The Buzz

TheChat: Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill takes dead aim at the Defense Department


Good morning.

▪ “If this is true, the Pentagon played Congress and the American public for fools.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, on a Washington Post report that detailed how the Defense Department buried a study that exposed $125 billion in administrative waste.

The department was worried that Congress would use the findings as an excuse to cut defense spending. “I vow to get to the bottom of this,” McCaskill said in a statement..

▪ “Expanding paid leave policies is good for families, businesses and the economy; it's simply the right thing to do.” — Wendy Doyle, president and CEO of the Kansas City-based Women’s Foundation, on the news that IKEA was expanding its paid parental leave program.

Doyle said she hoped other businesses follow suit. Foundation research shows that paid family leave can reduce the percentage of those who receive public assistance in the year following a child’s birth.

▪ “The political pendulum swings in Missouri back and forth. It seems like every couple cycles one party is written off.” — Stephen Webber, the new Missouri Democratic Party chairman, on the party’s fate going forward.

Democrats came close to running the table in 2008, Webber noted. He knows that one key will be finding a way to elect Democrats in rural Missouri. The new slate of Democratic Party leaders are all under 40. (link via

▪ “The possibility of constitutional change is in the air.” — law professor Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, on the idea that Republicans could seek a constitutional convention.

The GOP controls legislatures om 33 states. That’s one shy of the two-thirds required to initiate a convention. Among the to-do items being discussed for a such a gathering: a balanced federal budget amendment and congressional term limits.