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Daily Archives: Sept. 26, 2008
Sept. 26, 200812:05 p.m.
John McCain will be at tonight’s presidential debate after all. After wanting it postponed and saying that he wouldn’t attend unless the financial bailout plan was worked out, McCain’s campaign announced today that he would be attending. His campaign cited “significant progress” in the bailout negotiations, even though Thursday’s White House summit broke down after House Republicans revolted. McCain “had intended to ride back into Washington on Thursday as a leader who had put aside presidential politics to help broker a solution to the financial crisis,” a New York Times news analysis observed. “Instead he found himself in the midst of a remarkable partisan showdown, lacking a clear public message for how to bring it to an end.”
By Phillip Brownlee | |
Sept. 26, 20086:04 a.m.
New York Times columnist Gail Collins noted how different Wednesday’s John McCain seemed compared with “last week’s versions, that blamed Obama for the financial meltdown while tossing out rescue plans like a desperate dart player 10 minutes before the bar closes.”
On the prospect of a McCain-less debate, she recalled: “Once in New York, when Rudy Giuliani boycotted a mayoral debate, one of his opponents spent the night twirling around a rubber chicken and the citizenry enjoyed it quite a lot.”
In light of Obama’s “overly casual” manner in the face of economic disaster, she concluded: “This election is turning into a Goldilocks story. One candidate’s too hot, and one’s too cool.”
Sept. 26, 20086:02 a.m.
By a twist of fate, the Westboro Baptist Church’s protest at the National Conference of Editorial Writers in Little Rock fell on International Talk Like a Pirate Day (Sept. 19). So the Fred Phelps clan was countered by some Flying Spaghetti Monster (in photo) devotees known as the Central Arkansas Pastafarians, who snarled “Arrgh” and held signs declaring that “God hates shrimp — Leviticus” and “God hates cotton-polyester blends.” As for what the Topeka-based Phelps clan has against editorial writers: It turns out we are “responsible for the satanic milieu in this evil land” and for serving the “satanic agendas” of “baby-killers and fags.”
Sept. 26, 20086:01 a.m.
In light of Monday’s conviction of Marlin Williams in Sedgwick County’s first case of human trafficking, in which Williams took a 15-year-old girl from Wichita to Dallas to work as a prostitute, the latest New York Times column by Nicholas Kristof on the global issue of sex trafficking caught our eye. Especially this part of it: “A bill to strengthen federal anti-trafficking efforts within the U.S. was overwhelmingly passed by the House of Representatives, led by Carolyn Maloney, Democrat of New York. But crucial provisions to crack down on pimping are being blocked in the Senate in part by Sens. Sam Brownback and Joe Biden, who consider the House provisions unnecessary and problematic.”
Sept. 26, 20086:00 a.m.
If tonight’s first presidential debate actually happens, there is talk that it could surpass the record 80 million viewers set by the Jimmy Carter-Ronald Reagan debate in 1980. Former Wichitan Alan Schroeder, Northeastern University professor and author of “Presidential Debates: 40 Years of High-Risk TV,” predicted to Politico that the debate will live on in excerpts on YouTube and cable news, and “those one or two excerpts will overtake the entire program.” The newspaper Variety warns that high-definition television, now watched by at least one-third of U.S. households, “could expose every blemish, every wrinkle, every gray hair to a national audience.” Topping Schroeder’s list of top 10 debates was 1988’s Lloyd Bentsen vs. Dan Quayle (in photo), famous for the “no Jack Kennedy” line.