Finally, here’s video of a powwow today of national and local political leaders announcing a $20 million TIGER grant to spruce up the Gateway Arch’s surroundings. Among the participants in the press conference were Interior Sec. Ken Salazar and Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood.
The four senators from North Dakota and Missouri have formed a “Missouri River Working Group” to “improve flood control along the Missouri River and address the impact for local communities.”
According to a press release, Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, and John Hoeven, R-North Dakota, launched the group to:
The group comes after Missouri River flooding caused havoc for numerous states in the Midwest and beyond.
“This group will assess the factors that led to this year’s floods, evaluate ideas for improving flood control along the Missouri River and collaborate on efforts to prioritize flood control measures in the future. Improving flood control will require cooperation from one end of the Missouri River to the other,” the four senators wrote in a statement.
The group is expected to meet during the week of July 11.
U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Wildwood, has been under fire this week for at stating on a radio show that “the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God and a belief that government should replace God.”
The statement from the U.S. Senate candidate was made during a radio interview with Focus on the Family’s Tony Perkins. It came during a discussion about NBC’s decision to take out the word “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance during a golf tournament.
More from the St. Louis Beacon:
In the radio interview, Akin and Perkins were discussing NBC’s decision, during its coverage of the U.S. Open golf tournament, to cut out the phrase “under God” from its taped segment of the pledge.
Akin got into his Pledge Protection Act mode and contended that NBC’s act “was done systematically, it was done intentionally, and is tremendously corrosive in terms of all of the values and everything that’s made America unique and such a special nation.”
He then went on say, “I think NBC has a long record of being very liberal and at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God and a belief that government should replace God. And so they’ve had a long history of not being at all favorable toward many of things that have been such a blessing to our country.”
Those comments, according to the Beacon, prompted a rebuke from several religious leaders. And on Monday, Akin refused to apologize during an interview with Mark Reardon on KMOX.
Ultimately, Akin released this statement yesterday on his Web site:
“People, who know me and my family, know that we take our faith and beliefs very seriously. As Christians, we would never question the sincerity of anyone’s personal relationship with God. My statement during my radio interview was directed at the political movement, Liberalism not at any specific individual. If my statement gave a different impression, I offer my apologies.
The Beacon added the aforementioned religious leaders show up at Akin’s Ballwin office today.
That didn’t take long.
Barely 24 hours after he entered the 2012 U.S. Senate race, former Treasurer Sarah Steelman lobbed what could be described as the first criticism at U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Town and Country.
Specifically, Steelman chastised Akin for voting for a budget deal that likely forestalled a government shutdown in April. From an e-mail just sent a few minutes ago:
This problem needs to be solved NOW. Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Spain are crashing under the weight of debt and we will soon be joining them if Washington doesn’t have a plan to control spending and reduce our debt. Standard and Poors, the credit rating agency has already downgraded our debt rating to a negative outlook, another warning signal and yet Congress does nothing but talk talk talk.
Now Congressman Todd Akin has announced that he will run in the primary for Senate. But he voted for the weak-kneed budget compromise between the House Republicans and President Obama. I would have demanded that the Republican Party honor its campaign commitment and exact the full $100 billion in cuts ($62 billion prorated). Akin’s failure to do so showed the House Republicans to be toothless dragons as we battle over the debt limit.
The House should be proactive and use their leverage to vote on current cuts combined with systemic changes in the budgeting process which means passing a balanced budget amendment with a limitation on the size of government relative to the GDP (gross domestic product), and they should defund Obamacare.
Akin told the Associated Press that the budget deal was critical to funding the Department of Defense.
Up until yesterday, Steelman was the lone challenger to U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. Now it is looking like she will join Akin and possibly businessman John Brunner in the race to take on the first-term Democratic senator.
Akin starts the race with a fundraising advantage - he has over $900,000 in the bank. Steelman - who is the only candidate in the race who has run statewide so far - raised only $186,000 last quarter and has $193,527 of cash on hand.