MUST READS for February

In Must Reads, Notes by Mark Hillman

Freedom means responsibility – George McGovern, Wall Street Journal
Yes, that George McGovern:  "Since leaving office, I’ve written about public policy from a new perspective: outside looking in.  I’ve come to realize that protecting freedom of choice in our everyday lives is essential to maintaining a healthy civil society."

Dems are dumping ‘paygo,’ hiking deficits – Wall Street Journal
The real purpose of pay-as-you-go budgeting to make spending easier but tax-cutting harder.  But after a $152 billion "stimulus" bill, another $35 billion stimulus proposed and a $597 billion farm bill extension, paygo is officially gone.

About that middle-class squeeze – Investors Business Daily
Democrats seem unable to stop themselves from promoting higher taxes for the wealthy and lower taxes for the poor.  But if the public knew the facts — that the Bush tax cuts reduced the effective tax rate for the poor by nearly a third — Democrat rhetoric would fool no one.

Young sitting ducks – Colorado Springs Gazette
Arizona bill restores college students’ right to self defense, but leaves public school students and staff as sitting ducks.

Tax cuts for Hugo; tax hikes for U.S. oil, consumers – Investors Business Daily
Democrats in Congress have concocted perhaps the worst energy tax possible: higher taxes for U.S. oil companies, higher prices for American consumers, but a tax break for Hugo Chavez and Citgo.

Trial lawyers, Mississippi AG: you grease may palm, I’ll grease yours
Wall Street Journal

Trial lawyers have contributed nearly $800,000 to support Mississippi Attorney General James Hood.  In return, he’s helped them pocket more than $80 million.

Don’t like $3 gas? We’ve done it to ourselves
Investors Business Daily

As recently as 1973, imports made up 36% of our total oil use; today, imports are two-thirds and climbing fast. By refusing to drill in ANWR or offshore, the U.S. can expect less energy, higher prices, growing vulnerability and a shrunken economy. This has made us uniquely vulnerable to political instability of the Mideast, Russia, Africa and Latin America — and to the OPEC oil cartel’s anti-Western schemes.

Clinton v. Obama may resurrect Bush v. Gore
Theodore B. Olson, Wall Street Journal

The Democratic Party has designed a Rube Goldberg nominating process that could easily produce a result much like the Electoral College result in 2000: a winner of the delegate count, and thus the nominee, over the candidate favored by a majority of the party’s primary voters.

What McCain offers conservatives
Investors Business Daily

John McCain still has work to do to unite his party’s various factions. But having a president who will fight our proclaimed enemies should serve that purpose. Mitt Romney, in his gracious exit, said he wanted to have a clear message sent from the GOP about where it stood on the war on terror.

Politicians add more mandates to health care costs
J.P. Wieske and Victoria C. Bunce, Wall Street Journal

To hear some of the presidential candidates, you’d think that health-insurance companies are the driving force behind the growing cost of health insurance. The more likely culprits are our politicians and the laws they pass. Although there were only a handful of state mandates in the 1960s, there are now 1,961 nationwide — up from 1,901 a year ago.

Democrats’ House of Lords
Peter Blake, Rocky Mountain News

Some Democrats hate the Electoral College system and think the president should be the winner of the popular vote nationwide. Before they tackle that tricky constitutional issue, they might want to apply the same principle – one person, one vote – to their own party’s nominating procedures.

Shushing Christians: hypocrites and academic freedom
The Gazette

Assaults on academic freedom result from weak minds, sinister intent, and a combination of the two. Clearly our Founders, when they established a country for the free, wanted ideas to thrive. The feeble-minded interpret that portion of the First Amendment as a law that protects government and individuals from the annoyance of religion — particularly Christianity.