The Buzz

TheChat: Claire McCaskill returns from Cuba with strong feelings about the embargo

Good morning.

▪ “Lifting the embargo won’t just be a boon for Missouri jobs — it’ll also strip the Castro regime of its biggest excuse for why its people aren’t free and prosperous.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill who just returned from a quick trip to Cuba.

The idea of ending the embargo has bipartisan support, but many Republicans won’t like this idea. In a statement, McCaskill said the process, while complicated, is worth undertaking because of the benefits for Missouri farmers and ranchers.

▪ “School districts get this choice because the governor’s fiscal experiment is failing.” — former Kansas budget director Duane Goossen, who also is a former Republican state lawmaker, writing in a column for Insight Kansas about Gov. Sam Brownback’s decision to cut school funding by $127 million.

Goossen also defended the state’s school finance formula that Brownback wants to abolish as a policy that “makes sense of a complex situation and provides funding in a fair and consistent way.”

▪ “It’s extraordinarily important that what we try to convey to Missourians how a Republican in the governor’s mansion ... will make a difference in their lives.” — GOP candidate for governor Catherine Hanaway steering away from questions about her chief rival, state auditor Tom Schweich, in the race for the Republican nomination.

Hanaway and Schweich avoided barbs aimed at each other during this weekend’s Reagan Lincoln Days in Kansas City. Some Republicans already are nervous about the contentious nature of the race between the two. But at the annual gathering of Republicans here, it was all politeness and good behavior.

▪ “Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes and all senior management are in full support of Bill O’Reilly.” — a statement from the network on the controversy surrounding the Fox News host.

O’Reilly may have something of a “Brian Williams problem,” but he doesn’t appear close to leaving the air, as NBC’s Williams has. Part of that is because O’Reilly was outed by a liberal publication, Mother Jones, which removed some of the sting. And part of it may be because of O’Reilly’s quick and passionate defense of himself.