Like A Kansas Tornado

Storm system Brownback continues to ravage the state of Kansas unabated, and the next casualty involves some good old fashioned school austerity bombing.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposed budget cuts about $127.4 million from state support to local school districts, according to a report released Tuesday by the state Department of Education.

Some Senate Republican leaders dispute that the cut is that deep, saying the Education Department figure doesn’t account for spending on bonds and interest for school construction or payments to the state retirement fund.

The governor’s plan, released Friday, is to roll four major categories of spending into block grants to school districts. The block grants will include the money now spent in general state aid, supplemental state aid, capital outlay aid and the school district finance fund.

This year’s budget for those categories is almost $3.14 billion. The block grants proposed by the governor would total slightly more than $3 billion.

Block grants for schools that are already badly underfunded to the point where the state supreme court ordered Brownback to spend more, huh.  This should go over well.  Oh, but here’s the best part.

More broadly, Kansas state workers’ pension funds are also being used to patch Brownback’s fiscal gap. He is proposing to cut state payments to pension funds by $446 million over three fiscal years including the current one while also refinancing some of the funds’ debts. But the executive director of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System says Brownback’s proposed tweaks will ultimately cost the state more than 8 times what they save in the short term.

The near-term cuts would raise long-term costs by $3.7 billion — nearly a quarter of the current size of the pension system. Reneging on pension obligations in the short term and creating larger retirement system problems in the long term helps create political pressure to cut workers’ retirement benefits down the road, according to critics of similar maneuvers in states like New Jersey.

Another big-ticket Brownback cut strips roughly $300 million in transportation department funding over the next couple years — a move that shares the penny-wise, pound-foolish DNA of Brownback’s schools and pensions cuts. The road repair cuts will save a little bit of money now, but “all you’re going to do is create bigger problems for yourself later,” the head of a trade group for heavy construction firms in Kansas City told the Star.

And that’s on top of his plan to raise cigarette and liquor taxes so he can keep cutting the state’s income taxes, which caused all this mess in the first place.

If you want to see what a Republican budget will do to the country should they get control of the whole playing field in 2016, look no further than the tornado ripping through Kansas right now.

136 replies
  1. 1
    ruemara says:

    Boy, that’s ugly..

  2. 2
    Bobby B says:

    Meanwhile my proposal to reinvade the south and finish the Civil War goes ignored, and I’M the looney on meds!

  3. 3
    sharl says:

    Yeah, what ruemara said – whole lotta ugly there.
    But don’t touch KPR’s Retro Cocktail Hour! Because in the end, it’s all about MY needs!

  4. 4
    c u n d gulag says:

    “What’s the matter with Kansas?”
    Kansans.

    Now, maybe they’ll start to figure out that Modern American Conservatism is for the rich and the bigoted.

    Most of the voters ain’t rich, so that leaves…

  5. 5
    srv says:

    Without the suck that is Kansas, America would fall apart.

  6. 6
    BGinCHI says:

    I ask myself, “Is our Kansans learning?”

  7. 7
    Belafon says:

    @c u n d gulag: Which is why the newest argument from Republicans is “You’re in the top one percent if you compare yourself to the rest of the world. Quit whining.” I’m getting to where I think a large number of people will nod in agreement because to disagree would mean agreeing with liberals.

  8. 8
    DemJayhawks says:

    Many of us keep wondering whether this will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, but the election results keep reminding us the answer is “no.”

  9. 9
    Cermet says:

    @c u n d gulag: Exactly who will? You, me and other liberals? Big deal. The media lick’s the ass of the wealthy and the media message will be “Nothing to see here – move along or get your ass kicked by the storm troopers…I mean police.”

  10. 10
    Gretchen says:

    @Bobby B: Kansas was a free state.

  11. 11
    KG says:

    But the executive director of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System says Brownback’s proposed tweaks will ultimately cost the state more than 8 times what they save in the short term.

    Herein lies how the Democrats can really get after the GOP if they wanted to… The GOP isn’t fiscally conservative, they believe in Borrow and Spend policies. They want to max out the country’s/state’s credit card and leave the bill to your kids and grandkids.

  12. 12
    jcricket says:

    When the state’s further effed people will just blame “the gub’mint” and elect more Republicans. When the pensions are further effed people will just blame “greedy gub’mint employees” and use some semi-legal tactic to cancel the pensions, etc.

    It’s a great scam – campaign on the promise that government is ineffectual, get elected and prove it. Rinse and repeat.

  13. 13
    Alex S. says:

    And then, if Kansans actually have an epiphany and elect a Democrat, the republicans will blame him/her for the mess. Always the same, always the same…

  14. 14
    sparrow says:

    @KG: THANK YOU! This is the one card that could posible turn my “fiscally conservative” republican parents to the dark side, I think. Pretty much nothing else, given that their son is gay and they still vote R. Ugh.

  15. 15
    sharl says:

    OT,
    Matt Taibbi has a free contest going on, and it involves – of course – The Mustache of Understanding:

    Thomas Friedman Said Something Awesome at Davos: T-Shirt Contest!
    If you can translate his speech, I’ll send you some merch

    Old buddy Felix Salmon reports hearing this from Thomas Friedman at OligarchCon 2015 (i.e. the Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland):

    The Arab Spring is failing not for lack of bandwidth, but for lack of human understanding that can only be forged when someone is late for breakfast, and you say, Thank you for being late.

    I’ve been trying to reach Felix and others over in Switzerland for some kind of explanation, because the more I stare at this passage, the less I understand it. What was the context? Was he sending some kind of signal to his alien commander?

    The t-shirt is – of course – ‘I {Heart} Confusing

  16. 16
    Earl says:

    Eh, eventually people get the government they deserve, ie keep voting for. It’s hard to feel any sympathy for Kansans…

  17. 17
    Pogonip says:

    @KG: What a maroon. A normal person would figure it up and say, ” Well, scratch that idea.”. Brownback and the people who elected him are like people who take out a Visa with a higher interest rate because it offers lower minimum payments.

  18. 18
    dedc79 says:

    @Bobby B: Relatedly, the last good decision Kansas made was to join the Union.

  19. 19
    Belafon says:

    @sharl:

    The Arab Spring is failing not for lack of bandwidth, but for lack of human understanding that can only be forged when someone is late for breakfast, and you say, Thank you for being late.

    I can actually sort of understand what Mitch (crossing MOU with Phineas and Ferb) is saying, but it falls apart at the last sentence. Friedman’s brain needs an editor. If you change the last to say “It’s OK that you’re late. I had more time to enjoy my tea,” then it makes sense. Though I’m also ignoring the word bandwidth completely.

  20. 20
    feebog says:

    So I guess Brownback is just going to ignore the State Supreme Court. The whole state is one giant clusterfuck at this point.

  21. 21
    MattF says:

    @sharl: He’s passed through wtf territory and emerged out the other end into a different space-time continuum, where that sentence means something. Anyhow, that’s my explanation.

  22. 22
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Earl:

    I agree. I mean, his fellow Kansans re-elected him just over two months ago. At this point, whether it’s families who lose loved ones because they were too stupid to unload and secure their firearms, or people who repeatedly vote for the politicians who are bent on ruining their lives — really, I am out of patience with or sympathy for them.

  23. 23
    WereBear says:

    @sharl: Fails the Turing test.

  24. 24
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The problem with income taxes is that they unfairly place the burden of maintaining civilization on those who benefit from it the most.

    No, far better to tax the “sin” of the masses. Surprised Brownback hasn’t gone full metal head tax or imposed sales taxes on groceries. That will teach the peasants who’s boss in these parts.

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Pogonip: The short term thinking of your standard issue MBA is destroying this country.

  26. 26
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon:

    Friedman’s brain needs an editor a wicker basket to roll around in.

    FTFY

  27. 27
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @jcricket:

    When the state’s further effed people will just blame “the gub’mint” and elect more Republicans.

    “Conservatism” cannot fail, it can only be failed. If the current crop of “conservatives” in elective office fail, the solution is to find REAL “conservatives”, not RINOs unwilling to do what is necessary for “conservatism” to succeed as the invisible sky buddy says it should.

  28. 28
    chopper says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    Then the GOP points over the voters’ shoulders yelling “look! a black dude with a food stamp!”

    and the voters’ exercise in eye-opening grinds to a halt.

  29. 29
    dan says:

    The beatings will continue until morale improves.

  30. 30
    Gravenstone says:

    Related only insofar as it’s Kansas, but permit-less concealed carry, anyone?

  31. 31
    mai naem mobile says:

    Four years down the road when Kansas is in an ever deeper financial black hole, the conservatives will blame it on Obama, that if you give us a Republican whackjob president and a whackjob congress, a whackjob governor and state legislature, then and only then you will see billions and.billions of jobs and the angels will sing and the birds will chirp and the dogs.will wag their tails. Of course thats when the GOP will increase.voter restrictions, burn the safety.net, get rid of pensions so that just living is so difficult you don’t have time to vote.

  32. 32
    Tommy says:

    I got so much love for Kansas. Lived there many years. Dad was a professor at the Army War College at Fort Leavenworth.

    I lived off base. I was just a kid at the time. I had some speech issues. Bad ones. It hurts me to talk about it. Those ladies at the public school I went to worked with me 24/7 to help. A few years ago sent the lady that helped, and yes I tried to keep in contact with her, a link to me speaking to 10,000 people. Just said thank you!!!!!!

  33. 33
    Jeffro says:

    @KG: Or they can point out that Republicans truly don’t believe that rich people should be paying ANY taxes. That’s really what they’re after

  34. 34
    KG says:

    @sparrow: good luck to you on that. my first move away from the GOP was because i realized they were the Borrow and Spend Party. when I mentioned to my dad that our choice was really Tax and Spend or Borrow and Spend, then I’m choosing Tax and Spend because at least it’s less expensive. his response was basically “they both spend too much” and it didn’t stop him from voting Republican. my folks, I think, have become cynics, they’re small business owners and were complaining about California’s new sick leave policy, when I pointed out that people coming to work sick is bad for productivity and thus bad for business, their response was “they’re still going to come in sick and use these paid sick days for other stuff.” sadly, it feels like a lot of people have that view these days, capitalism in 21st century America is “how do I get over on the next guy?”

  35. 35
    ET says:

    Brownback is what a majority of Kansans voters wanted, Brownback is what they get….. I do wonder how many state workers voted for him and if they are regretting it.

  36. 36
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Stupid motherfuckers deserve to be serfs. Utterly unworthy of the legacy of the Enlightenment that was theirs for the taking, if only they’d fucking pay attention.

  37. 37
    Dave L says:

    @Bobby B: By “finish” I trust you mean “unilaterally impose secession on them”.

  38. 38
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Tommy:

    That is a wonderful story, Tommy! What an accomplishment for you, and how kind of you to thank the woman who gave you so much help.

  39. 39
    jl says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    ‘ “Conservatism” cannot fail, it can only be failed. ‘

    So, is Brownback failing conservatism, which would mean that he is really liberal, maybe almost as liberal as George W? (the Horror of it?). Or that the worthless people of Kansas have not had the sheer will to make it happen.

    Brownback needs to get on the capitol steps and tap his ruby slippers three times to make it happen. Otherwise, he is willfully sabotaging this noble cause (and don’t you dare call it ‘an experiment’, which traitorously implies the possibility that we don’t know what must happen).

  40. 40
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    One of my favorite sayings is:

    You are the product of 2.8 billion years of evolution. ACT LIKE IT.

  41. 41
    Eric U. says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I wonder if we all post about how much libs like tobacco taxes if that would make it so they get lowered. i have heard republicans talking about how horrible it is that cigarette taxes are so high in liberal states

  42. 42
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    “What’s the matter with Kansas?”
    Kansans.

    Now, maybe they’ll start to figure out that Modern American Conservatism is for the rich and the bigoted.

    Most of the voters ain’t rich, so that leaves…

    Damn–you nailed it!

  43. 43
    scav says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Juggle the books so that the entire edifice falls down under the next CEO and post your parachute opening (unless your bonus explicitly rewards you for the looting of company assets). That playbook.

  44. 44
    Tree With Water says:

    Thank you Kansas for slitting your own throat, and showing the world what not to do? California was in the grip of the same zealots (once removed, same breed of cat) not too long ago, and of course it’s no laughing matter. It’s the sensible people of Kansas who suffer (as it is the case for the sensible people of Florida, Texas, Alabama… well, probably not Alabama). Sensible people in those states (et.al.) as good as live behind a domestic iron curtain, and it’s a national shame. Still, today’s digital world sets the table for the overthrow of the zealots- by constant exposure via digital platforms. “Can’t fool all the people, all the time”. That’s not quite how the zealots downfall unfolded in California, but only because digital communication was just beginning to flex its muscles. Bring me the severed head of the GOP and scatter its bones…

  45. 45
    bemused says:

    If a middle class person got a very well-paying job offer in Kansas, would he/she think twice about moving there if they had school age children? I know I would.

  46. 46
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Gretchen: It’s 2015. Kansas is a pay state now.

  47. 47
    jl says:

    Speaking of the wisdom or ‘conservatives’ (I think reactionaries is he better term for this bunch we have today), TPM blog has some stories about how Congressional GOP is planning on gunning for big Social Security cuts.

    Are they nuts. I hate this kind of high stakes social and political poker, but if that is what they want to play, I think it will harm their chances of getting WH in 2016 and chances of keeping control of both chambers. Partly because I think there will be spillover through the GOP primary base into presidential primaries.

    I can see advantage to old school boors like HRC and Biden in being in Dem primary, since they will mince no words in describing GOP intentions and dishonesty.

    I think there are signs that the GOP leadership has sent out word to their troops to act like grown-ups, but clearly some brain circuits are fried in a lot of the GOP rank and file and they must do what they must do. It’s seems like there is a hard wired prime directive to steal ordinary people’s money.

  48. 48
    jl says:

    My comment on GOP plans to go after social security is in moderation. I can’t see any bad words. Maybe the sheer insanity and vileness of the very idea is enough to keep it from innocent eyes. of the BJ commentariate.

  49. 49
    realbtl says:

    @bemused:
    Not even think once.

  50. 50
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Tree With Water:
    These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the prospect of constantly reducing taxes; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

  51. 51
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Kansans voted for 4 more years of this, after seeing what would happen. As such, Kansans are free to reap what they sow. Fuck ’em all – they deserve it.

  52. 52
    Punchy says:

    So I guess Brownback is just going to ignore the State Supreme Court.

    This is the part I dont get. The Kansas SC instructed them to spend more on school children, so they dump more money on teacher pensions and interest on bonds and call it good. Everyone else not completely ideologically blinded call it completely ignoring a court order. I guess this is Brownback’s Andrew Jackson’s Moment.

    Just wait until this usurper of democracies has to face the voters…..wait…hold a minute. Nevermind.

  53. 53
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: You have provided an excellent rationale for the progressive tax system in one sentence. I have tried to explain that same concept [usually not successfully] to some Americans [and Canadians too] I know.

    I go with the value received for tax money that I pay theory. ie. Good healthcare system, a good education system open to all, very little spent on the military, and a decent [not good] social safety net.

  54. 54
    Citizen_X says:

    @sharl: This is where Counselor Troi just shrugs and says, “Fuck if I know, Captain.”

  55. 55
    Brendan in NC says:

    @c u n d gulag: Unfortunately, not likely. They appear to be single issue voters. So as long as Republicans can keep bringing up: abortion, Ni-Clang!s and “Those People”, the gay, etc… Kansas will continue to be a deep red state.

  56. 56
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Thatcher’s poll tax was sufficiently despised to make any GOP’er with a memory, or a staffer with one, think twice.

    (‘Poll’ is an old word for head. Not the voting ‘poll’, although because of our Reconstruction history, the conflation is understandable.)

  57. 57
    John Revolta says:

    Brownback, feh. Kansas is being run by a couple of guys named Koch, and they’re gonna have whatever they want, and what they want most of all is low taxes or preferably none at all. And Kansas is just the first domino.

  58. 58
    The Other Bob says:

    @Tommy:

    A few years ago sent the lady that helped, and yes I tried to keep in contact with her, a link to me speaking to 10,000 people. Just said thank you!!!!!!

    That is excellent.

    In 9th grade, I had a teacher who booted me out of remedial mathematics where I had been dumped for several years. She recognized I did not belong there and sent me to an algebra class. I went from D grades to B grades, took 5 math classes in high school to catch up, and went on to finish Calc. II in College.
    I found her on FB this year and said thanks.

  59. 59
    boatboy_srq says:

    More broadly, Kansas state workers’ pension funds are also being used to patch Brownback’s fiscal gap. He is proposing to cut state payments to pension funds by $446 million over three fiscal years including the current one while also refinancing some of the funds’ debts. But the executive director of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System says Brownback’s proposed tweaks will ultimately cost the state more than 8 times what they save in the short term.

    This is why We Must Plan Our Own Retirements. Pensions are no longer the property of the employees, to be collected on retirement; they are the property of the employers, to be looted at their discretion. This is why SSI is, to the GOTea, in such dire need of “fixing” (by which of course they mean anything but actual repair). The 401k and the IRA are the b#st#rd children of this kind of fiscal nearsightedness, which the Teahad continues to misrepresent as Gummint Cain’t Do Nuffin’ Right™.

  60. 60
    Scott S. says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I have worlds of sympathy for the non-wingnuts who will be subjected to Brownback’s life-wrecking policies.

    We should’ve treated the teabaggers and pundits like the terrorists they are. At this point, machinegunning them all probably won’t help.

  61. 61
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @NorthLeft12: The advantage of all those things is that they provide the social stability that provides security to all, and makes the conduct of commerce much less riskier than it would be otherwise.

    In short, it encourages the broadness of the wealth of a nation.

    These are qualities that can’t easily be plugged into a spreadsheet, which is one of the reasons they elude those who lack the ability to think beyond the numbers.

    Adam Smith weeps.

  62. 62
    boatboy_srq says:

    @feebog: Activist Judges can’t tell The People™ what to do.

  63. 63
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Scott S.:

    At this point, machinegunning them all probably won’t help.

    It would provide some immediate catharsis, but realistically we’d still have a great deal of Augean stable cleanup to do.

  64. 64
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Davis X. Machina: There’s a reason why when the old biddy died, people danced in the streets and sang “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.”

  65. 65
    Mike G says:

    I don’t know if Brownback is a terrorist, I’m just wondering how it could be any more damaging if he was.

  66. 66

    This year’s budget for those categories is almost $3.14 billion. The block grants proposed by the governor would total slightly more than $3 billion.

    To put that in perspective, that amount is $1.4 billion less than the annual budget of Miami-Dade County Public Schools. (And that is $3 billion than what it was before the recession.) M-DCPS is the fourth-largest district in the country and serves a county with a population of 2.6 million. The entire state of Kansas has a population of 2.9 million, so they’re serving roughly the same number of people for a lot less. M-DCPS went through massive cuts to get to $4.5 billion. WTF is Kansas going to do?

  67. 67
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon:

    Though I’m also ignoring the word bandwidth completely.

    Upon rereading your comment, I felt obliged to comment myself on this.

    Friedman is engaging in pure technobabble here. He has no fucking idea what “bandwidth” means. It’s just something some taxi driver in Mumbai said and he’s tossing it into the salad to give it some additional color.

  68. 68
    the Conster says:

    Fuck Kansas. Bunch of fucking yahoo salt of the earth morans. Let Jeebus save them.

  69. 69
    GregB says:

    On the bright side, this could be a boon for film makers looking for locations to shoot their post apocalyptic thrillers.

  70. 70
    Rommie says:

    It looks like Michigan wants to get on this boat too. Great.

  71. 71
    bemused says:

    Neither would I. Republicans who cut business taxes to the bone don’t seem to know or care that many in their base don’t want to see their schools go down the toilet. Good luck to Kansas attracting talented employees or businesses to relocate there. Low or no taxes isn’t the only thing most people or businesses consider. Great quality of life is a very important factor and Brownback and company are creating a wasteland.

  72. 72
    Belafon says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: It was a long way to say “trying” while trying to sound hip in the way a parent doesn’t to his children, which is partially who I think Friedman is talking to: Children that need to learn the ways of the world.

  73. 73
    sparrow says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: They’re not all wingnuts. My aunt and uncle live near Lawrence (used to work at the U) and are big ole lefties. Not that it does them much good.

  74. 74
    jackmac says:

    Kansas = Mississippi of the Plains.

  75. 75
    Belafon says:

    @GregB: Maybe they can do a sequal to The Day there.

  76. 76
    Pogonip says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Might “bandwidth” mean ” There is an idiot in my taxi” in the local language? That would explain why Friedman kept hearing the driver use the word.

  77. 77
    Mike in NC says:

    Retiring governors often go on to the U.S. Senate. Wonder why Brownback chose the opposite course. Maybe just to screw people in Kansas and cut taxes for his rich friends who own agri-businesses there?

  78. 78
    WereBear says:

    @jackmac: Truly. There’s a reason some states are not high tech powerhouses.

  79. 79
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Scott S.:

    I have worlds of sympathy for the non-wingnuts who will be subjected to Brownback’s life-wrecking policies.

    Oh, of course, so do I.

    I do live in Georgia, after all.

  80. 80
    NCSteve says:

    @Bobby B: You do realize Kansas was a Union state, don’t you?

  81. 81
    Pogonip says:

    DRIVER: Glibblehoffen kip kaf mong arrthect bandwidth ya bheg.

    FRIEDMAN:(scribbling frantically). Wait, let me get this down…

    DRIVER: Bandwidth! Bandwidth!

  82. 82
    jonas says:

    Well, the electorate of Kansas had a chance in November to step back from the abyss, and they chose to stay firmly buckled into the hellbound handbasket that is their state now. Enjoy the ride, folks!

    Meanwhile that DFH Jerry Brown of California gets to kick back and wonder what he’s going to do with a multi-billion dollar budget surplus and one of the best economies in the country.

    Good times.

  83. 83
    WereBear says:

    Don’t forget how current Xantian thinking is that it’s okay that their children don’t get much of an education because liberals will destroy their faith. It’s okay if government workers don’t have pensions because they don’t work anyway. It’s okay that they lose 100″s of $”s in services because they have thirty extra bucks of “their own money.”

    To think or do otherwise would make them liberals. And they gladly suffer to prevent that horrible fate.

  84. 84
    WereBear says:

    @Pogonip: That is so awesome ;)

  85. 85
    Pogonip says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Do they have MBAs in other countries, or are they a uniquely American problem?

  86. 86
    KG says:

    @Punchy: I wonder what the precedent says if Brownback does ignore the state supreme court. In all my study of constitutional law, I really don’t know the answer to that question. Could the plaintiffs seek federal enforcement of the order? Something like what happened here in California with overcrowded prisons? The arguments and legal theories would be incredible, and a complete mess.

  87. 87

    @Pogonip: MBAs may be the enforcers of these policies but they did not come up with them. These neo liberal policies were dreamt up by mostly Econ and management profs, mostly from the Chicago School. Last I checked neither Lucas nor Friedman had an MBA.

  88. 88
    Pogonip says:

    @WereBear: Borfendoo. [Thank you.]

  89. 89

    That would be Milton Friedman and Robert Lucas, responsible for the hard right turn of economics theory and economic policy since the late 70s.

  90. 90
    jonas says:

    @Pogonip: Oh trust me, neoliberal rationalization is all the vogue in Europe now, too. Health care and pensions are still a third rail, but other public institutions have been gutted all over. Talk to anyone at a public university in the UK right now. Holland privatized its entire postal service a few years ago, with predictably disastrous results.

  91. 91

    BTW who on earth wants David Brooks advice on dating, online or otherwise.

  92. 92
    Doug r says:

    @CermetThe media licks because they’re the aspirational 1% that’s owned by the 0.1%.

  93. 93
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Ah, no. Friedman and Lucas were conservatives, but Friedman’s work wasn’t the sort taught in Bidness schools. Lucas, maybe a bit more.

  94. 94
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Mustang Bobby: From all visible signs, they’ll stop ejamacating right before the point where students will understand enough English to get from Brownback’s speeches that they’re being effed, and just before where they’ll know enough math to understand that Brownback can’t be trusted to sum 2 and 2 correctly.

  95. 95
    gene108 says:

    @KG:

    Herein lies how the Democrats can really get after the GOP if they wanted to… The GOP isn’t fiscally conservative, they believe in Borrow and Spend policies. They want to max out the country’s/state’s credit card and leave the bill to your kids and grandkids.

    Dems would need a strong media platform equal or greater than what the Republicans have, in order to make enough noise people pay attention and to cancel the right-wing noise machine.

    The Dems do not have it.

    We are drowning in a sea of right-wing talking points that takes over people’s conventional wisdom on things.

    If Bush & Co. blowing up the deficit, after inheriting a balanced budget, does not convince people Republicans are fiscally irresponsible people do not care.

  96. 96

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Not his work directly but the philosophy of business good, business means freedumb, regulations ==tyranny. Gubmint is ebil and so on. Wasn’t he a fan of Ayn Rand too? or was it the other way around.

    ETA: The current GOP is to the right of Friedman

  97. 97
    scav says:

    @jonas: See Also: Multi-Nationals. The thinking and mindset is far from contained, although expressed with different accents and local constraints. London, the City is right up there on the hot spots, and they’ve also got all the zero-hour contracts etc. ripping through the labor economy along with the hatchets to social services etc.

  98. 98
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    @bemused: It’s already hard to get some kinds of workers to move to places like Kansas or Iowa. Mr IOL is a research engineer at John Deere. Deere finds it difficult to hire engineers who haven’t grown up in this part of the country. I taught at ISU and we had the same problem. Even if the person we wanted to hire was willing, the partner and family might not be.

    Kansas is adding in things like bad schools and hospitals that are probably reeling without the Medicaid expansion. People don’t always think of these things ahead of time, but they won’t help.

  99. 99
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Uncle Milty was a big proponent of the negative income tax(as was Saint Ronnie). Economists that go to teach in B-schools are the ones that can’t get an Econ gig.

  100. 100

    @BillinGlendaleCA: I did not say that he was a B-School prof, I said that his ideas and philosophy have influenced B-Schools and government policy.

    ETA: Weren’t Lucas and Friedman responsible for overthrowing the Keynesian influence over public policy until the 70s.

  101. 101
    Pogonip says:

    @jonas: You’d think they’d have learned by watching the American disaster.

    Bloob! Adishinal bandwidth! (“Help! There are idiots in my government!”)

  102. 102
    Bex says:

    @sharl: A Friedman koan?

  103. 103

    @schrodinger’s cat: I meant to write Keynesian influence on public policy which held until the late 70s.

  104. 104
    vhh says:

    @KG: Which was precisely what happened during the three GOP presidencies since 1980, evidently without consequences for the politicians involved.

  105. 105
    Randy P says:

    Here in PA we just swore in Tom Wolf, having dumped our own wingnut governor. I’ve seen educators literally in tears over the swath Corbett cut through PA education.

    Hope Wolf can undo some of the damage, but we’ve suffered the same gerrymandered state legislature a lot of other states have.

  106. 106
    bemused says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    Yes. People prefer to move to places that have a variety of activities to offer their families, all kinds of outdoor fun, museums, restaurants, entertainment, scenery, wildlife, parks, easy access to quality shopping…it’s the whole package. Minnesota does pretty well in all those areas. I love visiting Mpls/St Paul and so many unique beautiful small towns

  107. 107
    catclub says:

    @Pogonip: That bandwidth is from an old story about Bill Gates when he was extremely impressive and making money hand over fist for Microsoft. Early 1990’s?

    Gates as the guy who knew more than the experts about everything, and could switch topics without missing a beat.

  108. 108
    gene108 says:

    @bemused:

    Neither would I. Republicans who cut business taxes to the bone don’t seem to know or care that many in their base don’t want to see their schools go down the toilet. Good luck to Kansas attracting talented employees or businesses to relocate there. Low or no taxes isn’t the only thing most people or businesses consider. Great quality of life is a very important factor and Brownback and company are creating a wasteland.

    The Republicans are doing just fine in Mississippi. They have a strangle hold on state politics.

    Why wouldn’t a Kansas Republican want to emulate the Mississippi Republican’s success?

  109. 109
    Pogonip says:

    @bemused: Does it make up for the winters?

  110. 110
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    There’s something astoundingly sick about underfunding the pension plan so that later, HOOCOODANODE? We need bankruptcy protection to “restructure” our obligations, we all have to tighten our belts, that includes the people who’ve worked all their lives and are most vulnerable to cuts.

  111. 111
    sharl says:

    @Bex: Heh, could be. Since I posted that comment (#15), Felix Salmon has responded at his own site, and he also remains mystified at what exactly the Mustache of Understanding meant.

    One thing I neglected to include at #15 was what Salmon wrote in his actual tweet (to accompany MoU’s inscrutable word salad):

    Felix Salmon ‏@felixsalmon

    Tom Friedman, in #Davos, proves once again he is the emperor of the idiots. This got spontaneous applause!

    In Salmon’s subsequent follow-up at his blog, he confirmed that MoU did in fact utter that …word…string…thing, but he too remains mystified as to what it is supposed to mean:

    …I don’t honestly know what Tom Friedman was talking about. But at least I can give you a bit of context. Tom Friedman was sitting on a panel at a lunch sponsored by Salesforce, which was moderated by Salesforce chairman and CEO Marc Benioff. Benioff had already explained to the audience that he is so in awe of Tom Friedman’s intelligence that he felt Tom Friedman should not merely be the moderator of the discussion; he should be a fully-fledged panelist. So Benioff moderated, while Tom Friedman took his place alongside Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, musician and entrepreneur will.i.am, and LRN CEO Dov Seidman. (Who is Dov Seidman? What is LRN? Those, I’m afraid, are questions for another day.)

    Tom Friedman had just explained that he is writing a book called “The World is Fast”, a sequel to a previous book of his called “The World is Flat”. Tom Friedman has already written the final chapter of this book, and the title of the final chapter of his new book is “Thank You for Being Late”. Tom Friedman is not on Facebook, and he knows who his friends are in real life, and he often meets his friends for breakfast. Being important CEO types, Tom Friedman’s friends are sometimes 15 minutes late for their breakfast meetings. And when that happens, Tom Friedman thanks his friend for being late, since his guest’s tardiness has given him 15 minutes of peace and quiet, during which he can think peacefully. Hence the title of the chapter.

    What has any of this got to do with the Arab Spring? That, I’m afraid, I’m going to have to leave as an exercise for the reader. Because I have no idea.

  112. 112
    gene108 says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    ETA: Weren’t Lucas and Friedman responsible for overthrowing the Keynesian influence over public policy until the 70s.

    Stagflation was the what changed people’s thinking. You had an economic situation, which did not respond to the Keynesian stimulus.

    People were searching for answers.

    Friedman was a proponent of monetary policy solving problems over direct government fiscal spending.

    Since the tried and true methods of Keynesian stimulus were not working as planned, people were willing to try other things.

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    Uncle Milty was a big proponent of the negative income tax(as was Saint Ronnie). Economists that go to teach in B-schools are the ones that can’t get an Econ gig.

    Friedman made some substantial contributions to economics, but when it came time to formulate policy his prescriptions were normally disasters for most folks.

    Unfortunately he is not remembered for this policy influence in the Reagan White House, as much as he should have been.

  113. 113
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    @catclub:

    Not sure of ultimate origin, but it is a word for Microsofties to refer to “capacity for additional work/thinking”

  114. 114
    bemused says:

    @Pogonip:

    Yes, imo, because winter scares off the faint-hearted and prevents over crowding. Or as many folks here say, “Keeps out a lot of riffraff” which I think is a bit harsh but I understand the sentiment.

  115. 115
    WereBear says:

    @bemused: I love that! Living in the Frozen North myself.

    I understand people not liking shoveling snow or being cold, but having lived in Florida for a decade, I loathe hot & humid far more than I’m annoyed by winter. Most of the time, we have white fluffy snow, blue skies, and sun. I get out more in the winter than I did in Florida in the summer.

    YMMV

  116. 116
    scav says:

    “Thank you for being late.” We need to remember that one for all our future visits to a certain grave of understanding.

  117. 117
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Pogonip: I’m 60 years and I live in Massachusetts and shoveling the damned snow gets harder every year. But do I want to move to Florida or Arkansas or Mississippi? Fuck no.

  118. 118
    catclub says:

    @gene108:

    The Republicans are doing just fine in Mississippi. They have a strangle hold on state politics.

    Mississippi is also very high on the corruption ladder. So is Louisiana. I happen to know that Louisiana has the highest proportion of people never leaving the state. (Not sure where MS is but I suspect high) I think the feeling that state government has permission to be lousy, because the people aren’t going anywhere, is important. It tempts me to think about a plantation mentality.

  119. 119
    WereBear says:

    @catclub: If you don’t leave, how do you know it’s better elsewhere?

  120. 120
    Berial says:

    Screwing with state workers pensions, ESPECIALLY those of the already retired is about the best way I know of to not only never get elected to ANYTHING EVER AGAIN, but is a damn good way to get flat out killed. Old nutters, figure they got nothing to lose, and either way the state is going to end up taking care of them. Either through their pension or through the prison system.

  121. 121
    Berial says:

    @catclub: The government isn’t worried about improving because of all the young people leaving either, because they don’t vote, and those that DO stay vote for the same politicians as their parents. And their parents are the reason these guys have their jobs in the first place.

  122. 122
    bemused says:

    @WereBear:

    It would drive us nuts to be shut in with AC in summer like you have to in the hotspots of the country. Ceilings in every room is enough for the very few uncomfortably hot days or nights we do get in the summer. Some do have AC or shut up everything & draw blinds early in the am which I don’t think works very well if it’s high 90’s. Nope, we love having the summer breezes come in.

    Having 4 seasons is more interesting although some years it’s more like 3 months summer/9 months winter.That’s when permanent residents really start bitching. Winter is a good time to do indoor craft, knitting or sewing projects and cook comfort food. I just read WSJ article about how Minnesota products now have a “utilitarian-chic” image ranging from Mark Dayton’s sons’ clothing store to Fairbault woolen blankets. One of the Dayton boys remarked that people in the northern regions have used months of winter inside to cook up ideas referencing Scandinavian design work.

  123. 123
    AxelFoley says:

    @Earl:

    Eh, eventually people get the government they deserve, ie keep voting for. It’s hard to feel any sympathy for Kansans…

    This.

  124. 124
    WereBear says:

    @bemused: Yes, last November we were enthusing with mutual friends that “we get so much done in the winter!”

  125. 125
    bemused says:

    @WereBear:

    It’s hard to stay in the house during the summer here. Gotta enjoy every moment out there while it lasts. I hate when people complain about the few hot days. Some of them whine when it’s only 75 out, for crying out loud.

  126. 126

    @gene108: According to one school of thought the oil shocks of the 70s were responsible for the economic woes, not Keynesian policies.
    Politicians inspired by Friedman threw the baby out with the bath water by embracing neoliberal economic policies. These policies which are nothing more than the ones that gave us the volatile economic cycles ultimately leading up to the Great Depression.

  127. 127
    JR in WV says:

    @Tommy:

    Tommy,

    The US Army War College is in Carlisle, PA.

    Fort Leavenworth has the Disciplinary Barracks, and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, which is not the same thing as the War college. I had a clue from spending a couple of years in Carlisle for my first attempt at college.

    Not being an ex-Army guy, I can’t describe the difference from knowledge, but just guessing, I think the War College is where strategy is taught, and the Command and General Staff College is where junior officers are taught how to provide staff services to General Officers.

    Sorry to be wearing the Pdedant cap today, and I’m sure your Dad taught at lots of military facilities. Carry on!

  128. 128
    Gretchen says:

    The genius of the huge tax increases on liquor and cigarettes is that about a quarter of the state’s population, if not more, is in Kansas City, KS and the Kansas City suburbs. So somebody like me, who lives a mile from the Missouri border, can just quit patronizing my local business and drive ten minutes to a much cheaper Missouri business. Instead of collecting more tax revenue, it will be worth it to take a short drive to avoid paying Kansas taxes altogether.

  129. 129
    Gretchen says:

    @Earl: @Earl: The Democrat running for governor and the independent running for Senate were both running about 8 points ahead of the Republicans until a week or two before the election, when huge vats of Koch money were dumped onto the state to make sure the election went their way. We have Citizens United and the Kochs to thank for this mess. People here were fired up, but tons of tv ads aimed at fearful rural voters turned the tide. The folks that think we should just homeschool our kids are in charge now. I don’t know how we can get out from under them as long as they have all the money.

  130. 130
    Gretchen says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: problem is they took the rest of us along with them. 47% of us voted against him, and that doesn’t include those who wanted to but couldn’t get voter id.

  131. 131
    Gretchen says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: thank you. I get tired of everyone assuming that all Kansans are backwards idiots who deserve to live in a hellhole.

  132. 132
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JR in WV: Command and General Staff is for Majors, mostly. War College is for Lieutenant Colonels, and a few Colonels.

  133. 133
    lurker says:

    @sharl: So what he’s saying is, “Thank you, oh Very Important CEO, for disrespect for my time and my schedule, because I was able to make the best of it”? How very… lickspittle of him.

  134. 134
    Barry says:

    @KG: “Herein lies how the Democrats can really get after the GOP if they wanted to… The GOP isn’t fiscally conservative, they believe in Borrow and Spend policies. They want to max out the country’s/state’s credit card and leave the bill to your kids and grandkids.

    There is not Republican who cares if Their Good Ol’ Boys borrow and spend like drunken – well,not sailors, but admirals. There were, but they are called Democrats, now.

    Remember the Tea Party howling during the Bush/Cheney administration? Neither do I.

  135. 135
    Matt says:

    There’s a word for what the Kansas GOP is doing: LOOTING.

    Once the pension funds are depleted, the schools are in shambles, and everything else has gone completely to fuck the GOP can turn around and say, “SEE, WE TOLD YOU GOVERNMENT DOESN’T WORK” and the gobshites will just lap it up…

  136. 136
    RaflW says:

    @bemused:

    If a middle class person got a very well-paying job offer in Kansas, would he/she think twice about moving there if they had school age children? I know I would.

    If a middle class person in Kansas got a job offer pretty much anywhere but Kansas, shouldn’t s/he take it?

    I have an uncle and 3 cousins (& spouses) on the KS side of metro Kansas City. They all think Brownback is a total disaster but they get outvoted every time. I think I’d want to move, but family & community ties are strong.

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