Brownback still bamboozles public
Public-service employees are justified in their anger at House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell (“Merrick explains criticized comments,” Nov. 20 Local & State). However, we know exactly where Merrick stands. The person who continues to bamboozle the public is Gov. Sam Brownback.
Brownback says he supports public education. Yet as public school teachers have learned, Brownback gives little support to teachers or public schools.
Some school districts have cut art and music programs, dismissed school librarians, and increased class size because state legislators, with Brownback’s blessings, have cut base state aid to public education. In the meantime, teachers have lost state-mandated due-process rights, thanks to Brownback and right-wing Republican legislators.
Now, public employees face attacks on bargaining rights and public-employee unions. Yet Brownback maintains that he supports education.
Dave Trabert, president of the Koch-backed Kansas Policy Institute, lays out exactly what path the Legislature and Brownback will take when it comes to supporting public schools. Go to the KPI website, kansaspolicy.org, to discover how little support he, and Brownback, plan to give to public schools during the next legislative session. Be prepared for the worst.
The Eagle never seems to amaze me as to how liberal and biased it is against business and the Republican Party. This is a Republican state, but from the way The Eagle does its reporting, you would think we’re in the Northeast. Every time I read an editorial or a commentary by political science professor Burdett Loomis or an article by some staff person, it seems to be tearing down our city and state instead of building them up.
I was amazed to see a commentary by Dave Trabert, president of the Kansas Policy Institute (“State has spending, not revenue, problem,” Nov. 30 Opinion). Why doesn’t The Eagle try to at least even up the liberal-versus-conservative view to make it, say, 60/40 instead of 80/20?
On wrong path
I concur with the thought-provoking commentary by Burdett Loomis, political science professor at the University of Kansas (“Kansas is setting its eyes on South,” Nov. 30 Opinion). Loomis stated that Kansas, rather than aspiring to progressive policies like its Midwest near-neighbor states Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa, has chosen to follow the examples of the poorer states of the South – Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, et al. – by reducing funding for public education and infrastructure and by privatizing Medicaid (to the detriment of many of the people it serves).
Are we going to follow the examples of our progressive Midwest neighbors, or are we going to be led down the primrose path to poorer schools, bad roads and infrastructure, and a weakened economy, thereby emulating too many of our Southern neighbors?
Like many Americans, I’m deeply concerned about the low approval ratings – the low level of trust – of Congress. Here are a few suggestions that I believe would lead to a much better image of Congress:
▪ If a lawmaker wants to sideline a nomination or other Senate business, require that it be done publicly.
▪ Every nomination that requires Senate approval should be given an up-or-down vote within six weeks; if there is no vote, the nomination should be automatically approved.
▪ Every international treaty that requires Senate approval should be given an up-or-down vote within 90 days or automatically be ratified.
▪ The minority party should be able to filibuster the Senate, but only up to three times a year, and it should have to actually do so, not just have some sort of gentlemen’s agreement.
▪ No obviously unrelated provisions or amendments should be allowed on legislative bills.
Lawmakers are in Congress to represent their constituents. That means they’re not there to fight one another for them or their wealthy donors; they’re there to represent them in building compromises for the good of all.
There should be no ideological hard-lining, other than for the ideal that every bill should be a compromise aimed toward the reasonable protection and enablement of the American dream, that every citizen who works hard gets to earn a living wage and live in relative peace and security.
I have devoted a lot of my time pleading the case for atheists. I don’t think a person has to practice a religion to be a compassionate or productive citizen.
However, as we draw closer to Christmas, I have two words for atheists who are offended by Nativity scenes: Tough luck.
I don’t take the virgin birth myth literally, but I still find Nativity scenes touching. It’s the backbone of the tradition of exchanging gifts on a day held sacred by many. Atheists can’t expect to decide for the rest of us not to display something so dear to our hearts.
Thanks for lunch
Thank you so much to the gentleman who paid for our lunch at Taco Bueno on North Rock the day before Thanksgiving.
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