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Lingua publica

The good and the bad...presented with permission from The Patriot E-Journal

web posted January 28, 2013

"'We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries,' President Obama said ... in his second inaugural address. 'We must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure -- our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God.' ... The new 'green energy economy' that Obama has repeatedly spoken of ... has always been among the most optimistic features of his vision for America. But given that it is an economically impossible pipe dream, it is also one of the biggest flops of his presidency. ... Obama rejected calls to lower the debt, ignored unemployment and basically assumed the economy was well on the road to recovery. It's not. Economic growth is slowing, and our nation's unemployment rate is stuck at 7.8 percent. A new push by Obama's Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon is exactly what the economy, and America, does not need right now." --The Washington Examiner

"[T]his is the worst recovery in modern history going back to 1947, just barely running at 2% growth. [Obama] never mentioned growth. He never mentioned jobs. He never mentioned unemployment. ... What I heard Mr. Obama basically imply [Monday] is that the pursuit of happiness is the pursuit of equality of result. Not the equality of opportunity, but the equality of result. And that he would do what he could to use the government to make everybody more equal, in terms of their income and their life's work. And that is exactly wrong. We should be rewarding success; we should be promoting entrepreneurship; we should be promoting individual effort and opportunity, and I didn't hear that. I didn't hear an opportunity speech. I heard an income leveling speech." --economist Larry Kudlow

"President Barack Obama set a new standard ... for stupidly exploitative White House events by appearing onstage with children to unveil his gun control proposals. ... News flash: Kids don't want bad things to happen. This would be a genuinely useful insight ... if we could write public policy in crayon. The White House event smacked of the old unilateral disarmament campaigns of the 1980s when we were supposed to get rid of our nuclear weapons because they scared youngsters. We can safely assume that the kids onstage with Obama don't have a fine-grained sense of the limits of gun control or a proper regard for the Second Amendment. That's OK, though -- neither does he." --columnist Rich Lowry

"The central question as to whether gun control laws save lives or cost lives has generated many factual studies over the years. But these studies have been like the proverbial tree that falls in an empty forest, and has been heard by no one -- certainly not by zealots who have made up their minds and don't want to be confused by the facts. Most factual studies show no reduction in gun crimes, including murder, under gun control laws. A significant number of studies show higher rates of murder and other gun crimes under gun control laws." --economist Thomas Sowell

"[W]e have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. ... We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms. ... Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law -- for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. ... Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia, to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm. ... [T]he oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction. And we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service." --Barack Obama

"Do not patronize the passionate supporters of your opponents by looking down your nose at them. ... A lot of these people ... all they've got is their hunting and their fishing. Or they're living in a place where they don't have much police presence. Or they've been listening to this stuff for so long that they believe it all." --Bill Clinton on why Democrats should be careful with gun control

"I think those of us in the pro-gun safety movement should accept the Heller decision and say there's a constitutional right to arms, and it's no less important than the right to free speech, the right against search and seizure. But Heller also said that there should be reasonable limitations. They're allowed reasonable limitations. I don't think that [anyone] needs an assault weapon. I don't think [anyone] needs a hundred round clip [sic]." --Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

"We Democrats have always intended to do a budget this year. We're going to do a budget this year and it's going to have revenues in it. And our Republican colleagues better get used to that fact." --Chuck Schumer

"I worry a bit about 2014, when we don't have the president at the top of the ticket. We have a disproportionately number of older white guys, and frankly, being one of those types, we're the most insecure component of our society as far as I'm concerned; we're much the problem with these kinds of things." --Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA)

"We must make gun trafficking a federal crime." --Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) (Let's start with Fast and Furious.)

"This man has already done an absolutely remarkable job. I want you to know something else about this guy Barack Obama -- he's just getting started." --Joe Biden (Which is what we're afraid of.)

"I'm proud to be president of the United States." --Vice President Joe Biden at the Iowa State Society inauguration ball

"I think [the Second Amendment] was limited to muskets myself, but the Supreme Court differs on this." --Politico's Evan Thomas

"The only civilians who 'need' an AR-15 assault rifle are those who want to commit mass murder. That's what they do." --CNN's Piers Morgan

"[W]hat happened in Newtown was probably the worst day in this country's history since 9/11. We found Osama bin Laden. We tracked him down. We changed the way that we dealt with that problem. Surely, finding Osama bin Laden; surely, passing civil rights legislation, as Lyndon Johnson was able to do; and before that, surely, defeating the Nazis, was a much more formidable task than taking on the gun lobby." --CBS's Bob Schieffer

"[The current gun debate] reminds me a lot of what happened in the South in the 1960s during the civil rights movement. ... And now a lot of people who I know who grew up during that time have deep regrets about not speaking out." --Ex-NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw (Except this time, he's advocating taking away Liberty.)

"[O]n the state level, there is this consistent erosion in terms of access to abortion, in terms of abortion rights, and I think young people if, you know, polls are to be believed and they voted for Democrats and they believe that abortion should be legal, I think feminist groups and pro-abortion groups have to find a way to engage them and educate them because they're going to be the ones that are on these grassroots levels and at the state levels." --Washington Post's Nia-Malika Henderson on Sanctity of Life Day

"I've been duck hunting since I was 10-years-old. I love to hunt and I love to be able to share that joy with my kids. But for the life of me, I don't know why the hell people have to have an assault weapon." --Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta

"There is nothing the president proposed ... that would result, if enacted, in anyone -- any law-abiding citizen in America losing a gun. The president made clear ... his full support for the Second Amendment and the Second Amendment rights of American citizens. He also made clear that we have an obligation, and American citizens, including our most vulnerable, youngest American citizens, have rights, too. And we have an obligation to uphold those rights, including the rights of seven-year-olds to live without the fear of being gunned down in their own school." --White House Press Secretary Jay Carney

"I don't know if you know the genesis of the right to bear arms. The Second Amendment comes from the right to protect themselves from slave revolts, and from uprisings by Native Americans." --actor Danny Glover (Actually, that's the genesis of gun control.)

"I think the nation is very divided on gun control, but I think the majority of us feel strongly -- even the majority of gun owners feel strongly -- that we need to make some sacrifice to our freedoms, if that's the way to put it. We need to make some sacrifices to what we might want to have, in order to safeguard our children. I think there's a limit to how much -- I think the founding fathers wanted us to be able to arm ourselves, but I don't think that they would have agreed that we should have the capacity to do the damage that we do have." --singer-songwriter James Taylor, forgetting Ben Franklin

"President Obama said this week that he wants to find a 'pathway for citizenship' for immigrants in the United States. Don't we have that? It's called the Rio Grande river." --comedian Jay Leno

"CBS News star Bob Schieffer compared President Obama's battle with the NRA to the effort to defeat Hitler. It's a new low for the media. It just poured salt on the wound the next day when CBS apologized to the surviving members of the Hitler family." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"A new study shows that 60% of young Americans plan to buy firearms. The other 40% were confused, saying they thought they were free under Obamacare." --Fred Thompson

"Oh man, am I glad Obama's 2nd inauguration is over. That period between the election and the start of the 2nd term was the absolute worst. I was like, 'Oh, this is so awful... and we haven't even started the 2nd term! We're not even half way through this yet!' But now the inauguration is over with and we're on the countdown to the end of this." --humorist Frank J. Fleming

"Today we are introducing legislation that will help end the mass shootings that have devastated countless families and terrorized communities. ... [O]ur weak gun laws allow these mass killings to be carried out again, and again, and again in this country. ... No weapon is taken from anyone. The purpose is to dry up the supply of these weapons over time, therefore, there is no sunset on this bill. ... We must balance the desire of a few to own military-style assault weapons with the growing threat to lives across America." --Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

"Senator Lautenberg and I have reintroduced the bill to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines because they're the common thread in every major mass shooting in recent history and taking them off the market can have a major impact on saving lives in America. The horrific murders in Newtown have shown how our nation's lax attitude towards gun violence has gone too far and we must take action to save lives." --Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY)

"This just isn't a matter of an issue of the Constitution, it's an issue of conscience, an issue of conscience." --Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)

"Kids would be alive today in Newtown, Connecticut, if the law that we're proposing today were in place on December 14th of last year. It's as simple as that." --Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)

"[T]here's no right to use 100 round clips in assault rifles." --Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

"The latest tragedy in Newtown was a wake up call for our nation, and now we must now turn our grief into action to reduce further tragedies. It is clearer than ever that there is no place in our communities for military-style super-sized magazines like those used inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Aurora, and in Tucson, and I will keep working to reinstate the ban on them." --Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)

"I believe that the gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby. ... [B]less our elected leaders with the wisdom and the courage needed to bring about the changes that the people demand." --Dean of the National Cathedral Rev. Canon Gary Hall, who prayed before the circus

"A shotgun will keep you a lot safer ... than an assault weapon in somebody's hands who doesn't know how to use it -- even one who does know how to use it. ... So you want to keep people away in an earthquake? Buy some shotgun shells." --Joe Biden, who clearly thinks the Framers gave us the Second Amendment to discourage looting

web posted January 21, 2013

"The president of the United States will release a binder full of new gun-control executive orders [today]. Instead of standing alone, bearing full responsibility for the imperial actions he is about to take, President Obama will surround himself with an audience of kids who wrote to him after the Newtown, Conn., school massacre. This is the most cynical in Beltway theatrical staging -- a feckless attempt to invoke 'For the Children' immunity by hiding behind them. ... The Obama White House has shamelessly employed this kiddie human shield strategy at every turn to blunt substantive criticism and dissent. ... From health care to gun control, the left has perfected this fallacious art of prop-a-palooza -- the well-being of the children and national discourse be damned. Political vultures in Washington refuse to do the one thing that might actually benefit the children they recklessly use and abuse as fodder: Grow up." --columnist Michelle Malkin

"[C]hanging magazines takes one to three seconds, which will rarely make a difference in assaults on unarmed people. The gunman in Connecticut, for example, reportedly fired about 150 rounds, so he must have switched his 30-round magazines at least four times; he stopped only because police were closing in, which prompted him to kill himself. Magazine size is more likely to matter in confrontations with people who are armed, which is why it is dangerously presumptuous for the government to declare that no one needs to fire more than X number of rounds. ... If magazines holding more than 10 rounds are not useful for self-defense and defense of others, shouldn't the same limit be imposed on police officers and bodyguards (including the Secret Service agents who protect the president)? And if the additional rounds do provide more protection against armed assailants, it hardly makes sense to cite the threat of such attacks as a reason to deny law-abiding citizens that extra measure of safety." --columnist Jacob Sullum

"Many of today's youngsters begin the school day passing through metal detectors. Guards patrol school hallways, and police cars patrol outside. Despite these measures, assaults, knifings and shootings occur. ... For well over a half-century, the nation's liberals and progressives ... have waged war on traditions, customs and moral values. These people taught their vision, that there are no moral absolutes, to our young people. To them, what's moral or immoral is a matter of convenience, personal opinion or a consensus. ... Customs, traditions, moral values and rules of etiquette, not laws and government regulations, are what make for a civilized society. ... The importance of customs, traditions and moral values as a means of regulating behavior is that people behave themselves even if nobody's watching. Police and laws can never replace these restraints on personal conduct so as to produce a civilized society." --economist Walter E. Williams

"[A]bout a hundred years ago, Professor John Dewey of Columbia University came up with a very different conception of education -- one that has spread through American schools of education, and even influenced education in countries overseas. John Dewey saw the role of the teacher, not as a transmitter of a society's culture to the young, but as an agent of change -- someone strategically placed, with an opportunity to condition students to want a different kind of society. A century later, we are seeing schools across America indoctrinating students to believe in all sorts of politically correct notions. The history that is taught in too many of our schools is a history that emphasizes everything that has gone bad, or can be made to look bad, in America -- and that gives little, if any, attention to the great achievements of this country." --economist Thomas Sowell

"This is a matter of Congress authorizes spending. They order me to spend." --Barack Obama

"The fact is, though, we can't finish the job of deficit reduction through spending cuts alone. We need more revenue." --Barack Obama

"[F]rom the start, my concern was making sure that we had a tax code that was fair and that protected the middle class, and my biggest priority was making sure that middle-class taxes did not go up." --BO

"So if the goal is to make sure that we are being responsible about our debt and our deficit, if that's the conversation we're having, I'm happy to have that conversation. ... What I will not do is to have that negotiation with a gun at the head of the American people." --BO

"My starting point is not to worry about the politics; my starting point is to focus on what makes sense, what works; what should we be doing to make sure that our children are safe and that we're reducing the incidents of gun violence. ... [I]f, in fact -- and I believe this is true -- everybody across party lines was as deeply moved and saddened as I was by what happened in Newtown, then we're going to have to vote based on what we think is best." --Barack Obama

"As far as people lining up and purchasing more guns, I think that we've seen for some time now that those who oppose any common-sense gun control or gun safety measures have a pretty effective way of ginning up fear on the part of gun owners that somehow the federal government is about to take all your guns away. And there's probably an economic element to that. It obviously is good for business." --Barack Obama

"Half of all mass killings in the United States have occurred since the assault weapon ban expired in 2005 -- half in the history of the country." --Bill Clinton (Actually, it's about 20 percent, and very few of those perpetrators used semi-automatic rifles.)

"During this time of grief and reflection, gun retailers have to think twice about selling assault weapons to people stocking up on firearms. Extremist gun advocates are throwing gasoline on the fire of the nation's problem. Our largest retailers have an opportunity to put it out." --Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

"If we come out of the Newtown experience and all we do is talk about it and not have a result, that would be a dereliction of duty on the part of us in public office. We must find a place where we can come to agreement on this." --House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who's new term for gun control is "gun violence prevention"

"Hunters don't use large ammunition clips, and as far as self defense, I mean who are you defending yourself against? If you're defending yourself against a robber ... if you have a pistol permit or you're carrying a gun because you work for Wells Fargo and you're taking money in and out of a bank or something, two or three or four shots should be enough -- period." --Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)

"Assault weapons are not about hunting or even self-defense, and they should be off the streets. There is no reason on earth, other than to kill as many people as possible in a very short period of time, that anyone needs a gun designed for military purposes." --Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), who introduced a defensive weapon buy-back bill

"The White House would be wise to consider ... federal legislation to tighten the definitions and penalties for gun trafficking, a problem that plagues the border with Mexico." --Washington Post editorial calling for more disarmament laws (Did they mention that the White House is responsible for some of that gun trafficking? Nope.)

"This is about gun manufacturers making millions and millions and millions of dollars. This is about retailers making millions and millions and millions of dollars. Do you know how much money these people have made over the slaughter of 20 innocents in Newtown? Do you know how much richer these rich gun manufacturers have gotten over the past month and how the NRA uses that tragedy to gin up fears and websites use that tragedy to gin up fears that they're coming to take your guns away?" --MSNBC's Joe Scarborough

"Would it be a deterrent if, you know, say perpetrators know that there's guns in the schools? How do we know they wouldn't view that as a challenge? I mean, we got a goofy world out there. I'm just not convinced that packing a small firearm is the best defense. ... We've never had a civilian stop a shooting. ... We're going to find out within the next few weeks whether Sandy Hook was the 9/11 of gun violence in this country." --MSNBC's Ed Schultz

"We want to envision ourselves as a nation of vigilantes protecting ourselves with our guns. But that's not what's happening. We're an over-armed nation helping gun makers get richer by believing blatant lies that the government is plotting to take away our guns, and believing the myth that we're protecting and not endangering ourselves." --MSNBC's Touré

"If anyone deserves to be equated with Hitler on the issue of firearms, then it's not the president. It's the NRA." --MSNBC's Martin Bashir

"The good thing about Newtown is it was so horrific that, I think, it galvanized Americans to a point where the intensity on our side is going to match the intensity on their side." --former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell

"These semi-automatic weapons, these assault weapons, can only kill people and in fact are threats to national security. The young man who did the killing in Aurora, Colorado, with the arsenal he had -- he was right near the airport, right near the runways near the airport in Denver. He could shoot down airplanes, so this is a matter of homeland security. ... We need to make manufacturers more accountable for their product." --the "Reverend" Jesse Jackson

"First of all, the president of the United States believes that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual's right to bear arms. He has been explicit about this. And throughout his time in office he has made clear that he believes we ought to take commonsense and enact commonsense measures that protect our Second Amendment rights but prevent people who should not have weapons from obtaining them. So his commitment to the Second Amendment I think is very clear." --White House Press Secretary Jay Carney

"As a nation we cannot be shackled to an archaic Second Amendment which is being shielded by a minority of Americans that demand the right to use weapons that are continually killing citizens across our country. ... Over the decades, our Constitution has been updated and made more civilized and fair by way of amendments. It's time to let go of these weapons that cause such massive suffering to our population." --actor Matthew Modine, who, ironically, took up arms to fight tyranny in "The Dark Knight Rises"

"I suppose there's some intrinsic value in the fact that Biden serves as a high-profile inspiration to America's mentally challenged. After all, we already have a president who proves that anyone, and we mean absolutely anyone, no matter how arrogant and corrupt, can grow up to be president. In Biden, we have proof that anyone, and we mean absolutely anyone, no matter how vain and ignorant, can grow up to be that person's second-in-command." --columnist Burt Prelutsky

"Vice President Joe Biden said American gun laws should include 'universal background checks, including private sales.' What about sales to Mexican drug lords?" --Fred Thompson

"Hillary Clinton's life as a young House staffer on the Watergate Committee will be made into a movie called Rodham. She was always bright. When Nixon announced that he had a mysterious leg ailment that kept him from testifying to Congress about his role in the White House cover-up, Hillary wrote it down like she was stealing a joke for future use." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"'Lincoln' leads the [Oscar nomination] list with 12 nominations, which is a first -- not most nominations, [it's the] first time Hollywood has ever voted for a Republican president." --comedian Jay Leno

"[These] are common sense measures. They have the support of the majority of the American people. And yet that doesn't mean any of this is going to be easy to enact or implement. If it were, we'd already have universal background checks. The ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines never would've been allowed to expire. More of our fellow Americans might still be alive celebrating birthdays and anniversaries and graduations. This will be difficult. There will be pundits and politicians and special interest lobbyists publicly warning of the tyrannical all-out assault on liberty. Not because that's true. But because they want to gin up fear or higher ratings or revenue for themselves. And behind the scenes they'll do everything they can to block any common sense reform and make sure nothing changes whatsoever." --Barack Obama, demonizing those who would oppose his tyranny

"I actually believe the president doesn't have the guts to admit he doesn't believe in the Second Amendment." --Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

"Earlier this month, shortly after Newtown, all members of Congress took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution and the American people. To protect and defend. That is our first responsibility. Today, members of the House Democratic Caucus have come together to fulfill that duty to confront the challenge of gun violence in our society and act to ensure the safety and security of our communities." --House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

web posted January 14, 2013

"It is Congress's job to oversee economic policy, and the House's in particular. Regardless of whether it is 'good' policy or not, the House of Representatives is wholly within its rights to refuse to raise the debt ceiling if it so wishes. To submit that Congress has the right to raise the debt ceiling but that to refuse to do so would be 'a step too far' is to grant that Congress does not actually enjoy power over the issue at all, but is instead just a bystander armed with a rubber stamp. If this were true, it would undermine the American constitutional order, which is of course exactly what those making asinine (the platinum coin) or downright illegal (Fourteenth Amendment) suggestions wish to do. Their view is that this issue is just too important to leave to our system of government, so the president -- or anyone -- must step in and 'do the right thing.'" --columnist Charles C.W. Cooke

"Americans prefer small government to big government -- in the abstract. But 60 million receive Medicaid benefits, 54 million collect Social Security, 48 million participate with Medicare, 45 million receive Food Stamps, 7 million are in prison, jail, or on parole/probation, more than a million have de facto government jobs working for defense contractors, nearly a million children participate in Head Start and about 40 percent of K-12 students receive free or reduced price meals. There's some overlap in those categories, but it still adds up. ... The average beneficiary will receive far more in Medicare and Social Security benefits than he paid for in taxes. We are, in short, a socialist-style society just like Europe. And Obamacare has yet to kick in. The road to recovery begins with admitting you have a problem." --columnist Mona Charen

"The liberal media have spent 12 years feeling sorry for Al Gore. The Man Who Should Have Won in 2000 has had megatons of positive publicity dumped on him, hailing him as the 'Goracle.' ... So when Gore sold his left-wing cable channel Current TV to Al-Jazeera for $500 million, where were they? ... At about 42,000 viewers during primetime, the nationwide audience [of Current TV] could fit inside the Washington Redskins' Fedex Field and still leave the stadium half-empty. ... But the controversy is not about ratings. It's about one network selling itself to another best known for vicious anti-American propaganda. ... Gore rebuffed an offer from conservative radio/TV personality Glenn Beck to buy Current TV. Beck was told, 'The legacy of who the network goes to is important to us, and we are sensitive to networks not aligned with our point of view.' Beck is not aligned with the Gore viewpoint, and yet Al-Jazeera is? ... None dares express horror that the man who was almost president on 9/11 was allying himself with al-Qaida's video jukebox." --columnist L. Brent Bozell

"We don't have a spending problem." --Barack Obama during cliff negotiations according to House Speaker John Boehner

"The wealthiest individuals and the biggest corporations shouldn't be able to take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren't available to most Americans. And as I said earlier this week, one thing I will not compromise over is whether or not Congress should pay the tab for a bill they've already racked up. If Congress refuses to give the United States the ability to pay its bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy could be catastrophic." --Barack Obama on raising the debt ceiling

"Obviously, there is still more to do when it comes to reducing our debt. And I'm willing to do more, as long as we do it in a balanced way that doesn't put all the burden on seniors or students or middle class families, but also asks the wealthiest Americans to contribute and pay their fair share." --Barack Obama, who is in no way finished in his quest to raise more taxes on "the wealthy"

"[T]he president had said originally he wanted $1.6 trillion in revenue. He took it down to $1.2 as a compromise. In this [fiscal cliff] legislation we had $620 billion, very significant, high-end tax -- changing the high-end tax rate to 39.6 percent. But that is not enough on the revenue side." --House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who apparently wants another $1 trillion in tax hikes

"There are many members in the Republican caucus who do not believe in government. And bless their hearts, they act upon their beliefs. ... They're anti-government ideologues, and that's what the speaker has to deal with." --Nancy Pelosi

"When we had that devastation from [Hurricane] Katrina, we were there within days taking care of Mississippi, Alabama and especially Louisiana -- within days. We are now past two months with the people of New York and New Jersey. The people of New Orleans and that area, they were hurt but nothing in comparison to what happened to the people in New York and New Jersey." --Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) taking a factually incorrect cheap shot at those who suffered through Katrina

"I've hunted for over 35 years. Do I look like a guy who wants to see my firearms and my freedoms being taken away? No, of course not. But there are sensible laws. You know, we're right now operating on a document that is archaic in many ways." --MSNBC's Ed Schultz attacking the Constitution

"Enough. We talk now. And my position is going to be direct: America needs to repeal the Second Amendment. ... The problem is, for a variety of reasons, the Second Amendment has been twisted and bastardized in ways that could never have been conceived at the time of the nation's founding. ... As written, though, the amendment has nothing -- nothing -- to do with modern America. Worse, it is the biggest mess of verbiage in the whole Constitution, making its actual meaning almost impossible to discern. We need to get rid of it and try again with an amendment that makes sense." --Vanity Fair's Kurt Eichenwald

"[W]henever someone invokes the word 'Socialism' in that belligerent, moronic, conversation-ending way conservatives now do almost on a minute-to-minute basis, you know how to describe them: Sociopaths. ... You also know what future they're offering, because the murder-suicide massacres we see from time to time are the purest expression of the conservative mentality as it now exists in this country." --Daily Kos blogger Troubadour

"The only job of Congress is to govern. That may be impossible, given that the House hooligans have planted fresh land mines designed to blow us all up in a few months. (See debt ceiling, the explosive of choice.) The fault is entirely with a knot of Tea Party extremists who will never consider a fresh idea and a House Speaker whose notion of compromise is to tell his Democratic counterpart in the Senate to commit an unprintable act." --New York Times columnist Timothy Egan

"Nobody forced Congress to rack up the bills that it incurred. And it is an abdication of responsibility to say we're going to let the country default and cause global economic calamity simply because we're not getting what we want in terms of our ideological agenda." --White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who merely serves a president who called for and signed all of the aforementioned spending

"Do not think for a minute that the wealthy are ever going to allow you to legislate their riches away from them. ... [W]e are in a moment where the wealth disparity in this country is very reminiscent of the robber baron ages. The labor leaders of that time, though, were ready to kill. They were. They were just -- off with their heads. They were seriously talking about that. I don't think we're at that point. And that's scary to most people. But the key is they think nothing of killing us." --Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis

"[John Wilkes Booth was] a man who believed what still probably 20 percent of this country still believes. He could be a poster child for the Tea Party." --"Killing Lincoln" executive producer Erik Jendresen

"I don't support the troops, America, and neither do you. ... I beg any young person reading this who's thinking of joining the armed forces to please reconsider. ... [N]ext time some 'supporter of the troops' says to you with that concerned look on their face, 'I thank you for your service,' you have my permission to punch their lights out (figuratively speaking, of course)." --filmmaker Michael Moore

"The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the latest triumphant deal includes $2 billion of cuts for fiscal year 2013. Wow! That's what the Government of the United States borrows every 10 hours and 38 minutes. Spending two months negotiating 10 hours of savings is like driving to a supermarket three states away to save a nickel on your grocery bill." --columnist Mark Steyn

"By all accounts, President Obama won the fiscal cliff showdown. Why anyone would take much pride in this kind of 'win' is beyond me. It's a bit like being the least filthy toddler in the mud pit." --columnist Jonah Goldberg

"Al Gore's Current TV has been sold to Al-Jazeera for a reported $500 million. Experts believe that Al-Jazeera overpaid for Current TV by approximately $500 million." --comedian Jay Leno

"GOP senators vowed to delay John Kerry's confirmation until Hillary Clinton testifies about her role in the terrorist attack on Benghazi. She blames a concussion for her delay. It's ironic for someone who successfully ducked this for three months to hit her head." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they've already racked up through the laws that they passed." --Barack Obama

web posted January 7, 2013

"All the debate over spending is starting to remind me of the movie Jaws. We have some people who believe there is this big threat headed our way, but the authorities all tell us not to panic -- but instead of the mayor of Amity Island telling us the beaches are safe, President Obama is telling us we'll grow our way out of this deficit. ... People don't want to listen. But Math is coming. It's $16 trillion in debt and growing, and one day it will rise out of the water, and even those ignoring it will finally be afraid and gasp, 'We're going to need a bigger boat.' No, you idiots! Haven't you been listening? We need a smaller boat. One we can actually afford." --columnist Frank J. Fleming

"[Obama] jetted out to Hawaii to resume his vacation at an extra cost of more than $3 million to taxpayers. The price tag is in addition to more than $4 million that is already being spent on the Obamas' Hawaii idyll, bringing the total cost of the excursion to well over $7 million. ... And that doesn't include the price tag for the massive security operation required to move the president or the cost of the cargo plane that follows Air Force One around. The Obamas could have saved taxpayers millions by returning from Hawaii together after Christmas and then resuming their vacation at one of the many ritzy resorts that lie outside of Washington. If the beach is a must, even a trip to Florida would have been far less expensive." --White House Dossier's Keith Koffler

"The year we just endured was supposed to be the year when this country finally got serious about solving the big structural problems that have prevented our economy from reaching its full potential. Or was that 2008? It's hard to remember. ... So now it's 2013. The national debt exceeds $16 trillion as the government borrows more than 40 cents of every dollar it spends because doing otherwise would 'balance the budget on the backs of ...' somebody. ... Meanwhile, spending continues its unstoppable march to the next galaxy. Not even the Mayan apocalypse could slow it. We just hope that when it gets there, some benevolent alien race sees it, takes pity on us and teaches us an advanced alien means of controlling it. We need something new, as moving 'forward' seems to mean, among other things, abandoning our ancient human method, the one we used to call 'math.'" --New Hampshire Union Leader

"If you don't want to have a gun in your home or in your school, that's your choice. But don't be such a damn fool as to advertise to the whole world that you are in 'a gun-free environment' where you are a helpless target for any homicidal fiend who is armed. Is it worth a human life to be a politically correct moral exhibitionist?" --economist Thomas Sowell

"It is said that the 2nd Amendment follows hard upon the 1st so as to serve as its bodyguard -- providing the added incentive of coercive force by a wary citizenry to guarantee that those initial cherished liberties, expounded by our Founders, did not go the way of the 10th Amendment. The 2nd Amendment, interpreted as the right to bear arms by a free people, has not escaped that yawning chasm that has opened up between the political Right and Left, and the rationale behind this stratification falls along the same familiar tensions of individual vs. collective. The nature of men, having proved insufficient in wisdom for the eradication of evil, must then paradoxically utilize the equalization of deadly force to not only suppress the jaundiced glint in our neighbor's eye but the tyranny that arises when men esteem the chimera of ordered equality over liberty." --columnist Glenn Fairman

"Well, I have to tell you, David, if you look at my track record over the last two years, I cut spending by over a trillion dollars in 2011." --Barack Obama (Actually, federal spending increased by $147 billion in 2011.)

"I'm not driven by some ideological agenda. I'm a pretty practical guy." --Barack Obama

"[Republicans] say that their biggest priority is making sure that we deal with the deficit in a serious way, but the way they're behaving is that their only priority is making sure that the tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are protected. That seems to be their only overriding, unifying theme." --Barack Obama

"Revenues have to be part of the equation in turning off the sequester, as well as spending cuts." --Barack Obama

"We cannot let Washington politics get in the way of America's progress. We've got to do what it takes to protect the middle class, grow this economy, and move our country forward." --Barack Obama

"[Republicans using the debt limit to negotiate is] somewhat like taking your child hostage and saying to somebody else, 'I'm going to shoot my child if you don't do what I want done.' You don't want to shoot your child. There's no Republican leader that wants to default on our debt -- that I've talked to -- so that ought to be non-partisan." --House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

"The House of Representatives is operating without the House of Representatives. It's being operated with a dictatorship of the Speaker, not allowing the vast majority of the House of Representatives to get what they want." --Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)

"Repeal the Second Amendment, the part about guns anyway. It's badly written, confusing and more trouble than it's worth. ... Owning a gun should be a privilege, not a right. Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal. Hey! We did it to the Communist Party, and the NRA has led to the deaths of more of us than American Commies ever did. ... Make ownership of unlicensed assault rifles a felony. If some people refused to give up their guns, that 'prying the guns from their cold, dead hands' thing works for me. Then I would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, our esteemed Republican leaders, to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control." --columnist Donald Kaul

"If [America] doesn't change its gun laws I would, as a concerned parent first ... seriously consider deporting myself." --CNN's Piers Morgan, who is British (A petition to deport Morgan over his anti-gun stance has tens of thousands of signatures.)

"My point ... about gay rights, for example -- it's time for an amendment to the Bible." --Piers Morgan

"[Obama] has taken all the Bush changes -- he basically put them into the establishment, [and] he has codified them. That is what is sad. So we are going into the second administration that is living outside the law and does not respect the law and foundations of our system and he is a constitutional lawyer, you know. ... It is an Orwellian state. It might not be oppressive on the surface, but there is no place to hide. Some part of you is going to end up in the database somewhere." --director Oliver Stone

"As the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken. But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions." --Georgetown "constitutional law professor" Louis Michael Seidman

"The question for today, as the Republican party fighting, infighting, spills over onto the national stage, is whether they'll go back to the center-left positions of Eisenhower and start winning elections again, or if they'll double down on stupid to satisfy the Kochs, the Adelsons, the Murdochs, and the Limbaughs of their party. ... I'm betting they're gonna double down on stupid, 'cause that's where the money's comin' from." --leftist radio talk show host Thom Hartman

"Stop saying, 'I support the troops.' I don't. I used to." --filmmaker Michael Moore

"The White House received over sixty thousand signatures from gun rights advocates demanding that CNN's host Piers Morgan be deported for slamming the Second Amendment. A counter-petition was circulated in Britain refusing to take him back. He is on the phone with the president to see if Anglo-Saxons are covered under the Dream Act." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"Americans. It took us 40 years to get rid of Piers Morgan. Please don't send him back. ... Americans. Was the second amendment not introduced to protect you from the tyranny of the British? Piers Morgan in other words." --BBC's Jeremy Clarkson

"A Michigan lawyer has been arrested for manufacturing crystal meth in his office. I hope the fact that this guy's a lawyer doesn't send the message that somehow all meth dealers are sleaze balls." --comedian Jay Leno

v"I appreciate all the hard work that went into avoiding the so-called 'fiscal cliff.' I especially commend Senator [Mitch] McConnell's efforts to make the best out of a bad situation. Nevertheless, I cannot support the arrangement they have arrived at. ... Thousands of small businesses, not just the wealthy, will now be forced to decide how they'll pay this new tax and, chances are, they'll do it by firing employees, cutting back their hours and benefits, or postponing the new hire they were looking to make. And to make matters worse, it does nothing to bring our dangerous debt under control." --Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on why he joined seven other senators in voting "no"

"I just wanted to thank so many on the other side after all these years for finally acknowledging publicly that 98 percent of the Bush tax cuts helped the middle class." --Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)

"I just wanted to take a minute to explain to everyone what we were able to achieve this week. In the face of looming deadlines that would have taken a big chunk out of everyone's bottom line, you know my top priority has been preventing a tax hike that would have hit 98 percent of all Americans in 2013, because the last thing middle-class families could afford now would be to pay upwards of $2,000 more in taxes this year. ... We've stopped that middle-class tax hike." --Barack Obama, who actually did hike taxes on most taxpayers



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