The Buzz

BuzzChatter: Impending government shutdown has Reid, Republicans yapping

Updated: 2013-09-18T20:13:37Z


The Kansas City Star

Thursday morning’s load of hot talk from around the wonderful world of politics:

• “None of the Republicans are willing to stand up to these anarchists.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid lamenting what he views as the failure of House Speaker John Boehner and other GOP leaders to stand up to House conservatives bent on shutting down the federal government in two weeks.

“All that really matters is what my district wants. And my district is overwhelmingly in favor of my position.” — Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie, a Republican and one of the “anarchists” Reid is talking about. Massie is a strong supporter of the strategy of shutting down the federal government if Congress fails to defund Obamacare.

Reality check: In just than two weeks — with Syria looming and mass shootings rocking the nation — every federal agency from the Pentagon to the FBI is set to close unless Congress can reach an agreement on funding the government. Massie and others are saying they won’t appropriate any money for anything unless the president’s health care law is stripped of funding. But that’s not going to happen. Thus, another showdown. Can you say, “Here we go again?”

• “The problem is that Mr. Obama is never, ever going to unwind his signature legacy project of national health care. Ideology aside, it would end his presidency politically.” — The conservative Wall Street Journal editorial page urging conservatives not to shut down the government.

The Journal understands history, and that is voters will almost surely blame Republicans for the shutdown. They’re the ones provoking this latest confrontation.

• “He’s detailed and tenacious. It’s Bill Clinton. It’s in his DNA. You can take Bill Clinton out of politics, but you can’t take the political interest out of Bill Clinton.” — New York Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, on how diligent the former president is about staying in touch with members of Congress.

Clinton remains deeply connected to Washington and works the phones regularly to remain so. An easy conclusion might be he’s doing this on behalf of his wife’s expected 2016 presidential run. But something tells me he’d be making these calls anyway.

• “I called today for the very first time in my career…I personally am calling to impeach the President of the United States. This is impeachable. He is arming known terrorists, and people like John McCain should be impeached as well.” — radioman Glenn Beck. He said the president is arming “known terrorists,” a reference to the White House announcement Monday that it was waiving part of the Arms Export Control Act to allow “non-lethal assistance” to the Syria rebels.

When Beck says stuff like this, does he really think he will spur a nationwide push to kick out the president of the United States? Or is he doing to bring attention to himself and drive ratings?

• “The trajectory of the school district is improvement, rapid improvement — not incremental improvement but dramatic improvement.” — Kansas City School Superintendent Stephen Green in Jefferson City where he sought an upgrade to provisional accreditation.

“It is not an easy decision. There is a lot that hangs on the line. It will just take time.” — Missouri State Board of Education President Peter Herschend.

In fact, Herschend said a decision will take at least one or two more months. One key for the board: Are Kansas City’s recent improvements sustainable? Herschend and others want to avoid a “yo-yo” effect where the district bounces between different accreditation levels.

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