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Two From the Sunflower State

November 6, 2013

“…and the politicians are so feeble-minded and gutless that you can’t even hate them anymore.”
– from A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Grey and Hopeless

In spite of our Election Day this week, I was intent on writing about something other than politicians – it’s just too easy.

Reading Brad DeLong this morning reminded me just how easy.  Without looking beyond Kansas, we have two deserving pols. With recent statements and activities, Senator Pat Roberts and Congressman Tim Huleskamp have brightly displayed the mendacity we so often expect from some of our elected officials.

Pat Roberts, who sits on three finance committees in the U.S. Senate, was an early supporter of Janet Yellen’s nomination to be the Chair of the Federal Reserve Board, based on her credentials and understanding of the economy, but had some hesitation about her abilities to lead.

“She’s very solid in how she approaches fiscal matters, the economy and the Fed, but you need a very strong leader and I’m not sure she has that capability.”
– August 2013

Her “solid” approach to fiscal matters, the economy and the Fed don’t seem to agree with Roberts any longer.  He now tells us that he believes Yellen is a danger to our economy and that he will not support Brack Obama’s nomination.

“I am opposed to the President’s nomination of Janet Yellen to Chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.  Vice Chair Yellen will continue the destructive and inflationary policy of pouring billions of newly printed money every month into our economy, and artificially holding interest rates to near zero.  This policy has been in place far too long.

It continues to be done because our Administration is desperate to finance our burgeoning national debt, now approaching $17 trillion, at a low interest rate, instead of dealing with the hard issues of decreasing federal spending.”
– November 2013

It seems someone got to the Senator and convinced him to change his mind about Yellen.  Upcoming primaries and challenges from an unknown and unproven candidate must have scared him.  This vacillation isn’t very becoming on a sixty-seven year old man with a thirty-two year tenure in Washington.  And just how does Roberts dare comment on Yellen’s leadership capabilities when he yields his position so easily?  Shameless.

Tim Huleskamp has represented US District 1 in Kansas since 2011.  Prior to that, he held a seat in the Kansas State Senate.  He likes to be considered the guy who will fight for “life, family and freedom.”  He likes small government, dislikes the Washington establishment and prides himself on being an outsider.  He has made defunding the Affordable Care Act a priority in order to protect us from government overreach and trampling on our religious liberties.

“I’m from a district that pretty much ignores Washington.  If you say government is going to shut down, they say, ‘OK, which part can we shut down?'”

Well, what might happen if we shutdown that part of the government that distributes benefits to his constituents and his family?  Do you think Huleskamp would feel the same then?

Kansas is a big agriculture producer.  It also receives more than its share of federal money – $1.10 for every $1.00 (2010).  During 1995 – 2012, the federal government sent Kansas over sixteen billion dollars in farm subsidies and other programs that prop up our country’s agribusiness.  Huleskamp’s congressional district received over nine billion dollars alone.  Huleskamp’s family received $1.8 million.  He and others in the U.S. Congress continue to rail about the government’s spending, while all along accepting farm subsidies that benefit them and their families.

During his campaign to defund the new health care law, Huleskamp reasoned that it is must be inferior to the system it is replacing because the President and Congress are exempt.  He said if the Affordable Care Act is good enough for the rest of the country, “it should be good enough for the President of the United States.”  By the same logic then, if spending cuts and government shutdowns are good enough for others, let’s have Huleskamp also lead the campaign to reduce the federal benefits that we send to his constituents and family.


I prefer these two from the Footlights over the two from the Sunflower State.  They are much more fun.

  1. Bernie permalink

    Humorous perhaps, if not so consistently depressingly…maybe the worst part is the picture it paints of banality and small minded greed exhibited by people for whom your examples are but the visible representatives…


    • Give them points for persistence. Nothing seems to deter them. Sadly, as you say, their visions are small-minded and banal. Their practices are reprehensible.


  2. I’ve started a drinking game for the likes of Mr. Huleskamp, Cruz, etc. – based on their lose use of words like “freedom” and “liberty”. I was toast by 8pm every night of the 2012 RNC. Be wary, my friends…


  3. love your take on politics. and thanks for mixing in the fun of Fry and Laurie, even though it was “gray and hopeless.” xo LMA


  4. Wish I could ignore Washington, but the fools there make it impossible. Thanks for the visit to my place. I’ll be back since I now follow you. (I love good ole political discussions)


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