Slowponder (Jonathan Becker)

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Comment history

Brownback does not offer comprehensive plan to fix budget but says he will work with Legislature

The lack of leadership from this governor is just so sad. And expecting the legislature to fix the lack of leadership demonstrates a need for psychiatric care at Cedar Crest.

April 23, 2015 at 3:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Farmer elected to serve as mayor; Boley, Herbert, Soden take seats on City Commission

"Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night."

April 14, 2015 at 10:06 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Saturday column: Brownback still has opportunity to move state forward

Mr. Anderson,

Quit obfuscating the discussion with the tired old totem, "It's Obama's fault." What we are discussing here is Mr. Simon's unwavering loyalty to Brownback's economic policies that have a government that can't have a deficit by law having a deficit come June 30th. Twin Valley and Concordia school districts have decided to close early in the face of Brownback's miscalculation, in the words of this temporary editorial writer. Is the Brownback administration applying to the new China-sponsored development bank? Perhaps it should.

April 5, 2015 at 9:12 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Saturday column: Brownback still has opportunity to move state forward

Dolphie, you are so funny. I bet you were doubled over in laughter when you wrote "if he will acknowledge some of his plans have not worked out as he had hoped." And then you were in paroxysm of laughter when you wrote he "miscalculated." Really???? Miscalculated?????
Taking this temporary governor at his word that the Kansas Treasury only had $217 in it when he took office, the Revenuers are now looking at a $748 million deficit. And you say, "Miscalculated." You should go on that show, "Last Comic Standing." You would win in a walkover.

April 4, 2015 at 10:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Religious freedom bill stirs controversy in Kansas Statehouse

The devil in any legislation is in the details.

As Mr. Groenhagen points out, like a cock strutting around for his next hen conquest, the federal government and 19 states have Religious Freedom and Restoration Acts (RFRA). These legislative actions were in direct to reaction to the Supreme Court's decision in Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S.872 (1990. In that case the Supreme Court upheld a challenge from Oregon that prohibited the use of peyote in Native American rituals. RFRA was a direct outcome that changed the equal protection analysis from a rational basis to one of strict scrutiny -- one that requires compelling governmental interest and a least intrusive means of governmental enforcement. With that test the government always loses. Bill Clinton signed the law in 1993.

In 1997, in a case City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997) the US Supreme Court struck down RFRA as it applies to states as an unconstitutional use of Congress's enforcement powers. While Borne permitted Congress to enforce the 14th Amendment, it did not permit Congress to alter the Free Exercise Clause of the 1st Amendment though its 14th Amendment enforcement powers.

The federal government's powers were not challenged in Boerne. Congress passed the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) in 2000 under its Spending Clause. It permitted prisoners to worship as they please and permitted churches to avoid burdensome land use planning and zoning regulations

After 1997 and the demise of RFRA as applied to states, states such as Illinois passed much more limited State RFRAs. In Illinois' example Obama voted for a bill that in which civil unions were permitted. The law directed county clerks to issue a license to applicants and to register certificates of such unions.

Indiana comes along and passes a RFRA establishes the same standards -- compelling interest and least intrusive means, that was rejected in Boerne. It will take a federal court a New York minute to find such a law unconstitutional. Dumb. This law is like Gene Hackman measuring the height of the basket in Hoosiers and saying it 9'6".

Now Kansas suggests that it can take RFRA and turn it on its head and not permit state units by require state units -- state colleges and universities -- to provide state support to religious groups that seek to meet on campus and receive university funds for their activities for which membership is discriminatory. The legislature does so with the same strut as Mr. Groenhagen, extolling the Free Exercise clause, but running afoul of the Establishment Clause of the same First Amendment.

As I said, the devil is in the details. Read the law(s) before you gleefully pronounce your verdict. And please don't end your posting with a preposition. As Winston Churchill said, "That is something with which I will not put up."

March 30, 2015 at 4:46 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas Senate panel to consider expanding liquor licenses

With the cuts to education, the threats to the judiciary, and the bankrupting of the state treasury, we are all going to need access to stiff drinks 24/7/365.

March 28, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Jenkins defends senators for writing letter to Iran

Linda the Dense needs to familiarize herself with the Logan Act, 18 USC 953, which reads in pertinent part, "Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both."

Actually, on second thought, Congress would be markedly improved for three years and if the 47 would take Lynn with them to Club Fed, I would not complain. . . .

March 13, 2015 at 8:45 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lynn Jenkins to deliver 2015 Dole Lecture

Why didn't they get a woman to talk about women in leadership?

March 11, 2015 at 9:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Proposals advance to change how Kansas picks highest court

. . . And in other news, the State of Arkansas, where the characteristics of rube, rural and backwater are supreme, is moving to have precisely the merit selection process, currently found in Kansas, added to its constitution. Razorbacks are tired of the money flowing into judicial elections. Correction: Razorbacks are tired of the MONEY flowing into judicial elections.

February 18, 2015 at 1:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas lawmakers seek classroom tweaks in school budget row

How about a block grant program that encourages Chambers of Commerce to design educational core curriculum. The best designed program meeting the local school board approval wins the biggest block grant.

Does anyone find it ironic that the Chamber of Commerce, a non-profit institution, is the state's largest business (for profit) group?

February 15, 2015 at 8:25 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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