Posts Tagged ‘Medicaid’

Zero hour approaches… Which means Clay County primary voters will be given the ability to further screw up the county.

Even though I’m a card carrying and dues paying Libertarian, I usually pull a Republican primary ballot because, in theory, they’re the closest ideologically to where I stand on some things. Plus, Libertarians usually only have one candidate per race if we’re lucky, so it’s mostly pointless to pull a Libertarian primary ballot.

Watching the Republicans the last four years has become exceptionally painful. What was once a party of principles (at least I thought) has been consumed by factions, partisanship, and Trump worship. On many days, it’s not much different than the Democrat party of the Obozo years. The Democrat party of 2020 is filled with Marxist psychopaths that scare me half to death. Until more Americans wake up, we’re dealt the hand we’re dealt, and we’ve got to play the cards as they are.

There are two races at the local level that I’m most concerned about. Those races are Clay County Eastern Commissioner (in which I live inside of) and Clay County Assessor. I have no comments on the Western Commissioner race as I quit spending time and energy worrying about races I have no say in.

For the last eight years, we’ve been tortured by the endless chaos, disrespect of the citizens, and fiscal waste brought on by Commissioners LuAnn Ridgeway and Gene Owen. And in 2020, we all get to begin anew because both of these parasites figured out that it’s probably better to end their political careers than attempt to face the voters.

Thanks you two, you won’t be missed. Enjoy your gubmint pension. We all know you worked so hard for it the last 8 years.

I got to somewhat know Megan Thompson through the time when I ran TheNorthlandNews.com. I always found her friendly, polite, and she seemed to have the best interests of the County at heart. Frankly, it pains me a little to write what I’m about to write because I always found her so likable. But, my agenda since I started this blog close to 10 years ago is not to make people like me, it’s always been about what’s best for my community when it comes to politics. Truth has no agenda.

I’ve spent much of my adult life in business and business leadership. What is required after the election is going to be an impressive exercise in personnel management and leadership. I suspect that quite a few people are going to lose their jobs. There’s a high probability tax revenues will be down. Tough decisions are going to have to be made. This is not going to be a task for the timid.

To me, this is a simple decision when you put Doug Ervin and Megan Thompson’s career and life experiences beside one another on paper. There’s just no way a person could justify voting for Megan Thompson in this election when you examine the needs of the task at hand.

I’ve seen some real dumb stuff come off the tips of people’s fingers on the ole’ Facebook groups about Ervin the last couple of weeks.

“Jeff City Politician”, or “career politician” or “outsider”. I’ve also seen the exceptionally brilliant comment that he’s just another Ridgeway.

That’s just idiotic.

The saddest part of American politics, especially local politics, is we like to reduce people to the simplest thing we don’t like when we think we don’t like them. It would do people well to dig a little deeper.

Did Ervin serve in the Missouri State Legislature?

Yep, sure did, and unlike a lot of the people that go down to that absolute Hell hole, he didn’t lose sight of who he was. And I might point out, he didn’t stay down there. A House seat, didn’t turn into a Senate seat, and then turn into a statewide run. Ervin came back home and went back into the private sector. That’s an act of true service.

The county is an absolute mess, and there’s a growing risk it may become a financial mess as we move forward into the 2020s as the affects of Covid are yet to be fully realized.

His education and private sector experience is absolutely best suited for the job. Ervin holds dual degrees in mathematics and business administration. He’s a Senior Director for Cerner. For 22 years he’s managed projects, people, and budgets.

Might I remind everyone that Cerner has revenue in the billions of dollars. The Clerks office deals with revenue in the thousands. Oh, and they file stuff.

Cerner is a company that deals with the health care sector. It is arguably in one of, if not the most, highly regulated sectors of the entire economy. Ervin has led teams inside of this environment successfully.

While Megan Thompson is a good person (seriously, I can’t stress this point enough, none of this is meant as a personal attack), while she’s absolutely taken some slings and arrows from the idiots on the commission, there’s nothing in her professional experience that even remotely says she’s more qualified for the position than Ervin. I don’t know what Ervin’s annual income is, but I assure you, this position pales in comparison to what he makes now. He’s not doing this because he needs to do it. He’s doing it because he wants to serve the people.

You should vote for people that have the qualifications for the job, and are best able to articulate a plan. That’s what real leaders do. Unfortunately, this campaign has largely happened on Facebook, but in the category of who has created a plan, and who has a vision, Ervin has handily proven himself to be ready for the job.

For anyone that’s curious and wants to educate themselves, visit the Ervin for Clay County Commission Facebook Page and read the multiple Notes that the campaign has released. The only thing we’ve seen out of the Thompson campaign is decently polished ads or mailers with one liner platitudes like, “Clean up Clay County Government”, or “I’m a conservative”, or “Megan Backs the Badge.” Good grief… There’s no plan for what she wants to do. Saying you want to “Clean up Clay County” is nice, but we’d kind of expect that if you’re running in this race.

The question is what are you going to DO?

Ervin has clearly answered that, Thompson hasn’t even begun to answer it.

The next race that concerns me is the County Assessor race. Truth be told, this race concerns me more than any others because there’s a real risk that the County could suffer some serious consequences if they make the wrong decision here.

There are three candidates in it: Tracy Baldwin, Chris Lonsdale, and Bill Keefer.

There’s one clear choice in this race, and that’s Tracy Baldwin. Baldwin has worked in the office since 2009 and served as the deputy assessor for the last 3 years.

In other words, he’s the guy with the most experience here.

In 2020, with what is potentially coming economically in this country, yeah, you’re going to want someone that has some clue of what to do. If we go through some sort of foreclosure crisis by year’s end, which is not improbable when you understand that all the forbearances that were granted because of Covid are probably going to have to be dealt with come October, there’s a real risk we see property values significantly affected.

Experience is going to matter.

Chris Lonsdale is reminiscent of the whole William James Norris affair that transpired years ago. Lonsdale is a young guy who has clearly been put up to running for the office because someone else had an axe to grind. He’s in his early 20s, lives at home with his parents, and up until the last week or so, didn’t even own any personal property. Supposedly, he now owns a car that was signed over to him by his parents.

Adulting is apparently really hard.

In addition to being the person who is effectively in charge of all assessment in the County, the assessor is also in charge of a sizable staff. Unless there’s some other evidence, I’m fairly certain that Lonsdale’s first real job of responsibility came just after he recently graduated from college.

Maybe the guy is like the Doogie Howser of property assessment and office management…

(Oh, wait, sorry, Chris, Doogie Howser, MD was a medical drama that ran in the early 90s on ABC. It featured a prodigy teenager who was a doctor. I was worried you wouldn’t get the reference since you weren’t even born yet.)

I doubt he’s the Doogie Howser of property assessment and office management, and this could be a real mess if he was elected.

Finally, Bill Keefer is the third candidate. Unfortunately, there’s no way to find out any in depth information about him. There’s no website and there’s barely a Facebook page. The candidate interview that the Courier did is available HERE. (As an aside, the Courier should have written the candidate interview in crayon as it’s so pathetic. Frankly, all the candidate interviews have been pathetic. Do people seriously subscribe to that newspaper?)

The biggest concern we all should have is that if Baldwin doesn’t win the primary, the Democrat candidate that is opposing him is Bruce Cantwell. Yeah, that guy, the one that ran for Recorder of Deeds who couldn’t pay his bills and taxes. He’s like Covid, he just won’t go away and keeps running for stuff.

(If this is literally all the Democrats in Clay County have to run for an important County wide race, well, you guys are desperately in trouble. There’s not one decent Democrat in all of Clay County more qualified than the guy who can’t pay his damn taxes? You do realize you have a candidate who didn’t pay his taxes and he’s freaking running for the office that assesses property so people can pay their taxes? And where in the Hell is the supposed Democratic saints of Clay County like Lauren Arthur, Mark Ellebracht, and Jon Carpenter? Is it too much to ask of you guys to come out and say something about this?)

There are a few top ballot primaries Republicans will cast votes on.

I can’t stand Governor Parson.

I had the unfortunate pleasure of meeting him several years ago when I attended the State of the State speech when Greitens was still Governor. I spent several minutes with him in his office in a private conversation. I found Parson to be of low intellect and incredibly uninspiring. All the guy wanted to do was tell me how great he was, and he had little interest in what I had to say.

Republican voters have a decent primary challenger with Dr. Jim Neely. Neely is actually a state representative from this area. I also met him in Jeff City at that same speech. He’d easily be better than Parson.

I also respect Neely for his willingness to speak out against the forced Covid lockdowns and the mask mandates (sorry peeps, wear a mask if you want, but my Libertarian hairs on my neck start rising when the government tells me to wear a particular article of clothing or forcibly closes businesses in the name of safety).

I’ll be voting for Neely in the primary, and if Parson wins, I’ll be voting for the Libertarian candidate (Rik Combs) in this race come November.

There is a primary for Lt. Governor. The current Lt. Governor is on the ballot and will likely win. It’s a mostly useless position although we strangely saw a Lt. Governor promoted to Governor because of the whole Greiten’s affair. The odds of that happening again are quite low. I’m not spending any energy on this one. I’ll likely fill the bubble for Kehoe and move on about my life.

Finally, there is one constitutional amendment on the ballot. The forces of darkness, also known as “progressive” Democrats, have successfully managed to get Medicaid expansion on the ballot. You’re voting for your own financial demise as a state if you vote yes on this thing. Missouri is already teetering on the edge of making this state far less desirable for capital. This will be one more thing that just creates more budget problems. We already have a ridiculously high state income tax, and budgetary shortfalls this thing eventually creates will have to be remedied somehow.

Want to know more? Listen to this Podcast from the Show-Me institute that lines out the risks involved in doing this.

The following is written by my good friend, Bryan Stalder. Bryan lives down in historic Northeast Kansas City where we grew up together and is on a one man mission to try and stop the proposed Kansas City Streetcar that will eventually run through his neighborhood. His testimony of what he saw in the meeting would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sadly indicative of many Americans and their complete lack of critical thought. It also demonstrates the continual problems of corruption and cronyism we see at every level of politics in America. What Bryan doesn’t realize is that him, and other residents of Northeast were submitted to what is called the “Delphi Technique.” This is a method developed by none-other than the radical community organizer, Saul Alinsky. The purpose of the technique is to achieve oneness of opinion of a group. Good for Bryan and his willingness to ask tough questions. I especially love his conclusion, but with one caveat, I don’t believe many of these people that support this nonsense are “otherwise intelligent.” Intelligence is the ability to apply knowledge and skills to a situation, true intelligence is demonstrated in all areas of a person’s life, not just part of it. 

I attended the Next Rail KC meeting at Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center this evening, and from the looks of the parking lot, I’m confident that no one in that room took public transit to get to the meeting even though the 24 runs within two blocks of the health center. There were at least seventy-five people in attendance from just about every neighborhood in Northeast, and I was probably the only opponent of streetcar in the room. There is plenty of opposition to the streetcar, but most of those people have school aged children or are seniors, so they have a hard time attending these types of events on weeknights. By the way, these are the same people that streetcar supporters drive to the polls when Democrats are relying on Medicaid and public education to get them re-elected.

Anyway, the meeting started out with a brief presentation from Vincent, an employee of HNTB who stands to make MILLIONS from this government funded project. He told us all of the great things that streetcar could and would do for Northeast, and even buttered us up by asking us to congratulate ourselves for having “one of the largest turnouts,” so far. Y’know, all of the stuff you’d expect from a “Two free meal tickets if you listen to our timehare spiel,” meeting.
A few things in that introduction that I found interesting.

-He spent a lot of time telling us the great things about streetcar, and just a few seconds breezing past a few obstacles facing streetcar. His presentation included just three obstacles, but promised that they could work around all of them.

-He promised us that Independence Avenue was one of the strongest corridors, because many of the other ones being considered had “dead zones” but Independence Avenue is already a strong corridor for businesses.

-He pointed out that the 24 and the 30 had some of the highest ridership of all the buses in the city.
-He mentioned that while other parts of the city are struggling to keep residents, Northeast regenerates our population.
So I had to ask myself, if streetcar is supposed to increase economic development, transit ridership, and residents, but we’re already doing that WITHOUT streetcar, then we don’t really need to spend over $300 million for the thing, do we?
After the presentation, we separated into groups to discuss our “dreams” for streetcar. Seriously. I allowed the discussion to go on without my input for 15-20 minutes, because I knew that once I started asking questions, the rest of the time would be spent debating, which wouldn’t be entirely fair to the people who I was sitting with.

When I joined in the discussion, my first question was “How will this be funded?” and I was told that there isn’t enough money in Northeast or along The Avenue to build this project, so most of the money would come from federal grants or donations. I pressed further and the representative from HNTB assured me that if any city monies were spent, that a city wide vote would have to occur. I know better, but I was just getting started, so I chose instead to make him re-establish that no city funds would be spent without a city-wide vote, and he did. What does he have to lose? He doesn’t work for city hall, so he can’t be held accountable for that (and probably has no idea, anyway.)

I continued by asking which services that the bus currently offered would be enhanced by the streetcar, and the general consensus at the table was that streetcars have a larger capacity, so I pointed out that we could make buses bigger, or run them more frequently. They claimed that the streetcar routes are simpler, so I asked why we couldn’t make the bus routes the same as the simpler streetcar routes. We could even include the simple maps and paint a stripe in the street to trick all of the people who can’t figure out a bus schedule into thinking they’re actually on a streetcar. They told me that a streetcar has better lighting, and I assured them that a few more streetlights or LEDs inside the bus could solve that problem. They said a streetcar shows a commitment to a corridor, so I reminded them that I’ve lived in Northeast since 1982, and my dad used to take the 24 to work when I was still in diapers, (forgot to point out that KC has already established their willingness to RIP OUT rails.) Their final point was that they get people to jobs, which I laughed at, because currently, I’d wager that 90% of the people on the Northeast buses are going to work and I’ll bet there’s not a single one who tells themselves, “If they don’t build a streetcar on Independence Avenue, I’m going to quit riding the bus to work,”

Everyone at the table also admitted that they either don’t ride the bus, or rarely ride the bus, and suggested that it was because of the people that are on the bus. I pointed out that those same people will also be on the streetcar and resented the suggestion that certain people are too good for the bus. Before I could ask if they were “too white for the bus,” there was a general consensus that women aren’t comfortable on the bus, and I left it at that, because I wasn’t really looking to start debating race or calling my friends and neighbors racists.

One resident in our group suggested that all of the other corridors being strongly considered served “rich, white people,” and that they NEED to put one in Northeast so they can brag about how they’re also helping the poor minorities. I thanked her for pointing out that streetcar is for “rich, white people,” who want to ride public transit for fun.

After I out-debated about ten of my neighbors and a couple of HNTB reps, the tables were supposed to present their ideas to everyone. This was perhaps my favorite part of the evening. One presenter was adamant that the streetcar needed to go all the way to the old ARMCO building, because that was the only viable location for a COSTCO and she didn’t want to see any of the existing businesses on Independence Avenue get demolished. I literally giggled out loud because Councilman Jim “I brought Costco to Mid-Town,” Glover was standing in the room at the time. This is also funny because the stated goal of streetcar is economic development, and this neighbor wanted streetcar to run THE MAXIMUM distance (read: $$$$), but then she wanted to dictate what structures could and couldn’t be removed. And finally, and this is the most obvious question: WHO THE FUCK is going to go to Costco on the streetcar?

Another presenter suggested that big box stores like Target would consider transportation in a particular area when they start expanding into urban settings. This is hilarious to me because again, not only are people NOT going to ride streetcar to Target, but Target is the type of retailer that the “celebrate diversity. eat organic. go green. buy local. ride streetcar.” crowd DOES NOT want in Northeast. I could screenshot you pages and pages of neighborhood Facebook group debates to evidence this.

The presenter from our table said, “If we were getting a $10B blank check from the federal government, I think we’d all agree that streetcar is the last thing we’d spend it on, but the fact is that if we don’t use the money for transit, we don’t get it,” and I consider that a win that I got a supporter to actually admit in so many words, “We all agree streetcar is at the bottom on Northeast’s priorities,”

At the end of the evening, Vincent from HNTB, said he enjoyed listening to the discussion at our table, and a few other people who know my position on the streetcar admitted that the groups they were in were basically just a big circle jerk.
Bottom line, HNTB recognized that I’d done my homework, but realized that I don’t stand much of a threat on my own, and their money was safe. The overwhelming consensus in the room at the end of the night was that residents were all concerned that it was inevitable that the money was going to be spent, and so they wanted it to be spent in our neighborhood. Coincidentally, in the wake of a federal government shut down, furloughed non-essential employees, and a debt ceiling, we’re in a meeting making plans based largely on receiving federal money, to make public transit more comfortable for white people… er, women.
In 2008, people elected Barack Obama on a concept. They were frustrated, and whatever they wanted him to be, that’s what he was. No one really knew or cared what he would do, they just assumed that whatever they wanted, that’s what he stood for. That’s how it felt in this room tonight. Everyone has ideas for Northeast and Independence Avenue, and many of those ideas are conflicting. They assume that whatever they want, streetcar will make it possible. It’s disappointing that people who I believe are otherwise intelligent are so naive. They preach corporation hate and corrupt government out of one corner of their mouth, and then they endorse it when it comes rolling into their neighborhood.

There is an interesting new book out by economist Larry Kotlikoff called The Clash of Generations. I read several excerpts from it. It seems to be definitely worth your time. The general point is the biggest problem America is facing is the mess the Baby Boomer generation is going to leave us with. Mom and dad, I love you, but this is your mess, and you are leaving me, my wife, and my son with an insane financial mess to clean up. I hope you enjoyed your prime years. At this rate, my generation is going to be saddled with the ball and chains you left us with because you let politicians run amok promising you everything under the sun in the years when your sun is setting.

“The $30,000 combined Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid payment that is being handed, on average, to each of today’s elderly equals almost two-thirds of per capita GDP. By the time the boomers are fully retired, the figure could exceed 100 percent of per capita GDP. Whoever said America isn’t a welfare state? It is a welfare state, but the welfare is for the elderly, not the poor. While our two parties argue over the haves and have-nots, we are blind to what the nows are doing to the laters.”

“In the dream world of our political parties, their favorite action always “pays for itself.” Republicans buy votes by reducing taxes and claiming they pay for themselves. Democrats buy votes by spending money and calling it an “investment.” Setting just one set of these loonies loose on the economy would be damaging enough, but in recent years we’ve opened the asylum. We’ve watched them combine forces to both raise spending and cut tax rates. The bill goes to the kids who, conveniently, are never in the room.”

“But our main point here is that most of the massive postwar redistribution from the young to the old has not been from rich young people to poor old people. It has mostly been from middle-class young people, who pay high employment taxes, to middle-class old people who receive them. And that redistribution has left the young with a fiscal sword of Damocles suspended over their heads. Furthermore, that redistribution has cut our national saving rate from 15 percent to 0 percent. It has cut our domestic investment rate from 15 percent to 4 percent, and it has contributed to the lack of real wage growth, which marks the death knell of the American dream. Reducing poverty among the elderly (or any other group) is a wonderful goal, one that we should pursue. But we seriously doubt that anyone, of any political or chronological persuasion, would want to do it at the cost of literally wrecking the country.”

“The financial meltdown that’s surely coming and will do more lasting damage to our kids won’t be triggered, like the last one was, by the production and sale of trillions of dollars in fraudulent securities. It will be a run on the Treasury and the Fed triggered by the global realization that Uncle Sam is in far worse fiscal shape than ever imagined.

The moment of reckoning can come at any time, and when the markets finally realize that our fiscal problem is enormous and cannot indefinitely be papered over by the Fed’s money creation, things will change abruptly. We’ll have a tremendous financial collapse that hits the bond and the stock markets, and not on a short-term basis. That will accelerate the fiscal collapse, which will reinforce the financial collapse—in short, a vicious cycle. By design, our financial institutions have built no firewalls separating themselves from one another. Instead, there are only fire paths, waiting to ignite.

The hour is extremely late. We can no longer afford doing too little too late, putting off tough decisions for tomorrow, and enduring political gridlock. To fix America, we need to start from the ground up. Only radical, fundamental reforms of the financial system, the tax system, the health care system, and Social Security will solve our problems and get our country turned around. But it can be turned around.”

“There are about 70 million Americans between eighteen and thirty-five years old. Imagine they all march on Washington. Imagine they let their elders know they aren’t happy with their treatment. Imagine they join together in a party—the Generational Equity Party—and start voting for candidates who represent the interest of today’s and tomorrow’s young generations. Imagine how that would change the conversation.

And imagine those older than sixty seeing their faces and hearing their voices and saying Yes, they’re right. These are our children and grandchildren. We need to protect them. They are on earth, if not in heaven, our only true future.”