Daily Archives: Oct. 8, 2006

Powell on ‘staying the course’

In a speech at the University of Minnesota last week, former Secretary of State Colin Powell added his voice to those raising questions about the Bush administration’s strategy for waging war in Iraq.
Powell said that U.S. troops will have to stay in Iraq for “some time” longer. “But there is a limit to the patience of the American people,” he added.
In Iraq, Powell said, “staying the course isn’t good enough because a course has to have an end.”
Where is the end in Iraq? How will we get there? The American people deserve a better answer than they’re getting.
Posted by Randy Scholfield

Sunflower State’s politics getting noticed

The latest national columnist to take note of the shifting political winds in Kansas was the New York Times’ Paul Krugman, who wishfully pointed to the state last week as further evidence that the “right-wing coalition is showing signs of coming apart.” He went on: “It seems that we’re not in Kansas anymore. In fact, Kansas itself doesn’t seem to be in Kansas anymore. Kathleen Sebelius, the state’s Democratic governor, has achieved a sky-high favorability rating by focusing on good governance rather than culture wars, and her party believes it will win big this year.
“And nine former Kansas Republicans, including Mark Parkinson, the former state GOP chairman, are now running for state office as Democrats. Why did Parkinson change parties? Because he ‘got tired of the theological debate over whether Charles Darwin was right.’”
Posted by Rhonda Holman

Party affiliation is shifting

The Bush administration’s problems surrounding the continued war in Iraq, lobbyist Jack Abramoff, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and now Rep. Mark Foley are taking their toll on the Republican power base on Capitol Hill. A recent telephone poll by Rasmussen Reports showed a difference in party affiliation between the 2004 election and 2006. In September 2004, the surveys indicated 37.9 percent considered themselves Democrats, and 37.3 percent claimed themselves Republican. Last month, the numbers showed 37 percent calling themselves Democrats and only 32.2 percent Republicans.

Of course, the bigger issue is not how people identify themselves but how and whether they vote.
Posted by Angie Holladay

WE Blog leaves past record in the dust

I did a post last month reporting that the hits on this blog in August had increased 54 percent from the monthly total at start of the year. Well, that’s nothing. WE Blog had 161,127 hits in September. That’s up 92 percent from the start of the year — and a 25 percent increase from the August total. What’s more, based on the increased traffic during the last half of September, I expect the total to jump significantly again in October.
Thanks to all those who visit and those who post their own comments.
P.S.: I have asked whether WE Blog has surpassed Dave Barry’s humor blog at the Miami Herald in the number of reader comments. I don’t have a report yet. But I do know that WE Blog gets the most traffic and most comments of any political blog in our newspaper chain — which includes several very large markets.
P.S.S.: JR made a good suggestion in my previous post about publishing more comment excerpts in the printed newspaper. Sorry about not doing that more; we’ll try to do better. There are excerpts in today’s Opinion pages about the Bombardier strike and the downtown arena. Thanks again to all who joined those discussions.
Posted by Phillip Brownlee

‘Tis the season to respect others’ yard signs

Another election season has brought another round of reports of stolen yard signs. Some of the 14 candidates who interviewed with The Eagle editorial board last week spoke of having lost signs even this early in October. True, some of these alleged thefts may turn out to be because the signs were violating the city’s right-of-way rule, which was a real problem with GOP gubernatorial candidates during the August primary. Even in a private yard, for example, no sign should be placed between the street and the sidewalk. Posting signs on public property or on utility poles, lampposts or traffic control devices also is a no-no. For right-of-way reasons, the city confiscates 12,000 to 15,000 signs of all kinds each year. But if the signs are disappearing for partisan reasons, shame on the thieves. That’s not just wasting the other guy’s campaign funds. It’s also violating the spirit of the great exercise of democracy.
Posted by Rhonda Holman