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...]

Really the Best 25 Christmas Movies?

With time off work over the holiday, I decided to survey some newly-posted lists on the Web to get a sense of which Christmas movies are widely believed to be the best ever -- with lists including (but not limited to) Moviefone, the Chicago Tribune, Saturday Evening Post, and the objectively-measured most loved Christmas movies list. Using a not-so-highly scientific formula (and not necessarily my own personal preferences), the result is the 25 most highly rated Christmas movies: … [Read more...]

Is Our Side Silly Enough to Make “Mark Udall Sits Silently…” Headlines?

Two days 'till Christmas -- which apparently means it's time to practice our jolly laughter. Huffington Post's Sam Stein looks like he is auditioning to fill the local void left by the departure of Colorado Media Matters. What a doozy (H/T Complete Colorado):Appearing at a recent coffee-shop event with Colorado voters, Norton sat silently while a female attendee declared twice that President Barack Obama is a Muslim and while a male attendee insisted that the president -- who he deemed "an idiot" -- wanted to let babies die on the side of the road "with the garbage." "Well as you can tell there is a lot of passion around what is happening in our own country," Norton responded to the crowd, rather than correcting either individual. "And … [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...]

Of Capitalism and Safe Meat: Happy Meal Vouchers for Poor Students?

Ever the libertarian wit, Denver Post columnist David Harsanyi highlights some "lessons in capitalism" based on a new USA Today investigation that finds safer meat at your local fast-food restaurant than in the government's National School Lunch Program for poorer students. "Doesn’t the USDA care about the children?" Harsanyi asks with more than a hint of sarcasm. Seeing his thoughts in writing made me think: Perhaps we should be giving poorer students vouchers to buy Happy Meals for school lunches? I don't know about the value of such an idea as a practical policy prescription. However, the mere fact I'm bringing it up might make some heads spin in the USDA office on the floor below the Independence Institute where I work. Let's … [Read more...]

Denver School Board Sees Therapist … Hold the Jokes, Please

Education News Colorado editor Alan Gottlieb offers up a laugh about the new Denver Public Schools board calling in a therapist to help everyone get along. In case you haven't heard, it was all brought on by some low-class politics at Monday's board meeting (H/T Ed Is Watching):As board member Michelle Moss walked up to take her seat for what was to be her last meeting in eight years representing southwest Denver, her newly elected replacement Andrea Merida told her that she would be sitting on the dais instead. Merida, rather than waiting to take the oath of office with two other new members after the meeting, had instead been sworn in hours earlier so she could cast a vote on the controversial reforms. A shocked Moss reacted with … [Read more...]

New Al Gansee: Lighthearted Reading to While Away Thanksgiving Break

No politics today, nothing that juicy or intriguing to break the fast on the eve of Thanksgiving. If you're bored over the holiday and looking for some amusing reading -- especially if you're looking to stage a new play or produce a new movie -- then check out the two-act script I completed earlier this year titled Al Gansee: The Shot Heard 'Round Cambria. The synopsis will give you the flavor:In the early 1960s, a tiny Midwestern farm community has been transformed into a Marxist workers' paradise upon the return of a charismatic native son and his Russian KGB companion. Now leading a Socialist Union that bears his name, Chief Comrade Al Gansee confronts the desire for territorial expansion and transmission of his ideals. Gansee, his … [Read more...]

A Grassroots Escape Clause in the New Colorado GOP Prosperity Platform?

So some Colorado GOP leaders have crafted a Prosperity Platform and rallied behind Scott McInnis as the gubernatorial candidate. Meanwhile, some in the grassroots remain thoroughly unconvinced and stand behind hard-working longshot Dan Maes. The issue is not the rhetoric or the substance of the 20 governing principles that has earned skepticism or even ire. It's some of the cast of characters involved that many understandably still have a hard time trusting. I'm not all the way there yet myself. What might help make the Prosperity Platform more palatable is an escape clause -- and by that I mean not for McInnis, but for us. So the issue is an agreement to fulfill the 20 principles. What happens if he is elected and then reneges, … [Read more...]