Glazer: Donald Trump Poised to Win It All

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 10.23.35 AMDrum roll please; the presidency may be Donald Trump‘s to lose!!!!

Yep, Trump’s numbers keep getting bigger and bigger and some polls have him at 29% of the vote now!  OMG. What started out as a joke is NO JOKE. He is killing it.

Why?

Because people in this country are truly fed up. Finally. Americans want a president WHO WILL DO SOMETHING!!! Not just talk. Bill Clinton was going to legalize weed, Obama wanted free or close to free healthcare.

Both were the right moves, but the so-called powers that be said, NO.

And maybe – just maybe – people feel Donald Trump won’t be walked over.

He seems to be the real deal.

Trump wants managers that have the background to help run America, not just politically connected friends put in office. He demands that veterans get full health care. THEY HAVE EARNED IT.

Will it happen? Can Trump fix the economy? Maybe – just maybe- he can do something big. That’s how the voters seem to feel.

Trump admits his errors and says “Hey, the media will find all kinds of things I said or did that will piss people off. But I’m still the best man for the job.”

Know what? I’m starting to think he may well be right! Continue reading

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Stomper: Concussions, Head Trauma Wreaking Havoc on Youth Sports

Nathan Stiles

Nathan Stiles

Some of you may recall my piece last year about youth sports and football

Rereading it might provide some valuable background for this offering.

The topic today is the effect the concussion scare and media focus on football as a result, is having on youth football. Youth football means tackle football from 2nd through 8th grade but many area school districts wait to go into school ball until after the 6th.

Full disclosure: There’s a ton of information out there and I’m certainly no expert.

I am however a long term volunteer in an area youth football league that has tried to address the issue and, basically, survive the current environment.

A class action lawsuit against the NFL by hundreds of former players regarding head trauma has resulted in intense focus on the sport from top to bottom. 

NCAA, NAIA, College Conferences, high schools and youth leagues are all caught in the cross hairs trying to react.  Part of the problem, however, is there’s very little definitive research data on which to base a path forward.

Medical science can’t even agree on what causes concussions, how to recognize/diagnose them or what to advise patients.  Continue reading

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Leftridge: The Kansas City Royals Are Going to Kill Me

cuetoKCThe Royals went out and got Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist which is exactly what I hoped they’d do, so I know now that the acquisitions have to be huge mistakes because I’m never right about shit like this. They gave up some good arms in the process, but like the old adage about making omelets and breaking eggs goes, in order to lead a gift horse to water, you need to teach him to fish, first.

WILL pitcher Sean Manaea (given up for Zobrist) be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as a member of the New York Yankees? (Because, haha, it’s not like the Oakland A’s will KEEP him or anything.) Probably. Is it worth it if the Royals win just the second World Series Championship in franchise history? Maybe, yeah.

But that’s the thing: with this season’s astonishing success, I–along with everyone else in Kansas City, really– have just accepted the postseason as a foregone conclusion. And that’s beginning to make me worry.

See, the thing is, you’ve still only got two really quality starters. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘Mission: Impossible’ @ Top of its Game

maxresdefaultSome would call MAD MAX: FURY ROAD the most exciting action thriller of the summer – others may choose JURASSIC WORLD….

Me?

I say it’s MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE–ROGUE NATION.

This is the fifth big screen adaptation – and in my book – the best since the vintage TV spy series first hit into theaters in 1996.

There’ve been some excellent directors along the IMF’s long and winding road, including Brian DePalma, John Woo, J.J. Abrams and Brad Bird.

But writer/director Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher) brings a new found flair and energy to the proceedings that makes ROGUE NATION fly by in seemingly no time.

“This could very well be our last mission—make it count!”

And that’s exactly what Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt sets out to accomplish. Continue reading

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Glazer: Which Is It: A Baseball Town or a Football Town?

George-Carlin-710x434 Is Kansas City a Chiefs town or Royals town?

The answer is simple. BOTH!

Face it, everybody loves a winner and right now clearly the Royals are it. The team is about to win its first division title since 1985. Thirty years a loser until last year. So the fan base here is on fire. WE all know that.

The Chiefs? Eh, not so much.

Like most cities the fan base here is slow to turn out for a loser. However this town bled Chiefs red for a quarter century. However not since Joe Montana and his Chiefs beat the Houston Oilers in the 1993 playoffs, has KC won a post season game. And that team no longer exists.

The Chiefs have stunk it up and underachieved ever since.

Head Chiefs coach Marty Schottenheimer had some good teams from 91-97 but after that the Chiefs were no longer a force in the NFL. Never again. Truth be told, they have been a total failure. Total.

The Royals had their run with George Brett from 1975-85.

And yes we were a Royals town then because the Chiefs were awful. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: National Lampoon-Less ‘VACATION’—What Could Go Wrong?

header-christina-applegate-to-go-on-vacation-with-ed-helmsThere was a certain comedic magic about NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION

CHRISTMAS VACATION added to the charm. EUROPEAN and VEGAS VACATIONS? Not so much.

Can you believe that it’s been 33 years since Clark, Ellen, Rusty and Audrey first headed west in the family truckster to visit Wally World?

Well Rusty (Ed Helms) is all grown up and has his own family—wife Christina Applegate and two boys.

He’s a pilot for an airline. Not a major carrier, mind you. But regional carrier ECONOAIR out of Midway Airport.

And just like his dad Clark, Rusty’s still a nut.

Memories of family vacations are strong for Rusty and what better way to bring the family close together than a present day road trip—to Wally World.

Yeap, that’s the ticket. Continue reading

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Hearne: Star Breaks its Word, Backtracks on Tax Pledge, Looks to Uncertain Future

Star publisher Mi Ah Parrish Read her lips: "No new taxes"

Star publisher Mi-Ai Parrish
Read her lips: “No new taxes”

The Kansas City Star couldn’t pat itself on the back enough…

The year was 2003 and editorial page editor Miriam Pepper  was ecstatic about the prospects of the newspaper building a new $200 million press facility in the heart of downtown.

“I’m ready to cheer, sling dirt, or dig with my hands,” Pepper panted.

“By building in a brownfield, an older urban neighborhood just south of the downtown loop, the paper is walking its talk,” she continued. “It’s not the easiest or least expensive way to go, even with a $12.8 million tax break. Many newspapers today head to suburban greenfields because they are cheaper to buy and build on.”

Indeed the Star could have asked for far greater tax breaks, but chose not to.

Something about wanting to set an example for other developers by not being greedy and doing the right thing for Kansas City.

That was then.

The latest:  After threatening to move its press facility out of KC if it was not granted an extension of it’s tax breaks from 10 to 25 years, the Kansas City Council blinked and granted the newspaper another 15 years, depriving the city of millions of dollars in funding for schools, libraries and other uses.

That despite an advisory board recommendation that the council reject the Star’s request.

Board member Michael Duffy said the tax break was “not intended to be a bailout provision for a troubled business, which is what we heard today.”

Star publisher Mi-Ai Parish followed that admonition with a not-so-veiled threat to move the press out of KCMO if the newspaper didn’t get its tax break.

“We would like to stay,” Parish whined. “(But) the economics have to be there.”

Seriously? Continue reading

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Sutherland: History Doesn’t Repeat Itself, But It Does Rhyme!

 

brownback

Sam Brownback

The foregoing quote is attributed to Mark Twain

I’ve always understood it to mean that some events reoccur in history with spooky similarity, even though they are not exactly alike in all the particulars. See if you can tell me what politician I’m describing and when the events happened:

“The conservative Republican was elected on a platform of cutting taxes and spending, both proposed with the goal of getting the economy moving again. Although he was eventually able to get a number of legislators who shared his philosophy elected, taking control of the Senate for a surprise victory, he found that actually cutting government spending was a lot easier said than done.

“Moreover, when his major tax cuts went through, he had to accept a number of provisions, resulting in major revenue losses, that were not part of his original proposal, loading up his tax bill with a number of loopholes, exemptions, and tax breaks for special interests, in order to get the bill through a legislative branch that was still, at least in part, in hostile hands.

“When his tax cuts failed to lead to the dramatic growth in revenues he and his political allies had hoped for, he had to go back to the legislature and ask for new taxes to meet the mounting budget deficit. Even though he was ultimately successful in raising revenues, this move was greeted with a chorus of derision in the press and from his political opponents. His critics maintained that this step (which he described as a ‘course correction’) was actually proof that supply side economics was an abject failure and that his whole approach to government was discredited. Even though the resulting deficit was caused in no small part by his failure to limit government spending as promised, his political opponents lambasted him for ‘savage’ cuts in welfare and education spending. It didn’t matter that the ‘cuts’ usually turned out to be spending increases smaller than his opponents would have liked. Nor did it matter that he’d inherited a faltering economy from his predecessor- the widespread belief was that this Republican conservative had seriously damaged the government and the economy single-handedly.

“The mere mention of his name at a public gathering would bring on a chorus of boos and cat calls. Comments in the media were striking in their anger and negativity. Few observers doubted that he would go down as the worst chief executive up to that time, a mean spirited bigot who had destroyed the enlightened legacy of many in his own party, who were moderate conservatives and not right wing radicals like he was. If he was remembered at all, it would be for favoring the wealthy and corporations at the expense of the poor and middle class, as well as for his extremist positions on social issues like guns, abortion, and the separation of church and state.”

Are we talking Sam Brownback circa 2015? Continue reading

Posted in Dwight D. Sutherland, Jr. | Tagged , , | 33 Comments

Sutherland: An Unresolved Dichotomy @ 18th & Grand

KC StarDuring the Cold War, analysts at the CIA would parse every word in the Soviet Union’s official newspaper, “Pravda,” and in the Red Chinese counterpart, “The People’s Daily.”

This was to search for subtle shifts in meaning and emphasis in news and commentary in order to figure out what was really going on with those totalitarian societies’ power elites.

Those same skills of close textual analysis are required to analyze the Stalinist offerings of the KC Star Editorial Board.

I have to employ such powers of discernment in deciphering the ongoing saga of the paper’s efforts to get special tax breaks for its multi-million dollar white elephant printing plant on Grand.

The Star’s initial tax abatement expired in 2014.

At the time it was initially granted, the Star was sensitive to charges it had opposed similar tax breaks for other businesses. They promised several times that they would pay taxes at the regular rate.

Once the initial term expired, however, they began actively lobbying for an extension, now that they were faced with property tax payments of $700,000 in 2015 and 2016 (almost five times what they previously paid), rising to $1.3 million annually in 2017.

In an article published 7-17-15, the Star stated it would be making instead annual payments of $337,000 as a result of the extended tax relief. (To quote John Belushi in Animal House, “Heh! You blanked-up! You trusted us!”) Continue reading

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Glazer: Royals Sign Johnny Cueto, Lock Up Division

Apr 7, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto (47) pitches during the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 7, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto (47) pitches during the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals were likely to win the division anyway…

Even without signing Reds’ ace pitcher Johnny Cueto. Hey. with a plus 21 games over .500 KC is by far the American League’s best ball club.

However this team wants it all.

And the only weakness all season long has been the starting pitching. Yet this team wins anyway. And really the Royals haven’t lost many games due to being blown out because of poor starters.

At the beginning of the season the team was counting on Danny Duffy and Ace Ventura to be their one/two punch. Both pitchers had problems, but now are trying to get back on track. The Royals hitting is solid and their defense is baseball’s best – as is their bullpen.

So starting pitching aside, on paper the Royals can make the argument that they’re the ‘best team in the majors, no question. And now by adding a pitcher with a 2.29 ERA – second only to Clayton Kershaw the past five years – wow. Continue reading

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New Jack City: ‘Til Death—Or Lawyers—Do Us Part

kris-bruce-jenner-120-million-divorce-no-pre-nup-wide“I should have taken a booth at the Bridal Fair,” a friend said recently…

It’s wedding season and once again and businesses cashing in on the happy times are strutting their services.

So is my friend a photographer, baker, bridal dress purveyor or honeymoon planner?

None of the above.

He’s a divorce lawyer whose firm specializes in the man’s perspective of family law.

Let’s call him James B. for the purpose of this story. Continue reading

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Leftridge: Trade Deadline Approaches; Offense Targets

Ben Zobrist

Ben Zobrist

Last week, I pleaded with the Royals to sign a starting pitcher. This was before Jason Vargas blew up his elbow (though that wasn’t exactly shocking, given his previous injuries this season) and before OPENING DAY STARTER Yordano Ventura had yet another shitty start, was demoted and than subsequently UN-demoted due to happenstance.

One person I mentioned—Scott Kazmir—was traded from his previous team (Oakland) to a now super-stacked Houston Astros. So, cool. All it took Houston was their organization’s 19th and 22nd best prospects, so it’s a bit disappointing the Royals couldn’t have done even a little better.

But I digress. They didn’t get Kazmir. Life will go on, probably.

They still need a bat, and that’s for sure. Alex Gordon remains on the disabled list, the outfield aside from Lorenzo Cain is inconsistent at best, and the less said about the second baseman, the less his madre will cry.

So anyway, here are some players the Royals could target to bolster their occasionally inconsistent lineup. Continue reading

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Starbeams: Planet Starbucks, Bond v Trump, Moose Mutt

planetScientists have found the most Earth-like planet, a planet called Kepler-452b.  It’s about 1,400 light years away, takes 385 days to orbit its sun, and has roughly 3,000,000 Starbucks locations.

 

                                           *******

The new James Bond movie trailer was released.  “Spectre” will feature Bond traveling to Mexico and fighting his way into the USA past Donald Trump. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: Jake Gyllenhaal Scores Agonizing Knockout

images-1There are two sides to the movie SOUTHPAW

One is the boxing story of a heavy hitter falling from the top of the heap to the bottom of the barrel—then crawling back against all odds.

The other is the sensational performance by Jake Gyllenhaal who certainly elevated creepy in last year’s NIGHTCRAWLER.

In SOUTHPAW Gyllenhaal is at the top of his game as light heavyweight boxing champ Billy The Great Hope.

Lots of victories. Great family. Great home. Tons of money.

But warnings of permanent injuries are starting to set in. Continue reading

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Glazer: He-Could-Go-All-The-Way! The Donald Makes His Move

9182cf50-f75d-0132-f409-0e18518aac2fMost experts seem to think Hillary Clinton is unbeatable!

We’ve heard that before. She has the magic of the CLINTON name and her husband BILL is still the most popular presidential name of all.

On top of which, the Clinton’s remind us of better times in America. That’s all, it’s simple. So they remain the sentimental favorites to gain back the White House.

But hold on!

Is it possible that DONALD TRUMP could beat her?

OMG.The Donald is the leading Republican candidate, according to the polls. How can that be folks?

Trump says hero John McCain is not a hero at all.

Trump says McCain was merely captured by the enemy. So he’s a survivor not a hero.  Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 75 Comments

Steele: Has the KC Star Ceased to be Ridiculous?

Margaret_Sanger_anniversary_96_yearsFor the last few days at least, the Kansas City Star has not sent out in its daily email blast an article scolding Kansas Governor Sam Brownback for some imagined offense…

Had someone told the editors their Brownback mania was making them look ridiculous?

Then on Wednesday – shock of all shockers – the Star published an article, by Judy Thomas no less, that paints Brownback in a favorable light for demanding an investigation of Planned Parenthood‘s sale of aborted baby parts.

Other than the use of the word “fetuses” to describe babies whole enough to have viable body parts, the article “Kansas and Missouri call for investigation of Planned Parenthood amid questions about aborted fetuses” was refreshingly free of the Star’s usual diabolical spin on this issue. Continue reading

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Starbeams: USS Kansas City, Cordish, Pussy Galore, Apple Watch & KKK

usskansascityKansas City is about to have a Navy Ship.  The USS Kansas City photo debuted at Kauffman Stadium Monday night.  All of the new stuff on the ship will be built by the Cordish Company.

                                                      *******

A “Cat Cafe” is coming to St. Louis.  It’s described as a place where people can sip tea or coffee while hanging with their furry, feline friends…while you contemplate why your parents didn’t use birth control.

                                                     ******* Continue reading

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Glazer: At Long Last, Cain is Able

images-1The Kansas City Royals are the best team in the American League…

And maybe in all of baseball.

Just halfway through the season they have a more than 20 game jump on .500. They haven’t been 20 games over .500 since 1989, 26 years ago. Damn.

The club is likely to win over 100 games for the 2nd time in its history.

Courtesy of hotter bats and a defense that’s out of this world. They’re a pleasure to watch.

But what this club has lacked since the Brett era has been a true superstar player.

An everyday guy who could carry a team when needed – a player who was a strong .300 hitter, with power and that drives in important runs.

They FINALLY FOUND HIM and his name is Lorenzo Cain. Continue reading

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Leftridge: Trade Deadline Approaches; Starting Pitching Targets

Apr 7, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto (47) pitches during the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Cuetoooooooooo

First, let me preface this piece with a few facts.

  • The Royals are a good team.
  • The Royals actually might be a VERY good team.
  • The Royals are in first place of the American League Central and have been for most of the season.
  • The Royals have the best record in ALL of the American League, and have for most of the season.
  • The Royals are 19 games above .500, their best mark this late in the season since 1879. At that time, they were known as the Pennsylvania Spider Fuckers, and Cap Anson’s dad was catcher.
  • This last thing is not a fact.

Nevertheless, the Royals are good and, holy shit, it’s mid July. That means that there isn’t a whole lot of season left, and that also means that they need to shore up any shortcomings. And the thing is? Despite their record, and how amazing this team seems to be at times, there are definite shortcomings. Continue reading

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Donnelly: Sporting KC Hottest Team in MLS on Back of Practice Keeper

melia-tim0302_0481Even though Sporting Kansas City is sitting at 6th in the Western Conference with 30 points, they’re the hottest team in MLS right now…

The boys in blue have lost just twice in all competitions since April 18th, and three of their mainstays – Matt Besler, Graham Zusi, and Benny Feilhaber – were just named to the All Star team.

So if they’re crushing it so hard, how come they’re 6th?

It’s because they’ve played only 17 games, three fewer than West-leading Seattle who is sitting at 32 points.

Yep, just two points separates sixth from first.  And with a win Saturday against Montreal at Sporting Park, KC can take the lead in the West with two games in hand.

How is Sporting doing it?  Especially with Dom Dwyer, last season’s leading goal scorer, sitting at just 5 goals thus far?  I’ll tell you how: goalkeeper Tim Melia. Continue reading

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