The Buzz

TheChat: Jerry Moran backs new Cuba policy


Have you been naughty or nice this year? It’s time for a reckoning.

▪ “Cuba is only 90 miles from our border, making it a natural market for U.S. agricultural commodities, including Kansas wheat.” — Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, a Republican, explaining his support for modifying U.S.-Cuba trade policy.

In a statement Monday, Moran said he had long fought to change “unilateral” U.S. sanctions on Cuba, which he described as a “natural market for U.S. agricultural commodities, including Kansas wheat.” He echoed President Barack Obama, adding, “If we have been trying something for over five decades, and it has yet to work, it is time to change direction.”

▪ “Here's what else the $1 trillion spending bill included: secretive last-minute provisions that further open the floodgates of big money into our elections, weakened financial reforms in a way that may once again find taxpayers bailing out Wall Street's bad bets, and could allow for a process by which the pensions of millions of retirees across the country could be dramatically reduced.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, explaining why she opposed the big spending bill last week.

McCaskill said the provisions were dropped into the spending bill with barely any public debate. “Dropping provisions like these into a must-pass bill just isn’t the way to govern,” she said.

▪ “57 percent.” — the percentage of Americans who rated race relations as either “very bad” or “fairly bad,” according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

The Washington Post noted that the last time the figure was higher was in 1995 after the O.J. Simpson verdict.

▪ “After six years of having to pursue economic policies primarily geared toward addressing crises, the party is restless and impatient and wants to start addressing broader issues of inequality and stagnant wages.” — Anita Dunn, a Democratic strategist and former top aide to President Barack Obama.

It’s precisely that dynamic that has caused some Democrats to pine for liberal Elizabeth Warren to seek the presidency. But Warren has said publicly, and privately, that she’s not running against Hillary Clinton. Her role, then, may become pushing Clinton farther left than she’s ordinarily inclined to go.