Politics

Political news

American movie-goers flocked to the fictional African nation of Wakanda. “Black Panther” has gone from studio film to the makings of a movement. Is that good marketing? Or a sign of changing times. Also, why NBC insists on mispronouncing Pyeongchang, how high school journalists shifted the narrative in Parkland, Fla. and why a Seattle station spent $12,000 to forgive $1 million in viewers’ debt.  From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Despite all the bad press, the Republican Party is riding high, holding more state legislative seats and governorships than any time since 1922.  They control all three elected branches of the national government.  By contrast, Democrats are fractured, leaderless and outvoted at every turn.

The GOP is certainly not without problems.  The Trump base is, shall we agree, firm.  But it’s only one-third of the electorate.  Establishment Republicans lurch between taking advantage of their current dominance plus Democratic disarray and plotting Trump work-arounds, often very cynically.

Evangelicals, 81 percent of whom voted for Trump, are discredited by their tolerance of Trump’s stormy assortment of misbehaviors.  Republican women are especially conflicted.


Sinclair Broadcast Group has asked its news directors to consider donating personal funds to the company’s political action committee to help fund its lobbying efforts. Is it a conflict of interest to pay to lobby the leaders you’re covering? Also, coverage of the Winter Games from PyeongChang, Omarosa Manigault-Newman’s stay in the Celebrity Big Brother House and why a missing comma could get costly quickly. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Brett Johnson and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Sinclair Broadcast Group has asked its news directors to consider donating personal funds to the company’s political action committee to help fund its lobbying efforts. Is it a conflict of interest to pay to lobby the leaders you’re covering? 

It’s prime time for moviegoers, gearing up for the Academy Awards at the end of the month. Many of them are seeing as many films as they want for only $10 a month thanks to a new subscription service called MoviePass. How does it work and why are movie chains so against it? Also, Newsweek’s senior management fired in what might have been an act of retaliation, Tronc sells the Los Angeles Times and why the Las Vegas Review-Journal spiked a story about allegations of sexual misconduct against casino magnate Steve Wynn’s two decades ago. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

President Trump delivered his first State of the Union address last night. Was it effective? We'll discuss. Facebook says it's going to increase the number of local news stories in your feed. How exactly will that work? Plus: Twitter bots, the Pope's take on fake news and a look at the news organizations that are being credited for exposing sexual abuse by U.S. Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. From Missouri School of Journalism professors Mike McKean, Earnest Perry and Ryan Thomas. Views of the News.

Commentary: A Political Book Review

Jan 29, 2018

If you live in Columbia you may know Larry and Jan Grossman.  They are respected business people and their son Matt, who graduated from Rock Bridge, is a respected political scientist who teaches at a Big Ten university.  Matt is a prolific author of textbooks, including one I have used for years in my political parties classes at Columbia College.


Missouri House and Senate leaders are balking at Gov. Eric Greitens’ plan to establish a line of credit to ensure that all state income tax refunds are paid on time.

The $250 million credit line is part of the governor’s proposed state budget for Fiscal Year 2019, which begins July 1. But President Pro-tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, gave a flat-out “no” to that idea while talking with the media Thursday.

Think you’ve spotted fake news? Feel like you need to report it to someone? In Italy, news consumers are being asked to report fake news to a police agency who will fact check it, and if need be set the record straight. It might limit misinformation, but what effect might it have on freedom of the press? Also, coverage of the government shutdown, Rupert Murdoch’s suggestion that Facebook should pay publishers carriage fees like cable companies do the networks and the HuffPost ditches the model that’s defined it for years. 

Think you’ve spotted fake news? Feel like you need to report it to someone? In Italy, news consumers are being asked to report fake news to a police agency who will fact check it, and if need be set the record straight. It might limit misinformation, but what effect might it have on freedom of the press?

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has released portions of his plan to cut taxes in Missouri.

Greitens said in a written statement Thursday afternoon that most of the details of his proposal will be laid out “in the coming weeks.” But the Republican governor has listed several goals, or “principles,” that make up the plan.

Missouri's attorney general has accused St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger of multiple violations of the Missouri Sunshine Law.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, Josh Hawley, a Republican, accuses Stenger, a Democrat, of failing to respond to records requests by the deadline set in state law. Stenger’s office is also accused of failing to have one person handle all records requests.

At least one Republican lawmaker is calling for Gov. Eric Greitens to resign following reports of an extramarital affair. Greitens denies details in a KMOV-TV report that he photographed the woman without her consent and used them to blackmail her. The station’s reporting is salacious and scandalous, but it is news? Does the public’s right to know about their elected officials’ behavior outweigh an individual’s right to privacy? Also, coverage of sexual misconduct accusations against Actor Aziz Ansari take a very different tone, President Trump’s use of language and drastic changes to the Facebook algorithm. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

At least one Republican lawmaker is calling for Gov. Eric Greitens to resign following reports of an extramarital affair. Greitens denies details in a KMOV-TV report that he photographed the woman without her consent and used them to blackmail her. The station’s reporting is salacious and scandalous, but it is news? Does the public’s right to know about their elected officials’ behavior outweigh an individual’s right to privacy? 

Hair braiders in Missouri have lost an appeal over a state requirement that they must be licensed like barbers and cosmetologists.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday affirmed a lower court ruling in St. Louis that upheld the Missouri law.

The fallout over Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ admitted affair and allegations of blackmail was swift, with the local prosecutor heeding Thursday's calls from Republicans and Democrats for an investigation, and some Democrats suggesting the governor should resign.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ admission late Wednesday that he had an extramarital affair before he was governor bumped his second State of the State address out of the headlines. 

Just after the speech Wednesday evening, Greitens and his wife, Sheena Greitens, issued a statement saying “there was a time when he was unfaithful” in their marriage. The admission came as KMOV-TV prepared to air a report about the affair, featuring the man who said he was the ex-husband of the woman in question. 

Updated January 11 at 4:20 p.m. with Gardner investigation —  Missouri House and Senate Republican leaders issued almost identical statements of concern Thursday as they otherwise declined comment on the sex scandal swirling around Gov. Eric Greitens.

Using the bad weather as an excuse, most lawmakers fled the state Capitol, and both chambers adjourned swiftly until next Tuesday.

However, a bipartisan group of senators – all frequent critics of the governor – announced they were sending a letter asking state Attorney General Josh Hawley to investigate the matter.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens used his State of the State address Wednesday to announce a proposal to cut state taxes this year, even as the state budget is still adjusting to earlier state and federal tax cuts that are just now going into effect.

What happens when the president’s attorney’s try to block the publication of a White House tell-all? Sales go through the roof, of course… and buzz on television and radio gets louder and louder, quite literally. Where Wolff’s reporting techniques sound? Did the president’s surrogates hurt argument that anecdotes weren’t accurate? Also, how rumors of Oprah Winfrey’s 2020 presidential run made news, why the BBC’s China editor resigned her post, and a new publisher at the Columbia Daily Tribune. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Paul Love to Run Against Trapp for City Council; Peters to Run Unopposed

Jan 10, 2018

Following Tuesday’s filing deadline to run for Columbia City Council in April, Sixth Ward Councilwoman Betsy Peters will run unopposed and Second Ward Councilman Mike Trapp will face one challenger, Paul Love, who unsuccessfully tried to unseat him in 2015.

What happens when the president’s attorney’s try to block the publication of a White House tell-all? Sales go through the roof, of course… and buzz on television and radio gets louder and louder, quite literally. Where Wolff’s reporting techniques sound? Did the president’s surrogates hurt argument that anecdotes weren’t accurate?

Michael Wolff, NY Magazine: “Donald Trump didn’t want to be president”

The search has begun for Missouri’s next education commissioner, even though there currently aren’t enough board members to vote on hiring Margie Vandeven’s successor.

Ten people applied for the job by Monday’s deadline. But Board of Education President Charlie Shields said they can’t even review their applications until there are at least five voting members on the State Board.

Torie Ross / KBIA

A state audit shows Missouri is paying out income tax refunds later and later because the state is short on cash.

Democratic Auditor Nicole Galloway released an audit Monday that said the state paid roughly $423,000 in interest on late refunds to nearly 155,000 taxpayers last fiscal year.

That's up from fiscal year 2016, when the state paid about $306,000 in interest for about 83,000 late refunds.

A state representative from rural Missouri won’t face any punishment for a controversial Facebook post he made last summer.

The House Ethics Committee considered sanctions against Rep. Warren Love, R-Osceola, for a Facebook post in which he said vandals who defaced a Confederate monument should be “hung from a tall tree with a long rope.”

Ryan Silvey has been confirmed as the next member of the Missouri Public Service Commission, and has resigned his seat in the State Senate.

The Republican from Kansas City was appointed by Gov. Eric Greitens, who Silvey has criticized for accepting money from politically-active non-profit groups that don’t reveal their donors. He also criticized Greitens for how he dealt with lawmakers in the GOP-controlled General Assembly.

senate.mo.gov

Gov. Eric Greitens has appointed fellow Republican Sen. Ryan Silvey to the state's utility regulation board.

Greitens announced Silvey's appointment to the Public Service Commission Tuesday, the day before the start of the 2018 legislative session.

The commission regulates and establishes rates for electric, natural gas and other public utility companies including Ameren.

An organization that advocates for open government is asking a judge to bar Gov. Eric Greitens and his staff from using an app that deletes messages after they're read.

In a lawsuit filed last month by an attorney for the Missouri Sunshine Project, attorney Ben Sansone claims the use of the Confide app by Greitens and his staff violates the state's public records laws. The app deletes messages and prevents recipients from saving, forwarding, printing or taking screenshots of messages.

Commentary: America's Clinical Trial

Dec 26, 2017

A few years ago in an airport gate area I overheard a man on his Bluetooth talking about his business.  When he was free I asked him about it.  He said he owned a startup biotech firm that had patented a drug that was in clinical trials.  I asked about the drug and he said it was an ointment for joint pain.  He said the key ingredient was cocaine.

A year ago last week Donald Trump was officially chosen president by the Electoral College.  Had 77 thousand voters in three states – Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania – voted for Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump, Ms. Clinton would have not only won the popular vote by three million, she would also have narrowly won the Electoral Vote. 

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