Today’s hot quotes:
• “The broken healthcare.gov website has captured the nation’s attention, but this is more than a website problem. We are also concerned about what happens next.” — Michigan Congressman Fred Upton in the weekend Republican address.
Upton is one of a growing number of lawmakers pressuring the Obama administration to delay the effective date of the individual mandate. That’s not likely. Let’s be clear: Health and Human Services has badly bungled the rollout of this program. It’s also true that Republicans have worked overtime to slow the progress of Obamacare.
• “We are at a pivotal moment. We can talk these issues to death, but without vision we won’t be able to address these priorities.” — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback speaking at a water policy conference in Manhattan.
Give Brownback credit. A former state agriculture secretary, he’s made water conservation — and preserving the Ogallala Aquifer that serves much of Kansas — a priority. At the conference, he called for a 50-year management plan. But he needs more buy-in from farmers and other ag interests, which is tough to get in what has turned out to be another drought year in western Kansas.
• “We are spending less than our parents spent on educating us and our grandparents spent on educating them.” — John Heim, executive director of the Kansas Association of School Boards on state spending on schools.
Heim spoke at a Kansas Economic Policy Conference, which focused on income tax cuts implemented by Brownback and the Republican-majority Legislature over the past two years. One message from the conference: Schools are being jeopardized.
• “He’s a good man. Excuse me — he’s a GREAT man.” — Former NBA great Shaquille O’Neal endorsing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for re-election.
O’Neal said he doesn’t endorse many pols, but he’s making an exception in this case. Christie, who on the ballot next month, has named Newark native O’Neal as statewide youth ambassador for New Jersey’s inner cities.