Archive for January 26th, 2010

Op-Ed on photo identification by JR Claeys, Republican candidate for Kansas Secretary of State

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

The following op-ed column is written by JR Claeys (below), who is running for the 2010 Republican nomination for Kansas Secretary of State, a position currently held by the retiring Ron Thornburgh.  To submit your own article, please send it to the following Email address, editor [at] kansasprogress dot com.

By J.R. Claeys:

Photo identification presented at the polling place when receiving a ballot is the best available procedure to ensure accuracy and security while protecting citizens’ right to vote.

Several states have implemented weaker forms of voter identification and I fear Kansas may follow. These weaker forms allow for utility bills or a piece of mail to serve as valid identification at a polling place. The requirements vary, but the national law allows for more than 15 forms, including cable bills and telephone bills.

What causes a problem at the polling place is the complexity of the current national law being applied to every voter during every election. Right now only first-time voters are required to show one of these weaker forms of “ID.” When all voters are required to present an ID, the ID’s must be uniform and free from interpretation, otherwise we risk reducing voter turnout by causing the elderly, the infirm and the disabled to leave long lines caused by reviews of varying forms of identification. (more…)

Next Monday, Kris Kobach featured at Northwest Johnson County PAC meeting

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

From the NW JoCo PAC:


I’m pleased to announce that Kris Kobach, candidate for Secretary of State, will be joining us at our meeting on Monday, February 1 at Barley’s Brewhaus in Shawnee – 435 and Midland — Wheat Room.

As always, the dinner hour will start at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting will start at 7:15. You are encouraged to arrive early if you would like to eat, as we expect a good crowd.

Please join us next Monday. If you can, RSVP if you plan to attend

Thanks so much,
Mike Pirner

Northwest Johnson County Republicans

McClatchy on Missouri — GOP takes aim at unseating Missouri Democrat Ike Skelton

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Skelton has rarely faced a tough re-election. But if he’s vulnerable this year, it will be not only because of his party label, but also because he has long relied on Republicans to win 17 successive terms.

Missouri’s 4th District, which encompasses a big chunk of central and western Missouri, is a red district. Sen. John McCain won it when he was the Republican presidential nominee in 2008. Former President George W. Bush won it in both national elections before that.

Skelton campaign strategist Ken Morley said the Skelton camp is taking the race, and what happened in Massachusetts, seriously, but he points to Skelton’s record over the years.

‘The Big Difference’ Between 2010 and 1994 ‘Is Me,’ President Obama Says, Per Congressman — ABC

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Rep. Marion Berry, D-Ark., fears that these midterm elections are going to go the way of the 1994 midterms, when Democrats lost control of the House after a failed health care reform effort.

But, Berry told the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, the White House does not share his concerns.

WSJ — Evan Bayh’s Prognosis: Democrats Must Move to the Middle

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, the very embodiment of calm understatement, seems an unlikely character to play the role of scold. But in recent weeks-particularly after last week’s Massachusetts mauling-he has been scolding his Democratic Party, and sternly.

His message: Democrats and their president need to move decisively to the political center and root themselves there by showing they are serious about controlling spending and the deficit, which angry mainstream voters see as the real sign that Washington is out of touch.

Economist on US — The size and power of the state is growing, and discontent is on the rise

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

The immediate reason for the rise of the state is the financial crisis. Governments have spent trillions propping up banks and staving off depression. In some countries they now play a large role in the financial sector; and thanks to bail-outs, stimulus and recession, the proportion of GDP made up by state spending and public deficits has rocketed.

But the rise of Leviathan is a much longer and broader story (see article). Long before AIG and Northern Rock ended up in state custody, government had been growing rapidly. That was especially true in Britain and America, the two countries in which “the end of big government” had been declared in the 1990s. George Bush pushed up spending more than any president since Lyndon Johnson. Britain’s initially frugal Labour government went on a splurge: the state’s share of GDP has risen from 37% in 2000 to 48% in 2008 to 52% now. In swathes of northern Britain the state now accounts for a bigger share of the economy than it did in communist countries in the old eastern bloc. The change has been less dramatic in continental Europe, but in most of those countries the state already made up around half of the economy.

Is The Senate Also In Play? — Sean Trende, RCP

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

The answer is that the Senate is competitive – but barely. There are seven Senate seats that Republicans have an excellent shot at winning. After that, the going gets very tough. Still, there’s at least some chance that Republicans can pick up the additional seats needed to get them to 50, which would give them at least partial control of the Senate. The odds are long. But at this point in 2006, no one thought Democrats could retake the Senate, and at this point in 2008 no one thought a filibuster-proof majority was even plausible. Let’s go through the Republican seats up in 2010, and then address the Democratic seats in more detail.

55% Say Favre Likely to Retire — Rasmussen

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Heading into yesterday’s NFL American and National Conference championship games, fans expected the Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings to meet in the Super Bowl.

Peyton Manning and the Colts did their part, and with time running out in the fourth quarter it looked like the Vikings would live up to expectations as well. Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre rolled to his right and had enough running room to set up a winning field goal attempt for his team. Instead, the veteran threw back across his body and was intercepted. When the game went into overtime, it was the New Orleans Saints who ultimately won with a field goal.

NY Times — Fresh Off a Massachusetts Victory, G.O.P. Aims at Illinois

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

“Illinois is next,” said Pat Brady, chairman of the state Republican Party. “The political environment is worse here for Democrats than it was in Massachusetts.”

Representative Mark Steven Kirk, the front-runner in the Republican primary for the Senate seat once held by President Obama, has even taken to echoing Mr. Brown’s campaign remarks.

Rasmussen on Indiana Senate 2010: Pence (R) 47%, Bayh (D) 44%

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Congressman Mike Pence is reportedly considering running against Bayh. At this time, he attracts 47% of the vote while Bayh picks up 44%.

A former Republican congressman, John Hostettler, has already indicated he will challenge Bayh. In that match-up, it’s Bayh with a three-point edge, 44% to 41%.

Freshman State Senator Marlin Stutzman has announced that he is in the race. He trails the incumbent by 12 points, 45% to 33%.

Any incumbent who attracts less than 50% support at this point in a campaign is considered potentially vulnerable. However, incumbents have many advantages in a campaign, and Bayh has already raised a large amount of cash for his campaign.

NY Post — Fox ready to swoop in on Conan

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

“The Chevy Chase Show,” Fox’s last attempt to crack late night, was canceled in 1993 after just four weeks.
Joan Rivers lasted less than a year on Fox late night in 1986-87.

But more things are in Fox’s favor now than in the past, sources explained.

O’Brien’s young appeal is a better fit at Fox than at NBC, which was used to the larger-but-older audience that Jay Leno had been getting at 11:30.

Pew Poll shows global warming is last-placed concern — Public’s Priorities for 2010: Economy, Jobs, Terrorism

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

At the same time, the public has shifted the emphasis it assigns to two major policy issues: dealing with the nation’s energy problem and reducing the budget deficit. About half (49%) say that dealing with the nation’s energy problem should be a top priority, down from 60% a year ago. At the same time, there has been a modest rise in the percentage saying that reducing the budget deficit should be a top priority, from 53% to 60%.

Breitbart — Moscow mayor calls gay pride march ‘Satanic’

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

“A gay parade… cannot be called anything but a Satanic act,” Yury Luzhkov told an education conference, quoted by Interfax news agency. “We haven’t permitted such a parade and we won’t permit it in the future.”

Luzhkov called for gay marchers to be punished. “It’s high time that we stop propagating nonsense discussions about human rights, and bring to bear on them the full force and justice of the law,” he said.

CBS on global warming trip — Congress Went to Denmark, You Got the Bill

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

For 15 Democratic and 6 Republican Congressmen, food and rooms for two nights cost $4,406 tax dollars each. That’s $2,200 a day – more than most Americans spend on their monthly mortgage payment.

CBS News asked members of Congress and staff about whether they’re mindful that it’s public tax dollars they’re spending. Many said they had never even seen the bills or the expense reports.

Clear Channel interested in signing Howard Stern

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010


AP — 150,000 Haiti quake victims buried, gov’t says

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

That doesn’t count those still under the debris, carried off by relatives or killed in the outlying quake zone.
“Nobody knows how many bodies are buried in the rubble – 200,000? 300,000? Who knows the overall death toll?” said the official, Communications Minister Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue.

BBC — Movie made by chimpanzees to be broadcast on television

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

The apes created the movie using a specially designed chimp-proof camera given to them by primatologists.
The film-making exercise is part of a scientific study into how chimpanzees perceive the world and each other.

Poverty rate hits 17.5 percent in Nashville

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010


Mozilla leader worries that legal restrictions could limit Internet growth

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

MUNICH, Germany (AP) – The leader of the Mozilla Project, whose Firefox Web browser now has 350 million users, said Sunday that she is concerned that legal restrictions could limit Internet expansion.

Mitchell Baker said she worried about “the increase in laws that make it difficult to run an open network,” especially rules about content.

‘Avatar’ replaces ‘Titanic’ in record books

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

LOS ANGELES, Jan 24 (Reuters) – “Titanic” just hit an iceberg named “Avatar.”

James Cameron’s sci-fi spectacular replaced his maritime melodrama as the biggest international release of all time during the weekend and is on the verge of claiming its worldwide crown, which also includes North American receipts, distributor 20th Century Fox said on Sunday.