Archive for Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Statehouse Live: More school districts consider funding lawsuit; Democratic Party petition opposes GOP health care amendment; Tiahrt compares Democratic Party to communism, report says

November 3, 2009, 11:11 a.m. Updated November 3, 2009, 4:16 p.m.


— In school board votes earlier this week, the Bonner Springs-Edwardsville, Hays and Newton school districts have said they will join a possible lawsuit against the state to increase funding for schools.

There are now 30 school districts in Schools for Fair Funding, the organization that several years ago filed the successful lawsuit that led to court-ordered increases in school finance and changes in the way funding was allocated.

But this year, public schools have been cut by state officials because of dwindling tax revenues. More cuts are likely to be announced in the next few weeks, prompting some school officials to consider filing another school funding lawsuit.

The school districts say lawmakers have a constitutional duty to properly fund schools, and that they have shirked that duty by cutting taxes over the past few years.

3:23 p.m.

The State Democratic Party reported it had a petition signed by 7,700 Kansans urging lawmakers to reject a proposed constitutional amendment that is designed to block federal health reform in Kansas.

The petition drive started last week following news conferences by state Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, and state Reps. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichtia, and Peggy Mast, R-Emporia. The legislators said their proposed amendment would prohibit requiring Kansans to buy health insurance under any government plan.

But Democrats said the proposal offered by the GOP lawmakers was partisan and hypocritical.

The Democratic Party petition stated:

“Americans are on the brink of benefiting from substantive and meaningful health insurance reform. Unfortunately, Republican legislators in Kansas are moving quickly to opt out of the reform and deny Kansans the options that will be made available to consumers in other states. Kansans deserve the opportunity to benefit from that legislation -- not failed leadership from extreme right-wing politicians looking to score cheap political points.”

11:11 a.m.

In a talk given at Pittsburg State University on Monday, U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, used the terms “communism” and “socialism” to describe the Democratic Party, according to the Pittsburg Morning Sun.

Tiahrt faces U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Hays, for the GOP nomination to run for the Senate seat being left open by U.S. Sen. Sam Browback, R-Kan., who is running for governor.

This from the Morning Sun: He (Tiahrt) said that Democrats wanted to get people “into a life of dependency” from “cradle to the grave.”

“That didn’t work in Russia,” Tiahrt said. “And it didn’t work in Germany.”


Phillbert 8 years, 6 months ago

Congressman Tiahrt, if you're going to bring the crazy then bring the crazy. Don't say "Russia" and "Germany" when we all know you're comparing Democrats to Soviets and Nazis. Have the balls to stand by your insane convictions.

TheStonesSuck 8 years, 6 months ago

Well stated, Phill. On the other hand, I think Todd has a pretty compelling case to argue that, "O, its already been broughten!"

lounger 8 years, 6 months ago

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Flap Doodle 8 years, 6 months ago

Your basic garden-variety commie was more subtle than the hooligans hiding under the mask of the Democratic Party. Dear Leader says "All power to the Soviets! Oh, wait, that's for next year.... Never mind."

statesman 8 years, 6 months ago

I'd equate the Republicans with the Facist movement. If you don't have the same exact values as the Republicans, you are the enemy and must be eraducated. Republicans spend their time hating......they hate socialists, gays, blacks, women, atheists, foreigners, pro-choice, etc. If you don't follow their narrow intepretation of their "bible" then you're a commie or socialist. Republicans need to clean up their own house before they cast stones at other people.

Keith 8 years, 6 months ago

"BlessedSap (Anonymous) says… It comes down to concentrating and centralizing power and that is what the democrats stand for just like any other totalitarian regime. The are the agents of DC and traders to their free countrymen."

What rock were you hiding under the last 8 years as the republicans in charge passed the Patriot act, started wiretapping without warrants, commited torture and other acts normally associated with totalitarian regimes?

Robert Rauktis 8 years, 6 months ago

"traders"-the revenge of the "D" student!

davidmcg 8 years, 6 months ago

Now, this is just me, I am an Independent but I voted for Tiahart last election. I really think he should stop with what he is saying, especially things like this, until after the ethics charges investigation are completed and made public. I mean, when ya get right down to it, can you really trust the Republicans any more than the Democrats? I myself, I am pretty tired of all of them. I don't think I could mention but maybe one or two that I would vote for today if there was an election being held. Can't think of many who have earned their keep. They have seperated themselves from "We the People" far too much and for far to long. It has to stop. They have turned the halls of Congress into an "alagarchy". What with their own private medical care, retirement, take a plane anytime, and more. I am starting more and more to feel the calling of going green as they say. In this case, going green being a call phrase to vote every single one of them out. I mean to call the Democrats a communist, did Sen. McCarthy try that once? But with all said, I wouldn't vote for a single democrat if I had to right now and thats a fact. Why should I? They allowed the president to fill the White House with subversives and worse.

gogoplata 8 years, 6 months ago

The Democrats policies are socialistic. But so are the Republicans.

mdrndgtl 8 years, 6 months ago

Rabble, rabble, rabble... Yawn, this is junk...

Bob_Keeshan 8 years, 6 months ago

To be fair, it is possible when Tiahrt says it didn't work in Germany he is referring to the Weimar Republic. Or perhaps the Christian Democratic ways of Helmut Kohl.

Most likely, though, he just called the President of the United State and his political party Nazis. That is exactly what Kansans want from a Congressman and candidate for US Senate. Luckily, this is a solid GOP state so this type of hate speech won't get much play.

Something else interesting - when Republicans want to talk about what a failure communism is they always point to Russia.

They never point to China.

preebo 8 years, 6 months ago

Where's Marion?

This seems to be right up his alley. Republicans have nothing more than fear to use; playing on peoples fears is what Republicans confuse with a policy platform.

MyName 8 years, 6 months ago

It looks like Tiahrt is hoping to win the Republican primary by capturing the highly coveted crazy vote! Maybe he can get his campaign slogan printed up on aluminum foil deflector beanies to help get the word out.

davidmcg 8 years, 6 months ago

You know, what I see when I look at the current political parties is not red or blue. Its pirple. Both of them are busy telling us how and where to live our lives. I thought this country was based on freedom. It was not based on Republican or Democratic views. Thaey have bastardized our country. Our country, and many will argue this, was based on a Libertarian view. For reference, look at the Declaration of Independence, Federalist Papers, constitution -- specifically where it says unalienable rights given by GOD, not given or granted by any government. I am not a Libertarian, but more so than any other party. I moved to the rural area to be left alone. For the most part that is occurring. But now with them poking around with this bull of cap and trade, a new Clean Water Act, Health Care. All it will do to any of us is strip us of our unalienable rights and enslave each and every one of us -- except them. They will maintain their private health care, retirement and buzz around in their large vehicles and aircraft.

Cait McKnelly 8 years, 6 months ago

If Democrats are communists, Republicans are fascists. If the shoe fits....

CheneyHawk 8 years, 6 months ago

Funny coming from a man that used to sport a Hitler style mustache and supported term limits. (Still in office - hmmm almost like cradle to grave..... hmmmm)

happy_go_lucky 8 years, 6 months ago

In reference to BlessedSap

Most people in China are fine with the current affairs, becuause unlike Americans, they have always had low freedom values within their culture. Sure some want more freedom's, particularly the youth, but they have never had the freedoms granted to American Citizens.

And yes the "traders" are betraying their countrymen. Thus proving the idea that uneducated people side with republicans.

monkeyhawk 8 years, 6 months ago

It's not about Democrats against Republicans (in real life outside of Lawrence, anyway). It is about the people against government. Many in D.C. seem to have forgotten that it is the government OF the people. Incumbents, beware.

jonas_opines 8 years, 6 months ago

"Something else interesting - when Republicans want to talk about what a failure communism is they always point to Russia.

They never point to China."

China deserves the label autocratic, but you can barely call it communist at all when they've been deliberately and openly enacting capitalist reforms for the last three decades.

It's also hard to say that it's a failure when it's posted double digit economic growth for two decades, too.

But if you want to see the failures of Communism (also the failures of putting ideological adherence over expertise), find a candid source on the Great Leap Forward, that accidently killed something like 30 million people from famine.

happy_go_lucky 8 years, 6 months ago

ComradeRedRooster, I am sorry to tell you, but your knowledge of facts is quite insignificant. Fascism is on the complete right on the left-right scale. While socialism is on the other. As a political sci major, I am sad to say your knowledge of the subject is completely based on what Glen Beck tells you. Before you speak on subjects you clearly lack any actual knowledge of, just forget it.

jonas_opines 8 years, 6 months ago

Pretty sure it's well documented that Hitler hated communists. This left/right thing gets pretty muddy when the only guideline is things you agree with and things that you don't, doesn't it?

texburgh 8 years, 6 months ago

Tiahrt's GOP is the equivalent of fascism. Take away civil liberties to protect us from the "enemy." Build secret prison camps. Institutionalize torture. Criminalize anyone who speaks out (outing of CIA agent). Take a look at the ten steps to fascism/totalitarianism and see if it doesn't sound like the Bush/Cheney/Tiahrt/Pilcher-Cook GOP.

jonas_opines 8 years, 6 months ago

About half of those hates are at least partially wrong, but whatever. Hitler is said to have considered communism a failed ideology, the same as Capitalism.

jonas_opines 8 years, 6 months ago

It's also quite a disengenuous diversion to try and claim the comparison with nationalist friction, but I imagine that you knew that already.

happy_go_lucky 8 years, 6 months ago

You said it, the dictators you mentioned STARTED out with aspirations of socialist revolution, but where it ended was far from that. That is why they are called fascist, not socialist, because they were not socialist in practice. Fascism isn't socialism.

The ideas may have similarities(gov control of economy) but in practice the aura of government is entirely different. Socialism is a movement of the people, while fascism can come from that, it is more based in the power of a leader.

MyName 8 years, 6 months ago

happy_go_lucky is exactly right, and if you go by the labels the parties place on themselves, then you're in for a world of hurt. Or have you never heard of the German Democratic Republic, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, etc.

Both communism and fascism believe in government control of the economy, but the reason why Mussolini was a fascist while Stalin was a socialist is that Mussolini believed that government control is necessary in order to make a country stronger in order to survive conflict with other countries. While Stalin (purportedly) believed that government control was necessary in order to ensure equality, as (according to far left socialist ideas) capitalism always leads to the rich and powerful exploiting everyone else.

In many ways, it's the difference between Saddam Hussain and Kim Jong Il. Neither country was good to live in, both ended up with a strong leader running everything, but the justification behind their grab for power was different.

happy_go_lucky 8 years, 6 months ago

Just because the American liberal is left of yourself, does not make us socialists. You ignorant people throw the word around like he or she. American democrats have the foresight and realization that failed Reagan-Era policies like "trickle" down economics don't work. What occured at the end of Bush's reign was a clear representation of that. Obama did not make the economic crisis we face(d). It was not democratic policies that lead to the depression.

And health care is a human right, innate. The government OF the people FOR the people should really act as such. The policy of Bush that rewarded the top 1% was clearly not that. Health care, being an innate human right, should thusly be seen as a high priority to provide universal coverage. It is not fascism, nor is it the sign that the democrats love Che.

jonas_opines 8 years, 6 months ago

Jonas, What was partially wrong?

"China fought a war with Vietnam."

In 1979, after the Real communist heyday in China, and it had nothing to do with ideology, everything to do with the invasion of Cambodia.

"Russia and China were nearly at war 5 times from 1961 to 1978."

And were allies up until the late 50's, and then dropped due to Chinese perceptions of Russian contempt, bigotry, and domineering.

Thus, two of the four were at least partially wrong.

"As for nationalist friction? Another misconception."

Only in your reading of my quote. Friction between nations is neither a hallmark of communism nor capitalism, nor is either side immune. In other words:

"Are you saying communism is utopian and therefore incapable of discord?"

It takes a tremendous amount of spin to even believe that is the position I was taking.

Enough spin that this is starting to smell familiar again. I can't help but note that you just started posting under this name, and your tone and tactics sound awfully familiar.

jonas_opines 8 years, 6 months ago

"For these reasons Hitler is clearly a leftist but foremost because he was a revolutionary. Generally speaking, the left is the party of change, the right is the party of status quo."

"Republicans are like Lincoln, Republicans led the civil rights movement, a Republican congress passed the civil rights legislation of the 60s against democratic opposition."

So, in other words, Lincoln and the '60s Republicans were leftists?

Again, things sure get muddy with this left/right thing when your guideline is things that you agree with and things that you don't, don't they?

Anyway, I do believe I'll leave it at that gr. . . . sorry, finger slipped. . . . comrade.

JHOK32 8 years, 6 months ago

I guess if you think spending a $Trillion dollars (over 10 years) to provide healthcare to all Americans is better than spending a $Trillion dollars for a war which only profited Exxon-Mobil makes you a socialist, then I guess am for the socialists (besides, didn't we already defeat communism & hasn't the Soviet Union already been disolved, or is that just some more of that thar socialist proppeeganda?

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 6 months ago

As a liberal democrat, I would rather see our country move somewhat to the left, which is what the government plan provides. As for the years 2000-2008, we have paid and will pay for the extreme failure of the extreme right for an extremely long time.

Paul R Getto 8 years, 6 months ago

I hate to admit this, but sometimes Rep. Tiahrt makes Senator Sam look at least a bit rational. What a pair to draw to. This is the best Kansas can offer to the rest of the country?

jayhawklawrence 8 years, 6 months ago

Tiahrt is part of that group of political fundamentalists that interprets everything according to a simple set of principles. Anything outside of that, which means you and me, is somehow wrong. Our crime is simply that we don't cheer for their team.

How do we get rid of these knuckleheads in our government, both Democrat and Republican?

Both political parties have done a poor job of governing.

I look forward to voting for new and younger politicians.

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