In a Jan. 4 article, “Our health is going downhill,” The Star reports that the health of Missouri citizens continues to decline. The United Health Foundation says Missouri sank from 24th place to 36th place among the 50 states.
Yet our Republican legislators, including our own Sen. Will Kraus and Rep. Mike Cierpiot, proudly deny any expansion of Medicaid in Missouri. The federal money provided is going to other states.
This just makes me wonder whether they truly represent the citizens of Missouri or are working for someone else.
Jonah Goldberg, in his Jan. 4 column, “Liberal double standards still plentiful, irksome,” rightfully calls liberals to task for hypocrisy. No one, regardless of political persuasion, should be hypocritical.
In the process, Mr. Goldberg sacrifices the high ground by revealing his double standard. When he mentions the “19 senators (all Democrats)” who signed the Southern Manifesto opposing integration, he conveniently overlooks a historical reality.
Those conservative southern Democrats of yesteryear, including the Dixiecrats who supported Strom Thurmond and almost cost Harry Truman the 1948 presidential election, are the conservative southern Republicans of today. Whether the conversion of the South was attributable to racism (President Lyndon Johnson said Democrats “lost the South for a generation” after passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964) or the fundamental conservatism of Southerners is hard to say.
But when Republicans opened their arms to everyone in either group, in effect welcoming segregationists into the fold, they lost the right to call themselves the “party of Lincoln.” So, Mr. Goldberg, I applaud your assault on hypocrisy, but in exposing the double standard of only one side of the political spectrum, you’re just as guilty as the liberals you so chastise.
Focus on issues
I do enjoy an alternate viewpoint, but I found Jonah Goldberg’s Jan. 4 piece, “Liberal double standards still plentiful, irksome,” a little presumptuous at best. The staggering hypocrisy he asserts is practiced regularly by those he champions.
Let’s face it, when it comes to politics, this type of hyperbole is to be expected, and to raise a furor over such things is self-defeating and redundant.
I’d rather he focus on issues and not the obvious.
My first boss, back in the early 1960s, taught me a valuable lesson.
If you hire a professional to do a job that you either don’t know how to do or don’t want to do, and then for goodness’ sake get out of his way and let him do it.
I was reminded of this lesson as I read the Jan. 4 story, “Brown shooting shapes legislation.” How arrogant of state legislators to think they can micromanage law enforcement when they have no experience themselves and were not in Ferguson, Mo., to witness events impartially.
Spare us, please, from this holier-than-thou attitude wherein “If only I’d been there, I’d have known how to handle the situation.”
State legislators wouldn’t have done any better than the law-enforcement professionals on the scene.
State legislators should get their votes with honesty and competency, not this kind of grandstanding.
Steve Rose column
As a conservative, I find the idea of a third Bush presidency repulsive. I take exception to Steve Rose’s Jan. 4 column, “Jeb Bush would be a lock for the GOP in 2016,” offering a glowing endorsement of Jeb Bush for president.
The name Bush congers up enormous amounts of negatives, such as endless wars, economic catastrophe, job losses and crony capitalism. Jeb Bush’s position on immigration and education is totally unacceptable to many conservatives. Do we live in a democracy or an English-style aristocracy?
Smug, arrogant elitists would love to see a Bush dynasty that would bestow endless political favors on our oligarchical class of lords and ladies at the expense of the middle class.
I say keep all Bushes outside the White House.
The new college football championship semifinal games were exciting to watch, and I enjoyed seeing them. However, because they were on ESPN only, many people could not watch them.
Many people cannot afford cable or satellite TV. I especially feel for older sports fans on fixed incomes who now cannot see the big, important games.
Our Kansas City Royals playoff games were on TBS — again shutting out many people who simply cannot afford these services.
I implore those who hold the rights to Major League Baseball, college and other major postseason games to find a way to team up with local broadcast stations so everyone can watch these important contests.
For instance, ESPN is owned by the same company that owns ABC. Here in Kansas City, KMBC-TV, Channel 9 has multiple over-the-air stations.
Surely something could be worked out to carry these games here and still make money.
Rep. Kevin Yoder quietly slipped a big-bank sweetheart deal into legislation. And ever since it was discovered (after it passed), he has been catching flak, squirming and twisting words to justify it, including his Jan. 5 “As I See It” piece, “How to invest in America.”
Remember the highly leveraged derivatives and credit default swaps that caused the economic meltdown? Risky transactions like those are again encouraged because of Yoder’s bill.
Government insurance is cash from the taxpayers that would again bail out failing banks that lose big in such financial gambling.
Yoder says it will help banks make bigger profits and thus make more loans to businesses and farmers.
But the thousands of smaller banks that make those loans don’t engage in such financial gambling. That activity is limited to the largest banks. Only those giants benefit from Yoder’s largesse.
Do you suppose that Yoder himself will receive any benefits from those financial fat cats at re-election time?
In less-developed countries, they call that bribery. But we’re a highly developed world power, and we don’t do that.
We call it campaign contributions.
New Congress seated
The 114th Congress was sworn into office Jan. 6. Many of the new members owe their successful elections to the lowest voter turnout since World War II, about 36 percent nationally and about 35 percent in Missouri.
As the GOP begins its legislative assault, I want to thank all registered Democrats, progressives, independents, environmentalists and even some moderate Republicans who decided to stay home and not vote in November. You have again proved how a well-organized minority can win an election.
I only hope the president can minimize the damage between now and November 2016.
Charles L. Beucher Jr.
The Star's editor must have taken particular delight juxtaposing Lewis Diuguid's optimistic Jan. 7 column, “Avoid drive-throughs; embrace new encounters,” set in McDonald's next to Lee Judge's pessimistic cartoon. Perhaps Mr. Judge should direct his cynicism at real threats, such as that in Paris, which attacked his and the paper's right of open expression.
Dr. Robert Nottingham, a longtime family practitioner in Olathe, will soon retire. This letter is to publicly thank him for his many years of fine service as our family physician.
His kind bedside manner and accurate diagnoses have been a significant positive influence. We cannot thank him enough for his compassion, professionalism and follow-up.
On behalf of our family and probably countless others, may Dr. Nottingham enjoy a well-deserved retirement.