Ethics in Missouri
I saw on television news recently that Missouri lawmakers are trying to decide how to change their ethics rules.
That should be simple. Just make sure each rule they enact makes them accountable for their votes and actions while they are in office.
The only thing that makes that a hard decision is that they would have to give up so many great gifts.
Women as leaders
As we approach the primary election Tuesday, I want to take a moment on behalf of Central Exchange to thank three especially effective women for their service to Kansas City: Mayor Pro Tem Cindy Circo, Councilwoman Jan Marcason and Councilwoman Melba Curls. They are term-limited and thus will move on to new endeavors.
These women worked tirelessly to make the city better, and I know their leadership will be missed at City Hall.
It was not that long ago that the Kansas City Council looked much like many boardrooms and C-level suites: predominantly white men.
Today we see a more accurate representation, including two women who were recently named as chief executives officers. Lisa Ginter, the new CEO of CommunityAmerica Credit Union, and Danette Wilson, who served as interim president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield and recently removed interim from her title.
The prevalence of women in once men-only arenas is becoming more commonplace, and eventually a letter such as this will be unnecessary and obsolete. Until then, however, Central Exchange will continue to recognize the achievements of area women in all walks of life.
President & CEO
Cash in politics
If you listen to liberal Democrats, they hate the evil Koch brothers. The brothers whom liberals love to hate are often trotted out to anything anti-Republician. They are portrayed as the biggest contributors to GOP politics, their evil money financing evil Republicans.
Well, it turns out they are No. 59 on the valuation list of contributors according to OpenSecrets.org. So, who occupies the 58 slots above the Koch brothers?
Six of the top 10 are unions, with more than 90 percent going to Democrats. They are familiar organizations such as SEIU (No. 1), AFSCME, NEA, AFT, UFCWU, UAW and IBEW.
Also toward the top is Goldman Sachs, which gave mostly to Democrats. Of the top 10, only one gave more than 51 percent to the GOP, Las Vegas Sands. Of the top 20, only three gave the vast majority of their money to Republicans. The rest (almost all unions) went to the Democrats. George Soros was No. 19.
Unions are the biggest contributors to American politics. I guess there’s a distinction between “good” union money and “evil” Koch brothers money — but only if you’re a partisan hack.
Many of us are often in a hurry when going to the grocery store. So, we grab bags of produce conveniently assembled by suppliers.
We realize the bags may contain produce that is of lesser quality, but we buy it to save time by avoiding hand-selecting our purchases.
Voting for elected officials is more important than buying produce.
The potential effect on our daily lives and that of future generations is worth some thought. It is our obligation as voters to research qualifications and beliefs of candidates and to select those who most meet our expectations, regardless of party affiliation.
Many of us are on our way to or from work and are hurried on voting days. The option to click one party’s box is a negligent temptation.
Our conservative governor and his puppets in the Legislature have decided that education isn’t as important to Kansas as making sure those who have, have more. By the time Gov. Sam Brownback gets done with education in Kansas, the only jobs our students will be able to land will be in politics.
Obviously, no education is required there.
It disgraces our educational system when folks keep complaining about how President Barack Obama is responsible for the deficit and continues to increase it. Were these complainers not paying attention in civics class and never learned there are three branches of our democracy: the judicial, the executive and the legislative?
The purse strings are controlled by the legislative branch (Congress), not the executive branch (the president). Therefore, it is Congress that is responsible for the deficit, which in turn actually means we, the citizens, are responsible because we voted Congress into office.
So let’s put the blame where it truly lies, with us, the voters, and more important, those who did not vote. Take that to the polls and vote the next time you want to do something for yourself.
Critics of Obama
I always hear the GOP whining about President Barack Obama not saluting a soldier when entering or exiting Air Force One. I don’t know why.
Who knows what the president was thinking or not thinking?
What I do know is that he didn’t start an unjust war and get more than 4,000 of our servicemen and servicewomen killed and thousands more injured — some for life.
See whether you can compare that.
Protecting the rich
Hedge fund manager John Paulson made $9 billion over a two-year period and paid no federal income taxes, according to some reports.
The Koch brothers are planning to spend as much as the Democratic or Republican parties on the 2016 elections.
The president has these individuals under assault with his plans to help the middle class.
Fortunately, House Speaker John Boehner, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and other Republicans have the courage to fight for and protect the American plutocracy.
The president called for direct assistance to the middle class through child-care support for working parents, free community college education and vast improvement of our antiquated infrastructure.
He proposed financing many initiatives through increased taxes on the wealthiest Americans such as Paulson and the Kochs.
But not to worry. The Republican Congress will work to cut health care, promote climate change and continue the deterioration of education and infrastructure so that Paulson and other members of the plutocracy will not suffer.
Someday we will be able to brag that the middle class in America has been decimated but we are the best country in the world at protecting the wealth of the super rich.
Some clowns can be scary ... really scary. Example: the Kansas Legislature and administration. Will the circus ever leave town?
G. Curtis Boswell
The midterm election has come and gone, and it is obvious that the citizens of this country are sick and tired of politics as usual.
Missouri has two senators and eight representatives in Washington, D.C., to represent this state. The senators are elected by a statewide vote, representatives by district ballots.
It should be noted that the 10 lawmakers are not sent to bring home the bacon, but to make sure that the interests of our state and the United States are served. Being an officeholder is not about building a power structure ensuring future re-elections.
As a voting citizen of Missouri, I am again strongly suggesting that the state’s 10 lawmakers get together and discuss the issues and needs of Missouri every six months. Develop an agenda and work to accomplish that agenda. Each time they meet, they should decide on a different spokesperson to report back to the electorate of this state.
W. Dale Russell