Democrats Trying to Spare Unions from Massive National Health Care Tax

Say what? The Washington Examiner reports that Democrats are proposing to exempt unionized workers from the massive tax hike needed to fund government health care:With cost estimates already as high as $1.6 trillion, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., has proposed paying for the bill in part by taxing health care benefits for workers who earn more than $100,000, or $200,000 for married couples, according to those familiar with the discussions. Baucus is also weighing a tax based on the value of health care benefits that exceed a yet-to-be determined cap. A tax on benefits that exceed the cap by a mere $3,000 could amount to $750 in taxes annually for a worker who earns as little as $34,000, say experts. But those … [Read more...]

Come Meet Daniel Hannan, British Voice for Liberty, Friday in Denver

That's MEP Daniel Hannan, a breath of fresh political air from the other side of the pond. And he'll be in our Rocky Mountain backyard at the end of this week. Hannan will be the guest of honor and speaker at a Denver reception sponsored by the Independence Institute. You're invited! Stirring oratory ... a voice for liberty and fiscal sanity ... with a British accent. Sounds like a winning trifecta to me. Hope to see you there. … [Read more...]

Bill Ritter’s Chance to Jump On Board Union Transparency Bandwagon

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter screwed up with his handling of the Senate Bill 180 veto. Stumbling across a good public policy decision, he provoked the wrath of labor union special interests. Since Bill Ritter has found himself on this sensible path, perhaps he could continue a little longer and throw his weight behind an idea which time has come: financial transparency for labor unions representing state and local government employees. Of course, in doing so, Ritter would have to buck the trend of Big Labor cronyism being advanced by his party leader, President Barack Obama. From my recent Independence Institute op-ed: … [Read more...]

Liberty on the Rocks Red Rocks A Veritable Who’s Who of Local Politics

I go out of town for a week, miss an edition of Liberty on the Rocks - Red Rocks, and organizer Jeff Sacco outdoes himself. Face The State reported on the growing political heft that attended last Monday's meeting. If you live on the west side of the Denver metro area, and you haven't dropped by to one of the meetings yet, now is your chance to get connected. … [Read more...]

Friday Irony: Colorado Wolverine

As a Michigan-born expatriate, I'm fascinated by today's news in the Denver Post that a wolverine has been sighted in the wild here in Colorado for the first time in 90 years:Bob Inman, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Yellowstone Wolverine Program, said the animal, tagged M56 and fitted with a radio collar in December, went on the move in April. He traveled from Grand Teton National Park, crossing busy Interstate 80 in southern Wyoming, to reach timberline in the mountains of northern Colorado. That leaves approximately the same number of wolverines in Colorado as in the so-called "Wolverine State". One was spotted in Michigan about five years ago, the first in well over a century. That's why -- even though I tend … [Read more...]

Colorado Democrats’ Taxpayer-Funded Arrogance on Full Display Now

Colorado Democrats ... arrogant? Can't exactly say I'm shocked. But the brazenness of using taxpayer dollars for a Democrats-only team-building retreat only heightens my desire to make Brandon Shaffer's term as state senate president as short as possible. The least we can hope for (and work for) is divided government. Republicans should have their sights set on the governor's mansion and one of the two house of the state legislature in 2010. In the meantime, Mr. DNA at Rocky Mountain Right has some good advice:I hope every reader of this blog will join me in calling their leadership office and telling them that I am not going to stand for this kind of pork. … [Read more...]

Looking for a Good Summer Fantasy Read? Try The Way of Shadows

Are you looking for a good summertime fiction read? A fresh story in the fantasy/action genre that is simultaneously fast-paced and in-depth? Then I urge you to buy a copy of The Way of Shadows, the first in the Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks. I love to read, but the fantasy/action genre -- nor fiction in general -- is typically not my cup of tea. Then again seldom do I know the author personally, as in this case. Brent and I went to Hillsdale College together, are fellow Sinfonians. Having that sort of a personal connection with the author made it easy to pick up the book. But once I did, the crisp and colorful storytelling, the unpredictable plot, and the compelling characters were what kept the pages and chapters quickly … [Read more...]

The “Public Option” and the People’s Government

I (Ryan, not Ben) haven’t had too much time to write up political thoughts recently, but here are a couple musings: Nutshell argument against the "public option" being touted by President Obama in the area of health care reform: As Hugh Hewitt and Congressman John Campbell were explaining as I drove home from work on Friday, if the "public option" is cheaper to corporate and government employers (though not to taxpayers), then employers will largely switch over to it.  At this point, the government will be paying for health care, money will run out, and care will be denied.  (But smile – you will still be insured, along with all the others who can't get care!) Our Congressmen and Senators must not enact this “public … [Read more...]

A Critical Mass Awake to the Destructive Effects of Obama’s “Stimulus”?

Remember all the pomp and circumstance of four months ago when President Barack Obama flew out here to Denver to sign the "stimulus" bill? The legislation that had to be rushed through? The legislation that was supposed to prevent "irreversible decline" in our economy? While anyone with decent sense knew the "stimulus" was long-term poison, I can't say I anticipated how badly it would flounder even in the short-term. The Competitive Enterprise Institute's Hans Bader put together a well-documented Open Market blog post noting that public opinion clearly favors canceling the $787 billion spending spree. How many of them have watched this unforgettable video? A few days ago, Mr. Bob posted up the now well-circulated graphic showing … [Read more...]

More Bad Unintended Consequences from Media Swine Flu Hysteria?

So some of y'all must be thinkin' ... Whatever happened to that thar' swine flu thing? Apparently, the World Health Organization is set to issue an alert for a "level 6 pandemic" -- the first such designation in 40 years. Before you start stampeding through the streets in panic, take note:The declaration of a global epidemic was expected Thursday as WHO officials huddled in an emergency session in Geneva in the wake of 141 swine flu deaths worldwide, including 12 in New York City.... If WHO moves from level 5 to level 6 on its pandemic alert scale, it would be the first flu pandemic declared since the Hong Kong flu killed an estimated 1 million people in 1968. On Wednesday, WHO reported 27,737 cases worldwide, most of them mild and … [Read more...]