Lots of hot talk for a Monday morning:
By STEVE KRASKE
The Kansas City Star
• “I don’t.” — former Defense Secretary Robert Gates when asked on CBS whether he regretted anything he wrote in his controversial new memoir, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.
In the era of the 24-hour news cycle, it’s not often that a memoir is still being talked about a week after it first made headlines. But Gates’ book is still stirring buzz — and anxiety — in the nation’s Capitol. Gates’ critiques of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are destined to pop up on the 2016 presidential campaign trail.
• “I would’ve waited.” — Arizona Sen. John McCain speaking on CNN on whether Gates should have delayed the release his memoir.
McCain, a Republican as is Gates, is right. There’s something a little unseemly about releasing an explosive memoir not even halfway through a president’s term. We all know why he released it now: for the dough. McCain also called Gates one of the finest public servants he’s known.
• California and New York are flush heading into 2014, while at the other extreme Alaska and Kansas are hurting. — first sentence of a USA Today story on the fiscal outlook of the 50 states.
USA Today said revenues and expenses are up in most states, a welcome relief after years of recessionary pressure. Still, only 20 states had reached their pre-recession peaks when inflation is taken into account. Of Kansas, the story said the state now faces a revenue shortfall. “According to the Rockefeller Institute, Kansas reported the largest revenue decline for the third quarter of 2013 at 9.4 percent” due to tax cuts.
• “Gov. Brownback is still considering whether or not to expand Medicaid. The governor will consider all bills passed by the Legislature this session.” — Brownback spokeswoman Sara Belfry.
The comment about Brownback was tucked into a Politico story about the prospect that more Republican governors may be getting on board with Medicaid expansion this year. That, of course, would step on the GOP mid-term election campaign theme that Obamacare is bad for the country. At The Buzz, we still don’t buy the idea that either Kansas or Missouri will flip on the issue in this mid-term election year.
• “This is a core imperative for every human being in every society. If we do not continue the campaign for women’s rights and opportunities, the world we want to live in — and the country we all love and cherish — will not be what it should be.” — Clinton writing in a new book on women’s rights, The Shriver Report: A woman’s nation pushes back from the brink.
One big way Clinton could further her contributions to women’s rights is to run for president in 2016. Some onlookers will view her comments here as a hint that she will do just that.