Steve Kraske talks with University of Pennsylvania professor Thomas Sugrue about how Barack Obama's education and racial background laid the groundwork for much of his approach on current political issues.
If you want to stir the pot of controversy, adding a dash of race and a pinch of politics is a sure way to spice up the discussion.
On Wednesday's Up to Date, we discuss how President Obama seems to straddle both political and racial divides and why understanding that tension is crucial to navigating the fractious issues that dominate today’s legislative landscape.
A Leawood physician who is a distant cousin of President Barack Obama is challenging Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts in the Republican primary. Milton Wolf is taking on the incumbent with strong support from Tea Party conservatives.
Wolf’s first campaign event filled a large ballroom in south Overland Park, Kan. Tuesday evening. It featured live performers and a slick biographical video.
Kansas’ new rules for food stamp recipients require them to work or participate in a job training program if they are able-bodied and have no dependents. They’re actually federal requirements that were in effect from 1997 until 2009, but were waived across the country when the recent recession hit.
The federal government shutdown has now hit the Missouri National Guard.
Late Wednesday, the Guard furloughed nearly a thousand of their 1,400 federal technicians considered to be non-essential. Spokeswoman, Major Tammy Spicer, says the technicians include both civilian and uniformed staff.
"Full-time federal technicians do a variety of jobs across the state, anything from clerical, to mechanical, to aviation related," Spicer said.
Just over 400 federal technicians considered essential remain on duty. Meanwhile, weekend drills have also been called off.
Consumers can rest assured that even with the government shutdown that went into effect on Tuesday, all of the meat, poultry and eggs bought from the grocery store will be inspected as usual by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
But that’s not necessarily the case for other foods -- like cheese, produce and boxes of cereal. Inspections for these products fall under the purview of the Food and Drug Administration, which had to furlough 45 percent of its staff on Tuesday.
Most cities and towns have a sister city--another place across the globe that they’ve established a relationship with. The concept of Sister Cities, or twin towns originated after World War II to create cultural and commercial ties between communities internationally. Kansas City has 13 sister cities. Morelia, Mexico just recently renewed its agreement with KC, making it Kansas City’s third Mexican sister. Other international sisters include Seville, Spain, Kurashiki, Japan, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and more.
A joint House-Senate committee heard testimony Tuesday on the effects of Missouri's school transfer law, which allows students from unaccredited K-12 schools to transfer to nearby accredited districts.
The 5 1/2-hour hearing kicked off with Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)Commissioner Chris Nicastro telling the committee of the dire situation facing the state's unaccredited school districts.
Head Start, a federally funded pre-K program for low-income children, had already been hit by a 5.3 percent sequestration budget cut. In the Kansas City metropolitan area, 200 Head Start slots were eliminated in Missouri and 50 more in Kansas.
On Tuesday, due to the government shutdown, 23 Head Start programs in 11 states, with fiscal years beginning October 1, were told to close.
The government shutdown forced hundreds of thousands of civilian employees to go home early Tuesday, including thousands in the military installations around Kansas City. Fort Leavenworth and Fort Riley in central Kan., and Whiteman Air Force Base near Knob Noster, Mo., all furloughed technicians and workers.
Shutdown expected to take toll on Whiteman
At Whiteman Air Force Base, B-2 stealth bombers based here soar like giant evil bats over the facility almost every day.
There are an estimated 27,500 federal employees in the Kansas City metropolitan area. And Tuesday, with the shutdown of the federal government, some of those workers are furloughed.
Michael Devine, the director of the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence, Mo., was at work Tuesday morning with other staffers, shutting down the facility. This included changing outgoing email and voice messages.
When the country woke up Tuesday morning, it found a partially-shutdown federal government That meant 800,000 workers furloughed, services curtailed, national parks closed, the EPA virtually shuttered and much more.
On Tuesday's Up to Date we talk with Congressmen Emanuel Cleaver and Kevin Yoder about the latest negotiations between Republicans and Democrats and between factions within the Republican Party.
A series of hearings by state lawmakers into Missouri's Medicaid system has begun.
The interim House Committee on Medicaid Transformation spent much of the Thursday looking at proposed changes in Arkansas and Iowa, which would include expanding access to private health insurers and rewarding healthy behavior.
Sidney Watson is a law professor at St. Louis University who also advocates for improved access to Medicaid. She told the committee more about the waiver Iowa is seeking from the federal government.
Members of a Missouri House interim committee tasked with improving government efficiency complained Wednesday about not having access to the full budgets of any of the state's universities.
The committee was examining the Department of Higher Education. Republican committee member Kathie Conway of St. Charles says the department's annual budget requests to the Governor's office do not contain line-by-line expense requests she says the committee needs to do its job.
There could be an effort next year to change the law allowing Missouri lawmakers and others to carry guns at the State Capitol.
A loaded handgun was found by police in the basement of the Capitol last week. It had been left in a men's bathroom on top of a toilet paper dispenser. Police discovered that it belonged to a staff member of Republican House Speaker Tim Jones, and that the staffer does have a conceal-carry permit. Jacob Hummel, the top Democrat in the Missouri House, says only law enforcement officers should be allowed to carry arms at the State Capitol.
With the House of Representatives and the president once again butting heads over the federal budget, a government shutdown is looking more likely by the day.
On Tuesday's Up to Date, Bob Bixby of the Concord Coalition joins Steve Kraske to talk about the economy, the effect a shutdown could have on the country if Congress doesn’t pass a new budget and how the debt ceiling debate figures into the equation.
Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, a Republican, blasted President Obama's Affordable Care Act Monday, just over one week before Missouri's federally-run health insurance exchange is scheduled to open for business.
Kinder told reporters during a conference call that he hopes Missouri residents without health coverage will opt not to use the exchange.
President Barack Obama drew heavily on automotive references as he spread his economic recovery message at the Ford Plant at Liberty, MO today. The President also took on Congress’ pitting the debt ceiling against the Affordable Care.
The President told a crowd of mostly auto workers, their families and supporters Congress must raise the debt ceiling or fallout would make America a “deadbeat” to the world.
The Kansas Board of Regents has approved a budget request that asks for restoration of millions of dollars in cuts. Lawmakers cut more than $30 million from the higher education budget last legislative session.
The cuts to higher education were made to across-the-board spending, and funding for salaries.
Lawmakers passed a two-year budget last session, but members of the Board or Regents said they have a responsibility to advocate for increased investment in higher ed. The regents backed off a proposal that would have promised flat tuition if the cuts were reversed.
What do you do after your congressional career is finished?
In the first part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we catch up with two former U.S. congressmen from Missouri, Alan Wheat and Kenny Holshuf, who have returned to Washington as policy advisors on behalf of a local law firm.
Former Democratic Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius will return to the state later this week to support a statehouse politician who's weighing a run for the governor's office.
Sebelius will be in the Kansas City area on Thursday, at an event for Democratic state Representative Paul Davis, from Lawrence. Davis has formed a committee to explore running for governor against incumbent Republican Sam Brownback.
The Kansas City Star reports that Sebelius, the current U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services, will appear at the reception in Mission Hills to support Davis.