DAVID ROSMAN: Trash and Akin, what they have in common

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 | 12:00 p.m. CDT; updated 5:47 p.m. CDT, Thursday, August 23, 2012

*CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly named the malt liquor.

What a week for mid-Missouri politics. The two major issues on many Columbians’ minds are Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin and trash collection, and in some wonderful way they seem to be connected.

There is no need to restate Akin's problems — his self-diagnosed oral ailment, which may prove fatal. His now internationally reported story is generating its own political black hole. Even his beloved tea party is pulling away from his campaign.  

The other campaign driven by the anger of some residents of Columbia over the proposed new, advanced, money-saving, cleaner, safer garbage collection system might not have achieved the level of international interest as Akin, but it is certainly top news here.

Where is the connection? It is not that the anti-roller garbage container people are in support of Akin. That would, however, be one heck of a story. No. The connection is our need to find something, anything, to take our collective minds off of daily life and see others' problems as much bigger than our own. Or make them bigger than life.

The entertainment value of both stories cannot be underestimated. Watching and listening to my partner Kathy’s reactions while listening to a KBIA/NPR story concerning Akin took my own mind off my current problems. I smiled and laughed for the first time in weeks.

Even conservative Red Eye Radio’s Eric Harley and Gary McNamara (KFRU at midnight) had nothing good to say about Akin. Their own rants echoed those of the leadership of the Republican Party: Throw the bum out.

Where do you metaphorically throw someone out? In a garbage can. You thought I would never get here.

Why is the proposed trash collection system being swung at so hard by the opposition? Most likely the fear of change, or to start with the baseball theme, the change-up.

The arguments are as weak as a pitcher’s arm after the one-hundredth toss of the game. Somehow the new garbage collection system will be smelly, trash will be strewed over the city streets, the carts will be an eyesore, and little old ladies will be run over and crushed hauling the two-wheeled bins down their severely sloped driveways. Wow, better fear mongering than the presidential campaign’s arguments over Medicaid.

An aside, the little old lady argument is the same used by the National Rifle Association in its campaign to send the United States back in time to the Wild West. If that little old lady were packing her Colt .44, she would not have been mugged. If she had been drinking *Colt 45, the malt liquor, while carrying the gun, she might have actually shot the mugger. 

Denver and other cities have used this trash collection system for decades without a single report of death by trash container. Trash went into the containers in secured environmentally incorrect plastic bags, so it was less likely that animals would break the trash bags open. When trash somehow misses the garbage truck, the driver takes the time to clean the mess.

The city already uses a trash container system for its commercial clients: Those beige trash bins found in most apartment complexes and businesses within the city limits. In my own apartment complex, the only trash seen on the ground is when a resident misses the container. At least in Denver, the commercial bins have been painted by local artists and grade-school children to look better.

It is nearly unbelievable that Third Ward Councilman Gary Kespohl is siding with the anti-trash containers. Let’s waste more of the city’s money to have yet another study, another delay and another meeting to appease a minority of slow-moving, anti-anything-new fun seekers.

It is Tuesday morning as I put this diatribe together. Akin has just announced on the "Mike Huckabee Show" what he will remain the GOP’s senatorial candidate for Missouri, and picking up the trash has been delayed until Sept. 17. The collective umpires of the GOP and Democrats have spoken, the anti-garbage can mob has another at-bat. Who knows what will happen tomorrow?

However, if the Missouri and national GOP leadership want to toss the bum out, the strike zone would be in one of the newfangled wheeled garbage containers and that little old lady could roll it to the curb for collection.

David Rosman is an editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in communications, ethics, business and politics. Questions? Contact Opinion editor Elizabeth Conner.

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Ray Shapiro August 22, 2012 | 12:31 p.m.

Why wouldn't the bigger fish in the Republican Party try to distance themselves from an honest speaking Christian?
It's all about getting votes and ultimately ousting Obama.
However, my hunch is that any Republican against McCaskill will win as most Missourians know about forgiveness and ultimitasly that which is best for Missouri and America, in the long run.
Unlike liberal progressive writers like yourself and Rose Nolan.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz August 22, 2012 | 12:50 p.m.

Now I know why David's pieces are so glum, he goes weeks without smiling and laughing.

(Report Comment)
Bruce Liggett August 22, 2012 | 2:55 p.m.

When Vice-President Biden made his infamous comment a week or so ago about African-Americans being placed "back in chains" as a result of his accusation that Governor Romney was going to "unshackle" Wall Street, did you, like now, do a column comparing the trash can controversy to Mr. Biden's insensitive remarks? I bet not. Leave it to the main stream press and the liberal cronies they employ (i.e.: you) to rip to shreds a comment - albeit a very stupid comment - by a conservative, yet allow an offensive one made by a liberal politician to be ignored with deafening silence. Your blatant hypocricy, Mr. Rosman, stinks worse than a landfill in July.

(Report Comment)
Rich C. August 23, 2012 | 7:59 a.m.

The rest of the United States already knows how stupid the state of Missouri is. The idiots still voting for Akin further prove it.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield August 23, 2012 | 10:17 a.m.

"The rest of the United States already knows how stupid the state of Missouri is."

Meh. Who cares? If residents of another state want to criticize us, they have plenty of things we can call them on. For California, it's Rodney King and the recent Anaheim racist Mexican parade, to name just a few in that toilet of a state. For Arizona, it's anti-immigrant votes and policies. For Kansas, it's creationism. For New York, it's Howard Beach and cops raping prisoners with broomsticks. The list goes on and on.

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Sandra Hayes August 23, 2012 | 11:59 a.m.

I would be more embarrassed if I voted for the Minnesota rep who had the rest stop sex with a barely legal teen, but he dropped out thankfully. You may not like what Mr Akin said and he didnt say it very well but it is what he believes and he has the right to that belief. There are more important things going on in this election cycle and the media has taken this horse and beat it to death. Lets get back to the economy and gas prices.....November of 2008 gas was 1.78 a gallon...just think about that for a few minutes.

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matt arnall August 23, 2012 | 12:49 p.m.

1) the president does not set gas prices. The whole government made very poor decisions for a long period of time to get us to the mess we are in today.
2) Akin is free to believe as he chooses to believe.
3) Akin did not misspeak. He stated what he truely believes.
4) The GOP and Tea Party are not distancing themselves from him because they disagree, they are upset that he clearly stated what the GOP/TP intends to do if they gain control of the POTUS and Congress. It is not very likely to gain votes of independants, and the abortion issue is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to backward policies that the GOP/TP currently would love to pass.
5) This an OPINION peice, therefore Mr Rosman is stating his opinion. If you do not like it, then don't read it. Mr Miller will satisfy your need for right-wing, conservative-is-better-than-liberal BS columns.
6) This is one of the problems with the GOP. Everyone should be entitled their opinion and ability to live their life as they see fit, so long as it does not disable someone elses ability to do the same. Be it freedom of speech, abortion issues, any personal matter should not be determined by legislation, but by the people facing these personal choices.
Akin can think as many backward, out of left field crazy things as his whacky little head can come up with, he just should not be representing the state of Missouri when it is his intention to push his beliefs on us thru laws and legislation. A representative MUST represent his whole constituancy, not just a small right-wing portion.

(Report Comment)
Rich C. August 23, 2012 | 12:54 p.m.

I really enjoy it when people bring up gas prices and the President in the same sentence.

Sandra - What was the price of gas May-July 2008? $4 gas ring a bell?

It may be hard for some to grasp, but oil is a GLOBAL commodity. The current United States President has little to no bearing on gas prices.

If you'd like to vote for a candidate based on their economical views, then be my guest. But don't be ignorant and vote for a candidate because of gas prices. Hell, we should have voted Bachmann in then so we could all be enjoying $2 gas.

I wouldn't be embarrassed if I voted for the Dem in Minnesota the first term because his actions weren't known at the time. If he would've stayed in the race and I voted for him this election, I'd be ashamed of myself.

I don't fault Akin for being pro-life. That is every bit his decision and he has a right to it. However, when a candidate lacks the most basic, primitive knowledge of the female reproductive system, does he really qualify to make decisions regarding laws around women's health?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 23, 2012 | 12:55 p.m.

Well, Matt....I have it on good authority that a Romney attorney general will put you in chains in addition to other noxious mischief.

You can look it up.

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matt arnall August 23, 2012 | 1:11 p.m.

What does that mean, Mike?

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matt arnall August 23, 2012 | 1:14 p.m.

The Biden comment? Yes Biden says stupid things. What is your point?

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Sandra Hayes August 23, 2012 | 1:15 p.m.

Did Obama not make a promise during his last election to do something about the speculators on evil ol Wall Street that do have something to do with the price of gas......then he became president and realized he has no control over that or cant get the control he would like to have. So no the president has no control over the price of gas but its a reflection on the economy and yes gas prices were near the $4 a gal mark for most of the year in 2008 and our usage dropped dramatically and so did the price of oil. The consistent high price of gas is not helping people in their daily lives and Obama made promises of HOPE and CHANGE that our daily lives would be better with him but it isnt happening no matter how you try to spin it.

(Report Comment)
Rich C. August 23, 2012 | 1:29 p.m.

And those Democrats that voted for Obama based solely on his speech to bring gas prices down are idiots.

Just as those who vote Republican because of gas prices.

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Sandra Hayes August 23, 2012 | 1:36 p.m.

SCOTUS isnt going to overturn Roe vs Wade, even if Romney/Ryan and Akin win in November. So dont worry you still get to keep your right to murder innocent children.

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matt arnall August 23, 2012 | 1:44 p.m.

Sandra- have you heard of the party of NO. Have you heard the the GOP took a pact to make Obama a one term president. That was their one goal for the last 4 years. Do you know that we give the oil companies billions is subsides? He was handed to worst financial mess since the Great Depression and he managed to keep things from falling further in the crapper, without the help or cooporation of any one in the GOP. Acting like 2nd graders who take their ball and go home when they don't get their way. And they aren't concerned about the middle class. The GOP wants to take care of the JOB CREATORS, who already have record numbers of cash on hand and record low taxes, so what else can we, the middle class, do to help the poor old rich people out. I am very concerned about them. So, Sandra, I really think your unhappiness is a bit misplaced.

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matt arnall August 23, 2012 | 1:49 p.m.
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Sandra Hayes August 23, 2012 | 1:53 p.m.
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Michael Williams August 23, 2012 | 2:23 p.m.

What is my point?

Your selective silence.

And the Missourian's.

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Sandra Hayes August 23, 2012 | 2:29 p.m.
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matt arnall August 23, 2012 | 2:41 p.m.
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matt arnall August 23, 2012 | 2:44 p.m.
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Michael Williams August 23, 2012 | 2:54 p.m.

Rich: However, when a candidate lacks the most basic, primitive knowledge of the female reproductive system, does he really qualify to make decisions regarding laws around women's health?

You've raised a good point. His knowledge was certainly primitive. But the truth is that most of us have a knowledge that is only a teeny less primitive than Akin's.

Pregnancy and conception are extraordinarily sensitive to endocrines, anatomy, physiology, etc. Scientists know a lot about this, but most of the hoi polloi only know the simple stuff like what makes an appearance 9 months later.

I haven't researched the science of all this and don't intend to since I'm well beyond the age of worrying about such stuff personally. I am interested in the history of Akin's claim; like most such urban legends, there is usually some small smidgeon of truth somewhere/somehow. I'm guessing (only a guess) that its origins have something to do with sperm motility/viability in a dry vagina.

The origins also might have their history in observations like these:

(1) Acute stress can and does cause miscarriage, and
(2) Acute and especially chronic stress can cause difficulties with conception.

Akin's statements were wrong on so many levels. First, his use of the word "legitimate". Obviously, he was trying to distinguish those instances where there are regrets/anger at intercourse and a rape charge ensues. But his word usage was definitely wrong since ALL rape is legitimate by definition.

But his big mistake was the inferred notion that if you have claimed rape...and get pregnant...then it wasn't rape. Any fool understands that rapes happen all over the world (wars, etc.) and women do get pregnant. His magical anti-pregnancy "device" simply doesn't exist....or at least doesn't work worth a damn that's worth a mention much less a claim.

He should withdraw and the person taking second place in the election should rev up.

Akin jumped over the stupid fence. Those of you who extrapolate Akin's views to all teapartiers/conservatives are jumping over the stupid fence, the opposite direction. Especially so, since you are silent about Biden and his stupidities. For me, it is the latter that is the most telling.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 23, 2012 | 2:57 p.m.
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Sandra Hayes August 23, 2012 | 3:08 p.m.
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Sandra Hayes August 23, 2012 | 3:09 p.m.

Very well said Michael, thank you.

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matt arnall August 23, 2012 | 3:12 p.m.
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matt arnall August 23, 2012 | 3:23 p.m.
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matt arnall August 23, 2012 | 3:24 p.m.

Impressive. I know that you hate my spelling, Mike. So sorry

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Sandra Hayes August 23, 2012 | 3:37 p.m.
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Michael Williams August 23, 2012 | 3:39 p.m.
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Frank Michael Russell August 23, 2012 | 3:45 p.m.


Thank you for your contributions in our comments. However, just as a reminder, our policy prohibits personal attacks on other commenters.

Frank Russell
Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 23, 2012 | 3:54 p.m.

Frank: Then you need to make sure that those of us who simply have copied offensive words are not penalized with triple-secret-probation like those who wrote them in the first place!!!!

(Report Comment)
matt arnall August 23, 2012 | 4:06 p.m.

Pointless to comment. If a person states that all of any one group are all "x" or all "y" then that person is bigotted against that group. Just a fact. Censorship is alive and well at the Missourian!!

(Report Comment)
mike mentor August 23, 2012 | 4:20 p.m.

I only see only one person yelling and calling names and he said, in so many words, abortion is a personal choice that doesn't affect anyone else. There in lies the problem. I happen to believe you are affecting someone else in the most extreme way possible. Your baby.

I would also like to add that while we are discussing what people said, what they actually do is more important. We have the sec of homeland security getting sued because she is an Obamanite and is ordering her employees to violate federal law. That should get someone yelling mad, shouldn't it?

We have billions of dollars going to illegals who can get a "tax refund" even though they are not supposed to. There was a bill in the Senate to stop this, however, the Dem leader will not let it come up for a vote. Reid has been effective in his attempt to block every bill that has a chance of passing the house blocked in the Senate prior to. Who is the party of no again?

We have plenty of things to get all huffy and puffy about what people are actually doing in office rather than what they say.

P.S. Bidens remarks were prepared remarks in a speech as opposed to comments in an interview. You have to get some bonus points for stupidity if you plan to be stupid ;-)

(Report Comment)
Sandra Hayes August 23, 2012 | 4:31 p.m.

My apologies for being dragged into a name calling argument and assuming things about people I dont know.

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Sandra Hayes August 23, 2012 | 4:33 p.m.

mike mentor....then I would have to say that Biden has scored triple bonus points for his remarks.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 23, 2012 | 5:27 p.m.

Sandra: Don't worry about it. The Missourian is entirely consistent when they delete offensive comments; why, I'm fully expecting a deletion of the article title at any moment.

Sure glad I didn't write: Trash and [place selected poster's name here]: What they have in common.

I'da been on triple-super-secret-editor's-probation for a month!

Whew! Dodged a bullet on that one.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks August 23, 2012 | 5:45 p.m.

Well if anyone knows anything about "trash" it would be David Rosman. He displays his expertise weekly with his opinions.

(Report Comment)
Ed Ricciotti August 23, 2012 | 5:48 p.m.

Why do conservative have this weird calculus where they try to equate something ignorant and appalling with something just plain stupid. Sorry, there is nothing that Joe biden said that even comes close to what Todd Akins said. Don't point to Biden and Akins, wipe your hands, and call it even.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 23, 2012 | 6:04 p.m.

Ed: The Missourian agrees with you.

Me, not so much.

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller August 23, 2012 | 7:58 p.m.

Mr Arnall,

I just could not let this "Sandra- have you heard of the party of NO. Have you heard the the GOP took a pact to make Obama a one term president." pass without comment.

I wonder if you will be kind enough to provide me a copy of this "pact" or a source from which I may obtain one?

By the way, I don't recall the Democrats leading a movement to re elect President Eisenhower, President Nixon, President Reagan or President George W Bush to a second term. I believe you will find that in the instance of any sitting President's attempt to succeed himself, the other party will try to turn out in force to prevent it.

Have a nice day.

(Report Comment)
Rich C. August 24, 2012 | 8:11 a.m.

J. Karl,

Google "mitch mcconnell obama one term".

First link is a youtube video.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 24, 2012 | 1:48 p.m.

Cookley - Your posts are like static on the line. Static, on the line is a no sense, no text, noise, that interrupts normal, intelligent conversation. Your posts do the same thing in print.

Most have already heard Mitch McConnell say the same thing every backer of a losing Presidential candidate does. The losers want to win the very next election. Only liberals, possessing nothing else, would try make an issue of that desire. And, most heard it, not on You Tube or TYT. They heard it on Fox News.

(Report Comment)
Rich C. August 24, 2012 | 3:07 p.m.


I simply responded to JKarl requesting a source.

I never stated I first heard McConnell stating this on YouTube. That was merely the first link.

I never stated I had an issue with McConnell saying his goal was to make sure Obama was a one-term President.

For someone claiming my post was "static", you sure seemed to read between the lines exceedingly well.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 24, 2012 | 3:26 p.m.

RichC: Actually, JKarl asked for a copy of this so-called "pact" or a place where he could get one.

You provided a video of McConnell where he said (in 8 seconds) that "our" top priority should be that Obama have only one term. Is that a "pact"?

Well, pardon me and poke me in the eye, but I have yet to witness an election where the goal of the party that lost WASN'T to get the guy who won out of office after a single term. Not one single time. Indeed, the whole concept seems me. After all, what will be YOUR hope if Romney wins? Two terms?

So why were Dems so "upset" (gag) with McConnell's statements?

Because during all those years where the main goal was to force a single term, ALL those folks were white guys. But not this time. This time the "motive" changed because a political opportunity to play the race card was available.

Dem response to McConnell's statement was a case study in racist opportunism.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 24, 2012 | 4:03 p.m.

I stated that your posts were like static on the line.

Miller asked M. Arnall for information about, "Have you heard the the GOP took a *pact* to make Obama a one term president.", not a source for the comments of the Minority leader of the Senate.

You sagely gave us, "What was the price of gas May-July 2008? $4 gas ring a bell?

It may be hard for some to grasp, but oil is a GLOBAL commodity."

Why not mention that on July 14th President Bush rescinded the Presidential moratorium on oil drilling and pleaded for the Democrat Congress to do the same with theirs. By the time he left office, average pump price gasoline $1.83.9 per gallon. This President (BO) has done everything in his power to restrict exploration for oil, in favor of billions tax payer funds,given away and lost on alternative energy, bankrupt, projects. Looks like price of gas will double by time he leaves office, 1/20/13. But it's not his fault!

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 24, 2012 | 5:18 p.m.

Well, if President Obama does win the next election, I'm gonna feel sorry for him 'cause he'll be inheriting a horrible mess from 2008-2012 administration.

But, if he doesn't win, I'm still gonna feel sorry for him because he'll be blamed for so much.

Count on it.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 24, 2012 | 5:22 p.m.


First you can't trust pictures because of Photoshop.

And now Twitter:

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush August 24, 2012 | 5:35 p.m.

Policies they once endorsed -
That quacks like a pact.

So, legitimate
Conservatives have a way
Of shutting that whole

Thing down. Ornstein and
Mann documented it and
A complicit press.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 24, 2012 | 6:31 p.m.

The Todd Akins "story" is imo, another instance of Republicans "eating their own".

Newt Gingrich resigns after phenomenal successes of the 1994 majorities of the Republican party,personal problems. The conservative Republican selected for replacement admits he has had an affair backs out and resigns from the House. We wound up with Dennis Hastert, who happily jumped on the spending wagon with W. Bush. Trent Lott lost Senate leadership over one or two "racist" sentences. Democrats don't resign for anyone or anything! And, in 2007 R's lost both the House and Senate.

Now, a six term Congressman, Todd Akin, whom had been reported to be, not preferred, by his party bosses and were cited as having talked to his friends about getting him out of the race, months before this deadly interview. It seems he has been guilty of bending, Only to the members of his constituency, not to other Republicans.

With the stakes as high as they are and considering that Republicans are "all we've got", these antics by the leadership is disheartening and spotlight, the reason many *conservatives* including myself, hesitate being identified as "Republican". I just heard, "Akins is staying in the race" and I still hope he wins!

(Report Comment)

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