A lead editorial written by Jack Miles, editor of the Daily Star Journal, which criticized the Missouri General Assembly on their handling of the campus conceal carry issue appeared in today’s Warrensburg paper:
4/30/2009 9:45:00 AM
Concealed-carry ignores public
Concealed guns should be banned anyplace where emotions run high, college campuses included.
…In Jefferson City – lawmakers who want concealed guns on college campuses – do not allow the public to carry concealed weapons in the Capitol halls. The prohibition, sensible but hypocritical, is an outrage, especially since Missouri voters said “no” at the polls to concealed carry anywhere in the state, but lawmakers ignored the vote.
Concealed-carry advocates in the General Assembly – now also ignoring constituents on college campuses, students and presidents who have said “no” – have students in their sites.
I hope their aim is as faulty as their moral compasses.
And Denny Hoskins (r – noun, verb, CPA), who represents a district with a university – what did he accomplish in the General Assembly for his constituents? Roseann Moring of the St. Louis Post Dispatch has a Twitter post:
Denny Hoskins wants to make those who have concealed carry on campus have a “secure locker with which to store the firearm when not in use” about 19 hours ago from web
Uh, does “not in use” mean someone isn’t pulling the trigger? Just asking.
Representative Michael Corcoran (D -77) tried yesterday to propose an amendment which would allow local control for campuses when it comes to conceal carry:
For Immediate Release:
Contact: Rep. Michael Corcoran
April 30, 2009…
CORCORAN FIGHTS FOR LOCAL CONTROL
House Leadership Gavels Down Discussion
JEFFERSON CITY – State Representative Michael Corcoran (D-77) tried to offer an amendment last night to allow Missouri Public Universities to require permits to carry concealed weapons on their campuses. However, debate halted any discussion on the proposed amendment and took the issue to an immediate vote by moving the previous question.
“My amendment would simply allow Public University law enforcement officials to issue conceal and carry permits if they did choose to do so,” Corcoran continued. “Parents, students, administrators and faculty deserve to make the decisions that directly affect their safety.”
Current Missouri statute requires a public conceal and carry permit and does not allow the carrying of concealed weapons at higher education institutions without “the consent of the governing body of the higher education institution”. Legislation pending in the Missouri Legislature would eliminate that local control.
“The Majority Party consistently screams for local control,” said Corcoran. “Yet when given the opportunity to give our Colleges and Universities control over their own safety, the majority refused.”
The University of Central Missouri Student Government Association (SGA) in Warrensburg, Missouri earlier this month voted to oppose the Missouri Legislature’s language to eliminate local control. The SGA President said, “allowing people to carry concealed weapons on campus invites disaster”.
“Students want to feel safe, and students don’t think more guns on campus is the answer; why does the majority think they know better?” Corcoran finished.
Representative Michael Corcoran is serving in his fourth term in the Missouri House and has two sons.
Gee, imagine that, a state representative who listens. Too bad the 121st Legislative District, which includes the University of Central Missouri, doesn’t have one of those.
Along with other Republicans, Roy Blunt made his case that somehow the right to free speech and religious freedom would be violated by the Hate Crime Bill that just passed the House. Watch the video here:
It’s a strange argument. All sorts of laws and regulations scrutinize intent – why should we exempt beating gay people to death from that same scrutiny?
I understand why Blunt is making these points when I put them side by side with the views of the woman who preceded Blunt on the video. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) believes that Matthew Shepard was a gay man who happened to be the victim of a crime, and his attackers just happened to hate gay people, but he was just a random victim of a random crime.
Here’s a fact-check of her odious speech:
Well, Matthew Shepard was targeted because of his sexual orientation, and he was tortured and killed for the same reason. He’s not alone, either. In 2007, there were almost 8,000 incidents reported to the FBI, including assault, rape, and murder. In Blunt’s view, people don’t target gays, women, people of different faiths, etc. for violent acts. In his world, there are only random crimes, none motivated by prejudice. Needless to say, this is not the world we live in.
There were no other speakers at Obama’s town hall in Arnold, MO, to celebrate his first 100 days in office–just a barbershop quartet singing the National Anthem;
a pastor who delivered a (rather long winded) prayer; a Vietnam vet who led the pledge of allegiance; and a woman who has raised her children in nearby Imperial and who switched last election from voting for Republicans. She introduced … wait for it … President Obama. As soon as the words were out of her mouth, the gym exploded. Twelve hundred ticket holders were on their feet cheering and clapping.
Choosing Linda Pleimann for the intro was a subtle way of reaching out to the half a percent of Missouri voters who kept Obama from carrying the state last November, the Republicans who need a few gentle nudges in our direction. Predictably, the move was part of today’s Post-Dispatch coverage of the event:
Linda Pleimann of Imperial also heard Monday that she would introduce Obama. She had campaigned for Obama and said he was the first Democrat she had voted for since Jimmy Carter.
“At first I wasn’t sure I could get out of work,” to attend Wednesday’s event, said Pleimann, a hairstylist. “When I told my clients, they said, ‘Cancel me!’ No one complained.”
Pleimann, whose stepson, Sgt. Carl Pleimann, is stationed in Germany after having recently finished a tour of duty in Iraq, said the president helped calm her nerves.
“We walked in together and he said, ‘This is going to be fun,'” she recalled. “And just before I walked on stage he said, ‘Go get ’em.'”
Another gentle nudge was Obama’s choice for his last questioner: an angelic looking (check out the pic), articulate fourth grader named Laurel, who wanted to know about his plans to fight climate change.
Laurel was the culmination of the town hall part of the meeting, one of only six people who got to ask questions. After his brief opening remarks about what he hopes to accomplish, Obama announced that he would take questions from the audience, and that he would go “boy, girl, boy, girl” in choosing the questioners. I’ll admit it’s a hasty generalization to say that Democratic office holders conduct their town halls more open handedly than Republicans, but I couldn’t help but remember how scripted was the “town hall” Akin and Leutkemeyer conducted a couple of weeks ago, with questions submitted in advance and carefully screened. Obama and McCaskill are free wheeling, ready to handle whatever pops out of the mouths of their questioners. Claire picked questions out of a fishbowl at her recent kitchen table talk in St. Charles, and the President picked people at random in the crowd. Akin makes me think of the way Bush used to keep protesters in a screened off area a mile away from wherever he was.
The Q & A lasted an hour, but only six people got to pose a question. That’s because it wasn’t a “sound bite” occasion. As a University of Missouri political communications expert puts it:
“He very much takes the professorial mode, explaining the process of decision-making and inviting others to come to conclusions he has come to,” he said. “The public has become comfortable with this style in these unsteady times.”
Case in point: When asked about the solvency of Social Security, he explained how members of each generation pay for those currently retiring in hopes of the same outlay when they retire, and how the bulge caused by retiring baby boomers and the borrowing from the Social Security trust fund have put some strain on the system. He listed four or five ways of dealing with the problem, for example, raising the retirement age. (But he pointed to a retired auto worker who had asked the first question of the day and said that working on an auto line is ha-a-rd work to be doing at 68, unlike, say, working as a senator–with a sly grin in Claire’s direction.) He finally got round to proposing that we raise the cap on Social Security taxes. Bill Gates pays that tax on only 1/10 of 1 percent of what he earns, while most of us pay it on all of what we earn.
But all that was just laying the groundwork for a more important point, that Social Security is an easily fixable problem. It won’t break us. In fact, even the loans to keep the banks from going under are just a few drops in the bucket compared to what will take us under if we don’t deal with it: Medicare and Medicaid. And the way to deal with them is to include healthy people in the insurance pool to bring down costs in the long run.
The president (I just love writing that word now) went into similar depth on every question he answered.
In an audience thick with educators, he garnered applause for ideas like seeing to it that students winning National Science Awards should get as much attention as basketball players, or like increasing teacher training and pay. He pushed for more funding for community colleges, urged parents to turn off the TV set so homework would get done, and pleaded for an environment where people remember that “it’s a privilege to learn.” But he warned the audience that he had one idea they might not applaud, one that is unpopular with teachers’ unions. He wants the best teachers rewarded with more pay but he says that any teacher who, even with continued support, “is not performing up to snuff, we gotta find that person a new job.” The applause was resounding.
Even as a retired teacher, I applauded. Merit pay, if it’s “opt in” rather than mandatory, makes sense to me. It makes even more sense to prune the profession. It can be done carefully. But I’ve seen teachers who, for the sake of our students, needed to be employed elsewhere, and I’ve cursed administrators too cowardly or lackadaisical to document the ineptitude or laziness of a few teachers and send them on their way. It was embarrassing to watch principals dither about their duty, and it was frustrating to listen, year after year, as students complained about the same few teachers.
Sir, feel free to quote me.
When the last question was answered, Obama worked the ropeline–and I wasn’t the only one taking pictures.
But outside, the adulation ended. At the edge of school property were the Tea Partiers, with signs like “100 days of LIES”. And across the street were the anti-abortion folk.
People leaving the town hall streamed past, barely granting them a glance. Even a woman screaming on a bullhorn struck them as irrelevant. Part of the reason was that it was impossible to catch her words, only her furious tone.
One fool Democrat, though, stood across the street yelling back at them. Somebody needed to put a hand on his shoulder and say, “Save your breath. … And quit acting like a moron, would you?”
Hey, if Obama succeeds in most of what he aims to do, those sign-toters will become more and more irrelevant.
[E]ven polls showing lofty favorability ratings contain warning signs. In a Pew Research Center poll last week, 20 percent responded by saying “socialist” when asked for a one word impression of the new president, surpassed only by “intelligent” (30 percent) and “good” (29 percent).
The writer is correct that right-wingers are having some success tagging Obama with the “socialist” label. But, so? The name callers either have no idea what a socialist is or they’re cynically fear mongering the word. Both, probably. Here’s the thing, though: if Obama gets the economy on track, passes health care reform, and shifts us to alternative energy, he could inadvertently give “socialism” a good name in this country. If he doesn’t, we’re all screwed anyway.
So since I have been offline unless I am at work and using grolaw’s MacBook (still not feeling the love, but he showed me a couple of things that has warmed me up slightly to it) I activated my twitter feed to get tweets from some of those I follow via my phone. One of them I got phone tweets from was my Senator, Claire McCaskill. One of the tweets she sent out last night irked me…(Yes, Claire irked me. And in other news, water is wet…)
H1N1 is better name for flu virus that we’re monitoring. Swine flu makes people think pork is not safe.It is.Not fair to Mo’s hog farmrs.
@clairecmc I would argue that CAFOs are the biggest threat to Missouri hog farmers. The ones who are left, anyway, since CAFOs came in!
Seriously…what was her position 20 years ago when those horrific environmental nightmares came into our state and started driving the small family farms out of business and polluting our waterways?
And I really want to know – I wasn’t here then, I was wherever the U.S. military told me I would be back then, so if she was speaking up for farmers at that time, that’s great. But if she wasn’t, she’s got a lot of damned gall getting all high and mighty now.
Having lived in Austin, I can say that both Saint Louis and Austin are great places with plenty of advantages and some disadvantages, but there’s no denying that the citizens and leaders in Saint Louis and Missouri have made some poor decisions over the last century that have led to a long slow decline of one of America’s great cities. Austin, on the other hand, has grown from a city of around 350,000 in 1990 to a metropolitan area of over 1,000,000 today. It has a vibrant downtown, a quirky local culture, a great live music scene with multiple festivals each year, and out of this world restaurants.
That doesn’t mean Saint Louis is awful and can never rise again. But there’s no use pretending tht just because we have a few pro sports teams (which are themselves legacies of a prominence now faded) that we can thump our chests and ignore what has happened.
Congressman Roy Blunt (r – lobbyists) posted a flurry on Twitter about President Obama. Sarah Steelman (r), his probable rival for the republican U.S. Senate nomination in 2010, will post something on Twitter in 5, 4, 3, 2… Or not.
While we wait we can read what “daddy” Blunt had to Twitter:
Uh Roy, in case you didn’t notice, Robin Carnahan (D) is the Missouri Secretary of State. It’s a statewide office. One would think that you would be cognizant of that little fact, given that you and your son once occupied the same space.
Who else was in Arnold, Missouri yesterday?:
…THE PRESIDENT:…We’ve got one of the finest new governors in the country, Jay Nixon. (Applause.) Where did Jay go? There he is. An outstanding Secretary of State and somebody who I think may turn out to be pretty good in Washington if she just so decides — Robin Carnahan. (Applause.) We’ve got Attorney General Chris Koster here. (Applause.) State Treasurer Clint Zweifel. (Applause.) A great friend who was with me from the start — Susan Montee, your State Auditor. (Applause.) We have our outstanding host today, Mayor Ron Counts, of Arnold. (Applause.)…
What, no Roy? If President Obama were truly evil he would have had Sarah Steelman up there, too. Heh.
Oh, Roy Blunt’s (r – lobbyists) Twitter madness from yesterday gets even better:
In less than 100 days, the $3 trillion budget Obama sent Congress will result in more national debt than all previous presidents combined. about 13 hours ago from mobile web
…On the day President Bush took office, the national debt stood at $5.727 trillion. The latest number from the Treasury Department shows the national debt now stands at more than $9.849 trillion. That’s a 71.9 percent increase on Mr. Bush’s watch.
The bailout plan now pending in Congress could add hundreds of billions of dollars to the national debt – though President Bush said this morning he expects that over time, “much if not all” of the bailout money “will be paid back.”
But the government is taking no chances. Buried deep in the hundred pages of bailout legislation is a provision that would raise the statutory ceiling on the national debt to $11.315 trillion. It’ll be the 7th time the debt limit has been raised during this administration. In fact it was just two months ago, on July 30, that President Bush signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, which contained a provision raising the debt ceiling to $10.615 trillion…
That was before the bailout bill went through Congress under dubya’s watch.
Roy Blunt also wrote it at the Springfield, Missouri News-Leader:
…In fewer than 100 days, the $3 trillion budget plan President Obama sent Congress will result in more national debt than all previous presidents combined….
…In fewer than 100 days, the $3 trillion budget plan President Obama sent Congress will result in more national debt than all previous presidents combined…. Where have I read that from Roy before?
I’ll give you this: Roy Blunt (r – lobbyists) is relentless on his fact deficient message.
Who was in the republican leadership in the House while President George W. Bush was on his way to amassing such massive public debt? Just asking. I wonder if it was some Washington insider?
The National Journal on the Blunt/Steelman tussle includes this soon-to-be shelved argument:
A Republican in Blunt’s camp countered that with Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill already in office, Missouri voters might be better served balancing that with a male.
In Missouri in the 2008 election, 54% of voters were women and they leaned to the Democrats in the Presidential election. While one can guess that the Republican primary electorate will be more male than the general electorate. Running too much of a gender campaign when your opponent in the general election will be Robin Carnahan is a questionable tactic.
In the year 2009, can we come to a conclusion that gender doesn’t really matter when it comes to public office? Missouri doesn’t have better Senatorial representation with a one woman/one man delegation than California’s two women or Kansas’ two men delegation purely due to gender. Just because someone is of one gender doesn’t mean that they’re going to have a better grasp of a certain issue.
I’d hope that Roy Blunt’s campaign team isn’t made up of people too dumb for the Hulshof campaign, because running on gender identity sounds pretty dumb and aimless.
So let’s hope for better things from this campaign.