Republican candidates ran against Social Security and Medicare for many years. They deplored these “socialist programs” and vowed to repeal them if they were elected.
They, of course, failed, and many of them are now happily collecting Social Security payments and using Medicare, and would hesitate to even discuss eliminating them.
The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is confusing, expensive and needs fine-tuning. I would much prefer a single-payer, universal coverage system, which makes more sense.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
It would still allow individuals to buy private health-care coverage, if they so desire, to replace or supplement their Affordable Care Act coverage. Many Medicare-eligible seniors take this approach.
Perhaps, after the next election, cooler heads will prevail, and Congress will arrive at a compromise just as it did with Social Security and Medicare.
The Democrats and the Republicans both want to be the majority party. For some reason, though, the GOP seems to think that means being anti-minority.
Museum for TWA
Kansas City area residents and visitors should take some time to discover one of Kansas City’s treasures.
Kansas City was the original home of Trans World Airlines. The TWA Museum preserves the history and artifacts of this wonderful major airline. The museum is at 10 Richards Road at the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport.
This historic building was constructed in 1931 and was the original headquarters for TWA. The TWA Museum is a nonprofit organization staffed by volunteers.
Volunteer tour guides are usually available to provide interesting details about the history of TWA and the history of the Wheeler Downtown Airport.
Though not connected, another airline history museum is at the Downtown Airport. It is a great experience to visit both museums.
Insight on politics
As we brace ourselves for more long and lavish presidential campaigning and as we continue to witness historic levels of incompetence in state and national legislative bodies, it’s worth recalling a few observations by the American social commentator H.L. Mencken (1880-1956):
▪ “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”
▪ “Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.”
▪ “No one in this world, so far as I know ... has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.”
▪ “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
▪ “I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.”
I also like Paul Harvey’s advice: “In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.”
Thomas Friedman enjoys almost iconic status as a world-wise sage about war, peace, economics, religion and God only knows what else in the Middle East and elsewhere (7-24, Commentary, “How to make our wager with Iran pay off”).
Even so, I am totally unimpressed with his belief that a blustering congressional threat to bomb Iran if it moves toward a nuclear weapon would magically prevent nuclear non-proliferation in the Middle East or elsewhere.
Permit me to remind Star readers that Friedman was totally, utterly wrong about the magical democracy-producing effects of our invasion of Iraq, which magically enhanced Iran’s power across the Middle East. His advocacy of that war has not in the least diminished his star status in the Washington, but who with a memory can forget that?
I certainly can’t. Beyond that, nobody, not Friedman nor King Canute, can entirely rebottle the nuclear genie. As Secretary of State John Kerry told the Senate on July 23, nobody can bomb their minds.
Moreover, who can ignore the destabilizing effects of Israel’s own effort to exercise an absolute nuclear and conventional military threat over nearly everything that happens in the Middle East?
American threats will solve nothing in that region of the world. Isn’t that obvious to anybody who thinks hard about it?
David A. Lee
As the late President Ronald Reagan once said, “There you go again.”
The Supreme Court case challenging the one-person-one-vote principle is clearly just another sneak attempt by conservatives to rig our electoral process through voter suppression.
Counting only citizens who are eligible to vote versus using census data on total population is a blatant attempt to gerrymander voting districts to exclude the increasing Hispanic population.
Conservatives are not blind. They can read the proverbial handwriting on the wall.
As Hispanic power and influence grows in direct proportion to their numbers, especially in large states such as California and Texas, the conservative minority’s only hope to retain or usurp power is to keep potential voters away from the polls by any means necessary.
Eddie L. Clay
Sanders for president
I wrote to Sen. Claire McCaskill concerning her slamming of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Sen. Sanders fights as hard for the American people as she claims she does.
He wants to make sure America belongs to Americans, not just to the wealthy few at the top.
I asked why she would slam someone she works with, is an independent but votes with Democrats probably more than she does and has no baggage. I also suggested McCaskill perhaps was attacking Sanders because she was working on an appointment to Hillary Clinton’s cabinet if Clinton is elected president.
Don’t get me wrong. I am a Democrat and would vote for Clinton if she were the Democratic nominee.
The letter I got back was all paragraphs about McCaskill’s voting record. Not one word about my question of why she took a shot at Bernie.
Unless Hillary Clinton can clean up her dirty laundry and explain her positions more clearly, I like Bernie Sanders better. Sanders does not beat around the bush and Clinton has been slow to explain her positions until, it seems, she is pushed into it by Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
Beating up on rivals is what Republican politicians and presidential candidates do. Democrats won’t win by throwing dirt.
Global warming truth
Many writers have chimed in with their opinions regarding the facts surrounding global warming.
However, it takes special hubris for one recent writer to not only declare global warming a hoax but to suggest that those who accept highly accredited research are in fact “flat earthers.”
Instead of stirring up the usual debate, consider instead the lowly armadillo.
Like the deniers themselves, this is a creature of modest intelligence who never has read relevant research.
He goes about his life looking for food, shelter, a mate and protection from predators.
His species originated in South America and has made its way into the southern United States.
So imagine our surprise when the carcass of the “state roadkill of Texas” showed up in the gutter of our street. Armadillos have also been found in Nebraska.
Note that the animal has a very low metabolism and can be killed in large numbers by extreme cold.
One has to at least consider that global warming plays some role in the continuing northward expansion of this creature’s habitat.