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.

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