If Gov. Sam Brownback were a poker player, his opening bid likely would be all-in on every hand. (Snip) So which strategy would the governor take when it came down to the final hand on Kansas’ role in the new health care environment? One option is that states can establish their own exchanges. However, Brownback already rejected more than $30 million in federal money to build the technological backbone for the exchange. Option two is for the state and the federal government to split the responsibilities. While states are on the hook for any money beyond the federal grant to the partnership,the state
Comments: Many Kansans like what our Governor is doing. The print mediots in Kansas scream bloody murder every chance they get about this and the voter ID law.
States have another incentive to refrain from setting up exchanges under the health-care law: It protects companies and individuals in the state from tax increases. The law introduces penalties of as much as $3,000 per employee for firms that don´t provide insurance -- but only if an employee is getting coverage with the help of a tax credit. No state exchanges means no tax credits and thus no employer penalties. The law also notoriously penalizes many people for not buying insurance. In some cases, being eligible for a tax credit and still not buying insurance subjects you to the penalty. So, again, no state exchange means no tax credit and thus fewer people hit by the penalty.
The administration´s response to the impending failure of its signature legislation -- a failure resulting entirely from its flawed design -- has been to ignore the inconvenient portion of the law. In May, the Internal Revenue Service decided it would issue tax credits to people who get insurance from exchanges established by the federal government. It has thus exposed firms and individuals to taxes and penalties without any legal authorization. Obviously, that situation sets the stage for lawsuits.
October 1, 2012
The Flaws That Will Bring Down Obama´s Health-Care Plan
Gov. Sam Brownback hasn’t expanded Medicaid eligibility because he says he is concerned about the cost. But two new reports by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured show how costly it is not to expand – especially for Kansans who need health insurance. One report estimates that expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act would reduce the number of uninsured Kansans by almost half, or 47.6 percent. That’s about 144,000 additional Kansans who could be receiving health insurance.
Thomas “Mainstream media” are alarmed by reports that billionaires Charles and David Koch are considering the purchase of Tribune Company’s eight daily newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. When Warren Buffett spent $344 million to purchase 28 newspapers, there were mostly sighs of relief from journalists glad to keep their jobs. However, reaction to reports of the Koch brothers’ interest in buying the Tribune papers was quite different. Charles and David Koch, you see, are conservative libertarians, not liberals. Will the Kochs, gasp, force their conservatism on readers? Please remove author from headlines no matter what original shows.
TOPEKA — Calling drug addiction a “scourge in Kansas,” Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law Tuesday a bill to test welfare and unemployment recipients suspected of using illegal drugs. “This is a horrific thing that hits so many people,” he said. “What this effort is about is an attempt to get ahead of it and, instead of ignoring the problem, start treating the problem.” The drug testing bill lets the Department for Children and Families require urine tests of any welfare recipient suspected of using illegal drugs. That could be triggered by a person’s demeanor, missed appointments or police records.
The Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged Tuesday that it released personal information on potentially thousands of farmers and ranchers to environmental groups, following concerns from congressional Republicans and agriculture groups that the release could endanger their safety. According to a document obtained by FoxNews.com, the EPA said “some of the personal information that could have been protected … was released." Though the EPA has already sent out the documents, the agency now says it has since redacted sensitive details and asked the environmental groups to “return the information.”
Two months of record-setting applications for permits to carry concealed handguns has put a strain on the state’s ability to handle those requests as quickly as required by law. State law requires the applications be approved or denied within 90 days. “We are processing applications right at the 90-day statutory requirement,” Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Monday. For a second consecutive month, the state received a record number of applications. Schmidt’s office reported that 3,573 applications were filed in February. That surpasses the previous one-month record
TOPEKA — The Senate approved a bill Thursday requiring drug testing for welfare and unemployment benefit recipients — as well as lawmakers — suspected of drug use. The 31-8 vote, mostly along party lines, advances Senate Bill 149 to the House. Gov. Sam Brownback has been non-committal about his support for the concept of testing welfare recipients. The proposal calls for drug tests whenever state officials have reasonable suspicion that someone receiving or applying for welfare or unemployment benefits is using drugs.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp has been named a “Sentinel” of freedom by a national group scoring the conservatism of members of Congress. The scorecard by the group Heritage Action for America ranks lawmakers on their conservatism, based on their votes on bills identified by the group as being of particular interest to conservative Americans.(snip)In a statement issued by his office, Huelskamp was quoted as saying: “This scorecard separates the lawmakers who talk like conservatives and those who act like conservatives. I will continue to be the tip of the spear fighting for the conservative values
TOPEKA — A Kansas House committee has endorsed legislation to restrict political fundraising by public employee unions. The measure would prohibit groups representing teachers and government workers from automatically deducting money from members´ paychecks to finance political activities. Public employees still could contribute to public labor organizations, but would have to submit a payment instead of having the amount deducted straight from a paycheck.
Even if the adopters of the Second Amendment intended it as protection against their own government – at best a long reach in both logic and the historical record – it does not provide the absolutism the extremist wing of the gun lobby claims for it. Yet every word and act by the leaders of such organizations as the National Rifle Association occurs within that false frame, and as a result, any discussion of ways to make our lives safer begins in an atmosphere of raw emotion wrapped in groundless fear.
TOPEKA — Some call him “Pastor Sam.” He occasionally evokes a preacher’s tone while citing lengthy Bible passages to a crowd of worshippers. And he openly embraces the Lord in the Capitol, praying with lawmakers, priests and ordinary Kansans. Through his bold promotion of Christianity and faith-based programs, Gov. Sam Brownback has brought religion into the public sphere more than any governor in generations. It has heartened some, while drawing criticism from others who see it as a threat to the separation of church and state.
TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback started 2012 with the political winds at his back. As the year went on, the breeze only got stronger. At the start of 2013, it may be a full-on gale. Pushed by the conservative governor, Kansas lawmakers approved massive income tax cuts in 2012 that supporters insist would stimulate the economy. Then in August, conservative Republicans ousted House and Senate moderates in the GOP primaries, paving the way to easy November wins and setting Brownback up with a can´t-lose majority for the upcoming legislative session in January.
Kansas has gone for the Republican nominee for president since 1968, and 2012 was no different. Mitt Romney defeated President Obama by 22 percentage points (60 to 38 percent) in the Sunflower State, an increase of 8 percentage points over GOP nominee John McCain’s vote share in 2008. Nationally, Obama defeated Romney by 3.3 percent (50.8 to 47.5 percent).
Mark Levin, who hosts one of America´s top radio talk shows and is considered by supporters to be the people´s pundit on the Constitution, is rallying his 8.5 million-strong audience to demand an historic convention of state governments to halt the "oppressive power" of the federal government. The author of two New York Times bestsellers on the threats to the Constitution, Levin hopes his latest, "The Liberty Amendments," out mid-August, will spark the state lawmakers to tap a rarely used Constitutional provision to institute measures that would brake President Obama´s use of executive orders, bar thousand-page laws and
The former commander of special operations in Northern Africa told a closed-door briefing today that he was largely detached from events the night of the Benghazi attack as he was traveling at the time. The testimony of Col. George H. Bristol, USMC, Former Commander, Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara, Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command Africa, had been eagerly anticipated by members of Congress. Originally, lawmakers had been told by the Defense Department that he had retired — the actual date is Aug. 1, an “administrative error” according to the Pentagon — and that they didn’t have
FORNEY, Texas - George Zimmerman, the former Florida neighborhood watch leader cleared of all charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, was pulled over for speeding in North Texas on Sunday, CBS DFW reports. According to the station, Zimmerman was armed when officers pulled him over on Highway 80 in Forney, east of Dallas. (Snip) The officer reportedly did not recognize Zimmerman, who was driving a Honda pickup. Zimmerman told the officer he was armed and was then told to put the weapon in his glove compartment, according to the station.
Arizona Sen. John McCain was the Republican Party´s 2008 presidential nominee and he still wants the keys to the Oval Office. But he is beginning to sound more like a fan of likely 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. "She´s a rock star," he said in a newly released interview. "She has, maybe not glamour, but certainly the aura of someone widely regarded throughout the world," he added in a reference to her work as secretary of State. McCain, reportedly trying to win back his reputation as a GOP maverick, was asked by the New Republic
Serial sexter Anthony Weiner’s wife partly blamed herself last year when her horndog husband confessed to her that he was at it again. Friends and family told People magazine that Huma Abedin was kicking herself at the time for bailing out of couples counseling and focusing more on their newborn baby boy. But, thanks to a new round of joint therapy that continues even now, the couple was able to put the relapse behind them. “They really became a unit, and she feels much closer to Anthony now,” a relative told the magazine. That’s a long way from how Abedin
President Obama has been rolling up his sleeves campaigning across the country delivering a surreal stump speech message supposedly aimed at the middle class: big government works, Obamacare is manna from heaven, the wave of recent scandals are “phony” figments of the imagination, and all economic problems are the fault of the Republicans. Conveniently, he leaves out the bankruptcy of Detroit, a city run by his own party for more than half a century. His message is so stale and unconvincing, that even The New York Times and Washington Post have noticed. Both papers, usually loyal to Obama, remarked that
Gotta figure her lead would be even bigger without Joe Miller in the field here. Her nomination for the taking? Alaska should be a top tier pick up opportunity for Senate Republicans next year…but their top choice of a candidate is Sarah Palin. 36% of GOP primary voters in the state say they’d like Palin to be their standard bearer against Mark Begich to 26% for Mead Treadwell, 15% for Dan Sullivan, and 12% for Joe Miller.
Embattled Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner and an attorney in the Federal Election Commission’s general counsel’s office appear to have twice colluded to influence the record before the FEC’s vote in the case of a conservative non-profit organization, according to e-mails unearthed by the House Ways and Means Committee and obtained exclusively by National Review Online. The correspondence suggests the discrimination of conservative groups extended beyond the IRS and into the FEC, where an attorney from the agency’s enforcement division in at least one case sought and received tax information about the status of a conservative group,
Colin Powell has admitted to exchanging ´very personal´ emails with a Romanian diplomat but denies having an affair with the much younger woman after a hacker threatened to release their intimate messages. The 76-year-old retired general told the Smoking Gun that he met Corina Cretu, 45, roughly 10 years ago when she was working as an assistant to the president of Romania. She is now a member of the European Parliament. ´After I left the Department of State in January 2005 we stayed in touch via email,´ he told TSG.
Sen. John McCain — a Democrat? There was confusion Wednesday after the Arizona Republican mistakenly strolled into President Obama’s meeting with Senate Democrats at the Capitol. The room full of Democrats — who happened to be meeting in the same room where the Senate GOP usually holds their weekly policy luncheons — erupted in applause and laughter as the former Republican presidential candidate made his entrance. As McCain, 76, walked out of the Dem-filled space, reporters pressed him as to why he stepped foot in the room.
In preparation for the release of Oscar-bait film The Butler, Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, and director Lee Daniels (Precious) sat down with Parade magazine. The film chronicles a butler (Whitaker) who works in the White House through seven administrations. Winfrey plays the butler’s wife. In the interview, Winfrey explained her sadness that so few Americans know about the history of the civil rights movement: “They don’t know diddly-squat. Diddly-squat.” She then said of the historic use of the n-word, “I always think of the millions of people who heard that as their last
If we learned anything about Barack Obama in his first term it is that when he starts repeating the same idea over and over, what´s on his mind is something else. The first term´s over-and-over subject was "the wealthiest 1%." Past some point, people wondered why he kept beating these half-dead horses. After the election, we knew. It was to propagandize the targeted voting base that would provide his 4% popular-vote margin of victory—very young voters and minorities. They believed. He won. The second-term over-and-over, elevated in his summer speech tour, is the shafting of the middle class. But