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Image courtesy of Fox News Channel

It's been two months since former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed her sexual harassment suit against Roger Ailes and Fox News. Today, the network announced a settlement.

Erik Wemple, Washington Post: “Fox News has settled Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment suit for $20 million

Poor white people have been in the news a lot lately.  Most obviously they are a target voting group and natural constituency for Donald Trump.  But they are also the subject of some interesting recent non-fiction books.  One memoir entitled Hillbilly Elegy by a guy who grew up in rural Kentucky is actually a best seller, and a couple of others have had a real impact on how people think about this very large group of Americans.

The redoubtable conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, who led a movement that for decades successfully thwarted liberal and feminist causes, including the Equal Rights Amendment, and helped uber-conservative candidates win elections, has died. She was 92.

Mrs. Schlafly died Monday afternoon at her Ladue home, surrounded by her family. She had been battling cancer, said daughter Anne Cori.

Mrs. Schlafly was a self-described “lifetime fulltime volunteer in public policymaking.” Although she held three degrees, including a law degree, and worked her entire life, albeit most of it without pay, she championed the role of full-time homemaker as a woman’s highest calling.

claire mccaskill
studio08denver / flickr

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill has confirmed that she'll run for re-election in 2018.

The Springfield News-Leader reports the Missouri Democrat said Tuesday while visiting a National Guard facility at Springfield-Branson National Airport that she'll be "asking for another tour."

A McCaskill spokesman confirmed she intends to seek re-election.

Voters first elected McCaskill to the Senate in 2006. She defeated Republican Rep. Todd Akin to win re-election in 2012. She underwent breast cancer treatment this year, including surgery.

  The Associated Press reports that more than half of the meetings Hillary Clinton held during her time as Secretary of State were with parties who donated to the Clinton Foundation. Is their analysis an accurate representation of the data? Also, what happened when Facebook dropped its Trending Topics team, a USA Today report that gives some credence to Ryan Lochte’s story and a career development initiative designed to bring diverse candidates to newsrooms across the country. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

marcn/FLICKR

The Associated Press reports that more than half of the meetings Hillary Clinton held during her time as Secretary of State were with parties who donated to the Clinton Foundation. Is their analysis an accurate representation of the data?

Jeff Jarvis: “Specimens of old journalism

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Aug. 28 means  that most of Missouri's new laws passed earlier this year are now in effect.

For years, WikiLeaks has been known for it’s crusade against government secrecy. But, the Associated Press reports that innocent, private citizens have had very personal information published online. Why would the agency publish medical record, name child rape victims or out gay men in Saudi Arabia? Also, another major shakeup in the Trump campaign, the end of Gawker, and Ryan Lochte’s fall from grace. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Have you noticed one of the side effects of reality TV?  I guess people actually watch “Naked and Afraid” and “My 600-pound Self”.  I only know about these shows because I surf past them on the way to professional cage fighting and Real Housewives of Las Vegas.  Just kidding about cage fighting.  But seriously, this programming makes voyeurs out of normal people, but more importantly, causes them to think differently about their social and political worlds.

For years, WikiLeaks has been known for it’s crusade against government secrecy. But, the Associated Press reports that innocent, private citizens have had very personal information published online. Why would the agency publish medical record, name child rape victims or out gay men in Saudi Arabia?

Raphael Satter & Maggie Michael, Associated Press: “Private lives exposed as WikiLeaks spills its secrets

JASON ROSENBAUM | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

The top prosecutor in the city of St. Louis said she’s skeptical about the cries of poverty from Missouri’s public defenders.

 

Earlier this month, Michael Barrett, the director of the Missouri public defender system assigned Gov. Jay Nixon to a case in Cole County. Barrett blames Nixon, a Democrat, for underfunding the system.

 

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has tapped two veteran GOP operatives to head up his state operation.

Aaron Willard, who has held several key posts in the Republican-controlled General Assembly, is Trump’s new state director. Todd Abrajano, a consultant with similar GOP ties, is to serve as Trump’s communications director.

ALEX HEUER / St. Louis Public Radio

Eric Greitens has received $1 million from the Republican Governors Association for his Missouri gubernatorial campaign.

The contribution comes about a week after Greitens prevailed in a four-way Republican primary. It could help him replenish his finances for the Nov. 8 general election against Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster.

The most recent reports show Greitens had $628,000 in his campaign account as of July 21. Since then, he has received at least $1.5 million in donations of more than $5,000 each.

It’s been less than two weeks since Missouri voters chose nominees for governor. And it’s fair to say that neither candidate wasted much time in fashioning their general election message — or sharply questioning their opponent’s worthiness.

This reporter spent the past few days watching and listening to Chris Koster and Eric Greitens' post-primary speeches. And from what the two men are saying on the stump, Missourians are in for a very contentious campaign — and discourse that may appear familiar.

John Oliver summed it up succinctly on Sunday night’s episode of Last Week Tonight, “the media is a food chain which would fall apart without local newspapers.” We’ll talk about Oliver’s harsh words for the content creators and why so many reporters and editors are cheering him on. Also, a look of the best –and the worst – of the coverage of the Olympic games in Rio and Fox News after Roger Ailes. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.


Commentary: Grading the Major Party Conventions

Aug 9, 2016

How did the parties do at the conventions?  Using the late journalist David Broder’s guide here’s how I think they did:

marijuana
LancerenoK / Flickr

A group backing medical marijuana in Missouri says it doesn't have enough valid signatures but will go to court to get a proposed constitutional amendment on November's ballot. 

The frustrated director of Missouri’s underfunded public defender’s office has done something most unusual: He’s assigned a case to the governor.

The budget woes in Michael Barrett’s department are ongoing – too many poor people needing public defenders, too few lawyers to represent them. So he’s relying on a state law that appears to let him appoint any lawyer who's a member of the Missouri Bar to defend an indigent criminal defendant.

Enter Gov. Jay Nixon.

Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

Former state lawmaker Judy Baker's quest to become Missouri's next state treasurer has advanced with her victory in the Democratic primary.

Missouri Primary Election 2016 Results

Aug 3, 2016
Vox Efx / Flickr

U.S. Senate

Democrat: 

  • Chief Wana Dubie (9.5%)
  • Cori Bush (13.2%)
  • Jason Kander (69.8%)
  • Robert Mack (7.3%)

Republican: 

  • Roy Blunt (Incumbent) (72.5%)
  • Kristi Nichols (20.2%)
  • Bernie Mowinski (2.8%)
  • Ryan Luethy (7.3%)

A group that advocates for low-income Missourians is warning that a drop in revenues two months ago could get worse unless lawmakers take action next year.

Amy Blouin is executive director of the Missouri Budget Project.  She says revenue is currently projected to grow at only 4.1 percent, meaning that the state is facing a budget shortfall of $216 million.

Sully Fox / KBIA file photo

In Columbia, voters will decide on Proposition 1 in Tuesday's primary election. Prop 1 would increase taxes from 4 percent to 5 percent at hotels and motels. The money would be used to make improvements at the Columbia Regional Airport, including building a new terminal. 

SOMEWHERE IN AMERICA – You could say that Missouri’s 2016 primary cycle was a bit unwieldy.

This election has everything: An unpredictable and incredibly expensive governor’s race, statewide contests that turned thermonuclear nasty, and high-stakes legislative contests. For St. Louis voters, there’s a critical four-way race for circuit attorney and even a scramble for sheriff.

PHILADELPHIA – Democratic vice presidential hopeful Tim Kaine may have departed from Missouri a long time ago. But for U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, the Virginia senator still retains Show Me State sensibilities.

McCaskill expressed her enthusiasm almost immediately after Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton picked him as his running mate. Not only was she excited that an alum of the University of Missouri-Columbia was getting his time in the sun, but also the fact that a “good guy” was getting his due.

Sean Hobson / Flickr

Missouri election officials are predicting 31 percent of registered voters will cast ballots in next Tuesday's primary elections.

If the prediction holds true, that would be the highest voter turnout in a Missouri primary since 2004.

Nearly 36 percent of voters turned out in that election a dozen years ago, when then-Auditor Claire McCaskill defeated Gov. Bob Holden in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. The top draw that year was a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman.

USGS / Wikimedia Commons

A judge has found that two members of the Missouri Clean Water Commission violated their duty to be impartial while considering a proposed large hog breeding operation in mid-Missouri.

The Columbia Daily Tribune (http://bit.ly/2akEPmi ) reports that Chairman Todd Parnell of Springfield and member Ashley McCarty of Novinger won't be able to take part in discussions or votes on the Callaway Farrowing permit under Tuesday's ruling.

Commentary: The Art of the Acceptance Speech

Jul 26, 2016

I am not a convention junkie.  Mostly I read the day after about what went on.  But I do watch two events live: the presidential nominee acceptance speeches.

At the conclusion of each speech I turn off the TV and write down my impressions.  I am not interested in what the talking heads have to say.  Sometimes the next morning when I catch the analyses I wonder aloud: “Did those people watch the same speech I did?”

Alex Hanson / Flickr

Some Missouri delegates to the Democratic National Convention who supported the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders are reluctant to heed his call to now back the likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton. 

PHILADELPHIA – Ralph Trask doesn’t want Donald Trump to become president. But that doesn’t mean he’s completely sold on Hillary Clinton.

Trask is a farmer from Iron County who is attending the Democratic National Convention as a Bernie Sanders delegate. He arrived in Philadelphia amid a somewhat tense time between supporters of the two campaigns, and national speculation over whether Sanders supporters can work this fall for Clinton.

If you’re wondering why there’s a competitive battle for Missouri state treasurer, look no further than the innards of the Missouri Constitution.

If the Show Me State’s pre-eminent legal document didn’t restrict a state treasurer to two terms, it’s a good bet that incumbent officeholder Clint Zweifel would be running for re-election – and probably without competition from his fellow Democrats. But it does. And with Zweifel taking a hiatus of sorts from electoral politics, two Democrats – former state Rep. Judy Baker, D-Columbia, and Kansas City native Pat Contreras – are seeking to capture the weighty, but slightly low profile, statewide office.

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