(EDITOR’S NOTE: Starting today, Olathe writer Paul D. Wilson, joins the list of contributors to ViewFromTheMidwest.com. Enjoy his self-described “quirky” views of life and its events.)

Indiana, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and Poe’s Law

Paul D. Wilson

Paul D. Wilson

On Thursday, Indiana lawmakers made changes to RFRA to calm the national tsunami of gay discontent flooding the state. This isn’t new, Indiana joined 20 other states, giving businesses the right to not provide services to the gay community if that conflicts with their religious views.

Or, as Seinfeld’s Soup Nazzi said, “No SOUP for you [GAYS]!”

“The change in the RFRA law will hopefully put an end to the greatest misperception of all: that Indiana’s people discriminate, which couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Senate President Pro Tempore David Long.

This came after a host of organizations and groups from the band Wilco to 10 states and municipalities announced they were pulling out of conferences and events as a result of the law’s backlash. Continue reading

Other views:

Brownback turns his back on 400,000 disabled Kansans

BY Finn Bullers
Freelance Writer

Under a vibrant, sunny Tuesday sky, you could almost imagine that the sun was indeed shining in Kansas — just like the never-ending GOP political TV commercials suggest.


At the podium dead center in the hub of all things affluent Johnson County, stands Gov. Sam Brownback, his poll numbers trailing Democrat challenger Paul Davis by slightly more than the margin of error.

Brownback’s dark blazer and khaki pants sends the message he’s serious, but not as serious as the dark suits flanking him, all seeking a moment in the spotlight of this absurdist political theater troupe prepping to get their GOP boss re-elected for another four years. Continue reading

Other views:

H. Edward Flentje: Kansas GOP turned back on party history

From The Wichita Eagle

I am indeed a lifelong, card-carrying Republican, born and raised in Republican territory, rural Harper County, in the small farming community of Bluff City.

My affiliation with the GOP led to my work with Republican officeholders in Kansas, as a Cabinet officer for Govs. Bob Bennett and Mike Hayden, and as a legislative aide to former U.S. Sen. Jim Pearson. I have admired the leadership of Republicans at the national level, such as Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan and Kansas’ own Alf Landon and Bob Dole.

I have watched the current crop of Republican lawmakers in Kansas radically depart from what have been core principles of Republicans. Their actions prompt me to ask: What exactly do Kansas Republicans believe? Continue reading

Opinion: KanCare bully beats up disabled

For-profit, managed-care smackdown puts Rocky on the ropes

Freelance writer/editor

Remember the final minutes of Rocky II?

It’s post Bicentennial America. And the country still is in search of patriotic themes and underdog dreams. Actors Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers deliver in the second of six feel-good boxing thrillers that altogether grossed more than $1 billion.

In the end, both Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed pummel each other in 15 rounds of bone-crushing, sweat-flying body blows until both fall to the mat in utter exhaustion.

Flash forward: It’s 2014 Topeka, Kansas, home of the KanCare political boxing championship. Two equally matched contenders have squared off in the first of what appears to be a long-running series of equally bloody bouts.

In one corner wearing patriotic satin trunks is underdog disability civil rights advocate Rocky Nichols with the Big Tent Coalition, an alliance of dozens of advocacy groups and home- and community-based service providers. Continue reading

It’s time to rise up

‘Expand Kansas Medicaid’ rally Feb. 17, Topeka

Freelance writer/editor

A broad coalition of sunflower state disability advocates and supporters have joined forces to “Expand Medicaid in Kansas,” a Feb. 17 rally at 2 p.m. at the state Capitol rotunda in Topeka. Organizers hope to attract more than 100 supporters.

The goal is simple: Present a unified force of Kansas disability rights advocates and supporters to send Gov. Sam Brownback and state legislators a clear message that it is critical to expand Medicaid during this legislative session.

The group will meet just before 2 p.m. in the rotunda of the state Capitol. State legislators will give health care policy updates. KanCare recipients negatively affected by the state’s experimental, for-profit managed care initiative — including Finn Bullers of Kansas City who fought the state to have his caregiver hours restored — will address the rally. Continue reading

Other views…

The Koch Party

An editorial from The New York Times

Only a few weeks into this midterm election year, the right-wing political zeppelin is fully inflated with secret cash and is firing malicious falsehoods at supporters of health care reform.

As Carl Hulse of The Times reported recently, Democrats have been staggered by a $20 million advertising blitz produced by Americans for Prosperity, the conservative advocacy group organized and financed by the Koch brothers, billionaire industrialists. The ads take aim at House and Senate candidates for re-election who have supported the health law, and blame them for the hyped-up problems with the law’s rollout that now seem to be the sole plank in this year’s Republican platform. Continue reading

Devil is in the details

Screw up small stuff, KanCare,
and how can we trust you when it really matters?

Freelance writer/editor

Eighteen-year-old Neil Carney of Wichita, Kan., is profoundly autistic and severely mentally retarded. He has tried to eat charcoal briquettes and light bulbs. He can be aggressive.

Neil lives in a beige single-family home with a professional caregiver. His parents, Pat and Aldona Carney — and thousands of others like them in Kansas — have been given a one-month reprieve by federal Medicaid officials to delay a fate they fear is inevitable.

Come Feb. 1, Kansas’ Medicaid managed-care system – known as KanCare — is expected to take charge of all home- and community-based services for about 8,500 developmentally disabled people, most of them adults. Continue reading

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