Daily Archives: Dec. 21, 2011

Is GOP House helping re-elect Obama?

“GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell famously said a year ago that his main task in the 112th Congress was to make sure that President Obama would not be re-elected. Given how he and House Speaker John Boehner (in photo) have handled the payroll-tax debate, we wonder if they might end up re-electing the president before the 2012 campaign even begins in earnest,” a Wall Street Journal editorial complained. Dana Milbank of the Washington Post said it is unclear what point the GOP is trying to make. “Is it making sure the tax cut is paid for? For the last decade, Republicans approved billions of dollars in tax cuts, mostly for the rich, without paying for them,” he wrote. “Is it because they want the tax-cut extension to be for a year rather than just two months, as the Senate approved? Then why did so many Republicans originally criticize any tax-cut extension?” But a National Review editorial applauded the House action, saying the 60-day extension “is both irresponsible and unworkable, and House Republicans were right to hold the line against it.”

Glickman praises Bush

Former Wichita congressman Dan Glickman is among those noting how President Bush’s work against AIDS and malaria is paying off. Through the establishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, Bush helped deliver lifesaving treatment and support to millions of children and adults around the globe. Glickman, now chairman of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, wrote: “If a lifelong Democrat can step forward to praise a conservative Republican president for his extraordinary accomplishments in global development, hopefully my colleagues — of both political parties — will see that fighting HIV/AIDS and malaria, as well as helping developing countries modernize their economies, agricultural systems and political structures, is something we can all agree protects American interests and values.”

No tears shed over Siedlecki’s departure

Newspaper editorial boards aren’t lamenting Rob Siedlecki’s decision to resign as secretary of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. The Lawrence Journal-World editorial said that Siedlecki hatched reforms “without consulting either the people who would have to implement his plans or the people who would be directly impacted by them.” The Hays Daily News described Siedlecki as a “hatchet man” who decimated SRS. “The euphoria of short-term savings eventually will be outweighed by much larger costs down the road taking care of the neediest Kansans,” it said. The Winfield Daily Courier said that Siedlecki’s initiatives weren’t necessarily wrong but were “ill-vetted” and “ham-handed.”