HUDSON: THE MATH ISN’T SO SIMPLE
Supporters of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) amendment would like Colorado taxpayers to believe it provides a simple braking mechanism on increases in state and local spending. And, for a few years in the mid-‘90s it probably did just that — slow the rate of growth in these governmental budgets. But it didn’t take long for the finaglers (think lobbyists, tax lawyers, JBC members, OSPB staff and the half dozen other legislators who actually understand how the long bill works) to begin constructing TABOR escape hatches for their favored initiatives.
HUDSON: VITAL BRICKS IN THE WALL OF COLORADO’S ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE
Denver residents no longer need to padlock their liquor cabinets and hide away their daughters when the Legislature arrives in town. The legal protection that Colorado voters learned about last session, when state Rep. Laura Bradford was released after a suspected DUI stop by Denver police officers, wasn’t established to forestall partisan kidnappings — it was authorized to insure quorums weren’t threatened by multiple incarcerations in the Denver County jail.
The Colorado Statesman
A dozen years ago a red-haired Canadian Scot by way of Bermuda was renting a room in my West Denver basement. Eric MacDonald of Parsons Engineering was the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) project manager for RTD’s 6th Avenue light rail line west to Golden. Eric lived in Orlando at the time, but was spending three or four days a week in Denver, so it was easier for him to simply stash extra clothes, boots and jackets here, rather than toting them back and forth on the plane (especially post 9/11).
HUDSON: RUMMAGING THROUGH THE NATIONAL MEDICINE CABINET
The occasional bleating noises that have emerged from the offices of health care providers since the 2009 adoption of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are about to swell into a full-throated chorus of high decibel wailings and lamentations. Within a few weeks insurors will be filing their premium schedules with state Insurance Commissions for the medical plans they are required to offer on health care exchanges. These insurors will no longer be allowed to exclude pre-existing conditions, establish annual or lifetime benefit limits, nor can they require co-pays for many preventive procedures.
HUDSON: INSIDE THE BELTWAY
“Suppose you were an idiot,
HUDSON: LOCAL PRODUCTIONS HAVE FLAIR
A Portrait of Robert Kennedy by Jack Holmes. Directed by Terry Dodd and playing through February 24 at the Vintage Theatre, Aurora. War Horse adapted by Nick Stafford and the Handspring Puppet Company of South Africa from the children’s book by Michael Morpurgo. A National Theatre of Great Britain production, directed by Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr, staged at the Denver Center’s Buell Theater and playing through January 20.
HUDSON: CAN’T PUT A SILENCER ON MY THOUGHTS
Only a fool bothers to write about guns in America. However polarized Congress may be today, firearms define a public fault line where passions bubble furiously along both sides of the divide. It’s nearly impossible to propose a middle course that doesn’t invite vituperative attacks from both gun nuts and their opponents. But, after the recent slaughter of schoolchildren in Connecticut, only the latest of many similar incidents reaching far back beyond Columbine, I am willing to play the fool. To remain silent would be, to some degree, to become complicit in the next massacre of innocents.
HUDSON: THERE ARE PROMISES & THEN THERE ARE PROMISES
Every political candidate, irrespective of party, is frequently asked whether they will support or oppose various policies or spending priorities. Many of these queries are easy to answer, while others produce the kind of evasiveness demonstrated by Florida’s Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who was recently asked how old he thought the Earth was. His reply that he is not a scientist was a transparent dodge, and not a very artful one at that. Whenever public discussions stray into the realm of moral values and religious beliefs, politicians are quick to crank up their fog machines.
I had election stories to file last week before I could hit the road again. It was 11:00 a.m. Wednesday morning before I’d met my deadlines, packed the car, picked up a large bag of malt vinegar Kettle chips, in preference to Cheetos or gold fish, and filled my cooler with soft drinks, water bottles and Colorado IPAs. My daughter was opening her new Pilates studio in Chicago’s Wicker Park on Thursday evening and it was also my granddaughter’s birthday. Time to roll east with the last of Lara’s belongings, which had remained lurking in my basement 40 years after her birth. I ratcheted the stereo up on high, a box of CDs in the passenger seat and a SIRIUS XM channel when I wanted to check on election results. Road trip!
HUDSON: MEMORIES FROM THE PAST
I’ve been thinking a lot about Adolph Dubs the past few weeks. Who? Following the recent assassination of J. Christopher Stevens in Benghazi, most news reports noted he was the first American Ambassador in 33 years to be murdered in the line of duty. Like Stevens, “Spike” Dubs was a career foreign service officer appointed as Ambassador to Afghanistan (no surprise there) by Jimmy Carter. Members of the Semtani Milli militia kidnapped Dubs in Kabul.