Daily Archives: Feb. 24, 2010

Is Brownback a ‘highway hypocrite’?

brownbackmugSen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., is featured in an advertisement by the Democratic National Committee about “highway hypocrites.” The ad notes how Brownback and other GOP lawmakers voted against the stimulus bill but have sought stimulus funding for their states or bragged about the local jobs that the stimulus money has created. The liberal Web site ThinkProgress.org documented how 114 GOP lawmakers have tried to take credit for stimulus spending. The Wall Street Journal also reported on more than a dozen GOP lawmakers who supported stimulus-funding requests, often praising the job-creating potential of the spending.

Roberts and the waterboarding tapes

robertsmugWhen Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee, did he consent to the destruction of tapes showing CIA officials waterboarding terror suspect Abu Zubayda? A recently released CIA document says he did. But Roberts’ office denies it, saying that he was briefed but didn’t “assent to the destruction of any videotapes” and calling on the Justice Department to release “all the memoranda that exist regarding briefings for all members of Congress.” The document describes how Roberts “winced” upon hearing how suspected USS Cole bombing mastermind Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri was interrogated by “the cocking of a pistol (reportedly unloaded) near his blind-folded face, and the brandishment of an electric hand drill.” According to Politico.com, a Justice Department special prosecutor is looking into whether the CIA broke the law by destroying the waterboarding tapes, which might have been used as evidence in a trial.

Open thread 2/24

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Hope for bipartisanship?

brown,scottIt’s unlikely that Monday’s Senate vote on a job-creation bill signaled a return to bipartisan lawmaking in Washington, D.C. Nonetheless, it was good to see five GOP lawmakers, including newly elected Sen. Scott Brown (in photo), R-Mass., vote to override a GOP filibuster of the bill, which provides tax credits and exemptions for businesses that hire new employees. The majority of GOP lawmakers were mad that Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, R-Nev., separated these reforms from a larger proposal and refused to allow amendments.

House second-guessed a painless cut

tuttlecreekThe state is flat broke, which is why the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks decided to close the west entrance to Tuttle Creek State Park near Manhattan to save $50,000. The department also said a single entrance would deter crime and improve traffic monitoring. Instead of applauding the department’s cost-saving move, though, the House voted 59-57 last week to reopen the entrance. State Rep. Richard Carlson, R-St. Marys, said he was skeptical about the stated savings and would rather the department let an administrative job go unfilled and “keep the entrance open for the public’s benefit.” To which Topeka Capital-Journal columnist Ric Anderson responded: “Hmm. Wonder how Kansans who are at risk of losing social and medical services would prefer that money be spent?”