Daily Archives: Feb. 26, 2010

Justice Obama? Clinton?

supremecourtbldgWhen President Obama must nominate another justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, he should consider himself, wrote George Washington University law professor Jeffrey Rosen. “Though Obama has struggled to find his footing in the White House, his education, temperament and experience make him ideally suited to lead the liberal wing of the court, especially at a time when a narrow conservative majority seems increasingly intent on challenging progressive economic reforms for the first time since the New Deal.” If nominating himself would be too much — and it would — “he could gamble and promise Hillary Rodham Clinton that he won’t run for re-election in 2012 in exchange for a pledge of appointment to the next vacancy.” It would be awkward for Obama to sit on a court alongside two justices, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, whose confirmation he voted against in the Senate. But it’s not crazy to see Obama following the path of “William Howard Taft, who became chief justice after serving as president and decided that leading the court was a far better job than leading the country.”
Meanwhile, Daily Beast writers Mark McKinnon and Myra Adams recently nominated Clinton for the next court opening. “She’s as smart and as qualified as any prospect her party could nominate,” they wrote.

Summit showed that bipartisanship, civility should be possible

Obama Health Care OverhaulThursday’s health care summit in Washington, D.C., didn’t result in Republicans and Democrats holding hands and resolving all their disagreements, and there was a fair amount of posturing. But it did show that people can have thoughtful, respectful conversations about this crucial issue. And it showed how, despite all the partisan rhetoric, the two sides share many approaches and goals in health care reform. Now, if they could just agree on what they agree on.

Open thread 2/26


Smoking ban miracle

smoking2Just like that, the Legislature has passed a statewide indoor smoking ban. And once Gov. Mark Parkinson signs the bill and it goes into effect on July 1, all Kansans will be able to breathe easier in public places, including bars. It’s unfortunate that some Wichita restaurants will lose the investment they made creating a separated smoking area, though it was inevitable that Wichita’s partial ban would be overridden as more people see how full bans in other states have improved health and haven’t harmed businesses. It also would have been better if the Kansas ban didn’t exempt state-owned casinos, but the new law will be a huge improvement to public health. As was said during a previous Winter Olympics: “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”

Hartman takes early lead

hartmanThe first SurveyUSA poll in the GOP primary race for the 4th Congressional District finds businessman Wink Hartman far out in front, with 36 percent of the support compared with 11 percent for state Sen. Dick Kelsey of Goddard and 10 percent each for state Sen. Jean Schodorf of Wichita and businessman Mike Pompeo. Businessman Jim Anderson earned 6 percent of the support. Fifteen percent of those in the poll, sponsored by KWCH, Channel 12, said they were undecided. The winner in the August primary will take on either state Rep. Raj Goyle of Wichita or Robert Tillman of Wichita to determine a successor to Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, who is running for the U.S. Senate.