MUST READS for September

Wrapping my head around Fred
Jonah Goldberg

Trimming the responsibilities of government to a few important and constitutional functions would constitute real reform. Right now, the only bandwagon for a message even remotely like that is the Ron Paul campaign, and unfortunately, that bandwagon long ago barreled past conservatism to swampy territory outside the borders of common sense. Thompson could be different. While all the other candidates have a "can-do" personality, Thompson has a "won’t-do" personality. And that’s something many of us think has long been missing from the White House.

Voters scammed by Ref C ’shuffle’

Two years ago, lawmakers asked voters for a "timeout" from the spending restrictions of the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) in order to allow the state budget to rebound from the recession of 2001-2002.

Referendum C, which passed by a narrow 52 to 48 percent margin, erased the TABOR spending limits for five years and permanently increased spending caps thereafter. Voters were promised that K-12 education, colleges and universities, and health care would split the lion’s share of the resources if the measure passed.

Following the 2005 vote Colorado Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald said, “‘We already agreed, if Ref D failed, it would be 33 1/3, 33 1/3 and 33 1/3,’ for schools, colleges and health.”

But a funny thing happened after the election. Spending on programs not associated with Ref C has grown more than twice as fast as spending on education and health care. Now, voters have cause to believe they were sold a bill of goods. (more…)

Property: Rights or privileges

Anyone who has grown up on a farm or ranch hears this maxim, "Take care of the land, and the land will take care of you." A farmer or rancher who doesn’t take care of the soil will soon find that the soil won’t produce enough to make ends meet.

But you don’t need to be a farmer or rancher to understand the importance of private property rights. What’s more, property isn’t simply a piece of land or a home. Property is anything you own — your clothes, your car, your business. (more…)

Rights do not burden others

When we consider drastically altering our expectations of government, we risk undermining the principles on which our country was founded and proving Ronald Reagan’s maxim: "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction."

Every expansion of government entitlements masquerading as rights — like a "right to health care" — is a dangerous step along this path, no matter how well-intentioned.

The Founders of our country lived more than two centuries ago in a vastly different era, but they understood that certain principles are timeless, such as the corruptibility of human nature and the danger of unrestrained power. (more…)

MUST READS for Late August

Truth Laid Baird
By James Taranto, Opinion Journal
One Democrat Congressman who opposed the war in Iraq finds reason to keep our troops in place.  To him, it’s more important to do right than to be right.

Tragic Implications
By Thomas Sowell
Nobody names pothole repairs for anybody or puts any politician’s name on the rivets used to repair an existing bridge. Moreover, nobody blames a politician when a bridge collapses years after he put his name on some government building with money that could have been used to make bridges safer.

MUST READS for August

Photo ops take priority over bridges
Thomas Sowell
Some people claim that the problem is how much money it would take to properly maintain bridges, highways, dams and other infrastructure. But money is found for other things, including things far less urgent and some things that are even counterproductive.

Democrats don’t care about the poor
Ann Coulter
Democrats don’t care about the poor. They don’t care about the children. They care about government teachers and other government bureaucrats — grimy, dowdy women who "woo" at political debates. Or as CNN calls them, the "young," "hip" crowd.

Renewables wrecking environment, says Green pioneer
Steve Milloy, Junk Science
“Renewables are not green,” is how Jesse Ausubel begins the article published in the International Journal of Nuclear Governance, Economy and Ecology. It’s a remarkable statement coming from someone who beat his fellow Greens to global warming alarmism by at least 10 years.

Smog of Oblivion
By R. Emmett Terrell, New York Sun
What would Democrats do if one of their own think tank sent analysts to Iraq and found that the surge is working?  Bob Terrell dares Democrat defeatists to come out of the left-wing echo chamber and consider the evidence.

WhatsNewsColorado.com
Your best source for everything important that’s happening in Colorado.

Must Reads for JULY

If you’re an internet news junkie, I’d suggest you add these links to your daily surfing destinations:

VictoryCaucus.com
If you’re tired of getting your Iraq news from reporters who can’t seem to see past body counts, then you should check out VictoryCaucus.com.  Here you’ll find information from people on the ground and who see "the big picture."

WhatsNewsColorado.com
The best news source for what’s happening all across Colorado — not just headlines from Denver.  Plus links to the few level-headed opinion writers in our state’s media.

Study’s aim for Colorado misses the mark

If you’ve ever been disappointed by a meal at a fancy restaurant or researched a major purchase, you know that a big price tag doesn’t guarantee the best quality.

Careful consumers want the most bang for their buck — not the most bucks for their bang.

Unfortunately, big-government liberals seem to think that spending is the best benchmark to judge state government and that spending more is always better.

Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute’s "Aiming for the Middle" whitepaper concludes that you, Mr. and Mrs. Colorado, are under-taxed to the tune of $3.3 billion a year — maybe more.  That’s $1,030 a year for every man, woman and child in the state. (more…)

Must reads for July

Conservative’s shouldn’t give up global warming fight
Steven Milloy
In the cover story of the June 25 National Review, software company CEO Jim Manzi wrote that conservatives should stop "denying" that humans are warming the planet.  Manzi says conservatives should believe in global warming, not because of "liberal scaremongering … but because of the underlying physics" — which he apparently doesn’t grasp in the least.

Iran’s proxy war
Joseph Lieberman
While some will no doubt claim that Iran is only atttacking U.S. soldiers in Iraq because they are deployed there — and that the solution, therefore, is to withdraw them — Iran’s parallel proxy attacks against moderate Palestinians, Afghans and Lebanese directly rebut such claims.

Democrat candidates ‘out there’ on education
Richard Cohen
It must have sounded reassuring to big-city education unions and politicians with a gift for exacerbating racial paranoia. But to the kid in the classroom, to a parent bucking the bureaucracy, the rhetoric must have sounded like a "surge" of money instead of men or, as we used to say, throwing good money after bad.

Need or need?
Walter E. Williams
The implication of an absolute, crying, dying or urgent need is that one cannot do without the need in question. Students sometimes say they absolutely need a car or a cell phone. At that point I ask them, how in the world was it that Gen. George Washington could defeat Britain, the mightiest nation on earth, without a cell phone or a car?

Goodbye McCain-Feingold?
George Will
McCain-Feingold’s actual purpose is to protect politicians from speech that annoys them. That is why McCain says he regrets WRTL’s victory because it will allow groups “to target a federal candidate in the days and weeks before an election.”

Lobbying isn’t the problem; big government is

"When buying and selling are controlled by the legislature, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators." — P.J. O’Rourke.

Money spent on special interest lobbying at the State Capitol jumped 14 percent this year over last, despite measures like the so-called "Ethics in Government" Amendment 41.

Lobbyists’ contracts generated more than $11 million in just the first four months of 2007, according to a recent Denver Post report — the twelfth straight year that lobbying expenditures exceeded the previous year.

But before you fall prey to the common misconception that there’s too much money in government, take a step back. (more…)