The Buzz

TheChat: Did Barack Obama give the “single-finger salute” to voters?

We made it again. Phewww.

▪ “It is appalling that a president of the United States, after having suffered a humiliating defeat in the midterm elections and getting a clear vote of no confidence, would give the voters a single-finger salute of contempt.” — Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, on President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration.

Schlapp, who has deep ties to Kansas, also likened the order to a “royal decree” that bestows legal status to millions who came to the U.S. illegally.

▪ “It is common sense to limit travelers entering the United States who may be exposed to deadly diseases like Ebola.” — Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, a Republican, on a bill he’s introduced with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio aimed at restricting travel to the U.S. from nations afflicted with the disease.

The bill provides an exemption for health workers on the front lines of fighting the disease.

▪ “After we froze tuition again for the third time in six years, this most recent national report shows that our efforts to make Missouri a national leader in college affordability continue to pay real dividends for students and families across our state.” — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon in a visit to Lincoln Prep in Kansas City about new statistics that show Missouri leads the nation in holding down tuition increases at state universities.

Tuition and fees have risen 7.08 percent from the 2008-2014, the smallest jump in the nation, according to the College Board. Kansas is up 24.21 percent while tuition and fees are up nearly 72 percent in Arizona during those same years.

▪ “I don’t anticipate any opportunity to remove Ray Merrick.” — Kansas state Rep. Tom Burroughs, a Kansas City Democrat and assistant minority leader, on an online Democratic Party petition that calls for the firing of Merrick, who is speaker of the House.

Merrick’s comment that state employees “produce nothing” triggered this skirmish, which will go nowhere as conservative Republicans have an iron grip on the levers of power in the House. Merrick said his intended meaning was lost in his remarks, which were “poorly phrased and poorly contextualized.”