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Opinion

Opinion

Letter: Central power

March 16, 2013

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To the editor:

An elected governor who wishes to gather all of the political power of the state unto himself backs up his executive powers with control of the legislative and judicial (including appeals process) by whatever means needed, including intimidation of members of his own party. The outstanding historical example of this was the late Huey P. Long known as the “Kingfish” in the state of Louisiana and noted by the president as one of the two most dangerous men in America in the 1930s.

There is surely little doubt now that Sam Brownback has made rapid progress toward gathering all the political power of the state of Kansas unto himself and, like Huey P. Long, has picked a fight with the federal courts. Kansans will now pay millions in legal fees to refight a battle lost long ago in 1865 at the close of our Civil War.

It should shame all Kansans that see it happening and do nothing and say nothing.

Comments

Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

Some Sam Brownback in the beltway history?

Republican economics have made buying homes a huge risk as a long term investment

They have established this risk under Reagan/Bush and Bush/Cheney home loan frauds.

It is these two administrations that brought the USA frauds that effectively took down home values substantially. How can owing more on a home than it is worth be fun?

Meet Republican Economics

  1. Mergers
  2. Hostile Takeovers
  3. Leveraged Buyouts
  4. Free Trade Agreements
  5. Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan home loan scandal which killed the economy and cost the USA millions of jobs.
  6. Bush/Cheney Home Loan scandal killed the economy and cost the USA millions of jobs

All of above ultimately translated into millions upon millions upon millions of USA job losses. Big time layoffs were the end result. These jobs go abroad with tax codes that prevent taxation on profits made abroad from USA big name corporations.

There was a time when becoming employed by corporate America came with long term employment, fine wages and dependable retirement benefits. Those days are gone.

After a 4 year degree one now needs a Vocational-Technical Institute certificate to become a highly skilled technician in some field.This will make any college grad more marketable and perhaps open doors to self employment. Or if one has the dollars becoming a career student is as respectable as any other full time job.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

Old school republicans need to stop voting party line. Stop voting GOP unfortunately. Sam Brownback works for ALEC not the GOP or Kansas.

Everything Brownback and his out of state administration is doing is straight out of the ALEC Doctrine.

Consumers continue to shop Wal-Mart who is part of this movement including shutting down public schools. Why do consumers support this retail giant?

Consumers can go online to discover Koch products and stop buying those?

What do consumers have to lose? Quite a bit if they continue their current shopping habits.

  1. respectable wages

  2. Neighborhood public schools

  3. democracy

  4. two party system ( we need 3 cuz the GOP has to go)

  5. fair taxation( going down the tubes quickly)

  6. Women's Rights are taking very large hits

  7. What's left of transparency

For more info.

United States of ALEC – Bill Moyers http://www.democracynow.org/2012/9/27/the_united_states_of_alec_bill

ALEC – The Voice of Corporate Special Interests in State Legislatures http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/alec-the-voice-of-corporate-special-interests-state-legislatures

ALEX EXPOSED – The Koch Connection http://www.thenation.com/article/161973/alec-exposed-koch-connection

parrothead8 1 year, 9 months ago

I know, right? They're only #2 on the Fortune 500 list after being #1 four of the last five years. Seriously hurting.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

Two choices as I see it.

  1. Get rid of Sam Brownback and his team of phony republicans

  2. Two or 3 million people in Kansas leave the state.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

The cause is pretty clear-- the class warfare that started with the Powell Memo in the late 60's, and with the policies favoring the wealthy and the corporations they own, beginning, ironically, with the Carter Administration, becoming the permanent official Republican agenda with Reagan, and accelerating from there. Even the Democrats, thanks to Clinton and the DLC, have adopted an only slightly more compassionate agenda that primarily favors plutocracy.

Crazy_Larry 1 year, 9 months ago

How can you blame Obama for our problems and then post points of fact dating back to BushCo? Can't you see there is a class war going on and the 99% are getting smashed? All politicians are lapdogs for the superrich.

Armstrong 1 year, 9 months ago

Was this piece of propaganda put together by Barry and the wealth redistribution gang ? Very good poor me piece.

avarom 1 year, 9 months ago

The idea is "Keep ya Poor, You need The Government More" ..........All about Control.....wait until they start mess'in with Medicare and Social Security......UGH!.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

So, does that mean you support a raise in the minimum wage to something people can actually live on-- say $15 an hour?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

Actually, what would really happen is that more people would have more money to spend, which would stimulate the economy in ways that are good for the great majority, but not quite as good for the wealthy.

But I don't expect you to accept that, because you're too wedded to your fairy tale theories of economics.

Armstrong 1 year, 9 months ago

Ok Mr. Economics tell my why everyone isn't paid $5,000/hr. then

Sooner or later Boz you will have to figure out your vast knowledge of the economy and or basic economics is zero, nada, zilch, zip.....

headdoctor 1 year, 9 months ago

Armstrong, I would bet a cookie to a hole in a doughnut that JABOTB understands economics better than you. Certainly better than the Tea Bagging Republicans. It is complete ignorance to think that the economy will be made much better by crushing the very large part of the population that drives the economy.

Armstrong 1 year, 9 months ago

Fine, same question to you Doc. Why isn't everyone paid $5,000/hr ? Please consult with Boz if you'd like. I'm on pins and needles waiting for this response.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

"Why isn't everyone paid $5,000/hr ?"

Some variability in wages/salary makes sense. But the extremes of wealth that currently exist, and particularly the ability of an employer to pay wages than no one could possibly survive on, makes absolutely no sense.

Armstrong 1 year, 9 months ago

We may have a teachable moment folks. Ok Boz, why does that not make sense ?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

To a sentient, compassionate human being, it's painfully obvious. You're too ideologically rigid to be taught anything.

jayhawklawrence 1 year, 9 months ago

It is the result of our failed response to globalization and the choices our leaders are making to protect the upper 1% at the expense of the American people. We are seeing what happens when a country loses its soul.

bisky1 1 year, 9 months ago

Population, 2012 estimate, 2,885,905 Ya ever heard of Barney Frank or Chris Dodd Merrill? What crap.

tomatogrower 1 year, 9 months ago

My responses are in parenthesis. Quit putting the blame on one man, especially since his opponents want him to fail at any cost.

53% of American workers make less than $30,000 per year. (unions weakened by Republican propaganda and laws, Obama supports workers uniting and demanding a share of the profits)

Unemployment among 20-29 year olds is 13%. (The recession started in 2008, the causes going on long before that. Corporations prefer a high unemployment rate, so they can pay their workers less, and treat them poorly.)

The percentage of the American work force (not counting the military) who are employed has been declining every year since 2006. (Obama became president in 2009, it's not easy to turn a trend like this around, especially since some are profiting from this. The business model now is employees are a pain, and the fewer you have to deal with the better. Blame the corporations.)

In the past 12 years, over 56,000 U.S. manufacturing facilities have closed their doors. (Again, greedy, pseudo patriots who wear a flag pin, then move their facilities out of the country for cheaper labor. Obama has proposed several measure to punish those leaving the country, and reward those returning. Blocked by Republicans every time.)

Major retail chains are expected to close hundreds of stores in 2013: Best Buy, over 200; Sears, over 100; JC Penney, 300 to 350; GameStop, up to 600; RadioShack, as many as 550 stores. The list goes on and on. Where will all those displaced workers find new jobs? (These retail giants really don't care. If they aren't making a big enough profit, the corporations are going to shut them down. And we aren't talking about them not making a profit at all, they have to make big profit and grow by double digits every year, or they are considered a failure. Also, they could care less about the American consumer and worker, because they have a whole bunch of people in China now, who have money to spend. The US? Too bad, so sad. Blame the right people.)

Most Americans cannot afford the payments on a new car. (I agree with you on this one. In 1980, I was able to buy a new car for about $3,000. It didn't have air conditioning or a radio, but it had a new engine and was under warranty, so for a newly divorced mother, it was perfect. In 1990, I found another stripped down brand new car. Now try and find a new car with no radio, no air conditioning, no bluetooth, no automatic this and that. Just a car to get you from here to there reliably. Why would they build one of those old models, if they can't make a bigger profit? Remember profits are everything.)

tomatogrower 1 year, 9 months ago

In a leaked memo, it was revealed that Walmart sales in February were “a total disaster.” (Again, they don't care. They can sell at their stores around the world. I personally hope they fail. They turned the US into a consumer crazy nut house, and forced businesses to make inferior products, so they could undersell everyone and put them out of business. Most teenagers buy more clothes and shoes in a year than I ever owned in all my teen years. And if a teen doesn't have a smart phone? Horrors. I also know there are increasing numbers of people who stopped shopping WalMart, because you can buy a bottle of shampoo, yes, for 20 cents more at a store down the street, but you have to drive a long way to get to WalMart. Gas isn't cheap, you know)

Student loan default rates are at an all-time high ... because graduates can’t find good jobs. (See above) One in six Americans is now on food stamps. (No one working a full time job or working 2 or 3 jobs should ever have to be on food stamps. Our tax dollars are subsidizing the work force for many greedy corporations. They can pay their workers less, and keep more money for the CEO and investors, because they know that the US government won't let these people starve. Start blaming the real people. The president doesn't have the power to do what you think he can, especially since he has a Republican congress that shoots down everything he tries to promote. Remember, it is Congress that enacts laws. The president can only propose them.)

Armstrong 1 year, 9 months ago

tomato, I would love to know where your misinformation comes from. Your stories of economic impossibilities and completely incorrect information make for good reading but again they are 100% off base.

headdoctor 1 year, 9 months ago

Walmart sales are flat and at best are not meeting expectations. Which is why they pushed their layaway plan during the holidays and have been splattering various types of media with the compare your other store cost to Walmarts advertisements. More and more people are realizing that prices at Walmart are not cheaper not to mention in some cases the quality is not there either. They have also been including price matching. Who has time to stand in a check out line with a long grocery list to price match. If they were so sure of their low prices, price matching wouldn't be needed.

verity 1 year, 9 months ago

I stopped shopping at Walmart years ago, because of what they stand for and do, inferior quality products and the fact that shampoo was as cheap or cheaper elsewhere.

Their prices were not necessarily lower than other places for the same products.

tomatogrower 1 year, 9 months ago

Now that I have responded to IKU57's attempt to distract us from the subject of the letter, could any of you conservatives tell me how Brownback can be considered a conservative? He has expanded the state government's power over local governments. He is getting rid of the tried and true checks and balances system of 3 government entities, the legislature, the executive, and the courts, which the founding fathers really did create to keep 1 person or a small group of people from getting to powerful. He is making sure to support regressive taxes, so your employer will have more money, but expect you to pay more for the roads that the huge trucks that transport their goods tear up. I mean, you should be grateful just to have a job, and they give you a Christmas turkey every year. Brownback works for these people, you know. The more power you give to him, the more you give to them.

Fred Mertz 1 year, 9 months ago

Brownback is a hypocrite and bully. Pick another topic if you want to argue.

Here is one. Tell me if this is a false statement without making excuses. Obama has continued policies he criticized Bush about. More people are receiving government assistance since Obama has taken office and taxes have gone up on the middle class under Obama.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

Yes, Obama has been very disappointing. We expect class warfare from Republicans. We'd hoped that Obama would actively fight against their agenda, but he's failed to do so time and again.

And his continued reliance on the military, especially his use of drones, is nothing short of criminal.

Fred Mertz 1 year, 9 months ago

I agree about the military and drones and I was against it when Bush was in office.

Armstrong 1 year, 9 months ago

Tomato, I'm sure you have an example of how "the state" is expanding its power over local governments. The sky is falling examples courtesy of Pinnochio Rothschilds is what the state has done since Kansas has had a constitution. You're mistaking someone's point of view for fact.

I would suggest reading a bit more closely IKU57's post as it is factual and deals with big picture concepts.

Joe Hyde 1 year, 9 months ago

Mr. Hickam, there are many Journal-World readers who agree with your evaluation of Governor Brownback. Just speaking for myself here, there've been many times in recent months when I was in despair over what, to me, seemed like a near-complete absence of comprehension on the public's part about the threat to democracy posed by Governor Brownback and "conservative" (radical) Republicans, due to their autocratic governing method that is so cold-bloodedly calculated to benefit the wealthy disproportionately.

But on your letter's last point, I respectfully disagree. Not because you're wrong, but because you may be unaware of the groundswell of public disapproval, anger, even open hostility toward conservative Republicans over the damage they are doing, and planning to do, to middle and lower income Kansans.

A useful barometer by which you may confirm this widespread disapproval of conservative Republican policies is to read some of the newspaper editorials being published across the state. (See Kansas Representative Paul Davis' Facebook page, for convenient access to these statewide editorials.)

Newspaper editors and publishers in Kansas are, in most cases, Republicans, true enough. And above all else they are intelligent, fair-minded thinkers. It therefore may surprise you to learn that they are voicing dismay and anger not just at the aims but also the reckless, ruthless lawmaking tactics employed by conservative Republican legislators and Gov. Brownback.

Newspaper editors and publishers do not rise to their positions without a solid grasp of national and world history. Thus when editors and publishers across Kansas lock and load then start laying concentrated fire on the ignorant bills and power excesses of this radical legislative majority led by a so-called Republican governor, the words written in their editorials are not the empty whinings of flaccid intellectuals. Our state's media people are furious; their editorials are a battlefield bugle call. It's the U.S. cavalry charging over the hill to help wipe out this dangerous rabble of goose-stepping, ALEC-trained shock troops.

Fred Mertz 1 year, 9 months ago

Lea, What about the editorial about the elimination of the KIDS college savings program?

Pretty critical of the legislature.

Fred Mertz 1 year, 9 months ago

One of the core principles of the conservative platform is not to raise taxes but that is exactly what Brownback and this legislature is doing.

The Senate voted not to let the sales tax temporary higher rate to expire which is a tax increase and they are preparing to remove itemized deductions which will increase taxes.

They will defend their actions saying but we are going to do away with state income tax? Really? If it does happen and that is a big if it won't happen until 2017. So taxes will be increased for years before they are brought back to current levels?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

These are not conservatives-- they're shills for plutocracy. Which means that there will be further increases in sales taxes and other regressive forms of taxation as the tax base is shifted from the wealthy and their corporations to the working and middle classes.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

Actually, most progressives (as opposed to the liberal caricature you're putting up as a straw man) are quite opposed to overarching centralized power (a rather redundant phrase, if you think about it-- not that you will.) We just don't believe that the fascist concentration of power in corporations owned primarily by the 0.01% is somehow better than democratically controlled institutions.

Armstrong 1 year, 9 months ago

Name a democratically controlled institution that has turned a profit

headdoctor 1 year, 9 months ago

You are either trolling to hard to incite posters on the forum or you don't really understand the terms used in your question. I assume it is the second choice based on your usual remarks.

Fred Mertz 1 year, 9 months ago

I think he used the term correctly. Read bozo's post about democratically controlled institutions and name one that turns a profit?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

Government institutions don't turn profits. They aren't supposed to, and don't need to. It's a stupid question.

headdoctor 1 year, 9 months ago

He did not use the term correctly for the answer I thinking he was looking for. He took a posters statement and ran with it in a way that only moved the goal post so to speak from what the poster intended in his statement. You can't mix democratically controlled institutions with Government supported institutions. The two are not the same. In this country we have very few democratically controlled institutions. The closest we come in the US is cooperatives and employee owned businesses. Many of those do not truly qualify.

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