Category Archives: Local

Some Kind Of Senator

It’s the biggest thing to hit Missouri since the mule!! A mildly useful genetic freak that can’t breed. 

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill has a new book, Plenty Ladylike. Frankly, this writer doesn’t give a shit about that book. She’s recently done a media blitz with her literary endeavor, which may have backfired on her by possibly exposing some shady campaign ethics. That’s a different matter. She recently came to St. Louis and its public radio. Where the Senator discussed mostly a book, but also maybe the most important foreign policy move in generations. The Iran Deal, as it’s come to be known.

So, let’s go through her points on why is “probably slightly in favor” of the deal. This writer loves her decisiveness too. 

First of all, the man conducting the interview–out of the gate–cites her book to let the audience know she is good friends with Chuck Shumer, an embattled democratic Jewish minority leader in the senate who opposes the deal. To which, she immediately– naturally– jabs at republicans saying:

The republicans insisted we get 60 days to look at the deal. It appeared to me most of them made up their mind in 5 minutes.

That’s one way to put it, another is some of them knew the deal was shady from the get-go. Pray ye that the heavens not fall, should the public have time to review this deal. How dare those republicans want transparency and accountability. She.. is taking her time. Contacting ambassadors of the countries who hold Iran’s money. Those being Turkey, South Korea,  Japan, India and China. “Will they comply with our secondary sanctions?” Valid question. Some won’t. Perhaps Turkey won’t release funds at some determined point. 

The sum of the money she is concerned with is 60 billion dollars.That’s a lot of cash. Except the deal, guarantees 100 billion dollars is freed for Iran, according to none other than NPR. Now 100 is undeniably more than 60, but she says allowing the 100 billion in funds to aid terror in the region is to be able to “put cement down their centrifuges”. Which seems hard to follow through on, seeing how American inspectors are banned.

Let’s skip over the fact that Turkey and Iran aren’t exactly simpatico and S. Korea, India, and Japan are strong allies. What she says of China is alarming.

I have talked to China–it was not good. China was clear that–they don’t intended on not recognizing US imposed sanctions.

This is problematic either way. Either the US defies China (PRC), and inflames the tensions mentioned by Noah Rothman, or allow PRC to openly flaunt distantly funding state sponsored terror by possibly dumping part of 60 million dollars. The situation seems lose-lose. It is a fascinating angle to take for the senator. There is an expected Asian Pivot. What’s to come of it, only few have speculated.

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She seems out of step with conventional thinking because 2/3 of people polled don’t agree with how the Iran deal is being handled. She thinks this will diminish the need for military action, when many say it will increase the likelihood of conflict. She asks if the US would have the world united or go it alone. That tells this humble writer she isn’t doing her homework. The fear isn’t America having to fight, it’s Israel not allowing themselves to be threatened with a nuclear bomb. The fear is Israel being set up by this White House. 

To be fair she discussed other things, but they were so close to party talking points, they are hardly worth mentioning. But nothing seemed more urgent than the Iran deal.

What happens with this deal can’t be undone. Snap-back Sanctions are a myth. We don’t live in the region. We aren’t likely to suffer the consequences. Our strong ally Israel, which she doesn’t mention, not once, will bare the full brunt of this slow coming calamity. It seems plenty ladylike to wait and see how the rest of one’s colleagues react and sell a book. Not the lady this writer, this constituent expected. Not at all. But it’s what we get for allowing Akin to occur. Congratulations on your book, senator. 

Amnesty In The Drug War

Today, the governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon commuted the sentence of Jeff Mizanskey. He was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a third offense that amounted to a half a dozen bricks of cannabis. From what I understand, a brick is a pound — sometimes a kilo. Eithe way, the state of Missouri had seen fit to take this man’s life and put it in a box, with absolutely zero recourse to regain his freedom. 

Today, a glimmer of compassion was shown in an increasingly divided state. Many have spoken out against this heavy handed response to a non-violent offense. Although it was a glimmer, it was brought about through the hard work and relentless efforts of many people. Ray Downs first wrote about Mizanskey’s plight and later Aaron Malin. Upon finding out, Malin simply said. “I’m speechless”. Danny Wicentowski reported Malin’s first reaction was “We’re not sure if Jeff knows yet.”  He’s worked with many activist and even politicians like Paul Curtman. Who is on the record speaking about re-examining the drug war through more compassionate eyes—and specifically the story of Jeff Mizanskey. The director of Show-Me Cannabis, John Payne could only say “I am kind of overwhelmed right now.” Along with Malin and others, Payne has been at the forefront of correcting what many call an unconstitutional use of state power. Unconstitutional because a life sentence for a non-violent crime is, by most rational peoples standards, cruel and unusual. Which violates the 8th amendment. I even made my own plees to the governor.

@GrantGambling: Great long read by @RayDowns. (I knew most if this, but this would be an easy win for @GovJayNixon) goo.gl/9ylB1K

But all the credit goes to the writers, lawyers, and activist working behind the scenes. Our state has had a very rough spell, this was much needed good news. 

   

Some Tweets

I recently was given words of encouragement hash tag: humble brag .  So, let’s get to it. 

My Senator, Claire McCaskill made a deceleration of the most moral stature. 

@clairemc: Ok, I’m done Game of Thrones.Water Garden, stupid.Gratuitous rape scene disgusting and unacceptable.It was a rocky ride that just ended.

It’s an odd thing to say, the show is saturated with barbarism, by all accounts. War lording incestuous royals don’t do it for me, I guess I’m odd. However, her subtle commentary did not go unnoticed. She had obviously watched the show. As she follows up here. 

@clairemc: Ok,winter is definitely coming.I just expressed an opinion.Cumulative effect violence & brutality took its toll. Sansa rape last straw. 

It’s absolutely a veiled commentary on the larger sexual assault debate brewing on campuses across the country. Quietly, it’s in her state. Title IX… We will get back to that momentarily. She squeezes this little number in between those two tweets. Natsec, short for national security, is what she wants us to discuss, not her opinion on a show she paid to watch. Not the ridiculousness of her acting as if this was shown on federally regulated networks. No, her concerns with national security. 

@clairemc: We should take up House passed(338-88) USA Freedom Act this week. Important reform of program for national security.

She seems to be juggling.. And this gem

@clairemc: Kinda depressing that so many more people have opinions about  than reform of US intelligence gathering that I also tweeted about ystrdy

Yes, I suppose it is depressing. This comes hour befor Rand Paul’s “stand”. Not a filibuster, but more a rant. So saith the twitter. The reader can search it. It also came around the same time as this story out of The Joplin Globe. A far flung publication in flyover country, with a New York Times contributor writing for it. In it, it talks about another sexual scandal in Jefferson City, et la John Diehl

@Eyokley: Will update w/ Levota statement just got: “I understand the need for universities to look into rumors, even unsubstantiated rumors.” 

Paul Levota, made that statement. I can’t think of a dumber thing to say.. If it is unsubstantiated, than it’s un-fucking-substaintiated. It can’t be supported. It smacks of the vapid hands up, don’t shoot narrative, a democratic dolt falling on the sword in the name of progress. It gives McCaskill an example from her own party to hang on the cross of public crucifixion. Except, he will probably come out unscathed. 

The kicker is the injection of Title IX into an investigation of an elected official. The progressive rot has spread, to steal a phrase from Buchman Sexton, from the campus on to the state capital. 

The most disgusting part is she tried to backdoor a national agenda, that makes her state’s students — and now politicians– lab rats. The tweet, was just a tweet, it’s what she’s fostering on Missouri’s college campuses that should raise eyebrows. This is what George Will speaks out about, over a year ago, it’s what made Noah Rothman clearly declare this was the line to be drawn. It’s a complicated web of federal authority, but isn’t it always? Perhaps these 2 sharp minds saw something coming, that most of the media didn’t, despite, telling the world her intentions. It took a tweet to make more people notice. 

This fight will grow.. Hide and watch. 

Lackey’s Polite Silence

Tragedy befell St. Louis, two-fold tonight. The first, the Cardinals lost a long extra inning game to the villainous New York Metroplitans 2-1, on a close play at the plate on a ground ball in the infield, in the bottom of the 14th inning. The starting pitcher, the 14 year veteran John Lackey, pitched a fine baseball game against the dominant Matt Harvey, with 5 wins in 1 loss, this was his first no decision. So, tip your cap to the wiley veteran for hanging in with the young and up and coming. It should be noted that Lackey has more innings under his belt this season than Harvey. It was a tough loss and all that trite, nauseating bullshit. 

The second couch-fainting moment came after the game when Derrick Goold, the best write in baseball, tweeted this out:

@dgoold: “Not tonight,” Lackey says when approached by the media postgame. He was polite in his decline. “Sorry, guys. Not tonight.”  

It immediately threw the fan base into a tizzy. People demanding he say something. “He can’t give 5 minutes?”, one man wrote. He gave a comment. The comment was, he didn’t want to talk tonight. The team arrived at their hotel at 4 am and then played a long, hard game. “His teammates are answering hard questions.”, one estute observer pointed out. Well — they should, they didn’t hit and struck out a lot.
Sports does this in media, especially the fans, perhaps that’s what drives the media. To his credit, Goold seemed pacified by Lackey’s polite refusal to engage the media. As was I, but others felt entitled. To an intrusive extent. I’m always pondering larger issues and it made me think of the media as a whole, which I actually exclude Goold from, because he sticks to his beat, so to speak. It just made me think of misplaced priorities. What we rabble-rabble about and what we don’t. 
We allow the most powerful people in our country, to not answer our simple questions. Yet, protest too much on non sequitur events, like baseball. One very brilliant woman pointed out she could mange both, which I found impressive, and also rare in the our modern social media paradigm. You see, it is vertically intergrated into our media. Literally, that’s the term for this new way of sharing information. It’s people and publications who drive the narrative, that’s what I realized and was able to articulate tonight. 
At the end of the day, it’s just a game — to the fans. However, it’s a major industry to many others, most of whom we don’t see. That’s true of all types of media. So, I’ll cut them both, players and media some slack and say, all jobs have their pressure. I only wish we put this kind of pressure on differnt jobs. 

Missouri’s Meltdown: A Political Lanscape In Flux

In this humble publication’s previous post, it discussed the unfortunate situation Jon Diehl had found himself in. 24 hours later, he has resigned and will return to his law practice. Which wasn’t surprising, other than most people suspected a quiet weekend resignation. However, that was made impossible by the eagerness —that’s being kind— of the Missouri political journalism class. Intrepid young reporters roaming the capital looking for dirt and wonking out on policy. They tend to lean towards a more progressive agenda, but I digress. 

What made this story really odd was what Jessica Lussenhop reported after the resignation. You can read her work here. In it she notes, that Diehl went out and had drinks with his colleagues, even some on the other side of the partisan fence. Which, isn’t all that surprising if you follow DC politics. This incestuous paradigm is, I’m sure, all too common in all 50 of our states capitols. What did raise a train eyes eye brow, was a savvy political move by republican candidate Cathrine Hanaway, who had been all but written off after the suicide of her opponent, state auditor Tom Scweich. Hanaway took the young, put upon 19 year-old under her wing, so to speak. To what end, remains to be seen. Theories exist, but nothing clear at this point. 

It’s been a grueling year for the state of Missouri — Akin reemerging with a book and then the tragedy of Tom Schweich. In between those two difficult moments for the state GOP, are the many scars of Ferguson that occurred and were inflicted upon the whole state, our piece of flyover country was not accustomed to such national scrutiny. Now, Jason Kander’s entry into the senate race to oppose the incumbent Roy Blunt has assured our political landscape will remain in the national spotlight for sometime to come. It is a politcal landscape in flux. 

Strange bedfellows and major money pouring in, it’s got everything political junkies love. With these recent events, I don’t see Missourians catching a break anytime soon. I don’t know that we can ever return to “normal”. To be frank, it was always weird, it just can’t be hidden any longer, and neither can the fact that the epicenter of the weirdness is clearly Jefferson City. Flanked by two metropolises, Kansas City and St. Louis, both on the far ends of the state, that provide the bodies, for the lack of a better term, to keep the strange charade going. Perhaps, that is why many have high hopes for Jon Diehl’s replacement, Todd Richardson. From neither flanking metropolis, he is from a small town called Poplar Bluff in the southern part of the state. He, and many others, have a hefty task of restoring some semblance functionality and credibility to the state. He seems to be off to a good start by addressing the intern program in Jeff City. I wish him well, because as Ms. Lussenhop so eloquently put, “Jeff City is weird”, he’s gonna need more than well wishes. We shall see…