Friday, Sept. 29, 2023 |
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Dayton (Ohio) Daily News, on the 2008 election:
OK, the time is long past due for a discussion of the presidential election of 2008.
Wouldn’t it be something — interesting, fun, cool, something — if, next time around, the Republicans put up a candidate who favors abortion rights and the Democrats put somebody who opposes them?
The government spends trillions of dollars and presides over a country of extraordinary complexity and diversity. And yet one social issue is at the center in determining peoples’ politics.
Candidates fit molds, slide along grooves.
More focus is put on such simple, divisive issues as abortion, religion and gay marriage, as opposed to policy decisions that will have more impact on the well being of the country and world.
Somehow the American body politic has to dig itself out of those grooves.
Perhaps the beginning is for thoughtful citizens to decide that abortion is not the be-all-and-end-all issue.
The Forum, Fargo, N.D., on President Bush’s cabinet choices:
The real story about this week’s changes in President Bush’s Cabinet is the Cabinet’s remarkable stability during his first term. Turnover has been minimal when measured against the Cabinet churn of other presidents during a first term.
What the national press is describing as “shake-up” is, in effect, expected change among the president’s top advisers. The fact that most of his key Cabinet secretaries — justice, state, defense, energy, homeland security, education — have been on the job for nearly all of the president’s four years is a remarkable record that speaks to the president’s ability to assemble and hold a loyal team.
Further confirming the strength of the president’s team is the fact that Cabinet replacements named thus far have been White House insiders. For example, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice will become Secretary of State to replace Colin Powell. …
… President Bush plays a team game in which he is the team captain. Stray from the playbook and expect to get the boot. Powell, of course, could not be booted in the way O’Neill was because the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff enjoyed — still does — enormous credibility and popularity among Americans.
Nonetheless, the Cabinet news this week is not a shake-up. It’s a shuffle, of sorts, that merely underscores the value this president puts on loyalty, even at the expense of constructive and sometimes necessary disagreement.
The Columbian, Vancouver, Wash., on supporting wind power:
With the mighty Columbia River funneling about 90,000 cubic feet per second into the gorge, many Northwesterners have difficulty imagining another natural source of energy. But the same force that blows hats off their heads is becoming more popular as the search intensifies in this region for cleanly produced power. …
La Center investor Chris Crowley is negotiating with PacifiCorp for a deal to build 63 gigantic wind turbines on the hills overlooking the river west of Arlington, Ore. … We wish Crowley and the other companies well in their business ventures, because this trend will lead to cleaner air. …
We’re not saying these wind turbines won’t be noticed. With each one extending the equivalent of more than 20 stories into the sky, they’re hard to miss. But whatever distraction wind turbines may present (some folks consider them fun to watch, almost enchanting) is certainly worth the advantages provided by wind energy. Already across America, wind turbines are producing enough pollution-free energy to serve more than 1 million homes. …
So bring on the steady whoop-whoop-whoops of wind turbines. The time is rapidly expiring for producing energy by burning coal and gas. Power producers increasingly will have no choice but to stop digging, combusting and damming and start reaching up, to harness the free and clean wind.
The Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, N.Y., on Colin Powell’s departure:
As expected, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell is leaving the Bush administration. He was one of four Cabinet members whose pending departures were disclosed Monday.
Without question, Powell’s exit represents the biggest loss to both the administration and the nation.
He epitomized statesmanship, a quality that is becoming increasingly rare among government leaders. In fact, his respected stature made all the difference for many who were unsure about supporting the American invasion of Iraq. They surmised: If Powell, who oversaw the Persian Gulf War, believed there were weapons of mass destruction in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, that was good enough. …
Now it could happen that Cheney and Rumsfeld, both hawks, will get their way at the State Department without a fight. That’s scary.
Though Powell, a military man for 35 years, was a good soldier, he also could be counted on to speak his mind. That’s an attribute good leaders should value from their team members. Even if Powell wound up on the losing side, he at least forced consideration of a different point of view.
The administration and the American people will miss Colin L. Powell.
Florida Today, Melbourne, Fla., on children being zapped by police stun guns:
Police officers must make split-second judgments in volatile situations.
But shooting children with Taser stun guns— except perhaps in the most dire cases— is unacceptable. In the past two weeks, however, police in Miami-Dade County used stun guns to subdue two children. …
Tasers have their place in law enforcement as an alternative to deadly force, but must not become the option of first resort when less-risky intervention tactics exist.
Considered a non-lethal tool, Tasers deliver a highly painful 50,000 volt charge. Their use has possibly contributed to a number of deaths, and their safety has never been adequately established by independent studies.
Most important, we know virtually nothing about how they might adversely affect children, who are quite different physically from adults.
The Miami-Dade Police Department should issue a moratorium on using Tasers on children until the two cases are thoroughly investigated and officers are retrained to react with more prudence. …
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