commentary

rickbrattin.org

Mother Jones published an article Wednesday about Missouri House Bill 131, a bill proposed by Republican Rick Brattin from Harrisonville. It’s mandatory reading for what follows to make much sense.

Down 7-3 in the eighth inning of the American League Wild Card game, it seemed inevitable, even fitting, really. The Kansas City Royals waited 29 years to return to the postseason, only to be swept out in a one-game wild card playoff that has only existed for three years. The loss would have cut deep, like they always have in Kansas City. At least that I can remember.

Islespunkfan / Flickr

At the first major league baseball game I ever saw, as a Cub Scout in old Sportsmans Park in north St. Louis, Stan Musial got his 2500th hit, a home run.  I became a Cardinals fan and a Stan Musial fan that day.

Commentary: Owning up to election predictions

Nov 15, 2012
Vox Efx / Flickr

Time to check my election predictions.  Even though they were a group project – three good and knowledgeable friends helped – I take full responsibility.

Vox Efx / Flickr

You may have heard of the Electoral College.  If certain unlikely but theoretically possible election scenarios play out tonight, then in the near future you will hear more about the Electoral College than the law should allow.

Commentary: The Polls

Oct 30, 2012
so Sara says / Flickr

Here’s a political quiz:

Which of the following is more annoying?

  1. Non-stop attack ads on your TV
  2. Public opinion pollsters calling your phone
  3. Both of the above are equally annoying

C is the correct answer, unless a pollster calls during dinner, in which case the correct answer is b.  Or if it is a female calling, it would be a pollstress, I suppose.

Commentary - 2012 election predictions

Oct 23, 2012
Marjie Kennedy / Flickr

I need to clarify a point I made in my last commentary.  When I said contributions to campaigns can be limited I was referring to federal campaigns --  President and Congress.  There are four states in which there are no limits on contributions to state campaigns – governor, state representative, etc. – and Missouri is one of the four.  Rex Sinquefield has given millions of dollars to candidates in both parties – because he can.

selbstfotografiert / Wikimedia Common

Why is so much money spent on campaign advertising?  Why can’t it be restricted?  Why can’t the U.S. have elections like Britain or Canada, where campaigns last about five weeks?

Tonight when you say to your TV: “If I see one more negative ad I’ll scream” and then you see two more before the words have left your mouth, think of the acronym:

                                                                       FOGGY

Commentary: The Mayor and the "Bogeyman"

Sep 19, 2012
The U.S. House of Representatives / The White House

Two small items in the New York Times from the Democratic Convention caught my eye.  The first was that Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor of Chicago, is now leading a Democratic SuperPac, one of those new types of fund-raising organizations, trying to pry big dollars loose from liberal donors.  Some of these donors have refrained out of principled opposition to SuperPacs.  Others have more personal reasons.  For example, George Soros has taken a pass because he could not get face time with President Obama.  So it will be a tough sell.

Commentary: The Democratic National Convention

Sep 11, 2012
firedoglakedotcom / Flickr

I again asked students in my American Political Parties class at Columbia College if President Obama’s acceptance speech was a success and if it changed their minds about him.  Of the six who sought the bonus points, four went in supporting Obama and none changed their minds.  Most comments were about the emotional power of the speech and how good a public speaker he is.  The criticisms were of the lack of specifics.  One was very positive despite her feeling that he had made little progress on his promises from four years ago.

Commentary: The Republican National Convention

Sep 4, 2012
Lig Ynnek / Flickr

Okay.  What’s the deal with Clint Eastwood at the Republican Convention?  Dirty Harry said, at the end of one of those movies: “A man’s got know his limitations.”  Eastwood should have taken Dirty Harry’s advice.  What were the Republicans thinking?