Archive for December, 2008
Posted on December 15th, 2008 in Christianity and Faith, Commemorative, My Life | 1 Comment »
I’ll be maintaining blog silence for a little while, having received the news earlier today of my friend Jim Cannon‘s premature passing. His loss is our pain, but his relief from great suffering, at home with the Savior.
Speaking personally, my life is richer for having known Jim – one of the founding members of the old Rocky Mountain Alliance. He leaves me with fond memories of his courage, graciousness, and compassion, in the face of extremely trying physical struggles.
Please keep Jim’s family in your prayers most of all. More to come later. In the meantime, Snaggletooth also has some kind words to share.
Posted on December 15th, 2008 in clean government, Colorado Politics, Fiscal Policy, General, Labor, My Life, Sports and Leisure | 2 Comments »
I can feel the pain of my home state of Michigan (and no, I’m not referring to the bitter cold temperatures we’re experiencing here along the Front Range).
The angst coming from the Motor City and its environs is palpable. One of the most poignant examples, at least from my perspective, relates to a scheduled weekend appearance by Kentucky’s U.S. Senator (and former Detroit Tigers pitcher) Jim Bunning. Detroit Free Press columnist Brian Dickerson ripped Bunning a new one after the Republican Senator voted against the UAW’s federal government bailout deal.
He may be losing his marbles, but U.S. senator and ex-Tiger pitching great Jim Bunning still has big brass cojones.
After all, most of the GOP senators conspiring to kill a House rescue package for Detroit’s auto companies wouldn’t have the guts to set foot in Michigan this week, much less hawk their autographs to beleaguered Michiganders at $55 a pop.
But Hall of Famer Bunning — a vocal opponent of the auto loans — will do both of those things Sunday when he journeys to the deepest heart of UAW country.
He’ll sign baseballs ($35), posters ($45) and jerseys or gloves ($55) from noon to 2 p.m. at the Gibraltar Trade Center in Taylor, then head over to Solidarity House to knock back a few cold ones with UAW President Ron Gettelfinger.
I’m kidding about the Gettelfinger part, of course; Bunning more likely will be wheels-up before the sun sets on Metro Airport. I just hope he has the good sense to make the round-trip to Taylor in a Detroit-manufactured vehicle — even if it does cheese off Toyota, whose largest American plant is in Bunning’s home state of Kentucky.
Posted on December 12th, 2008 in Education, Fiscal Policy, General, Labor, National Politics | No Comments »
Ever wondered what a UAW contract looks like? Here is all 22 pounds of it (in this case, Fordâ€™s 2,215 page 2007 master contract; Coke can is for scale and because I was thirsty).
Iâ€™ll tell you this much, those 2,215 pages donâ€™t include much regarding efficiency and competitiveness. What youâ€™ll find are hundreds of rules, regulations, and letters of understanding that have hamstrung the auto companies for years.
One of my claims to distinction (certainly not fame) is I have read all 45 or so collective bargaining agreements between Colorado school districts and teachers unions. Without going back to look, my guess is you would have to stack all 45 agreements together to match the volume and weight of the UAW agreement pictured at Labor Pains.
The comparison somewhat reminds me of this SNL classic commercial parody.
Posted on December 12th, 2008 in Climate Hysteria, Colorado Politics, General, National Politics | No Comments »
A great read for this Friday is Paul Chesser’s well-documented rant in the American Spectator. He gets it rolling as follows:
Someone please tell me it’s about to end. That it’s O-V-A-H in New England. That’s it’s D-U-N in Rio Linda. That it’s fini in France and finito in Italy.
I’ve experienced a build-up of evidence that undermines climate change alarmism, and I’m at the tipping point. My head has formed a canopy of truth-trapping that can only contain so much before my circuits overheat, blood pressure elevates, and my faith in broad-based common sense melts away. So please: polish it off in Poznan — wishful thinking, you might think, but signs point to the beginning of that end. Read on.
As global warming pathologists insist that increasing carbon dioxide drives planetary meltdown, scientists who actually watch the climate trends — as well as all the forces that affect it â€“ see something different. They observe unchanging (if not declining) temperatures over the last dozen years despite increased global CO2 emissions during the same time period. They see Antarctic ice swells despite a greater media emphasis on Arctic ice (PDF) loss. They see a current warming bias across temperature monitoring stations; a cooling pattern since 1997; and a valid theory that solar cycles affect climate change more than any other phenomena.
It goes on. Public support and interest in the increasingly shaky theories of climate change alarmists are on the wane. In retrospect, maybe the 2008 Presidential campaign with the nominees of both major parties subscribing lock, stock, and barrel to theories of anthropogenic global warming disaster someday soon will look like a bizarre anomaly. Same for our current Governor Bill Ritter’s obsession.
Posted on December 11th, 2008 in Fiscal Policy, General, My Life, National Politics, Random and Miscellaneous | No Comments »
Update: Colorado’s own Ken Salazar voted for the bailout.
A $14 billion emergency bailout for U.S. automakers has collapsed in the Senate after the United Auto Workers refused to accede to Republican demands for swift wage cuts.
Michelle Malkin reports only 52 votes in the U.S. Senate, eight short of the 60 needed for cloture to move the auto bailout forward.
Good news. If this economic disaster ends up going forward, the Democrats and their UAW sugar-daddies will own it.
Posted on December 11th, 2008 in clean government, General, National Politics | No Comments »
Obama’s circle of major Illinois political allies and supporters is largely separate from Blagojevich’s, with two major exceptions. Both Obama and Blagojevich got extensive money and support from Chicago businessman Antoin “Tony” Rezko. At least one top aide to Obama, Michael Strautmanis, previously worked for Blagojevich.
But Blagojevich’s disdain for Obama was clear in court documents released Tuesday after the Illinois governor was arrested. Blagojevich, accused by federal prosecutors of conspiring to sell or trade for personal benefits the Senate seat left vacant by Obama, was overheard complaining at one point that Obama’s people are “not going to give me anything except appreciation.” He added: “(Expletive) them.”
Obama said Tuesday, “I had no contact with the governor or his office, and so I was not aware of what was happening.”
So there wasn’t much love lost between the two men, but the President-elect’s cryptic statements don’t match with earlier news reports, as Little Green Footballs points out. As the AP reminds us, it’s hard to travel through the taint of Chicago politics with a little bit of the stink rubbing off. Since I haven’t seen anyone credibly charge that Obama or his crew were co-conspirators in Blago’s corrupt schemes, why not just come clean and put it all on the table?
Posted on December 11th, 2008 in Colorado Politics, Fiscal Policy, General, National Politics | No Comments »
Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) sat on an exercise bicycle at the Wheat Ridge Recreation center this weekend, hearing unvarnished advice from constituents about the auto bailout.
â€œIt was one after another,â€ Perlmutter recounted. â€œOne guy would come up and say, â€˜You canâ€™t let them fail.â€™
The next guy would say, â€˜Let them go bankrupt.â€™ â€
Perlmutter said he was leaning in favor of the bailout, but couldnâ€™t say for certain until he sees final language.
As a constituent of Ed Perlmutter who is paying very close attention to these developments, count me among the latter: Let them go bankrupt. It’s the bitter medicine needed, certainly not a vast government takeover at the expense of the taxpayers. Rep. Perlmutter, start leaning the other way.
Maybe Ed Perlmutter could listen to his new Democratic colleague in the Colorado delegation, Jared Polis, on this one.
We are watching, and 2010 is right around the corner. Of course, once you’ve voted for one massive bailout, the next one probably gets even easier.
Posted on December 11th, 2008 in blogging, Christianity and Faith, Colorado Politics, Cultural Conservatism, Education, Fiscal Policy, General, My Life, National Politics | 4 Comments »
So now that I’ve become famous enough to make the title of a post concerning my “eleven Christmas wishes”, I feel impelled to respond. Seriously, though, a watcher’s post – somewhat more thoughtful and reasonable than previous endeavors of post-election analysis – requires some significant clarifications. It is because I believe this debate about the future of conservatism and the GOP is important that I wade in so thoroughly in this post that so few of you will actually read from beginning to end.
Here are the overarching problems I see with a watcher’s declarations. First, he has a strong tendency to lump all “social conservatives” into a box without distinction, shake them up, and spill them out with one accusation after another. How about a precise definition of “social conservative” all parties can agree upon? Because, quite frankly, as I read his post, the implied definition I come away with is “a group of people on the Right who tend to be religious and are responsible for all the ills of the Republican Party, and whom I don’t happen to like.” Or possibly “James Dobson and his followers”. Addressing this one alone could clear up a lot of confusion.
Then again – judging by this more recent post – we also need a definition of “fiscal conservative”. I could be wrong, but it sounds like the implicit definition is “anyone who isn’t a social conservative.” My question for a watcher would be whether there is anyone in the Republican Party who isn’t a social conservative with whom fiscal conservatives might also have significant disagreements. In other words, maybe some of his “fiscal conservatives” really aren’t conservatives at all.
Second, a watcher writes that I “did seem to moderate [my] position to one of wanting a united Republican Party (with conditions)”. Moderating it from what? If I have moderated my position in this regard in any way, it happened well before the most recent election. No proof, no links, no before & after. It seems he hasn’t tried very hard to figure out where I am coming from, yet presumes to know enough to make broad, sweeping statements. But on to more detail.
Third, yes, I am “still in love” with what I wrote about the Kathleen Parker op-ed, in a manner of speaking – that is, if you want to describe my thinking in adolescent emotional terms. I prefer to say I still stand by it. (In fact, I went back and re-read the op-ed again just now to double-check my original assessment of it.)
Why was I critical? Parker isn’t completely off-base in her analysis, but she makes a few key errors in my judgment: a) She conflates evangelicalism with social conservatism. If needed, one could do a little research there to see the significant problem with this conflation. b) Her work is colored too much by her narrow disdain of Sarah Palin – who by most accounts (Katie Couric interview excepted) was a lift, not a drain on the Party. c) I believe the problem isn’t that “religion should be returned to the privacy of one’s heart,” as she contends, but that the religious should be informed by a “principled humility” (see #4 below). d) Similarly, the use of such language (including “oogedy-boogedy”) is an unnecessary slap in the face of people with serious evangelical Christian views – including among blacks and Hispanics she goes on to note the party needs to reach out to more effectively.
Now compare what Parker wrote with Ross Kaminsky’s Saturday column in the Rocky Mountain News. Ross, who probably is less religious and more libertarian than Parker, provides a more reasonable and compelling argument–avoiding the four issues. (But maybe the name-calling just feels better for some.) I have no such substantive quibbles with his piece. Tone does matter a lot, but it’s not the sole issue.
Fourth, I think a good portion of the differences a watcher sees can be accounted for by our personal experiences in local (especially) and state politics. Keep reading to see what I mean.
Posted on December 10th, 2008 in Christianity and Faith | 6 Comments »
Update: Michelle Malkin posts an address where you can send Mr. Yoon an encouraging note, as well as pictures of the beautiful family lost.
The story of San Diego’s Dong Yun Yoon really moved me to write. Why? Because of the amazing character he showed in his response to the horrific tragedy — the crash of a Marine fighter jet, caused by engine failure, into his home that killed his wife, 2 young daughters, and mother-in-law:
Yoon, 37, pressed a handkerchief to his face and seemed to stagger upon viewing what little remained: a charred garage wall, piles of blackened beams, the family’s Toyota Corolla — miraculously undamaged — parked on the street, and flowers placed nearby in memory of his family.
“I believe my wife and two babies and mother-in-law are in heaven with God,” Yoon said at a news conference afterward. “Nobody expected such a horrible thing to happen, especially right here, our house.”
Yoon said he bore no ill will toward the Marine Corps pilot who ejected safely before the jet plunged into the neighborhood two miles west of the runway at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. “I pray for him not to suffer for this action,” Yoon said. “I know he’s one of our treasures for our country.” [emphasis added]
America needs more men like Dong Yun Yoon. No words of mine could begin to express comprehension of what he is going through. Instead I pray that He finds peace from the God “who comforts us in all our affliction.” Indeed, Mr. Yoon is deserving of thoughts and prayers from each of us.
Posted on December 10th, 2008 in clean government, General, National Politics, Random and Miscellaneous | No Comments »
Posted on December 10th, 2008 in Colorado Politics, Fiscal Policy, National Politics | No Comments »
Newly-elected Congressman Jared Polis shows he has a lot more sense than your average Democrat – at least on one great issue of importance in our day. From the opinion page of today’s Wall Street Journal, Polis writes about the proposed automotive bailouts:
Most members of Congress and staffers on the Hill are smart people, but we should not pretend that we are better at what are so clearly other people’s jobs. One of the tremendously difficult tasks that we are ill-equipped to successfully orchestrate is restoring these three failing companies to health. As one of the members of Congress with a strong business background, I know what I don’t know in business. While I hold my colleagues in great esteem, I doubt their abilities as turnaround artists are very much superior to mine. Any pretension of a government bailout being a good deal for taxpayers should be abandoned for the insincere (or perhaps ignorant) rhetoric that it is.
Read the whole thing. Polis’ proposal is at least a better idea then what the Congressional Democrats are working on now. Can you imagine Joan FitzGerald writing something similar? That being said, if a Democrat is going to represent Boulder’s district in Congress, there are plenty of worse choices than Jared Polis.
Posted on December 10th, 2008 in blogging, clean government, Fiscal Policy, General, Labor, National Politics | No Comments »
I can’t help but note that yet another politician is indicted on corruption charges at the very same time we are handing over unprecedented power to the political class as we partially nationalize the banking system and, apparently, the Big Three auto companies.
I simply do not understand how those who are in favor of giving government all of these new powers because they sincerely believe that doing so will work out the way their blackboard designs intended can keep a straight face. What kind of cognitive dissonance must it take to believe that the people YOU are handing power over to are “not like” Ted Stevens or Rod Blagojevich? How deeply must one be in denial or engage in rationalization to believe that they are “different?”
Quite simply put, these times are even less rational than usual. Some may be looking for a quick escape from the economic pain and latch all too easily onto something ultimately much more destructive. Our government – with expansive regulatory powers – already creates the swamp-like conditions of corruption that tempt those like Stevens, William Jefferson, and Blagojevich. Government can’t solve the problems of human nature, but it can exacerbate them.
Posted on December 9th, 2008 in blogging, Colorado Politics, General, My Life | No Comments »
Tune in at 9 PM local Mountain Time this evening for the fourth edition of Rocky Mountain Alliance Blog Talk Radio. Confirmed hosts are Joshua Sharf and yours truly. Our guest will be Aurora city councilman Ryan Frazier, one of the leading voices behind the recent statewide Right-to-Work campaign and a rising Republican star in Colorado.
Don’t forget. If you miss the live broadcast of tonightâ€™s show, you can go back and download the podcast, or just use the handy widget on my sidebar to listen directly from Mount Virtus.
Posted on December 8th, 2008 in Education, General, My Life | 3 Comments »
For anyone interested, I am scheduled to be live on the Amy Oliver radio show on 1310 KFKA this Tuesday at 10 AM local Mountain Time. The topics will include school choice, the Obama administration’s education agenda, and the inimitable Washington DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee. If you have a moment to spare, please tune in via your radio or the Internet.