Even the Denver Post had to chide Colorado’s Democrat legislators this time. A pointed editorial in today’s Post calls on the House Transportation Committee to kill Senate Bill 61, which has already passed the Senate floor. Regrettably, Republican Senator Norma Anderson abandoned the party’s principles to join the unanimous Democrat caucus and give SB61 a 19-16 victory on Feb. 14.
The main problem with the bill, as the editorial indicates, is its proposed reduction of private contracting services in the Regional Transportation District (RTD). The result is $143.5 million more in taxpayer costs over the next 12 years to maintain existing services. Rather than searching for ways to provide services at more efficient costs, the Democrats at the State Capitol are paying favors to the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU).
SB61 is just another example of how the Democrats, beholden to special interest union groups, have little or no regard for using your tax dollars wisely. Kudos to the Post for advocating a stop to this wasteful measure.
But let me go a step further. We are supposed to believe that a Democrat party pushing forward legislation like SB61 has the solution to Colorado’s budget problems? One thing is clear: if there is to be a solution from the Democrats, rest assured it involves raising YOUR taxes.
I’m an avid reader and writer. It would explain why I enjoy blogging so much. There are certain times – tell me if I’m the only one – when I get into several books at once: books I’m reading at different paces for different purposes, books that I find rewarding in different ways. Now is one of those times. And since I’m thoroughly enjoying and/or learning from all of them, I thought I’d leave a record of them here. Maybe one will pique your interest, too. Listed in order of author’s last name:
Jim Berg, Created for His Glory – A challenging and inspiring in-depth look at God’s precious promises in the first three chapters of Ephesians.
Michael Medved, Right Turns – This book truly is a splendid read, full of autobiographical insights, from one of the American conservative movement’s most likeable and thoughtful figures.
Mark Noll, America’s God: from Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln – Perhaps the best religious history I’ve ever read, up there with Sydney Ahlstrom’s masterwork and Nathan Hatch’s Democratization of American Christianity.
Steven Pressfield, Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae – A poignant page-turner penned by someone with a passion for the warrior’s life and knowledge of ancient Greek history and culture. A big hat tip to Hugh.
Stuart Scott, The Exemplary Husband: A Biblical Perspective – Systematic, Scripturally-sound, and personal insights into fulfilling the role of husband as God designed. I’m working my way through this slowly and thoughtfully. There’s a lot to learn and grow in!
The release of a poll by the Denver Chamber of Commerce confirms what an earlier poll commissioned by the Independence Institute and Colorado Club for Growth revealed: the citizens of this state do not support Speaker Andrew Romanoff’s plan to resolve its budget problems. Any proposed plan that is passed through the legislature must be approved by Colorado voters, and according to the Chamber’s poll only 37 percent like Romanoff’s solution.
Governor Owens’ plan, which isn’t much better insofar as it wants to modify the TABOR limits, receives 55 percent of support in the same poll.
House Minority Leader Joe Stengel (R – Littleton) reacted quickly to the news, saying there was no chance the Republican caucus would cooperate with Romanoff’s proposal:
“Since Democrats control both chambers, they still have the ability to ram Speaker Romanoff’s proposal through the legislature, but that would be a mistake. Without question, this poll indicates that the Romanoff proposal would be soundly defeated by the voters this November. Maybe now Speaker Romanoff will listen to what we’ve been telling him and other Democrat leaders since the session began in January.
“The voters get it. They are not about to support the Romanoff plan, which calls for taxpayers to give up hundreds of millions of dollars of future TABOR refunds to pay for the largest expansion of state government in Colorado history.”
The Democrats are learning the perils of being in the majority. They are certainly not immune from the allure of power – far from it. They’ve already killed one Republican-sponsored good-faith attempt at a compromise solution and are ignoring another. (Not to mention the plethora of silly and harmful legislation the Democrats have been pushing through their committees – thankfully, at least Senator Sue Windels has seen the folly of her anti-charter school bill and gutted it.)
So the ball is in the Democrats’ court. The voters aren’t going to approve their star pupil’s well-advertised panacea for all Colorado’s financial ills. Where do they go from here?
Do they trust their liberal instincts and push through Romanoff’s major government expansion proposal, hoping a slick marketing campaign might convince the voters in November that the plan is something other than what it is?
Or do they listen to the wisdom of their Republican colleagues and come back to the table for a good-faith bargaining compromise?
Their future status as the majority party in Colorado’s statehouse may depend on it.
No Orwellian references in the title. My big brother, living in Wisconsin, turns 30 today. Just thought I’d share that with you all and wish Brad a “Happy Birthday!”
Hugh Hewitt has dangled another Vox Blogoli before us, and I couldn’t resist the temptation for this one…
“Does the Senate GOP Go McClellan or Go Grant if Harry Reid ‘Goes Gingrich?’”
According to the New York Times, Senate Minority Leader Reid has threatened to shut down the business of the Senate if Bill Frist and the Republicans remove the filibuster rule for judicial confirmations.
While awake to the danger of carrying the US Civil War-era historical analogy too far, I decided to address Hugh’s question creatively and analytically. I write as someone who grew up a Civil War buff – voraciously devouring all sorts of literature on the subject by the time I entered college – and later made the transformation to junior Civil War scholar, acquiring a masters degree in 19th century American history from Penn State University. I also write as an active Republican partisan.
The answer to Hugh’s question is simple: the Senate GOP needs to go Grant! The Ohio-born general did indeed resolve in 1864 “to fight it out on this line if it lasts all summer.” The lesson of Grant is that he devised a grand strategy for securing military victory over the Confederacy and stuck to it.
The Democrat majority in the Colorado legislature revealed their close affinity to the abortion absolutist lobby Thursday. The six Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee killed a bill that would have held medical doctors liable for the abortions of viable human fetuses. It was a moderate measure designed to curb the uncommon but barbaric practice of killing an unborn child that could otherwise survive outside the mother’s womb. But we know where the Democrat legislators stand on this issue, beholden as they are to a certain lobby.
In less startling news, Ward Churchill is now under investigation for artistic copyright fraud. The habits developed in his professional life carry over into his money-making hobbies, as well. Should anyone be surprised?
Switching gears again, I have a theory about the readers of my blog and the upcoming Academy Awards show. So I have decided to try something new and add a poll to the site. I’d appreciate it if you would take a brief moment and answer the one-question survey. You can help either to prove or to debunk my theory.
Less than 24 hours remain until the emergency stay expires and Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube will be removed.
If you’re concerned about the woman in this case, perhaps you’ve already told your friends and family, your pastor/priest, Gov. Jeb Bush, some Florida legislators, or even all those who read your blog. But Terri’s fate rests in the hands of Florida Circuit Court Judge George W. Greer.
Maybe you’re so upset you say: “Let me tell it to the world!”
My response: “Just tell it to the judge!”*
Thanks to the American Family Association, it’s really easy for you to write Judge Greer and share your concerns. Isn’t it enough that Terri has some limited ability to communicate with facial expressions? All we are asking is that her parents be allowed to take her into their loving custody and formal care.
Hat tip to The Daily Blogster
*And congrats to those who picked up the veiled reference to West Side Story.
The verbal fracas that erupted on the floor of the Colorado House of Representatives a couple days ago has made the Drudge Report. The Rocky Mountain News speaks common sense when it calls on both Rep. Bill Cadman (R – Colorado Springs) and Rep. Val Vigil (D – Thornton) to apologize rather than waiting for the other to step forward. I don’t know what Vigil said to provoke Cadman’s response, but neither acted appropriately. And I hope Cadman has already or will soon take the high ground, showing the good grace to apologize first.
There are plenty of important issues the Republicans need to stand up and fight for during this legislative session (have you looked at some of those awful bills?). Let’s not allow the personal squabbles to get in the way.
Last night I sent out e-mails to 20 or so different Florida state legislators, with an ardent appeal on behalf of Terri Schiavo. Today I know at least one member of the Florida House of Representatives shares public concern. When you send out e-mails to public officials in a different state, for whom you can’t vote and have almost zero likelihood of contributing time or money to help in one of their campaigns, it tends to be surprising that one of them would actually write you back. Unless they believe the issue you’re writing about is so very important.
I am not a Florida resident, but after reviewing the facts of the Terri Schiavo case would earnestly exhort you to do all in your power to intervene on her behalf. This is a matter of defending the rights of the disabled, and letting her feeding tube be removed would set a terrible precedent regarding the value of life in this country.
In response, first-term Representative Trudi Williams of Fort Myers wrote:
I could not agree with you more! Starving and dehydrating some one to death is barbaric. Did we not invade Iraq to save the people from a mad man for this very reason!
I asked for permission to quote the e-mail, and she wrote back two minutes later to say “Absolutely.” I appreciate Rep. Williams’ response and the courageous efforts of her and many of her colleagues to find any legal means to save Terri.
In related news, a Florida circuit court judge has extended the emergency stay to prevent the removal of Terri’s feeding tube until Friday, 5 PM EST. This is good to learn but has only bought her more time.
Let’s keep praying….
The excellent local blogger (and friend of the Rocky Mountain Alliance) Girl in Right is throwing her hat into the ring in a special election for the Golden City Council. But she needs some help!
Do you live in Ward 2 of the City of Golden (Ward 2 is mainly the south side of US 6 west of US40/Colfax, but follow the link to the map to make sure), or do you know someone who does? Your signature on a petition will help ensure that Barbara (Girl in Right) makes it on the ballot. Go to the volunteer web page on her campaign website if you can help. We need more solid and successful citizens like her to run for local offices like City Council!
Thanks to Clay for bringing this important matter to our attention.
Thankfully, someone has decided to take the teachers’ union to task. Two parents in the Poudre School District (Fort Collins) have filed a complaint with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office against the Poudre Education Association (PEA) for violating the state’s Constitution and Fair Campaign Practices Act.
The specific charges include:
1. Failure to report coordination of electioneering activities with State Senate candidate Bob Bacon. (You may remember Bacon beat Republican Ft. Collins mayor Ray Martinez in one of 2004′s heavily contended races.)
2. Failure to report expenditures compensating volunteers for their work on the Bacon campaign.
3. Using public school district facilities and resources for partisan political purposes.
This is the first time I’ve blogged on this particular case. But the exigency of the circumstances – they will begin starving Terri Schiavo tomorrow (!) – has broken my silence.
Blogs for Terri has put together the most concerted effort on her behalf. It is updated very regularly to let you know what you can do. Jared has done excellent work – migraine and all – to spread the call for action, and has also made one of the more clear and cogent arguments for keeping in her feeding tube.
Hugh is publicizing the issue on his show today. A lot of leading figures in Florida, including Governor Jeb Bush, are working to find any legal option they can to rescue Terri. Besides adding your voice to those speaking up for a defenseless woman, perhaps the best thing we all can do is humbly plead her case to a Sovereign, wise, just and merciful Heavenly Father.
Was it really 25 years ago today that a once ragtag band of amateur US hockey players coached by Herb Brooks turned the international sports world on its ear with an amazing 4-3 medal round victory over the invincible Soviet machine?
You can almost hear the echo of Al Michael’s voice: “Do you believe in miracles??? YES!” For a brief while in February 1980, the United States most certainly did believe in miracles. 25 years ago….
If any day in February is worthy of an official government holiday, we should be celebrating TODAY. Why? Because George Washington was born on this day 273 years ago: February 22, 1732.
This blog post is neither the time nor the place to extend a full tribute to George Washington, our nation’s first President. Yet “First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen,” Washington is certainly worthy of the honor and commemoration.
No figure in American history deserves more than Washington to have his birthday celebrated by Americans in our time. (And I say this as one of the biggest Lincoln aficionados you’ll find.)
Why did the University of Colorado rush to award Ward Churchill tenure back in 1991? Was it because the University of California system was courting him? According to a report in today’s Rocky Mountain News, that wasn’t the case at all, having interviewed an official who was in the know:
“He wasn’t really a serious candidate because of his lack of credentials,” said George Wayne, a former vice president for student academic services at California State University, Sacramento.
“The lack of a doctorate was one factor,” Wayne said Monday. “Also, he wasn’t writing learned articles – they were advocacy articles that could appear anywhere.”
California got it. So why couldn’t Colorado?
Wayne thinks CU officials were simply determined to hire an American Indian to teach ethnic studies.
“They thought Churchill was a hot prospect,” Wayne said. “He wasn’t that hot. The only place he was hot was at CU.”
So determined to hire an American Indian, they took someone of dubious heritage and credentials. Ouch. It keeps looking worse and worse for the university. Whatever the reasons, this kind of news certainly doesn’t help, either. I’m not so sure that any press is good press… not in this case.