Monday, June 30, 2008

McCain outraised by Obama in Kansas; Roberts hires Mean Girl to campaign

A couple of interesting notes in a Harris News story from this weekend.

First, we see that Sen. Barack Obama has raised more money in Kansans than has Sen. John McCain.

Obviously, it's early and this isn't necessarily a good method of predicting elections, but it was certainly unexpected and I think goes to show that a) Kansans are excited about the candidacy of Barack Obama and b) John McCain still has some work to do after losing the Kansas caucuses to former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Especially intriguing was the response by KS GOP Executive Director Christian Morgan...
"Senator McCain has a pretty big lead in the state of Kansas and he's not going to lose that lead to Barack Obama," Morgan said.
OK. Glad to know the KS GOP still thinks John McCain will win Kansas. Doesn't really address the fundraising numbers, but hey, it'll do.

Speaking of intriguing responses. Responding to Slattery's claim that Sen. Pat Roberts used your tax dollars to come back to Wichita and film a TV commercial, Roberts' camp had an especially venomous response that would make Regina George proud.
"Kansas is winning and Jim Slattery is whining," said Roberts' spokeswoman, Molly Haase.
Classy. Word is Tina Fey has contacted Molly about being cast in the sequel to Mean Girls.

Of course, Sunday's Topeka Capital-Journal shows even the mainstream media now realizes that whatever Kansas may have won from the recent GAO decision, it was in spite of, not as a result of, Pat Roberts, Sam Brownback, John McCain and Todd Tiahrt.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Kansas Republican Assembly lectures on party unification

The folks over at the KRA have decided to share some wisdom with the Kansas Democratic Party on how best to unify a big tent party.
The complaint sent to Bartoshevich from the Wisconsin DP stated that she had violated Party rules by endorsing the opposing party’s candidate and that she failed to honor a pledge of intent to vote for the party’s presidential ticket in the fall. The resolution was passed by the state’s party at their convention to cheers from state delegates.

How very interesting that the Wisconsin DP is performing the exact same functions the KRP did when trying to rid itself of leadership that would rather see Sebelius reelected than the Republican.

Nothing from the KDP blog yet on what they think of the situation and I’m sure there won’t be any comment from any Kansas Democrat. Democrats like to call themselves the ‘big tent’ party but when it comes right down to it, they’ll throw you under a bus if it means getting a few extra votes. Just ask Joe Lieberman. Just ask Lee Jones. You’d better do what the socialist wing of the party says to do…or else.

They’re big tent as long as you’re a part of the circus, but don’t plan on spending the night with the clowns if you don’t feel like walking the tight rope they’ve set before you.

For those of you who are new to Kansas Politics, the KRA's very existence is the result of inter-party squabbling. They are the Right-Wing splinter group of the Kansas Republican Party (though not as far right as the splinter group from the splinter group, the Kansas Republican ACTION Assembly)

Kansans for a Traditional Republican Majority, the "moderate" wing of the Republican Party, is KRA's sworn enemy, so it's pretty rich for them to be lecturing the KDP about the importance of unifying a party.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

James Dobson: Christian Police

Folks, even though it's finally come out that Barack Obama is not a
MUSLIM (as if it should matter if he were), he is still not CHRISTIAN enough for James Dobson and the radical right.

First, Dr. Rick Scarborough, a Southern Baptist minister, decided to play doorman at the Pearly Gates.
When a man publicizes his 'Christianity far and wide, Christians have every right to check him out. Based on the record, one can only conclude that Barack Obama does not adhere to traditional Christianity.
Apparently St. Peter had the day off and tabbed this guy to determine who was and was not a Christian. Can we do the same to Dr. Scarborough, or is his salvation just assumed?

Last time I read my Bible, only God was in any position to judge who was and was not worthy of admittance into the Kingdom of Heaven. But what do I know, I'm just a person. I don't have a phd in psychology like James Dobson.

Dobson has apparently been called by God to grade the candidates piousness, and Barack Obama, he get's an F.

"I think he's deliberately distorting the traditional (read: Dobson's) understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology," Dobson said.

"... He is dragging biblical understanding through the gutter."

I'll pause for a moment while those of you familiar with Dr. Dobson's work ponder that statement. No. No. Stop! Stop pounding your head against the wall, he's not worth a cerebral hematoma.

Is he serious? Does he not understand the irony (or is it hypocrisy) of his own words?

Dr. Dobson has made a career out of picking and choosing various lessons from scripture and using them to further his own political and social agenda.

James Dobson is to the religious community as Dr. Phil is to the psychological community.

Obama's statement that drew the ire of Dr. Dobson is, in fact a very thoughtful one.
"Even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools?" Obama said. "Would we go with James Dobson's or Al Sharpton's?" referring to the civil rights leader.
The point being, reasonable, well-meaning Christians can disagree. Even the Bible, which many in the radical right believe should be taken literally, is riddled with contradictions. So which interpretation is "correct"?

I don't pretend to have an answer, but I do know that Jesus taught that loving our fellow man was the most important thing one can do, and I don't see a lot of love for our fellow man in Dr. Dobson's version of theology.

Does that mean he's wrong? I guess he'll find out one of these days. In the meantime, I'll leave you with some scripture I have selectively chosen to prove my point.
"Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others, because in passing judgement on others you condemn yourself." Romans 2:1
"Do you imagine, whoever you are, that when you judge those who do such things you will escape the judgement of God" Romans 2:3
And last, but not least, from Christ himself.
1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. Matthew 7
Ruh roh, Democrats read the Bible too.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Slattery hits Roberts on Buy American

The Slattery camp today hit Sen. Pat Roberts for his reactionary "leadership" on the matter of the controversial contract awarded by the USAF to a French company.

This is an issue that we here at LBK have been all over since the first days of our existence, and something our Republican counterparts on the Net have pretty much ignored (coal is so much more sexy).

“Roberts had two chances to fight for Boeing and Kansas,” Slattery said. “First as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and then as a member of the conference committee for the 2006 Defense Authorization bill. On both occasions, Roberts failed.”

The Roberts camp had contended that the provision wouldn't have prevented the deal because Northrop Grumman -- an American defense contractor -- is partnering with AirBus on the contract. According to Defense News, that's not the case.

“The [Buy American] provision aimed at Airbus, a subsidiary of European giant EADS, is a narrowly written amendment banning the defense secretary from buying goods or services from any foreign company that receives subsidies from a foreign government that is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The prohibition applies when the United States is engaged in an unresolved WTO dispute over the subsidies, or if the WTO has ruled that the subsidy is prohibited.

The language is tailor-made to keep Airbus from winning an Air Force tanker contract against its American rival, Boeing.”

NOTE: It is but a coincidence that the son of Pat Roberts, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was a lobbyist for one of the biggest defense contractors in the country (Northrop) and he just worked on helicopters, so there is nothing unseemly going on there.

The Roberts camp is singing a different tune now. Now they're saying they voted against the Buy American Provision because it was "protectionist" and "irresponsible" and that it would have been vetoed by the President.

The problem is, if the provision was specifically tailored to prevent the very eventuality that happened -- AirBus winning the contract -- why is Roberts so outraged now? Does he no longer believe it's "protectionist" to prevent the outsourcing of military contracts to companies subsidized by foreign governments?

Also, don't forget the fight to kill the Buy American provision was championed by none other than Sen. John McCain.

Kudos to Slattery for holding Roberts' feet to the fire and saying what we've all been thinking since ol' Memory Pills started carrying the Bush Administration's water.

“It’s time Roberts put the best interests of Kansas ahead of old party politics,” Slattery said. “Roberts had an obligation to do his job and stand up to President Bush on behalf of Boeing and Wichita.”


Slattery said Roberts should be fired for failing to protect Kansas jobs. “It is time to replace Roberts with a senator who will care about Kansans and champions the issues important to them,” Slattery said.

I think Sen. Sam Brownback put it best.
"Thanks be to God and the GAO."
Someone had to make the right decision, because Brownback, Tiahrt, Roberts and McCain sure weren't in any mood to do it. Not if it meant standing up to George W. Bush and their EADS lobbyist buddies.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cheese flavored lies

Another post from The Kansas Republican, another lie. Or at least a blind assumption made in the absence of facts.

These clowns read a story on da int-ruh-netz that said a cheese factory decided to locate in Eastern Colorado as opposed to Western Kansas.

OBVIOUSLY this is Gov. Sebelius' fault. Not the Republican-controlled legislature. They eveen linked to the story!

The problem is, the story made no mention of anything even remotely political.

Leprino reportedly chose the location partly due to the quality and availability of milk in neighbouring Weld County. Moerover, in December 2007, FLEXNEWS had reported that Leprino had also considered other locations for the plant in north Colorado and in south west Kansas.

Leprino provides mozzarella cheese to companies such as Domino's Pizza and Pizza Hut and has 9 plants in the US, and 2 in the UK.
Apparently its Governor Sebelius' fault there isn't more/higher quality milk in Western Kansas.

Then, they repeat the same baseless accusations made by their cousins over at Stay Red Kansas, that 1) the recent GAO decision was the result of Roberts, Tiahrt, Brownback and Moran's hard work and 2) Jim Slattery is angry about the decision.
Meanwhile, thanks to tireless work by Senator Roberts, Brownback and the rest of
the DC gang, the GAO ruled that the Air Force's procurement process was not
handled properly.

What, no props for Reps. Nancy Boyda and Dennis Moore?

Nevermind the fact that Slattery released a press release praising the decision or that Roberts and Brownback actively created an atmosphere condusive to the decision while Tiahrt and Moran sat on their hands.

The casual relationship that TKR and SRK seem to have with "facts" and "truth" is starting to get annoying.

GAO tells us what we already know

Breaking news out of the Government Accountability Office -- the decision to grant a contract to the French company AirBus was a bad one.

Thanks captain obvious.

Turns out the Air Force just made a bunch of crap up about how much it was going to cost Boeing to build the thing.

Our friends at StayRed are prepared to knight Sen. Pat Roberts and Rep. Todd Tiahrt for their tireless work in getting GAO to tell us what we already knew.

Of course, if Sen. Roberts would've told John McCain and George Bush where to stick it and opposed stripping the Buy American provision from the 2006 Defense Authorization Bill, Boeing would already be building the damn plane, but we digress.

Wethinks there is something fishy going on, though, now that it appears the bid process was unduly influenced by invisible hands to favor Airbus. Both Sens. John McCain and Pat Roberts have extensive lobbying ties to Northrop Grumman, AirBus' American partner, and AirBus itself.

According to a press release from the Jim Slattery campaign, Pat Roberts' son David lobbied the Senate for AirBus on issues related to the very Defense Authorization bill that would pave the way for this decision.

And we already know about McCain's ties to AirBus lobbyists.

If Sen. Roberts and Rep. Tiahrt had anything to do with this, which is debatable since the decision seemed to be pretty obvious, well, it's about damn time. Next time, how about you fight for Kansas jobs BEFORE they get outsourced to France. Then we won't have to worry about all this mess.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Law of Supply

The conservative advocacy group Freedom Watch -- which used to focus on national security issues but apparently now has no particular "cause" -- has announced that it will be making robocalls into a few dozen Congressional districts, including the Kansas 2nd (Nancy Boyda). The group said the ads will focus on gas prices and Rep. Boyda's vote against offshore drilling.

This obsession with affecting gas prices by increasing supply infuriates me.

I don't know if y'all remember Econ 101, but there are two sides to that chart that looks like an X. You've got the supply part down. In theory, increasing supply while demand remains constant will decrease the price (though economists believe IF such a theory were to work, it would take nearly a decade to see any noticeable affect).

The problem is, most economists believe any increase in supply will result in a corresponding increase in demand, thereby negating any downward pressure on price and perhaps even causing it to rise some. Not to mention increasing carbon output and ignoring our reliance on carbon-based fuels of which we have a finite supply.

I'm not going to go so far as to imply that its a poorly disguised attempt to increase oil consumption and thus increase the profits of oil companies, but it sort of makes you wonder.

That other line? That's called demand. On this side, the theory is if demand decreases while supply remains constant, prices will decrease.

The answer is conservation. Jimmy Carter hit the nail on the head in his American Malaise speech, though he was chastised for it, the only way to truly ween ourselves off of oil is to enact policies that affect demand, not supply.

We need to be focusing on designing and developing American cars that might actually be feasible to sell 10 years from now. The SUV, the 5,000 lbs car and the 6.5 liter V8 are dying, and it's time for Detroit to realize that.

We need to enact policies that make public transportation in the midwest a real possibility.

We need to start dedicating federal research dollars to developing wind, solar, nuclear, geothermal and any other non-carbon-based form of energy production. (Thanks for twice voting against those taxbreaks to encourage alternative fuel research, Sen. Roberts)

We need to start investing in ethanol that is not made from things that we might want to eat.

We need to stop promoting shortsighted policies that do nothing more than increase the profits of oil companies.

The truth is, no matter what we do, gas prices aren't going to be $2.00 a gallon anymore. The only real solution is taking steps to ween ourselves off of ALL oil, not just foreign oil.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Offensive rhetoric from the KS GOP

Christian Morgan and the KS GOP have reached a new low.

In a recent blog post, Morgan and his cronies parrot a National Review story criticizing Sen. Barack Obama for supporting giving constitutional rights to detainees at Guantanamo Bay (the scoundrel!)

As if it wasn't bad enough that McCain called the decision“one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.” Ya, right up there with Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson. Or Roe v. Wade if you are so inclined.

Worse than that though, Morgan and the National Review call Obama the "September 10 candidate." This is nothing more than cheap, underhanded fear politics and Christian should be ashamed of himself.

People on both sides of the aisle should be able to agree on one thing, the thousands that died on Sept. 11, 2001 did not die so that people could use their deaths to score cheap political points and to do so trivializes the tragedy that was 9/11.

Not only that, but it's insulting and outlandish to insinuate that any candidate, Republican or Democrat, would ever do anything they felt would make an attack like the one of that fateful Tuesday more likely.

Supporters of Obama and McCain can debate the legal merits of extending the writ of habeas corpus to those incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay, but neither side should resort to accusing the other of promoting further terrorist attacks or being on the side of the terrorists.

Whatever your political leanings may be, we think we can all agree that this sort of political hackery is unconscionable. If you agree, call Christian Morgan and tell him the best way to honor those who were killed on 9/11 and those who have died fighting to protect those rights is to refrain from using their deaths to score cheap political points. The number is (785) 228-0353.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Conservative District?

Jim Ryun and Lynn Jenkins and even the press have been arguing on the campaign trail that the majority of voters in the 2nd District consider themselves conservative. I haven't seen any polling to back this up, so I thought I'd take a look at the official polls - elections.

Obviously, the 2nd District would not be called "liberal." It went over 60% to George W. Bush in both 2000 and 2004, but having lived in the 2nd District all my life, I question the argument that it is "Conservative."

First, let's examine how the district is represented in the Kansas Legislature. Of the 43 seats that lie either in whole or in part in the 2nd District, 22 are held by Democrats compared to 21 Republican-held seats.

State House and Senate seats are divided proportionately based on population, so that means the majority of the voters in the 2nd District are represented by at least one Democrat in the Kansas Legislature.

Admittedly however, the further down the ticket you go, the less significance party affiliation holds, so let's look at the 2nd District seat itself.

In the past 20 elections, Democrats have won the seat 11 times, Republicans have won it nine times. Republicans not named Jim Ryun or Sam Brownback have won the seat only three times.

To me, with the exception of Presidential races (which is more up for grabs this year than it has been in decades) the district is decidedly not liberal or conservative, but rather straight down the middle of the road.

So the next time you hear Lynn Jenkins or Jim Ryun call this a conservative district, remember, the facts don't back up that claim.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Disastrous politics

First and foremost, the LBK team would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to those in the Heartland who bore the brunt of mother nature's fury in the past few days.

It seems, however, that Kansas bloggers and politicians think these disasters are a good time to make some political hay.

Appropriately, Sen. Pat Roberts began running a new campaign commercial, "Greensburg" this week. The commercial shows the good Senator and his wife, Franki, walking around touring the destruction in Greensburg.

Honestly, our hats are off to Senator Roberts for being quick to get to Greensburg and tour the devastation with the rest of the Kansas Congressional delegation, but it seems he was the only one to bring a camera crew along.

An entire town was destroyed, several people were killed and even more injured, and Pat Roberts uses it for his own political gain. Classy.

Now, after an E-F3 tornado demolished the city of Chapman and the same storm produced an E-F4 tornado that sliced through Manhattan and the campus of Kansas State University before moving on to Jackson County, the craziest of all crazy Republican bloggers decides it'd be a good topic to attack the anti-coal crowd again (don't worry, it doesn't make sense to us either).

Typically, we don't link to the Meadowlark. We have a policy that his neurotic (although well-researched) rants aren't worth responding to, but today we'd like to make an exception to prove a larger point. Natural disasters are off limits.

Meadowlark argues that the research reactor at KSU (which doesn't actually provide power for anything) is a microcosm of the coal fight. He likens the political backlash against coal today to the backlash against nuclear energy in the past, and apparently this storm is somehow supposed to make us realize we should build the plants in Holcomb. I told you, dude is crazy!

Anyway, even if that argument made sense, which it doesn't, natural disasters such as this one, which took the lives of two people in Dickinson and Jackson counties, are not fodder for political advancement. They're tragedies, and should be viewed as such.

Shame on you Pat Roberts, and shame on the Kansas Meadowlark.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Double Vision, One Name

Jim Slattery (US Senate candidate) and his son Mike Slattery (KS Senate candidate) spoke about their visions for Kansas and the country on a live chat today. Check out the full chat here.

Here are some highlights:

Thanks for your question. I believe being raised in the technology age gives young candidates a more hopeful perspective on life. Watching technology do the "impossible" repeatedly in our lifetime gives us the ability to dream about changing our future.

Furthermore, I believe our generation is focused on the future much more than previous generations. We are focused on making peace across party lines to make a difference for the people we represent. Previous generations get too caught up in "big party" politics, as opposed to caring for their constituents.

Question: When you are talking to young voters what do you tell a young person that is not registered to vote and why they should register?

Bottom line. If we are going to turn this country around, we can't do it if young people aren't involved in the process.

Every young American has the duty to register to vote and vote. We all have to assume our responsibilities as citizens if we expect to change our country.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The KSGOP: They really are that desperate

In their most recent blog post, the KS GOP chastises the State of Kansas for not allowing the website to post its flight itineraries for the Governor's plane. Never mind the fact that this decision was probably made without the knowledge or instruction of the Governor's office by her security detail, the assertion that this is somehow "secretive" is ludicrous.

While I don't know the tail number of Air Force One, I have a sneaky suspicion its itineraries aren't loaded into this web site. It's called security. For a party that supports George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, two of the most secretive politicians in American history, such a preposterous accusation is just laughable.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Post removed

This post has been removed due to a factual error. LBK regrets the error.

How do you know Jim Slattery is legit?

When the National Republican Senatorial Committee decides to use some of their precious few campaign funds to slander him.

It's official folks, not only do Republicans realize that Slattery is a legitimate candidate, methinks they may even be a little nervous. The NRSC is broke, they aren't going to spend one red penny in a race that they think is in the bag.

So what do we do? Well, for starters, donate to Jim's campaign using our ActBlue widget to counteract the national right-wing money.

Pat Roberts hasn't lived in Kansas for nearly half a century and has been in Washington since before man walked on the moon. It's time for him to retire.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Olathe GOP: Party like its 1899!!

According to the KS GOP blog, the Olathe Republican Party is having a picnic!
Confirmed speakers include keynote speaker Sen. Nick Jordan, the Republican candidate for Congress, Rep. Arlen Siegfried, Rep. Rob Olson, Rep. Lance Kinzer, and Sen. Karin Brownlee. All local officials from the school board through the state house are being asked to attend and will be given an opportunity to speak. Candidates, local organizations, and statewide organizations will have information booths.

Nineteenth century children's games and stagecoach rides will be available free of charge.
The theme of the children's game was picked to match with the spakers' positions on social issues.