Dumb idea competition heating up in the states
The Kansas City Star
Forty-nine states participate in a database that tracks prescription drug purchases to prevent abuse like “doctor shopping.”
And then there is Missouri.
Missouri is the lone holdout thanks to Sen. Rob Schaaf, a St. Joseph Republican. Schaaf, a doctor, mistakenly believes the loss of privacy inherent in a database is worse than perpetuating a problem that nationwide kills more people in a year than traffic accidents.
Last year, Schaaf embarked on a nine-hour filibuster to stop a database bill from passing in the Senate. This year, in a new tactic, he is calling for a statewide vote on the issue.
A conciliatory gesture? Not a chance. Schaaf’s aim is to load up a ballot measure with enough poison pills to render the idea of a data base radioactive in Missouri.
Another Republican senator, David Sater of Cassville, is pushing legislation to set up a database without a public vote. That bill needds to move forward.
Keep your cupcakes
A Kansas legislative committee wandered into surreal territory with a discussion about whether parents who work for medical providers who perform abortions could be barred from volunteering in their children’s schools.
Lawmakers are considering a bill with sweeping abortion restrictions, including stopping any group associated with the business, such as Planned Parenthood, from providing information about human sexuality to schools.
Emily Perry, a sharp-eyed Democratic lawmaker from Mission, noticed the bill was written so broadly that parents who worked for targeted employers conceivably would be barred from even accompanying their children on field trips.
That would be just fine with Rep. Allan Rothlisberg, a Republican from Grandview Plaza. “If we’re having people in our education system, I don’t want them involved in any way, shape or form or manner in killing children,” he said.
Fortunately, others on the committee peered through the hyperbole and approved Perry’s amendment stopping the atrocious overreach. Legislators cannot deny parents the right to engage in their children’s experience in public schools because they don’t like the parent’s employer.
Unfortunately, the committee approved the amended bill, and sent it along to the House.
A number of GOP members of Congress, including two from Missouri, were busted this week for issuing deceitful statements after they voted in opposition to the Violence Against Women Act.
“Hartzler votes to protect women from acts of violence,” proclaimed a news release from Vicky Hartzler of Harrisonville.
“Today I was pleased to stand up for all women who are victims of violence and abuse,” announced Ann Wagner, who represents eastern Missouri.
Except, they didn’t. Hartzler, Wagner and some other lawmakers voted for a GOP amendment. They voted “no” on the final bill that passed the House, 286-138.
We’re not sure which is worse: the dishonest statements or their copycat nature.
Really, people. Show some originality!
Citizens of Missouri and Kansas, take heart. Extreme dumbness is not restricted to our state legislatures.
Washington’s is considering taxing bicycle sales as part of a larger transportation package. In an email to a bike shop owner, Republican lawmaker Ed Orcutt contended that bicycling is a pollutant. It increases heartbeat and respiration rates, he reasoned, so “that means the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider” and pollutes the atmosphere.
Um, not so. Humans probably do produce more carbon dioxide when riding a bike, but CO² is only a pollutant when it originates from fossil fuels.
After the inevitable uproar ensued, Orcutt backpedaled. “It was not a point worthy of even mentioning,” he said.