The Buzz

Claire McCaskill blames the mess in Iraq ... on Iraq


The Royals are winning. The U.S. is alive and kicking in the World Cup. And it was a dang nice spring.

Got that?

“The mess that is in Iraq right now is Iraq’s doing.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill in a conference call with Missouri journalists.

The Democrat said all the help the U.S. has given the country has been abandoned “in favor of sectarian dominance.” Nifty sound bite aside, the news that the country is dissolving surprises few long-time observers of Iraq. They say recent events were entirely predictable. The question arises again: Why did we go there in the first place? (link via

“This is just another instance in a long line of instances where the governor and his administration believe that they can spend Missourians’ money better than Missourians can.” — state Sen. Mike Kehoe, a Jefferson City Republican, on Wednesday on Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill aimed at reducing jobless benefits.

Republicans continue to try to dress up this pig as a way to ease burdens on businesses. But unemployed is a lousy place to be, and jobless benefits don’t last that long anyway.

“There is a little bit of a crisis of confidence within Congress about the intelligence community writ large.” — McCaskill, chair of the Subcommittee on Financial & Contracting Oversight. She was calling for increased oversight of intelligence community contractors in light of a new report detailing the failure to assess whether those contractors are doing their work.

This is another example of McCaskill shining a light where lights seldom shine. She continues a tradition that then-Sen. Harry Truman started in World War II with his oversight of wartime contractors.

“What’s the difference between Iraq and Afghanistan? A: About 5 years.” — John Noonan, a top House Armed Services Committee Republican aide, on Twitter last week.

His point: Afghanistan could go the way of Iraq before too long, a sentiment that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel disputes. Still, others predict a similar gloomy outcome.

“Just wanted you to know my three weenie dogs start howling when your show goes off the air.” — a listener of “Up to Date” in a note to yours truly.

What do you say to that?