Daily Archives: April 11, 2011

Kansas delegation should vote for budget deal

It was ugly to watch, but at least congressional leaders reached a budget deal late Friday. Now lawmakers need to approve it this week and move on. Though they wanted more than $38.5 billion in spending cuts, members of Kansas’ delegation should support the deal, as it is a reasonable compromise that avoids a government shutdown. And though they also wanted to defund Planned Parenthood — even though its federal funding already can’t be used to pay for abortions — it is not reasonable to expect that such social policy changes be part of a budget deal.

What will it take to kick foreign oil habit?

Discussing President Obama’s recent energy speech, in which he talked of cutting U.S. oil exports by one-third over a decade, a panel on NBC’s “Meet the Press” pondered why it’s taking the nation so long to become more energy independent. Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin noted that presidents since Nixon have talked about an Apollo-like mission to kick our foreign oil habit, then she looked back to World War II: “Our natural rubber supply was cut off from Japan and the Far East. Somehow, within 18 months, we get synthetic rubber that takes up that huge gap because we had the will, because we had the desire. Do we need that kind of crisis to move? It’s nuts.” Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne added: “Well, obviously, the threat of Hitler and Imperial Japan does wonders for the national will.”

Modern presidents should be careful like Ike

During the past few decades, there has been a bias among U.S. presidents for dramatic physical action on foreign conflicts, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan wrote. “But carefulness in a leader is a beautiful thing,” Noonan said, citing the new book by David A. Nichols of Winfield. “Eisenhower 1956” recounts how President Eisenhower resisted pressure to commit U.S. forces to the Suez Crisis and Hungary. “In America, applause for the moderate will be moderate, approval for the restrained will be restrained,” Noonan wrote. “But Ike was at his greatest when he wasn’t waging war.”