Stupid politicians have had their turn
As defenders of the political status quo survey the landscape, now replete with newcomers and political outsiders, no doubt they are tempted to tell us mere voters that "this is chess, not checkers."
Well, guess what? We need more candidates who are adroit at checkers. Chess has gotten us nowhere. Chess players. Narcissists. Fraternity members. I call bull on all of them.
Thirty years in Congress? Please. Democrats and Republicans are more concerned about their next manicure than they are with manifesting the public will. Whatever happened to serving the country?
The Ivy League lawyers have established quite a fraternity. Secret handshakes and all. Now the voters are waking up and actively saying "no" to the good old boys, Democrats and Republicans alike.
I want what is best for this great country. Old schoolers will excuse me for not understanding the "big picture." There is only a picture — and it ain't pretty.
We need doers. The Republican primary losers in Delaware and Alaska seem to be saying, "How dare you vote me out?" What? How dare they or anyone chastise the voters? The bottom line in their minds seems to be that the voters are stupid.
Well, get ready for more stupid voters. The stupid politicians have had their turn.
Can't be trusted
Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., egregiously misled voters, telling a crowd of Kansas State Fair patrons that he voted against spending $200 billion in taxpayer money to bail out mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Yet records show that Brownback voted in favor of the Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008, which authorized the purchase of unlimited securities from Fannie and Freddie.
When confronted, Brownback spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag confirmed her boss had voted for the bailout ("Brownback claim about bailout vote was wrong," Sept. 16 Eagle). Although he had been caught red-handed, Brownback continued deflecting attention by blaming his colleagues in the Senate for the lack of oversight. They "don't want Fannie and Freddie audited," he told The Eagle.
Meanwhile, Brownback has been one of the leading recipients of campaign contributions from Fannie and Freddie. In total, he's received more than $17,000 from the two organizations, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Brownback has proved he can't be trusted and should not be elected our state's next governor.
Sen. ANTHONY HENSLEY
Senate minority leader
A new law went into effect last week that prohibits insurers from excluding from coverage children with pre-existing health conditions. I was very excited about this new mandate, because my daughter soon will lose her Medicaid coverage, and I will need to pick up a private policy on her. But just before this went into effect, insurance companies stopped offering children-only insurance policies. So now my beautiful, healthy 6-year-old daughter is uninsurable.
The insurance companies should be ashamed of themselves. I hope the government steps up to the plate and does something to make health insurance affordable for the children of our country who need individual policies. Until then, I guess my daughter had better stay healthy.
The commentary on the 10th Amendment made a good point, but I think H. Edward Flentje overlooked nationwide changes since the Constitution was approved ("It could be time for a 10th Amendment party," Sept. 19 Opinion). Conditions are different now in the United States, which is larger and more complex.
Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution gives Congress the power to provide for the general welfare of the states and to regulate commerce among states. This may be stretching the meaning of power, but I believe that only Congress can regulate activities that affect the welfare of people in several or many states. States should not have different laws on immigration, control of the environment, marriage and many other issues. Congress can choose to regulate or not regulate many issues.
DANIEL M. KIRKHUFF
Our candidates for the 4th Congressional District are scheduled to debate issues crucial to the Kansas economy from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Hilton Wichita Airport hotel. I would encourage all voters in the 4th District to attend this debate to listen to the discussion of issues vital to our future, and to help them decide which candidate can best represent us in Congress.
Oh, but wait — if you're not a member of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, it will cost you $50 to get in the door.
Is it just me, or is there something fundamentally wrong with charging voters to attend a debate that might influence the outcome of a congressional election?
It's the students
Of course offering teachers bonuses will not raise student test scores significantly ("Study: Teacher bonuses don't raise scores," Sept. 22 Eagle). Our schools are a reflection of the larger attention-deficit society that values education less than sports, reality shows, electronic gadgets and junk food. These societal problems and others have been discussed and debated by many thoughtful people for years.
However, there is another problem not discussed that determines a child's success in school.
Given that fewer than one-third of fourth-graders can read at a fourth-grade level and there is little to show for the billions of dollars spent over the past 30 years, we must take off our blinders and face another cruel fact: Human intelligence plays a major role. If one has low intellectual ability, then comprehension skills (which are directly related to intelligence and more important than phonic skills) will improve very little — regardless of how great the teachers are.