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For Kansas legislators, the new year may not feel all that happy. Veterans and first-termers alike have to be wondering why they ran for the job. In the upcoming legislative session, they face a daunting task, brimming with political risk.
As our nation prepares to observe the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the U.S. Bill of Rights, some of us might be excused for wondering if the individual liberties we have come to cherish will survive another two centuries.
In education, external events sometimes create a “teachable moment” by illustrating a basic principle. On Nov. 8 Kansas voters considered six years of teachable moments as they rendered the results of the state’s general election.
Kansas voters rebuked legislative allies of Gov. Sam Brownback and his reckless tax experiment in the August primary elections and again last Tuesday in the general election. Forty legislative seats currently held or contested by backers of the experiment changed hands, 25 going to centrist Republicans, 15 to newly elected Democrats.
A year ago, in assessing nascent opposition to some of Gov. Sam Brownback’s policies, I quoted Winston Churchill’s famous lines: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
Like a supernova, Donald Trump has illuminated the electoral universe in 2016. Win or lose, he is likely to explode, showering his light and heat upon thousands of other races across the country, from county commissioner to U.S. senator.
It is time for a reality check. Americans are losing confidence in higher education, its quality and its availability. According to a recent poll by Public Agenda, 57 percent of the public are uncertain about the necessity of college; 46 percent say a college education is a questionable investment; and 59 percent say colleges care most about the bottom line.
Recently, Gov. Sam Brownback held a press conference to invite Kansans to email him ideas for a new school finance formula. That sounds nice. Can anything be wrong with asking people for input? Well, actually, quite a bit.
The tail wags the dog when it comes to the politics of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce. A few businesses underwrite the chamber’s electioneering with results contrary to the interests of most Kansas businesses.
I’ve lived in the Midwest my entire adult life. By temperament, I’m a Midwesterner — relatively pragmatic, optimistic within reason, and generally kind (I hope). I’ve lived in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, and — for the past 37 years — Kansas.