Wiretap: Weinergate redux, the unlikely editor and national parks’ ugly underbelly

The GOP’s western problem

Colorado was expected, as it usually is, to be a battleground state this election cycle. That changed when Donald Trump snagged the Republican nomination and, along the way, infuriated Latinos, who make up about 20 percent of voters here. Democrats now are treating Colorado – and Nevada, which has an even higher percentage of Latino voters – as if it’s in the bag. Republicans, meantime, are fretting that Trump may be causing the party to lose ground in the interior West, where more states than just California could become unwinnable for the GOP. Via The New York Times

Up in smoke

Pot legalization is old news in Colorado. But it’s on the ballot in nine other states this November. Democrats have counted on down-ballot measures like pot laws and minimum wage increases to help lure young liberals who may otherwise not bother to vote. But here’s the catch: As pot becomes increasingly legal, support for legalization is coming not just from liberals who vote Democrat, but also from independents and free-market Republicans, as well. That sends the old presumptions about pot users leaning left up in smoke. It also debunks the assumption that weed will help Hillary Clinton win the White House. Via Mother Jones.

Greenwald on Clinton…and why journalists are giving her a pass

Intercept founder Glen Greenwald appeared on DemocracyNow! Monday talking about an Associated Press report that more than half of the private citizens Hillary Clinton met with as secretary of state had donated to the Clinton Foundation. The Clintons, Greenwald argues, use the same reasoning the Supreme Court majority used in its Citizens United decision – you can’t prove that contributions are corrupting.

Greenwald cites the AP story as a rare effort to scrutinize Clinton’s record in a year when even journalists fear she could lose to Trump. “There seem to be a lot of people, including in journalism, who think that … the Democratic nominee, who has all kinds of flaws and vulnerabilities and ethical clouds surrounding her, should sort of get to waltz into the White House free of challenge or questioning, because somehow it’s our civic and moral duty to make sure that Donald Trump loses the election.” Via DemocracyNow!

Weitergate redux

Anthony Weiner is sexting again. And his wife, top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, seems to be dumping him. Donald Trump smells blood in the water. Citing Abedin’s involvement in controversies over Clinton’s emails, Trump says the latest scandal is a mark of Clinton’s bad judgment. Somehow, his argument goes, Clinton should have distanced herself from an aide whose husband, if he’s texting pics of his privates, may also be texting about state secrets. “I only worry for the country in that Hillary Clinton was careless and negligent in allowing Weiner to have such close proximity to highly classified information.” Via The New York Times.

Ken Salazar and the environment

Now that Colorado’s own Ken Salazar has been named chief of Hillary Clinton’s would-be transition, Moyers and Company takes a look at his environmental record. The assumption seems to be that Salazar’s support for fracking, offshore drilling and mining will affect the composition of a Clinton cabinet.

A hostile environment

We’ve all heard about sexual harassment in the military. But what about in national parks and other federal wilderness? Not so much. In a story called, “Out Here, No One Can Year You Scream,” Highline digs into the issue of sexual harassment and violence in the mostly male-dominated agencies that manage large swaths of federal land, especially in the West. Though those agencies “enjoy a reputation for a certain benign progressivism,” the article chronicles an ugly history of hostility toward women. Via Highline.

Now hear this

Robin Woods could barely read when he ended up in prison in Maryland. Then, he picked up a book. And another, and another, until he was tearing through every book he could get. Soon, he said, “It was like I could go to China, I could go to Rome, I could go, I could go to Greece. I could go to the Second World War, I could go to the Civil War. I could go to the moon,” he said. “It was a marvelous thing. The whole world opened up. Even though I was confined in an institution, in a prison, in a building in a cell, my mind was free.” In 2004, he ordered an encyclopedia, which he read hungrily, entry by entry. In it, he found an error, about which he notified the editor in a letter. The editor thanked him, inviting him to catch more errors. Wood found at least a dozen. Out of their correspondence grew a friendship that changed both of their lives. We love this story. Listen here. Via Criminal (Episode 49)

Flickr photo by Peter Burka



The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.