Daily Archives: Sept. 19, 2013

Common Core not a federal takeover of education

The Kansas Republican Party officially endorsed a talk-radio conspiracy theory about how Common Core education standards are a federal takeover of education. Members of the state GOP’s central committee approved a resolution last weekend condemning Common Core and insisting that the state withdraw from the standards. The resolution claims that Common Core “obliterates Kansas’ control over English language arts and mathematics standards in our schools” and that it represents “an unconstitutional and illegal transfer of power to the federal government and unaccountable private interests.” In reality, the standards were the idea of state governors. Kansas has been actively involved in creating the standards and retains control of its curriculum.

Another GOP governor for Brownback to follow on Medicaid

Kansas looks to be in the minority of states in failing – at least to date – to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. On Monday the governor of a 26th state, Pennsylvania’s Tom Corbett, announced his support for expansion, though the Republican made it conditional on federal approval to impose work and cost-sharing requirements on new and current Medicaid users. That day Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder also signed bipartisan legislation for his state, saying “this is about the health of fellow Michiganders.” Meanwhile, the central committee of the Kansas Republican Party just approved a resolution opposing expansion of Medicaid in Kansas – putting it on record against bringing Kansas $3 billion in federal funding over the next seven years and creating 4,000 jobs while newly insuring 144,000 Kansans. Gov. Sam Brownback needs to follow his fellow GOP governors, not state party hard-liners.

Most Muslims oppose violence, al-Qaida

Large majorities of Muslims surveyed in 11 foreign countries oppose violence in the name of Islam, the Pew Research Center found. For example, 89 percent of Pakistani Muslims surveyed think that suicide bombings can never be justified. Only in the Palestinian territories did a majority of Muslims say that suicide bombings often or sometimes could be justified. Also, the percentage of Muslims who have a favorable view of al-Qaida ranged from 1 percent in Lebanon to 35 percent in the Palestinian territories.