Can the leopard (Roy Blunt) change its money-grubbing spots?


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So last Thursday (11/19) readers of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch were treated to a quarter-page ad that proclaimed in large letters “thank You Senator Blunt for protecting access to patient care.” The ad was paid for by the Federation of American Hospitals, a for-profit hospital lobbying group.

As near as I can make out Blunt’s service to the group consisted of advocacy against cutting down the federal subsidy that compensates for Medicare “bad debt.” This is the debt that occurs when Medicare beneficiaries cannot manage co-pays or other Republican-sponsored (and Blunt endorsed) outlays designed to make sure that our elderly have “got skin in the game.”

Laudable, right? But bear in mind that this is the same Senator Blunt who just a few years ago proclaimed that, “We’ve had Medicare since 1965, and Medicare has never done anything to make people more healthy.” It’s also the same Roy Blunt who has voted against just about any expansion of healthcare that hasn’t involved a subsidy to healthcare industry beneficiaries – folks who, incidentally, have done quite a lot of good for ol’ Roy in their turn. Healthcare industries and Big Pharma account for quite a sizable chunk of Blunt’s campaign dosh.

Not too different from Karl Rove’s PAC ads that tried to paint the Senator as a defender of veterans – the same Roy Blunt who voted over and over again against the best interests of veterans (see here and here for examples).

So what’s going on? Could it  have anything to do with the election next year which Roy is going into with a Senate approval ranking of 84 from the top? That’s 16 from the lowest posible ranking. Maybe a few of Roy’s constituents have finally caught on about who it is Roy seeks to serve.

Or it might possibly reflect the fact that Roy has some real competition this time around in the person of a actual veteran, Jason Kander? Somebody who just might not only try to walk the caring walk only during the few months before a possibly difficult  election, but every day, as a matter of principle.


We never get out of junior high school


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Apparently, Eric Greitens (r) and John Brunner (r), two of the 2016 republican gubernatorial candidates, aren’t happy with each other:

‘Oh my God, you are such a weasel!’ and other things pols say to each other behind the scenes

….Both campaigns confirmed this week that the recording is genuine, and Brunner’s campaign confirmed it made the recording….

Chris Koster (D) has got to be the luckiest politician in the history of civilization.


From Eric Greitens’ (r) campaign site:

When Leaders Refuse To Take Responsibility

Leaders don’t record private conversations and leak them to the media, sleazy politicians do. I’ve been in a lot of fights – in the boxing ring, in Navy SEAL training and in war zones. I can take a hit — but at least own up to it. What’s disgusting about politics is all the so-called “leaders” who hide behind others and refuse to take responsibility for their actions. That’s called cowardice. I have repeatedly challenged John Brunner to accept responsibility for these recent attacks, but like a typical politician, he has ducked and dodged. We don’t need more of that in Jefferson City. And that’s exactly why I’m running — to call out and defeat those who would rather play politics than tackle problems. Join us in this important fight for Missouri’s future. I can assure you we will win.

Catherine Hanaway (r) is probably really going to enjoy her Thanksgiving holiday.

Update II:

From someone associated with John Brunner’s (r) campaign:


Michael Hafner
‏@MichaelFHafner 1st Phone Call: Candidate (trained Navy SEAL) threatens/wants to meet at boxing gym. 2nd Call: Of course I’m going to advise to record. 2:13 PM – 24 Nov 2015

Pass the popcorn.

Peter Kinder (r) and Chris Koster (D) are probably really going to enjoy Thanksgiving this year, too.


Campaign Finance: it’s like a campaign contribution, only smaller – part 13 (November 13, 2015)

Campaign Finance: bet the farms


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Today at the Missouri Ethics Commission for Chris Koster’s (D) probable 2016 gubernatorial campaign:

C031159 11/23/2015 KOSTER FOR MISSOURI AGXPLORE International, LLC PO Box 638 Parma MO 63870 11/21/2015 $10,000.00

[emphasis added]

It continues.


Chris Koster (D) – July 2015 Campaign Finance Report (July 18, 2015)

Campaign Finance: No, tell us how you really feel… (October 2, 2015)

Campaign Finance: adding up (October 7, 2015)

Campaign Finance: just another really good day (October 19, 2015)

Campaign Finance: and another good day (October 22, 2015)

Campaign Finance: like a rock (October 29, 2015)

Campaign Finance: Treat! (October 31, 2015)

Campaign Finance: making a statement (November 2, 2015)

Campaign Finance: electricity (November 9, 2015)

Independence USA PAC ad – Chris Koster (D) (November 11, 2015)

Campaign Finance: almost routine (November 14, 2015)

Campaign Finance: again, with the working people (November 17, 2015)

Welcome to our world


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Somebody else noticed today. We were worried there for a while.

From the Missouri Ethics Commission - November 23, 2015

From the Missouri Ethics Commission – November 23, 2015

MO Ethics Commission ‏@MOEthics is currently experiencing technical difficulties. We are working to resolve the issues. 8:24 AM – 23 Nov 2015

We went through withdrawal yesterday.

White House Petitions: pants wetters


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The land of the free and the home of the brave.

At the White House petition site:

We petition the Obama Administration to:
Immediately cease relocating Syrian “Refugees” to the United States due to terrorist and ISIS ability to infiltrate U.S.

This petition is requesting that our President place the security and lives of our citizens first by immediately ceasing all operations to relocate Syrians to the United States. The relocation efforts offer a channel for ISIS or like minded groups or extremists to enter our country in bulk posing a sever threat to public safety. It is not in the best interest of our Country to allow the relocation efforts to continue. Given recent terrorist attacks in France and the threats by ISIS to other major cities world wide and here in the U.S closing our borders to the “Refugees” is the only responsible action.

Published Date: Nov 14, 2015
Issues: Defense, Foreign Policy, Homeland Security and Disaster Relief

Signatures needed by December 14, 2015 to reach goal of 100,000 93,866
Total signatures on this petition 6,134

[emphasis added]

You’d think someone would have checked for typos.


We petition the Obama Administration to:
Place a Moratorium on all Refugee Resettlement from the Middle East in the Wake of the Paris Terror Attacks.

In the wake of the Jihad terror attacks in Paris of 13 November, we demand that an indefinite moratorium be placed on all refugee resettlement from Middle Eastern nations.

It has recently come to light that one of the Paris Jihad attackers possessed a Syrian passport and passed through Greece in October 2015. According to Nikos Toscas, Greece’s deputy minister in charge of police, “The holder of the passport passed through the island of Leros on Oct. 3, 2015, where he was identified according to EU rules.”

Seeing how this attacker easily exploited Europe’s refugee policies, we can only assume that others will exploit our generous, and porous, system in order to commit acts of terrorism on our sacred American soil.

Mr. President, WE demand an indefinite moratorium. Protect America!

Published Date: Nov 14, 2015
Issues: Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement, Homeland Security and Disaster Relief, Immigration

Signatures needed by December 14, 2015 to reach goal of 100,000 88,550
Total signatures on this petition 11,450

[emphasis added]

Am I the only one who remembers “freedom fries”?


Hey, Chris Koster, are you really listening? (November 18, 2015)

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): Quick, jump on that bandwagon of fear before it pulls away! (November 19, 2015)

Meta: comments




Yeah, we get comments on occasion. What’s nice about the new digs and system is that the spam filter is really quite dynamic. Under the old platform we had to spend a considerable amount of time cleaning out the spam subscribers, setting the system to a posting delay to cut down on spam posts and comments. We don’t have to do that anymore.

It’s not like we get a lot of comments. At one point when we were considering the new platform we weren’t too concerned about enabling comments. It just turned out that this new platform handles comments well – so far.

We recently received a “not spam” comment to one of our posts which was held in the pending comments queue. It contained a fair amount of misdirected opinion (How’s that for being charitable?).

I didn’t approve the comment.

Here’s the thing, if you’re posting Faux News Channel fueled spluttering we’re not really interested in what you think or have to say. Unless we feel like mocking you. That’ll be our decision.

Our philosophy on comments from the old site – you might note a few of the points that specifically addressed its subscriber format:

The owners of the blog call the shots. The owners are the sole representatives of this blog. No one else speaks for them.

If you’re going to complain about the infringement of your right to free speech please go ahead and start your own blog – if your content is good maybe others will show up to read it. Or maybe not.

Longevity does not confer gravitas, quality of content does. Originality, wit, fact checking, humor, critical thinking, insightful analysis, humor, and linking to sources are highly prized attributes. Did we mention humor? Properly titrated snark is also greatly appreciated.

Conspiracy theories, tautologies, calling another user out by name in a diary, personal attacks directed at another user, and uncritically repeating or recycling tabloid news (ah, a redundancy!), among many other nasty behaviors, are considered bad form. Depending on the badness of said form you will receive public comeuppance ranging from a thump on the back of your head to permanent banning.

We never get out of junior high school. Diaries which beg “recommend this!”, comments which are nothing more than “I agree”, or “mojo” surfing expeditions only prove such. Have some self-respect. If your diary is worth recommending, it’ll get recommended. If you deserve “mojo”, you’ll receive it. Or maybe not. Be the blog.

Outing another individual who wishes to remain anonymous is considered very bad form. Posting another individual’s personal information is considered extremely very bad form. Cyberstalking is against the law in Missouri. You do not want to cross these lines.

Bad words. You know who they are. Uncritical and excessive use of foul language probably indicates a failure of intellect and/or substance. Depending on the person, there are rare exceptions. Most of you aren’t that person. That being said, Sci-Fi television show euphemisms can make the same point in a pinch.

If you’re a good writer it’s relatively easy to show everyone else that someone is a stupid troglodyte without actually using those two words – and it’s much more fun to watch them slink away in silence after it finally dawns on them that they’ve been mocked into oblivion.

Copyrighted material. Quoting an amount of copyrighted material in excess of that allowable by “fair use” is strictly forbidden. Instead, quote a pertinent paragraph or so and provide a link. Diaries or comments which violate this guideline will be deleted without warning or notice.

No one owes you an explanation about why a diary or comment has been deleted. Depending on traffic volume you may get one. Don’t count on it.

Being a newbie doesn’t quite confer a lower status, just the same, don’t be a jerk – and don’t be defensive about being new. Just be cognizant of the facts that the wheel has already been invented and that maybe, just maybe, others might have some measure of experience or institutional memory.

Wailing about being victimized doesn’t wear well on anyone. It’s laughable when it comes from supposedly self-reliant right wingnuts. Be the rating.

Posting in all caps is the Internets equivalent of shouting. If you do so, you will be unmercifully mocked for not having the ability to understand how the caps lock key works.

The opposition is organized – they come to the progressive blogosphere in mind boggling numbers to disrupt, sow dissension, and lower morale. Not everyone who posts on progressive blogs is who they want to appear to be. Trust us on this one.

Unverifiable grandiose claims and lists of accomplishments don’t impress anyone. Your diaries and comments should speak for themselves. Professional people in politics who really know, don’t talk – people who talk, don’t know. If you really are in the know you probably shouldn’t be spilling the beans about your campaign’s strategery in such a public place.

Trolls and those intent on disruption should be crushed and mocked without mercy – and the management will remove them as soon as possible, leaving their dessicated carcasses as an example for others.

Calling someone else a “troll” just because they disagree with you is considered bad form.

While recipe posting is a brilliant tactic, too much attention to battling trolls distracts the members of the site from other much more important business.

The media reads the blogs. They are lazy. They look for stuff which smells like dissension. You are irredeemably stupid if you uncritically and breathlessly repeat right wingnut talking points, stories, memes, or frames. The media will use such because they are lazy, superficial, and stupid. Did I mention that they were lazy? Everyone say “Hi!” to Steve Kraske. Note to the media: Posting a comment or comments at this site does not make one a representative of this site. Asserting such just shows everyone else how clueless you really are about the Internets.

If you’re here to be a cheerleader for or post drive-by press releases for your particular candidate, don’t bother. That job has already been taken up by the media.

The odds are against any of us being the next great professional political strategist or pundit. Okay, considering the Faux News Channel and the rest of the cable news network talking heads this isn’t our strongest point. Don’t take it personally. Learn to throw an elbow and to take a head butt.

If the progressive blogosphere is to reach its true potential it will take all of us turning the philosophical and theoretical into the practical. If you haven’t already signed on to volunteer for a 2008 [!] local or statewide campaign you’re just occupying space and wasting bandwidth.

If you are irony challenged you probably haven’t understood any of the preceding. If you continue to participate here, eventually you will.

So it has been said, so it is written, so it is done.

Campaign Finance: it’s like a campaign contribution, only smaller – part 16


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We’re never gonna get tired of that joke. Especially if these contributions keep up.

Today at the Missouri Ethics Commission for Eric Greitens’ (r) 2016 gubernatorial campaign:

C151053 11/20/2015 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Gordon Sondland 111 Southwest 5th Ave Suite 1001 Portland OR 97204 CEO & President Provenance Hotels 11/20/2015 $5,001.00

[emphasis added]

Nope, that’s another one who can’t vote in the republican primary.


Eric Greitens (r) – quarterly campaign finance report – April 15, 2015 (April 19, 2015)

Eric Greitens (r) – July 2015 Quarterly Campaign Finance Report (July 15, 2015)

Campaign Finance: there goes the whole “it’s a populist grassroots campaign” ad package (September 3, 2015)

Campaign Finance: it’s like a campaign contribution, only smaller – part 8 (October 14, 2015)

Eric Greitens (r) – October 2015 Quarterly Campaign Finance Report (October 17, 2015)

Campaign Finance: it’s like a campaign contribution, only smaller – part 9 (October 21, 2015)

Campaign Finance: it’s like a campaign contribution, only smaller – part 10 (October 30, 2015)

Campaign Finance: it’s like a campaign contribution, only smaller – part 11 (November 3, 2015)

Campaign Finance: can’t vote in the republican primary (November 4, 2015)

Campaign Finance: it’s like a campaign contribution, only smaller – part 12 (November 5, 2015)

Campaign Finance: add water, stir (November 9, 2015)

Campaign Finance: it’s like a campaign contribution, only smaller – part 13 (November 13, 2015)

Campaign Finance: it’s like a campaign contribution, only smaller – part 14 (November 18, 2015)

Campaign Finance: it’s like a campaign contribution, only smaller – part 15 (November 19, 2015)


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