At least half a dozen school districts in Kansas will be closing at least a week early this year, thanks to state budget cuts. I wonder how many kids now think of Gov. Brownback as The Coolest Governor Ever. Seriously, I grew up in southern New Jersey, so of course this seems to me utterly unthinkable, but nothing is unthinkable to a right-winger like Gov. Brownback or future President Walker, and I despair that what's happening in Kansas will make Republicans unpalatable to the electorate in 2016 -- that would mean both the Democratic nominee and the "liberal" media would actually discuss the matter, instead of "taking the high road" or hiding behind "balance," respectively.
House Republicans actually tried to insert a provision into the latest defense appropriations bill that would have prevented the Department of Defense from cracking down on lenders who prey on our soldiers. It went down, quite narrowly, in Committee, but what do you call Congressfolk who value some payday lender "constituent" over their actual constituents? "Objectively pro-poverty"? "Objectively pro-bankruptcy"? "Objectively pro-financial predators"? You know what you don't call them: conservative, because only a corporatist mammon-worshiper would propose such a thing.
Ho hum, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) wants to fix his state's budget hole by borrowing against tobacco settlement money, to the tune of $750 million. Which, if you've been following the issue, means he'll put his state in an even bigger hole down the line, especially if Louisiana has to bail out the tobacco bonds, which seems likely. But remember: this guy is a fiscal conservative, according to Beltway "wisdom." Why? Because he tries to cut every tax that impacts rich folk that he can, thus shifting more of the burden of paying for state services onto working families. I wouldn't call him a "fiscal conservative," though -- I'd call him, well, let's just say I'd call him much worse.
Here's some news you can use: the Consumerist teaches you "How Scammers Trick You into Giving Up That Security Code on the Back of Your Credit Card." Spoiler alert: scammers use fear of data breaches at retailers to pretend to be someone who needs that three-digit code. Long story short: give no information, hang up, and then call the real customer service number on the back of your credit card and ask if something's really happening.
Finally, a Maryland state legislator thinks it'd be a jim-dandy idea to take food stamps away from Baltimore protestors' parents. Why do I think he'd be against that if those protestors were agitating against abortion? And why do I get the suspicion that he'd never call a bankster a "thug"? What was his name, anyway, this apparent gadfly of the Maryland right? Oh, who cares -- we're never going to speak of him again.