February 7, 2016

President Obama to talk economy in Kansas City

The White House says President Barack Obama will visit Kansas City next week.

President Barack Obama delivers his 2013 State of the Union address.  (Courtesy; White House Media Affairs)

President Barack Obama delivers his 2013 State of the Union address. (Courtesy; White House Media Affairs)

According to the White House Media Affairs office, “On Tuesday, July 29, President Obama will travel to the Kansas City, MO area. He will remain overnight. On Wednesday, July 30 he will deliver remarks on the economy and return to Washington, D.C. More details about the President visit to the Kansas City area will be made available in the coming days.

Hospital Association VP says defunding healthcare reform could hurt its members

The Missouri Hospital Association says if the federal healthcare reform law is defunded, it will have a drastic impact on hospitals in the state and nationwide.

The House has passed a resolution that would fund the government through December but would pull funding from the president’s healthcare reform plan.

Missouri Hospital Association Vice President Dave Dillon says he understands what Republicans in the House want to do, but says they must remember that the program will cut money to hospitals to pay for the uninsured in anticipation that the money they propose pulling would result in more people with insurance.

“All of those payment cuts are going into place no matter whether the federal government defunds the increases in the insured population. So, what we would see would be over the course of ten years $4-billion in cuts without any corresponding increase in the people who can pay for care.”

Dillon says if Republicans really want to stop the plan alternately called “The Affordable Care Act,” or “Obamacare,” it will require some tough sells.

“It would be very difficult to pass a law that would rescind the ability of individuals to stay on their parents plans until they’re 26 years old. It would be very difficult and unpopular to rescind the extension of insurance without regard to preexisting conditions and without lifetime limits. Those things would be absolutely make or break for the insurance industry.”

Senator Claire McCaskill says the Senate will vote to restore funding to federal healthcare reform and send the resolution back to the House. The situation must be resolved by Monday, the first day of the federal fiscal year, or a shutdown to federal programs and services could result.

Luetkemeyer: Syrian agreement evidence of weakened U.S. position

East-central Missouri’s Congressman thinks recent developments with Syria illustrate a weakening in the United States’ position at the word negotiating table.

Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer addresses the Jefferson City Rotary Club on September 16, 2013.

Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer addresses the Jefferson City Rotary Club on September 16, 2013.

Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-St. Elizabeth) says the Obama Administration has weakened the U.S. on the world stage, and says Syria would never have used chemical weapons on its own people if not for that.

“If the Syrians felt that they were going to be retaliated against by the administration, they would have never done it to begin with … credibility is like trust. It’s something that’s earned, and once you’ve lost it, you’re in really big trouble. The only way we’re going to get it back is if we have a different president.”

Syria has a week to declare its chemical weapons and must allow international inspections under a plan agreed to by Syria, the U.S. and Russia. Luetkemeyer says without the backing of Congress, the threat of U.S. involvement wasn’t a factor in Syria agreeing to that plan, however.

“Both the House and the Senate were not going to support action. The president was up there rattling his saber by himself. I don’t think that’s what brought the people to the table.”

Luetkemeyer says Russia has used the opportunity to assert themselves as the world leader the U.S. used to be.

“What we have done is to allow the Russians … to now become the world power and be able to make the rules and be able to make the rules and put everybody in their place and restructure the world the way they like to see it done, and I think this is very dangerous. We have abdicated our role as world leader and I think the Syrians and Russians have played this just right.”

President Barack Obama has said the U.S. is “prepared to act” if Syria fails to comply with the peace agreement. Luetkemeyer urges caution.

“Syria’s not Afghanistan. It’s not a third world country. These people have got very modern weapons. This is a Russian-backed country. You go in there without a plan to react to their reaction, you’re asking for trouble.”

Luetkemeyer says he is frustrated Israel was not more involved in the handling of the Syrian situation, saying they have the most to gain or lose and again criticizing the President as having a weak relationship with that nation.

President Obama to visit Kansas City Friday

President Barack Obama will be in Kansas City Friday, visiting the Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo.

President Barack Obama  (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The White House says in a press release that he “continue to highlight the progress we have made since the beginning of the financial crisis five years ago and the work that lies ahead to continue strengthening our economy and deliver a Better Bargain for the Middle Class.”

No other details are available at this time.

This will be the President’s second visit to Western Missouri this year, after coming to the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg on July 24. (Read the story and hear his speech HERE.)


Two state lawmakers assess Fair rodeo incident as clown returns to performing

A key African-American state legislator says she’s satisfied with the State Fair’s handling of a skit mocking the President at a rodeo.

This picture was taken of the dummy wearing a President Obama mask during a routine at a rodeo at the State Fair.

This picture was taken during the controversial routine at a rodeo at the State Fair.

Clown Tuffy Gessling says he  put a President Barack Obama mask on another clown posing as a dummy and the crowd was asked if they wanted to see a bull run it down.  Gessing has not revealed the name of the second person involved.  

In a statement the day after the rodeo, Assistant Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty (D-Kansas City) called the routine “blatant racism,” and “distasteful,” and said that she would not support future funding for the Fair.

In the month since the incident, Gessling has been banned from the Fair and Beatty has met with the Fair Director.

“They took swift action and I think at this point that’s probably all that needs to happen.”

Gessling has said the skit is not new and is not meant to be racist. Beatty is asked if she believes that.

“I’m not sure that it was racially motivated, but it can be seen that way, and I think you have to be careful how you do things because it’s how people perceive it. We want to make sure that the Fair is open to everyone in the state.”

Beatty says she has received calls from people who said they would never go back to the State Fair. After its handling of the incident, she is encouraging them to go back.

Others have told another state lawmaker they won’t go back, but for a different reason.

Representative Tim Remole (R-Excello) says some constituents are telling him that they don’t agree with Gessling’s ban.

“They did not go to the Fair because of it … there will be some things that need to be addressed concerning that.”

Remole says some are telling him that they won’t go back to the Fair until it issues an apology to Gessling.

“It was probably made a bigger deal than what it should have been and I just feel there will be a fallout in some degree.”

Gessling will perform for the first time since the Fair, tonight and tomorrow at the Pro Bull Riding Show in Jefferson City.

Monte Schisler at KWIX in Moberly contributed to this report.