Ernie Harwell, David Benke, and Appomattox: Making Today Memorable

Today -- April 9, 2010 -- will go down as a memorable day. First, my native state of Michigan officially declared it Ernie Harwell Day in honor of what looks very much like the legendary Hall-of-Fame baseball broadcaster's last Detroit home opener with us (and bless the Tigers, they beat Cleveland 5-2). Can't say it enough: Thank YOU, Ernie Harwell. I've also learned that lawmakers from my adopted home state of Colorado have declared today David Benke Day, in honor of the selfless, heroic teacher at Deer Creek Middle School who doubtless helped save student lives from a deranged gunman. I'm honored to have met both of these fine, humble men, and am glad to know they share the same commemorative day. They are both most deserving, each in … [Read more...]

Michigan, My Michigan: A Personally Meaningful Civil War Video Tribute

No political blogging this morning. Instead, a great video tribute to Michigan soldiers who served in the Civil War, with historical music provided by actor and native Michigander Jeff Daniels: It's hard for me not to be moved by this tribute, having studied the U.S. Civil War so extensively, having traveled to so many of its battlefield sites, having four ancestors who served in the War (including three who died in the service -- one in the 9th Michigan Volunteer Infantry), and having my alma mater Hillsdale College so prominently represented in the 4th Michigan and other regiments:A higher percentage of Hillsdale students enlisted during the Civil War than from any other western college. Of the more than 400 who fought for the … [Read more...]

Recommending Lewis Lehrman’s Lincoln at Peoria for Honest Abe’s 201st

On this 201st anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, no lengthy tributes are needed -- I don't even have time to replicate the modest one I wrote last year for the bicentennial. I did, however, want to take the occasion to recommend a book to you that was recommended to me by fellow RMA blogger Don Johnson about Christmastime. Lincoln at Peoria by Lewis Lehrman highlights the great turning point in Abraham Lincoln's political career, the awakening that resulted from the Kansas-Nebraska Act and his powerful October 1854 speech at Peoria, Illinois, which sharpened the distinctly antislavery focus that led to his key role in forming the Republican Party, debating Stephen Douglas in 1858 and ultimately serving as President during our … [Read more...]

Friday Quick Hits: Obama Dissed, Arrogant Dems, Howard Zinn Eulogized

I hope you enjoy one or more of the following: David Freddoso at the Washington Examiner points out that Senate Democrats very quickly have killed President Obama's very modest "spending freeze" proposal before it barely had a chance to get going. Speaking of Obama, my PPC friends are licking their chops at the prospect of The One coming to Denver to stump for our appointed junior U.S. Senator Michael Bennet. Speaking of arrogance, guest writer Don Rodgers at Reclaim the Blue calls out Democrats in our state legislature for their hubris, after shoving through four of the Dirty Dozen tax bills on Wednesday (and are scheduled to hear the rest starting this morning) as a prelude to their dying political majority. Speaking of death, the … [Read more...]

Flashback: Diana DeGette says Hickenlooper “at least as liberal as me”

Sometimes a look back into the recent past can help glean some important insights into the present. Such is the case with Colorado politics and the potential slate of candidates to replace Governor Bill Ritter as the 2010 Democratic nominee for the state's chief executive. Do you remember a little over a year ago when so many Democrats were angling for now-lame duck Ritter's appointment to the U.S. Senate? Like liberal Denver Democrat Congresswoman Diana DeGette -- who has a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 3.64 out of 100, lower than Barack Obama. In December 2008 she told the Denver Post that mayor and prospective gubernatorial candidate John Hickenlooper is "probably at least as liberal as me": … [Read more...]

Kevin Miller’s National Freedom Initiative: A Reincarnation of Frank Meyer’s Fusionism?

In his latest offering, former state legislative leader Mark Hillman praises the "freedom nationally, virtue locally" National Freedom Initiative of Colorado's own Kevin Miller -- not the first time it has crossed my path. It was last year about this time I wrestled a lot with the role social conservatism should play, and something that never strays too far from my mind. Therefore, I'm very intrigued by this initiative -- which, of course, is not altogether new, but rather a very sensible clarification and reformulation for our current political context. The opportunity definitely is there: To educate many social conservatives on the vital and wholly compatible value of liberty and limited government To build a strong bridge between … [Read more...]

Barone: Current Health Care Fiasco Resembles 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act

Writing for the Washington Examiner, Michael Barone makes an astute historical observation:It's time to blow the whistle on two erroneous statements that opponents and proponents of the health care legislation being jammed through Congress have been making. Republicans have been saying that never before has Congress passed such an unpopular bill with such important ramifications by such a narrow majority. Barack Obama has been saying that passage of the bill will mean that the health care issue will be settled once and for all. The Republicans and Obama are both wrong. But perhaps they can be forgiven because the precedent for Congress passing an unpopular bill is an old one, and the issue it addressed has long been settled, though not … [Read more...]

Happy 239th Birthday, Beethoven

Yes, me and Schroeder both... In honor of the great Ludwig von Beethoven's 239th birthday, why not pop in a CD or MP3 and take in one of his symphonies: maybe the overlooked 1st, the mighty 3rd, the classic 5th, the serene 6th, the passionate 7th ... or if you have a lot of time on your hands, the transcendent 9th? Blasts from the past: - Happy Birthday, Ludwig (2004) ... in case you want to know why Beethoven is such a big deal - 2nd Annual Beethoven's Birthday Blog (2005) ... including the famous Lucy / Schroeder exchange - Happy Chanukah / Beethoven's Birthday (2006) ... with a few interesting ideas for musical blends … [Read more...]

Harry Reid Compares ObamaCare Foes to Pro-Slavery, Makes Case for His Own Post-Senate, Village-Based Career

Update, 5:00 PM: Witticism of the day goes to the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto, who observes that "[Reid's] success to this point seems something of a miracle--an inspiration to dour, foolish men everywhere." Was that one of the painful throes of sheer desperation we heard from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid yesterday?Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took his GOP-blasting rhetoric to a new level Monday, comparing Republicans who oppose health care reform to lawmakers who clung to the institution of slavery more than a century ago.... "Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all the Republicans can come up with is, 'slow down, stop everything, let's start over.' If you think you've heard these same excuses … [Read more...]

Monday Quick Hits: GOP Unity, Church & State, Cold Fraud of Climategate

After a busy weekend, all I have to offer are a few worthwhile reads for a Monday: Last week Craig Steiner wrote an insightful piece titled "On GOP Unity in Colorado", especially worthwhile for those who have followed the intense controversy around the "Platform for Prosperity" and misappropriated Tea Party endorsements My Independence Institute colleague Jessica Peck Corry tackles the issue of church-state boundaries and public religious displays in a new Colorado Springs Gazette column, just in time for the Christmas holiday season Compliments of The Climate Realists, Marc Sheppard at American Thinker explains the now-infamous "Hide the Decline" in the Climategate fraud: simply a must-read that only adds to the sting of an … [Read more...]