The Buzz

TheChat: Leon Panetta split with Barack Obama on Iraq

And off we go again.

“Those on our side of the debate viewed the White House as so eager to rid itself of Iraq that it was willing to withdraw rather than lock in arrangements that would preserve our influence and interests.” — former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta writing in his new memoir, in which he criticizes President Barack Obama.

The president doesn’t need this — not right now when his poll numbers are sagging and everyone seems to be questioning his judgment. Now he has a former member of his own national security team doing it. Panetta is taking a stand similar to that of Arizona Sen. John McCain, a Republican.

“Tragic and indefensible.” — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz decrying the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow same-sex marriage rulings to stand in five states.

Cruz, a conservative who’s in Kansas this week to campaign for Sen. Pat Roberts, called the ruling “judicial activism at its worst.” He also vowed to introduce a constitutional amendment allowing states to ban gay marriage.

“This is a silent problem because it's always going to be under-reported.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill talking about campus sexual assault during a visit to southeast Missouri. (link via

McCaskill, who brings her crusade to Kansas City Wednesday, pointed to a single statistic: A recent survey of 440 public and private institutions nationwide showed that 40 percent of them had no sexual assault investigations in the past five years. That means one of two things, the senator said: Either people are being discouraged from filing complaints, or they’re not coming forward.

“It feels like a big traffic jam after a sporting event. There’s a lot of competition for every segment of the party.” — Craig Robinson, ex-executive director of the Iowa GOP, on the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

As things stand today, the prospects for another bloody round of Republican primaries is pretty strong — and that’s a problem for the GOP.