Photo Credit: Protesters gather across the street from the Ferguson, Mo., police station. | AP Photo
Obama urged a small group of the nation’s top civil rights leaders and their organizations to work to keep the peace while ensuring protesters’ free-speech rights.|AP Photo
[Excerpt From Politico, November 13, 2014. For the record, I am on the side of wanting to see justice for the family of young Michael Brown. It is my intention to post excerpts of mainstream news media reporting from the viewpoint of all actors, including those with whose viewpoints I vehemently disagree.]
President Obama fears potential Ferguson fallout
By Jennifer Epstein
11/12/14 8:41 PM EST
Updated 11/13/14 9:52 AM EST
Obama also has to be careful to avoid looking “like I’m putting my thumb on the scales one way or the other,” as he put it in August, while both the Justice Department and Ferguson Police Department conduct criminal investigation into Brown’s killing. If Obama or Holder appears to be taking a stance on Wilson’s culpability, their words or actions could force the dismissal of the case.
“He has a tremendous bully pulpit,” Rev. Al Sharpton said of Obama. “But it has to be used at the right time or it could hurt us more than help us.” Sharpton has been the key liaison between the White House, the Brown family and protesters, speaking frequently to Obama and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, and also attending last week’s meeting. He plans to be in Ferguson when the indictment decision is made public.
Despite the limits of his authority in preventing unrest in Ferguson, Obama would likely bear a substantial amount of blame if violence were break out in Ferguson or elsewhere after the grand jury’s decision is announced, other attendees of last week’s White House meeting said.
“When you have a crisis, it is beyond partisanship and politics,” said Marc Morial, the president of the National Urban League and a former mayor of New Orleans. “Everybody gets the credit and the blame.” . . .
[Reprint From CBS News. Since this is a reprint of a CBS News post, not an original post, allow me to say that I disagree with many of the characterizations presented in this piece. Overall, I think that this article lacks balance, and amounts to a “smear” against the citizens of Ferguson, especially its Black Community. It is my intention to post random news reports leading up to, and after, the Grand Jury decision is handed down. Personally, I want “justice” for the family of Mr Michael Brown, not a whitewash of the case.]
CBS News, November 18, 2014, 1:04 AM
FBI: Violence could follow Ferguson indictment decision
The FBI has issued an intelligence bulletin to state and local partners urging them to be aware of the potential for violent protests after the Ferguson, Missouri grand jury issues its decision on whether or not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. That decision is expected in the next week or so.
The FBI warns that the announcement of the grand jury’s decision “will likely be exploited by some individuals to justify threats and attacks against law enforcement and critical infrastructure,” according to the bulletin.
The bulletin, which went out last Friday, is not based on intelligence or specific threats, but rather on “observed criminal and violent activity” in the weeks after Brown’s death, a law enforcement official told CBS News’ Bob Orr.
“Internet postings have called for violence against police,” noted the official who told CBS News about the bulletin, calling the alert to law enforcement officers a “common sense” move taken out of an abundance of caution.
Wilson, a white police officer, shot Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black male, in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson on Aug. 9.
On Monday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard in advance of a grand jury decision, also fearing the tense street clashes between police and protesters which have manifested since the incident could rekindle, and possibly get violent.
“My hope and expectation is that peace will prevail,” Nixon said. “But we have a responsibility — I have a responsibility — to plan for any contingencies that might arise.”
There is no specific date for a decision to be revealed about whether Wilson should face charges for shooting Brown. The St. Louis County prosecutor has said he expects the grand jury to reach a decision in mid-to-late November.
New video evidence was released over the weekend in the case, adding to already heightened tensions.
Senator Reid to allow a vote this evening, after several hours of debate.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
UPDATE: November 18, 2014
Maine’s Sen. King to vote against Keystone pipeline
[Reprint From Yahoo! News]
3 hours ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator Angus King of Maine, who was seen as a swing vote on the Keystone XL pipeline, on Tuesday said he will vote “no” on the legislation for the controversial project.
In a statement, the independent senator said: “Congress is not – nor should it be – in the business of legislating the approval or disapproval of a construction project.” He also said he is frustrated that U.S. President Barack Obama has not made a decision on the future of the pipeline and urged him to decide soon.
(Reporting by Timothy Gardner and Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Trott)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Second Update: November 18, 2014 [3:00 pm]
In a live interview today with Julie Mason (XM Radio, The Press Pool), Christian Science Monitor White House Correspondent, Linda Feldmann, stated that Maine’s Senator Angus King is hinting that he does not yet know how he will cast his vote on the Keystone XL Pipeline bill.
Feldmann added that FS Senator Hillary Clinton is also being cagey about her stance on this issue.
Keystone pipeline bill fails by one vote in Senate
By Quinn Bowman November 18, 2014 at 6:59 PM EST
Proponents of a measure that would approve the construction of a section of a pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico failed to get enough votes in the U.S. Senate to pass it, marking another chapter in years-long debate that put the Obama White House on the defensive.
The pipeline measure needed 60 votes for approval — the final vote Tuesday was 59 yeas and 41 nos.
Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu led the charge for passage, joined by all Senate Republicans. Democrats and Republicans agreed to hold a vote on the issue after the recent midterm elections. Senate Democrats attempted to hold a Keystone vote earlier this year, but Republicans blocked an agreement that would have led to that vote.
Neither Landrieu nor her Republican challenger, Rep. Bill Cassidy, got enough votes to prevent a Dec. 6 runoff. Approval of the pipeline is widely seen as a bid to boost Landrieu’s chances at winning the runoff, in which she is currently trailing in polls.
While the White House didn’t commit to a decision on vetoing the bill had it passed the Senate (it passed the House last week), the Obama administration has not been eager to approve the pipeline. Because the pipeline crosses the border with Canada, the State Department and the White House have authority over approving its construction. That approval process has been in the works for six years.
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., made it clear Congress isn’t done with the issue.
“Once the 114th Congress convenes, the Senate will act again on this important legislation, and I look forward to the new Republican majority taking up and passing the Keystone jobs bill early in the New Year,” he said in a statement immediately following the vote. . . .
A State Department review found that the project would create 42,000 jobs during a hypothetical two-year construction period. But afterward, just 50 permanent jobs would be created from its construction.The Washington Post points out that the U.S. economy produces about 7,000 jobs a day.
And the State Department found in its environmental analysis that construction of this particular pipe section would have little impact on climate change because the tar sands oil in Canada would be extracted and delivered one way or another.
But on Capitol Hill, politics often matters most.
So while the project, if eventually approved by the president, won’t likely create many permanent jobs or make a big difference to climate change — it has been useful as a political vehicle for Democrats and Republicans alike.
. . . in Berkeley, Missouri, a town neighboring Ferguson, officials this week passed out fliers urging residents to be prepared for unrest just as they would a major storm – with plenty of food, water and medicine in case they’re unable to leave home for several days.