Conservatives Have Free Reign In Kansas. It’s Failing.

In Kansas, Republicans dominate the state government. They have the Governorship (Former Senator Sam Brownback), the State House (92-33 for the GOP), and the State Senate (32-8 for the GOP). Democrats don’t have a say in this blood red state that went 60%-37% for Mitt Romney in 2012.

Brownback and his buddies have enacted all manner of conservative economic policy in the state. Cutting taxes, etcetera. What is the result? Guess.

Citing a sluggish recovery from the recession, risk inherent in the governor’s tax plan and uncertainty over the Legislature’s ability to keep cutting spending, one of the nation’s two major debt rating agencies downgraded Kansas’ credit rating Thursday.

Moody’s Investors Service dropped Kansas from its second-highest bond rating, Aa1, to its third highest, Aa2. The Kansas Department of Transportation also took the same downgrade.

As Businesweek explained, “the immediate effect has been to blow a hole in the state’s finances without noticeable economic growth.”

Even with the cut in taxes, big companies like Applebee’s and Boeing have moved out of Kansas.

As a result, the most recent polling there shows Brownback’s approval rating down to 33%, while he’s slightly behind the Democratic challenger.

In Kansas, they can’t (honestly) blame liberals for this. They’ve been given a free hand. They were able to enact whatever they wanted, and it has been a miserable failure at a time when other states – including very blue Democratic states like here in Maryland – have been recovering from the Bush recession.


Because conservative economics doesn’t actually work. It is a faith based program untethered from reality. The numbers don’t add up and it is destructive to societies.

But this won’t deter them. They’ll do it again. They’ll go to the well and bring up another bucket full of excrement and tell the true believers that it’s spring water.


Feminist Poet Solves Most Pressing Issue In Feminism

Feminist Poet Solves Most Pressing Issue In Feminism

The pantheon of feminist goddesses houses a formidable gallery of thinkers, visionaries, and revolutRead more...
Sorry, Indiana Conservatives, There's Nothing in the Bible that Forbids Selling Things to Gay People

Sorry, Indiana Conservatives, There's Nothing in the Bible that Forbids Selling Things to Gay People

Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN) signed legislation on Thursday that allows business-owners to discriminate agRead more...
Republican Congresswoman Asks Facebook Fans to Diss Obamacare, Fails Spectacularly

Republican Congresswoman Asks Facebook Fans to Diss Obamacare, Fails Spectacularly

The problem with living in an alternate reality is that every now and then, actual reality slaps youRead more...
  • MacUndecided

    When you compare the failures pointed out in the article above they mirror the failures of the Obama administration. But as the article in this link shows life in Democrat run cities like Detroit is significantly worse.

  • MacPhale
  • Denise

    meanwhile, in very blue California, republicans are donating to Governor Jerry Brown’s re-election campaign. Not because they love democrats, heaven forbid! It’s because he has improved the states finances by leaps and bounds and they want the recovery to continue. Unemployment is dropping, tax revenues are up. Isn’t that what Governor’s want for their citizens/state?

  • Dave Ranning

    Sort of a moot point.
    Except for the Dog Track in New York, some tech in Boston, a few bomb factories in Colorado and Texas, the energy game in Houston, a lot of grains in the Midwest, the country is essentially supported by California.
    The rest is a backwater.

    Oh- some real nasty corporations in Washington State.

    • Calijab

      Honestly, I have thought we Californians should bail on the US and go our own way. We don’t need what they are serving in the south.

  • tomshefchik

    Why is anyone surprised? The Bush Decade proved for all the world to see that everything Re-pig-lickin’s believe is wrong. Yet that can not admit their utter failure on every policy, foreign and domestic, because they have nothing else. That’s why the need to keep making a sick mockery of Benghazeeeeee! The Re-pig-lickin’s got no clothes.

  • Davis X. Machina

    Who cares if it works in practice? It works in theory, and at the Mercatus Center of George Mason University, that’s all we care about!

  • kscoyote

    “”We’re a for-profit company,” said Michael McKinney, chief executive officer at Sunflower. “We’re designed to make a profit. It just hasn’t turned out that way. I told people before, it takes 18 months, normally, if you get started right.”

    He said mistakes by Sunflower could delay the company’s profitability by another four or five months.

    Laura Hopkins, chief executive officer of Amerigroup Kansas, said experience building managed-care platforms in other states indicated lack of profitability in the first year of operation wasn’t “completely unexpected.” Typically, she said, these businesses moved into positive territory “by the second year.”

    “I would say that like any of us who run our household or manage a checkbook we don’t plan to lose money, but we always have a contingency in the event that something unforeseen happens,” she said.

    Hopkins said she hadn’t engaged in conversation with executives of Amerigroup’s parent company about whether there was a “drop-dead period of time” to wait for profitability.

    Reports forwarded to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services pointed to a collective operating loss in excess of $110 million by the three KanCare companies.

    The Brownback administration anticipated reform of Medicaid would reduce growth in the cost of the federal-state program and save the state $1 billion over five years. That record is unclear, but the introductory year of KanCare may have saved the state $55 million to $100 million.

    Despite complaints about bureaucratic enrollment woes, trouble with delivery of services, and delayed payment of health care providers, the three managed-care firms have requested about $40 million in performance bonuses from a maximum pool of $60 million.

    Robert Moser, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said the Brownback administration’s goal with KanCare hadn’t changed.”

    • Calijab

      It seems not delivering healthcare is profitable in Kansas. ‘Hand out those bonuses boys, our death panels are working’.

  • aynwrong

    Oliver, I want to compliment you for using a phrase I rarely hear in the mainstream media. “Conservative economic policy.” The media seems absolutely determined to never, under any circumstances attach the word conservative to any policy failures. There barely willing to use it to describe the ideas that the GOP has been screaming for regarding economics my entire adult life. But talk to Democrats in any way at all about economic policy and its “LIBERAL, LIBERAL, LIBERAL!!!”
    Now if only someone would shove that phrase into a few of circus performances we call the round table discussions on the Sunday morning shows.

  • Art Kraft

    Conservatism is a mental and social disorder of epic proportions. Awful to the core, destructive of everything worthwhile about mankind. Proud of ignorance, insensitive to human need, selfish beyond narcissus to its followers who search for the technicality in their actions and statements that won’t keep them from hell. Burn there, all of you conservative hypocrites…

  • rocket621

    And yet Missouri is following in their tracks.

  • Richard_thunderbay

    Kansas is finding out that creating a real life Galt’s Gulch means turning the state into a hellhole.

    • Dennis

      Who told you that trickle down will work or that it was anyone’s stated strategy?

      What do you think Obama’s ‘wealth effect’ strategy with the Fed from higher home and stock prices was intended to do if not to encourage spending in order to eventually trickle down to the lower and middle classes?

  • Frau From Fly-Over USA

    i have a friend who moved to Overland Park to work for that shitstorm telecommunications company. She got laid off two months after relocating for that job. she hasn’t found work since. I want to get in my car, drive to her place, pack her shit up, and get her back to a state that actually functions like its not run like a theocratic shithole.

  • voice_reason

    remember everyone, the book from several years ago, “What’s The Matter with Kansa” which documented how at every turn the Kansans have voted against their own economic self interest and continue to do so as they increasingly voted republican. Only proves the point that many american voters are stupid, functionally economically illiterate and have the shortest attention span of any known human on the planet. We get the governments we deserve god help us

    • noyoudont

      darn i forgot i have that ebook.

  • joseph2004

    Kansas will figure it out. Since it’s not likely to go Blue state any time soon, any increases in revenue and spending will likely be necessary, as opposed to the overreach we’d expect under liberal leadership.

    • D_C_Wilson

      Yes, because republicans never overreach. :rolls eyes:

    • Moocherin_and_Looterin

      Huh. Funny, here in Minnesota the DFL did raise taxes a bit last session, and now, after more than a decade of MNGOP-led chaos, we have a balanced budget, paid back the schools (which were looted to “balance” Pawlenty’s last two budgets), and we have enough to FINALLY have a rainy-day fund, start fixing everything the MNGOP neglected, AND do a bit of a rollback on those very same taxes. Not only that, Minnesota gets top marks as a good place to do business, the health of our citizens, and has a AAA rating. This all courtesy of a DFL dominated legislature (which flipped in ’12 after the public recoiled in horror at MNGOP “governance”). Maybe it’s the fact we have Winter, which makes us think further than 5 minutes into the future, maybe it’s just because the DFL knows the difference between costs and investments- and chooses to invest in the infrastructure and people of Minnesota, and not give the “job creators” another unearned payday.

      Seems to me us Liberals know what we’re doing- in Kansas they’re too busy getting even with women, minorities, children and all the other moochers to consider they are on the road to gravel roads, aliteracy, and cholera. Maybe all that stuff is attractive to “conservatives”, but I bet even the most venal of “job creators” will, and have been, keeping as far away as possible.

      If Kansas wants to turns around, they’ll find the grownups to do it with. I don’t see it happening though.

    • Frau From Fly-Over USA

      riddle me this. Kansas is a one-company state. why aren’t more tech companies relocating there?

      • Calijab

        Because techies are progressives. They actually like to make things better. And many are scientists as well as engineers. The word is out that if you believe in gravity, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas are not the place to be.

    • aynwrong

      Overreach? Defined as what? The state actually paying its bills by actually bringing in the necessary amount of revenue?

  • Dennis

    Kansas is not failing. Aa2 is still pretty damn good for a state General Obligation rating. Hardly failing.

    • Boycott_AZ

      kansas = America’s A N U S

    • Calijab

      No sir, those grapes aren’t sour. (Cognitive dissidence at its finest.)

      • Dennis

        It’s cognitive dissonance, not dissidence.


        • Calijab

          Your insults say more about you than about me.
          Why not call Steve Jobs and the folks at Apple boneheads for the chitty interface of our iPads, that wisk away and replace words in a nano second? Of course, I get you would rather blame the users then the technology, it feeds that ego’s need to feel superior. May your hate live forever within you and eat you up from the inside out.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    [Sigh.] Please forgive me for being a noodge, but it’s “free rein,” not “free reign.”

    Reins, as most people know, are strips of leather or canvas that are used in horseback riding to essentially “steer” the horse. The idiom “free rein” essentially means the ability to steer the horse freely, wherever the rider wishes to go

    Ditto the phrase “rein in” (which I also often see misstated as “reign in”). Reins are also used to hold onto the horse when standing or walking beside it, or to allow the horse to walk or trot in a circle around the rider. To “rein in” the horse means to bring it closer to you by pulling in the reins.

    “Free reign” is almost an understandable mistake, since the word “reign” refers to rule, esp. by a king or queen, but it typically refers to the time period in which a monarch is in place as opposed to the power he or she wields over the kingdom.

    Again, please pardon the interruption. I see this mistake all the time and it drives me batty. You may now continue with regularly-scheduled programming.

    • bbiemeret

      I’d like to give Oliver the benefit of the doubt here. As we aren’t just talking about Consevatives being out of control and doing what they want, but also enacting whatever laws they deem proper, and enforcing them on everyone. It is free “reign”. I feel that this wasn’t a oversight, but intentional on Mr. Willis’ part. May he correct me if I am mistaken.

      • GrafZeppelin127

        I might agree if I didn’t see this mistake so often. The fact remains that “free rein” is an idiom in English; “free reign” is not.

        • bbiemeret

          I’m just saying, it may be an intentional play on words. Oliver is a professional writer. You do understand puns, yes?

          Sorry, I just don’t get people who insist on commenting on style over substance. Seems shallow, arrogant, and irrelevant.

          • GrafZeppelin127

            Yes, I understand puns. And I’ll let the author speak for himself.

            My comment addressed neither “style” nor “substance,” let alone one over the other. Sorry, I just don’t get people who insist on feeling so personally victimized by inoffensive comments directed at others that they feel they must defend by proxy people and actions that don’t need defending. Seems shallow, arrogant, and irrelevant.

          • bbiemeret

            Not victimized, just annoyed. Ask yourself, did your comment add anything to the discussion, or move it forward?

            I’m sure any professional writer just LOVES having the whole world publicly edit their punctuation, grammar and usage. It’s so satisfying. Much more important than the content itself.

            Now that I think about it, forget I said anything. My bad. That’s valuable stuff your doing there. Keep up the good work.

          • GrafZeppelin127

            All of which you were perfectly free to ignore.

            Grow up.

          • bbiemeret

            “All of which you were perfectly and entirely free to ignore.”
            Pot, meet kettle.
            If you are allowed to post a multiple paragraph screed on your personal annoyances, so am I.
            Correcting others, for the sake of correcting them, is rude. You’re not the Banter copy editor, and even if you were, the comment section is hardly the appropriate place.
            You presume to know what the writer intended, yet you accuse me of being presumptuous. HA! Project much?
            I’m not saying you’re troll, but this is trollish behavior. You either add to the conversation, or you detract from it. Your call.

          • GrafZeppelin127

            I didn’t “presume” anything; I only pointed out a language error.

            Last I checked, there is no law, rule, agreement or Terms of Service (TOS) prohibiting the pointing out of a language error in the comment section of the article in which that error occurs. (That’s with or without any disclaimers like “forgive me for being a noodge” and “pardon the interruption.”) Nor am I aware of any rule, agreement or TOS conditioning the use of the Banter comment sections on the approval of a user called “bbiemeret.”

            You should probably stop now.

          • bbiemeret

            It’s not a “rule”, it’s courtesy, something I’m beginning to believe you are unfamiliar with. Excusing boobish behavior in a “disclaimer” doesn’t relieve you of any condemnation for said behavior.

            Unless it’s your job, (teacher, parent, boss, etc…) pointing out others mistakes, errors, or other shortcomings is anal and douchey.

            You can leave asinine comments, and I can leave comments about how asinine they are. This is the way free speech works.

            GET – A – CLUE.

          • GrafZeppelin127

            Between you, me, and the author, you’re the only one taking this personally.

            Have a nice day.

          • bbiemeret

            “you’re the only one making this personal”. Says the one who just couldn’t help but correct the author.

            A good day to you as well.

  • notoriousbob

    Next door here in Missouri we have been so impressed by the lack of economic results in Kansas that just yesterday our heavily Repub legislature overrode a Governor veto to enact huge tax cuts of our own. Nevermind that Missouri was already in the bottom 10 in terms of taxes paid by its citizens. #racetothebottom

    • Amy

      Wasn’t that just lovely of them? Idiots.

  • bedrockq

    No no trickle down will work if you give it time. Like Pee from a billionaires urinal. I know it works because the Koch funded ‘think tanks’ who employ ‘economists’ and plant media stories tells me so.

    • D_C_Wilson

      If it fails, it’s only because we didn’t cut taxes on the wealthy enough and didn’t deregulate businesses enough, so we need to double down.

  • Gunnut2600

    Um as a former resident of MD, I have to point out that it is nearly impossible for our state to economically implode. Its not a fair comparison.

  • Tort Master

    Brownback also refused Medicaid Expansion when his state needed it the most. So, he’s blithely involved himself in the death of his fellow citizens. On top of that, former cronies of his, including an ex-Chief of Staff, are being investigated by the FBI for trying to gorge on Brownback’s attempts to privatize what little Medicaid there is in Kansas. So, not only does Brownback have blood on his hands, but his henchmen are profiting from the sick and the poor in his state. There’s almost nothing dirtier than that.

  • wetcasements

    I love it when Republicans/Glibertarians tout the free-market wonderlands of Kansas and North Dakota.

    Just like Somalia, they are more than welcome to actually move to these shit-holes. Funny how they don’t.

    • Dennis

      Two places you’ve never been and only know what little you’re even able to opine about because Oliver decided to read a Business Week article and compared his state of Maryland with all their government largess given to the DC-Balt corridor only, with that of a rural, Mid-western state like Kansas, in which their unemployment rate is still much lower.

      Just like you living in South Korea, having fled ‘Bush’s America’ as you so eloquently put it, it’s highly doubtful Oliver has ever taken a drive to Western Maryland even once in his life to speak to the residents there about how they like their state’s economy and the way it’s governed. Or the Eastern Shore of Maryland for that matter.

      Tell us about swell liberal government has been working in Detroit, Jaim.

      Or Illinois.

      Then compare it to 4.9% unemployment in Kansas.

      • Oliver Willis

        I’ve been to the Eastern Shore, several times. It’s nice. It’s got tons of rich people who complain about taxes but still live in Maryland because it’s fucking awesome.

        • Dennis

          Not sure your weekend beach getaways to Ocean City gave you the clearest impression of the economic landscape for the Eastern Shore, O Dubya. Both Upper and Lower Eastern Shore areas are doing no better than Kansas. Western Maryland is doing worse.

          Kansas isn’t failing. That’s not a word you should use in a headline pertaining to economics unless it’s accurate, not that your average commenter here is going to mind.

          • Oliver Willis

            First I’ve never been there, now I haven’t been there enough. LOL. Maryland’s doing fine. Kansas isnt.

          • Dennis

            OW, the beach chair economist.

            “Things look pretty good from where I sit.”

          • D_C_Wilson

            That’s pretty much Dennis’s M.O. He’ll keep moving the goal posts until they’re in the stadium parking lot.

          • F Travis Boley

            Actually, I’ve lived and worked in Kansas. Went to grad school there. And now reside elsewhere because it is failing. Under-funded schools, anti-intellectuals running school boards, and a tax plan that now only takes in half of what it actually needs. And because this budget issue is brand new this year, the worst of the storm is yet to hit. But no worries, though the CEO of Sprint and the Kochs all got huge Trac breaks and though attorneys pay no state income tax at all now (though their secretaries and paralegals do), Brownback has a plan to fix the mess he’s created—-that’s right, jack up the sales tax, the most regressive tax there is and the one that hits the poor the hardest. Good, friendly Kansans have bought a bill of voodoo economics because they thought they were saving babies and honoring god. But huge numbers of them see through the emperor’s new clothes

          • Dennis

            No state had ever failed on a debt obligation. Kansas is nowhere near being the first. If you’re ignorant as to the definition of the word ‘failing’ as it pertains the financial health and credit rating of a state government, then having lived there gives you no better insight as to how the state is doing than the man in the moon.

          • MacPhale

            Build a fence around Kansas and let the Republicans sink in their own shit. There are some wonderful people who live in Kansas but they have to hold their noses. More at

        • Gunnut2600

          Don’t forget how the Eastern Shore steals representation from Baltimore City. The eastern shore claims the prisoners even though they should be counted in their home districts. This is why the fucking industrial chicken farms get a blank check to pollute the fucking bay. The fucking Eastern Shore is obscenely over powered and over represented.

          • Dennis

            So you got O’Malley’s rainwater tax to pay for it.

          • Gunnut2600

            Holy shit you are stalking Oliver.

            Fucking A I knew you honkies got fuck all to do in Western MD but I figured you would at least have a cousin to dry hump or some oxys to snort.

          • Dennis

            Homophobe much there, Gunnut?

            Or self-loathing repression?

          • Gunnut2600

            I am still trying to figure out why you instantly commented on what I said to Oliver.

            As per my sexual persuasion, I am game for anything bro. One hole is as good as another. As we say in the Navy, 25 miles away, its no longer gay.

          • Dennis

            I didn’t ask what your sexual persuasion was, and I don’t care. I asked if you’re a homophobe, because that was a homophobic comment that other other liberals here are giving you upvotes on for saying here. It’s racist, too.

          • Gunnut2600

            I’ved tried to parse your shit about five times and I cannot do it. What is the deal with rural, white trash folk showing their pride in idiocy? When are white leaders going to stand up and fight this self destructive tide of stupidity?

          • Dennis

            You’re a racist and a homophobe, Gunnut. Please ignore me and I’ll do the same with you.

          • Gunnut2600

            You gonna ignore me by continuing to reply to me?

            Hilarious. It must really piss you off Michael Sam was filmed on ESPN embracing his lover. Oh wait…I’M supposedly the racist homphobe…two more mores your dumb ass can’t use corretly.

          • Dennis

            I didn’t see it, but no, you’re wrong, it doesn’t bother me at all. I was already aware that gay men kiss. I’m happy he got drafted and I wish him success He was a very good college player, but if you know anything about NFL talent, and I’m not assuming you don’t, you’d know college success doesn’t always translate to the next level. Take away all the noise about his being gay, the odds are against him getting any kind of significant playing time. He was brave for coming out before the draft, now he’s got to work his ass off to make the team and then crack the line-up. I just wonder why liberals were so against Tim Tebow having any success merely for being as open about his faith as Sam was about his sexual gender preference.

          • Gunnut2600

            So is the term “ignore” just confusing to you or something? Why would you use a word you do not understand the meaning of? That seems silly….

          • Jason E


        • Jason E

          O you’re on this one for the most part. Maryland is a wonderful state, a crown jewel for good reason. But the eastern shore is a strange mix of hard core confederacy and a migrant workforce (AG)/ come lay on our beautiful beaches. In defense of Maryland, Baltimore was once one of the greatest (the) cities in America, meanwhile NYC a fishing town. My only complaint would be the whole driving slow in the left Lane deal. Seriously they won’t get over? I suspect it’s taught in their driving schools?

      • wetcasements

        Wow, you still read my blog even after I banned you.

        I’m flattered, Stalker Dennis! Keep up the good work!

        And I’ve been to Kansas and North Dakota. Nice people. Shitty Republican governments. Cultural wastelands.

        • Dennis

          I haven’t read your blog in a very long time so I wouldn’t know if you banned me, Jaim. No offense, I just have very little interest in the America-bashing musings of American-citizen ESL teachers in South Korea who left the US in a Galtian huff.

      • trgahan

        Hrm….I’ve been to both enough to not be stupid enough to refer to either place as “Mid-western” in the presence of one of their citizens.
        Comparing unemployment rates between North Dakota(pop 700,000)/Kansas(pop 2 million) with a state like Illinois (pop 12 million) is apples and oranges. It doesn’t take much to employ a such small worker population.

        BTW “red” Alaska is 6.6 while blue Hawaii is 4.6% and “blue” Maryland is 5.6 while “red” PA is 6.0. So your central assertion is irrelevant.

        “Progressive” Detroit suffers from a conservative state government that has been for years redirecting its owed state tax revenue to plug budget holes to maintain the illusion that conservative economic policy actually works.

        • Dennis

          I only referred to Kansas as a Midwestern state. It is.

          I agree with you that comparing Kansas/N Dakota to Illinois is somewhat apples and oranges. But that was the point I was making to Oliver about his comparing Maryland to Kansas. Those two are also apples and oranges. Both are slowly recovering, not much more than the national recovery, but that Maryland has a decided advantage with the aid of huge government assistance.

          My central assertion was that if you take away the government contract and assistance that DC-Balt corridor receives and their tech advantage from such a large metropolitan area, the rest of Maryland, the rural eastern and western parts, is no better than Kansas economically. And again, Oliver claimed Kansas was failing, and he said it in a headline. That is completely false and absurd in any sense of that word, especially with regard to its finances. Also absurd is your assertion that Detroit’s financial collapse is due to a conservative state government. I’d say link please, but it’s not worth it.

          • trgahan

            And Oliver’s (and that liberal rage Business Week) central point is that if credit agencies are down grading the rating on your state bonds your state government is doing something wrong.

            Kansas has three military bases, over a dozen other federal facilities plus an receives 5,505,000,000 in federal tax revenue.

            Yeah, Kansas gets no government assistance indeed

            Funny how you when you declare something absurd, its sans links, but I need links to present fact….

          • Dennis

            ‘Doing something wrong’ may be a fair criticism after a downgrade, I’ll grant you that. Depicting a state as ‘failing’ when that rating stands at AA2 is an entirely different matter.

          • F Travis Boley

            Actually, the numbers show Kansas’ recovery well behind the national norm. This is reflected by the fact that their credit rating was just downgraded.

          • Dennis

            That’s not true and Moody’s didn’t cite their reason for a downgrade by comparing Kansas’ recovery versus the national norm. That’s not the comparison they use to assign credit ratings for states, it’s how fiscally sound their budget is, their ability to pay their debts, and what plans they have in place for meeting a balanced budget.

          • F Travis Boley

            Moody’s cited Kansas’ sluggish recovery from the recession, risk inherent in the governor’s tax plan, and uncertainty over the Legislature’s ability to keep cutting spending as reasons for the downgrade. So what I said was exactly true, Dennis.

          • Dennis

            Take me to task then, Travis. Two things you have wrong. Two things I took polite exception to:

            1. Kansas is not failing. Failing is bankruptcy, or failure in the ability to meet debt obligations. In no sense is that true, not in an economic sense, which is what we’re discussing here. You don’t know what the word means, other than how a teenager uses the word apparently. AA2 is still high grade. Here’s a chart for Moody’s and S&P and what their ratings means at every level. ‘D’ is their default level. See how far they have to go to get there.


            2. You stated that the Kansas recovery was ‘well behind the national norm’. US GDP was just released on April 30th. GDP growth for the quarter was +0.1%. There is nothing in Moody’s report that relates Kansas’ sluggish recovery to the national norm. None. Maybe you hadn’t noticed, but the US is also experiencing a long, slow and painfully sluggish recovery. Kansas’ sluggish recovery is not well behind the national norm, not in GDP and not in employment.

            So if you’ve looked at the report, please let me know where you see the word ‘fail’, and where it says the Kansas recovery is well below the national norm and that’s why Moody’s downgraded Kansas’ G.O. debt rating.

          • F Travis Boley

            Ok, all you have left is splitting hairs over semantics. The sure sign that one is thoroughly defeated in the debate, which happened as soon as you started stating patently false things as true.

            “On the path to failure” then. And from the report: “The downgrade reflects Kansas’ relatively sluggish recovery compared with its peers.”

            That still doesn’t excuse the misinformation you spread in earlier posts. Good day.

          • Dennis

            Splitting hairs? Those were points I made, that you disputed. You don’t know your elbow from your rear-end when it comes to municipal finance, you boast that you’re going to take me to task on it, I tell you to bring it on, then you say I’m splitting hairs and you run away crying.

            I didn’t even get a chance to ask you why you gave an up vote to Gunnut2600’s blatantly racist and homophobic comment to me.

          • MacPhale

            More about the tight ass dumb ass greedy Kansas Republicans at

        • Swami_Binkinanda
      • PattyC is a hillbilly

        I like how you right wingers always feel the need to point out that Detroit is run by “liberals”.

        Can you name ONE American city, with a population of 500,000 or greater, that’s run by Republicans? This includes both ones in good and bad financial shape.

        Talk about “Detroit” all you want, but I could just as easily find five major cities that are run by Democrats that are in great fiscal shape, because ALL major cities are run by Democrats. Because the GOP is a rural party that only appeals to rural people.

        • Dennis

          Go ahead, Patty, name them.

          Let’s keep in mind Kansas’ Aa2 Moody’s rating and OW’s headline that the state is failing and use it as a template. What major US cities are in better shape than that in which Dems control?

          • SeanRobinson

            Houston, Democratic mayor.
            Phoenix, Democratic mayor.
            San Antonio, Democratic mayor.
            Indianapolis has a (reasonably moderate) Republican mayor, but a Democratic-majority city council.
            Jacksonville, Democratic mayor.

            Ummm, shut the hell up?

          • Dennis

            Democratic mayor does not mean run by liberals, Sean.

          • SeanRobinson

            “You’re wrong that ALL major cities are run by Democrats.”

            That is how you summed up your statement. Also, allowing for ideological diversity within the Democratic Party severely undercuts your argument.

            Also, lets talk about levels of unemployment and poverty (including metrics on health outcomes) in the rural communities dominated by Republicans. How has conservative fiscal poverty helped them?

          • Dennis

            I was resoonding to PattyC, who stated this (above):

            “Talk about “Detroit” all you want, but I could just as easily find five major cities that are run by “liberals” that are in great fiscal shape, because ALL major cities are run by Democrats and other politicians who you folks regard as being left-leaning.”

            I asked her to name them. And I disagreed with her claim that ALL major cities are run by Democrats and other politicians who ‘us folks’ regard as being left-leaning.

            I’m not sure what you take exception to, I’m just saying PattyC is wrong. If you agree with her and would like to name 5 liberal-controlled major cities that are doing better than the AA2 rating of the State of Kansas GO’s, I’d be curious to know what you find.

          • SeanRobinson

            Nah, but I’ll do Democratic states. DE, OR, MD, and VT all have higher ratings. Also, it turns out comparing large urban areas to states in the way you want is completely moronic.

            Again, tell me about how Republican rule has helped rural areas, you completely disingenuous dope.

          • Dennis

            Again, you’d do well to go back to what PattyC said and my response to her claim that “could just as easily find five major cities that are run by “liberals”
            that are in great fiscal shape, because ALL major cities are run by
            Democrats and other politicians who you folks regard as being

            Ratings are a reflection of and defined by the fiscal shape of the municipality. If Oliver claims Kansas is ‘failing’ with a AA2 rating, and PattyC claims she can name five major cities in great fiscal shape (which you’ll notice she hasn’t done, she hasn’t even reappeared here), then what other indicator do you think less ‘moronic’ should be used to compare? You won’t even attempt to name five cities in great fiscal shape run by Democrats and other politicians us folk regard as left-leaning.

          • SeanRobinson

            Because I’m not going to go searching through muni bond ratings for you because you are a ridiculous idiot?

            You folk? You are a single moron on the internet, self-satisfied and empty. Tell me about the rural poor and how Republicans have helped them or smash a brick into your own face.

          • Dennis

            You don’t have to go searching, because you won’t find any, much less five. I didn’t have to go searching because I know muni credits, and I knew PattyC didn’t, obviously. Neither does Oliver. You chose to defend her, and then when challenged to further defend her, you balked and then moved the goalposts. Now you say ‘because shut up’. You’re an intellectual coward, Sean. And a mental midget. Those two are seldom mutually exclusive.

          • SeanRobinson

            You seem unwilling to admit that the dimensions of your request are insane, so I’ve stopped treating you like an adult. You also refuse to defend the economic performance of heavily conservative areas of the country because you are completely aware that it is impossible. Tell me about how great Mississippi’s economy is, please.

          • Dennis

            I don’t oblige guys that act like dicks on here, Sean. I never have.

          • SeanRobinson

            But you expect people to cater to your vapid, condescending ass? You are transparent.

          • Dennis

            No, truthfully, I don’t. I actually expected you to back away from defending what PattyC said, and you did.

            I’ve been posting here for a long time, I’m quite familiar with how liberals jump in to defend other liberals when they say something stupid. They think they’re defending liberalism. When pressed and they realize there is no defense without being embarrassed, they do exactly what you did. It was textbook. First ball, then Move the goalposts, divert, get angry and belligerent, ask other unrelated questions, simper, then call me a troll and tell me to go away as if you own a share of the blog and are exerting privilege.

          • SeanRobinson

            YOU moved the goalposts when you summarily announced that Democratic run cities that you named don’t count because they are secretly conservative, dolt! Do you not remember that?

            I don’t think you should go away, because you are hilarious.

          • Dennis

            Sean, it’s very hard to discuss anything with you when you either can’t read or refuse to comprehend what you do read. It’s as if you’re fully committed to misunderstanding, like you work at it and pride yourself on it.

  • Ashes Defacto

    “In Kansas, they can’t (honestly) blame liberals for this”

    That won’t stop them. Nothing is ever their fault, even when they have total control.

    • bedrockq

      Hence why they always think “Government is the problem”. Because it is…whenever they are in charge.

  • Jason E

    Koch heads! Hang in there KS, in 100 years you’ll have Ocean front real estate. But the beaches will be full of refugees.
    Invest in shade, deep shade

  • kuvasz

    Conservatism can not fail; it can only be failed. Therefore, obviously it is the fault of Barack Obama.

  • Schneibster

    Great stuff Oliver. Keep it coming. Follow the money. Money never lies. Money never sleeps.

    • Ed Smith


      • Schneibster

        So, stalk much KKK boy?

        Just askin’.

      • dbtheonly

        Enjoy a down vote for your insightful and erudite comment.

  • Riccardo Cabeza

    Does it seem like republicans do everything in their power to hurt average Americans at every turn? It’s as though republicans actively hate Americans and when able force them to suffer as much as humanly possible.

    To a republican, you’re a terrorist if you are slightly disinclined to blow a Koch brother.

    • Henry_Moody

      “It’s as though republicans actively hate Americans…”

      The most clear evidence of this, of course, is the frequency with which we hear Republicans screeching that liberals/progressives “hate America.” Projection in the morning, projection in the evening, projection at suppertime.

    • bedrockq

      Only 99% of them. They are the party of the 1% and have been for some time.

      • Snarki, child of Loki

        “the party of the 1%”? That’s just their “GOP big tent” propaganda. Try 0.01%.

  • Neddy Merrill

    In alternative Brownback reality, that’s to say, lying bastard, Brownback has no problem pointing to the “real” problem, “What we are seeing today is the effect of tax increases implemented by the Obama administration that resulted in lower income tax payments and a depressed business environment.”

  • swim2thesea

    Free rein

    • Neddy Merrill

      Reign works, sorta kinda.

  • ud106c

    B-b-but that just means Brownback isn’t conservative enough, right guys?

    • DaveN

      Conservatism cannot fail; it can only be failed.

      They will whine and complain that this clown show was too liberal and commence with the purging of the RINOs.

    • MacPhale

      Visit to read more about Republicans

  • jotab

    They have also decimated public education by attacking teachers and their due process rights.

    • dbtheonly

      But Public Education is a bedrock of participatory democracy & if you want to voters to follow your buzz-words slogans; you’ve got to restrict their education.