The 2012 presidential race seems to be dragging its feet compared to where we were four years ago, but it isn't stopping candidates from having a go at record-breaking fundraising.
Putting that kind of spending into perspective isn't always easy, but considering all the painful cutbacks local government and human services have endured, you could always compare Mitt Romney's anonymous campaign receipts to, say, how much of the state of Illinois' debt to the city of Decatur that might pay down, but why?
On the other side of things, fake pundit Stephen Colbert may be undergoing the strangest piece of performance art ever by starting his own political action committee and essentially soliciting donations from his viewership. This lead to a truly bizarre-sounding advisory opinion from the Federal Election Commission, which essentially ruled that Colbert's employers could allow him to stump for the PAC on his show without it counting as an in-kind contribution.
Mitt Romney should not be receiving donations from companies that existed just to give him a donation before dissolving after two months, but it's doubtful he's at all aware of the ethical dubiousness of this.
Colbert, on the other hand, seems fully aware that political action committees are a space shuttle-sized loophole through which entrenched interests can funnel unlimited money with virtually no accountability. It begs the question of whether he's trying to beat the political hierarchy at its own game or if he intends to martyr himself by somehow getting into so much trouble that the FEC bans his activities, and by extension, those of the groups he emulates with a (mostly) straight face.
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Ladies, your birth control and abuse counseling is as frivolous as a mani-pedi
At least, that's what Sandy Rios, VP of Family PAC Federal, said on Fox News this week, commenting on the Obama administration's recent order to all U.S. insurance companies to cover birth control expenses without charging a co-pay. In doing so, he may well have struck the mightiest blow against abortion in history, but Republicans are not seeing it that way.
In addition to birth control, insurers would be required to provide breastfeeding support and supplies, domestic violence screening and counseling, counseling about sexually transmitted infections, and a number of other preventive services without charging women any co-pays.
Tax-hounds will howl about this. They should instead worry about the cost in LINK cards and WIC checks of a child whose family cannot support him or her. Could you feed a kid on the $50-a-month co-pay you're saving?
Fiscal arguments aside, I'm a man and I'm still offended by how conservatives are reacting to this. Women's health is an issue of worldwide importance, and opponents of this move are acting as if it's something to be dismissed.