The Buzz

TheChat: High waters in eastern Missouri continue to amaze, alarm

Blunt (right) receives a flood briefing
Blunt (right) receives a flood briefing

A new week, a new year. Let’s get to it:

▪ “I can't remember a time when interstate 44 and interstate 70 were closed at the same time.” — Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt on a visit to view flooding in Cape Girardeau.

Blunt said with the way things are going, citizens can probably expect another massive flood in 20 years. (link courtesy of

▪ “It needs to be aired.” — Kansas state Rep. John Barker, an Abilene Republican and chair of the House Judiciary Committee, on a bill his committee will hear that would ban discrimination against gay Kansans.

The bill is in response to Gov. Sam Brownback’s decision last year to rescind workplace protections against discrimination for gay and lesbian state workers. Former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius had established the ban.

▪ “Nearly two years.” — the amount of time Kansas’ $3 billion-a-ear KanCare program has gone without an inspector general.

The inspector general would check for fraud and abuse in the program that administers Medicaid, the health care program for the poor. State officials have increased the salary in an attempt to attract better candidates.

▪ “Chuck Schumer has more political skills, shrewdness and instinct in his pinkie than Clinton seems to display out on the presidential campaign trail.” — Kellyanne Conway, a GOP pollster, extolling the skills of the New York senator who is about to become the Senate’s next Democratic leader.

One difference between Schumer and outgoing Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi? Schumer is feared more than he is loathed.