On Monday, President Donald Trump met with the Russian leader and former KGB lieutenant colonel, Vladimir Putin. (July 17, 1A, “Trump doubts US intel findings, sides with Putin) I was reminded of a time in the recent past when the Soviet Union (of which the KGB was one of three primary pillars, along with the Communist Party and the army) made inroads into many Western peace movements, terror movements and more.
These groups, convinced they were disrupting the West, often conducted themselves in a manner that would benefit the Soviet Union. The old KGB had a very applicable term for these people. Our president and his supporters, in turning a blind eye to Russian involvement in U.S. elections, now are eminently qualified for that old KGB sobriquet: useful idiots.
Never forget that the KGB, NKVD or Cheka — whatever its past name — is thought to be responsible for more deaths than the Nazis in the Holocaust. This is the organization that produced Putin. Once a snake, always a snake.
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How tragic for our nation, our allies and our Cold War veterans that we are now led by one of Putin’s useful idiots.
Daniel W. Donath
Time to act
Even a casual observer would conclude that President Donald Trump wants to realize the same power over citizens of the United States that Russian President Vladimir Putin exercises over the Russian population.
Trump admires dictators he describes as “tough” leaders who keep their people in line. He once said, in effect, that he wishes he could have that with “his” people.
He is effecting a slow coup against America. For some time now he has alienated our allies and befriended our enemies. The question is: Who will stop him from achieving his goal?
The Republican Congress appears reluctant but supports him anyhow. Democrats occasionally bleat softly in opposition. Few have demonstrated the willingness to challenge him when he lies. The Supreme Court will not.
He is the commander in chief of the armed forces. Who will say no if he decides to use his power against his detractors? For instance, if he orders a reporter to be detained for taking issue with his lies, will Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis say no?
Trump’s “performance” at the news conference with Putin on Monday was traitorous. Impeach him.
I believe there is a simple solution to the sticky issue of funding for entitlement programs: Repeal the grossly unfair cap on imposition of the Social Security tax.
That’s right — compel all earners, even the 1 percenters, to pony up 15 percent of their total gross income.
Flying pigs aside, I wish some economics professor would assign her class the task of projecting the amount of new revenue that one-stroke approach would generate.
State-sponsored media: Fox News.
Frank White, former Kansas City Royals second baseman, is an icon, and we all respect that. But being a sports icon does not qualify one to hold the county’s highest elected office — Jackson County executive.
During White’s tenure, he has miraculously managed to save his Lee’s Summit home from the auction block three times. When the public became suspicious, White tried auctioning off his Royals memorabilia. (July 16, 4A, “White’s 1985 World Series trophy brings much-needed cash”) Hopefully, the almost $80,000 he made will help clear his personal debts.
The public has a responsibility in this awkward situation. In 2016, we elected White on the basis of his celebrity status. If we have learned anything since 2016, it is that celebrities do not make good politicians. White has proved repeatedly that he can’t handle his personal finances. Why should we trust him with the county’s?
The Aug. 7 primary election gives Jackson County the chance to rectify the wrong we made when we voted White into office. We have a civic responsibility to find out who else is running for Jackson County executive. It would be a disaster to hand Frank White another election on a golden glove.
Follow the money
If anyone needs proof that the insurance companies managing KanCare are making buckets of money, just look at Amerigroup, which has made a formal protest to the state for not including the company in Kansas’ new contract. (July 11, 5A, “Amerigroup files protest of new KanCare contracts”)