The Buzz

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

BuzzChatter Monday: Roberts puts himself in the same camp as Rand Paul, Ted Cruz

12/30/2013 6:46 AM

12/30/2013 6:46 AM

Top o’ the week to you:

• “I'm proud to have been recognized as one of the Top 5 Most Conservative Senators and am excited to continue fighting for Kansans!” — Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts on Facebook.

That Roberts now aligns himself with the farthest right of his Republican Party — in the same company as Ted Cruz and Rand Paul — will surprise many Kansas Republicans. What’s this about? Roberts is facing a threat from the right in the form of a Tea Party opponent in next year’s GOP primary. Wrote KU political scientist Burdett Loomis beneath Roberts’ post (we assume facetiously): “In the great Kansas GOP tradition of Frank Carlson, Jim Pearson, Bob Dole, and Nancy Kassebaum.”

• “I want to do my job. That’s really my focus.” — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican, on ABC when asked if he wants people to like him.

That’s probably a good attitude for Cruz to have as much of establishment D.C. isn’t crazy about the far right Republican. After all, Arizona Sen. John McCain once famously called him a “wacko bird.”

• “If I were the IRS, I would be very concerned that I’m going to be viewed as the villain when people have to pay back money the government gave them for health insurance.” — Chris Condeluci, who was Senate Finance Committee GOP tax counsel during the drafting of the Affordable Care Act.

Politico points out that because Obamacare provides subsidies so that folks earning less than 400 percent of the poverty level can buy coverage, recipients will have to repay some of that if they, or a spouse, get a big job promotion during the year. That could make the IRS a whipping boy for Obamacare.

• “A little darker.” — President Barack Obama describing how his TV viewing interests compare to the rest of his family.

The president is said to watch heavy-themed shows such as HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and “Boardwalk Empire” and AMC’s “Breaking Bad.” But he’s said to be way behind on “Breaking Bad,” a series that’s already ended, and often reminds friends not to give anything away. For the record, he’s also a big “Sports Center” fan.

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