In case you haven’t heard

One of the legislative actions passed in this last Missouri session was a proposed Constitutional Amendment. The amendment, known as SJR 36, would add text to the state constitution that says the right to keep and bear arms is an ‘unalienable’ right. The current ballot summary follows.

[Proposed by the 97th General Assembly (Second Regular Session) SCS SJR 36]

Official Ballot Title:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to include a declaration that the right to keep and bear arms is a unalienable right and that the state government is obligated to uphold that right?

State and local governmental entities should have no direct costs or savings from this proposal. However, the proposal’s passage will likely lead to increased litigation and criminal justice related costs. The total potential costs are unknown, but could be significant.

* Fair Ballot Language to be Completed by June 30, 2014.

The St. Louis Police Chief, and a Bloomberg surrogate from Mothers Demand Action, Rebecca Morgan, object. Chief Dotson is a well known gun-grabber.

Judge weighs rewrite of Missouri gun rights plan

JEFFERSON CITY • A Missouri judge denied a request Wednesday to stop election officials from distributing absentee ballots for a proposed state constitutional amendment dealing with gun rights.

Although he declined to issue a temporary restraining order, Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem said he would consider whether to rewrite the summary for the Aug. 5 ballot measure as requested in a lawsuit brought by St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson and a gun-control activist.

Absentee voting is to begin Tuesday on the measure, which was referred to the ballot by the Republican-led Legislature.

The summary that legislators prepared will ask voters whether to amend the Missouri Constitution “to include a declaration that the right to keep and bear arms is an unalienable right and that the state government is obligated to uphold that right.”

According to the lawsuit, the summary wrongly implies that the measure is establishing a constitutional right, when one already exists. It also contends the summary fails to note that the measure would require strict legal scrutiny of any laws restricting gun rights, including those limiting the ability to carry concealed guns.

Attorney Chuck Hatfield, who filed the lawsuit, said the ballot summary is insufficient and unfair. “The title says what’s already existing law — it doesn’t tell the voters anything — and then the title ignores all the things that are important, all the things that are actually changing,” Hatfield said.

A second lawsuit posing a similar challenge to the “fairness and sufficiency” of the ballot wording was brought Wednesday by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer M. Joyce and Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker.

Beetem rejected Hatfield’s request to block election officials from giving voters ballots containing the disputed wording while he considers the merits of the case. The judge gave no specific date for when he will rule on the request to rewrite the summary.

The proposed constitutional amendment was sponsored by Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, who is running for state attorney general in 2016.

Schaefer, who attended the hearing, said afterward that the proposed standard of “strict scrutiny” for gun-rights restrictions would be a significant change. But Schaefer said he believed that was adequately conveyed by the summary’s wording about an “unalienable right” to bear arms.

The complete article can be found here.

The two suits are just more examples of the extremes the anti-gun radicals will go to suppress our Constitutional rights. The battle isn’t over. The Judge refused to block the release of absentee ballots. Those will be issued with the current ballot summary written by the Legislature. The jury Judge is still out on the remainder of the lawsuits.

Legislative Session Roundup

Democrat Governor Jay Nixon has been using his pen to veto some bills. His biggest veto, the HB 509, the Tax Cut bill, was overridden before the 2014 session ended. He waited until the session was over to veto these bills.

A number of these bills contain tax cuts or reforms in one fashion or another. Nixon’s constant screed was that the bills would cut revenues and unbalance the budget. Nixon did not acknowledge that it is the Legislature that creates the budget, not the governor. These vetoes prove, once again, that Nixon has never met a tax he didn’t like.

HB1296 – Allows a seller to advertise that the required sales tax will be assumed or absorbed into the price of the property sold or the services rendered if the amount of the tax is separately stated

06/11/2014: Vetoed by Governor Nixon

HB 1455 – Changes the laws regarding burdens of proof for the director of revenue in ascertaining tax liability of a taxpayer

06/11/2014: Vetoed by Governor Nixon

HB 1865 – Modifies provisions of law relating to sales and use tax exemptions for utilities used or consumed in the preparation of food

06/11/2014: Vetoed by Governor Nixon

SB 584 – Modifies provisions relating to taxation

06/11/2014: Vetoed by Governor Nixon

SB 612 – Modifies provisions relating to taxation

06/11/2014: Vetoed by Governor Nixon

SB 662 – Requires the Department of Revenue to notify affected sellers of certain decisions modifying sales tax law

06/11/2014: Vetoed by Governor Nixon

SB 673 – Modifies the duration of unemployment compensation the method to pay federal advances, and raises the fund trigger causing contribution rate reductions

06/17/2014: Vetoed by Governor Nixon

SB 693 – Modifies provisions relating to taxation, fire sprinklers and merchandising practices

06/11/2014: Vetoed by Governor Nixon

SB 727 – Modifies provisions relating to farmers’ market and SNAP (Food Stamps) benefits

06/11/2014: Vetoed by Governor Nixon

SB 829 – Modifies provisions relating to burden of proof in tax liability cases

06/11/2014: Vetoed by Governor Nixon

SB 860 – Modifies provisions relating to taxation

06/11/2014: Vetoed by Governor Nixon

If you read any of the veto letters, you will find a common theme.

“…the General Assembly disregarded the normal legislative process, slipping in costly provisions without public hearings and without fiscal notes reflecting the impact on the state budget. And, as legislators ignored the legislative process, so too did they ignore the budget process…”

The budget process is owned by the Legislature. They are constitutionally required to submit a balanced budget. Nixon, however, by withholding funding to a number of areas, such as Education, has artificially created short falls in areas of state responsibility. The money was available. Nixon just chose not to spend it according to the budget. His hypocrisy is not surprising; he’s a democrat.

 

 

No post today

Nothing strikes my fancy. Please check back tomorrow.

A change for two liberals

http://dailysignal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014-06-10-Gates-Corona.jpgBill Gates and his wife Melinda have an organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, that funds a number of charitable and liberal agencies. In the past, they helped fund much of the liberal agenda across the country.

That is changing. A few days ago, they announced their Foundation would no longer fund abortions, alluding in another article that they have never funded abortions. Now, they are dropping support for Common Core.

Gates Advocates Hitting the Brakes on Consequences Associated with Common Core

Brittany Corona / /

Even Bill Gates is starting to have second thoughts about the consequences associated with Common Core.

On Tuesday, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation— the second-largest financial backer of Common Core after the federal government— issued a letter calling for a two-year delay of the full implementation of Common Core, which is set to take effect this 2014-15 school year.

In the letter, Vicki Phillips, the director of education for the Gates Foundation, writes:

“[The] Gates Foundation agrees with those who’ve decided that assessment results should not be taken into account in high-stakes decisions on teacher evaluation or student promotion for the next two years, during this transition [into Common Core]…. It’s valuable for students to take the Common Core-aligned tests without consequences during this period, so that teachers can get familiar with the tests, have a chance to offer their feedback, and get a feel for the students’ successes and challenges.”

The Gates Foundation has financed and promoted Common Core from day one. As the Washington Post’s Lyndsey Layton points out, “The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation didn’t just bankroll the development of what became known as the Common Core State Standards. With more than $200 million, the foundation also built political support across the country, persuading state governments to make systemic and costly changes.”

But the hasty roll-out of Common Core has given even its staunchest proponents pause.

With this letter, the Gates Foundation now joins the American Federation for Teachers, the National Education Association and the United Federation for Teachers in calling for a moratorium on the consequences attached to test scores and teacher evaluations in Common Core.

“You think Obamacare implementation is bad. The implementation of Common Core is far worse,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten last November after AFT called for a pause on Common Core implementation.

Although Gates and the teachers unions are not opposed to national standards, their pushback against the stakes associated with the Common Core national tests reveals the natural result of such centralization: it further distances the most important stakeholders—parents and teachers— from the educational decision-making process.

As University of Arkansas Professor Jay Greene argues:

“Supporters say states, districts and individual schools would be free to surpass the national standards, just not fall below them. But testing would constrain what was taught and when…. States would be penalized with lower scores on the national test if they taught subjects at a different time and in a different manner than what Common Core requires.”

Children are unique, with unique learning needs. It’s why one size does not fit all in education.

A moratorium will do nothing to solve the problem of teacher-preparedness with Common Core. The problem lies with the push for centralized educational standards.

But there is good news. Opposition to this centralization of education continues to mount as the consequences of adopting Common Core become more evident. To date, 17 states have either withdrawn from the testing consortia or paused implementation—including three that have exited Common Core fully.

Bill Gates is no dummy. He may have little formal education (he was a college dropout,) but he is enough of a businessman to build a multi-billion dollar business and make himself one of the wealthiest men on the planet. I would suspect one of his motivations for this change in direction is one of profit and loss. Are the gains/losses of the project, abortion and Common Core, worth the money being spent? It appears that Bill Gates view of that balance sheet is, “No, they aren’t worth the money being spent. End funding.”

Still no post today

I’m not over whatever it is I’ve picked up. Yesterday was bad. Today is a bit better, but I’m still not up to writing my daily blog.

I’ll see y’all Monday.

No Post Today

I’ve been afflicted with a severe allergy attack, perhaps due to our neighbor’s cottonwood tree. I feel like crud—drippy nose, coughing, headaches, scratchy throat, a voice two octaves deeper than usual and other symptoms generally attributed to an allergy. When you add another front passing through that creates a continuing ache in my knee, it promises to be a miserable day.

Read the sidebar instead of my post. There are some good writers there, Tam, Brigid, NFO, and others and check back tomorrow to see if this crud has passed. I think I’ll just veg today.

It is a new day

…or is it?

http://dailysignal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014_06_10_CantorLost.jpg

Yesterday’s Virginia primary had a big upset. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA-7) lost his seat in the primary to challenger and economist Dave Brat. There are numerous articles being published this morning how that happened.

Some pundits say is was a Tea Party victory. In reality, it wasn’t, it was a grassroots victory assisted by some big-name conservatives like Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin. There is a difference.

The national Tea Party organizations like the Tea Party Express and AFP ignored the race assuming, so say some, that Cantor was a shoo-in. Apparently, so did many of Cantor’s supporters because they stayed home and didn’t vote. The turnout was very low, 65,000 out of a population of over a quarter-million.

Cantor’s flip-flops came home. He hadn’t had much opposition since he first won his seat in 2001. He was unopposed until 2010 and 2012. In 2012, he courted the Tea Party and won by 79%. Since then, Cantor turned, vilifying his former supporters and sucking up to the GOP establishment.

David Brat, the winner of the primary against Cantor wrote this statement in an article for the Daily Caller earlier this year.

Congressman Cantor’s profile has been erratic even by Washington standards — flitting from eager establishmentarian coat-holder to self-glorified “Young Gun” and back again. His loyalties, both upward and downward, have shifted in his eager embrace of the Ruling Class. Washington’s only genuine article of faith: maintaining control regardless of how that control affects the life of the folks back home.

Like so many other GOP Representatives, Cantor let ambition override his duty to his constituents. Being elected in a strong, conservative district is no guarantee for incumbents. (Are you listening Vicky Hartzler?) So far this year, we are seeing numerous successful challenges to the GOP establishment, Cantor is one of them.

***

The worm turned…in California of all places!

Tenure for teachers in California received a severe blow in court this week. Judge Rolf M. Treu, Los Angeles Superior Court, found five California statues concerning teacher tenure unconstitutional.

Treu found that the statutes permit too many grossly incompetent teachers to remain in classrooms across the state — and found that those teachers shortchange their students by putting them months or years behind their peers in math and reading.

He ruled that such a system violates the state constitution’s guarantee that all children receive “basic equality of educational opportunity.” In a blunt, unsparing 16-page opinion, Treu compared his ruling to the seminal federal desegregation case Brown v. Board of Education, decided 60 years ago last month. “The evidence is compelling. Indeed, it shocks the conscience,” Treu wrote. — Politico.

For decades the California educational system has been the prime example was what not to do. With test scores pummeling, teachers fought to block testing, lest it prove the abysmal results of their social engineering agenda.

Test scores should be used to review the effectiveness of education. Too many school districts—and state educational systems, would rather teach the tests than actually educate their students. Systems that do ‘teach the tests’ then blame the tests for their failures to educate. Long before this case, it was evident that local and state education systems were more interested in their own sinecure than teaching.

We will soon hear the howl of outraged teacher unions calling for this judge’s head for speaking truth. Once again, unions have been found to be the refuge of many incompetents. The good teachers will get tarred equally along with the bad. They have no other recourse…California is not a RIght-to-Work state. Teachers are required to join the teachers union if they want to teach.

But that was yesterday. Perhaps…just perhaps the students of California will have a new day now that it will be easier to be rid of the lazy and incompetents in the California school system.