The Buzz

TheChat: Gov. Jay Nixon looks back on the Ferguson crisis nearly one year later


Another Friday, another week in the rear-view mirror.

▪ “We didn’t have another Kent State.” — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon defending his actions, and those of police and National Guard, during the Ferguson crisis that’s fast approaching its one-year anniversary.

Nixon made the remark Wednesday during a meeting of The Star’s editorial board. He took enormous criticism for what critics said was a slow and heavy-handed response to the uprising and still sounds chastened. But he rightly pointed out that despite being peppered with bricks and even urine, Guardsmen and police held their fire, which would have flipped the dynamics of an already ugly and tense situation.

▪ “I signed a bill that made the problem worse.” — former President Bill Clinton admitting his “three strikes” crime bill that he signed in 1994 was a mistake.

The bill eased the soaring crime rate, he said, but it also increased mass incarceration and worsened the criminal justice system. People who were “minor actors” in some cases received long sentences, Clinton said. His wife, the Democratic frontrunner, is making criminal justice reform a priority of her campaign.

▪ “It was an impressive show of command of policy issues that we care about in our party.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, on Hillary Clinton’s presentations this week in front of congressional Democrats on Capitol Hill

Clinton’s performance was widely praised, and she basked in numerous standing ovations. “I’m going to be your ally in policy and politics,” Clinton told one group. (link courtesy of

▪ “There’s still a high level of debt, and policymakers cannot count on uncertain returns to close the gap.” — Greg Mennis, director of Pew’s public retirement systems project, on the status of Kansas’ pension system.

Funding still trails national averages, but is headed in a better direction after recent legislative action, Pew said.