The Buzz

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

BuzzChatter Friday: Gay group restrains itself in reacting to Phelps death

03/21/2014 7:00 AM

03/20/2014 2:01 PM

Another week in the can, baby.

• “While it is hard to find anything good to say about his views or actions, we do give our condolences to his family members at what must be a painful time for them.” — the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in a statement on the death of the gay-bashing Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka.

This was an amazingly restrained statement from the task force. The group also acknowledged that Phelps’ comments over the years had been “deeply hurtful and offensive.”

• “None of your business.” — Shirley Phelps-Roper, Phelps’ daughter, answering a reporter’s question about whether members of Phelps’ family had been present when he died and whether a funeral service would be conducted.

The family may want to avoid the same spectacle that greeted so many families of slain soldiers that the Phelps family protested over the years at their funerals.

• Democrats “are handcuffed because my friends are so anxious to use this as political weapon, that they don't want to fix it. Obamacare is too powerful politically.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill talking about Republican members of Congress.

The two-term Democratic senator said she believes that the GOP would rather not improve Obamacare this year because it’s such a powerful political tool for Republicans in the mid-term elections. McCaskill repeated this message at several stops this week as she made her way across Missouri during the Senate recess.

• “I thought it was a pretty cheap stunt myself.” — President Barack Obama (presumably)

joking with talk show host Ellen DeGeneres

about the group selfie DeGeneres took at the Oscars that broke Obama’s old Twitter record for most retweets.

The old record was a photo of Obama in November 2012 showing him hugging his wife on the campaign trail after the two had been away from each other. At around midnight after the Oscars, DeGeneres’s tweet had been retweeted more than 1.9 million times; Obama’s had been retweeted over 781,000 times.


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