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Rep. Coffman appointed to GOP House VA conference committee

AURORA | Aurora’s 6th Congressional District incumbent Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, tweeted that he has been appointed to a House “conference committee” to negotiate an agreement on the House and Senate Veterans Affairs accountability and emergency care measures.

“I am humbled to be appointed to the conference committee and focused on so our nations veterans have the care they deserve,” he said today. 

House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, today named eight House Republicans to serve on the conference committee. Boehner said in a statement, “Providing accountability and emergency access to private care will make a real difference, but they’re no substitute for a long-term plan from the president to address the VA’s systemic problems.  I’m confident our negotiators will usher these reforms to the president’s desk while continuing our work to hold him accountable.”

According to Boehner’s website, the other members are:

Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI) Rep. Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN)

 — Rachel Sapin, staff writer

Oh mijn God: Rampant speculoos-tion Colorado Table

Oh mijn God: Rampant speculoos-tion

Sweet Jesus. Sweet everything. This is how the Dutch plan to take over the world: creamed speculoos, which they say is “crunchy cookie butter.”

Only at Colorado Trader Joes so far, it’s billed as “a deliciously unusual spread reminiscent of gingerbread and made with crushed biscuits.”

And oil. Lots of oil. And sugar. More sugar. Instantly addictive, this peanut-butter like substance smacks of loving every one of the 90 calories it inflicts per tablespoon. That would be a level tablespoon, so scrape the rest back into the jar. In fact, one jar contains enough calories to feed an average U.S. state for nearly a month.

Ultra creamy, it tastes a little like nutmeg flavored Nutella at the start. It finishes off like fine ice cream and cookies. Most treatment centers considered this a gateway food to stroopwaffel sandwiches filled with chocolate, Nutella sessions and Haribo shooters.

If you’re from the real world, speculoos is a ho-hum ginger-snap like cookie that’s been haunting Holland, Belgium and parts of Germany for eons. But whip it up with some extra sugar and oil and — voila! — an American sensation coming soon to a recipe near you.

Out suggestion, mixed with Cap’n Crunch and melted marshmallows, it makes the perfect Red Rocks concert snack.

Available in dark alleys behind ethnic polka parties and Trader Joes on Colorado Boulevard and East Sixth Avenue for $3.49.

— Dave Perry, staff writer

PICTURE THIS: All city baseball Marla Keown

PICTURE THIS: All city baseball

The All City baseball boys are taking a quick break from today’s sun in between interviews.

PERRYBLOG: No Dowd about it, Colorado's edible pot begs patience Dave Perry: Preoccupations

PERRYBLOG: No Dowd about it, Colorado’s edible pot begs patience

Few things say, “Oh, God, I love staring at my naval,” as does writing a column about somebody else’s column about getting high.

But I can’t let New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd’s public drug-overdose confession smolder any longer. Dowd came to Denver a few weeks ago to get a firsthand feel for the hedonist life we’ve permitted ourselves starting in January when it became legal to buy dope.

Dowd hooked up with folks from one of the state’s ganja-tourism services, My 420 Tours, who told her what’s what and took her around to some pot shops, according to Dowd and the Denver Post’s Cannabist website. She bought a juiced-up candy bar, didn’t follow the directions, ate too much, saw Jesus or something during an uncomfortable eight-hour trip and ended up riding Mary Jane around her hotel room while never leaving her bed.

I know a lot of us have been there, but we were just starting college in the ‘70s.

Some days later, she penned an amusing column, essentially admonishing folks here for not taking our rocky mountain high life seriously. She more than implied that she waltzed in and out of a pot shop and was left to her own devices on how to dose herself to a higher plain. Since then, the people she actually spent time with have made it clear they told Dowd, repeatedly, about the dangers of eating too much dope. And despite what she wrote, there really are instructions and warnings on all edible pot products in Colorado. Whether through naivete or forgetfulness, this child of the ‘60s forgot Rule No. 1 when it comes to inserting mind-altering substances in the ol’ pie hole: wait.

If you’ve forgotten, too, eating the right amount of hash in your browns, orange in your sunshine, mush in your rooms or mescaleez in your quick is tricky business. The temptation is always to eat a little more because, “I don’t feel anything yet.” This of course leads to the sensation of a sudden and violent increase in Earth’s gravity, obscenely self-conscious mouth breathing and a lot of “oh-my-god’s.”

In one memorable moment of my youth, I didn’t wait for Pot Brownie No. 2 and about two hours on the floor of the Ogden Theater, laughing uncontrollably, watching my equally stupid pal instead of the weekly midnight antics of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” and then wandering around Colfax for what must have been weeks. In Dowd’s case, she got clobbered by the kush fairy after not waiting for Dose No. 1 to kick in before eating way too much dope.

“… I felt a scary shudder go through my body and brain. I barely made it from the desk to the bed, where I lay curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours. I was thirsty but couldn’t move to get water. Or even turn off the lights. I was panting and paranoid, sure that when the room-service waiter knocked and I didn’t answer, he’d call the police and have me arrested for being unable to handle my candy.

“I strained to remember where I was or even what I was wearing, touching my green corduroy jeans and staring at the exposed-brick wall. As my paranoia deepened, I became convinced that I had died and no one was telling me.”

Immediately, a country full of people who have no idea how much they’d hate her if they knew she was Public Liberal Media Hack Enemy No. 1, and all the people who do hate her because she’s Public Liberal Media Hack Enemy No. 1, were siding with her and quoting her and clucking their tongues about “See? See how real reefer madness really is? See?”

I have to admit, while reading Dowd’s column I raced toward the end to see at what point she joined an orgy in the hotel elevator or found herself handcuffed in the back of a cattle car on the way to eastern Europe to be a sex slave. As it turns out, she spent the night trying to wish herself out of her high.

The parallels to reality Dowd and others overlook are painful: booze. The back of my favorite beer bottles admonish me to “drink responsibly” and not at all if I’m pregnant. I painfully remember my first encounter with Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill and thinking, “Wow. This shit tastes great.”

What harm could come from another little glass? Or four? I didn’t see Jesus that night, but, man, did I see stars when me and my date fell in an old mining hole on the Rooney Ridge as we were “flying” across the hill in the dark. I had dry heaves for three days. To this day, I won’t even make eye contact with anyone named Boone. Shudder.

Guess what I learned at age 17? Soda-pop wine packs a wallop. Southern Comfort really smells awful when your expelling it through your nose. Wait before you have a little more, and just don’t have a lot. Just don’t.

Now I’m in my fifties. Guess what? I so vividly remember the nausea from too much booze and the “oh-my-god’s” from too much dope, that I make a concerted effort to never, ever, go there again.

Now don’t mistake me here. I’m by no means telling out-of-towners that they’re just fun crushers by not endorsing our newfound high-life here in Colorado, or that the edible pot industry doesn’t need to make a host of changes to ensure we’re all going to be OK with this newfound fun-distry. I’ve considered that Dowd comes from a part of the world where the city tells people when to stop drinking soda pop and everyone works hard to not know or see each other in public. So maybe we should have different rules for people who even in their sixties might be at risk of waking up on the bathroom floor, snuggled up to an empty Annie Green Springs pillow, or eating the entire jar of salted peanuts at one sitting, or getting stuck on the top of a totem pole after sampling a few too many shrooms on a gorgeous summer night. Clearly, I would advise Dowd and her sympathizers to avoid many other Colorado offerings, such as skiing, rafting, ice-climbing, fourteening, mountain biking, backpacking and the like. You get pretty high, but if you don’t pay attention to what you’re doing, the consequences can be much more tragic.

Enough already. I’m a lifelong fan of Dowd, and I sympathetically suggest she and others follow my lead in just licking the kushy candy bars instead of actually eating them and finding endless wonders in where their umbilical cords used to be.

— Editor Dave Perry

PICTURE THIS: Change of Command at Buckley Air Force Base Marla Keown

PICTURE THIS: Change of Command at Buckley Air Force Base

First time on Buckley’s football field!

I’m definitely jealous of the AF public affairs office’s gear!!

PICTURE THIS: FUTURE graduate Marla Keown

PICTURE THIS: FUTURE graduate

The first FUTURE (Females Utilizing Treatment and Undergoing Recovery Efforts) graduate smiles for a picture with her mom and dad.

PICTURE THIS: Professional Marla Keown

PICTURE THIS: Professional

Regis Jesuit graduate Max George signed with the Colorado Rockies!!! Congrats!!!!

More sports Marla Keown

More sports

Lots of fun sports for everyone!

PICTURE THIS: Wheelchair Sports Camp Marla Keown

PICTURE THIS: Wheelchair Sports Camp

Happens every summer and I’m always excited to photograph it!

PERRYBLOG: Don't blame the NRA for more dead kids, close the damned public schools Dave Perry: Preoccupations

PERRYBLOG: Don’t blame the NRA for more dead kids, close the damned public schools

How stupid of me. It wasn’t until today’s school shooting — No. 72 since the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre — that it finally dawned on me how to prevent all this needless bloodshed.

It’s not the guns that we need to go after, despite all of my previous rants on the matter. The National Rifle is dead right, folks. Guns don’t kill people: Sickos illegally and inappropriately hurling small metal projectiles at others too cowardly or inept to shoot first kill people — in schools.

Close the freaking schools, America. Problem solved.

I can’t believe the obvious answer to the never-ending wave of school massacres and shooting deaths has escaped us so long. Clearly, these cesspools of liberalism and black holes for your tax dollars are worse than we ever imagined, and what you remember. They’re essentially killing our kids. Just close the schools.

They cost a freaking fortune. We spend about $650 billion a year on schools, and we can’t even post the Ten Commandments there. And what do we get? More than 30 shootings at public schools and colleges since the day most of Congress spent their NRA donation money on Christmas campaign greetings at the very end of last year.

It’s not crazy people to blame for all these schools shootings. Even President Barack Obama admitted that today after another couple of kids were shot to death at an Oregon high school.

“The United States does not have a monopoly on crazy people. It’s not the only country that has psychosis,” he said. “And yet we kill each other in these mass shootings at rates that are exponentially higher than any place else. Well, what’s the difference? The difference is that these guys can stack up a bunch of ammunition in their houses and that’s sort of par for the course.”

Oh, sure. Blame the guns. Blame the bullets. Blame the patriots and our beloved forefathers who knew enough to give rights to guns but not blacks or kids needing an education, because what good has come from that? This is what Preznit Obummer had to say about the people trying to return our country to the way it was before immigrants and gays and minorities started asking what you wanted from the dollar menu in an accent so strong you can’t even understand ‘em.

“Most members of Congress — and to some degree this is bipartisan — are terrified of the NRA,” Obama said, implying that the NRA essentially bullies lawmakers into opposing any type of gun control.

“My biggest frustration so far is the fact that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do just unbelievable damage,” Obama said. No developed nation on Earth would put up with mass shootings that happen now once a week and disappear from the news within a day, Obama said — no nation except America.

No, dude. It’s the schools, plain and simple. Ain’t nobody getting gunned down at an NRA meeting, or a noodling contest, or tractor pull. It’s the union-loving, MSNBC-plagued schools and teachers who only work nine months a year where the gunmen go wild.

This is where kids wet their pants. This is where evolution is taught and creationism is scoffed at. This is where holidays are happy and Christmas can’t be merry. This is what has to go.

Close the schools and keep the women folk at home, where they should be, to home school our kids the way that God, the NRA and some of our more colorful forefathers intended. Folks who feel this way are smart enough to get all they need to know from Fox News, the New Testament and Ted Nugent newsletters. Who needs the Canterbury Tales and socialist-study tests?

You want school? Go to Germany or Japan where they push that sort of thing. You want guns and Sarah Palin? Close the schools here in ‘Murica, where we already know it all.

— Dave Perry, Aurora Sentinel Editor