Politics in Polite Company Podcast!

I have an exciting new thing to launch today: The Politics in Polite Company Podcast!

Coming from a background in broadcast journalism, I love exploring different forms of media because I think of those as different tools in an artist’s toolbox.  Sometimes video tells a story best. Sometimes an issue is best explained by way of a print story.

Lately, I’ve been really intrigued by the podcast format as a way to facilitate discussion.

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So goes the FEC, so goes the nation

I’ve been thinking a lot lately that if you want to examine how our political climate ended up the way it is now, you have to look at the dysfunction of the Federal Election Commission—the federal agency charged with monitoring and holding accountable money in our elections. I personally think a lot of the anger over corruption in Washington and the political media can be traced back to deadlocks and lack of enforcement by the FEC.

The FEC doesn’t make a lot of national news, but believe me, the decisions they are (not) making are influencing the politics that control your community.

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Good Night, and Good Luck.

I studied the great CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow a great deal as a journalist, but this week I’ve viewed him in a whole new light: as a patriot of this country.

We’ve been studying Murrow in my public diplomacy class. Before this week I had no idea that Murrow, after being a journalist, became director of the United States Information Agency in 1961. In one of my textbooks there was a great quote from when he testified before Congress:

“American traditions and the American ethic requires us to be truthful, but the most important reason is that truth is the best propaganda and lies are the worst. To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful. It is as simple as that.”

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The conversation we need to have about child care

Back in January, I was on the phone with Amethyst Place Executive Director Kim Davis and Program Director Julie Carmichael, interviewing them for a blog post for this site. As we were chatting, Davis told me she was looking at the television screen for the security cameras to the parking lot of the nonprofit’s apartment complex.

“The lot is full,” she sighed.

It was 2 p.m. on a weekday, but it had snowed in Kansas City the night before and the Kansas City School District had called off school. It may have made sense nobody had left for work that day, but it’s actually indicative of a larger societal problem: The cost and availability of child care keeps families locked in poverty, especially single moms with small children.

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Nevertheless, America Persisted

It’s time for my weekly roundup, which may actually be a wrap-up of the last 24 hours. Like every week since the inauguration, it has been quite a week in Washington: the confirmations of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions; the silencing of Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s explanation; and the Nordstrom ethics kerfuffle. There were more ethics issues from Kellyanne Conway promoting Ivanka Trump’s line on Fox News, and, ultimately, the subsequent crash of the Office of Government Ethics website (again).

Then the 9th circuit ruling came down upholding the stay on the immigration ban.

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