And yet these people claim to be our intellectual and moral betters?

July 12, 2013

Like I said on Twitter: I’ve tried, I really have, but I fail to understand how bringing used tampons and jars filled with urine and feces to your state legislature can be considered a winning argument when you want to influence pending legislation.

Guess I’m just not as smart and politically sophisticated as I thought.


Man, I want whatever it is Nancy Pelosi is smoking

July 12, 2013
I'm the best ever!

“Would I lie to you?”

Because that has to be some powerful choom:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., explained to reporters that the Treasury Department didn’t really delay the employer mandate of Obamacare, even though the Treasury Department said that businesses don’t have to pay the employer mandate penalty if they don’t provide insurance to employees next year.

“The mandate was not delayed,” Pelosi told reporters during the press briefing today. “Certain reporting by businesses that could be perceived by as onerous — that reporting requirement was delayed, and partially to review how it would work and how it could be better. It was not a delay of the mandate for businesses and there should not be a delay for individuals.”

Oh, really, Madame former-Speaker? Because that’s not what the Treasury Department says:

…the Administration will work with employers, insurers, and other reporting entities to strongly encourage them to voluntarily implement this information reporting in 2014, in preparation for the full application of the provisions in 2015.  Real-world testing of reporting systems in 2014 will contribute to a smoother transition to full implementation in 2015.

We recognize that this transition relief will make it impractical to determine which employers owe shared responsibility payments (under section 4980H) for 2014.  Accordingly, we are extending this transition relief to the employer shared responsibility payments.  These payments will not apply for 2014.  Any employer shared responsibility payments will not apply until 2015.

Nice try, Nancy, but, if the reporting requirements are delayed, the mandate is delayed, “voluntary compliance” or not.

I honestly can’t decide if she’s so tightly cocooned inside the Beltway that she can’t imagine how foolish she (so often) sounds, or if she just thinks we’re all idiots.

Probably a combination of both.


Secession!! Wait… in Colorado??

July 12, 2013
320px-Map_of_Colorado_counties,_labelled.svg

Proposed new state highlighted in tan

We’ve had another outbreak of one part of a state wanting to tell another to go to… Well, just “go away.” It comes up periodically in California, where there’s often talk of breaking the state in two for being too big, and the far northern counties periodically get sick of being ignored and make noises about forming the State of Jefferson with some Oregon counties.

Now its Colorado’s turn. In addition to being upset over the recent passage of repressive gun laws, residents of rural parts of the state are angry over state efforts to promote renewable energy sources over fossil fuels, the latter of which are important to northern Colorado’s economy. And, having had enough abuse, eight counties want form their own state:

“Northern and Northeastern Colorado and our voices are being ignored in the legislative process this year, and our very way of life is under attack,” Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway told Coloradoan.com.

“This is not a stunt. This is a very serious deliberative discussion that’s going on,” Conway told CBS Denver. “There’s a real feeling that a lot of folks who come from the urban areas don’t appreciate the contribution that many Coloradans contribute.”

Officials from Weld, Morgan, Logan, Sedgwick, Phillips, Washington, Yuma and Kit Carson counties were involved in the discussions, Conway said, adding that two counties in Nebraska are interested in joining the new state.

“We need to figure out way to re-enfranchise the people who feel politically disenfranchised now and ignored,” he said.

Conway and his coalition are hoping to put the question of secession to voters in November through a ballot referendum.

Splitting a state is a tough thing to do. The Constitution (Article IV, Section 3) requires approval of the state legislature and Congress, as well as any requirements under Colorado law. Denver Democrats, even if they don’t like fossil fuels, probably like the tax revenue they generate, while D.C. Democrats aren’t likely to want to create what would almost certainly be two new Republican senators. The last time a new state was carved out of another, it was West Virginia in 1863, and let’s just say the circumstances were a bit unusual at the time.

But I’m not unsympathetic; the Democrat-dominated legislature was arrogant when they shoved through the new gun laws in the face of strong popular opposition, apparently listening more to Washington pols and outside groups like Mike Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, than their own voters. And being economically harmed can lead to harsh feelings, too. (Just ask people who used to work in the logging and mining industries in northern California.)

In fact, I’m surprised there aren’t more efforts by rural counties to escape the control of the often left-leaning metropolises that have come to dominate several states and treat their rural brethren as barely tolerated rubes, there to pay taxes and otherwise shut up. Southern Illinois seems to have every reason to secede from Chicago, for example, and friends in eastern Washington often complain about Seattle’s dominance of their state. And if anyone has a real gripe, it’s southern and western New York.

I’ll keep an eye on this and report on developments. In a time of political and economic ferment, a movement like this might just succeed.

RELATED: A CBS Denver article linked by the Yahoo report mentions a backup plan, should the effort to create North Colorado fail — a push to change the state senate from representation by district to one senator for each county. It’s an interesting idea to redress urban dominance, mirroring the philosophy behind the Great Compromise over the federal House and Senate. It might be a better idea than splitting the state, but I really can’t see Denver-area Democrats agreeing to (almost certainly) hand this much power to conservatives. It would have to be done by ballot initiative.

UPDATE: Looks like some southern Colorado counties want in …er… out… um… both, too, and some western Nebraska and Kansas counties have expressed interest in the idea.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)