Todd, Tyler, Karen and Drew Britton…at the Culinary Institue in KC
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 11:23 PM GMT
A review of thousands of studies published over 21 years found “overwhelming” and growing consensus among scientists that humans are mostly to blame for global warming, its authors said Thursday.
This contradicts a widely held view that scientists are deeply divided on the topic — a misconception that complicates efforts to win public backing for climate policy, the authors wrote in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
“An accurate perception of the degree of scientific consensus is an essential element to public support for climate policy,” they wrote.
“Communicating the scientific consensus also increases people’s acceptance that climate change is happening.”
Researchers from the United States, Australia and Canada reviewed more than 4,000 scientific papers that expressed a position on whether humans were mostly to blame for recent global warming.
The papers, published between 1991 and 2011, were written by more than 10,000 scientists.
Just over 97 percent agreed that manmade warming was a reality.
“Our analysis indicates that the number of papers rejecting the consensus… is a vanishingly small proportion of the published research,” the team wrote.
In stark contrast, opinion polls conducted in the United States from 1997 to 2007 found that about 60 percent of Americans believed there to be significant disagreement among scientists.
“Scientists overwhelmingly agree that the Earth is warming due to human activity,” said the authors, who claim that their work is the most comprehensive review of its kind ever undertaken.
“There is a significant gap between public perception and reality.”
The United Nations is targeting a maximum temperature rise of two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) on pre-industrial levels, for what scientists believe would be manageable climate change.
To this end, countries are negotiating curbs to emissions of Earth-warming greenhouse gases released by fossil fuel burning.
Last week, the level of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere breached a threshold of 400 parts per million — a level never experienced by humans and considered the absolute maximum for the two-degree target to remain within reach.
With deafening cheers and overwhelming emotion, the Minnesota Senate voted 37-30 to legalize same-sex marriage.
“Today, love wins,” said Sen. Tony Lourey, DFL-Kerrick.
The vote, on the heels of a vote last week in the House, brings to a close a decade of debate over marriage that has echoed through the Capitol, bringing thousands of friends and foes of gay marriage to its marbled dome to express their deeply held feelings.
The measure next moves to Gov. Mark Dayton, who will welcome it with his signature in a celebratory ceremony likely on Tuesday.
Once it is signed, Minnesota will become the twelfth state to legalize same sex-marriage.
“It’s historic and I can never be so proud of this body and of Minnesotans,” said Sen. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis. On the Senate floor, Hayden said that his wife is white and noted that just 50 years ago, his loving relationship would have been barred.
Study: Bush, aides made 935 false statements in run-up to war
WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Bush and his top aides publicly made 935 false statements about the security risk posed by Iraq in the two years following September 11, 2001, according to a study released Tuesday by two nonprofit journalism groups.
President Bush addresses the nation as the Iraq war begins in March 2003.
“In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003,” reads an overview of the examination, conducted by the Center for Public Integrity and its affiliated group, the Fund for Independence in Journalism.
According to the study, Bush and seven top officials — including Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice — made 935 false statements about Iraq during those two years.
The study was based on a searchable database compiled of primary sources, such as official government transcripts and speeches, and secondary sources — mainly quotes from major media organizations. Video See CNN viewers’ reactions to the study »
The study says Bush made 232 false statements about Iraq and former leader Saddam Hussein’s possessing weapons of mass destruction, and 28 false statements about Iraq’s links to al Qaeda.
Bush has consistently asserted that at the time he and other officials made the statements, the intelligence community of the U.S. and several other nations, including Britain, believed Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
Bush ties Mideast peace effort to fight on terror
Ex-aide: Bush, Cheney involved in misleading media
Responding to the study Wednesday, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel did not speak directly to the “false claims” characterization.
But he said the United States was part of a broad coalition of nations that took part in the Iraq invasion and that the invasion was based on intelligence from multiple countries.
He called Hussein a threat to international security and a sponsor of terrorism, and said the world is better off without him. White House press secretary Dana Perino called the study “flawed.”
“They only looked at members of the administration, rather than looking at members of Congress or people around the world,” she said. “Because as you’ll remember, we were part of a broad coalition of countries that deposed a dictator based on a collective understanding of the intelligence.”
“And the other thing that that study fails to do is to say that after realizing that there was no WMD, as we thought as a collective body that there was, that this White House, the President set about to make reforms in the intelligence community to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”
Bush has repeatedly said that despite the intelligence flaws, removing Hussein from power was the right thing to do.
The study, released Tuesday, says Powell had the second-highest number of false statements, with 244 about weapons and 10 about Iraq and al Qaeda.
Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Press Secretary Ari Fleischer each made 109 false statements, it says. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz made 85, Rice made 56, Cheney made 48 and Scott McLellan, also a press secretary, made 14, the study says.
“It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al Qaeda,” the report reads, citing multiple government reports, including those by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the 9/11 Commission and the multinational Iraq Survey Group, which reported that Hussein had suspended Iraq’s nuclear program in 1991 and made little effort to revive it.
The overview of the study also calls the media to task, saying most media outlets didn’t do enough to investigate the claims.
“Some journalists — indeed, even some entire news organizations — have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical,” the report reads. “These mea culpas notwithstanding, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage provided additional, ‘independent’ validation of the Bush administration’s false statements about Iraq.”
The quotes in the study include an August 26, 2002, statement by Cheney to the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction,” Cheney said. “There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.” E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend
My tablemates today were Doris, Ivy, and Joy. Our conversations are usually pretty lively. Doris taught school for many years and apparently remembers every student she ever had. Pete Peterson came by our table on his way out and asked her to name all the “Zimmerman” kids, which she did without hesitation. Pete was missing one in his line up and he wasn’t about to let it go until he found out. Doris named them all in order of age and then told about the instruments they played, and how their mother taught them all to appreciate music. Doris is full of wonderful storiesa and she had collected a considerable number of them over the past 104 years. Then her conversation segued off to other school issues which got my attention.
I’ve mentioned before how people confiscate food from their noon meal and take it back to their apartments to eat later. I seem to be the only one who reverses that process and takes food to the dining room. Today the menu is one of the worst they serve, in my opinion, and included chili dogs, turkey pot pie, something resembling tater tots only triangular shaped and harder than rocks and deep fat fried, and breaded vegetables. It’s not that I don’t like turkey pot pie, we as I generally like it, when made properly. If someone made it with real turkey the way it should be made, it would be good. This is far from edible so I had breakfast again, which is good…bacon, eggs and toast. I took my own huckleberry jam and whole orange to go along with it. I always have a tall glass of V-8 for lunch so it rounded out to be very good. I hope I never tire of bacon and eggs.
I am amused at the number of containers some diners bring with them and fill to take back to their apartments. They even share them with others. I’m happy with cold cereal and fruit later on in the day, but that may change as the days lengthen and I’m more active. I’m sure I’ll start to do more cooking when I’m more able to get around. Working around a walker is very inconvenient. And in my new place, I’ll have more room to navigate.
Which brings me to the topic of moving. I’ve loved the apartment I’m in, particularly for the view which is important to me. But, the downside of it is the noise from snow removal equipment, mowers, and traffic. Since I’m a light sleeper, it is disruptive to be awakened and not able to fall back asleep. So, I’m moving to the other side of the complex where I eliminate those issues and have a larger apartment…the kind I wanted in the first place. The one-bedroom deluxe apartments are few in number and rarely turn over so I thought I better get one while I can. I’ll lose my second bedroom that I’ve used for an office, but will have a huge bedroom and living room that will more than hold all my present “stuff”. I’m going to be short of furniture, but I can fill in someway. I’ll borrow back some of my art work and that will take care of that
They are putting in new carpet, painting, replacing doors and woodwork in my new apartment and making other upgrades. It won’t be ready until the end of the month…or early next month. That’s okay as I’ve not much on my calendar.
I sat outside this morning for an hour. It is a gorgeous day and besides enjoying the wonderful weather it gives me a chance to chat with visitors to the Palace. The delivery people from the floral shops and Dillons paraded by with beautiful flowers that I also got to enjoy. Everyone is gearing up for Mother’s Day tomorrow. They are having some kind of strawberry festival on Monday honoring mothers in the Ivory Keys Cafe. I hope they have fresh strawberries rather than the limp frozen kind.
Now I think I’ll take my Rollator and see if I can make it to the pond and visit the geese.
Thanks for tuning in….
Salina Paranormal Investigative Research Team
Saturday via mobile
Good evening Stalkers…..We are almost done setting up equipment at Pretty Boy Floyd’s Restaurant in Ellsworth Kansas. This is located in one of the historic underground districts in downtown . We are honored and excited about the opportunity to investigate here.
Salina Paranormal Investigative Research Team
SaturdayHello Stalkers…….We are within a few hours of the exciting investigation for tonight. The SPIRiT Team will be traveling to Ellsworth Kansas (One of the oldest cow towns in Kansas) and investigating one of the lost treasures of the city. Our entire team, including all of our newest members, will be making this trip. We can’t wait to see how the “Newbies” handle the excitement. We have been told of Full Body apparitions of a Woman in White and the sounds of times past. Poltergeist activities abound!! Who knows….maybe we will be the first Paranormal Team to document a full body cow apparition????
Stay tuned tonight via facebook…..We will be posting live updates of how the night goes. Any pictures and audio that we can clip and clean up we will do our best to share with you. Happy Hauntings to all!!
So…what were the results?
Now we can go have an excellent dinner and maybe glimpse an apparition…you think? I can guarantee the food will be excellent….after than, no guarantees.
Thanks for tuning in…
When I’m out of milk here, I’m just out of milk unless I buckle and go buy it from the supply in the Palace kitchen. I can devise no substitutes with the limited resources found in my pantry. Since I planned to have a bowl of cold of cereal for dinner, it meant I’d have to improvise if I didn’t go forage for milk. Braum’s … my destination. It’s a stone’s throw down the hill from the Palace and very convenient.
It was a fortuitous adventure for two reasons:
The first good thing that happened was that I ran into my good friend Mary Andersen and had a quick visit. That was especially nice. Her husband, Jay, and I grew up as neighbors on Highland.
The second… in order to get the exit door at Braum’s to work, I determined, you need to first eat a single dip rocky road ice cream cone in a waffle cone. I hadn’t had rocky road ice cream in years, and now I remember what I’d been missing.
The first was true. The second….well, I just made that up.
Ally got tickets for us to hear Joan Baez at the Stiefel. I was a huge fan of hers years ago so I’m sure I’ll enjoy her concert next month. She’s 72 and hasn’t lost her voice..so I hear.
I’m still going to sittercise exercises every morning and yoga two days a week in the afternoon. This is my 4th week of regular attendance. I’m hoping for a gold star.
It hardly seems possible, but it will soon be six months that I have lived here. It was a good decision to move…I still love living here and wouldn’t go back to living alone. I’ve made some good friends, renewed other friendships and am happy as a clam. It’s an interesting place to be, and I’m surrounded by interesting, active people. Life here is just a lot easier for me and for my family members who are so willing to help me.
Thanks for tuning in…
Red-state radicalism hastens rural decline
Hays Daily News
Republican radicalism thrives here in Kansas, the reddest of red states, and within our state, in the reddest counties, and our brand of red-state radicalism does not bode especially well for the future of rural Kansas.
The antics of Kansas Congressman Tim Huelskamp, who represents many of the state’s rural residents, threaten the federal spending on which these Kansans heavily rely. And Gov. Sam Brownback’s perilous experiment in eliminating the state income tax has placed state services in jeopardy and eventually will push more school funding onto property taxes, driving the high property tax burdens of rural residents even higher. Curiously, voters in the reddest counties of Kansas cheer the loudest for both Huelskamp and Brownback.
Recent news stories in the Kansas City Star and the Boston Globe highlight the hypocrisy of red-state radicalism. The Star found the fiercest critics of federal spending also were big-time “takers” of federal spending. The Star focused on Sumner County, part of the Wichita metropolitan area, and reported in 2010 “the U.S. government spent roughly $189 million in Sumner County, almost $7,900 for every man, woman and child who lives here. That’s an estimated 40 (percent) to 50 percent more, on average, than each county resident paid in federal taxes.”
The Globe reporter traveled to Hodgeman County in rural southwest Kansas and interviewed residents attending a public forum for Huelskamp and later at a downtown coffee klatch in the county seat of Jetmore. Those interviewed applauded their congressman for saying “no” to federal spending and refusing to compromise on spending even with leaders of his own party. His obstinance got him booted from the House Agriculture Committee last year, leaving Kansas without a representative on the committee for the first time in memory.
Hodgeman County might provide a useful prism for viewing federal spending in rural Kansas, as more than half of the state’s 105 counties have fewer than 7,000 residents.
In 2010, for example, more than $21 million flowed from the U.S. treasury into Hodgeman County, providing on average $11,000 for each of the 1,916 county residents. Social Security and Medicare benefits represented more than half of the total; Medicaid alone another million. Direct payments for various agricultural subsidies totaled $2.5 million, not counting $3.1 million in payments through federally subsidized crop insurance and $765,000 in federal farm loans.
What exactly these residents paid in federal taxes is not readily available, but based on the findings of Sumner County, they likely paid roughly $2 in taxes for every $3 in benefits.
Hodgeman County residents pay an even smaller share of the sales and income taxes that provide for school funding, health care and transportation, among other state services. For example, Kansas taxpayers underwrote 80 percent of the $2.8 million general fund budget of the county school district in 2011-12, matched federal Medicaid funding in the county to the tune of more than $800,000 in 2010, and funded road projects in the county averaging $1.5 million annually during recent years. Most rural Kansans also have benefited from the long-term shift of state finance away from reliance on property taxes, but Hodgeman County residents still pay property taxes that average two and one-half times that of all Kansans, compared to 16 percent less in income taxes.
Brownback’s radical plan to eliminate state income taxes is undoing state finance, and its effect eventually will reach the doorsteps of rural Kansans. In January, for example, when a state court ordered lawmakers to meet their constitutional obligation in funding education, Brownback responded that increased school funding would necessarily fall back on property taxpayers. That action would force the high property tax burden of most rural residents, such as those in Hodgeman County, ever higher.
In sum, the monies flowing through state and national treasuries into rural Kansas counties comprise roughly one-third of their local economies and sustain their communities. The “small government” radicalism of Huelskamp and Brownback and their allies will diminish the economic fortunes and quality of life of all Kansans, but its effect on rural Kansans will be the most severe.
H. Edward Flentje is a professor
at Wichita State University.
“In purporting to override federal law and to criminalize the official acts of federal officers, (the law) directly conflicts with federal law and is therefore unconstitutional,” Holder wrote to Gov. Sam Brownback in a letter dated April 26.
The law (Senate Bill 102) was passed overwhelmingly by both chambers of the Legislature and signed last month by Brownback. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Wichita on Thursday released a copy of Holder’s letter.
“Federal officers who are responsible for enforcing federal laws and regulations in order to maintain public safety cannot be forced to choose between the risk of criminal prosecution by a state and the continued performance of their federal duties,” Holder wrote.
Holder cited the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution in saying Kansas may not prevent federal employees and officials from carrying out their responsibilities.
In his letter, he also wrote that federal agencies “will continue to execute their duties to enforce all federal firearms laws and regulations.”
“Moreover, the United States will take all appropriate action, including litigation,” he wrote, “to prevent the State of Kansas from interfering with the activities of federal officials enforcing federal law.”
House lawmakers approved the Second Amendment Protection Act (SB 102) in a 96-24 vote, declaring Kansas-made guns immune from federal regulations inside the state. The Senate approved it 35-4.
Read more here.
For one reason or another since I moved to the Palace the end of November last year, I haven’t cooked anything other than oatmeal in the microwave. I’ve dreaded setting off the smoke alarms. You can’t imagine what that’s like.
Usually, the new residents are initiated to the rest of the group when the alarms go off and it’s announced loud and clear that the FIRE ALARM HAS BEEN ACTIVATED IN APARTMENT 402….or whatever. It goes on forever and you can’t miss its intensity and offensiveness.
Once the announcement is made, everyone runs to get their list of residents and see who lived in the apartment that set off the alarm. Burned the toast again. Grin.
I was forewarned by friends that cooking could be an embarrassing event and under all situations, keep the hood fan going during the cooking process. I knew my day was coming.
Last night I was determined to take the plunge and fry a couple of pork chops. It was like anticipating impending doom. I opened my window in the living room, propped open my door, turned the oven fan on high and waited until I thought there was sufficient air circulating that it might be safe before I popped the chops into a hot skillet. Then I hovered over the stove and waited until the chops were barely done. They looked so good. I pulled the skillet off the burner but kept it under the fan so the fumes wouldn’t escape in to the room and creep toward the smoke detector, which is only inches away from my stove.
Finally, I thought I was home free and sat down to eat my chops. Then the fire alarm went off….
HOLY CRAP. NOW I’VE DONE IT. How embarrassing.
THE FIRE ALARM HAS BEEN ACTIVATED IN APARTMENT 40HUMMMM….REPEAT….THE FIRE ALAM IN APARTMENT 40HUMMM HAS BEEN ACTIVATED….
I waited for the response team….it didn’t come…They have to run up four flights of stairs carrying fire extinguishers as the elevators are inactivated. They are exhausted by the time they reach the 4th floor…but to get to the 6th floor is far worse. They come from health care and some of the workers are a little chubby. They don’t have the strength to activate the fire extinguishers once they reach the top floor.
Then I heard the announcement again….THE FIRE ALARM IN APARMENT 404 HAS BEEN ACTIVATED. What?? Not me?? My neighbor Miki who lives at the end of the hall from me must have been cooking. I didn’t do it!!! There are only a few of us on this floor who actually “cook”…the others graze off left overs from the noon meal.
I made it through my first attempt and will try again. Sometime. But I have green chili that Ally made planned for my dinner. When I run out of things in my freezer, I’ll have to start some serious cooking.
I know that no matter how careful I am, it will be my turn one of these days when all the health care workers from the 1st floor arrive at my door, in their hazmat gear and carrying their fire equipment. I hope they are careful with their fire axes and remember I do good deeds now and then……
Thanks for tuning in…
Sometimes you just can’t help but yield to temptation. Among other strange behavioral traits, one among us continues to ask everyone their name and where they are from. It’s continuous. Daily. Endless. I try not to sit at the same table with her as she’s asked me as many as six times during the course of soup and sandwich (and I’m a fast eater) —or anytime there is a lull in the conversation— what my name is, and where I’m from.
Once you respond to the first part of the question, while everyone else at the table expresses looks of shared embarrassment…. you wait for the other shoe to drop when she asks…”and where are you from”. You try to be patient. She can’t help it.
One of my friends who is 102 and is sharp as a tack and has been here “forever” and been asked this same question a bazillion times, finally got fed up with it. Last night when the persistent inquisitor asked one too many times where she was from she said, “Africa”. It just cracked me up. Maybe if we all said “AFRICA”….
Yesterday we had a funny incident at Trivia. We had to change the location for our game. This was confusing to no one except one on the other team who “just didn’t get it”. One team sits at one end of a long table while the other team sits at the opposite end of the long table, an imaginary line separating the two. We sit with our team…the position at the table being unimportant, as long is we are at the right end.
As we were sitting down, one of the players on the other team insisted that one of our players was on the wrong “side” of the table, which had nothing to do with anything. She told our player…”you always sit on my left and you are on my right. You need to sit on the other side of the table.” The agitator insisted our member move so she’s be on this opponent’s left. Our member was perplexed and had this confused look on her face trying to figure out what was going on. Meantime, I’m sitting beside her laughing my socks off. Had she sat on the other side of the table she still would have been on that person’s right. You can’t make headway with some headstrong individuals who “just don’t get it”. Density is a hard thing to deal with.
There are residents…although few in number…who get the idea they are in charge of something, or everything. Sometimes it takes a resident meeting to get it all ironed out. Even when the vote is 14 to 1, that one person continues to try to rule the other 13. There are issues about recycling, exercising, laundry, the front door, food, whether the shades in the dining room are open or closed, and as many other things as there are numbers of residents living here. None is really important or worth talking about, but they are FUNNY. It’s what makes life here interesting and humorous. There are no secrets.
Thanks for tuning in …
I have only been to sittercise twice. Today during our class, I sat next to Ivis who is an amazing woman. She ran circles around me while doing each of the 29 exercises far better than I could manage to do. Afterwards, with my shoulders aching, I told her how much I had to improve to catch up with her. She said…”you have to realize I’ve been doing these a lot longer than you have.” Yes, that’s true, but she’s 102. She’s much sharper and more agile than some 70 year old women I know. Certainly far more so than I. She plays the piano flawlessly; the music just flows through her fingers. The only problem she has is that she’s lost much of her eye sight.
Now if I can make it through my yoga class this afternoon.
Today we are having a tornado drill and I’m ready as I’ve fudged a little. My windows are closed, blinds drawn and closed, doors shut and my big walker and pillow are in place by the front door. If they had to wait for me to do all those things after they sound the alarm, I’d be like Dorothy wondering where I was.
The annual potluck supper is tonight. The Palace is grilling hamburgers then everyone else takes a side dish. Hazel made potato salad for the two of us while I supplied potatoes, eggs and Ally’s mustard sauce. We’ll be eating potato salad and baked beans for a month. Ivy said she has her sights on a piece of gooseberry pie. That sounds like a good option to me. Life is full of uncertainties: eat dessert first.
I find it interesting that people seem to need to shop around for a place like this to live. They think there is another “Palace” in central Kansas that offers the same amenities, but there isn’t another such place. If you want a retirement home where you never have to move again for any kind of care you might need such as a memory unit, rehab unit, or long-term care, this is the place to be. I didn’t look at any of the other senior independent living complexes because none offered those things and from any one of them, I most likely would have had to move eventually.
Ally came to join me for lunch today. Neither of us eat enough to make the trip to the dining room worthwhile. I pined when she left, but I also didn’t want her to get trapped inside with the tornado drill.
Thanks for tuning in …
Analysts, from left and right, call Kansas tax plan worst in nation
By Dion Lefler
The Wichita Eagle
Kansas’ tax reform plan was named the worst in the nation by analysts from both the left and the right in a feature by a national magazine.
Governing magazine asked two tax policy experts from nonprofit think tanks on opposite sides of the political spectrum to name the best and worst tax reform efforts in the country – and both cited Kansas as the worst.
It was a rare point of agreement on tax policy between Joe Henchman of the conservative-leaning Tax Foundation and Nick Johnson of the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Henchman, a lawyer, and Johnson, an economist, both said the tax plan, passed last year by the Kansas Legislature at Gov. Sam Brownback’s urging, encourages tax avoidance and probably won’t do much for the economy.
Brownback spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag disagreed saying, “the facts speak overwhelmingly to the success” of the tax plan.
“The Governor’s tax policy is the reason why GTM chose to add 600 jobs to its location in Manhattan rather than in Texas,” she said in an e-mail response to The Eagle. “Almost every one of our neighbors is trying to move in this direction.”
GTM makes sportswear.
The analysts were especially critical of the unique centerpiece of Brownback’s tax plan – eliminating the state income tax on owners of sole proprietorships, limited liability companies and corporations organized under Subchapter S of the federal tax code.
Those businesses are what are called “pass-through” entities, because the business income is not taxed and passes through to the owners, who then pay the taxes on it as individual income.
Since Brownback’s plan passed, the owners of pass-through businesses don’t have to pay any state income tax on the business income, either at the business or personal level.
“That’s an incentive to game the tax system without doing anything productive for the economy,” Henchman said in the Governing interview. “They think things like the pass-through exemption will encourage small business, and to be fair, it might. But they are doing it in a way that violates the tax principle of neutrality.”
Neutrality is a widely accepted principle that tax systems should be structured so that business decisions are made on economic merits rather than for tax reasons. Henchman laid most of the blame on the Legislature for not broadening the tax base while cutting rates, which Brownback originally proposed.
Jones-Sontag said the tax plan is working the way it’s supposed to.
“Even though it’s just a little more than three months since the new policies took effect, we are hearing from small-business owners about how they now have the money to invest back into their businesses and to hire more workers,” she said. “It’s important to remember that 98 percent of businesses in Kansas have 100 employees or less. Why wouldn’t we want to create a pro-growth environment that lessens their tax burden so they can invest more in their companies, hire more employees and spend more in their communities?”
However, Johnson told Governing that the tax plan “fails almost every test of good tax policy,” including sustainability and fairness.
“Vertically, it’s beneficial to high-income taxpayers and harmful to low,” Johnson was quoted as saying on the magazine’s website. “It doesn’t do much for the middle either. Horizontally, its exemption of pass-through entities creates inequities and tax avoidance, which of course then goes back to sustainability because it balloons cost.”
Neither of the analysts thought it would do much to meet its stated goals, to jump-start economic growth and job creation.
“Evidence suggests that there’s no goose to the economy from this or, if there is one, it will be small,” Johnson was quoted as saying. “The real big problem here is that because it costs so much money, it will make it harder for Kansas to make other kinds of investments that are important to a strong economy like education and infrastructure.”
The pair of analysts interviewed by Governing split on the states with the best tax reform plans.
Henchman cited Rhode Island, which cut tax rates, eliminated itemized deductions and reduced tax credits, while increasing the standard deduction for most taxpayers.
Johnson said he favored Massachusetts, where the governor has proposed increasing income tax rates and lowering sales taxes, which Johnson said would make the state tax code more progressive.
Here is a letter from my Grandson, Tyler Britton, who participates in an annual mission to New Orleans to help build houses for the needy. This year he has been selected to lead a group. He pays his own way except for donations that are made by friends and uses his leave time from the Air Force. If you care to contribute, you can reach him at tbritton89 at gmail dot com/
Well howdy there! Another year has buzzed by yet again without even saying goodbye. I just wanted to write a quick note and let you know about some of the really exciting things that are happening in my life.
Work tends to rule my life. In fact, between research, teaching, clinicals, and ramping up for a deployment overseas this fall, it’s no wonder last year buzzed right on by. But, amid all of the chaos, I’m firmly grounded in Crossroads Church and I’m looking forward to my annual mission trip to New Orleans.
Now you may be asking questions like, “Why New Orleans? Hurricane Katrina happened in 2005… what is there left to do?” among numerous others. However, despite living in the abundance we have in America there is still an abundance of work that needs to be done there. While I am there, I will be participating in Habitat for Humanity and help to build houses for the needy whilst bringing them a sense of stability with a roof over their head. Local groups will also be partnering with us to help further the restoration and healing effort in their city.
This trip allows me to help a community that is desperately in need to meet their physical and spiritual demands. More than anything, we need your prayers for our team and the people that we’ll be reaching out to on our trip. I ask you to pray for our safety, flexibility, the ability to do God’s work, and financial support.
If though, however, you do want to financially support me or the general fund, I’d be very grateful. My personal contribution to be able to go on this trip is $850 plus incidentals. I have attached a page that explains the process for giving if you feel inclined to do so. This is a journey that I experienced an unbelievable amount of growth on last year and God has called me to do it again - and this year I’m even leading a group.
I really appreciate your consideration in supporting my mission trip. Any level of support (emotional, spiritual, financial) is greatly appreciated. If you have any questions feel free to contact me via email or at 785.531.2652.
Tyler J. Britton
I started my “sittercise” classes this morning…every Monday through Friday morning at 10 for half an hour. Yoga classes, also done from the sitting position, are Tuesday and Thursday at 4:15 for half an hour. I’m so out of shape I am relieved when the half hour passes. It’s not going to be easy but I’m going to try to attend these two classes on a regular basis and see if it doesn’t “help” my mobility. I’ve got to get stronger or be glued to my walker forever. It’s the Lupus.
The “regular” exercise classes are everyday at 9:00. That class is for those who no longer benefit from mild exercising and need something more strenuous. You can pick out those people from the others…they skip up and down the stairs rather than taking the elevator. And some have personal trainers. You have to remember that many of the people in that category are in their 90s.
We have a new cook and the lunch menu showed the difference. The pot roast looked really good and the veggies around it were actually roasted, with good color and flavor. The broccoli was green and cooked just right. I ordered baked ham, for a change, and it was good. The fried chicken they served for dinner yesterday was as good as it gets. Now if they’d do something with the turkey pot pie, for starters.
Tomorrow is tornado drill day and everyone is gearing up for it. Old people don’t react spontaneously to sirens. Most of us don’t really give a hoot if we’re swept away like Dorothy so they give us all kinds of notices and warnings about tornado drills. We’re supposed to close our windows and shut the blinds, shut the doors and take a chair and go sit in the hall. I figure by the time I do all the stuff with the windows, I’ll be blown away. I’m slow as molasses. I had both the bedroom doors removed so they aren’t a problem. And, I don’t have a chair I can carry to the hall,but I can use my big walker and sit on it. I’m ready to go. I need to find my earplugs.
Tomorrow they are having a pot luck supper. Hazel said she would make potato salad for us as I have potatoes, Ally’s mustard sauce, eggs, onions, pickles and other ingredients to contribute. Her cupboard was bare. So, I’ll be going to the pot luck supper tomorrow evening with Hazel. The Palace is fixing hamburgers for everyone. It will be a good event.
I was experiencing trouble with a couple of my bathroom fixtures. They make it so easy for you around here. I called the office, they wrote a work order and Andy just arrived to do his magic. And, I don’t get a monstrous bill for it. No bill, in fact. Life can be very easy … just what I was looking for.
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Architecture student’s team wins $50,000 urban design competition
LAWRENCE — A team of five students that included KU Department of Architecture student Lauren Leigh Brown has won the Urban Land Institute’s Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition. Brown is a fifth-year student in architecture from Hermitage, Mo. She will split the $50,000 prize with her teammates.
The competition required teams of five students made up of at least three areas of study to create urban design plans for the Minneapolis Down East neighborhood. They had two weeks to show how the land could be made into an active urban neighborhood and regional destination.
In February Brown’s team, which included three Kansas State University landscape architecture students, and an MBA student from the University of Missouri-Kansas City learned it had beaten 145 teams to become one of four finalists in the contest.
Over the past two months the team spent hundreds of hours developing their designs and rehearsing their presentations. On April 11, the team presented their work in Minneapolis, as did rival teams from Ball State-Purdue, Harvard and Yale Universities.
Each team made a 25-minute presentation followed by 20 minutes of questions. After deliberating for several hours, and discussing for the strengths and flaws of each of the plans, the judges announced that Brown’s team had taken the prize.
“We are of course elated and very proud of our accomplishment,” Brown said. “I owe a tremendous thanks to my adviser, architecture professor Genevieve Baudoin, and all of our schools and classmates.”
The Urban Land Institute/Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition is now in its 11th year. It is named for the founder of Hines, one of the world’s largest real estate firms, which is headquartered in Houston.
The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. The university’s mission is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world. The KU News Service is the central public relations office for the Lawrence campus.
When someone as enthusiastic about living in rural Kansas is happy about selling her home and moving on, you know something is amiss. I knew it was coming as I watched the election of Sam Brownback as one to push through, with dogmatic vision, his stringent new property tax reform on Kansans.
WHO CAN AFFORD TO LIVE IN RURAL KANSAS WHERE INCOMES ARE LOW AND PROPERTY TAXES ARE SOARING?
When I looked at my long range projections of costs for remaining in my own home in Ellsworth, I knew I couldn’t maintain the status quo and neither of my children had income sufficient to bear the burden of maintenance, insurance and the sharp increase in property taxes even if I gave them my home. Fortunately, my decision to sell was an easy one as both realized this.
Things have changed in Kansas, and not to the benefit of Kansans. Kansans got what they wanted and voted for in a Governor who was in the national limelight for years expounding his quirky ideas as he ran for President of the United States. Heaven forbid it! He made it known during his campaign for Governor what he was going to do if elected: eliminate personal income taxes and put the burden on property owners and middle income families.
At the time Brownback signed his new tax act, it was proclaimed a historic event and one that would shape the lives of Kansans for many years to come. It is all coming to fruition. Things can only get worse. I’ve learned of people in the City of Ellsworth who recently invested in large, stately old homes only to see the inevitability of property tax increases a deterrent to keeping and maintaining those homes for their growing families.
I posted this on my blog on Sept. 22, 2012:
BEGINNING IN 2013, THE KANSAS TAX SYSTEM WILL BE AMONG THE MOST REGRESSIVE IN THE NATION…THE RICH WILL GET RICHER, THE POOR WILL GET POORER…
I posted the following the end of May. Do you remember reading it? Are you starting to notice what it means? I thought a reminder was in order. Wait until the lid comes off property taxes…
KANSAS TAX ACT MOST REGRESSIVE IN NATION… GOVERNOR BROWNBACK HAS GORED YOUR OX!
If you don’t think your ox has been gored, you haven’t been paying attention. That is if you are an average person, average income and not among the wealthy. The poor will get poorer and the rich will get richer. I fear to think what this will do to our schools and small communities. The whole state will be impacted. Martin Dickinson boils this down so it’s easy to understand. It’s from the Lawrence Journal World:
Gov. Sam Brownback’s signing of the new Kansas Tax Act on Tuesday was a historic event. The act will shape the lives of Kansans for many years to come.
The nonpartisan Legislative Research Department has estimated that the act will reduce Kansas government revenues by $4.5 billion over the next six years. Inevitably, there will be major reductions in the government services Kansans have come to expect — especially education.
Equally important, the act dramatically changes the Kansas tax system, shifting the income tax burden from the wealthy and prosperous to working people. The act provides that all income of business owners is tax-free (except in the unusual case where a regular corporation is used). Although the act was promoted as a boost to small business, there is no limit on the size of business that can be exempt from tax.
Income of professionals — such as doctors, lawyers, architects, and accountants — practicing in partnerships will be tax-free. In a law firm, for example, the partners will pay no tax, while the clerical staff will continue on the tax rolls.
Income received from partnerships and trusts will be tax-free. Wealthy Kansans who own real estate, stocks, bonds and other investments will simply transfer those assets to a partnership or trust, thereby freeing all their investment income from tax.
All income of farmers will be exempt from tax.
Who will still be paying Kansas income tax? Only three groups: 1) employees, 2) some retirees and 3) individuals whose investments are so modest that they cannot afford to create a trust or partnership to shelter their investment income.
Kansas government relies on three taxes: property, sales and income. Property and sales taxes are regressive in the sense that a lower-income person pays more of these taxes as a percent of income than does a higher-income person. The new income tax will be dramatically regressive. Low- and moderate-income workers will remain on the tax rolls. Meanwhile, wealthy Kansans will readily escape the tax, and many prosperous (but not wealthy) Kansans will be able to evade the tax as well. Beginning in 2013, the Kansas tax system will be among the most regressive in the nation.
Can a just society tax the poor while not taxing the rich?
Martin B. Dickinson is a nationally recognized expert in tax law and the Schroeder Distinguished Professor of Law at Kansas University.
I can only hope that Kansans come to their senses by the time Brownback is up for reelection and that a suitable candidate who would be good for Kansas is elected to try to unravel the harm that is now being done.
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Yesterday Ally came to have lunch before heading out to Abilene on bid’ness. We went to Bogey’s for a hamburger and shake and ran into friends from Ellsworth. It’s always good to see friends from home. Jokingly, Blog reader Marilyn asked me why I wasn’t in my yoga class. I got a kick out of that but my class wasn’t until 4:15. It’s hard to keep track of where I’m supposed to be every day so I’m happy for the reminders.
Ally got me some much needed new sheets and made my bed with them. Karen had laundered them and I really think they are the nicest sheets I’ve ever had….600 count Egyptian cotton, heavy, soft and very generous in size. The top sheet is exceptionally long which I really like. I have trouble making my bed and can’t manage changing the sheets, tucking in and squaring corners. Karen and Ally do that for me so it’s really done right. I slept like a box of rocks on them last night.
There is a van load (14) ladies from here going to Ellsworth on Sunday the 28th for the dinner theater at the correctional facility. They are all looking forward to it. I think they could have filled two vans if they had been available. The Palace is really good about providing transportation to events that people want to attend and they don’t charge for it. Todd has made arrangements for those who might find walking to the spiritual life center from the van a little arduous. They are also arranging for those residents who have dietary restrictions. The ECF really does an outstanding job accommodating guests for their dinner theater.
This is really a great place to live. They try their best to accommodate residents in every way. I hope our next trip to Ellsworth is to Pretty Boy Floyd’s although I’m not sure I can navigate the steps….yet. Some of the women here exercise 2 1/2 hours a day and are spry as kittens and walk the stairs all the time. They can run circles around some of those much younger individuals. Some even go to the Y where they have their own personal trainers for workouts. Amazing and inspiring.
After Trivia, Ginny and I are going to the Art Cinema to see the Emperor. Maybe, after that, we’ll go to IHOP for senior special 2×2x2…two pancakes, 2 eggs and 2 strips of bacon or sausage for dinner. It’s a beautiful day to be going somewhere and I always welcome the opportunity to see a good movie.
Thanks for tuning in …
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