Get More Smarter on Wednesday (July 8)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218Colorado Rockies shortshop Troy Tulowitzki won’t campaign for a final spot in the Major League Baseball All-Star game next week. Let’s Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols! If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).

 

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

Recall petitions have been approved in Jefferson County for an effort to remove three right-wing Board of Education members who have accomplished little aside from angering the community since their election in November 2013. The petition drive for the recall of Ken Witt, Julie Williams, and John Newkirk formally kicks off tonight at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

► A Colorado appeals court heard arguments Tuesday about whether or not bakers have the right to refuse to make cakes for same-sex weddings. From the Denver Business Journal:

Jeremy Tedesco, senior legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based Christian legal nonprofit organization representing the cake shop, said a key point in the case is whether an artist should be compelled to create a product for something the artist finds offensive.

Judge Berger quizzed Tedesco about that point. Is it about a cake? Or a fancy wedding cake? Or is the case about same sex marriage?

It’s about being compelled to make a piece of art to celebrate something you don’t believe in, said Tedesco.

Many legal observers have another opinion here: Choosing whether or not to obey the law is not “freedom of expression.”

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

 

IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…

State Senator Morgan Carroll will challenge Rep. Mike Coffman in CD-6. The Cook Political Report quickly re-classified the Aurora district as a “toss-up” for 2016.

If you had money on “6 days,” it looks like you can collect on your wager. Peter Marcus
of the Durango Herald has more on the same-sex marriage blowback:

Observers wondered how long it would take before some in Colorado would try to erode same-sex marriage, which was recently declared the law of the land by the nation’s high court. The answer: six days.

Two initiatives for the 2016 ballot were proposed July 2, both of which seek to limit same-sex marriages. Gay-rights advocates aren’t surprised. Even as they were celebrating the landmark June 26 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, they were preparing for battles in the wake of the decision.

The first initiative would redefine gay marriage in order to limit it to only a civil union. The second proposal would allow businesses providing wedding services to contract jobs to another business if same-sex marriage violates their principles.

Drafting language for ballot initiatives is harder than it looks. As ThinkProgress notes, these two proposed ballot measures could ultimately have the effect of preventing any marriages in Colorado — straight, gay, or otherwise.

► As the U.S. Army finalizes plans to cut some 40,000 soldiers, officials from Fort Carson near Colorado Springs are waiting to hear about the impact on Colorado’s largest military base.

► It’s probably a good thing that state Senator Ellen Roberts (R-Durango) decided against a run for U.S. Senate in 2016; you shouldn’t run for statewide office with onion-thin skin.

► La Plata County Surveyor Larry Connolly died on Monday of apparent natural causes.

► Congressional Republicans are crowing loudly about opposing President Obama’s nuclear containment agreement with Iran, but they don’t have the votes to do anything about it.

 

OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK

► Facts? We don’t need no stinking facts!

► The South Carolina legislature continues to debate whether to remove the Confederate Flag from the State Capitol grounds. The state Senate has approved a plan to remove the flag, though the state House is expected to put up a fight.

 

ICYMI

Greek leaders are asking Europe for a new three-year bailout plan.

► Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, one of eight dozen or so Republicans running for President in 2016, works as his own political consultant.

 

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10 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Robb says:

    I'd missed this one, some shenanigans a few days ago. 

    Jefferson County "Students First," the pro-Board-Majority education "reformers" you'll remember from way back, have outdone themselves — hijacking the well-established anti-Board-Majority Twitter hashtag #standup4kids this past week to misrepresent themselves as being in favor of the recall, all in an effort to raise money:

    Of course, clicking those two identical links takes one to their generic donation page, which is so generic it — surprise — doesn't mention their huge role in helping get the board majority elected. To say nothing of the fact that board member Julie Williams' father-in-law Tim Neville sat on the board of JeffCoSF

    The actual donation page to support the recall effort, as a few Twitter users point out, is https://fundly.com/jeffco-united-for-action

  2. Zappatero says:

    The current Bipartisan Consensus in Washington, DC is that:

    1. Welfare for the poor should be very limited. By definition the poor are less worthy of "our" support and are "taking" from those who've created their own wealth. Further, the poor should also be punished for being poor and failing within our capitalist system. 

    The Greeks deserve this treatment because bad (profligate, lazy) people deserve to suffer when they fall. Welfare, when given to "the wrong people," should come with thorns; bailout money, when given to "the wrong people," should come with some pain, with strings. 

    This philosophy has come to be known as Neo-Liberalism. Some of its adherents, though they most likely won't say so publicly, are Obama, Clinton the First, Mark Udall, and Michael Bennet.

    The "Neo-Liberal Project" 

    I call the above-described form of privatization (monetization) of government-held property the "neo-liberal project." Notice that while neo-liberals share goals with big-money conservatives on the right, most of these privatizers are what we otherwise call "liberals" — like Mayor Richard Daley, for example; or the helpful people at the IMF and the European Central Bank; or Bill Clinton, who wanted to privatize Social Security in 1997, if it weren't for a certain blue dress and the woman inside it.

    When the game is played from the right, they call it Milton Friedman conservatism. When it's played from the left, they call it neo-liberalism ("new" liberalism, like Tony Blair's "New" Labour in the U.K.; like what it was, only not).

    The privatizing game is mainly played from the left, because that's where most of the players are. The Western world is mostly run by "liberals" like these. When Democrats vote for mainstream "liberals," this is what they put into office.

    And this is where bipartisanship is critical.

    2. Welfare for corporations and the rich is acceptable; the purpose of government is to facilitate that welfare through tax structures, business regulations, and the courts By definition the wealthy are more worthy of "our" support and deserve to keep as much of that earned wealth as possible. Further, they they shouldn't have to pay any more than the minimal taxes that might go to any of those poor slacker losers. 

    British Taxpayers are handing businesses £93bn a year – a transfer of more than £3,500 from each household in the UK.

    The total emerges from the first comprehensive account of what Britons give away to companies in grants, subsidies and tax breaks, published exclusively in the Guardian.

    Many of the companies receiving the largest public grants over the past few years previously paid little or zero corporation tax, the analysis shows. They include some of the best-known names in Britain, such as Amazon, Ford and Nissan. The figures intensify the pressure on George Osborne, the chancellor, just as he puts the finishing touches to his budget. At the heart of Wednesday’s announcement will be his plans to cut £12bn more from the social welfare bill.

    Yet that sum is less than the £14.5bn given to companies in direct subsidies and grants alone.

    And here?

    Closing the CEO pay loophole would save taxpayers $50 billion over 10 years.

    Walmart dodged $104 million in federal taxes over the past six years by exploiting the CEO pay loophole.

    Voters strongly oppose the CEO pay loophole. By nearly 2 to 1 (63% to 34%) they want to “prevent corporations from avoiding taxes when they award their executives millions of dollars in stock options (Hart Research, Q 12).

    CEOs of major corporations earn nearly 300 times more than an average worker.This is 10 times more than the CEO-to-worker pay ratio in 1978 when CEOs earned 30 times more.

    CEOs often get their “performance-based” bonuses even when they don’t reach performance goals.

     

    • mamajama55 says:

      Zap,

      I made it through the #1 section of the above thesis. The foreign policy stuff is pretty interesting, but it does not show that neo-liberals think that"Welfare for the poor should be very limited."

      I'd like to think that Bill Clinton would not have privatized social security; but he did put TANF in place, kicking lots of families deeper into poverty when they"timed off" of their cash grants. While fiscal conservatives approved of this, the reality was that it takes more than 60 months to get trained for a job which pays enough to support a single parent and kids. And its almost impossible to find quality, affordable child care while being trained. And, of course, corporate welfare continued unchecked.

      So maybe Big Bill would have betrayed the elderly poor the way he did the young working poor. I don't know. The article you linked to seems to say that Monica Lewinsky saved Social Security by distracting Bill and the nation with the subsequent "scandal". And maybe he was the first well-known "neo-liberal". I'm still skeptical of these claims.

       

  3. mamajama55 says:

    Brownback in Kansas has an especially evil pushback to the marriage equality decision. He issued an executive order that prohibits state action against religious organizations which discriminate against gays. In other words, its an "OK to discriminate" order.

    The order means “a homeless shelter that received a state contract or grant could refuse family housing to a gay couple with a child, or a foster care agency could refuse to place a child in their custody with the child’s family member just because the family member was in a same-sex relationship – and the state could not require them to treat all families equally,” said Micah Kubic, executive director of the Kansas chapter of the ACLU.

    So Brownback has wrecked Kansas' economy with austerity measures – and now he hopes Kansans will feel better about everything cause now they are free to hate on their LBGTQ neighbors? Something tells me this will not end well.

    Does anyone know if we have refugee camps for our neighbors from the east?

  4. notaskinnycook says:

    Why should we take them in? They elected the dope governor, and that was after they’d seen him in action as a senator. Their only hope is to catch him in a scandal of some sort. Well, he is a Teavangelist, so there's probably a skeleton in some closet in his house.

  5. Canines says:

    If those members of the Jefferson County School Board get recalled, I'd like to think, in this instance, it will be as a result of "Intelligent Design."

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