The Buzz

Barney Frank frankly rips Barack Obama


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“Frankly, he should never have said as much as he did, that if you like your current health care plan, you can keep it. That wasn't true. And you shouldn't lie to people. And they just lied to people.” — former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank on President Barack Obama.

Frank, who’s now out of office, was pretty, well, frank on exactly how he feels about Obama in a July interview with HuffPost. One of his key points: Obama blundered by misleading the public about the details of his health care plan.

“Hold on, guys. Come on. You’re not that pent up. I’ve been giving you questions lately.” — Obama at a press briefing Friday in which he stayed longer than usual to answer reporters’ questions.

The key word in the president’s quote above is “lately.” The White House has been so obsessed with message control that the president’s gone months without talking to reporters. Well, message control wasn’t working as the president’s job-approval numbers tanked. Maybe this is Plan B.

“We have not really made a big push.” — Missouri Democratic Party chair Roy Temple on a trio of special elections for state House seats Tuesday that will determine if Republicans can regain a veto-proof majority. (link via

The AP’s David Lieb points out that Republicans need to win just one of three special elections to re-gain their veto-proof House majority — and they are favored to win two of the seats. All this comes just before a major showdown next month with Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon over budget cuts, tax breaks and abortion at the 2014 veto session. Temple makes the point that the party has to pick its targets, given its limited cash. But this strikes us at The Buzz as a lousy time to take a flier if you’re a Missouri Democrat.

“There is a lot of uncertainty with respect to how the amendment would actually work in practice.” — Erin Morrow Hawley, an associate law professor at the University of Missouri who specializes in agricultural issues, speaking about Amendment 1, the “freedom to farm” issue on Tuesday’s ballot.

As pro-amendment and anti-amendment advocates square off before Tuesday’s vote, Hawley may have offered the most accurate view of this issue.