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Politics & Issues

Commentary: In vino veritas

Aug 27, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 27, 2008 - "In wine (there is) truth." That venerable Latin adage, usually attributed to Pliny the Elder, references the tendency of alcohol to loosen tongues. Of course, as any seasoned drinker can tell you, the truth revealed with clarity while under the influence is often not the same truth experienced by its hung-over oracle the morning after. That's why it's a good idea not to drink too much at the office Christmas party.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 27, 2008 - When Barack Obama takes to the floor Thursday night, he will surely sketch out his vision of the country and what he hopes to accomplish as president. The Beacon polled a number of delegates and guests to the Democratic National Convention and asked what Obama's top priority should be, if he's elected president.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 26, 2008 - Today, a look at the two Denver papers and how they're covering the convention through blogging and multimedia.

Does Martin's anti-Obama group violate law?

Aug 26, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 26, 2008 - The Obama campaign has maintained in letters to the Justice Department that the American Issues Project - headed by Ed Martin, the former Blunt chief of staff and funded by a big swift boat contributor - is violating federal election law. Rick Hasen, who writes a respected election law blog, says that Obama may be right.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Tues., Aug. 26, 2008 - DENVER 8:30 a.m. I attended the Youth Caucus meeting today in the Wells Fargo room of the convention center. People came from a number of voter outreach groups as well as college Democrats groups. A panel of people from the College Democrats of America, Rock the Vote and a few other youth organizations posted statistics about the percentage of young people who have voted Democratic, Republican and independent in the past.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 26, 2008 - DENVER - Voters may never know a President Hillary R. Clinton, but they now know the kind of inspiring and uplifting message she might have delivered had she won her party’s nomination for president. On her night to shine at the Democratic Convention, Clinton delivered a speech that brought delegates to their feet and perhaps gave them hope for leaving the convention with a unified mission of winning back the White House in November. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 26, 2008 - I'm often asked why I supported Hillary Clinton instead of Sen. Barack Obama. If you haven't noticed, I'm a black man, 6 feet tall with a muscular build, and this is why so many people pose the question. It's often the first question before they find out just why I supported Hillary Clinton.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 26, 2008 - DENVER - National pollster Peter Hart had lots of good news for party members during a morning breakfast with the Missouri delegation at the Democratic National Convention. The Republicans in general are vulnerable because of public dislike for President George W. Bush, Hart said. That's no surprise, but Hart also warned Democrats that this disenchantment doesn't mean November will be a cakewalk for the presumed Democratic nominee Barack Obama in his race against GOP Sen. John McCain.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 26, 2008 - DENVER -- Monday's events gave the Missouri delegation an overnight uplift, with delegates still talking this morning about the inspiring and stirring messages by Michelle Obama and two senators -- Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 26, 2008 - Hello! My name is Amanda Montee. I am a Missouri at-large delegate, and I am pledged to Sen. Barack Obama. I am from St. Joseph, but I attend the University of Kansas where I plan to graduate this May with a Bachelor's degree in political science. Next fall I hope to attend law school.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 25, 2008 - As Democrats opened their presidential nominating convention in Denver, the message seemed to be one of introduction, of making sure that all who watched knew that Barack Obama was brought up by a single mother who worked hard.

Joe Biden - likable and loquacious

Aug 25, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 25, 2008 - In the years that I covered the Judiciary Committee for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, I saw Biden preside over controversial hearings about the nation's civil rights policy and the fitness of Anthony M. Kennedy, David H. Souter and Clarence Thomas to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 25, 2008 - Welcome to the Democratic National Convention in Denver!

Ok, so you probably aren't there -- neither am I. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 25, 2008 - DENVER - It's possible that somewhere in this mile-high city, the well-choreographed Barack Obama campaign has assigned a team to chant against rain on Thursday night. That's when Obama visits INVESCO Field to accept the Democratic nomination for president. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 25, 2008 - Hello. My name is Akeam Ashford, and I will be joining thousands of Americans in Denver as an elected delegate for Hillary Clinton from Springfield, Mo.

I am a junior at Missouri State University where I major in broadcast journalism with a minor in public administration. I grew up in University City but went to McCluer North High School.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 25, 2008 - Ameren UE's pursuit of a second nuclear power plant should be viewed by environmentalist opponents as a challenge and an opportunity. To see why, let's start with a menu of pro and con arguments.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 23, 2008 - SPRINGFIELD – A crowd of 35,000 on Saturday got the nation's first glimpse at the man U.S. Sen. Barack Obama tapped as his running mate.

News broke early Saturday morning that U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., would join Obama on the Democratic ticket.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 23, 2008 - By selecting Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has added foreign policy experience to his ticket as well as help in winning a key state, according to an expert on the vice presidency. But Republican leaders in Missouri immediately pounced on the choice of Biden, D-Del., and said he would do little to help Obama win over voters in Missouri.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 22, 2008 - What a difference a river can make for homeowners facing foreclosure.

For residents of Illinois, a judicial foreclosure state, the legal process can take nearly a year because it is administered through the courts. In Missouri, the process can take as few as 60 days because the majority of foreclosures are nonjudicial, completed without going to court but in accordance with state law and the terms of the mortgage.

New rules protect health workers opposed to abortion

Aug 21, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 21, 2008 - The Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday that it would put new rules in place in 30 days to take away funding from more than 584,000 hospitals, clinics, health plans, doctors' offices and providers if they refuse to accommodate workers personal, moral or religious objections.

"People should not be forced to say or do things they believe are morally wrong," Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said. "Health-care workers should not be forced to provide services that violate their violates their own conscience."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 20, 2008 - The final Olympic gold medals are not the only assets up for grabs in Beijing. On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of  the Treasury Henry Paulson discussed the need for constant engagement with China in a phone interview organized by the Council on Foreign Relations.

Paulson was instrumental in fostering official channels of contact with China in the form of a U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED). In an article, "A Strategic Economic Engagement," Paulson discussed how the SED lays the framework for the next president to engage with China on all issues.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 20, 2008 - When Wachovia Corp. bought A.G. Edwards last year, many financial analysts said the deal reflected another major step in the extinction of regional brokerages.

A.G. Edwards' management and stockholders decided that independence was strategically insupportable, but other St. Louis brokerages still embrace their freedom.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 20, 2008 - The XXIX Summer Olympiad will conclude shortly. This worldwide convocation of individual excellence was convened in Beijing to allow humankind to reach consensus as to which teen-age anorexic can do the best back-flip. The Chinese government paid more than $40 billion to host the event. As the ancient Roman, Juvenal, noted, the people hunger for "bread and circuses."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 20, 2008 - Despite numerous changes to communications over the past half century, the focus of presidential campaign coverage in the U.S. remains the same. It's the horserace: Who is ahead? Who may catch up? But other aspects have changed. More information and information of different types are available to the voter. Yet, whether voters are really better informed is open to question.

Secretary of state prepares to certify election

Aug 19, 2008

This article first appeared in The Beacon: August 19, 2008 - On Tuesday afternoon -- two weeks after the Aug. 5 primary election -- Missouri's counties turned in their final results for the Democratic race for attorney general to the secretary of state's office for certification. The numbers will be released on Tues., Aug. 26 on the secretary of state's website.

Obama doubts Thomas

Aug 19, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 19, 2008- Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain were recently asked which members of the Supreme Court they wouldn't have named. Obama listed Justice Thomas and Antonin Scalia and Chief Justice John Roberts. McCain listed the four most liberal members of the court - Justices David H. Souter, John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 18, 2008 - On paper and in person, from one end of the state to the other, Amy Blouin is trying to get out the word that, notwithstanding the rosy fiscal picture painted by Gov. Matt Blunt and many other Republicans, it is not morning in Missouri. She says the governor seems to wake up to a Missouri that's very different than the one many residents experience or worry about. Theirs is a morning of getting up on the wrong side of the bed -- with anxiety over job insecurity and overdue mortgages, vanishing health benefits and price shock at the gas pump, the kind of morning that seems to escape the governor.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 18, 2008 - Yeah, I'm here. No, I'm not doing anything. Just driving.

Except of course driving is something, and a very dangerous something with cell phone to ear, according to an alderman in Town and Country.

Commentary: Got diversity?

Aug 17, 2008

This article fist appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 17, 2008 - How do you measure diversity? Some would quickly say it's a numbers game. But is that the whole story? If we had the "ideal" mix of people, but those people just coexisted in the same space, would that be diversity?

OK, enough with the questions. I want to suggest that we consider multiple aspects of "diversity." Social psychologist Patricia Gurin and colleagues have differentiated between structural, classroom and interactional diversity.

Will whites vote for Barack Obama?

Aug 15, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 15, 2008 - Danny Sanders says he has seen the face of racism first hand.

"My dad was from Arkansas, and he hated black people," said the retired St. Louis baker and Vietnam veteran, who was fishing for catfish this week at Carondelet Park. "And a long time ago, I used to feel the same way.

"But I have changed.

"People do change, you know?"

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