The Buzz

BuzzChatter Tuesday: Blunt laments the “all or nothing” caucus

Updated: 2013-12-09T22:01:36Z

By STEVE KRASKE

The Kansas City Star

Politicians keep talking. We keep taking notes. Here’s today’s roundup:

• “When you go for all or nothing, you don’t get anything.” — Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican, lamenting the go-for-broke attitude among some of his Senate colleagues.

In his nearly three years in the Senate, Blunt has separated himself from the all-or-nothing caucus that includes Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a fellow Republican. With 14 years in the House, including several years in top leadership, Blunt is far more realistic. At an event in Joplin last week, he quoted former President Theodore Roosevelt, who advised “to hold out for all you can get — and no more.”

• “It was a lie. It was deliberate. They knew if they told the truth, the bill would’ve never passed.” — former Vice President Dick Cheney on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” talking about the idea that the administration told Americans that they could keep their health insurance plans and doctors under Obamacare.

The Republican tirade against the health care law continues unabated. Here’s the thing: Obamacare is THE LAW. It’s not going anywhere. Changing it means passing corrective legislation — not continuing to belly-ache about it.

• “ “That this can be declared a victory is an indicator of how low the process has sunk. They haven’t really done anything except avoid another crisis.” — Robert Bixby, executive director of the bipartisan Concord Coalition, which advocates debt reduction, on an emerging budget deal that would stave off another government shutdown.

The deal would not shrink the debt. Nor would it close corporate tax loopholes or reform Medicare or Social Security. It also wouldn’t jettison sharp spending cuts known as the sequester, which was a chief goal of negotiators. But it does avoid needless yuletide drama over yet another shutdown.

• “Rebuilding these deteriorating facilities will mean better care for patients, more safety for employees and greater opportunities for this region, and I am pleased that strong bipartisan support continues to build for moving forward on this long-overdue project.” —Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Monday announcing that next year he will recommend the construction of a new $211 million maximum and intermediate security psychiatric facility in Fulton.

The key phrase here is “long-overdue.” The hospital opened in 1851, and it’s the nation’s oldest public mental health facility west of the Mississippi River. In recent years, hospital employees have cited numerous safety issues with the current hospital. Plans for a new hospital have kicked around for years. Finally, things appear to be moving forward.

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