Kansas news media

Brownback derangement syndrome on display

A newspaper op-ed illustrates some of the muddled thinking of Kansas newspaper editorialists, not to mention Brownback derangement syndrome. Recent discussion about restricting the ability to spend welfare benefits has lead one newspaper editorialist to compare elected politicians with welfare recipients. The writer is Dave Helling of the Kansas City Star, and his target is Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. Attempting to paint the governor as a government-paid freeloader, Helling wrote: "He’s earned his living from taxpayers almost all his life. He’s worked in state government, the U.S. House and U.S. Senate and now as governor, where he earns around $100,000…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Wichita economic development, one more untold story

In this excerpt from Wichitaliberty.TV: Readers of the Wichita Eagle might be excused for not understanding the economic realities of a proposed tax giveaway to a local development. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Originally broadcast September 14, 2014. For more on this issue, see: Wichita economic development, one more untold story.
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WichitaLiberty.TV: The Wichita Eagle fails the city and its readers

WichitaLiberty.TV: The Wichita Eagle fails the city and its readers

In this excerpt from WichitaLiberty.TV: In its coverage of the recent election, the Wichita Eagle has failed to inform its readers of city and state issues. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. For more on this topic, see In election coverage, The Wichita Eagle has fallen short and For Wichita Eagle, no immediate Kansas budget solution.
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Newspaper editorialists with an ideology? Not in Kansas, surely.

Newspaper editorialists with an ideology? Not in Kansas, surely.

Caution, Kansas newspaper editorialists. Your ideology is showing. Seeking to minimize the fallout from this week's elections in Kansas, Kansas City Star editorialist Yael T. Abouhalkah warns the governor that this election didn't really mean much, after all. (See No, Sam Brownback, Kansans didn’t give you a mandate for more tax cuts.) This op-ed, like many others that appear in Kansas newspapers, are useful for exposing the ideologies of their writers. Here's an example from Abouhalkah: "Already, the first round of tax cuts have cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in anticipated revenues." The corollary of this is…
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Recommended: Kansas Meadowlark

Recommended: Kansas Meadowlark

It's been around for a long time, and is the best site for aggregation of Kansas-centric news and opinion. It's Kansas Meadowlark, run by Earl Glynn of Overland Park. I recommend you take a look.
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Job growth in the states and Kansas

Job growth in the states and Kansas

Let's ask critics of current Kansas economic policy if they're satisfied with the Kansas of recent decades. Critics of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and his economic policies have pounced on slow job growth in Kansas as compared to other states. The nearby illustration shows private sector job growth in the states during the period of the Graves/Sebelius/Parkinson regimes. This trio occupied the governor's office from 1994 to 2011. Kansas is the dark line. At the end of this period, Kansas is just about in the middle of the states. But notice that early in this period, the line for Kansas…
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Kansas news media should report, not spin

Kansas news media should report, not spin

A Hutchinson News editorial contained an uninformed opinion of which special interest groups are working for the best interests of Kansans. Following, Dave Trabert of Kansas Policy Institute explains that influence may be shifting from media, unions, the education establishment, cities, counties, and school boards to those with different views -- those of limited government and economic freedom that empower citizens, not an expansive government and its beneficiaries. The editorial referred to is Goodbye Democracy, Hello Wealthocracy. Media spin a threat By Dave Trabert Kansans are bombarded with claims that range from innocently incomplete to quite deliberately false. Increasingly, the…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Schools and the nature of competition and cooperation, Wind power and taxes

WichitaLiberty.TV: Schools and the nature of competition and cooperation, Wind power and taxes

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: A Kansas newspaper editorial is terribly confused about schools and the nature of competition in markets. Then, we already knew that the wind power industry in Kansas enjoys tax credits and mandates. Now we learn that the industry largely escapes paying property taxes. Episode 38, broadcast April 6, 2014. View below, or click here to view at YouTube.
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Shame, says Wichita Eagle editorial board

Shame, says Wichita Eagle editorial board

The Wichita Eagle editorial board, under the byline of Rhonda Holman, issued a stern rebuke to the Kansas Legislature for its passage of HB 2506 over the weekend. (Eagle editorial: Shame on Legislature, April 8, 2014) Here are some notes on a few of Holman's points. She wrote that the legislature should not "undermine teachers’ rights and meddle in education policymaking." First: There's controversy over what the bill actually means to the relationship between teachers and their employers. Courts will probably have to intervene. Second: Should the Legislature have a say in policy, or just pay? Then, she criticized the…
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In Kansas, education is all about money and politics for UMEEA

In Kansas, education is all about money and politics for UMEEA

From Kansas Policy Institute. Education is all about money and politics for UMEEA By Dave Trabert Media reaction to the school finance legislation has been pretty predictable. It focuses almost exclusively on institutions and ignores the impact on students. As usual, it's all about money and politics. Unions, media and their allies in the education establishment (UMEEA) oppose tax credit scholarships for low income students. They rail against taxpayer money going to private schools and how that might mean a little less money for public institutions but ignore the very real purpose and need for the program. (FYI, the scholarship…
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Kansas newspapers against the children

A Kansas newspaper editorial illustrates that for the establishment, schools -- the institution of public schools, that is -- are more important than students. An unsigned editorial in the Garden City Telegram proclaimed "Another attempt to undermine public schools materialized last week in the Kansas Statehouse." (Legislators turn to ALEC for poor plan on schools, March 25, 2014.) What was in a bill that so worried the Telegram editorial writers? According to the op-ed, the dangerous provisions are "expansion of charter schools, overhaul of teacher licensing and tax breaks for private school scholarships." To the Telegram, these ideas are "radical"…
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Kansas school employment: Mainstream media notices

Kansas school employment: Mainstream media notices

When two liberal newspapers in Kansas notice and report the lies told by a Democratic candidate for governor, we know there's a problem. (Okay, the Kansas City Star is really a Missouri newspaper, but covers Kansas too.) Peter Hancock wrote in the Lawrence Journal World: "Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor, reportedly claimed again last week that school funding cuts under Gov. Sam Brownback's administration have led to 'thousands' of teacher layoffs, a claim that has already been shown to be greatly exaggerated." (Davis still exaggerating teacher layoff claims, March 12, 2013) On the same day…
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What is the import of the farm bill to Kansas?

Correcting the Wichita Eagle's facts will place the importance of the farm bill to Kansas in proper perspective. In criticizing five of the six members of the Kansas congressional delegation for voting against the farm bill, Rhonda Holman of the Wichita Eagle editorialized this: "Five of the six members of the Kansas delegation just voted against a farm bill -- a stunning abdication of leadership in a state in which agriculture is 25 percent of the economy." (Eagle editorial: AWOL on farm bill, Wednesday, February 5, 2014) The Eagle editorialist didn't specify what she meant by "percent of the economy"…
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Kansas school spending, according to the Telegram

Another Kansas newspaper editorial shows that when writing about Kansas school spending, facts are sometimes not observed. The Garden City Telegram analyzed the recent State of the State address delivered by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. In an editorial, the newspaper wrote: "In his speech, Brownback mentioned the quest for 'world-class education' in Kansas. But during his time in office, he presided over the largest overall cut in public education funding in the state's history." (School daze, January 18, 2014) Nearby is a chart of Kansas school spending (click it for a larger version). It's adjusted for inflation. Spending is not…
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College costs in Kansas: Rising by more than a tad

Have college costs exceeded the rate of inflation by just a "tad," as claimed by a Kansas college professor? Washburn University Political Science Professor Mark Peterson wrote in a recent op-ed that "The actual cost of obtaining postsecondary education has, like everything else, continued to rise -- mostly at the rate of inflation plus a tad."(Mark Peterson: State sends wrong higher-ed message, Wichita Eagle, Sunday, January 26, 2014.) The College Board keeps track of college costs and publishes its findings at Trends in College Pricing. Of particular interest is a table titled "Figure 5. Inflation-Adjusted Published Tuition and Fees Relative…
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Kansas schoolchildren shortchanged by Kansas City Star

Another newspaper editorialist ignores the facts about Kansas schools. This is starting to be routine. In a collection of toasts and roasts, Kansas City Star columnist Steve Rose criticizes Kansas Governor Sam Brownback on a variety of fronts, especially on school funding: A ROAST to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, who led the charge for the most radical and irresponsible tax cuts in the history of Kansas and, perhaps, the entire country. One of the unfortunate victims of these cuts is education, both K-12 and higher education. The damage will be gradual, but it will be felt to be sure. Brownback…
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Top Kansas stories of 2013: Joseph Ashby edition

By Joseph Ashby. Special to Voice for Liberty. From FBI bomb plots to seven-story toddler trick shots to an unlikely final four run, Kansas kept our attention in 2013. Here is a countdown of the state's top stories this year. #10 - Trick Shot Titus The basketball-shooting toddler from Derby, Kansas had the 4th most watched YouTube sports video of 2013 (for good measure “Trick Shot Titus 3,” which missed the December 1 cutoff, is now the 5th most watched sports video of the year), and represented Kansas on the Today Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live and a host of other…
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Here’s why Kansans are misinformed about schools

You should always believe what you read in the newspapers, for that makes them more interesting. -- Rose Macauley In an editorial of some 600 words on the topic of Kansas schools, Kansas City Star editorial writers whip up support for higher school spending, but totally omit the facts readers need to know. In the end, it's Kansas schoolchildren who are harmed most by editorials like this. (Much rides on the future of Kansas public school funding) Talking about school spending is easy, although the Star, like most Kansas newspapers, doesn't tell its readers the full story on spending. Advocating…
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