Daily Archives: May 2, 2006

Immigrants a force to be reckoned with

The massive, historic immigration rallies that drew more than 1 million people nationwide Monday and hundreds in Wichita didn’t bring the economy to a standstill, but the marchers did prove that they wield significant economic clout. They also succeeded in sending a message that’s hard to ignore: Illegal immigrants are here in huge numbers, they’re part of the fabric of America’s economy, and they refuse to be treated as common criminals.
Such high-profile marches and boycotts undoubtedly will alienate many Americans, who don’t see illegals as having the citizen status to demand rights of any kind. But the sheer numbers Monday suggested that the nation must find a practical, just solution that enforces borders, assimilates many of these people, and helps put an end to this underground economy.
Posted by Randy Scholfield

Was Colbert entertaining or not? How about newsworthy?

“Forget immigration, gas prices, Iraq or Iran. The blogosphere is aflame over one of the most shocking and jaw-dropping public appearances of the modern era. We’re talking about Stephen Colbert,” Howard Kurtz wrote today in his Media Notes column for The Washington Post. As we’ve seen in some comments on this blog, there is a great divide about Colbert’s performance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner Saturday. Some think Colbert was dead-on in mocking President Bush and the press corps, and see the limited reporting on his routine as another indictment of the MSM. Others think Colbert bombed.
Kurtz noted the take of Huffington Post’s Chris Durang: “Colbert’s was a brave and shocking performance. And for the media to pretend it isn’t newsworthy is a total bafflement. And a symbol of how shoddy and suspect the media is.”
But here is the take of The New Republic’s Noam Scheiber: “I’m a big Stephen Colbert fan, a huge Bush detractor, and I think the White House press corps has been out to lunch for much of the last five years. . . . That should have made me the ideal audience-member for Colbert’s performance at this weekend’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. As it happens, though, I laughed out loud maybe twice during Colbert’s entire 20-odd minute routine. Colbert’s problem, blogosphere conspiracy theories notwithstanding, is that he just wasn’t very entertaining.”
What did Colbert actually say? Here is an excerpt from his routine (click here for complete text): “I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message, that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound — with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world.”
Posted by Phillip Brownlee

Those who’ve ‘had enough’ can just not vote, too

Tim Roemer, a former Democratic congressman from Indiana, argued in a New York Times commentary that the Democratic message for the midterm elections should be a twist of advertising executive Karl Frost’s successful 1946 slogan “Had Enough? Vote Republican!”
Roemer wrote: “’Had Enough? Vote Democratic!’ is a slogan that spotlights the many mistakes in Iraq, the mismanagement of Hurricane Katrina and the mangling of fiscal responsibility with ‘bridges to nowhere.’”
He went on: “And if you want to fire up the base, you can string together references to Jack Abramoff, Abu Ghraib and the Dubai ports deal.”
OK, the polls suggest there’s a lot of interest in dissing the GOP right now, but Democrats shouldn’t stop there. Some viable policy ideas would be welcome, too.
Posted by Rhonda Holman

Bush deserves standing ovation for keeping sense of humor

“I’m feeling pretty chipper tonight — I survived the White House shake-up,” President Bush joked during the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner Saturday. The funny routine, in which Bush impersonator Steve Bridges (who appears regularly on NBC’s “Tonight Show”) stood at a lectern next to Bush and expressed the president’s thoughts, was Bush’s idea, The New York Times reported. In one of several bits poking fun at the president’s speaking abilities, Bridges rehearsed to himself: “We must enhance noncompliance protocols sanctioned not only at IAEA formal sessions but through intercessional contact.” But a moment later what came out of Bush’s mouth was: “We must enhance noncompliance protocols sanctioned not only at E-I-E-I-O formal sessions but through intersexual contact.”
Don’t know if it will still be there, but CNN.com has had a video excerpt of the routine that’s worth watching.
Posted by Phillip Brownlee

Honk if you had lunch with Steve Morris

Turns out more and more people knew about the “secret” lunch meeting at which Kansas Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, and Sen. Pete Brungardt, R-Salina, discussed school finance with Kansas Supreme Court justice Lawton Nuss, in possible violation of judicial ethics rules. Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, said over the weekend that Morris told him back in March about the meeting. And on Monday, Morris acknowledged mentioning to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius that he had contact with the court.
This is getting absurd. The question is: Is there anyone Morris didn’t tell about the meeting? And is anyone ever going to want to talk to him over lunch again?
Posted by Randy Scholfield

Attraction gets a leader at last

By the time Exploration Place’s new president, Alberto C. Meloni, starts work full time on July 5, it will have been a long two years since the children’s museum and science center had a CEO. Though the generous gift from Sedgwick County last year has eased the 6-year-old attraction’s fiscal emergency — a $10.5 million shortfall — Meloni and the board still have to decide what Exploration Place’s long-term mission, programming and funding will be. Let’s hope Meloni, most recently boss of St. Joseph Museums in St. Joseph, Mo., can help make what goes on inside this landmark as singular and exciting as its architecture.
Posted by Rhonda Holman