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Lingua publica

The good and the bad...

web posted January 28, 2002

"A Great Power should always keep its powder dry for the supreme fight. We are in one now. And no amount of casualties will deter us." -- Charles Krauthammer

"Before our very eyes, history is being transformed into politically correct fantasy." -- Paul Craig Roberts

"[Leftists] love erasing the truth. They call their lies 'legally accurate,' 'affirmative action,' 'saving the Constitution' -- and now, 'art'." -- Ann Coulter

"So the controversial memorial to the fallen New York City firefighters will not be built after all. ... At least nobody was planning to depict the Sept. 11 attackers as a religiously diverse and politically satisfying group of Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim and Hindu terrorists." -- John Leo

"What our country deserves from everyone who enjoys its fruits and freedoms is a little more gratitude -- and a lot less greed." -- Michelle Malkin

"In Clintonesque fashion, the Democratic leadership in Washington is putting their party before the nation -- and the nation sees it." -- Rush Limbaugh

"The thing that kind of bothers me is his little angelic look about this feigning of sincerity." -- House Majority Leader Dick Armey on Tom Daschle

"Why can't we honor brave men as individuals, rather than representatives of their tribe -- white, black or Hispanic. Race is an accident of birth, courage is a conscious choice.... While Americans come in all colors, patriotism has no special hue -- neither does duty or honor." -- Don Feder

"In the United States Senate, one of the things I observed in the early days -- and it's still used -- and that is that you take someone's argument and then you misrepresent it and misstate and disagree with it. And it's very effective. I've done it myself a number of times. But eventually, eventually people catch on." -- Teddy Kennedy (D-Mass.) on the need to raise taxes

"Ladies and gentlemen, this economic slowdown had begun before we passed the tax cut -- and most of it hasn't even gone into effect...Even hinting at a tax hike... is about the worst move we could make." -- Zell Miller (D-Georgia) on the need to lower taxes

"Our internal bickering may be just what the terrorist ordered, the better to distract us from what really does matter, starting with this: Wonder what Osama's up to today?" -- Kathleen Parker

"Minimizing the consequences of folly maximizes the amount of folly. However, the primary cause of Enron's collapse was not risky behavior arising from belief in a net under them. Rather, the cause was the growing arrogance of executives who became confident that no one was looking over their shoulders, watching -- and understanding -- what they were doing." -- George Will

"This is the story Democrats need to repeat until November. They need to tell it till it hurts, because only when the media get sated with the story will the country have fully digested it." -- Chris Matthews advising Democrats to "pound home" the Enron story

"In the case of President Clinton, whom I'd known since the late 70s, we'd editorially supported virtually every aspect of his program, and were particularly evangelical I would say about his medical care reform package." -- New York Times Executive Editor Howell Raines on the paper's support for Bill Clinton

"There are not so many [U.S. military] people here as to constitute a sort of occupation or anything like that. That's not the purpose of it. It is correct to say it is not just in this region. We have systems in the military. We review everything every four years and then they [the Saudis] have systems within every four-year period to review other things." -- Bill Clinton "speaking" in Saudi Arabia

"Come on, get onto something serious, Russert." -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, when asked by NBC's Tim Russert whether he saw himself as America's stud at 69 years old

"George Bush [is] wondering what economic book Daschle [is] reading from [when blaming the recession on tax cuts that have not been implemented]. Das Kapital comes to mind." -- Tom Adkins

"Great powers have not traditionally preoccupied themselves with inventing currencies, preferring to leave that to banana republics." -- Mark Steyn

"Liberal compassion has been mugged by reality." -- Michael Novak

"Indeed, being against nuclear war is one of those easy positions, like opposing child abuse, puppy torture, or tributes to Barbra Streisand." -- Jonah Goldberg

"The idiot shoe-bomber pleaded not guilty today. Not guilty? Two hundred people on an airplane saw you try to light a bomb in your shoe on fire. Where does he think he is -- L.A.?" -- Jay Leno

"One of Osama bin Laden's relatives has started his own fashion line. I believe it is his brother Tommy bin Laden. Tommy is the one that doesn't have any wives, if you know what I mean." -- David Letterman

"ABC News said the CIA thinks Osama bin Laden slipped their grasp and escaped the region by sea. The CIA denied the report, and said that he's staying somewhere in a Taliban-friendly environment. He's just been granted tenure at Berkeley." -- Argus Hamilton

web posted January 21, 2002

"President Kennedy and President Reagan understood that the best way to put more money in people's wallets is to leave it there in the first place. After all, when you can keep most of what you earn, you have more incentive to be productive and earn more. As your income grows, you spend and save more. And that fuels economic growth. But the long-term logic of this seems to escape most liberals." -- Edwin Feulner

"Last week, one of the widows of September 11th launched the inevitable lawsuit against United Airlines. If I was United, my defense would be that we were in full compliance with everything the federal government required of us: 9/11 was not a failure of security, but of policy. The official in charge of that policy, [Transportation Secretary] Mr. [Norman] Mineta, appears to have learned nothing. But he can't be sacked because, in Mr. Bush's otherwise Republican team, he's the token Democrat, and he's also the first Asian-American Cabinet Secretary. He is, in that sense, the most prominent beneficiary of political profiling, which, unfortunately for the rest of us, is the only acceptable kind." -- Mark Steyn

"Military success breeds success. Let the breeding proceed until every state that harbors and supports terrorism begins, either through sincere conversion or sincere fear, to eliminate those who slaughter innocent people for political ends." -- Barry Farber

"...[There is] a clear, unmistakable threat that al Qaeda could attack the United States again. We must be prepared, we must be alert, we must be vigilant. Al Qaeda-trained terrorists may act on their own, or as part of the terrorist network, but we must assume that they will act." -- Attorney General John Ashcroft commenting on new charges issued last week against al Qaeda-trained sneaker-bomber Richard Reid

"In an administration of realists, [Secretary of State Colin] Powell is as out of place as a ballerina in a bikers' bar." -- Don Feder

"To put the Enron money collected by Bush in his campaigns into perspective, John Huang raised 800 grand -- easily -- in just two White House coffees." -- Rush Limbaugh

"The Democrats, have become a party out of the New Deal era -- patriotic on foreign policy, statist domestically." -- Michael Barone

"Immigration policy must now be considered a matter of national security. America has the same sovereign right to defend itself against enemies when the enemy attacks us from within." -- Rep. Ron Paul

"Liberals love victims. They just don't have much emotional energy left over to be certain that sound results are achieved (from the perspective of the needy). In fact, when people actually become less needy, liberals lose their reason for being -- and their base of support." -- Michael Novak

"In one century we went from teaching Latin and Greek in high school to offering remedial English in college." -- Joseph Sobran

"For more than 40 years, the heathen left have successfully executed a systematic, step by step dismantlement of a structure of morals and values carefully put in place to protect the history, heritage and cultural identity of America." -- Linda Bowles

"Faulting the tax cut for the newfound deficits is like blaming the person who grabbed the last slice of pizza for eating the whole thing. In other words, it's the spending, stupid!" -- Joel Mowbray

"The curtain was pulled back on Tom Daschle, and a bitter partisan, bully and man who puts politics above everything was exposed." -- Oliver North

"Our country has labored under a federal income tax system that is inconsistent with the liberty of a free people." -- Rep. Roscoe Bartlett

"The fashionable idiocy that haters must have justifications is one of those ideas that George Orwell said only an intellectual could believe -- because no one else could be such a fool." -- Thomas Sowell

"That Japanese admiral declared that he feared the attack on Pearl Harbor had 'awakened a sleeping giant'." -- CBS correspondent Bob Schieffer on the year in review, with some fractured history, as "that admiral" was Isoroku Yamamoto, and he never uttered anything about "waking a sleeping giant" -- it was the Hollywood-imagined line read by an actor playing the part of Yamamoto in the movie "Tora! Tora! Tora!"

"It is a business scandal story. There is absolutely not even a whiff of political scandal in this thing so far. And it's really funny to watch the Washington press corps try to manufacture it." -- MSNBC analyst Lawrence O'Donnell on the collapse of Enron

"America is a better place today because of the 50-plus years she has given to the noble work of journalism." -- Bill Clinton on Helen Thomas

"I always thought he [John Ashcroft] was a scary, creepy guy, but now that there are even scarier and creepier people in the world, I'm kind of glad he's on our side. You know, it's like, hey, we have a nut, too." --Bill Maher, host of ABC show "Politically Incorrect"

"I always love being introduced by a matinee television idol." -- U.S. President George Bush after Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld introduced him at the Pentagon signing of the defense appropriations bill, with good-natured ribbing about Rumsfeld's image as the administration's "babe magnet"

"Mass murderers should be executed (as should petty ones). Indeed, should the executions be held at a NASCAR track, fans would pay $100 a ticket in a New York minute. Send us your huddling predators, yearning to be free. We know just what to do with them." -- Dave Shiflett

"Michael Jordan and his wife are getting a divorce. It turns out Jordan has had half a dozen girlfriends over the past few years. Hey, forget the NBA, this guy is presidential material." -- David Letterman

"Al Qaeda prisoners were flown to Cuba under very tight security. They were chained to their seats, sedated and crammed together. No matter what the Geneva Convention says, we want them to know what it's like to fly coach in America." -- Argus Hamilton

web posted January 14, 2002

"Sometimes it is hard to know the truth, but you don't get around that by reporting every claim by an enemy regime with a long history of lying -- and then pretending to believe that it is just as credible as what you have learned from more reliable sources. Much of the media has a confusion between being objective and creating an arbitrary 'balance' between 'the two sides.' Objectivity is about facts. Medical science can be objective about the facts about a disease without being neutral as between the bacteria and the patient. Medical researchers' objectivity about the facts is what enables them to discover how to save the patient's life and kill the bacteria. News-gathering does not have to stop during a war. But news is what has actually happened. Rumors and speculation are not news. Nor are American military plans news. Reporting these plans and jeopardizing Americans' lives is espionage." -- Thomas Sowell

"I believe many Americans, including this correspondent, would support massive spending of tax dollars if the money would fix social problems and make the world a better place. But the brutal truth is that we don't have the solutions to most of the world's dilemmas, and this 'spend more money' philosophy is simply designed to make the left feel better about life. It is a shell game extraordinaire, and we are the nuts." -- Bill O'Reilly

"Historians like to give names to various eras, the Age of Faith or the Age of Reason. Ours can only be called the Age of Terrorism, for we are no longer dealing with the isolated acts of bandits or deranged killers; those we have always had. What we are living through is a revolt against all ordered society, a war on civilization itself." -- Vermont Royster

"For the Palestinian strongman [Yasser Arafat], terrorism is diplomacy by other means. ... If Arafat were sincere about fighting terrorism, he'd have to arrest himself." -- Don Feder

"The American experiment is a moral, not just a political, exercise. And as such, it assumes certain things to be true about human nature...." -- Charles Colson

"We seem not to have learned a basic lesson of history: Capitalism harnesses human self interest; socialism exhausts itself trying to kill it." -- Linda Bowles

"Americans as donors and taxpayers have been far too generous with the higher education establishment. It's about time we stop paying for campus anti-Americanism and academic dishonesty. Nothing opens the closed minds of college administrators more than the sounds of pocketbooks snapping shut." -- Walter Williams

"Not over my dead body will they raise your taxes." -- U.S. President George W. Bush

"Remember the initial post-Sept. 11 why-do-they-hate us angst? How could we possibly defeat this powerful, fanatical, ingrained, battle-hardened, religiously grounded enemy? We discovered the answer: satellite-guided thousand-pounders with the odd daily cutter thrown in." -- Charles Krauthammer

"Doesn't Chrysler know that its cars will be used in bank robberies and drive-by shootings? Can't Rawlings foresee that thugs will use its baseball bats to deliver vicious beatings? Isn't Stanley aware that adolescent toughs (not to mention hijackers) use its box cutters as weapons?" -- Jacob Sullum applying consistently the same argument an Illinois appeals court accepted as basis for suing gunmakers and gun sellers

"Americans, the most practical people almost anywhere, prefer doers to thinkers, the earthy to the esoteric, hard heads to soft IQs and plain thinking to squishy sophistication." -- Suzanne Fields

"Americans stand in jeopardy of remembering Geraldo Rivera, Christiane Amanapour or Ashleigh Banfield as the heroes of the Afghan War. Relentlessly narcissistic and buoyed by cloying network anchors at home, reporters such as these have used dramatic license to heighten the sense of personal danger to themselves and thus tacitly direct their reporting towards the inevitable conclusion -- 'ain't I a hero?'" -- Decorated Gulf War combat veteran John Hillen

"I know something about the culture of obfuscation." -- Former Clinton legal advisor Lanny Davis on the Enron debacle

"The incentives are all for fudging the numbers and lying like hell.... That means the administration has one hell of an advantage on this." -- Rep. David Obey (D-Wisconsin), ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, on "bipartisan" governmental budget processes

"If you look to our societies, we are already registered from birth until death. Our governments know who we are and what we are. ... It's a basic rule of management that if you want to manage something, you measure it. It's the same with human beings and migration. But instead of measuring it, you have to register them." -- Belgium's Pascal Smet at a UN meeting to discuss the need to fingerprint and register everyone in the world under a universal identification scheme

"I want to thank you for taking time out of your day to come and witness my hanging. Fortunately it's my portrait." -- President George W. Bush at the Texas Capitol unveiling of his official gubernatorial portrait

"The embargo on red whine has been lifted." -- Ron Marr on recent Leftist attacks on economic and faith-based conservatism

"Politicians are wonderful people as long as they stay away from things they don't understand, such as working for a living." -- P.J. O'Rourke

"A friend notes that Monica Lewinsky is 28 this week. And it seems like only yesterday she was crawling around on the floor of the Oval Office." -- Lyn Nofziger

"It's cold out East -- so cold that Al Gore said he is now in favor of global warming!" -- Jay Leno

"It snowed! You can tell New York City is still jumpy, because when people saw the white powder falling they started taking Cipro." -- David Letterman

"Don Rumsfeld said the Navy is building a high security jail in Guantanamo Bay for al Qaeda detainees. It has four guard towers and barbed wire. Cuba's building codes require that the facility look like all the other buildings in the neighborhood." -- Argus Hamilton

web posted January 7, 2002

"Although I have to leave you as mayor soon, I resume the much more honorable title of citizen of New York and citizen of the United States." -- Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani

"And, of course, liberals see no problem with using the government to impose their cultural beliefs on others; they just won't admit that's what they're doing." -- Jonah Goldberg

"I hope Americans are guilty of 'intolerance.' I hope we have zero tolerance for those who aspire to destroy us as a nation." -- Brent Bozell

"There is a point where political correctness becomes an acid that erodes freedom." -- Bill O'Reilly

"Media bias in editorials and columns is one thing. Media fraud in reporting 'facts' in news stories is something else. ...The issue is not what various journalists or news organizations' editorial views are. The issue is the transformation of news reporting into ideological spin, along with self-serving taboos and outright fraud." -- Thomas Sowell

"The only time [the news media] utter the words 'left wing' is when they're talking about an airplane." -- Bernard Goldberg

"But as you know, some people are also saying it just opens old wounds at a time when we're trying to have political unity in this country. Was that part of your consideration? ... You've lived in the political culture long enough to know that admirers of the Clintons or other people who are neutral in all of this are going to say, 'Look, this is just a continuation of a political vendetta against that couple'." -- NBC anchor Tom Brokaw hectoring Solicitor General Ted Olson about his decision to go ahead with publication of "The Final Days: A Behind the Scenes Look at the Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House," by his wife, Barbara, who was murdered on the airliner that crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001

"... [Bill Clinton] was sustaining an unprecedented attack on his presidency, an effort to oust him for reasons that had nothing to do with abuse of power. What's more, the entire impeachment process had been propelled by an effort to 'get' Clinton -- the 'vast right-wing conspiracy' of Hillary's telling and accurate phrase." --Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen explaining how Republicans distracted Clinton from neutralizing Osama bin Laden

"I think people need to understand what's going on the other side of the equation, how the U.S. is viewed by its critics." -- Harvard's Alex S. Jones arguing on behalf of Osama bin Laden's perspective, forgetting perhaps that bin Laden's perspective was on display on September 11

"Donations of this type reflect certain political realities which are followed by all major corporations." -- Robert Bennett on the $100,000 energy trader Enron Corp. donated to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in late November, as the company was a week out of bankruptcy filings. Notably, the media failed to call for an investigation as it did for Enron's donations to Republican groups

"Bill Clinton has always asked a lot of his friends. But this time he really, really wants a lot. He's counting on a small circle of spinners, hypesters, prevaricators, hucksters and over-the-hill midway men to find his reputation, disinfect it, scrub it down, polish it up and make it fit for decent company. That's a tall order." -- Wesley Pruden on the "Summit to Rewrite the Clinton Legacy"

"Frivolity is so over, so last-decade. That's why witty airheads like Maureen Dowd now come across as op-ed dinosaurs, and the scandals that seemed delicious last summer, such as Chandra's disappearance, Rudy's divorce, and the Bush twins' misadventures in Margaritaville, have all the resonance of middle Babylonian history." -- Charlotte Allen

"If you give a man a fish he will eat for a day. But if you teach a man to fish he will buy an ugly hat. And if you talk about fish to a starving man then you're a consultant." -- Scott Adams in the comic strip "Dilbert"

"A rattlesnake loose in the living room tends to end all discussion of animal rights." -- Time magazine's Lance Morrow on Middle East relations after September 11

"Everything was more important than fighting terrorism. Political correctness, civil liberties concerns, fear of offending the administration's supporters, Janet Reno's objections, considerations of cost, worries about racial profiling and, in the second term, surviving impeachment, all came before fighting terrorism." -- Dick Morris on the Clinton era

"Here we have a president who defended perjury, had the meaning of the word 'is' changed to fit his own definition, yet he couldn't find a lawyer to find a way to take out bin Laden? Instead, we fire 66 missiles in one day with no follow-up campaign, which weakened our prestige in the Middle East. When I look at what the Clinton administration said -- and did -- it was astounding." -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich -- nearly incredulous at reports Sudan had offered to hunt down bin Laden and turn him over to the U.S., but Bill Clinton declined the offer for "legal reasons"

"Just exactly what is it about displaying national pride that could possibly be offensive to foreigners who are among us as a matter of privilege? Why would anyone be offended at our cause against terrorism? And, if they are, should we defer to their misguided thinking?" -- David Limbaugh

"The theory goes like this. Our enemy in Afghanistan is religious extremism and intolerance. It's therefore more important than ever to honor the ideals of tolerance -- religious, sexual, racial, reproductive -- at home. The GOP is out of the mainstream, some Democrats will argue [this] year, because it's too dependent upon an intolerant 'religious right'." -- Newweek's Howard Fineman on reports that Democrats are planning a media campaign that would demonize the Christian right

"We are determined to fight this evil and fight until we are rid of it. We will not wait for more innocent deaths. We will not wait for the authors of mass murder to gain the weapons of mass destruction. We act now because we must lift this dark threat from our age and save generations to come." -- U.S. President George W. Bush

"Thirty-nine percent of Americans say that George W. Bush is the man they admire most, according to a Gallup poll. This is the highest rating in the history of Gallup polls. The figure could go higher, though. They're still waiting on votes from Florida. After those are in, the rating will skyrocket!" -- Jay Leno

"Don Rumsfeld assured that Osama bin Laden will be captured soon by the massive manhunt out to find him. He's only safe if he goes home to Saudi Arabia. It's the one place on earth where nobody needs the $25 million." -- Argus Hamilton


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