The Buzz

TheChat: On this Independence Day, America has reasons to pull together


Happy Independence Day.

▪ “In this great, free country, there’s always more that unites us than divides us. And it’s those values that we should never compromise—values that have, for 240 years, made this the greatest country in the world.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill in a Fourth of July statement.

Well said.

▪ “We’re always looking for ways to give new choices to consumers.” — Missouri state Sen. Eric Schmitt, a Glendale Republican, on a measure he sponsored that Gov. Jay Nixon signed into law, that expands where beer growlers can be sold.

Growlers are half-gallon jugs of beer. Nixon rejected two other alcohol-related measures, including one that allows alcohol sales on smaller boats and another permitting people attending events in stadiums to order drinks on mobile apps.

▪ “For me on my farm, it’s been a huge benefit. When you look at the future of sustainability and being able to feed a hugely growing world, we’ve got to have ways and technology that we can utilize to improve. Because there’s no more land being made.” — Ronnie Russell, who farms near Richmond, Missouri, on the need to grow crops with genetically modified seed.

A huge battle is looming over whether products produced with genetically modified organisms should be labeled as such. Vermont last week became the first state to require labels. Russell worries that labels will stigmatize his crops.

▪ “Governor Brownback has blown through the state’s savings, put our monthly bills on the credit card, taken out payday loans to make ends meet and is now holding our children’s education hostage.” — Kansas House Minority Leader Tom Burroughs, a Kansas City, Kan., Democrat, on the latest budget cuts Brownback made to balance the state budget.

This round was triggered by a $33.5 million revenue shortfall in the final month of the fiscal year. Democrats continue to decry the 2012 Brownback tax cuts, but the governor is showing no signs of going back on that decision.