The must-read hot yak from Thursday’s political circuit:
• “We defeated Rex Sinquefield's terrible tax scheme because Democrats and Republicans stood together against the crazy.” — Sean Nicholson of the liberal group Progress Missouri on the big tax-cut bill that the General Assembly defeated Wednesday.
Sinquefield, who spent lavishly to pass the measure, has become a convenient boogeyman for Missouri Democrats. He is for them what the Kochs are for Kansas Democrats.
• “I applaud the General Assembly for sustaining my veto of this unaffordable bill and am pleased to make this funding available for these important priorities.” — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on the tax-cut bill. On Thursday, he released $215 million of the $400 million he withheld from the budget to make sure the state could keep its head above water if the tax cut passed.
“The governor took funding for education and for some of our most vulnerable citizens hostage in order to exert political pressure on lawmakers to sustain his veto of the first income tax cut...in nearly a century. It is time for him to cease with his unconstitutional withholdings and release all of the money as he said he would do.” — House Budget Chairman Rick Stream.
Republicans continue to insist that Nixon lacks the authority to withhold money that lawmakers appropriated. On Thursday, they said they would seek a vote of the people to clarify a governor’s powers on this front.
• “The U.S. is now going to sit down make a deal with Russia and Syria. What could possibly go wrong?” — funny guy David Letterman.
No wonder President Obama is treading cautiously.
• “It absolutely is a diplomatic win by Putin right now.” — Fiona Hill, expert on the Russian leader and director of the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution.
Lots of wrangling over who’s scoring the most points in the high-stakes diplomatic wrangling over Syria. The consensus now favors the Russian.