Daily Archives: Jan. 13, 2008

Open thread 1/13


Kansas caucuses could matter after all

romneyThe longer the presidential nomination process struggles to identify the two winners, the better the chances that Kansas’ caucuses will matter. The leading candidates still may not find time to campaign in the state, especially given the crush of big states voting Feb. 5. But Kansans who participate in the caucuses (Feb. 5 for Democrats, Feb. 9 for Republicans) could feel that their votes count for a change. If uncertainty still reigns on Feb. 6 in the GOP race, Kansas Republicans’ preference could matter more. Only Louisiana holds a primary on Feb. 9.

Meanwhile, those who pushed unsuccessfully for the Kansas Legislature not to cancel a full-fledged presidential primary can feel vindicated.

Republicans: hell or bust?

Huckabee“Be prepared that the next things you see will be the gates of hell.” — Mike Huckabee, during Thursday’s GOP debate, in a warning to would-be aggressors against the United States

“I will follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell and I will shoot him with your products.” — John McCain, at a New Hampshire small-arms factory last fall (McCain later said, “I would not shoot him myself”)

Be glad downtown arena landed a classy name

bigsandyarena“Intrust Bank Arena” doesn’t roll naturally off the tongue, but give it time. Meanwhile, be glad Sedgwick County found a company with a classy name to attach to the downtown arena. It could be worse. Lexington, Ky., has Applebee’s Park. Huntington, W.Va., has the Big Sandy Superstore Arena (in photo). Charlotte, N.C., is home to the Cricket Arena. Providence, R.I., has the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. San Francisco has Monster Park. Jackson, Tenn., has Pringles Park. Corpus Christi, Texas, is home to Whataburger Field. And, of course, Houston was for a time home to Enron Field (since renamed Minute Maid Park).

Kansans mostly show up

brownbackHaving made much of Sen. Sam Brownback’s absenteeism while he was running for president (he finished 2007 having missed 30.5 percent of roll call votes), it’s only fair to give credit to the rest of the Kansas delegation for showing up. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, and Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Hays, missed only 3 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively, of the roll call votes in the House; Sen. Pat Roberts missed only 3.2 percent of votes in the Senate. Democratic Reps. Nancy Boyda of Topeka and Dennis Moore of Lenexa missed the fewest votes, 1.9 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. Obviously, good attendance doesn’t guarantee a good lawmaker, but it doesn’t hurt.