Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Sarah Palin robocall: I am hanging up

This is the robocall Sarah Palin recorded for Sarah Steelman's U S. Senate campaign. If I am called, I will hang up (as I do on everyone who makes a political call, especially robocalls). Is there anyone out there who actually likes to be on the receiving end of a robocall?

Missouri Right to Life endorses Billy Long

(From Missouri Right to Life)

Missouri Right to Life Political Action Committee (MRL-PAC) has wholeheartedly endorsed Congressman Billy Long, Republican candidate for Congress from Missouri's 7th District. 

MRL -PAC is the most experienced and successful statewide pro-life organization that endorses political candidates on the state and federal level, having served Missourians from the mid 1970's to today.

Since his election in 2010, Billy Long has compiled a strong record of supporting pro-life legislation at every opportunity. He has co-sponsored over a dozen bills affirming the sanctity of life. His staff has been proactive in seeking input from constituents on issues that matter to pro-life voters.

At this crucial time when America is facing the policies and practices of Barack Obama, and his pro-abortion bullying, Billy Long is standing in the gap for Life. 

Billy's support of life-affirming legislation as the Ozarks' Congressman, his commitment in regards to protecting human embryos, and his resolve to walk beside pro-life Americans in our efforts to stop the abortion mandates in Obamacare are solid reasons to ask Southwest Missourians to once again stand behind Billy Long on August 7th.

Pro-Life Missourians understand the urgency of electing a congressman that values human life without regard to stage of dependency. Billy Long, like us, wants to see the federal government defund Planned Parenthood. Billy Long, like us, wants to see Roe V. Wade overturned. Billy Long, like us, wants to see the prospect of rationed care and "death panels" disappear - never to return. 

MRL-PAC welcomes Billy Long's commitment, his resolve, and his help in our efforts. We urge all 7th District Missourians to once again choose Billy Long for United States Congress. 

John Hacker discusses Spirit of Hope: The Year After the Joplin Tornado

In this video, John Hacker, who wrote the books Spirit of Hope: The Year After the Joplin Tornado and 5:41: Stories From the Joplin Tornado with me talks about the books during an interview with hosts Toni Valliere and Gary Bandy on KSN's Living Well, Wednesday, July 25.

The interview preceded our July 28 signing at Vintage Stock at Northpark Mall in Joplin.

The books are available through the Amazon.com sites on the right hand side of this page, through the PayPal links at the top right hand side and numerous local outlets in Joplin, including Always Buying Books, Changing Hands Book Shop, Sleepygirl's, Vintage Stock on the mall, and Countryside Flowers, as well as at Pat's Books in Carthage and the Lamar Democrat in Lamar.

In Joplin, Nixon announces drought relief

Roy Blunt: It's time for the Senate to vote on Obamacare

Brunner ad: Sarah Steelman's wheel of tort reform

Stilson rips Billy Long for partying in Beverly Hills, hobnobbing with Obama, George Clooney

I am still digging up video from last week's Lincoln Ladies Ice Cream Social at Memorial Hall in Carthage. In this video, Tom Stilson, a challenger to Billy Long for Seventh District Congress rips into the incumbent for partying at the Beverly Hills Hilton and "yukking it up with George Clooney and Barack Obama" at the White House Correspondents" Dinner.

Huckabee endorses Brad Lager

Eli Yokley of PoliticMo tweeted moments ago that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee announced his endorsement of Brad Lager for lieutenant governor during the Republican Watermelon Feed at Big Spring Park in Neosho tonight.

This is the second time Huckabee has endorsed Lager. In 2008, Huckabee, who was a presidential candidate that year, endorsed the Savannah Republican's Senate run.


New ad: I'm voting for John Brunner, are you?

It's all they say for the whole ad. I wonder how much they paid the guy who wrote this.

Billy Long: Why is media ignoring Obamacare's threat to religious freedom?

(More from Seventh District Congressman Billy Long's latest newsletter)

One aspect of Obamacare that seems to be lost in the media coverage is the threat to religious liberty.  Freedom of religion is a fundamental right protected by the Constitution’s First Amendment.  

Like many Americans, I was shocked to learn earlier this year that President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services issued a new rule forcing religious institutions to violate their sacred beliefs on the dignity of human life.

This rule requires individual and group health plans to cover free sterilization and all contraceptives approved by the Food and Drug Administration.  The rule also narrowly defined religious institutions. Since religiously affiliated hospitals, universities and charities were not included in the rule’s narrow exemption, the Obama administration is now on the record as requiring these religiously affiliated organizations to cover sterilization procedures and contraception, including the abortion pill, which violates their sacred beliefs on life.  

I am a proud supporter of H.R. 3982, the Religious Liberty Protection Act, which would prohibit the department from forcing employers with religious objections to provide coverage of sterilization or contraceptive services. 

Obamacare is wrong for our country for many reasons, but a health care reform effort should not violate religious freedom and force religious groups and entities to participate in practices that go against their religious doctrines.

Gutless Post-Dispatch owners get full day's work from employees, phone them at home to fire them

The brief article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch describing the latest cuts at that once highly-respected publication has most of the ingredients that have continued to send print journalism on its downward spiral.

Qualified employees are shown the door, no mention is made of the fact that the Post-Dispatch's parent company CEO received a hefty bonus for her work, the second in less than four months, last week despite the continued problems Lee Enterprises has been having, and of course, the article is listed as coming "from staff reports," which means it is verbatim from a news release dictated from corporate:


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has laid off 23 staffers from the newsroom, advertising and production, the company announced today.
The cuts continue the trend of downsizing at the newspaper, the largest in the Lee Enterprises chain, as the industry struggles to contend with declining print advertising revenue.
Lee earlier this month announced that it had narrowed its losses in the fiscal third quarter. The loss of $1.5 million, or three cents a share, compared with a loss of $155.5 million, or $3.46 a share, a year earlier.


I don't know why I put the link to the article in the opening paragraph since the little snippet above is the whole story.

Apparently, Lee Enterprises knew these cuts were coming last week when it announced CEO Mary Junck had been awarded $655,000 in stock shares, in addition to the $500,000 bonus she received in March:

That report, also attributed to "staff reports" said the following:


Lee Enterprises Chief Executive Mary Junck was given a restricted stock grant of 500,000 shares, according to a regulatory filing this week. The stock had a value of $655,000 as of Monday, the date when the grant was made.
This was Junck's first restricted stock award since fiscal year 2007.
A Lee spokesperson said details on the award would be released with another regulatory filing on Friday.
For the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the CEO earned $1.15 million, which included a $809,100 salary and $329,700 in stock options.
Earlier this year, Junck received a $500,000 bonus for getting Lee, publisher of the Post-Dispatch and other newspapers, through a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy that allowed the publisher to refinance its debts.

Notice in that story, there are no mention of any cuts, as if these are two separate, unrelated events.

The St. Louis Riverfront Times included another bit that will never find its way into a Post-Dispatch story, quoting a tweet from the United Media Guild:

PD Managers who were laid off worked all day at office, then informed via phone call at home after work they were laid off. 

McCaskill campaign: All three GOP candidates out to destroy Medicare

The following news release was issued Monday by Claire McCaskill's campaign.


Today, on the 47th anniversary of Medicare, which one million Missouri seniors rely on for their health care, but all three Republican Senate candidates have endorsed radical proposals to end Medicare as we know it. Throughout the campaign, Todd Akin, John Brunner and Sarah Steelman have all supported plans that turn Medicare into a voucher program, some of which would eliminate this critical safety net as early as 2014.

“Todd Akin, John Brunner, and Sarah Steelman have made it clear that they are willing to eliminate this critical safety net for Missouri’s seniors while fighting to protect Big Oil and mega-millionaires,” said Erik Dorey, McCaskill for Missouri spokesman. “For 47 years, Medicare has protected Missouri’s seniors and provided security for our parents and grandparents. While we work to rein in government spending, we shouldn’t be balancing our budget on the backs of seniors and middle class families.”

At a debate hosted by University of Missouri College Republicans this April, all three candidates voiced support for the extreme Republican budget proposal from Rep. Paul Ryan that would privatize medicare:

AKIN: We get rid of all of that government price structure and we allow a whole series of people to compete for the business, and there you get more of a free market system going.  So this is a good idea.  I voted for it.  And either version of this, whether you want to do voucher or premium support.  They're both good ideas, and I'd support either.

BRUNNER: Again, I’m a very strong believer in choice. When people get involved and have that opportunity with a choice and have that premium support or a voucher type program, they can go out and look for those benefits from the right people at the right cost. Quite possibly by creating a bit competition in the marketplace will tend to go the areas where they get the best service. That will encourage other practitioners in the healthcare field to compete with them so they can offer better service. So the decentralization really does work. So yes, I would support that.

STEELMAN: I think they’re both good idea but I want to put a caveat on that because I want to make sure whether it's premium or vouchers support, keeps pace with the cost of the rising health care cost that we have.

Additionally, Steelman endorsed the radical budget proposed by Rand Paul, who would eliminate the Medicare guarantee by 2014.



Secretary of state candidates to be in Joplin Wednesday night

The three major contenders for the Republican nomination for secretary of state will be in Joplin for a forum Wednesday night.

According to a news release from the Missouri Federation of Young Republicans,  Sen. Scott Rupp, R-Harrisonville, Rep. Shane Schoeller, R-Willard, and Sen. Bill Stouffer, R-Napton, will be at Corley Auditorium on the Missouri Southern State University campus for the 6 p.m. forum.

Eli Yokley of PoliticMo will be he moderator.




Billy Long: Obama's small business message is wrong


In his latest newsletter, Seventh District Congressman Billy Long takes issue with President Obama on his recent comments about small businesses.
I recently met with the owners of a bed and breakfast.  They borrowed $400,000 in 1999 and took a chance that their business plan would be successful with a lot of hard work.  Their dream has been successful, as last year they did $2.6 million in sales.

President Obama will be hard pressed to explain to this couple who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes last year that they did not build their business.

They certainly do not agree with President Obama’s message when he recently said that if you own a small business you did not create it, someone else did.
 
Supporting American Jobs

We all agree that we need to get our nation’s economy growing again in order to create jobs for American families.

Increasing our nation’s exports is one area which will grow the economy and create jobs without costing the taxpayers a dime.  I support free trade because more exports equal more jobs.

I was pleased when Congress finally passed the long-stalled free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea so our farmers and manufacturers have new markets for their products and to be able to provide Missourians more opportunities for new jobs.

U. S. farmers and livestock producers feed the world, which is why these agreements are vital to our agriculture community.  These free trade agreements will further agriculture’s role in trading with other nations.

As a freshman, I was humbled to serve on the Free Trade Task Force led by Rep. David Dreier of California. The task force was created to promote free trade and to help get the free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea passed through Congress.

Building off the experience of the Free Trade Task Force, I recently led the effort to rally my freshman class to support Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia and sent a letter to the president highlighting our support. After nearly two decades of negotiations, Russia is poised to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) this summer and without repealing a Cold War-era trade restriction American businesses will be at a disadvantage to international competitors.  While the U.S. already trades with Russia, the repeal of the Jackson-Vanik provision would level the playing field for U.S. exports after Russia joins the WTO.  The president has shown an interest in increasing American exports and the purpose of this letter was to show the president that 73 members of the Republican freshman class are willing to work on this issue that will help support American jobs.  Some media in this country like to portray the freshman class as a group who will not work in a bipartisan spirit for the benefit of America.  We can put those portrayals to rest.
I will continue to support efforts to boost trade opportunities for American manufacturers and businesses. This is about doing what is right for our country and supporting efforts to create jobs for American families.
 
Economic Uncertainty

Our country is racing towards a fiscal cliff that could cause irrefutable damage to our country and further hurt an economic recovery that is needed to create jobs for Americans.

On January 1, 2013, the current tax rates expire and all Americans will watch as Uncle Sam takes more money from their paychecks and sends it to Washington.  In 2009 President Obama said that you don’t raise taxes in a recession.  Now that our country is speeding towards this fiscal cliff and has yet to recover from the recession, he has changed his message.

The constant threat of out-of-control spending, higher taxes, and excessive regulation from Washington has resulted in some of the worst unemployment since the Great Depression.  We need to get the government out of the way so businesses can create jobs and get this country back on track.

Cutting federal spending and balancing the budget has been a top priority since I first came to Congress.  Congress needs to work to combat the record deficit and ballooning national debt, which at last count amounted to an astounding $15.9 trillion.  For too long, Congress has spent the hard-earned American tax dollars without considering the consequences.  Washington needs to take a look in the mirror and realize that the old way of conducting business simply won’t work anymore.  Besides balancing the budget, we need to reform our tax code and fix programs like Medicare and Social Security that will go insolvent and structurally collapse if they are not corrected.

Last year, Republicans were willing to consider tax code reform that would have reduced loopholes, made it easier for taxpayers to file, and increased economic growth.  Republicans wanted to increase revenue without increasing taxes.  Democrats never put a penny’s worth of reforms on the table that would slow the unsustainable growth of the drivers of the debt - government spending on entitlements - without insisting upon a massive tax increase.

The fiscal cliff our nation is fast approaching is avoidable, but when one party digs in and demands to raise taxes on families and small businesses, our nation’s number one job creators, it makes it hard to steer away from this cliff.

I will continue to work to ensure that you get to keep more of the money you worked hard to earn.  Washington does not have a revenue problem; Washington has a spending problem, as evident in the fact that Washington is spending 42 percent more than it takes from taxpayers.  Washington needs to take a page from American families and learn to live on a budget.

Shadowy organization pays for $200,000 direct mail hit job on Peter Kinder

A shadowy organization that exists only on paper, Better Government for Missouri, is paying for a $200,000 direct mail hit job on Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, according to documents filed Monday with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

As noted earlier in the Turner Report and other sources, Better Government for Missouri was created July 13 as a limited liability company and one day later funneled $100,000 to the St. Joseph-based Missourians for Conservative Values PAC which, in turn, passed the money along to Nebo Media, Washington, D. C. to buy $100,000 worth of air time for the Horny Toad attack ads against Kinder.

Five days after Better Government for Missouri was formed, it gave another $200,000 to Missourians for Conservative Values for a direct mailing against Kinder, according to the eight-days-before-election report filed with the Ethics Commission.

Prior to the formation of Better Government for Missouri, the St. Joseph PAC only had $5,140.01 in the bank. After spending the $300,000 and an additional $115 for expenses, the PAC is left with $5,025.01, according to the report.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Government: Peggy Newton continuing to lie, may ask for even longer sentence

The first day of testimony in the sentencing hearing for Joplin businesswoman Peggy Newton revolved around the government's attempt to prove that she not only embezzled from her Diane Pine, her partner at Evergreen and Amber, but she is continuing to lie about it in an attempt to weasel out of a prison sentence.

For the first time, government documents filed today include a request that the court consider sentencing her to even longer than the six years originally requested because of her continued "lies and misrepresentations."

Testimony was heard today from Secret Service special agent Daniel Allgeyer and from CPA Mike Pine, Diane Pine's son. After three hours of restimony from the witnesses, the court adjourned and the hearing will continue Thursday at the federal courts building in Springfield.

In a sentencing memorandum filed today, Assistant U. S. Attorney Steven Mohlhenrick indicated the government is still shooting for a six-year prison sentence for Mrs. Newton, followed by three years of probation.

The government indicated it will show the following during its presentation:

-Mrs. Newton's "eight attempts to obtain credit cards using the victim's personal information. Seven applications were made via the internet and one application was handwritten." Four of the attempts were successful.

-A forged document giving Mrs. Newton power of attorney dated April 28, 2008. The document read (with private information omitted) "I, Diane L. Pine, give Peggy Newton permission to act on my behalf in any personal and business matters. I give her permission to sign my name and to use my personal information for personal and business matters. Personal information such as social security number xxx-xx-xxx, birthdate x-xx-xxxx, mother's maiden name, father and etc."

-A summary table showing the $31,266.85 loss caused by Peggy Newton forging checks, copies of the forged checks and records of the deposit of those checks into Peggy Newton's personal bank account.

-"Correspondence, handwritten notes, electronic mail messages and posts on the Facebook social media internet site." In one message, Mrs. Newton wrote about her guilty plea. "This was a tough decision, trial or plea, and I truly feel at ease with my decision, scared, but at ease. The trial is with 12 jurors and if the jury found me guilty on one count, I could serve 48 months, but as always there is that possibility that the jury could find me not guilty, but I can't take that chance. My indictment was 24 counts, but many have been proven to be the victim's purchases so those counts have been dismissed, but if the jury found me guilty on just one of those four other counts, the judge would have to sentence me on the relevant conduct of the indictment and that is where the four-year sentence would come into play. The plea is: I plead guilty to one count and I get to have a hearing with the judge to prove that the victim's accusations of relevant conduct is ridiculous and instead to trying to prove my case to 12 jurors I get to do that with a judge who knows the guidelines- it is just like a trial but I get more power to argue my case. it is so confusing to explain. The plea gave me a better chance to not serve any time since I have two children and one of them has special needs. I absolutely have battled my mind with this, but my children are the most important and I have to take the 'safe route.' I wanted you to let you know for prayer, friendship, and out of respect, instead of reading or hearing about it. Please know that (my children) will be okay and I know God is in control. We will just go on with our lives as usual until a decision is made and then we will adapt. Thanks for listening."

-Two letters of apology written by Mrs. Newton after the theft was discovered- one to Mrs. Pine and the other to Mrs. Pine's daughter.

-Allgeyer's summary of the checks written on a U. S. Bank account and alterations made by Mrs. Newton to the carbon copies of the checks that were given to Evergreen and Amber's bookkeeper.

-A fake e-mail, written by Mrs. Newton and sent to herself, purporting to be from Mrs. Pine, including the statement, "Kids have no idea what I have done and they will never forgive me. I can't lose them, too; please, let's come together and sort this out." Allgeyer traced the e-mail to Mrs. Newton's IP address.

-A summary of findings presented by Mrs. Newton to the government four days ago.

-The government's summary calculation of the money that was taken.

Mohlhenrich writes, "At the sentencing hearing, the defendant will request a sentence of probation, primarily because she contends that she must care for her son, who has special needs. The Government strongly disagrees with the defendant's request for a downward departure or variance, and notes that the probation officer's second addendum to the PSR (pre-sentence report) addresses the issue of the defendant's son's special needs."

In the papers turned over to the government four days ago, Mrs. Newton included some claims that had not been made before, including saying that she had "loaned the business tens of thousands of dollars of her and her husband's money, from paying for items to covering overdrafts."

Mohlhenrich also says Mrs. Newton's claim that she repaid Mrs. Pine $5,075 is false. "The defendant has not repaid a dime of what she owes."





Former KSN reporter pulled over in racial profiling stop

Former KSN reporter and CNN anchor T. J. Holmes, who now works in the news department at BET, was interviewed tonight on The Ed Show on MSNBC about being pulled over by a police officer during a racial profiling incident.


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sarah Palin: Sarah Steelman's a mama grizzly

Two comments- You've got to be kidding and the status quo line has got to go.

Dunn, Kaiser nearly dead even in July fundraising

You would expect an incumbent of nine years with perhaps the best name recognition of any Jasper County official to be the top fundraiser in his race, and you would be right.

Archie Dunn has outraised primary opponent Randee Kaiser, assistant Carthage police chief, in July- but only by $17.

Kaiser's financial disclosure statement shows Kaiser with $12,950 to Dunn's $12,967 since July 1. The biggest boost to the challenger's bank account came from a barbecue held at the Carthage home of Frank Bartosh July 6. The fish bowl and raffle at that event, which was attended by 150, raised $5,377.

Former Jasper County Commissioner Anna Rush Mosbaugh also held a "meet and greet" for Kaiser, according to the statement. Forty-nine attended with $400 raised at what was termed a "meet and greet."

Kaiser purchased $7,202.50 of television advertising time, distributed between KODE, KSNF, KFJX, and KOAM and used $2,137.95 for a mailing.

Kaiser loaned his campaign $1,815, according to the report.

Dunn's $12,967 included a $5,000 contribution from Tri-State Motors, $3,000 from Railroad Salvage and Restoration and $1,000 apiece from Gary Hall and Donna Hall.

Dunn also picked up a $1,000 contribution from Cody Computer Services, Pottstown, Pa., a company that has a contract with the Jasper County Sheriff's Department to provide a computerized information sharing network.

Dunn spent $17,586 on television advertising, all of it with KOAM and KFJX.

As of this writing, the third candidate in the primary, Larry Newman, had not filed his report.


Lager spends $1.3 million in July

For heaven's sake, the race is for lieutenant governor, not president.

Sen. Brad Lager, R-Savannah, has spent more than $1.3 million in July, according to his eight days before election report, filed today with the Missouri Ethics Commission, with more than $1.1 million of that going into a statewide television advertising blitz.

The report indicates Lager received his biggest contribution this month, $10,000 from Smithfield Foods. He has received $81,130 since June 30 and still has $142,466.79 in his account.

Spence contributes more than $3 million to his campaign

St. Louis businessman Dave Spence gave another half million dollars to his campaign for governor today.

Spence, who is leading in the polls in his quest to win the GOP nomination and face Gov. Jay Nixon in November, has now poured more than $3.2 million into his campaign, including $1 million in the last four weeks.

Expect to see a lot of Dave Spence on TV for the next eight days.

Pray for those godless public school teachers



(The following is my latest Huffington Post blog)


I have failed as a teacher in an American public school system.

That realization hit me when I racked my memory and could not even remember the last time I confiscated a bible or slapped a student for praying that the bell would hurry up and ring so he wouldn’t have to listen to Mr. Turner any more.

Don’t tell anyone, but I have even accepted writing assignments in which the students talked about their religion and the important role it plays in their lives. And it wasn’t just the Muslim girl’s papers that I accepted, I even allowed an evangelical Christian to turn in her paper and Lord help me, it was so well written I had to mark a bright red “A” across the top of it.

I even recently published a book about the tornado that struck my Joplin community on May 22, 2011, and wrote a chapter about the Joplin High School Graduation in which one of my former students told me how faith got her through her senior year after her family lost its home. The book even includes photos of an outdoor church service held after the congregation lost its building in the storm, and the entire transcript of the speeches made by a pastor, our governor, and President Obama at a prayer service one week after the tornado destroyed one-third of our community.

What kind of public school teacher am I?

For far too long, the well-heeled enemies of public education have tried, with increasing success, to label public school teachers as godless liberals, arriving each day at their schools with the express purpose of indoctrinating impressionable children with secular humanism and turning them into tree-hugging, spotted owl loving liberals, looking for every opportunity to accept a government handout and drive a carload of job-stealing illegal immigrants across the border.

That libelous definition of public school teachers is the one being fostered by those who would prefer to see their money going to private schools and turn public education into a sausage factory turning out dutiful, compliant students who can fill the entry level jobs that open up whenever the “job creators” cannot find a way to ship those jobs overseas.

By convincing the American people that public school teachers are trying to usurp the role of the home in the upbringing of children, it makes it that much easier to tear down the public school systems that have offered a pathway to success for middle class and lower class students for more than a century.

One example of this ongoing attack is Amendment 2, which will go before Missouri voters next Tuesday. On the face of it, it doesn’t seem like something that should concern teachers.

Called the Missouri Public Prayer Amendment, its supporters say it will ensure that students have the right to pray and express their religious beliefs at school. The bill’s sponsor, Mike McGhee, R-Odessa, related horror stories of children having their Bibles taken away when they were reading them during study hall (Do any schools actually have study hall any more?), being stopped from singing Jesus Loves Me on the playground and being told to stop praying in the lunchroom because it isn’t “appropriate.”

I am not na├»ve enough to believe that there have never been any instances of teachers exceeding their authority, misunderstanding the First Amendment, and infringing on students’ rights, but it is not the epidemic that Amendment 2’s supporters are describing. The problem could be easily handled simply by making sure all teachers are aware of their students’ rights- ones that they already have.

However, a common sense solution, would not give right wing politicians the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone- rally the base around another issue that will bring them to the polls and keep the voters’ minds off the fact that their elected representatives spent another session addressing non-issues and doing nothing to bring jobs to Missouri.

And for those who are in the pocket of the billionaires who would like nothing more than to stop having their money go to public schools, this bill will help ease the electorate toward that goal. Who, after all, wants their money going to evil, godless liberals who would strongarm a child whose only crime was singing Jesus Loves Me?

That does not describe the teachers I know and have worked with for the past 14 years. They are representative of the communities in which they teach. Many attend church services, have their bibles with them everyday, and follow their beliefs- but they know where to draw the line between their religion and their jobs.

Teachers are not all liberal either. For years, I heard the sounds of Rush Limbaugh’s program coming from the teacher next door during the lunch break and he was far from being the only conservative in the building. Schools, just like every other place, are filled with people of all kinds. Schools, no matter what Mike McGhee and other supporters of Amendment 2 would have you believe, are a reflection of their communities.

Next Tuesday, Missourians are most likely to overwhelmingly approve a Constitutional Amendment that is totally unnecessary. After all, who wants to vote against prayer?

Hopefully, some of the people who cast their ballots will save a prayer for our public schools and the people who teach in them. They, not students who want to pray, are the ones who have been targeted for destruction.

Spirit of Hope, 5:41 to be available in Springfield, four other locations

Those of you east of the Joplin area will have five new retail outlets to buy copies of Spirit of Hope: The Year After the Joplin Tornado and 5:41: Stories from the Joplin Tornado after the beginning of August.

John Hacker and I have worked out a deal with Homegrown Books, which was started last year to benefit southwest Missouri writers and musicians and is building a network of coffee shops, tea rooms, and restaurants that will carry their books and CDs.

Our books will be available at the following locations:

-Keen Bean Coffee Roasters, 1031 South Market, Mount Vernon

-Maggie Mae's Tearoom, 206 West 4th Street, Miller

-MeMe's Country Cafe, Historic Downtown, Reed's Spring

-Denali Dreams, 316 E. Broadway, Monett

-Brown Egg Coffee Shop, 607 E. Madison, Springfield

The new locations join our Joplin area retail outlets which include Always Buying Books, Changing Hands Book Shop, Sleepygirls, Vintage Stock on the Mall, and Countryside Flowers in Joplin, Pat's Books in Carthage, and the Lamar Democrat in Lamar.

More retail outlets will be announced later.

Todd Akin: I want to keep my pension

In this clip from the recent debate at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Congressman Todd Akin painfully works for two minutes explaining how eliminating Congressional pensions wouldn't do much to cut the deficit.

Heat advisory for Joplin area extended through Tuesday night

(From the National Weather Service)


HEAT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM CDT TUESDAY...

* SHORT TERM TRENDS...MID MORNING TEMPERATURES HAD WARMED INTO THE
UPPER 80S TO THE LOW 90S ACROSS THE REGION. TEMPERATURES WILL
CONTINUE TO WARM TODAY...EVENTUALLY REACHING THE UPPER 90S AND
LOW 100S BY MID TO LATE AFTERNOON. 

* TIMING AND AREAS AFFECTED...THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON FOR AREAS ALONG
AND WEST OF A NEVADA TO SPRINGFIELD TO BRANSON MISSOURI LINE.

* TEMPERATURE...TEMPERATURES AND HEAT INDEX VALUES WILL CLIMB TO
100 TO 107 DEGREES EACH AFTERNOON. ISOLATED SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE POSSIBLE EACH AFTERNOON...WHICH MAY
PROVIDE SOME LOCALIZED RELIEF...HOWEVER THIS ACTIVITY WILL BE
HIT AND MISS NOT AFFECTING EVERYONE.

* IMPACTS...AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF VERY WARM TEMPERATURES WILL INCREASE
THE RISK OF HEAT RELATED ILLNESSES. YOUNG CHILDREN... THE
ELDERLY...AND THOSE WITHOUT ACCESS TO AIR CONDITIONING WILL BE
PARTICULARLY SUSCEPTIBLE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A HEAT ADVISORY MEANS THAT A PERIOD OF HOT TEMPERATURES IS
EXPECTED. THE COMBINATION OF HOT TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY
WILL COMBINE TO CREATE A SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE
POSSIBLE.

TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN
POSSIBLE...RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR
EVENING. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT
STROKE. WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN
POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.

&&

Billy Long not fed up with Las Vegas; contributors have paid for four trips this year

A disclosure report filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission shows yet another Las Vegas trip for Seventh District Congressman Billy Long.

The trip is at least the fifth one this year, and of those five trips, money for four came from his campaign bank account.

The latest disclosure report, covering the time period since July 1, shows Long reporting $936.32 for a stay at the Venetian Hotel. The date listed on the item is July 5. Apparently, earlier that day Long spent $609.29 for a meal at Tortilla Coast in Washington. D. C., a place where one reviewer wrote, "The food is great; the drinks are perfectly strong, but not too strong."

It is not clear what campaign event Long was attending in Las Vegas, but if he stayed at the Venetian Hotel on July 5 as the disclosure report indicates, he certainly picked a busy day at the hotel. On that same day, according to the hotel website,  things were hopping at the Venetian Poker Room, especially in the  "high-stakes area, featuring seven high-limit tables, two relaxation areas, butler service, and gourmet dining."

And as part of the poker room's "Deep Stack Extravaganza," a tournament was being held July 5, No Limit Hold 'Em with a $2,375 buy-in, a $125 entry fee, and a prize pot of $382,200.

Long's July quarterly report, filed on the 14th, indicates he made two trips to Vegas. As I noted in the July 17 Turner Report:

The report appears to show two trips to Vegas for Long since he has a listing for Allegiant Air, Las Vegas, $451.58 on May 21, and lists a meal at Mars Retail, Las Vegas, on April 11, with a cost of $303.74.

The first quarter disclosure report also shows a Vegas trip paid for by Long's campaign contributors, $241.26 for a flight with Allegiant Air, Las Vegas, on March 5.

Long made a fifth Vegas trip, but this was not billed to his campaign account. As I wrote in the Feb. 13 Turner Report:

In-person town hall meetings seem to be a thing of the past for Seventh District Congressman Billy Long, but junkets to Las Vegas, paid for by special interest groups, are on his approved list.

The Washington newspaper Roll Call reports today that the Consumer Electronics Association paid $2,000 for three days of Long's four-day stay in Sin City from Jan. 8-11. Records show Long paid his own expenses for one of the four days:


Travel disclosure reports filed with the House Ethics Committee show that participants used an exemption that permits additional travel time to far-off locations and paid their own hotel bills for an extra day or two, allowing them to spend several days in Vegas and still accept round-trip airfare and other expenses from the association — exactly what a 2007 rules change was supposed to eliminate.

The 110th Congress enacted new rules that bar entities that retain or employ lobbyists from sponsoring most forms of Congressional travel that last more than one day but left open the possibility that an additional night’s lodging would be approved in “exceptional” circumstances and that travelers could extend the trip out of their own pocket. Combined, the two provisions allow a one-day trip to morph into an excursion of four or more days.

“The point is to make sure these trips are business-related and do not turn into vacation junkets,” Public Citizen’s Craig Holman said. “By combining these two, it turns what should be a quick business trip into a junket. This is exactly what we wanted to stop.”


Long's pre-primary report also shows that he has spent $387,834.52 during this election cycle. He still has $389,508.76 in the bank.



Sunday, July 29, 2012

In 2008, Lager sponsored legislation that would benefit his lobbyist business partner

Veteran political reporter Rudi Keller of the Columbia Tribune turned up information indicating lieutenant governor candidate Brad Lager was a business partner with a lobbyist during his first two years in the Senate.

Lager's close relationship with Chuck Caisley, now vice president of Kansas City Power and Light, has been questioned by his opponent, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, because Lager is chairman of the Senate's Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy, and the Environment Committee.

Lager, Caisley, and Jared Craighead, lobbyist for CenturyLink, were partners in a complicated web of business operations, which was revealed by only one of the three, Caisley, according to Keller's story.

One thing is certain, in 2008, before Caisley acknowledged in documents filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission that he was in business with Lager, the senator, who was then vice-chairman of the Commerce, Energy and the Environment Committee, sponsored legislation that could have helped Caisley's client, the Missouri Energy Development Association.

SB 1161 would have expanded Missouri's linked deposit loan program, previously set up for farmers and agribusinesses with alternative energy projects, to allow businesses such as those represented by Caisley's client, including Joplin-based Empire District Electric Company, Ameren UE, Kansas City Power and Light, Missouri American Water, and Missouri Gas Energy.

Lager shepherded the bill through his committee, but that was as far as it was able to go.

(Note: Under Missouri law, Caisley and Craighead were required to reveal their business association with Lager. The lawmakers have apparently exempted themselves from that requirement.)

Lobbyists find ways to hide money spent wining, dining legislators at ALEC conferences

Usually about a dozen Missouri legislators, almost always Republican, attend the annual American Legislative Exchange Council conference where between wine tasting, sumptuous meals, golf, and other activities, they find the time to pick up ready-made bills on topics as diverse as Photo Voter ID, funneling public money to private schools, repealing Obamacare and Stand Your Ground.

 Some lobbyists, most likely with the blessing of the legislators, have managed to hide just how much they are spending to wine and dine our elected officials, but attributing the lobbying expenses to various groups.

 Though I have not been able to find any record of a Missouri Democrat and only a small group of Republicans attending the 2011 ALEC Conference last August in New Orleans, two lobbyists, Charles Simino, representing the Missouri Cable Telecommunications Association, and Tina Shannon, representing Ameren UE, said they were lobbying the entire General Assembly.

 Simino reported $400 for "dinner at Antoine's Restaurant and $846.43 for a "tour." Ms. Shannon spent $763.88 for meals.

 Other lobbyists, instead of attributing expenses to individual legislators, charged the House or Senate majority caucuses. Those claiming they gave gifts to the House Majority Caucus included the following:

 -John R. Sondag, AT&T, $1,440 for meals, $60 for the Missouri Chamber dinner, another $60 for the same event, and $44 for refreshments

 -Betsy Ledgerwood, Missouri Beverage Association, $75.72 for a meal at Court of Two Sistsrs Restaurant

 -Susan Henderson Moore, State Farm Insurance, a walking wine tour of New Orleans, $180

 -Tracy King, Missouri Chamber of Commerce, cocktail tour, $742

 -Caroline Hoover, Kansas City Power and Light, meal, $150

 Expenses charged to the Senate Majority Caucus included the following:

 -William A. Gamble, Missouri Beverage Association, Missouri Railroad Association, dinner reception, Antoine's Restaurant, $75

 -Betsy Ledgerwood, Missouri Railroad Association, meal, Court of Two Sisters Restaurant, $75.71

 -Tracy King, Missouri Chamber of Commerce, cocktail tour $182 

All in all, a total of $5,094.74.

 Those totals are in addition to the lobbyists who named the specific legislators who were the recipients of their gifts. Those legislators were named in the October 2, 2011, Turner Report. The following lobbyists' gifts were reported for individual legislators and their spouses:

-Rep. Darrell Pollock, R-Lebanon, received an $88 meal from Drue Duncan, Pfizer, and a $23.33 meal from Ashley Varner, National Rifle Association.
-Rep. Sandy Crawford, R-Buffalo, an $88 meal from Duncan
-Rep. Charlie Denison, R-Springfield, $88.41 meal from Duncan, and a $20.33 meal form Ms. Varner
-Rep. Bill Lant, R-Joplin- $88.41 meal from Duncan
-Rep. Caleb Jones, R-California- $45 meal from Heath Clarkston, RAI Services; $5, $120.41, and $11.49 meals from Duncan, $5 and $7 meals from Tracy King, Missouri Chamber of Commerce
-Shane Schoeller, R-Springfield- $23.33 meal from Ms. Varner
-Rep. Jason Smith, R-Salem- $39 meal from Doug Galloway, Centurylink; $90 meal from Tracy King, Missouri Chamber of Commerce; and $25.25 meal from Ms. Varner, National Rifle Association
-Rep. Cole McNary, R-Chesterfield- $196 ALEC Golf Tournament outing from Heath Clarkston, RAI Services 
-Rep. Shelley Keeney, R-Marble Hill- $36 meal from Doug Galloway, Centurylink
-Rep. Tim Jones, R-Eureka- Jones had a $44 meal with Ms. Varner of the National Rifle Association, but reimbursed her for the cost.
-Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield- $45 meal from Heath Clarkston, RAI Services
-Rep. Sue Allen, R-Town and Country- $80 and $8 meals from Michael Gibbons, Peabody Energy
The Ethics Commission records also show that Duncan, the Pfizer lobbyist, and Ms. Varner, the NRA lobbyist, bought meals for legislators' wives.
Duncan bought meals for Mrs. Denison, Mrs. Pollock, and Mrs. Lant, while Ms. Varner paid for meals for Mrs. Denison, Mrs. Pollock, and Mrs. Schoeller.


A report issued in 2011 by Progress Missouri revealed the extent to which the business interests and organizations like the National Rifle Association are using ALEC to make things easier for legislators by handing them ready-made, cookie-cutter bills to advance their interests. The following passage is taken from a Progress Missouri news release:
A Progress Missouri investigation of the previously secret documents at ALECExposed.com finds that conservative legislators in Missouri were more than happy to turn over their legislating powers to these unaccountable corporate interests. Sen. Luann Ridgeway’s right-to-work-for-less law (SB1), championed by Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer, is a carbon copy of ALEC’s model, written behind closed doors as part of a national campaign to attack working families. ALEC takes full credit for 2010’s Proposition C, allegedly written by Sen. Jane Cunningham. Additionally, legislation ostensibly authored by House Leader Tim Jones and Rep. Scott Dieckhaus to privatize schools is actually taken directly from ALEC.
Jones, who will become Speaker of the House in January, passed along his lodging bill to his campaign contributors, according to his October 2011 campaign finance report, filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

 He stayed at the Marriott Hotel for $408.21. He also charged his contributors for his ALEC dues, a total of $325.

 Whether the contributors got their money's worth out of that is hard to tell, but one thing is for sure- Jones' campaign came out ahead.

 Ethics Commission documents indicate the American Legislative Exchange Council has made two contributions to Jones this year- $350 on June 21 and $1,071.39 on January 17.

 (More to come)

Sarah Steelman: Why I'm like Sarah Palin

In this interview with Sarah Palin's Saranet radio, former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman gushes about the former Alaska governor, spending a considerable amount of time explaining how she is similar to her. She says the Palin endorsement has given her candidacy for U. S. Senate momentum. Listen to how many times the host works Sarah Palin's name into the conversation.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ladies and gentlemen: The mellow tones of Cynthia Davis

Glen Campbell Farewell Tour hits Springfield

Country singer Glen Campbell, who is in the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease, has been performing a farewell tour and it hit the Ozark Empire Fair in Springfield Thursday.

Todd Akin fans freedom's flame

Sheena Eastburn and the rape at the McDonald County Jail

Convicted killer Sheena Eastburn is interviewed by Joplin Globe reporter Wally Kennedy in this video.  Eastburn, who is in prison after being convicted of murdering her ex-husband, is seeking a new trial. The story is in the Sunday edition of the Globe.

Heat advisory extended through Monday for Joplin area

(From the National Weather Service)


HEAT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM CDT MONDAY...

* TIMING AND AREAS AFFECTED...THROUGH EARLY MONDAY EVENING OVER
SOUTHEAST KANSAS AND PARTS OF SOUTHWEST AND WEST CENTRAL MISSOURI.

* TEMPERATURE...TEMPERATURES AND HEAT INDEX VALUES WILL CLIMB INTO THE
100 TO 107 DEGREE RANGE ON AN AFTERNOON BASIS THROUGH AT LEAST
EARLY MONDAY EVENING.

* IMPACTS...AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF VERY WARM TEMPERATURES WILL
INCREASE THE RISK OF HEAT RELATED ILLNESSES. YOUNG CHILDREN...THE
ELDERLY...AND THOSE WITHOUT ACCESS TO AIR CONDITIONING WILL BE
PARTICULARLY SUSCEPTIBLE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A HEAT ADVISORY MEANS THAT A PERIOD OF HOT TEMPERATURES IS
EXPECTED. THE COMBINATION OF HOT TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY
WILL COMBINE TO CREATE A SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE
POSSIBLE.

TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN
POSSIBLE...RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR
EVENING. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT
STROKE. WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN
POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.

&&

Autographed copies of Spirit of Hope, 5:41 available through The Turner Report

As of a few moments ago, I have set up a PayPal account and will now be selling copies of Spirit of Hope: The Year After the Joplin Tornado and 5:41: Stories from the Joplin Tornado through this blog.

The buttons have been installed on the upper right hand side of this page. You can order the books, either autographed or not (there is no extra charge for the autograph) and pay them through your credit card or your own PayPal account.

Thanks to all of you who came to our signing at Vintage Stock at Northpark Mall today. We had a great time.

Sarah Steelman loans her campaign another $100,000

For the second time in less than a week, former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman has loaned $100,000 to her campaign.

A 48-hour report filed Thursday with the FEC showed Mrs. Steelman received $105,000, including the $100,000 loan. She filed another 48-hour report that day showing an additional $17,500 in contributions.

Heat advisory for Joplin area, 11 a.m. today to 7 p.m. Sunday

(From the National Weather Service)


HEAT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM THIS MORNING TO
7 PM CDT SUNDAY...

* TIMING AND AREAS AFFECTED...THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH SUNDAY
AFTERNOON FOR AREAS ALONG AND WEST OF A LINE FROM CASSVILLE TO
OSCEOLA.

* TEMPERATURE...TEMPERATURES AND HEAT INDEX VALUES WILL CLIMB INTO
THE 100 TO 106 DEGREE RANGE BOTH AFTERNOONS.

* IMPACTS...HEAT RELATED ILLNESSES COULD OCCUR WITH ANYONE 
EXERTING THEIR BODIES UNDER THESE OUTDOOR CONDITIONS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A HEAT ADVISORY MEANS THAT A PERIOD OF HOT TEMPERATURES IS
EXPECTED. THE COMBINATION OF HOT TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY
WILL COMBINE TO CREATE A SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE
POSSIBLE.

TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN
POSSIBLE...RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR
EVENING. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT
STROKE. WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN
POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The people we speak about in hushed whispers


(The following is my latest post for Daily Kos.)

It wasn’t too many years ago that an unenlightened society hid them away from the world, shamed that God was punishing them by afflicting their family with such a disease.

When people spoke of them, it was in hushed whispers. “He isn’t quite right,” or some other such euphemism was used.

That shame of the past has not yet left us. In Missouri, we still have a place where the unwanted are sent, a place that we still speak of in hushed whispers, but only because we don’t use that kind of language.

A place filled with Boo Radleys without his redeeming social qualities.

We call it the Missouri General Assembly.

Some of them we place in the Senate. How else can you explain a Jane Cunningham?

For the most part, though, our Senate is more selective in who it allows in its doors. It is nothing like the House of Representatives.

It is the House, for instance, that gave us former Rep. Cynthia Davis, R-O’Fallon, a woman who became famous nationwide when she noted that hunger was a good motivator. “A starving child is a motivated child,” certainly a slogan to live by. After a failed attempt at moving into the State Senate, Mrs. Davis has now bolted the Republican Party and is running for lieutenant governor as a Constitution Party candidate.

Or how about former Rep. Ed Emery, R-Lamar,  now a candidate for State Senate. Emery headed a committee that came to the startling conclusion that all of the state’s illegal immigration problems could be solved by eliminating abortion, since abortion was severely cutting back on our available workers. He included that in the committee’s final report, noting that it had come up in testimony before the committee. He neglected to note that it was his own testimony.

And you can’t forget soon-to-be speaker of the house Tim Jones, R-Eureka. This week, he told an interviewer on KMOX in St. Louis that he did not expect any legislative push in 2013 trying to keep people who were not born in the U. S. from becoming president. “I haven’t been pushing that,” he said. If that is the case, then why in the world is Jones’ name (along with the name of the aforementioned Cynthia Davis) among the plaintiffs in Orly Taitz’ birther lawsuit?

I mustn’t forget to mention Rep. Steve Cookson, R-Fairdealing, a former public schoolteacher and administrator who sponsored the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which had it passed, would have provided an insurmountable obstacle for teachers trying to deal with bullying or even classroom discussions about issues like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” or Steve Cookson’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Following in the footsteps of those who have fought discrimination against African-Americans, Hispanics, women, and other minorities, Rep. Wanda Brown carried the banner for another group that she believes has been the victim of prejudice in the workplace- the owners of guns. Her HB 1621 says, "It will be unlawful employment practice to discriminate against an individual because he or she has a conceal/carry endorsement or uses a firearm for a lawful purpose." Somehow under clouds of paranoia she saw something happening that the rest of us have yet to see.

The latest to join what seems to be almost a contagion affecting the Missouri House is Rep. John McCaherty, R-High Ridge. Only a few days after Aurora movie theater shooter James Holmes murdered 12 people and injured 59 others during a midnight showing of Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, McCaherty, a minister, is raising money for his re-election campaign by raffling an AR-15, the same type of weapon that Holmes used to cut down 71 innocent people.

You would expect that when word got out that McCaherty, reportedly one of the few ministers in Missouri to sport an assault rifle, would have dropped the whole idea, realizing that it was a slap in the face to those who lost loved ones in the theater massacre. Not a chance. Instead, McCaherty, in a twisted way of looking at things, accused the media of being the ones who were offending the families and told his supporters not to talk to them. The following passage comes from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

"(T)he less attention we give them the quicker they move on to the next story," the email reads. "The families affected do not need the media beating them up, or drawing out the story anymore. So please....Do not answer any questions about the event at all."
The people I have named above are part of the hidden shame of Missouri, the people we speak about in hushed whispers.  They are the people we keep sending to Jefferson City. Yes, it was obviously in poor taste for me to compare these far right-wing politicians with people who cannot help their illnesses. For that, I offer a sincere apology. But isn’t it time we found a more humane way to deal with these people who have a hard time fitting into polite society and make the House of Representatives truly the house of the people?
If these people truly are indicative of those they are supposed to represent, then Lord have mercy on us all.


Brunner, Tom Coburn to be in Joplin Monday

U. S. Senate candidate John Brunner and Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn will be in Joplin Monday as part of Brunner's Citizen-to-Citizen Tour, according to a news release just issued by the Brunner campaign.


Brunner will also be in Neosho Tuesday evening for the Newton County Watermelon Feed. The news release is printed below:

Today, the John Brunner campaign released the following additions to the citizen-to-citizen campaign tour. The new public events are released through Tuesday, July 31, with additional stops to be announced early next week.

Saturday, July 28 
 
Cedar County Meet and Greet
9:30 a.m. -10:30 a.m.
El Dorado Springs
 
Bates County Meet and Greet
Noon-1 p.m.
Butler
 
Lee’s Summit Meet and Greet
4:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Lee’s Summit
 
Lexington BBQ and Meet and Greet
7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Lexington
 
Sunday, July 29 
 
Moniteau County Meet and Greet
Noon-1:30 p.m.
Jamestown
 
Monday, July 30 
 
Meet and Greet with Senator Tom Coburn
8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Joplin
 
Tuesday, July 31
 
Southwest Missouri Tea Party Speaking Engagement
Noon-1:30 p.m.
Cassville
 
Newton County Watermelon Feed
5 p.m.-7 p.m.
Neosho

Billy Long: I'm fed up with Obama

In Seventh District Congressman Billy Long's first ad of this go-round, he modifies his famous catchphrase a bit and says he is fed up with President Obama.

Kinder ad: The pies, flies and lies of Brad Lager

Peter Kinder lets the accusations fly against Sen. Brad Lager in his latest campaign ad, which goes through discrepancies in Lager's records and ends with Speaker of the House Steve Tilley saying Brad Lager says one thing and does another.

Joplin Globe ends PR nightmare. Obits, death notices available online

Whether it's permanent or not, who knows, but at some point late this week, the Joplin Globe ended its public relations nightmare and once again started posting obituaries and death notices online.

Approximately seven weeks ago, the Globe stopped posting obituaries and death notices (the notices include the name, address and funeral service information) and only put the name. If you wanted more information, you had to either be a subscriber to the Globe's print edition or be willing to subscribe to the e-edition.

I wrote about the change in the June 5 Turner Report:


Now if you visit the Globe website and want to know when or where a funeral is going to take place, you have to either be a subscriber to the print edition or to the Globe’s e-edition.  It doesn’t matter if you are a friend or family member from out of state who has no connection with Joplin and no need for subscribe to a Joplin newspaper, if you don’t, you’re out of luck.
The timing was bad for the hard working staff at the Joplin Globe. During the past year, it has received well-deserved attention from across the nation, including a recent documentary about its courageous response to the May 22, 2011, tornado, that killed 161 people, including one Globe staff member, and displaced about a third of the Globe’s workers.
The Globe’s corporate management, the good folks at Community Newspapers Holding, apparently decided it was time for its newspapers to milk a few cents more out of the death industry.
I am sure it will not be long before someone sets up a website where obituaries can be found and when that happens another reason to read newspapers will have vanished forever- the same fate as classified ads and eventually legal notices when people come to the realization that the only reason those are still in newspapers is to prop up their bottom line- the taxpayers would probably be served just as well in this day and age by having legal notices posted on internet sites.
Once the public heard about the Globe's change in policy, the cries of outrage began and they have not let up in succeeding weeks.

Kit Bond endorses Ed Martin

(From the Ed Martin for attorney general campaign)

Former U.S. Senator Christopher (Kit) Bond today strongly endorsed Attorney General candidate Ed Martin’s plan to build a platform for smaller and less intrusive government in the Missouri Attorney General’s office.

Bond is a Missouri statesman who has served the people as Assistant Attorney General, State Auditor, Governor (twice), and U.S. Senator (four terms). Ed Martin recently began touring the state to advance and develop his plan for an Attorney General-led special task force to reduce regulations on small businesses and farmers.

"The onslaught of regulations coming down the pike from unelected bureaucrats in Washington threatens Missourians’ jobs and pocketbooks,” Senator Bond said. “Ed’s new task force will give Missourians a platform to attack this dramatic intrusion of government in how we live and help ensure the government is working for the people, not the other way around."

Martin said he is “deeply honored” by Bond’s support for his plan, and said he will work as hard as he can to meet the high standards for integrity and bipartisan public service exemplified by Bond’s distinguished career.

With Martin as Attorney General, the task force will carefully review federal, state and local laws and regulations and monitor the regulators to make sure that they do not exceed their proper authority or role under the law.

Areas that the task force will address are:
- Redundancies that add no value while increasing burdens;
- Regulations that limit economic freedom and opportunity;
- Practices that impose bureaucratic oversight and interference without redeeming business or social significance;
- Infringements on personal rights and freedoms.

Crowell: Vote for Amendment 2

In his latest report, Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, urges his constituents to vote for Amendment 2.


On the August 7th primary ballot, you will be given the opportunity to vote onConstitutional Amendment 2.  This is one of the most significant religious freedom measures to be placed before Missouri voters in our state’s history.  Passage of this state constitutional amendment would guarantee Missourians the right to pray and worship on public property and reaffirm their right to choose any or no religion.      
The common question has been “why do we need to vote on this state constitutional amendment if it is already in the federal constitution”?  The reason is simple.  There has been an infringement on the right to pray.  There are many instances in which a child is not allowed to have their Bible out in study hall at school, can’t pray before lunch, or even sing “Jesus Loves Me” while on the playground. 
image003
There is nothing unconstitutional about having prayer before a football game, school board meeting or any other public gathering.  We have been led to believe “separation of church and state” means no prayer, when it really means the government is not allowed to sanction one religion over another.  Amendment 2 will ensure our children the right to pray voluntarily in our public schools.  Missourians like you, will have the right to pray and acknowledge God in public setting and on public property.  Elected officials will have the right to pray and acknowledge God in public meetings and public ceremonies.  Students will have the right to express their belief in God in their school work and classroom discussions. 
The wording you will see when you go to vote on August 7th is as follows:
Official Ballot Title:
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to ensure:
·            That the right of Missouri citizens to express their religious beliefs shall not be infringed;
·            That school children have the right to pray and acknowledge God voluntarily in their schools; and
·            That all public schools shall display the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution.
It is estimated this proposal will result in little or no costs or savings for state and local governmental entities.

Fair Ballot Language:
"yes" vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to provide that neither the state nor political subdivisions shall establish any official religion. The amendment further provides that a citizen's right to express their religious beliefs regardless of their religion shall not be infringed and that the right to worship includes prayer in private or public settings, on government premises, on public property, and in all public schools. The amendment also requires public schools to display the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution.
"no" vote will not change the current constitutional provisions protecting freedom of religion.