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After 54 years, someone from Wichita is once again governor. Mark Parkinson — a Wichita native who graduated from Wichita Heights and WSU before graduating from KU law school and moving to Olathe — was sworn in Tuesday as Kansas’ 45th governor. Parkinson will represent the entire state, of course. But here’s hoping he will be attuned to the challenges facing south-central Kansas, including Cessna Aircraft’s announcement today that it is laying off an additional 2,300 people, extending its summer shutdown and suspending its Citation Columbus program.
Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter’s switch to the Democratic Party was “a function of personal survival” and is “further proof that high taxes, big spending and big government are unacceptable to Republican voters,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wrote in the Washington Post. But Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, wrote that the switch reflects how the GOP is headed toward having one of the smallest political tents in generations. “We simply cannot expand a majority by shrinking the ideological confines of our party,” she said.
“Watching Dick Cheney defend the Bush administration’s interrogation policies, it’s been hard to escape the impression that both the Republican Party and the country would be better off today if Cheney, rather than John McCain, had been a candidate for president in 2008,” wrote columnist Ross Douthat. He argued that a Cheney-for-president campaign would have helped the GOP determine if its losses were due to a failure to be conservative enough, as many think. The campaign also would have forced the public to confront the torture issue.
The economy may not have improved, but 27 percent of the public thinks that race relations have gotten better since Barack Obama has been president, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. Two-thirds of Americans also think race relations are generally good, and the percentage of blacks who say so has doubled since last July, the New York Times reported.
Congratulations to the Lord’s Diner on serving its 1 millionth customer Monday night. What an achievement, and what a blessing to this community. The diner, which opened Feb. 13, 2002, met this milestone about two years earlier than it initially expected. The reasons for that include a greater than expected need, a facility and staff that make customers feel valued, and the generous support of volunteers and donors.
About five years ago, radio host Rush Limbaugh ignorantly mocked the Lord’s Diner for allegedly serving customers who weren’t needy. Wendy Glick, the diner’s executive director, graciously responded: “The Lord’s Diner is here to serve, not to judge.” That’s another reason the diner is such a blessing.
© 2009 Wichita Eagle & Beacon Publishing Co. All rights reserved.