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Dave Perry: Preoccupations

NOTES ON EVERYTHING FROM THE EDITOR OF THE AURORA SENTINEL  — dperry@AuroraSentinel.com @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook


Every week, and often every day, President Donald Trump reveals endless reasons why he should resign as president, overwhelming Americans with his incompetence and malevolence.

This week, Trump did not disappoint. Even someone as callous and puerile as he has proven himself to be over the last few years was able to lower the bar to a breathtaking new low on Tuesday.

Faced with renewed admonitions from the growing number of women who say they were sexually assaulted or harassed by Trump, a bevy of members of Congress demanded an ethics investigation, and many called for Trump to resign.

It’s difficult to rank the degradation of sexual harassment and misconduct, but what Trump has been credibly and repeatedly accused of clearly paints the picture of an immoral and sick man.

In a tweeted morning retaliation, a trademark of his sick ego, he attacked Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for leading the charge for his resignation.

“Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!”

There is no doubt Trump was contemptuously referring to Gillibrand as a whore. From Trump’s virtually criminal team and supporters, there’s only denial.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that Trump’s slut-shaming of Gillibrand never happened, and only those whose minds were in the “gutter” would read that into his tweet.

Trump may be a sordid, sexist pig and sexual molester, but Sanders, and her partner in crime, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, are sinister conspirators in Trump’s criminally insane White House scam.

It boggles the mind why the entire Congress doesn’t push through impeachment before lunch. Set aside Trump’s treasonous collusion with Russian Lord Vlad, his clearcut obstruction of justice and supreme malfeasance in just about everything he touches, Trump is undoubtedly the foulest human ever to stink up the nation’s capital.

Do not turn away from the nauseating and continuous train wreck Trump had wrought on the United States. This is not your average and tiresome political squabble between the left and the right, Trump is a vile and despicable man clearly incapable of behaving in any way close to what we would expect from a public servant, let alone the president. Don’t let this perverted cretin wear you down, America. Call out each and every odious scam, stunt and crime this political burning bag of poo sets off each day on America’s front porch.

As abhorrent as is Trump and his bumbling and smarmy gangster club that he has assembled in the White House, his Republican brethren are equally as vile in trying to use Trump to their own ends. Gleeful to have a president that will sign away America’s financial security for the sake of quick gains for the rich and the elite, Republicans keep looking the other way as their commander in chief rubs his sweaty political hands all over everyone in the country.

Stop him. Extort Trump the way he’s extorted the good will of too many Americans and exploited the dimness of others. Republicans who continue to allow Trump to act like a debased barbarian should ask themselves this: Would you stand by and allow someone like Trump to treat your son or daughter the way he treats others? What if Conway or Sanders were your daughter? What advice would you give someone who defends pedophiles, molesters and unstable liars?

Damn right you wouldn’t. Then how in the world can congressional Republicans continue to allow Trump and his band of loathsome lackeys to abuse all of our American sons and daughters they way they are?

We are all victims of his degenerate presidency. Do something.

Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook or reach him at 303-750-7555 or deperry@aurorasentinel.com

Hey.

I know it’s the holidays, and you feel like if you hear one more thing about President Donald Trump you’ll go off the grid, but this is important.

Amidst all the thick smoke in Washington, a group of 27 shrinks, now backed by thousands more, are warning the world that Trump doesn’t just seem nutty, he actually is batshit crazy.

No joke.

The people who wrote and endorsed, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President” sent out a missive to the world yesterday, via the New York Times, saying Trump’s extra-crazy recent stuff is a clear signal that he’s no longer qualified to operate a vending machine, let alone the United States of America. From Thursday’s NY Times website:

We are currently witnessing more than his usual state of instability — in fact, a pattern of decompensation: increasing loss of touch with reality, marked signs of volatility and unpredictable behavior, and an attraction to violence as a means of coping. These characteristics place our country and the world at extreme risk of danger.

Ordinarily, we carry out a routine process for treating people who are dangerous: containment, removal from access to weapons and an urgent evaluation. We have been unable to do so because of Mr. Trump’s status as president. But the power of the presidency and the type of arsenal he has access to should raise greater alarm, not less.

We urge the public and the lawmakers of this country to push for an urgent evaluation of the president, for which we are in the process of developing a separate but independent expert panel, capable of meeting and carrying out all medical standards of care.

BANDY X. LEE, NEW HAVEN

The writer is a forensic psychiatrist at the Yale School of Medicine

I’m afraid the news gets worse. Of course we could impeach him, but that would depend on a political party that believes God hates NFL players who won’t stand for the National anthem but don’t believe man-made global warming is caused by people. It’s a political party about to steal from the somewhat poor and give to filthy rich because they haven’t had a good day since Trump became president. Impeachment would depend on  a political party about to  elect a known and unrepentant pedophile to the U.S. Senate because winning is everything and there is no price too high.

I know.

Plan B would depend on the president’s cabinet, which consists of people like Betsy DeVos, Scott Pruitt, Ben Carson — yes, that Ben Carson. He really is on the cabinet and runs HUD. I know — Rick Perry, Steve and Mrs. Mnuchin, Cruella DeVil and Jeff Sessions. Taking the White House and nuclear football codes away from Trump would require his cabinet to first understand that Trump is whack-a-do nuts and then act on it.

I know.

In that case, the smarmy guy who wants to hang homosexuals, impose a national religion and thought everything Donald Trump has done or said to this point was brilliant and defensible, becomes president.

Clearly, you can see we’re screwed.

I only bring this up to point out for the last time — I imagine I’ll soon be in a journalist concentration camp before Christmas  and unable to say this publicly after that — almost every single newspaper in the country, especially this one,  told you not to vote for that ass hat and warned you that this would happen.

So good luck, America. You’re going to need it. And happy holidays.

Follow @EditorDavePerry on Facebook and Twitter or reach him at 303-750-7555 or dperry@aurorasentinel,com

EDITOR’S NOTE: Republished from Thanksgiving 2014. Bone appetite, folks.

I am going to change your life in the next 869 words. It’s starts with this touchstone: Thanksgiving dinner sucks.

It doesn’t have to. Despite what people in NYC think, Colorado is the nouveau nexus of the foodie world. Now of course New Yorkers will spit up their dishwater-coffee when you say that. New York, however, is a city that gets all noisy about how to pronounce “How-stun” Street, retelling it like your great-uncle works into untold conversations the time he rode an elevator with Kay Ballard. New Yorkers brag about commuting in underground cattle-cars that reek of urine.  They think Sam Adams makes the best beer on the planet. It’s best to humor them, lest they all move here.

But we know better. Colorado knows that things like tomatoes, peppers and peaches love heat and sun. They hate humidity, rainy summers and smog. Cattle and sheep that eat grass without having to wander all over Texas to find some produce a far superior steak and roast than cows force-fed corn and hormones in a muddy pen full of dung. And when it comes to adding skill to better ingredients, chefs in Colorado have broken away from a food world focused on theatrics because they’ve grown bored with flavor and texture. And that brings us back to Thanksgiving dinner, which sucks.

Let’s start with the main course: Turkey. Anything that is “better” when you soak it in saltwater, cover it in bacon, drown it in butter, baste it with broth and cram it full of herbs, just in hopes of having it taste less bland, dry and tough than the sponge it really is, does not deserve the starring role in your annual, “Night Before Christmas Shopping Eve” soirée. Most historians agree that earlier Thanksgiving dinners were dominated by venison, corn and goose. Turkey came later because it was a plentiful, cheap bird that lived in the wild in most parts of the country. But that familiar fowl is no more like the Volkswagon sized bowling balls in you grocer’s freezer than a tea-cup poodle is to a wolf. You have to do creepy things to modern turkeys in your kitchen sink that would get you arrested in some states. The only thing that can cook a behemoth like that — and keep your family from missing out on Black Friday cheap-flat-screen-TV fights at Wal-Mart because they were indisposed by a wee bit of stubborn entrail bacteria — is heat and time. And what makes farm-raised turkeys taste like carpeting? Heat and time. There you have it.

But even if you get a reasonably sized bird and deep-fry it, or even if you sort of like dry, tasteless, chewy meat, the rest of the dinner is equally a disaster.

Green bean casserole? Please don’t inflict this on people. If your friends say they love it, they’re lying. Green beans are almost interesting when they’re picked very young and immediately blanched for just seconds and teased with a little butter and salt. But canned or frozen so that what little flavor they once had is then masked with canned soups, salt, sour cream, salt, those nasty, greasy fried onion things, salt, nuts, canned chow mein noodles (a felonious assault on your palate all by itself) salt, breadcrumbs and a little more salt? That’s not food, dude. Your family eats it to mop the taste of the floury, internal-organ gravy out of their mouths.

That brings me to this repeat offender: Jell-O salad. Any kind. All kinds. Gelatin is the meanest thing science ever did to humans. It is not the product of chefs and cooks, but the invention of a generation, an industry and a mentality that brought us DDT, Pine-Sol and the Atom Bomb. Granted, in the most skilled kitchens and with the greatest care, gelatin can be transmuted into the rare delectable aspic or souffle. But in the hands of your sister or cousin, armed with fat-free Cool Whip — whatever the hell that is — Miracle Whip, stale pecans, mercilessly canned peaches and pineapple that never did anything to anybody, cottage cheese, colored marshmallows, various boxes of instant pudding, and the most galling element of all, shredded carrots, well, let’s just say courts have stood in the way of punishments that aren’t so cruel.

To be fair, a couple of things that traditionally make it to the Thanksgiving table are worthy of the occasion: mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. Even my brother, who loves Vienna sausages on saltine crackers and prefers Totino’s pizza over the best pies in Denver, cannot ruin mashed potatoes. I’m not talking about anything that comes from a box, can, tube or plastic container. Just russets or reds, boiled and befriended by some butter, salt, pepper and milk, make the whole world and Thanksgiving dinner a better place. If you’re talented and understand just how much horseradish, roasted garlic or even basil keeps from becoming a nuisance, then all the better. And for dessert, winter squash made into a sweet custard resting in a buttery crust is an autumn natural, that day or any other.

And that’s where I’m going to change your life. The solution to all of Thanksgiving dinner’s woes are revealed in the answer to these two easy questions: If Thanksgiving dinner is so fabulous, why is it we only suffer through it once a year? And on your birthday, on your anniversary, at graduation, on the night of your wedding, when your best friends in the whole world come over, is this what you would choose to eat?

I didn’t think so. So do yourself, your friends and your family a huge favor. Order tamales today. Call the butcher to get that prime rib. Eat those steaks you miss from this summer. Have pork tenderloin roasted in rosemary, pears and balsamic vinegar. Have a pancake dinner. Anything but that repugnant bird. Unless of course you really like it, and then you’re probably from New York City.

And off to shop for the stuff to make my famous cranberry-salsa-and-melted-ice-cream relish, I’m outta here.

Five years after what was then America’s worst massacre, we’re just as vulnerable to terrorists among us as we were the night James Eagan Holmes opened fire during the Aurora theater shooting.

Time hasn’t dulled the panicky feeling I get when I recall the look on Tom Sullivan’s face outside Gateway High School as he desperately flailed a photo of his son, Alex Sullivan. Just hours after the shooting, when it was still unclear how many were dead or injured and who they were, a panicked Tom Sullivan begged other victims and rescuers for information about where his son was.

The memory is as visceral today as it was watching Tom five years ago. For that instant, I lost my child, too. That was just the beginning of a ghastly river of horror as details of the attack unfolded, all the while rescuers dealt with booby traps set by Holmes in his north-Aurora apartment.

That we could grow that kind of horror from within and so easily allow it to overwhelm us at a movie theater was baffling. As it turns out, we had stood by while a smart, awkward nerd from California, who was hopelessly sick, did this to us.

Five years hasn’t diminished that gripping shock when I recall those days of staggering death and terror. It’s just as astounding.  So I don’t like or really understand these annual commemorations. It’s still too soon.

 It’s still so fresh and sharp that it stuns me even more now as even deadlier attacks from within beset America.

How, after hundreds of children and dads and pals and lovers have been brutally gunned down in public can we, as a nation, shrug it off as just the price we pay for being a free country?

This isn’t freedom. Freedom isn’t a predictable panic every time a school or college shooting alert comes across your phone, petrified that it might be at your own kid’s school. I can’t justify terror and murder as the fair price to be paid for anything.

Rather than allow for adult conversations about what we can do to stem the growing herd of sick and warped Americans willing to murder strangers in public, we politicize it.

Mass murder is not a partisan affair. Ignoring it is.

And that’s exactly what Americans are doing here. In a country where no challenge has ever, ever been too great, the battle to keep our sickest friends, family members and neighbors from shooting us dead at malls, theaters, schools and night clubs isn’t beyond us, it’s just beyond discussing.

Held hostage by demented bullies at the National Rifle Association and their subservient puppets in Congress and state legislatures across the nation, politicians won’t even allow experts at agencies like the Center for Disease Control to study gun violence. We can’t even do the science because of politics. And as most Americans well know, science has saved Americans’ asses many times over. It can’t when it’s bound and gagged.

Like most Americans, I get it that we’re not going to gun-control ourselves to Nirvana. But there is a long list of common-sense gun limitations that deserve fair discussion and won’t because the NRA, their mindless gun-nutter minions and the politicians who suck up to them will not have it.

They are ready and willing to let you or someone you know be the next Tom Sullivan, drowning in terror and panic, begging gods and strangers that it wasn’t their son or daughter this time.

We have to have the discussion about gun controls because we don’t care about mentally ill people in this country. We know damned well that every one of these demented mass murderers was desperately sick. But for whatever reason, we pass off mental illness as weakness. I can’t imagine anyone telling a cancer victim to suck it up like we do someone having their sanity destroyed by their own brain.

Recently the country has panicked over what to about opioid addicts and lethal overdoses. Yet for endless decades, the death and misery toll from mental illness has dwarfed the opioid problem.

And now, even mental illness is off the table for discussion by the NRA regime. Imagine what a psychological competency test might look like, and imagine how many gun-extremists would fail such a test if it were required for gun ownership.

So I don’t like these anniversaries of tragedies. I do lament the wonderful lives lost or horribly changed by what Holmes did, but I can’t get beyond all the horror from that day and the days that followed. And I can’t get past the fact that five years after the Aurora Theater Shooting, more than 20 years after Columbine, after Sandy Hook, after Pulse, after hundreds of shooting victims, we haven’t done a damn thing. Surely we can do something to make next year’s anniversary mean something different.

Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter or Facebook or reach him at 303-750-7555 or dperry@aurorasentinel.com

President Donald Trump yesterday applauded his son’s “transparency.”

That sole statement issued by the president sums up the noxious situation Trump, his son and the nation find themselves in: The Trump Administration is sinking into a quagmire of lies, treason, malfeasance and obfuscation — and they’re dragging the country down with them.

After learning that his son, his son-in-law and his former campaign manager gleefully sought out a Russian lawyer last summer in hopes of scoring Kremlin intelligence they hoped would be damaging to Hillary Clinton, Trump said only that his son is a “high quality” person, and he should be lauded for being so forthright.

“High quality person.” Who talks like that? Who says something like that about their child, especially one who now faces serious allegations like treason, conspiracy and collusion?

Like so much of what Trump and his administration say, the specious remarks are at best delusional, and more likely just more lies and deceit.

In reality — and despite what this administration and its supporters say, there is still reality and it is indisputable — a months-long investigation by the New York Times revealed that Trump campaign officials had been lying about never having met with Russians about Clinton intelligence, nor even knowing anything about it. For the past few days, as the Times investigation closed in on Trump Junior and the story of how he pursued a Russian lawyer after being given a tip, the president’s son kept revising his story. Finally, on Tuesday, he suddenly released damning emails on Twitter, just before the Times was about to publish them.

The whole world knows this was not an act of transparency, but one of desperation. Clearly, Trump Junior and his father hope that Americans will think that there is nothing to hide nor be ashamed of in the emails, and that the move to release them was one of righteousness.

The stunt was subterfuge. The emails are wholly damning.

Republican defenders of Trump — who are thinning in ranks every day — have said this and the entire investigation are overblown.

This is the quote that belies that hogwash. Trump Junior, in his own emails, where he anxiously anticipates getting a load of dirt on Clinton from the Russian government, says to his sources: “If it’s what you say, I love it especially later in the summer.”

He loved the idea that an enemy government had collected intelligence on a former U.S. secretary of state. He loved that American adversaries would offer to hand the secrets over in hopes of throwing the election in favor of Donald Trump. And for months now, Trump Junior, son-in-law Jared Kushner and campaign manager Paul Manafort, have sat on all of this while continuing to lie and say they never did what they’re accused of doing.
Trump Junior is transparent alright. He tried, and possibly later succeeded, in conspiring with the Russians to get damning intelligence on Clinton in hopes of helping his father win the presidency.

Such a high quality person.

In the meantime, Trump inexplicably and relentlessly denies that the Russians meddled in the last election. Just days ago, after the G-20 summit, Trump suggested that the U.S. and Russia collaborate on preventing the very cyber security theft the Russians committed against the United States and used against Trump’s political opponent.

The truth here is shocking. Whether all this is a manifestation of the Trumps’ stunning malfeasance or whether it’s just part of the unfolding drama of treachery, it’s just as breathtaking that some Congressional leaders are so cavalier about it.

Anxious to move their agenda at any and all costs, they, too, should be lauded for their transparency.

Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook or reach him at 303-750-7555 or dperry@aurorasentinel.com

Not even two months in, the world has already run out of metaphors to describe the Donald Trump presidency.

On the bright side, the death toll appears to be 0 — so far. As with everything with Trump, however, there’s a caveat. The tragic death of Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens was the result of a mission engineered before Trump stormed the White House. That he exploited the horrific loss for political gain speaks only to his brief legacy as Washington’s most outrageous carnival barker, a feat not to be dismissed.

True, human casualties haven’t begun to rack up yet, but the collateral damage Trump & Co. has foisted on honesty, America’s righteous reputation, tolerance, justice, virtue, the environment, the poor, morality, the wretched, the Office of the U.S. Presidency, human dignity, the sick, foreign policy, truth and, above all, American camaraderie, is breathtaking.

We have become the Divided States of America. And within every state, battles flare daily between “Us” and “Them.”

In just the past few days, the Trump administration:

• privately made a bid for war with nuclear nut-cases in North Korea, allowing only a right-wing blog writer to witness the shocking development.

• released a budget blueprint that would cut deeply into programs protecting the working poor, the environment and ailing rural communities to beef up military spending, already larger than what the world’s other top 13 countries spend combined.

• persisted in forcing his staff to perpetuate discredited lies that President Obama spied on Trump before the election and coerced the British to help him. It’s now become a multi-international incident that not only has brought a great deal of shame and ridicule upon the United States, Trump may have finally delivered the deathblow to his credibility.

• vociferously backed an ill-conceived plan to modify Obamacare that does nothing he promised as a candidate for president, It’s under siege from conservatives, liberals, doctors, insurers, providers, hospitals, researchers, Republican governors and powerful groups that represent older and poorer Americans.

• fell deeper into a quagmire of ties between Trump’s political associates and Russia and its interference in the last election.

• blasted one of the most critical aspects of American constitutional government when new courts overturned Trump’s latest attempt to ban Muslim immigrants and visitors.

Those were the week’s highlights.

Despite the gravity of each and every one of these calamities and the tirades and tweets each outrage prompts, he continues unhampered. Congressional Republican leaders let him. Starved for the power to finally run the show and seeing Trump as just the stooge they needed, GOP leaders coyly look away from Trump’s bamboozling. It seems a small price to pay for the Capitol’s political gold diggers.

They’re unnerved by protests and sinking polls but unmoved knowing that history will not be kind to their folly. They’re clamoring unafraid to get on board Icarus Airlines with Trump for a quick trip to disaster. Most Americans feel sad that poor people have to go back to being sick as well as poor under the proposed changes to Obamacare. But God help the congressman who votes on a health-care bill that raises the insurance rates of a 63-year-old unemployed steel worker or coal miner five times what they’re paying now.

As a country, we’re already exhausted by all this.

It’s depressing to think that for years to come we all must hope that whatever crazy or stupid thing Trump does or says today, something or someone will prevent him from bringing a world of hurt into our own lives.

Our luck is running out, and it’s amazing that the heavy smoke in the cabin has only got a few key Republicans worried.

The rest of us are left to watching out the window for parachutes from the cockpit, and digging for new metaphors and similes to get through another week.

Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook or reach him at 303-750-7555 or dperry@aurorasentinel.com.

Are there any adults left in the right wing of the Colorado Republican Party?

The whiny political toddlers of the state tea party are having a full blown Trumper Tantrum over a bi-partisan attempt to fix Colorado’s crumbling roads.

The timing couldn’t be worse. After years of ugly political kick-boxing in the Colorado Legislature, Democrats and Republicans have miraculously offered a bi-partisan solution to raise $3.5 billion to keep state highways and byways from sliding into third-world status. It calls for raising the state sales tax 1 penny on every dollar’s purchase. It seriously lowers license-plate fees and raises  only about half of what’s needed for overdue road construction and repair.

One damn penny when you spend one damn dollar. And the whiny tea party brats aren’t having it.

Led by the apparently tanked thinkers at Golden’s Independence Institute, the state’s pied pipers of parsimony, the tin-foil hat brigade has begun their own statewide campaign. They want to ask voters to force the Legislature to spend billions on state roads — without raising any taxes. They demand lawmakers steal the money from other parts of the budget.

It’s titled, “Fix Our Damn Roads.”

It’s damn dangerous nonsense, is what it is. If you’ve overlooked a few things, let me point them out:

• This is not a grass-roots effort to take back state government being driven over the edge by drunken liberals under the gold dome. Colorado’s state government has long been a bunch of notorious tightwads. They spend state money like it’s their own, because it is. Colorado has never, ever risen past average for state taxing and spending.

• The Independence Institute is a affable confederacy of crackpots who consider their brand of esoteric anarchy a breath of fresh political air. In reality, the likes of crazy-ass Tom “Nuke ‘em” Tancredo and crazier-ass John “Ten-Commandments” Andrews are the engines of political flatulence stinking up Colorado’s venerable Republican Party. It’s the party of  John Love and  Ralph Carr.

• The Independence Institute is the bent think tank that has thunk up previous gems like essentially ending any and all gun control. Their mission is to crush any politician who even thinks about wild gun regulations like, oh, universal background checks. They spotlight their cause with an occasional confab called, “Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Party.” There, the frat pack peels off a few rounds, throws back a few shots and smokes a few cigars in jovial Ayn Rand fellowship.

• They never met a charter school they didn’t like, no matter how miserably they fail.  They’ve twisted school board elections to promote charter madness. Obamacare? The only thing that makes them crazier than laws trying to keep guns out of the hands of mass murderers is legislation that keeps poor people out of pricey emergency rooms by getting them in to see doctors before it happens.

• Their brand of government goes way beyond what Colorado has long known as conservatism. With a charming chuckle and a clever quip, they endlessly try to convince anyone that things like mass transit is a communistic cancer, eating away at Colorado’s last chance to have a 20-lane autobahn right through the center of Denver. Bike paths? The work of  ISIS.

• They honestly believe that the state’s public schools are awash in wasted money, thrown away on lavish things like teachers salaries than bump into the $50k range after decades of service and expensive college-degrees.

That’s who wants Colorado to fix the damn roads with a budget hamstrung by the TABOR constitution conundrum they helped inflict on the state. It’s an idea so damn good that no other state has gone there in the 20 years it’s destroyed Colorado’s infrastructure.

Here’s what they won’t tell you: Real Colorado Republican conservatives have been in the thick of the state budget with Democrats for decades. They’re hardly a tax-and-spend bunch. Most come from rural roots planted in Colorado farms, ranches and small businesses. They don’t spend their days in front of spreadsheets at some delusional stink tank in Golden. They run real businesses and have real lives in a real world. They know that if you don’t fix a leaky barn roof now, you’ll spend way more in the future — and then lose your hay.

Unlike these damn fools who think they shouldn’t have to fix the damn roof because they had to pay for the damn groceries, the adults at the Capitol know you have to do both. Being a grown-up is damn hard.

So state lawmakers have chiseled the budget to bare bones. In a state where asking voters to raise sales taxes a damn penny on a damn dollar is seen as suffering from acute political incontinence, Colorado Republicans and Democrats went there this week by offering the bi-partisan House Bill 1242.

And they got petulant pout. These people actually think that the relative paltry sum that Colorado spends on film-industry incentives and bus service to ski areas will pay to add lanes for cars-only on every road in the state.

They want to turn Colorado into one of the states that it seems like everyone in the country is escaping from to move here. If you think their brand of living in a cave and sleeping all night in your recliner with a cocked gun in your lap is a good time, move to Montana.

I don’t want to give up my state to libertarian extremists.

I don’t know yet if I’ll support the tax for roads measure. I want to see where the money will go, and I want assurances it’ll go there.

But I know I will happily give my Colorado government, that is made up of my neighbors from all over the state, my damn penny to fix my damn roads so I can damn well get to where I’m going.

Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook or reach him at 303-750-7555 or dperry@aurorasentinel.com

Dear CIA/NSA spook in my iPhone,

I feel like I need to explain a few things that I’m worried might be taken out of context in your office in Washington, or Punjab, if the CIA has — like everyone else — outsourced your stuff. If you’re in Punjab, I’ll type louder.

I feel kind of silly doing this, but after the news yesterday from Wikileaks that y’all are snooping on everyone through our TVs and cell phones, I started thinking about what you might have seen and heard.

Unlike so many politicians and celebrities, most of us don’t want the world to know our little eccentricities.

I don’t know if I have a smart TV. I know it outsmarts me. That’s why I had a kid. I wonder if you’ve had to stare at me gaping at the TV and snorting uncontrollably at the same three Melissa McCarthy movies I watch repeatedly. If you have seen me, I want you to know I don’t dress like that when I leave the house. By the way, I wasn’t hiding the last Reese’s peanut butter cup behind the couch cushion last fall after Halloween, I was just keeping it there so it didn’t melt. I’d appreciate it if we could keep that just between us.

All that stuff I said about President Trump while watching the debates, I was only kidding. I know there’s no way he can lodge things that large in his lower intestinal tract. It was a joke. Heh, heh.

As to my phone, I’m sure some of those texts sounded pretty odd. Let me explain. My pal, Reed, and I joke around a lot. Neither of us ever had any intention of actually waterboarding Trump with his own wine and a can of night-glow spray paint. Hell, we don’t even have that waterboard table any more.

About that Slap Ted Cruz ‘Til He Cries app on my phone. My daughter put that on there. I only played with it a few dozen times. The rest were people who just picked up my phone in the newsroom, I think.

All those Google searches about “What is today?” and “What time is it?” I just couldn’t read the date on my phone.

Regarding all those videos of dogs pooping? Evidence for when I turn my neighborhood scofflaws into police.

The numerous queries about itching? I was asking for a friend. Same with those searches for how to get un-high when you’ve smoked too much pot. And, no, I did not actually try drinking cayenne coffee. I was just curious about what the side effects of that would have been had I actually tried it.

Also, I know there are no exercises to make all those body parts bigger, I was just wondering what some people believed.

You should probably know that, as to all those pictures of run-over animals, I have a friend who studies road kill as kind of a personal project. Somebody else put all those props on the little squirrel corpses. Honest. Except the one with the Snickers bar wrapper.

And, Mr. or Ms. Spook, you gotta believe me that the Daddy Digs It Yeah, Yeah Yeah playlist was a joke planted there by my kid. I know who Nickelback is, but I’ve never listened to him. Same with all those Abba and Justin Bieber tracks.

Most important, if you’ve been listening to my conversations, I’d appreciate some advance warning if that stuff is going to be made public or end up on Wikileaks. Sometimes, when I’m in a hurry and I say somebody, like my wife, is an absolute raging “stitch” it sounds like something else. I’d like you to correct that.

But the selfies of me with the Scotch tape and giant, green, stuffed Spanish olives? I got nothing.

Follow @EditorDavePerry on Facebook and Twitter or reach him at 303-750-7555 or dperry@aurorasentinel.com

Sorry, Virginia. I never swallowed the Santa Claus hoax, and Trump is still Trump.

I’ll grant that President Donald Trump’s address to Congress last night was decidedly different in tone and delivery than his usual shoot-from-the-lip word salad that he tosses all over the intertubes. And behind a somewhat more polished delivery last night was Trump’s same, divisive, lying and delusional rhetoric that he’s mesmerized his fans with for months now.

I had hoped for details and logic. All I got was bullshit — albeit delivered without the president singing completely off key.

Right after he finished reading his teleprompter address with all the flourish of first-day telemarketer, the GOP crowd went wild, lauding Trump for being so “presidential.”  Presidential? Are you kidding me? More like that relief you feel when your dog only quietly growls and doesn’t hump your neighbors’ legs when they stop by. Set the bar low enough and even Trump can be presidential.

I don’t want it to be the usual malarkey. When Trump was talking about all the country rallying together for the good of everyone, I desperately want to believe that he believes that. And more importantly, that he is willing and able to make it happen. I’m thinking compromise. Trump is thinking capitulation.

But as is the case with almost everything Trump says, it’s meaningless. He does something that belies what he says. He talks in obscure, circular, vagaries about draining “the swamp,” and then he appoints a cabinet filled with crony billionaires and bankers and people who just don’t have a clue. He talks about moving away from the country’s polarizing culture of blame and hate, and then he says that illegal immigrants are to reason for the bulk of the country’s woes. Because 11 million people have ruined it for 320 million of the rest of us.

Besides the allusions to a history of American incompetence that’s he come to save us from, he delivered truckloads of crap that are dangerous outright lies and propaganda. Despite what he says, there has been no flood of refugees to this country who go from their ISIS indoctrination camps straight to the airport and then to an unsuspecting American community near you. The country is not plagued by crime-ridden chaos. Crime rates have fallen dramatically since the 1990s. The economy is not in shambles. The last eight years saw a stunning turnaround, moving America away from the brink of economic Armageddon. The United States has seen the largest, sustained period of job growth ever. Interest rates have remained rock bottom. Inflation has been non-existent. The stock market has made unprecedented gains. The economy has slogged through one of the worst financial episodes in U.S. history. The facts don’t back up what he says.

But setting aside what turned out to be a better delivered script, there was the usual mean and hateful push to demonize illegal immigrants. In the evening’s most stunning move, Trump announced that he would create a special agency to offer support to American victims of crimes committed by illegal immigrants. It was an astounding moment that took the breath away from much of Congress and me. Never mind that such a move diminishes the victims of crimes not committed by non-citizens. What it does is push Americans into believing that “real” Americans are being beaten or murdered by illegal immigrants at such a rate that the federal government needs to move in and help out.

It’s total propaganda that’s meant to either condition the country for the Great American Roundup of illegal aliens, or simply make a false case for a ludicrously expensive and ineffective wall. It’s meant to turn scared and ignorant white Americans against minority immigrants, and it’s working.

Trump said he wants to make life easier for small businesses, but then he said he wants to ensure Americans get paid family leave and higher wages for menial jobs when illegal immigrants are chased out of the country. He spelled out an answer to repealing Obamacare that sounded almost exactly like Obamacare, except that insurance companies would never go for a plan that forces them to take care of sick people as health care prices soar after providers hand out free care to an explosion of medically indigent and uninsured Americans.

I’ll stipulate that it was a relief to see Trump behave less erratically and refrain from spending time calling out the growing list of people and things he hates and fears. But the bulk of the speech was filled with the usual exaggerations, erroneous conclusions and outright fabrications and lies just like all the others.

And most likely, none of it even matters.

Tomorrow, he’ll start unravelling his campaign promises in deeds to match his words. Like so many of Trump’s critics, I’m hoping that I’m going to be proven dead wrong about what Trump is about the do, and how dangerous it will be for the economy, the poor, the middle class, minorities, immigrants, women, gays, refugees and just about everyone but the rich.

So, President Trump. Surprise us. Surprise the whole country. Surprise the whole world.

Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook or reach him at 303-750-7555 or dperry@AuroraSentinel.com

QUID HAS HEARD that Aurora may yet get the A-Line moniker for its oh-so-cool segment of RTD light-rail. Seems that your faithful hack endlessly takes pleasure in pointing out that A-Town was the perfect place for RTD to launch the A-Line name a couple of years ago. Instead, a group of Denverphiles handed that handy metro-line moniker to Denver’s train from Union Station to Denver International Airport, because “A” stands for “Denver” or Union” or “Station” or “DIA” or “International” or “Oh, I get it.” So A-town, AKA, A-urora, was stiffed once again and saddled with the catchy R-Line tag. They did that because everybody knows “R” stands for “Really?” The deal was not only done, but well done when the University of Colorado decided it was a good idea to pay millions to fill out the train-line’s name with University of Colorado A-Line Denver Airport Train and Kranken Traffic Impediment, or something along that line. Like that first cup of coffee and that last potato chip dipped in peanut butter and jelly at the end of the day, Quid finds few things sweeter than pointing out the University of Colorado A-Line goes nowhere near anything that also bears its pricey name. “Curses,” Quid has screamed while looking at the R-Line schedule. And it seems to have worked, clearly because the A-Line doesn’t. The thing has been side-tracked since Day One with all sorts of technical and logistical problems. Almost daily, and usually a few times each day, RTD faithfully posts the excuse d’jour why they University of Colorado A-Line train is, A: Not Running, B: Running Behind or C: Railing for Dollars. It simply begs the question of the University of Colorado Million Dollar Branding Department, “How’s that working for ya?” Your’s truly sees only two ways forward. 1: CU abandons the side of the jinxed airport train and, instead, graces Aurora’s R-Line, which actually goes through at stops at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine — which is actually in Aurora — and associated Anschutz-a-lopolis. Or, RTD could move the A-Line name to A-town, about the same time they pay Quid to remove the curse off of the Denver operation, renaming it, “The Air Train.” Quid offers a heart-felt A-men to that.

AND QUID HAS HEARD that these times can get weirder. Whodda thunk just a year ago that patriotic Dems would be thumping patriotic Republicans for snuggling up to the Russians and that those flagging Dems would be delirious over the possibility of treasons charges against their captors — for the good of the country?

AND THAT’S ALL THE NEWS THAT FITS