Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Kansas- Brownback not worried about $ shortfalls

 
The “what—me worry?” kid, AKA Governor Sam Brownback, has probably heard that Kansas is about to have to deal with looming revenue shortfalls. During the elections he said “the sun is shining in Kansas” and most commentators are implying that he has foolishly created this mess and ignored it at the same time.
The revenue shorts have risen to about $700 million. If Brownback does what he usually does, as he has done now for most of his four years in office, he will cut education and social services to the poor, disabled and elderly. Hiss wealthy buddies, such as the Koch Brothers, can rest assured he will not raise their taxes.
Brownback only won the election by 50 percent, with the rest of the votes split between Democratic challenger Paul Davis and a libertarian candidate Keen A. Umbehr. So far he has shown no sign he will be more cautious of his right-wing revolution. He seems in no mood to worry about the 50 percent of voters who voted against him. His only concern is his Tea Party backers who poured campaign money into his re-election.
As someone who presently works in the Wichita School System as a Substitute Teacher, I have seen firsthand the damage he has done to our schools—larger classes, shortages of equipment and supplies, teachers being fired and classes being cut. This generation is getting ripped off of having the decent education their parents had.
I have a friend who had to quit working and go on government disabilities' and he is terrified that he will have his income cut and he will end up in a homeless shelter. I would say that his fears are justified.
He is destroying our schools and possibly pushing poor people into homeless shelters and the worst part is he just doesn't seem to care.

 

Bonita Gooch speaks at the Peace & Social Justice Center Annual Dinner

The Peace and Social Justice Center has been around for years. On Friday December 5, 6pm, at Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church,
655 S. Lorraine Ave, close living residence can come to the annual meeting. 
     This is our 22nd Annual Dinner with speaker, Bonita Gooch, editor and publisher of The Community Voice, the newspaper and heart of Wichita’s Northeast Community. Bonita will speak about police/community issues before and after the protests in Ferguson, MO, that followed the police shooting of Michael Brown in August, 2014.
      Tickets are $20 includes a delicious Mediterranean dinner. Please call 316-263-5886 or email admin@wichitapeace.org to RSVP. Seating is limited. You can reserve your place at www.wichitapeace.org, donate $20 for each and post a message.

 

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Pompeo and Schuckman—an uncontested election contest



Since Kansas is a red state many of its races in the general elections are non events. That is to say that most of the Democratic challengers are unknown personalities without state-wide name recognition. The Democratic Party puts up these candidates as token efforts with no financial support. They are strictly providing a token alternative to the Republican incumbents.
In the 4th district for the US House of Representatives the Democrats put up Perry Schuckman to run against incumbent Mike Pompeo. To date I haven’t seen a single campaign commercial for Schuckman on TV or in the newspapers. I doubt if most people could name the Democratic candidate much less give an opinion of him. For that matter I haven’t seen a single commercial for Pompeo. In his arrogance Pompeo has decided he will automatically win the race so there is no need to spend money campaigning. He just assumes that he will win since he has the name recognition that comes from being an incumbent. At the same time he can bet that most of his constituents would not vote for a Democrat anyway. They are especially not likey to vote for one that has no name recognition at all. Pompeo saves money by not campaigning.
Pompeo does have his mailings that he sends out to constituents. I receive them myself. In his last two he wrote about national security, with absolutely no facts or actual debating points:
This week, I spent a fair amount of time working to ensure that Kansans are safe from radical Islamic terror--by voting to take action against radical Islamic terrorists and by participating in the first open hearing of the Benghazi Committee--but we've also made major headway in passing policies that improve Kansans' lives.
He then went right to a Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act. His taking part in the Benghazi Committee is purely political. That committee only looks for proof that President Barack Obama is somehow negligent in the attack on the Libyan Embassy on September 11, 2012. It has nothing to do with making Americans safer.
Pompeo doesn’t mention his election campaign anywhere in these mailings. He seems to act as if there really is no election or he has no real opponent.
This brings up the question of why the Democratic Party puts up candidates if they aren’t going to actively support them. I know from taking to other Democratic candidates that they like to have a candidate in all elections. But once signed up they only support the candidates who can develop name recognition and raise money. Their treatment of candidates as Schuckman are just plain unfair. Schuckman might have had a real chance if he had a good campaign with some money behind him. But his run for office is just a waste. Only a few hard core Democrats know anything about him. To allow a half assed campaign as this one only allows other Democrats to waist valuable time on this campaign when they could be working on a campaign that has a chance of winning.
This is a case of neither political party being fare to the voters of Kansas. The Republicans treat the race with arrogance that shows disrespect for the voters and the Democrats are cheating their constituents out of a real contested election.

Brownback gets endorsements ... from famous assholes

From F5 (Wichita)

After alarming polls drove home the fact that Governor Sam Brownback is in severe danger of losing his office to Rep. Paul Davis* in the coming election, the Brownback campaign picked up some big endorsements this week. Irrelevant political dancing monkeys, such as failed reality-show star Sarah Palin, traveled to Kansas and offered condescendingly faux-homespun folksiness in hopes of throwing a lifeline to the drowning incumbent. Inspired by Palin's endorsement, several other public figures who have nothing to do with Kansas have come forward in support of Governor Samhain Azmodeus Brownback.
Famous-for-some-reason domestic abuser Chris Brown took a break from his tour to stump for Brownback in Cheney, saying, "A vote for Sam is a vote for good, old fashioned common sense. I'm confident he can beat Davis, just as I have beaten so many."
O.J. Simpson also offered his opinion on the race, releasing a statement from his cell in Nevada's Lovelock Correctional Center. "Sam Brownback is a good man, a powerful leader who can take that budget deficit he created and strangle it, stab it, simply murder it until it is dead," inmate No. 1027820 wrote. "I wholeheartedly endorse his candidacy; a vote for him is surely a vote for my innocence, as well."
North Korean Glorious Leader Kim Jong Un stopped to speak with the press in Topeka on the lawn outside the governor's mansion after his weekly tea, stating that "Voting is a silly construct. It offers nothing but foolish hope to naive peasants. That said, if you are going to allow them to vote, they must vote for their glorious leader or be punished. No dissent can be tolerated."
Hollywood lent its voice as Mel Gibson and Joel Schumacher (director of Batman & Robin) held a press conference in Mullinville to rally for the governor and, apparently, against entrenched Zionist control of Hollywood.


For the rest click here.

Orman campaign shows support for independent candidates



Most independent candidates don’t have a snowballs chance of winning elections. But Greg Orman has money to spend on advertizing and that has made his campaign a game changer. The entire nation has noticed his campaign and if he wins it may stop or slow down the Republican’s push to take over the US Senate after this fall’s elections.
Republicans want to paint Orman as a Democrat hiding as an independent, but from his ads he may really be tired of the two parties. For many of us that make him a real attractive candidate. I am tired of the two-party shell game and tired of the ridiculous monopoly they have on the whole two-party system. In fact I strongly oppose the idea of a two party system. It is like declaring that a vehicle, no matter what kind, can only have four wheels.
A recent Gallup poll shows that 
58 percent of the American people are tired of just having two choices and they want a third choice. They feel the two parties we have are doing a terrible job. I agree completely with them. Not only do I feel we have a right to some real choices I think the Democratic Party which I used to support, years ago, no longer represents the people it has claimed to for years. It has tried to move to the right as the Republicans have lunged to the right and there is no longer any American left in today’s political spectrum.
I have no illusions that Orman will reopen the US left. I’m sure he plans to try and stay in the political center as most independent candidates have done. But as with Jesse Ventura, former Governor of Minnesota, and US Senator from Vermont, 
Bernie Sanders, this is one more opportunity to jettison the outdated, stale and just plain undemocratic two party system.
As for the established parties, Kansas Democrats are fighting the court system to not run a candidate in that senate race, for hopes that Orman will stop the Republicans from taking the senate. The Republicans, with their candidate Pat Roberts, 
have brought out the big guns, a parade of nationally known Republicans, such as Texas Governor Rick Perry, Sarah Palin and endorsements from former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Polls are showing that Orman might actually win, with the race being too close to call.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Health care important in an early election debate

From Wichita Peace and Freedom Party Examiner:

Health care was among the issues discussed at a debate held by the League of Women Voters, St Andrews Lutheran Church in Wichita, Wednesday Evening. As with so many races around the country, Republicans have made an issue of Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Most Republicans have ridiculed the act or treated it as a disaster.
The debate was between Democrat John Carmichael and Republican Jeremy Alessi for Kansas State Representative in the 92nd district. 
“We’ve paid for Obamacare,” Carmichael said. “Yet (Sam) Brownback sent all the money for it back. We paid for it, but we didn’t get any benefits for it.”


Carmichael was talking about a $ 31 million Early Innovator Grant made available to the State of Kansas under the new federal health care law. Brownback sent the money back complaining that he didn’t want any federal “strings attached” to federal dollars for the Affordable health Care act which he had no intentions of using or implementing.
Alessi said he had his own plan for dealing with the uninsured here in Kansas.


“Once I’m in office, I will see what is there,” he said. “I won’t leave people out in the rain.”
Carmichael also criticized Brownback for not expanding Medicaid as President Barack Obama has encouraged state governors or legislators to do. He said that Brownback’s KanCare program was a failure with payments being late and some people not getting the health services they need.
“Now he wants to control of Medicare,” Carmichael said. “He’s proven he can’t take care of Medicaid.”
In other health care related topics Alessi made it clear he was pro-life. Carmichael said he favored safe and legal abortions, especially in the case of rape and incest. Carmichael criticized Alessi for getting support from Troy Newman and Operation Rescue.
“They employ Cheryl Sullenger, a convicted clinic bomber,” Carmichael said.
“I do not support using violence,” Alessi said.
When discussing the environment, Alessi said he wanted to use dredging in lake reservoirs, while Carmichael said he didn’t think dredging the reservoirs would work. He also opposed the idea of dredging in streams.
Alessi had the disadvantage of having a mostly liberal audience and at times he seemed as if he was evading answers for some of the questions. For the most part the two candidates spoke along party lines on the issues, including Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s new voting laws which Carmichael compared to “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.”

Friday, August 08, 2014

Paul Davis is not Sam Brownback

From F5:
August 7, 2014
As the Kansas gubernatorial race heats up in advance of the unelection of Gov. Sam Brownback, Sen. Paul Davis' popularity has risen dramatically since his campaign adopted the slogan, "Hey! I'm not Sam Brownback," which leads voters to believe that Davis is not, in fact, Gov. Sam Brownback.
"We made a strong effort to build support based on our stance on important social and economic issues," said Clayton Endicott III, a Davis representative. "In modern media it's important to have a platform that can be stated in 140 characters or less. 'Hey! I'm not Sam Brownback' has very few characters and leaves a lot of room per tweet for all of this hashtag this hashtag that hullabaloo so enjoyed by youth today."
Davis has spent years garnering grassroots support, building his campaign war chest through thousands of small, individual donations from actual voters. Brownback's campaign, on the other hand, owes its financial condition to a small number of large donations from wealthy individual and corporate donors. Now, through a series of targeted ads and emails, Davis' PR has taken a huge leap forward with the release of a number of simple statements which seem to clarify the only message people need to hear.
"People hear that he is not Sam Brownback, and they really respond to that idea. We're also trying to communicate our, 'The Economy Should Be Better,' and 'The Opposite Of What He Said,' agendas, with the 'he' meaning the current governor, Sam Brownback."
Brownback recently made history by having a historic number of high-profile members of his own party express support for his opponent, so the message seems to be getting through. While many other potential candidates are also not Brownback, Davis' team of political spin doctors were first to capitalize on the fact and assert that Davis is at least 2.5% less Brownback than anyone else who has considered running.
A recent poll by F5 and The National Association of Responsible Zookeepers puts Davis ahead of Brownback by at least 73% amongst eligible voters who are aware that Davis is not Brownback and by a comfortable margin amongst other voters.
Mr. Endicott, III, confidently explained the new approach in a historical perspective. "Davis' candidacy would likely be strong in any given election year. During most elections, however, there would be far less significance to his not being Sam Brownback. Were he running against a Mike Hayden or a Richard Simmons, not being Sam Brownback would be beneficial but of limited significance. We are fortunate to be running at this moment in history, when not being Sam Brownback is probably the single most important issue in getting elected."
"I just assumed Paul Davis was, in some form, Sam Brownback," explained Dr. Biff Tannen, a Derby pediatrician. "Knowing that he is a different person certainly makes the choice a great deal easier."
Some reports have appeared online that call into question the veracity of Davis' non-Brownbackism, with some pundits claiming that Davis is, in fact, simply a sophisticated android being operated remotely by the governor. These reports were widely dismissed, due to the fact that, if Kansas had access to that sort of advanced technology, the state's economy would less resemble a Mad Max film.


For the rest click here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Suburbs may die out –like a ponzi scheme

I have had lots of problems with overdevelopment in the town of Maize where I live. The area is being overdeveloped, gentrified and any kind of nature, plant or animal, is being wiped of the map. The quality of life in this town has gone down since I moved here almost 20 years ago.  Here is a story that agrees that suburbs need to go. Most leaders in Kansas are slow to learn from these kind of mistakes, but I will post this anyway.
- សតិវ អតុ

From Time: 

If you looked up “Minnesota nice” in the dictionary you might see a picture of Charles Marohn. Affable and mild-mannered, Marohn, who goes by Chuck, grew up the eldest of three sons of two elementary school teachers on a small farm near Brainerd, the central Minnesota city best known as the backdrop for the movie Fargo. Marohn (pronounced “mer-OWN”) graduated from Brainerd High School, entered the National Guard on his seventeenth birthday, and went on to study civil engineering at the University of Minnesota. He now lives with his wife, two daughters, and two Samoyeds in East Gull Lake, a small city north of Brainerd. Marohn, forty, likes the Minnesota Twins, reads voraciously, and is a proud Republican. He’s the friendliest guy you’re likely to meet. He’s also a revolutionary who’s trying to upend the suburbs as we know them.
After graduating from college, Marohn went to work as a municipal engineer in his hometown and spent several years working with the small towns around the greater Brainerd area, putting projects together that would build roads, pipes, storm drains, and all kinds of infrastructure. It was the mid-1990s, the area was booming, and Marohn was laying down the systems that helped the area grow. “I built sprawl,” he now says.
Often his work required him to knock on the doors of residents, many of whom he knew from growing up, and tell them about changes that might impact their property. In order to make the town’s roads safer, he would explain, engineers were going to have to widen the road in front of their house or cut down a tree in their yard. When his neighbors would get upset and ask why or try to protest—the roads were hardly trafficked at all, and sparse enough to almost be rural, they would point out—he’d explain that the town was required to make these changes in order to comply with the book of engineering standards to which it had to adhere. The code, put in place by the town but derived from state and national standards, dictated that roads must have an ample “recovery zone,” or a wide berth to accommodate cars that veer off the road, and that drivers have improved “sight distance,” the distance a driver needs to be able to see in order to have enough room to be able to react before colliding with some- thing in the roadway. When residents pointed out that the recovery zone was also their yard, and that their kids played kick ball and hopscotch there, Marohn recommended they put up a fence, so long as it was outside the right-of-way. He was sorry, he told them, but the standards required it. The trees were removed, the roads widened, the asphalt paved and repaved. “I never stepped back from my own assumptions to consider that I wasn’t making anything safer,” Marohn says. “In reality, I was making their street more dangerous, and in the process, I was not only taking out their trees, I was pretending I knew more than them.”

For the rest click here.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Petition to stop the Tea Party

For those who are tired to the stupidity of the Republican Party—this article is for those who want to sign a petition:
-Otto


Speaker Boehner is taking his partisan games to the next level and suing the president over health care reform!!

That's insane –Boehner can clearly no longer lead Congress and instead is going to resort to political stunts and attacking the president –we've got to fight back.

Click here and add your name to stand with the President
The Tea Party (formerly the Grand Old Party) is putting commonsense aside to do everything in their power to attack the president these next two years and trying stop all the progress we've made. Even the laughable Sarah Palin has gotten in the mix, and she's called for the president to be impeached!!

Stop the Tea Party



Thursday, July 10, 2014

Wichita protesters respond to the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court ruling


In Wichita, as well as across the country, protesters have taken on Hobby Lobby since their victory handed down from the U.S. Supreme Court this week. The court ruled that Hobby Lobby does not have to pay for their employee’s birth control, because of their religious beliefs. People marched in front of the Hobby Lobby at Ridge and Central, here in Wichita.
“They (Supreme Court) really did overreach,” said Jessica Nellis, one of about 20 protesters present at 1:30 in the afternoon. She said she was surprised when the ruling was announced. The protest was scheduled from 9:00am to 8:00pm, this Saturday.
“The Supreme Court left it opened to interpretation,” Nellis continued. “What if these people were Muslims and they didn’t want to hire non-Muslims?” 

Hobby Lobby will no longer have to pay for coverage of the two contraceptives (IUDs and Plan B) that they consider abortifacients, (reported by National Catholic Reporter).
The 5-4 ruling only applies to the federal mandate. State-mandated contraceptive coverage was not changed by the decision.
The court majority ruled that "persons" with religious beliefs protected by the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) include "closely-held" corporations -- those defined by the Internal Revenue Service as having 50 percent of their stock owned by five or fewer individuals. This means that if the federal government wants to force such corporations to do something contrary to their religious beliefs, then it has a series of legal hurdles to overcome.

Nellis, as with many people concerned about this action, plans to boycott Hobby Lobby.
“I used to shop here and now I don’t,” Nellis added. “It’s a shame. They have it wrong on IUDs (intrauterine device). If anything it gets rid of the need for an abortion to happen.”
This protest was organized by a few individuals using a Facebook page they created. Charli James was one of the protesters on hand who help organize the event. She said the turnout had been pretty good so far.
“We had one group of guys who showed up and got in our faces,” James said. “They didn’t think we were right. There were a few antagonists.”
She added that many other people who passed them had a positive attitude towards the protest.
“One guy showed up with a gun,” she added.
Someone took a picture of him and posted it on the Facebook page. James said he was vague as to where he stood on the issue.
“He said he was there to protect us,” she added.
That person wrote into Facebook and said his name was Sam McCrory. His presents at the rally and on Facebook sparked heated discussion. Otherwise the protest went peaceful the rest of the day.