The Buzz

TheChat: Gov. Jay Nixon touts Missouri’s standing in the auto world


Happy Friday.

▪ “Today, it’s official: Missouri is America’s truck and van manufacturing headquarters.” — Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday in Excelsior Springs in the wake of Ford’s announcement this week that it’s creating 900 more jobs to build the next-generation F-150 pickup at its Kansas City plant.

Nixon pointed out that expansion by Ford and GM in Missouri are spurring big growth in the automotive supplier network throughout the state, creating jobs and boosting demand for Missouri-made products. The state went out on a limb in 2010 with a multi-million-dollar incentive package to entice Ford to invest in its Kansas City-area plant.

▪ “Recent media coverage of the purchase of a $48,000 grand piano is symptomatic of the inherent flaws in the current formula.” — a line from a Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback news release Thursday in which he announced a 2 percent cut to higher education and a 1.5 percent trim for K-12 public education

That Brownback is linking the funding cuts with the grand piano will drive his critics crazy. A high school in Kansas City, Kan.,is buying a concert grand piano, and the purchase has become a symbol of overspending. Advocates say that’s the cost of teaching kids music these days, and the piano will last decades.

▪ “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.” — President Barack Obama speaking Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington.

The president pointed to groups like ISIS that commits violence in the name of religion and cautioned that “distortions” like that are not unique to any one group of people or place. They have happened even here in this country.

▪ “If we don’t change, we will be in a race to the bottom and we will win the race.” — University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe speaking about his concerns over cuts to higher education.

Wolfe’s remarks were challenged by state Sen. Eric Schmitt, who said Wolfe should spend more time focusing on reviewing UM system finances.