Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Zweifel Weighs In on Default Debate

In a possible signal that his eyes are turning toward the national issues that would be involved in a US Senate campaign, State Treasurer Clint Zweifel pens an opinion piece in today’s Kansas City Star which pounds Congress for their delay in dealing with the debt ceiling.

Pull Quote: “The real fiscal challenges for our country will not disappear after this politically engineered crisis is over… Congressional leaders need to do what we elected them to do — serve our country. Regardless of what size you think government should be, everyone agrees that government should function... There are tough decisions ahead. These decisions will require leadership, pragmatism and cooperation. We cannot continue to lurch from crisis to crisis. We need long-term solutions built from negotiation between equals, not from panicked bargaining to avoid economic collapse. Missourians, Americans and the international community are watching.”  Read it here.

Meanwhile in Washington…

There’s a new breed: default deniers.  From Politico’s Morning Money: “DEBT LIMIT DENIERS BACK IN FORCE - POLITICO's Ben White and Seung Min Kim: Wall Street and the White House are warning that failure to raise the nation's debt limit will result in an economic apocalypse. ... But there is a hard-core group of Republicans in Congress who say it's just not true. Yes, the debt limit deniers are back in force. You can spin all the scary tales of default you want and they won't believe you. They say if the $16.7 trillion borrowing limit is not raised by Oct. 17, as Treasury demands, then the U.S. government will still collect more than enough cash each month to keep paying bondholders.  And if Uncle Sam can't pay Social Security recipients or anyone else while it forks over interest payments to the Chinese? 'Tough luck,' these people say. The nation spends too much as it is. Blocking a debt ceiling increase will provide the radical shock therapy the nation desperately needs to start living within its means.”

TV Watcher to MOScout: Wagner In the Frame

“I’ve been noticing Ann Wagner a lot standing in the camera shot when House leaders are speaking about the gov situation.”

Anesthesiologists Petition Dept of Corrections

Employing a rarely-used statute (see below) that enables people to petition state agencies to make rule changes, the Missouri Society of Anesthesiologists (MSA) is asking the Department of Corrections to prohibit the use of “any drug for lethal injections if there is evidence that the use of that drug could negatively impact health care providers and facilities ability to purchase the drug for its intended use in the delivery of health care services.”

This is the latest development in the “propofol showdown.”  The European Union – from which most propofol is exported – has said they wouldn’t sell the drug to the United States if it’s being used for capital punishment.  Missouri plans to use it for capital punishment.

According to MSA, “over 50 million patients and 15,000 hospitals, surgery centers, and health care facilities across the country rely on propofol as a general anesthetic during surgery.”

According to AP (thank you Mr. Combest), Governor Jay Nixon doesn’t see the public health threat as a good enough reason to delay the executions.  Yet.  See it here.  Still one assumes with his national ambitions he’ll find a way to terminate those on death row which doesn’t also create a sudden shortage of a vital drug.

Rule Request Statute

536.041. Any person may file a written petition with an agency requesting the adoption, amendment or repeal of any rule. Any agency receiving such a petition or other request in writing to adopt, amend or repeal any rule shall forthwith furnish a copy thereof to the joint committee on administrative rules and to the commissioner of administration. Within sixty days after the receipt of the petition, the agency shall submit a written response to the petitioner and copies of the response, in electronic format, to the joint committee on administrative rules and to the commissioner of administration, containing its determination whether such rule should be adopted, continued without change, amended, or rescinded, together with a concise summary of the state agency's specific facts and findings with respect to the criteria set forth in subsection 4 of section 536.175…

Smith to MADA

Doug Smith, formerly with the Associated General Contractors, is the new president and CEO of the Missouri Automobile Dealers Association.  He takes the place of Sam Barbee.

Texas Committeewoman to Kinder: Take One for the Gipper

Here’s an email sent by Texas County Republican Committeewoman Connie Thompson to possible congressional candidate LG Peter Kinder

Peter,

I received information from your exploratory committee in regards to your candidacy for congress. I don't understand, you are doing a good job as Lt. Governor. If you leave your seat, we lose a good republican holding that seat. You know as well as anyone, Jay Nixon will fill your seat with a democrat. Why not support Jason Smith? He has been doing an outstanding job stepping forward for Missourians. We need you to continue your position as Lt. Governor. I have spoken to several people who feel exactly the same way I do. I've asked them to write, telling you how this makes them feel. I don't like being forced to choose between two good republicans, especially since you still have three years before your term is up. Won't you please reconsider and give your support to Jason Smith. Please think of your constituents. We voted for you because we felt you were investing your heart as Lt. Governor, and investing in us. Can't we as republicans just play nice for a change? We are losing people from our party because of the constant bickering and the inability to unite. Let's work together to re-unite our party, and help make it stronger. As Ronald Reagan said "Take one for the Gipper!"

Kindly,

Connie Thompson

Texas County

Drebes to Thompson: Take One? 

Actually I think it’s “win one for the Gipper,” which is a little different than “take one.”  See it here.  Maybe Kinder’s tired of “taking one” for the team, and ready to grab one for himself…

Skelton’s Memoir

Former Congressman Ike Skleton has written a memoir, Achieve the Honorable.  Doesn’t sound like the sort of tell-all books I favor.  See it here.

Student Representatives IP

Brad Ketcher filed an initiative petition to add student representatives to the board of curators of the state’s public universities.  Pretty much every year students have worked the legislature for this type of change to no avail.  See the IP here.

Ketcher, an attorney who is active in initiative petitions, told AP that he wouldn’t disclose his clients in the matter.  See it here.  One long-time watcher told me that Ketcher sometime files these petitions to raise the profile of an issue, even without an actual client in hand.  We’ll see if the issue gathers more steam…

McKee Presses His Case for TIF

Developer Paul McKee continued his long and winding effort to kick-start his Northside project.  Two aldermen (including former Rep. Chris Carter) apparently balked at showing up at the hearing and thus deprived the committee from having a quorum to take a vote.  But it sounds like that ploy will only delay the inevitable, and McKee will have his TIF soon.  Read the Post-Dispatch account here.

Weeds, It’s What’s for Dinner?

NYTimes reports how cooking with weeds is “reshaping fine dining in Kansas City, long considered a steakhouse town.”  Read it here.

$5K+Contributions

Joe Hensley for Judge Committee - $20,000 from Joe Hensley.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc - $9,333 from Site Advancement Foundation.

Committee for Research Treatments and Cures - $14,000 from Randall ODonnell.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

Mike Hess added HNTB Corporation.

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Ascension’s Caroline Pelot, and St. Louis Board President Lewis Reed.