Don’t Be Kansas: Impact of Massive Tax Cuts on Kansas Offers a Warning to Wisconsin

By: Saturday March 29, 2014 12:40 pm

Wisconsin lawmakers advocating for more tax cuts should consider the example of Kansas, a state that has pushed through enormous tax cuts and that has been held up by tax-cut proponents as a model worth replicating.

 

Kansas Supreme Court Rules Against Brownback’s Assertion of Legislative Supremacy

By: Saturday March 8, 2014 10:08 am

In January 2013, a district court in Kansas ruled in Gannon v State of Kansas that the Kansas legislature was not meeting its constitutional obligation to properly fund K-12 education in the state. The ruling was a huge blow to Sam Brownback and his cronies, as it would require either huge state budget cuts elsewhere or (gasp) eliminating the tax cuts he so lovingly pushed through the legislature. Brownback et al. have been shouting for months that this is a political matter for the legislature, not the courts, to decide and yesterday’s ruling takes this shouting head on. Indeed, the bulk of the 110 page ruling is devoted to addressing this question, and they repeatedly and at length told Brownback and his minions in the legislature to pipe down and do their jobs.

Oh, and they then found big, big constitutional problems with the state funding of education . . .

Boeing and NSA Get Schooled, Brazil Edition

By: Saturday December 21, 2013 9:15 am

Remember high school?

The kid on the outside wants to be part of the cool group, and one of the insiders starts to show some interest in the outsider. “Will you . . .” asks the insider, and the outsider waffles. “Once you start hanging out with me, folks will think you’re at least as cool as that other semi-cool kid . . . and maybe cooler” says the insider, and still the outsider waffles. Then word get out about the things the insider has been doing behind the outsider’s back, and the outsider sees how that other semi-cool kid gets treated better. And still the cool kid asks “Will you . . .” At this point in the story, you know what happens next: the outsider looks for a way to get back.

Which brings us to Brazil and Boeing . . .

What Could Possibly Go Wrong, Kansas Edition, Part 936

By: Monday November 4, 2013 5:00 pm

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.

Former KS Attorney General Phill Kline Is Pilloried by the Kansas Supreme Court

By: 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.

Post-DOMA Questions, College Student Edition

By: 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.

Legacy of Tiller’s Murder: Anti-Choice Terrorists Threaten Staff at Wichita Clinic

By: 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.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back in Kansas Over Abortion

By: 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.

Brownback and the Problem of Facts

By: 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.

No Rain Is Apparently Not News

By: 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”.

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