Monday Open Thread

“I know of one man who spent his best energies backstabbing.”

–George Mazzei

56 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. nancycronknancycronk says:

    The Colorado legislature has presented a number of anti-choice bills this session, which are not getting the attention because of the national news on the same subject. Senator Neville (R) is sponsoring the “Freedom of Conscience Act” which is similar to the Blunt Amendment, among others. There will be a Planned Parenthood rally on the steps of the State Capitol today at 11 am (Monday) to send the message, “CO women will fight back to retain our rights!”  

  2. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Surprising items to me – I didn’t realize renewables/environment was growing at that level. And while newspapers are where expected, online publishing is rocking so we will still get news, just from different sources.

  3. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    How The Affordable Care Act Could Quash The GOP’s Dream Of Medicare Privatization

    In a development with potentially profound implications – both for Medicare itself and for the broader ideological fight between the two parties over the role of government – researchers writing in the New England Journal of Medicine believe that the growth in per patient Medicare costs has slowed, contra earlier projections that spending would soar at an unsustainable rate. More importantly, the researchers believe this trend will hold over time, thanks largely to the Affordable Care Act’s sweeping cost-control policies.

  4. SSG_Dan says:

    That wasn’t an iceberg you hit. Everything is fine in advertiser-land…

    ‘Rush Limbaugh Show’ Broadcasts Five Minutes of Dead Air

    Of the 86 ads aired during Thursday’s New York broadcast, 77 were public service announcements and seven were from companies seeking to pull ads from the talk radio program.

    The fallout over Rush Limbaugh’s controversial comments about a Georgetown University law student continues. After dozens of sponsors said they would no longer advertise on The Rush Limbaugh Show, Thursday’s New York broadcast included five minutes of silence and an advertising lineup consisting almost entirely of public service announcements. The dead airtime was spread out over four instances during the three-hour broadcast. WABC 770 AM in New York was silent for two and a half minutes before the show, save for one ad, then again near the end of the show’s first hour. Hours two and three each contained one minute of silence each, reports Think Progress. A station representative did not specify whether the silence was due to lost advertisers or a technical problem.

    Of the 86 ads that were aired, 77 were unpaid public service announcements from the Ad Council, and seven were from sponsors which were in the process of removing support from the show. Only two ads were from sponsors which have not indicated they would leave, reports Media Matters. The same day, one of the first companies to pull support from the show, the mattress company Sleep Train, asked to come back. Limbaugh refused.

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.c

  5. Algernon MoncriefAlgernon Moncrief says:

    I read a post a few days ago speculating that the state could have an answer from the Court of Appeals on the case this summer.  Why did we ever go down this road?  We could have adopted legal prospective pension reforms like our neighbor Utah did three years ago and skipped all of the litigation.  Isn’t it obvious that trying to breach your contractual obligations is wrong?  What more did we need?  We had PERA’s General Counsel quoted in the Post stating that taking the COLA was likely illegal, we had an AG opinion stating that taking the COLA was illegal, we had case law in Colorado saying that taking the COLA was illegal, we had numerous members of the Legislature stating on the floor of the House and Senate that taking the COLA was illegal. Is this not enough to cause a legislator to doubt the constitutionality of a bill they’re voting on?

    Check out the recent Florida ruling in this post below:

    THE COLORADO WE LIVE IN.

    Fact #1: Governor Hickenlooper signs bill this week to give a raise to state legislators.  Fact #2: State legislators steal contracted, earned, fully-vested, and accrued retirement benefits from elderly in our state (SB 10-001, COLA theft bill.)

    Our values are warped.

    Thank God the courts are beginning to correct the outright, unabashed theft of public pension benefits that has occurred in a number of states across the U.S.  Read below the clarity that this Florida judge brings to the matter, it is truly breathtaking.

    COLA LAWSUIT VICTORY IN FLORIDA! – FLORIDA JUDGE: IT’S ILLEGAL TO TAKE EVEN FUTURE COLA ACCRUALS FROM EMPLOYEES, LET ALONE COLA BENEFITS THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN EARNED AND ACCRUED (SEE: COLORADO GENERAL ASSEMBLY, SB1.)

    The Florida Legislature attempted pension reforms that were not nearly as aggressive, in terms of risk of unconstitutionality, as those adopted by the Colorado General Assembly. Nevertheless, the Florida Legislature has been smacked down by the courts.

    Here are some noteworthy portions of the Florida ruling:

    “This court cannot set aside its constitutional obligations because a budget crisis exists in the state of Florida. To do so would be in direct contravention of this court’s oath to follow the law.”

    “To find otherwise would mean that a

    contract with our state government has no meaning.”

    “There was certainly a lawful means by which they could have achieved the same result.”

    “Florida law is clear that a legislature can, as part of its power to contract, authorize a contract that grants vested rights which a future legislature cannot impair.”

    “The elimination of the future COLA adjustment alone will result in a 4 to 24% reduction in the plaintiffs total retirement income. These costs are substantial as a matter of law.”

    “Where the state violates its own contract, complete deference to a legislative assessment of reasonableness and necessity is not appropriate because the state’s self-interest is at stake.”

    “All indications are that the Florida Legislature chose to effectuate the challenged provisions of SB 2100 in order to make funds available for other purposes.”

    “If a state could reduce its financial obligations whenever it wanted to spend the money for what it regarded as an important public purpose, the Contract Clause would provide no protection at all.”

    “The Takings Clause is intended to prevent

    the government from forcing some people alone to bear public burdens, which in all fairness and justice should be borne by the public as a whole.”

    “Defendants are further ordered to reimburse with interest the funds deducted or withheld . . . from the compensation or cost-of-living adjustments of employees who were members of the FRS prior to July 1, 2011.”

    Here’s a link to the decision in Florida:

    http://judicial.clerk.leon.fl….

    Here’s hoping that one day Justus will prevail in Colorado.  Read all about it and support the lawsuit at saveperacola.com.

    • AristotleAristotle says:

      because it’s just a bunch of legalese. Most of us non-lawyer types can’t read it.

      In the future, please write a summary, no more than a couple of paragraphs and include the link so those who want more detail can go get it.

      • Algernon MoncriefAlgernon Moncrief says:

        prior to voting on Senate Bill 10-001.

        • VanDammerVanDammer says:

          so 11 posts since 2010 and now a scurry of  long detailed posts quoting from a FL ruling.

          Some one brings that to your attention and the retort is along the lines of “you’re no different than them.”

          You want to discuss this?  You want to align support for your cause?  Or do you just want to piss off anyone/everyone that might give it a read?

          You want to cite the FL ruling then blockquote it.  This is same post as your Friday activity, why not link back to that?

          As you’ll see your presence is welcome but you’re quickly wearing it out.

    • joining the rest of the conversation here rather than coming along once or twice per week and posting long, hard-to-read ramblings on a single subject – especially when the rambling has to do with state court rulings in other states, based on other state’s laws?

      I can’t remember the last time someone managed to make a subject so open to sympathy so unappealing and off-putting.

      • Algernon MoncriefAlgernon Moncrief says:

        Yes, state legal environments differ, however, we all live under the US Constitution and its Contract Clause.  The the US Constitution make exceptions for the rule of law in certain states?  Also note in the Florida ruling showcased above that the state attempted a taking that was just a fraction of the brazen theft in SB 10-001.  Our bill in Colorado, SB 1, was an extreme overreach, taking fully-vested pension benefits from current retirees, clearly contravening established common law and case law.

        Sometimes confronting a hard truth is unappealing and off-putting.  Sorry, there really is no way to sugar-coat this outright theft.  The Legislature did not take a cautious approach when legislating in this area, they did not act with humility.  They ramroded a bill through the process, a preordained outcome endorsed by public unions.  PERA spent member assets in an attempt to take fully-vested benefits from those same members.  In light of all this can you expect PERA retirees to approach this issue in a magnanimous fashion?  

        Not likely.

  6. BlueCat says:

    the Pentagon will feed us, trying to make things look as least bad as possible,  before the facts about the awful incident in Afghanistan are revealed but the latest I’m seeing is that the sergeant involved, who was not a Green Beret himself but army support to a unit tasked with establishing ties of trust (yep) with locals had already served multiple tours in Iraq. Sounds very likely that this could be a case of a PTSD sufferer being heartlessly and recklessly recycled.  Also locals are saying it wasn’t just one guy going off but a group of soldiers. Guess, as usual, it will take a while before we know all of what really happened, if ever.

    Sorry, I just don’t see what good is ever going to come of our continuing to occupy Afghanistan. As far as establishing trust, I find it unlikely that Afghans, most of whom are illiterate with no knowledge of the larger world, period, are going to be any more inclined at any time in the foreseeable future to trust any foreigners, much less those from a completely alien culture who don’t even share their religion, than they have been for millennia. For once I agree with Newt: This is undoable.  

    • SSG_Dan says:

      …describe the soldier engaging in house-clearing drills by himself. When an Afghan appeared, he shot them regardless if they were armed or threatening.

      Nic Gray, one of our first clients in CoSprings Vet Court was arrested doing the same thing. He wasn’t armed, but his behavior was consistent with the same kind of drill.

      However, don’t equal a Soldier (or Marine’s) job title with what they actually do in The Suck. If he was attached to a Special Ops unit, he’s not sitting in the back of a HUMVEE or MWRAP waiting for the mission to finish. He’s humping with the operators and engaging in the same combat they are.

      Another example – One of my vets with severe PTSI was an Air Defense Artillery Radar Repairman…and since A-Q doesn’t have an air force, he was placed in a unit that guarded convoys as they drove around Iraq at 100+ MPH.

      He received severe physical and mental injuries when his convoy was hit by an IED… the 5-ton truck in front of him flipped and landed directly his his vehicles path, which he hit at about 90mph. (His best friend was in the cargo area in that vehicle, and his vehicle crushed him as he watched.) He was thrown over the accident, where he severely injuried his back.

      The VA refused to initially grant him any treatment for PTSI because of his job, and the fact that the Army classified his injuries as coming from an “auto accident” and not combat.  

      • BlueCat says:

        You can go back to Roman times and probably beyond.  Soldiers have always been used up and screwed, promises made to them broken. What a shame it’s been the same in the USA no matter how many photo ops and bumper magnets proclaim our undying devotion to the troops. The gerous GI bill following WWII that had such a dramatic effect on the lives and fortunes of so many who had served their country stands, unfortuntately, as a little jewel of an exception that proves the rule.

        • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

          It was designed to not flood the job market with returning troops bringing back the depression. The primary purpose was to help the economy.

          It was a great thing and had a fantastic positive impact on the economy. But it was not voted through to thank the troops.

          • BlueCat says:

            not screwing the troops for a change though. So, regardless of intent it led to an exception to the age old, time honored, use them up and toss them like toilet paper rule. Every lawyer and every doctor from my Mom’s old neighborhood, all children of Jewish immigrants, got to be in those professions entirely and only because of the GI bill. Not that they all became professionals (not by a long shot) but those who did had the GI bill to thank.

    • Middle of the Road says:

      is thick and that’s an understatement.

      “The so-called American peace keepers have once again quenched their thirst with the blood of innocent Afghan civilians,” the Taliban statement said.

      Although the Taliban was quick to try to capitalize on outrage over the killings, the group and other insurgents have been responsible for the vast majority of civilian deaths in Afghanistan over the years, according to the United Nations. Of 3,021 documented civilian deaths last year, 77 percent were caused by insurgents, largely through the increased used of makeshift explosives and suicide bombings, the U.N. report said.

  7. Two states had their shiny new Voter ID laws struck down today:

    Wisconsin voters will not have to produce voter IDs thanks to a state court ruling striking down the provision.  Texas voters can also vote without forking out the poll tax registration fees for a Voter ID, thanks to a ruling by the DOJ that it unduly targets Hispanics (the state figures note that 4.9% of all voters do not have IDs, while 10.8% of Hispanic citizens lack the required ID).

    Of course, in addition to the 10.8% of Hispanics, it should be noted that almost 5% of all Texas voters would be rejected under the voter ID law, and that Texas fails to accommodate those who cannot afford an ID (nevermind the hassle of getting an ID from the state, or the problems we’ve noted in the past about birth certificates…).

  8. letusbereal says:

    For all his faults Frank McNulty has done a good job recruiting candidates.  Max Tyler, Daniel Kagan and Su Ryden are in serious trouble due to the strong candidates recruited.  

    The Democrats failed to find strong candidates to challenge Cindy Acree or Kevin Priola.  

    On the Senate side I think that the only Democrat who will lose is Evie Hudak.  

  9. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    Palmer High School Yearbook Diversity Debate

    http://www.krdo.com/news/30650

    “She told me to in these exact words, you either cut the gay couple or I cut the page.” said former Palmer High School Yearbook Staff Member Rudolpho “Coco” Tribulio.

  10. Libertad says:

    The skin burrowing mite has arrived and the OWS-Denver Urination Compound is now a confirmed scabies outbreak site.

    http://www.denverpost.com/brea

    You are the 99% and your scat daddy backers now need to inoculate you with a dose of Obamacare.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      “scat daddy backers”? . . . “a _unt, rhymes with punt”? . . .

      I give you two weeks tops (March 26th),  . . .  can’t say it’s been good knowing you.

      C’mon polsters, the March Libertad Madness pool is now open . . .

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