Why, there oughtta be a law ... As we hit the halfway mark of the state Legislative session, members of our Colorado Springs legislative delegation have certainly not disappointed us. It seems that the growing trend is for elected politicians to introduce laws dealing with issues not necessarily for the common good, but based on the politician's own personal experiences, likes, dislikes and pet peeves.
Take for example, freshmen Republicans Dave Schultheis and Mark Cloer, both emerging as the pride of El Paso County's 13-member delegation. Between these two, we've got a minefield of possibilities.
A few weeks back, you'll recall, Cloer was the tearful sponsor of a bill that allows people to take their miscarriages home from the hospital and have them buried. That proposal was based on Cloer's insistence that he had been refused his request to take his fetuses home after his wife miscarried.
Now, Cloer has another proposal where women on welfare would get a cash bonus if they get married. And Schultheis has also recently gotten a lot of attention for his proposal -- nicknamed the Dr. Laura bill because the lawmaker plans to use testimony from radio psychologist Laura Schlessinger to support his proposal.
It is unclear whether Schlessinger will recreate -- for the benefit of the General Assembly -- the poses from those naked pictures of her that are splashed across the World Wide Web taken by an old boyfriend (at the time she was married to her first husband).
But we stray. Schultheis, whose constituents include his old friend, Focus on the Family President James Dobson, wants to require that parents who want to get divorced undergo a year of counseling. He reportedly thought this one up because he is the product of divorced parents.
Under his proposal, parents and parents-to-be who want to get a divorce would have to undergo a full year of counseling -- and not just to talk about how their split would affect their children. As it is currently written, couples would actually be required to prove in court that they really tried to make a "legitimate and substantial effort" to get back together. Another Republican lawmaker -- from Aurora -- is currently attempting to revise the bill and make it more palatable.
And so in the spirit of bipartisanship, we hereby offer a few additional suggested addenda to the Schultheis plan:
As part of proving they made a conscious effort to get back together, parents can submit before the court the following for a judge's full review:
Receipts detailing any purchases that may aid in the reunion efforts, including but not limited to; sex toys, a hot tub, lubricants, adult videos and ceiling mirrors.
Full written description, with accompanying video footage, of the couples' efforts to have sex once a week (all mutual non-pleasure must be detailed in full).
Audiotapes of Mom breaking up with her new boyfriend and/or Dad dumping his new girlfriend.
At the completion of the mandatory yearlong counseling, all minor children must take and pass state-mandated DSAP tests.
Meanwhile, Mark Cloer's latest bill, designed to give cash to welfare recipients who get married, deserves some clarification as well. After all, making dating an official, state-sanctioned work program has the potential for abuse.
For example, if a woman gets married and collects the cash bonus, only to realize the guy is a deadbeat, can she use the money to pay for anti-divorce counseling?
And shouldn't we specify that those women can't use the money to have any fun, like for booze, movies, personal travel, cable TV, recreational drugs, massages or pedicures?
Shouldn't we also require that the cash bonus can't be used for abortions, but could be used to pay the expenses related to the burial of the remains of an abortion?
Think of it this way: Under the Cloer/Schultheis one-two, women on welfare can get cash from the state to get married, use the money to pay a counselor to prove they should be divorced, then next year, get married again and collect another bonus.
Now that's Progress.
The New York-based media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in the Media (FAIR) recently compiled and released the following noteworthy item, aptly titled Man of the Year:
The amount of coverage the three major network nightly newscasts gave in 2000 to the New Hampshire primary, Super Tuesday, the Republican Convention, the Democratic Convention and the presidential debates combined: 483 minutes.
The amount of coverage the three major network nightly newscasts gave in 2000 to Elian Gonzalez: 503 minutes.