Daily Archives: Aug. 11, 2006

On a plot stopped despite leakers, Bush critics

In congratulating authorities in Great Britain and the United States for foiling the airline bomb plot Thursday, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., offered an "I told you so" of sorts to critics of the Bush administration and, presumably, congressional overseers such as himself. In a statement noting he had been informed of the plot earlier in the week, Roberts said: "This is the kind of success that our intelligence and law enforcement personnel work hard to achieve — a success achieved despite damaging leaks and unjustified criticisms of the methods they use to detect and prevent terrorist attacks."
So this plot was uncovered by monitoring — without a court order or any meaningful legislative oversight — the international e-mails and phone calls of Americans?
Posted by Rhonda Holman

Are bridge towers too much?

There’s been grumbling in The Eagle’s Reader Views about the footbridge towers at the Keeper of the Plains project, including one lettertoday that said the towers were "ugly, ugly, ugly." The main complaint is that the large white towers detract from the Keeper. One of the project architects explained in a news article in Wednesday’s Eagle that the contemporary-looking towers on the suspension bridge are a tie-in with nearby Exploration Place. And he said that people should reserve judgment until the bridge is completed later this year. Do you bloggers have opinions yet?
Posted by Phillip Brownlee

When voting is more than optional

Pondering the lousy turnout even in Connecticut’s hot Democratic Senate primary, Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, suggests a radical remedy in a New York Times commentary: mandatory voting. In Australia, he notes, those who don’t vote and don’t offer a reason must pay a $15 fine, which escalates with multiple offenses. The result, he notes, is "a turnout rate of more than 95 percent. The fine, of course, is an incentive to vote. But the system has also instilled the idea that voting is a societal obligation. It has also elevated the political dialogue."
Posted by Rhonda Holman

Compassionate Conservative

Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., believes that compassionate conservatism is "an area that lacks development," The Weekly Standard magazine reported in a profile of the presidential hopeful. Brownback wants the compassion part broadened, particularly "toward the poor, in this country and internationally." To his credit, Brownback has helped draw attention to human rights abuses in North Korea, Darfur and elsewhere. But his application of scriptural commands to "love your neighbor as yourself" and to take care of "widows and orphans" and the "foreigner in the land" hasn’t always played well with the conservative base, especially Brownback’s admirable support for creating a guest-worker program and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
Posted by Phillip Brownlee

If Johnson County is Kansas’ ‘gold coast,’ what’s Wichita?

Kansas City Star columnist Steve Kraske shared an out-there theory about why Kay O’Connor (in photo) and Eric Carter got nowhere in their GOP primary bids to unseat, respectively, incumbents Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh and Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger. "Well, they’re both from Johnson County," he wrote. "Rural Kansas and Missouri voters have a long history of turning away from gold coast candidates from Johnson County or the big cities of Kansas City and St. Louis. We’re not like them is the thinking."
Kraske noted that Bill Graves always listed his hometown as Salina, rather than the more accurate Mission Hills.
Posted by Rhonda Holman

Dubious, bogus and utterly phony headlines

The following satirical headlines come from borowitzreport.com:
ATHLETE TESTS NEGATIVE FOR STEROIDS; Congress Demands Full Investigation
BUSH AWARDS GIBSON PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM; President: ‘Thanks for Taking the Heat Off Me’
Posted by Phillip Brownlee