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Sunday Poll: Should Roe v. Wade Be Overturned?

May 19, 2019 Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should Roe v. Wade Be Overturned?
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On Friday the Missouri House passed a restrictive abortion bill. Gov. Parsons is expected to sign it into law.

Missouri’s Republican-led House on Friday passed sweeping legislation designed to survive court challenges, which would ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy.

If enacted, the ban would be among the most restrictive in the U.S. It includes exceptions for medical emergencies, but not for pregnancies caused by rape or incest. Doctors would face five to 15 years in prison for violating the eight-week cutoff. Women who receive abortions wouldn’t be prosecuted.

Republican Gov. Mike Parson pledged to sign the bill , but it’s unclear when he’ll take action. When pressed on the lack of exceptions, he told reporters that “all life has value.” (Associated Press)

Missouri is not alone:

After a series of conservative appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court, a growing number of states have moved to drastically restrict access to abortion. Over the past few months, several states, including Missouri, Ohio and Georgia, have pursued “heartbeat” bills – legislation that would ban abortion as soon as a physician is able to detect a fetal heartbeat.

None of these new laws have yet gone into effect, and abortion is still legal in every state. Ivey herself admitted that the Alabama bill is likely “unenforceable” thanks to the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which asserted that Americans have a fundamental right to an abortion until a fetus is viable. However, these bills are designed to provoke the Supreme Court to make a ruling that will weaken abortion protections, or to even overturn the landmark ruling. (Time)

The sponsor of Alabama’s law is up front about seeking to challenged the 1973 Supreme Court decision.

Alabama House Rep. Terri Collins, who sponsored the bill, told NBC News on Tuesday evening that legislators wanted to keep the bill’s text as clean as possible, specifically to address the language in Roe v. Wade, and revisit the question on whether a baby in the womb is considered a person. (NBC News)

Though Missouri’s fetal heartbeat law wasn’t designed as a challenge to Roe v Wade, it’ll end up in the courts like all the rest. At some point the nation’s highest court may again take up the issue. This is the topic for today’s poll.

Today’s poll will close at 8pm. Results and my thoughts on the subject Wednesday morning.

— Steve Patterson


Sunday Poll: ‘Climate Change’ Contributing to 2019 St. Louis Area Flooding?

May 12, 2019 Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: ‘Climate Change’ Contributing to 2019 St. Louis Area Flooding?
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Local rivers are still in flood stage, but nothing like they were a week ago:

Local news cameras captured dramatic aerial images of the moment floodwaters breached a levee in St. Charles County. Footage of the raging water surging over the Elm Point Levee in St. Charles County astounded those watching in the KSDK newsroom as one of the station’s news choppers broadcast images back to the control room. The station posted the video of the breach on Twitter. According to KSDK, the Elm Point Levee is situated between the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, both of which are experiencing flooding.

FOX2 posted similar footage on social media showing the Elm Point breach along with a breach of the levee at the nearby Sand Fort Creek. Raw footage sent back from the FOX2 news chopper showed rising floodwaters inundating various buildings, including one that appeared to be leaking oil.

St. Charles County officials advised West Alton residents to evacuate due to the current Mississippi River crest projection of 35.5 feet on Monday. While the water levels in some areas along the Mississippi river are falling, many communities saw continued cresting in Missouri, according to the NWS office in St. Louis. (AccuWeather)

Today’s poll is simple, is this usual Spring flooding or is Climate Change a contributing factor?

Today’s poll will close at 8pm

— Steve Patterson


Sunday Poll: Are Local Governments Corrupt Because We Often Elect Democrats?

May 5, 2019 Featured, St. Louis County, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Are Local Governments Corrupt Because We Often Elect Democrats?
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Local politics was rocked last week. On Monday Steve Stenger, just re-elected to a 2nd term in November 2018, resigned as St  Louis County Executive.  I posted about it on Facebook, one of the first comments was:

”How many crooked democrats does it take to ruin a city? Hard to say since idiots keep reelecting them.”

On Friday Stenger pled guilty.

Former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger pleaded guilty Friday to three counts of public corruption for steering county contracts to campaign donors andfaces prison time when he is sentenced in August.

Based on the offense level calculated in his guilty plea under federal guidelines, Stenger could get around three to four years in prison. Judge Catherine Perry emphasized she’s not bound by those guidelines, and set Stenger’s sentencing for Aug. 9. He will also be required to pay restitution. Although the exact amount isn’t clear it could be several hundred thousand dollars. The maximum sentence is 20 years and a $250,000 fine on each count.

Perry accepted Stenger’s guilty plea on charges of bribery, mail fraud and theft of honest services. The 44-page indictment made public on Monday accused Stenger of steering county contracts to his campaign donors and political supporters.

The week and comments I saw in various places helped me decide on the poll for today.

Today’s non-scientific poll will automatically close at 8pm tonight.  Results and my thoughts on the subject Wednesday morning.

— Steve Patterson


Sunday Poll: Should Parents or Government Decide If Kids Get Vaccinated?

April 28, 2019 Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should Parents or Government Decide If Kids Get Vaccinated?
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Measles has been in the news a lot lately, mostly from the coasts:

A measles quarantine has been ordered at two public universities in Los Angeles in an effort to try to prevent the spread of the highly contagious disease.

The order was announced by public health officials Thursday at the University of California, Los Angeles and California State University, Los Angeles for students, faculty and staff who were exposed to a confirmed case of measles and who cannot prove that they have been vaccinated against measles.

Those students and university employees — numbering more than 200 people — were ordered to stay home, avoid contact with others and notify public health officials if they develop symptoms. (CNN)

Other big measles stories are from New York. From a current Missouri article:

More than 600 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 22 states since Jan. 1, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said the state is included in that number with one reported case in Jefferson County. Missouri saw 14 cases in 2018. (ABC Jefferson City)

The measles vaccine is the topic of today’s poll.

This poll will close at 8pm tonight, on Wednesday I’ll share the non-scientific results and my thoughts.

— Steve Patterson


Sunday Poll: Should the St. Louis Workhouse Remain Open or be Closed?

April 21, 2019 Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should the St. Louis Workhouse Remain Open or be Closed?
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For a while some have been pushing the City of St. Louis to close its Medium Security Institution, commonly known as the workhouse. Others have argued it can’t be closed because the downtown facility doesn’t have capacity to handle all inmates.

From September 2018:

In a report released Thursday morning by the Close the Workhouse campaign, organizers make their case as to why St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner and the St. Louis Board of Aldermen should shut down the facility at 7600 Hall Street, which holds roughly 550 people, the vast majority of whom are awaiting trial.

City officials say it isn’t feasible to close an institution that houses hundreds of people facing felony charges but add they are taking steps to reduce the jail population without risking public safety. They’ve also pushed back against recent complaints about jail conditions, offering reporters a tour of the facility in March. The building may be old, said Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards at the time, but it is clearly functional.

The Close the Workhouse report says that contradicts the “unspeakably hellish” conditions former inmates, several of whom are now organizers, experienced while they were inside. (Post-Dispatch)

Debate about closing/not closing the workhouse, located at 7600 Hall St, continue.  This is the subject of today’s poll:

Today’s poll will close at 8pm.

— Steve Patterson