Politics

Speech and Censorship on Campus

May 30, 2014

As an alumna of Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, one of the last all-women institutions of higher education, I decided to put aside the other topics about which I’d like to write to comment on the “disinvitation” of Christine Lagarde as this year’s commencement speaker at Smith.  Madame Lagarde is the head of the International Monetary Fund (the “IMF”), a woman with a lengthy list of barrier-breaking accomplishments in both the public and private sectors.  Growing out of the Bretton Woods Conference convened in 1944 to determine how to help reconstruct the global economy after t

Campaign Finance Post-McCutcheon

Apr 25, 2014

The April 2 five-four decision of the United States Supreme Court on campaign finance in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission has elicited the predictable polar opposite reactions from commentators.  The decision has been hailed by many as reinforcing the fundamental Constitutional right of free speech and strengthening the role of the parties in the political process.  Conversely, the decision has been vilified in some quarters as giving the wealthy a larger voice in politics than they may already have to the detriment, it is said, of the general public.

Voting in Peru

Mar 5, 2014

My husband and I recently returned from a fascinating trip to Peru, where we floated down the Amazon (the headwaters are in the Peruvian Andes) and hiked Machu Picchu.  It’s always instructive to learn that people in other countries have a different perspective on some topics than we do in the United States.

Why did the ballot measures fail?

Nov 8, 2013

Traveling throughout the Roaring Fork Valley in the days leading up to the November 5 election, I was impressed by the slick signs trumpeting two of this year’s ballot issues in Pitkin County: “Vote YES on Amendment 66” and “Vote YES on Questions 4C and 4D.”  Amendment 66 was, of course, the statewide financing proposal for public education that would have raised the income tax rate for all Coloradans, by 8% for those making $75,000 or less a year and by 27% for people making above that amount.  Questions 4C and 4D were about a new recreation center in the mid-valley Crown Mountain Park and

Elise Thatcher

A Texan stole the show at the Pitkin County Democrats’ annual fundraising dinner last night. State Senator Wendy Davis gained national attention earlier this year when she held an all-night filibuster in the Texas legislature, over the issue of access to abortions. Last night Davis held the floor for a much shorter period of time at the Lazy T Seven Ranch.

Governors in Aspen: What’s Working at the State Level?

A conversation featuring with Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Governor Michael Pence of Indiana, and Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin on their priorities, toughest challenges and successes.

This year's panel of governors will discuss important social issues affecting their communities.

Aspen Ideas Festival - Politics of the Possible

Jun 28, 2013

Politics of the Possible

Where are the opportunities for bipartisan consensus and policy solutions? What's required to make that happen?

George Mitchell, Thomas J. Wilson, Melody Barnes, Tim Pawlenty, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Rita Braver


Jesse Lujan

Colorado is one of nearly twenty states putting together a kind of cooperative health care purchasing program. It’s called an exchange, and it’s starting under the recent health care overhaul often called "Obamacare". Enrollment starts in October and it could mean big changes for Native Americans in Colorado. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher recently spoke with Ernest House Junior. He’s Executive Director of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs. House started by explaining what health care options Native Americans have now.

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