Entries from blogs tagged with “Polis Beat”
Lynn Jenkins likes to think of herself as a moderate and she even comes out and criticizes her own party saying that the previous Republican Congress messed up and that is why they were thrown out of office. YET, only days after the primary she fully embraced the far right of the Republican Party appearing with Jim Ryun and Kris Kobach at the Republicans so called unity rally. This does not seem to be a sign of strength or independence to me. Rather it seems to show that she is weak and scared of losing the election. There is no other reason why someone who likes to think of herself as a moderate and an independent, runs back to and embraces her far right opponent. AND NOW: We find out that President Bush will be in Topeka at a private fundraiser to lend his support and fundraising ability to Lynn Jenkins. So even though Lynn Jenkins doesn't agree with the way Washington is being run with President Bush in charge, she is more than willing to appear with him. All in the name of raising campaign funds. Someone forgot to remind Lynn Jenkins that the President coming to town didn't help Jim Ryun and the presidents approval rating wasn't in the 20's then. This is a huge mistake for the Jenkins Campaign.
This is my second week in the blog-o-sphere, and I gotta tell ya, I'm pretty Depressed. Drained. Disenfranchised. Disappointed. Dismayed. Daunted. Dejected. Dispirited. Downcast. Downhearted. Dejected. Alarmed. Appalled. Horrified. Morbid. Saddened. Shaken Shocked.Sorry.I couldn't find a word that describes how I am feeling right now. After my first real look into the blog-o-sphere, I realized that I didn't want to have anything to do with it. In our class we are studying the potential effects and benefits of "citizen journalism" and the internet. My teacher loves this idea. I fear that we should be spending more time studying the consequences. You know the saying, "I am now dumber for having listened to you."? It applies here.What is going on here isn't furthering political discourse, it is dividing America. I have read people saying things to one another that you'd never hear anyone say. People instigating each other, belittling one another. Personal attacks. Numerous occasions of intentional untruth. In our class we have learned that people tend to gravitate to blogs and websites that are more in line with their own belief system and that they are more likely to discount sources that are in conflict with their own belief system. We have learned that there is even a push to afford bloggers the same rights as "traditional journalists." It became apparent to me right away that no problems are ever going to be solved here. Just problems started. (Or at least perpetuated.) Sure, individual problems and ideas might come to light and be solved, but society as a whole will not benefit from this type of communication.Maybe is it's my Machiavellian side, but I can see the abstract, perfect way that blogging should work out, and the way it actually does work out. Two totally different worlds. Machiavelli would instruct us not to dwell on the fanciful lofty benefits that may come from blogging, but to instead focus on how it really works and work within that framework. This is why I am so bummed out. I am an idealist. Theoretically we should be able to take back our government and fix all of our nation's problems with the freedoms inherent in the internet. Whereas politicians are supposed to be our voice, the internet gives our voice back and provides a channel to let our voices be heard.More disturbing than all of this is the fact that I am participating in it. I am actually wasting my time reading what you think and sharing what I think. Now, maybe that sounds harsh, but seriously, at times it feels like I'm on the online chat-room equivalent to the Jerry Springer Show. I looked at my chosen blog name, All Liberals Can Go to France. What is that supposed to mean? I became the same biased blogger that I now realize I detest. And I did it just to get someone to read my opinion. Talk about vanity. But isn't that what you all are doing too? Think about it. Are you actually trying to change one another's minds, or are you just trying to impress the rest of us? Are you just logging on to take out your aggression on the rest of us anonymously? Are you willing to let your mind be changed, and be impressed by someone else's opinion? Or are you trying to fool and manipulate those less educated or less motivated to find the truth? I, for one, am not impressed. And while I may, in many cases, be less educated. But I will no longer be less motivated.Remember this one? "If you are not part of the solution, than you are part of the problem." I don't want to be part of the problem, so now I have to be part of the solution.My prediction:..No one will read this. No one will post a comment. My future blogs will be too boring to even bother. Why?Because there will be nothing to argue about. Everything I write will be true. And un-biased. Probably not your style.
Obama has been enjoying lots of attention from the press, and rightly so. He is a Presidential candidate after all. Just flip through the news channels or newspapers and you are sure to see Obama more than once. He is all over the place. This is probably why McCain launched his ad calling Obama "the biggest celebrity in the world." After the backlash this ad created both in the campaign and in the media itself, I realized something: the "mainstream media" is in the bag for Obama. Let me explain. The media took offense to the McCain ad because it was, in part, a shot at them too. They seem to have created and continue to be perpetuating his "celebrity" status. I mean, who ever heard of Barack Obama four years ago? And what exactly did he do in these past four years to gain his celebrity status? I argue that he hasn't done anything to earn his status (except have charisma), but instead, that he has been given a leg up by the powers that be in the national media.While the media has been reporting his every move, they have not engaged in any type of critical analysis of either him or his past. No investigative reporting has been done on him, short of the pieces done by Fox News and other conservative news outlets, and such reports are quickly dismissed as being biased. (As if "biased" is synonymous with "false.") The problem is, while everyone knows Fox's bias (they practically wear it on their sleeve), no one seems willing to acknowledge the bias that is running rampant in the mainstream media.I have noticed that MSNBC, CNN, and even AP writers seem to be doing Obama's work for him. They over-analyze McCain's and Palin's every move, every statement, and every slip of the tongue. When reporting Obama's recent tumble in the polls, all they talk about is what he can do to make a comeback. They subtly suggest that the only reason he will lose is all those racist white men and dis-enfranchised women voters. Could it be that there are still people who actually want to get to know their candidate and desire experience and a long history of public service in the White House? Could it be that some people have legitimate reasons as to why they prefer McCain?In closing I would like to ask you, would you have even read this article if McCain's name had been in the headline instead of Obama's? Try to view this week's news coverage with open eyes and an open mind; see if you, too, notice the one-sided nature of the mainstream media. *This is adapted from an article I wrote that appeared in the Washburn Review. You can find this article and respond to it at:http://media.www.washburnreview.org/media/storage/paper1140/news/2008/08/25/Opinion/Why-Obama.Will.Be.The.Next.President-3403535.shtml
Over the years I have found myself to be fairly critical of Congresswomen Nancy Boyda. Generally, I associate my criticism with the fact that Boyda is more than fairly moderate/ conservative in her issues. However, the more I learn about the 2nd district it seems that Boyda is a perfect fit for her district. There are a few issues that I would like to high light. 1.Nancy Boyda wrote and sponsored ethics reform legislation that passed the house which was created to "strip the pensions of Members of Congress who are convicted of crimes related to their official duties." This piece of legislation just makes sense. Members of congress convicted of bribery simply don't deserve to collect tax payer money for the rest of their life. 2.Nancy Boyda runs a different type of campaign. After losing the election in 2004, Boyda rethought the style of campaign she wanted to run. She stopped listening to the pundits in Washington D.C. and started listening to the people of the 2nd District. A couple of key differences are the lack of 30 second attack ads and these long newspaper inserts that allow Boyda to actually have a conversation with people of her district. It isn't just a blip, "I promise to do this" it allows Boyda to expand and actually relay her plans and ideas to the members of her district. 3.Finally, Boyda has been accountable to her district. Nancy Boyda has better constituent services than the 2nd District has seen in more than a decade. Boyda and her office "aided in 2,068 constituent service cases." Her office also "received and replied to 60,571 legislative letters." Nancy Boyda is not only moderate/ conservative enough to representative the 2nd District of the state of Kansas but she is a good fit beyond just those issues. Nancy Boyda stands up for the values of the 2nd District not only through her legislative goals but through her personal character and the way that she campaigns and runs her offices.
Hilary spoke at the Democratic National Convention the other night and as I watched, I thought of how it must feel for her to be backing someone that she just a few months ago was running against. She and he were trying to find any reason that the other should not be in office. That night, however, she had to give all of the reasons that she thought he would be great for presidency. I could not help but think that she has to be feeling a little hurt that it was not her they were backing. The commentators stated that she felt that she was better for the job than Obama, but that either one of them would be better than McCain. I also couldn't help but notice what a wonderful speaker she is. She was born to do this job. Finally, I wonder how her speaking there would affect the polls. It had been reported that her supporters would not vote for Obama, no matter what. Did that simple statement change the minds of some of those supporters? One said "yes." She felt that she was given the "go ahead" from Hilary. How many others will feel that way?
Is the percentage of the turn-out in the primary election a preview of what is to come in the November election? If so, that could be bad for counties in Kansas, one county in particular. Ford County, which is located five counties from Colorado and two counties from Oklahoma, reported a whopping 2.32 percent, the lowest in the state. The Dodge Globe newspaper www.dodgeglobe.com), Ford County has 15,576 registered voters, which means that only about 361 voters turned out for the primary election. At the other end of the spectrum, Rawlings County, located one county from Colorado and on the Nebraska state line, to having 60.32% of those registered to voted in the primary. Now this is how all of Kansas should be when it comes to voting.As for Douglas and Shawnee counties, the turn out could have been higher. Douglas County reported about 13%; Shawnee County reported more than twice that of Douglas County with 30.61%.It is very important that we have a high turn-out in the election. I really think that all voters, no matter the age should go and vote.
John McCain didn't make the worst choice in selecting his running mate. I just can't think of any that would help his campaign any less than Sarah Palin.CNN has been suggesting that John McCain's choosing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate could be a knee-jerk reaction in an attempt to capture former Hillary Clinton supporters. If that's what the McCain campaign is doing, they're doing it pretty poorly. At a rally in Pennsylvania, Palin was booed by the crowd upon praising Clinton's "determination and grace" in the Democratic primary.Sure, Sarah Palin as the Republican Vice Presidential nominee isn't without its upsides. Palin should bring some comfort to a Republican base that sees John McCain as too moderate. She's firmly in the pro-life column, is a lifelong member of the NRA, and supports drilling in ANWR-- all issues the Republican base has expressed concern over thus far in the campaign. The conservative base has been struggling to find a reason to turn out to the polls in November, and Palin may give them that reason.I think this conservative persona will turn out to be a double-edged sword, however, alienating the former-Clinton supporters who are by-and-large too liberal to subscribe to any of these views. McCain was picking up some momentum in swaying the former-Clinton supporters, and I think the selection of Palin as his running mate will serve to undo that.Then there's the experienced vs. not-experienced debate. The selection of a first-term Governor with absolutely no foreign policy experience and minimal political experience seems to undermine John McCain's message of his experience and wisdom compared to Barack Obama's naivete. Polls thus far have shown this to be one of the key areas McCain is leading in and in such a close race, neither side can afford to surrender any advantages.We're only months away from seeing if this strategy pays off, but my initial reaction tells me it won't.
http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2008/Sep/01/Chicken_suit1_pat_roberts_copy.jpgJim Slattery is challenging Pat Roberts to stand up and debate him on the issues that are important to Kansans. Slattery is asking Roberts to debate him in four televised debates, one in each congressional district on a series of different issues. 1st Congressional District Location: Dodge City Topic: Economy2nd Congressional District Location: Topeka Topic: Health Care3rd Congressional District Location: Kansas City Topic: Foreign Policy4th Congressional District Location: Wichita Topic: Energy Policy Instead Pat Roberts spokeswomen responded saying, they have "agreed to the same number of debates as in the presidential campaign and that the planned debates will get extensive media and public attention." The three debates that Pat Roberts has agreed to are:September 6th at the Kansas State Fair Hutchinson October 14th the Kansas Broadcasters Association in Wichita October 15th County Public Policy Council and Kansas City, KS Chamber of CommerceOf these three debates only one is open to the public the last two are open to members only and none of the debate are airing in prime time. If these debates are anything like the debates from the last governors' race, the cover from the state fair will be weak. Either very poor television coverage because of the location outside or will only appear on radio. Also, it is unlikely that the debates in Wichita and Kansas City that are open to members only will be covered on state wide television because of the different markets and stations. This "EXTENSIVE MEDIA" coverage that the Roberts campaign claims is going to happen is a JOKE.The extent of the coverage is going to be maybe a two minute blip in the nightly news with 30 seconds of sound clips from each candidate, if we are lucky. I believe the citizens of Kansas deserve more than that. So again I ask, is Pat Roberts just too Chicken?
Residents of Lawrence should be paying close attention to the District Attorney race in Shawnee County. Why? Because all of those "bad guys" from Topeka might be trading in their weekend passes to Lawrence in favor of a more permanent visit. If Eric Rucker, the Republican candidate for District Attorney, gets elected, he promises to strike fear in the hearts and minds of criminals again. If he does, they are likely to find another place to do "business." Rucker plans to make Topeka as un-welcoming as possible for the criminal element.Rucker looks well positioned to win the race, as the hardest part may likely be over. After defeating the incumbent DA, Robert Hecht, it seems like a downhill run straight through Chad Taylor (the Democratic nominee for District Attorney) and right into the DA's office. Taylor's youth and relative inexperience pitted against Rucker's 15 years + of prosecutorial experience and a 90% conviction rate seems unlikely to be much of a challenge.If Lawrence wishes to keep its city safe from those "bad Topekans," they better hope for an upset in Shawnee County. While Chad Taylor's emphasis on the "War on Drugs" might send a few more hippies your way, Eric Rucker promises to send the real criminals scurrying.
Today John McCain shocked both Democrats and Republicans by choosing Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate. Many, including Republicans, are completely vexed at McCain's decision to add a hockey mom and Governor of, as Jack Cafferty pointed out, "a state that has 13 people and some caribou" (http://caffertyfile.blogs.cnn.com/) to his ticket. Furthermore, Palin has only held this position for two years and McCain has only met her once! Some cite this move as pandering to those disgruntled Hilary supports who are still unsure of Obama's ability to lead the nation. Others argue that this move was to counter Obama's message of change; showing actual change a political newbie versus Obama's political veteran. But the REAL reason I believe McCain chose Palin as his running mate is to draw the question of experience into the foreground. Media outlets (CNN's Jack Cafferty for example) have been assaulting Palin over her lack of experience. Yet, when faced with this attack, Republicans simply state Palin has the same experience that Barack Obama has. Republicans are drawing the parallel of experience and asking voters to do a top-of-the-ticket analysis, one that asks which Presidential candidate has the most experience to lead this nation. When individuals point out Biden has more experience than Palin, Republicans answer that Palin and Obama have the same amount of experience. The kicker to their argument is that Palin is the VP nominee and Obama is the Presidential nominee. Republicans do not seem to care if Biden has more experience than Palin as along as they are able to clearly state that McCain is the best choice for office do to his amount of experience in the political arena. The Obama campaign is going to have a hard time attacking Palin on the level of experience without having the finger pointed right back at them. This is evident when Obama's camp issued their statement on Palin's experience while Obama himself was backing away from that claim, so as not to draw the same negative attention toward his own lack of experience.So to John McCain I say, Good move Now let's see if people will actually realize the real reason you chose Governor Sarah Palin as your running mate.