Tuesday, 6/4/13, Public Square



by | June 4, 2013 · 6:00 am

30 responses to “Tuesday, 6/4/13, Public Square

  1. I was just reading up on the raise of the Nazi party and Hitler in 1933 and it was that very subject that got them into total power. Germany was suffering from the Great Depression and record joblessness. It was the bringing in the programs that provided employment and in turn pay that enabled the NAZIS to gain ultimate and total power.

    The gambit for the Cons is for whom every brings about such job creation goes the winnings. . And control of the Government. Of course to their own desires and ends.

    • School me, rd — like you did years ago on neocons. Bring me some links and I’ll start learning and asking questions.

  2. I think it’s interesting that the report released yesterday by young republicans is being criticized and excused as something that should be ignored.

    The Republican Party can’t currently win at the national level and dismissing those who could be their future seems rather fool hardy. No amount of gerry mandering can fix their future problems so they’ll go from being irrelevant nationally to being totally irrelevant.

    There aren’t enough old white dudes and the few there are will die off, yet unless there is an admission of the problem it won’t be fixed.

    • Sad to say – but the truth hurts – a lot of those old white dudes have been kept alive and kicking due to the very thing these CONS hate the most – Medicare.

      A few years ago – the fastest growing population group was 85 yrs and older.

      And why do you think that is? Medicare does it’s job……..pays for health care for senior citizen..

      Consistent health care = longer lives


  3. And the results are in …

    (from the link): It should be noted that IPI is a participant in programs associated with the Charles Koch Institute and a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that provided guidelines for many laws considered in the Kansas legislature.

    In its glowing assessment, IPI didn’t mention the turmoil resulting from those changes in tax policy that paralyzed the state Legislature. The figures now coming out of Topeka may suggest that the governor and conservative lawmakers are not so much “reformers” as “redistributors” – ironically the kind of accusation usually flung at the Democratic Party for alleged efforts at wealth redistribution.

    As Brownback basked in the glow of those IPI accolades, critics opposing these recent tax policies were prompted to declare them so far off the track that lawmakers have to raise taxes in order to pay for lowering taxes, that the time has come to admit the mistake and fix it, or that supporters have become “flaming, wild-eyed radicals” – some of the remarks coming from members of the GOP.

    It is safe to assume that those pleased with the final outcome include organizational allies of ALEC such as IPI; the 190,000-plus individuals, LLCs and other entities whose Kansas income tax liability has been zeroed out; the state Chamber of Commerce; and the one percent in the top income bracket who stand to realize even more sizable reductions in their taxes over time.

    continue —

  4. I don’t often agree with Justice Scalia, but he is absolutely correct in this!

    Justice Scalia joined the minority. “Make no mistake about it: because of today’s decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason,” wrote Scalia.


  5. I’ve never wanted to question the stated religious beliefs of any person. I hear people state their Christianity and then behave or even just talk in ways that aren’t Christ-like and I rush to judgment instead of remembering we’re all human beings so I shouldn’t pretend to know their hearts.

    This writer, who professes to be a Christian, takes on a ‘group’ of people and argues they aren’t what they say they are. I think I’ve done the same thing the writer does — question how this group’s political beliefs can be so unChrist-like while they profess to be a person who is Christ-like. I don’t want to make those judgments but it sure is hard to reconcile the stated religious and political beliefs that I too find so totally contradictory. I say I’m not judging them, that its not my place, I state that I don’t answer for them and that it’s all between them and their God, but I’m not being honest with myself.

    Does it all come down to their belief that people should personally help the disadvantaged but that’s not the role of government? I think if I heard a loving kind person saying they were both Christian and Republican I could understand. The ones that I hear are anything but kind or loving in their words so I don’t hang around to see if their actions defy their ugly words. Even when they list their actions I take it as bragging — their ugliness colors everything for me.

    I want the right to choose who I am, what I believe, etc. etc. So, if I don’t protect the right of everyone I put my rights in jeopardy just like that wonderful poem, “First they came…” attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller teaches so clearly. I don’t want to be around the people who are loud, rude, ugly and can’t state their personal choices without denigrating different choices, but I certainly don’t want their ugliness and cruelty to other people to be my excuse for being like them.

    Religion and politics are like oil and water and aren’t meant to be mixed. What do you guys think? If the two were separated wouldn’t we all live in a better world?

    Here’s the piece that got me to thinking about this whole topic. It’s a short easy read (shorter than my ramblings that came after reading it!) —

    (from the link):

    See, the whole point of being a Christian means you follow the teachings of Christ. I’ve actually seen many of these “Christians” try and say Jesus would support cuts to welfare and side with the top-down economic policies of the Republican Party.

    As I’ve said before, whether you believe in Jesus Christ or not is not the issue, what he symbolized and his story aren’t really debatable. He spent his life helping the poor, sick and needy. He never once spoke about homosexuality or abortion. He embraced those from the lowest rungs of society by saying that those for whom much had been given, much is expected. He taught love, hope, compassion and forgiveness. He warned against those who would manipulate the word of God for their own selfish ambitions. He opposed greed and encouraged giving.

    You know, the exact oppose of what Republicans stand for.

    I can’t count the times I’ve heard people say they don’t consider themselves Christians any longer because of the ignorance of the Republican Party. Millions have abandoned Christianity because these people have hijacked a faith to distort it for their own political gains.

    It’s time real Christians take back their faith from these people who’ve turned so many sour on Christianity. It’s time they rise up against these ignorant fake Christians and call them out directly on the truth. They don’t follow Christianity.

    They follow Republicanity. They worship Reagan, guns and greed—not Jesus Christ.

    It’s Time to Tell the Truth: Republicans Aren’t Christians

  6. The Lawrence Journal-World published a great analysis of the 2013 Kansas Legislative session. It’s tough to read given the insanity it contains. If you don’t have the stomach for it, here’s the shorter version: average Kansans’ taxes are going up, the very rich’s taxes are going down again, education got cut again, the public safety of Kansans has been jeopardized, and the Kansas GOP still really hates Obama. When Kansas runs up a huge budget deficit they’ll just blame Obama.


    • Great article. I commend the comments to your attention as well.

      • It is one thing to reduce tax rates and quite a totally different thing to do it on the backs of those who can least afford it just so the wealthiest can enjoy even lower and less equitable rates. Why is there even one individual let alone a majority in the state who think the wealthiest deserve special treatment, that the poorest should pay more?

        The Kansas legislature set the bar really low last year and still managed to get even lower this year.

      • Agreed, 617. The comments were wonderful. Too bad Lawrence is such an island in the state. Kind of like Austin in Texas. A tiny bit of blue in a huge sea of red.

      • Austin in Texas, Lawrence in Kansas. Working hard to come up with others (hint: not Norman in Oklahoma).

    • And we can’t get new people to move to this state? Shocking!

      Sarcasm off.

    • How about Madison in Wisconsin?

      Boulder in Colorado? Although since the last election, Colorado has become more like Boulder instead of vice versa.

      Give me a little time, I’ll come up with more.

      • The Real Republican Adversary? Population Density

        Studying this graph, two important facts are revealed. First, there are very few cities in red states. Second, the few dense cities that do exist in red states voted overwhelmingly democratic.

        Atlanta, New Orleans, St. Louis, Dallas, and Indianapolis are all in red states — and they all voted blue. And there are no true “cities” in red states that voted red. The only cities in red states that didn’t vote blue were Salt Lake City and Oklahoma City. And by global standards, they are not really cities — each has population density (about 1,000/sq. mi.) less than suburban Maryland (about 1,500/sq. mi.).


  7. We talked yesterday about the new report from the College National Republican Committee, detailing their party’s difficulties in connecting with younger voters. As the College Republicans explained, it’s a “dismal present situation,” with focus groups, led by GOP pollsters, finding that voters under 30 consider the party “closed-minded, racist, rigid, [and] old-fashioned.”

    But Andrew Rosenthal found another tidbit in the 95-page document that party officials should also take to heart.

    The most damning conclusions lay in the survey’s examination of how people view the two major parties in terms of broad attributes. For Democrats, young voters chose “tolerant,” “diverse” and “open-minded,” while for Republicans they often chose “rich” and “religious.”

    In focus groups in January, the report said, young voters were asked to list leaders of the Democratic Party. “They named prominent former or currently elected officials: Pelosi, the Clintons, Obama, Kennedy, Gore. When those same respondents were asked to name Republican leaders, they focused heavily on media personalities and commentators: Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck.”


    • Ouch. The truth always outs, no? Rich and religious perfectly describes the repukes, although it should also have said “white” and “old.” And I love it that talk radio butts are viewed as party leaders.


  8. To get your mind off the insanity of the elected officials in Kansas peek over the west border and read about what’s happening in Colorado.

    (from the link): There’s a divide in contemporary constitutional theory today: one side sees the Constitution as a tool for self-government, the other as a means of preventing it.

    One skirmish in that long war is being fought out in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. It presents the question of whether a state’s voters can amend its constitution to deprive the legislature permanently of the power to tax.

    Though the far right often talks about their reverence for state governments, another part of their program is disabling state governments from stepping into the void left by the gradual starvation of the federal government.

    That’s where Kerr v. Hickenlooper comes in. It raises the question of whether a state whose government has no power to tax is a “state” at all within the meaning of the U.S. Constitution. The case is a challenge by a group of taxpayers and state legislators to Colorado’s so-called “Taxpayer Bill of Rights,” approved by initiative in 1992. TABOR, as it is called, bars any level of state government from raising taxes or tax rates without a referendum. Beyond that, government can’t even spend the money it collects under existing taxes if tax collections rise faster than the rate of inflation or population growth. The “excess” revenue must be returned to taxpayers, no matter how dire the state’s needs, unless a referendum approves the “tax hike.”

    As public policy, TABOR is bad enough. The legislature, though, could always ask the people to repeal it. However, in 1994, another initiative limited future constitutional amendments to a “single subject.” Since TABOR covers such a wide area of revenue policy, it thus can no longer be repealed except by a laborious string of statewide referenda.

    In other words, the controls are now smashed. Colorado’s legislature can no longer effectively govern, and can’t even effectively ask for authority to do so. This is the most radical limitation on state taxing authority anywhere in the country.

    Does a State Have the Right to Self-Destruct?

    • Without reading the link, yes it does. Be back after reading.

    • Read the link, impressed by the arguments, opinion not changed. I have a problem with where the plaintiffs have standing under the Guaranty Clause.
      TABOR is bad stuff, and attempts to adopt it in other states have failed. However, considering everything I’ve running around in my head, the citizenry do indeed, by a vote of the majority, have the right to destroy a sovereign State. This, BTW, clearly illustrates the clear and present danger of democracy, of which the ability to circumvent the elected representatives by use of citizen’s initiatives is one example. There should be no such mechanism in a republic. None. Otherwise, there is no true republic.

  9. (from the link): Now that Obama has nominated three people at once, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid can bring them before the whole Senate simultaneously. The hope is that, by doing so, the Republicans would be less able to justify filibusters for all three, given that it’s meant to be a tool employed in rare circumstances. If the Republicans do filibuster them all, the Senate could decide to revamp established rules — which isn’t subject to filibuster — making it so that certain nominees need only a majority of votes to be approved. This is known, melodramatically, as the “nuclear option,” given that it upends the protocol to which the Senate ostensibly adheres.

    Meet the Three Judges Who Could Bring the Senate to Its Knees

    • I personally hope Senate rules are changed. The filibuster as used today defies logic, defies the votes of WE THE PEOPLE, and is abused by BOTH parties, although the republicans have taken this abuse to a newer level than ever seen in the past.

  10. ROGER EBERT: On kindness

    Roger Ebert (1942-2013) was the world’s most respected and celebrated film critic. I can’t possibly do justice to his legendary career in the movies. For that, I recommend this beautiful obituary from The Chicago Sun-Times, the newspaper Ebert worked for since 1967.

    To be honest, up until about four years ago I only knew Ebert from seeing his name on movie posters with the famous “Two thumbs up” tagline. His television shows and film reviews never appeared in Australia (that I know of), so he was always just the ‘movie review guy’ to me.

    That was until I found his blog. After Ebert was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2002 he underwent several surgeries which left him without a lower jaw or the ability to speak. He found solace on the internet, where he applied his Pulitzer-prize writing skills to the world of blogging.