The Muse…has left the building. I had an idea last night but it has escaped. Please check back tomorrow.
Monthly Archives: September 2014
Wow! What a weekend.
I had a real busy weekend. I had a real busy week. My shootin’ buddy and I spent Thursday at the range practicing for a pistol match coming up next month. Saturday night was a Friends of the NRA dinner and auction in H’ville. Then Sunday afternoon was the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance 25th Anniversary picnic.
I’m pretty much whooped. Still…I’d do it again in a second.
The Kansas Senatorial race continues to be in the front of the news. I’ve had some friends ask me what the controversy is all about. It’s this, as briefly as I can explain.
There are (were) three candidates running for US Senator; Pat Roberts, the incumbent on the Republican Ticket, Chad Taylor on the democrat ticket, and Greg Orman, a democrat who the democrats wouldn’t let run against Taylor in the primary. Orman decided to run as an ‘independent.’ In reality, it’s two democrats running against one ‘Pub. Ordinarily, this would be a shoo-in for Roberts because Orman would split the democrat votes with Taylor.
Suddenly, the environment changed. Polls indicated that Orman was running better against Roberts than Taylor. To the democrats, this meant one of their candidates was a possible winner, especially since Roberts pissed off much of the grass-roots conservatives who had backed Milton Wolf. A significant percentage of those Wolf supporters declared they would either vote for Orman or stay home.
The democrats were now in a dilemma. Orman, a democrat in an independent’s costume, was ahead of Taylor. They decided to have Taylor quit. That would allow the democrats to vote for Orman instead of splitting their votes between the two democrat candidates.
The Kansas democrat leaders forced Chad Taylor to quit.
After a series of legal shenanigans, with the aid of their left-leaning KS Supreme Court, they got Taylor off the ticket. Bad news for Roberts. But Orman isn’t the clean-cut, scandal-free candidate the democrats and he projects. He is being sued for failure to pay royalties to another company for the use of their patented technology.
The establishment ‘Pubs are rallying around Roberts and Orman is facing more scrutiny from the national press. Surprise, surprise! Orman is keeping closed-mouth about what his political views?
Greg Orman, a political enigma, faces growing scrutiny in Kansas Senate race
WICHITA — Greg Orman, the upstart Senate candidate threatening to unseat longtime Republican incumbent Pat Roberts in Kansas, says it’s liberating to run as an independent: “I can go to Washington as a problem solver, not a partisan.”
But not having a party also liberates Orman from taking positions — especially on controversial issues that might alienate partisans.
Greenlight the Keystone XL pipeline? Orman said he doesn’t have enough information to say yes or no.
What about gun control? He said gun restrictions should be “strengthened” but would not specify whether he backs an assault-weapons ban.
And on the biggest question of all — Would he caucus with Democrats or Republicans? — Orman insists he’s not sure.
“It’s not in the best interests for us to say that,” Orman said in an interview here last week.
Orman has said he would caucus with whichever party has the majority after November’s midterm elections. But what if the Senate is evenly divided and Orman’s decision swings the balance? He said that would be “a wonderful opportunity for Kansas.”
Orman’s rise has transformed deep-red Kansas into the year’s unlikeliest political battleground. Many voters say Roberts has lost touch with the state he’s represented in Congress since 1981.
Since Democratic nominee Chad Taylor withdrew his name from the ballot this month, Roberts has been in a two-man race with Orman, who has previous ties to the Democratic Party but preaches independence. Public polling has been unreliable, but both sides believe the race is very tight.
Orman, who entered the race in June, has surged on the strength of his pitch to fix a broken Washington without any allegiance to a political party. But now the enigma is under increasing pressure from voters to provide a clearer sense of his ideology and politics, while facing attacks from the Roberts camp over his business ties and Democratic past.
“I’ve been impressed with Greg so far, but we’re still in the ‘I’m an independent’ stage,” said Lynda Neff, 68, a retired teacher. “I’m ready to move past that and hear about some issues. . . . I will support him if he gives me a little more information.”
Perhaps the biggest test for Orman, a multimillionaire investor who is partially funding his campaign, is surviving the intensifying public scrutiny of his business and personal relationships with Rajat Gupta, the former Goldman Sachs board member who was convicted in 2012 of insider trading and is serving a federal prison sentence.
Roberts and his Republican allies have launched a barrage of attacks designed to make Orman appear untrustworthy. On the campaign trail in Kansas last week, a parade of top Republicans alleged that Orman is a liberal Democrat in disguise.
“Anybody with a liberal record like Greg’s . . . that’s not independence. That’s someone who’s trying to snooker you, Kansas,” Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and vice-presidential nominee, said Thursday in Independence.
Palin’s 2008 running mate, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), told voters a day earlier in suburban Overland Park: “Let’s be honest — he’s a Democrat. He walks like a duck and he quacks like a duck and he is a duck.”
Robert J. Dole, a former Senate Republican leader and 91-year-old Kansas legend, said Monday night in Dodge City, “There’s a multimillionaire who claims he’s an independent, but really [he’s] in the other party.”
In Kinsley on Tuesday, after reporters asked whether he trusted Orman to govern as an independent, Roberts said, “All of a sudden, if there’s a metamorphosis and the caterpillar changed — why, I just don’t think that’s in the cards.”
Orman argues that the Republicans are reading him wrong. He said he voted for Obama in 2008, and public records show that in the middle of that decade he made donations mostly to Democrats, including Obama and Sen. Al Franken (Minn.). In 2008, he briefly ran for Senate against Roberts as a Democrat before dropping out.
The column by the Washington Post is long. You can read it completely on their website.
I was surprised that the Washington Post says the new Senate will be ‘Pub controlled, 62 to 48 given their history of biased reporting. Joni Ernst now leads Braley, 44 percent to 38 percent. Most of the polling over the last month or more has Ernst in the lead but the MSM claimed otherwise and called Iowa a ‘leaning blue’ state.
Des Moines Register: “The ground under Bruce Braley has shifted. The Democratic U.S. Senate candidate is 6 points behind his GOP rival, Joni Ernst, according to The Des Moines Register’s new Iowa Poll of likely voters. Ernst leads 44 percent to 38 percent in a race that has for months been considered deadlocked…. One potential reason: Two-thirds of likely voters who live in the country are bothered by a remark he made about Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley that’s been perceived as besmirching farmers.”
Braley should have known that dissing farmers in Iowa is not a career-enhancing tactic.
The Kansas Senate race continues. Pat Roberts is running behind Greg Orman in the polls. Orman has not declared, if he wins, which party he will caucus. In the Senate, one seat could make a critical difference.
A new factor has appeared, Milton Wolf, Roberts’ primary opponent. Rumors are flying that Wolf may endorse Orman in return for Orman’s commitment to caucus with the ‘Pubs.
FOX News reports…
WOLF LOOKING FOR REVENGE WITH ORMAN
Milton Wolf, who lost tough primary battle with Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, may dish out some political payback by endorsing Roberts’ general election opponent, Greg Orman in the key Kansas Senate race. As Wolf weighs the move sources tell Politico, “[T]here’s a big catch: To win Wolf’s endorsement, Orman must first agree to caucus with the Senate GOP if he were to defeat Roberts…The two men were scheduled to meet Friday afternoon at Orman’s house in Olathe, Kansas., just outside of Kansas City, according to two people familiar with the matter. One person said Orman’s team sought the meeting but there was no ask for an endorsement. Another source said the meeting may be canceled now that the media have caught wind of it…An endorsement could provoke some sharp GOP backlash for Wolf, too. As Roberts has slipped in the polls, the GOP has made a furious push to showcase a united front behind his candidacy.” — FOX Newsletter, September 26, 2014.
Add to this situation, Roberts’ residency problems have just grown worse. The Topeka Capitol Journal has uncovered documents where Roberts purchased a home in Virginia whose sale included the statement that the Virginia home was his ‘primary’ residence.
I’m not a Kansas resident, but in my opinion, Pat Roberts is toast. He can retire to his ‘Ol’ Virginny Home!’
Alpha and Omega
Revelation 1:8 King James Version (KJV)
8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
In the passage above, God is the beginning and the end. In today’s world, democrats and liberals want to usurp that authority.
To an extent, they have done so at the beginning with widespread abortions upon demand. Now another liberal and Obamacare architect, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, wants to kill us when we reach age 75. “Seventy-five years is enough,” he says. Death at the beginning and end by government fiat.
Whenever we chip away a bit at abortion, the abortionists scream and froth at the mouth. This month, Missouri passed a bill over democrat Jay Nixon’s veto, to extend the waiting period from 24 hours to 72 hours. It’s a small thing, giving a pregnant woman three days to think over her irretrievable decision. But if you listen to the abortionist’s protest, you would think Missouri had banned all abortions completely.
They lie, of course.
A woman doesn’t know if she is pregnant for a month or more after conception. Frequently more, two, sometimes three months before observable changes occur. The abortionists want us to believe that three days is critical? Why? Is it really the woman’s decision or the abortionists? The abortionists, according to democrats and liberals.
When Nixon’s veto was overridden, I knew it wasn’t the end. I was right. The abortionists have changed tactics. They are shipping pregnant women out-ot-state for abortions…like cattle to slaughter. All because of another 48 hours delay.
‘Out-of-state abortion providers ready to treat more Missouri women,’ St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “One of the strictest abortion laws in the country is about to take effect in Missouri, and some out-of-state providers say they are prepared to treat more Missouri women if they show up at their clinics. Starting Oct. 10, women who want to stay in Missouri for the elective procedure will have to wait 72 hours after consulting a physician before they can receive an abortion. That’s triple the previous 24-hour waiting period. There are no exemptions in the case of rape or incest. The state has only one abortion provider left, Planned Parenthood in St. Louis.
“Dr. Erin King, the associate medical director at Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, said she’s not sure if more women will show up, but she’s ready to respond if they do. Her clinic is about 15 minutes from downtown St. Louis. The state of Illinois has no waiting period for women age 18 or older. … King said her group tries to provide as much information about women’s options and the state-imposed wait times on its website. … The price for an abortion varies depending on the stage of the pregnancy, which also dictates the type of abortion. The price ranges from $465 for the abortion pill to $3,720 for a procedure performed at 23 weeks, according to Hope Clinic for Women’s website. A patient then submits an itemized summary to her insurance carrier but is not always reimbursed, according to a Hope Clinic staffer. King’s clinic performs more than 5,000 procedures a year, according to its website, and is one of the closest clinics to Missouri. A Planned Parenthood and the Center for Women’s Health, located in Overland Park, Kan., serve metropolitan Kansas City. A third provider, Aid for Women, closed its doors in July, according to its website.” — PoliticMO and the St Louis Post-Dispatch.
Why all this effort to kill people from the left? Perhaps it is because they view us as commodities—commodities to be used and discarded when we are no longer useful to them. We have the abortionists at the beginning of life slaughtering innocents and then we have others, like Dr. Emmanuel, at the other end waiting to dispose of us.
In his controversial essay that appears in the October issue of The Atlantic, the prominent bioethicist Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel argues that longevity — living into your 80s, 90s and beyond — often comes at the expense of quality of life. Emanuel says he will be perfectly content if he dies at age 75.
“By the time I reach 75, I will have lived a complete life,” Emanuel writes in the magazine. “I will have loved and been loved. My children will be grown and in the midst of their own rich lives. I will have seen my grandchildren born and beginning their lives. I will have pursued my life’s projects and made whatever contributions, important or not, I am going to make. And hopefully, I will not have too many mental and physical limitations.”
Emanuel, the director of the Clinical Bioethics Department at the U.S. National Institutes of Health and head of the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, helped develop President Obama’s health care reform law. — CBS News.
Dr. Emanuel reminds me of the movie, Soylent Green. Sarah Palin’s Death Panels exist. Dr. Emanuel created them in Obamacare.
And people shake their heads when I predict an upcoming civil war. The left will continue to push, push, push their agenda of maximum control until the rest of us get fed up and refuse to comply. When that happens, the gloves come off and the left will unleash their goons to force us into compliance…and we will refuse. That’s why the government is creating para-military groups in the Department of Education, the IRS, USDA and other federal agencies that have nothing to do with violence except what they create themselves. Perhaps the Surgeon General’s Riot Control Police will appear next.
Is it possible to prevent a civil war? Yes, of course. But we won’t when we have leadership like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell leading the congressional ‘Pubs. They are part of the problem, not the solution.
The 1st Monday in October
Today’s post title was taken from a movie that came out some time ago. The movie was about the introduction of a new Supreme Court Justice to the Court and some of the cases that were being heard.
The 1st of October is approaching. We’ve a week and a half until that first Monday arrives but the Court is preparing to hear a number of cases that could have significance. The Daily Signal writes about six of that upcoming cases.
6 Key Supreme Court Cases This Term
If you use Facebook, pay taxes, enjoy fishing or drive a car, the 2014-2015 term of the Supreme Court, which begins Oct. 6, will be worth watching.
Many of the cases from the last term touched on issues such as executive power, religious liberty, free speech and racial preferences.
Here are highlights of the upcoming term:
1. Elonis v. United States: Aspiring rapper Anthony “Tone Dougie” Elonis was convicted of making criminal threats after posting rap lyrics on Facebook about killing his estranged wife. Did the government have to prove Tone Dougie intended to actually threaten his wife, or is it enough to show that a reasonable person would have viewed those Facebook posts as true threats?
2. Department of Transportation v. Association of American Railroads: Can Congress delegate regulatory authority to a private entity? This case involves a 2008 law that authorized Amtrak to co-author regulations governing the railroad industry. Amtrak is a unique creature—created by an act of Congress but run as a for-profit corporation. The Court will decide whether this delegation of regulatory authority was proper.
3. Heien v. North Carolina: Ignorance of the law is no excuse, or so the saying goes. Consistent with the Fourth Amendment, a police officer may make a traffic stop if he has a reasonable suspicion a law is being violated. But what happens if the officer makes a mistake about what the law requires?
4. Holt v. Hobbs: Can a state prison prohibit inmates from having beards? An inmate serving a life sentence in Arkansas argues he must maintain a beard to comply with his faith and notes that 39 other states and the District of Columbia allow inmates to grow beards of varying lengths. The Supreme Court will decide whether the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act protects this exercise of religion.
5. Maryland State Comptroller of the Treasury v. Wynne: In Maryland, residents pay not only a state income tax, but also a county income tax. This case involves Maryland residents who are trying to avoid paying duplicative taxes for income earned out-of-state and already taxed by other states. But the Supreme Court previously ruled states can tax their residents seemingly without limits.
6. Yates v. United States: Does the federal white collar criminal law known as Sarbanes-Oxley cover “shredding” fish? In this case, a Fish and Wildlife officer issued a citation to John Yates for catching undersized red grouper in the Gulf of Mexico. Yates was instructed to return to port where the grouper were to be seized, but when he arrived, the officer counted fewer undersized fish and suspected Yates threw them overboard. Yates was convicted under Sarbanes-Oxley for destroying “tangible objects” with the intent to obstruct an investigation.
The Supreme Court has plenty of room on its 2014-2015 docket to add more cases, and it may do so following the “mega-conference” on Sept. 29. The justices may not be eager to jump back into the marriage debate—as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg suggested during a talk at a law school last week—but it seems only a matter of time before the issue is back before the Court. Following the Court’s 2012 decision in United States v. Windsor, traditional marriage laws have fallen across the country. Parties from cases out of Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin already have petitioned the Court for review.
The first case, Elonis v. United States, is another review of the “reasonable man” concept and whether online threats are real. Basically, it reviews what a reasonable man may do in similar circumstances. The concept has been upheld in courts for a long time, more than a century at least. A legal wag referred to the case as, “If it looks like a duck…” believing that Elonis’ case will be defeated. But, we all know that no one can predict the result of a case before the Court. Robert’s reversal in the Obamacare as a tax is a prime example.
Another interesting case is Heien v. North Carolina. We have long been told that ignorance of the law is no excuse. We’ve been told this frequently when we, the public, unknowingly break some law and have been ticketed or arrested as a result. But what if it is the law enforcement officer who is ignorant of the law? Should not the same reasoning apply to law enforcement as it does to ordinary citizen’s?
From SCOTUSBlog: Whether a police officer’s mistake of law can provide the individualized suspicion that the Fourth Amendment requires to justify a traffic stop.
The issue is explained in this excerpt from the ACLU’s website.
Whether a traffic stop based on a police officer’s mistaken understanding of the traffic laws violates the Fourth Amendment.
The driver in this case was stopped by the police because his car had only one working tail light, which the police mistakenly believed was a violation of North Carolina law. The ACLU’s amicus brief, submitted with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Cato Institute, argues that a mistake of law can never supply the reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing that the Fourth Amendment requires in order to justify a traffic stop. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse for motorists, and it ought not to be an excuse for the police.
If SCOTUS sides with Heien, that the arbitrary stopping and subsequent ticketing was a violation of the 4th Amendment, then, by extension, other such stops without probable cause, should also be illegal—such as DUI roadblocks and other arbitrary stops designed to catch a few offenders among the many of the innocent also stopped.
Other cases appear to be frivolous from an uneducated standpoint. One is whether prison officials can regulate the growth and/or length of a prisoner’s beard. Another concerns a fisherman who was ticketed for catching undersized fish. When the fisherman’s boat arrived at the dock, the offending fish were fewer than the Fish and Game agent had estimated. The fisherman was charged for violating Sarbanes-Oxley by destroying “tangible objects” with the intent to obstruct an investigation. The fisherman was later convicted of violating the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. If no actual count of the fish at the time of apprehension was made, how could the agent determine that some of the illegal fish had been tossed over the side? Also, is using a law designed to protect shareholders from corporate destruction of documents, be a reasonable use of the law against a fisherman?
Perhaps the most interesting case is one that hasn’t, yet, appeared on the Court’s docket. It is another issue with Obamacare and taxes and subsidies.
The justices also may hear a challenge to the IRS subsidizing health insurance purchased from federally-run Obamacare exchanges. Section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code, enacted as part of Obamacare, allows the IRS to provide subsidies to individuals who buy health insurance through state-run exchanges, and the IRS claims it can extend this to individuals in the 27 states that chose not to open exchanges. Two appellate courts issued rulings within hours of each other that reached opposite conclusions about this IRS interpretation. Given the significant implications this may have for the practical implementation of the law, it looks like Obamacare may be heading back to the Court for a third time. — The Daily Signal.
It is beginning to appear that this year’s term before the Court could be interesting.
Tuesday’s Notes: DESE Coup
The Missouri Legislature passed HB 1490 that required the state of Missouri to create new educational standards. The purpose, while not explicitly stated, was to block the spread of Common Core in Missouri. The first of the meetings of the committee began this week. Attendees were surprised to find the meeting co-opted by the Missouri Department of Education. The Department of Education was purposely not invited to host the meetings by the Legislature. That didn’t stop Governor Jay Nixon from interfering.
One attendee, writing in the American Spring website, reported the initial meeting.
DESE and The Hijacking of HB 1490
Last Friday, I received confirmation from the Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives office that I was picked to be a participant on a work group established by HB 1490. This allows for groups of parents and educators to work together to develop standards for our schools. The language of HB 1490 is as follows, as related to the makeup of these work groups:
3. Work group members shall be selected in the following manner:
(1) Two parents of children currently enrolled in grades kindergarten through twelve shall be selected by the president pro tempore of the senate;
(2) Two parents of children currently enrolled in grades kindergarten through twelve shall be selected by the speaker of the house of representatives;
(3) One education professional selected by the state board of education from names submitted to it by the professional teachers’ organizations of the state;
(4) One education professional selected by a statewide association of Missouri school boards;
(5) One education professional selected by the state board of education from names submitted to it by a statewide coalition of school administrators;
(6) Two education professionals selected by the president pro tempore of the senate in addition to the members selected under subdivision (1) of this subsection;
(7) Two education professionals selected by the speaker of the house of representatives in addition to the members selected under subdivision (2) of this subsection;
(8) One education professional selected by the governor;
(9) One education professional selected by the lieutenant governor;
(10) One education professional selected by the commissioner of higher education;
(11) One education professional selected by the state board of education from names submitted to it by nationally-recognized career and technical education student organizations operating in Missouri; and
(12) One education professional selected by the state board of education from names submitted to it by the heads of state-approved baccalaureate-level teacher preparation programs located in Missouri.
This would be a total of 16 members for each of the designated work groups. Notice that nowhere in this language will you find a role for DESE or their designees.
When I arrived at the Capital this morning, I was energized to be a part of the process that would determine the future of our children’s education, while preserving the local control of our school districts set forth in our state Constitution. As a parent in one of the state’s smallest school districts, the opportunity to work with parents and educators to define our State’s path in education is an honor. The responsibility of being appointed to these work groups is one that I definitely felt as I walked through the halls of our State Capital.
As I told the fellow members of our work group (History and Government, K-5), this is the single most important thing I have ever done in my life. I felt a swell of pride when I made that statement, along with a rush of emotion.
It is a responsibility not just to my children, but to all children, and parents, in the state of Missouri.
When I made my way to the Truman Building to meet the members of our work group, I was ready to get about this serious work. Upon arriving, I found myself faced with a reality that was the anti-thesis of what I was expecting and completely contrary to the language in HB 1490.
I walked in to find a small group of people, considerably less than the full 16 member panel clearly defined in HB 1490. Only ten members of our group were assembled. This was the first disappointment of the day.
I was greeted by a ‘facilitator’ when I entered the conference room. This person had assumed the role of leadership over our work group and was flanked by two other representatives from the Missouri Department of Secondary and Elementary education. I was puzzled. DESE, according to HB 1490, was not supposed to be a participant in these work sessions. While they are open to the public (and I encourage anyone who can attend to do so), DESE is not supposed to have a role in these groups. The state legislature went to great lengths to determine who is supposed to participate in these sessions. They did not list DESE in the language above, defining the makeup of these groups.
I didn’t say anything at first. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was witnessing. Soon after I took my seat, it became abundantly clear.
I was witnessing the same assumption of authority by DESE that has become the standard in schools across Missouri. DESE’s ‘facilitator’ was lying in wait to execute a coup of the process set forth by HB 1490, perched behind her Power Point presentation like a Black Widow ready to devour any hapless fly who dissented from DESE’s darling, the Common Core Standards.
The column continues. The DESE packed the room and then used those non-workgroup attendees to ram-rod the meeting to conform to the goals set by the DESE, not the work-group members. Other reports about the session mirror the comments above.
Tension marks Missouri education goals rewrite
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — An effort to rewrite Missouri’s educational standards got off to a tense and sometimes confrontational start Monday as parents and educators opposed to the Common Core guidelines clashed with those reluctant to ditch them.
Under a new Missouri law, eight task forces each comprised of more than a dozen appointees are supposed to recommend new learning benchmarks for public school students to replace the national Common Core guidelines by the 2016-2017 school year.
But not all of the appointees had been named in time for Monday’s initial meetings. Those who were present first argued about whether to actually meet, then about whether officials from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education should be present, who should take notes, and whether the public should be allowed to watch their work.
More than an hour into its meeting, one task force decided to shut off an education department video camera that had been recording its proceedings.
After resolving issues about how to meet, task force members sparred over the merits of the Common Core standards, which were developed by a national organization of state school officers and the National Governors Association. They are used to gauge students’ progress from grade-to-grade and create consistency between states. But opponents say they were adopted without enough local input.
Missouri is among 45 states to have adopted the Common Core standards but is one of several now backing away from them. Indiana, Oklahoma and South Carolina also have taken steps to rewrite their standards, North Carolina is reviewing its guidelines and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has suspended his state’s testing contracts in an attempt to halt Common Core standards.
Missouri’s attempt to forge new standards got off to such a shaky start Monday that some wondered whether it ultimately could succeed.
“If they can’t come to a consensus, what do you do at that point?” said Sarah Potter, spokeswoman for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. “We’re not really sure.”
There was a clear divide among task force members between Common Core opponents appointed by Republican legislative leaders and supporters of the standards appointed by public education officials.
Before the official meetings began, about two dozen appointees of Republican legislative leaders met in the House chamber for a strategy session. Among those addressing the group was Mary Byrne, co-founder of the Missouri Coalition Against Common Core, who asserted that the standards violate state law.
In some meetings, members at times spoke over each other. While some pushed to fully abandon Common Core, others sought more of a revision of the standards.
“I get told every day by parents, ‘We’re sitting at the table for hours with tears in our eyes,'” trying to do homework under the Common Core standards, said Brad Noel, of Jackson, a parent representative appointed by House Speaker Tim Jones to the elementary math task force. “A lot of it is, in my opinion, not appropriate.”
But “how do we know Common Core is not going to work? We’re barely into it,” said Ann McCoy, coordinator of the mathematics education program at the University of Central Missouri, appointed by the higher education commissioner. “It’s frustrating to me as an educator to change and change and change.”
James Shuls, a Jones appointee who is an associate professor in educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, argued that the state doesn’t need detailed standards and should instead adopt minimal requirements, leaving the rest to local districts.
The task forces are to make recommendations by October 2015 to the State Board of Education, which then must gather additional public comment.
The motivation of DESE to sabotage these meetings is their determination to retain central control over the state’s education and education policy. Loose requirements that allow local school boards to determine what is best for their schools lessens the need of state oversight—and calls in question why Missouri needs such a large Education Department…or even if we need a state Department of Education at all. When their rice-bowl is threatened, it is not surprising DESE has acted the why they have. Why, if something isn’t done, these bureaucrats could find themselves out of a job!
News from the front…
Democrats, liberals and ‘moderate’ republicans (AKA, RINOs), are backing Paul Davis for Kansas governor against Sam Brownback. They received a surprise over the weekend about Davis. Their fair-haired boy, isn’t as clean-cut as they had presented to the political public.
Davis tangled in 1998 drug raid at Kansas strip club
By Tim Carpenter, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, email@example.com
Democratic governor nominee Paul Davis was swept up 16 years ago in a law enforcement raid on a Coffeyville strip club based on an informant’s tip about alleged drug dealing, documents showed Saturday.
Davis, a single 26-year-old rookie attorney not yet elected to public office, was briefly detained with others inside the club by officers of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department. Davis wasn’t accused of wrongdoing, but the raid resulted in arrest of nightclub owner Marvin Jones in connection with trafficking methamphetamine.
In a story initially reported by the Coffeyville Journal, a series of documents obtained under the Kansas Open Records Act placed Davis at a venue called Secrets in August 1998.
“I was taken to a club by my boss — the club owner was one of our legal clients,” Davis said in a statement. “While we were in the building, the police showed up. I was never accused of having done anything wrong, but rather I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Confirmation of the incident emerged as statewide polling affirmed Davis maintained a 4-point lead over Republican incumbent Sam Brownback in a three-person race that includes Libertarian Keen Umbehr.
The Brownback campaign declined comment on disclosures published by the Coffeyville newspaper, but an official with the Kansas Republican Party condemned Davis.
“Davis’ behavior, whatever he was doing to or with that woman in the ‘VIP room’ while his client was dealing meth in the bar, demonstrates a total lack of judgment and is the kind of behavior that Kansans will find totally unacceptable in someone who wants to be governor,” said Clay Barker, the party’s executive director.
Law enforcement documents containing narratives of the raid indicated Davis had been found by an officer in a back room with a topless woman. Both were ordered to the floor while officers secured the building. Davis, according to the reports, told the officer he was an attorney for the club’s owner.
Davis, elected to the Kansas House a dozen years ago, had apparently traveled to the southeast Kansas club in 1998 with a law firm colleague James Chappell.
The Davis campaign distributed a statement Saturday from Independence Police Chief Harry Smith, who helped lead the raid at Coffeyville. He said Davis had been “questioned briefly and released.”
“At the time of my encounter with Paul, he was totally cooperative and was not involved in any wrong doing,” Smith said. “Paul was only one of 20 or more people present in the club when the raid was conducted.”
In addition, Davis accused the Brownback campaign of raising public awareness of the 1998 episode to distract voters.
“I’m not at all surprised Sam Brownback and his allies are digging up all they can to distract Kansans from the fact they remain down in the polls,” Davis said. “Kansans deserve better than a desperate smear campaign.”
Davis used the standard liberal tactic when caught with their pants down—blame their opponent. But, it the shoe had been on the other foot, Davis and his backers would have been screaming through the root about Brownback.
Erick Erickson’s Red State website dug a bit deeper into the incident. When the drug bust started, the cops found Davis alone with a stripper, who wore only a g-string, receiving a lap-dance. You can read about the incident here.
Regardless, it’s all Brownback’s fault. Sound familiar?
An end of franchises? Maybe.
A story appeared this week about the federal government’s attack on small business owners. Unions, particularly the SEIU, is supporting the government in this attack.
Earlier in the summer, the NLRB, as part of an attack against McDonald’s, declared that franchise employees were to be considered employees of the McDonald’s parent company, not of the franchise holder. When the unions were pressuring McDonald’s to raise their minimum wage to $15/hr, the franchises were not affected. They were employees of separate, small businesses, not employed by McDonald’s.
Not so, said the NLRB!
Sorry, Unions: Franchises Are Real Small Businesses, Too
Stephen Moore / @StephenMoore /
If the Obama Administration has its way, Ronald McDonald may soon have to wipe that grin off his face as he stands beneath the Golden Arches. One of the most successful models for expanding small-business ownership in America is under full-scale attack from unions and the White House.
The political strategy is to fundamentally change the legal relationship between locally owned stores like McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD), Popeyes (NASDAQ:PLKI), Taco Bell (NYSE:YUM) and their multibillion-dollar parent companies.
No longer would franchisees be legally classified as independent contractors to the parent company. The left wants the employees of each of the hundreds of thousands of independently owned franchise restaurants, hotels, retail stores and others to be considered jointly employed by both the independent franchisee and parent.This change would overturn a 30-year legal precedent for how the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) deals with franchisees.
As of now, entrepreneurs can purchase and run their own stores. Likewise, the parent company is sheltered from legal risks associated with the actions on the part of the independent franchisees. Furthermore, regulations such as ObamaCare that apply to large businesses do not affect smaller franchise operations.
With this change, parent companies with deep pockets could also be targets for shakedowns and lawsuits any time that there’s a grievance with a locally operated store.
Legal experts worry that the franchising model could become extinct. The stakes are huge because by the end of this year, the more than 770,000 of these independently owned franchise stores nationwide are expected to employ more than 8 million workers.
More than 31,000 automotive businesses, more than 155,000 fast-food restaurants and nearly 90,000 real estate businesses are part of this model.
The first serious assault against franchising came in June, when the city of Seattle, at the urging of the Service Employees International Union, enacted a $15-an-hour minimum-wage law applying to businesses with more than 500 employees.
The catch here is that the law applies to franchise businesses if the parent company and all its stores employ more than 500 workers. So a local Wendy’s (NASDAQ:WEN) restaurant with only 20 or 30 employees is considered a big business.
Venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, a member of the mayor’s minimum-wage committee, explained the reasoning in an email: “The truth is that franchises like Subway and McDonald’s really are not very good for our local economy.”
He blasted franchise agreements as “economically extractive, civically corrosive and culturally dilutive.”
Then in July, the franchise model took another hit when the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel ruled that McDonald’s. can be held legally liable for labor violations because the parent company is a “joint employer” in all its thousands of stores. If this rule, now under legal challenge, were to stand, it would have huge consequences. The parent company could be liable if a McDonald’s store in, say, Rockford, Ill., violated overtime pay or workplace discrimination laws.
The column continues for several more paragraphs at the Daily Signal website. Former US Solicitor General Paul D. Clements Is representing the industry and claims the NLRB is vacating decades of settled labor law in their declaration against franchise owners.
If you are a franchise owner, would you be surprised to find yourself declared a “big business” by the feds? Your 20-employee operation would have to stand side-by-side with companies like GM, AT&T, or Apple. Suddenly, you would have to compete with them in the tax, regulation, and financial arena. Want to guess how long you’d last?
No, I didn’t think so. It’s another federal, statist-sponsored attack against capitalism.