Showing posts with label Missouri. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Missouri. Show all posts

Sunday, September 6, 2015

[EDITORIAL] Missouri Bridge Crisis

Kimberling City bridge
The latest bad news about deteriorating bridges in Missouri makes us even more grateful about the pending construction of a new Missouri River bridge here.

Based on recent inspections, MoDOT officials say that 641 bridges in Missouri are in such bad condition they are a blink away from being closed. And there’s no funds earmarked for repairs or replacement.
hat’s 50 more bridges on the critical list than last year.
MoDOT has closed four bridges because of their deteriorated condition and expects to close more in the coming year.
Expect that list to grow year after year because many bridges in Missouri are just plain OLD!
Like the bridge here at Washington.
When work begins late next year on a new Missouri River span, the current structure will be 80 years old, well beyond its expected 50-year lifespan.
It was a long struggle to secure approval and funding to replace the old bridge, which had not been on the short list for replacement. Major repairs were made twice since 1996.
In the end, transportation officials and lawmakers bowed to the squeaky wheel, in this case a regional committee spearheaded by local attorney Bob Zick. Zick became passionate about getting a new bridge after the Mississippi River bridge in Minneapolis, Minn., collapsed in 2007, killing 13 people and injuring 145. That bridge, which had components similar to the Washington Bridge, was only 40 years old.
Zick and company never wavered from their mission, first getting support of local government officials throughout the area and then the backing of federal and state officials who were able to secure funding for the $60 million project.
Efforts for a new bridge also were backed by the Washington Area Highway Transportation Committee and the city.
Here, it has been a success story, with the next chapters to be written in 2016 when a contract will be awarded and initial work started. Officials hope to have traffic on the bridge in 2018.
Meanwhile, many other Missouri bridges continue to deteriorate because of a lack of funding to repair or replace them.
Will it take a catastrophe like the bridge collapse in Minnesota to get Missouri lawmakers to realize the need to address our aging bridges and other transportation infrastructure?
Everyone’s tired of more of the same political sidestepping.
While our legislators continue to fiddle around, more Missouri roads and bridges are failing!
Where’s the leadership?

Friday, August 21, 2015

[EDITORIAL] Our Officers at Risk

Officers at risk ferguson MO - Google Search
With the second wave of Ferguson protests marking the anniversary of the police shooting of a black teen — who assaulted and robbed a store clerk and then assaulted an officer when he attempted to detain him — there’s been a renewed, and ongoing, focus on the actions of police in such situations.

Police continue to be under the microscope — and on cellphone video — but many allegations of police brutality are absolutely absurd, and some tales are fabricated.
We’re not saying all cops are saints and their actions under stress are always correct.
Certainly there are bad apples in police departments, just like there are bad doctors, lawyers, even journalists.
And like all of us, they’re human and make mistakes.
But for the most part, based on our experiences dealing with police for many decades, the majority are sincere in their jobs to “serve and protect” citizens and property.
The fact is that police, deputies and other law enforcement officers daily face the risk that they will be assaulted, and wounded as they go about their job of investigating crimes and apprehending criminals. Sometimes they face danger in responding to routine calls.
It happened last week in Franklin County when a deputy encountered a suspect while investigating an armed robbery at a Villa Ridge business.
After hours of searching, a deputy answered reports of a suspicious man in a subdivision not far from the business. He approached the man who at first appeared cooperative.
Then the situation quickly changed and the deputy found himself looking down the barrel of a handgun the suspect pulled from his waistband.
In that instant, with his life on the line, he took action and charged the suspect. During an ensuing scuffle over the deputy’s gun, the suspect was shot in the head, but was not seriously wounded.
It turned out that the suspect has a long history of violent crimes in several states and was free on parole after serving a number of years in a federal prison. He now is facing new charges in Franklin County.
That is just one dramatic example of the dangers deputies face each day.
Over the weekend, a man who was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend on a float trip on the Meramec River fought deputies when they tried to take him into custody. He had to be stunned with a taser gun.
It’s another example of the risks that officers undertake to provide a peaceful society for all of us.
Like others, we’re fed up with all the jabs, both verbal and physical, being taken at police!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

History not on Democrats’ side in this mid-term election

Democrats in Missouri and Kansas have great hopes of picking up seats in this year’s mid-term elections.
Read But history suggests otherwise, and it suggests that in unmistakable terms.
In fact, Tim Storey, a political expert for the National Conference of State Legislatures says this:
“Since 1902, the party in the White House lost seats in legislatures in 26 of the 28 mid-term elections. The only exceptions being in 1934 when Democrats gained 1108 seats and in 2002 when Republicans netted 177 seats in the post 9/11 election.”
Click on the link for a chart that lays it all out. But Democrats, be forewarned: It’ll depress you.
Via: Kansas City Star
Continue Reading....


Read more here:

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Frustrated States Fight Federal Overreach

States frustrated by federal overreach have been taking action to nullify laws coming from Washington, D.C. — but the efforts may prove futile given long-standing court precedents dictating that states can't overturn federal law. 

The federal actions under fire range from Obamacare and gun control laws to a controversial detention measure contained in a defense authorization bill.

Editor’s Note: New 'Obamacare Survival Guide' Reveals Dangers Ahead for Your Healthcare

In one example, the South Carolina House passed the "Freedom of Health Care Protection Act" to exempt state residents from Obamacare requirements. The bill went to the state Senate in mid-February. 

If approved and signed by the Republican governor, the law would prohibit state dollars from going toward implementation of the federal healthcare reform. 

West Virginia in January considered a bill in its House of Delegates to void key facets of Obamacare. And in 2011, Idaho mulled legislation to declare the healthcare reform "void and of no effect" in the state. Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Georgia are among the other dozen or so states that have considered similar opt-out bills.

Obamacare is not the only perceived federal overreach. Missouri's Senate in February passed a bill to nullify federal gun control laws and imprison any federal agent who tries to enforce them in the state. 

The bill, which has backing in the state House, was brought forward last year after President Barack Obama took to the national stage seeking an expanded background-checks law as well as a ban on assault weapons.

Missouri's bill likely won't pass the governor's desk — Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon has vowed to veto it — but lawmakers pressured by pro-Second Amendment constituents decided to try the nullification route anyway.

"I am proud to say that we have passed arguably one of the strongest Second Amendment protections in the country,” the bill's sponsor, state Sen. Brian Nieves, told The Associated Press.

Kansas passed its own nullification gun law a few months earlier, via its "Second Amendment Protection Act" asserting that guns that are made and owned in Kansas, including semi-automatics, are not subject to federal firearms regulations and that federal agents who try to enforce their laws can be penalized. 

Via: Newsmax
Continue Reading....

Monday, January 20, 2014

Woman Spent Six Weeks Trying to Get Out of Obamacare Insurance

A Missouri woman spent six weeks trying to unenroll from Obamacare using its “navigators” and online help.
Lesli Hill was stuck talking to multiple Obamacare navigators who would transfer her calls over the month-and-a-half time period, Fox News reported. After being deferred to multiple navigators, both online and by phone, Hill drove to her insurance company in Kansas City to deal with the problem.
Hill’s experience stands as a cautionary tale to anyone who, for whatever reason, is trying to bow out of insurance they purchased on the exchanges. Hill’s troubles started last fall, after the high-risk pool coverage she had was discontinued due to the health law. For lack of options, she went on the exchange and bought a policy with a $950-a-month premium. [..]
However, shortly afterward Hill, 62, learned she could once again purchase an individual plan — with better benefits — outside the exchange. She checked with Blue Cross Blue Shield in early December and was told she’d have to cancel her ObamaCare plan first. [...]
Hill first tried the help line, and “literally was on hold for several hours a day,” she said. After multiple attempts, without much luck, she tried the online chat. She was redirected back to the help line. The “script” that operators were reading from did not seem to address how someone could actually cancel a plan. 

Continue Reading..... 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Missouri lawmakers fail to revive bill preventing federal gun law enforcement

(Reuters) - In a defeat for gun rights advocates, Missouri lawmakers failed on Wednesday to override Governor Jay Nixon's veto of a bill that would have prevented federal enforcement of gun laws in the state.
The Republican-led state Senate voted 22-12 to override the bill, falling one vote short of the two-thirds' majority needed. Earlier in the day, the Republican-controlled state House voted 109-49 to override the bill, reaching exactly the required number.
The bill would have allowed the state to prosecute federal officials who attempted to enforce federal gun laws in Missouri. It also would have allowed suspected criminals to sue federal agents who arrest them on gun charges.
"The fight ain't over. We'll be back to visit it again and again," said Republican state Senator Brian Nieves.
Opponents of the bill said it undermined enforcement of gun laws. They also pointed to concerns voiced by police chiefs and sheriffs across the state.

"The reality is, this bill says that every federal law, whether reasonable or not, cannot be enforced in Missouri," Democratic Representative Mike Colona said during debate on the state House floor.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Two Constitutional Wrongs Don’t Make a Right: Why Conservatives Should Just Say “No” to Nullification

A number of states, including Missouri, Kansas, and Alaska either have passed or are considering state laws intended to invalidate federal statutes, most notably, federal gun laws. Many have modeled their bills on Montana’s “Firearms Freedom Act,” which was recently struck down by a federal appeals court. In so doing, they have drawn upon the political doctrine of nullification, according to which individual states have the right to pass legislation voiding any federal law that they believe to be unconstitutional.
Their inclination to do so is understandable since states are facing an increasingly overbearing federal government seemingly intent on infringing on state prerogatives and on the individual liberties of their citizens; however, this 

The History of Nullification

Historically, nullification has an ignominious lineage. Its chief architect was John C. Calhoun, former Vice President, Secretary of War and State, and U.S. Senator from South Carolina, who used the concept of nullification to defend states’ rights against federal tariffs and, ultimately, challenges to the institution of slavery.
The core premise behind Calhoun’s concept of nullification is that the states were, prior to the framing of the Constitution, independent sovereigns that consented to be bound by federal law only on certain conditions and that they retained enough of that sovereignty to “veto” unconstitutional federal laws. Yet the Constitution contemplates not a league of independent sovereigns but a federated republic. After 1787, the several states were not independent sovereigns in the same sense that Spain or France were independent sovereigns—for instance, they could not wage war, maintain diplomatic relations with foreign nations, or coin their own money. And, in the federated republic that was forged by the Constitution, duly enacted federal laws cannot be vetoed by individual states, even where they appear to encroach upon state prerogatives.
That is why James Madison, in opposing what he considered to be unconstitutional federal laws, did not press for legislation voiding those laws. The Virginia Resolution, which Madison drafted in 1798 in response to the Alien and Sedition Acts, were intended as “a legislative declaration of opinion on a constitutional point.”[1].

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