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Congressman Tim Huelskamp and Ann Marie Buerkle speaking at the 2012 CPAC in Washington, D.C.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp, sequester-lover
There was real enthusiasm for the sequester in the Kansas delegation in the U.S. House:
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) referred to sequestration as "the first significant tea party victory" in Washington, while Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas)said the cuts were "a home run for America."
Yay! This is awesome, right? Well ... maybe for Huelskamp and Pompeo's sloganeering far-right ideology, but for their constituents in Kansas? Not so much:
A court ruled earlier this year that Kansas had failed to meet its constitutionally defined obligation to fund state education requirements. Now, the state Department of Education estimates a loss of $59 million in federal funds in the 2013-2014 school year, just as the state was looking to get its education funding back on track.

The cuts will also cost the federal courthouses in Wichita, Topeka and Kansas City $750,000 this year—14 percent of their budget—according to the court clerk in Topeka. Judge Julia Gibbons, budget committee chairwoman for the U.S. Judicial Conference, said that as a result, some criminal cases in Kansas won’t be prosecuted this year, and Kansans who face federal charges may wait longer to see a court-appointed lawyer.

But most of the local attention has gone toward the closure of seven air traffic control towers, a consequence of the $600 million funding reduction for the Federal Aviation Administration this fiscal year.

And of course Huelskamp and Pompeo are outraged about the control tower closures, because closing those is bad and political, unlike all the other cuts that they support, which are good and, okay, also political, but in a good way that they agree with. A tea party victory, home run for America kind of way. I mean, when you hear that the justice system is slowed down and an already inadequate education system is losing funds, don't you think "YES! HOME RUN"?

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 12:20 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Someone should put up a sign. (34+ / 0-)

    Just outside the airport:

    Another Tea Party Success

    The highest form of spiritual practice is self observation with compassion.

    by NCJim on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 12:33:30 PM PDT

    •  There is a diary up... (10+ / 0-)

      About a billionaire who is spending his fortune on stopping global warming deniers.  A noble cause.  I would suggest, however, the first step should be to shut down the GOP and the tea party.  Paying to put up these kinds at closed campgrounds, airports, post offices, SS offices, etc. would be a good start - and relatively cheap.

      'Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost' - Ronald Reagan, Communist

      by RichM on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 12:47:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No Airline Service (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      without a functioning tower. I have flown into controlled and uncontrolled airports, as a passenger I'd rather have a traffic cop, FAA or designee/contractor, keep track of traffic, than rely on the ability and common sense of the various pilots. What will happens to insurance when a regional carrier flies into an uncontrolled airport?

      I have been almost run over on landing by some fool who just had to make a straight in approach, without any announcement. That was at a small airport that used only  local radio frequency.

      •  So far I don't think they've closed any towers (0+ / 0-)

        where there is commercial aviation, but I could be wrong.

        They won't close the big airports.  But if they furlough controllers, that's going to lead to long lines and delays.  When that happens I may just go out to the airport with a "I Love Spending Time in Airports - Thank you, TEA PARTY!!" sandwich board.

        Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

        by ZedMont on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:57:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Airlines Do Serve Uncontrolled Apts (0+ / 0-)

        I'm no fan of the sequestration insanity, but airlines can and will continue to serve airports, even if they don't have a control tower.  There are procedures that enable pilots to do so safely.  

        None of the airports that had towers that were due to close on April 7 have airline service, but some that had towers due to close on April 22 and May 5 did.

        All of this may now be moot, since FAA announced this afternoon that they'll be delaying tower closures until at least June 15.

        Still ridiculous that we're having this discussion at all though.

  •  Facts mean nothing to these guys (15+ / 0-)

    The sequester is economic destruction in slow motion.  They want the economic destruction that they will blame on Obama (and the teabaggers will believe it).  

    If the economy improved the lives of everyone, including liberal urbanites and brown people, they wouldn't like this.  They live in a zero sum world where to win their opposition has to lose.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 12:42:40 PM PDT

  •  They love the sequester anywhere but Kansas. (20+ / 0-)

    Cuts for thee but not for me.

    "Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down." Bill Clinton

    by irate on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 12:49:18 PM PDT

  •  Every time a poor gets kicked (5+ / 0-)

    a Tea Party member gets their tri-corn hat.

  •  These asshats are SO incredibly stupid (7+ / 0-)

    it's difficult to imagine that they are real. But they are.

    They climb lower down on the food chain every time they open their mouths.

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:35:11 AM PDT

  •  I LOVE having my rep (5+ / 0-)

    on the front page. He's a treat, isn't he?
    Full on Teabagger- the UN is taking over, but not before The Gays ruin America.

    “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

    by skohayes on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:43:46 AM PDT

  •  It is an absolute tragedy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rbird, ZedMont, gffish

    Kansas was for years and decades and even a century the last bastion of conservative but sane people, who were progressive in social policy.  Blame the Republicans, but feel sorry for the poor Kansans.

  •  Kansas didn't need that education money anyway, (0+ / 0-)

    They never used it in the past, because you can tell by their intelligence. So, just cut them off for good. Give it to a state that gives a crap.

  •  Featured in yesterdays Boston Globe (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I am a Patriot, PinHole, gffish

    The front page story was about "no compromise" Huelskamp, and the grips his "most conservative" district has with Obama. The story also filled an inside page of the front section.

    But what was most notable -- and the Globe reporter totally missed this -- was that the gripes they expressed had virtually nothing to do with reality.  Sure, they whinged about deficits, but it really sounded like a recitation of Rush Limbaugh and Faux News talking points.

    “Everything is negative. It’s the worst I’ve seen in my lifetime, and I’m only 89 years old,” said Wayne Hawkins, owner of a gift shop in Dodge City, once among the wildest places in the West. “Our government is in bad shape.”
    Residents seethed over Obama’s use of“scare tactics” to win an increase in the debt limit. They resent Michelle Obama for taking vacations.
    Michelle Obama's vacations?  Now that's a big national issue, on a par with the scary Tides Foundation, the New Black Panther Party, and sluts! Just ask Rush, Glenn, and friends.  These people probably think that the Secret Service is only hired on during vacations, and account for half of the deficit.  But that nice Mrs. Bush deserved her vacations.

    But of course his district is probably heavily dependent on Federal money.  It's old, so Social Security and Medicare are crucial.  It's agricultural, and thus gets lots of farm subsidies.  Its big meat industry depends on federal inspectors, and almost got shut down by the sequester.  

    Some state Republicans were so worried about his opposition to government spending that they have tried to protect funding for a government agriculture and defense research facility by excluding it from his district.
    My take-away is that western Kansas, like much of rural America, is in a communications bubble.  Sure, some of them have Internet access, but just as we Kogs prefer this site, they prefer World Nut Daily, Red  State and the like.  The few local radio stations probably play Rush, Glenn, and other haters.  The local papers are conservative.  It's a veritable North Korea, where most common people, in between chewing on twigs to fend off the hunger, praise their leadership for protecting them.  Unlike the Norks, they have access to the rest of the world, if they try hard enough -- their Satellite TVs could get MSNBC or even the only moderately conservative "liberal media" like CBS and CNN.  But they are engaged in groupthink, a comforting behavior among isolated populations.

    This type of problem isn't easily fixed.  The only thing that comes to mind would be for Obama himself to journey into the belly of the beast, maybe visitng Dodge City to do a Town Hall, carefully screened for guns, of course.  Then they could see that he's brave enough to face them, and he could tell them "bullshit" to their face.  It wouldn't convince everyone, but it could shake the middle of the district away from Huelskamp's extremism.

    The Globe story wraps up with this rather discomforting description of how some of the locals feel, including a local publisher, and why an Obama trip there would need a  whole lot of Secret Service protection:

    Members of the gas-station gathering also agreed Medicaid and food stamps are making some people too dependent. They feel the moral underpinnings of the country are starting to fall apart. Mike Thornburg, the editor of the Jetmore Republican, was aghast when he realized the symbols he was seeing on his Facebook page were from people supporting gay marriage.

    “We don’t have the gay problem,” he said with a chuckle. “We have goat and chicken ­[expletive] out here, but that’s OK. We can deal with that.”

    Resentment toward Obama (whose mother grew up in rural Kansas) bubbled up again and again, including yet another jolting reference to assassination.

    “Hell, we ought to impeach the little bastard,” Leet said. “Asleep at the switch. I keep ­donating to the Bring Back Lee Harvey Committee. It hasn’t worked yet.”

    The group chuckled.

    “We aren’t rabble-rousers. We don’t want to cause ­trouble,” Thornburg said a few minutes later. “But it’s been coming down the pike for a long time. So we sent you Huelskamp.”

    •  I say hit them over the head with a club. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Too dependant on medicaid and food stamps, huh. Well yank those beloved farm subsidies from their grubby little fingers and watch them screech then. Hah. Now wouldn't that be a sight. Huelskamp would pivot so fast his ankles would snap.

      Can I get a Grey Goose on the rocks over here?!

      by G Contractor on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:29:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Apparently the cuts are not getting blamed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, ZedMont

    on Obama as much as they had hoped.

    Repubs dream of shutting the government down, for good. it is their entire agenda and reason for having children.

    They LOVE the sequester. They love the shut downs. They really love the idea this will lead to increased deaths among the vulnerable. Outstanding republican achievement.

    The only thing they can't like is 'consequences' if Obama cannot be successfully blamed.

    Which is perplexing to me: given how Obama supports the sequester (signing it into law is rather supportive) how is the GOP blowing the essential blaming of Obama and the dems for this?

    (I have no clue - all ears...)

  •  Hmm...#Obamaquester is a Tea Party victory? (0+ / 0-)

    A homerun for America, no less?

    I think wingnuts are in an abusive relationship with spending cuts. They love how they look and sound, but they don't like getting beat up by them.

    GOP: "I wish I knew how to quit you, Spending Cuts!"

    Spending Cuts: "You know you love me, GOP! You'll be back."

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:03:06 AM PDT

  •  Watch how the RW will continue to highlight (0+ / 0-)

    the increase in food benefits assistance to families because of ongoing job losses which no one will connect to the sequester.  It's all about Obama all the time with these fools.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:03:26 AM PDT

  •  I regret that Pompeo is my congressman... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...but as a Kansan, I resent the ad hominem (he can look it up) attack from Smarish.

    "Happiness is the possession of being perpetually well-deceived." Jonathan Swift

    by Yellow Dog Liberal on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:07:02 AM PDT

    •  yes (0+ / 0-)

      stupid / ignorant or poorly educated. And in a lot of the towns, the news media they have access to were already conservative. (I think they're GOP because their parents and grandparents were, and they've never really been exposed to much else.)

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:53:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for that. (0+ / 0-)

      It's bad enough living in Kansas putting up with the rethug, TP crap.  I didn't vote for these idiots.  This is my home.  I have a front row seat watching my beloved Kansas being stripped down, layer by layer by the idiot tea party.   Telling me, as a Kansan, I deserve this is the one thing that could possibly make me feel worse.  Good job.

  •  I have a feeling that when the next tornado (6+ / 0-)

    levels part of the state (which will probably happen this summer), Kansas Republicans in the house are going to find a lot of anger from the East Coast ...

    oh they'll get their emergency funds but there will be some kind of pain exacted for their votes on Hurricane Sandy relief  ... whether that pain is hours and hours of angry haranguing on the senate and house floors, or making them wait

    Kansas (and other states prone to disasters but voted against help for the East and hurricane Sandy) just how angry the east is.  They've shown us that "we aren't in this together."

    The pain for Kansas is just beginning.


    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:08:05 AM PDT

  •  My Country... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur, ZedMont, gffish

    ...has turned me into a sadist because I want to see these sonsofbitches suffer.

  •  LBJ (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Except--big except--for Vietnam, LBJ was our best president.  He knew how to twist genitalia and get things done.  I imagine if he were forced into sequestation, he would have made all the cuts in services in R districts.  My wish is that Obama truly choose where he sequesters by district.  Before someone here says he can't--remember what Bush did with signing statements.  

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:18:03 AM PDT

    •  Obama (0+ / 0-)

      Still CiC, so how about moving resources? Challenge the Mitch and Boehner to run the DoD if they don't like it.

    •  That isn't how it works -- (0+ / 0-)

      It isn't Obama who decides WHAT is cut. He really doesn't have the time to go over each agency budget to make that decision.

      The agencies make that decision based on the items that can't be cut (rent, utilities, maintenance) and the items that can (supplies, travel, training, contracted services, and payroll).

      In most cases, if the agency has the option, it will hit the contractors first -- that's one of the reasons the smaller ATC towers are being closed. They're operated by a contractor (which is why Ohio State can take over paying for tower operations at Don Scott) and any state that wants to can take over paying the contractor for continuation of services.

      Now it wouldn't surprise me to find out that Obama has told the agencies to feel free to cut costs in such a way as to inconvienence Republican districts --  and in ways that the public will notice...

  •  This is part of the GOP/TeaBag philosophy (0+ / 0-)

    "For me but not for thee".  Make cuts to everything  "EXCEPT my"  This is nothing new.  It just so happens that the baggers have started feeling the pinch of their own policy.

  •  In case anyone is wondering, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the Tea Partier standing to the left in the pix, is the odious Ann Marie Buerkle.  Thank goodness Dan Maffei won the seat back.

    We're talking about what is now NY #24 (Syracuse area).  Since she lost, she has been showing up at CPAC, running around central NY, giving "education forums" for the NRA; shes the darling of Operation Rescue, who voted against funding for Violence Against Women (because it was unconstitutional in it's coverage of Native Americans on Indian reservation).  

    Her big accomplishment in 2 years in office, was getting a Post Office named after a veteran.  The same Post Office she wants to privatize.

    She may be wearing orange in the pix, but believe us, she's red (and dangerous) to the core.

  •  Everything Changes (0+ / 0-)

    when the Pain of the Sequester Bites You in the Ass.

    Now that the Pain is Up front and Personal, the Morans
    and Village Idiots want to Blame someone ELSE.

    Another perfect example of "Nobody Could have Known"
    for the Repugnicant Party.

    MAYBE someday the Voters in Kansas Might actually
    Understand that Elections have Consequences.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:50:28 AM PDT

  •  Well, they're always griping about federal (0+ / 0-)

    "interference."  You'd think they would be looking forward to standing on their own two feet, just like they tell the poor and sick they should do.  Hey, if they really want to get the state money, they should drastically cut state taxes, because everyone knows less money is more, right?  Isn't that what they've been telling us?

    And while I'm at it, Rick the dick Perry blamed the federal government's failure to control the border for the murders of th e Kaufman DA and his wife.  ??????  I know of no information that anyone came from Mexico to commit that crime.  

    Aside from the absurdity of the comment itself, it's about time somebody told Rick to put up or shut up.  He's always talking about how Texas takes care of itself, doesn't need federal interference, etc., except for this border itch he keeps having to scratch.  Hey, Rick, if you ever go through with that secession thing, you're gonna be the man on the border, right?  Why not just go ahead and show the country you can do just fine without the feds, just hire a couple hundred thousand new Texas Rangers and put them on the border.  Should to wonders for the South Texas donut industry too.

    Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

    by ZedMont on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:51:00 AM PDT

    •  "do" not "to." (0+ / 0-)

      Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

      by ZedMont on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:18:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just when I was really (0+ / 0-)

    starting to worry about my kids' future and how their grandparents are going to afford grandma Carol's nursing home expenses.

    "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

    by Reepicheep on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:39:37 AM PDT

  •  Red States get money than they pay in federal tax (0+ / 0-)

    Of course, they want what they receive, but they want to pay less in taxes.

    Those of us in BLUE states should tell them to go pound sand.

    "The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave." -- Patrick Henry

    by BornDuringWWII on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:32:36 AM PDT

  •  kansas is a solid (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    red state therefore education is not a high priority.

  •  I think Prof. Beatty is putting the cart (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ahead of the horse.

    Rep. Huelskamp has only been re-elected one time so the impact, if any, of any cuts has likely been minimal and constituents may not feel the effects yet.  Also, he has not stood for re-election since losing his seat on the Agriculture Committee.  The voters have not yet spoken on this change.

    It's amazing what people will do to others in the name of themselves.

    by ABlueKansas on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:53:04 AM PDT

  •  Happy Dance due to GOP Control Closing Whine! (0+ / 0-)

    I hope those GOP idiots have to drive HOURS back and forth to a major airport. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Nasty GOP & Tea Party idiots!

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