One can only imagine what goes on behind the closed doors of Republican Party strategy sessions.
We received a glimpse from the 2012 Mitt Romney “secret tape” where he declares 47 percent of Americans “cannot be persuaded to take personal responsibility.”
Other Republicans refer to these folks as “takers not makers.” Really?
The latest manifestations of this strategy of exclusion are the nationwide activities by elected Republicans to deny certain people their right to vote. The cynical attempts to require certain proofs of eligibility to vote are nothing more than a concerted strategy to win elections by eliminating those who might not vote for GOP candidates.
The efforts by Missouri legislators are reprehensible. The argument that the state must engage in major disruptive and expensive activities to fix a problem that doesn’t exist are clumsy and blatantly transparent. One wonders what other policies and agendas Republican strategists are mulling over in those strategy sessions.
I have encouraged my state senator, Ryan Silvey, not to go there.
Hopefully, he and others will see that this type legislation only magnifies polarization, causes citizen distrust and diverts attention from critical issues facing our state.
Obama and drones
President Barack Obama recently sent drones, which killed nine “suspected terrorists” and three civilians. Mr. President, who helped you make this determination?
Do you really have the authorization, under our Constitution or some other decree, to kill people in a foreign country? Please Mr. President, stop it.
President Barack Obama doesn’t get it. He said: “Why are folks working so hard for people not to have health insurance? Why are they so mad about the idea of people having health insurance?”
Folks are upset because the Affordable Care Act is not insurance. It is another entitlement plan. For insurance, a person must complete an application.
Could be for a car, home, life, health or something else considered insurable.
The risk must not have happened. The insurance company then underwrites the risk and either declines or offers to insure. The coverage and price will be defined.
The applicant decides to accept or decline. For example, one cannot watch his house burn down and then go buy insurance.
The Affordable Care Act does not require underwriting and has no pre-existing conditions, and there is no cap on the coverage. Therefore, it is not insurance.
The concern is about the long-term cost of “affordable” health care on top of other entitlement programs that are known to be underfunded. The middle-class folks understand who will pay the bill.
The May 13 editorial, “Abortion bill insults women,” contained a glaring error. The sixth paragraph stated, “The prolonged waiting period will be hardest on low-income women. ...”
In truth, no matter what the waiting period, the person who suffers the most is the unborn child who will not survive.
Mary Lou Kaufmann
Unjust NRA holdup
Democrats and Republicans alike should be horrified that the Senate has delayed confirmation hearings on Dr. Vivek Murthy to become surgeon general.
The reason? Dr. Murthy, a renowned physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, has angered the National Rifle Association by considering gun violence a public-health issue.
This is the doctor who will provide the best scientific information to improve public health and reduce risk of illness and injury.
Gun violence kills more citizens than some epidemics. Of course it is a public-health problem. How dare the NRA intimidate our elected officials for performing their public duty.
This should not be a partisan issue.
There is no other opposition to this highly regarded doctor. Keep politics out of my health and safety.
Jennifer Ashby, M.D.
I live close enough to Ameren’s coal-fired Labadie Power Plant to see its triple smokestacks from my eastern Missouri home.
For many years, the plant was a source of pride and security with its useful electricity.
Now I no longer have that sense of security when viewing its smokestacks. Now I know about climate change and its principle driver, carbon from fossil fuels. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is sounding the alarm for our future.
Now I know about tons of dirty coal ash that is full of arsenic, mercury and lead and other toxins. These pollutants can cause cancer and damage the nervous system and organs, especially in children.
Now I know about emissions from the coal plant smokestacks.
Dangerous sulfur dioxide and particulate matter can be absorbed into the blood when breathed in and cause or exacerbate cardiovascular problems. They can also trigger severe asthma attacks.
Solar power, wind power, geothermal and energy efficiency are safer alternatives and without the expensive health and climate-disruption price tags associated with fossil fuels.
I’m a mom who wants the best for my children. I am pushing, along with other Missourians, to reduce legacy pollutants.
Why team coverage?
I’m sorry, I just don’t get the new team-coverage thing.
Not long ago, Gary Lezak, Gary Amble, Bryan Busby and Joel Nichols were each capable of providing adequate local weather coverage.
Have the data increased so much that one person cannot deliver a forecast? I think not.
I also doubt that each meteorologist is receiving half pay for providing half the forecast.
I breathe, therefore I want clean air. I support alternative or renewable energy, including wind energy, but not government-mandated wind energy.
The public-private collusion to impose more costly energy upon Kansas residents robs families of discretionary finances. It also drives up the utility costs for businesses and government operations, increasing the costs to the customer for goods and services and Kansas taxpayers.
The wind-energy lobbyists must have a lot of clout, and along with some legislators, they must have a tin ear to force increased costs upon the residents and taxpayers of Kansas.
With increased utility costs, we are losing our regional edge for attracting businesses to Kansas and retaining businesses, which inhibits job creation. This counteracts the desired effects of eliminating the state income tax and creates a domino effect on negative aspects of the state’s economy.
Let the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation for wind energy reflect our state’s motto, “Ad astra per aspera” — “To the stars through difficulties” — not through Kansas consumers’ and taxpayers’ pocketbooks.
Canada goose couple
There is a goose couple that come to the pond by my house in Overland Park every year. They are very tame, always remember me and will eat bread out of my hand.
When they’re allowed to have offspring, the goslings will eat out of my hand, also. The reason I said “when they’re allowed” to have babies is that the homeowners’ association or the county has decided it doesn’t want any of them around because, heaven forbid, they might poop on the grass.
These people have taken it upon themselves to get rid of the four measly eggs that the female had this year. I don’t know how they can stand to do that.
To me, that is taking a life, the same as any abortion. Those were babies ready to come into the world and help celebrate spring. Now there will be no goslings to show God’s renewal.
They are currently the only goose couple in the area.
Why do we have to keep them from doing what nature and our environment needs?