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TheChat: New Missouri speaker works at high level

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▪ “John plays chess when everyone else plays checkers.” — Missouri state Rep. Caleb Jones, a Columbia Republican, talking about the state’s incoming House speaker, John Diehl.

The Post-Dispatch’s Virginia Young portrayed Diehl in a profile as shrewd, ambitious and perhaps too cozy with developers. Given the new super-sized GOP House majority in Jefferson City, Diehl will be something else, too — a counterpoint to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. (link courtesy of johncombest.com).

▪ “The Legislature is going to run the state of Missouri over the next two years, not Governor Nixon.” — House Speaker Tim Jones, a Eureka Republican, talking about the power the General Assembly gained as the result of voter passage of a constitutional amendment that gives lawmakers new authority over the budget.

Jones makes a pretty solid point here. The balance of power has definitely shifted in favor of the Legislature in the wake of passage of Amendment 10. The amendment allows lawmakers to override gubernatorial decisions to freeze or slow spending for budgeted programs, the AP’s David Lieb writes.

▪ “The president’s call for Internet regulation hurts innovation, hampers job growth and is bad for consumers.” — Missouri

Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican, on President Barack Obama’s call for more regulation of the Internet.

Obama takes the seemingly contradictory view that the the Internet must be more heavily regulated to remain open and independent. He specifically opposes the idea of allowing certain websites, such as Amazon, to operate on Internet “fast lanes,” which would give them a competitive edge over other similar companies. FCC Chair Tom Wheeler and some Republicans are backing the fast-lanes approach.

▪ In “today’s politics, the hyper-partisanship and the huge campaign spending, has permanently warped our old understanding of political norms.” — GOP pollster Bill McInturff, of Public Opinion Strategies.

McInturff’s point is that in the not-so-olden days, a politician with job-approval numbers over 50 percent was regarded as dead meat politically. Today, not so much. Take Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts. He went into election day with a 34 percent favorable poll standing and a 54 percent unfavorable. Yet, he still beat independent Greg Orman by more than 10 points.

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