Commentary

Five things I got wrong in 2022 — and what (if anything) my mistakes mean for 2024

BY: - January 5, 2023

Political prognosticators fill thousands of column inches and hours of airtime making predictions, and love to say “I told you so” when they’re right.  It would be helpful if more pundits stepped up to confess – and reckon with – their misfires.  In that vein, here are five of my mistaken predictions from the 2022 […]

Recreational cannabis is now legal in Missouri. Here’s how to talk to your kids about it

BY: - January 2, 2023

With the passing of Amendment 3 in November, parents in Missouri now have a new conversation to navigate: Adult cannabis (marijuana) use. As someone who works in alcohol and drug education, I’ve seen firsthand the impacts of substance use disorder in our communities, particularly on young people. Talking about drugs and alcohol with your kids […]

The most impactful agricultural story of 2022

BY: - December 30, 2022

Whew… what a year. If you closely follow ag doings, you know there’s plenty to talk about. If not, well let me get you caught up. First, three stories that fall just a wee bit short of the most impactful agricultural story of 2022. The question of what waters the Environmental Protection Agency can regulate […]

Exterior Missouri State Capitol building

Capitol Perspectives: The 50th anniversary of Missouri’s Sunshine Law

BY: - December 29, 2022

The fall of 2023 will be the 50th anniversary of the legislative birth of Missouri’s Sunshine Law that provides the public with sweeping rights to documents, voting records and meetings of state and local governments. The Sunshine Law’s foundation has a long history. The 1972 Watergate scandal of President Richard Nixon contributed to election of […]

During the holiday season, make time to assess, adjust and commit

BY: - December 26, 2022

In the midst of holiday festivities with family and friends — and the anticipation of a new year — it is unlikely we are able to totally escape the sense of unease about our personal situations, or feelings that our nation and the world seem unmoored. While the holiday season offers a brief respite from […]

Capitol Perspectives: Performance audits

BY: - December 19, 2022

The election of Republican Scott Fitzpatrick as Missouri State Auditor on a campaign to investigate public school curricula reminded me of prior state auditors who expanded the role of the auditor’s office. Elected in 1974, Democrat George Lehr was the first auditor I covered who fundamentally expanded the scope of the auditor’s role. Prior auditors […]

The angry grandmother’s ‘Twelve Banned Books of Christmas’

BY: - December 14, 2022

All y’all know I love to read, I always have and one of the joys of owning a bookstore was recommending books to customers of all ages. Once someone discovers the pleasure of escaping mentally with a great book, that wanting to read never goes away. This grandmother is stunned to learn that some of […]

Civic education and engagement must become higher priorities

BY: - December 12, 2022

The ongoing focus in the public square should not be on former President Donald Trump’s pronouncement that all rules, regulations, laws and articles found in the Constitution of the United States be terminated so he can be reinstated as president. Instead, the concern should be more about what long-term impact such a statement has on […]

When the World Cup comes to Kansas City, tough questions will follow

BY: - December 10, 2022

Last weekend, the team representing the United States at the World Cup in Qatar crashed out of the tournament following a 3-1 loss against the Netherlands. As a fan, I have tracked this team from qualifying in CONCACAF to pre-tournament friendlies, from the group stage into the knockout round, monitoring the pre-match lineups and coaching decisions. […]

Will FDA proposed healthy guidelines make a difference?

BY: - December 7, 2022

The Food and Drug Administration really wants you to believe that healthy is as healthy does.  To that end, the FDA wants grocery shoppers to know with some degree of confidence that when they buy processed foods emblazoned with a “healthy” label, by golly, it’s healthy eating.  Pinky swear. But as it turns out, trying to […]

In Georgia Senate runoff, Warnock focuses on voting rights while Walker deals with social issues

BY: - December 6, 2022

Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff election may not decide party control of the upper branch of the legislature, but the battle is no less fierce between the Democrats and Republicans. Sen. Raphael Warnock has chosen to focus on voting rights and the importance of participation in politics, while Herschel Walker is tackling abortion and LGBTQ issues. […]

‘Y’all,’ that most Southern of Southernisms, is going mainstream – and it’s about time

BY: - December 4, 2022

Southern Living magazine once described “y’all” as “the quintessential Southern pronoun.” It’s as iconically Southern as sweet tea and grits. While “y’all” is considered slang, it’s a useful word nonetheless. The English language doesn’t have a good second person plural pronoun; “you” can be both singular and plural, but it’s sometimes awkward to use as […]