Ruckus – April 23, 2015

Ruckus – April 23, 2015


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YOU. THANK YOU.
MIKE: EVENING. WELCOME TO RUCKUS, THAT WEEKLY
FOOD-FOR-THOUGHT FIGHT OVER THE NEWS OF THE DAY AND THE TRENDS
OF THE TIMES. I’M MIKE SHANIN.
THE RUCKETTES JOIN ME SHORTLY. OUR TOPICS TONIGHT: WELFARE OR
UNFAIR? A BISHOP’S CRITICS FIND THEIR
PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED. AND SOME DOWN TO EARTH
DISCUSSION ABOUT GROUND TRANSPORTATION.
BUT WE TART WITH OUR NEWS MAKER SEGMENT AND FOCUS ON THE BATTLE
THAT’S BEEN UNFOLDING IN KANSAS CITY AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO
IMPROVE WAGES FOR WORKERS AT FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS AND
ELSEWHERE AND FORCE MAJOR EMPLOYERS TO PAY WORKERS WHAT
THEY TERM “A LIVING WAGE”. JOINING ME NOW IS THE LEADER OF
THE STAND UP KC MOVEMENT LE TOYA CALDWELL WHO HAS WORKED AT
WENDY’S FOR ALMOST 8 YEARS. WELCOME.
THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE STAND
UP KC? WE ARE A MOVEMENT FOR FAST
FAST-FOOD WORKERS, RIGHT TO FORM A UNION WITHOUT RETALIATION.
WE ARE ASKING OUR BILLION DOLLAR COMPANIES TO PAY US A LIVING
WAGE, ENOUGH TO TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES AND CHILDREN.
MIKE: THAT $15 AN HOUR, IS THAT WHAT YOU WOULD TERM A
LIVING AGE? YES.
$15 AN HOUR, WE’LL BE ABLE TO PUT BACK IN OUR ECONOMY.
WE’LL BE ABLE TO KEEP OUR UTILITIES ON INSTEAD OF LOOKING
AT OUR PAYCHECKS AND TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT BILLS TO PAY.
JUST THREE MONTHS AGO, MY WATER WAS SHUT OFF, AND I WENT THREE
MONTHS THROUGHOUT THE HOLIDAYS, BEING PREGNANT, NOT HAVING
RUNNING WATER AND HAVING TO COME HOME — I WAS WORKING 6 DAYS A
WEEK FOR WENDY’S, AND TO COME HOME AND TELL MY 3-YEAR-OLD I
HAD NOTHING TO GIVE HER TO DRINK.
IT’S HARD. MIKE: HOW DID YOU GET
INVOLVED IN THIS CAMPAIGN? IS IT BECAUSE OF YOUR JOB?
IT WAS BECAUSE MY JOB AT THE TIME, ONE OF MY COWORKERS HAD
CAME TO ME AND TALKED TO ME ABOUT THE FIGHT FOR 15.
AT FIRST, I WASN’T WITH IT. I CAME TO A MEETING ONE NIGHT
WITH THEM, AND IT WAS OTHER WORKERS THAT — IT WASN’T JUST
MY JOB. IT WAS OTHER WORKERS THAT WAS
NOT MAKING IT. WE WERE, YOU KNOW, TRYING TO
FIGURE OUT WHAT BILLS TO PAY. WE ARE WORKING FOR SIX HOURS A
WEEK — I MEAN, SIX DAYS A WEEK, AND WE WERE HOMELESS.
WE WERE NOT — OUR BILLS WERE SHOT OFF.
WE WASN’T ABLE TO TAKE CARE OF OUR CHILDREN.
MIKE: DO YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS THAT IF YOU DO INSIST
ON THIS $15 AN HOUR WAGE AND SOMEHOW GET THAT ACCOMPLISHED
THAT YOUR EMPLOYER WILL SIMPLY CUT THE NUMBER OF JOBS?
NO, I DON’T THINK THAT WE’RE ASKING OUR EMPLOYERS TOO MUCH.
WE HELP THEM MAKE BILLION DOLLARS IN PROFITS, AND WE’RE
NOT MAKING IT. MIKE: WELL, NOT EVERYBODY WHO
WORKS AT A FAST FOOD RESTAURANT IS WORKING FOR A MAJOR
CORPORATION, I DON’T BELIEVE. A LOT OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS ARE
FRANCHISES, AND THE OWNERS ARE FRANCHISEES, NOT MULTI-BILLION
DOLLAR COMPANIES. WELL, WE BELIEVE ANY LOW
WAGE — ANY LOW WAGE WORKER, ANY WORKER THAT WORKS FOR 40 HOURS A
WEEK SHOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE A LIVING WAGE.
WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE $15 AN HOUR AND A RIGHT TO FORM A
UNION, AND A RIGHT TO HAVE A VOICE ON OUR JOBS.
MIKE: WHAT IS KEEPING YOU FROM FORMING A UNION?
BECAUSE WE HAVE TO GET ORGANIZED.
WE HAVE TO DRAW OTHER WORKERS TOGETHER AND GET —
MIKE: BUT THE COMPANY IS NOT KEEPING YOU FROM SOMEHOW FORMING
A UNION; AM I CORRECT? NO.
MIKE: AND THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT KEEPING YOU FROM FORMING A
UNION? WE’RE NOT ASKING THE
GOVERNMENT. MIKE: BUT I MEAN, THERE ARE
GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS THAT MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR PEOPLE TO
COLLECTIVELY BARGAIN. SO THE REASON YOU DON’T HAVE A
UNION IS A LACK OF ORGANIZATION WITHIN THE COMPANIES?
YES. IT’S A LACK OF THEM NOT PAYING
US ENOUGH. THAT’S WHY WE’RE ASKING THE
RIGHT TO VOICE THINGS ON THE JOB, LIKE, BREAKING EQUIPMENT
AND JUST HAZARDOUS WORK AREAS. MIKE: ASIDE FROM AN INCREASE
IN SALARY, WHAT DO YOU THINK THE UNION WOULD PROVIDE YOU?
A VOICE ON THE JOB. IT WOULD PROVIDE US TO GET
THINGS DONE ON THE JOB THAT WE CAN’T DO FOR OURSELVES.
WE CAN’T WALK IN THE OFFICE AND ASK OUR BOSS TO CHANGE SOMETHING
JUST BY OURSELVES. SO WITH A UNION AND THE OTHER
WORKERS BEHIND US, WE’RE ABLE TO GET THINGS CHANGED LIKE BROKEN
EQUIPMENT, WORKING WAGE, TAKING, YOU KNOW, MONEY OUT OF OUR
PAYCHECKS, DELETING HOURS, JUST OTHER THINGS CHANGED.
MIKE: DO YOU HAVE THE CHANCE TO ADVANCE IN THE JOB?
IF I UNDERSTOOD CORRECTLY, AND I’VE READ ABOUT YOU SYSTEM, YOU
BEGAN IN ONE JOB AND THEN WERE LATER PROMOTED TO MANAGER, AND I
ASSUME THAT MEANT AN INCREASE IN SALARY?
YES. I BEGAN AS A CASHIER, AND THEN I
BEGAN TO WORK AS — I GOT TRAINED AND BEGAN TO WORK AS A
MANAGER. THEN I WENT ON MATERNITY LEAVE,
AND WHEN I CAME BACK, OUR COMPANY WAS BOUGHT OUT BY
ANOTHER COMPANY, AND I HAD TO TAKE A DECREASE IN PAY, AND I
HAD TO DROP MY MANAGER STATUS. MIKE: YOU’RE NOT WORKING
RIGHT NOW? YOU’RE ON MATERNITY LEAVE?
UNPAID MATERNITY LEAVE. MIKE: AND YOU’LL BE RETURNING
AT SOME POINT. YES, NEXT WEEK OR SO.
MIKE: WE’RE JUST ABOUT OUT OF TIME.
WOULD YOU TAKE A FEW SECONDS AND TELL PEOPLE WHO ARE WATCHING
WHAT THE KEY MESSAGE IS THAT YOU HOPE THEY GET FROM YOUR COMMENTS
AND COMMENTS FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE INVOLVED IN THIS STRUGGLE?
THE KEY MESSAGE IS THAT WE’RE ASKING THESE BILLION DOLLAR
COMPANIES TO PAY US $15 AN HOUR SO WE DON’T HAVE TO RELY ON
STATE ASSISTANCE. WE USED $278 MILLION IN STATE
ASSISTANCE LAST YEAR, AND WE SHOULDN’T HAVE TO.
WE WORK HARD EVERY DAY. MIKE: GOOD LUCK TO YOU.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR COMING IN.
IT WAS FUN FOR MEET YOU AND TALK TO YOU.
THAT IS LE TOYA CALDWELL WITHSTAND UP KC.
NOW LET’S SIT DOWN AND START A RUCKUS.
JASON GRILL IS A FORMER MISSOURI STATE REP AND IS THE FOUNDER OF
J. GRILL MEDIA. GWEN GRANT IS PRESIDENT AND CEO
OF THE URBAN LEAGUE IN KANSAS CITY.
PATRICK MCINERNEY IS A FORMER PROSECUTOR, NOW IN PRIVATE
PRACTICE WITH DENTONS. AND CROSBY KEMPER THE THIRD IS
DIRECTOR OF THE KANSAS CITY LIBRARY SYSTEM, AND HOST OF
KCPT’S MEET THE PAST PROGRAM. WELL, FINN IS FINISHED, AT LEAST
IN HIS ROLE AS THE PASTOR WHO GOVERNS THE CATHOLIC FLOCK IN
THE KANSAS CITY-ST. JOSEPH DIOCESE.
BISHOP ROBERT W. FINN RESIGNED THIS WEEK AFTER YEARS OF TURMOIL
OVER HIS FAILURE TO REPORT EVIDENCE OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
INVOLVING A PRIEST AND HIS INSISTANCE ON A CONSERVATIVE
INTERPRETATION OF CHURCH DOCTRINE.
BISHOP FINN’S ANNOUNCEMENT FOLLOWS A TRIP TO THE VATICAN
WHERE IT IS ASSUMED HE WAS ENCOURAGED, TO PUT IT MILDLY, TO
LEAVE HIS POST. FINN’S DECADE-LONG TENURE IN THE
AREA WAS MARKED BY CONTROVERSY, NONE GREATER THAN WHEN HE WAS
CONVICTED OF FAILING TO REPORT SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE, A
MISDEMEANOR. HE WAS SENTENCED TO TWO YEARS
PROBATION, WHICH HE COMPLETED SUCCESSFULLY.
SO WILL FINN’S RESIGNATION HAVE MASS APPEAL FOR LOCAL CATHOLICS?
JASON. I THINK IT WILL HAVE MORE
MASS APPEAL THAN NOT. I’M A CATHOLIC, AND I’VE KNOWN
BISHOP FINN, MET HIM A FEW TIMES.
HE WAS A STRICT CONSERVATIVE AND STRICT CONSTRUCTIONIST, AND I
THINK MAYBE SOME PEOPLE WANTED MORE OF THE POPE FRANCIS MODEL,
MORE OF AN INCLUSIVE, COLLABORATIVE BISHOP, AND I
THINK THIS WILL HAVE MASS APPEAL.
I THINK WHEN YOU GET 263,000 SIGNATURES FOR ASKING YOU TO
RESIGN IN KANSAS CITY-ST. JOE, I THINK IT’S A GOOD SIGN.
MIKE: EXPLAIN A LITTLE BIT MORE WHAT A STRICT
CONSTRUCTIONIST BISHOP IS. IT TAKES ME BACK TO MY DAYS
IN HIGH SCHOOL. JUST VERY STRICT ON EVERYTHING
THE BIBLE TEACHES AND THE VATICAN, TOO.
MIKE: IS THAT CHURCH DOCTRINE?
YES. BUT THERE IS A LOT OF — YOU’VE
SEEN POPE FRANCIS. MIKE: HE HASN’T CHANGED
DOCTRINE. HE’S JUST BEEN NICER TO PEOPLE.
RIGHT. HE’S JUST BEEN MORE INCLUSIVE.
NICER. MIKE: I MEAN, HAS HE CHANGED?
FIRST, THE VATICAN DID NOT ISSUE REASONS WHY FINN RESIGNED,
AND RESIGNED IS USES LOOSELY, FIRST OF ALL.
SO IT WASN’T SOME ANTICONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT.
WE DON’T KNOW WHY. IN FACT, THE VATICAN’S FIRST
JOB, I THINK, IS TO EXPLAIN WHY FINN LEFT.
MIKE: BUT DON’T WE THINK IT’S NOT FINN’S IDEA.
NO QUESTION. MIKE: THAT HE WAS TOLD YOU’RE
THROUGH. NO QUESTION.
IN THE CLASSIC FASHION, RESIGN OR OTHERWISE.
I THINK WHAT WE TURN TO NOW AND WHAT THE ARCHBISHOP HAS TO GET
DONE. WHAT HE FIRST HAS TO REALIZE IS
THE DAMAGE INFLICTED BY FINN IS DIOCESE WIDE AND STANDS BEYOND
HIS CONVICTION. SECOND OF ALL, HE HAS GOT TO
ALLOW A TERM OF HEALING, A TIME FOR DEEP BREATH, HEALING,
COOLING OFF, BECAUSE THE DAMAGE THAT FINN DID PHILOSOPHICALLY
AND SPECIFICALLY IS ENORMOUS, AND IT’S GOING TO TAKE A WHILE
TO RECOVER FROM THAT. AND THIRD, I THINK HE HAS TO
RESPECT THE ROLE THAT THE NEXT BISHOP HAS IN MAKING SIGNIFICANT
APPOINTMENTS, MAKING SIGNIFICANT MOVEMENTS, AND KEEP THAT STATUS
QUO UNTIL WE HAVE A NEW BISHOP. THAT’S CRITICAL.
MIKE: BUT CROSBY THE CONTROVERSY INVOLVING BISHOP
FINN GOES BACK TO THE TIME HE WAS APPOINTED INVOLVING CUTBACKS
AND CHANGES IN PERSONNEL. I’M NOT SURE THIS IS ABOUT
DOCTRINE; AND I’M NOT SURE THIS IS ABOUT ANYTHING SPECIFICALLY
THAT HAPPENED IN KANSAS CITY. I THINK THIS IS ABOUT THE
CHURCHES UNDER POPE FRANCIS STARTING TO GET THE PROBLEM THE
CHURCHES HAD IN DEFENDING ITSELF AS AN INSTITUTION, INSTEAD OF
DEFENDING THE MISSION, GETTING THAT RIGHT.
I THINK POPE FRANCIS IS ABOUT THE MISSION.
I THINK THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONSERVATIVE DOCTRINE AND OTHER
DOCTRINE IS NOT THE ISSUE HERE. IT’S THE CENTRAL MISSION OF THE
CHURCH, ABOUT DEFENDING CHILDREN, AND I THINK THE POPE
IS GETTING IT RIGHT, AND I THINK THE BISHOP IS GONE.
MIKE: I WENT TO A WEDDING AT A CATHOLIC CHURCH NOT LONG AGO,
AND I’M NOT A CATHOLIC, AND THE PRIEST INVITED EVERYONE TO TAKE
COMMUNION. THAT STRUCK ME AS SURPRISING.
A LITTLE INCLUSIVE. MIKE: THAT’S RIGHT.
DOES THAT OFFEND SOMEONE? I THINK SOME IT DOES, THE
STRICT CONSTRUCTIONISTS. OTHERS SEE A CRITICAL NEED FOR
THE CHURCH TO BE INCLUSIVE AND REACH OUT.
I THINK WE’VE SEEN THAT FROM POPE FRANCIS ON A NUMBER OF
DIFFERENT FRONTS, PARTICULARLY WHEN IT COMES TO SAME-SEX
MARRIAGE. HIS FAMOUS QUOTE ON THAT WAS WHO
AM I TO JUDGE? I THINK THE MENTION, HAS
BROADENED. IS FINN’S DEMEANOR MORE OF
THE PROBLEM THAN THE CHILD CASE? NO.
I THINK IT WAS MULTIPLE PROBLEMS.
CONVICTIONS PLEURAL. MEANING WHAT?
THAT HE VIOLATED THE LAW. DOES THE BISHOP FOR THE
DIOCESE MEAN ANYTHING TO PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE CATHOLIC COMMUNITY
IN THE GREATER KANSAS CITY AREA? DOES IT MATTER?
IS THERE A ROLE FOR HIM BEYOND THE CHURCH, CIVIC LEADER,
ACTIVIST? I DON’T SEE CATHOLIC BISHOPS
OUT INVOLVED IN THE COMMUNITY. MIKE: LISH — WELL, BISHOP
FINN WAS INVOLVED IN THE STEM CELL CONTROVERSY.
I WASN’T IN TUNED TO THAT. THE DISAPPOINTING THING FOR ME
IS THAT THE POPE STOPPED SHORT OF REALLY STATING WHY IT WAS
NECESSARY FOR BISHOP FINN TO BE REMOVED.
I THINK THAT SPEAKS VOLUMES IN SHARING THAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
IS REALLY NOW GOING TO BE VIGILANT IN PROTECTING CHILDREN
AGAINST SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE CHURCH.
I THINK MAKING A PITCH OBJECT RESIGN AT THE AGE OF 62 IS A
BILLBOARD. BUT WE DON’T KNOW EXACTLY
WHY. WE THINK THAT’S WHY.
BUT YEAH. MIKE: HERE WITH JASON.
IN THE SPIRIT OF A MORE OPEN, INCLUSIVE CHURCH, SHOULD PEOPLE
BE TOLD BY FINN IS NO LONGER IN OFFICE?
I THINK SO. I THINK THEY SHOULD LET THE
PEOPLE KNOW IN KANSAS CITY AND ST. JOE, THE WHOLE AREA.
MIKE: DO YOU EXPECT THAT WILL HAPPEN?
PROBABLY NOT. MIKE: IS WELFARE UNFAIR TO
THE FOLKS WHO RECEIVE IT? ARE KANSAS AND MISSOURI GOING
TOO FAR BY IMPOSING ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS ON HOW RECIPIENTS
CAN SPEND THE MONEY? THE NEW KANSAS PROVISIONS HAVE
DRAWN NATIONAL ATTENTION, MOST OF IT NOT GOOD, FOR SPELLING OUT
SOME SPECIFIC AREAS WHERE WELFARE MONEY CANNOT BE SPENT.
THEY INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO SWIMMING POOLS, MOVIE
THEATERS, SEXUALLY ORIENTED BUSINESSES, LIQUOR STORES,
CASINOS, JEWELRY STORES, SPORTING EVENTS, AND TATTOO OR
PIERCING PARLORS. THE RESTRICTIONS ARE ON FEDERAL
DOLLARS FROM A PROGRAM CALLED TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY
FAMILIES. THE LAW ALSO SETS A 36-MONTH,
THREE-YEAR LIFETIME LIMIT FOR RECEIVING BENEFITS.
PATRICK, IN YOUR ESTIMATION, DO THESE PROVISIONS FALL UNDER THE
HEADING OF CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT?
I THINK YOU CAN SPLIT THEM. WITH RESPECT TO KANSAS, I THINK
THE MESSAGE IS CLEAR AND SIMPLE, AND I DON’T THINK WE SHOULD
SPENT A LOT OF TIME ON IT. THE MESSAGE TO THE POOR IS TO
GET OUT. THE APPROACH THAT THIS
ADMINISTRATION HAS TAKEN IN KANSAS AND THIS KIND OF
CARTOON-ISH EFFORT THAT THEY HAVE TO STOP TATTOOS, MOVIES AND
SWIMMING, IT AGAIN, AGAIN, MAKES KANSAS KIND OF A NATIONAL JOKE.
I THINK THEY HAVE A MAXIMUM TIME THAT THEY CAN SPEND NOT BEING A
NATIONAL JOKE. IT WAS THREE MONTHS AGO THAT
THEY DID SOMETHING ELSE. SO ANYWAY, LET’S TALK ABOUT
MISSOURI FOR A SECOND. IN MISSOURI, WORKING 40 HOURS A
WEEK WITH NOT AN HOUR OF VACATION A YEAR, YOU WIND UP
JUST SHY OF 16,000 BUCKS A YEAR. THAT IS FULL-TIME AT THIS
MINIMUM WAGE. WHAT THE MISSOURI LEGISLATURE
HAS DONE HAS BEEN TO FAIL TO TALK ABOUT THE ROOT CAUSES OF
POVERTY, TO SPEND SOME TIME TALKING ABOUT WHAT ACTUALLY
WORKS TO RAISE PEOPLE UP, AND THEY’RE TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH
KANSAS, AND THEY’RE TRYING TO DO IT IN THIS KIND OF MEAN-SPIRITED
WAY, AND LET’S BE HONEST ABOUT IT.
THIS GOES BACK 35 YEARS, THE TONE OF THIS DEBATE AND THE
MOTIVATIONS OF THESE POLICY MAKERS STARTED WITH THE WELFARE
QUEEN MYTH 35 YEARS AGO AND WITH THE IDEA THAT THE POOR SHOULD BE
DEMONIZED AND BLAMED. MIKE: CROSBY, GOVERNOR
BROWNBACK SAYS CHANGES ARE DESIGNED TO PROMOTE
SELF-RELIANCE AND LIFT PEOPLE OUT OF POVERTY BY PUSHING THEM
BACK INTO THE WORKFORCE S THAT NOT THE RIGHT MESSAGE?
I THINK THERE ARE TWO THINGS. THERE ARE THE LISTS OF
RESTRICTIONS, AND SOME OF THEM ARE SILLY, SWIMMING AND MOVIES
ARE SILLY. LONG — LAWN — LINGERIE, HE MAY
WANT TO DEFEND THAT. DEPENDS WHO WEARS IT.
BUT THE REAL QUESTION IS WELFARE TO WORK.
I DISAGREE COMPLETELY WITH PAT’S ANALYSIS OF WHAT’S HAPPENED OVER
THE LAST 35 YEARS. THE REPUBLICAN WELFARE TO WORK
REFORM OF THE 1990’S SIGNED BY OUR FAVORITE DEMOCRATIC
PRESIDENT, BILL CLINTON, WORKED AND CONTINUES TO WORK.
WHAT’S GOING ON IN MISSOURI AND KANSAS ARE VERSIONS GOING ON IN
OTHER STATES, INCLUDING LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC STATES, LIKE
MASSACHUSETTS, OF DEFINING WELFARE TO WORK.
WE MAY NOT BE GETTING THE SPECIFICS RIGHT.
THAT’S FINE WHEN THEY’RE MARRIED LIKE THAT.
THAT’S FINE WHEN THERE IS AN EFFORT THAT GOES ALONG WITH THAT
TO MOVE PEOPLE INTO WORK. THAT’S BEEN STRIPPED BY KANSAS
AND THE REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE IN MISSOURI WOULD DO THE SAME
THING. THANK GOODNESS FOR JAY NIXON.
ALTHOUGH IT MAY BE — IT MAY BE OFFERED.
MIKE: BEFORE WE MOVE ON, QUICKLY, SHOULD THERE BE SOME
RESTRICTIONS ON HOW WELFARE RECIPIENTS SPENDS THEIR MONEY.
NO QUESTION, BUT THEY HAVE TO BE MARRIED UP WITH EFFORTS TO
HELP PEOPLE. MIKE: JASON, DID YOU DEAL
WITH THESE KINDS OF ISSUES? ALL THE TIME.
IT WAS LIKE A DAILY THING. THE PROBLEM IS IN MISSOURI YOU
HAVE MOSTLY REPUBLICANS, BUT THE EXTREME REPUBLICANS AND THEN
VERY LIBERAL DEMOCRATS. THERE IS NEVER A COMMON GROUND
ON THESE ISSUES, AND THAT’S ONE OF THE THINGS.
I’M A PRETTY MODERATE GUY. THAT’S ONE OF THE THINGS THAT
BOTHERED ME. IT’S EITHER BLACK OR WHITE.
BUT — YOU’VE GOT TO FIND COMPROMISE.
THERE IS FRAUD. YOU’VE GOT TO FIND OUT WAYS TO
GET IT DONE AND NOT HURT FAMILIES, CHILDREN MORE
APPROPRIATELY. MIKE: ARE THERE SOME
PROGRAMS? THERE ARE SOME PROGRAMS, BUT
THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENT FOR MANY OF THOSE PROGRAMS ARE SET
THAT YOU PERPETUATE THIS WORKING POOR, WHICH IS THE WOMAN WHO WAS
ON EARLIER, LATOYA, IS AN EXAMPLE OF HARD WORKING PEOPLE
WHO ARE TRYING TO FIND — WHO WERE NOT ON WELFARE, WHO ARE
TRYING TO MAKE IT, AND IT’S IMPOSSIBLE.
IF YOU GET A JOB LIKE HERS, WHERE SHE’S STILL POOR, SHE’S
NOT ELIGIBLE FOR ANY STATE BENEFITS.
THAT’S THE THING. PEOPLE THINK FOLKS ARE SITTING
AROUND TRYING TO USE — THIS LITTLE STATE MONEY IS
INSIGNIFICANT IN MANY CASES. TO PREVENT THEM OR TO SUBSIDIZE
THEM SO THEY DON’T HAVE TO GET A JOB.
IT’S ALL BASED ON IT’S RIDICULOUS, UNFAIR.
IT’S BLAMING AND PUNISHING POOR PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY’RE POOR WHEN
A FEW PEOPLE MAKE A MISTAKE OR BREAK THE LAW, AND THEN YOU WANT
TO PUNISH THE MASSES, AND I THINK THEY NEED TO FIND A BETTER
WAY TO GET AT THAT. I DON’T THINK THE FRAUD IS
MATERIAL ENOUGH TO JUSTIFY THE APPROACH.
AND THE STATE NEEDS TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE MINIMUM WAGE
SO A PERSON LIKE LATOYA WHO WORKS HARD CAN GET OUT OF
POVERTY. MIKE: GWEN, HERE IS A FINAL
QUESTION FOR YOU. IN KANSAS, YOU LOSE BENEFITS IF
YOU TEST POSITIVE FOR DRUGS. FAIR OR UNFAIR?
THAT’S PROBABLY A FAIR POLICY, YEAH.
MIKE: ALL RIGHT. WE ARE GETTING WITHIN MONTHS OF
BEGINNING STREETCAR SERVICE IN KANSAS CITY, FROM RIVER MARKET
TO UNION STATION, PERHAPS LATER TO THE EAST AND SOUTH.
BUT JUST AS KANSAS CITY IS GEARING UP, THE NEW YORK TIMES
REPORTS THAT THE DRIVE FOR STREETCAR LINES MAY BE COOLING.
ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, RECENTLY DROPPED PLANS FOR A SYSTEM AND
NOW THE NATION’S CAPITAL IS RETHINKING IT’S PLANS AFTER
ALREADY SPENDING $180 MILLION. TO BE FAIR, SOME CITIES ARE
MOVING FORWARD, NOTABLY ATLANTA, SALT LAKE AND TUCSON.
THE DIRECTOR OF THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE CENTER FOR PUBLIC
TRANSPORTATION POINTS TO WHAT HE CALLS SOME BLUNDERS.
HE MENTIONED SHORT LINES THAT DON’T GO ANYWHERE, INFRECT
SERVICE — INFREQUENT SERVICE AND EXCESSIVE COSTS PER MILE.
MIGHT THESE BE POTENTIAL CAUSE FOR CONCERN WITH THE KANSAS
CITY’S NASCENT DOWNTOWN STREETCAR SYSTEM?
WELL, WE DO HAVE A PRETTY SHORT LINE, THE HIGHEST COST PER
MILE OF ANY STREETCAR PROJECT IN AMERICA, AND THE THING THAT THEY
DON’T MENTION THERE IS THE BASIC DEMOCRATIC PROBLEM HERE IS THAT
THE VOTERS KEEP VOTING AGAINST THE STREET STREETCAR.
WE HAD TO HAVE A VOTE OF 500 PEOPLE THAT WAS MANIPULATED.
SO YEAH, I THINK WE’VE GOT A BIG PROBLEM IN KANSAS CITY.
WE’RE TAXING THE WORKING POOR TO SUPPORT A LINE THAT ONLY LAWYERS
AND OUT OF WORK ARCHITECTS WILL BE RIDING IN.
MIKE: LET ME STAY WITH YOU FOR A SECOND.
WE HEAR REGULARLY THAT THE STARTER STREETCAR LINE, THE VERY
FACT THAT IT’S GOING TO BE THERE, HAS STIMULATED BUSINESS
ACTIVITY DOWNTOWN, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TO THE TUNE OF A
BILLION DOLLARS. DO YOU SAY THAT’S WRONG?
IT’S COMPLETELY FALSE. IT’S COMPLETELY FALSE.
IF YOU GO THROUGH THE LIST OF PROJECTS, THE FIRST PROJECT IS
THE BRYANT BUILDING, WHICH HAS EXISTED FOR 100 YEARS AND IT’S A
DATA CENTER WHICH CREATES NO JOBS AND HAS NO RELATIONSHIP TO
THE STREETCAR. COMPUTERS DON’T TAKE STREETCARS.
YOU GO DOWN THE LIST, I COULD GO THROUGH THE FIRST 8 FOR YOU, AND
NOT ONE OF THEM ACTUALLY HAS A RELATIONSHIP FOR THE STREETCAR.
MIKE: HAVE MOST OF THEM RECEIVED SOME TAX BENEFITS?
THEY’VE ALL RECEIVED HUGE TAX BENEFITS.
THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS, CROSBY IS RIGHT ON THIS.
STREETCARS DON’T SPAWN DEVELOPMENT.
DEVELOPMENT SPAWNS STREETCARS. MIKE: SO WE HAVE IT
BACKYARDS? YES, AND IT SHOWS IN ALL OF
THESE PLACES YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT NOW.
THE DEVELOPMENT WAS THERE, AND THEN THE STREETCARS CAME.
SO WE’RE IN TROUBLE WITH THE STREETCAR, I AGREE.
IT’S SHORT. IT’S TOURISTY AND GOOD FOR
DOWNTOWN AND THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE DOWNTOWN.
I’VE GOT TO DISAGREE. I GO DOWNTOWN, INTERVIEW AND
TALK TO PEOPLE WHO HAVE RESTAURANTS DOWN THERE AND ALL
OF THIS. ALL OF THIS DOOM AND GLOOM IS
NOT TRUE. THERE ARE STAR DEVELOPERS
BUILDING APARTMENTS, MUTY — MULTI-FAMILY UNITS COMING UP.
(INAUDIBLE). MIKE: GWEN, HANG ON.
JASON, ARE THEY DOING THIS BECAUSE A STREETCAR SYSTEM IS
GOING TO BE INSTALLED OR ARE THEY DOING IT BECAUSE THERE’S A
SPRINT CENTER AND THE POWER AND LIGHT DISTRICT?
THEY’RE DOING IT BECAUSE OF A LOT OF THINGS.
THEY’RE DOING IT BECAUSE OF HOW GREAT DOWNTOWN IS COMING, BUT
THEY ARE DOING IT A LOT OF TIME, ALONG MAIN STREET, BECAUSE OF
THE STREETCAR LINE. BECAUSE OF DEVELOPMENT.
THE DEVELOPMENT WAS THERE BEFORE THE STREETCAR.
AND IT’S GOOD FOR DOWNTOWN RESIDENTS, AND IT’S GOOD FOR
DOWNTOWN BUSINESSES. IT IS NOT A TRANSPORTATION
SYSTEM THAT WILL THRIVE OVER TIME BECAUSE IT DOES NOT GET
PEOPLE TO WORK, AND IT WILL NOT –.
THERE IS SOME IN THE MIDDLE. EACH IS AN ELEMENT OF THE OTHER.
I DON’T THINK YOU CAN ATTRIBUTE ALL OF THIS DEVELOPMENT TO THE
STREETCARS. I DON’T THINK YOU CAN OO
DISTRIBUTE — ATTRIBUTE THE STREETCARS TO THE DEVELOPMENT.
EACH ENHANCES THE OTHER. LET’S LOOK AT THE BUDGET.
ALL OF A SUDDEN WE SPENT ALL OF THIS MONEY ON STREETCARS AND
DROPPED WHAT WE WERE SPENDING ON STREETS.
WE REDUCED THE AMOUNT OF MONEY WE’RE SPENDING ON HOUSING.
WE REDUCED THE AMOUNT OF MONEY WE’RE SPENDING ON HEALTH CARE.
GOSH, THEY’RE STARTING TO SOUND LIKE THE REPUBLICANS IN THE
LEGISLATURE, RIGHT? WHY DO WE SPEND MONEY ON
STREETCARS AND THEN WE’RE GOING TO SPEND LESS MONEY ON HOUSING,
ON WELFARE, ON HEALTH CARE, AND ON BASIC INFRASTRUCTURE?
AND ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THE INNER CITY.
WE’RE DOWN TO ABOUT A MINUTE. JASON, WE ARE TOLD THAT
MILLENNIALS ARE ATTRACTED TO SOMETHING AS OLD AS STREETCARS.
SINCE YOU MAY BE THE CLOSEST THING WE HAVE TO A MILLENNIAL,
IS THAT TRUE? MAKE TRICK — PATRICK LOOKS
PRETTY GOOD. I THINK IT’S ALL ABOUT THE
VIBE OF THE CITY, AND THE CITY HAS A GOOD VIBE GOING ON MINUS
THE UBER DEBATE. EVERYTHING ELSE I THINK IS GOOD.
I THINK MILLENNIALS ARE ATTRACTED TO THIS, 98% FULL
HOUSING DOWNTOWN, MULTI-FAMILY UNITS GOING UP.
PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE DOWN THERE. IT’S GOOD FOR THE CITY.
WE NEED TO DO MORE THINGS WITH HOUSING IN OUR CITY, BUT THE
STREETCAR ADDS TO IT. PATRICK, ONCE THIS DOES
BECOME OPERATIONAL, HOW LONG SHOULD WE GIVE IT BEFORE WE
DECIDE WHETHER IT’S SUCCESSFUL OR NOT, GOOD OR BAD?
LOOK, I THINK WE HAVE TO GIVE THE FULL LINE AT LEAST 12
MONTHS, IF NOT 18 MONTHS, AND TAKE A HARD LOOK AT HOW IT’S
DOING, AND I THINK THE TIME FOR THIS DEBATE HAS PROBABLY PASSED.
MAYBE IT’S GOOD TO RENEW IT RIGHT NOW, BUT WHAT WE KNOW IS
THAT IT’S GOING TO OPEN FOR BUSINESS.
IT MAKES A GOOD SHOW. IT’S GOING TO OPEN FOR BUSINESS,
AND THAT’S THE TIME TO TAKE A HARD LOOK.
MIKE: AND DO WE EXPECT THAT SHORTLY AFTER IT DOES BECOME
OPERATIONAL AND THIS NEW CITY COUNCIL IS IN PLACE WE’RE GOING
TO SEE BACK ON THE BALLOT AN EXTENSION OF THE STREETCAR
SYSTEM THAT WAS DEFEATED PREVIOUSLY?
THEY HAVE TO FIGURE OUT ONE THE VOTERS WILL VOTE FOR.
I UNDERSTAND THE LINE THEY’RE DESIGNING WILL GO FROM THE
MAYOR’S HOUSE TO CINDY’S HOUSE. CINDY IS NOT GOING TO BE ON
THE COUNCIL. LET’S JUST MOVE FORWARD WITH
THIS, THAT’S ALL I CAN SAY. AND THEN DISSECT IT.
MIKE: I THINK WE HAVE NO CHOICE.
ALSO TIME IS UP FOR THIS SEGMENT.
IT IS TIME NOW FOR ROASTS AND TOASTS ARE THE RUCKETTES SAY YEA
OR NAY TO PEOPLE AND EVENTS IN THE NEWS.
PATRICK. MY TOAST GOES TO THE 11-4
ROYALS AND MIKE MOOSE. IT REMINDS ME OF THE ’77 ROYALS,
REMINDS ME OF GROWING UP AROUND THE TEAM I LOVE.
THIS IS A LITTLE BIT OF OLD MUSIC, BUT MY ROAST HAS TO BE
THE MISSOURI LEGISLATURE FOR THE WELFARE, QUOTE, UNQUOTE, REFORMS
THAT ARE MARGINALIZING THE POOR IN MISSOURI.
MY TOAST IS TO POPE FRANCIS FOR FORCING THE RESIGNATION OF
BISHOP FINN AND BRINGING THIS TO A POINT WHERE THE CATHOLIC
CHURCH AND DIOCESE IN KANSAS CITY CAN BEGIN TO HEAL.
I’M DISAPPOINTED THAT THE REASON FOR THE RESIGNATION WAS NOT MADE
ABUNDANTLY CLEAR, BUT KUDOS TO POPE FRANCIS NONETHELESS.
I’D LIKE TO ROAST PRETTY MUCH THE ENTIRE POLITICAL
ESTABLISHMENT, THE CITY COUNCIL, LEGISLATURE AND GOVERNOR IN
MISSOURI, GOVERNOR NIXON, FOR REDUCING LIBRARY SPENDING.
ROUGHLY 80% AT THE LEGISLATIVE LEVEL, AND THE CITY COUNCIL
CONTINUING TO TAKE MORE LIBRARY AND SCHOOL DISTRICT MONEY THAN
THEIR OWN MONEY FOR THEIR CORPORATE SUBSIDIES.
MIKE: JASON, WE HAVE SOME TIME.
IN TRUE BIPARTISAN FASHION, I’D LIKE TO TOAST GOVERNOR SAM
BROWNBACK. HE RIP ON HYMN A LOT.
HIM A LOT. HE DID VETO A BILL
FOR RIDE
SHARING. KANSAS CITY NEEDS RIDE SHARING.
BROWNBACK EMBRACED IT. HE SAID WE’RE FOR ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT, JOBS, TECHNOLOGY. AS A NEAR MILLENNIAL ON THIS
DESK, I THINK THAT’S GREAT. KUDOS TO SAM BROWNBACK FOR
SUPPORTING TECHNOLOGY AND FOR SUPPORTING THE FREE MARKET AND
JOBS IN KANSAS. MIKE: WE THINK OF YOU AS THE
LONE MILLENNIAL. FINALLY A TOAST TO POLITICAL
ACTIVISM AND THE LATE LARRY UPRIGHT OF NORTH CAROLINA.
HIS OBITUARY ASKED FRIENDS AND FAMILY NOT TO SEND FLOWERS BUT
INSTEAD DONATE TO CHARITY, AND NOT TO VOTE FOR HILLARY CLINTON
IN NEXT YEAR’S ELECTION. DESPITE HIS DID HE — DEMISE,
LARRY DID NOT STOP THINKING ABOUT TOMORROW.
MIKE: AND
THAT IS RUCKUS FOR THIS WEEK.
WE’RE BACK NEXT THURSDAY AT 7. ON BEHALF OF THE RUCKETTES,
JASON, GWEN, PATRICK AND CROSBY, I’M MIKE SHANIN SAYING THANKS
VERY MUCH FOR JOINING US, AND GOOD NIGHT.
PRODUCTION FUNDING FOR RUCKUS HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY FRED
AND LOU HARTWIG AND VIEWERS LIKE YOU.
THANK YOU. Captioning provided by
Caption Associates, LLC www.captionassociates.com  

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