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Panorama: The Sorest Loser

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Mile-High Headlines for Wednesday, December 3

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Musgrave Speaks
Marilyn Musgrave has spoken–finally. In her first public comments since losing Colorado’s Fourth Congressional District to Democrat Betsy Markey in last month’s election, the outgoing Republican congresswoman tells Georgia voters–in a pre-recorded phone call–that she lost to “leftist special interests” that “smothered the truth with vicious attacks and lies,” according to the Fort Collins Coloradoan.

Yet Musgrave still hasn’t conceded defeat to Markey, who won by a wide margin after a bitter race. Even Musgrave “concession watches,” like this one at The Colorado Independent, seemed to give up pursuit of the idea that Musgrave would make nice with Markey in the name of good political sportsmanship.

Musgrave’s robocall dialed 275,000 Georgia voters on Monday, highlighting the virtues of Senator Saxby Chambliss, a Republican facing a runoff with Democratic challenger Jim Martin. It’s not exactly a concession, but Musgrave’s admission of defeat might be as close as she’ll gets. As Westword asks, “Does this taste of Musgrave’s venom make you hungry for the whole meal?” By the way, it seems Musgrave’s efforts worked. Chambliss won the runoff, according to the Rocky Mountain News.

Ritter and Obama
Just to be clear about Governor Bill Ritter’s meeting with President-elect Barack Obama’s staff: Ritter isn’t seeking some kind of job in the Cabinet. As The Denver Post reported earlier this week, Ritter’s trip to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., were not part of a job interview. His spokesman, Evan Dreyer says, “Nobody from the Obama transition team has talked to him about that. He’s very focused on governing the state of Colorado.” Rather, the reason for the meetings is money.

Ritter wants to build bridges, natural gas pipelines, and power transmission lines–the kind of infrastructure he believes will help stimulate Colorado’s economy, according to the Denver Business Journal. Yesterday, both Ritter and Obama attended the National Governors Association meeting. There, Ritter said the state has 157 highway, bridge, transit, and aviation projects that will cost $1.2 billion. They could move ahead in coming months if a proposed $500 billion recovery package includes money for infrastructure and jobs, he added.

Here We Go Again

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As Colorado recovers from its post-election hangover, politicos like Senator Ken Salazar and Governor Bill Ritter aren’t resting easy. They’re already starting reelection campaigns for 2010, hoping to solidify this year’s gains for the Democratic Party. That’s according to The Hill, which notes that Salazar, who is seeking a second term, will hold a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts on Friday. Ritter will hold a separate fundraiser in Washington, D.C.

The big question is: Which Republicans will take on the two following the GOP’s lackluster performance last month? Some political watchers think Colorado might still be fertile ground for Republicans in two years, but so far only has-beens have been discussed for the governor’s race. As for a Salazar challenger, “some political insiders attribute the lack of attention to the belief that running against Salazar is a suicide mission,” according to Face the State.

Boulder Marine’s Invisible Wounds
Boulder Marine Lance Hering, who was arrested for staging his 2006 disappearance, told a detective he wanted to meet with a psychiatrist who specializes in post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the Boulder Daily Camera.

Military Families Speak Out, an organization that includes Hering’s parents, says Hering, who is now facing a possible desertion charge, had a “deep but invisible wound” caused by his service in the Iraq war. The group says Hering, 23, is “dealing with the consequences of choices he made in the grips of PTSD.” Hering and his parents did not comment.

The Fairview High School graduate’s disappearance resulted in a wide-scale search-and-rescue operation. Hering’s friend, Steve Powers, said back then, Hering feared for his safety because some Marines in his unit were involved in the deaths of innocent Iraqis. Last month, the Rocky Mountain News reported that Hering’s father, a pilot who was arrested for aiding his son after flying to Washington to meet him, hoped Hering would surrender to authorities.

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For Overprotective Parents
“When it comes to your children, do you worry about everything? Or if you are in control of that panic feeling, are you sure you are worrying about the right things? ” So goes the pitch for the Paranoid Parents Stop Worrying Shoppe in Cherry Creek North, which boasts research showing that 75 percent of parents “say they worry about everything, and have their danger priorities all wrong.” The name says it all.

Owner Christie Barnes, a mother of four young children, tells CBS4 she started the store in response to her own confusion about conflicting reports for dangerous products. The store does the research for parents, boasting everything from the best ski gloves to the safest soaps and toys, like magnetic planes and trains, and cutout dolls.

Freezing Time Ahead
After yesterday’s pleasant and breezy weather, a cold front arrived today and is expected to bring some snow to the city, according to CBS4. Snow is already falling in the mountains, and Denver can expect to hit a high of just 32 degrees. Strong winds may make it feel even chillier. On Thursday, the high temperature will be only in the 20s before a warm-up over the weekend.

Weather forecasts aren’t always on target, and just in case this one isn’t, NASA has teamed up with a federal weather agency and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company of Denver to create a $1.09 billion satellite meant to improve weather forecasting, among other functions, according to PRnewswire (via MarketWatch).

Nuggets Rolling With Billups
The Denver Nuggets decimated Toronto in a 132-93 victory at the Pepsi Center last night. And, once again, point guard Chauncey Billups helped lead the way with two game highs–24 points and 14 assists, according to The Denver Post.

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Plus-minus statistics show how many points a player’s team leads or trails when a player is on the court. Billups was plus-48, which is the highest rating since the Suns’ Amare Stoudemire went plus-49 in a game during the 2006-07 season. As Billups said, “My shot kind of got going, and anybody that gets it going like that, whoever you are, it’s tough to stop.”

Cheapest Gallon of Gas ‘Round Here: $1.44, My Mart, 4550 S Kipling St. (via www.gasbuddy.com).

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