The Buzz

TheChat: Gov. Jay Nixon explains his decision to pardon nine


Good morning.

▪ “In each of the cases where I have granted a pardon, the individual has demonstrated the ability and willingness to turn his or her life around and become a contributing member of society, including two who served honorably in our nation’s military.” — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Monday announcing the pardon of nine non-violent offenders.

The new thinking about marijuana in many quarters of America apparently influenced Nixon’s thinking in three of the nine cases. Two offenders had been convicted of marijuana possession while a third was convicted of two counts of selling it. Don’t expect much of an uproar.

▪ “It is time to end the bad practice of notification by audit.” — Missouri Speaker Pro Tem Denny Hoskins announcing Monday that he is proposing a bill requiring the state to notify businesses when tax laws change.

Businesses too often learn about tax changes only when they are checked, Hoskins said. Nixon vetoed a similar bill last year out of concern about the cost of notifying so many businesses. But in his bill, Hoskins said he specified that notification could occur by e-mail, thereby saving money.

▪ “After four years as mayor, Sly James has managed to accomplish diddly, botch transit, and leave behind him a trail of democratic ruin.” — Kansas City transit activist Clay Chastain in a news release previewing remarks he is to make Tuesday in formally kicking off his mayoral campaign.

Proof that Chastain’s yakker is still yakking.

▪ “Less racially divided.” — President Barack Obama describing the state of race relations in America at the end of 2014.

In an interview with NPR, Obama insisted that progress had been made despite the shooting of Michael Brown and the death of Eric Garner. He said the issue has “surfaced in a way that is probably healthy.”