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Kansas U.S. House delegation votes for bill to cut $39 billion in food stamps over 10 years

How much welfare did Kansas farmers get in 2012?? Well, since they've managed to keep secret the amount of crop insurance subsidies they receive, we cannot be 100% spot on. We can be darn close, though....and these numbers are just for the top ten crops:

(source: http://farm.ewg.org/region.php?fips=2... )

1 Wheat Subsidies $208,192,759
2 Corn Subsidies $136,840,701
3 Conservation Reserve Program $105,783,407
4 Soybean Subsidies $80,611,658
5 Sorghum Subsidies $57,092,826
6 Disaster Payments $18,872,521
7 Dairy Program Subsidies $3,146,123
8 Sunflower Subsidies $1,977,147
9 Livestock Subsidies $1,926,080
10 Cotton Subsidies $1,678,005

Kansas farmers on welfare cost Uncle Sam $16.4 billion in subsidies between 1995-2012. (source = http://farm.ewg.org/region.php?fips=2... )

And Kansas legislators are worried about $126 @ month food stamp recipients?? Driving the dirk in even deeper we have this remark: "Politically it's a great issue," says Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp, one of the conservatives who has pushed for the larger cuts. "I think most Americans don't think you should be getting something for free, especially for the able-bodied adults." ( http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st... ) Aren't these "farmers" on welfare "able bodied"? Incredible....

September 20, 2013 at 9:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas U.S. House delegation votes for bill to cut $39 billion in food stamps over 10 years

Let them eat cake.

The wealth gap between the top 1 percent and the bottom 99 percent in the United States is as wide as it's been in nearly 100 years, a new study finds.

For starters, between 1993 and 2012, the real incomes of the 1 percent grew 86.1 percent, while those of the 99 percent grew 6.6 percent, according to the study, based on Internal Revenue Service statistics examined by economists at UC Berkeley, the Paris School of Economics and Oxford University.

The top 1 percent is defined as families with incomes above $394,000 in 2012.

The Great Recession hit the top 1 percent harder than other income groups, but the wealthy recovered quicker too. From 2009 to 2012, as the U.S. economy improved, incomes of the top 1 percent grew more than 31 percent, while the incomes of the 99 percent grew 0.4 percent -- less than half a percentage point.

"This implies that the top 1 percent incomes captured just over two-thirds of the overall economic growth of real incomes per family over the period 1993-2012," economist Emmanuel Saez of UC Berkeley writes.

The 1929 stock market crash that preceded the Great Depression, followed by World War II, reduced an earlier national income gap for decades. But it began to grow again in the 1970s, and has widened since.

Saez attributes the trend not just to technology and job outsourcing, but to the reduced power of progressive tax policies and unions, along with "changing social norms regarding pay inequality."
http://www.arcamax.com/currentnews/ne...

September 20, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Paul Davis makes it official: He's running for governor

Ludus mistakenly states: "They take greater advantage of it - as he sort of points out and the article does, Davis has the potential to receive around $85k while Morris (R) and the Majority Leader could receive as much as 100k."

Incorrect...but close enough. These hacks do not get that kind of money in their pocket. Their KPERS retirement pension is based on those amounts as their gross pay for their time in the legislature. The trick is that the legislators gave (and give) themselves an option when they enter office to elect how they want their KPERS calculated, which the ordinary KPERS recipient does NOT get: The hacks can elect to check the box that they want their calculation to be "annualized" on a 365 day basis (they DID switch from a 372 day work year to a 365 last year; big deal) or on the actual days they spend in the legislature. The formula is laid out above; per diem et. all.

Granted, these professional money jugglers have to pay into KPERS based on those high dollar amounts.....(the money they actually get from "working" as a legislator is closer to $35k actual dollars)....but they get PAID when they're in their "golden years". Since the vast majority of Kansas legislators are wealthy anyway....it's a great scam to get elected simply to draw down this "pension/annuity" in their golden years. So, Kansas legislators don't make no money being legislators (they're not supposed to.....this is Kansas.....we don't believe in high wages for much of anything in this state) but they quietly wait for the time when KPERS kicks in and THEN they're getting paid. What'd that song say? "....a man with a briefcase. Can steal more money. Than any man with a gun..." (Don Henly Gimme What You Got)

September 18, 2013 at 12:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Paul Davis makes it official: He's running for governor

tomatogrower opines: "And you'll notice that the so called fiscally conservatives haven't done anything to change this, have they?"

Nope....and they're a larger aspect of the problem. Nonetheless.....If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. (That's a metaphor).

All these politicians stick together when the rubber meets the road. They play around with the peoples' money and lives....but first....and Alceste will assert foremost....they make sure they get paid....each and everyone of them.

Let t a populist clamor to the top of this giant dung heep; one whose primary goal is not to make a career of mucking about with the real lives of real working people....and that's 99% of us; one who can see the forest for the trees; etc.

There is not one single solitary reason one of "the progressives" couldn't have and can't "break ranks" to either pay ALL members of KPERS the same way they PAY themselves...or repair their own KPERS calculations such that they reflect what joe and jane civil servant pull down.

Of course Paul Davis is a better "choice" than Sam Brownback. Frankly, it really doesn't matter....not in this state. However, we're talking about least worse decision making here....not actual "leadership".

When one of these progressives steps forward and publically repudiates this KPERS payoff, Alceste will know the sea does and can part. Until then, in the deep and dark final analysis....all these boys and girls up there in Topeka are scalliwags and quoting John from the film "Stripes", "...that's a fact, Jack....". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2o0V6V...

September 18, 2013 at 11:48 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Paul Davis makes it official: He's running for governor

Ah...quoting Mr. Davis: ""The wealthiest and well-connected get all the breaks .....". And Mr. Davis has certainly taken care of his own personal wealth apart from his "practice of law" by making sure he signed on the KPERS dotted line that he wanted to claim an annualization of the money the people of Kansas pay him to "represent" them. He could elect to accept a benefit that is based on the actual days he is in legislative session....but, nope....he signed up for the full monty. Kindly note:

Did everybody know our ever so dedicated Legislators in Topeka participate in KPERS, too? After all, they're state workers also. But, guess what? These legislators set up a very special system for how they get their KPERS benefits. Here it is in a nutshell. Davis made certain he signed up for his along with everybody else from Douglas County who was eligible: Holland and Sloan. Francisco and Ballard get an even sweeter deal from the Regents. However, either Ballard or Francisco could float a bill to correct the KPERS scam. They haven't.

Legislators have given themselves one heck of a sweetheart deal in how their own KPERS benefits are calculated. 372 days in a year! Leave it to a political hack to figure that one out!

For the legislator listing all income - the daily rate, subsistence and allowance - this is how annualization is calculated:

•$88.66 (daily rate) x 31 (days) x 12 (months) = $32,981.52

•$123 (subsistence) x 31 (days) x 12 (months) = $45,756

•$7,083 non-session allowance.

Altogether, that equals $85,820.52, and that's the pay figure that would be used for that legislator retiring now.

The Senate president and House speaker are at the top of the pay scale, and annualized pay for those posts could be as high as $99,859.74, depending on their enrollment choices.

This guy Morris who is the President of the Kansas Senate has even been quoted as saying he deserves that kind of KPERS benefit because he is so underpaid!!! Man, this is some amusing stuff!!! Aren't legislators supposed to be servants of the people? Isn't the common thinking that people run for office, not to get rich, but to serve? We sure do think stupid real good like in this state: The people who do the day to day work which make Kansas run have their KPERS figured one way.....and the galoots who pose for 3 months a year as "legislators" get to figure their KPERS benefit in a totally different manner.....to the point where they've invented a new calendar: 372 days in a year and they work each and every one of them!! Woo Hoo!!!

http://tinyurl.com/85ndbes

September 17, 2013 at 5:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Douglas County Dental Clinic's Free Dental Day set to be the biggest yet

bookemdano opines but fails to address the reality that dental services in Douglas County (and Kansas) are, essentially, non-existent for impoverished children and that these once a year "feel good" endeavors pull the proverbial wool over the eyes of those who prefer to remain ignorant.

Ask one of those who is about to their tooth pulled if they'd prefer to have it preserved and saved with a root canal and see what kind of answer you'll get. Be sure to inform them "Well, since you're broke, we're going to remove your tooth that could be made "ok" if but you had a little bit of money to pay one of these people....."

Dentistry is about saving teeth....it isn't about pulling them. The one day the dentists who participate in this event take off from work is certainly more than the vast majority who prefer to remain in their office or driving about town in their Lexus, but it's insufficient. Why the greed as demonstrated by refusing to take Medicaid.

bookemdano: produce a list of names of dental providers in Douglas county who will see children "insured" by Medicaid.

September 16, 2013 at 1:21 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Douglas County Dental Clinic's Free Dental Day set to be the biggest yet

This project is a joke. For starters, try to find a single dentist in private practice who accepts to Medicaid.....the program filled to the brim with impoverished children (What was their crime? They were born and they were born into poverty....nothing more and nothing less....) which pays for dental benefits for children provided a dentist will take it. There isn't one in Douglas County.

Dentistry is supposed to be about the practice of saving teeth. These warehouse butcher clinics don't save teeth....they pull them when a root canal would save the tooth. The "free service" don't do root canal.

People lining up in the dead of night for a medical service because they've not the money to pay for same is a miserable process to watch and a comment on just how low we, as a society, have fallen.

Big deal if the dentists and hygienists give a free day. How about opening up their practices so that 10% (for starters) of the practice is for the indigent and if nothing else, for children.

Go on....list the dentists in Douglas county (in private practice) (and for that matter the entire state) who accept Medicaid. Let's see how long the list is......errr.....maybe it'd be better to ask how short is the list?....

http://www.khi.org/news/2010/nov/15/d...

http://www.khi.org/news/2011/aug/01/d... "In Kansas, children 18 and under are eligible for dental coverage under Medicaid. However, only 350 of the state's 1,425 dentists treated at least one Medicaid patient last year, according to the KDA."

Also, a solution to this problem is, again, held hostage by dentists' themselves and their KDA in that they oppose the specially trained dental hygienists concept of the Registered Dental Practitioner http://www.khi.org/news/2011/mar/09/d...

Concluding.....NEVER go to a dentist to get a root canal....ONLY go to the specialist....the endodontist....if you want to save your tooth....; dentists will tell you they can do it just as well as the endodontist......they're fibbing.....which seems par for the course for this group of money grubbers.

Let's see the pictures of the formed line for the tooth pulling/destruction butchery fixin' on taking place......Jesus wept.

September 16, 2013 at 10:39 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Marijuana enforcement numbers sky-high

Click on the link below and take a gander at who is getting rich off of reefer smoking. It ain't reefer growers or sellers when compared to the other's who have their finger in that pie!

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/nation...

The controversial war on drugs not only costs a lot, it has done almost nothing to curb the drug addiction rate since 1970, according to this stunning chart by documentary filmmaker Matt Groff comparing the cost of drug control to the drug addiction rate. Groff used the rate of addiction to illicit drugs from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, pairing it with federal drug control budget spending numbers from the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy.

Remember, marijuana is a VERY dangerous drug. Has to be in order to be a Schedule I narcotic. Has to be.

September 14, 2013 at 6:46 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Capital City Bank signs deal for west Lawrence location; retirement neighborhood near Rock Chalk Park gaining momentum

"A four or five-story signature building near Sixth and George Williams Way that would house about 180 units of independent living for seniors 55 and up; an approximately 120-unit, nonprofit "community care retirement center" for people who need greater assistance; and a mix of single family homes, townhouses, and apartments that would be open to both retirees and young families."

Dandy. What is the price point on one of the 180 units for "...seniors 55 and up...."? What is the price point on the "....approximately 120-unit, nonprofit "community care retirement center" for people who need greater assistance...."? What is the average asking price for the "....mix of single family homes, townhouses......" And, what is the average monthly rental cost for the apartments?

The answer to those questions will add a lot to just what "diversity" means and will, finally, "flush out" the thoughts of many about town that this silliness of making Lawrence a "senior mecca" is aimed at the wealthy senior.....and not those living on under $18,000.00 per year.

September 14, 2013 at 8:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Task force report focuses on increasing marriage, reducing out-of-wedlock births

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAz0FR...

Jimmy Buffet offered a very practical and realistic approach to making and keeping a family. Buffet seems to have done "ok" financially with this not so difficult "standard for living".

September 7, 2013 at 6:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal )