Archive for May 2009
As part of my weekend routine I checked in with Twitter, to see who was tweeting what … and I learned that Missouri's most famous Twitter user – Senator Claire McCaskill … aka … "Our Claire"- had told one and all she is hoping to get her number of followers up to 25,000 by day's end.
Well, the Missourinet (as well as individual Missourinet reporters) can claim to already receive the tweets from our junior Senator. So, there really wasn't much that we could do to help out. A follow-up tweet from "Our Claire" suggested her friends on the right were dropping off in an effort to prevent her from reaching the milestone. She later said she was only joking.
But that got me thinking of a joke of my own. If it's true that right wingers were dropping off to spite "Our Claire" couldn't she balance things out by finding people to manufacture some followers that don't really exist? What are the folks at Acorn up to these days? Just kidding! I couldn't resist.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend.
– Steve Walsh
And it came to pass on the 29th day of May in the year 2009 that Governor Jay Nixon did sign legislation legalizing tractor parades on Missouri roadways. And it was good.
Unlike most bill signings, which are done in the Office of the Governor, this piece of legislation was signed on the South Lawn of the Capitol … and not a moment too soon … in time for a May 31st tractor parade in Vichy, a June 20th parade in Montgomery County, and a June 27th parade in Savannah. The setting provided the opportunity to showcase an antique John Deere tractor which was at the ready. We were even treated to a sample of these tractor parades as 6-year-old Conner Wolf of Tipton, seen in this photo, took the lead.
This was one of the "fun" pieces of legislation to clear the General Assembly this year. One of the leading supporters of this effort in the Missouri House was Representative Jake Zimmerman of Olivette. During debate Jake joked, "If tractor parades are outlawed, only outlaws will have tractor parades."
Jake wasn't there … but a lot of other people were … and – much to my chagrin – the Governor turned down my request to climb up onto the tractor. This prompted Communications Director Jack Cardetti to inform me I would not be given my "Michael Dukakis Moment" – which he knew the media in attendance had hoped for. (If you don't get this reference simply Google "Dukakis in tank" and you'll get a chuckle.) Such is life!
Have a great weekend.
– Steve Walsh
It's a quiet day in the old Missourinet newsroom … and I'm not particularly excited by anything going on in the thriving Metropolis of Jefferson … so, we'll take a look at an upcoming event.
Saturday, June 13th is the date for what is being called the Midwest Fair Tax Rally at the Boone County Fairgrounds in Columbia. If you don't know what the so-called Fair Tax is … it's similar to Europe's Value Added Tax … or VAT … without the Euro-Trash attitude so many Americans have had to put up with when we visit Europe.
Anyway, the big guy at the event is radio talk show host Neal Boortz. He'll be joined by Congressman John Linder of Georgia (co-author of Boortz's Fair Tax book), Joe Wurzelbacher – aka "Joe the Plumber," State Representative Ed Emery, former State Representative Carl Bearden, and a cast of thousands. Well, maybe not thousands … but a few others offering speeches and music.
Why promote this event and not a lot of others? Simple – a great poster … and the fact that this event is spearheaded by a radio guy … and we radio people stick together! We're mishpocha. (It's a Yiddish word … look it up.)
– Steve Walsh
It is not every day that we do public service stuff on the Missourinet Blog … but we'll do it now because I'm tied up with U.S. Supreme Court stories.
MoDOT – everyone's favorite Transportation Department – is offering travel updates to let motorists know where the problem spots might be. And they're doing it in 140 characters or less. That's right – MoDOT is joining the chorus of tweets on Twitter.
Depending on where you live … or where your headed … you can get region-specific updates on the traffic by picking and choosing from a MoDOT menu of Twitterific choices.
Enjoy … But don't read tweets while you're driving … or you'll upset a lot of people at MoDOT who are trying to be helpful!
– Steve Walsh
Reading a story on the KOMU-TV (Columbia) website I got to thinking … Is there such a thing as a Left gene … or a Right gene?
We are told that stereotypes are wrong … with some people going so far as to suggest there is no such thing as stereotypical behavior. As a resident of the real world (who happens to cover newsmakers) I can see there are, indeed, many cases of stereotypical behavior.
I'm not talking about racial, ethnic, or religious stereotypes. Rather, it's political stereotypes which news people tend to run into.
I admit I spent much of my Memorial Day weekend focused on the Cardinals and Royals at Busch Stadium … not covering any hard news events … and only noticed a link to the KOMU story while reading John Combest on Monday morning. It is a story about anti-war protesters at an air show in Columbia.
One of the people quoted is Mark Haim of Mid-Missouri Peace Works. He says the show glorifies war. Mark Haim is a name that sounded familiar and it took only a few seconds to remember that Mark Haim is with Missourians for Safe Energy – one of the organizations that argued against AmerenUE's desire to change Construction Work in Progress law to build a second nuclear power plant in Callaway County. Interviewin (during the legislative session) I learned that while he opposed the CWIP legislation … his real opposition is nuclear power – calling it dangerous.
I joked to a couple of other reporters that while stereotypes are something we try to avoid … I wouldn't be surprised if Mark Haim took part in other Left-leaning causes that have nothing to do with energy policy. No … it's not that anyone – especially me – is prophetic … it's just something that comes with observing and studying human behavior
This is not to suggest there is anything wrong with Mark's positions on these issues … It's just fascinating that many of the people who protest military actions will show up to protest against nuclear power and then will show up to protest something else in the crosshairs of the Left.
So, is there a Left gene or a Right gene? Probably not. But it's fascinating to see how so many of us who end up on the Left or Right of a particular issue tend to veer to the same end of the political spectrum on so many other issues that are unrelated to the cause we initially embraced.
Enjoy Memorial Day … and thank a military veteran for his or her service.
– Steve Walsh
It's a slow day on the news front … so let's talk about something that's not really political … but it's interesting.
Come June 1st … Arrow Rock will host the Missouri Women's Council exhibit honoring Missouri women whose historic achievements have helped shape the state we like to call home. It's an exhibit that honors more than 60 Missouri women who, according to a press release, "have made a difference through their leadership, dedication, and courage." Appropriately enough, the exhibit goes under the name, "Outstanding Women of Missouri." What are the odds?
In all seriousness … I took at look at the list of women who are honored … and the list includes such individuals as former Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway, astronauts Linda Godwin and Janet Kavandi, and author Laura Ingalls Wilder of "Little House on the Prairie" fame. Interesting to note that Missouri is one of 41 states that honor Laura Ingills Wilder as a native daughter. I joke … it's really only about a half dozen states claiming her as a native daughter … but that's still quite a few, don't you think? Apparently, her father couldn't hold a job and they moved a lot. No, we're not talking about Michael Landon.
Anyway … I called Mary Cottom, Executive Director of the Missouri Women's Council, to tell her I was going to blog on this … and then explained the reason is that I wanted to use the Laura Ingalls Wilder line. To her credit … she understood … and asked if I would let people know where they could get more information. So it is written … so it shall be done.
Contact the Women’s Council at (573) 751-0810 or toll free at (877) 426-9284.
– Steve Walsh
Does voter fraud exist in Missouri? Apparently so, according to the St. Louis Board of Elections.
The Board held a news conference on Wednesday to announce it has sent the U.S. Attorney's Office the names of 50 voters believed to have committed fraud. Elections Director Scott Leiendecker is asking for an investigation.
Here's part of the video from the newser …
The Missouri Republican Party has issued a statement from the party's Executive Director Lloyd Smith:
JEFFERSON CITY – Lloyd Smith, Executive Director of the Missouri Republican Party, issued the following statement on allegations of voter fraud in the City of St. Louis during the 2008 election cycle:
"Today’s announcement by the St. Louis City Board of Elections makes it clear that voter fraud continues to thrive in Missouri, despite Robin Carnahan’s attempts to cover up the problem. Earlier this year, she issued an incomplete and less-than-professional report claiming that the state’s elections are ‘free of fraud.’ We now know that this is simply not true. Carnahan, the chief elections officer in the State of Missouri, has diminished the impact of voters who abide by the law, instead, attempting to whitewash her record of overlooking the existence of voter fraud in Missouri.
"We commend the St. Louis Board of Election’s diligence in the face of Carnahan’s indifference, and we hope that the U.S. Attorney fully investigates these allegations."
– The Legislature is done … in a non-election year … but we still have political nastiness to report on. We must be living right.
– Steve Walsh