Daily Archives: March 1, 2007

Don’t discount Christian right’s political resilience

Religious conservatives’ setbacks in Kansas last year thread through a Rolling Stone piece headlined “Evangelicals in exile.” Look at Kansas and elsewhere, author Robert Dreyfuss suggests, and it looks like the Christian right is on the ropes.
But Democratic strategist James Carville counsels against counting out conservative Christians. “The reports of their demise have been greatly exaggerated. If anybody thinks that they’re not going to exert influence in the Republican nominating process in 2008, they’re nuts.”
Posted by Rhonda Holman

Not the endorsement that Brownback needs

Give us Sen. Brownback, and we’ll be all right. It doesn’t matter who we nominate.” — Ed Rendell (in photo), Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor
Posted by Rhonda Holman

If you speed, you should stop for coffee

Slam on the brakes — there is a new contender for wackiest bill this legislative session. State Sen. David Haley (in photo), D-Kansas City, proposed that the Kansas Turnpike Authority be able to charge drivers extra if they speed, the Lawrence Journal-World reported. The charge would be calculated based on the time punched on the toll ticket when a driver entered the turnpike compared with the number of miles driven. But as Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Les Donovan, R-Wichita, noted, drivers could speed but stop for coffee at one of the service stations on the turnpike and not pay the extra toll.
Posted by Phillip Brownlee

Open thread

Any politician support a moratorium on coal-fired plants?

NASA’s chief climate scientist, James Hansen, is calling for a moratorium on building new coal-fired plants, saying it’s the best way to get global warming under control.
“There should be a moratorium on building any more coal-fired power plants until the technology to capture and sequester the (carbon dioxide emissions) is available,” said Hansen.
But he told the National Press Club this week that no politician of either party is willing to propose it.
Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius proves his point.
Posted by Randy Scholfield

Conservatives must change conservation debate

“The climate change debate is here to stay, and as America warms to the idea of environmental conservation on a grander scale, it’s vital that conservatives change the debate before government regulation expands yet again and personal freedom is pushed closer toward extinction,” South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford wrote in the Washington Post. The Republican recommended that conservatives take these three steps:
– Reframe the environmental discussion by replacing the political left’s scare tactics with conservative principles such as responsibility and stewardship.
– Reclaim lost ground from far-left interest groups by showing how environmental conservation is as much about expanding economic opportunity as it is about saving whales or replanting rain forests.
– Respond to climate change with innovation, not regulation.
Posted by Phillip Brownlee

But what if you’re a black smoker?

A voter is less likely to back a candidate who is “over the age of 72, a Mormon, twice divorced or a smoker” than a candidate who is black or a woman, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll. That spells good things for Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., but means more work for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who turns 72 in 2008; former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who is a Mormon; and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who married to his third wife. But where does it leave Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., who is a smoker trying to kick the habit?
Posted by Ross Stewart
NOTE: Ross is another intern who has started in the editorial department. He is a WSU journalism student.

Trying to help community colleges, too

A bill from Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, R-Independence, and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Dwayne Umbarger, R-Thayer, would give tax credits to those who donate to community college capital improvement projects. “The community colleges are not owned by the state of Kansas, but they’re extremely important to the whole state because they’re part of the integrated system of higher education,” said Schmidt.
If this is passing the buck on where the needed bucks will come from for campus improvements, it’s at least evidence that the Legislature isn’t letting the $150 million maintenance backlog at the state’s 19 community colleges get lost in the bigger debate about state universities’ $727 million repair needs.
Posted by Rhonda Holman