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TheChat: Claire McCaskill goes after domestic abuse in pro sports

Here we go again...

▪ “We should say for the record that Major League Commissioner Bud Selig had never sanctioned a player for domestic violence. Never, in 22 years. Now, teams have, but at the commissioner level that has never occurred.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill at a hearing Wednesday in which she questioned officials from the four major professional sports leagues about domestic violence.

McCaskill, a Democrat who has also championed this issue in the military and on college campuses, told the representatives that pro sports must do better when it comes to setting examples for young people. “With great power and influence comes great responsibility,” she said. She also said the leagues have made “little to no effort” to gather facts in these cases independently. “By and large, professional sports teams have relied on the failure of the criminal justice system to get convictions as their excuse as to why very few players have been held accountable.”

▪ “You can label these rules whatever you want to but, the truth is, they’re an overreach. They’re outrageous.” — Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican, commenting on new EPA standards aimed at reducing smog.

Blunt and other Missouri congressional representatives have complained for months about the EPA with a chief target being the agency’s attempts to reduce coal as an energy source at U.S. power plants. That would have big implications for Missouri, a coal-dependent state. The EPA announced its new smog standards last week “to better protect Americans’ health and the environment.”

▪ “It’s complicated, a high wire.” — a White House official explaining to Politico why President Barack Obama won’t be making a trip to Ferguson, at least for now.

The administration said such a trip posed too many issues. Concerns ranged from which neighborhood the president would visit to who would stand with him. There was also a worry about diverting police resources at a precarious time. Obama himself has reportedly discussed the idea in the Oval Office.

▪ “The benefits of starting early aren’t what they were eight years ago. For some of the bigger names out there, they’re a known quantity and they don’t feel like they need to get out of the box early.” — strategist Chip Saltsman, who managed Mike Huckabee’s dark-horse campaign in 2008.

Big-name candidates such as Hillary Clinton are waiting longer to launch national campaigns than they did just a few years ago. Who needs to catch all the flak that a candidacy brings?

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