Category Archives: Uncategorized

Navy was correct in removing captain

By relieving Capt. Owen Honors of his command of the Enterprise because of the raunchy videos he starred in, “the Navy moved quickly and decisively to get in front of a bad situation,” Jonathan Capehart wrote, agreeing with others’ conclusion that “there is no place for that type of frat-house behavior.”

What were the biggest issues of 2010?

questionmarkOur editorial on today’s Opinion page ranks the top 10 political issues of 2010. We tried to base the rankings on issues that generated the most public passion, not just big news stories, and we gave preference to local and state topics. Issues included the elections, the role of government, the sales-tax increase and the smoking ban. Did we miss any big talkers?

Merry Christmas from The Eagle editorial board

christmas-treeChristmas greetings to all WE Bloggers. Though it has been a difficult year for many, with more local layoffs and economic struggles, may this day be merry and bright for all.

Happy Bill of Rights Day — and many more

mason,georgeAt 219 years old and counting, the Bill of Rights certainly isn’t resting on its laurels. In just the past year, the document has been at the heart of the rise of the tea party movement, the uprising over airport pat-downs and the debates about the constitutionality of the federal government’s health reform law and greenhouse-gas regulation, and of Arizona’s illegal immigration law, states’ efforts to limit the Phelps clan’s funeral protests and much more. Thank goodness that the founders saw it George Mason’s way and decided to give Americans a written guarantee of their rights.

So they said

brownwesley“At this age, I’m not even buying green bananas.” — 103-year-old U.S. District Court Judge Wesley Brown (in photo) of Wichita, one of only four Kennedy appointees still on the bench, quoted in a New York Times profile

“I have not heard from the Vatican yet and have not heard from the White House.” — University of Kansas chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, on the ample input she’s getting about hiring a new athletic director

“It’s always a treat to be someplace other than Washington, D.C. The only place where, as I like to say, you can see a prominent person walking down Lover’s Lane holding his own hand.” — Defense Secretary Robert Gates, speaking in May in Abilene, quoted in a Washington Post story about how the Wichita native’s anti-Washington jokes have inspired a satellite radio bit called “SecDef Comedy Jam 2010”

Big choices ahead on downtown

wichitadowntownOur editorial today anticipates Monday’s unveiling of Wichita’s hotly anticipated downtown plan from Boston’s Goody Clancy firm. Among our talking points, inspired by last week’s “Imagine Downtown” articles on the revivals of downtown Oklahoma City; Boise, Idaho; Baton Rouge, La.; and Milwaukee:
— “The business community must be unified and mobilized. Without the heft and imprimatur of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, a new downtown plan will go nowhere but onto a shelf.”
— “Public investment need not be greater than private investment.”
— “The process also could benefit from an acknowledgment that the hands-off conservative ideology that serves Wichita so well in other ways has left downtown for dead.”

Friedman’s hope for Iraq

iraqfriedmanMoved by a photograph of an Iraqi expatriate woman in Michigan letting her son put her ballot in the box, columnist Thomas Friedman put into words a hope bigger than party or global politics. “I only care about one thing,” he wrote, “that the outcome in Iraq be positive enough and forward-looking enough that those who have actually paid the price — in lost loved ones or injured bodies, in broken homes or broken lives, be they Iraqis or Americans or Brits — see Iraq evolve into something that will enable them to say that whatever the cost, it has given freedom and decent government to people who had none.”

OK with gays in military but not homosexuals?

shhhhA New York Times/CBS News poll did an experiment that had strange results. It asked half of the people it surveyed whether they approved allowing “gay men and lesbians” to serve in the military, and the other half were asked about permitting “homosexuals” to serve. Seven in 10 respondents said they favor allowing “gay men and lesbians” to serve in the military, including nearly 6 in 10 who said they should be allowed to serve openly, the Times reported. But 59 percent favored allowing “homosexuals’ to serve, and only 44 percent supported allowing them to serve openly. The views differed most among Democrats polled: 79 percent supported permitting gay men and lesbians to serve openly, but only 43 percent favored allowing homosexuals to serve openly.

Dave Barry looks back on a downer year

barrydaveHumorist Dave Barry recaps a “year that we will be happy to put behind us.” Though there was plenty of bad news, Barry contends that “in almost every instance, there was offsetting good news.” For example, he wrote:
“Bad news: Ominous problems loomed abroad as — among other difficulties — the Afghanistan war went sour, and Iran threatened to plunge the Middle East and beyond into nuclear war.
“Good news: They finally got Roman Polanski.”

Dumbest quotes of the 2000s

schwarzeneggerThe Huffington Post gathered some of the dumbest quotes of the past decade, including:

“I think gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.” — Arnold Schwarzenegger (in photo)

“Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many ob-gyns aren’t able to practice their love with women all across this country.” — George W. Bush

“They misunderestimated me.” — George W. Bush

“Uh, uh, Chuck Graham, state senator, is here. Stand up, Chuck, let ’em see you. Oh, God love you. What am I talking about?” — Joe Biden, to wheelchair-using Missouri state Sen. Charles Graham

“It may be tempting and more comfortable to just keep your head down, plod along, and appease those who demand: ‘Sit down and shut up,’ but that’s the worthless, easy path; that’s a quitter’s way out.” — Sarah Palin, announcing her resignation as Alaska governor

Down on decade

bankruptThe ’00s don’t seem to have many defenders. Time magazine called it “the Decade From Hell.” Only 12 percent of those responding to the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll called it either “good” or “great,” and 58 percent called it “awful” or “not so good.” Asked where the nation has lost ground since 2000, 74 percent said economic prosperity, 66 percent said moral values, 55 percent said treating others with respect, 54 percent said the sense of national unity, and 50 percent said peace and national security.

Merry Christmas from The Eagle editorial board

christmas-treeChristmas greetings to all our readers. Though it has been a difficult year for many, may this day be merry and bright for all. Special blessings to those who are separated from loved ones this holiday, particularly those who have family members serving in the military.

Sebelius answers 10 questions

sebeliuslaughingHealth and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius appeared via satellite Wednesday on “The Jay Leno Show.” Leno asked Sebelius 10 mostly oddball questions, including about her biggest junk food weakness (Dairy Queen Blizzards) and whether she would win a game of H-O-R-S-E with President Obama (“I actually made my college basketball team. . . . So bring it on.”). When asked whether the best way to keep teens from having sex was through sex education, promoting abstinence or throwing Roman Polanski in jail, Sebelius chose “all of the above.”

Praeger wants insurance mandate

CB106307Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger continues to advocate for a federal mandate that people have health insurance, in part because she sees it as the only way to stop companies from excluding coverage based on pre-existing conditions. “If we don’t require people to buy coverage, then they will just wait until they need it and then they can’t be excluded, and it will just drive up the cost for everybody,” Praeger said in Lawrence, adding that “you can’t buy homeowners’ insurance after your home is on fire.”

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UPDATE: Problem fixed. At least for now.

Why polling may not be reliable

Speaking of polls . . . their days may be number — at least how they are conducted now. Jay Leve, founder of SurveyUSA, said that polling depends on a set of assumptions: “You’re at home; you have a phone; your phone has a hard-coded area code and exchange which means I know where you are; æ.æ.æ. you’re waiting for your phone to ring; when it rings you’ll answer it; it’s OK for me to interrupt you; you’re happy to talk to me; whatever you’re doing is less important than talking to me; and I won’t take no for an answer — I’m going to keep calling back until you talk to me.” But, of course, those assumptions are becoming more and more disconnected from reality in our busy, increasingly cell phone-oriented society.

So they said

schlappsue“This is going to sound real corny, but God bless America.” — Wichita City Council member Sue Schlapp (in photo), as the council prepared to approve the site for a Vietnamese community memorial

“This bill is a wet dog that is not welcome in any farm or ranch house.” — Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., arguing that rural Kansas will be hurt if the House-passed energy bill prevails

“It’s not the magical yellow brick road to the governor’s office.” — Lt. Gov. Troy Findley, on the likelihood of his job leading to Cedar Crest

“What are you going to say? ‘I’m more against Obama than you are’?” — Republican strategist Rich Galen, on the GOP Senate primary between Reps. Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt

“You’re I think the first Cabinet member I’ve met from the Obama administration that seems alive.” — “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a week after Stewart interviewed HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

McNamara haunted by Vietnam’s ghosts

Obit McNamaraRobert McNamara, who died today at age 93, had a remarkable career as president of Ford Motor Co., president of the World Bank and as a long-serving secretary of defense. “But more than 40 years after the fact, he was remembered almost exclusively for his orchestration of U.S. prosecution of the war in Vietnam, a failed effort by the world’s greatest superpower to prevent a communist takeover of a weak and corrupt ally,” the Washington Post reported. “For his role in the war, McNamara was vilified by harsh and unforgiving critics, and his entire record was unalterably clouded. For the rest of his life, he would be haunted by the Vietnam ghosts.”

Unruh recounts shooting at Holocaust Museum

holocaustshootingSedgwick County Commissioner Dave Unruh was in line with his wife and two grandkids when the shooting occurred today at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Here is an interview with Unruh by a TV station.

It’s official: Pringles are potato chips

pringlesPringles are officially potato chips, at least in England. Britain’s Supreme Court of Judicature made that ruling, which was bad news for Pringles maker Procter & Gamble, because it means it owes $160 million in taxes. In Britain, most food is exempt from value-added taxes, but potato chips and “similar products” are taxable. Procter & Gamble argued that Pringles weren’t potato chips but were “savory snacks.”

Be more generous, like the poor

Like the biblical account of the widow who gave “out of her poverty,” today’s poor are more generous than the rich. Americans in the lowest fifth of income levels gave 4.3 percent of their income to charity, compared with 2.1 percent for those in the highest fifth, according to a McClatchy analysis of 2007 data. Those with the second- and third-lowest income levels also gave a higher percent of their income to charities than the wealthiest Americans. The poor may be more generous because they are more likely than the wealthy to come in contact with and empathize with the needs of others. The poor also have a higher percentage of women and elderly and people who are religious, all of whom tend to be the most generous. It’s also noteworthy that, unlike the wealthy or middle class, the poor generally are unable to deduct their charitable contributions on their tax returns, because they don’t have enough itemized deductions. Yet as with the widow in the Bible, the poor rarely receive public praise or attention for their giving.

Notre Dame students modeled civility

Obama Notre DamePresident Obama told University of Notre Dame graduates Sunday that he was inspired by their maturity and responsibility in dealing with the controversy surrounding his giving the school’s commencement address. Too bad more national groups and commentators — both pro-choice and pro-life — don’t always model the same behaviors.
Obama, who was welcomed by the students with loud cheers and respectful applause, spoke about the need to find common ground and to extend the presumption of good faith to others. He called for open hearts, open minds and fair-minded words. And though  he acknowledged that some viewpoints about abortion are irreconcilable, differing sides should be able to make their cases with passion and conviction but without “reducing those with differing views to caricature.” As Obama told the students — and everyone should  heed — “religion and conviction can co-exist with friendship, civility, hospitality, and especially love.”

So they said

layton5“Yes, I was pleased with my time — runners love flat courses!” — Wichita City Manager Robert Layton (in photo), on his division-winning 38:39 finish in the River Run 10K

“I went into the public trails and got lost. . . . I listened for the interstate and found my way back to I-70.” — Gov. Mark Parkinson, on his recent maiden jog near Cedar Crest, the governor’s mansion

“Health didn’t fare well at all. I learned a long time ago that there are two things you can’t argue with: no money and a closed mind. We had both this year.” — Rep. Bob Bethell, R-Alden, on the 2009 legislative session

“Moderate rhetoric, hard-left policies.” — Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., summing up President Obama’s approach to abortion in the New York Times

Late-night laughs

Low Flying Plane“How about that swine flu? The government is saying forget about nonessential air travel, an example of which would be flying Air Force One really low over New York City.” — David Letterman

“It was all because they wanted to get a picture of the president’s plane next to the Statue of Liberty. We have the first president ever who can use Facebook, but his staff does not know how to use Photoshop.” — Jimmy Kimmel

“What’s the government’s next big idea? ‘Hey, let’s send a guy in a pirate costume to Capt. Richard Phillips’ house.’” — Jay Leno

Late-night laughs

“President Obama’s been reaching out to Iran, reaching out to Cuba, reaching out to Latin America. The only place he can’t seem to be able to reach out to? Texas.” — Jay Leno

“Barack Obama will appear shirtless in a magazine this month. I think many Americans will identify with him — most have lost their shirts.” — Craig Ferguson

“Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will appear together on stage in Toronto for a two-hour friendly debate. Each side gets to pick a topic, so the first hour will be centered on the international banking crisis. The second hour will be dedicated to NASCAR trivia.” — Jimmy Fallon

“The Justice Department says they want to make an example of this Somali pirate guy. And I thought, really? In terms of making an example, I don’t think you can do much better than shooting the other three guys in the head.” — David Letterman

“Even Dick Cheney was into Earth Day. Did you see what he said today? He called for the use of only recycled water when waterboarding prisoners.” — Leno