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Archive for the ‘Government, Politics, Law and Order’ Category

GUV NIXON’S CABINET MONSTER

Jeff City insiders are abuzz about how Guv. Jay Nixon gently dealt with a member of his cabinet who ran an entire state department like a tyrant.  The male official was described by multiple colleagues and underlings as “behaving like a monster and mismanaging through fear, threats, yelling, cursing and intimidation.”  It got so bad, department employees were threatening a march on the governor’s office.  And several employees who were fired or chased out of their posts by the department dictator have lawyered up.  But rather than firing the disastrously churlish department chief, Nixon appointed him to another publicly-funded job with a nice title, away from the capital city.  Nixon said the out-of-control cabinet member had “done a tremendous job” and now will “continue serving the people of Missouri in an important position.”

CARDINAL DOLAN DEPOSED

In a report last night on the Milwaukee archdiocesan bankruptcy, CNN’s Ted Rowland questioned whether New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan improperly moved $74 million to a fund for individual parishes there (to “shelter” it, according to one internal church memo). Months ago, lawyers for 570 alleged victims of Wisconsin predator priests leveled similar charges, accusing Dolan of illegally moving $55 million into a cemetery maintenance fund when he headed the archdiocese from 2002-2009. Rowland interviewed a now-retired archdiocesan vice chancellor, Fr. Jim Connell, who said the church needs action from the very top to come clean. The Cardinal, a Ballwin native, refused to be interviewed for the piece. And on Wednesday, Dolan was deposed in a civil abuse suit as he prepares to head to Rome to help elect the next pope.

TOM SCHWEICH FOR GOVERNOR?, CYNDI LAUPER & HARVEY FIERSTEIN’S MUSICAL, DEREK JETER’S PITCH

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich flew back to Baton Rouge with Missouri Lincoln Days keynote speaker Gov. Bobby Jindal.  He had been asked to brief Jindal on several issues during his return trip, and reportedly they were talking the entire trip back after the plane had landed.  Gov. Jindal is chairman of the Republican Governors Association.  Could this point to a higher office for Schweich to seek in 2016?. . .Native St. Louisan and famed caricaturist Al Hirschfield might be amused if he knew that the N.Y.C. theater bearing his name will be home to a new musical opening April 4.  Titled “Kinky Boots,”  it is written by Harvey Fierstein with songs by Cyndi Lauper about a down-and-out shoemaker and his drag queen partner. . .MLB’s hot shortstop Derek Jeter has endorsed everything from Avon’s Driven to Ford.  Interesting, since he drives a Mercedes. . .Now that Arnold Schwarzenegger is unemployed, word in Hollywood is that he may run for mayor of Beaver, Utah.

JUDGE JEAN HAMILTON, MAG. JUDGE FREDERICK BUCKLES CHANGES

U.S. Dist. Judge Jean Hamilton will take senior status on July 1 and Federal Magistrate Judge Frederick Buckles will retire on Nov. 30 following a 24-year stint on the federal bench, according to a list on the U.S. Courts website.

CHIEF TIM FITCH’S GENDARMES TO BE HONORED BY WHITE HOUSE DRUG CZAR

The St. Louis County Police Department will be honored by Gil Kerlikowske, chosen by President Barack Obama as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, on Dec. 13 for the gendarmes’ outstanding achievements in heroin intervention. Applause for Chief Tim Fitch and County Exec Charlie Dooley!

NBC WINS ELECTION NIGHT RATINGS, DONALD TRUMP’S RANT

NBC was the most-watched network Tuesday night in the hotly contested  presidential election.  The network garnered 12.56 million viewers among adults (18-49), eclipsing its ratings from four years ago.  Fox News won in primetime with 11.45 million viewers 8-11 p.m. blasting CNN’s 9.25 million and MSNBC’s 4.67 million. . .Lest we forget Donald Trump’s twitter rant?: “This election is a sham and travesty.  The phony electoral college made a laughing stock of our nation.”

TINA FEY SCORCHES REP. TODD AKIN

Fey: “Todd Akin claims that women can’t get pregnant from a legitimate rape, because the body secretes hormones. . .You know what? I can’t even finish the sentence without getting dumber.  Mr. Akin, I think you’re confusing rape with competitive gymnastics.”  The comedienne and producer of “30 Rock” spoke Wednesday night at the Center For Reproductive Rights Inaugural Gala.

ANN WAGNER TO SWITCH WITH TODD AKIN?

Republican Vice Presidential hopeful Paul Ryan visited Springfield, MO Thursday night and raised $1.2 million for the Romney campaign via tickets that ranged from $1,000 to nearly $25,000 each. Ryan made no mention of the Senate race, but spoke generally about wanting an “affirming election to give the GOP the presidency and majorities in both Houses of Congress. . .The new head of SLU’s law school, barrister Thomas Keefe, denies being Fr. Lawrence Biond’s  “butt boy,” “trained monkey” and “yes man” in an interview with Missouri Lawyers Weekly. Keefe, a Democrat, also disparaged Todd Akin: “I say to myself over and over again, thank you God for Todd Akin. There is a God. We might actually keep control of the Senate.” And the conservative St. Louis Catholic blog notes that an anti-abortion website, Lifesite News, reported that Keefe once represented a woman in a so-called “wrongful life” suit, claiming doctors “had failed to detect that her child had a congenital condition leading to the loss of the baby’s left foot. Had she known, the woman said she would have aborted the baby”. . .Look for Shaun Hayes to launch another real estate company, Hawthorne Asset Advisors, with Mike Litz. . .Word around the sacrosanct Log Cabin Club is that former co-chair of the national Republican party and former Ambassador to the Duchy of Luxembourg, Ann Wagner, might do a switch with Todd Akin. She might run in his place for the U.S. Senate challengingClaire McCaskill and Akin might file to replace her in the run for 2nd Cong. Dist.

PANDERING FOR POLITICS: ANOTHER MISSOURI EMBARRASSMENT ON COMEDY CENTRAL

On Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012 Blog, Ilya Gerner previews Tuesday’s statewide vote on what she calls the Missouri “Freedom From Learning Amendment.” Constitutional Amendment 2 is referred to by its right-wing backers as the “Right To Pray” proposal. Gerner spots an election-season ploy for conservative religious support, writing: “Both supporters and critics agree that the bulk of the amendment simply re-numerates rights already in the U.S. and Missouri constitutions that compel the government to respect religious liberty, with the ballot summary providing a boring retread of what Missouri students would recognize as the Free Exercise clause of the 1st Amendment, if schools still taught things instead of engaging in interminable battles about school prayer…” Gerner notes that the Amendment 2 ballot summary leaves out one description of something buried in the fine print: “no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs.” Quips the comic writer: “We need to talk, Missouri. Do you know the varieties of religious belief that exist in the United States? And the varieties of religious belief that will exist once students realize that they can be exempt from homework assignments that “that violate his or her religious beliefs?” Just try giving Algebra work to a bunch of kids belonging to the Linear Equations Are the Work of the Devil faith.”

STAN THE MAN UNIFORM DISPLAYED AT CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CENTER

Bill Clinton’s political successes may represent a high point for blue-voting states, but the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock is decked out in Cardinals red. Running through Sept. 16 is the Clinton Center’s Little Rock exhibit on the Cards, the former prez’s favorite baseball team. Today an iconic display joins the exhibition: the uniform worn by Stan Musial in his last Cardinals game back in 1963. Also on display is a bat that Stan The Man gave Clinton during a White House visit. Kurt Senn, the Clinton Center’s deputy director, tells the Arkansas Times the Clinton Foundation provided money to prepare Stan’s uniform for display. “We’re actually trying to preserve it as is,” he said. “They didn’t have it restored, they had it conserved.” Senn adds that the conservation process included stabilizing rips and holes in the vintage uniform so they didn’t get worse, but still showed young fans the wear and tear inflicted by a Man-ly athlete. The display includes a 2011 World Series ring and a jersey worn by Arkansas-born diamond-in-the-roughDizzy Dean. Arkansas has long been a Cardinals stronghold, and young Billy Clinton was an avid follower of the games while growing up in Hot Springs, between trips to Charles Cella’s Oaklawn thoroughbred track.

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