HILARIOUS STORY FROM THE POST

So funny.  So very funny.  And the more you think about it, the more funny it gets.  Here’s the headline:

Popular bill that could save Colorado $60 million a year languishes

So, of course this is the Denver Post, so my first assumption is that this is about some sort of ridiculous tax cut like, I dunno, cutting emergency services to neighborhoods with low property values.  However, it is actually because Colorado, in a somewhat reasonable decision, doesn’t allow governments to invest in anything with a less than sterling credit rating.  Unfortunately, you know who has unfortunately had some credit problems recently?  The United States Government.

Let that sink in for a minute.  That’s right, the state and local governments of Colorado are now no longer able to invest their money into the Federal Government, which up until the credit downgrade had apparently provided net gains to our general governmental budgets of $60 million per year.  You might wonder why, in an age of budget cuts, such a thing didn’t fly through the legislative process on guilded wings.  It did, in fact, fly through committee in just such a mannor, but has yet to be addressed in the House proper.  While the Post remains mystified by this, as the only person who they believe could shed any light on the matter is House Speaker Frank McNulty, who is unquestionably responsible for why the bill hasn’t been addressed.  When asked about this,

House Speaker Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, did not respond to repeated attempts to obtain comment. However, a spokesman, Owen Loftus, said, “Different bills move at different paces.”

So here is why, since the Post refuses to say it and I refuse to believe that they are that stupid. As Jon Stewart pointed out on last night’s memo, our national debt is a republican party talking point, and much more, a lynchpin of the entire Republican National Strategy, which is fairly simple. Using our debt as an excuse, they sell government assets and responsibilities to companies controlled by their cronies as ‘privatization’. As any honest economist will tell you, this is the opposite of how a nation needs to recover from a budget crisis. As this only acts to worsen the situation, this will cause the general economy to worsen overall, while it improves for the select few controlling the companies that benefit from privatization, as has been the case since the Reagan administration. This will increase the national debt, continuing their justification for more budget cuts and privatization. It isn’t a plan to recover from debt, but to exploit the debt at the expense of the taxpayer to benefit a comparatively miniscule percentage of the population; and the concept of government debt is the keystone of the entire strategy. This happens on both a national level and a state and local level, and it is happening right now in Colorado. So McNulty will let the bill languish longer in the house, until it is no longer politically convenient for him to do so, or until they put together a law that instead of allowing local governments to invest in the Federal Government, allows them to invest in Republican campaign contributors chosen by the House. Oh shit, that is totally what is going to happen.

Why Rick Santorum will cost the GOP the election, and why there is nothing they can do about it

So, here’s the thing.  Primary voters represent the most dedicated members of a party, and the minority at that.  For instance, in the Colorado caucus where Santorum won with less than 40 percent of the vote, only 8 percent of registered Colorado republicans voted.  So his “victory” here basically says that around 2.8 percent of registered Colorado Republicans cared enough about Senator Anal Froth to vote for him.  No matter how much Fox News might like to talk about an “energized republican base” 2.8 percent isn’t a base of anything.
However, the great thing about all this is that the more Santorum you see all over the GOP, the more filthy they will look to your average, moderate American voter.  Santorum doesn’t even need media hyperbole to paint him as a wannabe Ayatollah, his nonstop ranting about Satan accomplishes that.  While it may be a risky bet I am willing to wager that; despite what Santorum, Gingrich, et al would like us to think, most of Americans aren’t pushing for this country to become a Papist version of Iran with either Santorum or Gingrich enforcing the Pope’s infallible laws.  Freedom of religion does not mean the freedom of one religion to use the government to enforce their ancient holy mumbo jumbo.  When the least aggressively religious candidate your party has is the Mormon guy, that is a bad sign. 
So I say power to Rick Santorum, as his Holy Roller act is only going to turn people away from the GOP.  The icing on the cake is that  the more the wingnut media tries to make it look like he is the voice of the party, the more people will reject the GOP in favor of the center-leftists that comprise Obama and the prominent Democrats. 

Contraception and the Constitution (or, another post I never thought I would have to write)

Now I am not trying to be a dick here, or anything (wordplay) but I think it is important to actually discuss the current ‘debate’ over birth control, the Catholic Crutch (no typos here), and the U.S. Constitution.  First, let us look at the relevant text.  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” and then it continues on with several more things that nobody seems to care nearly as much about the protection of.  Notice that there is nothing there about not paying any taxes, seriously, nothing.  That has been based on various questionable court decisions and bizarre tax code regulations that, if correctly enforced, would cause a lot of churches to actually lose their tax exemptions.  However, I am not here to talk about whether or not churches should pay taxes (they should) but rather whether or not insurance providers should be required to provide birth control to their plan purchasers.  Which seems like a really stupid question, because it is.  First, if a Catholic chooses to buy birth control, let us be clear that it is their decision, they are exercising their religious freedom in this situation; it is not an infringement of the right of the church to keep them from doing so.  The First Amendment was not written to protect the rights of churches from the desires of their followers, but to prevent a situation similar to what England had gone through with both the Catholic Church and the Church of England.

From a certain court-established viewpoint, one which I do not necessarily agree with, I can understand the objection to the contraception decision in its previous state, in which the religious organisation (not church, churches were already directly exempt) was required to pay the cost of the contraceptive care.  However, in the revised plan, if the religious organisation may choose not to pay for it, in which case the cost must be covered by the insurance company.  Which, to most people in touch with reality, seems like a perfectly reasonable agreement between a forward thinking government and a religion bound up in ancient conventions (although not specifically encoded to reference birth control in 1965) that were, and still are, intended for the purpose of expanding a certain notoriously greedy theocracy’s population and therefore (very directly, both in olden times and now) financial assets.  Same as multiple marriages and kids for Mormons; more Mormons = more money for the Mormon leadership.  But I digress. At issue here is whether or not this arrangement violated any constitutional right: to which I can only say that there is no remotely factual interpretation of the above mentioned amendment that can be interpreted to conflict with this. A strict constitutionalist would argue that, as it clearly not only applies to all religious organisations indiscriminately but does not directly require them to take any action at all, there can be no conflict there. A more adaptive ‘living constitution’ argument would reason that the intentions of the founders were not to enable religious leaders to force their beliefs on the employees of their hospitals and charitable organisations to adhere to their belief structure; but quite rather to prevent that type of thing. This is without taking into account that many of these groups receive huge amounts of federal funding; and whether or not that gives the government a right to say how they spend it (it does).
If you really want to know why this argument is is being given any kind of credibility at all, what really needs to be examined is the giant piles of cash the congressmen who are so incensed, particularly Darrell Issa, receive from the health insurance companies each year. These piles are huge, and can be seen in the voting records of those in question, which unilaterally favor deregulation and oppose requiring health insurance companies to cover anything they don’t want to, or God Forbid offer services for free. In short, the Catholic leaders are really just a political tool of the corporate wing of the republican party to continue to expand their bottom lines at the expense of the taxpayers. So, basically, business as usual.

Apple once again finds themselves on the wrong side of copyright law

http://m.denverpost.com/denverpost/db_261957/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=RnLBjNRi

Link from the post.

Apparently there is a Chinese company that their courts think has a legitimate claim to the iPad, although I am unclear as to the exact nature; as is typical with an article in the Denver Post.  Apple has previously had issues over the fact that they basically completely robbed their iPod technology and design from Creative Labs.  I will look into this more when I am not on my phone.

House once again effectively renders reform legislation worthless.

http://m.denverpost.com/denverpost/db_108615/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=eas7T0Yx

The first thing that jumps out at me from this story is that apparently a $400 million industry built around directly selling American political intelligence to American companies.  With about as much regulation as a 10 year old’s lemonade stand.  This certainly explains a lot about the relationship between the stock market and congress.  It doesn’t surprise me that this exists, but it does surprise me that the people doing this don’t even have to identify themselves as such.  A provision requiring them to do so, which passed in the senate, was stripped from the house version that was recently passed.  Stripped by the King of Pandering Objectivist Nerd Whiners (an ever expanding category) Eric Cantor.  Go Democracy!

Santorum Surges Forth, Overwhelming Gingrich, Romney

Results of the Colorado Caucus [Denver Post]
So Rick Santorum (go google it now, just to keep the pageviews up) has just won three states in one night. Including, not too surprisingly, Colorado. I say not surprisingly, even though Romney won here four years ago, and received the endorsement of many of Colorado’s more prominent Republican party members, including the Denver Post. And yes, that reads correctly. So if Romney was so heavily favored, how did he lose so decisively?
The answer is simple: Romney is very heavily favored, but only by the establishment, the surrounding millionaires, and the wealthy republicans who make up the majority of their party’s financial assets. However, the past four years have not been particularly kind to the public image of insanely wealthy venture capitalists. This is why the counties that Romney was able to win either had substantial Mormon populations or were in the Denver metro area.
In the areas Santorum won, he had two major advantages over Romney going into the campaign. The first is that Colorado has always been particularly distrustful of the political establishment; and Colorado natives frequently exhibit this trait in their voting. The second is that rural Colorado, particularly the flat parts, is populated heavily by Christian zealots and meth nazis. These are two groups that are obviously all up in Santorum’s camp. Remember, this is the state that tried to make it totally cool to discriminate against gays for any reason.

G for Vendetta

Obligatory link to story in the Post

So here are my thoughts on the Republican race in Colorado, for the nobody who particularly wants to hear them. Bear in mind of course that I wouldn’t consider myself a member of either party, my personal political beliefs being best describes as a strongly freedom-minded leftist. Mitt Romney appeals to the moneyed elite wing of the party, hence the Denver Post endorsement, as well as those who are Republican mainly for reasons of financial self-interest. Ron Paul, who, if you apply the traditional definition is the only Conservative Republican in the race, appeals to the like. However, the modern republican party is no place for someone who believes in a smaller, less intrusive, cost effective government; and so he is regarded rightfully as a fringe candidate. Rick Santorum is the kind of guy who looks at Iran and says ‘the only problem with them is that they aren’t Christians’; and would endeavor to make our nation as similar to such a theocracy as possible, simply swapping out their faith for his. Which brings us to the Newtster. The Newtmeister. Newtzilla. His Newterness. Let’s go with that last one. Newt appeals to two types of people: angry racists who have more fear and hatred than common sense; and the women who think that they could be the next Newt Gingirch. Like this one:
“Nicholle DeVere, who attended the Gingrich rally in Golden in the morning and also planned to see Romney at night. The 34-year-old from Parker said she has always liked Gingrich and ‘just wanted to be in the same room with him.”
From that Post story, of course. Also, gross.

So, if you call yourself a Republican or a conservative, I don’t understand how you could vote for anyone other than Ron Paul, because he is the only one who isn’t a clingy and transparent phony. I wouldn’t vote for him in a million years, but civil negotiation between people like him and people like me is what helped this country succeed for 150 years, before both parties simply became the Corporation parties.