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Lingua publica

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

web posted February 25, 2013

"When the Budget Control Act ... was adopted, it called for the automatic cuts to begin on January 1, 2013 -- three months into the [U.S. Government] fiscal year. To the surprise of no one, the House and the Senate and the President didn't want to live with the fruits of their fruitlessness, and so on January 2, 2013 they passed a quick law delaying the effects of sequestration until March 1, 2013 -- five months into the fiscal year. That bill was grandly named the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. That's the one that raised income taxes on rich people and payroll taxes on the rest of us thus providing tax relief to no one. ... You might have noticed that the House, the Senate and the President are so worried about this looming March 1 deadline that they are -- all 536 of them -- on vacation. ... Here's what we know: The Congress and the President are incapable of cutting anything from any program, ever. If the only way to reduce spending is by instituting automatic cuts, then I am for allowing the sequester to take effect and see what happens." --columnist Rich Galen

"Instead of letting obsolete government programs die, bureaucrats come up with new excuses to keep spending. ... The Washington Post reports on a federally supported program that is so bad that even President Obama wants it cut. The Christopher Columbus Fellowship spent 80 percent of its money on overhead. Three Republicans introduced legislation to end it, but the subsidy lives on, because one senator, Thad Cochran, R-Miss., likes it. So America continues to move toward bankruptcy. Instead of addressing that, the politicians will spend more. Instead of announcing 15 new 'manufacturing' hubs, the president should just announce 300 million 'do whatever you want with your own money' hubs. Then American citizens can do as they please. That would actually do some good." --columnist John Stossel

"Many lawmakers view commitment as nothing more than a marriage of convenience that lasts only through Election Day. Where else can a presidential candidate run for office proclaiming 'Read my lips: no new taxes' and within months of assuming office, support a massive tax hike on the American people? Politicians including President Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania pledged fidelity to the Second Amendment during their campaigns, yet now these Democrats propose and support the most comprehensive attack on gun ownership in generations." --The Washington Times

"I am unalterably opposed to a bunch of billionaires financing a boss to pick candidates in 50 states. This is the opposite of the Republican tradition of freedom and grassroots small town conservatism. No one person is smart enough nor do they have the moral right to buy nominations across the country. That is the system of Tammany Hall and the Chicago machine. It should be repugnant to every conservative and every Republican." --Newt Gingrich on Karl Rove's new PAC

"Over the last few years both parties have worked together to reduce our deficits by more than $2.5 trillion." --Barack Obama (For the record: The deficit has risen by a record $5.19 trillion under Obama's watch.)

"The Republicans are poised to shut down government. The Republicans are poised to let the sequestration go forward, which is... 'Sequestration,' you know what that word means? What that word means to American people is unemployment, no jobs, take us to recession. It's not quite an, uh, exact Latin translation. But that's what it means." --House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

"I want to disagree with those who say we have a spending problem. Everyone keeps saying we have a spending problem. And when they talk about that, it's like there's an assumption that somehow we as a nation are broke. ... We're the richest nation in the history of the world. That kind of begs the question doesn't it? If we're so rich, why are we so broke? Is it a spending problem? No, it's because we have a misallocation of capital, a misallocation of wealth." --Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)

"This is something I've struggled with throughout my presidency. The problem is that I'm the president of the United States, I'm not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed." --Barack Obama

"This is the most transparent administration in history." --Barack Obama

"If you want to protect yourself, get a double-barrel shotgun. You don't need an AR-15. It's harder to aim, it's harder to use and, in fact, you don't need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun. Buy a shotgun!" --2A expert Joe Biden

"I don't think we should [cut congressional pay]; I think we should respect the work we do. I think it's necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded." --Nancy Pelosi, who has no dignity

"I think the president's hallmark is not being on the left or the right, or even in the middle. The president's hallmark is being practical." --Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL)

"I stand here as a freed slave because this Congress came together. Are we going to be able to do it today to free America?" --Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)

"Obama's vacations have been rare, brief and regularly interrupted by crises at home and overseas." --Los Angeles Times columnist Kathleen Hennessey

"Is [Obama], in your opinion, the most inspirational African-American living right now?" --NBC's Matt Lauer to House Speaker John Boehner

"President Obama's call to increase the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour was one of the more significant proposals he laid out in his State of the Union address.... But $9 an hour is still a far cry from what workers really deserve, a 2012 study finds. The minimum wage should have reached $21.72 an hour in 2012 if it kept up with increases in worker productivity, according to a March study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research." --The Huffington Post

"The longest suicide note in the world is being written by the Republicans if they don't support immigration reform. If they don't revamp their image on it, they are truly drinking the potion that's going to make them disappear." --PBS's Mark Shields

"Now if Adam Lanza had walked into a black public school in this mythical South Brooklyn or in the Southside of Chicago, we would probably not be having a sustained national conversation about guns." --MSNBC's Touré

"There are some gender inequities on college campuses. This is true. And universities have been faced with that situation for a long time. It's why we have call boxes, that's why we have safe zones, that's why we have the whistles because you just don't know who you're going to be shooting at. And you don't know if you feel like you're going to be raped, or if you feel like someone's been following you around, or if you feel like you're in trouble and when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop around at somebody." --CO State Rep. Joe Salazar (D)

"Tell your attacker that you have a disease or are menstruating. Vomiting or urinating may also convince the attacker to leave you alone." --Univ. of Colorado at Colorado Springs giving advice to women on how to handle rapists

"[W]hen Congressman [sic] Giffords was shot and there was a shooting in an Arizona supermarket people who were unarmed took that person down when he stopped to reload. And so there are other ways to address violence and it doesn't mean that we have our kids exposed to a whole crossfire of multiple folks in a room shooting simultaneously. And that Congressman Gifford's life was saved and so many others when very valiant folks stood up to defend themselves and protect themselves. And they did it with ballpoint pens." --CO State Sen. Jessie Ulibarri (D)

"Those who believe the Tea Party is a grassroots movement inspired by higher taxes as its name implies will be surprised to learn that it actually developed in part as a result of efforts by the U.S. tobacco industry to oppose the nonsmokers' rights movement in the 1980s." --George Washington University Law professor John Banzhaf

"During his State of the Union address, President Obama described the economy as an 'unfinished task.' Yeah, there's a few parts he hasn't completely destroyed yet." --Fred Thompson

"If Dems introduce a bill to keep women from being able to use a gun [to] defend against rapists, they should call it the Kennedy Protection Act." --humorist Frank J. Fleming

"Governor Rick Perry flew to California to try to woo California businesses to relocate to Texas. The arguments even out. Texans point out that they have no state income taxes, however Californians counter that we don't have winters, and besides our prisons are so full that if you don't pay your state income taxes, nothing will happen to you anyway." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"President Obama wants Congress to increase the minimum wage. Believe me, when it comes to doing the minimum for their wage, Congress knows what it's talking about." --comedian Jay Leno

"I personally witnessed two fellow students murder twelve of my classmates and one teacher. The assault weapons ban did not deter these two murderers, nor did the other thirty-something laws that they broke." --Columbine survivor Evan Todd, who wrote an open letter to Barack Obama opposing gun control

"In remarks on Tuesday, Obama warned of 'arbitrary' and 'brutal' cuts liable to 'eviscerate job-creating investments in education and energy and medical research.' Then, in front of a wall of human props dressed as firemen, he foretold a litany of impending disasters: emergency responders and federal agents kneecapped by budget cuts and furloughs, prosecutors forced to let criminals walk, unmanned air-traffic-control towers, roving bands of laid-off teachers, hordes of children robbed of health care, unvaccinated millions spreading disease through the population. The president stopped short of predicting human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, and mass hysteria. But the gist was similar." --National Review

"My sense is that [Republicans'] basic view is that nothing is important enough to raise taxes on wealthy individuals or corporations, and they would prefer to see these kinds of cuts that could slow down our recovery over closing tax loopholes. That's the thing that binds their party together at this point." --Barack Obama

web posted February 18, 2013

"I think the mindset of this administration was revealed in one particular line that, I must confess, almost escaped my attention. Quote: 'I'm also issuing a new goal for America.' The particular goal in question was to reduce energy-waste in homes and businesses. Think, however, about the quoted statement. Leaving aside the fact that it sounded like a decree issued from on high, the president's words are emblematic of the top-down approach to the economy and society that's characteristic of all instinctual dirigistes. In political terms, it also reflects a failure to grasp that America was never supposed to be about the government decreeing goals that we're all obliged to get behind." --Action Institute research director Samuel Gregg

"In sum, we must 'protect our children' and therefore have left them another $5 trillion in new debt. After five years of these soaring hope-and-change speeches, there are the same three themes I think will keep reverberating: Obama's soaring rhetoric bears not much resemblance to the reality of the present tough times here and abroad; no one in the administration or the media will go back to see whether last year's similar utopian ideas ever worked or even saw implementation; and the majority of listeners to the speech either probably believed every word -- or were angry at anybody who did not." --historian Victor Davis Hanson

"As supporters of individual liberty, personal responsibility, and free markets, too often our candidates and elected leaders rail against the corrosive influence of expansive government without thoroughly explaining why our 'sensible' limited-government approach will actually make people's lives tangibly better -- lifting them from poverty, providing them better education options, and preserving the programs they rely on.... When the president says he wants to 'invest' and we say we want to 'cut,' he is wrong on the substance but right on the politics. We need to take back the terminology, and in doing so, the perception of who's on the high ground." --Pete Hegseth, former Executive Director of Vets For Freedom

"The central unacknowledged problem the Republican party faces ... is the failure of its economic message to connect with voters' economic suffering. President Obama gave what I think was a politically effective speech. Voters would come away remembering several new ideas that connect -- like the idea of getting a community-college degree alongside a high-school diploma for free, a federal effort to reduce tuition costs, and of course raising the minimum wage.... The GOP's job is to make President Obama own the economy he created by explaining in a persuasive way why we have no real recovery after four years of Obamanomics -- and then offer a choice, not an echo." --commentator Maggie Gallagher

"We avow the First Amendment. We stand with that and say that people have a right to have a gun to protect themselves in their homes and their jobs, where ever, and ... for recreation for hunting and the rest." --House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (Memo to Nan: That would be the Second Amendment and the protection in question would be against a government which no longer comports to constitutional restraints.)

"The president and I are going to continue to travel the country, so that [the gun control] we're proposing can't be misrepresented. To be very blunt with you, we're counting on you -- the legitimate news media -- to cover these discussions because the truth is that times have changed." --Joe Biden

"There's some information that suggests that some of these [gun] manufacturers build their sales models on an assumption that at least 20 percent of the weapons will get sold illegally." --Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD)

"It's clear that we need to look at handguns also." --Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) on further gun control -- because it's worked so well in Chicago

"The fact is, we've had plenty of spending cuts. ... [I]t is almost a false argument to say that we have a spending problem. We have a budget deficit problem." --Nancy Pelosi (We're on pace to increase the national debt by $7 trillion over 10 years.)

"On behalf of Americans everywhere, Michelle and I wish to extend our appreciation and prayers to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. Michelle and I warmly remember our meeting with the Holy Father in 2009, and I have appreciated our work together over these last four years." --Barack Obama (Someone should tell him that being sued by the Catholic Church doesn't constitute "working together.")

"Don't confuse me with any facts." --Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) at a townhall meeting

"I think that the president really feels that the state of the union is stronger for several reasons. One is that he's been winning ever since the election. And he seems to have a working majority now, even in the House. But, also, I think that despite the last quarter of GDP non-growth, that things are looking pretty good for the economy." --Time Magazine's Joe Klein

"Are there people in your newsroom, editors who are saying, 'We have to be careful here. It's not simple. This man may have a complaint.'" --MSNBC's Chris Matthews to Los Angeles Times journalist Andrew Blankstein during a live feed as police closed in on rogue ex-cop Christopher Dorner

"What, people ask, is the alternative to small war, if not big war? And the answer no one ever seems to consider is no war. ... We could be a nation that declares its war over, that declares itself at peace, and goes about rigorously and energetically intelligence and diplomacy and well-resourced police work to protect us from future attacks." --MSNBC's Chris Hayes

"Talk about something else that's falling from the sky and that is an asteroid. What's coming our way? Is this an effect of, perhaps, of global warming or is this just some meteoric occasion?" --CNN anchor Deb Feyerick

"The Affordable Healthcare Act is going to be implemented in stages and these things, just like Social Security when it started, Medicare when it started, Medicaid when it started, they all have some difficulty when they started." --Fox News' Juan Williams attempting to explain recent revelations about ObamaCare -- most notably 1. Obama sold it at costing less than $900 billion and the most recent CBO estimate is now $2.8 trillion 2. The cheapest family plan will cost almost $20,000 by 2016 3. Compliance will take 127 million man hours. So, when Juan compares ObamaCare to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, he may, inadvertently, be on to something!

"One of the things that I would like to again try to clear up, and I ask you to please stop adopting the rhetoric of the gun advocates. Chicago does not have strict gun laws." --Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy

"We support the Second Amendment. We aren't trying to take anyone's guns away necessarily. We're just trying to get something that's common sense, a logical reaction to the tragedies that have happened in the past few years." --actor Adam Scott

"[The] president of the United States is our boss, but he is also -- you know, the president and the first lady are kinda like the mom and the dad of the country. And when your dad says something you listen, and when you don't it will usually bite you on the a$$ later on." --comedian Chris Rock

"I can't get excited by the question of whether Senator Robert Menendez had sex with a prostitute in Central America. It is her word against his -- and when it comes to a prostitute's word against a politician's word, that is too close to call." --economist Thomas Sowell

"The financially struggling US Postal Service announced it will stop delivering mail on Saturdays. Can't wait to find out how many days per week you'll be able to get treatment under Obamacare." --Fred Thompson

"Reportedly, President Obama's speech will focus on jobs. Hopefully he'll explain to us why anybody in Congress still has one." --comedian Jay Leno

"President Obama allowed his Jobs Council to expire without renewing its charter despite high unemployment and a contracting economy. The members never met anyway. The Jobs Council was only intended to save one job, and now its work is done." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"At some point you run out of money." --Barack Obama

web posted February 11, 2013

"The income tax was considered ... one of the most notable achievements of the Democratic Party. ... Following the 16th Amendment, the Revenue Act of 1913 was passed and signed into law on Oct. 3, 1913. And so, the income tax was made a permanent part of American culture. In 1913, the highest income earners tax rate was 7 percent. That is dramatically different from today's highest earners, especially after the latest increase in income taxes. As of Jan. 2013, the top income rate is 39.6 percent, after the recent spike in income taxes at the beginning of 2013. This is a 465 percent increase from the original 1913 level of 7 percent. Even with this huge increase, the Democrats and media alike continue to call for raising taxes -- specifically on those who make more then $250,000 a year." --Media Research Center's Liz Thatcher

"The key to the progressive 'ratchet,' as it is often, correctly, called, is that no step forward may ever be retraced. ... The key to the success of Western socialism's 'progress' is not the periodic lurches toward the abyss. It is the art of effective stalling. All of today's political and moral outrages will be rationalized with a shrug tomorrow: 'What difference -- at this point -- does it make?'" --columnist Daren Jonescu

"This White House has already shown a propensity toward ruling by executive fiat -- whether by executive action that effectively enacts rejected legislation, by refusing to enforce existing law, or by crafting rules for legislation to grant vast new powers to bureaucrats. Once it has de-legitimized the opposition, the White House can claim it is left with no choice but to accelerate and expand its use of executive power. What else can they do, the president and his operatives will argue, when faced with the insanity of the Republicans?" --White House Dossier's Keith Koffler

"Not one of the past federal amnesties was associated with a decline in illegal immigration. Instead, the number of illegal aliens in the U.S. has tripled since 1986. The total effect of the amnesties was even larger because relatives later joined amnesty recipients, and this number was multiplied by an unknown number of children born to amnesty recipients who then acquired automatic U.S. citizenship. ... You want 'comprehensive immigration reform'? Start with reliable adjudications, fully cleared backlogs, consistent interior enforcement, working background checks for the existing caseload, and efficient and effective deportation policies that punish law-breakers and do right by law-abiders." --columnist Michelle Malkin

"There's an old saying amongst First Amendment lawyers that the proper cure for bad speech is better speech, and that Paul Harvey [Super Bowl] ad was, without doubt, better speech [than Beyoncé's halftime show]. To be clear, I'm not opposed to some good, old-fashioned cultural hand-wringing when the occasion demands it. Indeed, it's important to call out the wrong, but calling out the wrong without providing a compelling right will ultimately get us nowhere." --National Review's David French

"[I]f there's even one thing we can do to keep our children and our community safe -- there's just one step we can take to prevent more families from feeling what they feel after they've lost a loved one -- we've got an obligation to take that step." --Barack Obama, still stumping for gun control on nothing but emotion

"I'm sorry it's taken two years for us to convene this hearing, that it took Newtown, Connecticut, to finally bring us to our senses and to open this national conversation [on gun control]." --Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)

"Where are we going with [the Second Amendment]? I mean, do individuals get to own nuclear weapons? Do they get to own submarines, with this notion that they have a right to bear arms? No." --Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI)

"I think it's important to remind everybody that, what I've said previously, I am not a king, I am head of the executive branch of government. I am required to follow the law, and that is what we've done. But what I have also said is let's make sure we apply law in a way that takes into account." --Barack Obama, who all too often behaves as a king

"There is no doubt we need additional revenue, coupled with smart spending reductions in order to bring down our deficit. And we can do it in a gradual way so it doesn't have a huge impact." --Barack Obama (Translation: So you don't notice quite as much.)

"I hope no one uses the term 'illegal immigrants' here today. Our citizens are -- the people in this country are not illegal, they are out of status, they are new Americans that are immigrants, and I think that we can forge a path to citizenship that will be able to pass muster." --Rep. John Conyers at this week's House immigration hearing

"My attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does in every institution and walk of life, and the [Boy] Scouts are a great institution that are promoting young people and exposing them to opportunities and leadership that will serve people for the rest of their lives, and I think that nobody should be barred from that." --Barack Obama, calling for major policy change for the Scouts

"[Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell] continues badmouthing the recovery. We are in a recovery. ... Growth went down in the fourth quarter because of reduced government spending. The economy was rejecting the austerity and brinkmanship." --Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)

"An earlier version of this article misstated the type of weapon that President Obama fired in a photo released Saturday by the White House. It was a shotgun, not a rifle." --The New York Times (See Barack "Skeeter" Obama on the range.)

"Obama is outdoors amid grass and trees with a rifle cocked in his left shoulder, his left index finger on the trigger and smoke coming from the barrel. He is wearing jeans, a dark blue, short-sleeved polo shirt, sunglasses and headphones." --Associated Press writer Darlene Superville

"I was thinking, you know, there's a few place in the country we are safe from the NRA, maybe California, maybe the Northeast. ... [But] I read the other day Cuomo's numbers have crumbled pretty much on that one issue in New York State. ... [I]s anybody safe from the NRA?" --MSNBC's Chris Matthews

"When the president and certainly the incoming secretary of state who has been a leader on climate change is talking about doing something about greenhouse gases, haven't the storms -- Superstorm Sandy, Irene last year -- haven't all of these recent storms and the fluctuations in temperature taught us if nothing else, that we have a real climate problem and that we have to deal with this here even if the rest of the world isn't going to deal with it, in China and elsewhere?" --NBC's Andrea Mitchell

"There are some people in politics and in the press who can't be confused by the facts. They just will not live in an evidence-based world. And that's regrettable. ... If you look back, we've done some really stupid things over two hundred years." --Hillary Clinton

"We live in Chicago and one of the reasons we have such a huge problem is all around us are areas with weak laws and with very lax background checks and a lot of illegal guns flow into this city." --White House adviser David Axelrod blaming gang violence on law-abiding gun owners who don't live in Chicago

"We look at death coming down the street[s] [of Chicago] and can't stop it. We need federal intervention. It must be seen as a threat to national security. It's not just local. When the president shows up, it shows ultimate national seriousness." --Jesse Jackson

"Last year we hit a record number of murders from guns [in Chicago]. And this year we are already outpacing last year's numbers. Now, there are contributing factors that are not under anybody's control and may seem odd, but it is factually true. One of them is actually the weather. There is a dramatic increase in gun violence when it is warmer. And we are having this climate change effect that is driving that." --former Playboy chairwoman and CEO Christie Hefner

"I know people get [upset] and go, 'They're going to take away the assault weapon.' Who ... needs an assault weapon? Like really, unless you're carrying out an assault. ... You can't hunt with it. ... Who's going to attack your house, a [expletive] army?" --actor Sylvester Stallone, who's latest movie is "Bullet to the Head"

"[Anyone] who would run out to buy an assault rifle after the Newtown massacre has very little left in their body or soul worth protecting." --actor Jim Carrey

"[The] Founders could have never imagined television, radio, Internet. Clearly, we need photo ID and background checks to use these things. Twitter can reach millions in seconds. Clearly, the Founders never imagined such power. It should be banned. The First Amendment clearly only applies to quill pens on parchment, and primitive printing presses. ... Twitter, Pintrest, Instagram, Facebook, etc., should be shut down since minors illegally use their products. Bullying on social media has led to an outbreak of violence/suicide. Clearly social media requires registration. One should not be allowed to register social media under an alias under penalty of prison time." --PJMedia's Bob Owens

"The state of Washington is now looking for a marijuana consultant now that marijuana is legal up there. I think this is one of those green jobs President Obama is always talking about." --comedian Jay Leno

"President Obama's campaign staff and operation was rolled into a permanent lobbying group. Democrats can still buy items on his website to support his efforts for hope and change. Each Obama bumper sticker comes with a Toyota Prius attached to it." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"Despite the EPA's crackdown on coal-fired plants, the power plant heating the Capitol still burns coal. I think there's a more obvious source of hot air they're overlooking here." --Fred Thompson

"The American people need to understand that it's not as if we've done nothing for the debt. $2.6 trillion -- $2.6 trillion already we've made in cuts. And all those cuts have come from non-defense programs." --Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), mixing up reductions in projected growth with actual cuts

web posted February 4, 2013

"Obama has yet to present a major policy proposal geared toward solving specific problems. But he has won elections. And he has done so by implying ... that his opponents are morally deficient. It is truly astonishing just how thin President Barack Obama's playbook is. ... It usually involves children. It always involves moral indignation. It invariably involves urgent calls for action. Action now. Action yesterday. Action overdue. ... In pushing his illegal immigration agenda ... Obama flew out to the failing Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nev., to use the school's majority Hispanic population as a backdrop. He didn't care enough about the kids to offer them better educational opportunities. But he then proceeded to explain that those who oppose his agenda are actually closet racists: 'I promise you this: The closer we get, the more emotional this debate is going to become. ... When we talk about (the issue) in the abstract, it's easy sometimes for the discussion to take on a feeling of "us" versus "them."' In other words, oppose Obama, you hate brown people." --columnist Ben Shapiro

"Democrats often seek to inflame our emotions to impede an honest, good-faith discussion on the merits of various issues. Obama demonstrated this in his news conference when he trotted out his 23 executive orders designed to address mass shootings. By using the parents of shooting victims and children as props he intended to imply that unless you support his measures, you oppose protecting children. He did more than imply that in his remarks when he expressed incredulity that anyone who cares about these shootings could possibly oppose his policies." --columnist David Limbaugh

"It's a good thing our federal government is going on a strict spending diet to curb its out-of-control borrowing. Otherwise, the latest piece of spending legislation passed Monday worth more than $50 billion might have been substantial. ... For weeks Obama traveled the country telling anyone who would listen and some who'd rather not that he's so absolutely positively determined to cut America's $16.4 trillion national debt that he did so much to grow. And he was insistent on milking money from the rich to do just that. Well, guess what? That $50.4 billion spending bill for, among other things Hurricane Sandy aid, just ate up every single penny of that tax hike for this year, plus another $10 billion." --Investor's Business Daily

"What's perhaps more stunning [about the fourth quarter GDP drop] is the idea that the so-called recovery in its fourth year still cannot stand on its own legs without massive government stimulus. After all, federal spending has remained at the $3.8 trillion level for four years, with its percentage of GDP around 25%, far above the 20% post-1960s norm. Perhaps that's part of the reason that the economy is still stagnating, rather than a reason to expect recovery." --blogger Ed Morrissey

"[W]e spend so much time on these individual issues like guns and health care, but what we need to take on as a country is the topic of freedom overall. What are rights? What is the purpose of the government? All our arguments are because we disagree on those questions, but that's not usually where the discussion is. If we want to change things, we need people thinking on these fundamental questions." --columnist Frank J. Fleming

"The only way that we're going to be able to do everything that needs to be done is with cooperation of Congress. That means passing serious laws that restrict the access and availability of assault weapons and magazine clips [sic] that aren't necessary for hunters and sportsmen, those responsible gun owners who are out there." --Barack Obama

"[U]p at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time. Not the girls, but oftentimes guests of mine go up there. And I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations. And I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake. ... [A]dvocates of gun control have to do a little more listening than they do sometimes." --BO

Non Compos Mentis: "[I]t is true that the vast majority of gun deaths in America are not the consequence of the use of an 'assault weapon.' But that begs the question of whether assault weapons have any real utility either in terms of any sporting or self protection needs." --Joe Biden (Because they are NOT generally used in crime, we should ban them. Got it.)

"[T]he NRA is venal. They come after you, they put together large amounts of money to defeat you. They did this in '93 and they intend to continue it." --Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

"The NRA has become an institution of gun manufacturers. This morning, on the front page of The New York Times, I was reading about their program now to provide weapons and training for youngsters, from 8-years-old to 15-years-old. And this is supported by the gun manufacturers. In other words, here is a whole new group of people that we can get these weapons to, they just don't happen to be adults, they're children." --Dianne Feinstein

"I will tell you, if you talk to professionals, hunters and certainly sportsmen, they'll tell you [the AR15 is] not the gun to use. A rifle is more accurate. It's certainly easier for a woman to be able to do that." --Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) on why women supposedly don't need AR-15s

"Unless you were one of the first Americans, a Native American, you came from someplace else, somebody brought you." --Barack Obama

"[W]hat I do see is that there are certain issues where a judicious use of executive power can move the argument forward or solve problems that are of immediate-enough import that we can't afford not to do it." --Barack Obama

"As in '05 and '06, the death knell for Republicans is the tone of this conversation [on immigration]. ... And the other thing these guys know is, those crazy crackers on the right, if they start with their very hateful language, that it's going to kill them in the same way that they learned at their little retreat that let's not talk about rape." --MSNBC political analyst Karen Finney

"The 'life' conversation is often too thorny to even broach. Yet I know that throughout my own pregnancies, I never wavered for a moment in the belief that I was carrying a human life inside of me. I believe that's what a fetus is: a human life. And that doesn't make me one iota less solidly pro-choice." --Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams in her article, "So what if abortion ends life?"

"[Last] week brought us the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and made me reflect on a moment from 15 years when I was in a committed relationship with a woman who I knew was just not the one. She also knew it probably wasn't going to work out and then she got pregnant, and I was terrified. ... I knew that pregnant woman and I were not going to be able to form a lasting family. She decided it was best to have an abortion and days later she did, we did, and in some ways that choice saved my life." --MSNBC's Touré

"I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that this cold weather is far worse than the Holocaust." --Gawker senior writer Travis Okulski

"I've got a simple idea: Let's give up on the Constitution. I know, it sounds radical, but it's really not. Constitutional disobedience is as American as apple pie. ... To be clear, I don't think we should give up on everything in the Constitution. The Constitution has many important and inspiring provisions, but we should obey these because they are important and inspiring, not because a bunch of people who are now long-dead favored them two centuries ago." --Georgetown University law professor Louis Michael Seidman

"The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are not absolute. ... [W]e absolutely think that the idea of banning a military style assault weapon, a weapon that I am confident that Thomas Jefferson and James Madison never laid their eyes on, is not inconsistent with the rights of those who self-protect, those who shoot, who want to participate in sporting and hunting. … I'm waiting for someone to suggest that the 2nd Amendment gives them the right to own a tank and to park it in their driveway. Let's be real: This is about the children." --National Urban League president Marc Morial

"I mean if you look at the Second Amendment it was that you would have militia to protect yourself in case the government came and attacked citizens. First of all, if the government were to come to disarm you, you would not be able to use an automatic weapon to defend yourself. Let's be serious. We're in a world of drones now so the Second Amendment would not help you in that area. It is absurd to try to cite that. We're talking about people do not have the right to unregulated rights in this country." --Al Sharpton

"One only wishes Wayne LaPierre and his NRA board of directors could be drafted to some of these [violent] scenes, where they would be required to put on booties and rubber gloves and help clean up the blood, the brains, and the chunks of intestine still containing the poor wads of half-digested food that were some innocent bystander's last meal." --horror writer Stephen King

"In the run-up to the Fiscal Cliff vote, Harry Reid accused John Boehner of running the House like a dictator. ... Imagine, the man who has spent four years refusing to allow his 99 colleagues to vote on a federal budget has the unmitigated gall to accuse the Speaker of the House of being high-handed. When it comes to pots calling kettles names, we haven't seen anything like it since Hitler told Mussolini to lighten up." --columnist Burt Prelutsky

"Golfer Phil Mickelson said it was a 'big mistake' to publicly announce he was considering moving out of California for tax reasons. Although a bigger mistake would be staying and letting California bleed him dry." --Fred Thompson

"According to a new report, it now costs $351,000 to raise a child for 18 years. And you can double that again waiting the next 18 years for that lazy kid to move out of the basement." --comedian Jay Leno

"USA Today chided President Obama Tuesday for appointing white males to fill all his new cabinet post openings. The newspaper really took him to task. The president wrote a letter to the editor explaining that rich white men are in danger of extinction and if he doesn't create a protected habitat for them, there will be no one to pay for the government." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"Illegal immigration is a curious subject: It is one of the few domains in which the authorities entrusted with enforcing the law feel obliged to negotiate the most concessionary terms and conditions with those who are breaking it, as though law enforcement were an embarrassing inconvenience. But the rule of law, national security, and economic dynamism are not mere pro forma matters -- they are in fact fundamental, a reality lost on our would-be 'comprehensive' immigration reformers." --National Review

"When it comes to border security, I think anyone who looks at this honestly will note the tremendous strides we have made in the past four years in protecting our borders. In fact ... our borders now are more secure than they have ever been in history." --White House Press Secretary Jay Carney

"[I]t is true that the vast majority of gun deaths in America are not the consequence of the use of an 'assault weapon.' But that begs the question of whether assault weapons have any real utility either in terms of any sporting or self protection needs." --Joe Biden arguing that since assault weapons generally aren't used in crimes they should be banned



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