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Amazingly Convenient Timing; Koch Lobbyists Set up Shop in Madison

"The Koch brothers are wealthy due to the labor of the lumberjacks, truck drivers, oil riggers and others who do the actual work to make the products." And those lumberjacks, truck drivers, oil riggers and other all have jobs because the Koch brothers created the businesses that employ them. Is that so difficult to understand? Apparently for many on the Left it is. If any of those workers felt they would be better off with a different employer, they are free to seek employment elsewhere. Many alternatives exist. But obviously many of those workers choose to continue to work for the Koch brothers, otherwise their businesses would fail. The process works when people are free to make or to continue associations (like employment) that both parties find beneficial. And to end that association when it is no longer beneficial for one or both. It is arrogant to believe that a third-party has the requisite knowledge and understanding to decide that the arrangement is bad because one party benefits on a greater scale than they believe is proper.

"The bros buy politicians." You presume a cause-effect relationship here without even bothering to make a case for it. It is certainly possible that money given to politicians could "buy" their votes on issues. New Jersey, New Orleans and Chicago - the home of a certain very highly placed member of the Executive Branch - are famous for this type of corruption. But it is also possible that money is given to support politicians *because* they (already) support particular issues important to the givers. If you can show that Koch brothers' money directly changed a politicians vote on an issue, then you may be able to make the case for political corruption. But you don't make that case. You don't even try. You merely imply it and expect us to accept it as fact.

My words are unlikely to persuade you. Your beliefs are deeply set that the involvement of the wealthy in political matters constitutes corruption and damages our political system. That being the case, I look forward to reading your diatribe about all the money George Soros has poured into the system over the years.

February 24, 2011 at 11:46 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Cause for hope

"And that chick who ran for VP? People still pay attention to her!"

Wow, that's not sexist or anything, is it?

"And did you notice the tax on a pair of shoes increased so that the city can afford to fix potholes caused by cars? And that the gas tax has never increased to pay for a sidewalk?"

You really don't understand what causes potholes, do you?

"And that cakewalk war that was supposed to be paid for with oil revenues?"

The Left likes to put words like this into others' mouths, but no one ever made this claim.

"...Sam Brownback _has_ been elected governor!"

And a good thing for Kansas, too. The alternative was simply unacceptable to the vast majority of the voters.

December 24, 2010 at 7:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

No apologies for free speech

I agree with Corky's point. It was perfectly acceptable for the Left to fantasize about assassinating Bush. I think Pitts is at least being consistent here. Although we sit on opposite sides of the political aisle, we do seem to have some common ground between us. And even when we disagree, he is usually a thoughtful writer, as he is, I opine, in this instance.

November 14, 2010 at 7:11 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

November election may widen America's political divide

I have to say I am amused anytime I see anyone quake with fear about the coming theocracy in America. If that were a real concern, we certainly wouldn't see bumper stickers of "Darwin Loves You" or "Jesus Loves You, Everyone Else Thinks You're an A-hole" or even the Darwin-fish emblems, mocking a very ancient Christian symbol. If the concern was anything more than bad acting, no one would display these because they would fear for their vehicles' safety or even their own personal safety. So go ahead, weep and wail about the impending theocracy. We already know it's not real emotion, but we do enjoy the show.

October 14, 2010 at 11:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

November election may widen America's political divide

"This is not ultimately a radical nation, and those Republicans who are in love with radical notions of remaking the society to fit their own philosophy will have to be brought back in touch with reality.

When a party fails to do that, it can find the seeds of its own destruction in the victory banquet. "

Is it even possible that Mr. Broder is that dense? Which party has been in power the last four years with "radical notions of remaking the society to fit their own philosophy"? I assert that the coming election *is* the "be[ing] brought back to reality" that the Democrats so desperately need, and that it was the fawning, messianic overtones of the media's coverage of Barry's inaugeration (coronation?) that were the real harbingers of his downfall.

October 14, 2010 at 10:14 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

History offers lesson on tax policy

It takes more than low taxes to attract new business. There must be a population base large enough to support the new business and any peripheral supporting businesses. If the business is industrial, it must be located close enough to its sources of raw materials and to its customers to ensure transport costs are not prohibitive. Few Kansas counties meet these criteria, regardless of their respective tax rates. All of New Jersey meets these basic requirements but recent tax policy has turned it into financial wasteland. A more meaningful comparison would be between counties with similar populations and proximity to resources and customers.

February 11, 2010 at 7:45 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Points refuted

In any debate it is always useful to follow the money. Ask who benefits when decisions go one way or the other. When you depend upon government (i.e. taxpayer) money to fund most of what you do, of course you need to be Chicken Little to make sure everyone stays frightened enough to ensure continued funding. This fact makes the so-called Union of Concerned Scientists simply another political group working hard to maintain their place at the public trough. And of course Greenpeace and the Sierra Club have always had their own political agendas.

If anyone feels the need for a little amusement in the post-Christmas period, go down to the library and check out a book on the environmental threats of the 1970s when global *cooling* was the big scare. One aspect that struck me when reading these books was the similarities of the prescriptions made then to "save humanity" with what we're told today. There's always a loss of economic freedom involved, when the unwashed masses must submit to the will of their social, political and even "scientific" betters. Another aspect that struck me was the absolute certainty of the true believers, no less certain then that the earth was cooling than they are today that the earth is warming.

This certainty, and its accompanying tone of moral superiority, combined with the inevitable economically detrimental nature of their prescriptions, makes me very skeptical of their conclusions.

December 27, 2009 at 5:14 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence schools preparing for another round of budget cuts

remember_username: I agree wholeheartedly that parental involvement is essential, although the form that takes may vary. Thomas Sowell found that the best kind of parental support - the find that ANY parent can give - is support for the school and the teachers. This meant supporting the school's disciplinary policy, rather than fighting it every time your child receives a consequence for negative behavior. It also means ensuring homework is done, even if the parents' lack of education means they can't really help. And yes, someone who is paying money to send their child to a school will certainly be more involved.

mom_of-three: Oh, believe me! We really can't "afford" to send our children to a private school. There are a lot of things we go without right now. But we made this a priority, so we sacrifice for it.

November 19, 2009 at 6:09 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence schools preparing for another round of budget cuts

Another commonly misunderstood aspect of educators' employment is the number of hours worked per year. Factoring that in changes the picture considerably.

November 19, 2009 at 4:08 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence schools preparing for another round of budget cuts

Did_I_say_that, thanks for the figure. It is an interesting question, and some of it at least has a good answer. Buildings and their upkeep can be expensive. Support staff from lunch cooks, to assistant principals, to the guys who mow the lawn in the autumn and plow the parking lots in the winter all must be paid for their services. So some of the "gross" profit from the classroom covers all these other expenses. How efficiently that is done is perhaps another question.

My daughter attends a private school. We lack some of the nicer amenities of the public schools, but I think she is getting a stronger, broader education. She is diagramming sentences most high school seniors wouldn't touch and she is learning Latin. But all this is done on much less than $11,000 a year. Perhaps the public schools could benchmark some of the processes private schools use to control expenses?

November 19, 2009 at 2:18 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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