The Buzz

TheChat: Uncertainty, indirection, confusion mark the path forward in Topeka


Good morning.

▪ “We’re trying to get direction from the caucus of where we need to go.” — Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce on the challenge of figuring out how to craft a path forward as the Kansas Legislature struggles to close a $400 million budget gap.

That path forward remains shrouded in fog and uncertainty for conservative Republicans who lead the Legislature. Portions of Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposed remedy are getting attention. But a solution to end the session remains out of anyone’s reach.

▪ “You take this plan and shove it." — Kansas state Sen. Greg Smith, an Overland Park Republican, on one proposal that went heavy on eliminating income-tax deductions.

“Are we going to fix this turd or not?” — Kansas state Sen. Jim Denning, another Overland Park Republican, on his frustration with the magnitude of Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax cut for certain businesses. He wants to modify the cut.

The rhetoric is, shall we say, growing heated under the dome as lawmakers head into their 103rd day of the 2015 session.

▪ “[To] those who believe we can disengage from the world at large and be safe from leading from behind: Vote for someone else. I am not your man.” — South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham on Monday announcing his plans for run for president.

Graham, a Republican, is a hawk, and national security will be one of his key issues. The best way to defend America, he said, is to lead the world.

▪ “Maybe we were not skeptical enough.” — CBS’ Bob Schieffer of Barack Obama’s 2008 run for the White House.

Schieffer ended his role as host of “Face the Nation” on Sunday and was asked on Fox if the media had been too easy on Obama when he ran for president the first time.