(Scripps Howard Syndicate, Sept. 23) There’s an old saying that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but that’s too simple and wise for the Obama administration, which is readying bureaucratic tools for massive work on the nation’s private, non-profit colleges and universities. And what’s wrong with them? Nothing. Certainly nothing that requires this abomination the Education Department has in mind, a long-winded, frequently unclear new set of regulations that would intensify and increase oversight by states, in some cases conceivably overriding a long-established, thorough, fair, respected and effective accrediting process by non-governmental agencies.
(CCU Faculty) In 2008, Barack Obama presented American voters with a candidacy expressing “righteous indignation” and the appearance of a leader ready to take the helm in a time of great national economic difficulty. The anger he expressed, alleging numerous failings of the Bush administration – failure at war, failure at appealing to the international community, expansion of government programs and government debt, failure to respond to the economic crisis, etc. – found a receptive audience with a frustrated citizenry. His anger was tempered with his seeming readiness to tackle this laundry list of problems.
(Tribune Syndicate, Sept. 23) Raise your hand if you believe government has too little involvement in our lives. Put down your hands, members of the Obama administration. During a previous political uprising in the 1980s, academic institutions managed to fend off conservative attacks on some of the subjects taught on their campuses — from “peace studies” to kinky sexual practices, to bad history — with cries of “academic freedom.” Where are those cries now that the federal government is on the verge of regulating the content of subject matter on college campuses and changing the way these institutions are accredited?
"Larger shortfall looms in Colorado budget, and schools are likely to feel the pain," shouted the headline on a Denver Post story this week. The timing could not be more appropriate for School Finance 2.0,
To anyone who still believes the National Rifle Association cares more about protecting your Second Amendment rights than it does about kissing up to powerful politicians, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. For the NRA, the Second Amendment has become little more than an expedient tool for raising money, striking political compromises, and maintaining access to those in power.
Throughout the last year and half, as the Tea Party movement has risen and sustained a consistent presence and voice, an ever-present tension has been acknowledged by Republican leaders, Tea-Party faithful and political pundits. The key question is whether the Tea Party movement will splinter the Republican Party. There are three potential causes of a split within the party: differences in strategy, ideology, and/or egos.
(Denver Post, Sept. 19) “It is essential to liberty,” wrote Madison in Federalist No. 52, “that the government should have a common interest with the people; an immediate dependence on, and an intimate sympathy with the people.” And what did he say is the only way to secure that? “Frequent elections, unquestionably.” We saw a perfect example of Madison’s point, and a beautiful thing it was, the other day when Sen. Michael Bennet and Reps. Betsy Markey and John Salazar, Democrats all, dived off the Obama bandwagon on his ill-conceived $50 billion Son of Stimulus plan to limit damage in the upcoming midterms.
Should private colleges and universities be subjected to adversarial oversight by politicians in 50 state capitals? That’s the question posed by federal regulations set to take effect on Nov. 1, unless congressional objections slow down the timetable. Centennial Institute Policy Brief No. 2010-1, “No Political Oversight for Private Colleges,” written by education expert Krista Kafer and released today, analyzes the proposal and concludes it is regulatory overreach, “unnecessary and unacceptable.” As Kafer explains in the introduction: “The Education Department is set to mandate more government control over a private-sector accreditation process that has served higher education well. To what purpose? The new regulations offer little benefit to these institutions, their students, or the taxpayers.
(From Investor’s Business Daily 9/17) Constitution Day — Sept. 17, the day 39 delegates to the 1787 Philadelphia Convention signed and submitted to Congress (under the Articles of Confederation) a new constitution for consideration — used to be familiar to many Americans. But as the Constitution’s authority has faded in our public life, its birthday has faded too. Don’t think the authority of the Constitution is ignored? Consider the irony of today, Constitution Day:
John Guandolo, Centennial Institute Fellow and former top counter-terrorism expert with the FBI, took part in a Wednesday press conference at the US Capitol in Washington for release a major new study on Muslim subversion, entitled Shariah: The Threat to America / An Exercise in Competitive Analysis /Report from Team B II. The full report is online here. Guandolo will discuss the study in a national security briefing at CCU on Sept. 22, 12 noon in the Dining Commons Annex. Anyone may attend, but reservations must be made by emailing Centennial@ccu.edu. Guandolo says he believes Shariah: The Threat to America will stand as “a truly seminal work” in the country’s struggle to protect itself against external and internal enemies.