Archive for April 6th, 2009

Specter clearly concerned about Toomey

Monday, April 6th, 2009

The Scorecard:

Today he sent a letter today to Toomey, who heads the fiscally-conservative Club for Growth, demanding details about all the organization’s contributors.

Dear Mr. Toomey,

I understand from numerous press reports that you are soon to leave the Presidency of the Club for Growth to run for the U.S. Senate.

In recent weeks as you have shifted your attention from a long-planned run for Governor to another Senate campaign, you have criticized the TARP bill I voted for last fall. Given the Wall Street background of your members, it seems clear that many of them would have received TARP monies.

Please gather a list of the contributors to the Club for Growth by contributor name, date, amount and whether they received TARP money and if so, how much and when

Sincerely,

Arlen Specter

This comes one day after Specter aired a television ad across the state attacking Toomey for his background as a former investment banker dealing in “risky derivatives called credit default swaps”.

But after a Factcheck.org analysis declared the ad misleading (credit default swaps didn’t exist when Toomey was an investment banker), the Specter campaign slightly revised its wording.

Trabert: AIG Hysteria Tramples Liberty

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Flint Hills:

Title: AIG Hysteria Tramples Liberty

Author: Dave Trabert

The Founding Fathers, who took such deliberate care to preserve personal liberty in our Constitution, would be ashamed by the hysteria and pandering that has consumed Washington over bonuses paid to AIG employees. There is no justification for rewarding people for failure, but the conduct of elected officials calling for legislative retribution is far more egregious. Members of both parties are tripping over each other in a rush to endorse legislation that would tax bonuses paid to employees of companies receiving ‘bailout’ money at rates as high as 90%. (more…)

WSJ: Russia’s Medvedev Takes Swing at U.S.

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Washington Wire:

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev took a hard swing at the U.S. Thursday, suggesting a basket of strong regional currencies should replace the dollar as the world’s reserve money and saying the Kremlin had spent all it would on economic stimulus, according to a translation of his speech to the Group of 20 nations in London this morning.

Dead person ‘endorses’ in Wichita

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Wichita Liberty:

A recent mailing by Wichita city council candidate Lavonta Williams contains an endorsement that seems a bit implausible.

I don’t know anything about the politics of Val Jackson, a prominent Wichita businessman who, in Williams’ recent mailer, is listed under the heading “Join us in voting WILLIAMS on April 7.”

But I do know he died in 2002.

WSJ: Blagojevich Indicted While on Trip to Disney World

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Washington Wire:

On the day he was indicted on 19 counts, including racketeering, wire fraud, extortion conspiracy and lying to federal agents, former Illinois Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich spent the day at Disney World in Florida.

A TV reporter caught up with the casually dressed former governor at the theme park. Blagojevich appeared relaxed at the reporter’s unscheduled appearance. His wife did not.

“I’m enjoying Disney World with my kids and I don’t think you’re supposed to be here. I’m happy to talk to you at the appropriate time,” he told the reporter.

Charlie Cook reviews the NY-20 election

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Charlie Cook at National Journal:

If Republicans manage to win this special election, then go on this fall to defeat embattled Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine in New Jersey and also capture Virginia’s open governorship, we analysts will be able to legitimately say that the GOP has begun to exorcise the demons that plagued it in 2006 and 2008.

On the other hand, if Democrats hang on to their precarious lead in New York’s 20th and manage to retain both the New Jersey and Virginia governorships, that would be a good omen for their party in terms of its ability to retain many of the seats it captured from the GOP in 2006 and 2008. Keep in mind that since 1977, the party winning or holding the White House in the preceding election has always lost the Virginia gubernatorial race the next year.

No individual race tells us much about the political future. But if three contests end up much the same way, that’s a pattern worth noting.

End-of-session review for Kansas legislature

Monday, April 6th, 2009

David Klepper:

Current law says drivers have to buckle up, but can’t be pulled over for failing to unless they’ve done something else like speeding or running a red light.

The seat belt bill failed in the House 55-65.Supporters argued tougher seat belt rules would save lives and make the state eligible for $11 million in additional federal highway funds.

But opponents countered that highway deaths are on the decline anyway, and that it’s not the state’s business to ticket those who choose not to wear seat belts.

Some lawmakers also objected to passing mandates to draw more federal money.

“I’m not willing to prostitute myself to the federal government for $11 million,” said Rep. Virgil Peck, a Tyro Republican.

Also, a statewide smoking ban pushed by the Senate never got a vote in the House.

OP: April 13 Planning Commission meeting

Monday, April 6th, 2009

From OP:

April 1, 2009   Agenda for the April 13 Planning Commission meeting The Planning Commission will meet at 1:30 p.m. Monday, April 13, in the Council Chamber of City Hall, 8500 Santa Fe Drive (map). The agenda has been posted to the city’s Web site.*   The public is welcome to attend Planning Commission meetings. If you need accommodations, please contact Leslie Karr, 913/895-6190 (Kansas Relay Service 1-800-766-3777). Please give 48 hours’ notice.   The Online Development Center is available for the public to comment on Planning Commission agenda items, or you may contact the Planner of the Day at 913/895-6217.   Information on other boards and commissions and the City Council agenda also can be found on the city’s Web site, www.opkansas.org.

Kurt Warner to join Habitat for Humanity

Monday, April 6th, 2009

From Habitat for Humanity:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Karen Hufnagel
Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity
(319) 355-7418
khufnagel@aegonusa.com

Katie Evans
Habitat for Humanity
(404) 420-6728
kevans@habitat.org
www.habitat.org/newsroom

NFL quarterback Kurt Warner to join Habitat for Humanity, AmeriCorps in effort to rebuild flood-devastated area.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (March 27, 2009) -NFL quarterback Kurt Warner and his wife, Brenda, will join more than 500 Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps*State and National and AmeriCorps*VISTA members and alumni to help build 20 Habitat for Humanity houses, June 14-20, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as part of the annual Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps Build-a-Thon.  The houses will be built in partnership with families affected by the floods that devastated much of Iowa in 2008.

“As Iowans, Brenda and I have seen firsthand the devastation of last year’s floods but there is still so much work to do,” Warner said.  “We believe that a safe home is so important to the long term success of a family and we look forward to working alongside the Habitat AmeriCorps members to join the effort to rebuild in Cedar Rapids.”

The 2009 Build-a-Thon celebrates 14 years of AmeriCorps members helping Habitat for Humanity affiliates and partner organizations build affordable houses and eliminate substandard housing. During the blitz build, AmeriCorps members from across the country will join Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity as they help 20 low-income families. Super Bowl XXXIV MVP Kurt Warner and wife Brenda, Iowa natives, will volunteer their efforts on behalf of their First Things First Foundation. Since the flood, Kurt helped raise more than $650,000 from NFL colleagues and fans toward this effort.  Additionally, the City of Cedar Rapids has committed $1 million of funding to the project.

“This Build-a-Thon is a powerful way to highlight the need for affordable housing for victims of the Iowa flooding while also celebrating the many contributions AmeriCorps members make to Habitat and other organizations in thousands of communities throughout the country every day,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO, Habitat for Humanity International.  “We are so grateful to these hard-working AmeriCorps members for their commitment to eliminating poverty housing and applaud them for their service.”

The need for affordable housing is especially great in the Cedar Rapids area, where nearly 4,000 homes were damaged by fast-rising water during last year’s devastating floods.  While 90 counties were declared federal disaster areas, Cedar Rapids was the most significantly affected region. Most of the affected homeowners did not have flood insurance. The first day of the Build-a-Thon, June 14, marks the first anniversary of the day water from the Cedar River crested, leaving nearly ten square miles of Cedar Rapids under water.

About Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity
Cedar Valley Habitat works in partnership with God and people everywhere, from all walks of life, to develop communities with people in need by building and renovating houses so that there are decent houses in decent communities in which people can live and grow into all that God intended.

About Habitat for Humanity of Iowa
Habitat for Humanity of Iowa exists to serve Iowa affiliates through resource development, education, and building public support.  Habitat Iowa aims to eliminate poverty housing, as a matter of social conscience, by creating and facilitating partnerships between Habitat for Humanity affiliates and community partners, businesses, and government at the state and federal level.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built more than 300,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.5 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.

About Habitat for Humanity National Service Programs
Since 1994, Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps*State and National, AmeriCorps*VISTA members have performed more than 5 million hours of service, engaged hundreds of thousands of volunteers and helped build more than 8,500 Habitat houses throughout the United States. For information about AmeriCorps programs, visit www.americorps.gov.

About the Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. Each year, the Corporation engages four million Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America programs. For more information, visit http://www.nationalservice.gov.

About the Kurt Warner First Things First Foundation
Established in 2001, the Kurt Warner First Things First Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity serving as a vehicle for Kurt and Brenda Warner to reach out to the community and share their blessings with those in need.  The First Things First Foundation is dedicated to impacting lives by promoting Christian values, sharing experiences and providing opportunities to encourage everyone that all things are possible when people to seek to put “first things first.” Additional information is available at www.kurtwarner.org.

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Salena Zito on GOP’s 2010 chances

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Column at RCP:

Five minutes after George Bush won re-election in 2004 and began talking about Social Security reform, the pundits lined up those Senate Republicans they expected to be in trouble in the 2006 midterm election.

Some things never change.

Five minutes after Barack Obama took the oath in January and began signing executive orders and expanding government, those same pundits began lining up the Senate Democrats they expect to be in trouble in 2010, Obama’s first midterm.

Historically, a president’s party loses seats in Congress in midterm elections, so in theory, 2010 should favor the GOP. Yet it is hard to imagine the GOP making significant gains because most seats held by Democrats facing re-election are in states that “went Obama” in 2008.

Colorado is one state showing signs of a possible GOP pickup. Democrat Michael Bennet, appointed to replace former Sen. Ken Salazar when he became Interior secretary, has little name recognition.