The hot talk around the political world on this Friday morning:
By STEVE KRASKE
The Kansas City Star
• “All this would be funny if it wasn’t so crazy.” — President Barack Obama ripping critics of his health care plan in a speech Thursday.
The president mocked foes of Obamacare for their “crazy” arguments. Obama is clearly fed up with the ongoing GOP onslaught, and we got another clear indication of just how much bad blood there is in Washington right now as the fiscal crisis reaches a climax.
• “It was passed by the United States Congress. It was signed into law by the president in March of 2010. It was upheld by the Supreme Court in July of 2012. The president was re-elected. It’s the law.” — Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the former Kansas governor, on Obamacare.
Sebelius states the obvious. But just the fact that she’s got to say it suggests how much damage Republicans have inflicted on the law since its passage. The administration spent much of Thursday trying to downplay expectations for early enrollment next week.
• “I didn’t come here to shut things down. I came here to get things done.” — Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, a Republican from Topeka.
Jenkins, vice chair of the House Republican Conference, on Thursday may have been signaling a change of tactics by House leaders — or maybe not. Those leaders suggested they may shift their focus to a potentially more consequential fight over the debt ceilling and ease up on the second major fight in Washington these days over the budget. But the smoke signals from House Speaker John Boehner were tough to read. He said Thursday he wasn’t completely ready to give up on the budget fight that could result in a government shutdown Tuesday. We’ve said it before: It’s a mess out there, folks.
• “The recession is such that it’s hard to find enough work, it’s hard to get enough income to meet the needs of your family … and especially that’s the case right now in Missouri.” — Missouri Food Bank Association Director Scott Baker.
Baker is concerned that expected cuts to the federal food stamp program could overwhelm Missouri food banks in a state that’s experiencing big increases in food “insecuirty.” Baker said he doesn’t know how food banks would handle the extra load.
• “Saving lives by allowing trained soldiers to carry firearms should be an easy fix. No reasonable person can oppose that.” — Texas Congressman Steve Stockman, a Republican, on a bill he introduced Thursday that repeals the ban on the carrying of firearms on military bases.
Stockman pointed out that the U.S. has experienced two mass shootings on military bases since the Clinton era. He also says military bases have become vulnerable targets for terrorists. But with the fiscal mess in D.C. right now, Stockman’s timing is probably off.