With Democrats cratering in the polls over their collapsing health care law, they are trying to pivot to the only part of their policy agenda that still enjoys broad public support: the minimum wage. But their advocacy and its popularity rest on the incorrect belief that a significant number of families live on the minimum wage. Instead, the primary impact would be to exacerbate a crisis of youth unemployment spurred largely by the last minimum wage increase.
For farm and ranch families across Kansas, adding flexibility to our agribusiness laws represents a unique opportunity to access new markets, to diversify operations and to attempt a new strategy to invigorate rural communities and offer young people a rural alternative.
December 15, 2013|
John Schlageck, Kansas Farm Bureau
It was 73 and sunny, still two weeks before Thanksgiving, and I was stuck in traffic on the 405. Over the car radio a DJ on KOST-FM was extolling the "holiday spirit." Then he played "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" by Gene Autry - a song so old that it doesn't rouse spirits so much as it conjures ghosts of Christmas past.
For those who enjoy lowbrow political theater, it's Christmas come early. Steve Stockman, a Texas congressman so far to the right he's in danger of falling into the Gulf of Mexico, is challenging Sen. John Cornyn in the Republican Primary. Though Tea Party leaders were calling Texas' senior senator a "traitor" who "surrendered" on Obamacare, the conservative case against Cornyn is thin. Stockman's challenge demonstrates that nothing less than absolute faith is sufficient to survive in a radicalized Republican Party that no longer resembles the Party of Reagan, much less that of Lincoln.
After losing the Virginia governor's race because single women voted for the Democrat by a margin of 42 points, Republicans have found the solution. They will teach their candidates how to, in Speaker John Boehner's words, "be a little more sensitive" to the ladies. But Republicans painting over policy differences with pretty words piles insult on top of offense and will do little to close the gender gap.
A hundred years ago, business tycoon Samuel Insull consolidated smaller utility companies to form the behemoth (albeit public charity-sounding) Commonwealth Edison. Because of the infrastructure needed to provide energy to an increasingly power-hunger public, Insull and others argued that Commonwealth Edison was a natural monopoly; inherently one company had to dominate the market. This battle cry enabled a mere 10 utility systems to control three-quarters of the nation's electricity business by the time FDR was in the White House, subjecting consumers to higher rates with absolutely no competition save candles.
What compromises must we make when it comes to our security on the one hand, and our privacy on the other? Personally, I'm far less concerned about being tracked by the National Security Agency than I am about being monitored by, say, Google.
There is a big problem with the prevailing liberal narrative that the phrase describing subsidy eligibility in Obamacare, "established by the state," could not possibly mean what it says. The problem is named Jonathan Gruber.
Political correctness is a contradiction of reality and distortion of morality that necessitates relentless government intervention devised by those who seek to control our lives. These self-appointed "Speech Sheriffs" warn us that words spoken outside the imaginary perimeters they've set are judgmental, negative, racist or intolerant.
Nebraska's legislature recently made headlines when it ended the state's death penalty. Many found it odd that a conservatives-dominated legislature would support ending capital punishment, since conservative politicians have traditionally supported the death penalty. However, an increasing number of conservatives are realizing that the death penalty is inconsistent with both fiscal and social conservatism. These conservatives are joining with libertarians and liberals in a growing anti-death penalty coalition.
Craig Ranch North Community Pool in McKinney, Texas was not a "whites only" pool, but it might as well have been. Before Eric Casebolt shoved a black girl's face into the ground and pulled a gun on her two unarmed friends, white neighborhood residents at the pool assumed that all those black teenagers were in the wrong place. They didn't see the invited guests of a black neighbor getting a little rowdy at an end-of-school pool party. They saw black people who didn't belong in the mostly white neighborhood.
Rich people with too much time and money on their hands often seem to get bored with the hum and drum of their gold-filigreed existences. In response they turn to egalitarian enterprises, such as feudal kings commissioning alchemists to turn base metals into gold, because a lot of stuff back then needed to be filigreed.
You don't need to check a screen to know how much time we're spending with them. Besides, surveys keep reminding us: total screen time for adult Americans is now just under 10 hours per day - roughly half in front of what we still call a "television," the rest spent with computers and mobile devices.
When we last visited the sorry state of Kansas, Governor Sam Brownback - a former short-lived GOP presidential candidate - was showing us what happens when a right-wing ideologue tries to impose his utopian fantasies on the real world. Predictably, the result has been disastrous.