Obama Opens Up on Ferguson
March 6, 2015

(AP) – Racial discrimination from police in Ferguson, Missouri, was “oppressive and abusive,” President Barack Obama said Friday as he called for criminal justice reform as part of the modern struggle for civil rights.
“It turns out they weren’t just making it up. This was happening,” Obama said during a town hall at South Carolina’s Benedict College, the day before he prepared to commemorate a half-century since the historic civil rights marches in Selma, Alabama.
In his most expansive comments yet about the Justice Department’s report on bias against blacks in Ferguson, Obama said it was striking that investigators merely had to look at email sent by police officials to find evidence. He said the City of Ferguson now must make a decision about how to move forward.
“Are they going to enter into some sort of agreement with the Justice Department to fix what is clearly a broken and racially biased system?” Obama said.
A Justice Department investigation found patterns of racial profiling, bigotry and profit-driven law enforcement and court practices within the Ferguson Police Department. Ferguson city leaders are to meet with Justice Department officials in about two weeks to put forth an improvement plan.
The president himself was the subject of some of the racist emails from Ferguson police and municipal courts employees uncovered in the investigation. A 2008 email said Obama would not be president for long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years,” while another depicted Obama as a chimpanzee.

Missouri GOP Praises Blunt, Tips Obama and Kander
February 21, 2015

Republicans lit into President Barack Obama Friday evening as they kicked off Missouri’s annual GOP meeting in Kansas City.

“He’s decided maybe he is the king,” Sen. Roy Blunt said of Obama, referring to executive orders issued on immigration and other issues.

The GOP conference, known as Reagan-Lincoln Days, will include a meeting of the state committee and appearances by 2016 candidates, including some who face primaries within the party.

But the barbs Friday were saved for Democrats. Keynote speaker Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire criticized Obama for foreign and domestic policy decisions, including problems in Ukraine and the Middle East.

“We need to take this presidency in 2016,” she told the group.

She also criticized the Affordable Care Act, referring twice to “800 million taxpayers” sent faulty notices as part of the program.

The figure was incorrect. The administration said this week it has sent out 800,000 bad notices, not 800 million.

There are roughly 320 million people in the United States.

Blunt did not mention Democratic opponent Jason Kander by name. Kander, a Democrat, announced his campaign for Blunt’s Senate seat this week.

But others did. Outgoing GOP state chairman Ed Martin called Kander pro-abortion and against the family. “Although I was hoping we would get no opponent for Sen. Blunt in 2016, I revel the contrast between a conservative guy who’s defended pro-life,” Martin said.

Rep. Jason Smith called Kander an “Obama puppet.”

The conference continues Saturday. Both Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich and Catherine Hanaway are at the convention. Each is seeking the GOP nomination for governor in 2016.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/the-buzz/article10793018.html#storylink=cpy

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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