Raw red deal
Do I understand this correctly? The Chiefs organization rips out 30,000 upper-deck seats at Arrowhead Stadium and tosses them into a pile for recycling.
Jackson County steps in, declaring that the taxpayers own those seats, not the Chiefs. Then those Jackson County taxpayers also pay for the move, storage, assessment and reassembly of said seats.
Schneider Industries, the vendor doing the work for the sale, guaranteed the county $75,000 up front to cover all or part of those costs.
Then Jackson County residents get first shot at buying seats they supposedly already own? That’s kind of like paying someone to manage a garage sale for you and you buy your own stuff back.
The county, of course, must split the profits from the sale with Schneider. Are the Chiefs absorbing any of these costs they caused?
Why is Congress breaking a promise we made to veterans 75 years ago?
In June, President Donald Trump signed legislation opening the door to disability benefits for thousands of deserving Vietnam veterans. But Congress chose to make veterans pay for those service-related benefits by hiking VA home-loan fees for the next two years. Now legislators want to extend those higher loan fees for five more years to pay for more programs through the proposed legislation.
Extending these fees would force veterans to pay more than $750 million to use their VA home-loan benefit over the next seven years. A recent study by economic research firm NDP Analytics determined the increased funding fee, coupled with a rising rate environment, could price out hundreds of thousands of veterans from their home-loan benefits.
As a majority member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran is in a position to lead the charge against using VA home loans as a piggy bank. Congress must start making tough choices about funding and priorities without breaking our promise to our veterans.
Director of education
This isn’t justice
Kudos to Judge Julie Robinson’s order, and to Star reporters Katie Bernard and Steve Vockrodt for the Aug. 15 front-page story “US Attorney’s Office in KCK held in contempt in misconduct investigation.”
Though their cases were not high profile, these defendants’ rights were definitely violated by overzealous prosecutors trying to advance their own careers. Prosecutors achieved similar results in the cases against U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, Enron and Arthur Andersen in the 2000s, as detailed in the 2014 book “Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice” by Sidney Powell.
The Kansas U.S. attorney’s malfeasance was the gold standard in demonstrating how federal prosecutors can advance their own careers, as federal prosecutor Andrew Weissmann did despite seeing his conviction in the Andersen case overturned by a 9-0 Supreme Court decision.
It’s winning, not justice, as the primary goal — and the bad actors are still able to advance through the higher echelons of the U.S. justice system. Special counsel Robert Mueller apparently held Weissmann in high regard as to how federal prosecutors should behave.
I see prosecutorial misconduct and malfeasance as the expected standard, and they are probably not prone to improvement despite this revealing and informative reporting.
Don’t damn kids
Damn the violence. Damn the guns. Damn the choice to take out a gun in the heat of the moment. Amen to all of that.
But please, let’s not “damn the kids that are raised in poverty and think it’s OK to carry a gun,” as the Rev. Adam Hamilton said at the funeral of Erin Langhofer. (Aug. 11, 4A, “‘Damn the violence.’ Friends, family of shooting victims in KC call for action”) Let’s not damn even the kids who’ve committed horrible acts. “Damn the kids” are words no one should ever say, especially a person of faith. They are contrary to the spirit of the Christian church I was raised in and of every other religion I know of.
Because if these kids are bound for hell, they won’t be going alone. They’ll be accompanied by the many people, rich and poor, young and old, who think they need to carry guns for protection. The many politicians who seem intent on making it ever easier to get and carry guns will be going with them.
If we’re Christians, or people of any faith for that matter, we need to pray for the kids and look for ways to help them. “Damn the kids” shouldn’t be part of our vocabulary.