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Sen. Claire McCaskill takes a shot at the editorial page of the N.Y. Times re “Military Sexual Assault Unresolved.” She wrote: “You don’t mention 36 reforms that recently became law to protect victims and hold military commanders accountable, or a new slate of reforms in this year’s defense bill. You also don’t mention that rape is a vastly unreported crime anywhere it occurs and not just in the military”. . .Ferguson-based Emerson has given $500k to Harris-Stowe State U. via a STEM scholarship. . .The Columbia MO-based Religion News Writers Association has issued its “top ten” religion stories of the year. Number 8 on the list: “Faith-based groups help lead peaceful protests against racial injustice in Ferguson, MO.”


A major kerfuffle about KTVI, Channel 2′s interview on Chanukah by Kim Kelly Hudson with a Chabad (orthodox) rabbi at Chesterfield Mall: She was wearing a shirt emblazoned with a crucified Christ.


On McCausland just south of Highway 40, the city streets dept. has set up a large sign that says, “Bump” to warn motorists about a pothole. A witty person with black electrician’s tape has added the phrase “& Grind” to it. (Apparently, traffic will be reduced to one lane northbound for the next few days because of repairs.
“Something had definitely gone wrong.” In a new interview on a blog called The Radical Catholic, that’s how Cardinal Raymond Burke, formerly of our town, described the reforms of Vatican II. He deplored modernization of church rituals, twice using the word “violent” to describe themAnd Burke called a report by Pope Francis’ Synod on the Family “a cause for very serious reform” while also worrying that “Muslim life is taking over in countries which were formerly Christian.
Mitt Romney has become the acid reflux candidate. . .He just keeps coming up“, opines scribe Roger Simon. Simon continues, “Who are going to hire ex-Romney staffers in 2016 except Romney?. . .Having Romney 2012 is like having Hoover 1932 on your resume. . .History is not on Romney’s side.”


Our town’s Jon Hamm: “For me to sign on now to do a superhero movie would mean I would be working until I am 50 as that particular superhero. It’s a lot of work for one thing, which is not necessarily the reason I got into this business,” he tells Radio Times. The 43 year-old Burroughs grad and “Mad Men” star can next be seen in “Black Mirror: White Christmas.” Hamm continued he felt “old and irrelevant in the current media landscape. . .Ask anyone under the age of 20 if they have heard of me, and they will go ‘No, that guy looks like my dad’. . .You don’t wear tights or a cape for a living, you literally have a hard time making an impression.”
A cost-conscious St. Louis taxpayer wonders why, in a state known for “fiscal restraint,” the Missouri Conservation Dept. advertises its website on the giant scoreboard at Mizzou home basketball games.
Groundbreaking at 11 a.m., tomorrow for the multimillion-dollar expansion of Boeing’s future home of 777X work at Boeing Defense, Space & Security at the intersection of Airport Road and J.S. McDonnell Blvd. It marks the first time Boeing has brought commercial aircraft work to our town.


Don’t shoot the messenger! Bumpersnicker on South Grand: “Only 14 days left for looting before Christmas”. . .”The Duke & Duchess of Glenn,” Don & Donna Glenn, hosted a royal dinner at Roberto’s on bowing their Cecil Whittaker Pizza store in San Antonio,TX with five more on the drawing board down there. Donna’s first venture on the town in three months following back surgery. . .Sad news for Mizzou puffers: The Columbia County Council is taking  a final vote to ban the sale of tobacco products to those under 21. . .And if you want to help keep health-related 2015, St. Louis is teaming up with AARP to launch a 10-week “Small Changes for Health” program “that promotes gradual increases in better decision-making rather than a rapid approach.” Details: . .Headlined “A Made-For-TV Encounter,” two WashU alums rated a story in the N..Y. Times. Jamie Rebecca  Hanley, 27, and Evan Daniel Susser, 30, tied the knot at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. The bride works in L.A. as director of acquisitions for Volga Films; the groom, 30, is co-writing a made-for-TV game show for Sony Pictures – “Sony the Hedgehog.”


Designed by LRAD Corp. to perform crowd control to modify behavior, force compliance, the new device is in use. It shrieks piercing beats from long-range ballistic blasts at a volume of 152 decibels and is emotionally jarring. A professor from MO had hearing damaged and settled with $70 million from the City of Pittsburgh. . .Over the last three weeks, roughly 200-300 Webster Groves High students and 80 Clayton High students have walked out of class in Ferguson-related protests. Clayton school officials are disciplining their kids while Webster officials are not. . .Super Bowl XLIX and NBC’s coverage for the Feb. 1 game may be scratched. Organizers of the game are facing a deadline on Dec. 31 of insurance by Coalition to Insure Terrorism. After paying $44 billion in claims for the 9/11 policy, the clock is ticking for the Super Bowl coverage. . .Those who might remember crestfallen Circuit Attorney George Peach, should know that his daughter, Kelly Peach, will host a launching of her book, “Waking Up in Graceland,” at 6 p.m., Jan. 8 in the Elvis Room at Blueberry Hill. The book coincides with the 80th birthday of Elvis Presley. . .Pew Research: 78 percent of Americans give Pope Francis a favorable rating. Cities are now trying to get his attention for visits during his itinerary in September. Write-in comments gave more votes to Ferguson, “a place sorely in need of a voice of peace, than to Hollywood.”


Colleges recruit imaginary students via a cascade of marketing mail.
Higher-learning schools such as Duke and the U.S. Air Academy have
chased lowest admission rates to help them climb the exclusive ladder of
colleges and paying as much as $2,400 per new student to reach potential
applications. WashU has also invited applicants “based on your academic
and achievement scores.” So the cascade of mailings continues. .
.Researchers at Mizzou School of Med: Alcohol interferes with the
brain’s built-in system for regulating a person’s need to sleep. . .What
a great way to encourage fans attending Rams games. On Dec. 11, downtown
meter-maids issued a plethora of parking enforcement citations. . .In
honor of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer’s 50th anniversary, the U.S.
Postal Service is issuing 500 million stamps to honor Rudy. . .National
Retail Fed.: Sales for November climbed 3.2 percent over November, 2013.


On the heels of Rex Sinquefield’s $1 million contribution for a Mo. Lt. Guv.’s campaign,  you might want to read the story. “Spending on election campaigns has long been considered a pretty good way for people and corporations, who have money, to influence politicians,” reports the paper. Stephen Ansolabehere, Prof. of Government at Harvard: “We basically think that giving money makes you feel good.”

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