The War on Poor Women in Kansas Continues

By: Saturday May 24, 2014 9:14 am

Planned Parenthood has been under attack in Kansas for years, as a part of the right wing’s drive to make the state #1 in keeping women from obtaining accurate reproductive health care information and making their own informed medical decisions.

After losing a court challenge to a state law that declared them ineligible for Title X health care funds, PP decided to close their clinic in Hays — a clinic that served much of western Kansas — so that they could keep their Wichita clinic open.

Ultra-conservative Tim Huelskamp wrote the state law that made this happen in his days as a state senator, and today he’s the representative for KS-01. If you’re one of his constituents, poor, and in need of reproductive health care services, you can thank your representative for putting you behind the wheel of your car for that trip to Wichita.

 

Downgrade of Kansas Bond Rating Offers Another Warning to Wisconsin

By: Wednesday May 7, 2014 6:51 pm

A bond rating agency has downgraded its rating of Kansas’ creditworthiness, citing revenue reductions from tax cuts and slow economic growth, among other factors.

Celebrating Confederate History Month Isn’t Just for The South

By: Saturday April 12, 2014 9:14 am

Ah, the heritage of the Confederacy. The South may have surrendered at Appomattox, but the war continues to be fought — and not just in the South, and not just by southerners. But of course, that’s where we need to start…

Earlier this week, Virginia’s Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that he would not be issuing any kind of proclamation making April “Confederate History Month” in his state, unlike several of his recent Republican predecessors. Among certain parts of the citizenry, that did not go over well.

Late Night: Kansas State Legislature Takes Teacher Tenure From Thousands

By: Monday April 7, 2014 8:00 pm

Weekend, overnight exploits by purchased ideologues and rank amateurs in the Kansas State legislature stripped KS public school teachers of due process rights. This will require all teachers to renegotiate their contracts without any union or other support and make them subject to termination if they don’t.

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.

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