Tomorrow is election day in Kansas, the place Sam Brownback is using to test-drive every conservative policy proposal he can think of, facts be damned. As I noted last year, when Mitt Romney had to burnish his conservative credentials, it was at Brownback’s feet he bowed when he chose Paul Ryan to be his VP candidate — Ryan, whose last job before becoming a member of Congress was as Brownback’s legislative director. Pick an issue, lay out the most conservative policy prescription you can think of, and the GOP in Brownbackistan will find something even further to the right to enact.
|By: Peterr Monday November 4, 2013 5:00 pm|
|By: Peterr Saturday October 19, 2013 9:00 am|
We began the week with the government shutdown and the looming threat of a financial default, and it ended with a temporary deal to reopen things and Chuck Todd saying that John Boehner is now a stronger speaker of the House. (Earth to Chuck: No. To borrow from John Cleese, Boehner is not pining for the fjords.) What coupld top this?
Leave it to Kansas . . .
As October snows hit the western part of the state, the Kansas State Supreme Court suspended the law license of former Kansas Attorney General and Martyr to Teh Anti-Abortion Cause Phill Kline.
|By: Peterr Saturday June 29, 2013 9:00 am|
Edith Windsor has a big tax refund coming, and other LGBT married couples have won a victory for their relationships with the recent SCOTUS ruling in US v Windsor. But lots of questions remain in the wake of the demise of DOMA. For example, consider life for a college student in a same-sex marriage who attends a state where the state constitution says only opposite-sex marriages “shall be recognized by the state as entitling the parties to the rights or incidents of marriage.”
There’s still a lot of work to do. Just ask LGBT sort-of-but-not-really-married students at places like the University of Kansas.
|By: RH Reality Check Thursday April 11, 2013 3:50 pm|
Nearly four years after Dr. George Tiller’s assassination, anti-choice violence continues to percolate in Wichita. It started up again two years ago, with the harassment of Dr. Mila Means. Anti-choice terrorist Angel Dillard penned a letter threatening violence against the doctor, who sought to include abortion care in her private practice. That letter has resulted in federal charges against Dillard brought under the FACE Act.
|By: Peterr Saturday April 6, 2013 1:30 pm|
Just two days after the opening of the South Wind Women’s Center, a medical clinic in George Tiller’s former office space that was set up to handle the full range of women’s reproductive health needs (including abortion), the state legislature of Brownbackistan approved a sweeping anti-abortion, anti-women, anti-science bill. Once Brownback signs the bill — and he WILL sign it — doctors will be forced to present women with medically inaccurate information. Tax laws were changed to make abortions more financially onerous, and the rightwing Theocons of the legislature have enshrined fetal personhood into state law with a “life begins at conception” provision.
And before you folks outside of Brownbackistan simply laugh at the goings-on in Topeka, ponder this: Sam Brownback IS going to run for president in 2016, and he’ll have both fiscal and social conservatives solidly behind him for what he’s been able to push through the state legislature. Today he’s in Topeka, but make no mistake: he wants to live in that nice little white house in DC.
|By: Peterr Saturday January 12, 2013 10:00 am|
In the governor’s mansion in Brownbackistan, there is wailing and gnashing of teeth this morning. In the offices of many school districts across the state, there is much rejoicing. The reason? A state district court ruled that the schools of Kansas have been shortchanged by the ultraconservatives in the state legislature of the constitutionally-required money to provide a decent education to the children of the state.
The way the district court made its point was to point repeatedly to those pesky things that Stephen Colbert rightly noted have a liberal bias: facts. And they pointed them out with great style and elan, taking deliberate aim at the Governor and his minions.
|By: Peterr Saturday December 1, 2012 9:01 am|
While the Pacific coast is getting battered by storms, and while the Northeast coast continues to recover from Sandy, the only falling water that farmers in Nebraska, Kansas, and the great plains can see are the tears on their own faces. Drought may not make for gripping television, and it didn’t end once October’s lower temperatures arrived. Things are still dry — exceptionally so — and in many places, it’s getting worse.
Yet to the national media, “no rain today” in the Midwest and Plains remains “not news”.
|By: Peterr Saturday August 11, 2012 9:00 am|
Mitt Romney is scared, and his choice of Paul Ryan to be his VP proves it.
What scares him isn’t Obama or Obamacare or higher taxes. What scares him isn’t Harry Reid’s comments about him not having paid taxes over the last decade (that’s more embarrassing than frightening). What scares him isn’t unions or liberal SuperPacs or progressive think tanks who will run ads against him.
What scares him is Kansas. And it scares him a lot.
Sam Brownback just purged the Kansas GOP of anyone who gets in his way, and Romney doesn’t want that to happen to him. But how to avoid it? Maybe naming Romney’s former legislative director as his VP will help.
|By: TBogg Wednesday July 18, 2012 3:30 pm|
Kansas, a state that is so Gawd-awful that Kansas City has been sneaking it’s own bad self into Missouri (which is no Garden of Eden despite what the Mormons say) for years, is thinking about turning itself into a Paul Ryan petri dish because, hey, why not? It’s Kansas.
|By: Peterr Saturday June 16, 2012 9:00 am|
In the 1850s and 60s, there were slaveholders who justified their ways by appealing to their religious beliefs. In the 1950s and 60s, there were segregationists who screamed “religious liberty” when their practices were questioned. Today, it’s the US Conference of Catholic Bishops doing the same with regard to laws and regulations that attempt to protect the rights of women to equal treatment, and anti-gay crusaders who want a religious exemption to continue their anti-gay ways.
In 1983, though, the US Supreme Court ruled in Bob Jones University v US that shouting “religious liberty!” is not a magic incantation that automatically frees the speaker from the laws of society. As Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. — no hater of the church — wrote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Even, or especially, when that injustice is perpetrated in the name of religious liberty.