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Lingua publica

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

web posted March 28, 2011

"At once presumptuous and flippant, President Obama used a Saturday audio recording from Brazil to inform Americans he had authorized a third war -- a war in which America's role is unclear and the stated objectives are muddled. Setting aside the wisdom of the intervention, Obama's entry into Libya's civil war is troubling on at least five counts. First is the legal and constitutional question. Second is the manner of Obama's announcement. Third is the complete disregard for public opinion and lack of debate. Fourth is the unclear role the United States will play in this coalition. Fifth is the lack of a clear endgame. Compounding all these problems is the lack of trust created by Obama's record of deception." --columnist Timothy P. Carney

"So in the eleventh hour we have decided to bomb Libya. What is the mission? What are our objectives? The public is in the dark. Barely anyone has mentioned how Congress hasn't debated or authorized any of this. Secretary of State Clinton is reportedly furious with the administration's dithering. Vice President Biden, the purported foreign policy expert, is missing in action. And President Obama is away touring South America. The whole scene is very strange and a bit surreal. We have stumbled into war and it feels as though the intervention is both belated and haphazardly rushed at the same time." --columnist N. M. Guariglia

"Hourly cost of whatever it is we're doing in Libya: about $4 million. Total cost of building one mile of border fence, as undertaken by our horribly inefficient, bloated, largely incompetent federal government: about $2 million. So, every 30 minutes we're in Libya is one mile of border fence we could have built: Assuming the mission is accomplished in each case, which investment would make us safer?" --columnist Kevin D. Williamson

"If it weren't so sad, this story from the Washington Times would be too funny. It seems that money from President Obama's $862,000,000,000 'stimulus' bill of two years ago has been spent to upgrade the Wilmington, Del., AMTRAK station. Vice President Biden lobbied personally, we read, to get the funding for the station he has famously used ever since he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972. Now, AMTRAK, grateful for his support, has all on its own initiative decided to name the spruced-up station the Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. AMTRAK station. Well, we all wanted to know who would replace the late, beloved Robert Byrd of West Virginia as the king of pork. Now we know." --columnist Ken Blackwell

"In the past, obstacles, even failures, have been viewed by Americans as an opportunity to excel, as a chance to overcome and to gain the advantage by learning from mistakes and making a better product or service. ... What the nation lacks is a leader capable of summoning the nation's abilities. So far, all we seem to be getting is the thin gruel of defeatism that urges us to abandon hope, because the problems are just too hard. I, for one, am sick of it. We are a great people, capable of great sacrifices and great accomplishments. If only President Obama would believe it too." --columnist Lurita Doan

"[It's] very easy to square our military actions and our stated policies [on Moammar Gadhafi's regime]. ... We can't simply stand by with empty words. We have to take some sort of action." --Barack Obama, who until following the UN on air strikes basically stood by with empty words

"With respect to initiating this [Libya military] action while I was abroad, keep in mind that we were working on very short timeframes, and we had done all the work, and it was just a matter of seeing how Gadhafi would react to the warning that I issued on Friday. He, despite words to the contrary, was continuing to act aggressively towards his civilians. ... But, when it comes to our military action, we are doing so in support of UN Security [Council] resolution 1973, that specifically talks about humanitarian efforts, and we are going to make sure that we stick to that mandate." --Barack Obama

"Never let a good crisis go to waste": "Well, we're in Libya because of oil. And I think both Japan and the nuclear technology and Libya and this dependence that we have upon imported oil have both once again highlighted the need for the United States to have a renewable energy agenda going forward." --congressman Ed Markey (D-MA)

"We have made extraordinary progress over these last two years. When you look back at the track record of work that we've done over the last two years, I think it's fair to say the promise we made to the American people has been kept, that we have delivered in change that we can believe in. ... There are times where Michelle reminds me that I volunteered for this job. Because she looks at me and I looked tired. But I'm telling you, I am having an extraordinary time, because there aren't many moments in our lives where we know that we're making a difference. And this is one of those moments." --Barack Obama

"When a woman got raped, blame her because she was wearing a skirt too short, she looked the wrong way or she wasn't home in time to make the dinner. We've gotten by that. But it's amazing how these Republicans, the right wing of this party -- whose philosophy threw us into this God-awful hole we're in, gave us the tremendous deficit we've inherited -- that they're now using, now attempting to use, the very economic condition they have created to blame the victim -- whether it's organized labor or ordinary middle-class working men and women. It's bizarre. It's bizarre." --Joe Biden

"The only people who have the capacity -- organizational capacity and muscle -- to keep, as they say, the barbarians from the gate, is organized labor. And make no mistake about it, the guys on the other team get it. They know if they cripple labor, the gate is open, man. The gate is wide open. And we know that too."--Joe Biden

"Susan Rice did a remarkable job at the UN. No one could have predicted, even critics of the policy could not predict such a muscular resolution being approved and the abstensions from Russia and China. This came much faster than anyone expected. And came with some very adept diplomacy. ... The problem that the president has in projecting American values is that he first of all believes in a a multi-lateralist policy. Now on that score he has really accomplished that. This was pretty remarkable -- bringing this whole coalition together and getting the Arab League." --NBC's Andrea Mitchell

"This is the hand he's been dealt by history, he's a reluctant warrior, it's not as if he's converted to being a cowboy so people recognize the difference between him and former president Bush." --MSNBC's Jonathan Alter

"I've just got a question for the group ... I just wonder about the optics here, maybe this is too critical because things have to go on, the country has to function. But the president doing his brackets yesterday, and then going to a fundraiser -- would we be more critical if this was George W. Bush?" --MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski

"Obama played grand tourist. ... The president's sightseeing Sunday was sure to endear him even more to a diverse and multicultural country where his personal story already makes him popular." --AP's Jim Kuhnhenn

"We are ... uh ... We still very much plan to -- to take the trip. I -- I -- I just want to emphasize with all ... We are leaving on schedule on -- on -- on Friday. The... It bears repeating that this is a crisis, there is no question about it, and it is a crisis in Japan. It is not a crisis in the United States." --White House spokesperson Jay Carney when questioned whether Barack Obama would postpone his Rio vacation while Japan (and the Middle East) are in crisis

"I warn my brother [Obama], don't you let these wicked demons move you in a direction that will absolutely ruin your future with your people in Africa and throughout the Arab world. ... Why don't you organize a group of respected Americans and ask for a meeting with Gadhafi? You can't order him to step down and get out. Who the hell do you think you are?" --Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan

\"April 4 [is] the day on which Martin Luther King Jr. gave his life for the cause of public collective bargaining." --AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka

"A lot of people forget that what [Martin Luther King] was doing in Memphis was fighting for sanitation workers there. It's important for people to make the connection. Martin Luther King was so important to the labor movement. Workers' rights and civil rights go hand in hand. It's a time to remind people what he was fighting for." --AFL-CIO spokesperson Josh Goldstein

"The U.S. Border Patrol in Arizona was ordered to fire only beanbags at Mexican drug runners. No one's happy. Arizonans want a wall, the cops say beanbags stop nothing, and Mexicans are demanding they use live ammunition because beans are an offensive racial stereotype." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"President Obama told middle school students that he was always in trouble in the 8th grade. In fact, he was once sent to the principal's office because he said the dog ate his birth certificate." --comedian Jay Leno

"If George Bush reacted this way in an international catastrophe -- wholly irrelevant radio addresses, golf outings for the 61st time ... the left-wing media would require medically-induced sedation to keep them in check." --columnist Brent Bozell

"One plus for Obama in all this [situation in Libya]: The Press Trust of India reports that Moammar Gadhafi wrote a letter to Obama in which he addressed the president as 'our son.' Gadhafi's claim of paternity is one more bit of evidence -- not that any is needed -- that the claim Obama was born in Kenya is a flat-out lie." --WSJ columnist James Taranto

"We don't know whether the current U.S. president is mindful of what he is uttering, or if he is unconscious and confused." --Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei

web posted March 21, 2011

"Consider the Senate Democrats' most recent proposal for budget cuts to avert a government shutdown. Senate Republicans, following the House plan, proposed $61 billion in cuts for the current year, while Senate Democrats proposed a paltry $6.5 billion. (The Congressional Budget Office says it's actually only $4.7 billion.) Though Obama seems to be hiding in the bushes on this one, he is said to support the Democratic plan. Did you hear that: $6.5/$4.7 billion? This is nothing. It's an outrage. This from the clowns who say the Republican cuts, which themselves wouldn't be enough, are 'Draconian.' No, it's their attitude that is Draconian -- to the republic." --columnist David Limbaugh

"As Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew wrote in USA Today just a few weeks ago, the [Social Security] trust fund is solvent until 2037. Therefore, Social Security is now off the table in debt-reduction talks. This claim is a breathtaking fraud. The pretense is that a flush trust fund will pay retirees for the next 26 years. Lovely, except for one thing: The Social Security trust fund is a fiction. If you don't believe me, listen to the OMB's own explanation (in the Clinton administration budget for fiscal 2000 under then-Director Jack Lew, the very same). The OMB explained that these trust fund 'balances' are nothing more than a 'bookkeeping' device. 'They do not consist of real economic assets that can be drawn down in the future to fund benefits.' In other words, the Social Security trust fund contains -- nothing." --columnist Charles Krauthammer

"There's never been a better opportunity to rid public broadcasting of its dependence on public welfare to spread its left-wing bias and propaganda, if only the Republican leadership can screw up the courage to lead the way. Public broadcasting could have leavened the bias years ago and saved itself by easing up on the mockery and ridicule of the things most Americans hold dear. We can be glad it didn't; government radio is the norm in Pyongyang and Havana and Tehran, but never here. All things considered, the left and the liberals should pay for their own entertainment. The rest of us do." --Washington Times editor emeritus Wesley Pruden

"The outraged reaction to New York Rep. Peter King's hearings into the radicalization of the domestic Muslim community was so mindless it bordered on a collective self-lobotomy. The late conservative intellectual James Burnham once wrote that 'liberalism permits Western civilization to be reconciled to its dissolution.' If the congressional committee devoted to homeland security ... can't examine why some Muslims born and raised in the United States wage war on their own country, we might as well turn off the lights on our common culture." --National Review editor Rich Lowry

"Well what was interesting to me was, the way the President noted his personal connection to Japanese culture, having been raised in Hawaii, which has a heavy influence of, of Japanese culture, he's familiar with it. I think it affected him personally. And so, in terms of the, the humanitarian response of trying to help Japanese I think he has been as fast and, and correct as you could possibly be." --Washington Post's Eugene Robinson

"Was this [earthquake and tsunami in Japan] sort of a good opportunity for the president to remind everybody that he grew up in the United States and Hawaii?" --MSNBC's Chris Matthews with video of the tsunami playing in the background

"Wisconsin's Governor Wins, but Is He Now Dead Man Walker?" --Time Magazine headline

"There is a reason that we are the only news organization, other than Fox, with a growing audience. It is because of our product which is straight-shooting, factual, and spends an enormous amount of money gathering news from all over the country and the world. Judge us by our product." --NPR's Nina Totenberg, who once wished AIDS on then-GOP Sen. Jesse Helms and his grandchildren in an apparent example of straight-shooting analysis

"Let's put aside Peter King's seemingly strange obsession with Islam and Islamists, or whatever you want to call it. I don't quite understand how when you put an -ist at the end of it, it changes the subject. But let's just say, putting that aside, should Muslims be looking more carefully at themselves? Is there something that law-abiding American Muslims should be doing ... to satisfy this call to action that Peter King has put out? ... My concern is the radicalization of people in all faith groups. I think we have to be very careful when we single out one group. Certainly, when are you in charge of Homeland Security, you are worried about terrorism. We're all worried about terrorism. But how are we going to end this stigma of 'Muslim equals terrorist'?" --CNN's Ali Velshi

"I am also struck by the fact that the tragic events now unfolding in Japan could very easily occur in the United States. What is happening in Japan right now shows that a severe accident at a nuclear power plant can happen here." --Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), who draws all the wrong conclusions from Japan's tragedy

"Four million jobs will be created by the legislation when it is fully in effect. ... [T]his year, the biggest growth in jobs in our economy has been in health care jobs." --House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (See the video and comment.)

"Universal health care -- well, every industrial country on the planet already has a universal system of health care. ... [ObamaCare is] a platform. I don't think they flow smoothly but without that, if we didn't have this then health care, universal health care would be an even more difficult legislative objective." --Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)

"Let's not try to sneak political agendas into a budget debate." --Barack Obama

"The budget fight going on here is not really about budget cuts either. The conservative Republicans in the House are showing themselves to be Scott Walker Republicans." --Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

"It's been more than two months since the tragedy in Tucson stunned the nation. It was a moment when we came together as one people to mourn and to pray for those we lost. And in the attack's turbulent wake, Americans by and large rightly refrained from finger-pointing, assigning blame or playing politics with other people's pain." --Barack Obama in an op-ed on gun control for the Arizona Daily Star

"Just 12 months after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act became law, the American people are enjoying new protections, greater freedoms and lower costs." --Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

"[Barack Obama] is a guy who does not look at politics in left, center, whatever. He really doesn't." --White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley

"So why did the Dems wind up depressed after losing the House? The problem is a bad economy dampened turnout among key Democratic groups in a non-presidential year. But the enthusiasm will bounce back when Obama's on the ballot again." --Democrat strategist James Carville

"The unauthorized disclosure of classified information is a serious crime under U.S. law. My recent comments regarding the conditions of the pre-trial detention of Private First Class Bradley Manning [who is accused of leaking to WikiLeaks] were intended to highlight the broader, even strategic impact of discreet actions undertaken by national security agencies every day and their impact on our global standing and leadership. The exercise of power in today's challenging times and relentless media environment must be prudent and consistent with our laws and values." --P.J. Crowley, former State Department spokesman, who resigned over dubbing pre-trial detention and confinement of Bradley Manning "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid"

"Where there are taxpayer-funded cowboy poets, there must surely be cowboy poetry festival administrators, and a Bureau of Cowboy Poetry Festival Licensing, and cowboy poetry festival administration grant-writers, and a Department of Cowboy Poetry Festival Administration Grant Application Processing, and professors of Cowboy Poetry Festival Educational Workshop Management at dozens of American colleges credentialing thousands of cowboy poetry festival workshop coordinating majors every year." --columnist Mark Steyn

"It's been a long time since college campuses have lived up to their reputation as venues dedicated to the free expression of unpopular ideas. At this point, the main difference between a college campus and a totalitarian state is that the former doesn't require the secret police in order to shut down dissent." --columnist Burt Prelutsky

"Due to the recession, there are now 15,000 fewer lawyers in the U.S. No one ever talks about the good things that come from a recession." --comedian Jay Leno

"The White House considered tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to increase U.S. oil supplies and ease prices. It's a start. Until now, the only plan Democrats have had to increase the number of barrels of oil produced is to decrease the size of the barrels." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"Springfield, Illinois is STILL trying to get Obama to pay $55,457 he owes the city for security costs that his campaign ran up in 2008. Amazing. We've finally found something Obama doesn't want to spend money on." --former Senator Fred Thompson

"If Congress were to cut $6 billion every three weeks for the next 36 weeks, it would manage to save between now and late November as much money as the Treasury added to the nation's net debt during just the business hours of Tuesday, March 15." --CNSNews editor Terrence Jeffrey

"I believe the Tea Party is short lived. ... I think they will be gone because of their extreme positions or they will move to a more moderate position." --Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)

"Gen. Petraeus is giving us the Charlie Sheen counterinsurgency strategy, which is to give exclusive interviews to every major network and to keep saying, 'We're winning,' and hope the public actually agrees with you." --Rolling Stone writer Michael Hastings as quoted on the House floor by Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)

web posted March 14, 2011

"In the context of federal spending that will total something like $3.8 trillion this year, $61 billion is a rounding error. Yet the Democrats resisting that amount in House-approved cuts say it will wreck the economy while leaving children unschooled, taking food from the mouths of the elderly and casting disabled people into the streets. ... The cuts represent less than 2 percent of the total budget, less than 4 percent of the deficit and less than 5 percent of discretionary spending, which rose in real terms by 75 percent from 2000 to 2010 and by about 9 percent in each of the last two fiscal years. If the House-approved reductions would be 'the largest one-year cuts in history,' as the folks at Every Child Matters say, that is a sad commentary not on Republican cold-heartedness but on the fiscal incontinence of both parties." --columnist Jacob Sullum

"That 'clean energy' is code for 'anti-warming' is obvious, given that even Environmental Protection Agency numbers show that virtually all emissions have dropped dramatically in recent decades -- except for greenhouse gases. ... Global warming is a dying cause because the costs of the favored 'fixes' for the problem vastly outweigh the supposed benefits -- and China and India aren't going to stop industrializing, and stay poor, simply to please Western elites. Republicans should wake up and not let Obama use the guise of clean energy to keep the anti-warming crusade alive." --Reason Foundation Senior Fellow Shikha Dalmia

"Today, we take universal literacy for granted. But literacy has not been universal, across all segments of the American population during all of the 20th century. Illiteracy was the norm in Albania as recently as the 1920s and in India in the second half of the 20th century. Bare literacy is just one of the things needed to make democracy viable. Without a sense of responsible citizenship, voters can elect leaders who are not merely incompetent or corrupt, but even leaders with contempt for the Constitutional limitations on government power that preserve the people's freedom. We already have such a leader in the White House -- and a succession of such leaders may demonstrate that the viability of freedom and democracy can by no means be taken for granted here." --economist Thomas Sowell

"In truth, President Obama couldn't send a proper naval display to Tripoli or Benghazi even if he could borrow enough courage from the typing pool to order it. The big warships have been diverted elsewhere; the carrier Enterprise is cruising somewhere in the Indian Ocean, far from Libya. Only after the European Union said it was safe to go near the water the president agreed to send 'air and naval units' to join the fighting Europeans. ... President Obama made a point of instructing Hillary Clinton to say American 'naval and air units' might need to rescue someone at sea." --columnist Wesley Pruden

"Up next, Washington's answer to the job crisis. Will the deep budget cuts on the table stick a fork in the recovery?" --ABC's Christiane Amanpour

"I'm curious about whether Republicans realize that -- it doesn't seem to me that message is resonating. That is, if we don't deal with our fiscal problem, we have uncertainty, and therefore the economy can't grow. That's the line that they're drawing through it. And you see from our polling, people want that focus on immediate job creation, and that gets the president's point, which is you've got to get the balance right. You can't grow if you keep cutting so much." --NBC's David Gregory

"[Tea Party people aren't] just Islamaphobic, but really xenophobic, I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it's scary. They're seriously racist, racist people." --NPR president and CEO Vivian Schiller, who resigned after these remarks were made public

"[W]e get a tremendous amount of criticism for being too conservative." --Vivian Schiller, also last week

"I think that there's one thing we should finally be doing is using this opportunity to have a credible energy policy that begins to reduce our addiction to oil. Gasoline is almost $4 a gallon. We know that's a red line where people really start to change their behavior. At a minimum, I'd be talking about a tax that basically says we're going to keep it at $4. If it goes below we'll true it up, if it goes above that we're not going to touch it. Maybe say we're not going to implement it until 2012." --New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman

"Well, I think it's [jihadist terrorism] not our biggest domestic terror threat. I think that pretty clearly comes from the radical Right in this country, although I would certainly not minimize the threat of jihadist terrorism in this country." --CNN's Mark Potok

"As a nation, I look back in history and some of the worst governments we've ever had, you know one of the the first things they did? They went after the trade unions. Hitler didn't want unions, Stalin didn't want unions. [Former Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak didn't want independent unions. I'm not comparing what's happening to the workers in Wisconsin to Hitler and Stalin but I am saying that history is teaching us that unions are a very positive force in society that creates a middle class and protects our freedom. We've seen a real play on fear. They're trying to pit the private-sector workers against the public-sector workers. That is the most base Karl Rove-type politics to turn working-class people one against another." --Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

"Why can't they work on things that help the economy? Why do they have to work on things that hurt the economy? Why would they want to eliminate a program like that? Just because it came from the White House? This is hard for me to understand why they're so fixated on destroying our government, our economy." --Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Republican plans to terminate the Home Affordable Modification Program

"To say we're going to investigate a religious minority, and a particular one, I think is the wrong course of action to take. I don't want them to be able to stand up and claim, you know, see, we told you, America is at war with Islam. That's one of their main recruiting arguments." --Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim elected to the House

"Climate change is an environmental issue, it's an economic issue, but it's also fundamentally a moral issue. We have an opportunity to act now to forestall great harm to our nation and to the world. We had that kind of issue at other times in our history, we had it during the civil rights debate. If we don't act on this challenge we will not meet our moral ability to shape our future. We will not meet our moral obligation to our children and future generations." --Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA)

"Viewership of Al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it's real news. You may not agree with it, but you feel like you're getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news which, you know, is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners." --Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who no doubt was attacking Fox News

"Right now the Earth is shaking and the ground is shifting under the feet of those who are in charge. America is not broke ... Wisconsin is not broke. The only thing that's broke is the moral compass of the rulers. ... You are not alone. America is with you. ... The country is awash in wealth and cash. ... It has been transferred in the greatest heist in history from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich. [Despite Wall Street bailouts shortly after the recession began in 2008] millions lost their jobs anyway, and millions lost their homes. But there was no revolt ... until now. On Wisconsin!" --filmmaker Michael Moore

"With regard to the border, there's a difference between the border being sealed and the border being secure: There has never been a higher number of Border Patrol agents, a higher number of ICE agents, a higher number of ICE removals along the border. The border is as secure as I've ever seen it in 20 years in law enforcement." --Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton

"I'm angry because we don't take care of the planet. That makes me upset. You know, I don't go around beating my head against the wall because we're not taking care of the planet. But I think about it every day. I wish there was something that I could do. I try to do things that make some kind of example. And I realize how hypocritical I am, because I'm part of the problem just like I'm trying to be part of the solution. ... Well, I fly around. I do all these things in jets and go everywhere, you know." --singer-songwriter Neil Young

"When you live about 3,000 miles west of the Potomac, it's impossible not to feel as if you're watching the antics of people who should be wearing big floppy shoes and big red noses on the job. The upside is that 20 of them could use a single jalopy in order to carpool to work." --columnist Burt Prelutsky

"Michael Moore said [last week] the nation's wealth belongs to everybody. He thinks if you divide up all our wealth you could feed all the world's hungry people. That's not going to happen, but if you divided up Michael Moore you could feed at least five hundred of them." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"A federal watchdog agency says that overlapping and duplicate programs waste billions of dollars each year. Congress is taking this study so seriously that they're ordering a second study to look into it." --comedian Jay Leno

web posted March 7, 2011

"It appears that the Obama administration is more interested in kowtowing to environmental donors in advance of the 2012 election than it is in controlling energy prices. Even with a federal court order to decide on new drilling in the Gulf by March 20, the Obama administration remains obdurate. By refusing to grant a single deep-water permit in the Gulf, Obama has shut down access to one third of America's oil supply. With Libyan oil fields now closed indefinitely and with uncertainty about future production elsewhere in the Middle East, it is a dreadful time to be shutting down America's oil fields as well. Turmoil in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, or Iraq would drive the price of oil up above $150 a barrel, at the very least. A prudent policy would be to increase domestic production in light of uncertainty abroad." --columnist Jeffrey Folks

"Obama has long been ambivalent about American leadership in the world -- a doubt reflected during the Arab upheavals by his repeated references to universal human rights, rather than American values of freedom. Yet when we have the power to protect our citizens, we cannot be ambivalent about using it. That is why we have a military in the first place: so that the tyrants of Tripoli will fear us, not the other way around." --columnist Joel Pollak

"There's good reason to believe that Obama has always been lying -- yes, lying -- about opposing gay marriage. For example, in 1996, he told The Windy City Times, 'I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.' But by 2004, Obama very much wanted to be president, and he understood that supporting gay marriage would be a political liability. So he opted for something other than honesty. And in a 2004 interview with a gay publication, Obama strongly hinted his opposition was strategic, not philosophical. ... President Obama says DOMA is unconstitutional, and yet the 'law professor' says he will continue to enforce it. In a properly ordered constitutional republic, this would be a scandal. But in America today, it's cause for eye-rolling, shrugs and platitudes about the demands of politics." --columnist Jonah Goldberg

"Americans will learn two very important things about their government this week: 1) are Democrats, including the President, willing to make real cuts; and, 2) will Republicans stand their ground on the first round of cuts. I fear for America's future if the answer to either question is 'no.'" --columnist Mike Needham

"I recently froze the salaries of federal employees for two years. ... [I] believe that everybody should be prepared to give up something in order to solve our budget challenges, and I think most public servants agree with that. Democrats and Republicans agree with that. In fact, many public employees in your respective states have already agreed to cuts. ... [But] I don't think it does anybody any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified, or their rights are infringed upon." --Barack Obama

"Collective bargaining is something that is so close to slavery in terms of abolishing it, that it is not an American concept to tell people that they cannot discuss their economic position." --Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY)

"It's really especially poignant that this year during Black History Month, the Republican leadership has proposed a budget for fiscal year 2011 that will fall most heavily, mind you, on the backs of the most vulnerable in our society: African-Americans, Latinos and poor -- those who have been shut of the American dream. At a time when we should be remembering and uplifting the accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans, to the history, culture, civil rights and economy of America, we are literally during this month debating steps that will severely undercut and undermine that legacy." --Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)

"It is undeniable that the Recovery Act helped every single state represented in this room manage your budgets, whether you admit it or not." --Barack Obama

"The Obama administration's decision [not to defend DOMA] is a victory for civil rights, fairness and equality for the LGBT community and all Americans. Since its inception, the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA] has long been viewed as a violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution. Today, the president made clear that he agrees -- and I commend him for taking this bold step forward to ensure the federal government is no longer in the business of defending an indefensible statute. The fight for marriage equality is far from over, and we will continue to work towards the day when all American families are treated with respect and viewed equally in the eyes of the law." --House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

"Black folks don't have the luxury of focusing on just one thing at the moment. The thing that is obviously important in Black America right now is jobs. We're being left behind in this economy and I have been very vocal in the fact that I don't believe the president is doing enough to focus on the poor, to focus on the weak working class and to focus on African-Americans that are triple and in some cases quadruple the national unemployment average. So the first thing is full employment." --PBS's Tavis Smiley

"The Republican Party is saying that the president of the United States has bosses, that the union bosses this president around, the unions boss him around. Does that sound to you like they are trying to consciously or subconsciously deliver the racist message that, of course, of course a black man can't be the real boss?" --MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell

"The public school teachers in Wisconsin are not responsible for the credit collapse, the national unemployment rate, the fall of the industrial sector or the fiscal crisis. Allowing them to bargain collectively has not bankrupted Wisconsin. Its declining tax revenues have nothing to do with the fact that highly educated and trained professionals are earning a decent wage, albeit less than they would in the private sector. So why are they being blamed and scapegoated? Why are they in the center of the storm over our fiscal future? Where are the Wall Street banks for whom there was no limit to greed? And most important: Why should our children pay for this?" --commentator Susan Estrich

"You really came on hard against the teachers' union. I think everybody in this country on all sides of this thinks we need education reform, that we got to do something to make our educational system better. Do you worry that the stance you have taken has somehow demonized teachers and will raise questions in young people's minds as to whether they want to go into the profession?" --CBS's Bob Schieffer to NJ Gov. Chris Christie

"These are everyday people. And when you think about the wage disparity, the income disparity in this nation, this growing chasm where the middle class used to be, I think it's no wonder why everyday citizens are supporting the right of these workers to band together. ... [I]t sounds again like the Republicans are standing on the side of the billionaires, rather than the everyday citizen." --former Democrat Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm

"In an average person's mind, who does not know anybody that's Muslim, it's like you see Muslim, you think terrorist. You hear terrorist, you think Muslim, and what we're trying to do with this film ['Mooz-lum'] is separate the two, and get people to realize there are Muslims and there are terrorists. There are extremists. There are people that do horrible things, and then there are Muslims. ... [With] the amount of ignorance surrounding Muslims and Islam, I feel it's necessary for people to see this, and for people to say, like, you know, I've never looked at it that way before. ... [T]his ignorance is what creates fear, and fear, there's so much more that happens when that is in the picture. So, we're just trying to erase, clear up some of this ignorance." --film director Qasim Basir on his new movie, "Mooz-lum"

"What you are looking at in Tunisia, in Egypt ... Libya, in Bahrain ... what you see happening there ... you'd better prepare because it will be coming to your door. ... L. Ron Hubbard is so exceedingly valuable to every Caucasian person on this earth. ... L. Ron Hubbard himself was and is trying to civilize white people and make them better human beings and take away from them their reactive minds. ... [He] recognized that [white] people have to be civilized." --Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan

"Democrats are acting as if Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's demand that public sector employees give up collective bargaining would have George Washington rolling in his grave (a clear violation of Gravediggers' Local 803 regulations concerning the rolling of the dead)." --columnist Ann Coulter

"White House former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was elected mayor of Chicago by a huge margin. It was the usual coalition. Emanuel carried sixty percent of the black vote, sixty-five percent of the women's vote and one hundred percent of the deceased vote." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"Speaker Boehner stated that there are 200,000 more federal employees than two years ago and that this number has to be cut back. Nancy Pelosi was on the floor of the House faster than the speed of light saying that those are real people with real jobs. Somehow, she forgot to mention that they are being paid for with Monopoly money." --columnist Bruce Bialosky

"One of the runaway Wisconsin Democrats told the New York Post that hiding out in hotels in Illinois was 'a financial hardship.' Well, it could be worse. He could be stuck in Wisconsin paying for public union salaries & benefits." --former Senator Fred Thompson

"[W]e've allowed a vast majority of ... cash to be concentrated in the hands of just a few people. ... That's not theirs, that's a national resource, that's ours." --filmmaker Michael Moore, who is quite wealthy himself, chiding the country for not stealing more from the rich

web posted February 28, 2011

"[Public-sector] unions are government organized as an interest group to lobby itself to do what it always wants to do anyway -- grow. These unions use dues extracted from members to elect their members' employers. And governments, not disciplined by the need to make a profit, extract government employees' salaries from taxpayers. Government sits on both sides of the table in cozy 'negotiations' with unions." --columnist George Will

"Unionizing teachers, unionizing state employees is not about better teachers. It's not about better employees. It's about more power for the Democrat Party. It's about institutionalized Democrat Party membership as state and federal workers and employees. How could you get them more loyal to the government than to make 'em union members?" --radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh

"One major reason we're in this fiscal morass is our national media. Forget any real cuts. For decades now, any attempt to even try to trim 'increases in growth' in entitlements like Medicare have been trashed by the media as 'draconian cuts.' Our top reporters have spent the last two years letting Barack Obama spew the insanity that he could add millions of uninsured people to the government's health-insurance programs and simultaneously cut the deficit. Now they're calling him responsible for 'deep cuts.' They truly live in a parallel universe." --columnist Brent Bozell

"The key to what is bound to be hand-to-hand combat in the coming [budget cuts] debate will be whether Republicans can change our 'entitlement' mentality and cause people to focus instead on economic liberty and personal freedom. Can government do more for you than you can do for yourself? If Medicare and Social Security are going broke, why would anyone trust even bigger and costlier government to do better with more of our money? ... Changing the way we think about entitlements, economic liberty and personal responsibility will be a challenge for congressional Republicans. They've tried before and Democrats demagogued them into submission. They will try to re-run the same play this time." --columnist Cal Thomas

"For too long, colleges have abandoned the kind of core curriculum that highlights the story of America's constitutional republic, instead opting for a watered-down, politically correct, and multicultural version that seems to have fostered civic amnesia rather than civic knowledge. What better way to honor Washington's memory than for the American Academy to re-dedicate itself to a more rigorous, demanding, and traditional brand of instruction that restores American politics and history to its proper place in the curriculum. That's the kind of birthday celebration worthy of the Father of our Country." --Dr. Richard Brake, co-chair of ISI's National Civic Literacy Board

"Despite what you may have heard about Wisconsin's finances, Wisconsin is on track to have a budget surplus this year." --MSNBC's Rachel Maddow

"You talk about this being a potential Tea Party movement for the Left." --CBS's Chris Wragge on the Wisconsin protests

"I know there's this Democratic state senator Jon Erpenbach who said today it's not about the money, that this is really about the unions' bargaining rights, and that this is just the Republican governor taking advantage of a budget situation and trying to break the unions with this." --MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell

"Like many nice Caucasians, I cried the night Barack Obama was elected. It was one of the high points in American history. And all that's happened since the election is just a sh-- storm of hatred." --Esquire's Scott Raab

"The greatest president in history, according to the American people with their limited memory, is Ronald Reagan. Keep in mind, these are not historian rankings. These are people's. By the way, they should insist before anybody participates in one of these ridiculous polls, 'Please list the presidents and then pick the best.' Don't just go with the ones you can remember. It's like the greatest movie of all times was the one I just went to." --MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who didn't have a "thrill" go up his leg this time

"Are we dealing with our budget in a serious way and reducing spending?" --Barack Obama

"I would make the argument, one, that instead it is an incentive to do right, that it is not penalizing because penalty is punishment. You're not punished if you have health insurance, in fact. And so you are, in fact, incentivized to have health insurance, rather than take the negative, which is to suggest that because we have a penalty you are being punished." --Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)

"Social Security has contributed not a single penny to the deficit. So we can talk about entitlements as long as you eliminate Social Security. Because Social Security is not part of the problem we have in America with the deficit." --Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

"Unfortunately, Speaker Boehner seems to be on a course that would inevitably lead to a shutdown. That's reckless ... and I hope he'd reconsider. ... These [spending] cuts are very painful, and many in our caucus didn't want to go along with those. ... I understand that Speaker Boehner is being pushed by the hard Right. But it's wrong wrong; it would hurt innocent people; hurt the economy; and we hope we can come to the table and negotiate without shutting the government down." --Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

"I think it is absolutely clear to say number one, that it's been American policy for many years that [Israeli] settlements were illegitimate and it is the continuing goal and highest priority of the Obama administration to keep working toward a two state solution with both Israelis and Palestinians." --Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

"This is a Martin Luther King moment, this is a Gandhi moment. When we fight, we win. We fight in Montgomery, we win. We fight in Selma, we win. ... We march in Madison, Wisconsin, we win." --race hustler Jesse Jackson demonstrating that it's really yet another Jesse Jackson moment

"The stimulus package, recovery act, uh, contained within it goals. To improve, to basically, as part of a number of measures that were taken to, uh, prevent a staggering economy from collapsing into depression. To save or create jobs. To invest in, uh, areas where, uh, uh, future growth, uh, would help drive, uh, the overall economy -- and, uh, those goals have been met. ... The bigger point is, there was a crisis that had to be responded to, uh, and, uh, this president did that by leading, and, uh, and we believe it worked." --new White House Press Secretary Jay Carney when asked if the stimulus package was oversold upfront

"[Global warming] is a forest issue. It's a political issue. It's an economic issue. It's a national security issue. It's a jobs issue. But at bottom, it is a moral issue. And we have to be willing to stand up and do the right thing." --Al Gore

"Kids always act up the most before they go to sleep. And when I see the Tea Party and all this stuff, it actually feels like racism's almost over. Because this is the last -- this is the act up before the sleep. They're going crazy. They're insane. You want to get rid of them -- and the next thing you know, they're ... knocked out. And that's what's going on in the country right now." --comedian Chris Rock

"Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid argued Thursday over whether Democrats or Republicans should get the blame for a U.S. government shutdown. Both guys have misread the public mood. They should be arguing over who gets the credit." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"They're calling the Middle East uprisings the 'Jasmine Revolution.' Historians say it's the first revolution that could double as a new scent of Febreze." --comedian Conan O'Brien

"At the union protests in Wisconsin, several doctors were on hand to write fake excuse notes for teachers who called in sick to attend the rallies. Wonder if this is some of that medical waste, fraud, & abuse that Obamacare was supposed to fix?" --former Senator Fred Thompson

"First lady Michelle Obama said, 'Let's Move!' Who knew Democratic politicians in Wisconsin and Indiana would take her literally? Faced with stifling debt, bloated pensions and intractable government unions, liberal Midwestern legislators have fled those states -- paralyzing Republican fiscal reform efforts. Like Monty Python's Brave Sir Robin and his band of quivering knights, these elected officials have only one plan when confronted with political hardship or economic peril: Run away, run away, run away." --columnist Michelle Malkin



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