Federal Judge Tells Dems to Hit the Breaks

by Shane Ormond


A federal judge has ruled that Dem lawmakers don’t have the authority to sue Trump for declaring a national emergency (and not so subtly told them to stop crying to the courts about every little thing Trump does).

In the last few months, the Dems have been successfully leveraging the power of the courts to impede Trump, further investigations into his finances, and avoid ever having to speak to their Republican counterparts.

However, they hit their first major stumbling block yesterday, as a Trump appointed judge ruled they could not sue the president over a plan to divert $6.1 billion from the military to build his border wall.

The Dems argued that the lawsuit should be allowed on the grounds that 1) they had exhausted every other option. And 2) the emergency order violated the Constitution Appropriations Clause, which grants Congress authority over the allocation of federal funds.

Judge Trevor McFadden disagreed, writing that “while the Constitution bestows upon members of the House many powers, it does not grant them standing to (drag) the executive branch into court claiming a dilution of Congress’s legislative authority.”

He went on to say that a “lawsuit is not a last resort for the House,” pointing to “several political arrows in its quiver to counter perceived threats to its sphere of power.”

McFadden puts his finger on the key problem with modern American ultra-partisan politics here. There is no actual “politics” anymore.  No discussion. No deals. No compromises. None of the wheeling and dealing essential to making a two-party system work.

Instead, we have a bunch of idiots smashing their heads off each other and trying to circumvent the process with loopholes and legislative back alleys.

And all that gets us is a bunch of bumped noggins and a lot of very angry, frustrated, and exhausted people.

Even this decision doesn’t get actually get anyone anywhere. The funds for the wall have already been blocked by an Obama-appointed judge in California in a completely separate lawsuit.




The Kansas Supreme Court an Enemy of the People

by Allen Williams


Once again the Kansas Supreme court ‘Wizards of OZ’ defy logic with the latest ruling that personal autonomy guarantees the right to abortion.  It equally infers that I needn’t pay tribute to the Kansas Dept of Revenue.

The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled from  the “Declaration of Independence that recognized that certain rights predated the country.  The Declaration's "natural, inalienable rights," the Court said, included "personal autonomy" and therefore abortion.  Those 'unalienable  rights' come from God, they are not grandfathered in from some ancient culture predating America.

The so-called logic the court is trying to pawn off is: “Ancestors of Native Americans hunted elephants in Kansas 13,000 years ago. That’s thousands of years before Columbus arrived in 1492, thousands before the Vikings landed in Newfoundland.  And so it’s thousands of years before the Declaration of Independence to which my resounding ‘So What?’ is exclaimed.

This hare brained ruling is an effrontery to anyone who possesses the slightest semblance of intelligence except for the Kansas legislature who collectively lacks the sense to pour a well known liquid out of a boot.  It is the folly of this useless assembly that has allowed a band of robed oligarchs to enslave the citizens of this state with their pedagogical nonsense.

The court’s opinion that certain’ rights ‘predate the country’ means what?  It means that child sacrifice was practiced well before the nation was formed and that this exercise predates the constitution. But interestingly enough the court made no reference to the Declaration’s unalienable ‘right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  The principle justification for this malfeasant decision seems to be that ‘life’ is not the desire of the court but rather thinning of the North American population is of far greater importance than the antiquated notion of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

This clown court doesn’t even bother to construct a viable legal rationale to support the decision but resorts to the alchemy of political obeisance to the eugenics coalition.  It is the greatest stretch of reason that has masqueraded as a legal decision since Dred Scott claimed Negroes were a separate class of persons and couldn’t be citizens.

It’s clear that Kansas is ruled by a junta of robed thugs whose gavel is for hire. It is an enemy of the people and precisely the kind of autocratic system you might expect from a cabal of lawyers who select the state’s judges as they earn their livelihood off the misfortunes of others.


Judicial nominee faces Senate scrutiny over Knights of Columbus membership

by Ed Condon


Washington D.C., Dec 21, 2018 / 02:00 pm (CNA).- A judicial nominee faced questions from Senators this month about whether membership in the Knights of Columbus might impede his ability to judge federal cases fairly. The Knights of Columbus say that no candidate for public office should have to defend his membership in a Catholic service organization.

Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) raised concerns about membership in the Knights of Columbus while the Senate Judiciary Committee reviewed the candidacy of Brian C. Buescher, an Omaha-based lawyer nominated by President Trump to sit on the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska.

Senators also asked whether belonging to the Catholic charitable organization could prevent judges from hearing cases “fairly and impartially.”

In written questions sent to Buescher by committee members Dec. 5, Sen. Hirono stated that “the Knights of Columbus has taken a number of extreme positions. For example, it was reportedly one of the top contributors to California’s Proposition 8 campaign to ban same-sex marriage.”

Hirono then asked Buescher if he would quit the group if he was confirmed “to avoid any appearance of bias.”

“The Knights of Columbus does not have the authority to take personal political positions on behalf of all of its approximately two million members,” Buescher responded.

“If confirmed, I will apply all provisions of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges regarding recusal and disqualification,” he said.

Kathleen Blomquist, spokesperson for the Knights of Columbus, told CNA that the senators’ questions echoed the kind of anti-Catholicism seen in previous generations of American history.

“Our country’s sad history of anti-Catholic bigotry contributed to the founding of the Knights of Columbus, and we are proud of the many Catholics who overcame this hurdle to contribute so greatly to our country,” Blomquist told CNA

“We were extremely disappointed to see that one’s commitment to Catholic principles through membership in the Knights of Columbus—a charitable organization that adheres to and promotes Catholic teachings—would be viewed as a disqualifier from public service in this day and age.”

President Trump nominated Buescher to serve on the U.S. District Court on Nov. 3. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Buescher’s nomination Nov. 28, sending written questions to him on Dec. 5. 

The Knights of Columbus is active in 17 countries worldwide. In 2017, members carried out more than 75 million hours of volunteer work and raised more than $185 million for charitable purposes. Successive popes, including Pope Francis, have praisied the group for their charitable work and the manner in which they articulate Catholic faith and values.

In her questions to the nominee, Sen. Harris described the Knights as “an all-male society” and asked if Buescher was aware that the Knights of Columbus “opposed a woman’s right to choose” and were against “marriage equality” when he joined.

Responding to the senator’s questions, Buescher confirmed that he has been a member of the Knights since he was 18 years old, noting that his membership “has involved participation in charitable and community events in local Catholic parishes.”

“I do not recall if I was aware whether the Knights of Columbus had taken a position on the abortion issue when I joined at the age of 18,” he wrote in response.

Harris raised a statement from Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson, who said that abortion constituted “the killing of the innocent on a massive scale” and asked Buescher if he agreed with Anderson.

Buescher said he was not responsible for drafting statements or policies made by the Knights and that, as a federal judge, he would consider himself bound by judicial precedent regarding abortion.

“I did not draft this language. If confirmed, I would be bound by precedent of the United States Supreme Court and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and would not be guided by statements made by others,” Buescher told the senator.

Blomquist told CNA that asking a judicial nominee to defend his membership of a major Catholic charitable organization is disturbing.

“We believe that membership in the Knights of Columbus, which helps everyday men put their Catholic faith into action, is worthy of commendation and not something a nominee for public office should be asked to defend," she said.

In 2014, Buescher ran as a candidate in the Republican primary election for Nebraska attorney general. During that campaign he described himself as “avidly pro-life” and said that opposition to abortion was part of his “moral fabric.”

Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) noted the nominee’s previously outspoken opposition to abortion and asked “why should a litigant in your courtroom expect to get a fair hearing from an impartial judge in a case involving abortion rights?”

Buescher responded that “as a candidate for Nebraska Attorney General in 2014, I did what candidates for any major state or federal office do, which is to take political positions on a variety of issues of the day.” 

“However, there is a difference between taking political positions as a candidate for elective office and serving as a federal judge. I believe a judge’s role and obligation is to apply the law without regard to any personal beliefs regarding the law,” Buescher wrote.

“If confirmed, I will faithfully apply all United States Supreme Court and Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals precedent on all issues, including Roe v. Wade."

Buescher also fielded questions from senators about Trump administration policy on Title X funding for clinics providing abortions and referrals, as well as on the application of anti-discrimination law to questions related to gender identity or sexual orientation.

The nominee underscored that, as a judge, it was not for him to advance personal or political opinions but to make fair and impartial rulings based on the law and judicial precedent. 

If confirmed by the Senate, Buescher will fill the vacancy left by Judge Laurie Smith Camp, who assumed senior status - a kind of judicial semi-retirement - on Dec. 1.

This story has been updated.






Hillary Caught Making Claim About Kavanaugh That Was Already Proven False by Fact-Checkers


by Randy DeSoto

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton doubled down Wednesday on a claim Sen. Kamala Harris made regarding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s views on birth control that multiple fact-checkers have already determined to be false.

“I want to be sure we’re all clear about something that Brett Kavanaugh said in his confirmation hearings last week. He referred to birth-control pills as ‘abortion-inducing drugs,'” Clinton tweeted. “That set off a lot of alarm bells for me, and it should for you, too.”

“Kavanaugh didn’t use that term because he misunderstands the basic science of birth control—the fact that birth control prevents fertilization of eggs in the first place. He used that term because it’s a dog whistle to the extreme right,” she added.

Hillary Clinton‏Verified account @HillaryClinton Sep 12

I want to be sure we're all clear about something that Brett Kavanaugh said in his confirmation hearings last week. He referred to birth-control pills as "abortion-inducing drugs." That set off a lot of alarm bells for me, and it should for you, too.

20,281 replies 41,031 retweets 137,358 likes

Kavanaugh didn't use that term because he misunderstands the basic science of birth control—the fact that birth control prevents fertilization of eggs in the first place. He used that term because it's a dog whistle to the extreme right.

6:14 AM - 12 Sep 2018


The Washington Post awarded Harris with four Pinocchios for sharing a selectively edited video about Kavanaugh while arguing that he is “going after” birth control.

The California Democrat tweeted footage of an exchange Kavanaugh had with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas during the judge’s confirmation hearing last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Cruz asked Kavanaugh about his dissent in the 2014 Priests for Life case before the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals involving the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate.

The nominee answered by recounting the plaintiff priests’ position in the case regarding filling out a Department of Health and Human Services form to obtain a waiver from the contraception mandate, which, if accepted by HHS, required health insurance providers to offer the coverage free of charge to those who were interested.

Kavanaugh told Cruz, “They said filling out the form would make them complicit in the provision of the abortion-inducing drugs that they were, as a religious matter, objecting to.”

Harris’s video omitted Kavanaugh saying, “they said,” making it appear that he was offering a statement about his views on the matter, and even birth control more broadly.

Harris wrote of the exchange in a tweet on Friday.

Kamala Harris‏Verified account @SenKamalaHarris

Kavanaugh chooses his words very carefully, and this is a dog whistle for going after birth control. He was nominated for the purpose of taking away a woman’s constitutionally protected right to make her own health care decisions. Make no mistake - this is about punishing women.

11:45 AM - 7 Sep 2018
8,538 replies 15,061 retweets 

Here is Kavanaugh's full answer. There's no question that he uncritically used the term "abortion-inducing drugs," which is a dog whistle term used by extreme anti-choice groups to describe birth control.

Kavanaugh explained to Cruz that the reason he dissented in the case was based on the Supreme Court’s Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores decision, which found business owners have the right not to provide contraception coverage to employees if it runs contrary to their sincerely held religious beliefs.

It should be noted that Hobby Lobby’s owners did not object to providing birth control coverage, which they were in fact doing, but did object to providing contraceptives they believe cause abortions, including “morning-after pills” and two types of intrauterine devices.

There are 16 other FDA-approved contraception methods that the company did not object to, as they prevent the egg from being fertilized in the first place.

However, the four methods of contraception at issue in the case “may have the effect of preventing an already fertilized egg from developing any further by inhibiting its attachment to the uterus.” Thus, the concern was that by providing these abortifacients, they would be facilitating abortion.

After receiving significant criticism for her misleading tweet, Harris included Kavanaugh’s comments in context in a subsequent post, but argued, “There’s no question that he uncritically used the term ‘abortion-inducing drugs,’ which is a dog whistle term used by extreme anti-choice groups to describe birth control.”

The Washington Post was not buying the senator’s explanation.

“Harris’s decision to snip those crucial words (‘they said’) from her first post on the video is certainly troubling,” wrote Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler.

Regarding her follow up tweet, he added, “But there was no acknowledgment by Harris that the original tweet was misleading.”

Kessler concluded, “She earns Four Pinocchios — and her fellow Democrats should drop this talking point.”

Politifact also found Harris’ Twitter post in error.

“In Harris’ tweet, Kavanaugh appears to define contraception as abortion-inducing. But the video failed to include a crucial qualifier: ‘They said,’” Politifact reported.

“In fact, he was citing the definition of the religious group Priests for Life. He has not expressed his personal view,” the fact-checker added. “We rate this statement False.”


David French‏Verified account @DavidAFrench

David French Retweeted Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton comes barreling back into the conversation with a timely reminder that she’s one of the more prolific liars in modern American politics.

David French added,

Hillary ClintonVerified account @HillaryClinton
I want to be sure we're all clear about something that Brett Kavanaugh said in his confirmation hearings last week. He referred to birth-control pills as "abortion-inducing
drugs." That set off a lot of alarm bells for me, and it should for you, too.
Show this thread
7:18 AM - 12 Sep 2018
175 replies 652 retweets 2,373 likes

National Review’s David French chastised Clinton for grabbing onto Harris’ claim against Kavanaugh, which she should have known to be false.

He tweeted, “Hillary Clinton comes barreling back into the conversation with a timely reminder that she’s one of the more prolific liars in modern American politics.”



Classmate Deletes Tweet That Supported Ford’s Claim Against Kavanaugh

by Jack Davis


A woman who said the 35-year-old alleged sexual misconduct incident Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh denies ever happened was all the buzz at school has deleted her tweet making that claim.

On Tuesday, Christina King Miranda entered the fray over allegations that Kavanaugh acted inappropriately toward Christine Blasey Ford at a party in the 1980s.

There's a well-established legal term of art for what Cristina King Miranda is peddling today: HEARSAY. http://archive.is/xz6AN 


“I graduated from Holton Arms, and knew both Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge. Christine Blasey Ford was a year or so behind me, I remember her. I signed this letter. The incident was spoken about for days afterwords (sic) in school. Kavanaugh should stop lying, own up to it and apologize,” she tweeted.

The tweet was seized upon as corroboration of Ford’s allegation, but it raised questions because it offered details not mentioned in, or conflicting with, Ford’s version of events.

For example, Lisa Banks, Ford’s lawyer, said the incident took place over the summer, NPR reported. Miranda’s now-deleted post placed the party during the school year.

Also, Ford indicated in her interview with The Washington Post that she did not discuss the incident until 2012, while Miranda’s tweet indicates it was common knowledge at their school — Holton-Arms in Bethesda, Maryland — in the 1980s.

The questions raised by her comment might never be answered. Miranda deleted her tweet Wednesday.

“Hi all, deleted this because it served its purpose and I am now dealing with a slew of requests for interviews from The Wash Post, CNN, CBS News. Organizing how I want to proceed. Was not ready for that, not sure I am interested in pursuing. Thanks for reading,” she tweeted.

The questions raised by her comment might never be answered. Miranda deleted her tweet Wednesday.

“Hi all, deleted this because it served its purpose and I am now dealing with a slew of requests for interviews from The Wash Post, CNN, CBS News. Organizing how I want to proceed. Was not ready for that, not sure I am interested in pursuing. Thanks for reading,” she tweeted.

Hi all, deleted this because it served its purpose and I am now dealing with a slew of requests for interviews from The Wash Post, CNN, CBS News. Organizing how I want to proceed. Was not ready for that, not sure I am interested in pursuing. Thanks for reading


Miranda then followed up that tweet with another making it clear she won’t be saying anything more.

“To all media, I will not be doing anymore interviews. No more circus. To clarify my post: I do not have first hand knowledge of the incident that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford mentions, and I stand by my support for Christine. That’s it. I don’t have more to say on the subject,” she tweeted.

— Cristina King Miranda (@reinabori) September 19, 2018

The tweet was perceived by some as an effort to avoid dealing with a story that was full of holes.

Chris Costlow @TheChrisCostlow

Well, SOMEONE'S lying. Ford said she told NO ONE about it until 2012. Seems you shot yourself in the foot with a tweet and I'm guessing your name isn't going to go away from the news cycle any time soon. You go girl! You've done more to ruin Ford's cred than the Republicans.


Miranda’s actions came as Patrick J. Smyth, another high school classmate of Kavanaugh’s, denied ever seeing inappropriate conduct from Kavanaugh and said that if Ford has identified him as being at a party where the alleged incident took place, she is wrong.

Politics US News

Classmate Deletes Tweet That Supported Ford’s Claim Against Kavanaugh

By Jack Davis
September 19, 2018 at 11:17am

A woman who said the 35-year-old alleged sexual misconduct incident Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh denies ever happened was all the buzz at school has deleted her tweet making that claim.

On Tuesday, Christina King Miranda entered the fray over allegations that Kavanaugh acted inappropriately toward Christine Blasey Ford at a party in the 1980s.

“I graduated from Holton Arms, and knew both Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge. Christine Blasey Ford was a year or so behind me, I remember her. I signed this letter. The incident was spoken about for days afterwords (sic) in school. Kavanaugh should stop lying, own up to it and apologize,” she tweeted.

The tweet was seized upon as corroboration of Ford’s allegation, but it raised questions because it offered details not mentioned in, or conflicting with, Ford’s version of events.

Do you believe Christina King Miranda?

Yes No
Completing this poll entitles you to The Western Journal news updates free of charge. You may opt out at anytime. You also agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

TRENDING: Franklin Graham Calls Out ‘Socialist-Leaning Dems’ in Wake of Kavanaugh Accusations

For example, Lisa Banks, Ford’s lawyer, said the incident took place over the summer, NPR reported. Miranda’s now-deleted post placed the party during the school year.

Also, Ford indicated in her interview with The Washington Post that she did not discuss the incident until 2012, while Miranda’s tweet indicates it was common knowledge at their school — Holton-Arms in Bethesda, Maryland — in the 1980s.

The questions raised by her comment might never be answered. Miranda deleted her tweet Wednesday.

“Hi all, deleted this because it served its purpose and I am now dealing with a slew of requests for interviews from The Wash Post, CNN, CBS News. Organizing how I want to proceed. Was not ready for that, not sure I am interested in pursuing. Thanks for reading,” she tweeted.

Miranda then followed up that tweet with another making it clear she won’t be saying anything more.

“To all media, I will not be doing anymore interviews. No more circus. To clarify my post: I do not have first hand knowledge of the incident that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford mentions, and I stand by my support for Christine. That’s it. I don’t have more to say on the subject,” she tweeted.

The tweet was perceived by some as an effort to avoid dealing with a story that was full of holes.

Miranda’s actions came as Patrick J. Smyth, another high school classmate of Kavanaugh’s, denied ever seeing inappropriate conduct from Kavanaugh and said that if Ford has identified him as being at a party where the alleged incident took place, she is wrong.

“I understand that I have been identified by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as the person she remembers as ‘PJ’ who supposedly was present at the party she described in her statements to the Washington Post,” Smyth said in a statement, CNN reported. “I am issuing this statement today to make it clear to all involved that I have no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh.

“Personally speaking, I have known Brett Kavanaugh since high school and I know him to be a person of great integrity, a great friend, and I have never witnessed any improper conduct by Brett Kavanaugh towards women.”

Mark Judge, who was mentioned in Miranda’s deleted tweet, said in a letter to senators that he had “no memory of this alleged incident” and “never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes.”










Trump Admin Fights Back, Wants Judge to Toss Lawsuits So it Can Defund Planned Parenthood

by Micaiah Bilger


Share this story:

The Trump administration is fighting back against lawsuits challenging its efforts to defund the abortion giant Planned Parenthood.

This week, attorneys for the government asked federal judges to dismiss two lawsuits the abortion chain filed against changes to Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) program grants, Reuters reports.

In June, Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit challenging a Department of Health and Human Services decision to prioritize sexual risk avoidance programs instead of the abortion giant’s risky sex education programs.

The Trump administration also cut millions of dollars in TPP program grants to the abortion chain in 2017 after evidence showed the program was not effective. However, the abortion chain is suing to stop those cuts as well in a separate lawsuit.

Lawyers for HHS argued this week that Planned Parenthood chose not to apply for the grants under the new changes so it does not have standing to sue, according to the report.

The Daily Caller reports more:

HHS lawyers countered that the new criteria for awarding grants under the program, which they changed in May, was “reasonable” and consistent with HHS’s past practices and congressional intent. Under the new criteria, recipients for grants must either follow a “sexual risk reduction model” or a “sexual risk avoidance model,” which aim to curb or completely stop sexual activity among teens respectively.

Planned Parenthood asserted that HHS’s new approach “stigmatizes” teens who have sex and that it prevents them from informed decision-making concerning intercourse, according to Reuters. HHS argued, however, it does not favor “sexual risk avoidance models” over “sexual risk reduction models,” and that halting grants to organizations that do follow a sexual risk avoidance model would not serve the public good, since such organizations can put those grants to “good use.”

Planned Parenthood did not comment on the development.

HHS spokesman Mark Vafiades previously told the New York Times there is very little evidence that the TPP programs were working under the Obama administration model.

Vafiades said the evidence of a positive impact is “very weak,” and the Trump administration wants to support science-based programs that provide “youth with the information and skills they need to avoid the many risks associated with teen sex.”

SIGN THE PETITION! Congress Must De-Fund Planned Parenthood Immediately

In 2017, the Office of Adolescent Health issued two reports evaluating the program. Of the 38 programs examined in the report, only one “reported a long-term reduction in overall rates of teen sexual activity. Nearly all of the evaluations found no long-term difference in sexual activity, use of contraception, or pregnancy rates between students enrolling in these programs and students in control groups,” Dr. Michael New, a professor at Ave Maria University, wrote in 2017.

HHS also pointed to research indicating that 73 percent of the TPP programs under the Obama administration either had a negative impact or none at all.

Many parents become very upset when they learn Planned Parenthood teaches their teenagers about sex. School districts in North Carolina and Michigan recently rejected Planned Parenthood sex education programs because of a strong public outcry.

Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the United States, aborting more than 320,000 unborn babies every year. The abortion chain also teaches sex education in public schools across the country, and promotes risky sexual behavior to vulnerable young teens at its clinics.

Planned Parenthood affiliates received several million dollars in taxpayer funds through the TPP grants. Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands received $1 million annually to target rural teens. Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho, as well as Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, also received grants of nearly $1 million each annually to promote their risky sex agenda to teens.






$3.7 billion tax increase set up by courts and schools

{The Kansas school funding issue comes back again and again to punish citizens because of the illegal 2005 Montoy v Kansas  decision which forever enshrined the lawless Kansas Supreme Court as the 'ultimate authority' (not the people)  dictating the amount of money that must be spent to satisfy a clause in the Kansas Constitution defining "a suitable education.' There is no school funding formula that can ever be devised to prevent the endless lawsuits against the state legislature from Alan L. Rupe and company which will eventually bankrupt Kansas citizens thanks to the worthless Kansas Legislature who has failed to prevent the Court's usurpation of power. -  ED}

by Kansas Policy Institute

This calculation is produced by the Kansas Legislative Research Department (KLRD) and presents a long-term picture of the tax revenue needed to pay for the increased school funding.

Aug. 2 - Wichita - Kansas taxpayers are being set up for a $3.7 billion tax increase over the next four years unless the majority of elected officials reduce costs and stop taking orders from a runaway judiciary.  That’s what it would take to have a structurally balanced budget, with each year’s spending not exceeding that year’s tax collections.  

The calculation is based on having a legally-required ending balance[i] without transfers from the highway fund and making all scheduled KPERS pension payments through FY 2023.  The only spending increases included are those related to approved school funding, the Department of Education’s (KSDE) calculation of complying with the latest Supreme Court ruling and KLRD’s caseload estimate for existing Medicaid coverage.

About $624 million of the tax increase is already in place, noted as ‘Federal Tax Adjustment’ in the table linked here.  Federal tax reform eliminates personal exemptions, caps itemized deductions for some people and imposes higher taxes on many businesses.  The Kansas Senate voted to prevent this backdoor state income tax hike but too many House members wanted more money to spend.

Paying for approved school funding without gimmicks (transfers, KPERS delays, ignoring the ending balance law, etc.) will cost another $2.1 billion and if elected officials decide to meet KSDE’s $365 million estimate of the latest court demand, another $940 million tax hike will be needed.

The tax impact of paying for the new school funding is much greater than the simple total of the funding approved because of the cumulative impact of adding more money each year.  The estimate of meeting the court’s latest demand is a good example.

KSDE says funding would have to increase a little over $91 million each year and would, therefore, be $365 million higher in the fourth year; but that amounts to $912.3 million more being spent over the four-year period.

KSDE calculates the total amount approved thus far for FY 2018 through FY 2023 at just over $1 billion dollars.  Total aid as calculated by KSDE would slightly exceed $8 billion in FY 2023 even if federal aid remains flat and local revenue is only nominally increased.  If legislators provide the additional aid KSDE says is needed to satisfy the court with enrollment increases as KSDE anticipates, per-pupil funding would be $16,520 in FY 2023.
__________________
[i] State law requires an ending balance equal to 7.5 percent of expenditures.  Legislators and governors have often ignored that legal requirement over the last couple of decades by periodically changing the law to effectively say, ‘except this year.’





Kansas Supreme Court Once Again Dictates the Level of School Spending

by Allen Williams


If you have ever lived in Kansas then you know that the state's judiciary gains bench positions by appointment NOT election.  "These efforts succeeded in 1958, when Kansas voters approved a constitutional amendment authorizing merit selection of supreme court justices. The amendment's success can be attributed to the intensive lobbying efforts of the Kansas Bar Association and the political scandal aptly titled the "triple play of 1956," in which the governor and chief justice resigned their positions with the understanding that the lieutenant governor--who would become the governor--would appoint the former governor as chief justice. "

"The current procedure for filling a Supreme Court judgeship is very simple. A panel of lawyers [and non-lawyers] creates a list of fellow lawyers as candidates. That list is submitted to the governor and who appoints someone from that list. There is no vote. There is no confirmation process. There is no investigation or approval of any kind. The result of the current process is a judiciary run amuck.  A prime example is the Kansas Supreme Court. In the last session of the legislature, judges were caught discussing legislation with senate members and ethics complaints were lodged (they are still pending).  That same court has, in direct violation of the Kansas Constitution, ordered increases in school spending, a function reserved to the legislature. By its illegal actions, the court has effected increases that will force each man, woman, and child in the State of Kansas to pay an extra $400 per year in taxes by the year 2009."   It's a nice little monopoly  where, as KU law professor Stephen Ware, has noted some 10,000 people control 2.8 million.

I
n 2005
a petition was circulated by Wayne Flaherty and Judicial Watch for a constitutional amendment to change the judicial selection system to popular election. The state legislature failed to pass the amendment. The same year Topeka judge Terry Bullock ordered an increase of One Billion dollars for K-12 education in schools. This ruling violated the separation of powers via legislating from the bench. However, it was Kansas Supreme Court Justice Lawton Nuss who dictated the monetary amount in the Montoy decision to the state legislature that forever transferred spending authority from the Kansas Legislature to the Kansas Supreme Court.

In past years a number of attempts have been made to return judicial selection to popular election but the proposals were always beaten back by the public education system and its many supporters who obviously profit from the corruption of the current system.  Finally in 2013, then Governor Sam Brownback replaced merit selection for appeals court judges with gubenatorial appointment and Senate confirmation as in the case of federal judges.  A Kansas constitutional amendment to move the state judiciary to the federal model failed during Brownbacks tenure as governor. And in 2015, incredibly the Kansas Supreme Court, found that the state legislature's attempt to defund the court was unconstitutional. This decision has denied the people of Kansas the right of self government and established the Kansas Supreme Court as a ruling olighargy

The Kansas Court system is a corruption cesspoll and it hasn't disappointed.

Alan Rupe and his legal team have carved out a sweet niche suing the state legislature through the years to force higher taxes for education. Due to the obscure wording in the Kansas Constitution requiring a 'suitable education'. Many attempts have been made in the past to formulate a 'funding formula' for 309 Kansas school districts.

That's an awfully large number of school districts for such a small state you might think. Well, yes but absolutely essential to keep the for profit school indoctrination system rolling.  And public money makes the Kansas education system the largest PAC-lobby in the state. 

Here's how the school funding merri-go-round works:

(1) The state legislature develops a school funding formula which is always 'unfair' to some particular school district and in some cases nearly all by agreement. Greed dictates the relative 'degree of unfairness', etc.  (2) Rupe and his team go to court, finding a synpathetic judge isn't difficult because the lawyers control the judicial selection process. (3) The lawyers argue that the funding formula distributions aren't equitable or isn't weighted properly or the current formula simply fails to provide a 'suitable education' (Doesn't spend enough money) (4) The court agrees. Legal appeals are made and eventually the Kansas Supreme Court affirms the lower court ruling for a fixed sum of money to finance education.(5) Go immediately back to (1) and begin the process anew.

Kansas is under authoritarain rule held hostage by a judicial hunta.

Cost Functions Should Not be Used to Make Education Spending Decisions

by Kansas Policy Institute


June 1 - Wichita - A cost study recommending a school funding increase upwards of $2 billion survived a peer review by a scholar the Legislature hired; but, another respected school finance scholar says cost studies should not be used to set funding levels.

Benjamin Scafadi, Ph.D., a professor of economics and director of the Education Economics Center at Kennesaw State University, says, “cost function studies do not provide valid and reliable estimates of the minimum 'cost' of achieving a given outcome.” 

Knowing the Legislature’s WestEd cost study would define the conversation on education spending and impact further judicial proceedings, Kansas Policy Institute partnered to do an independent peer review with Dr. Scafidi.  His findings disprove the notion that spending more money causes student achievement to improve. 

In response to the Kansas Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the Gannon V case, the Kansas Legislature recently contracted with a vendor conducting a $285,000 study to analyze the “cost” of educating public school students in grades K-12. The Legislature asked the vendor, WestEd, to “estimate the minimum spending required to produce a given outcome within a given educational environment.” WestEd used a “cost function” approach to estimate the costs of providing students in each public school in Kansas with an adequate education. 

Dave Trabert, president of the Kansas Policy Institute, commented, “These cost studies may be done with the best of intentions, but they fail to provide results that are useful in guiding policy decisions. In practice they only take a partial look at one variable – spending – and ignore all other variables that impact learning.”

Scafadi said, “The estimates vary widely and do not track with historical data on spending and achievement.” The review outlined the reasons why supposed “cost” functions do not provide valid and reliable estimates of the minimum “cost” of achieving a given outcome.

“One glaring problem we found with the WestEd study is that researchers do not have access to data on all external factors that impact the cost of educating students.” Trabert said.

Scafidi’s study for Kansas Policy Institute included in its exhaustive review a complete recommendation of best practices that should be performed to “check carefully for robustness and reliability of results.”

His data determined it unreasonable to conclude that giving the Kansas public school system, as currently constituted, a large boost to spending would significantly improve student outcomes.

“Given the vast sums of taxpayer funds at stake, the Kansas Governor, Legislature, and the State Supreme Court should implement the five best practices, as laid out in my review, to discover the truth about the relationship between spending and valuable student outcomes.” Scafadi concluded.




Editor's Note: Such mathematical games accomplish little more than feed the lawyers who feast on endless court decisions that force the Kansas Legislature to raise taxes violating both the separation of powers and the people's right to determine fiscal policy.

Federal Judge Rules: Way Trump Uses Twitter Is Illegal

by George Upper


There’s been a lot of theorizing about the effect of social media on the 2016 presidential election, most of it — in the establishment media, anyway — focused on how Donald Trump’s campaign, with or without the help of the Russians, “stole” the election from Hillary Clinton by selectively planting “fake news” on Facebook.

But Trump’s social media advantage during the campaign was never on Facebook; it was always on Twitter, from his announcement through the election and inauguration.

And, while it wasn’t obvious at the time, that’s when swamp water began seeping into Trump’s online presence, with the ultimate result being that federal judge ruled Wednesday that President Donald Trump cannot block users from access to his Twitter account without violating the First Amendment to the Constitution after seven plaintiffs — we don’t have their names, but I’m guessing they don’t hail from right-of-center heartland America — sued over the practice.

The judge ruled that, because blocking accounts that disagree with him on Twitter prevents those users from expressing their disagreement with him on what was essentially a public forum amounted to government suppression of their right to free speech, according to The New York Times.

Now, given the circumstances, the judge could hardly have decided anything differently. It’s not the judge in the wrong here; it’s the circumstances surrounding the judge’s decision.

Essentially, Federal District Court Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald ruled that, because Trump and Dan Scavino, the White House social media director, “exert governmental control over certain aspects of the @realDonaldTrump account,” the account is an official government account and blocking the seven plaintiffs from it because of their political views violated their First Amendment rights. 

Again, that’s true. But that’s not the problem.  The problem is that this should never have been an “official government account” in the first place. 

Donald Trump — with the help of media experts in his employ, one would imagine — built his following on Twitter long before he ever ran for office, and he continued to build it — and expertly so — during his campaign.  If the account had remained under his personal control, he could block or not block anyone he chose.

But that’s not what happened.

“The viewpoint-based exclusion of the individual plaintiffs from that designated public forum is proscribed by the First Amendment and cannot be justified by the president’s personal First Amendment interests,” the judge, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1999, wrote in her decision.  The White House is apparently considering an appeal, although the basis for such an action was not mentioned and remains unclear, given the present circumstances.  

“We respectfully disagree with the court’s decision and are considering our next steps,” said the Justice Department, which is representing the president in the case.

‘The right thing for the president and his social media director to do would be to log into the president’s account and unblock everyone who has been blocked on the basis of viewpoint,” said Jameel Jaffer, the plaintiffs’ attorney and the executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute, which joined the case as a plaintiff itself.

The court, however, did not order the president to take such an action which would, on the face of it, appear to mean that any government employee or elected official with a social media account funded with taxpayer money would have to take the same action or face similar lawsuits.  Again, since White House staffers became involved, free speech is a legitimate issue in this case. But was it really necessary for that to happen? Isn’t the president’s Twitter account really that, a personal account?  

And the president should be able to communicate directly with the American people without the intervention of federal bureaucrats. Shouldn’t he?

The court, however, did not order the president to take such an action which would, on the face of it, appear to mean that any government employee or elected official with a social media account funded with taxpayer money would have to take the same action or face similar lawsuits.  Again, since White House staffers became involved, free speech is a legitimate issue in this case. But was it really necessary for that to happen? Isn’t the president’s Twitter account really that, a personal account? 

And the president should be able to communicate directly with the American people without the intervention of federal bureaucrats. Shouldn’t he?