Talking Politics
10:59 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Commentary: What politicians can learn from Stan Musial

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.

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8:37 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Commentary: Owning up to election predictions

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.

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3:31 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Commentary: The Electoral College, and how a tie could give us a Romney/Biden Presidency

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.

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4:39 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Commentary: The Polls

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.

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2:52 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Commentary - 2012 election predictions

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.

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5:53 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Commentary: Clearing up "Foggy" campaign finance picture

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:


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11:29 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Commentary: The Mayor and the "Bogeyman"

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.

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5:53 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Commentary: The Democratic National Convention

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.

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5:24 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Commentary: The Republican National Convention

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?

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