Brent Boyer: Look at who's back

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Brent Boyer

Contact Editor Brent Boyer at 871-4221 or e-mail bboyer@SteamboatToday.com.

— It didn’t take long for my phone to start ringing.

We’ve published two Rob Douglas columns in the past month, and both elicited phone calls and emails from readers either thrilled with his return to writing or furious that the Steamboat Today again was highlighting Rob’s pointed opinions.

Half of those callers will be pleased to hear that Rob’s column again will make a weekly appearance in the Steamboat Today beginning Friday. This is the second go-around for Rob’s politics-based column, though readers will notice a distinct difference in the latest iteration.

Rob’s “The View From Here” piece began in February 2008, and it wasn’t long before he was diving head-first into contentious local issues with the wit and fire many readers would come to expect from him. I often disagreed — and still do — with Rob’s perspective on local, state and national issues, but I appreciated and respected his honesty and fearlessness. Rob took strong stands on important issues, and his writing often led to valuable discussion and debate about those issues, whether in city hall or at SteamboatToday.com.

Rob stopped writing his weekly column in August 2009, and appropriately so. At the time, he was launching a political talk radio show with then-City Council President Cari Hermacinski, who just happened to be engaged in a contested race for her council seat. Given the strong city focus of Rob’s column and the potential conflicts of interest, Rob and I agreed it was best to part ways.

Nearly three years later, Rob’s talk radio show has come to an end, but his interest in political issues and writing hasn’t. It’s under these circumstances that his weekly column makes its return to the Steamboat Today, albeit with a slightly revised focus. Rob plans to turn his attention primarily to important regional, state and national issues but with a tie to Steamboat Springs, Routt County and the Yampa Valley.

I’m excited for Rob’s return to writing. Love him or hate him, I hope his writing once again engages the community on timely and important subjects.

Brent Boyer is the editor of the Steamboat Pilot & Today. He can be reached at 970-871-4221 or bboyer@SteamboatToday.com.

Comments

Steve Lewis 2 years, 2 months ago

Tom, Rob isn't running with the ball if, like last week, he can rail on the national deficit without mentioning the unfunded Iraq war and tax cuts made during the Iraq war. That, Tom, would be running with the baloney.

Rob divides us further. The Pilot acknowledges that above. Engage the community? Like hell. This is about selling advertising.

Let the partisan food fight begin.

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Tracy Barnett 2 years, 2 months ago

I, for one, am glad Rob is back. I don't always agree with his opinions and conclusions, but I respect him for presenting his point of view. Not since Dee Richards (back in the day) has anyone made us think about the "what ifs" of a question that we may not have thought of. Sometimes its good to stir the pot to bring up all the small bits.

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Clay Ogden 2 years, 2 months ago

Mr.Douglas = Hedda Hopper in slacks.

Tracey I agree with "I don't always agree with his opinions and conclusions, but I respect him for presenting his point of view.' But ... I find his delivery to be overtly 'snarky' and peppered with personal attacks and innuendo. For me it devalues his perspective.
Actually makes me pine for William F. Buckley Jr ... didn't agree with him but loved how he expressed it.

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 2 months ago

What a farce! The paper bans semi-anonymous posters for uncivil behavior. And welcomes Rob, one of the least civil posters, as a columnist.

Oh well, maybe Rob Douglas has matured. Maybe his columns will be more than simple partisan spiels and will include thoughtful perspective. Maybe his columns will be better than his posts and not include cheap personal attacks.

One can always hope even while having seen enough of his writing to have very low expectations.

For editorial balance the paper should ask Steve Lewis to write a column.

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jerry carlton 2 years, 2 months ago

Being a conservative a little to the right of Genghis Kahn, I used to agree with most of what Rob had to say. Now that he has decided it is a good idea to take away Grandma's and my Social Security and let us starve I say he can go back to Washington DC and hang out with his buddies in Congress.

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rhys jones 2 years, 2 months ago

Scott -- Right on. Steve's observations are always more well-researched and less judgmental than what we see espoused by those who would rather destroy our environment for a buck, and kill anything that walks or flies, just for the kick.

As usual, this is the Pilot, stirring the controversy pot, and aligning with their perception of the local money.

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rhys jones 2 years, 2 months ago

The "at" in this story's headline is superfluous and unnecessary. While this complaint is small -- three characters including the space -- it is indicative of a larger malady: Proper communication, which includes the precise and proper use of the language, takes a back seat at the Pilot, where money is the name of the game. Politics numero uno.

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Brent Boyer 2 years, 2 months ago

Rhys, You're right that the "at" in the headline is unnecessary. It was inserted by the copy desk last night to make the spacing and alignment of the one-column, front-page headline in the print version of the newspaper look better. It certainly didn't need to be included in the online version.

Brent

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 2 months ago

Rhys, Well, arguing levels of bias is very hard to do objectively. I think it would be fair to expect Steve's writings to be biased like Rob's.

Though, I think an objective analysis would show that Steve's writings are definitely more civil. And Steve has shown a greater willingness to present a more complete history of a subject and is willing to criticize the Democrat's mistakes as well as Republican mistakes.

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Eric Morris 2 years, 2 months ago

Brent, you have become a regular Roger Ailes at FOX News West. I don't begrudge you for the need to make money but hopefully one of your regular right-wingers (unlike FOX) will admit that large military expenditures equals big government, which they supposedly dislike. Between Mr. Douglas' "Fair and Balanced" columns and you serving as the printing press for the Akin Family Trust's press releases, could you add a more libertarian thinker ala John Stossel or Andrew Napolitano? You could call those inserts "Steamboat Today Business."

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rhys jones 2 years, 2 months ago

Brent -- Sorry 'bout the slam, you have many bases to cover. Maybe a larger font?

Scott -- I've said it before, so I'll keep this brief: Reps and Dems are the pawns of the Fed.

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mark hartless 2 years, 2 months ago

Well well; I see the "tolerance" crowd is out in force today. Sour grapes...?

John Stossel would be a good choice. I just finished his latest book "No They Can't". He's got the Hope and Change crowd pegged pretty good, methinks.

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mark hartless 2 years, 2 months ago

On second thought Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams would be even better.

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Eric Morris 2 years, 2 months ago

Sowell and Williams are great on economics ... but they toe the Hannity, O'Reilly, and Rupert Murdoch line when it comes to the Middle East.

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Melanie Turek 2 years, 2 months ago

Jerry, thanks for the laugh (I can only assume your comment was a joke).

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 2 months ago

Tom, Sorry. The National Cancer of Entitlements column got under my skin.

No one is in lockstep, really. My writing in this blog allows equal space for anyone to disagree with me. It’s a balanced discussion.

And we deserve balance at the Pilot newsstand. It would be easy to tolerate Rob's column in print, if we also have a progressive column in print to correct Rob's facts and rebut his view. The problem arises having only one side in print, unchecked.

Unless things have changed, that other side won’t be me. I discussed the possibility with the Pilot during Rob's first run years ago. For some reason the Pilot barred writing any counterpoint to Rob's column. I tried a few drafts writing “unopposed” opinion for print. But I knew the counterarguments, and I found myself writing both sides.

That is what the Pilot should do. An honest discussion of our deficit would allow a point-by-point rebuttal of Rob’s column. It would make his writing accountable in advance to the most obvious counterpoints. When he bothers to acknowledge obvious counterpoints to his views, I’ll look forward to Rob’s columns.

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bill schurman 2 years, 2 months ago

Along with Millard Fillmore, the right-wing ought to love the diatribes of Rob Douglas and the usual pandering to the Steamboat Institute.Guess there won't be a need for the Friday TODAY.

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jerry carlton 2 years, 2 months ago

Melanie Glad you got a laugh but those are pretty much my opinions on Rob's view of SS and where I would like to see him. I am afraid I have a rather strong streak of sarcasm in my personality.

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 2 months ago

Steve, I suggest you contact Paulie Anderson and ask about writing a column in his latest newspaper. Paper is already eminently readable with columns from Scott Ford among others.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 2 months ago

Scott, I did decide to take my advertising there. It is not Paulie's responsibility to balance the Pilot. The fundamental issue is the Pilot - paying for and printing a half baked, partisan view of our politics. It's Pilot bait for bloggers and election advertising.

Half baked columns are the best bait. They scream for rebuttal. Rob is numb to the growing income inequality in America, and the notion that corporate profits are up. He continues to bemoan our deficit without a word about raising taxes. Economists know we cannot solve this deficit with cuts alone. Tax increases on the wealthiest will not be enough either.

As you go down the income scale, more of personal income goes back into the economy. Put this deficit on the backs of the poorest as Rob prefers and consumptive demand, the real economic issue, will only drop further.

Job growth is anemic largely because productivity is way up. The U.S. is now producing what it used to produce with 5 million fewer workers. It is partisan folly to pretend that the bottom line problem is welfare payments.

I agree with Eric, this is FoxNewsWest servicing Republican talking points against Democrats in the coming election. The business plan is working; I just took the bait to help them sell the above advertising.

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 2 months ago

Steve, I am not suggesting that it is Paulie's responsibility to balance the Pilot. I am suggesting that good content in Paulie's paper helps him. I also note that Paulie's papers have in the past taken an underdog attitude towards the Pilot. So rebutting the Pilot's comfortably numb columnist would seem to be good content for Paulie's paper.

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Eric J. Bowman 2 years, 2 months ago

"And we deserve balance at the Pilot newsstand. It would be easy to tolerate Rob's column in print, if we also have a progressive column in print to correct Rob's facts and rebut his view. The problem arises having only one side in print, unchecked."

Agreed. Today's paper has Rob and Cal Thomas giving us the right-wing 1-2 ideological punch. Perhaps, Brent, at least offset Rob with Krugman on Fridays? Doonesbury is rarely political anymore, hardly counterpoint to the vile Mallard -- well, at least the Pilot didn't censor Doonesbury the other week, like the Fort Collins Coloradoan did.

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Melanie Turek 2 years, 2 months ago

Jerry, if I am reading your comment right, your are saying that on the one hand, you are believe in very conservative policies, which suggests you support minimal, if any government involvement in our lives; but on the other hand, you are asking the government to keep its hands off your social security benefits. Do you not see the hypocrisy in that? Social security is a government program, one of the largest. Are you only against entitlements if they don't benefit you? That's why it made me laugh--it appears to echo the classic Tea Party claim that all entitlements are bad and government programs should be reduced to nothing, but stay the heck away from MY benefits, damn it.

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jerry carlton 2 years, 2 months ago

Melanie I will elaborate. I am an extreme social conservative. I do not believe in abortion, gay marriage, paying more welfare for each baby that a woman drops by a different man, illegal immigration, banks that rob us blind, congress people that cheat on their wives, accept bribes, vote themselves pay raises when they are already overpaid for doing nothing but destroying this country. I could go on and on. I also do not believe in letting people in this country go homeless, starve to death, be killed in mining accidents, etc. There is a need for government but for the last 12 years ours has been a bigger disaster than usual. Now you explain to me why the government should be able to confiscate my money for 51 years, tell me they will give it back to me in my old age and then renege on that promise. You want to call that hypocrisy? Fine, I have been called worse things. I await your explanation.

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Melanie Turek 2 years, 2 months ago

Jerry, you and I clearly do not agree on some social issues. I am pro choice, and I believe gay people have as much right to marry as heterosexuals, although I think that the state should stay out of marriage altogether, frankly. I also believe that social welfare programs are critical to a safe and healthy society, and although I would rather see a woman have access to birth control than get pregnant again and again without the resources (economic and emotional) to care for her kids, I recognize that her actions are part of a much bigger problem in our society--i.e. that when people are raised without strong role models and guidance, when all they know is poverty, when they don't have access to education or good-paying jobs, the cycle repeats itself. Blaming them (as you are doing by using language like "each baby that a woman drops by another man") seems to negate those very real, though admittedly frustrating, facts. I'm not fan of anyone who cheats on a spouse, and I do think elected officials have a responsibility to act morally. I am no fan of big banks or their lobbying of Washington, nor of other corporate interests like Big Oil, the military-industrial complex (Haliburton et.al.), big ag, etc. that have manipulated an already fixed system to boost their ridiculous profits. I believe that the Patriot Act and Gitmo are un-American. But I also think that W. did way more harm than either Clinton or Obama, and I get VERY frustrated by conservatives (lower-case conservatives, not GOP hacks) who don't see that. And I think that people have a social obligation to one another, and that that obligation varies depending on the community. The Federal government of the US is enormous because the US is enormous; it is and imperfect, but we need it... so the only questions is where and how we prioritize our spending, what we regulate and leave alone, and so on. You and I would probably disagree on how we do that. As for Social Security, I am with you: People who have paid into the program in good faith deserve all the benefits coming to them. But then, I wouldn't advocate eliminating the program in the first place, so... Anyway, thanks for sharing more of the specifics of your views. Context is good :-)

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mark hartless 2 years, 2 months ago

Ahhh the sounds of circular reasoning...

Melanie says she is "no fan of anyone who cheats on a spouse...and elected officials have a responsibility to act morally."

Followed by " 'W' did more harm than Clinotn or Obama..."

Clinton cheated on his spouse (many times) and Obama, in his own words drank heavily, smoked pot and did cocaine, making them both superior moral examples. I wonder if she hopes her kids get to hang out and party with folks like B.Clinton and BHO when they get to college. I'm sure she will tell them to watch out for and stay away from the GW types...

The hat trick was completed ahead of those words of wisdom when she first said basically that welfare moms who spit out babies like a Pez dispenser are not to blame because they grew up without fathers. Seems logical on someplane of thought I guess, except they are creating more kids without fathers which causes (according to her) the problem and is not moral, though I suppose that's only a pre-requisite if you want to be president one day.

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jerry carlton 2 years, 2 months ago

Mark Nice response to Melanie. I almost feel no reason to respond to her but I will anyway.. Melanie See we actually have more in common than you expected, I imagine. Since you do not support eliminating SS am I no longer a hypocrite? Being pro choice is equivalent to being Pro murder of an unborn child in its mothers womb. I admit that in my younger years I was not so dead set against murder of an unborn child in its mothers womb but I like to think I have become wiser in my older years. I was a life long Republican but I now have nothing but contempt for most politicians no matter what party. Worst president of my life time George W. Bush. A good man but too stupid to be President. Second Worst Jimmy Carter, Another good man but too stupid to be president. Were you alive when Carter was President? I am too polite to ask your age. Most Immoral Bill Clinton No contest He actually did a pretty good job as President but contributed greatly to the moral decline of this country. I can hardly wait for our first gay President. He or she will probably try to outlaw marrriage between men and women . Last great President Harry Truman He nuked Japan saving countless American lives. Incidentally Harry was a Democrat. Very Liberal. Probably the last Great President we will ever have. We are too politically correct now and the inmates control the asylum. Game seven in L.A. tonight. Go Nuggets! Hope the lunch bucket players can beat the Hollywood Pretty Boys.

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rhys jones 2 years, 2 months ago

Ben Franklin: The only President of the United States -- who was never, President of the United States.

(borrowed from Firesign Theatre, "Everything You Know Is Wrong")

How 'bout them morals? He died of syphilis!! Probably smoking the good stuff.

Yeah Nuggets!! BEAT L.A.!!

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jerry carlton 2 years, 2 months ago

Yes Rhys, Ben was a player but does that make him right? I remember him more as an inventor than a crooked immoral politician. We certainly agree on the Lakers. I wonder if World Metta Peace can keep his elbows under control tonight. Have you ever heard of a more stupid name for a basketball thug? OK will routt the lakers or Nuggets but I love seeing the Lakers get worn down even if we do not win.

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Fred Duckels 2 years, 2 months ago

Jerry, The nuggets have faced the Lakers in two playoffs recently and the refs see to it that the large market team prevails, good business.

We don't need Steve's input, we can check Media Matters talking points and get the same input.

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jerry carlton 2 years, 2 months ago

Fred Nugggets lost but I do not blame refs. Nuggets just did not play with as much emotion as previous 2 games. I am betting Oklahoma City beats the Lakers like a drum!

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rhys jones 2 years, 2 months ago

Fred & Jerry -- I agree with both of you, oddly enough. After a spirited comeback in the third quarter, the Nuggets couldn't buy a whistle in the fourth quarter; Kobe especially is immune to fouls, especially on his own floor. I can't blame the Nuggets for getting a little discouraged; it's hard to beat the striped shirts too. Two years ago they just gave up, only a token effort, realizing the futility, at home in Denver in Game 6, rather than return to L.A. for the inevitable drubbing in Game 7. This highlights one of the NBA's major problems -- inconsistent refereeing. I think they should widely expand the use of instant replay and challenges -- the game is not long enough, if you ask me. Especially if they get it wrong.

I hate to admit that Metta played a pretty clean game last night, and it might have been his effort which put the Lakers over the top. Between him, Bynum, and Gasol, a high wall is built. However, if Metta can keep his elbows off Hardin, I think OKC will end LA's season. Kevin Durant is the best player in the NBA, IMHO.

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rhys jones 2 years, 2 months ago

P.S. -- I don't see how instant replay can fix an uncalled foul, but I'm working on it.

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rhys jones 2 years, 2 months ago

IDEA: Scott Hastings sees 'em all; maybe they should give HIM a whistle!!

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jerry carlton 2 years, 2 months ago

Go Oklahoma! Rooting for them to go all the way!

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Fred Duckels 2 years, 2 months ago

It was open season on; the Nuggets in the paint yet fouls were rare. During dead balls Lakers constantly lobbied the refs. It is the run of the mill calls during the game that control matters, not the last few minutes. Artest was in the game courtesy of the unions, I would have sent him to Europe.

In the previous Lakers series one game was compromised during a nugget surge when Nene encountered phantom fouls when he was on a tear. In both sreies I thought that the Nuggets only chance was by knockout.

An ex ref, I think his name was Douahue , wrote a book about the leagues tendency to see that the large markets prevail, I had already made my own conclusion long before his revelation. The Bulls-Utah series were similar. It is not all black and white but the tendency is there and as a fan I want to know that my team has a shot. Players are told to hold their tongue but sometimes civility only reinforces the status quo.

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rhys jones 2 years, 2 months ago

It's not just fouls, but also travelling and double-dribble, where the superstars get extra latitude. Dragging the pivot foot, little bunny steps during a layup, palming the ball while bringing it downcourt -- the rules on those haven't changed since I played, yet I constantly see the stars getting by with murder. Foul rules have apparently changed -- now the defender can have a hand on the player with the ball's back, and hit a shooter's wrist in the act -- "the wrist is part of the ball" Scott Hastings says -- whereas, any contact at all was a foul, back in the day. Now you have to be a lawyer to know all the rules. But I know steps or double-dribble when I see them.

This is the NBA's Achilles Heel, inconsistent officiating. It destroys the integrity of an otherwise excellent game.

My chronology in an earlier post was incorrect -- it was three years ago, the Nugs threw in the towel during Game 6 in Denver, rather than follow the farce back to L.A. Two years ago George had to leave the team, late-season, to treat his throat cancer, and the Nuggets bowed out to Utah in the first playoff round. Last year was the 'Melo-trade year, wholesale changes mid-season, and OKC eliminated the Nugs in the -- second round? Hadn't they beaten Portland first? My memory fails me. This strike-shortened year they also underwent major personnel changes, many of the players in China. Now the Nuggets have the second-youngest team in the NBA, Faried and McGee demonstrating superstar potential. I look forward to several exciting years, referees notwithstanding.

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Robin Craigen 2 years, 2 months ago

and they said that removing the anonymous commenting would kill the forum....I rest my case......

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rhys jones 2 years, 2 months ago

yes, the level of discourse is so much higher these days

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jerry carlton 2 years, 2 months ago

Rhys Did you see how OK kicked the Pretty Boys backends in the first game? Hope OK sweeps the Pretty Boys! Maybe that will keep Jack Nicholson in his seat!

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rhys jones 2 years, 2 months ago

The refs tried to win it for the Lakers last night, with their obviously biased whistles, and even they couldn't do it. Go Thunder!! BEAT L.A.!! SWEEP!!

Tonight we get to watch the Spurs spank the Clippers again. Beat that L.A. team too, which has made a fine art of The Flop. Chris Paul is a master of the technique.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 2 months ago

Each Douglas column has a campaign section for Mitt Romney. And each time it is unfounded baloney with no basis in reality.

"Do you believe President Barack Obama’s military strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan has been based on protecting the national security of the U.S. or protecting his own political skin? If you answered national security, you’re either a naïf or blinded by partisanship."

The Pilot is sponsoring partisan attacks in an election year. Selling the wedges that divide us? Wonderful job.

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