Archive for Friday, December 23, 2005

Sebelius knocks federal budget

Governor says cuts will harm Kansans; senators deny claims

December 23, 2005


— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Thursday criticized the federal budget approved by the U.S. Senate, saying it will hurt Kansas.

Sebelius said the budget "seriously undermines our commitment to health care and student loans."

"It seems as though every time Kansas takes a step forward, Washington goes out of its way to take two steps back," Sebelius, a Democrat, said.

Her comments referred to the budget approved 51-50 on Wednesday in the Senate, with Vice President Dick Cheney casting the tie-breaking vote.

Kansas Sens. Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts, both Republicans, supported the budget.

"Senator Roberts voted for this bill because it is the first time Congress has tried to reduce the size of the federal government in eight years," a Roberts spokeswoman said.

Brownback added: "Our Kansas communities are not well served by out-of-control and beyond-the-budget spending. We should continue to reduce our deficits and debt so that our children and grandchildren will not be overly burdened by current federal spending."

The legislation would cut federal deficits by nearly $40 billion over the next five years. It faces another vote in the House before it can be sent to President Bush.

Part of the savings in the Senate plan would change Medicaid, the federal-state program that provides health care for low-income, elderly and disabled people. It would allow states to charge a co-pay for services and make it more difficult for certain seniors to access.

It also would trim the federal share of dollars to welfare-to-work and child support collection services.

Shannon Jones, executive director of the Statewide Independent Living Council of Kansas, said the proposals were short-sighted because they would force poor people to forgo needed medicine and doctor's visits and end up using more expensive hospital care.

"They're going to get sicker. They're going to go to emergency rooms more," Jones said. "It just pushes the cost elsewhere and doesn't fix the problem."

The Senate plan also reduces federal student aid by $12.7 billion, according to reports. Higher education officials have expressed concern that the cut will drive up interest rates on student loans from private lenders, keeping some from attending college.

Sebelius criticized the plan as her administration sought to assess how the funding changes would affect Kansas. She's preparing to present her state budget plan when the 2006 legislative session starts Jan. 9.

"Here at home, we're working to help Kansans find affordable health care and encourage more Kansans to attend college and vocational school. And just as those efforts are taking hold and improving the lives of everyday people, Washington deals them a real blow," Sebelius said.

"Washington needs to be a partner, not an adversary, in giving our families the tools to achieve a healthy and prosperous future," she said.

But Brownback argued there were no real cuts in the budget, only reductions in the size of growth in spending.

And Roberts said the budget bill gave states new flexibility in operating Medicaid, while providing additional benefits to hurricane victims in the Gulf Coast region.


Marion Lynn 8 years, 3 months ago

Merry Christmas and best wishes to all in the coming New Year!


Kiki, Lizzie, Spike, Chopper, Luna,The Jailbird Dog(Still being held for escaping and under DEATH PENALTY BY RANDY MCGRATH!) Ben and all at:




Godot 8 years, 3 months ago

Now, that being said, lets clarify the misleading and false impression given by Sebelius and the JW that the bill represents a cut in spending for Medicaid. The bill revised the GROWTH in Medicaid spending from a proposed 41% increase to a 40% increase. In my world, that is not a CUT.


Pilgrim 8 years, 3 months ago

The researchers took numerous steps to safeguard against bias - or the appearance of same - in the work, which took close to three years to complete. They went to great lengths to ensure that as many research assistants supported Democratic candidate Al Gore in the 2000 election as supported President George Bush. They also sought no outside funding, a rarity in scholarly research.

"No matter the results, we feared our findings would've been suspect if we'd received support from any group that could be perceived as right- or left-leaning, so we consciously decided to fund this project only with our own salaries and research funds that our own universities provided," Groseclose said.

The results break new ground.

"Past researchers have been able to say whether an outlet is conservative or liberal, but no one has ever compared media outlets to lawmakers," Groseclose said. "Our work gives a precise characterization of the bias and relates it to known commodity - politicians."



Pilgrim 8 years, 3 months ago

Five news outlets - "NewsHour With Jim Lehrer," ABC's "Good Morning America," CNN's "NewsNight With Aaron Brown," Fox News' "Special Report With Brit Hume" and the Drudge Report - were in a statistical dead heat in the race for the most centrist news outlet. Of the print media, USA Today was the most centrist.

An additional feature of the study shows how each outlet compares in political orientation with actual lawmakers. The news pages of The Wall Street Journal scored a little to the left of the average American Democrat, as determined by the average ADA score of all Democrats in Congress (85 versus 84). With scores in the mid-70s, CBS' "Evening News" and The New York Times looked similar to Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., who has an ADA score of 74.

Most of the outlets were less liberal than Lieberman but more liberal than former Sen. John Breaux, D-La. Those media outlets included the Drudge Report, ABC's "World News Tonight," NBC's "Nightly News," USA Today, NBC's "Today Show," Time magazine, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, NPR's "Morning Edition," CBS' "Early Show" and The Washington Post.

Since Groseclose and Milyo were more concerned with bias in news reporting than opinion pieces, which are designed to stake a political position, they omitted editorials and OpEds from their tallies. This is one reason their study finds The Wall Street Journal more liberal than conventional wisdom asserts.

Another finding that contradicted conventional wisdom was that the Drudge Report was slightly left of center.

"One thing people should keep in mind is that our data for the Drudge Report was based almost entirely on the articles that the Drudge Report lists on other Web sites," said Groseclose. "Very little was based on the stories that Matt Drudge himself wrote. The fact that the Drudge Report appears left of center is merely a reflection of the overall bias of the media."

Yet another finding that contradicted conventional wisdom relates to National Public Radio, often cited by conservatives as an egregious example of a liberal news outlet. But according to the UCLA-University of Missouri study, it ranked eighth most liberal of the 20 that the study examined.

"By our estimate, NPR hardly differs from the average mainstream news outlet," Groseclose said. "Its score is approximately equal to those of Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report and its score is slightly more conservative than The Washington Post's. If anything, governmentfunded outlets in our sample have a slightly lower average ADA score (61), than the private outlets in our sample (62.8)."


Pilgrim 8 years, 3 months ago

Groseclose and Milyo then directed 21 research assistants - most of them college students - to scour U.S. media coverage of the past 10 years. They tallied the number of times each media outlet referred to think tanks and policy groups, such as the left-leaning NAACP or the right-leaning Heritage Foundation.

Next, they did the same exercise with speeches of U.S. lawmakers. If a media outlet displayed a citation pattern similar to that of a lawmaker, then Groseclose and Milyo's method assigned both a similar ADA score.

"A media person would have never done this study," said Groseclose, a UCLA political science professor, whose research and teaching focuses on the U.S. Congress. "It takes a Congress scholar even to think of using ADA scores as a measure. And I don't think many media scholars would have considered comparing news stories to congressional speeches."

Of the 20 major media outlets studied, 18 scored left of center, with CBS' "Evening News," The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times ranking second, third and fourth most liberal behind the news pages of The Wall Street Journal.

Only Fox News' "Special Report With Brit Hume" and The Washington Times scored right of the average U.S. voter.

The most centrist outlet proved to be the "NewsHour With Jim Lehrer." CNN's "NewsNight With Aaron Brown" and ABC's "Good Morning America" were a close second and third.

"Our estimates for these outlets, we feel, give particular credibility to our efforts, as three of the four moderators for the 2004 presidential and vice-presidential debates came from these three news outlets - Jim Lehrer, Charlie Gibson and Gwen Ifill," Groseclose said. "If these newscasters weren't centrist, staffers for one of the campaign teams would have objected and insisted on other moderators."

The fourth most centrist outlet was "Special Report With Brit Hume" on Fox News, which often is cited by liberals as an egregious example of a right-wing outlet. While this news program proved to be right of center, the study found ABC's "World News Tonight" and NBC's "Nightly News" to be left of center. All three outlets were approximately equidistant from the center, the report found.

"If viewers spent an equal amount of time watching Fox's 'Special Report' as ABC's 'World News' and NBC's 'Nightly News,' then they would receive a nearly perfectly balanced version of the news," said Milyo, an associate professor of economics and public affairs at the University of Missouri at Columbia


Pilgrim 8 years, 3 months ago

Posted by leftwingfarmboy (anonymous) on December 23, 2005 at 6:15 p.m.

"The media is only as liberal as the corporations that own them."

Uh, no.

Media Bias Is Real, Finds UCLA Political Scientist

Date: December 14, 2005 Contact: Meg Sullivan ( ) Phone: 310-825-1046

While the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal is conservative, the newspaper's news pages are liberal, even more liberal than The New York Times. The Drudge Report may have a right-wing reputation, but it leans left. Coverage by public television and radio is conservative compared to the rest of the mainstream media. Meanwhile, almost all major media outlets tilt to the left.

These are just a few of the surprising findings from a UCLA-led study, which is believed to be the first successful attempt at objectively quantifying bias in a range of media outlets and ranking them accordingly.

"I suspected that many media outlets would tilt to the left because surveys have shown that reporters tend to vote more Democrat than Republican," said Tim Groseclose, a UCLA political scientist and the study's lead author. "But I was surprised at just how pronounced the distinctions are."

"Overall, the major media outlets are quite moderate compared to members of Congress, but even so, there is a quantifiable and significant bias in that nearly all of them lean to the left," said coauthor Jeffrey Milyo, University of Missouri economist and public policy scholar.

The results appear in the latest issue of the Quarterly Journal of Economics, which will become available in mid-December.

Groseclose and Milyo based their research on a standard gauge of a lawmaker's support for liberal causes. Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) tracks the percentage of times that each lawmaker votes on the liberal side of an issue. Based on these votes, the ADA assigns a numerical score to each lawmaker, where "100" is the most liberal and "0" is the most conservative. After adjustments to compensate for disproportionate representation that the Senate gives to lowpopulation states and the lack of representation for the District of Columbia, the average ADA score in Congress (50.1) was assumed to represent the political position of the average U.S. voter.


Pilgrim 8 years, 3 months ago

Posted by nugget (anonymous) on December 23, 2005 at 4:20 p.m.

"What could I possibly be THINKING?"

Near as anyone can tell, you weren't.


Densmore 8 years, 3 months ago

From Arminius:

2) The state exercises control over the measure of labor and of consumption in accordance with the principle of socialism: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his work". It fixes the rate of taxation on taxable income.


Fair point. However, I did not want to waste my time addressing the obvious. But I guess that I should have done so for your benefit. Here goes:

When salaries and wages are artificailly fixed, as was the case in the erstwhile Soviet Union, there is no true "taxation." The Commies termed it "taxation," but when you juxtapose an erstwhile Soviet citizen's "rights" with an erstwhile Soviet's particular circustances, you will see that it was not a matter of taxation-it was a matter of withholding, without recourse. That is not taxation. That is government control of salaries and wages.


observer 8 years, 3 months ago

Godot, think you have me there. Seems I was referencing this site which is not a USSR source. In which case neither Kevin nor I were correct. Thanks for pointing that out. USSR does not exist,


Godot 8 years, 3 months ago

Observer, I hate to be the one to break this news to you, but the USSR collapsed in 1991. It hasn't existed as a political entity since then. There is now a country named Russia, and several smaller countries that used to be part of the USSR that are now independent.

I am guessing, here, but I think you are referring to a reference to the 1917 consititutional congress that was ARCHIVED in 2002. Small, but important, distinction.


bennyoates 8 years, 3 months ago

I can't think of a better Christmas present to the have-nots of Kansas and elsewhere than this new and sensible Republican budget.

So, from the GOP to all you losers...

"Go **** yourselves,

and have a very Merry Christmas

(take that, you liberal Christmas-haters!)"


observer 8 years, 3 months ago

Kevin, guess what. The Soviet Union adopted a new constitution in 2002. as noted

Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Adopted by the Congress of Soviets on the 24th April 2002

Hate to spoil your party and your normal line of BS, but outright lies, I don't like. Willing to concede in your case, it's simple ignorance and too much towing the repug line.

The current constitutution, article 14 reads: Article 14. In order to ensure genuine freedom of assembly for the working people, The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, recognizing the right of citizens of the Soviet Republics to freely hold assemblies, meetings, processions, etc., places at the disposal of the working class and the poor peasantry all buildings suitable for the holding of public gatherings, complete with furnishing, lighting and heating. You really need to know when you quote something, someone may check it out.


Arminius 8 years, 3 months ago


"There was no taxation in the erstwhile Soviet Union."

From Article 14 of the Constitution of the Soviet Union:

(2) The state exercises control over the measure of labor and of consumption in accordance with the principle of socialism: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his work". It fixes the rate of taxation on taxable income.


leftwingfarmboy 8 years, 3 months ago

try this again! HEY NUGGET! The media is only as liberal as the corporations that own them. Figure that one out...


Godot 8 years, 3 months ago

The Democrats love to trot out the mantra of "the rich get tax breaks at the expense of the poor." Take note that Sebelius decries the fact that, because of the new bill, it will be harder for some Kansans to qualify for Medicaid.

The informed reader will discern that the Kansans who will have a harder time qualifying for Medicaid are the ones who have a house worth more than $500,000, and/or who have transferred their assets (which could have paid for their medical expenses) to their heirs within five years of needing to go to a nursing home.

In other words, this bill makes it harder for upper income people to hide or transfer their assets so that they can pass them on to their heirs, rather than spend their money on their own health care. This makes more Medicaid dollars available for lower income people.

Of course, Sebelius, and the Journal World, don't want you to know that. They want you to believe the lie that that this bill takes money away from the needy, which it does not. It takes federal and state money away from the privileged to preserve it for the less advantaged.


Densmore 8 years, 3 months ago

From johngalt, obviously not a Rhodes Scholar:

"who don't you lefties just come out and admit you are socialists -

you want to take money from one group of folks and hand it to others

they tried it in the old Soviet Union, and it didn't work out too well, did it?"

It's called taxation, genius. Every free country in the world is free because of taxation.

There was no taxation in the erstwhile Soviet Union.


Taxes are imposed to fund the defense of the country, thus enabling free enterprise.

Taxes are imposed to fund local law enforcement and fire protection, thus enabling free enterprise.

Taxes are imposed to fund/assist education, so that we have a capable work force, thus enabling free enterprise.

Taxes are imposed to provide relief for the sick and poor, so that we do not have a chaotic, unhappy and rebellious society where free enterprise would be obstructed.


nugget 8 years, 3 months ago

why is this even news? in the grand scheme of things, she is a do nothing nobody.

Thank you for stating this, because your observation clearly makes a point worth discussing. Sebelius will be the next governor of Kansas. Why? Very simple. Because the Republican party is split so decisively they can't elect one of their own in arguably the most Republican state in the union. Everyone knows this is true. The lunatics are helping us save a little of the state's sanity.

Apparently Time Magazine thinks she's doing a pretty good job because they named her one of the top five governor's in the country. Poor "tubby" Jeb Bush--Castro said it, I'm just repeating his words ;)--finished in the worst five.

Oh wait, Time Magazine is just another liberal press tool.

What could I possibly be THINKING?


johngalt 8 years, 3 months ago

who don't you lefties just come out and admit you are socialists -

you want to take money from one group of folks and hand it to others

they tried it in the old Soviet Union, and it didn't work out too well, did it?


erichaar 8 years, 3 months ago

"'Washington needs to be a partner, not an adversary, in giving our families the tools to achieve a healthy and prosperous future,' (Sebelius) said."

I can just hear K.S. actually saying this Michelle-Corcoran-crafted political vomitus-- all in Kathy's stoic, monotone, Henry-Kissinger-sounding deep voice.

Regardless of how annoying she is to listen to, it's so convenient for the queen gov to rip the feds, or anyone else for that matter, for not giving her more of other persons' money to spend. Can anyone actually think of something decent she's proposed or implemented?


bennyoates 8 years, 3 months ago

Brownback is right. We need to rein in out-of-control spending. So, let's start with the Republican defense budget.

What else should we expect from the liar Brownback, who portrays himself as a humble farm boy on the Senate floor, when in fact he comes from one of this state's wealthiest families, one whose members don't have to worry about health care and college educations.

Republicans do not want the general public to have access to quality health care or higher education. It is not in their interests for the general public to enjoy the privileges they hoard.

lunacydetector, what do you know about the grand scheme of anything? What do you do that merits attention? When did you become a somebody? That will really be news when we find out, right up there with the news that hell has frozen over.


lunacydetector 8 years, 3 months ago

why is this even news? in the grand scheme of things, she is a do nothing nobody.


mcoan 8 years, 3 months ago

Wow! The Guv shows some backbone and criticizes the Right Wing Kansas Congressional Delegation? Nope...she didn't criticize them, only the actions of the ENTIRE 51 affirmative votes.

Now if she would stand up to the rest of the Right Wing kooks who run the state. I've said all along: She needs to be shaming the Intelligent Design supporters and the entire right wing. The state will have zero economic development as long as it's the laughingstock of the country. How sad...a once-proud, independent state is now completely controlled by extremists and the Governor acts like it's OK.


staff04 8 years, 3 months ago

I love how the compassion just pours out of Republicans when they see an opportunity to pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest by cutting programs that benefit the poorest. Suddenly, when it isn't an issue of morality like abortion or gay marriage, they become as un-Christian as they could possibly be.

I call B-S on this one.


johngalt 8 years, 3 months ago

reductions in increases ARE NOT cuts


Pilgrim 8 years, 3 months ago

Sebelius said the budget "seriously undermines our commitment to health care and student loans."

So if those two things are such critical programs to Kansans, let the good governor try to get those programs pushed through the legislature at the state level.

Speaking of disingenuous. All she wants is for the federal government to do her dirty work for her.

Come on, gov. Step up. Be a leader. Show the world how self-sufficient Kansans can be.


wendt 8 years, 3 months ago

"Brownback argued there were no real cuts in the budget, only reductions in the size of growth in spending."

Brownback is being disingenuous. The cuts are being made in "real dollars" or inflation adjusted dollars.


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