Archive for February 2009
We showed you how Senator "Kit" Bond's puppy – Tiger Bond – tore apart a stuffed Kansas Jayhawk as the Missouri Tigers were taking apart the Jayhawks at Mizzou Arena. But Sunday is another day … and another game between the Tigers and the Jayhawks … and Tiger Bond is ready for the rematch.
Tigers and Jayhawks … Sunday at 1:00 pm.
– Steve Walsh
Have you ever attended a sporting event … then read an account of the game the next day in the newspaper … and wondered whether you and the writer watched the same event?
Something akin to that happened this week … Wednesday, to be precise, in the State Senate.
It involved a press release (Download Word document) from the Missouri Senate Minority Caucus following a little more than an hour of debate on SB 18 – Senator Joan Bray's move to create a commission to allow for the study of implementing a universal health care program for Missouri … a so-called single payer system run through public financing (government-run health care).
The legislation also calls for increasing the eligibility for MO HealthNet services for the elderly and disabled … as well as expansion of health care for uninsured children.
As one of the reporters who sat through most of the hour-long-plus debate … I can honestly say the Senator might have spent a couple of minutes – tops – on MO HealthNet expansion (restoration of 2005 Medicaid cuts) and the rest of the time debating the merits of publicly financed health care services.
Yet … the press release had the headline "Senate Democrats Support Restoration of Health Care for Elderly & Disabled … Measure Also Expands Coverage for Children." The universal health care issue – which took up all but about a minute or so of the debate – was given one line … the last line in the press release which read, "SB 18 also creates a commission to study the implementation of a universal health care program and other health care initiatives."
There is no doubt the concept of government involvement in the health care field is controversial. But Joan Bray feels so strongly about the need for health care for all that she brought up this controversial issue for debate. One must wonder whether the Minority Caucus watched the same Senate debate … or whether, perhaps, there might have been a desire to place the focus on issues not so controversial.
– Steve Walsh
There really aren't too many times in a politician's career when there are positives attached to flipping. We have seen our share of flipping … or flip flopping … on issues. Who among us will forget John Kerry telling one and all that he voted for a piece of legislation before he voted against it?
That kind of flipping might make sense on Capitol Hill in Washington … but flipping in the State Capitol in Missouri is a positive thing as legislators were encouraged to do some flipping on Thursday … a lot of flipping … at the annual Pancake Breakfast.
Senators and State Reps were out in force … flipping to beat the band … for an event put on by the Missouri Travel Council, the Missouri Hotel and Lodging Association, the Missouri Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus, Missouri Fairs and Festivals, and Agri-Missouri Tourism. Not that we're in the habit of giving plugs … but they did feed us pancakes and sausages.
This is an event that has been going on for three centuries at the Capitol … alright … actually it's only been going on for about six or seven years. And, it usually feeds between 750 and 800 hungry people who step into the third floor rotunda.
We caught up with a couple of the State Reps who were slinging flapjacks and they confessed it would be the most productive part of their day. That's not true … But Rachel Bringer and Linda Fischer did seem to be having a good time.
For your planning … the annual Fish Fry and Senate Pie Day are still ahead in the coming months.
– Steve Walsh
If you watched coverage of Tuesday night's Not Quite the State of the Union Address by President Obama to Congress … you might have seen several members Twittering … or is it Tweeting … prior to and during the actual speech. Among them was Senator Claire McCaskill, who stopped once the speech got underway.
During her Wednesday morning radio conference call [AUDIO 2 min MP3] … I asked Our Claire about the fun she's having with Twitter … and she enjoys getting out a message directly to the folks back home in Missouri. And she's a little surprised at some of the feedback she's received at some of the things she's had to say.
Our Claire says she's also starting to carry around a small camera and she expects to start sending video back to the folks in Missouri.
She says her three kids ( 21, 19, and 17) are embarrassed because they think their mother trying a little too hard to be cool. Ouch! Kids can be so cold.
You can follow Senator McCaskill's Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/clairecmc.
– Steve Walsh
Yesterday, we told you about the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and its decision to target northeast Missouri Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer and eleven other Republicans over their "no" vote on the federal stimulus bill.
Now … we have reaction from the Luetkemeyer office … courtesy of Press Secretary Paul Sloca:
"The only phone calls Blaine is concerned about are the 49 percent he has received from the people of the 9th District who have said no to the spending spree and the other 51 percent who have said ‘hell no.’ The last group our folks are going to trust is a bunch of political hacks from Washington D.C. who proved in 2008 and are proving again in 2009 that they know absolutely nothing about the hard-working people Blaine represents."
Just wondering … but might there be some people in the 9th who like the idea of the stimulus package … but will get really, really peeved if their evenings are interrupted by political robo-calls? Just asking.
– Steve Walsh
he Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is taking aim at northeast Missouri Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (and 11 other U.S. House Republicans) as part of the Democrats' Putting Families First campaign.
Why? It's because of the dozen Representatives' opposition to the federal stimulus bill that passed the U.S. House with … wait for it … zero Republican votes!
Wait a minute. They're going to try to win support through automated phone calls? Automated phone calls? Robo-calls?
Don't a lot of people get really … ticked off … when they receive robo-calls? Is it really wise to be contacting people in this way? We shall see.
– Steve Walsh
The main portion of the 2009 Missouri Republican Party's Lincoln Days weekend wraps up with a dinner for the party faithful who traveled to Kansas City for the event. Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole was the keynote speaker Saturday – a nice guy … but a far cry from some of the big names to speak at recent Lincoln Days events.
In recent years, the Republicans have heard from such notables as then-Vice President Dick Cheney, then-U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, then-Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and former RNC Chair and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. No such big name this year. But Cole did a good job of keeping the troops entertained.
Now the funny stuff so many of you have been waiting for … and the answer to the headline for this piece. The Republican State Committee met Saturday afternoon to take care of business, including making Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson's Chief of Staff Lloyd Smith the party's Executive Director. As the meeting got underway everything was in place … well … almost everything. It seems the U.S. and Missouri flags were not moved from another meeting room to this one. So, the pledge of allegiance to the flag had to be delayed … but only for a couple of minutes.
Sensing something was amiss … Jerry Dowell and Gary McElyea from Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder's office jumped into action. They ran into the adjoining room, grabbed the flags, and returned faster than a Tour of Missouri bicycle racer would have gone on a downhill straightaway. The flags were planted … the pledge was recited … and the world spun as it should.
– Steve Walsh