Tag Archives: Kansas

We have displeased our benevolent overlords

Hey, remember when Vermont was ranked third in the nation by Politico magazine as a place to live?

Well, here comes the flip side, courtesy of none other than the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), that overflowing cascade of Kochian “economic liberty” bushwa. It ranks Vermont #49 in “economic outlook,” which is a very interesting way to put it. Because what they are ranking is not actual, tangible economic health — it’s how the state is poised for intangible future prosperity. And it is measured in terms of taxation and regulation.

But wait, it gets better. The lead author of the ALEC report is none other than Arthur Laffer. Yep, the guy behind the Laffer Curve, the absolutely unproven bit of dogma that claims you’ll create more revenue by cutting taxes, because the tax cuts will stimulate a cornucopia of prosperity.

Well, not only is it absolutely unproven; when it’s been tried in the real world, the results have been dismal. The Laffer Curve isn’t a coherent, evidence-based economic practice; it’s the money shot in a right-wing porn flick.

In case you think I’m overstating my case, let’s look at a state deemed praiseworthy by ALEC.

Kansas.

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Foto Follies with Corry Bliss

Here’s a dispatch from the heartland, where longtime Republican Senator Pat Roberts is in the fight of his political life against independent Greg Orman, even though Kansas is just about the reddest of red states.

The national Republicans, seeing an unexpected threat, “cleaned out the Roberts campaign and started over with their own people,” and pumping a lotta cash money into the race.

This photo appears in the dictionary next to the definition of "douchenozzle."

This photo appears in the dictionary next to the definition of “douchenozzle.”

Those “people” included Corry Bliss, best known in these parts for driving Brian Dubie’s gubernatorial candidacy over a cliff with streetfight tactics that dented Dubie’s dubious image as a Jim Douglas-style conciliator. It was business as usual for Bliss, who somehow manages to keep getting campaign gigs in spite of the fact that he’s never, ever, not even once, been on the winning side.

Upon parachuting into Kansas, Bliss and Co. immediately turned Roberts to the right:

Roberts… has raised the specter of “national socialism” on the campaign trail and stumped with tea party stalwarts like Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), as well as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

So far, it’s worked: recent polls indicate that Roberts has shored up support among hard-core conservatives. So maybe Bliss will finally break into the win column.

But not if he does stupid shit like this: 

The national website Buzzfeed has revealed that the Pat Roberts for Senate campaign has been using stock photos of sunflowers from the Ukraine, not Kansas, for its public-relations materials.

The photos, traced back to Ukrainian photographer Mykola Velychko, appear at the top of Roberts’ campaign Web page, his Facebook page and campaign news releases.

Kansas is, ICYMI, the Sunflower State. This is like a Vermont candidate pouring Mrs. Butterworth’s on his pancakes.

Bliss, naturally, “sought to downplay the ‘oops’ factor.”

“Is this a joke?” Bliss told Buzzfeed. “It’s obviously a stock image used by our digital firm to reflect that Kansas is the Sunflower State. But given the many serious issues facing our country right now, I doubt voters care about this silly line of attack by Greg Orman and his liberal allies.”

To be fair, Bliss has a point. The use of stock photos is almost universal, and there’s no evidence that the voters care about it. But… Corry Bliss himself does, when it’s convenient:

Managing Republican Senate hopeful Linda McMahon in Connecticut two years ago, Bliss made political hay of a similar mistake by opponent Chris Murphy, who used pictures of a Norwegian submarine in a campaign ad instead of one from a shipyard in Groton.

In the 2012 flap, Bliss told Hearst media: “Our campaign received several phone calls from both workers at Electric Boat and veterans who served on submarines, both of which were amazed that Congressman Murphy would feature a Norwegian sub in a television ad claiming it was from Groton.”

I’ll bet he wishes the Internet had never been invented. Because thanks to The Google, it’s quite simple to follow the trail of wreckage that Corry Bliss leaves in his wake.