Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): October 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Nothing to see here

RINO Jean Schodorf kicked-off her campaign for Kansas Secretary of State in Wichita yesterday. (She had already announced her intention to run a month ago, and then announced that she had filed. And then had a kick-off. The lack of buzz from all of it was deafening.)

The former Republican-in-Name-Only renounced her GOP card throwing a temper tantrum after losing a Republican primary for the Kansas Senate. 

Will Kansas Democrats buy her schtick? She faces some business guy from Mission Hills in a Democrat primary for Secretary of State. 

The winner will have the unenviable task of running against smooth-talking, actual-Republican Kris Kobach. I don't see it working out all that well for Shodorf or Random Business Guy from Mission Hills.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wicked Witch of the midwest

As it turns out, Kathleen Sebelius is not that smart or capable.
The Pride of the Sunflower State

The difference between, say, me and politicians? I never once thought that Kathleen Sebelius had it in her to successfully launch a government takeover of one-sixth of the U.S. economy.

Put aside everything that is morally, ethically, Constitutionally, logically wrong with Obamacare. I'm not even talking about that, though Obamacare is an abomination. 

I'm talking about the laughable, though common idea that someone whose sole skill in life is being a politician is capable of successfully running anything but a campaign.

It's crazy, but this is how we do things in the good ol' U.S. of A. If you were in Congress and you managed to back the winner in the race for Presidency, you likely have secured yourself a spot as the Secretary of Homeland Security/Health and Human Services/Agriculture/Labor/State/We Have Too Many Departments.

We do this in Kansas, too. Our state departments are filled with political has-beens padding their resumes. I am not saying any of them are doing a bad job, but should we really be expected to believe that the best person in the state for the role of say, Labor Secretary, is Lana Gordon? I'm not knocking her, but she was a teacher. And then a legislator. How exactly do those skills translate into running a department with the primary responsibility of overseeing unemployment claims? If there was an application system for the job -- instead of a Friend of Sam Brownback requirement -- the experience listed on her resume wouldn't have even garnered Gordon an interview. 

So Kathleen Sebelius got her job on the federal political stage, first, by being a politician. Scratch that. First, by being the daughter of a former Ohio Governor and marrying the son of a former U.S. Representative. So, she's Kansas' version of Paris Hilton -- living on the work of others. She parlayed her relations into a political career -- serving as a Kansas state representative. And, then, she ran and successfully became Kansas Insurance Commissioner. I have NO idea how this happened. Did the Republicans run a turnip for insurance commissioner in 1994? 

Despite my personal belief that Kansans are among the brightest in the nation, my statesmen were duped and elected Sebelius TWICE to the Governorship. Sometimes I ponder what exactly how she managed to win her first election for the state's highest office. And then I think about the mustache her opponent Tim Shallenburger sported during the campaign. Case closed. (I do not believe that looks should matter, but if we're being honest -- they do. Tim isn't a bad looking guy, but I hope whoever forgot to tell Shallenburger that his mustache went out of fashion circa 1970 isn't still working in politics.)

Anyway, so Sebelius managed to win a few elections, and somehow only BARELY drive the state off the fiscal cliff. Prior to running for office, and I guess marrying well, she was a lobbyist for the American Trial Lawyers Association. 

Naturally, when it came time to name someone to what would become the Second Most Powerful Human in America behind President Obama -- the president picked Sebelius. She'd been an early supporter of his campaign -- ditching whatever loyalty a set of ovaries and matching pants suits got Hilary. As Sebelius' reward, she was eventually, though not immediately, tapped for the Secretary of HHS. 

It's been nothing but a disaster ever since. Despite the cries that Sebelius was tied for 20th Most Popular Governor in America at one time (which I don't actually buy, but still), the Drudge Report is today calling her the Most Hated Woman in America.

For what it's worth, I think she's vile and evil (and whatever anagrams you can make from those letters), but I don't hate her. This is a woman in way, way, way over her head, and not just because she didn't have the right experience and expertise to do the job she was asked to do in the first place. She was also tasked with the impossible -- making regular citizens behave contrary to reality and logic. (No 20-year-old is going to run right out to sign up for a $500 per month policy with a $10,000 deductible -- even if the web site magically starts working.)

As for her testimony today, it showed, in technicolor detail, just how out-of-her league she really is. At one point, Sebelius described to the committee (of federal legislators) exactly what made Obamacare a law instead of a bill. And so I'll rest my case. Her answer to questions about the dire Obamacare rollout involved detailing something that anyone who has ever memorized a Schoolhouse Rock song could tell you.

Friday, October 25, 2013

How stupid do we look?

Seriously, does anyone actually believe this?

A new survey out released today suggests that Gov. Sam Brownback may be in danger of losing the gubernatorial race in 2014.

According to the Survey USA and KWCH 12 survey, only 39 percent of the people polled would vote for Brownback/Colyer today versus 43 percent of voters who would vote for Paul Davis and Jill Docking.

I'm not buying it and they shouldn't be selling it. I can count on one hand the number of people I know who will vote for Davis and Docking. (And unlike most liberals, I have TONS of friends of the other political stripe.)

The poll just makes absolutely NO sense based on well, logic and reason.

The poll takers spoke with 600 Kansans over the course of two days. Of those, 15 percent weren't registered voters. Who on this planet actually thinks 15 percent of the un-registered voters in this state are going to flock to the county election office to register to vote in advance of the riveting elections on the docket for 2014? (And yes, I'm assuming the low information voters broke significantly for Davis. They've probably seen nothing but bad press about Brownback since Day One of his term. The press HATES Republicans, especially pro-life ones.)

A commenter notes that I misread part of the poll:
You misread the poll regarding registered and unregistered Kansans. They contacted 600 people, 511 were registered, and those 511 responded to the question. If you want to attack the methodology of the poll, you're off to a bad start. Now, registered versus likely voters is something to pick on here. Polls relying upon likely voters are far more accurate than those based on registered voters. Additionally, it seems like a disproportionate number of people polled make over $80K. But dismissing this poll because the numbers don't jive with your opinion is what got the GOP in trouble in 2012.

The commenter is correct. I didn't read carefully enough. I blame the fact that it's Friday :) That said, there are plenty of other problems with the poll, including the one the commenter mentioned -- a disproportionate number of people making $80,000 per year. Probably most importantly is how many of those registered, not likely, voters will actually vote in a very blah 2014 election? 

A show of hands. Anyone? Anyone? Right. That's not going to happen. There will be no top-of-ticket excitement on the ballot in 2014. The most interesting race, as it stands today, will be the Republican primaries (and locally, I'm fascinated by the Eilert/Peterson race for county chair.)

There's no high drama in the general (so far). There will be no MTV Rock-the-Vote style voter drives to get the uninformed to the polls in Kansas next November. 

The only part of the poll that makes even a tiny bit of sense is that Brownback theoretically would lose 30 percent of the Republican vote. (I think that sounds about right -- at least in portions of the state where the RINO influence is fierce but waning.)

I'm not going to waste any more time on this ridiculous survey. Those pollsters are selling something that no one of common sense and integrity should buy.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Good one, Senator.

Surely he's joking, right?

Sen. John McCain, potentially the worst human to ever wear the mantle of Republican Senator, told a Phoenix radio station that he's considering running for the presidency again in 2016. 

Surely you jest, sir. You jest.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I Told You So

Jill Docking will follow Paul Davis into the volcano. Davis, who is running for Kansas Governor, announced Docking as his Lt. Governor running mate this morning.

They are going to lose in ways that are going to be uncomfortable to watch. (Shrug).

Perhaps the most depressing part of the entire charade is that Docking is going to be lauded for her gender. Um. She's arrived at the top of the Kansas Democrat food chain based solely on her last name. This really isn't a bra burning moment. If we're being honest, it's kind of a step back. She married well. Specifically she's married to a former Lt. Governor and grandson of former Kansas Governor. Nice job.

We've seen this song and dance, more successfully, in the past with Kathleen Sebelius. It's political talent based on name recognition alone. I detest it, but I don't think it's a fixable.

Also, note that Davis' campaign treasurer is former state Rep. William Kassebaum, the son of former U.S. Sen. Nancy Kassebaum and grandson of former Gov. Alf Landon. (This should probably serve as some sort of warning to the wives/children/grandchildren of our current political crop. Growing up as a politician's kid (or spouse or grandkid) moves one to the left of the political spectrum.)


What's Eating Sam Brownback?

National Review ran Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback through its journalistic meat grinder and delivered a sausage full of a lot of gristle.

Honestly, the magazine, which used to rank among my favorites, is losing conservative steam as it becomes a propaganda machine for the Republican Establishment. Disappointing.

The article, "What's Right with Sam Brownback" is not journalism at its finest. It's public relations for a future Brownback Presidential run. For several reasons and some which aren't political, I don't think he has a chance in 2016 or 2020 or ever. (He's too short, for starters.)

John J. Miller managed to interview a handful of Republicans -- surely all handpicked by the center of the article itself, Brownback -- and write a glowing report of our Governor.

I wish the author would have thought to find a few conservative activists to tell another part of the story. Miller completely glossed over Brownback's tax policy, which gifted a tax increase to all Kansans this summer.

From the article: "In June, the governor signed legislation to drop the top individual rate in Kansas to 3.9 percent by 2018, down from 6.45 percent when he took office. It will fall further, based on a formula, if the state meets certain revenue requirements. In time it could hit zero. To compensate, Brownback had to lock in the sales tax at 6.15 percent, a hike compared with three years ago, when it was 5.7 percent, but lower than 6.3 percent, a rate that his predecessor, a Democrat, had sold as a “temporary” measure during a budget crunch."

While the article calls the move a step down the income tax ladder, you'll note the author isn't as specific about those steps, because they haven't happened yet. This is how all tax increases typically begin -- we'll increase now but cut later, the politicians promise. 

Meanwhile, the article underhandedly sings the praises of the great Missouri-Kansas Border War. (I've written about it before here.) This is the process by which the Kansas Government takes money from the middle class and gives it to big businesses so they will move their headquarters or operations across the street from Missouri into Kansas. The subsidies allow Brownback to crow about "creating jobs," but brother, please. Those jobs already existed and the same Kansans (those on the KS-MO border) continued to have the same access to them. 

I appreciated Brownback's lip-service to the Libertarians. Brownback said of Kansas Republicans, "We're more of a traditional Republican party now. We're dominated by conservatives and we have a moderate wing and a good section of libertarianism. I'm driving down the middle of the right side of the road."

Only, I don't think it's particularly accurate. From support for wind subsidies to the aforementioned Border War, I struggle to find a single libertarian ideal on Brownback's agenda. (The exception is, of course, the proposed move to a flatter, fairer tax, but that hasn't actually happened yet. And where this person is concerned, actions matter more than words.) A more accurate description of Brownback may be that he's driving down the center of the Establishment lane of the Republican Party.

Brownback's OK, and I'm glad  he's getting some good press. However, I expect more from my politicians and my political periodicals.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Facing the voters...

It's pretty obvious which member(s) of Kansas Congressional delegation aren't facing voters soon.

I give you Sen. Jerry Moran, who shamefully voted to kick the can down the road for another 90 days. 

While Rep. Kevin Yoder and Sen. Pat Roberts (who must face voters approximately one year from now) wisely voted against raising the debt ceiling limit in return for well, nothing. 

Meanwhile, Jerry Moran used Democrat talking points to explain away his reasoning for voting "yes." Just tacky. Moran said:

"The American government should never default on its debt obligations, but unless we find the courage to restrain our country's out-of-control spending, that's exactly what will happen."
First, it's abundantly clear that Oct. 17 wasn't really a hard deadline, but more of a rolling target. All of our bills don't come due at the same time, and last time I checked the IRS was continuing to collect money. Republicans had a little more time to negotiate for a better deal. Instead, this can-kick of debt ceiling raise comes complete with EXTRA spending. I swear, the U.S. Government is Thelma-and-Louise-style suicidal. We are just racing for the cliff like it's a roller coaster. 

Finally, Moran said:

"This good-faith deal calms fear of default for now, but we must take advantage of the next 90 days to finally work together and get our spending under control."
I take absolute issue with the suggestion that the debt ceiling bill was a "good-faith deal." Yeah. No. It wasn't. It increased spending until we hit the next deadline in January.

And what on earth is Moran babbling about? What magic does he suppose is going to take place between now and January that will get everyone and getting spending under control? Does he assume the Democrats in Congress and our barbaric Obama Administration will be so taken with the Christmas spirit that they'll suddenly become fiscally sane? 

I'll have whatever Moran is smoking. What a disappointment.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Truly conservative?

In one corner: Sen. Pat Roberts, and his full-steamed freight train carrying pretty much every Republican officer holder and a war chest of more than $1.5 million.
In the other corner: Milton Wolf, and probably 75 cents or so.

Yesterday, Roberts supporters were touting Roberts' lengthy list of endorsements and something saying he was the "5th Most Conservative Senator." 

I guess it all depends on your criteria, but this meme that lists Pat Roberts along with Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Tim Scott as the most conservative members of the Senate is laughable.

I found myself wondering if it was Photoshopped. And then I found myself wondering, am I crazy for not buying it?

Answer: Nope. I'm completely normal and everyone else is completely blinded by, I don't know what. Loyalty? Just because Kansas political activists say it a million times, that doesn't mean I'll buy it.

Every Kansan knew former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius was going to be a disaster as the head of Health and Human Services. I found her nomination for the job downright frightening. She's monstrous when it comes to very real life and death issues. The last place on planet earth she should be is in the position she now finds herself. And yet, there she sits, in part, because Roberts voted to approve the nomination. And if I recall correctly, he did it by saying some very lovely words in her favor. Blech. There's no reason to be mean, but his vote didn't need the accompaniment of pretty words on her behalf. (For what it's worth, Brownback joined Roberts in fawning all over her appointment. It left a bad taste in my mouth then and re-reading it, yep. There's still a nasty aftertaste.)

Fast forward to today: Roberts is calling for Sebelius' resignation. Fine. Great. She's awful, but most intellectually honest conservatives believed at the time that she never should've been given the job in the first place. Roberts' timing seems a tiny bit stage-y. (And I'm honestly trying to be fair here, but I'm about as cynical as they come, so keep that in mind.)

Here's what National Review, a magazine which I think moves further and further LEFT everyday, had to say about Roberts:

• He has an 89 percent from Heritage Action. 
•  He has a 72 percent from the American Conservative Union

• AND is in 36th PLACE behind John McCain and Lindsey Graham, according to the Club for Growth.

I rest my case. I am completely sane, and there are a few people potentially headed for padded rooms because of this race.

Perhaps most persuasive in the National Review article is this: When Ted Cruz beat the Texas Establishment favorite, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, few doubted that Dewhurst would vote as a conservative on most issues.

"But since Cruz took office, he has proven his point: It is inconceivable that Dewhurst would have spent his August recess pushing to tie the defunding of Obamacare to the continuing resolution..."

I should add, because heaven knows, this Wolf vs. Roberts race is headed for blood-shed, I'm not advocating for Wolf. I'm dispassionate about this race, because in the grand scheme, a conservative is going to represent Kansas in the U.S. Senate. 

Just how "conservative" is in the eye of the beholder. 

Does Roberts vote correctly most of the time? Sure. Will he lead the charge even at times when leading the charge isn't politically expedient? I'm not so sure. And if you asked me those questions about Wolf, you'd get the exact same answers.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pitch turns gun on itself

Talk about a massive backfire.

The (garbage-y) Pitch attempts to "blame" Tim Huelskamp for the shutdown, and Huelskamp wears it like a badge of honor.

The Congressman posted the article to his Facebook campaign page bragging that he's a "chief architect of the government shutdown."

Nice try, Pitch, but conservatives should be lining up to take credit. I'm glad to see Huelskamp is doing just that. 

Hypocrites unite to lower the debt

If a politician falls in the forest, does anyone care? (Answer: Nope.)

Two of Kansas’ former Governors are going to DO SOMETHING about the debt situation in Washington.
Govs. John Carlin and Bill Graves have signed on to a group of former governors, called the Governors Fiscal Leadership Council. The group is comprised of 20 Republican has-been governors and 21 Democrat has-been governors and is part of a non-partisan movement called the Campaign to Fix theDebt.

I'll be honest. Every time one of these so-called "non-partisan" groups gets together to fix things, the tingly hairs on the back of my neck go up -- especially when the effort has scads of politicians signed on to "lead."

 This Campaign to Fix the Debt is filled with a bunch of people partially responsible for the mess we're in right now. Yeah, I'm talking to you, Evan Bayh, et. al. These are people who lobbied hard to bring bacon to their states, and now that the political winds have changed, they're doing they're level best to get out front of the winds, I guess, so they can get their mugs on television and feel important again. Yuck.
My level of faith in their efforts: zero. So a bunch of former politicians are going to sit around and blow a lot of smoke and flash a lot of mirrors. I don’t see it helping. The good news is all that hot air bellowing out of those narcissists may create a low pressure system over the United States. It won’t fix our debt problems, but it might help the summer stick around longer. So there’s that.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dr. Cousin is running

The doctor from Lyons, Kan., made it official last night. Some person from American Idol sang and some guy from a local radio station talked.

I wasn't there, and no one emailed me to tell me how many people attended. Sad face. I did see a picture on Facebook, and it looked like he did draw quite a crowd.

I've said pretty much everything I have to say about Milton Wolf running for the U.S. Senate here

There is only one thing I would add: I have been continually amazed at how livid many conservatives are about the fact that Wolf is running. I mean, there are a lot of political activists having complete meltdowns. (And some are just expressing their stern disapproval.) It's weird.

Wolf is going to lose, and probably hugely. And yes, this means Sen. Pat Roberts is going to have to campaign and spend some of his enormous war chest rather than using it to help other conservatives. I don't understand the outrage.

Even if you think, as I do, that a race between Wolf and Roberts is half-a-dozen of one and six-of-the-other, why do we care if Roberts has to spend time and resources campaigning? It's good for all of us if Roberts does get out and beat the streets. One, we actually get to see our Senator more than we would if he wasn't campaigning. Two, he is forced to spend some time with his constituents on the campaign trail. How is that a hardship?

And finally, the money piece: To those conservatives giving money to Sen. Roberts, were you giving it hoping he would use it on other candidates and party issues? If that was your concern, why not give it to the candidate or party or issue of your concern?

A little friendly debate shouldn't hurt people who can agree to disagree. But it's like we've entered bizarr-o world. Less than a day into the political campaign, it's obvious that the two sides are going to rip each others' throats out. 

We can argue all day long about whether Wolf is a good candidate and whether he has to knowledge and tools to win. But he has a right to run for any office if he so chooses, and Roberts isn't entitled to a seat in the U.S. Senate. 

My main reason for being a reluctant Wolf supporter is simply this: If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten. I've "gotten" enough of the U.S. Senate. I like Sen. Roberts.

None of this is personal, but a lot of activists are taking it that way. Weird.

Ed vs. Ed Part 2

I should have done better research. Yesterday, I learned that Ed Peterson intends to run for county chair in 2014.

The announcement was so shocking that I wasn't even certain that Eilert would in fact run. (The pair seem so similar, rarely voting differently.)

Like I said, I should've done better research. Eilert is, of course, planning to run for a second term. The Kansas City Star's Steve Kraske says so. 

Also, Ed Eilert's campaign Facebook page says so. The Facebook page, at 111 fans and counting, boasts an invitation to an Eilert fundraiser next week!! 

It's like 1981 all over that invite. Like Converse sneakers and feathered hair, some trends refuse to die. The invite answers one important question: Just who will the has-beens support?

Answer: They're Team Eilert. The top of the invite lists the usual suspects: Mary Birch, Greg Musil, Ben Craig, Lynn Mitchelson, Fred Logan.

 Meh. I am not impressed. 

Surely there's a conservative somewhere salivating over the opportunity to run against this duo. John Toplikar ran for chair last time. He was pretty soundly walloped, but this is a different race. Also, I note that Charlotte O'Hara, who has run for the post before and who endorsed Eilert the last time, isn't a host of his upcoming fundraiser.

Is she considering a run for the chair? 

As I said yesterday, things.just.got.interesting.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ed vs. Ed

Ed Peterson
Things just got interesting. The Prairie Village Post is reporting that Ed Peterson will run for Johnson County Board of Commissioners Chair.

This is a bizarre and unexpected turn of events. I'm not sure what to think. For the most part, when the Johnson County machine is behind a candidate in a countywide election, the machine wins. Such was the case with Annabeth Surbaugh, the former county chair. When she first ran for the (overpaid) office of chair, the county winds were at her sails. All of the old money, old moderate squad supported her. They continued their support into her second term, and Surbaugh narrowly defeated Charlotte O'Hara.

And then, enter Ed Eilert, the former Mayor of Overland Park and member of the board of county commissioners.  I have yet to figure out what Annabeth Surbaugh did to make her previous supporters angry, but they bailed on her. A bevy of has-beens signed on to endorse Eilert's campaign, including, (weirdly) O'Hara, and Eilert became the chair. (He was bolstered by the support of many conservatives, despite the fact that Eilert is nothing of the sort.)

Peterson is the lone Democrat on the commission, although Steve Klika talks like one, too. Commission races are famously non-partisan (shaking my fist at the people on the JC Charter Commission and Ronnie Metsker). 

Johnson County is as conservative as it has been in my lifetime, I believe. (K. Yo and Yael Aboulhalkah agree with me on this.) So I suspect Ed Peterson will face stiff headwinds in this race.

That said, I'm assuming that Eilert will be running for a second term as Chair. That cozy $90,000 per year for part- time work is way too swanky. Surely Eilert isn't considering stepping down after one term.

 Peterson's comments in the Post lead me to believe Peterson anticipates a fight with Eilert. He said:

“During the past several years, county government stopped doing the things that made Johnson County a great place to live and work, choosing instead to settle for less. We are beginning to see the results of this stand-pat approach: We only fund one-half the maintenance for roads that is needed just to keep up. We have hundreds of acres of parkland that county residents cannot enjoy because we have not developed it. Our popular library system has had to reduce hours. We retreated from a transit plan just as it produced an increase in ridership. We have fallen further behind in overcoming the waiting list of adults with disabilities who are eligible for supportive services.”
You'll note he sounds just like the liberal he is -- wanting to spend money we don't have to reward his friends and supporters with government contracts.

What I'm wondering is this: Have the has-been Johnson County moderates jumped ship on Eilert like they did Surbaugh? And if so, why? Have the mods finally decided to go ahead and be Democrats in name as well as in action?

If so, it would bolster Peterson's chances, and give him a reason to run.

If the race is between Peterson and Eilert, I hope a conservative will enter the race. The non-partisan county races allow for a run-off election or primary. And if a conservative entered the race, I can all-but guarantee a fourth person would also throw a hat in the ring.

It's far too early to start running the odds, but if the race ends up being Eilert vs. Peterson,  I think Eilert wins by a landslide.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Where's my invitation?

I only know about this because I read Bob Weeks' blog, Wichita Liberty. I'm a little disgusted that I didn't get an invitation.

I have trouble imagining that anyone will be there, what with Sen. Pat Roberts re-election an all-but sure thing. BUT I'm super curious to know who will be there.

So, if anyone wants to send me a list of all of the folks who attend, it'd be greatly appreciated. TIA. There's a handy tab on the right that links to my email.

Also, if anyone would like to let me know exactly what the MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT is, I'd be interested as well. (Who am I kidding? He's announcing he's running for U.S. Senate, but on the off-chance I'm wrong...)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Oh look! It's a human, acting like one

These sorts of stories always bother me. The New Republic is reporting that Kansas' very own Pat Roberts comforted some gay and lesbian activist visitors in the Capitol when it was locked down yesterday.

The headline:Only the Capitol Shooter Could Bring LGBT Activists and a Kansas Senator Together

Um. No. That's not true. Most people have much more in common than their politics and guess what? We can disagree without calling names, slinging verbal arrows and throwing punches. 

Roberts is a human, and he acted like one -- comforting those in need when called to do so. I have trouble coming up with a single person who wouldn't do the same.

In addition to being a human, Roberts is a former Marine, and when called to behave like one, he did.

It's a nice story, but I wish liberals wouldn't act so surprised when a conservative acts like a human. The fact that we're humans shouldn't be treated like breaking news, but I guess sometimes people need the reminder. Grrr.


Bob Dole -- Please Stop.

Everyone, stop the shutdown. 

Bob Dole has spoken. You'll note, he's said nothing of meaning -- nothing that advances the discussion. He's just added his voice, as if we needed it.

“If this Congress truly wishes to recognize the sacrifice and bravery of our World War II veterans and all who’ve come after, it will end this shutdown and re-open our government now. The current shutdown has slowed the rate at which the government can process veterans’ disability claims and...it is negatively impacting other services to our nation’s veterans.” — former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole, a Republican, and Michigan Rep. John Dingell, a Democrat, in a joint statement Thursday.

There's something to be said for leaving the audience wanting more.  Bob "Tax Collector for the Welfare State" Dole just leaves me wanting less.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/10/04/4527497/buzzchatter-friday-dole-calls.html#storylink=cpy

Thursday, October 3, 2013

JCCC or what actually happened to Karin Brownlee

At least Karin Brownlee got an interview, but anyone with half a functioning brain cell knew she had no shot at the job as a Johnson County Community College Board of Trustees member.

I'll try to keep this short, because there are a total of six people in all of Johnson County who give any cares at all to the happenings at JCCC. 

So, Melody Rayl resigned from her spot on the Johnson County Community College Board of Trustees. There's probably some dark and nefarious reason for it, but I can't bring myself to care enough to find out. She announced her intention to resign in July -- just one month into her second term on the board. ("Family and career," she told the Kansas City Star. In my mind, that's code for I have a pile of dead puppies in my basement and it's coming out soon, but I digress.)

So the board selected Rayl's replacement. From a field of 13 applicants, they narrowed the pool to four, including Robert Drummond, Michael Lally, Steven Wolf and Karin Brownlee.

I am not sure why they bothered with the dog and pony show that followed. The four contenders gave the board five minute speeches and then answered questions. And the board then selected Bob Drummond.

Let's see a show of hands for those who knew Drummond was going to get the nod before the interviews even occurred. If your hand isn't in the air, you're doing it wrong. That was a foregone conclusion. Drummond served on the board of trustees previously and lost an election for another term. (There were about 700 candidates and the vote was at-large. There were six candidates. The top four made it. Drummond did not.) He is the CEO of TLC in Olathe.

I honestly hoped to see Karin Brownlee, the former state senator and former Secretary of Labor given the job. But I knew better. 

Brownlee, you'll recall, was fired by Gov. Brownback. Her crime: She promoted a bureaucrat to a job in the Department of Labor without the Governor's approval. Brownback had a campaign/supporter in mind for the job, but it was too late. Brownlee had already made the promotion based on qualifications. She was given the choice to fire the bureaucrat or be fired herself. Brownlee is no longer working for the Brownback administration, so we can draw a few conclusions on what she decided. I'm told there aren't hard feelings (at least publicly) between Brownback and Brownlee. Rumor has it she had the option to be appointed to the Board of Tax Appeals, but didn't take it. (And that part, friends, is complete rumor and conjecture. I have heard the tax appeals stuff, but it's never been confirmed.)

Anyway, Brownlee walked a fine line between being a movement conservative and an Establishment hack. I think that line becomes more difficult to walk the longer anyone stays in office. 

In my mind, she was the perfect choice for the job at JCCC. Principled, conservative and with leadership skills to boot. Unfortunately, JCCC is the last bastion of the old Republican/Moderate guard in Johnson County. The mods have a death grip on that place, and they have no intention of giving it up. 

It's all very old money and old power collecting dust in a place where the board has limited power over the people but plenty of opportunity to appoint their friends to "professorships" and offer contract awards to their supporters. 

In short, someone like Brownlee had zero chances of being appointed. Her brief tenure at the Department of Labor shows she isn't willing to play that ball game.

Good for her. Too bad for JCCC. She would've been great.

Final note: I realize that the board of trustees most recent appointment -- David Lindstrom -- is a so-called conservative. He'll play ball (and I don't mean football) in awarding friends and supporters with titles and whatever. Nice guy, but he's got Establishment-in-training written all.over.his.face. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wild speculation about a liberal -- You're Welcome!

So, the Democrats have drummed up a replacement for Rep. Paul Davis. Davis, you'll recall, is going to be laughed off the stage in a bid for Governor, leaving his spot wide open.

There's at least one Democratic candidate whose announced she'll vie for the job. Meet Abbie Hodgson

Here's pretty much all you need to know about her:

1. She was recently married, but in the tradition of liberals everywhere, she did not take her husband's last name. (I really don't care about this issue. But it's a trend. Oh, and when you don't take your husband's last name, and then give your kids hyphenated last names, I feel kind of bad for them. Not that they're going to get teased, but what if they want to keep their last names? Do they have to go with something like MaryJohnson Hyphen Hunt Hyphen Tisdale? Cruel.)

2. I don't think she has any conservative friends. I don't know that for certain, but based on my (not very extensive) Facebook research, it appears she doesn't. I mean, that's not normal, especially when you live in Kansas. If you're so far left you can't even be casual acquaintances via Facebook with conservatives... 

3. She is a graduate student in communications at the University of Kansas. I am unable to confirm whether she is the voice behind David Guth's Twitter account. 

4. And this is really the only part that matters: She worked for former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, or the dark master of evil as I affectionately call the HHS Secretary. Oh, and Abbie is actively involved with Planned Parenthood of Kansas. So she's gunning for the contents of your uterus, pregnant friends.

So Lawrence Republicans -- yes, there are some. I've met them -- your task is clear: Save us from this Wendy Davis wannabe. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

K.Yo does his thing

Kevin Yoder, or K. Yo, is doing it right today. 

Despite the appearance of an intra-party political GOP breakdown over the government shutdown, K. Yo is getting it just right.

Of course, I'm pleased with the solutions he's offered related to the shutdown. He's voted appropriately when asked on House continuing resolutions, and he's co-sponsored proposals to prohibit Congress, the President and any heads of executive governmental departments from taking pay during the shutdown.
Most importantly, he's gone one step further than just issuing press releases about the shutdown. It's obvious he has been proactive in taking his perspective to the people. Today he's spoken with KCTV5, KMBC 9 News, and if he hasn't been there yet, he'll shortly be on that awful show with Scott "Does this make my butt look big?" Parks and Dana Wright. Last night, I think I heard him on Darla Jaye.

K. Yo sounds reasonable and principled, and he's not allowing the media to state his case for him. He's doing it himself. Traditionally, this is something conservatives are very, very bad at. He's getting it right today, and I am pleased.