The Buzz

The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

Obama, once again, faces a nation in mourning

09/17/2013 6:00 AM

09/17/2013 7:00 AM

The hot chat buzzing around the country on this Tuesday morning.

• “We are confronting yet another mass shooting.” — President Barack Obama in the wake of Monday’s mass shooting at Washington’s Navy Yard.

Here we go again.

• “Three years after President Obama signed his signature health care overhaul, Americans are as negative toward it as they have ever been.” — summary of a new USA Today/Pew poll on the health care law. The poll showed that 42 percent of Americans approve the law, 53 percent disapprove.

The Obama administration’s repeated failure to explain how this new law will work has contributed mightily to its unpopularity. The president’s team has been told often that the marketing behind the plan is weak — but to no avail.

• “I cannot remember a time when one faction of one party promises economic chaos if it can’t get 100 percent of what it wants.” — Obama warning Republicans on the need for what he called responsible action on looming budget deadlines.

Here we go again (II). Here’s a prediction: Congress will take the debt limit debate right down to the wire in mid-October — before ultimately passing an extension. Weary of all the hysteria, the American people won’t be nearly as engaged this time.

•  “I just thought how lonely and difficult it must be for President Obama to go to bed and be alone thinking about the weight and burden of it on his shoulders. On one hand, you’ve got history of the Holocaust or Rwanda if you do nothing. On the other hand, you have violence begetting violence and what a difficult thing to get into. So, I feel for him. There is no right answer.” — actor Hugh Jackman on Obama’s Syria crisis.

The Wolverine-man was talking about why presidents go gray so quickly. I’d say he got it about right.

• “We are very excited to welcome Alan to the firm.” — Polsinelli Chairman Russ Welsh announcing that former Missouri Congressman Alan Wheat, a Democrat who represented Kansas City in Congress for a dozen years, is joining the firm as chairman of the firm's public policy practice group beginning in November.

Joining Wheat as vice chair will be former Missouri Congressman Kenny Hulshof, a Republican.


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