch this week. Meanwhile, Westword reports another paper, The Colorado View, hit the streets as the McCain presidential machine visited Denver last week, “thanks to the largesse of the Colorado Family Institute.” The paper features an article by Focus on the Family’s Tom Minnery, who wonders if efforts by the left to end discrimination will lead to the ultimate downfall of Western culture–specifically, unisex bathrooms.
Broncos Roster Revolution
Beset with injuries, the Denver Broncos, enjoying a bye week, made several changes to their active roster yesterday, bringing new, mostly alien names to the fore. The team has signed receiver Chad Jackson, a New England second-round draft pick in 2006, according to the Rocky Mountain News. Also part of the team is Matt Murphy, a veteran offensive tackle with experience in Buffalo, Houston, and Detroit. Center Greg Eslinger, a draft pick in 2006, and former Jacksonville cornerback Rashod Moulton were also added. And rookie cornerback Josh Bell was promoted from the practice squad. Jay Cutler remains the Broncos only active quarterback, but on Sunday Darrell Hackney is expected to be added.
Nuggets Are Ready To Defend
The Denver Nuggets open basketball season against the Utah Jazz tomorrow night and seem as prepared as they’ll ever be. Coach George Karl has put in place a new “defense-first philosophy,” according to The Denver Post, and the players seem to be embracing it. “My whole thing is we’ve been too offensively oriented, and hopefully this year we’ll be balanced,” Karl says. Guard Allen Iverson has also noted the improvement: “We do the things good on offense, but I think guys get more excited about getting stops.”
Audiodose: Colorado is a political battleground, and he generals have passed through the state entering the final week before Election Day. KUNC’s Brian Larson tests the climate of what promises to be a hectic week.
Cheapest Gallon of Gas â€˜Round Here: $2.29, Food Store, 2385 W. 84th Ave. (via www.gasbuddy.com).