Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): September 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

Backbones vs jelly spines

Good news. John Boehner is leaving Congress. 

This is kind of epic for Kansas' Congressional delegation. Shortly after Boehner announced that he will be stepping down and out, Rep. Tim Huelskamp tweeted that the establishment lost. There's no love lost between Kansas' plucky Huelskamp and the Orange One. Huelskamp was removed from committee assignments for not kissing Boehner's ring. 

Meanwhile, Rep. Lynn Jenkins is a member of House leadership. For reasons I'll never understand, she repeatedly allows herself to be photographed next to Boehner. She gave a very warm statement about how Boehner's meteoric rise from son of a bar owner to Congress is apple pie -- or some similar nonsense. (I think it unwise to even hint about booze and Boehner in the same sentence, but that's how Jenkins wished him farewell.) 

In typical Kevin Yoder fashion, he crafted a statement that said less than nothing. Yoder: Boehner is leaving. Congress still exists. Thank you for your time.

Rep. Mike Pompeo's statement was wiser, I think. He at least attempted to put a tiny bit of distance between himself the BIGGEST CRYBABY IN WASHINGTON. 

"While the Speaker and I sometimes disagreed on tactics, no one can question his commitment to making America a better place. I thank him for his service to our country, and I wish him all the best in the future.”

Honestly, the best response to the news that Boehner is leaving was probably not saying anything at all. So, way to go Yoder. Your statement was pretty close to that. Nice work.

The race for a new speaker begins now, just as Congress is AIR QUOTE "working" to avoid a government shutdown. (wink.) I can't even fathom what kind of wrench this throws into that mess, but I have a feeling Boehner's sudden move at this intense time was a little back stabby. 

I have no kind words for alcoholics, men (or women, really) who cry constantly, or people who "grow" in office. Boehner is the trifecta.

The people who will vote on Boehner's replacement are Republican members of the House. I do not think much of their collective integrity, wits, thoughtfulness, logic, loyalty, patriotism, sanity, logic, etc. I don't trust any solution that group of half wits comes up with.

They say the devil you know is better than the devil you don't. And yet, I am going to celebrate Boehner's departure, anyway. I will be watching our Kansas delegations' tea leaves. I sincerely hope our fearsome foursome votes for the most conservative, principled replacement. Jury is still out who that may be.

P.S. Sens. Moran and Roberts, please work on ridding us of that other pox on our nation, Mitch McConnell. 

P.P.S. Former Sen. Bob Dole said some stuff about it, too. My head is exploding. 

It's like Dole has something against grace and maturity. Also, he apparently thinks we, the little people, want or need his input. The hubris. Stuff a sock in it, already. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Democrat Playbook. Sigh.

Democrats have a playbook with two cards in it -- the race card and the War on Women card. Why aren't they sick of those cards? And why can't they ever, ever give others the benefit of the doubt? Seriously, who has the time to go around offended at EVERYTHING anyone says and to assume the absolute worst in every perceived look or comment?

So, the Kansas Democrat Executive Director, Kerry Gooch, took the opportunity to tweet things that offended him at the Kansas State Fair. Because you know who hangs out at the Kansas State Fair -- hillbillies! Racists! Dehumanizing cow pluggers!

One person said to him: "You speak well for a colored person." 

Tacky and tasteless, but I am almost certain the (probably ancient) person who said it was attempting to compliment Gooch. Was it politically correct? Of course not, but the other party of the conversation was making an attempt. Dear Kerry, if you want to make a difference, you sometimes have to take steps toward the other person. 

I'm not blaming you, Kerry. It took me years, YEARS, to learn this lesson, and I regularly fail at it by assuming the worst when I should give the other person the chance to do better. Educate. Don't belittle. Kerry had that opportunity and he failed at the state fair.

That poor, likely just misunderstood, fairgoer now has every excuse in the world to avoid speaking to another black person. What's the point if anything he(she?) says can be misconstrued as evil and racist. I recognize the embarrassingly wrong thing that person said, but this sounds like a person making an effort. Not someone trying to belittle or demean. Gooch's response was to belittle and embarrass and bemoan on Twitter. He said it was to educate the masses that we still have work to do. Well, Gooch was presented with an opportunity to educate one person. Instead, he chose to make that one person look bad publicly and in the process somehow cast that one person's questionable mindset on the whole of Kansas.

And then someone asked Gooch, why does Obama hate white people so much? Stupid question, of course, but not necessarily racist, anymore than someone asking why does Ben Carson hate Muslims so much. Whether it was racist depends completely on whether the statement was based on the color of Obama's skin or his policies. 

In my mind, a better question would be: Why does Obama hate blacks so much? That's not based on racism. That's based on statistics from the Census Bureau. Like this:

• The poverty rate among American blacks has increased sharply during Obama's time in office, from 12 percent in 2008 to 16.1 percent in 2014.

• Median income for American blacks dropped 10.9 percent in black households. (It only dropped 3.6 percent in white households).

• In education, blacks are falling further behind their white counterparts under Obama's leadership. The average gap in fourth-grade math scores increased by 40 points!! since Obama took office.

Kerry had the opportunity to touch individual hearts and minds at the Kansas State Fair. Instead, he opted to rub peoples' noses in it. 

It's a disappointing choice -- not just because that seems to be ALL the Democrats do -- but also, because I want Kansas and Kansans to be the best they can be. Some of those people may have benefited from a heart-to-heart with Gooch. But he chose to flash it all over Twitter and therefore Kansas newspapers, painting my beloved Live and Let Live State as a racist corner of the world. Some of Gooch's reaction was likely based on youth as much as his political affiliation. Here's hoping he's wiser next time.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Shocker. Star editorial misses the point

This is going to come as a surprise, so before you read this, please make sure you're sitting down. Here goes: The Star is suggesting in an editorial that Kansas public schools are destitute. School districts can barely keep the lights on, let alone pay staff or educate THE CHILDREN. The CHILDREN are suffering.

And Brownback is mean. Sniff. Sniff. He and his staff are lobbing "grenades" at the public school establishment. I drove by one local school building this morning, and all that remained where it once stood was a smoking hole in the ground -- such is the devastation wrought by Brownback and his war mongering staff. Just kidding. The school is still there. So is a brand new playground, and the local teachers are getting a pretty decent raise -- bigger than the one I received. (Mental note: Must work harder at pretending to be overworked and underpaid. Also, must hire a lobbyist to help make my case. Should lobby for summers off and a month at Christmas.)

Just in case you were worried about THE CHILDREN, I would like to make it clear that no weapons have actually been fired, launched or lobbed at any actual school buildings. Whew.

No, Brownback's war crime against school districts comes in the form of emails from a woman who was in college last week. "People who disagree with (Brownback's school funding) assessment stand a chance of getting blasted in a group email sent to Brownback supporters, by Melika Willoughby..." the Star bemoans.

I don't know how the Brownback team sleeps at night. Seriously I don't. They send "missives" in emails about "ever-litigating" school district attorneys. 

Oh for heaven's sakes. I've written about these spam emails before. They read like a college newspaper piece. I'm certain that bitter Star editorialists are the only people who read through the entire thing. They're too long, and honestly, too boring, despite the Star editorial board's claims that the spams are somehow weaponized.

The editorial says Brownback is also making the controversial suggestion that perhaps maybe, quite possibly, teachers should receive pay based on merit, rather than on how much they can receive by whining the loudest. I'm sorry. That's the least controversial thing in the history of the world. You know who else receives pay based on merit: ALMOST EVERY OTHER PROFESSION IN THE INDUSTRIALIZED WORLD. 

The editorial quotes some superintendent whining (shock, I know) that she has never experienced educators in Kansas "so undervalued by legislators and the governor."

I can't take it. The reverence with which the public is supposed to hold for teachers is just too much. If the governor suggests anything other than paying teachers what Chiefs players make, the Whining Whiners Who Whine complain that they're being "undervalued." Heaven forbid the market make some determination about an individual teacher's worth. They're all saints and we should bow before them. Kiss the ring. End of story. 

And then the Star rehashes an old supposed slight: getting rid of tenure. You know who else doesn't have perfect job security: ALMOST EVERY OTHER PROFESSION IN THE INDUSTRIALIZED WORLD. 

The editorial comes complete with a graph suggesting that despite additional public school funding, a smaller percentage of the funds is making its way into the classroom. You know who gets to decide what funds go where under the current block grant system? Your local school administrators and school boards. 

The Star's ire is not just ridiculous. It's misplaced. Shocker.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Eww, John Kasich

Well this is unfortunate. It appears John Kasich, Ohio Govenor and GOP Establishment Hack, has paid to be included in the Kansas Caucus on March 5.

 This is barf worthy. This probably means Kasich isn't going to drop out any time soon. His campaign paid $15,000 to be included in the caucus -- the first GOP campaign to do so. The Kansas Caucus is still almost six months away.

It's going to be hard to listen to the garbage that comes out of that stupid guy's face for another five-plus months. But it appears there's no way around it.


Don't KS Dems have something better to do?

GOP Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson is going to be in Kansas today for a small fundraiser, which is of course, driving the Kansas Democrats into a frenzy of stupid.

They've issued a press release blasting Carson for opposing a federal minimum wage increase and Medicaid expansion.

"Kansas doesn't need any more extremism," the Kansas Dem statement reads.

It's a pretty paltry attempt to tarnish a decent man, which I note, so far, no one has found a single bad thing to say about him. 

Some have said he's soft on the Second Amendment, but otherwise, by most all accounts, he's a decent, honorable man. Surely the Kansas Democrats have better things to do -- like cleaning up their own mess -- rather than blasting a good man for having the audacity to visit the Sunflower State.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Canfield dislikes God, err, Bibles, and Kobach

To the people who booed God, I'm sure someone carrying a Bible or talking about what's inside its pages at work is just short of a high crime. (Democrats are the party that booed God, after all.)

Now they've taken their show on the road. This time, it's one Courtney Canfield, who is suing the Kansas Secretary of State's Office because there are Christians who work there. And sometimes, they talk about being Christians, and other times, the Christians in the office pray and have Bible study. (Also, she was canned. She says it's for not attending Bible study, but it appears lots of people who didn't attend the Bible study continue to be employed in the office.)

Last Friday, the Secretary of State's office admitted that Bible studies did in fact take place there. Staff members were not required to attend or take part. 

In a sane world, that would be enough. But that's not the world we live in. We live in the world of the perpetually offended Whining Whiners Who Whine™ and they would like to see all Bibles burned and practicing Christians put into re-education camps.

Americans for Separation of Church and State is not impressed. Vickie Stangle, president of the local chapter, told an Associated Press reporter that Bible studies in the workplace cross the line.

"I look at these places as places we are conducting business, and they are not supposed to be houses of worship, and yet it seems to be happening more and more under the guise of so-called religious freedom," she said.

I have to wonder if she would be half as upset if the Secretary of State's Office offered to take a few bucks a month out of its staff paychecks to give to the United Way in exchange for allowing blue jean Friday. Would that be just as offensive or coercive? (Wait. I know this one. Answer, yes, but no one cares because the United Way gives money to Planned Parentood, so it's totally fine.) Or what if office staff organized a golf outing? Is that a lawsuit waiting to happen since I don't golf? (And the one time I did, I was a real embarrassment.)

Stangle said the practice of being Christian in public creates the perception that government is promoting and endorsing religion and that employees feel peer pressure to participate even if they are not required. To which I say, if state employees haven't grown up enough to not be peer pressured, that's their problem. 

I have felt subtle peer pressure to give to United Way. Fridays are awkward when everyone else is in jeans and I'm dressed like a professional. And when someone asks me why I don't give to United Way, I simply tell them. No harm. No foul. 

But let's be honest about this Canfield lawsuit. It's one of three things: Bitterness about being fired, or just another attempt to embarrass the Secretary of State's office, or a combination of the two.

As I wrote previously, I can't imagine Canfield winning anything but 15 minutes of fame with this lawsuit.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Dems have hate-on for Kobach

The Kansas Dems are seeking "disenfranchised" voters to fill the voter rolls, according to Kerry Gooch, the Kansas Democrat Executive Director. (And I'll just leave this little note here, while we're on the topic. Gooch is a young black man that the Democrats are paying approximately half of what they paid the last KS Dem Executive Director. Make of that what you will.)

Gooch announced in a release that the Dems are "launching a grassroots effort to counter Kobach's attack."

By "Kobach's attack" I think they mean Secretary of State Kris Kobach's effort to ensure that all of the voters on Kansas' rolls are U.S. citizens. According to the fundraising release, the Dems are implementing a statewide plan to register more voters than ever before.

Um. No conservative* is going to have a problem with that in the least -- assuming all of these un-registered people are eligible to vote in our elections in the first place. 

The Kansas Dems really have a hate-on for the Secretary of State. I suspect it's jealousy. He's handsome, well-spoken, conservative, educated, electable, passionate and smart.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
(Dems, let me help you! You, too, can be like Kobach. Start by getting a haircut.)

Color me surprised that the Dems hope to find some non-citizens to cast ballots in the next election.

 * I may be the one exception to that. If you're too stupid or busy to register to vote, you're probably too vapid or self-involved to understand or follow the issues. Those types are doing the right thing by leaving the messy business of voting to the adults.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Clowns plop tent at Kobach's feet

It's always a clown show with these people. (And it's not even GOOD clowns -- It's always the bad scary kind.) They can't just go and ask questions and have a respectful conversation.

Always, always clowns. Always.

I speak, of course, of liberals everywhere. Perhaps nowhere is this side show phenomenon more evident than on college campuses.

The clowns brought their side show to the University of Kansas Law School where Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a former law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Mark Johnson, KU law professor, debated voter ID.

I love the idea of this event -- two smart people present their evidence to an audience of bright, open-minded folks who are willing to listen to the debate. 

But that's not what happened. The liberal Kris Kobach detractors arrived with signs created by some third graders. The libs made desperate pleas for attention and as you can see from the photo below, the cameras tuned to their desperation.

Notice the sane people attempting to watch the debate.

This is par for the course. Wherever Dems are rallied to a cause, they turn it into a drum circle of weird and inappropriate. See Occupy Wall Street. Or see Melissa Harris Perry, wearing tampons on her head.

A liberal pundit. Wearing tampons. Because ovaries or something.
And then locally, we have these people, Women for Kansas.

This is my favorite picture ever.
Can we please stop pretending these folks are to be taken seriously? Seriously.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Deserved honor? I'm not there on Eisenhower. Sorry

What has two thumbs and is about to post something politically incorrect? This girl.

I know I'm not supposed to say this, but why does former President Dwight D. Eisenhower deserve a monument in Washington, D.C.? 

There's a whole host of really likeable pleasant people, including Sen. Pat Roberts and Rep. Todd Tiahrt as well as other Kansans, like backstabber Nancy Kassebaum and Sen. Bob Dole and the awesome and esteemed Gen. Dick Myers, working to build a national monument to the late President. There's even an executive staff working on this project. PEOPLE ARE BEING PAID (probably by donations, but still) to rally the troops in support of a monument to a guy who maybe doesn't quite meet the criteria for such an honor.

I feel terrible saying this, but I don't think we should be building monuments to just any former President. Just because Eisenhower is Kansas' favorite son and a former President and a revered General, I don't see how that translates into a place of honor beside Jefferson, Lincoln and Washington. 

I'm a horrible bad person, I know. But sincerely, what did Eisenhower do to deserve such a distinction?

This group of memorialists would like to create a four-acre park dedicated to showcasing Eisenhower's feats as the Supreme Allied Commander during World War II and his presidency.

Yes, Eisenhower helped defeat the greatest threat the world had ever known at that time. I have nothing but admiration for the things he did as a General during WWII. That said, if he's to be so honored, I would propose it makes more sense that he be somehow commemorated in a small way as part of the World War II veterans memorial rather than a monument and memorial in his name alone. As much as I esteem his service and his efforts, Eisenhower didn't win WWII on his own. 

I don't think we want to be mucking up the Capitol for every former President. All Kansans like Ike, this one included. But heaven forbid, every state decide their favorite son deserves a similar honor. Can you imagine if Georgians ever decided President Jimmy Carter was worthy of such a thing? Or worse, the people of Arkansas suddenly decide their guy is worthy.

Anyway, prepare yourselves Kansans. There's about to be an onslaught of public relations -- starting with a Bob Dole and Pat Roberts appearance on Greta VanSustern -- about how great Ike was. You may be wanting to jump on that bandwagon, but before you do, please, please consider exactly who and why and where we honor certain individuals with monuments. 

Maybe as this public relations wagon is wheeled out, I'll change my mind. I'm doing my best to keep it open, but for now, from where I sit, Eisenhower simply is not a Washington, a Jefferson or a Lincoln. 

The Orange one works for Jenkins

That's word from a Fair Tax rally Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins and Jerry Moran sponsored in Wichita last week. 

Jenkins is now apparently walking back a statement she made at the event. She told supporters, "I just want you all to know, I don't work for John Boehner. He works for me."
That's not a spray tan. It's liver damage.

I've long said that Jenkins being photographed next to that crying orange wasn't going to do her political career any favors.

And I think she knows it now, too. It's no secret in Kansas GOP circles that Jenkins isn't a Boehner fan boy. She once told a small gathering that she would not have voted for him for speaker had an alternative been offered well in advance of the first attempted coup.

There was a weak attempt to ouster Boehner from the speaker's job after the last election. It failed miserably. It was last minute, and even now, I'm having trouble coming up with the name put forward. The last-minute replacement candidate, old What's His Name, was not a good choice. 

Jenkins told people at the KS GOP Convention, shortly after Boehner was re-elected to the speakership, that she'd already promised her vote to Boehner by that time and had spent some time campaigning on his behalf for the role. Though it was a difficult vote that rankled her supporters, Jenkins said the alternative wasn't a realistic candidate and she'd already given her word. Someone asked why she hadn't decided to run for the job herself -- she said she'd already been running for Vice Chair.

I can almost, kind of, sort of live with it -- not that I have a whole lot of choice. I don't live in Jenkins' district.

Meanwhile, there are again attempts to remove John Boehner as Speaker of the House. Thank heavens. He's so embarrassing, and he's a drunk, and he (obviously) spends too much time in the tanning bed, and he's a cries all.of.the.time. Basically, he's everything a man shouldn't be. Barf.

I don't know that Jenkins' comment was accurate -- the idea that Boehner works for her -- but I am disappointed that she's walking it back. He's a tool, and his days are numbered.

Two days ago, reports surfaced that there's another attempt 
to ouster Boehner.  (This is on the heels of a million similar reports that surfaced off and on all summer long.)

And the not-so-well-kept secret rumor about Boehner's drinking is reaching a fever pitch.

As I wrote back in 2012, Jenkins should duck out of those photo ops with Boehner. I don't see how standing next to that guy as he drives the country off the fiscal precipice gets Jenkins anywhere but on fire at the bottom of a cliff.

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article33303969.html#storylink=cpyAs I said back in 2012, Jenkins should duck out of those photos with Boehner. I don't see how sitting next to that bawl baby orange guy as he drives off the fiscal cliff gets Jenkins anywhere but on fire at the bottom of a precipice. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

So John Brown's Ghost rides again

Update: This guy claims to be John Brown's Ghost.  If true, I never saw that one coming. Lives in Wichita. Apparently works on aircraft and likes community theater.

Back in 2013, the Topeka Capital Journal outed Tyler Longpine as the tweeter known as @JohnBrownsGhost.

Longpine was a staff member of then House Majority Minority Leader Paul Davis, and so he issued an apology for saying not-so-nice things on Twitter. As I said at the time, the anonymous John Brown's Ghost account had approximately a dozen followers, and as there are a total of 5 Democrats in Kansas, it wasn't all that surprising that the then-anonymous tweeter was the staff of a Kansas Democrat. Five Democrats -- approximately 6 Democrat jobs in the state. You do the math.

Anyway, after Longpine's apology, the Twitter account went dark until June 2015. It's back under new management. It continues to be snarky and anonymous. I am too lazy to do try to determine if it is in fact Tyler Longpine back again. (Check and direct it. Let's begin.)

I have a short list of who I think is now running the @JohnBrownsGhost account, assuming Longpine did give up the ghost.

Longpine now serves as the state legislative director for the Teamsters. My short list includes: Levi Henry and Aaron Estabrook. (Suspects dwindling based on Twitter refutes.) Colin Curtis was also on my list until I learned he'd moved to Maryland. (Update: For what it's worth: @LeviHenry calls my suspicion, "stupidity," which is totally possible, I guess.)

For what it's worth, I don't really care who is running the account. Twitter is pretty useless for political discourse or turning the herd. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Brownback Administration confuses... Again

You can lead a Governor to common sense, but you can’t make him partake. 

I've tried. (They kind of listened.) But seriously, before issuing that next press release, phone a friend. 


I don’t mean to pile on Gov. Sam Brownback. He takes enough heat without little ol’ Gidget adding to it. And yet, it’s so hard to watch the bumbling and just stay quiet.

I want to help. Really, I do.

So, last week, in a typical end-of-the-month bungling, the revenue department announced that revenues again fell short of expectations. This is becoming a monthly event. The press office issues an excuse. The media wails. School children starve. The Whining Whiners Who Whine™ whine. Morons post stupid things on Facebook. Rinse. Cycle. Repeat.

This month, sales tax receipts grew by 3.9 percent, but were $3.2 million short of expectations.

First, it’s as if no one in the Brownback Administration – budget office – has ever worked in the service industry. Anyone who has ever worked as hostess in a restaurant can tell you: Under promise and over deliver. Who is making these terrible, inaccurate budget predictions and why? Are we really stunned every single month?

This time, the excuse is that the state paid out $22.3 million in unanticipated refunds in August. Why weren’t they anticipated? Truly, this is confusing to me.

My suspicion is that when it’s time to draft a budget, legislators are terrified of being reasonable. By that, I mean, they feel obligated to budget more money than they take in. I don’t get it.

It’s also worth noting that despite the claims that Kansas is just completely broke – we are still taking in more money month over month than we did last year. Revenues just aren’t meeting expectations.

Basically, we over budgeted.   

And by we, I mean the legislature over budgeted. I’m not going to talk down to my brilliant audience by indicating that the legislature did this without Brownback’s permission. Still, why didn’t the Brownback Administration focus on the fact that month-over-month revenues are higher this year than last year. Why do they always lead with… welp, we’re short. 


Are they actively seeking throat punches from Kansas City Star editorial writers?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Dude doesn't even look like a lady

Shouldn't the adults step in and shut this insanity down?

I can't even believe anyone is even entertaining this clown show: So a young dude has decided to start wearing a dress and a wig and demanding to be allowed to use the high school girls locker room.

Somehow, this school district is having a conversation about it. Um. There's not discussion. I don't care how what the kid's lawyers say. Lila -- who was probably not given that name at birth -- has a penis that he apparently wants to flop around in the girls locker room. 

I'm sorry. I can't call Lila a 'she' or a 'ze' until his biological appendage marking him as a man is removed. I'm sorry. At some point we have to draw a line, and well, that's where I'm drawing it. If I was in Lila's presence, out of politeness, I would refer to him as "she." Although it somewhat offends my sensibilities, I believe in civility. Lila apparently does not, however. The school made reasonable accommodations to deal with Lila's madness -- they were allowing Lila to use a private locker room. But that wasn't good enough. Everyone must offer complete buy-in to Lila's crazy.

Lila is the one in the wrong here. Completely. 100 percent. Even if she really actually was "born in the wrong body." Sometimes, you make accommodations for others, especially when you're outnumbered. Here's a small example: Sometimes I feel like using curse words, and in my own home, if I drop a hammer on my foot, I will swear. However, I do my best not to drop 'F' bombs in polite company, even when I want to. It's called being considerate and well, lady like. Lila should give it a try by using the private changing room provided to her.

I do not understand it. Seriously, I do not. Wear a dress. Wear a wig. Change your name, but do not expect the rest of the world not to notice the emperor is naked. Do not. Until Lila has a surgery, he should not be allowed in the girls locker room. He has a penis (and XY chromosomes). It's not a crazy standard to require that the people using the girls locker room not have one.

It is not bigotry or rude of parents or teenage girls themselves to not want a penis flopping around the girls locker room. Sorry for the crude visual, but that's the least crude way I can come up with to describe it.

By the way, this insanity isn't limited to Missouri. Dudes in dresses are using the girls bathrooms at Olathe East, and the school board recently drafted a transgender bathroom policy. (Bathrooms are a little different than locker rooms. I wouldn't be happy about my teenage daughter sharing a bathroom with a teenage boy in a dress, but I could probably live with it. The locker room is another story, however.)

I swear sanity has taken the last bus out of town. Just because you "feel" like a woman, that doesn't make you one. No one should have to explain this, but apparently that's where we're at. A dude in a dress is no more a woman than I am a man, because I'm wearing pants. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

George Hansen has relations

There are days, bad, dark days, when I wonder where Gov. Sam Brownback gets his counsel. 

Who nominates a person for a high-ranking cabinet job without doing ANY vetting? 

I speak of George Hansen withdrawing his name for consideration for the post of Kansas Secretary of Commerce. One day before his confirmation hearing, Hansen summarily withdrew from consideration.

I don't even...

Hansen said he was withdrawing because of a family member's conflict of interest. I'll be honest: I'm not totally buying this story. (There are dead puppies or a sex scandal or something somewhere. I mean, normal people don't just drop out because they have relatives, right?)

But OK. We'll go there. This is complete conjecture on my part -- I don't really have any insider-y type knowledge, but I have Google, and actually what I'm NOT finding is making me suspicious.

Anyway, if Hansen's stated reason for withdrawing is accurate, I believe it's related to a relative who is an attorney for Polsinelli active in economic development. This attorney has assisted in several major Kansas projects including Sporting KC Park, Cerner's campus, Legends and Hollywood Casino. Hansen and this attorney do not appear to be friends on Facebook, yet I'm 99 percent certain they're related. That's weird, kids. Really strange.

Obviously, the Commerce Secretary has an interest in economic development issues within the state of Kansas. I'm not sure how this connection causes political heartburn. Kansas is a sparsely populated state. The politically connected are an incestuous group. 

I suspect the real problem isn't as Hansen put it that: "The Governor needs a full-time Secretary of Commerce not one who would have to recuse himself continuously to avoid perceptions of a conflict of interest."  

The more immediate challenge may be a casino that is suing the state -- Castle Rock Casino. I won't bore you with particulars, but a few years ago, the mob boss that is the state of Kansas agreed to allow four non-tribal casinos to operate within its borders in exchange for a hefty 22 percent of the profits. (DON'T GET ME STARTED. Puke.) Kansas granted Hollywood Casino -- for which Hansen's relative worked -- and three others the opportunity to build and operate in Kansas. 

Castle Rock announced it was suing Kansas in early August. Approximately two weeks later, Gov. Brownback nominated Hansen to replace Pat George as Commerce Secretary. With his hearing a day away, Hansen withdrew.

There's a lot about this story that troubles me greatly. This is hardly the first time Brownback has nominated someone without appropriate vetting. 

Recall the embarrassing appointment and resignation shortly thereafter of Phil Hermanson. Hermanson was appointed as the state's Medicaid inspector general, but resigned after a few months when a DUI conviction, campaign finance violations, a business bankruptcy and personal financial troubles came to light. I don't know how no one in the Brownback administration knows about any of those things before the appointment is even suggested. But sometimes, I wonder if the people advising Brownback know any other actual humans. (For what it's worth, state officials promised a better vetting process the next time. Yeah right. Also, depending on the nature and timing of those less-than-stellar things in Hermanson's background, I'm not certain they should be deal breakers. But it's definitely a deal breaker if Hermanson never mentions it.) 


And then there's the other side of the coin: Many Brownback appointees require Senate confirmation. Seems like the administration would ask around and make sure nothing is going to happen to gunk up the works. Republicans hold a majority in the Senate, so kind of asking around shouldn't be yeoman's work. But it's work the Brownback administration appears not to do.

Recall the Strange Case of Laura McConwell and the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission appointment. A narrow majority of the Senate mothballed the appointment. They had problems with the former Mission Mayor's driveway tax, which I did, too. Not sure why that would make her incapable of serving on the gaming commission, but I am also not real clear how being the mayor of Mission (or managing to get elected period) makes anyone capable of running a department, but that's the process we've got.

Hermanson resigned after only a few months on the job when questions were raised about his suitability for the oversight position given that his background includes a DUI conviction, campaign finance violations, a business bankruptcy and personal financial problems. - See more at: http://www.khi.org/news/article/more-formal-vetting-process-be-used-selecting-new-#sthash.jCO5Bkec.dpuf
So just how hard is it to have a Brownback intern ask Hansen who his relatives are and whether there might be conflicts of interest? I ask people off the street stuff like that all of the time, and I'm not offering them posh cabinet positions. I'm just nosy.

A full background check can take weeks or even months, but that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about a quick conversation in a coffee shop about potential conflicts or a few short chats in the hallway to find out if the Senate is likely to confirm. Does this not happen in the Brownback administration?

Whatever the actual reason for Hansen's withdrawal, we can definitely add another thing to the list of baffling Brownback Setbacks.

Bias! From a reporter! In the Cap-J! About PP!

I realize I should comment on the content of this article from the Topeka newspaper, but I just can't get past the subtle and inappropriate bias. (Just in case you're wondering how I feel about the issue of abortion: unapologetically pro life.)

Yes, abortion is an emotionally-charged topic. On one side, you have people who recognize that an aborted fetus (their word -- not mine) is a living human being, and that to kill it is an assault on human life and human dignity. And on the other, you have a lot of damaged people, who can't allow their consciences to recognize that fact.

And into that, news organizations must drop unaborted humans to do the reporting. In this case, human allowed to breach the birth canal, Justin Wingerter writes about a letter from the Kansas Democrats, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas (you know what's a civil liberty? Being allowed to be born.), Equality Kansas and "more than a dozen other groups" to Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas congressional delegation. The letter defends the "women's health care provider." 

Can we STOP calling "abortion" health care? Please. That's like calling an elective boob job "health care." Come on. 

Frequent "health care" recipients

It's funny that these DOZENS of groups, probably with the same five members, sent a letter rather than a protest. Five people at a protest just isn't that persuasive.

Seven people show their support for PP in July.

Anyway, to report about abortion without bias, is probably a nearly impossible task. I have a heart for helping, so I'm going to help Cap J editors for next time. Americans deserve the real, unblemished truth, but they're certainly not getting it from traditional news sources. Well, never fear friends, I'm here to help.

Justin's story starts like this: 

After a bruising two months in which it faced a request for an investigation by Gov. Sam Brownback and repeated calls to cut its funding in Congress, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri retorted this week with assistance from the Kansas Democratic Party and liberal allies in the state.

Why, Justin? Why is Planned Parenthood having a grueling two months? Did Gov. Brownback just wake up a few months ago and decide to make mean comments about PP? 

You won't find the reason until the third paragraph. In that paragraph, Justin tells us about some videos "purporting to show Planned Parenthood executives profiting from the sale of fetal tissue."

Clearly, our Justin hasn't watched any of the videos. If he had, he would realize that's the least of the disgusting things in them. There's the part about intact fetuses babies falling out and being shipped like car parts (I don't really care who or if anyone made money on the transaction. Hint: They did, legal or otherwise.) Or the part where a "tissue procurement specialist" sifts through body parts and declares, "It's another boy!" as if she recognizes that she's not sifting through blobs, she's sifting through a human. There's the woman talking about slicing through the head of a fetus baby while his heart continues to beat. 

If nothing else, the sheer inhumanity of the people on the video is revolting and disturbing.

Justin doesn't bother describing anything that occurs in the videos, but he writes "Kansas conservatives, however, have offered no indication that they plan to squelch their rhetoric."

First, it's completely disingenuous to suggest that conservatives are the only people who have a problem with Planned Parenthood and its trafficking of human body parts (legal or otherwise).

Liberals of conscience, if such a thing exists, should be offended. At one time, it was actually possible to be pro life AND a liberal. Abortion didn't become a holy sacrament of the Democrat left until sometime in the '90s. (And then somewhere around that time, Al Gore and Rev. Jesse Jackson and a number of other D officials renounced their belief in the sanctity of human life.)

Justin repeats the fallacy that PP didn't use any of the $528 million it received in government funding last year on abortions. I don't know how dumb Justin thinks he is, but government funding for PP's valuable services like handing out pamphlets about mammograms subsidizes its actual business: providing abortions. Anyone who doesn't understand the financial concept -- money in the left hand pocket allowing space for a hand or money in the right hand pocket -- probably needs to take another basic math class.

And then for no reason at all, Justin drags up a legal battle that ended in 2012 in which KS and MO PP maintained proper paperwork on childhood rapes. The charges were eventually dropped. I am confused why this merited a mention, but Kermit Gosnell's clinic and trial did not. Both court cases seem just as relevant to Justin's topic.

He also mentions that a "Washington, D.C.-based" research firm, hired by Planned Parenthood determined that the videos were edited. I don't even... I wonder how much taxpayers paid for that. 

Almost every act of mainstream journalism these days is an act of brutal liberal bias. Justin and the Cap J editors should be embarrassed. I can almost guarantee you they are not. (And if they can't feel any amount of shame in that story, I have to ask, once again, why they can't find any womyn to write these stories. I thought people with ovaries were they only types who could understand these complicated issues.)