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.

Finally, good news about health insurance

In Capitol Review, Notes by Mark Hillman

For the first time in six years, Colorado’s health insurance market is showing signs of improvement.  More employers are offering insurance coverage, and more working families are being covered.

From 2005 to 2006, 1,289 more businesses offered coverage to their employees and dependants, according to a report from the Colorado Division of Insurance.

That seems like a very modest improvement until it’s compared to the previous five years.   From 2000 to 2005, nearly 23,902 businesses discontinued coverage – an average loss of 4,780 businesses per year.
Read More

Must reads for March 19-23

In Must Reads, Notes by Mark Hillman

Compassion and the decline of America
By Dennis Prager
Compassion is killing the spirit of competition and the important lessons learned from success and from failure.  Too many Americans refuse to grow up!

What about the morality of homosexual behavior
By Janice Shaw Crouse
If General Peter Pace had said Christianity was "immoral," do you think the press would have covered protests?  Instead, he said something most Americans believe — that homosexuality is immoral.

Why the screaming left wants US to lose in Iraq
By Dinesh D’Souza
…because they perceive Bush to be a bigger threat to their agenda than Bin Laden.

The Right to Bear Arms in Washington, D.C.
By George Will
Of course, the 2nd Amendment guarantees a right of the people and imposes a limitation on government — now, if only the Supreme Court will finally agree.

Hysteria trumps self-defense in gun debate

In Blog, Capitol Review by Mark Hillman

Hysteria trumped reason yet again at the State Capitol when a senate committee killed the so-called "Make My Day Better" bill on a party-line vote.

Responsible gun owners regularly find themselves subjected to this kind of treatment by wet-diaper, nanny-state liberals who believe that any Colorado citizen with a gun is barely capable of suppressing some ravenous urge to shoot everyone who casts so much as a cross-eyed glance.

House Bill 1011 was sound and reasonable, extending to workers in a business the right to protect themselves against an imminent criminal threat — the same right that Coloradans have enjoyed in their homes since 1985. Read More

RMN: No wiggle room on Amendment 41

In Blog, In the News, Notes by Mark Hillman

Rocky Mountain News
On Point
By Vincent Carroll
February 15, 2007

Desperate supporters of Amendment 41 are arguing, some even with a straight face, that their attempt to rewrite their monstrosity after voters enshrined it in the constitution is no different from what occurred after passage of Amendment 27 a few years ago.

Early in 2003, they point out, the legislature wrote "clarifying language" to smooth 27’s rough edges regarding campaign finance. That’s all they want the legislature to do today with Amendment 41, they insist. So what’s the big deal?

The big deal? Let’s see: How about two wrongs don’t make a right? As a Rocky editorial complained in 2003 (and remember, we opposed 27 just as we opposed 41 last fall), one popular legislative plan amounted to "a brazen attempt to get around the strict campaign contribution limits that had been approved by voters in last year’s Amendment 27."
Read More

Former GOP senate leader disputes 41 rhetoric

In Blog, In the News, Notes by Mark Hillman

Source: ColoradoSenateNews.com

A former Senate Republican leader, who carried legislation to enact a campaign-reform amendment approved by voters in 2002, says his bill was fundamentally different from a now-pending attempt to exempt large groups of people from voter-approved Amendment 41.

Mark Hillman, who served as Senate majority leader in 2003-04 and as minority leader in 2005, was Senate sponsor of a 2003 bill that implemented Amendment 27. Hillman disputes current claims that the bill made substantive changes to Amendment 27 in the way that some now propose for Amendment 41, the government-ethics law voters adopted last November.

 “Legislators are in a real bind. Either they uphold the plain language of the constitution, which is the first oath that they take, or they do what is politically popular and ignore the plain language of the constitution.”
Read More

The Disaster that is ‘Mexifornia’

In Blog, Must Reads by Mark Hillman

Victor Davis Hanson’s two-part follow up to his book, Mexifornia, was published Feb. 6 by Investor’s Business Daily, and it’s a must-read on immigration.

Excerpts:

  • "The debate no longer splits along liberal-conservative, Republican-Democrat or even white-brown fault lines.  Instead, class considerations more often divide Americans on the issue.  The majority of middle-lcass and poor whites, Asians, African-Americans and Hispanics wish to close the borders.  They see few advantages to cheap service labor because they are notso likely to need it to mow their lawns, watch their kids or clean their houses."
  • "I chronicled in Mexifornia the aomaly of angry protesters waving the flag of the country they vehemently did not wish to return to …."
  • "Every time an alien crosses the border legally, fluent in English and with a high school diploma, the La Raza industry and the corporate farm or construction company alike most likely lose a constituent."

Blame game bedevils Amendment 41

In Blog, Capitol Review by Mark Hillman

What if your state senator or representative voted for a bill based on what they were told it would do, rather than what the bill actually said in plain ol’ black and white?

What if the actual text of that bill put some rather outrageous things into state law and, when pressed further, your elected legislator explained, "Well, I never actually read the bill before I voted on it"?

Would you pat him or her on the head and say, "Aw, that’s OK.  We know you are busy, so we’ll just ignore the part of the law you didn’t read and instead apply only what you say you intended for it to do"?

Is that what you would say?

No, I didn’t think so. Read More