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Daily Archives: Feb. 26, 2006
Feb. 26, 200612:09 a.m.
Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole, whose law firm is helping represent the United Arab Emirates in the bungled U.S. ports deal, at least doesn’t seem to be as tone-deaf as the Bush administration on this political fiasco.
He announced Thursday that he would not lobby members of Congress after Democrats raised questions about the possible conflict of interest with his wife, Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., who opposes the deal.
He said he would limit himself to efforts to “help the American people understand the real facts.” Still, this can’t be a lobbying job that Dole relishes. He’s too savvy not to see how bad this looks to most Americans. They must be paying him well.
Meanwhile, more damaging info emerged about the decision-making process: Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff joined the list of Cabinet members with direct oversight (Treasury, Defense) who didn’t know anything about this deal.
Do WE bloggers think the ports sale is simply delayed or dead? My guess is the latter.
Posted by Randy Scholfield
Feb. 26, 200612:07 a.m.
Some 45 percent of all Republicans say they are “very happy,” compared with 30 percent of Democrats, according to an annual survey by the Pew Research Center. And it’s not because Republicans tend to be wealthier; Republicans are happier than Democrats in all income categories, the survey found. Republicans also aren’t just happy because they control all three branches of government; Republicans have been happier every year since the survey began in 1972.
Posted by Phillip Brownlee
Feb. 26, 200612:05 a.m.
The Kansas Senate approved a bill last week creating a Legislative Compensation Commission to make recommendations about raising lawmakers’ salaries. The concern is that low pay is keeping many Kansans from serving in the Legislature. Lawmakers do put in long hours for relatively modest salaries — base pay for a rank-and-file legislator is $23,035. But it would take a major salary increase to make the job economically appealing to many professionals. And rather than attracting higher-caliber candidates to run for public office, would we just end up with higher paid ideologues?
Posted by Phillip Brownlee
Feb. 26, 200612:03 a.m.
Congressional Democrats may be coming together around a plan to begin pulling troops from Iraq and redeploying them to other parts of the region â€” where they could be called upon to respond to emergencies in Iraq but also fight terror elsewhere.
The Boston Globe reported that many leading Democrats say the plan “represents an answer to Republicans’ oft-repeated charge that Democrats aren’t offering a way forward on Iraq — and to do so in a way that is neither defeatist nor blindly loyal to the president.”
Posted by Melissa Cooley
Feb. 26, 200612:01 a.m.
Wichita Mayor Carlos Mayans took some deserved heat for recently including the resurrection of Wichita State University football among his six visions for the community. But he also deserves credit for counting cultural funding among those priorities. To follow up on the current budget’s added $712,000 for arts organizations, Mayans told KSN, Channel 3, “I still believe we need to have 1 mill earmarked for this project, and I am willing to reach some kind of a consensus to do it, limited for five years, to see the impact it will have on arts and culture on our area.” As the cultural funding review panel prepares to take on its second round of grants, and submit to the scrutiny of the city’s budget cycle, it’s good to know that Mayans gets it — that arts and attractions help make a community unique and interesting, as they generate jobs and revenue.
Posted by Rhonda Holman