Archive for Monday, January 10, 2011

Sam Brownback sworn in as Kansas Governor in Topeka

January 10, 2011, 6:43 a.m. Updated January 10, 2011, 4:58 p.m.


Sam Brownback sworn in as Kansas governor

Sam Brownback was sworn in as the 46th governor of Kansas on Monday, Jan. 10, 2011. The inauguration ceremony was held in the Kansas House chamber after being forced inside due to a snow storm. Enlarge video

Governor Sam Brownback's inauguration day

Sam Brownback was sworn in as the 46th governor of Kansas on Monday, Jan. 10, 2011. The inauguration ceremony was held in the Kansas House chamber after being forced inside due to a snow storm.

Members of the Air National Guard and Army National Guard prepare for Governor Sam Brownback's inauguration on Monday, Jan. 10, 2011.

Members of the Air National Guard and Army National Guard prepare for Governor Sam Brownback's inauguration on Monday, Jan. 10, 2011.

Governor Sam Brownback

Photos, videos and stories about Kansas Governor Sam Brownback.

— Gov. Sam Brownback was sworn into office Monday, saying he wanted to focus on improving the economy and education, but his fellow conservative Republicans indicated they wanted to deal with additional issues, such as abortion and immigration.

Brownback, 54, became the 46th governor of the state in an inaugural ceremony that was chased inside the Capitol by a snowstorm.

Just hours after taking the oath of office, Brownback convened his Cabinet and urged his appointees to focus on five goals.

The goals are to increase Kansans’ net personal income, private sector employment, the percentage of fourth-graders reading at grade level, the percentage of high school graduates who are college-ready, and decrease the percentage of Kansas children living in poverty. These were the same goals he announced during his campaign.

Brownback had the goals printed on laminated cards and handed them to his Cabinet secretaries.

“I’m not asking you to tie it around your neck,” Brownback told Cabinet members, but, he added, “All of our jobs are dependent on these five measurables moving in the right direction.”

But Brownback’s fellow conservatives quickly showed they had additional goals as the 2011 Legislature started.

They filed bills to repeal in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants and further restrict late-term abortions. The proposals have for the past several years been turned back by a coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats. That coalition, however, was destroyed in the last election.

But most of the day was devoted to tradition and ceremony.

After being sworn into office, Brownback gave a short speech in the House chamber, saying Kansas will rise above current economic and societal problems.

But Brownback provided no details on his plan to balance the budget in the face of a growing $550 million revenue shortfall.

“Our administration will focus on the basics,” he said. Brownback will give his State of the State address on Wednesday and is expected to unveil his proposed budget on Thursday.

His speech focused on Kansas’ place in history, saying it was the land of hope, freedom and opportunity.

A two-term U.S. senator, and former presidential candidate, Brownback has long touted anti-tax, small government and anti-abortion positions.

Republicans swept all statewide and congressional races in November’s election, the first time since 1964.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach is known nationally for pushing laws aimed at illegal immigration. And new Attorney General Derek Schmidt has said he will file a legal challenge to the federal health care reform act.

In addition, Republicans hold a 92-33 advantage over Democrats in the House and a 32-8 advantage in the Senate.


ksriver2010 7 years, 5 months ago

Actually, just like King Saul, God says to us "I gave you what you asked for!"

KEITHMILES05 7 years, 5 months ago

Brownie must now stop talking and start doing. All this flowry and fluffy talk must cease. Can this talk be turned into real live dynamics of doing stuff? I'm not optimistic what he has said will be accomplished. Just a bunch of gibberish and at the end of the day not much will have happened.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

No details yet.

I'm eagerly awaiting them - especially if he keeps his promise to protect education and social service funding, balance the budget, and not raise taxes.

Lulu 7 years, 5 months ago

Greg Brady is sworn in. How much he commit to ecotourism? Will he rid people the need to eat meats? What about womyn? How about legalizing K-pot? I don't see anything good coming from this happenstance........Sebelius was enjoyable to partake and a vision of visions and she made movement to HHS secretary so we healthy with her at the helms. O wonderful Kathleen. I miss her! XOXO


Fossick 7 years, 5 months ago

Lulu, we are all immeasurably richer when you bless us with your wisdom.

kernal 7 years, 5 months ago

Watched and listened to Brownie's inaugural speech today, Sounded a lot like another speech I heard elsewhere in the past. Hmmm.

Will give him a chance; more than GOP gave Obama, but sometimes you have to be the bigger person. Now, if he can get Anthony Brown to keep his mouth shut....

madameX 7 years, 5 months ago

With all due respect, there are many commenters on this board for whom you do not speak if that's what you want to say.

notajayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

"You definitely don't speak for the majority of posters on this board."

No kiddin'. Another thing to be thankful for. Luckily, he DOES speak for the majority of the people of Kansas. You know, the ones who elected him and who he works for. The liberal elitist posters on these small college town paper message boards are the "fringe", seeker.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 5 months ago

All politicians engage in code-talking, mainly to reach the sheeple who don't want to think too deeply about complex matters. The phrase that went something like "The coarseness of modernity" may be the key here. Clearly, the Governor is correct in a sense, but moving us to a 'kinder, gentler' status will be interesting to watch. I wonder what parts of modernity, other than some parts of science, bother the Gov?

BigPrune 7 years, 5 months ago

Do you have a problem with his grammar?

Brendon Allen 7 years, 5 months ago

So you get to be the fringe of the fringe... Good use of time!

Tom McCune 7 years, 5 months ago

Maybe the Mayan calendar is right after all. The end is night if this guy can get elected and sworn in.

Fossick 7 years, 5 months ago

Well, it's night, too, in a way. Just consider it your artsy side coming thru.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 5 months ago

Congratulations Gov. Brownback!

It's good to have someone who professes to be a 'Christian' in office.

Of course George W. professed to be a 'Christian' but sure did plenty of things that made us on the religious right question that. I think he was more of a deist. Probably a good thing for him though; if he truly would have stuck to 'Christian' principles, he not only would have needed to worry about muslim terrorists, but also 'secular humanist/progressives' probably even some far left (so-called) "Christians" doing him physical harm..

God bless America!! One nation under God! In God we trust!

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

How does anybody that professes to be a Christian, and believe in the whole Bible, support war?

"Thou shalt not kill" seems pretty clear and direct to me - for New Testament, how about "Love your enemies".

It seems to me that Christian belief would lead almost inevitably to pacifism - why doesn't it?

Tom McCune 7 years, 5 months ago

I know it's OT, but God commanded his people to make war on almost all of their neighbors in order to seize their land. Books of Judges, Kings, etc. etc....

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

How does that make sense in conjunction with "thou shalt not kill", which is one of the fundamental tenets of the 10 commandments?

notajayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Most people believe the more accurate translation is "Thou shalt not murder", which is not the same thing.

Fossick 7 years, 5 months ago

"It seems to me that Christian belief would lead almost inevitably to pacifism - why doesn't it?"

At the risk of sounding trite, it's because there are more than two verses in the Bible. The world is complicated, and therefore the theology that deals with the Christian's actions in that world is complicated as well, far more complicated than taking one verse from its context and universalizing it.

One might argue that if I love my enemy I should never hurt him, yet the command to love my neighbor as myself may require that I protect the innocent from another person*. That in turn may require that I use force to in order to stop them. And as soon as one has agreed to use force against another, one is no longer a pacifist.

That said, there are Christian sects who are and have always been pacifist (Brethren, Mennonites, Quakers and the like). While I think they are incorrect, I certainly respect the position.

  • After all, isn't that the argument that "we" (or our army) need to get involved in Kosovo or Darfur or Ivory Coast or wherever...

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

The commandment "Thou shalt not kill" is pretty blunt and hard to interpret in any other way than as an absolute proscription on killing, it seems to me.

It doesn't say, Thou shalt not kill, except for a, b, c, ...

And, many Christians claim to believe the whole Bible, not just the NT. How on earth can they support war, in that case? The most your comments would allow is for some sort of force to be used to protect others - it wouldn't justify killing, if one follows the commandments.

Fossick 7 years, 5 months ago

Look, I'm not going to argue the theology - this is simply not the place. However, I will note that the Hebrew word you reference, ratsach, has a primary meaning of "murder," not kill as you are using it*. The Jews were perfectly aware of the commandment when in the next chapter of Exodus they commanded capital punishment for murderers. Killing and murder are not, in biblical context, morally equivalent.

The fact that you are using kill as you are leads me to two probabilities: Either you are a non-Christian who really doesn't understand and wants an answer to the question, or you are a non-Christian who wants to show that Christians don't understand their own writings as well as you do.

If you want to understand, you have a really nice library in Lawrence and there are 1900 years' worth of theology to peruse - you are not the first person to bring up the topic of Christians and war. If all you're interested in showing that you already know enough, then I'm afraid I can't help you any further.

  • Yes, I know, translation issues.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

A little pique there, huh?

I am either a Christian or a non-Christian, depending on how one uses the word and what it means. I'm also Jewish by birth and culture.

If you're correct about the original, why on earth haven't we been using the word "murder" rather than "kill" for centuries when referring to the commandment?

Would have made things a bit clearer, don't you think?

You're obviously intelligent, and apparently a Christian of some sort - do you think the Bible is clear and consistent?

Fossick 7 years, 5 months ago

"A little pique there, huh?"

Not any more than a biologist would be if some creationist said, "I really don't understand why if people came from monkeys, there are still monkeys." The question demands a book-sized answer or none at all.

The problem is that, insisting on your own wording, you illustrate that you misunderstand the question so badly that it is impossible to answer. For example, a quick look at a parallel bible might have shown you that "murder" is the generally-accepted modern translation:

And nearly every commentary that you might care to read will tell you, in far more words, exactly what I said, and they would understand why the KJV translators chose kill, what effect that has on modern translations, and all the other stuff that's important if you really want an answer.

But what you did, without even realizing it, was to interpret it yourself. You see, the command as you read it is "you shall not kill," but you interpreted it as "you shall not kill people." Without context it could just as easily be interpreted as you shall not kill anything including bugs, you shall not kill time, you shall not kill virtual dragons by rolling a 20-sided die. If you had looked at the context or understood the history, even a little, you would have recognized your mistake very quickly.

I tried to give you a clue that it was more complicated than you were making it, but that did not work. So how do you tell someone, nicely, that they do not even know enough to ask the right question?

Fossick 7 years, 5 months ago

Let me see if I can put this an easier way. Let's say that I was talking to a particle physicist and that I know almost nothing about particle physics*. It is going to be perfectly obvious to him from the nature of my questions not only that I know nothing, but what my assumptions are, and probably where they came from. Is there any way that he can 'bring me up to speed' quickly? Probably not - he's going to tell me to pick up a basic book and read it. He may even have recommendations. If I do not expend even that much effort, he is going to assume that I don't consider the question that important.

In the same way, it was perfectly obvious to me as soon as you asked your question the second time that your theology is on par with my particle physics. You don't know what you don't know. You didn't know that "you shall not murder" has been the preferred translation for more than a century and based your question on a false premise. You insisted that this incorrect interpretation is "hard to interpret any other way," when in fact it's astonishingly easy to come up with alternative interpretations.

In short, I concluded that you are a young male from a non-religious background, highly intelligent, a bit of a social savant, attracted to math or law but disinterested in most history, and if I would go out on a limb, I would guess that you have a few close friends, but they do not understand your humor, nor you theirs. I may be wrong on that, but I am probably not wrong in assuming that you cannot understand why what is so clear to you about Christian theology is so opaque to Christians, and it never occurred to you that it's because you have not put forth the effort to understand theology.

You asked whether I "do you think the Bible is clear and consistent," and the answer is "yes and no;" it depends on what you want it for. Like particle physics, there are easy answers for easy questions and hard answers for hard questions. There is a 2nd grade Jesus-loves-me-this-I-know theology and there is a theology for those who want to know - and put forth the effort to know - why a good God allows a Hitler. Adult questions have complicated answers.

I'm taking the effort to answer, not because I think you were initially serious about the question, but because I like you, and I think that you might find a challenge in it. My only hope would be that it's a challenge to learn something you don't know rather than to defeat someone you don't know.

  • because it's true.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

I was actually serious about the question - my father-in-law, who is a pretty well read Christian, couldn't answer it.

Now, this is fun - almost all of your personal conclusions about me are wrong.

I'm 49, married for 14 years, interested in many things other than math and law, my friends and I understand each other's humor quite well, and in fact I majored in religious studies.

The intelligent part I'll take, though, and thanks.

Glad you like me, though, even though I'm quite different than you seem to think.

After a little research, it appears that you are generally correct about the current translation/understanding of the commandment, although there is at least one source that understands it as a prohibition on killing animals as well, which I sort of like, being a vegetarian.

Having looked it up in our closest to hand Bible, which claims to be based on an Aramaic version, it uses the word "kill".

And, in the pages immediately following, you can find a number of interesting rules involved how one can/should treat a servant one has bought.

In addition, among a list of crimes, one finds that "he who curses his father or his mother" shall be put to death.

It seems to me that believers must pick and choose in order to justify their particular view - apparently they like the ten commandments but not the next page, unless you know of people who think that it's ok to buy servants, and put children to death for cursing their parents.

And, I like talking with you as well generally, although this conversation hasn't been as pleasant as others we've had.

Fossick 7 years, 5 months ago

I don't consider this conversation to be unpleasant at all, but I must confess that I'm stumped: how is it that a person who majored in religious studies does not know the answer to your question? I don't mean that to be insulting (and I apologize that I have come off that way), but I am honestly baffled.

Being that I was wrong about your relative youth, I suspect you can understand my position - most people on forums who ask questions like yours have absolutely no interest in an answer, they are interested in showing that people who disagree with them are stupid. That propensity is doubled when it is asked multiple times in quick succession.

So I have to ask myself, is it worth it to try to set this person straight? Or am I just peeing on the fan here? I judged it worth it because, as I mentioned, you seem a good chap.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

By the way, although you are clearly a thoughtful Christian, many believers are not, and have little interest in understanding the Bible.

Religion serves different functions for different people.

kugrad 7 years, 5 months ago

Let me make a prediction. The first thing Gov. Brownback will do to meet his goal of having all 4th graders reading at grade-level will be to cut education spending. He will follow that up with tax cuts that will further erode the State's ability to fund vital services like education, ignoring the constitutional obligation to fund an adequate education at levels that have been determined by THREE audits controlled by the legislature. All three showed education was severely underfunded. The tax burden will then be passed onto local governments, and then the burden will unfairly be placed primarily on the middle-class and property owners.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

Will any of his supporters notice that, do you think?

I'll keep mentioning it, of course, on these comments - so far nobody has responded. For those on the right who feel strongly about character, one might think that making such promises and then reneging on them was a sign of a lack thereof.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 5 months ago

Or maybe President Obama just actually had sex with his wife and produced offspring, while Sam was busy raging against gays, women's rights and various other things that frighten him.

pace 7 years, 5 months ago

I dislike you using adopted kids as toys in your political attack. I like political attacks, don't like brownback but this seems petty and low.

James Findley 7 years, 5 months ago

Is it just me or does Brownback's evil beady eyed wife look like the sister of the pastor on the HBO series Carnival?

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