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Lingua publica

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

web posted May 23, 2011

"Gingrich is very wedded to the idea that he should be on the majority side of every major public policy issue. That's why he believes in framing policy questions so they become '70-30 issues' ... i.e. issues where he's on the side of 70 percent of Americans against the 30 percent 'elite.' As a political formula, there's much to recommend this. But there are a couple problems as well. First, simply rephrasing the issues so that 70 percent of those polled agree with you is not the same thing as actually finding a policy that a super-majority of the public will rally behind (or get through Congress). Polarizing rhetoric does not automatically yield support for polarized policy. So that's why -- or at least partly why -- Gingrich 'frames' things in such stark terms while adhering to fairly timid policies." --columnist Jonah Goldberg

"So here's the question for 2012: If we the people don't want the higher taxes that are needed to support not only ObamaCare but a growing federal government, are we willing to support the real cuts that go along with that choice? And if we decide we don't want these programs touched, will we accept the higher taxes that go along with keeping them, including for people making a lot less than $250,000?" --columnist William McGurn

"In the real world, debt ceilings are determined by the lenders, not the borrowers. In March, Pimco (which manages the world's largest mutual fund) calculated that 70 percent of U.S. Treasury debt is being bought by the Federal Reserve. So under the 2011 budget, every hour of every day, the United States government spends $188 million it doesn't have, $130 million of which is 'borrowed' from itself. There's nobody else out there. In other words, however Congress votes, we're rubbing up against the real debt ceiling -- the willingness of the world to continue bankrolling American debauchery." --columnist Mark Steyn

"The sane among us recognize that in a free society, income is neither taken nor distributed; for the most part, it is earned. Income is earned by pleasing one's fellow man. The greater one's ability to please his fellow man, the greater is his claim on what his fellow man produces. Those claims are represented by the number of dollars received from his fellow man. ... What's the case for being forced to give anything back? If one wishes to be charitable, that's an entirely different matter. ... If anyone is obliged to give something back, they are the thieves and recipients of legalized theft, namely people who've used Congress, including America's corporate welfare queens, to live at the expense of others. When a nation vilifies the productive and makes mascots of the unproductive, it doesn't bode well for its future." --economist Walter E. Williams

"We've got a lot more work to do to get businesses to invest and to hire. It's going to take us several years for us to get back where we need to be. It is time for companies to step up. American taxpayers contributed to that process of stabilizing the economy. Companies have benefited from that, and they're making a lot of money, and now's the time for them to start betting on American workers and American products." --Barack Obama, who's never held a real job

"When you think back to these last two and a half years, I want you to do so not with complacency, not with full satisfaction, but I want it to motivate you. Don't let people tell you that we can't bring about change. We have already brought about change. ... We're just a quarter of the way through. We've got to finish our task." --Barack Obama

"When we're talking about Medicare, let me be very clear because we are open to many, we're listening to every suggestion, but one suggestion we are not open to is the abolishment of Medicare and that's what the Republicans have put forth in their budget.... Every initiative that we have where federal dollars are spent must be subjected to scrutiny to make sure we're getting our money's worth and the public is well served. But abolishing Medicare, that is not on the table." --House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

"Now that the U.S. has reached the debt limit [Monday], it is past time for Republicans to get serious and work with Democrats to ensure our nation pays its bills while laying out a path to reduce the deficit. The longer we wait to take responsible action, the more damaging it is to our economy. ... By choosing to hold the economy hostage by risking a default on our nation's debt, Republicans are endangering our economic recovery." --House Demo Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

"If the president and his allies operate on the principle that failure to raise the debt ceiling is an unthinkable outcome, to be avoided at all cost, then they have ceded all power to those willing to bring that outcome about. In effect, they will have ripped up the Constitution and given control over America's government to a party that only controls one house of Congress, but claims to be willing to bring down the economy unless it gets what it wants." --New York Times columnist Paul Krugman

"In essence, Republicans would break up the population between an I've Got Mine segment and The Left Behinds. ... Give the Republicans credit for honesty and showing their true colors. And their plan is at least a starting point compared with those Tea Party political illiterates who waved signs urging government to keep its hands off their government health care. ... There is a very simple way to make Medicare whole through the end of this century, far less complicated, and more of a bargain in the long run than the bizarre Ryan plan. Raise taxes." --New York Times correspondent Timothy Egan

"[Barack Obama] got two-thirds of the Hispanic vote in 2008. He may get it up to four-fifths because he's the most prominent official on the Democratic side talking pro-comprehensive immigration. And you have Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona, the most prominent Republican official on the other side, sending out very negative attitudes when it comes to Hispanics. So I think, sure, there's a political benefit here for the president." --Newsweek's Eleanor Clift

"Why on earth would anyone marry someone, hitch up with them because of hatred? Well, this is the exact problem of the Republican Party today. It got married, hitched up politically with the Tea Party. But, not because the Tea Party loves the Republican Party. Don't even think about that happening this week. No, the marriage between the Republicans and the Tea Party is based on hatred, hatred of government, hatred of the Democrats, hatred of Barack Obama." --MSNBC's Chris Matthews

"Even a short-term default could cause irrevocable damage to the economy. ... A default on Treasury debt could lead to concerns about the solvency of the investment and financial institutions that hold Treasury securities in their portfolios, which could cause a run on money market mutual funds and the broader financial system. ... A default would call into question the status of Treasury securities as a cornerstone of the financial system, potentially squandering this unique role and the economic benefits that come with it." --Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

"I mean, what [Obama] inherited as a president -- [Republicans] can't blame him for anything because they created all of the trouble for him. I think he's fine. I think he's great. What's wrong with having an intelligent man as president?" --Grammy award-winning singer Tony Bennett

"I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election. I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly. Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector." --Donald Trump announcing that he's firing himself from a run for president

"The public relations campaign for President Obama's latest revival of 'immigration reform' makes one thing crystal clear: This is not, and never has been, about homeland security. This is not, and never has been, about economic security. It's about political security, plain and cynical." --columnist Michelle Malkin

"Illegal immigration has dropped not because of better law enforcement efforts, but because the Obama economy is so poor that even people trying to escape drug-related beheadings aren't trying to jump the border anymore." --columnist Ben Shapiro

"President Obama courted Hispanics Tuesday, offering citizenship to anyone who will register, pay their back taxes and learn English. The president and the crowd share an unbreakable bond. They all bought their birth certificates in MacArthur Park in Los Angeles." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"There's talk in Hollywood about doing another 'Mad Max' movie, where gas is so expensive that people steal and kill to get it. It takes place sometime in the future -- like July." --comedian Jay Leno

"I agree that all of us have a responsibility to help pay for health care. And I think that there are ways to do it that make most libertarians relatively happy. I've said consistently, where there's some requirement you either have health insurance or you post a bond or in some way you indicate you're going to be held accountable." --Newt Gingrich on "Meet the Press" Sunday

"I am completely opposed to the ObamaCare mandate on individuals. I fought it for two and a half years. ... I am against any effort to impose a mandate on anyone because I believe it is fundamentally wrong and unconstitutional." -- Newt Gingrich in a campaign video Monday

"Debating the issues is perfectly fine. It's the way Gingrich talks about things that is so awful. He is incapable of disagreeing on any matter about anything without creating a whirlpool of negativity that ends up sucking in his own confreres while leaving his partisan and ideological antagonists amazingly untouched. In the end, then, no matter the issue, Gingrich somehow manages to turn the conversation away from the topic at hand and focuses it squarely on him -- what he said, what he meant, what he was doing, why he did it, what's the matter with him. The Ryan apology just added to the psychodrama of the last few days with Gingrich. The havoc generated by his narcissism will not abate. It can't. Alas." --columnist John Podhoretz

web posted May 16, 2011

"It took nine years, seven months and 21 days to pinpoint the man who plotted, paid for and perpetrated the terror attacks of 9-11-01. When a U.S. Navy SEAL team finally found Osama bin Laden in the third-floor bedroom of a comfortable house in a suburb of Islamabad, Pakistan, they killed him. Last Sunday's complex and highly successful operation validates Ronald Reagan's maxim for terrorists after U.S. Navy SEALs captured the murderous hijackers of the Achille Lauro in October 1985: 'You can run, but you can't hide.' Afterward, one of the participants penned a corollary: 'Don't bother to run -- you will only die tired.'" --columnist Oliver North

"Whence came the intelligence that led to Abbottabad? Many places, including from secret prisons in Romania and Poland; from terrorists seized and kidnapped, then subjected to interrogations, sometimes 'harsh' or 'enhanced'; from Gitmo detainees; from a huge bureaucratic apparatus of surveillance and eavesdropping. In other words, from a Global War on Terror infrastructure that critics, including Barack Obama himself, deplored as a tragic detour from American rectitude." --columnist Charles Krauthammer

"If you think I'm being unfair to liberals, let me remind you that when Obama's predecessor was in office, not a day went by when the MSM didn't let us know how many American soldiers were dying in Bush's wars. Garry Trudeau even devoted Sunday editions of Doonesbury to listing the names of the fallen. Anyone find it odd that now that Obama is in charge, you don't get a daily, weekly or even monthly, update of numbers and names? Well, just for the record, nearly 1,500 American warriors have died in Afghanistan over the past 10 years, with two-thirds of the fatalities occurring since it became Obama's war in 2009!" --columnist Burt Prelutsky

"[W]hen the federal deficit is mentioned, so many people suggest we pay for it by raising taxes on the working rich. How perverse is that? Look at how we got the huge deficit in the first place -- entitlements like Social Security and Medicare. Were these instituted for the benefit of the working rich? Of course not, so why should the people who already benefited this country by producing jobs and our awesome consumer goods have to pay for it? In what bizarro, bearded-Spock universe is that fair?" --columnist Frank J. Fleming

"The reason that I concluded [that the mission to kill Osama bin Laden] was worth it was that we have devoted enormous blood and treasure in fighting back against al-Qa'ida ever since 2001. I said to myself that if we have a good chance of not completely defeating but badly disabling al-Qa'ida, then it was worth both the political risks, as well as the risks to our men." --Barack Obama

"Anyone, even a member of al-Qa'ida, could purchase a train ticket and board an Amtrak train without so much as a question asked. So that's why I'm calling for the creation of an Amtrak no-ride list. That would take the secure flight program and apply it to Amtrak trains." --Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) calling for an excuse to get the TSA involved in molesting and/or radiating train passengers

"Some in our country see China's progress as a threat to the United States; some in China worry that America seeks to constrain China's growth. We reject both those views. We both have much more to gain from cooperation than from conflict." --Hillary Clinton

"Republicans voted unanimously on an extremist anti-choice bill that would deny millions of women access to reproductive health care. For the first time ever, restrictions would be placed on how women with private insurance choose to spend their private dollars on health insurance. We cannot sit silent in the face of this extremist agenda." --House Minority Leader Nanny Pelosi (D-CA) calling Republicans "extremist" for preventing taxpayer dollars from being commingled to pay for abortions

"Why haven't the media reported as many plots and terror alerts under the Obama administration? It can't be that we're suddenly that much safer. ... But is it also possible that the Bush administration, for political reasons, chose to play up the war on terror in a way that the Obama administration has chosen not to?" --CNN's Howard Kurtz

"Meanwhile along comes Barack Obama. No military experience. Never even pretended to be a duck hunter. And yet he shows the kind of quiet strength that doesn't need to prove itself, except in the act of doing what needs to be done. No gloating or boasting (think of that silent visit to Ground Zero). Just taking responsibility, while giving the credit to those who risked the most. In other words, the cowboy way. Funny how truly modern that turned out to be." --Business Insider's Spencer Critchley (Remember when the Leftmedia mocked Bush as a "cowboy"?)

"The one thing that conservatives cannot rant and rave about is what has been their most predictable refrain since the Cold War: national security. Of all the things President Obama has done to conservatives in America, this may be the cruelest. He has taken away their national security argument. ... So imagine the predicament for Republicans. Their best strategists are already telling them it's time to back away from the wedge issues that defined the party for decades. Opposing abortion doesn't get you to 51 percent -- and may cost you that prize. Neither does opposing gay rights. Gays in the military is history. Even immigration has a politically dangerous downside. And now you're taking away 'weak on terrorism.' What is an independent group loaded with dough to do? Ask people to trust that the Republicans will be better on Social Security? I don't think so." --Fox News commentator Susan Estrich

"I don't know if you could, had a monitor there, you could see who actually appeared at the National Press Club today in Washington, but it is a new low. He appeared in costume as a pretend Founding Father outraged at the notion of raising the debt ceiling which of course the Founding Fathers would have understood would be imperative to maintain the credit rating of the United States of America." --MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell (The Founding Fathers would not have understood how we dug ourselves into so much debt in the first place...)

"Although we have not closed Guantanamo within the time period that we initially indicated ... it is still the intention of the president, and it is still my intention, to close the facility that exists in Guantanamo. We think that by closing that facility the national security of the United States will be enhanced." --Attorney General Eric Holder

"So when does SEAL Unit 6, or whatever it's called, drop in on George Bush? Bush was responsible for a lot more death, innocent death, than bin Laden. Wasn't he, or am I wrong here?" --radio talk-show host Mike Malloy

"Our economy is built on effective transport and communications networks and reliable energy and water supplies. But the economy cannot grow if there are repeated power failures, or goods cannot be transported because roads are flooded and railways have buckled, or if intense rainfall or high temperatures disrupt Wi-Fi signals. ... But if the facilities which support our society cannot cope with floods, droughts or freezing winters then that money will have been wasted." --Caroline Spelman, Britain's Environment Secretary, coming up with more doomsday prophecies of climate change destruction of the economy

"Sensitive Obama's order was to kill or capture [bin Laden] -- and that's why the SEAL team gave him a chance to surrender, upon which he resisted with arms, or actually didn't resist with arms, but sort of resisted without arms, except there was an AK-47 nearby, sort of, or maybe not, thus making it possible to assert that while Decisive Obama did tell the SEALs to kill bin Laden and should claim all credit for doing so, Progressive Obama can also be absolved by bleeding hearts because of the painstakingly concocted post facto possibility that bin Laden somehow threatened our military -- telepathically or something -- before being taken out. ... 'We've been as forthcoming with facts as we can be,' said an irritated [Jay] Carney on Wednesday. And they wonder why Americans of all political stripes think they're blowing smoke." --columnist Michelle Malkin

"Torture is not nice. Nice people do not torture (except in rare circumstances). We can all agree on that much -- depending, of course, on the definition of 'torture'. The New York Times, for example, says it hates torture but having to read a New York Times editorial is the pure torture forbidden by the Geneva Convention." --Washington Times editor emeritus Wesley Pruden

"BP paid a fine to the U.S. government to settle an old offshore spill in Alaska. It was the last fine for a while. President Obama lost the moral high ground on offshore drilling last week when he started dumping fish food into the ocean that may contain lead." --Argus Hamilton

"Osama Bin Laden's supporters want to rename the Arabian Sea where his body was dumped Martyr Sea. Really? Martyr Sea? Hiding in your bedroom for six years? How about Chicken of the Sea?" --comedian Jay Leno

"Let me just first of all say that workers ... for the federal, state and local governments are so important for our vital services, and it frustrates me sometimes when people talk about 'government jobs' as if somehow those are worth less than private sector jobs. I think there is nothing more important than working on behalf of the American people." --Barack Obama, who has never had a real job in his life

web posted May 9, 2011

"No matter how often our leaders insist the enemy is al Qaeda and its destruction is our goal, the reality is different. We confront a larger array of adversaries who share such terrorists' goals -- the imposition worldwide of a politico-military-legal program they call shariah to be administered by a Caliph -- but pursue them via different, often stealthy means. Such enemies, including the Muslim Brotherhood, operate here as well as abroad. ... Ending the sort of obstruction of justice his department appears to have engaged in with respect to the prosecution of Brotherhood fronts and operatives is a good place to start the next phase of the War for the Free World." --founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, Frank Gaffney Jr.

"We are living in strange times indeed when it's not laughable to suggest that President Obama will be difficult to beat in 2012. Well, I'm not buying it, even considering any positive (but inevitably temporary) surge Obama may receive with Osama bin Laden's death. ... Provided Republicans don't forget they're in a fight for the survival of the nation and don't allow their stark policy differences with Obama to be diluted by failing to aggressively articulate their positions, 2012 will be the GOP's presidential election to lose." --columnist David Limbaugh

"The government that tracked bin Laden to a compound in distant Pakistan and took him out with an incredibly talented, trained and brave team of SEALs could surely secure our border, too. The difference is our political leaders took their constitutional duty to protect our country seriously when it came to finding bin Laden over there. They do not take it seriously when it comes to protecting our borders here." --columnist Terence Jeffrey

"So much of this administration's talk about energy sounds similar to a bull session in the faculty lounge, or what we would expect from lifelong bureaucrats and public functionaries who have never experienced long commutes or struggles in the harsher, profit-driven private workplace. Now the global economy is recovering and energy use is climbing, as the U.S. dollar sinks. The oil-rich Middle East is in chaos. And more than 2 billion people in India and China are desperate for imported oil. The result is that American gas prices are astronomical, and the public is furious and starting to demand relief from the administration. Its answer? Simple: Since re-election looms, the administration now insists that high energy prices are no longer good, but suddenly bad. And the evil oil companies are mostly to blame!" --historian Victor Davis Hanson

"Shortly after taking office I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of [Osama] bin Laden the top priority. ... Last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. I met repeatedly with my national security team. I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action. Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan." --Barack Obama

"This [the killing of Osama] was a direct result of President Obama's efforts to refocus on Afghanistan and Pakistan as a central battleground in our fight against terror. Over the past two and a half years, the Obama administration has significantly escalated our military, diplomatic intelligence and economic efforts to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qa'ida." --Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)

"If Bush had gotten Osama after Clinton had failed do you think [Congressman Eric] Cantor would have given Clinton credit and said: 'Oh good. Bush got Osama bin Laden, he showed the same vigilance as Bill Clinton?'" --Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) criticizing Eric Cantor for "politicizing" the death of Osama by thanking George Bush as well as Obama

"This is a country that was built by immigrants ... that became a superpower because of its immigrant population, and unless we continue to have immigrants, we cannot maintain as a superpower. Take a look at the big, old, industrial cities, Detroit, for example. They've got a great mayor, Mayor [Dave] Bing, but the population has left. You've got to do something about that. And if I were the federal government, assuming you could wave a magic wand and pull everybody together, you pass a law letting immigrants come in as long as they agreed to go to Detroit and live there for five or ten years. Start businesses, take jobs, whatever. ... You would populate Detroit overnight because half the world wants to come here."--New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg

"Leading off tonight, the president who caught bin Laden. The triumph of justice over evil. ... Barack Obama. The cool hand directs the operation step by step. All this time, the crazies were talking birth certificates, he was working. Planning, leading, bringing America's strength and brains to the enemy hideaway. Tonight, we see how it worked from the inside. We see how Obama now looks from the outside. We weigh the impact in this country of what happened yesterday in far off Pakistan. Will this make the Republicans look for someone who can do what Obama can do? Or will they keep on celebrating the clown show? Will they stop enjoying their passion and go from cheering their buffoon parade to finding a real pick to put up against a proven master and commander?" --MSNBC's Chris Matthews

"It felt a little crazy, a bit much. Almost vulgar. When I saw that folks were celebrating in the streets at the news of bin Laden's death, my first reaction was a cringe. Remember how we all felt watching videos of those al-Qaeda guys dancing on Sept. 11? Are we simply creating star-spangled recruitment tapes for a new generation of terrorists killing in the name of their new martyr?" --Washington Post's Petula Dvorak

"This guarantees his re-election!" --radio talk-show host Don Imus, proclaiming that the death of bin Laden guarantees Obama another presidential term

"Another irony: this is the eighth anniversary, May 1st, of 'Mission Accomplished' in Iraq, the appearance by President George W. Bush on the Abraham Lincoln, that declaration, which we know was a premature declaration, became a controversy in itself. But Mission Accomplished became an iconic phrase in U.S. political policy and political parlance and now this could be President Obama coming out, and without literally saying it, having accomplished it, accomplished the mission that two American presidents tried before to capture or kill Osama bin Laden." --NBC's Andrea Mitchell

"[Using enhanced interrogation techniques] just encourages more of it around the world and our soldiers have to endure it. And then the other thing is it's possible that a $6 million book deal would have worked just as well, you know what I mean? There are other ways to get information out of people, pay them off. Who knows what would have worked?" Joy Behar of "The View"

"The president ... made what I believe was one of the most gutsiest calls of any president in recent memory." --White House counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan

"The monster we created-yes, WE-in the 1980s by ARMING, FUNDING, & TRAINING [Osama] in the art of terror agnst [sic] the USSR, finally had 2 b put down. Which reporter has the courage to say it? American-armed terrorist from the 80s, Osama bin Laden, was killed earlier today by America. This caps off disastrous few months 4 Al-Qaeda. Non-violent revolts in Egypt, Tunisia, elsewhere were Al-Qaeda's WORST nightmare. Now this." --several tweets from a twit, Michael Moore

"Contrary to common misperception, the debt limit has never served as a constraint on future spending, nor would refusing to increase the debt limit reduce the obligations the country has incurred." --Treasury Secretary Timmy Geithner

"Liberals are compassionate people. That's why they support abortion and oppose the death penalty. They figure it's best to kill a majority of black children before they are born. If they did not, a small minority of those black children would later commit homicide. Liberals are not just compassionate people. They're logical, too." --columnist Mike Adams

"Not too long ago, Barack Obama promised to double our exports. Democrats, who are always ready and eager to listen to fairy tales, ballyhooed the fatuous pronouncement and then begged to have Little Red Riding Hood read to them before they'd go to sleep. Republicans, on the other hand, all knew better. They knew that the only exports Obama has any chance of doubling will be American jobs." --columnist Burt Prelutsky

"Superman renounced his U.S. citizenship in Action Comics to pander to Iran's ruling regime. He wants to be seen as a global superhero. If Jimmy Carter couldn't rescue U.S. hostages from Teheran, Barack Obama will never get them out of the Fortress of Solitude." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"After releasing the birth certificate today, [Barack Obama] said 'There's work to be done, there are real problems in this country, and we don't have time for this silliness.' Then he and Michelle got on a plane and flew to Chicago to tape an episode of Oprah." --comedian Jay Leno

"I know some of you are concerned about when the Navy SEALs raided Osama's compound, whether he was then shot in the face in accordance with Islamic tradition. Well, don't worry; he absolutely was. The very last thing anyone wanted was for Osama to think while he was being killed, 'They're doing this to me because I'm Muslim!' Because, again, that would definitely not be true. So great care was taken, and he was shot in the face in a religiously respectful way. For instance, none of the Navy SEALs in the raid were eating a pork sandwich as they did it. And none of them had on them any depictions of Muhammad (PBUH). Also, the raid was done between prayer times -- not during! And when Osama was shot in the face, he was facing westward. I'm not sure that's actually religiously important, but if it is, then, yes, he was doing that. And when he was shot, the traditional Muslim expression of 'Allahu Akbar!' was shouted except it was an English translation, so it was something like, 'Thank you, Jesus!'" --humor columnist Frank J. Fleming

web posted May 2, 2011

"The [Paul] Ryan budget has been criticized as heartless and cruel. But its purpose is to address the rising U.S. debt problem without tanking the U.S. economy, and to do so before a truly heartless and cruel credit downgrade of the sort S&P gave Japan in January. Mr. Obama's response was simply to mock the GOP proposal. The ratings agencies are hardly the last word on U.S. economic health. But the S&P outlook is a warning to the White House that financial markets have noticed that this President seems to have decided that his path to re-election lies in demonizing his opponents rather than seeing to the nation's fiscal well-being." --Wall Street Journal

"President Barack Obama, one of the most insane spenders in Washington, has a 12-year plan. After hearing the president's plan, Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. Sovereign debt outlook to 'negative.' ... At the world's first 'Presidential Facebook town hall meeting' [last] Wednesday, even Obama had a hard time taking his 'plan' seriously. Sometimes he referred to it as a 12-year plan, sometimes 10 years, sometimes saving four trillion, sometimes saving two trillion. So will the Obama plan save four trillion over 12 years or two trillion over 10?" --columnist Mark Steyn

"Already [Obama's] campaign's messaging is all about recapturing the feeling of insurgency from the first time around. Finish the mission. Complete the work. Remember the feeling. That's why he's running his re-election campaign out of Chicago, as if people won't notice he's the incumbent. Obama has never run on a record. He's always run almost literally on a hope and a prayer. Now he must defend what he has done -- and what he has failed to do. If that makes him cranky, that's just too bad." --columnist Jonah Goldberg

"Two college professors just released a study of national protests between 2007 and 2009. What did they find? 'After January 2007, the attendance at antiwar rallies [measured in] roughly the tens of thousands, or thousands, through the end of 2008. After the election of Barack Obama as president, the order of magnitude of antiwar protests dropped [...] Organizers were hard pressed to stage a rally with participation in the thousands, or even in the hundreds. For example, we counted exactly 107 participants at a Chicago rally on October 7, 2009.' Amazing. Especially because the war in Afghanistan ramped up after Obama was elected. American fatalities shot up in 2009 and 2010. The protesters have remained silent over Libya." --columnist John Stossel

"[F]irst of all, $4-a-gallon gas really hurts a lot of people around this country. It's not because they're wasteful, but if you're driving 50 miles to work and that's the only job you can find, and you can't afford some hybrid so you're stuck with the old beater that you're driving around that gets eight miles a gallon, these gas prices are killing you right now." --Barack Obama feigning sympathy for the little guy

"I asked my attorney general to look into any cases of price gouging so he can make sure nobody's being taken advantage of at the pump. Today I'm gonna go a step further. The attorney general's putting together a team whose job it is to root out any cases of fraud or manipulation in the oil markets that might affect gas prices, and that includes the role of traders and speculators. We're gonna make sure that nobody's taking advantage of American consumers for their own short-term gain." --Barack Obama

"I believe that we can't ask everybody to sacrifice and then tell the wealthiest among us, well, you can just relax and go count your money, and don't worry about it. We're not going to ask anything of you." --Barack Obama

"I will not reduce our deficit by sacrificing the things that have always made America great. The things that have made Americans prosper. I won't sacrifice our investments in education. I will not sacrifice those. I won't sacrifice our investments in science and basic research. I won't sacrifice the safety of our highways or our airports. I won't sacrifice our investment in clean energy at a time when our dependence on foreign oil is causing Americans so much pain at the pump. I will not sacrifice America's future. That I will not do." --Barack Obama

"With Congress on recess, town hall events across the country are again lighting up with anger and frustration, but this time it is about the official Republican Party budget plan. The Paul Ryan budget plan, which drastically cuts taxes for the richest Americans back to what they were in the 1930s. It drastically cuts taxes for corporations. It gives billions of dollars in tax breaks to oil companies, those poor, orphaned, hard-luck oil companies. And it also, incidentally, ends Medicare, it repeals Medicare. It turns Medicare instead into a coupon system and it makes senior citizens buy private health insurance." --MSNBC's Rachel Maddow

"Now to those climbing gas prices. They are taking a toll on so many of you and any anger you feel about it is likely to rise this week when oil companies report what are expected to be record profits. ... [T]hese gas prices are also knocking down President Obama's poll numbers, which is why he's out there nearly every day addressing this problem." --ABCs George Stephanopoulos (It's nice to have a president who advocates "change" based on poll numbers.)

"Well I think [Barack Obama has] got a full plate. But I think he's gotta be held accountable for a number of different standards. I think he's wrong on these wars. I think he's given too much time, too much attention to the rich and the lucky, not enough attention to the poor. Not enough focus on jobs. Again, there's a lot on his plate and I'm empathetic toward that. But ultimately are you gonna side with the weak or are you gonna side with the strong? And we gotta focus more attention on the weak in this country and less on the strong." --PBS commentator Tavis Smiley

"People are a little disappointed in the president because he hasn't been able to change the way Washington works at all. Indeed, Congress is even more poorly regarded. Everybody wanted a bigger deal than was done on the last budget go-around. And so in an odd way the fact that the Republicans and Congress are so poorly regarded, that the whole system is so poorly regarded, drags everybody down, including the president." --Huffington Post's Howard Fineman

"You know, the president went to church yesterday. It was well covered. I'm not sure if we put out a statement or not." --White House Press Secretary Jay Carney attempting to spin away the fact that Obama has never once followed the presidential custom of issuing an official Easter proclamation, though he sure didn't miss Earth Day

"Our policy has been and will always be, as long as I will be in office, that a strong dollar is in the interest of the country. We will never embrace a strategy to weaken the dollar." --Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner

"We've gotten away from being a people-centered society [and become] a money-centered society." --Bill Clinton

"So, if Obama's numbers are gas-tanking, the political/policy czars in the White House need to find someone to blame, and fast. The President has announced the formation of yet another task force, this one in the Department of Justice to look for fraud and illegal manipulation of gasoline prices." --political analyst Rich Galen

"Just how dire is the crisis over the $14,294,000,000,000 debt ceiling, which America will hit on about May 16? So dire that President Obama spent much of last week traipsing across the West collecting campaign cash (and hit the golf course for Round No. 65 on Saturday). So dire that Congress headed off on a two-week vacation (and Sen. Harry Reid jetted off to China on a 10-day junket with nine colleagues, costing taxpayers millions)." --former White House correspondent Joseph Curl

"Barack Obama's motorcade snarled traffic in Los Angeles Thursday. Churches on the president's route had to cancel Holy Week services to accommodate his entrance to Los Angeles. It was the most self-important procession since O.J. rode into Brentwood on a Bronco." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"Prominent people are coming forward to attest to President Obama's American citizenship. The Governor of Hawaii just said he first met Obama just days after he was born. He knew it was Obama, because he kept pointing to his diaper and calling for change." --comedian Conan O'Brien

"Every time a kid found an egg [at the White House Easter Egg Roll], Michelle Obama would make them trade it in for a low cholesterol Egg Beater. They had about 6,000 eggs, and you know who decorated them? Ex-cons. It's nice to see the White House reaching out to former members of Congress." --comedian Jay Leno



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