Daily Archives: Sept. 16, 2008

Rove says McCain went too far?

Karl Rove, the GOP’s master of dirty tricks, said on Fox News that John McCain had gone “one step too far” in some of his recent ads and in “sort of attributing to Obama things that are, you know, beyond the ‘100 percent truth’ test.” If Rove’s conscience is bothered by an attack ad, then you know it’s beyond the pale.

Rangel needs to step aside

If the Democratic leadership of the U.S. House is still serious about championing ethics, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., must be replaced as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, at least temporarily. Even if Rangel’s self-requested ethics probes end up finding no wrongdoing, the state of the finances of the House’s top tax writer are shocking. Among the reported problems: Failing to disclose and pay taxes on $75,000 in rental income from a villa in the Dominican Republic he purchased with a no-interest loan from the developer. Renting three New York apartments at below-market rates, and using one for political activity. Undervaluing of a condo near Miami. Failing to properly report many privately sponsored trips.
Rangel’s hiring of a forensic accounting expert and acknowledgment that he “owed my colleagues and the public adherence to a higher standard of care” are insufficient.

Is there no one Bush doctrine?

Columnists George Will, Charles Krauthammer and others have suggested that the problem with Sarah Palin’s answer to ABC News anchor Charles Gibson’s question about whether she agrees with the Bush doctrine was that there are multiple Bush doctrines. Weekly Standard blogger Richard Starr proved that point just by mining the ABC News archives, finding not only Gibson’s definition to Palin — “that we have the right to a pre-emptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us” — but at least two other definitions, including one offered by Gibson in 2001: “a promise that all terrorists organizations with global reach will be found, stopped and defeated.” Still, in the interview, Palin seemed to be grasping for any meaning of the phrase, not trying to choose from among multiple meanings.

Open thread 9/16

Another flood leaves behind misery, questions

Maybe the recent area flooding wasn’t as bad as Halloween 1998, but it was bad — as anyone involved in the evacuations, rescues, sandbagging and mopping up can attest. Now it’s up to neighbors and agencies to pitch in and help those suffering through the wet, smelly, miserable task of cleaning up after a flood. Others are dealing with another kind of heartbreak in the wake of rains that measured 10.86 inches in Sedgwick County and closed the Kansas Turnpike in Sumner County: the loss of loved ones. Dennis Rhodes died after heroically working to rescue eight others on the Chikaskia River in Sumner County, and Robert N. Bennett of Sedgwick died after driving into deep water in northern Sedgwick County. Next come the questions about whether leaders could or should have done more since 1998 to prevent such flooding.

Wichita’s transportation wish list looks right

Even as the state warily eyes its balance sheets, talk is building about a new transportation plan to replace the 10-year, $13 billion one that concludes next summer. Legislative leaders and Transportation Secretary Deb Miller have put new panels to work on the issue. The big question is how to pay for a new plan: Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has taken a gas tax hike off the table. But higher vehicle registration fees and traffic fines are possible, and some wonder whether the state could stand another toll road beyond the Kansas Turnpike. More questions concern the length and scope of a new transportation plan, and whether it might include passenger rail, air service and mass transit.

Even with all that uncertainty, it’s smart for the Wichita City Council to pass a resolution at today’s meeting encouraging enactment of another comprehensive transportation plan. Even better is how the resolution goes on record with a wish list of projects (including some under way) that could be seconded by many an area driver: I-235 interchanges at Kellogg and Central; Kellogg construction; a northwest bypass; an I-135 interchange at 47th Street South; the north junction of K-96, K-254 and I-135; rail corridor construction; Big Ditch bridges; and an interchange at Hoover Road and K-96. There are other needs, of course, but meeting those would make getting around Wichita faster, easier and safer.