Daily Archives: May 30, 2008

Did Democratic candidates dupe voters?

iraqdemvote.jpgCal Thomas argues that Democrats committed fraud in telling voters in 2006 that they would end the war in Iraq. He points to a video of Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., in which he says Democrats “sort of stretched the facts” about their intention to end the war and bring troops home. Democrats have made several votes related to ending the war, which haven’t made it through the Senate or President Bush. But Thomas argues that if that Democratic lawmakers really meant what they told voters, they could have withheld funding for the war. Of course, Thomas is disingenuous in defending voters, as he supports the war and would be furious if Democratic lawmakers withheld funding. But what do you think? Were Democratic candidates dishonest? Should they withhold funding?

More pastor problems for Obama

obamaright.jpgThe Washington Post’s On Faith blog suggested the YouTube video of Father Michael Pfleger would do well in a “What Else Can We At Trinity Do to Further Assure that the United States Does Not Have its First African-American President Any Time Soon?” video competition. In the video, the Catholic priest claims that Hillary Clinton cried before the New Hampshire primary because she felt “entitled” because she is white “and there’s a black man stealing my show.” That’s the last message Barack Obama wants as he tries to court women and white voters. Obama responded that he is “deeply disappointed in Father Pfleger’s divisive, backward-looking rhetoric, which doesn’t reflect the country I see or the desire of people across America to come together in common cause.”

Clintons have become old-school insiders

clintons“The irony for us old fogies with long memories is how Bill and Hillary Clinton used to be passionately idealistic antiwar baby boomers themselves. In George McGovern’s 1972 campaign, they opposed the old-school Democratic bosses in ‘smoke-filled rooms.’ Today the Clintons have become the old-school insiders fending off the insurgent antiwar campaign of the Illinois upstart, Sen. Barack Obama.” — Columnist Clarence Page, on the Clintons’ effort to change Democratic primary rules

Open thread 5/30

thread

Give a teenager a job

teenjobFor lots of people, learning basic work skills — showing up on time, following directions, completing tasks — began with a summer job as a teenager.

But many traditional summer jobs for teens, such as lawn mowing and restaurant work, have dried up in recent years. Only about one-third of teens ages 16 to 19 are expected to find work this summer, the lowest share in half a century. And the percentages are even lower for minority African-American and Hispanic youths.

This is a trend that should concern not only parents but Wichita’s civic and business leaders. We need to make sure that our teens are being connected to job, internship and volunteer opportunities.

Consider giving a teen a chance to work, learn and earn some money. It’s an investment in our city’s future.

Eat your fruits, veggies

fruitThe federal Women, Infants and Children program is meant to ensure a healthy diet for low-income women and children. So it’s never made much sense that the food vouchers can’t be used to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, which nutritionists tout as pillars of a healthy diet.

It’s good news, then, that the state-administered WIC program is changing this rule to allow mothers to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables with the money, beginning in late 2009. It’s also good that the program will provide more incentives for mothers to breast-feed babies, a practice with proven health benefits for children.

How to get people to watch debates

jeopardyWith talk of John McCain and Barack Obama scheduling a series of Lincoln-Douglas-style debates, why not try a really different approach? “Change the format to game shows,” wrote John Schwartz in the New York Times. He pondered the possibilities of debates in the style of “Family Feud,” “The Newlywed Game” and, of course, “Jeopardy” (“I’ll take ‘Sunnis Versus Shiites’ for $600, Alex”). As for the idea that such formats would cheapen discourse, he said: “Game shows, we know, test general knowledge, the ability to think on one’s feet and other qualities we look for in our leaders. What have the current round of debates tested, aside from the candidates’ ability to mold a question into an opportunity to deliver the same memorized talking points?”