Panorama: Denver Abuzz with DNC, Businesses and Labor Fight, Don't Forget the State Fair, Jay Cutler Perfect in Preseason

August 2008

Mile High Headlines for Monday, August 25 They're All in Denver, And So Is the Media Denver has done what it can to prepare, as 5280's Patrick Doyle notes in this article for The New Republic. Yes, the Mile High City suffers from a bit of "performance anxiety," Doyle writes, as the Democrats embark on a convention with the most advantages they've had since the Watergate scandal, according to Bloomberg News. Everyone is here: the big-name politicos, the lobbyists, the protesters, and the Secret Service. They're touring the city "abuzz," as the Rocky Mountain News writes. Don't forget the media, which outnumber the roughly 4,000 delegates by a ratio of almost four to one, according to Agence France-Press. Networks and cable shows are broadcasting from all sorts of locations around Denver, and "The Year of the Political Blogger Has Arrived," according to The New York Times, spawning a battle for access. Perhaps it's all overkill since most events will be carefully orchestrated on the rock-concert-like stage of the Pepsi Center and Invesco Field, according to AFP. But for some, such as the Washington Post's The Fix, there's lots to love about the convention: It's a "political junkie heaven." Rounding Up DNC Headlines A New York Times/CBS News poll finds that Hillary Clinton probably will not walk away with the nomination (just in case you have a pet conspiracy theory). More than half her delegates are now "enthusiastic" supporters of Barack Obama, although five percent don't support him. ... Protesters are playing, it appears, a game of cat and mouse with police, sometimes blocking the streets temporarily and then moving off just as police appear to ready for arrests, according to The Denver Post. ... Lobbyists are backing a "smorgasbord of parties to fete lawmakers, governors, and other politicos" during the convention, according to the National Journal, including representatives for the petroleum, mining, electric, and nuclear industries. ... PolitickerCO.com says there are rumors that U.S. Representative Mark Udall will introduce U.S. Senator Barack Obama before his presidential acceptance speech Thursday at Invesco Field.

Denver Will See Stars Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi will play Thursday at Invesco Field when Barack Obama delivers his Democratic Party presidential acceptance speech, according to CBS4. Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, Charlize Theron, Josh Brolin, Annette Bening, and Susan Sarandon are among many stars also expected in Denver to support Obama. Leonardo DiCaprio and Gwyneth Paltrow might come, too, raising questions, in light of John McCain's recent Paris Hilton/Britney Spears slam accusing Obama of being a celebrity, as to whether star power helps or hurts Obama, according to MSNBC. Businesses and Labor Do Battle in Colorado Labor unions and businesses have "loaded the November ballot with an array of competing initiatives," according to the Rocky Mountain News. The latest, coming from the labor side, is Amendment 55, which would prevent bosses from firing workers without just cause. The proposal has sufficient signatures, according to the Denver Business Journal, as business leaders fret that flexibility in tough economic times and the ability to fire bad employees are on the line. Meanwhile, labor groups say workers will be protected from being canned for arbitrary reasons, such as taking a sick day or expressing political views. It's going to be confusing for voters: Labor groups also support Amendment 53, which would hold executives personally liable for in fraud cases. Meanwhile, Amendment 47, which is backed by businesses, would stop unions from collecting mandatory dues. Labor wants 47 off the ballot and says it will stop pursuing other proposals that would require employers with fewer than 20 workers to provide health insurance and improve safety standards, according to the Los Angeles Times. Soldier Pleads Guilty to Desertion Private First Class Robin Long ended his Army court martial on Friday at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs by admitting that he fled to Canada in 2005 as his unit prepared to leave for the Iraq War. He received a 15-month sentence in a military prison in a plea deal on Friday, according to The New York Times. The case of 25-year-old Long has been watched closely in Canada since authorities deported the Boise, Idaho, native who sought political asylum because of his moral opposition to the war. The courts in Canada have ruled that asylum isn't appropriate for war resisters because they are unlikely to face persecution when they return home, according to Canada's Globe and Mail. Long's lawyer, James M. Branum, tells the Times that he didn't feel Long deserved any prison time, saying "he may have committed an illegal action, but morally he was right, and it meant a lot for him to say that to the Army." Another Big Event: Colorado's State Fair With the Democratic National Convention providing an endless stream of parties, it's hard to fathom another big blast anywhere else. But the Colorado State Fair, a dizzying array of monster trucks and rock and roll, began on Friday in Pueblo. It runs through September 1. General Manager Chris Wiseman tells the Rocky Mountain News that some 450,000 people are expected to attend, about average in terms of turnout, although attendance was down on the opening day. Wiseman isn't sure exactly why but notes that "gas prices are up a little bit." He also says the fair would be a great way to escape DNC fatigue: "Those in Denver who are fed up with congestion can get out of town and get to Pueblo." U.S. Basketball, and Melo, Hoist Gold The players for the U.S. Olympic basketball team held up their gold medals on Sunday in Beijing after defeating Spain in a "heart-thumping game," according to The Denver Post. The final score was 118-107 and served as redemption for a poor performance in 2004. "We were at America's lowest point," said the Denver Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony. "To be sitting here tonight, on top of the world, we did a heck of a job of putting American basketball back where it's supposed to be. I'm just so proud right now." No-Mistake Jay Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler has thrown 43 passes in 79 plays during three preseason games. He didn't throw one interception. He didn't fumble. He wasn't sacked. That's fantastic news to Broncos backup quarterback Patrick Ramsey, as Cutler will be resting on the bench during on the last preseason game Friday night in Phoenix: "I'm really excited about the way he's playing; I think we all are," Ramsey tells the Rocky Mountain News. Audiodose: KGNU takes a look at the events happening at the Democratic National Convention as well as the protests surrounding it. Presidential: Think the presidential race between Barack Obama and John McCain is getting dirty? Get this: In 1800, Vice President Thomas Jefferson accused President John Adams of possessing a "hideous hermaphroditical character." Adams said Jefferson was "a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father," according to CNN. Cheapest Gallon of Gas ‘Round Here: $3.65, Sinclair, 1015 Sheridan Boulevard (via www.gasbuddy.com). E-mail relevant articles to [email protected]

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