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The Show-Me Report: December 10, 2014

KMOV: ‘All hell broke loose': Ferguson Commission meeting sparks debate, deemed a success

Post-Dispatch: Mo. lawmakers to investigate Nixon’s decisions in Ferguson on Thursday

Missouri Political News-Service: My Eyewitness Account in Ferguson After the Grand Jury Decision Was Announced

Fox 2: Federal autopsy of Michael Brown’s body reaches similar conclusions

Fox 2: Organization seeks to revoke Officer Darren Wilson’s peace officer license

Fox 2: The cost taxpayers will have to shell out for Ferguson

Missouri Business Alert: Costs of law enforcement, destroyed buildings mount in Ferguson

Fox 2: St. Louis County Council to discuss paying $1.4 million in police overtime for Ferguson unrest

KMOV: St. Louis County suit targets 7 municipal courts

ABC 17: Donations soar for Ferguson public library

Post-Dispatch: Second man charged in federal gun case linked to shooting in Ferguson

KMOV: Man arrested for stealing guns used in shooting at federal agents in Ferguson

ABC 17: Michael Brown’s friend hired by city of St. Louis

Fox 2: Tuesday night shooting brings St. Louis murder total to 148 for 2014

Connect Mid-Missouri: Tenacity pays off for Ferguson library

The Missourian: Missouri History Museum working to preserve plywood art in Ferguson

St. Joseph Post:  Sen. Blunt Discusses Senate Democrats’ Intelligence Report (VIDEO)

Breitbart: Missouri Cop’s Wife: Black Officers Receive ‘Worst Treatment’ from Ferguson

Ozark Area Network: Senator Roy Blunt Slams Proposed EPA Regulations

The Eagle: Blunt: Report bashing brutal CIA torture “incomplete”

Ozark Area Network: Jason Smith Speaks on Obama’s Immigration Order

Post-Dispatch: McCaskill says ‘bad journalism’ in Rolling Stone a ‘setback’ for campus rape victims

Post-Dispatch: Luetkemeyer says FDIC lied to Congress about ‘Operation Choke Point’

Kansas City Business: Koster testifies his office did not give favors to lobbyists

Ozark Area Network: Lawmakers Say Koster Acted Appropriately

Missouri Business Alert: Koster defends dropped investigations, turns focus to legislators

The Missouri Times: Kleinsorge joins Schatz as COS

ABC 17: Missouri bill would require child-safe packaging

ABC 17: Missouri bill would give leave for abuse victims

KMOV: Should convicted drug dealers have the right to carry guns?

Kansas City Star: Judge: Missouri legislature can’t stop KC from recognizing same-sex marriages

Fox 2: Could I-70 become a toll road? Gov. Nixon asks MoDOT to draw up a plan

The Missouri Times: Lawmakers react to Nixon’s request for toll road study

Ozark Area Network: Missouri Lawmaker Looks to Lower Voting Age to 16

Hennessy’s View: Here’s What’s Happening on the Muni Courts Front

News-Tribune: Kinder plans re-election bid; possible opponent gets $1M

Missouri Business Alert: Sinquefield gives $1 million to KC attorney’s lieutenant governor campaign

Southeast Missourian: Sinquefield has given to local candidates as well

The Missourian: DAVID ROSMAN: Two pivotal ballot measures would limit campaign contributions

By |December 10th, 2014|Missouri Torch, The Show-Me Report|

Gov. Jay Nixon’s Spin on Ferguson Failures Illogical and Weak

Gov. Jay Nixon is spinning his failure to competently handle his responsibilities as Commander in Chief of the Missouri National Guard during the riots in Ferguson November 24 and 25th.

When questioned as to why the National Guard wasn’t deployed when needed, as promised to the Mayors of Ferguson and Dellwood, and to the St. Louis fire fighters, Gov. Nixon says it’s because he didn’t want a Kent State situation:

“You didn’t want to have a Kent State situation,” Nixon continued, referencing a May 4, 1970 incident in which Ohio National Guardsmen killed four university students and wounded nine others during Vietnam War protests.

“You certainly didn’t want to have a situation where Guardsmen who had only been there a few hours, who had not been used to the very kinetic atmosphere of people throwing things, screaming things at the very front tip of that spear,” said Nixon.

“That was the plan. I think it has prevented loss of life.”

Nixon’s comparison is a strange one.

It’s also weak and illogical.

It’s called a false dilemma:

A false dilemma (also called black-and-white thinking, bifurcation, denying a conjunct, the either-or fallacy, false dichotomy, fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses, the fallacy of false choice, the fallacy of the false alternative, or the fallacy of the excluded middle) is a type of informal fallacy that involves a situation in which only limited alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option.

Here’s the false dilemma Nixon’s trying to create:

He had a choice between sending in the National Guard and them killing people,

or,

letting Ferguson and Dellwood burn.

And because he chose to hold the National Guard back, no one died.

But, there are other alternatives, starting with having open channels of communication with Bob McCulloch’s office so when he says, “I was thinking about making this announcement at night,” he could say:

giphy

He wasn’t in contact with McCulloch though. McCulloch said he hadn’t talked with Nixon for a month prior to making the announcement.

So there’s one alternative.

Another?

Nixon points it out in his comment.

“You certainly didn’t want to have a situation where Guardsmen who had only been there a few hours…”

So have them in place before the announcement.

They were placed around Clayton. Why not place them in Ferguson?

Why weren’t they where the likelihood of trouble was the greatest?

The idea that 22oo National Guard troops, placed in key and highly visible position, wouldn’t have prevented the fires is absurd.  And if the looters and arsonists were stupid enough to lob firebombs at the National Guard, they chose the act.  They suffer the consequences for their choice.

Here’s another alternative: Nixon could have spent a little more time on the phone with the mayors of Ferguson and Dellwood and a little less on the phone with Valerie Jarrett.

In this alternative, Nixon knows a little more about what is going on and what is needed on the ground in Missouri, rather than what the White House wants in Washington, DC.

There are other alternatives, but what bothers me most is that no one is pointing out that when the dust settles and all you can say is, “Well, at least no one died,” you probably shouldn’t be patting yourself on the back.

You should be hanging your head in shame:

By |December 9th, 2014|Missouri Torch|

“Missouri Governor Jay Nixon turned his back on fire fighters when they needed him most” (Video)

I know I’m a couple days late on this, but I wanted to make sure it got the attention it deserved here.

Fox 2 journalist Chris Hayes covered a press release from the International Association of Fire Fighters regarding the treatment of St. Louis firemen during the Ferguson riots. They were promised protection.

They were left out to dry:

On the night of November 24th, they had the manpower to fight fires, but no protection from National Guardsmen. IAFF representative Mark Woolbright, who’s also a firefighter said, “We were led to believe there would be some kind of protection and barrier around us to do the work and to do the job we were sent there to do.” He added, “This job is dangerous enough without having to worry about bullets flying around you or over you.”

The night of the riots, St. Louis Police Chief Joe Belmar said he heard around 150 shots and the AP said fire fighters were held “at bay.”

So you’ve got fire fighters being shot at while they are trying to put out fires and despite being promised protection, they were defenseless:

“It turned out that the Governor’s words were nothing more than empty promises and pathetic political posturing of the worst kind. As a result, fire fighters were often found in unsecured and dangerous positions.”

This could not have been the plan.

Who would have gone along with this?

“So, if there’s rioting and they start burning businesses like they did the Quik Trip, the fire fighters will go in and start tackling them as they arise.”

“Right, and if there’s shots fired at the fire fighters?”

“Hmmm?”

“What happens if the rioters start shooting at fire fighters? It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened. There’s operating experience on this.”

“Oh, right. Well, if that happens, you’re on your own.”

“Ok. Well, that sounds goo–wait, what?”

“Yeah, good luck.”

“What, what about the National Guard?”

“Well, we don’t want a Kent State situation, do we?”

“I guess not. Well, folks, we’re on out own. Let’s go.”

I’m guessing that conversation didn’t happen. And if it wasn’t the plan to leave the fire fighters exposed, when did it change and why didn’t they know about it?

When did the plan change from fighting fires to letting the city burn? And who made that call?

Valerie Jarrett?

Here’s Hayes’s video report:

By |December 9th, 2014|The Torch|

Scheafer Says Felons Aren’t Truly Citizens, Shouldn’t Get Right to Bear Arms – UPDATED

sen-kurt-schaefer

This morning on my Facebook page, I shared a link to a story regarding a non-violent felon who has a case before the Missouri Supreme Court. He’s trying to get his right to bear arms restored.

Sen. Kurt Schaefer, who may just be trying to reinforce his ‘tough on crime’ bona fides, opposes the effort.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Schaefer, a Republican from Columbia who is running for attorney general, urged the court in a written brief to uphold the prohibition on felons possessing firearms. He argued that felons aren’t truly “citizens” and thus shouldn’t receive gun-rights protections.

I can’t find anything that says a convicted felon isn’t a citizen. It’s a strange, and some find, offensive assertion.

I don’t think non-violent felons should lose their right to bear arms. I question the logic of saying violent felons should lose their Second Amendment rights.

How can you say a right to bear arms is inalienable in one breath, but in the next say, “Unless you do X, Y or Z, and then yeah, they’re totally alienable.”

It’s an interesting debate, one that should be had.

But it doesn’t change the fact that felons are citizens.

I’ve put in a call to Sen. Schaefer’s office for clarification on his position. When I have it, I’ll post it here.

UPDATE:

I spoke with Sen. Schaefer today. He said he’s not taking the position that felons are not citizens. He was making a legal statement about their rights as they are defined.

He also said that if a non-violent felon went years without a blip, there’s no reason they should be denied their Second Amendment rights.

“The further they get from the day of their conviction without breaking a law, the harder it is to justify denying their right to bear arms,” Schaefer said.

He also said it was up for the court to make this determination.

By |December 8th, 2014|Missouri Torch|

The Show-Me Report: December 8, 2014

20 Pounds of Headlines: Jay Nixon’s Approval Rating Drops Below 30%

Fox 2: Firefighters say Gov. Nixon put them in danger after grand jury decision

The Rolla Daily News: Governor responds to question about National Guard’s role in Ferguson

News-Tribune: Missouri’s cost for Ferguson security near $12M

KPLR: State lawmakers to look at what went wrong in Ferguson

Post-Dispatch: Obama’s role role in Ferguson is complicated

The Rolla Daily News: Millions spent to amend Missouri Constitution

Newsbusters: Harris-Perry on ‘Burn This B–ch Down': Arson, Looting ‘Not Necessarily Violence’

Breitbart: Another Race-Based Attack In St. Louis: Black Thugs Drag Bosnian Woman Out Of Her Car and Beat Her

Missourinet: Attack against Bosnian woman being investigated as hate crime

Post-Dispatch: Ferguson Commission’s second meeting to focus on law enforcement issues

Fox 2: Ferguson Commission to meet for second time in South St. Louis

Post-Dispatch: Ferguson carjacking victim preaches that the rule of law will save us

LiveLeak: Guess Which Merchants Didn’t Get Looted in Ferguson?

The Turner Report: AP raw video: Ferguson marchers at state capitol

News-Tribune: Ferguson-Jefferson City march pushed for reforms in police practices, culture

Post-Dispatch: Protesters in Shaw march to Missouri Botanical Garden

News-Tribune: Sinquefield gave $300,000 to GOP group

USA Today: McCaskill seeks to curb influence of Missouri mega-donor

News-Tribune: Missouri high court to hear felon gun-rights case

South County Mail: Blunt urges EPA to withdraw proposed rule

The Turner Report: Billy Long: We must stop Obama from regulating the internet

Kansas City Star: Merger of Missouri highway, water patrols set course for failure

The Missourian: Missouri bill would set deadline to finish ballots

Connect Mid-Missouri: Missouri lawmaker wants to lower voting age to 16

By |December 8th, 2014|Missouri Torch, The Show-Me Report|

Disgraceful: Missouri Mayors Can’t Reach Nixon While Their Towns Burn, But Valerie Jarrett Can

disgrace

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch finally reached critical mass regarding Gov. Jay Nixon. He’s shown enough incompetence that even they are through defending him.

An article this morning includes two things the Dispatch directly connected.

First, that mayors in Missouri couldn’t reach Nixon while their cities were buring, and second, Nixon was on the phone with Valerie Jarrett the night it all went down:

On the night of Nov. 24, as rioting flared anew in Ferguson, the question quickly arose: Where was the Missouri National Guard presence that Gov. Jay Nixon had vowed to bring to the streets, prompting global headlines?
Nearly two weeks later, with the fires out and the rubble mostly cleared, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III still doesn’t have an answer to that question — nor to the subsequent questions about what comes next. In fact, he can’t even get his calls returned.

“I was concerned about the National Guard not being deployed. Both myself and other officeholders were not able to get through to the governor,” Knowles said this week. “I don’t expect to just call the governor’s cellphone … but I called the people I had as his contacts, and I got nothing.”

He’s not the only one who was shut out. The silent treatment was bi-partisan:

“I’ve never talked to him. Never. Not one time,” Jones said of Nixon. As of this week, he was still trying to get an appointment. “I haven’t heard from him at all, which is disturbing.

“What happened on Monday (Nov. 24)? I’d like to have an explanation,” Jones added. “I’d like to talk about … possible funding solutions for some of these business owners. I just want some answers.”

However, Valerie Jarrett, President Obama’s chief advisor, had no problems getting Nixon on the phone:

“Valerie Jarrett [a top adviser to President Obama] has talked to Gov. Nixon twice, once last night and once this morning,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters on Nov. 25, the second day of rioting, according to a media pool report at the time. Schultz said Jarrett was “receiving updates on what’s happening on the ground there and also promising to stay in touch.”

The contrast was not lost on Nixon’s detractors.

“Valerie Jarrett had multiple conversations with the governor of Missouri … when he was not communicating with the mayor of Ferguson,” Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican, complained in a national Fox News appearance the following day. “Missourians are all scratching our heads saying, ‘Where was our governor?’”

While cities in his state were burning, mayors couldn’t reach Nixon, but Valerie Jarrett could.

While he promised the National Guard to protect property, they never arrived.

And the night these things were happening, the White House was on the phone with the governor, making Lt. Gov. Kinder’s question even more important – did the Obama White House lean on Gov. Nixon to hold the National Guard back and let Ferguson burn?

Gov. Nixon isn’t talking.

In fact, reporters who have filed Freedom of Information Requests have been told they can expect them December 23.

You read that right:

The person to answer is the commander in chief of the Missouri National Guard, Governor Nixon. Gannett investigators filed public records requests with the Guard and the governor’s office. The Guard responded that all of its records are exempt from disclosure under Missouri law. The governor’s deputy chief of staff responded that his officer was working on the request, “you should expect to hear back about the status of your request by no later than December 23, 2014.”

We requested an interview with Governor Nixon, driving to Jefferson City after giving his staff a day’s notice. “The governor won’t be available tomorrow, but we’re also not scheduling any interviews at the current time,” his spokesperson replied.

Nixon was willing to go to the media center of Missouri, Cape Girardeau and take questions from local reporters though, where he patted himself on the back for how great things went in Ferguson:

Really, the choice that night was whether we’re going to lose lives or lose property. When you have that many hundreds of people shooting guns and running throughout the area and looting, I think it was important to preserve life, and I think all of the unified commanders, as well as the guard’s folks, did a great job of that. We didn’t have a single shot fired by a single law enforcement officer, and we had hundreds of shots fired out. We didn’t have a single shot fired by a national guardsman, and we had none of them significantly injured. So while it was a difficult thing to watch, and challenging, in many ways, I think that when we look back at this, having those law enforcement officers out first, having the guard there behind them, was in fact the best way to do it.”

That’s what’s known as a “false dilemma.”

A false dilemma (also called black-and-white thinking, bifurcation, denying a conjunct, the either-or fallacy, false dichotomy, fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses, the fallacy of false choice, the fallacy of the false alternative, or the fallacy of the excluded middle) is a type of informal fallacy that involves a situation in which only limited alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option.

One additional option is to have a visible National Guard presence in Ferguson and Dellwood that would have discouraged and prevented the rioting and looting, still resulting in no shots fired and no loss of life.

And one final question: why is Nixon ducking media outlets like he clearly is, putting off FOIA requests until Christmas, but holding press conferences in Cape Girardeau?

You can answer that in the comments.

By |December 5th, 2014|Missouri Torch|