A bill, introduced today:
Requires the Missouri State Museum to include a display on the history of abortion
Sponsor: Moon, Mike (157)
Proposed Effective Date: 8/28/2017
LR Number: 1932H.01I
Last Action: 02/22/2017 – Introduced and Read First Time (H)
Bill String: HB 1014
Next Hearing: Hearing not scheduled
Calendar: HOUSE BILLS FOR SECOND READING
Ladies and gentlemen, the priorities of your right wingnut controlled Missouri General Assembly.
Eric “The Kid” Greitens may be gunning for MU. A couple of weeks ago Missouri’s new, young Governor took out his budget spleen on Missouri’s higher education system, hitting already lean institutions with the loss of a considerable amount of state support – while planning even more of the corporate and higher bracket income cuts responsible for the budget shortfall that prompted the cuts in the first place. Recently he announced the appointment of three new members to the University of Missouri Board of Curators, two of whom come from the business community. In his comments he remarked that higher education needed to be “improved,” specifically by encouraging “more intellectual diversity,” and bringing “real world experience to the table.”
These three facts, budget cuts, loading the university governing structure with business people, and pointedly stressing “intellectual diversity” – shorthand in rightwing circles for inculcating conservative viewpoints in higher education – reflect the influence of both the shadowy and the more overt conservative supporters of Kid Greitens, the folks he needs to please if he expects them to fund his future presidential aspirations.
Intellectual Diversity: While intellectual diversity in academia is an admirable value, the phrase itself has taken on a life of its own in conservative circles. Most notably, it has been popularized in rightwing circles by the reprehensible bigot and conservative provocateur, David Horowitz – who is funded by the Scaife family foundations, the Koch brothers’ DonorsTrust, and the Bradley Foundation, all of which, according to Jane Meyer in her book, Dark Money, have attempted to establish conservative beachheads in American universities. Horowitz has used the term to justify witch-hunts to eliminate what he deems undue leftist influence on campus as well as his demands for what amounts to affirmative action for conservative academics in humanities and social sciences faculties.
In the mouth of Kid Greitens, recipient of over two million dollars of that same “dark money,” likely from one or the other of the same spigots that fund folks like Horowitz, the phrase should raise the hackles of all fair-minded advocates for higher education. Responsible apologists for conservative thought such as Mark Lilla have noted that the “hysteria” whipped up by the intellectual McCarthyism of those like Horowitz who agitate for one-sided “intellectual diversity” contributes “to the dumbing down” of higher education.
Market-based educational priorities: At least two of the appointees to the Board of Curators are drawn from the business world. Jeff Layman, who was also the finance chair for the Greitens campaign, is a senior vice-president at Morgan Stanley. Jamie Farmer runs a company that supplies materials for fracking operations. Both supported Eric Greitens’ campaign financially, and it’s safe to assume that they’re hunky-dory with his intimation that he wants to introduce “intellectual diversity” to the University, very likely to the detriment of the more traditional understanding of diversity, intellectual or otherwise.
It is also likely that, as at other institutions with governing boards that are top heavy with business types, they will try to move the University into more of a supporting role for business and corporate interests, giving priority to the training of engineers, accountants and other cogs of industry – and, incidentally, to disciplines where the dreaded “liberal bias” is less pronounced.
Another goal may be to decrease the institutional control of faculty and administrators who are viewed as untrustworthy by many wealthy conservatives. Greg Lewis at The Century Foundation observes that public universities are now predominantly governed by boards that skew toward businessmen and women who are often at odds with the values of the institutions they oversee. He claims that their approach fails to “reflect the broad diversity of fields and experiences at public institutions,” and instead emphasize decision-making that is hasty, top-down, often uninformed and reflecting market-driven rather than intellectual priorities.
Cracking the Budget Whip: So it seems that Greitens has hinted at his goals for MU: “intellectual diversity” that emphasizes conservative philosophy and values, the elevation of intellectually neutral, technical disciplines, and the devaluing of more traditionally liberal areas such as humanities and social sciences. His appointees to the board seem likely to find these goals simpatico. He only needs one more thing to facilitate the type of change he seems to be promising to initiate: a crisis.
Budget cuts can be just such a crisis. Lack of funds decreases options and makes institutions more open to rapid change. Fear of even more budget cuts are also effective when it comes to whipping recalcitrant administrators into shape. And finally, scarce state resources opens the door to conservative donors who have long been seeking to assert a stronger presence in public higher education. For example, John Warner observes that:
Arizona has reduced its spending on higher education by 41%, zeroing out its contributions to two community colleges entirely. Meanwhile, the libertarian Koch Foundation has stepped into the void, offering funding to Arizona State in return for favorable treatment of their ideas inside the institution.
Conservademia: Jane Meyer remarks in her book that the 1969 Columbia University protests by Afican-American students were the catalyst that helped initiate conservative efforts to turn American universities rightward. Similarly the complaints of the MU African-American Concerned Student 1950 group stirred latent racist indignation in the state and left Missouri right wingers fuming at what they saw as administrative capitulation to the demands of the Black students.
There are clear signs that Kid Greitens is going to try to ameliorate such conservative criticism of the university’s administration while furthering the educational agenda of his conservative supporters. Indications are that he will be just as willing to take aim at liberal campus culture and try to shift it rightwards as he has been to go gunning for labor unions. The guy who in his campaign ads literally aimed a big gun on what he metaphorically designated Jefferson City political culture, may soon declare open season on campus liberals.
With predictable results.
Yesterday, via Twitter, from Representative Vicky Hartzler (r):
Rep. Vicky Hartzler @RepHartzler
Happy President’s Day and Happy Birthday to the Father of our Nation, George Washington! Who is your favorite president? Tell us here!
6:36 AM – 20 Feb 2017
And some of the responses:
@RepHartzler I’ll tell you my favorite once you schedule a #TownHall.
@RepHartzler Vic! I’m worried about you, girl. It’s district work week and you’re nowhere to be found!
Ah, no open public town halls. Sad.
@rephartzler “Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.” -George Washington (George would say this about you & Trump)
@RepHartzler disappointed that you said the women’s March had pornography yet you support a president who has been immoral. Don’t be fake
Really? Representative Hartzler (r) said something like that?
@RepHartzler Barack Obama.
Yep. That was predictable. Well, she did ask.
@RepHartzler Barack Obama
@RepHartzler. When are you going to stand-up and tell the fake President to get to the business of running this country.
@RepHartzler I think my favorite was Harry S Truman.
Heh. Another Democrat.
@RepHartzler Obama! Rated 12th best President ever.
@RepHartzler I’m a Boomer, and parent of Millennials… In my lifetime, I have most respected Barack Obama, for his wisdom and integrity.
I sense a consensus.
Interestingly, dubya didn’t get a mention.
Via Twitter this afternoon, from Representative Stacey Newman (D):
REAL ID debate has gone into Alternate Reality. MIssourians, Good luck flying with your driver license after Jan 2018. #moleg
1:56 PM – 21 Feb 2017
An amendment [pdf] to HB 151 offered by Representative Robert Ross (r):
AMEND House Committee Substitute for House Bill No. 151 Page 1 Section A Line 2 by inserting immediately after all of said section and line the following:
“115.016 Any elected official who votes for takes an action to support a measure seeking compliance with the federal REALID Act of 2005 shall display in a prominent location in bold font with a text height not less than one-tenth of the article being circulated at each and every election the member files for after the affirmative vote for action the following description of his or her allegiance:
I WOULD RATHER KNEEL TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THAN STAND STRONG PROTECTING MY CONSTITUENTS’ RIGHT TO PRIVACY”; and
Further amend said bill by amending the title enacting clause and intersectional references accordingly.
The amendment failed in a roll call vote [pdf] of 21 YES, 119 NO, 12 PRESENT, and 10 ABSENT.
Think about it. Thirty-three state representatives thought enough of this amendment to either vote for it or stand by and not oppose it.
So, if Missouri doesn’t conform to federal REAL ID requirements are Robert Ross (r), the twenty others who voted for this amendment, and the twelve who were “present” going to take calls, kneeling or not, from their upset constituents who can’t travel on domestic commercial flights without a passport after January 2018? Just asking.
HB 954: “That’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works.” (February 21, 2017)
Gee, propose a solution that’s not going to solve the problem.
The paranoid obstruction continues.
A bill, introduced last Thursday:
Conditions the consent given to the United States to acquire certain state lands on the state receiving an exemption to federal REAL ID requirements
Sponsor: Ross, Robert (142)
Proposed Effective Date: 8/28/2017
LR Number: 1959H.01I
Last Action: 02/20/2017 – Read Second Time (H)
Bill String: HB 954
Next Hearing: Hearing not scheduled
Calendar: Bill currently not on a House calendar
The bill summary:
HB 954 — ACQUISITION OF LAND [pdf]
SPONSOR: Ross This bill states that it will suspend state approval for the acquisition of state lands by the federal government until the federal government gives the state an exemption to the requirements of the federal REAL ID Act of 2005.
The bill text:
FIRST REGULAR SESSION
HOUSE BILL NO. 954 [pdf]
99TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVE ROSS.
1959H.01I D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk
To amend chapter 12, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to the acquisition of land by the United States government.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Chapter 12, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 12.055, to read as follows:
12.055. The provisions of sections 12.010 to 12.050 granting consent of the state to the acquisition by the United States of any land in this state are hereby suspended unless and until the federal government grants an exemption to the state from the requirements of the federal REAL ID Act of 2005.
[emphasis in original]
In their infinite paranoid wisdom a past iteration of the Missouri General Assembly obstructed the compliance of Missouri Driver Licenses to federal REAL ID standards. The federal standards were one of the solutions and reactions to the loose ID standards that contributed to the 2001 terror attacks. It should be noted that the George W. Bush (r) administration proposed and implemented those federal ID standards.
As a consequence of this recalcitrance on the part of the Missouri General Assembly, citizens of our fair state currently possess state issued IDs which do not comply with the federal requirements and the state does not have a compliance waiver. Currently Missouri state issued IDs cannot be used for entrance to federal courthouses, federal military installation, or any nuclear facility. In January 2018 if this is not fixed for Missourians they will not be able to use their state issued ID to fly. Absent a passport, Missourians will not be able to travel on a commercial flight.
Think about that when you can’t fly to see grandma and grandpa after January 2018. And be sure to thank your state representative and state senator for their foresight and efficiency in addressing the issue.
Hold an open public town hall in the 4th Congressional District? Sure, why not? This is why:
With Town Hall Script Flipped On GOP, Will History Repeat Itself?
February 17, 20177:00 AM ET
Republicans know the scene well: angry constituents flood local town halls, upset over health care and other congressional issues.
It’s that energy that exploded eight years ago, birthing the Tea Party movement and helping the GOP take back Congress in the 2010 election. But now, they’re finding themselves on the receiving end instead of the giving end.
Facing constituents is a problem, eh?
From Representative Vicky Hartzler’s (r) congressional web site:
Nope, no open public meetings in the district. As far as we can tell.