The Buzz

TheChat: Claire McCaskill scoffs at turn toward military spending secrecy


Here we go again:

▪ “I’m offended that this previously unclassified information is now being classified.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, on newly classified information pertaining to how U.S. money was spent to train Afghan army and police forces.

Military commanders are now keeping all kinds of information under wraps because, they say, it could endanger American and Afghan lives. Never mind that the info has been available for years and that Afghan officials regard the information as public.

▪ “Get out of here, you low-life scum.” — Arizona Sen. John McCain to protestors criticizing the appearance of Henry Kissinger at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Thursday.

McCain said he’d never seen anything as “disgraceful and outrageous and despicable” as what he saw at the hearing. But low-life scum? Ugh.

▪ “Don’t let New Hampshire be the next Kansas” — headline over a column in the Concord (N.H.) Monitor.

The column, by state Rep. Len DiSesa, a Democrat, warns residents about the dangers of cutting taxes, limiting spending and downsizing state government. “We need to be careful of what we wish for,” DiSesa wrote.

▪ “It’s really unconscionable that there are tax delinquents working as tax collectors.” — Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts introducing a bill that would block federal employees who are overdue on their taxes from receiving bonuses.

Roberts, a Republican, aimed the bill squarely at the IRS in the wake of the controversy over the agency targeting conservative groups. The senator said he was especially upset at the idea that IRS workers are behind in their taxes.

▪ “You don’t know how these legislative battles go if you don’t have them, and we intend to have this one.” — Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican, on a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security.

The department faces the possibility of a shutdown given the controversy over President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Congressional leaders are trying to work their way out of the jam. One step Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is taking is calling for a vote next week on a House-passed funding bill that reverses the Obama executive actions.