Byline Burton |

Byline Burton

Lynn Burton

Democrats used to be described as the “tax and spend” party but these days, it’s more like “bother and annoy.”On consecutive recent nights, Garfield County residents were bothered by not one, but two annoying phone calls from the Democratic party. One was a recorded message from Congressman Mark Udall reminding people to register to vote. The other call was from a fast-talking live person, reminding people to do what Udall already told them to do.There’s a wild rumor going around in some circles that says Democrats conducted a survey that purportedly proves people enjoy being bothered by unwanted phone calls at dinner, especially those in wheelchairs, on crutches and old folks with their walkers.This wild, unsubstantiated rumor will be checked out, maybe. In the meantime, if you’d like to bother and annoy the Democratic party, their phone number is 1-303-623-4762. Ask for Mark Udall’s home phone number, so you can give him a call as well.-The Denver Post recently reported Congressman Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., was no longer talking to newspaper reporters. Turns out, according to Tancredo, there was some miscommunication on his staff, and only one reporter is being shunned.What got Tancredo all lathered up and mad in the first place? What do you want to bet it was the headline in the Denver Post that said he “reneged” on a campaign promise to serve only three terms.”Renege” is a .357 magnum kind of word with tons of implied meaning, great for upgrading common liars to a “No ‘count, can’t be trusted no way no how dishonest jerk.”No wonder Tancredo got mad.-Where is the liberal outrage over a regressive tax imposed on area residents? We’re talking about the $10 fee many local folks will be assessed on their license plates each year. The new tax comes from the Roaring Fork Transit Authority, and applies to everyone in the taxing entity’s boundary, which does not include unincorporated Garfield County.Sales taxes are examples of regressive taxes because poor folks end up paying a greater percentage of their income than rich folks. On the RFTA front, a poor guy paying $10 on his $20 car tag will see his tax increase by 50 percent the way I calculate it, while a rich guy paying $10 on his $100 car tag will see his tax increase by about 10 percent.Maybe folks don’t care about taxes anymore, though. The Garfield County Commissioner race is in high gear, and nobody has squawked about property taxes.Here’s something that’s hard to figure. Aspen, the most politically correct town this side of Beverly Hills, observes what some call America’s most racist holiday. That’s right. Aspen City Hall offices were closed Monday in observance of Columbus Day.Does this mean Aspen condones the death and mayhem that was inflicted on American Indians after that Italian guy discovered them? Naw. It probably means Aspen city employees would go on the war path if the city took away their holiday.-On the nonpolitical front, Saturday Night Live must have a policy that prohibits skits about people who killed themselves in stupid ways, or at least whacked out environmentalists who die. What other reason could there be for the TV show not to run a skit about the protester in California? This guy fell 50 feet to his death during his first night of tree sitting. He was camped out up there to keep the tree’s corporate owner from chopping it down.This skit isn’t hard to imagine. The head environmentalist is strutting around, instructing his new recruits on the finer points of perching in a tree. Speaking with Pattonish authority, the head guy concludes, “And two more things. In this case, marijuana can be hazardous to your health … and you ain’t called tree huggers for nothing. If you get dizzy or scared, hug that tree like it was Julia Roberts or Tom Cruise, depending on your sexual preference, of course.”-Speaking of imagined dialogue, have you heard that strange radio commercial from a well known drain declogging company? At the end, the commercial says if the service guy smokes on the job, doesn’t clean up or uses foul language, “You do not pay.”The commercial introduced several bad scenarios that most local folks wouldn’t think about in the first place. The commercial might as well have continued, “And if our man makes a pass at your wife, tells dirty jokes to your kids, spits on your kitchen floor or kicks your dog, the next visit is free as well.”Lynn Burton is a staff writer for the Post Independent.

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