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.
Continue reading “So goes the FEC, so goes the nation”
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.”
Continue reading “Good Night, and Good Luck.”
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.
Continue reading “The conversation we need to have about child care”
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.
Continue reading “Nevertheless, America Persisted”
There was an interesting question posed to one of my classes this week that I thought I would share with you: Are protestors diplomats? Are they the messengers of America’s values to the world?
Continue reading “Are protestors our diplomatic messengers?”