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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Wednesday October 13, 2010

FactFinder 12: Goyle campaign ad. From KWCH Television: “FactFinder 12 found no evidence Sentry International directly outsourced manufacturing work, only that it partners with companies in China and many other countries to purchase foreign made products.” What’s not talked about in regard to this issue is that U.S. companies don’t manufacture products overseas just for the heck of it. Competitive pressures force them to.

The energy future will look familiar. George Will takes a look at the future of energy in America. But a reminder of the past, in case you forgot: “In 1977, Jimmy Carter said mankind could ‘use up’ all the world’s proven [oil] reserves ‘by the end of the next decade.’ Since then, the world has consumed three times more oil than was in the proven reserves.”

The truth about our jobs crisis. BankruptingAmerica.org has a short video illustrating the depth and magnitude of the crisis. “The jobs report released on Friday shows that unemployment persists at 9.6 percent. As high as this number is, it doesn’t tell the whole unemployment story.” Additional resources are available at the site.

Sowell on government greed. “Those who are always accusing people in the private sector of “greed” almost never accuse government of greed, no matter what it does. Indeed, the question of whether the government is greedy almost never comes up, so most of us probably never think about it. … Perhaps one of the most unconscionable acts of greed by government is confiscating people’s homes, in order to turn this property over to other people, who are expected to build things that will pay more taxes.”

Tweets from Communications Week. At Wichita State University I served on a panel on social media and political campaigns. Some tweets from the audience: “Denae Herrman: Bob Week’s advice for candidates on Twitter: Be more candid & informal. Loosen up! I agree. What makes SM fun is the interactivity.” … “Shae Blevins: @bob_weeks says Goyle, Brownback and Pompeo have failed at using social media for their campaigns in some way. UPDATE your stuff!” … “Lou Heldman: Brownback, Goyle, Pompeo campaigns criticized by @bobweeks on Elliott School panel for sometimes inept use of social media.” I’m sorry, campaigns … but it’s true.

DCCC cuts back on Moore support. From The Atlantic: “The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has pulled some funding from 10 districts, canceling their ad buys in six and reducing their buys in another four. … The committee has also continued cutting time in KS 03, where Stephene Moore (D) is running for her husband’s seat.”

Liberal Billionaires Take On The Koch Brothers In California Energy Fight. Clare O’Connor in Forbes: “Much has been written about the oil and gas billionaire Koch brothers and their multimillion-dollar donations to right-wing causes. … However, in recent days a handful of liberal billionaires have decided to take on the Kochs in one of the most hotly contested battles this election season: Proposition 23, the California ballot that may well prove a bellwether for the future of energy legislation in the U.S.”

Election dates to note: October 13 — advance ballots start to be mailed. October 18 — last day to register to vote or change party affiliation. October 29 — last day election office will mail advance voting ballots, so make sure your application arrives at your county election office before this date. November 2 — election day.

Obama and the Politics of Outsourcing. William S. Cohen, writing in the Wall Street Journal: “For every job outsourced to Bangalore, nearly two jobs are created in Buffalo or other American cities.” … American popular opinion: “A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Sept. 28 found that outsourcing was the top reason cited by Americans as the cause of the country’s economic problems — and that for the first time in years a majority (53%) of Americans say free-trade agreements have hurt the U.S.” This sentiment is unfounded. Continuing: “Most people treat outsourcing as a zero-sum game — one foreign worker replaces one American worker. But this is not how the dynamic global economy works. … [An analysis] found that when U.S. firms hired lower-cost labor at foreign subsidiaries overseas, their parent companies hired even more people in the U.S. to support expanded operations. … Those new U.S. jobs were higher-skilled and better-paying.” The politics of it: “During difficult economic periods, people are tempted to seek refuge in the false promise of protectionism. … Politicians are not above exploiting an issue by appealing to popular sentiment even when that sentiment is belied by economic reality.” Outsourcing of Kansas jobs is the major campaign theme — and attack ad hammer — of Kansas fourth district Congressional Democrat candidate Raj Goyle.

Will Wichita have a government “bank” to fund downtown? The Wichita Eagle reports that the Wichita contingent visiting Louisville is being pitched the benefits of a government-run fund to spur downtown development. Two takeaways: “The fund, says JPMorgan banker Louis Straub II, doesn’t provide ‘free money’ to developers. ‘It’s a loan with much more favorable terms’ than developers would get through a traditional bank loan.” I would say that sounds like free money to me — as long as you consider paying interest on a loan a cost. Then, a real whopper: “Gary Schmitt, executive vice president at Intrust Bank, said the creation of such a fund in Wichita is possible. … there is precedent for Wichita-area banks getting together to help finance downtown projects. He said it was done in the case of the Hyatt Regency Wichita, for which local banks came together and created a participation loan to finance the hotel. ‘History has shown that the banks will come together for the betterment of the community,’ Schmitt said.” So wow did that work out? The Hyatt failed and is now owned by the city of Wichita, and can operate without concerns about profit. In 2001 the Eagle editorialized: “Having a marquee downtown hotel wholly owned by a city can’t be good for stimulating more private hotel development … Who’s going to be willing to finance, build and open a hotel in direct competition with one supported by public dollars?” As we’ve seen by recent action regarding the Broadview Hotel and Fairfield Inn, no one will — unless the government contributes millions in subsidy.

Wichita Eagle opinion line. “The reason some people can’t find voter fraud in Kansas is the same reason a thief can’t find a policeman.”

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One Comment

  1. wichitator October 13, 2010

    Kudos for the opinion line comment about vote fraud in KS. Folks have been indicted and convicted in Missouri for Acorn related vote fraud. Acorn has been involved in vote fraud in other states.

    However, since the left is engaging in vote fraud, it must be good according to the “mainstream” actually lamestream KS press.

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