Must Reads for May

In Must Reads, Notes by Mark Hillman

Was Osama Right?
Bernard Lewis, Wall Street Journal
Islamists always believed the U.S. was weak. Recent political trends won’t change their view.

Lack of money does not cause schools’ problems
Robert Hardaway, Rocky Mountain News
Expenditures on public schools in the U.S. exceed those of any other country on earth. Since 1970, teacher salaries have exploded 18 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars, while teacher-faculty ratios have declined by one-fourth.

The Do-One-Thing Congress
Investors Business Daily
Other than deserting our troops and complaining about President Bush, what have Democrats accomplished?  Well, they’ve passed 26 laws — 12 of them renaming federal buildings.

So, you really want to pull out of Iraq?
Max Boot, Wall Street Journal
There is a serious and widening disconnect between the timetables that commanders are using to guide their actions in Iraq and those being demanded by politicians in Washington.

Dems doubletalk on Iraq
Victor Davis Hanson
When both congressional Democrats and Republicans cast their votes to go along with President Bush, they even crafted 23 formal causes for war. So far only the writ concerning the fear of stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction has in hindsight proven false.

World Bank an outdated relic
George F. Will
It is difficult to demonstrate that World Bank loans have produced growth, let alone as much growth as private capital would have produced. Furthermore, when the bank provides debt relief, it creates what economists call moral hazard, an incentive for perverse behavior.

Light bulb lunacy
Steven Milloy, Junk Science

How much money does it take to screw in a compact fluorescent lightbulb?  About $4.28 for the bulb and labor — unless you break the bulb.   Then you could be looking at a cost of about $2,004.28.

WHAT’S NEWS COLORADO
The latest local news and views from all across Colorado.

Must reads April 24-May 1

In Blog, Must Reads, Notes by Mark Hillman

Even if Entering Iraq was a Mistake, Leaving would be Worse
Dennis Prager
The people we are fighting, including Osama bin Laden and all the variations on al Qaeda, know that the battle for Iraq is the battle for their future — that if they win in Iraq, they win all over the Middle East and beyond; that if they lose there, America and the West win.

Why Boycott Israel
Richard Cohen, Washington Post
In Iran, the government overturned the convictions of six men who killed a young couple because they were walking together in public. In China, local authorities seized about 60 women and forcibly aborted their pregnancies. In Russia, the Putin government expanded its control of the media. Given such a vast palette of injustice and depredations, the British National Union of Journalists made a truly original move: It singled out Israel to boycott.

Harry Reid embarrasses Democrats
David Broder, Washington Post
Here’s a Washington political riddle: As Alberto Gonzales is to the Republicans, Blank Blank is to the Democrats — a continuing embarrassment thanks to his amateurish performance.  If you answered " Harry Reid," give yourself an A.

One Choice in Iraq
Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Washington Post
Last week a series of coordinated suicide bombings killed more than 170 people — innocent men, women and children indiscriminately murdered on their way home from work and school.  If such an atrocity had been perpetrated in the United States, our response would surely have been anger at the fanatics responsible and resolve not to surrender to their barbarism.

What’s News Colorado
Latest news and views from across Colorado.

Roads shortchanged in state budget

In Capitol Review, Notes by Mark Hillman

In the 18 months since voters passed Referendum C, Colorado’s resurgent economy has boosted the state’s budget windfall by 50 percent, from the $3.7 billion estimated just prior to Election Day 2005 to the most recent estimate of $5.4 billion.

Yet one thing that Ref C’s supporters and detractors seemed to agree upon is the silver lining that current law directs most of that additional revenue to transportation.  After all, state transportation spending fell from $1.39 billion in 2001 to $822 million in 2005, due to economic woes and the expiration of a highway bond program that voters approved in 1999.

Another not-so-obvious factor — political pandering — made the transportation predicament worse during the recession and now seems to be eating away at transportation even as those coffers could be refilled.  For legislators, the political reality is that roads and bridges don’t vote, but senior citizens do – and so do college students and their parents, as well as recipients of Medicaid. Read More

Must reads April 17-23

In Must Reads, Notes by Mark Hillman

A disarmed campus
By John Tabin, The American Spectator
Perhaps some school administrators still think that declaring a "gun-free zone" makes a campus safer; that was what legislators thought when they started passing gun bans at high schools.

Racism in the press: Imus, Duke & Jackie Robinson
By Ben Shapiro
It is a stretch to call the Rutgers players heroes; it is an insult to call the Duke players quasi-villains. And yet, that is what the press continues to do, despite the players’ complete exoneration.

‘Gun-free’ zone left VTU students defenseless
By Jacob Sullum
As Monday’s horrifying mass murder at Virginia Tech vividly demonstrated, there is a difference between feeling safe and being safe.

They’re gambling with your money

In Capitol Review, Notes by Mark Hillman

Legislators and lobbyists too often take chances with other people’s money.  That’s because the real world impact of legislation is often vastly different from the bravado that punctuates debate at the State Capitol.

Not long after I was elected, I began to hear a relentless drumbeat of complaints from business-owners about the skyrocketing costs of health insurance.  Years of tedious research helped me wrap my mind around the complicated web of federal and state health insurance regulations that make controlling costs so frustratingly difficult.

When I cautiously moved forward in 2003 with legislation that gave consumers more choices and forced insurance companies to compete based on relevant risk factors, like the health status and claims experience, I was careful not to make rash promises. Read More

Must reads for April 7-13

In Notes by Mark Hillman

Turning the corner in Iraq?
Charles Krauthammer

It’s still early, but there are tangible signs of success for ‘the surge’ in Iraq.

Imus is Mother Goose compared to rappers

Brent Bozell
Where were Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton when the subject was gangsta rap that routinely insults and derides people, especially black women, with language one hundredfold more offensive than anything that ever came out of the I-Man’s mouth?

McCain’s finest hour
Wall Street Journal
Sen. John McCain is under attack from his erstwhile "media base" for refusing to repudiate the Iraq war.  Asked by a CBS reporter when he would change his position to reflect the public’s sentiment, McCain replied, "I’d rather lose a campaign than lose a war."

Nancy Pelosi’s foolish shuttle diplomacy
Washington Post editorial
Wow, the Establishment Left’s inside-the-beltway mouthpiece rips Nancy Pelosi for her shallow understanding of Middle East relations and for failing to understand that she is not the President or even Secretary of State.

E-mail unmasks left’s education chasm

In Capitol Review, Notes by Mark Hillman

Longtime teachers union boss Albert Shanker infamously remarked, "When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children."

The recent dustup between Democrats at the State Capitol over public school choice revealed that, on certain issues, even those who seem to share common political ideologies can be miles apart.

In case you missed it, FaceTheState.com discovered a recent e-mail exchange between Rep. Michael Merrifield (D-Manitou Springs) and Sen. Sue Windels (D-Arvada), who respectively chair the education committees in the Colorado House and Senate.

Discussing how they could dismantle the Colorado Charter School Institute, which has the authority to license public charter schools when parents and school districts are deadlocked, Merrifield wrote to Windels that if Governor Ritter is on board, they should abolish the institute – despite objections from key Democrats who support public charter schools. Read More

Must reads for March 30-April 2

In Must Reads, Notes by Mark Hillman

Dangerous Demagoguery
Thomas Sowell
The demagoguery of the Democrats has already put them in the position where a successful conclusion of the Iraq war before the 2008 elections can be a political disaster for them. Only an American defeat in Iraq can ensure the Democrats’ political victory next year. Their only strategy is to sabotage the chances for a military victory in Iraq without being held responsible for a defeat.

Press ‘1’ for English
Investors Business Daily
In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt signed legislation requiring people seeking to become naturalized citizens to demonstrate oral English proficiency. In 1950, that requirement was strengthened to include reading and writing, as well as speaking, English. So why do we have multilingual ballots and bilingual education?

Monday morning QBs still wrong on Iraq
Christopher Hitchens
George Bush misled the public, and both America and the world would be better off if we had never invaded Iraq.  Right?  Wrong — if you are willing to actually look at the facts.

Iraq or Afghanistan?

Charles Krauthammer

Osama Bin Laden calls Iraq the front for the Third World War; it’s strategic importance is unmistakable, to anyone who will open their eyes.  Yet Democrats in Congress say we should focus on Afghanistan.

Army rips off WW2 patriot family
William Perry Pendley

Mountain States Legal Foundation is defending a family that did its patriotic duty in World War II by allowing the army to use its property with the agreement it would be restored when the army left.  Sixty years later, the family has a Superfund clean-up site and still no help from the Army.

Congress’ new low
Investors Business Daily
Rarely has Congress done something as low as the vote to telegraph to our enemies when we will quit.  Worse still, the votes of some Senators and Representatives were swayed not by doing what’s best for our troops but bought with taxpayer-funded pork.