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Politics & Issues

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This post first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 4, 2008 -  I may be wrecking the suspense for you, but in all honesty, I have to let you, the American people, know that Barack Hussein Obama is our next president. I am basing this on science.

Through very rigorous web-based research, by which I mainly mean using Wikipedia and Google, I've discovered that he is the one with the winning middle name.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 3, 2008 - Sen. Barack Obama was busy in Missouri last week, stopping in places like Springfield, Rolla and Union, hardly hotbeds of liberal Democratic voters. The presumptive Democratic nominee was clearly hoping to connect with generally conservative voters in this must-win state. It's a strategy he's likely to follow throughout the general election campaign.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 1, 2008 - (This was updated with results.) Around 10:25 p.m., Tuesday, state Rep. Bob Onder conceded the Republican spot in Missouri's 9th district to Blaine Luetkemeyer.

"As you all know by now, the race did not turn out the way we all wanted, and I want to congragulate the winner, Blaine Luetkemeyer," Onder told about 30 supportersat the Holiday Inn in Lake Saint Louis.

Commentary: Want to end debate? Play the race card

Aug 1, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 1, 2008- I was struck by recent commentary asserting that Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, made a huge mistake in accusing Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, of using his "risky traits" to instill fear.

Meet the statewide candidates

Aug 1, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 1, 2008 - The Democratic Candidates: Attorney General

Name: Margaret Donnelly

Home: Richmond Heights

David Lipman, passionate editor, dead at 77

Jul 31, 2008

This post first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 31, 2008 - David Lipman, the energetic and demanding editor who ran the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newsroom for 14 years, died Thursday after a long illness.

Mr. Lipman, 77, lived in Chesterfield but also spent a great deal of time in his retirement in Arizona. The Post-Dispatch reported on its website late Thursday that he died at Barnes-Jewish Hospital of complications from myelodysplasia, a bone marrow-related disease.

Commentary: War's second casualty

Jul 30, 2008

This post first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 30, 2008 - To the extent that the first casualty of war is truth, it follows that its next victim is language. Words matter because they shape our perceptions of reality. Absurd speech both reflects and encourages absurd thought, which tends to produce equally absurd results.

I'm old enough to remember the doublespeak of Vietnam -- a conflict in which "pacification" entailed liberal doses of napalm and most of the heavy fighting took place in the "De-Militarized Zone."

This post first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 30, 2008 - One ballot measure that may have St. Louis city and county voters scratching their heads is Proposition Y. The bond issue is on the Aug. 5 ballot because the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District needs to comply with the federal Clean Water Act. But the question before voters is financial not environmental: How to fund the work? 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 30, 2008 - U.S. Sen. Christopher S. Kit Bond has long opposed the shield bill on national security grounds, arguing that it would protect reporters who disclose classified information.  In 2007 he put it this way:  "Congress should be acting to make it easier to catch those who knowingly leak classified information, not make it more difficult."

Missouri may not be following vote law

Jul 29, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 29, 2008- The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Tuesday told U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey to take another look at her 2007 ruling in which she dismissed a federal suit against the state of Missouri.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 28, 2008 -  The race for the Democratic nomination for treasurer has been a gentleman's (and lady's) agreement. The three men and one woman seeking the nomination have refrained from finding fault with each other, but that hasn't stopped one of them from stinging attacks on the policies of Gov. Matt Blunt and other Republicans.

Senate could pass "shield law" this week

Jul 28, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 28, 2008 - The Free Flow of Information Act seeks to enact on the federal level the same kind of protection for confidential information that 49 states have recognized either by statute or court decision.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 28, 2008 - For whom are you voting?

The Missouri state primaries are Tues., Aug. 5. In case you've been too busy to keep track of all the candidates, here's a guide to election resources. The Beacon has compiled a group of websites that may help you make an informed decision in the voting booth. Check back, since this list is always growing.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 25, 2008 - It was a crowd fit for a president. 

More than 200,000 people gathered in Berlin, in front of the Victory Column, to witness U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's speech on Thursday. Not only did this number exceed expectations, but the audience was largely teenagers and young adults. According to German media reports, Obama also managed to attract a roughly equal number of men and women. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 25, 2008 - 'A different kind of Republican': Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder cultivates black voters

Formerly a one-building campus, Harris Stowe State University now has a dormitory, a business school and a performing arts center. Add to these the early childhood and parenting education center that will soon rise on the west end of the campus. President Henry Givens credits his school's growth to influential state lawmakers, one of whom is Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.

Analysis: High Court in the balance in election

Jul 25, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 25, 2008 - A year ago, the conventional wisdom was that the U.S. Supreme Court had veered in a conservative direction. One court expert even spoke about Supreme Court Inc. because business interests had won so many cases during the 2006-7 court term.

A year later, those prognostications look overstated.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 24, 2008 - In last night's final debate for the GOP nomination for governor of Missouri, candidates U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof and state Treasurer Sarah Steelman agreed on one thing: Each would make a better chief executive than Attorney General Jay Nixon, the presumptive Democratic nominee. Otherwise, the two GOP candidates dug in their heels and stuck to their usual campaign themes of low taxes and less government waste in an effort to sway voters before the August 5 primary.

2008
St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St.Louis Beacon: July 23, 2008- Quotations by starkly different commentators offer starkly different assessments of the common wisdom. "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public" is a wry observation by the famously sardonic H.L. Mencken, the pre-eminent American journalist of the early 20th Century.

Erik Lunsford | Post-Dispatch (pool)

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 23, 2008-  MAPLEWOOD -- The red pickup was on fire in a driveway on Zephyr Place. A small fire. Simply routine. Maybe 20 minutes tops for the crew to put it out, reload the hose and write a brief report. After all, veterans know, the biggest threat to firefighters on a vehicle fire like this is that the pickup's tires could explode from the intense heat.

No one expected an ambush.

​This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 22, 2008 - Karadzic's capture comes too late for some Bosnians

For those waiting for justice, 13 years is better than nothing, but not by much. Radovan Karadzic, a Bosnian Serb leader wanted for war crimes, was arrested July 22 in Belgrade, Serbia.

9th District profiles: Olivo, Moore and Bashir

Jul 18, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 16, 2008 - Bashir Brock Olivo might have been known for his years on Faurot Field, but YouTube intercepted.

The former football player for both the University of Missouri-Columbia and the Detroit Lions faced a reporter with a video camera in February after announcing his candidacy.

Olivo wasn’t prepared.

An old man prayed in one corner by Korans on a shelf. Suleimanya Iraq
Marc Thayer | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 17. 2008 -  Time is going too fast. Tuesday afternoon I visited a mosque for the first time just to see the inside. Men can wash their hands and feet before going in, but the only requirement is to take off their shoes. Inside is an ornate room with a silver dome from which hangs a huge chandelier.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 17, 2008 - Former Attorney General John D. Ashcroft testified Thursday that he withdrew a 2002 torture memo because he became convinced its legal reasoning was of "arguable appropriateness." But Ashcroft insisted that U.S. interrogation techniques -- including water boarding -- were legal and had saved lives.

Securities inspectors demand answers from Wachovia

Jul 17, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 17, 2008 - The last thing investors in Wachovia Corp. need is more bad news, given that the giant bank recently replaced its CEO and warned that second-quarter results would be dreadful.

Unfortunately, they got extra bad news Thursday as officers of the Missouri secretary of state inspected the St. Louis headquarters of its Wachovia Securities brokerage unit. The headquarters once belonged to A.G. Edwards, which was acquired by Wachovia last year.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 16, 2008 - The human tendency to revel in the salacious details of someone else's scandal is nothing new, but the advent of the internet and the 24/7 cable news cycle has turned a guilty pleasure into a national obsession.

The latest victim of eternal vigilance is Jesse Jackson who was recently overheard recommending a rather painful surgery for Barack Obama. His intended stage whisper was caught by a microphone that he thought was turned off and broadcast around the globe. Gotcha!

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 16, 2008 - Ali al-Marri, a citizen of Qatar and graduate of Bradley University in Peoria, has been held since 2001. Currently he is in military custody in Charleston, S.C. He and his family had reentered the United States the day before 9/11. He said he was pursuing a master's degree at Bradley where he had gotten his bachelor's degree a decade earlier.

The basis of his detention is a statement by Jeffrey N. Rapp, director of the Joint Intelligence Task Force for Combating Terrorism. It states al-Marri trained at an al-Qaida training in the late 1990s and was introduced to Osama bin Laden. It goes on to allege he was a "sleeper agent" who had information about poisonous chemicals on his laptop.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 16, 2008 -  St. Louis' unemployment numbers may not be as bad as they sound

9th district profiles: Onder and Luetkemeyer

Jul 15, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 15, 2008 - The news wasn’t good for Rep. Bob Onder, R-Lake Saint Louis, on the day of his second debate with former Sen. Ken Jacob, a Democratic candidate. The debate in Wentzville would again be about Onder’s abortion bill, which was the major abortion legislation in the House during the year.

Chris Britt | State Journal Register, Springfield, IL

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 15, 2008 - Intent does not equal impact. After all is said and done, that phrase holds true - in the courts of law and in personal relationships.

If you hit someone with your car unintentionally, it does not make the impact (i.e. bodily harm and legal charges) any less real. If you make an honest statement about a friend or colleague and he or she is offended, you can talk at length about the person being overly sensitive or your motive not being malicious, but the impact will most likely remain.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 15, 2008 - Intent does not equal impact. After all is said and done, that phrase holds true - in the courts of law and in personal relationships.

If you hit someone with your car unintentionally, it does not make the impact (i.e. bodily harm and legal charges) any less real. If you make an honest statement about a friend or colleague and he or she is offended, you can talk at length about the person being overly sensitive or your motive not being malicious, but the impact will most likely remain.

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