Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Anna Nicole Smith and her lawyers were before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, arguing that she deserves some money from her late husband's estate. J. Howard Marshall may have been old, but he had quite the eye when it came to women; Smith looked extraordinarily hot on Her Big Day.

Slate has a pretty good write-up on Tuesday's SCOTUS hearing; it includes this priceless line:
She has stepped into the only place in America where her breasts have no power.
What a cold, cruel place.


This being Tuesday, it was time to tape "Street Talk" at our undisclosed location, deep within the bowels of southwest Springfield. Gay Revi was a great guest, full of good quotes and interesting anecdotes about the ACLU. You will like it.

Alas, the run-up to taping found us wanting in a few departments. Our little Monday blurb about President Bush being a klutz on a bicycle drew comment from Doc Larry, whose blog, Lost Chord, had the Bush blurb a couple days ago, as he pointedly informed us. Thus, a tip of the pin to El Doctor.

We're also behind in our postings, mea culpa, mea culpa. And we didn't make it to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, or to downtown Springfield to crawl. We can live without the latter.

Monday, February 27, 2006


The Scotsman on Sunday carried the text of a police report from July 2005, when President Bush crashed his bicycle. From the story, it appears the president is not a natural cyclist:
The official police incident report states: "[The unit] was requested to cover the road junction on the Auchterarder to Braco Road as the President of the USA, George Bush, was cycling through." The report goes on: "[At] about 1800 hours the President approached the junction at speed on the bicycle. The road was damp at the time. As the President passed the junction at speed he raised his left arm from the handlebars to wave to the police officers present while shouting 'thanks, you guys, for coming'.

"As he did this he lost control of the cycle, falling to the ground, causing both himself and his bicycle to strike [the officer] on the lower legs. [The officer] fell to the ground, striking his head.
The President continued along the ground for approximately five metres, causing himself a number of abrasions. The officers... then assisted both injured parties."
The president can't ride a bike, wave and talk at the same time. Had he been chewing gum, many men might have died.


This week's edition of the cable conversation features Gay Revi, the region's ACLU wheel and author of Granny Geek, the blog. Think we'll discuss civil liberties and the lack thereof? Mmm, yes. Distinct possibility.

Speaking of liberties, be sure and stop by Granny Geek to learn more about Thursday's rally in downtown Springfield.


Ilya Zimin was found dead on Sunday in his apartment north of Moscow.

Last April he was beaten outside his apartment building. And maybe a more-severe version of the same thing happened over the weekend, but damned if we can figure it out from the news reports. The Russian Herald reports:
Prosecutors said he died after being severely beaten by unknown assailants. They said his death was not connected to his reporting work.

Before moving to Moscow in 2000, Zimin headed NTV's Far East bureau. He also worked for the TV6 and TVS television channels.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has listed Russia among the world's 10 most-hazardous countries for reporters.
They don't know who beat Zimin, but they know it had nothing to do with his work. Mm-hmm.

Still, that's better than a report in the Moscow Times that is only clear for its contradictions:
A special correspondent for Russia's NTV television channel, Ilya Zimin, was killed Sunday in Moscow, the channel's press secretary said.

"We confirm that he tragically died," Maria Bezborodova said. She said no details of his death were immediately available.

A police source said the journalist's body had been found in his Moscow apartment. "According to preliminary reports, the body showed no visible wounds," the official said.
Tragically, and without visible wounds. Thank God it had nothing to do with his job.


The CNN anchor breaks into our house every weekday afternoon and, shouting, locks us into some strange place called "The Situation Room," only because it's Wolf doing the yelping we're actually in "THE SITUATION ROOM," oh yes we are.

It's not a bad place, even when Wolf starts with his dastardly decibels. Jack Cafferty is our kind of curmudgeon; we want to buy the guy a drink. But the real reason to see the show is Zain Verjee, who speaks "Gujarati, Kiswahili and conversational French," according to her bio on CNN. Maybe it's the hot accent, or the way she gigs Blitzer, but Verjee makes us want to stay in "The Situation Room," even if it meant being subjected to Wolf's SHOUTED incanTATIONS that only RESEMBLE NEWS.


MIT gets the point. As he notes in his e-mail:
They say these things happen in threes ...

Long live Chester and McCloud ... and a bunch of other really strange characters and roles.

What was the movie where he was being stalked by an RV?
It was a semi, and it was "Duel." Spielberg made-for-TV flick.

Weaver, born in Joplin, lived one helluva professional life. Read all about it here.


In Australia, a club bouncer has been sent to cold storage after he killed a man with a single kick to the head. The Courier-Mail reports:
Frank Hutchings, 29, was found guilty of manslaughter by a Supreme Court jury in December over the incident at Morningside's Colmslie Hotel in June 2003.

During the trial, the court was told that victim David John Coddington, 27, was apparently upset about being ejected from the hotel shortly before closing time for being too drunk. As he walked past Hutchings and other security staff he complained about his removal.

Coddington was overhead to say to Hutchings: "I f----- your mother."

It was alleged that when Coddington repeated the insult Hutchings kicked him with a fast, sharp blow to the head.

Coddington, who had a blood alcohol reading of 0.29 per cent, died a short time later of a brain haemorrhage.

Hutchings has maintained he only hit Coddington on the shoulder in a bid to subdue him, and the kick did not have enough force to do any damage.

He claimed in his evidence that Coddington did not flinch or move after he was struck, and seconds later turned to walk away but his feet twisted and he fell down.

But Justice Cate Holmes told Hutchings yesterday Coddington was a very drunk young man and she did not accept he represented a "perceived threat".

"What you did was a stupid and brutal act on impulse and it changed your life forever and those who loved Mr Coddington," Justice Holmes said.

She did, however, accept that the incident was out of character for Hutchings, who had lived a "reputable, blameless life" and had been the subject of numerous glowing references to the court. But she said: "All of that has now come crashing down."

She sentenced him to seven years' jail with a recommendation he be considered for parole after three years.

Prosecutor Peter Feeney had argued Hutchings should be jailed for seven to nine years, while defence counsel Michael Byrne, QC, told the court five to six years was an appropriate range.
Do not do The Dozens with Frank Hitchings.


Peter Kinder, the lieutenant governor of Missouri and a hard-eyed pol, flapped his gums at Restoration Weekend, a right-wing retreat hosted by David Horowitz, and got himself quoted in The Nation.

Too bad Kinder wasn't overheard touting his party's successes. Instead, Missouri's No. 2 said:
"The demoralization of the base is real. I hear it everywhere."
The piece by Marc Cooper notes the "fear and trembling going on among Republicans." It would be music to the ears of Democrats, but the party's too tone-deaf to hear much of anything.

Case in point: Last week the Missouri House Democratic Campaign Committee held a Mardi Gras party in Jefferson City. A note from Ronny Richardson of the state Dems encouraged people to come out and "meet influential lobbyists." Yeah, that's a helluva message to send.


Updating you on last week's blurb about a penis in a microwave -- it didn't happen. OK, the microwaving happened, but not with a penis. The Associated Press insists you read on:
McKeesport police Chief Joseph Pero said the woman who came into the store with the fake penis was actually trying to cheat on a job application drug test.

Prosthetic penises that contain drug-free urine are sold on the Internet. According to the woman, the couple stopped to warm the device in the microwave so the urine would pass the body temperature test.

Police plan to interview the woman Monday.
This sounds like a job for the Whizzinator!

Sunday, February 26, 2006


The Winter Olympics are over and we are glad, because soon Bode Miller will no longer be a national figure.

Ski Boy had five chances to win a medal -- for himself, his team, his country, whatever. He blew them all. But is Miller sorry for his performance? Of course not. The Associated Press reports Miller has no regrets about his time in Turin.

Some choice quotes from the story:
“I just did it my way. I’m not a martyr, and I’m not a do-gooder. I just want to go out and rock. And man, I rocked here."

“The expectations were other people’s. I’m comfortable with what I’ve accomplished, including at the Olympics. I came in here to race as hard as I could. That was my obligation to myself.”

“I’ve been living my life as if I might have died two weeks before the Olympics started. That left me the opportunity to dig deep, to go down that other route, to make more sacrifices and get back to where I was.”

“My quality of life is the priority. I wanted to have fun here, to enjoy the Olympic experience, not be holed up in a closet and not ever leave your room. People said, ‘Why can’t you stay in for the two weeks, three weeks? You’ve got the rest of your life to experience the games the way everybody else does.’ But I like the whole package. I always have.”

“[I]t’s been an awesome two weeks. I got to party and socialize at an Olympic level.”
We used to think Bode Miller was a dick. Turns out he's nothing but a tool.


The e-mail from MIT was succinct: While snoozing, we failed to note the passing of Darrin McGavin, the Night Stalker.

MIT also tried to tweak us on the passing of Don Knotts, saying he learned of the historic event while in his heated recliner but failed to inform his fellow ghouligans.

(Speaking of deaths, Lou Costello died this day in 1959. No points for that one.)

Mayor Dan, another Dead Zone player, rang Sunday morning to call dibs on McGavin, only to learn that MIT had beaten him to the call by a good two hours. We justified our fumble by noting that Barney Fife was dead, for chrissakes, and no offense to McGavin, we loved him as the Night Stalker, but his death was an urgent. Don Knotts' passing was a five-bell bulletin.

"Game On," MIT declared in his Sunday morning e-mail. No more half-hearted attempts at being first with morbid news. MIT and Mayor Dan are ready to play.

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Forty-five years of feet on Earth have convinced us of many truths, some of which will be included in a new blog, Act Your Old Age.

We're only now starting to suss it out, but the goal is writing, not typing. We already do too much of the latter, and too little of the former. So if you get the chance, stop by the new blogpartment, maybe drop off some flowers. Of course we're keeping CHATTER; where else would we type?

Friday, February 24, 2006


This week's interview with Officer Matt Brown should spark good public discussion, especially about the relationship between police and the local black community. Click here to get to the audio podcast, or visit "Street Talk" at its homepage.

This week's show airs again at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.


This is the "Hey Martha" story of the week. From KDKA in Pittsburgh, a tale of a penis and a microwave:
Authorities are now investigating a strange incident in McKeesport. Someone brought a severed male body part to a Get-Go to heat up in the microwave, and now police are trying to find the culprit.

McKeesport Police say a man walked into the store, located on Fifth Avenue, and asked the clerk to use the microwave oven.

After the clerk noticed a strange smell coming from the microwave, she opened the door and discovered human male genitalia cooking inside.

The man ran from the store after she made the discovery. She then called the police.

Some people were shocked at the news of the discovery.

“I mean what can you say. Hopefully, they’re looking for the person who it belongs to,” said Sandy Furman of McKeesport.

One man told KDKA he wasn’t surprised by what happened.

"I think that's the one they ought to look for - the one who may be hurt," said Denny Adler, of McKeesport. "It's shocking that I'm not (surprised). It's just the nature of the beast."

Authorities are now trying to find the victim and the man who fled the store.
Hot dog!

Thursday, February 23, 2006


A guy in Mill Valley, Calif., mailed a half-pound of pot, cops say. Too bad the address label fell off, or the dude forgot to put it. All that remained was a return address.

Thus is our sad tale of woe. Steven Coburn, 48, was busted Tuesday. When cops searched his home they found another 1.5 pounds of marijuana. They think he was selling it.

Cops say Coburn tried to mail the package on Feb. 16. The mailing company opened the package when they couldn't find an address label. Once they found the weed, they squealed to The Man.

Coburn is in jail, charged with possession with intent to sell.


The journalist left CNN last year and deep-sixed her "Inside Politics" show. Now comes work, via the Associated Press, that Woodruff is returning to PBS "for a project examining young people's views on religion, politics and other issues, including America's role in the world."

According to the story:
After talking to a cross-section of Americans age 16 to 25, Woodruff will detail her findings in reports on "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" beginning later this year and in a January 2007 documentary, PBS said Thursday.

Her work is part of a yearlong multimedia project from MacNeil Lehrer Productions that will include Internet elements and has the working title, "Generation Next: Speak Up. Be Heard." Principal funding is from The Pew Charitable Trusts.

"Our objective is to create a profile of the next generation, and to provide current decision-makers with better information about them," Woodruff said in a statement. "We want to help everyone understand the views of young people."
Now if only Aaron Brown could be returned to his rightful place at 9 p.m. Central on CNN.


Joe Pesci, the little actor with the big personality, won't be charged with a crime after he reportedly punched out a fan who snapped a pic in a parking lot in Boca Raton, Fla.

The Associated Press reports:
The Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office will not file charges against the "Goodfellas" star because there was no likelihood of conviction, said to Assistant State Attorney Jill Estey Richstone.

"The investigating officer was unable to determine who the primary aggressor was and there are no independent witnesses to the incident," Richstone wrote in response to a Boca Raton police warrant request.

Broward Community College student Juan Carlos Montenegro, 24, told police that Pesci punched him on Jan. 22 during an exchange at a Boca Raton shopping center. Montenegro told police that after encountering Pesci he shook the actor's hand and told him he was a big fan. He then purchased a camera, walked toward Pesci and asked for a picture, but the actor refused, the police report said.

Montenegro kept asking to take a photograph, and when Pesci turned around, Montenegro took the photograph. Pesci then punched him with his right fist, the police report said.

When Montenegro reported the incident police said his lip was red and slightly swollen, the report said.

An after-hours call to the office of Pesci's attorney, Jay Julien, was not immediately returned.
Lesson: Settle for the handshake and walk away.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


This Four Memes business -- or as we like to say in the Ozarks, "bidness" -- has infected much of the local blogosphere, and we will be damned if we do not follow suit.

You've seen our list. Now comes our shout-out to four brave bloggers who should be up to the task.

•Joe Hadsall, the In The Mailbox dude.

•Richard Davis, Slice of Home scribe and younger and better-looking brother of the CHATTER chief typist.

•Randy Turner, author of The Turner Report.

•Michael at Holy Grail Press.

Gentlemen, you have been tagged.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Or maybe it's the four memes you meet in heaven. Anyway, the Snarling Marmot tagged us on this bit o' whim. Herewith, our Four Memes:
1. Four Jobs I’ve Had
•KFC cook
•Radio announcer
•Newspaper reporter
•Magazine editor

2. Four movies I could watch over and over
•"Young Frankenstein"
•"Citizen Kane"
•"It's A Wonderful Life"

3. Four places I’ve lived
•Los Angeles
•Columbia, MO
•Brookfield, MO

4. Four TV shows I love
•MSNBC's "Countdown"
•CNN's "Situation Room"
•"Drawn Together"

5. Four places I’ve vacationed
•New Orleans
•Washington, D.C.

6. Four of my favorite dishes
•Mom's curry rice
•Hot & spicy chicken, Chinese Chef
•Udon noodles

7. Four sites I visit daily
•Free Republic
•Democratic Underground
•Talking Points Memo

8. Four places I’d rather be right now

9. Four books I love
•Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas
•The Glory & The Dream
•Dandelion Wine

10. Four video games I could play over and over
•Donkey Kong
•Mario Kart
Now we're supposed to tag four fellow freaks, but that'll have to wait till morning.


Or would have schemed, had it not lost its collective discipline to alcohol -- the source of, and answer to, all of life's problems.

Listen to the controlled mayhem, if you dare. Andy @ Rhetorica has the ever-loving podcast. Sadly, it does not include an extended discussion about popular music.

About a dozen people around the tables Tuesday night. Sounds like a gang to us.


President Bush on Tuesday threatened to veto any legislation that would queer a deal giving management of several U.S. ports to Dubai Ports World, a state-run company in the United Arab Emirates.

(Dubai Ports World is buying control of a London-based company now managing the ports.)

Bush said: "I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a [British] company."

He's kidding, right?


The television conversation continues; this week's show features an interview with Matt Brown, spokesman of the Springfield Police Department. "Street Talk" airs at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday on Mediacom Channel 14 (reairings are at 10:30 p.m. Thursday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday). The absolutely free-to-you audio podcast should be posted sometime Thursday at the show's site.

Initial impressions of the interview: Brown did a good job explaining his job of getting information to the media and the public, but we're still left with unaswered questions regarding the SPD's record of stopping black motorists.

Catch the show and decide for yourself.

Monday, February 20, 2006


No name given in the story found here, but a few details:
•Cat weighs 33 pounds.
•Waist is 31 inches.
•Cat's owner says kitty does not like fish, but eats six pounds of chicken and pork every day.
One big-ass cat. Yes, the link provides pictures. Lots of pictures. Best example of fat cat is here.


The Wyoming native had leukemia. He died Monday at his home in Florida, according to wire service reports.

Gowdy called Hank Aaron's 715th home run. Through much of the 1960s and 1970s, he was play-by-play man for every World Series and All-Star game on NBC.

He announced the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal; several Super Bowl championships; and hosted "The American Sportsman."

He was a broadcaster, not a TV guy. There is a difference.


Don't take it from us -- listen to the truckers who stuck Missouri with bad road reps.

A survey in Overdrive magazine says Missouri has the second-worst roads in the U.S. We're right behind Pennsylvania. Small solace, that.

According to the survey:
The states with the worst roads are: 1. Pennsylvania 2. Missouri 3. Louisiana 4. Michigan 5. California

The states with the best roads are: 1. Texas 2. Florida 3. Tennessee 4. Georgia and Ohio (tie) 5. Nevada and Virginia (tie)

The worst highway in the United States is: 1. I-10 in Louisiana 2. I-44 in Missouri 3. I-95 in New York

The best highway in the United States is: 1. I-75 in Florida 2. I-40 in Tennessee 3. I-10 in Texas

The most improved highway is: 1. I-40 Arkansas 2. I-80 Pennsylvania 3. I-30 Arkansas
That's right, kidney-busting I-44 is the second-worst highway in America. You can't be surprised.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


On Feb. 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066:
Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, l hereby authorized and direct the Secretary of War, and the Military Commanders whom he may from time to time designate, whenever he or any designated Commander deem such action necessary or desirable to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restriction the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion. The Secretary of War is hereby authorized to provide for residents of any such area who are excluded therefrom. such transportation, food, shelter, and other accommodations as may be necessary, in the judgment of the Secretary of War or the said Military Commander and until other arrangements are made, to accomplish the purpose of this order. The designation of military areas in any region or locality shall supersede designation of prohibited and restricted areas by the Attorney General under the Proclamation of December 7 and 8, 1941, and shall supersede the responsibility and authority of the Attorney General under the said Proclamation in respect of such prohibited and restricted areas.

I hereby further authorize and direct the Secretary of War and the said Military Commanders to take such other steps as he or the appropriate Military Commander may deem advisable to enforce compliance with the restrictions applicable to each Military area herein above authorized to be designated. including the use of Federal troops and other Federal Agencies, with authority to accept assistance of state and local agencies.

I hereby further authorize and direct all Executive Department, independent establishments and other Federal Agencies, to assist the Secretary of War or the said Military Commanders in carrying out this Executive Order, including the furnishing of medical aid, hospitalization, food, clothing, transportation, use of land, shelter, and other supplies, equipment, utilities, facilities and service.
Roosevelt -- considered the greatest president of the 20th century -- did this to U.S. citizens. Today's liberals evoke Roosevelt's memory while conveniently overlooking his disgraceful trashing of civil liberties for American citizens. There was no excuse for what Roosevelt did in 1942. A little history to keep in mind on this 64th anniversary of EO 9066.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


All thinking people hail Rep. Terese Berceau, a Wisconsin lawmaker who has introduced a bill that would ban public schools from teaching so-called intelligent design as science.

It's the first such proposal in the country, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Berceau admits her bill probably won't pass; the legislature is controlled by Republicans. But hey, you can't blame a girl for trying to inject some sense into this fake debate.

The Capital Times in Madison says Berceau has riled the radical right:
Focus on the Family, the evangelical Christian advocacy group led by founder James Dobson, panned the legislation this week on its Web site.

"If you can't beat them, keep them from showing up for the game," the group opined. "That's the tack Wisconsin evolutionists and liberal lawmakers are taking in attempting to ban the study of intelligent design in public schools."

Baptist Press, the online wire service of the Southern Baptist Convention, based in Nashville, also was critical. It called the introduction of the bill by Berceau "an unprecedented political move to protect evolution."
Baptist Press is right -- it is a move to protect evolution from attacks by the anti-science crowd. Got a problem with that?

Friday, February 17, 2006


Friday and rolling into a long weekend, so you've got some time to learn what you are.

Duane @ Minutia posted a link to The Political Compass. Any test that claims "no right, wrong or ideal responses" is cool by us.

After the 5-minute quiz, we grabbed our results:
Economic Left/Right: -5.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.38
Apparently, we're leftists. Who'd have thunk it? This puts us over by Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. We'll take it. Click here to take the test. Show us your scores. Beads to the best.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


The audio podcast of our interview with John Twitty of City Utilities has been posted. Click here to get there, or head over to the main page and do that there navigating. The show airs at 10:30 this (Thurs) evening on Mediacom channel 14; another showing is 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

Next week's guest is Matt Brown, spokesman for the Springfield Police Department.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


The good doctor Larry flashed this on his site and we couldn't resist. The fey kids at KSPR want an anchor/producer (think model/actress, only poorer) "who compliments our energetic and popular female anchor; someone who loves news and wants to be part of an operation with plans to grow."

The job closes on March 13. The KSPR wigs would like to see your VHS tape. Bring along your reel-to-reel airchecks from radio, too.

The seriously bad part about the position is its description. The "energetic" anchor/producer will be a "big part" of the newscasts, but only if they have "confidence and personality." KSPR claims the "key skills" for the job are topped by the ability to write stories. We think they mean "type."


Scarier than Lon Chaney, the vice president has inspired Steve Martin to pen a hilarious two grafs at the Huffington Post:
Vice President Dick Cheney, while hunting wild geese in the Rose Garden, accidentally shot President Bush twice, once in the heart and once in the head. "I didn't really shoot the President twice," said Cheney. "The second time I shot him, I was president. It wasn't until my third shot, where I accidentally shot my own foot, that I had shot the president twice.

I was officially injured and unable to govern, when Dennis Hastert came in, and stepped on the butt handle of the rifle causing it to swing up like a rake and shoot his hair off. I guess I'm officially responsible for that too, meaning I shot the acting president for a total of three occupants of the oval office. I'm not proud, but it is a record."
While all attention is focused on the shooter, scant notice is paid to Scooter, the veep's former right-hand man. Lewis Libby, it seems, uses his own special weird-ass code while taking notes. According to CNN:
Prosecutors have asked former vice presidential Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby to help them decipher his handwritten notes for use in an ongoing investigation stemming from the leak of a CIA agent's identity. ...

[S]pecial counsel Patrick Fitzgerald said of the notes: "We can't read a substantial part of them."

Libby's handwriting "has a little bit of hieroglyphics in there, and so what we have to do is translate them so we can tell the intelligence agencies what their content is so we can figure out how sensitive it is," Fitzgerald said.
Hieroglyphics? Are we talking birds and asps, or something more sinister, like pig-Latin mash notes to Judith Miller? And how long before the meme "Shooter & Scooter" sweeps the blogosphere?


But not really. Not if you read the transcript of the chit-chat Dick Cheney had with Brit Hume at Fox.

Who's to blame for the shooting of Harry Whittington? Perhaps the sun, or the terrain -- or maybe even Harry Whittington. Dick Cheney said:
He was dressed in orange, he was dressed properly, but he was also -- there was a little bit of a gully there, so he was down a little ways before land level, although I could see the upper part of his body when -- I didn't see it at the time I shot, until after I'd fired. And the sun was directly behind him -- that affected the vision, too, I'm sure.
Yes yes, sure sure -- but what about the ultimate responsibility, Mr. Vice President?
Well, ultimately, I'm the guy who pulled the trigger that fired the round that hit Harry. And you can talk about all of the other conditions that existed at the time, but that's the bottom line. And there's no -- it was not Harry's fault. You can't blame anybody else. I'm the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend. And I say that is something I'll never forget.
You know, better still would have been "I'm the guy who has the finger that pulled the trigger that tripped a pin that fired a shell that expended No. 8 shot into my good friend, Harry." Better disconnection from reality: I shot a man.

But Cheney isn't done dodging. Check this segment of the interview:
HUME: Was anybody drinking in this party?

CHENEY: No. You don't hunt with people who drink. That's not a good idea. We had --

HUME: So he wasn't, and you weren't?

CHENEY: Correct. We'd taken a break at lunch -- go down under an old -- ancient oak tree there on the place, and have a barbecue. I had a beer at lunch. After lunch we take a break, go back to ranch headquarters. Then we took about an hour-long tour of ranch, with a ranch hand driving the vehicle, looking at game. We didn't go back into the field to hunt quail until about, oh, sometime after 3:00 p.m.
The old "I had a beer" line. If only Whittington had followed his advice and not gone hunting with someone who had been drinking.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


The general manager of City Utilities is the guest this week on "Street Talk." Show taped this afternoon without incident and airs at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday on Mediacom channel 14. Exec producer Doc Larry is under the weather; we missed him at the taping. Our thanks to Twitty for agreeing to the talk.

As noted during the show's open, we rarely expend much energy thinking about energy. That mindset needs changing. We hope the show helps spark that change.


What's wrong with the Democratic Party? We don't have enough space to fully address the issue. But this story in The New York Times says a lot about the dismal state of the party not in power. The lede:
Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran and popular Democratic candidate in Ohio's closely watched Senate contest, said yesterday that he was dropping out of the race and leaving politics altogether as a result of pressure from party leaders.

Mr. Hackett said Senators Charles E. Schumer of New York and Harry Reid of Nevada, the same party leaders who he said persuaded him last August to enter the Senate race, had pushed him to step aside so that Representative Sherrod Brown, a longtime member of Congress, could take on Senator Mike DeWine, the Republican incumbent.

Mr. Hackett staged a surprisingly strong Congressional run last year in an overwhelmingly Republican district and gained national prominence for his scathing criticism of the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq War. It was his performance in the Congressional race that led party leaders to recruit him for the Senate race.

But for the last two weeks, he said, state and national Democratic Party leaders have urged him to drop his Senate campaign and again run for Congress.

"This is an extremely disappointing decision that I feel has been forced on me," said Mr. Hackett, whose announcement comes two days before the state's filing deadline for candidates. He said he was outraged to learn that party leaders were calling his donors and asking them to stop giving and said he would not enter the Second District Congressional race.

"For me, this is a second betrayal," Mr. Hackett said. "First, my government misused and mismanaged the military in Iraq, and now my own party is afraid to support candidates like me."
The Dems fumble the Ohio Senate race and lose Hackett, a certified rising star. We'd like to believe this sort of foolishness is limited to Ohio Dems, but we know better.

Earlier this month in southwest Missouri, Democrat Charles Dake defeated Eric Seifried for an open seat in the Missouri House. Dake got 56 percent of the vote in the 132nd District, long considered a GOP stronghold.

Leaders in the Missouri Democratic Party were stunned at Dake's win. They did not go to the wall for his campaign, and after Dake's victory they quietly dismissed his chances of holding the seat come the November general election.

They ignore classic signs of burgeoning GOP revolt in the Ozarks -- low voter turnout, lawmakers distancing themselves from an unpopular governor and his policies. Southwest Missouri is a lost cause for statewide Dems. The region that brought you Rep. Roy Blunt has two Democrats in the state house and none in the state senate. The state party continues to focus on races in Kansas City and St. Louis.

That's just fine with the Missouri Republican Party. Now alerted to the warning signs from Lawrence County, they will spend a lot of energy and money to recapture the 132nd District. When will the Democrats learn?


No surprise, really. The vice president has been issued a warning for not having a $7 stamp to shoot upland game birds. The Associated Press reports:
The warning came from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department after it investigated Cheney's accidental shooting of a fellow quail hunter Saturday on the private Armstrong Ranch in the south part of the state.

The department found the accident was caused by a "hunter's judgment factor" when Cheney sprayed another hunter while aiming at flying birds.

The report said the victim, prominent Republican attorney Harry Whittington of Austin, was retrieving a downed bird and stepped out of the hunting line he was sharing with Cheney. "Another covey was flushed and Cheney swung on a bird and fired, striking Whittington in the face, neck and chest at approximately 30 yards," the report said.

Cheney, an experienced hunter, has not commented publicly about the accident. His office said Monday night in a statement that Cheney had a $125 nonresident hunting license and has sent a $7 check to cover the cost of the stamp. "The staff asked for all permits needed, but was not informed of the $7 upland game bird stamp requirement," the statement said.
Damned staff, always getting Cheney in trouble by not covering his ass.

Monday, February 13, 2006


More than 21,500 acres of the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri will be sold to pay for rural schools.

That's according to the Bush Administration; it announced the proposed sale of 175,000 acres in 34 states, with Missouri being one of four states selling more than 20,000 acres.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:
Without the sales, many “counties would not receive support for rural schools,” Mark Rey, a U.S. Agriculture Department undersecretary, told reporters in a telephone news conference today.

Maps showing the exact location of the land will be published later this month and the public will have 30 days from that point to offer comments.

Rey said Congress would need to back the sale by agreeing that the proposed tracts of land – in Missouri ranging from 40 to 250 acres – "no longer meet national forest system needs or are too expensive to manage."
We'll keep eyeballs open for that map. It's not often that you get the chance to buy a forest.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


The vice president hits an elderly friend during a quail hunt in Texas. The friend, 78, was wounded with bird shot. The shooting happened on Saturday but isn't being reported until Sunday afternoon. Not a big deal, you know. Only the vice president of the United States shooting a man.

More info coming in: Shooting happened around 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Armstrong Ranch in south Texas. Vic is Harry Whittington, said to be "alert and doing fine." Whittington was taken to Corpus Christi Memorial Hospital by ambulance.

Questions: Were police called? Did Cheney talk to police? Did the veep have needed license/permit to hunt? And, of course: Why did it take nearly a day for the information to be released by the administration? Forget partisan politics; any time the country's No. 2 shoots a man, it's news.


The editorial-page editor is the pivotal position at any competent daily newspaper. Executive and managing editors may run the day-to-day newsroom operations, but a chief of the editorial page gaves the paper its flavor, unique to the local community it serves. A good editorial-page boss provides a page that provokes people. Blandness is a mortal sin.

Robert Leger has been the editorial-page editor of the Springfield News-Leader for more than a decade. He's leaving this month to become assistant editorial-page editor at the Arizona Republic, one of the nation's biggest newspapers, with a Sunday circ of 550,000.

As Andy notes over at Rhetorica.net, it's big local news. Leger has been with the News-Leader for a quarter-century, so he's intimately familiar with the Ozarks. His institutional knowledge is irreplacable.

But he will be replaced, of course, and because it's a big deal, it's worth speculating on who gets the job. Imagine the possibilities:

•Brian Lewis, current No. 2 in editorial. Dibs because he's already there, and because he's the most conservative local voice with a regular column. It also doesn't hurt that Lewis is a minority, a fact that's important to Gannett, the paper's corporate parent. Gannett so believes in diversity that it has something called the All-American Review; one component requires managers to measure and record
"the numbers and percentages of minority journalists and managers" in every newsroom. Promoting Lewis would be good politics for Lewis' bosses.

•Kathleen O'Dell, a senior writer who covers health issues. Probably the best writer in the newsroom, and has the institutional history needed for the job.

•Bil Tatum, city editor. Longtimer, good writer and editor, local.

•Jan Peterson, news editor. Another local who's worked up the ranks and knows the importance of the editorial page.

•Sarah Overstreet. Has strong opinions, isn't afraid to write about them.

•Michael Brothers. You know, the music guy. Hey, he's young, smart and -- what's that word? Ah, yes. Cheeky. Prolific writer, too.

•Steve Koehler. Veteran scribe, used to run sports, and Christ, can you imagine Koehler running the editorial page? It would never be boring.

Leger's Sunday column is a must-read for everyone we know. Even when we disagree with the Lege, we know he's got a reasoned, factual argument to make. His departure from the News-Leader is a great loss -- for the paper and its readers.

Friday, February 10, 2006


Not really.

The big buzz in Springfield on Friday is about a new arena for Missouri State University. A compilation of all the leaks from the campus shows the arena will cost about $60 million; will be juiced by a $25 million gift from John Q. Hammons; and will be completed by late 2008.

We heard most of these details on KSMU, the public-radio station. They were first with the story at just before noon on Thursday.

So imagine our surprise when we read Friday's News-Leader (online, of course) and saw this curious tagline at the end of the paper's arena story:
News-Leader.com was first to report this story Thursday afternoon.
Technically, the newspaper could claim it was "first to report" on Thursday afternoon, because KSMU's report aired at 11:59 a.m. Thursday. Just know the newspaper wasn't the first to report the story, despite its preening tagline.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Updating our earlier blurbage: The "Street Talk" podcast is up and ready for your downloading pleasure. This link should, like the Staple Singers, take you there. Or you can access the show's home page and proceed accordingly.

KYTV's Jerry Jacob gives good explanation about reporters, the media, robot cams. You'll enjoy the audio. Regarding the question of vid: We're working on it. Ditto for the web site, the permanent studio location, the jai-alai courts.


Give us "American Idol," said television watchers, 'cause that's what they want to see -- not some crummy musical numbers featuring over-the-hill performers like Paul McCartney. The Associated Press reports:
Nearly twice as many people watched "American Idol" than the Grammy Awards Wednesday when the two music programs went head-to-head in prime time, according to preliminary estimates by Nielsen Media Research.

The "Idol" audience on Fox was 28.3 million while the Grammy Awards were being watched by 15.1 million people from 8 to 9 p.m. EST, Nielsen said.

Within that hour, featured performers on "music's biggest night" included Madonna, John Legend, Coldplay and U2. The Irish rockers were the big Grammy winners, earning album of the year and song of the year for "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own."
We thought about live-threading the Grammys, decided against it and were glad when we saw McCartney doing a mash-up on "Yesterday" with Jay-Z and Linkin Park. Yeah yeah, to quote Mr. Z.


Nothing like a thieving CIA agent to warm the cockles. The Washington Post's lede is a keeper:
Lori Meyer walked into her darkened McLean home one evening last month, her 8-month-old son, Samuel, in her arms, and found a strange man dashing down her stairs. As the intruder fled, Meyer ran outside, screaming, and flagged down a passing minivan.

Fairfax County police said yesterday that the man that Meyer and the driver of the minivan cornered in a cul-de-sac that night, George C. Dalmas III, 44, works at the CIA. He has now been charged with 17 burglaries in the McLean area. And in a search of his Falls Church home, police said, they found a stunning trove of cash, jewelry, antiques, license plates -- and bags filled with more than 1,000 women's undergarments.
Perhaps he was looking for weapons of mass destruction. Or thongs. Same same.


With spanking-fresh pics from the taping of Show 2 at an undisclosed location where there was scotch. The podcast for the show should be up sometime Thursday. Click here to get there. The show airs again at 10:30 p.m. Thursday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Mitchell Rupe used to be on death row in the state of Washington, there for killing two bank tellers in 1981. But he was spared the hangman -- literally -- when a federal judge agreed that hanging Rupe would be cruel and unusual punishment.

Rupe weighed more than 400 pounds. He claimed that he would be decapitated by a hanging.

He died Tuesday in Walla Walla, inside a prison, at age 51. He had liver disease. The Washington Post reports that Rupe helped changed Washington law. Used to be, the hangman was the only way out. Now an inmate can choose between hanging and lethal injection.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


President Bush wants to cut funding for public broadcasting by more than $150 million over the next two years.

Reuters reports:
In the president's 2007 budget request, funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will be cut by $53.5 million in 2007 and $50 million more in 2008. Those cuts don't reflect others made in funding at the Education and Commerce departments and the elimination of specific programs for digital TV conversion and satellite delivery system. Public broadcasting officials estimate that the entire budget cuts run $157 million over the two-year period.
The cuts, if approved, would fund about a day of war in Iraq.

CPB has long been a target of some conservatives, who say there is no value in public broadcasting. Thankfully, most politicians in both major parties think otherwise. For now, at least. As Reuters notes:
Last year, an overwhelming majority in Congress voted to restore cuts proposed by the administration. This year, those cuts go even deeper, and it could be more difficult to win the fight in Congress, said John Lawson, president and CEO of the Association of Public Television Stations.

"We've dealt with cuts from this White House every year, but these are the deepest he's ever presented," Lawson said. "We see a clear and present danger here."
So do we.


Mick Jagger sang, "You make a dead man cum," but no one watching Sunday's Super Bowl heard the well-worn phrase. ABC and the NFL decided to hit the dump button.

Tuesday, the Rolling Stones did its own dump job on the censors, calling their work "absolutely ridiculous and completely unnecessary." According to the Associated Press:
The football league, still nervous over the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction two years ago at the Super Bowl, has said it wanted to ensure family entertainment at the game.

"The band was aware of our plan to simply lower Mick's mike at the appropriate moments," said Brian McCarthy, NFL spokesman. "It was discussed with the group last week prior to the Super Bowl."

He declined further comment on the Stones' statement.

The band may have known about it, but that doesn't mean they liked it, spokeswoman Fran Curtis said. Jagger sang the full lyrics during his performance, she said.

In "Start Me Up," the show's editors silenced one word close to the song's end, a reference to a woman so sexy she could arouse a dead man. The lyrics for "Rough Justice" included a synonym for rooster that was removed.
Cock-blocking Mick isn't cool.


The witty KYTV anchor is the guest on this week's "Street Talk." Sadly, Matt Brown of the Springfield Police Department remains under the weather and wasn't able to make the taping; we'll get Matt on the show as soon as he's back up to snuff.

The conversation with Jacob -- "interview" is too formal a word for it -- contains interesting insights on the importance of getting information to the public. The outtakes are priceless.

Show sked: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday; 10:30 p.m. Thursday; and 12:30 p.m. Sunday, on Mediacom Connections Channel 14. The podcast should be up by Thursday morning on the "Street Talk" site. Thanks to Jerry Jacob for his time and insights.

Next week on "Street Talk," we'll talk with John Twitty of City Utilities.


It's Tuesday. Another "Street Talk" skedded for this afternoon, with guests Matt Brown from the Springfield Police Department, and Jerry Jacob of KYTV. Should be interesting.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Reuters has a peculiar Monday night (stateside) report about an Indonesian jungle in the mountains, where "dozens of exotic new species of birds, butterflies, frogs and plants" frolic.

According to Reuters:
"It's as close to the Garden of Eden as you're going to find on Earth," said Bruce Beehler, co-leader of the U.S., Indonesian, and Australian expedition to part of the cloud-shrouded Foja mountains in the west of New Guinea.

Indigenous peoples living near the Foja range, which rises to 2,200 metres, said they did not venture into the trackless area of 3,000 sq km -- roughly the size of Luxembourg or the U.S. state of Rhode Island.

The team of 25 scientists rode helicopters to boggy clearings in the pristine zone.

"We just scratched the surface," Beehler told Reuters. "Anyone who goes there will come back with a mystery."

The expedition found a new type of honeyeater bird with a bright orange patch on its face, known only to local people and the first new bird species documented on the island in over 60 years. They also found more than 20 new species of frog, four new species of butterfly and plants including five new palms.

And they took the first photographs of "Berlepsch's six-wired bird of paradise", which appears in 19th century collections but whose home had previously been unknown.

The bird is named after six fine feathers about 4 inches long on the head of the male which can be raised and shaken in courtship displays.
The Indonesian government is reportedly keeping the land off-limits to most plunderers. According to Reuters, the scientists cut but two trails, each about two miles long, through the formerly pristine area, "leaving vast tracts still to be explored." Great.


Sunday in Brooklyn, and all is not quiet. About 500 people are gathered outside a building where Busta Rhymes is doing a video with some serious star power. Then: blam.

The Associated Press reports:
Missy Elliot, Busta Rhymes and G-Unit members including Lloyd Banks were scheduled to be filming on a ninth-floor soundstage when violence erupted outside the Brooklyn building early Sunday, said police Sgt. Kevin Farrell.

Israel Ramirez, 29, was killed with a single shot to the chest, Farrell said.

Investigators took possession of a nearby parked car that was hit by the gunfire. They were still trying to determine early Monday what led to the violence, Farrell said.
We think they were going for Lloyd Banks.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


February 6, 2011, will be a day for anti-Reagan forces to mark by getting stupendously trashed. The former (and now late) president would have been 100 on that day. On Monday, fans of Ronald Wilson Reagan will mark what would have been his 95th birthday. Whoa, Nellie.

The current president's fans -- known as Bush-bots because their love of the fella is programmed into their circuits -- will not be celebrating a story in Newsweek about the Valerie Plame leak investigation, better known as Traitorgate. According to Newsweek, the leak of Plame's name is a big deal because she really was a covert operative. From the story:
Newly released court papers could put holes in the defense of Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, in the Valerie Plame leak case. Lawyers for Libby, and White House allies, have repeatedly questioned whether Plame, the wife of White House critic Joe Wilson, really had covert status when she was outed to the media in July 2003. But special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald found that Plame had indeed done "covert work overseas" on counterproliferation matters in the past five years, and the CIA "was making specific efforts to conceal" her identity, according to newly released portions of a judge's opinion. (A CIA spokesman at the time is quoted as saying Plame was "unlikely" to take further trips overseas, though.) Fitzgerald concluded he could not charge Libby for violating a 1982 law banning the outing of a covert CIA agent; apparently he lacked proof Libby was aware of her covert status when he talked about her three times with New York Times reporter Judith Miller. Fitzgerald did consider charging Libby with violating the so-called Espionage Act, which prohibits the disclosure of "national defense information," the papers show; he ended up indicting Libby for lying about when and from whom he learned about Plame.
Many GOP types have dismissed Traitorgate as picayune and claim Plame's name was fair game. There goes that water-tight door of defense.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Smoked in the race for Majority Leader, the local congressman vents his spleen (and hopefully lowers his eyebrows) by blaming everyone's favorite bastards -- the media. According to the Associated Press, Blunt said there really wasn't this anti-Tom DeLay mojo going on. Rather:
[M]edia calls for a new face in the party's leadership rather than a desire by Republicans for change drove the outcome.

Blunt said House members reacted to a daily drumbeat of negative news stories stoked by a few Republicans who did not speak for the party as a whole.

"The five or six people that will talk to the media about what bad shape we're in are not reflective of 225 of their colleagues," Blunt said.

"I don't want to say the media is to blame but ... if you can find a story that focused on anything but change, you come and show it to me," he said.
Blunt's anti-media criticism certainly can't apply to the local daily. Incredibly, there was no day-before coverage of the Thursday vote, and the Friday story and editorial both adopted quaint, everything's-gonna-be-all-right approaches (the story's hed: "Blunt loss unlikely to hurt area, backers say". Thanks for the insight, Sherlock).

The story did quote Craig Hosmer, leader of the local Democrats, as noting that the public humiliation of Blunt by his own party is a "snub" that could hurt his political future. The editorial whisks away the obvious truth in favor of this:
Blunt's loss is also a small loss for southwest Missouri. He remains majority whip and will continue to be an active part of the Republican leadership in the House. There is every reason to believe that he will continue to be responsive to the needs of people in southwest Missouri.
Blunt remains Whip because he refused to relinquish the office while running for Leader -- yet another reason why his GOP peers kicked him to the curb. Only an innocent would believe Blunt still holds any significant sway over Republicans in Congress. He may hold a leadership post, but he's no longer seen as a leader.

Don't take it from us. Read what his base thinks. The Freepers are glad to be rid of Blunt; they thought he was a power-grabber and a terrible "acting" Leader. One sample comment:
Blunt was an idiot who took months to get a $40 billion budget reduction done and couldn't even get ANWR or the Patriot Act passed. I would have preferred Shadegg, but Boehner is fine. He's got the spirt of 1994 in him so hopefully he'll be active in lobbying and pork reform, getting some better budget cutting and getting Bush's agenda passed. Blunt was a disaster. Thank God he's not going to be majority leader.
If southwest Missouri Dems could find a viable congressional candidate, they would force Blunt to mount a local campaign (for the first time this century), thereby drawing down the amount of money he could contribute to other candidates. Local Dems could also influence the Senate race between Jim Talent and Claire McCaskill. A strong Blunt challenger would up the number of Dem votes in southwest Missouri. That would be very bad news for Talent, who needs at least 60 percent of the vote down here to make up for Dem strongholds in Kansas City and mid-Missouri.

We've been making the point for months to our friends in politics -- Roy Blunt has never been more vulnerable, but 2006 is the only window of opportunity for Democrats to beat him. Last fall they thought we were crazy. Last week they thought Blunt was a shoo-in as Majority Leader. Last time we checked, they still didn't have a candidate for Congress. What are they waiting for?


We're sussing out some problem between ecto and Blogger. Beats us, the same answer we give when people ask why we hang out with sadists.

Hope to work this out soon.

Friday, February 03, 2006


Sunshine and the mid-50s -- this is early February in southwest Missouri. Peculiar weather for peculiar times. They say it's going to snow over the weekend, but that's what they've been saying for weeks. Mountebanks.

We want to jet from this madness to someplace where it's supposed to be warm. New Orleans. Maybe Tallahassee. The latter has Caracal cats on display at the Tallahassee Museum. Cool-looking animals. Cute kittens, too.

Christ. There are few things worse than a Friday funk, the sort of downturn that leaves you spitting -- feh! pah! -- at anyone's suggestion to lighten up, Francis Farmer. Easy to say, harder to do.


We're far too young to remember Buddy Holly or the Big Bopper. When we hear the name "Ritchie Valens" we think Lou Diamond Phillips. Don McLean's "American Pie" is just a long but catchy tune.

But on Feb. 3, 1959, a Beechcraft Bonanza went down en route to Fargo, N.D., killing all aboard. The passengers were Buddy Holly, 22; J.P. Richardson, a 28-year-old DJ known as the Big Bopper; and Ritchie Valens, 17.

The day the music died? Apparently not. But a helluva story. Click here and you'll find a great page of photos from Feb. 1, 1959, when the doomed men played Wisconsin. The color slides are crisp and give you a solid feel for the primitive, innocent world of popular music, 1959.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Last month we wondered if Rep. Roy Blunt would be able to consolidate power and become Majority Leader of the House of Representatives. Thursday, we learned he could not.

Blunt lost his bid for the leader's office, 122-109, to Rep. John Boehner (BAY-ner), an Ohio congressman. Blunt's defeat was almost universally unexpected; his campaign's deep pockets have helped keep Republican members in office in more than 100 districts across the U.S., and Blunt naturally expected loyalty as payback.

What he got was the bitch. According to this Washington Post story:
[E]ven members who committed to Blunt began realizing this vote had far more significance than the usual leadership contests that are decided on personality, personal contacts and promises.

Still, with the support of most committee chairmen and the back-bench Republicans from safe districts, Blunt entered the spacious caucus room in the Cannon House Office Building today confident he would win a comfortable victory in the first round. But he was immediately thrown on the defensive. Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.), delivering a nomination speech for Shadegg, recited dismal polling numbers as he laid out just how politically perilous the Republicans' position was. Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), in seconding Shadegg's nomination, took a direct swipe at Blunt, saying it was not enough to vote for the candidate who asked for the members' support first or was nice to them.
Or who supported their asses when they needed help. But hey, that was then, when Tom DeLay still wielded his terrible sword and Blunt stood at his right hand. Things change.

When Blunt arrived in Congress in 1997, he could not have known that his party would, within a decade, grab hold of every lever of power in D.C. and in Missouri. He could not have known that he would hook up with a tobacco lobbyist, that his marriage would crumble, that his son Matt would become estranged and become Missouri's governor.

But he could -- he should -- have known that one-party rule always results in corruption and eventual leadership purges. Ask any powerful Democrat congressman, circa 1994.

Blunt should have known that hooking his political fortunes to DeLay was dangerous. The tiny Texan was already infamous for his sledgehammer approach to interpersonal congressional relationships, yet Blunt willingly picked up a whip and, on DeLay's command, started cracking it.

Most of all, Blunt should have known that once DeLay was indicted -- once the lid was pried off the barrel of questionable campaign-finance schemes that both men used -- there would be no more political upside for Roy Blunt.

He retains his job as Majority Whip, but only because he refused to give up that post to run for Majority Leader; otherwise he'd be a backbencher. Just another trick up the sleeve for the man from Greene County, who first pushed his way past DeLay's political corpse to grab the job of acting Leader -- but it's the last trick he'll pull for some time. The power he once had to force members to vote his way -- DeLay's way -- is gone. Now Roy Blunt's job is to count votes for John Boehner, the man who humbled him, while smiling and insisting that everything's just great.


Summers, a longtime leader of the local cultural conservatives, spearheaded the vote last year against a measure that would have created a crime lab in Springfield.

But now Summers is distancing himself from his actions. In a letter to the editor of the News-Leader, Summer says he's "concerned" that people think he was against a crime lab:
I speak as a leader of the opposition against the Community Safety Initiative. We did not vote down the crime lab.

I made my position clear through three newspaper articles, two radio interviews and a TV interview that I never opposed the crime lab. Those who stood with me voted down the early childhood development center. The crime lab was, unfortunately, attached.
Actually, Paul, you did vote down the crime lab, no matter how much you whine that you didn't. Any claim to the contrary comes from a tower of Jell-O.

Back in the 1990s, Summers led a drive to repeal a bias-crimes ordinance in Springfield. In an interview, he railed against homosexuals and claimed that oral sex among heterosexuals was very rare. We realized the root of his issues.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


KYTV's Dave Catanese is in Washington, D.C., covering the Thursday vote for House Majority Leader. Rep. Roy Blunt is in the lead to replace Tom DeLay. Truly the biggest local political story in decades, so of course KYTV is there.

Place your wagers now, kids -- will Blunt become The Man, or fade into the back benches? Not quite a month ago we said Blunt could use the time to shore up support and distance himself from DeLay. Most wise guys think he's probably going to win on Thursday. Being Majority Whip, he certainly has the best organization for victory.


As blogger Duane Keys notes over at Minutia, the recent Motel 7 shootings came during a "WHAT IT DO" party featuring a $5 cover charge before midnight, a $10 cover after. Sounds like our kind of shindig, except for the gun.

A friend -- yes, we have several, or at least a couple -- has come up with a better party idea made especially for chicks. Not WHAT IT DO, but WHAT IT FONDUE -- a delightful night of assorted melted foodstuffs. No guns allowed, unless they're made of cheese.


Thanks to the miracles o' modern technology -- and a huge assist from Granny Geek and Gentle Ben -- the site for "Street Talk" is up and running. You can access it here. Feedback can be e-mailed to this address. We hope you watch and find it interesting.

As Doc Larry notes, next week's show features us pulling wings off a fly. Say it with us: Good TV.


So if you watch "Street Talk" this week you're supposed to espy the look in Vince Jericho's eyes so you can see he's shocked -- shocked! -- at being challenged. At least that's what he said Wednesday on his radio show, according to people who listened to KSGF.

He apparently thought he would have the opportunity to say anything he wanted, without disagreement. His mistake.

Best part of his radio schtick: Saying the experience had shaken him so much that he doesn't know if liberals and conservatives can ever come together. That's right -- we've broken bipartisanship. Whee!