State Rep. Charlotte O’Hara, R-Overland Park, for example, isn’t shy about discussing with constituents what she perceives as the governor’s conservative shortcomings: His fight, for example, against the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — too weak, she says.
Brownback last summer returned a $31.5 million grant designed to help Kansas prepare for the federal act and vows to continue opposing it until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on its constitutionality in June.
The rejected money was intended to help develop insurance data banks needed for the act to work. But O’Hara and a small group of legislators fear the governor’s proposed replacement — data banks to help run the state’s welfare programs — could be used for the health-care plan.
O’Hara, who did not immediately return phone calls, has said she is disappointed in Brownback’s promotion of wind energy in Kansas, which she likens to similarly failed Washington, D.C., programs, and the governor’s seeming reluctance to push for a single-rate consumption tax to replace personal income taxes.
State Rep. Anthony Brown, R-Eudora, questions Brownback’s proposals for cutting government spending.
“To be fair, I don’t see the whole landscape as the governor does, but it’s frustrating that he’s not been as aggressive on the budget as we need,” said Brown, who is one of the House Appropriations Committee’s most vocal spending hawks.
A former Shawnee Mission West High School teacher faces up to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual relations with students.
Michelle Preston, 28, pleaded guilty Monday inside a downtown Olathe courtroom to three counts of unlawful sexual relations with students occurring between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2010.
What is Agenda 21?
Agenda 21 is a plan to develop our communities under the guidance of the federal government and the United Nations (UN). Questions exist regarding whether this is an attack on individual liberties.
There will be a presentation about Agenda 21 and sustainable development in Overland Park next week. A national expert on this topic will speak regarding the push of Agenda 21 in the name of economic development.
When: 7:30 pm Thursday, March 29
Where: The Regnier Theater of the University of Kansas Edwards Campus
12600 Quivira Road, Overland Park (more…)
Because the administration is knowingly forcing (primarily Catholic) religious organizations to pay for medical services to which they are theologically opposed, the new rules represent a frontal assault on freedom of religion at an institutional level. This is no small matter. To date, public controversies over “conscience” in health care have mostly involved individuals — e.g., doctors, nurses, pharmacists — whose personal morality or religious convictions conflicted with the provision of certain medical procedures or substances. …
But the free-birth-control rule goes much further than creating a potential conflict between the general law and individual religious beliefs. Rather, the rule targets the right of religious organizations to conduct their public activities consistently with their religious dogma and moral values — except within the narrow confines of an actual church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or monastery.
Religious institutions are basically going to be fined for holding views regarding contraception, sterilization, and abortion that are different from the Obama administration’s views. For instance, Notre Dame University, which employs more than 5,000 people, is going to be given the choice of either expressly violating its religious convictions or paying a $10 million fine to the federal government. It’s bad enough that any employer with a moral objection has to spend his money this way, but it is especially egregious to compel religious institutions to do so.
As many have noted around here, the fact of the administration’s willingness to do this sheds light on its hostility to (or at the very least its contempt for) religious liberty. But it’s not quite that simple.
HT Club for Growth.
Given all the attention to the ethics matter, it’s worth asking what actually happened back in 1995, 1996, and 1997. The Gingrich case was extraordinarily complex, intensely partisan, and driven in no small way by a personal vendetta on the part of one of Gingrich’s former political opponents. It received saturation coverage in the press; a database search of major media outlets revealed more than 10,000 references to Gingrich’s ethics problems during the six months leading to his reprimand. It ended with a special counsel hired by the House Ethics Committee holding Gingrich to an astonishingly strict standard of behavior, after which Gingrich in essence pled guilty to two minor offenses. Afterwards, the case was referred to the Internal Revenue Service, which conducted an exhaustive investigation into the matter. And then, after it was all over and Gingrich was out of office, the IRS concluded that Gingrich did nothing wrong. After all the struggle, Gingrich was exonerated.
At the center of the controversy was a course Gingrich taught from 1993 to 1995 at two small Georgia colleges. The wide-ranging class, called “Renewing American Civilization,” was conceived by Gingrich and financed by a tax-exempt organization called the Progress and Freedom Foundation. Gingrich maintained that the course was a legitimate educational enterprise; his critics contended that it had little to do with learning and was in fact a political exercise in which Gingrich abused a tax-exempt foundation to spread his own partisan message.
All 50 states and Washington, D.C. collect long term, individualized data on students performance, but just eight states allow parents to access their child’s permanent record. Forty allow principals to access the data and 28 provide student-level info to teachers.
Privacy experts say the problem is that states collect far more information than parents expect, and it can be shared with more than just a student’s teacher or principal.“When you have a system that’s secret [from parents] and you can put whatever you want into it, you can have things going in that’ll be very damaging,” says Lillie Coney, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. “When you put something into digital form, you can’t control where that’ll end up.”
Twins Roku and Hex, whose respective names come from the Japanese and Greek for ‘six’, have been created with genetic material from six monkeys.
Researchers from Oregon Health and Science University in the U.S. extracted cells from six macaque embryos and combined them into a single embryo in a laboratory before implanting it into a surrogate mother monkey.
Six suburban Kansas City, MO, districts — Blue Springs, Center Schools, Independence, Lee’s Summit, North Kansas City, Raytown — recently sued in order to stop children from attending their districts. A judge blocked them.
Missouri Districts Seek Clarification on Kansas City Transfer Policy
By Christina Samuels
In January, the 17,400-student Kansas City, Mo. school district will lose its accreditation, beset by student achievement and leadership woes.
Missouri law allows students in Kansas City to transfer to nearby accredited school districts, at the expense of the Kansas City district.
A Jackson County judge on Friday denied a request from six suburban Kansas City school districts to temporarily halt the transfer of students from the Kansas City School District, which loses its accreditation Sunday.
The districts _ Independence, Raytown, North Kansas City, Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs and Center Schools _ asked for a temporary restraining order to delay transfers until a number of disputes can be resolved.