HB 1349: the greatest thing since…


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A bill:

HOUSE BILL NO. 1349 [pdf]



To amend chapter 9, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to Missouri sliced bread day.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Chapter 9, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 9.240, to read as follows:
9.240. July seventh of each year shall be designated as “Missouri Sliced Bread Day.” The citizens of this state are encouraged to participate in appropriate activities and events to commemorate the first sale of sliced bread on July 7, 1928, in Chillicothe, MO.

“02/21/2018 – Third Read and Passed (H)”

I feel safer already.

Campaign Finance: connections


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A familiar name.

Eric Greitens (r) [2016 file photo].

Today at the Missouri Ethics Commission for yet another right wingnut anti-worker committee supporting “Right to Get Paid Less”, opposed to working people, and opposed to ethic and redistricting reform:

C171367 02/20/2018 Freedom To Work Richard Uihlein 1396 N Waukegan Rd Lake Forest IL 60045 Uline Inc CEO/Chairman 2/20/2018 $500,000.00

[emphasis added]

That’s a lot of money.

Illinois. Well, that’s interesting, too.

From the committee’s latest campaign finance report:

C171367: Freedom To Work
Committee Type: Campaign
1902 West Jesse James Road
Excelsior Springs Mo 64024
Established Date: 11/20/2017
Information Reported On: 2018 – January Quarterly Report
Beginning Money on Hand $0.00
Monetary Receipts + $75,000.00
Monetary Expenditures – $710.03
Contributions Made – $0.00
Other Disbursements – $0.00
Subtotal $74,289.97
Ending Money On Hand $74,289.97

In 2017:

C171080 07/27/2017 Liberty Alliance Richard Uihlein 1396 N Waukegan Road Lake Forest IL 60045 ULINE Executive 7/26/2017 $100,000.00

[emphasis added]

In 2016:

C151053 03/15/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Richard Uihlein 1396 N. Waukegan Rd. Lake Forest IL 60045 Uline Inc. CEO 3/15/2016 $10,000.00

C151053 03/28/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Richard Uihlein 1396 N. Waukegan Rd. 1396 N. Waukegan Rd. Lake Forest IL 60045 Uline Inc. CEO 3/28/2016 $25,000.00

C151132 03/29/2016 HAWLEY FOR MISSOURI Richard Uihlein 1396 N Waukegan Rd Lake Forest IL 60045 Uline Inc. CEO 3/28/2016 $10,000.00

C151053 07/27/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Dick Uihlein 1396 N WAUKEGAN RD Lake Forest IL 60045 Uline Inc. CEO 7/27/2016 $40,000.00

C151053 10/20/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Richard Uihlein 1396 N Waukegan Road Lake Forest IL 60045 Uline CEO 10/20/2016 $250,000.00

[emphasis added]

In 2015:

C151053 10/30/2015 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Richard Uihlein 1396 N Waukegan Rd. Lake Forest IL 60045 Uline CEO/Owner 10/30/2015 $25,000.00

C151132 11/12/2015 HAWLEY FOR MISSOURI Richard Uihlein 1396 N Waukegan Rd Lake Forest IL 60045 Uline Inc CEO 11/10/2015 $10,000.00

[emphasis added]

We searched back to 2012. Nothing else turned up.


Campaign Finance: pull up a PAC, add more money, campaign against organized labor (July 28, 2017)

Campaign Finance: Freedom to Work? (December 21, 2017)

Campaign Finance: taking care of the state family


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Senator Claire McCaskill (D) [2017 file photo].

Today at the Missouri Ethics Commission:

C000960 02/20/2018 Missouri Democratic State Committee Joseph Shepard 1940 Spring House Dr St Louis MO 63122 The Lockwood Group Chairman 2/20/2018 $25,000.00

C000960 02/20/2018 Missouri Democratic State Committee Claire McCaskill 1941 Spring House Dr St Louis MO 63122 United States Senate United States Senator 2/20/2018 $25,000.00

[emphasis added]

“We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”

I weep


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From the Balloon Juice Lexicon:

High Broderism – Also frequently seen as merely “Broderism.” A fetishistic attachment to bipartisanship for bipartisanship’s sake; reflexive adherence to false equivalencies, regardless of whether what one side says is patently insane. The result of forty years of believing that Dirty Fucking Hippies may be hiding under your bed. Whereby a center-right pundit, often Broder himself, decrees that bipartisanship is a good thing and can be achieved if only everyone would agree with the center-right pundit. For the last ten years or so, High Broderism has been the shorter version of virtually every op-ed from David Broder.

I listened to part of an interview on a cable television news network this evening. The insidious effect of the status quo propaganda on our body politic is a very powerful force and I just witnessed the beginnings of the destruction of what appeared to me just twenty-fours ago as an unstoppable grassroots movement.

Political power is not a precision instrument. When it is held and wielded it must be done so without compromise, with message discipline, with purpose, and with the understanding that it can evaporate quickly.

The raw emotion of a high school student, speaking from notes on a piece of paper, demanding action, not words, was powerful. And brutal.

The NRA and the republican party know that they have eleven days from last Wednesday until the murders in Florida fade from memory. Have you noted their disciplined silence?

Twenty-four hours ago I had some measure of hope. As I watched the interview unfold this evening I kept repeating aloud, “We’re all fucked.”

Tonight in response to a question from a cable news network interviewer asking two high school students if their activism had become a political movement they replied that it was not political and what was needed was “bipartisanship.”

I weep.

Proof of natural selection


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Oprah Winfrey held a follow-up panel discussion on 60 Minutes with voters in Michigan:

Oprah follows up with the partisan voters in Michigan
Last fall, Oprah Winfrey spoke with 14 Michigan voters, seven of whom voted for Donald Trump. Winfrey sat down with the voters again to get their thoughts on Trump’s first year in office
2018 Feb 18
Last Updated Feb 19, 2018 1:57 AM EST

Laura: I feel safer now than I ever did the last eight years of Obama. Oh my God.

Oprah Winfrey: How do you feel safer? Tell me how you feel safer?

Laura: Well, I feel like I can say Merry Christmas to anyone I want wherever I want.

There you have it. Too stupid and ignorant to remember to breathe, and yet she does.

Trump, Russia, the NRA and today’s tweet storm


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After Donald Trump – and to be honest, most of the Republican political class – totally failed to discuss the gun part of the fact that the children in Parkland, Florida were massacred by a kid armed with a legally purchased assault weapon, there was lots of right-minded noise about how the GOP is a totally owned subsidiary of the NRA. But, nevertheless, I found it odd that nobody – to my knowledge – has brought up this little bit of news from a few days earlier:

But when it comes to funding, the NRA may have finally gone too far: the FBI recently launched an investigation to determine whether a Russian central banker, and Putin ally, illegally funneled money through the organization to help the Trump campaign.

Kind of casts Trump’s worries that the Russia investigation might be eating up too many FBI resources in another light. Also explains his tight-lipped stance when it comes to bucking the NRA line. It might just not be the Russians who may have a few dirty secrets our putative president would prefer to keep quiet when it comes to money laundering.

Of course, given the limited intellectual capacity of the current White House occupant, it’s really not too surprising that he might not believe that the agents of a huge, complex agency like the FBI can walk and chew gum at the same time.

“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes…”


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Also, this morning:

Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump
Never gotten over the fact that Obama was able to send $1.7 Billion Dollars in CASH to Iran and nobody in Congress, the FBI or Justice called for an investigation!
6:02 AM – 18 Feb 2018

“Never gotten over…Obama…”

Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump
Finally, Liddle’ Adam Schiff, the leakin’ monster of no control, is now blaming the Obama Administration for Russian meddling in the 2016 Election. He is finally right about something. Obama was President, knew of the threat, and did nothing. Thank you Adam!
6:22 AM – 18 Feb 2018

We never get out of junior high school, do we?

Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump
I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said “it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.” The Russian “hoax” was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia – it never did!
6:33 AM – 18 Feb 2018

Полезный идиот.

Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump
Now that Adam Schiff is starting to blame President Obama for Russian meddling in the election, he is probably doing so as yet another excuse that the Democrats, lead by their fearless leader, Crooked Hillary Clinton, lost the 2016 election. But wasn’t I a great candidate?
6:43 AM – 18 Feb 2018


You asked.

Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump
If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!
7:11 AM – 18 Feb 2018

Conciousness of guilt.

It’s getting scary out there – and our congresspeople are pretending not to see


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Nancy LeTourneau of The Washington Monthly did a first-rate if brief summary of the failed Trump presidency to date. The gist of her piece:

Taking a step back from getting caught up in the latest outrage, a look at what has happened over the last 13 months paints a picture of an utterly failed presidency. Because Donald Trump is incompetent, ignorant and mentally unfit to be president, he is not likely to improve on his performance to date. […]

Even if we ignore all of the obnoxious things he has said or tweeted and focus on his personnel and policy failures, the list is long.

  1. Failed to repeal Obamacare
  2. Failed to pass his immigration plan
  3. Travel ban and recision of DACA have been overturned in the courts
  4. Voter fraud commission disbanded after it went “off the rails”
  5. More than one in three staffers left the White House in its first year
  6. More than 40 percent his first Cabinet-level picks have faced ethical or other controversies
  7. At least 100 White House officials served with ‘interim’ security clearances until November
  8. A record low job approval rating for his first year

Depending on your politics, the fact that Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord and the Transpacific Partnership trade agreement would be viewed as major failures. He still hasn’t completed the re-negotiation of NAFTA.

LeTourneau seems to think that Trump can rely on his fake news outlets, the servile right-wing media conglomerate that dances to Trump’s fiddle, to reframe his disastrous tenure. And indeed, the great right-wing echo chamber has been extraordinarily successful over the past decade in persuading low-information, high dudgeon folks that night is day and vice-versa.

That’s bad. But, oddly, what scares me more is what might happen if it doesn’t work. Consider this tidbit – pure gossip, not confirmed, but worth attention nevertheless:

A US National Security Council (NSC) official has reportedly suggested that a limited preemptive strike on North Korea could help the Republican Party in the upcoming midterm elections — a claim rebutted by the White House.

The alleged comment, which was sourced from a scathing opinion column published Friday by the South Korean newspaper Hankyoreh, was also tweeted by a Wall Street Journal reporter.

“Indeed, White House National Security Council senior director for Asian affairs Matthew Pottinger was reported as saying in a recent closed-door meeting with US experts on Korean Peninsula issues that a limited strike on the North ‘might help in the midterm elections,'” read the English-translated version of the op-ed.


The remarks come as some advisers to President Donald Trump have reportedly suggested limited military action against North Korea to give it a “bloody nose.”

According to all reputable sources, such a scenario would have an horrendous effect – quite apart from it’s effect on the midterms. Given what we know about Trump and some members of his contingent, however, it seems like it might seem to them to be a hunky-dory way to maintain political dominance.

And our congressional representatives? Would they defend us and the hundreds of innocents who are at risk against such an atrocity? Will we ever be able to rely on the GOP, the members of which have, as LeTourneau notes, utterly failed to hold Trump accountable – the very people who have even tried to cover for him in the face of what some think might amount to possible treason.

And as for Democrats, sure some will come out to do battle. But midterms scare lots of swing state Democrats who still think that it’s wise to tack to the middle. And maybe it is, as far as their individual political careers go. Don’t expect any profiles in courage.

My own Democratic Senator, Claire McCaskill, is good at this walking the center line game. And usually I’m glad that she is. This is Missouri after all. But there’s lots going on now, and what’s Claire patting herself on the back for doing? In a recent email newsletter that I received, she informed me that her “bipartisan valentine” was the craven, corrupt Roy Blunt:

Since he and I have been in the Senate, we’ve teamed up on 331 bills and resolutions for the Show-me State—and that’s a record I think we can both be proud of.

Despite what you see on the news and online, there are a lot of things Senator Blunt and I agree on, and they’re almost all about commonsense solutions that will help folks in our state. We may not agree on everything, but we can certainly agree that Missourians come first.

Claire’s effort to hog the centrist spotlight is understandable, maybe. Effective in November? I hope. But it does not inspire confidence in the face of the debacle that is taking place in Washington – one abetted by Roy Blunt – although even he can’t resist expressing his doubts about Trump’s competence, at least as far as his ability to to effectively collude with Russia:

My view continues to be that the (Trump) campaign had one asset, which was a candidate that understood the moment and (was) not very capable of anything much more complicated than that.

Evidently, he’s never heard of “useful idiots” as a category. And maybe he doesn’t care, as long as the idiot in question lets him and his corporate clients have their way.

By the way, did Blunt send Claire a bipartisan valentine, I wonder? Will he even say anything nice about her?