In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last week, six Republican senators urged her to suspend President Barack Obama’s “misguided policies” regarding Medicare cost-savings.
Actually, two area senators, Jerry Moran in Kansas and Roy Blunt in Missouri, have long supported changes to the way the government reimburses insurance companies, which have been overpaid in the Medicare Advantage program. They’ve even incorporated this piece of the Affordable Care Act into their own GOP budget plan.
Apparently, these two area politicians believe, as do the majority of their GOP brethren, that highlighting attacks on Medicare is so politically potent it’s worth enduring accusations of hypocrisy — if the voters can be fooled by such nonsense. Do they think we can’t understand a budget, that we can’t research their voting history, that we don’t understand that they want only to keep Medicare cuts but get rid of the rest of Obamacare, with the savings helping them make the math work for the rest of their budget?
Moran and Blunt are going out of their way to whine about a policy they support and to complain about cuts they voted for.
Leslie D. Mark
Leawood Religious freedoms
Kudos to Missouri state Sen. Wayne Wallingford for trying to protect our freedom of religion (2-26, A1, “Missouri bill allows denial of services”). However, I have questions on how his law would work.
A restaurateur refuses lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender customers. You can’t be too careful where gays and lesbians in restaurants are concerned.
So she gives lie-detector tests, quizzing potential diners on their knowledge of Broadway show tunes, interior design or the length of their hair. Would this be legal?
You certainly couldn’t doubt the sincerity of the beliefs of someone who’d hook up customers to a polygraph.
A Muslim attorney, because of “sincere religious belief,” won’t accept unveiled women as clients. Could he force female clients to wear head scarves or burkas to protect his exercise of religion? Would the state provide head scarves and/or burkas for juries and court officers to maintain that protection?
A devout pagan, sincerely believing ancestral spirits inhabit a tree in a public park, is angered that it will be cut down for a highway project. Would the Missouri Department of Transportation reroute or cancel the project to protect the tree-worshiper’s beliefs?
Here’s the good news: Sen. Wallingford’s bill would not “allow any person to cause physical injury to another person” because of “sincere religious belief.” Well done, senator.
Kansas City Leonard Pitts column
Whatever school Leonard Pitts attended needs to revoke his diploma because he obviously failed American government (2-25, Commentary, “Hateful bill turns back the rights clock”).
Religious liberty is one of the bedrock principles upon which this country was founded, and because opposition to homosexual practice has been part of Christian teachings for 2,000 years, it is obviously a “sincerely held religious belief.”
The institution of heterosexual marriage has been the cornerstone of society for all of human history. To label opponents of homosexual practice as “extremist people” is to label almost everyone in our past as “extremist.” Apparently, the modern left thinks it knows better than everyone else who has ever lived.
Pitts tries to change the focus of the issue from religion to civil rights. Changing the name does not invalidate the constitutional right, unless you live in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.”
Finally, Pitts provides a glimpse of where his thinking leads when he ends with violent imagery of a train running over an anti-gay politician. Who is the oppressor now?
Raymore Moore, Alzheimer’s
How bittersweet to see a picture of former Congressman Dennis Moore still giving public service by testifying in Washington, D.C., even as he battles the subject of the testimony, Alzheimer’s disease, with which he was diagnosed in 2011 (2-27, A1, “For Moore, Alzheimer’s is personal”).
Congressman Moore was a fine representative of our northeast Kansas district for 12 years, always responsive, ever willing to help solve a problem if he could and lending a moderate approach to problems, which garnered the cooperation of Democrats and Republicans alike.
He continues to serve, but now by helping to sound a national alarm about his debilitating disease, which is in a fairly early stage with him but has the power to destroy the lives of so many and seriously sidetrack the plans of their caregivers.
I applaud and thank Congressman Moore and his wife, Stephene, for allowing their faces to be seen and their voices to be heard in this important crusade.
Roeland Park Executive orders
In reference to President Barack Obama’s executive orders compared with past presidents, if you look only at total numbers, they give you an impression that Obama’s numbers are much lower than previous presidents.
A person needs to take the total number divided by years in office to get a true comparison. Obama’s current number represents only his five years in office. Based on his threats, he will probably exceed all previous presidents by the end of his term.
Pray that his pen runs out of ink.
Kansas City Missouri high five
Missouri’s elected leaders spend countless hours to ensure that Missouri is maintaining its ranking as a state to be admired. Kudos to Rep. Courtney Allen Curtis for taking the time to recommend (in an official bill) that the high five become the official greeting at the statehouse.
Missouri needed this. This is the kind of critical thinking Missourians demand.
I am sure that an addendum will be required for those days when members aren’t feeling the love. Maybe an (official) finger to raise that allows representatives to express discontent with the stupidity of some of their cohorts.
Overland Park Punishable actions
Morals and ethics cannot be legislated. Punishment for thoughts cannot be regulated.
Punishment for actions against other people can be used to modify behaviors. Murder, robbery, destruction of property, etc. are actions that can be and are punished.
Thoughts about racism, bigotry, discrimination, envy, etc. are within the heart and soul of a person. Only that person can deal with his own morals and ethics. It is not a matter for society to punish.
Mind control is an ideology of dictators and not a free society.
Kansas City KCI terminal setup
Kansas City International Airport officials have taken a page out of the playbook of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie by closing Terminal A. This has resulted in full parking garages, snarled traffic and inconvenienced passengers, along with those who are dropping off or picking up travelers.
It appears KCI officials want a $1.2 billion airport so much they are willing to create inconvenient circumstances for one of the top-rated airports for passenger convenience.
A $250 million renovation was just completed in 2004. If that renovation was so bad that we now need to demolish the airport, then everyone involved in the 2004 planning, design and approval processes should not only not be involved with any current plans but also should lose their jobs for incompetence.
KCI officials hope their reverse logic of closing an entire terminal will convince the public that we need a bigger, better $1.2 billion airport while making one of the most passenger-friendly airports inconvenient.
That actually tells me we need new management at KCI.
Leawood Alcohol, marijuana
It would appear that most pot smokers are getting high to an extreme. I know lots of good citizens who are regular drinkers. None of them is getting drunk or high.