Monthly Archives: January 2010

Whereas, to really stabilize PERA for good &helip;

(’76 Editor) I asked former Treasurer Mark Hillman what sort of genuine PERA stabilization bill he would file if the two of us were still state senators, in light of his concern expressed in the previous post that the current bipartisan Senate Bill 1 doesn’t get at the root of the problem. He recommended the following three steps:

* Raise the retirement age to 67 for anyone who hasn’t been in a PERA-covered job for more than 5 years. Continue reading

State pension bailout only postpones the reckoning

(Centennial Fellow) Rescuing the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) is nothing new for state lawmakers. Twice in the last decade, legislators have thrown PERA a lifeline, forcing the state, school districts, local governments and finally even workers to chip in hundreds of millions of dollars to keep the plan afloat.

As recently as four years ago, PERA and many employee groups refused to acknowledge the plan’s peril, despite assets falling from 105 percent of the amount needed to pay benefits to just 70 percent from 2000 to 2004. Continue reading

Right turn could reach campuses, say student panelists

(’76 Editor) Student conservative leaders from three colleges told a Centennial Institute forum last night that they sense growing receptivity among their generation for a right-trending political mood of self-reliance and limited government. Continue reading

Mass. rebuke to BHO recalls the 1938 humbling of FDR

When praising his own “accomplishments” Barack Obama has an unusual fondness for the word “unprecedented” though invariably his assertions lack any historical validity. In contrast the voters of Massachusetts can now claim an accomplishment that entirely justifies the use of that word.

To find an event in American history reasonably comparable in character and impact to the Massachusetts Earthquake we must go all the way back to Franklin Roosevelt’s 1937 attempt to “pack” the Supreme Court. Continue reading

Element R takes charge

(Denver Post, Jan. 24)) Why did Gov. Bill Ritter fold his reelection campaign? Why is Sen. Michael Bennet so far behind in the polls? Why did Scott Brown win in Massachusetts? Why is Barack Obama struggling to save his presidency, one year after taking office in triumph?

Because Americans have completely lost patience with irresponsibility. For years this column has talked of the need for a responsibility movement to challenge both political parties. “We’ll call it Element R and launch it today, right here in Colorado,” I wrote in 2007. What the country has seen in recent months is Element R, in fact if not in name, starting to take charge. Continue reading

Of course academia is liberal; so what’s our response?

Last Sunday in the New York Times, Patricia Cohen discussed the liberal bias that exists in academia, especially among the social sciences. Specifically, Cohen considers a new explanation being put forth by social scientists Neil Gross and Ethan Fosse that suggests that the professor moniker carries similar pre-conceived notions, similar to how many think of the field of nursing or elementary teacher. The difference being, while most consider nursing and teaching to be feminine, the pursuit of professorship is inherently liberal. They term this phenomena “typecasting”, where because of certain “stereotypes” about professors, many would self-exclude themselves from the pursuit of advanced degrees in certain fields. So, just as many consider nursing to be a “women’s profession,” Gross and Fosse conclude that many consider academia to be a liberal’s profession. Continue reading

School choice energized by VA & NJ elections

(CCU Faculty) Last November, New Jersey and Virginia, two states with Democratic Governors, elected Republicans to replace them. In Virginia, it was an open seat, while in New Jersey, the incumbent John Corzine was defeated.

As the administrations of Governor Christie of New Jersey and Governor McDonnell of Virginia begin to take shape, there is great hope for education reform from these new Republican governors. Each Governor-elect has picked a supporter of school choice plans to head his department of education. Continue reading

Advisors help plot think tank’s course

(’76 Editor) What’s the practical meaning of Centennial Institute’s goals about teaching citizenship, renewing the spirit of 1776, advocating for faith, family, and freedom? The Centennial Program Board, a new group that held its second monthly meeting on Jan. 19, helps me tackle those questions.

The board is made up of CCU students from all four classes—including Lawson Cheek and Natasha Starceski (’10), Joni Mitchell (’11), JT Weinroth (’12), and Drew Goorabian (’13)—plus faculty members Bill Saxby, Chuck King, and Greg Schaller along with retired pastor Jerry Nelson and businessman Kevin Miller and Wil Armstrong. Several of the latter are also Centennial Institute Fellows.

Got a suggestion for the Centennial Program Board in their advisory role with me, Director John Andrews? Email your thoughts to centennial@ccu.edu.

Did Mass. quake shake Colorado? Two views

After Tuesday’s shocker in the Massachusetts Senate race, there was a hilarious contrast between true-believer Democrats with their implausible spin script and the common-sense response of everyone else, Republicans and independent voters alike. It was well illustrated in my TV taping on Channel 12, Jan. 21, for this month’s series of “Head On” mini-debates with former Denver city councilwoman Susan Barnes-Gelt. Our exchange went as follows:

John: Massachusetts voters sent a powerful message of discontent to Obama, Pelosi, and Reid by electing Republican Scott Brown to the Senate seat long held by liberal lion Ted Kennedy. Unemployment, terrorism, and the unpopular health care takeover add up to a bad political year for Democrats, Susan. Continue reading

Iran 2010: The Threat and the Opportunity

(Centennial Fellow) WASHINGTON, JAN. 17 – When judgment is rendered on the success or failure of U.S. foreign policy in 2010 the verdict will depend more than anything on the outcome of our confrontation with Iran.

The threat to U.S. global interests from Iran is immense, but so too is the opportunity for a historic and transformational advancement of those interests. Converging circumstances in both Washington and Teheran strongly suggest that a decisive turning point is at hand. Continue reading