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Blessedly, the Kansas Legislature has adjourned for the session. Perhaps the upcoming elections will eliminate some of the lunatics, but given the undying love and cash from the Koch brothers to bolster and legitimize crazy and the constant drumbeat from various morons about Obama, next year's legislature seems primed to be even stupider than this.

This legislature has been the worst in recent memory, spending time this year banning sharia law, condemning a conspiracy theory, and more anti-family planning legislation than you can shake a big stick at. What they failed to do during the regular session notably included passing a budget or drawing new district maps. You know, the important stuff.

So the legislature, unable to come up with a map that didn't put liberal, eastern Lawrence in with blood red Western Kansas, punted, and now, mercifully, the question of redistricting lies in the (at least less in-) capable hands of the federal judiciary.

So all that remained was the budget. And hoo boy, did they ever fuck that one up. After a not insubstantial amount of acrimony that resulted in the Republican Party demanding its legislators sign a loyalty pledge and sending the Koch front group Americans for Prosperity on a witchhunt to oust conservative candidates (who are defined in Kansas as 'moderate Republicans,' where 'moderate' can be taken to mean 'not radical') in favor of right-wingers who fall more on the frothy part of the political continuum, like the uber-slimy Speaker of the House Mike O'Neal.

See, last year they already cut the schools -- cutting the per-pupil aid to schools by 6% -- then told us that the dogshit was caviar, claiming that because state expenses for teacher retirement increased, meant that they'd actually the education budget. As a result of the hung jury on tax cuts in the legislature last year, we actually ended up with a bit of a surplus as the recovering economy pushed tax receipts into the black. The surplus over the next five years was estimated at $600 million, which was promptly returned to the schools.

Wait, no. Of course you can't restore funding to schools. Kansas has to compete with Croatia and Mississippi, you know -- no matter that the state just lost Boeing to Tennessee, a state with higher taxes. So now Sam Brownback, chair of the Incompetent Governors Association, has signed a budget. That $600 million surplus? Gone. Replacing it is a $2.5 billion deficit.

And you wonder if that wasn't the plan all along.

Here we have a governor whose campaign promised he wasn't going to try to govern as the Archbishop of Kansas, who's shown nothing but contempt for our state's once-exemplary public education system (the colors for the University of Kansas are Harvard Crimson and Yale Blue, and there was a time that wasn't ironic).

And he has passed a budget that requires 600,000 new jobs (paying $50k apiece) to be created in a state of less than three million within the next five years to pay for his crazy tax plan.

Well, at least I probably won't have to share a congressional district with a city whose paper produced this editorial suggesting that the moderate Republicans who think that Governor Crazypants' crazy-pantsed idea is crazy aren't really Republicans, and didn't get burned down or anything.

Seriously, my state is not as crazy as our legislature. We're just at Ground Zero of the Kochs' war on America.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It makes me sad that the state where I grew up (9+ / 0-)

    has gone off the deep end so badly.

    I was disgusted with the defunding of the arts, requiring transgendered individuals to declare their current and previous sex to be able to vote.... the list goes on, and my stomach turns.

    What a sad state of affairs...

    I'll go back to visit family, but watching my home state turn into a theocracy complete with self declared pope and all the riches of the vatican in the Koch-roaches makes me sick...  I have no desire to go "home", but obligations require me to...

    how fucking sad...  makes me long for the days when Vern Miller used to make airplanes stop serving liquor when flying over Kansas... seems tame in comparison now...

    Good Luck...    

    Radical Activist Homosexual Agenda: 1. Equality 2. See #1

    by skip945 on Tue May 22, 2012 at 03:05:34 PM PDT

  •  Condolences.... (6+ / 0-)

    There is a sort of "mission creep" going on.  Those states who didn't come out for things full bore the first year or two (WI or OH) are loaded for bear now.  Even little Iowa has the Paulites taking over the GOP.It will be interesting to see how Gov. Braindead dances around that.  Terry Branstad has never been noted for strength or real assertiveness.  Those Paul folks will leave him in the dust.

    I'll pray for Kansas, but if Walker wins in WI, we're all in a mess of trouble.

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Tue May 22, 2012 at 03:09:44 PM PDT

  •  Just hoping my retired teacher father's pension (6+ / 0-)

    doesn't get axed because he's not a Koch.  

    These Republicans are just trying to outdo each other in how mean they can be to anyone not them.  Women.  Minorities.  Democrats.  Young (students).  Old (at least the non-uber-rich).  Those of the wrong religion.  Agnostics.  Atheists.  Academics.  Victims.  Small business owners.  Self-employed.  People working one job.  People working two or more jobs.  People earning less than 200K/year (this is Kansas, it would be higher in other states).  People who receive the wrong government handouts (medicaid, HAMP, Unemployment, low social security payouts) rather than the right ones (Factory farm subsidies, tax cuts, the maximum under social security).  Renters.  People who love the wrong gender.  People of transgender.  People who love multiple people.  People who love something other than money and themselves (in either order).

  •  They don't like us. They don't want us. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, msmacgyver

    Sam's allegedly running for President next time around, and the people around here seem to think he's doing this crap to get that job. I disagree. I think he's got higher ambitions -- running a seven-figure racket for the Kochs.

    "You should put signs on places. All it takes is a sign to turn an RNC office into a Sexeteria." -Danny Willis

    by Geiiga on Tue May 22, 2012 at 04:20:59 PM PDT

  •  Well, someone has to win The Race to the Bottom (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, Geiiga, drawingporno

    There seems to be a clutch of states which struggle to out-do each other's Conservativeness.  Texas, Arizona, and Florida spring to mind.  And now we'll add poor Kansas to the field.
    Eventually, one of these states will win the race, and I'm not feeling positive about the citizenry's ability to realize that they're on the wrong track... "We're just not Conservative enough!"
    Perhaps, next year, the Kansas Legislature will realize that they made a mistake.  The problem with born-again Conservatives, is that they think they're doing God's work, and they can't admit they made a mistake ('cause God wouldn't allow it).  So, we've got an electorate that's going full throttle off a cliff, and legislators (aided by nut-case newspaper editors) who are unwilling to change direction.
    I really don't see a good ending to this.

    Don't be a DON'T-DO... Be a DO-DO!

    by godwhataklutz on Tue May 22, 2012 at 04:28:18 PM PDT

    •  That's my fear. (0+ / 0-)

      The midterms were a bad time for a Republican wave election in my little state, because Presidential election years are tough for Democrats in states with 2-1 electoral advantages in favor of the Republicans.

      What drives me crazy is that our last Republican governor, Bill Graves, left office in 2002 having bled the state dry with his conservative policies, so we elected Sebelius, who promptly balanced the budget.

      Now we've got Slimy Sam, who cut spending so much his first year he actually did manage to back into a surplus, so he bullied his way to a tax cut that turns that into a huge deficit. Just like a Republican.

      "You should put signs on places. All it takes is a sign to turn an RNC office into a Sexeteria." -Danny Willis

      by Geiiga on Tue May 22, 2012 at 07:48:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You have my sympathy (0+ / 0-)

    I spent a month in Lawrence between JR and SR years in high school.  Lovely town.  Wanted to attend KU but couldn't afford it.  (Still root for the Jayhawks, lol.)

    You have my sympathy.

    To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

    by Youffraita on Tue May 22, 2012 at 09:42:55 PM PDT

  •  The Kansas Legislature is incompetent (0+ / 0-)
  •  But at least you don't have to have your (0+ / 0-)

    kids exposed to the godless horrors of evolution.

    It's a start, right?

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