Obama Appeals for ” Peace and Calm” in Ferguson
August 14, 2014

In his first in-person statement on the situation in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, President Obama appealed Thursday for “peace and calm” in Ferguson and called for restraint by all involved.

“There is never an excuse for violence against police or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting,” Obama said, speaking from the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard where he is in the midst of a two-week vacation. “There’s also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment.”

Obama’s carefully worded statement reflected the lack of clarity about what happened. He urged police to be “open and transparent” as the investigation unfolds, but made no judgments about what led to Brown’s death.

Obama avoided mentioning race in his statement, and he called on people to “remember that we’re all part of one American family.”

Obama: “We Are Deeply Concerned” About Russia and the Ukraine
February 28, 2014

Politico:
President Barack Obama on Friday issued a blunt and direct warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin: stay out of Ukraine.

If not, he said, there will be consequences — though he didn’t say what those might be.

“We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine,” Obama said, speaking at the White House. “Any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing.”

One of his top diplomats went even further.

“The United States calls upon Russia to pull back the military forces that are being built up in the region, to stand down and to allow the Ukrainian people the opportunity to pursue their own government, create their own destiny, and to do so freely without intimidation or fear,” U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power said at the United Nations shortly before Obama came to the podium.

U.S.-Russian relations have taken a steep nosedive in recent months, but the Ukrainian situation threatens to bring things to a direct standoff for the first time.

Obama said his administration has President Barack Obama on Friday issued a blunt and direct warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin: stay out of Ukraine.

If not, he said, there will be consequences — though he didn’t say what those might be.
More: politico.com

McCaskill Says Dems Don’t Need Obama To Win 2014 Races
February 12, 2014

KC Star:
You want some straight talk?

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill has some straight talk for you.

If she was up for re-election this year, she wouldn’t campaign alongside President Barack Obama, she said Tuesday morning.

Why? His poll numbers are lousy in Missouri. And they aren’t good in Arkansas, North Carolina and Louisiana where Democrats are seeking re-election this year.

“You know, probably not,”McCaskill said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” when asked if she would campaign with Obama this year. “I’m trying to be really candid and honest on this show. You know, the president’s numbers are not strong in my state, or in Arkansas, or Louisiana, or North Carolina. He did not win those states when he ran for reelection in 2012.”

She insisted, though, that Democrats continue to have a good shot at retaining control of the Senate after this year’s mid-term elections.

“That doesn’t mean we can’t win. These candidates in those states are strong candidates,” McCaskill said. “They have been an independent voice for their states. They know how to stay on offense. … I think this issue of whether or not you have Obama come to your state is something you like to focus on in Washington that probably is not that important when you get out to these states.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2014/02/11/4814697/mccaskill-if-i-was-running-this.html#storylink=cpy

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Shutdown Nears, House Expects Another Last Ditch Vote
September 30, 2013

(AP) – A conservative challenge to the president’s health care law has the federal government teetering on the brink of a partial shutdown.

The Senate has the next move on must-do legislation required to keep the government open past midnight on Monday, and the Democratic-led chamber is expected to reject the latest effort from House Republicans to use a normally routine measure to attack President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

Congress was closed for the day on Sunday after a post-midnight vote in the GOP-run House to delay by a year key parts of the new health care law and repeal a tax on medical devices as the price for avoiding a shutdown. The Senate is slated to convene Monday afternoon just 10 hours before the shutdown deadline, and Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has already promised that majority Democrats will kill the House’s latest volley.

A House GOP leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, said the House would again rebuff the Senate’s efforts to advance the short-term funding bill as a simple, “clean” measure shorn of anti-heath care reform provisions.

Since the last government shutdown 17 years ago, temporary funding bills known as continuing resolutions have been noncontroversial, with neither party willing to chance a shutdown to achieve legislative goals it couldn’t otherwise win. But with health insurance exchanges set to open Tuesday, tea party Republicans are willing to take the risk in their drive to kill the law, so-called “Obamacare.”

“You’re going to shut down the government if you can’t prevent millions of Americans from getting affordable care,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

A leader of the tea party Republicans, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, insisted the blame rests with Senate Democrats.

“The House has twice now voted to keep the government open. And if we have a shutdown, it will only be because when the Senate comes back, Harry Reid says, ‘I refuse even to talk,'” said Cruz, who led a 21-hour broadside against allowing the temporary funding bill to advance if stripped clean of a tea party-backed provision to derail Obamacare. The effort failed.

The battle started with a House vote to pass the short-term funding bill with a provision that would have eliminated the federal dollars needed to put Obama’s health care overhaul into place. The Senate voted along party lines to strip that out and set the measure back to the House.

The latest House bill, passed early Sunday by a near party-line vote of 231-192, sent back to the Senate two major changes: a one-year delay of key provisions of the health insurance law and repeal of a new tax on medical devices that partially funds it. The steps still go too far for the White House and its Democratic allies.

Senate rules often make it difficult to move quickly, but the chamber can act on the House’s latest proposals by simply calling them up and killing them.

Eyes were turning to the House for its next move. A senior leader vowed the House would not simply give in to Democrats’ demands to pass the Senate’s “clean” funding bill.

“The House will get back together in enough time, send another provision not to shut the government down, but to fund it, and it will have a few other options in there for the Senate to look at again,” said McCarthy, the No. 3 House Republican leader.

He suggested that House Republicans would try blocking a mandate that individuals buy health insurance or face a tax penalty, saying there might be some Democratic support in the Senate for that.

Flash- Obama “Concluded” Syria’s to Blame
August 28, 2013

The White House effort to build its case for a retaliation against continues .
Late Wednesday afternoon the AP reports President Obama “concluded” the Syrian government was responsible for last week’s deadly has attack on more than 300 Syrian civilians.

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