A happy Wednesday to you and yours:
By STEVE KRASKE
The Kansas City Star
• “Wyandotte County continues to be a place where private sector investment continues to grow.” — Mark Holland, the mayor/CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, on Tuesday in his first State of the Government address.
Holland said the county saw nearly $1 billion in capital investment in 2013 and the creation of thousands of new jobs. The trick now, he said, is to ensure that residents have the skills they need to get those jobs. Finding ways to upgrade the eastern third of the county, where many of those residents live, remains a huge issue for Holland and the rest of the Unified Government. Don’t expect any quick fixes.
• “This has gone on far too long. The lawlessness at the Department of Justice, of this administration, must end now.” — Kansas Congressman Tim Huelskamp, a Republican, calling for the impeachment of Attorney General Eric Holder.
Huelskamp’s call came on the heels of Holder’s announcement this week that state attorneys general are not obligated to defend laws in their states that ban same-sex marriage if they do not believe in such legislation. This isn’t the first time Republicans have gone after Holder. It happened in November when Republicans introduced a resolution alleging the attorney general had committed “high crimes and misdemeanors.” This push isn’t going anywhere.
• “Since I served as governor and later in the U.S. Senate, I fought to send Missouri tax dollars home, not to watch our state sit on the sidelines and lose $2 billion in federal funds.” — former Missouri Sen. Kit Bond in comments Tuesday in Jefferson City in a bid to convince lawmakers to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Bond, a Republican, speaks the truth. He was one of the great pork kings in Missouri history, shuffling more federal dollars from D.C. to KC, St. Louis and other parts of the state than surely any other federal official in Show-Me history. But Bond, now a lobbyist, faces a daunting challenge in trying to convince mostly conservative Republicans to sign off on a big-government program. The betting line is it won’t happen this year, if ever.
• “I’ve never seen a more inexcusable turf war in my life than the turf war that has gone on within this important responsibility within the military.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill in a Senate hearing Tuesday speaking about the Pentagon’s program aimed at tracking down prisoners of war and soldiers listed as missing-in-action.
McCaskill, a Democrat, has harped for months on the Pentagon’s inability to better govern JPAC. She said she gets “daily complaints” about the unit and said problems with it go back decades. The issue, she said, is “too many cooks in the kitchen,” meaning nobody is in a position to take responsibility.