Politicos talk. We listen.
By STEVE KRASKE
The Kansas City Star
• “The fact that the administration knew it was unprepared to protect those serving in Benghazi from terrorist attacks is highly disturbing.” — Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt reacting to a report Wednesday that faulted both the State Department and the intelligence community for not preventing attacks on two outposts in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including a U.S. ambassador, about 16 months ago.
Blunt, a Republican, also said the nation still doesn’t know why the administration failed to increase embassy security in the weeks leading up to the attack, even though it knew problems on the ground were escalating. Much of this criticism is aimed at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a likely 2016 White House candidate. But Blunt’s spot on: Questions remain.
• “If you stand up for the gay officer, if you stand up for the black officer, if you stand up for the lady who is suing over a hostile work environment against a general, if you go against that group of power brokers, if you will, who have political aspirations, they will destroy you.” — Lt. Col. Michael Fayette of Columbia alleging that top commanders of the Missouri National Guard engaged in a campaign of “reprisal, retaliation, intimidation and harassment” against him for objecting to the unfair treatment of women, blacks and gays in the service.
Rudi Keller of the Columbia Daily Tribune reported the charges Wednesday against Adjutant General Steve Danner and then-Chief of Staff Col. Wendul Hagler, Danner’s top assistant. Keller said the Defense Department and the Army’s Office of the Inspector General are investigating. All this falls at the doorstop of Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon who appointed Danner, a former Democratic state senator and son of former Missouri Congresswoman Pat Danner.
• “While this deal is far from perfect, it’s past time to restore regular order and get the job done for the American people.” — Missouri Congresswoman Ann Wagner, a Republican, on Wednesday explaining why she backed the House budget bill.
Wagner said the deal prevents another government shutdown, cuts spending by $21.4 billion and trims discretionary spending “to levels before President Obama took office.” No doubt there was a hefty dose of politics in the GOP’s backing of the bill as Republicans were loathe to shut down the government again after the licking they took in the polls last year for the last shutdown.
• “There may be a faint detection of a pulse somewhere, but we’ve got a patient in very critical condition now.” — Indiana Sen. Daniel Coats on talks over extending jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.
Negotiations on the issue broke down in the Senate Wednesday, leaving 1.3 million Americans without federal unemployment aid until at least late January.