Cash in campaigns
There has been much talk about the Koch brothers’ big donation to the 2016 election (1-30, Editorial, “Record flood of cash in 2016 elections”). The Koch brothers have not set the pace for this election by their big bucks.
Both the Democratic and the Republican parties are to blame. Before the blame is entirely put on the big Republican money, voters should read the book “Political Mercenaries” by Lindsay Mark Lewis.
He was the finance director (top fundraiser) for the Democratic National Committee. He gives equal-opportunity credit on big-money donors to both parties, saying that the Democratic Party wrote the book on party fundraising.
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This book is an eye-opener for voters who want to see who is really running this country and the degree to which politicians go to win.
Steve Kraske is right about one thing (1-31, A4, “The money in Missouri politics is out of control — and growing”). The government isn’t just for sale, it has been sold.
Guns inching to top
First, let me preface this letter by saying that I am a gun owner. I have trained and qualified for a concealed-carry permit with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.
I own one handgun and an appropriate amount of ammunition for protection of me and my family. This gun is safely stored away from any possible misuse or theft.
So I was appalled to see the Feb 5 lead story, “Data show a shift in top cause of death,” about guns approaching the leading cause of non-medically related deaths in this country and most especially in our wonderful state of Missouri. Disturbing was the fact that suicide is a major cause of these deaths.
Even more disturbing was the advertising supplement in the newspaper, from a rather large sporting goods retailer. One of the lead items for sale was a 64-gun safe.
I applaud people who keep their weapons in a safe. But who would need 64 guns?
Really, if we are worried about people wanting to overthrow our government, I would rather register owners of 64-gun safes as people perhaps most likely to foment a revolution by force.
I suggest that your readers go to opensecrets.org and key in Soros Management. They may be quite surprised that the Koch brothers are not the only billionaires trying to influence elections with their wealth.
It seems that all of America has forgotten why we were over there fighting. Remember World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War? Remember the Arizona?
We seem to forget what happened long ago, which made this country what it is. Now, remember Sept. 11, 2001, when four commercial airliners hit the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and went down in a field in Pennsylvania? On that Flight 93, the passengers gave their lives to save lives on the ground.
And some want to end waterboarding.
Get real, America. It’s time to defend this country.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney has it right. Kick butt while you still have a shoe on your foot.
Guns in Kansas
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Gov. Sam Brownback and his Legislature want to take away more restrictions on firearms in an effort to boost our economy with a paltry 200 jobs provided by any gun maker that will relocate (2-1, A1, “Kansas on the hunt for makers of firearms”).
I suppose the added windfall from for-profit prisons and funeral homes will make up the difference because those who can’t get a job will now be able to carry concealed weapons into any liquor store and supplement our nonexistent unemployment benefits.
Ah, the sun is shining in Kansas again.
Money in politics
The money in Kansas judicial elections is only one symptom of a growing crisis in the American political system. Citizens United is increasing money in politics geometrically.
Rep. Kevin Yoder does the bidding of big banks, Missouri Republicans that of Rex Sinquefield and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback follows the Koch brothers. They are rewarded for their fealty with campaign spending.
This control by the 1 percent is why America has a growing inequality. Even more frightening is that we have the least social mobility of any developed country.
The policies of a handful of billionaires are designed to help them, not the nation. This is leading to the development of a hereditary class, contrary to the American ideal of social mobility.
Billionaire Nick Hanauer says in 30 years the top 1 percent will have about 36 percent of the wealth and the bottom 50 percent will have 6 percent of the wealth. As he says, “This isn’t capitalism, this is feudalism.”
Why does Congress fight to allow John Paulson to make $2.5 billion in a year without paying taxes? Why do Republican presidential hopefuls troop to Las Vegas to meet Sheldon Adelson? It’s for money to elect them to office.
It is obvious from letters to The Star that many Obamaphiles will always have their heads in the sand, regarding his many “accomplishments.”
For example, the stronger economy and stock-market gains are the primary result of an artificial zero prime interest rate and lower unemployment based largely on a severely diminished labor force and many part-time employees.
There’s some mention of the positive laws passed during President Barack Obama’s administration, such as the high-price catastrophe of Obamacare. However, most legislation, more than 300 bills passed by the House, had been killed by then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid before reaching Obama’s desk.
Therefore, what little has been implemented in Washington, D.C., has been because of unconstitutional executive action. Whatever small improvements have occurred over the six long years of Obama’s tenure have been in spite of his incompetent leadership and dictatorial arrogance.
Crosby P. Engel
I frequently had concerns about the policies of President George W. Bush, but I never questioned his integrity or patriotism. He placed the welfare of the country above partisan politics and tried to do the right thing for all of us.
I miss the respect he showed the American people and the honesty he brought to our White House.
Gregory H. Bontrager
New Rams stadium
The St. Louis Rams want the state to help them build a new stadium. The current one isn’t good enough even though it’s only 19 years old and cost $280 million.
For that much money, it should last a lot longer. But that’s what they decided to build, and that’s what they have. Live with it.
At least it’s a dome, which Kansas City would love to have. They built it because the old Busch Stadium wasn’t good enough.
Now the Rams owner is threatening to build a new stadium with his own money and move the team to Los Angeles if he can’t blackmail the city and state to use public money to improve the current stadium or build a new one.
I say he can take his football and go home.
KC Rep performance
Dear Kansas Citians and those beyond: Get thee to the KC Rep. “An Iliad” mesmerizes, amuses, terrifies, reveals, illuminates and, let me repeat, mesmerizes.
Kyle Hatley’s performance makes tour de force seem a weak descriptor. Don’t miss this exceptional production.
As a lover of classical history, I’ve always enjoyed the Super Bowl’s Roman numeral designations. Here’s a handy mnemonic my Latin professor once taught us: If Victor’s X-rays Look Clear Don’t Medicate.