Why should today’s presidential candidates concern themselves with Hispanic voters? It’s the fastest-growing ethnic group for a generation. We’re talking about a lot of votes.
A U-S-A Today/Gallup Poll of more than 17-hundred Hispanic adults … more than a thousand of them, registered voters … showed a clear preference among the voters. President Obama leads Mitt Romney in this group by a margin of 66% to 25%. Obama’s recent block of deportation of 800,000 undocumented young Latinos brought to the U-S as children surely helps him among the segment surveyed.
Obviously, immigration is not a huge issue in the election for most Americans, but it’s important to that one growing segment of voters. Immigration is also an issue the president has pretty much ignored until now, when the issue can help him at the polls.
There may not be much Romney can do about it. The survey shows many Hispanics see the former Massachusetts governor as just another rich white guy.
At Penn State, the late coach Joe Paterno ran one of the most respected college football programs ever. But for many years people within that community kept a secret about assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, a man who promoted himself as a person who loved kids and wanted only to help them.
It may be that no one in that community wanted to open the can of worms that led to Paterno’s demise as coach and Sandusky’s conviction on several charges of sexual abuse of young boys.
I tried to withhold my own judgment of Sandusky. I wasn’t able to see all the evidence in court. But when multiple accusers come forward, including, belatedly, the man’s own step son … well … if it ‘walks like a duck’….
From the beginning of this sordid story, it seemed there was something perfectly normal and acceptable about grown men showering with young boys. I was involved in athletics for most of my childhood and never once showered with a coach or any other grown man.
It simply wasn’t done. It simply is not appropriate.
Our thought for today is from George Bernard Shaw:
“There are no secrets better kept than the secrets that everybody guesses.”
Where’s my cheese? I never planned or wanted to be a lab rat, but I guess I am one … along with every other Kansas citizen.
Recently on “Morning Joe” on M-S-N-B-C, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback explained the huge tax cuts he pushed through the state legislature. Brownback said: “We’ll see how it works. We’ll have a real live experiment”.
I thought social experimentation was the domain of Liberals. Sam Brownback’s not a Liberal … is he?
What happens to us lab rats if this great experiment fails? We’re going to have to fill some mighty big gaps in the state budget. How will we do that? Reduce spending? Many Kansans believe we’ve cut spending about as much as we can … or should.
No … we’ll have to raise taxes. Income, sales, property … all three?
Hey … I’m not the scientist here … I’m the lab rat.
Our thought for today is from Herbert Hoover:
“America – a great social and economic experiment, noble in motive and far-reaching in purpose.”
Executive privilege is claimed when members of the executive branch of government want to resist subpoenas and other interventions by the legislative and judicial branches of government. Republican House members want Attorney General Eric Holder to turn over documents about Operation Fast and Furious. His refusal resulted in a committee voting Holder in contempt of Congress.
The U.S. Supreme Court has confirmed the legitimacy of executive privilege in the past, but it’s only a qualified privilege; prosecutors must show why material is essential to their case.
This is the first time the Obama administration has invoked executive privilege. The President has been critical of his predecessor, George W. Bush, who claimed the privilege six times. President Clinton claimed it 14 times.
Executive privilege is meant to protect material that may be crucial to national security. But there is sometimes a suspicion by any president’s political opponents and the news media, that a president is hiding something for other reasons.
Our thought for today is from Richard Nixon:
“When the president does it, that means it is not illegal.”
I found the results of an Associated Press/GfK poll surprising. Three-fourths of those surveyed said they want the president and Congress to get to work on a new bill to change the health care system if the Supreme Court strikes down President Obama’s 2010 law as unconstitutional.
With all the controversy over health care reform, I would have thought Americans would like to back away completely.
I like some aspects of so-called Obamacare … and don’t like others. Will the Court toss the entire package, or only parts of the plan?
Neither political party seems anxious to begin another round of health care debate.
To me, new discussion should include what is driving soaring health care costs and what can be done to stem the tide. It seems to me that is the logical first step … and it’s never been realistically considered by our elected officials.
Health care reform is a huge issue. Why not take it one step at a time?
Ten minutes before my niece’s wedding ceremony was to begin, her mother came to me and asked if I would officiate. Sarah and Nathan had planned on a local judge to do the job. But he is 90 years old and, I’m told, doesn’t show up for a lot of things.
What could I do? After a quick meeting with the bride, I officiated over a very short ceremony that included the exchange of vows and rings, and very little commentary from me. Everyone seemed thrilled at the brevity. It should be added that the ceremony was just for show. The couple was already legally married, so I did nothing that was even vaguely ‘official’.
My brother Jerry and I did funeral services for both my father and our brother. Neither had been going to church for years. Jerry and I did our best, and everyone seemed pleased.
It’s not my favorite thing to do. But several years ago my family was embarrassed at the terrible bungling funeral service by a minister for my grandmother, who had been a minister herself. I vowed that I would never let that happen again for someone I loved.
Our thought for today is from Garrison Keillor:
“They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me sad to realize that I’m going to miss mine by just a few days.”
Tattoos by Steve McIntosh,posted Jun 21 2012 12:58AM
Our sophomore high school football and basketball coach – Dick Bannister – had a tattoo of a hula dancer on his calf. It was the object of much interest and bemusement among us players … nearly a distraction. Tattoos were rare back in the sixties … mostly seen on the arms of men who had served in the Navy or the Marines.
Today tattoos are everywhere. People cover their skin with bizarre patterns and writings, meaningless to anyone but the tattooed person.
I’m not a big fan of tattoos. I would never consider one for myself. I might change my mind later.
Over Fathers Day lunch at a nice restaurant, the topic came up. My eight-year-old grandson Luke … the only grandchild I think might even consider it … announced that he would never get a tattoo. Luke is a kid who sports a Mohawk haircut and seems ready to try anything once. But no tattoos for him!
I think I heard a sigh of relief from his mother and grandmothers.
Our thought for today is from La Fontaine:
“Beware so long as you live, of judging people by appearances.”
Last week the Kansas Department of Labor reported the state’s unemployment rate at 6.1% in May, seasonally adjusted. That’s the same as April, and down only slightly from 6.7% a year ago. The Wichita area jobless rate rose from 6.9% in April to 7% in May.
Kansas has gained just under 11,000 jobs in the past year … about 1%.
We can blame a very sluggish recovery from a very bad recession.
The Kansas Legislature and Governor Brownback are betting that drastically cutting income and business taxes will trigger job gains much beyond one percent. But critics say cutting those taxes alone will not necessarily result in the kind of growth that will replenish the state’s bank account.
If job growth continues at 1% a year, our state is virtually guaranteed huge budget deficits and … yes … higher taxes.
I feel a bit like the politicians are taking us all for a ride to one of our casinos. Hope we don’t have to walk home … alone and broke.
Our thought for today is from Will Rogers:
“Don’t gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don’t go up, don’t buy it.”
Marge Setter passed away recently at the age of 87. I knew Marge mostly through her advertising agency … which she ran from 1969 to 1991 … and through various community activities. I must say her obituary surprised me. Marge devoted a lot of her time to volunteer work with civic, cultural, and social services.
A partial list includes the Wichita Symphony, United Way, the public library, Girl Scouts, Red Cross, and Wichita Convention and Visitors Bureau. Marge used her communication skills and her many contacts to assist a number of local organizations.
I wonder if anyone was ever smart enough to get her thoughts on what is now called “networking”. She was a master.
We have thousands who do volunteer work in the Wichita area; most not on the same scale as Marge Setter. Maybe she was the ‘gold standard’.
Our thought for today is from Og Mandino:
“Always render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be.”
Marriage is a funny thing. No one ever gets married thinking they’ll split up, but it certainly happens. Half of American marriages fail. Many of my close relatives and friends have gone through separation and divorce.
So, it is something special when two people can stay together a long time.
42 years ago today Shelley and I tied the knot in a small church ceremony. We had no money … no honeymoon. We didn’t own a home. No one gave us a big wad of cash and said “Here kids, a little something to help you start off on the right foot”.
We’ve come to realize over the years that nobody really gave our marriage much of a chance to succeed. But when you have no safety net and only each other, the motivation to meet any and all challenges … together … is powerful.
We believe marriage is a team sport. I’ve been blessed to have a terrific teammate!
We hear a lot in the news about bad fathers … but seldom hear much about all those good fathers out there. I’m talking about the millions of guys who quietly shoulder the mantle of responsibility for their children. We honor them all Sunday, Fathers Day.
My own dad passed away 12 years ago, before my six grandchildren were born. I know he would have enjoyed each of them.
He was one of those Depression/World War II veterans not given to displays of affection, but my brothers and I knew he cared deeply about us. Though I ignored most of his advice … which he offered freely without invitation … I’ve come to realize that much of that advice was solid.
He was my first baseball coach … advising “throw strikes” and “always swing hard”. Good stuff.
In work, dad advised “stay busy … it makes the time go faster”.
Happy Fathers Day, everyone.
Our thought for today is from Charles Wadsworth:
“By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.”
I can tell you this … the older I get, the more difficult it is to lose weight … and keep it off. And I work out every day.
Media reminds us constantly that we are all too heavy and we’re going to pay for it with obesity-related ailments that include diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. We’re told the answer is simple: eat less and exercise more. Dozens of television shows feature people competing to lose weight, and all manner of weight-control diets, workouts, and equipment.
I know it can be difficult for anyone to find the time to exercise … even if it’s a 20-minute walk. And a healthy diet can be a real challenge for us, given the time pressures of work and family life.
I think many Americans have given up … they don’t care about their health or their appearance. But there are also many struggling to find the time and the energy to work out.
The June issue of A-A-R-P’s Bulletin carries an article titled “Tax Attack”. It says “higher taxes have discouraged public consumption of whiskey and tobacco. Now it’s sugar’s turn”.
The article says: “By one count, the annual health care cost of obesity in America is $190 billion, with more than half of that paid by Medicare and Medicaid”. It also says “a new University of California study offers these cold projections: A 1-cent-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages – adding 20 cents to the cost of a $1.25 bottle of soda – would prevent nearly 2.4 million cases of diabetes, 95,000 cases of heart disease, 8,000 strokes and 26,000 premature deaths in the next decade. Researchers projected $13 billion in new annual tax revenues and, importantly, a $17 billion savings in health care costs over 10 years”.
Push-back on this idea comes from the food and beverage industry, which spent $58 million to keep a sugar tax out of federal health care reform.
Our thought for today is from Albert Schweitzer:
“Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.”
I’ve found a couple of things I like about the new federal health care plan … things that protect individual citizens from the unfairness we sometimes see in a health care system based on economic philosophy. But there are some things about so-called ‘Obama Care’ that disturb me, and I wonder if they can pass basic tests of constitutional law.
For instance, the mandate that employers and insurance companies must provide reproductive services … including birth control … for every American woman. I don’t think that is anyone’s “right”.
I also agree with the Catholic Church’s position as it was shared with me by Wichita Diocese Bishop Michael Jackels. Forcing Catholic churches, hospitals, and organizations … as well as Catholic business owners … to provide coverage that violates their faith is a violation of the First Amendment, protecting freedom of religion.
Bishop Jackels also sees it as a violation of the separation of church and state.
Our thought for today is the First Amendment to the United States Constitution:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for redress of grievances.”
There have been only three governor-recall elections in our nation’s history … and Wisconsin Republican Scott Walker is the only one to survive such a vote.
Is his victory an indication that voters in a traditionally-Democrat state believe labor unions are too powerful and need to be trimmed back? Is the vote a rejection of all things Democrat, including the incumbent president?
Governor Walker found a need to put his state’s fiscal house in order, and that meant cutting spending. In the process, he took on the unions’ collective bargaining power. Many American politicians find themselves in the same boat … trying to bring today’s fiscal realities in line with big promises that have been made to citizens … and are simply no longer sustainable.
Governor Walker and so many local and state officials are making some very toughdecisions. Perhaps the Wisconsin recall vote demonstrates voters’ willingness to back those tough calls.
Our thought for today is from John Abrams:
“If the people who make the decisions are the people who will also bear the consequences of those decisions, perhaps better decisions will result.”
A Gallup Poll has President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney dead even at 46% in a sample size of nearly ten-thousand respondents. There hasn’t been any real change in this survey in three weeks.
Here are some highlights: among blacks, liberals, and Democrats, Obama has a really big edge. No surprise there. Romney enjoys a big lead with Conservatives and Republicans, of course. Among men, it’s Romney 50%, Obama 42%. Women … the opposite … Obama 50%, Romney 42%.
Among respondents calling themselves “highly religious”, Romney leads 58% to 35%. Among Catholics, Obama gets the nod … 47% to 44%. Romney’s favored slightly by Protestants.
The president also gets a slight edge with Moderates, 55% to 34%.
This poll and others tell us one thing for certain; there will not be a landslide in November. With the candidates running neck-and-neck, Independents and the swing states are crucial.
Our thought for today is from Franklin P. Adams:
“Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody.”
We have an oil and gas drilling boom in southern Kansas, but it’s nothing compared to that of Texas. Toss in that giant state’s tourism industry and you can see two big reasons why Kansas may not be able to replicate the Lone Star State’s job creation of the past few years.
Governor Sam Brownback has pointed to the Texas model in arguing for big Kansas income and business tax cuts recently signed into law, as a means to ‘grow’ the state’s economy. But Bernie Koch of the Kansas Economic Progress Council points out that the Kansas economy is not the Texas economy. And while Texas has no state income tax, it hammers its citizens with sales and property taxes that are among the highest in the nation.
Is that where we are headed in the Sunflower State? With our big tax cuts, the state faces a projected budget deficit of 2.5 billion dollars within six years.
That budget must by law be balanced. How will our lawmakers do it if the Texas-like growth doesn’t materialize?
Our thought for today is from Edgar Allan Poe:
“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only at night.”
On June 6th, 1944 the Allies invaded France along a 50-mile stretch of beach in Normandy. 160,000 troops landed that day. More than 195,000 Allied naval and merchant navy personnel in over 5,000 ships were involved.
Operation Neptune began with a parachute assault by 24,000 American, British, Canadian, and Free French behind enemy lines. The Allies suffered an estimated 10,000 casualties that day … including 2,500 dead. But by the end of the day the Allies had a beach head and a toe hold on the European continent. That began the drive through France and into Germany … resulting ultimately in victory.
World War Two veterans are rapidly passing from our midst, but their service, courage, and sacrifice is not forgotten and will never be. Every June 6th I am reminded of the greatness of my parents’ generation. As long as I have a voice on the radio, I’ll keep reminding you.
Our thought for today is from William Shakespeare:
“Be not afraid of greatness: some men are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.”
I learned quickly when I began reporting on court proceedings; there is a difference between ‘not guilty’ and ‘innocent’. A jury found former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards not guilty on one count of campaign fraud, and a mistrial was declared on five other counts. He allegedly used campaign money to cover up his relationship with a woman while he was running for president. The couple has a four-year-old daughter.
Nothing ‘innocent’ about Edwards, who admits he did an “awful, awful lot” that was wrong. Cheating on a wife who was dying of cancer is ugly, despicable behavior … no doubt about that. Many Americans have already judged Edwards and found him guilty … of being a dirt bag.
But of course, Edwards was never charged with being a jerk, and courts have a funny way of sticking to the specific legal allegations at hand.
His kids apparently still love him. And that’s about the only good thing I can see in this awful story.
Our thought for today is from Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.:
“This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice.”
Those handy little plastic bags we carry home our groceries in have only been around since 1977. Most shoppers love them. They make excellent wastebasket liners, and there’s nothing better for picking up dog doo.
But plastic bags may be on their way out. They have a nasty way of washing up on beaches, and did you know petroleum is required to manufacture them? The Los Angeles City Council is considering banning them.
I carry my own cloth, reusable bags to the market, but invariably return home with three to five plastic bags. Sackers put everything in plastic bags. Most shoppers apparently ask for them … and no one’s given a lecture on conservation in this country since Jimmy Carter was in the White House.
I’ve been known to unload a plastic bag at the market and tell the clerk I don’t really care for yet another plastic bag for the pantry or the land fill.
Of course, when they’re gone, I’ll miss those plastic bags!
Our thought for today is from Theodore Roosevelt:
“The conservation of our natural resources and their proper use constitute the fundamental problem which underlies every other problem of our national life.”
First, I apologize to anyone disturbed by my efforts last week to stay on the air, in spite of my struggle with laryngitis. At least one listener suggested I get off the air when I go “froggy”. I left it up to the program director’s discretion.
I took a couple of days off work this week. My coworkers and I put in long, often-stressful hours … and a few days off is always welcome. I get to sleep in and do whatever I please. This week I caught up on some yard work; a hedge needs to be trimmed twice or three times a year.
I worked out every day, read a lot, and took a little nap time.
Unfortunately, my wife’s vacation time seldom coincides with mine. That means I spend a lot of time alone … on neglected chores and … well … resting.
Shelley and I are planning a trip to the mountains later this summer.
Our thought for today is from Elbert Hubbard:
“No man needs a vacation so much as the man who just had one.”