The Buzz

TheChat: Claire McCaskill is exasperated over tax deal


Good morning.

▪ “How are we ever going to get tax reform if we keep giving out goodies at Christmas?” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill expressing skepticism over a new tax deal that key Democrats and the White House are pushing.

The deal would extend three popular tax credits created by the stimulus bill and make permanent two major business tax breaks. But McCaskill, a Democrat, is struggling with it. “I think it’s too big and there are way to many goodies being given out to special interests.” (link via

▪ “If I have overwhelmed you with detail, it is because I want to show you the difference between candidates who come with broad statements, and one who has rolled up his sleeves for Missouri agriculture for the last 10 years.” — Missouri Democratic candidate for governor, Chris Koster, speaking at a Missouri Farm Bureau candidate forum.

Koster’s strong talk suggests he wants to compete for the Farm Bureau’s support, which traditionally has gone to a Republican. Koster outlined his work on chickens, the EPA and against federal regulations.

▪ “Suicide is a threat to people of traditional college age; death by gunshot is the most prevalent suicide mortality. We believe that easier access to guns will mean losing more of our students to suicide.” — a letter from 40 K-State professors asking state lawmakers seeking to stop a plan that would allow concealed carry on the campus.

The guess here is that the letter will have little impact on the gun-rights crowd at the Statehouse.

▪ “He is peaking too early.” — Iowa State Sen. Rick Bertrand, a supporter of Marco Rubio, on the rise of Ted Cruz.

Rubio has so far taken an above-the-fray approach to campaigning, not speaking ill of his fellow GOP candidates. But that’s changed now as he zeroes in on Cruz, the Texas senator who’s climbing in the polls.