Look to Kansas
The grand austerity experiment of the once great state of Kansas has finally collapsed. The Republican dominated state legislature of Kansas passed a bill to reinstate some previous taxes in an effort to raise $1.2 billion in two years, but Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed the bill, which forced the legislature to override the veto. The Kansas state budget already faced a whopping $900 million shortfall over the next two years, according to CNN reports. Can this kind of Republican madness occur in Arkansas?
The mainstream media may not have caught on yet, but there are two factors driving the Kansas fiscal calamity. The first factor is the Republican lack of will to cut Republican spending. Austerity cannot work until everybody cuts spending. The second is the Koch factor. The infamous king makers, the Koch brothers, are headquartered on 37th Street in Wichita, Kan., which makes Kansas the veritable ground zero for austere Republican directives. A better analogy is that the Kochs have created a black hole in Wichita, which is destroying all common sense in the surrounding red states and swallowing up Arkansas. For instance, just five months ago, President Obama left our nation and Arkansas with low unemployment and a booming economy. Governor Hutchinson and his General Assembly of Koch zombies cannot even fund a highway bill.
Hey, Toto! We're in Kansas!
From the web in response to Ernest Dumas' June 22 column, "Obamascare":
As H.L. Mencken once observed, in somewhat different terms, one should never rely on the intelligence of American voters, Ernie. One of his supporters once enthusiastically told Adlai Stevenson, in the 1956 campaign against Ike Eisenhower, "Mr. Stevenson you have the support of every thinking American." To which, he calmly replied, "That's not enough, ma'am. I need a majority."
From the web in response to the June 26 Arkansas Blog post "Supreme Court orders Arkansas to stop birth certificate discrimination":
Another big win for Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, heh heh.
Is there anything in the Obergefell decision that would treat same sex married couples any different than the protected classes of the Civil Rights Act? If not, an overturning of the Colorado baker decision would relegate all protected classes equally vulnerable to discrimination on the grounds of sincerely held beliefs. Not just LGBT people, but also blacks and Jews and women. Woolworth's could then say that blacks at their lunch counters offends their religious beliefs, and the entire Civil Rights Act would be moot.
While, of course, celebrating this and all other decisions favoring gay rights, I do wonder if we may need a parallel system to track strictly genetic origins. Otherwise aren't sperm and egg donation going to make true ancestry tracking problematic? When the doc asks if there's a history of heart disease in your family, you kinda need to know where your genes came from.
We're reaching the point that DNA can identify medical conditions better than personal/family history. Especially when, and it's true, ancestral history may not be what it seems. Just saying.
From the web in response to the June 23 Arkansas Blog post, "Little Rock to sell $90 million in bonds to build Southwest High School, do other work":
Excellent explainer on the difference between the failed bond extension and this method of financing the school construction, but coming on the heels of the vote, it's hard not to see this as a calculated FU by Key to the voters of the district.