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

web posted August 15, 2011

"While tea party critics are re-reading the Constitution, they should also consult the Declaration of Independence. That philosophical foundation of the Constitution reserves the right of the people to change their government when it no longer serves the interests of its citizens. The Declaration outlined the proper relationship between government and citizens, noting that government derives its 'just powers from the consent of the governed' (and) 'whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.' The British no doubt considered those who wrote and believed such things 'terrorists.' We call them patriots." --columnist Cal Thomas

"The decision by credit agency Standard and Poor's to downgrade America's AAA credit rating for the first time in 70 years is a massive blow to the credibility of the Obama administration, and a damning indictment of its handling of the economy. ... These are increasingly dangerous times, with American leadership being challenged across the globe. Only an historic reduction in government spending combined with pro-growth measures including lower business tax rates to stimulate job creation and attract investment can turn the US economy around. Unfortunately, as Standard and Poor's decision has shown, this is a presidency in extreme denial over America's towering debts, leading a nation on a precipice while blindfolded to reality." --columnist Nile Gardiner

"Had the Republicans gone along with President Obama's original request for a 'clean' bill ... would that have spared the country the embarrassment of having its government bonds downgraded by Standard & Poor's credit-rating agency? To believe that would be to believe that it was the debt ceiling, rather than the runaway spending, that made Standard & Poor's think that we were no longer as good a credit risk for buyers of U.S. government bonds. In other words, to believe that is to believe that a Congressional blank check for continued record spending would have made Standard & Poor's think that we were a better credit risk." --columnist Thomas Sowell

"The White House and much of the chattering class cooed on Friday when unemployment dropped to 9.1 percent and 117,000 jobs were reportedly created in July. But these numbers, upon closer inspection, show no progress on the jobs front. Buried in the job stats was a number -- 193,000 -- that dwarfed all the rest. That is the number of workers who left the job market. If 193,000 left and only 117,000 jobs were added, we lost 76,000 jobs." --Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin

"I know we're going through a tough time right now. We've been going through a tough time for the last two-and-a-half years." --Barack Obama (Punchline hat tip to the WSJ's James Taranto)

"[I]t's not a lack of plans or policies that is a problem here, it's a lack of political will in Washington, it is the insistence of drawing lines in the sand, a refusal to put what's best for the country ahead of self-interest or party or ideology. And that's what we need to change." --Barack Obama, who didn't address the credit downgrade until nearly 72 hours later

"Markets will rise and fall, but this is the United States of America. No matter what some agency may say, we've always been and always will be AAA country." --Barack Obama

"[T]he good news here is that by coming together to deal with the long-term debt challenge, we would have more room to implement key proposals that can get the economy to grow faster." --Barack Obama

"[I]f Congress fails to extend the payroll tax cut and the unemployment insurance benefits that I've called for, it could mean one million fewer jobs and half-a-percent less growth." --Barack Obama, who has no idea how to create or save a job

"I've said it before, I will say it again: We can't balance the budget on the backs of the very people who have borne the brunt of this recession. Everyone's gonna have to chip in. That's only fair. That's the principle I'll be fighting for in the next phase of this process." --Barack Obama once again calling for higher taxes on job-creating Americans

"This is not rocket science in terms of how we can create more jobs in this country." --Barack Obama

"I believe this is, without question, the Tea Party downgrade." --Sen. John Kerry

"The media has got to begin to not give equal time or equal balance to an absolutely absurd notion just because somebody asserts it or simply because somebody says something which everybody knows is not factual." --John Kerry, demanding that the Tea Party not be given the time of day

"This group of people in New York [Standard and Poor's] is actually talking about more government rather than less government.... In fact, the reason they like France and Great Britain is because they're parliamentary systems where the majority gets what it wants no matter what. And the problem that we have here is the Constitution of the United States of America, which actually does require people to come together from different perspectives whether it's divided government or not." --ABC's Cokie Roberts

"The fact is we didn't spend enough money on the stimulus. So what's the Tea Party solution? Pull more money out of the economy, obviously that's gonna bring more recession, possibly depression." --Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page, equating government spending cuts with pulling "more money out of the economy"

"S&P says, 'The downgrade was motivated by all the debate about raising of the debt ceiling. It involved a level of brinksmanship greater than what we had expected.' That's why they say they downgraded us. Not because there's too much debt, but rather that Washington is not working." --MSNBC's Rachel Maddow

"[The tea partiers] were like cannibals, eating their own party and leaders alive. They were like vampires, draining the country's reputation, credit rating and compassion. They were like zombies, relentlessly and mindlessly coming back again and again to assault their unnerved victims, Boehner and President Obama. They were like the metallic beasts in 'Alien' flashing mouths of teeth inside other mouths of teeth, bursting out of Boehner's stomach every time he came to a bouquet of microphones." --New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd

"Is Obama more conservative than most people think?" --CNN's Don Lemon

"[Republicans] played brinksmanship with the full faith and credit of the United States. This was the result in that. The fact of the matter is that this is essentially a Tea Party downgrade that clearly is on the backs of those who were willing to see the country default." --White House adviser David Axelrod

"I think this is a Tea Party problem. I think they are totally unreasonable and doctrinaire and not founded in reality. I think they've been smoking some of that tea, not just drinking it." --former DNC Chairman Howard Dean

"This 'tea party downgrade' is a shameful blow to our nation's honor and risks throwing us right back into recession. Worst of all? It was completely avoidable. But when given the choice between extremist posturing and responsible leadership, tea party Republicans chose wrong." --MoveOn.org fundraising email

"We do not control all levers of government, sometimes that is quite unfortunate." --White House Press Secretary Jay Carney

"Pres Obama, show some guts & arrest the CEO of Standard & Poors." --leftist fictional filmmaker Michael Moore on Twitter

"The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that. So there is zero probability of default." --former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan

"S&P downgraded the United States from AAA to AA+, and it gets worse. Today, Italy, England and Greece un-friended us on Facebook." --comedian Jay Leno

"Blame the Tea Party? Geez, no wonder [John] Kerry did so well in an election. If it wasn't for the Tea Party, they would have passed the debt ceiling thumbs up, we would have been rated BBB." --CNBC's Rick Santelli

"Obama sympathy cards are at the printer's: 'You'll always be AAA-rated to me, America.'" --commentator S.E. Cupp

"On Thursday, in honor of Barack Obama's 50th birthday, the Dow dropped 10 points for every year he has walked among us. It was the ninth-largest drop in history. We should be relieved he wasn't turning 80." --columnist Mark Steyn

"The expression 'garbage in, garbage out' refers to the data supplied to computers. It meant that if the programmer provided it with misinformation, there was no way the machinery could correct it. That happens to be the way I view Congress and the White House: Garbage in, garbage out. Too bad we have to wait until November, 2012, for the trash collector." --columnist Burt Prelutsky

"Bulls--t! 'It may be sun spots.' Bulls--t! 'It's not getting warmer.' Bulls--t! ... There are about 10 other memes that are out there, and when you go and talk to any audience about climate, you hear them washing back at you. The same crap, over and over and over again. There is no longer a shared reality on an issue like climate even though the very existence of our civilization is threatened. People have no idea! It's no longer acceptable in mixed company, meaning bipartisan company, to use the g--d--n word 'climate.'" -- Al Gore

web posted August 8, 2011

"Federal outlays now make up a quarter of the total national output. Federal spending is up 46% in the last decade while the economy has grown by just 14% (inflation adjusted dollars). In other words, government is growing over 3.5 times faster than our ability to sustain it. Normally, spending numbers are lost on much of the voting public, but the debt ceiling offers a chance at national reflection over what we have purchased and what we've committed to buy. Instead of framing the debate around government freebies, as in the case of the federal budget, the debt ceiling shows Americans how much it all costs. It is the difference between the euphoria of a credit card-financed shopping spree and the realism [of] the next month's Visa statement." --columnist Joseph Ashby

"If the debt-ceiling had not been raised, the government would have been forced to choose between spending initiatives. The debt-ceiling would have provided a hard cap; it would have prevented President Obama from being able to press for new spending initiatives. Now, with the 'Super Congress' ... in charge of cutting the deficit, we can expect a new push for higher taxes, especially since reports are that the constituency of the Super Congress will be 'moderate.' ... If someone sets a hard date, we can fairly guarantee that the doom-saying is nonsensical. Never in history, has a non-mankind-created hard date turned out to be disastrous. No Kal-El prediction of the sun exploding has ever been accurate. ... The only apocalypse that will occur is the one our scaremongering politicians bring down upon us." --columnist Ben Shapiro

"The political class predicted 'disaster' if Congress didn't raise its debt limit. I think that was a scam to get more money. See, the poor politicians don't have enough, and they need to borrow more. We taxpayers are cheap. This year we'll give them only $2.2 trillion. They want to spend $3.8 trillion." --columnist John Stossel

"[This debt-ceiling deal is] an important first step for ensuring that as a nation we live within our means. ... [But the economy] didn't need Washington to come along with a manufactured crisis. It's pretty likely that the uncertainty surrounding the raising of the debt ceiling -- for both businesses and consumers -- has been unsettling, and just one more impediment to the full recovery that we need. And it was something that we could have avoided entirely. Voters may have chosen divided government, but they sure didn't vote for dysfunctional government." --Barack Obama

"If I were a Republican, I would be dancing in the streets. I don't have any idea what the Republicans wanted that they didn't get." --Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO)

"[Some] of us ... believe that government has a role for positive achievement in society along with the private sector doing things only government can do. ... I don't like this deal. But I think it would have been worse. ... Tax cuts are fun, but I never saw a tax cut put out a fire. I never saw a tax cut make a bridge. We need to have to make the case for positive government." --Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)

"[A]s result of the Tea Party direction of this Congress these last few months has been very, very disconcerting and very unfair to the American people." --Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)

"The Tea Party acted like terrorists in threatening to blow up the economy." --Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA)

"They have acted like terrorists." --Joe Biden, repeating and approving the line

"The easy availability of high-capacity ammo magazines in the U.S. has once again helped enable a large-scale massacre. ... This is another tragic example of our lack of common-sense gun laws failing us with deadly consequences, allowing a cold-blooded killer to easily acquire the tools of mass murder even from another country. How many more innocent people need to die before we realize that some simple, common-sense gun safety laws in the United States could actually save lives?" --Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) on the Norway massacre, while her pals call conservatives "terrorists"

"So the question, I think, some people might be asking is, do you think that members of the Tea Party Caucus know how to govern or are they -- do they understand that standing up for a cause is not the same as governing?" --NBC's Ann Curry

"They truly did not know what the words 'debt ceiling' meant. Look, let's admit it. It's true of most of the media, most everybody because these things were never covered before. And so they didn't know what it was. Now they were going to have to learn what it was, and they certainly weren't going to take their lesson from Washington about what the debt ceiling is. ... So, there is no educating these Tea Party people. It's just a matter of how do you maneuver around them, and how do you govern." --MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell

"We know that the federal government has promised more benefits than it can currently afford. The only way out of this problem involves some combination of tax increases and cuts to Medicare, Social Security and the military. Anyone who won't get specific about which ones they favor is not a fiscal conservative." --New York Times reporter David Leonhardt

"The reality, of course, is that we already have a centrist president -- actually a moderate conservative president. Once again, health reform -- his only major change to government -- was modeled on Republican plans, indeed plans coming from the Heritage Foundation. And everything else -- including the wrongheaded emphasis on austerity in the face of high unemployment -- is according to the conservative playbook." --New York Times columnist Paul Krugman

"Everything is on the table for that [special congressional] committee, everything, including both entitlement reform and tax reform. Let's be clear: The president thinks, as you know, that the biggest possible overall accomplishment in terms of deficit reduction is a desirable goal, as long as it's balanced. He looks forward to, through the process set up by that committee, to having that debate about what our priorities are. If we need to, as legislated through this deal, find another $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts, how are we going to do that? Are we going to do it by asking sacrifice only of middle-class Americans, or seniors, parents of children who are disabled? Or are we going to ask that others, including oil and gas companies, corporate jet manufacturers, or the wealthiest Americans share in the sacrifice?" --White House Press Secretary Jay Carney

"Once having been successful at blindfolding the American public, putting a gun to the president's head, forcing him to sign into law this extraordinary act of ... unpatriotic and irrational frenzy -- I think that now [Republicans are] emboldened, they will now take this as a blueprint and ... a manifesto of sorts to go forward and to disrupt the workings of American government at the behest of a splinter group that is a radical right-wing organization that really needs to be brought to ... account for the devastation that it has wrought on this economy." --Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson on MSNBC

"When any faction in America that would put a gun to the head of 310 million people and say 'if you don't do it our way we will blow your dreams away, we will blow a hole in the American economy,' that is un-American and that is not how we do business and we refuse to bow down to those kind of bully tactics. ... The Tea Party is saying if they don't get their way they will refuse to have America pay our bills; if America becomes a dead-beat nation we are finished as a first-rate power. And nobody should threaten that kind of harm to America and get away with it." --former Obama "green czar" Van Jones

"They used to say that Richard Nixon had a 'secret plan' in the 1968 presidential campaign to end the Vietnam War. President Barack Obama outdid Nixon with a secret plan to control the deficit. He kept telling us of all the virtues of his plan. It was balanced, responsible, courageous and fair. It was just very, very secret." --columnist Rich Lowry

"President Obama admitted in a Kansas City radio interview the next election will be a referendum on him and his presidency. The White House quickly clarified his statement. What the president meant to say is that Bush has screwed up left field so badly that nobody can play it." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"That thoughtful observer of the passing parade, Nancy Pelosi, weighed in on the 'debt ceiling' negotiations the other day: 'What we're trying to do is save the world from the Republican budget. We're trying to save life on this planet as we know it today.' It's always good to have things explained in terms we simpletons can understand. After a while, all the stuff about debt-to-GDP ratio and CBO alternative baseline scenarios starts to give you a bit of a headache, so we should be grateful to the House Minority Leader for putting it in layman's terms: What's at stake is 'life on this planet as we know it today.' So, if right now you're living anywhere in the general vicinity of this planet, it's good to know Nancy's in there pitching for you." --columnist Mark Steyn

"Someone said President Obama was wrong for telling the American people to call their representatives about the debt ceiling. If there's one thing that congressmen hate, it's being told what to do by the people that put them there." --comedian Jay Leno

"[T]he projections for this and that for 2030, 2050, 2080 are all irrelevant. We have half-a-decade to turn this around. If we really intend (as is apparently foreseen by our bipartisan saviors) to add $7-10 trillion to the debt by 2020, then America is over -- because clearly there is no intention ever to repay that money, and the world will make its dispositions accordingly. ... The Democrats want to plunge over the cliff at full throttle. Too many Republicans think it will be fine as long as we go over the edge in third gear." --columnist Mark Steyn

"The White House doesn't create jobs." --White House Press Secretary Jay Carney

"It is not tea party people who are the 'terrorists.' A terrorist seeks to destroy. Who is the real destroyer in the debt-ceiling debate? Who wants to continue spending money we don't have, borrowing it from nations like China that would be happy to destroy us if our politicians don't do it first? Tea party people simply want to make their government accountable again and for this they are called 'terrorists'?" --columnist Cal Thomas

web posted August 1, 2011

"At his Friday news conference-cum-tantrum, Barack Obama imperiously summoned congressional leaders to his presence: 'I've told' them 'I want them here at 11 a.m.' By Saturday, his administration seemed to be cultivating chaos by suddenly postulating a new deadline: The debt-ceiling impasse must end before Asian markets opened Sunday evening Eastern time, lest the heavens fall. Those markets opened; the heavens held. ... Obama has marginalized himself. Inordinate self-regard is an occupational hazard of politics and part of the job description of the rhetorical presidency, this incessant tutor. Still, upon what meat doth this our current Caesar feed that he has grown so great that he presumes to command leaders of a coequal branch of government? He once boasted (June 3, 2008) that he could influence the oceans' rise; he must be disabused of comparable delusions about controlling Congress." --columnist George Will

"The national debt-ceiling law should be judged by what it actually does, not by how good an idea it seems to be. The one thing that the national debt-ceiling has never done is to put a ceiling on the rising national debt. Time and time again, for years on end, the national debt-ceiling has been raised whenever the national debt gets near whatever the current ceiling might be. Regardless of what it is supposed to do, what the national debt-ceiling actually does is enable any administration to get all the political benefits of runaway spending for the benefit of their favorite constituencies -- and then invite the opposition party to share the blame, by either raising the national debt ceiling, or by voting for unpopular cutbacks in spending or increases in taxes." --economist Thomas Sowell

"The Boehner [debt ceiling] proposal would cut $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending. There is no assurance that these cuts will occur, but let's assume they do. Let's even be generous and assume that they are -- in the words of S&P -- 'enacted and maintained throughout the decade.' This would cut debt held by the public from its projected $24.9 trillion in 2021 to $23.7 trillion, and when measured against the economy from 104% to 99.4%. Certainly, this is an improvement, but it is hardly declining from today's levels, nor would these cuts fundamentally restructure entitlements -- the real driver of our deficits in the future." --Heritage Foundation's Alison Acosta Fraser

"We have an entire Democrat party and a substantial portion of the Republican one engaged in economic appeasement. It's most viable slogan is some variation about solving our economic mess by making the rich 'pay their fair share.' ... Is it really about taxing people who earn in excess of a million dollars a year? Or is it closer to the $250,000 that would encompass substantially more Americans, including the small business owners who are the backbone of America's job-creating engine? Moreover, what happens when taxing the rich 'fairly' still leaves us adding to the national debt?" --columnist Arnold Ahlert

"The idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. ... But that's not how our system works. That's not how our democracy functions. That's not how our Constitution is written. Let's be honest, I need a dance partner here, and the floor is empty." --Barack Obama

"In the past, raising the debt ceiling was routine. Since the 1950s, Congress has always passed it, and every president has signed it. ... Bush did it seven times." --Barack Obama (Wait -- we thought "Bush did it" was a bad thing.)

"I want everybody in American to do well. I want everybody to have a chance to become a millionaire. I think the free market system is the greatest wealth generator we have ever known. This is not about punishing wealth. This is about asking people who have benefited the most over the last decade to share in the sacrifice, and I think these patriotic Americans are willing to pitch in -- if they're asked -- because they know that middle class families shouldn't have to pick up the whole tab for closing the deficit." --Barack Obama

"Why do they cut and cap our hopes and dreams? To protect tax breaks for the millionaires and the billionaires. It's quite obvious. They call them -- what do they call them? The job creators. They say, 'don't tax the job creators.' ... [T]hat's just so much bull. Let's put that baby to rest." --Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

"The current, so-called 'debt crisis' has been completely manufactured by House Republicans attempting to advance an extremist agenda. This should be a simple vote to allow the U.S. Treasury to fund all of the programs and obligations of the entire federal government that are already in the law. Enough is enough. We should immediately pass a clean bill to raise the debt ceiling so that we can work on the real crisis in this country -- the jobs crisis." --Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)

"[Many scientists] say that the heat waves, droughts, fires, and floods that are afflicting our nation are harbingers of the dangers we face if we continue to ignore the threat of climate change. Yet at the same time that the scientific evidence has grown stronger and extreme weather has become more frequent and intense, the public's understanding of the danger has been diminishing. ... I ask you to investigate the disconnect that appears to be growing between the scientific and the public understanding of climate change. I hope you will then decide to lead a national effort to ensure the public is fully and accurately informed about the science of climate change and its implications for human health and welfare." --Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) in a letter to Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu

"Watching the extraordinary polarization in Washington today, many people have pointed the finger at the Tea Party. It's ideologically extreme, refuses to compromise, and cares more about purity than problem solving." --CNN's Fareed Zakaria

"If sane Republicans do not stand up to this Hezbollah faction in their midst, the Tea Party will take the G.O.P. on a suicide mission." --New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman

"What's going on here, as I see it, is a kind of slow motion secession. This is an ending of the social compact. This is three generations worth of agreement about Social Security, about Medicare, about the role of the federal government. The Tea Party people are saying, we want to secede from that society. And the way to do it is to draw the line on spending and taxes, to starve the federal government so that it loses power, so that we aren't part of the social compact anymore. And that's the real argument that's going on." --former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman

"I don't understand how 236 members, by the way, sign a pledge of no taxes before they even start coming in to compromise." --NBC's Andrea Mitchell

"[MSNBC's] audience has a progressive point of view. Now, it's not an ideology, because we differ often in how we get there, but it's challenging all the status quo and trying to figure out how to make the world better. It's challenging what's going on in Washington. We've got smart people, and they do their research. But yes, we do have a sensibility and we embrace it, but we're about ideas." --MSNBC president Phil Griffin

"Most people who join country clubs, or gyms, or other exclusive entities in America, feel ... proud to pay that monthly due, because they want to be part of that special privileged community in which they receive wonderful resources and benefits. [Americans] should feel that same kind of awe and respect for paying taxes. ... [W]e shouldn't have an aversion to paying some amount of taxes." --Faiz Shakir, editor of ThinkProgress.org

"Just remember, this is the United States of America. We write 80 million checks a month. There are millions and millions of Americans that depend on those checks coming on time. Not just people that supply our military, but people who get Social Security benefits, Medicare [and] Medicaid benefits. And we cannot put those payments at risk and we do not have the ability to limit the damage on them if Congress fails to act in time." --Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who by the way loved paying taxes enough to avoid them himself

"Is there any real reason to believe ... that one of the reasons Congress will not vote to put the economy in the black because the economy is in the hands of the black? That seems extraordinarily harsh and divisive. But the reality is, there seems to be no logical or reasonable answer or response to the notion other than they want to deny this Democrat and this particular president the victory of having the ability to forge consensus here around the reality of American debt." --Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson

"We must now add Norway to the expanding list of unsafe places that includes Columbine, Oklahoma City, the World Trade Center, London, Madrid, Ft. Hood and Virginia Tech. ... Police are calling the gunman, Anders Behring Breivik, a 'Christian fundamentalist' because we must have labels (except when describing Muslim fundamentalists, which police, politicians and much of the media try to avoid for fear of angering Islamists). ... Norway forbids civilians from carrying concealed weapons, or owning an automatic weapon, unless they are gun collectors. As in America, gun laws do not deter criminals who are determined to cause harm with a weapon. What would have deterred Breivik would have been a gun in the hands of a competent person capable of stopping his mass-murdering spree." --columnist Cal Thomas

"American voters should have no patience for plans based on tax increases that never produce the amount of revenue they claim, in exchange for forming committees to discuss spending cuts that never actually happen, resulting in hypothetical deficit reduction that isn't big enough to matter." --columnist John Hayward

"President Obama named Rich Cordray to head the new Consumer Protection Agency. It is tasked to pressure banks to make more loans to people with bad credit in the interest of fairness to all. It's part of a new cabinet-level agency called the Department of Future Recession." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"The heat index in Washington, DC was 114 degrees. Maybe the world actually did end in May and the people in Washington are actually in hell." --comedian Jimmy Kimmel

"We have fantastic news. The two sides have come to an agreement. The crisis is over. We are going to have football." --comedian Jay Leno

"To make matters worse, the recession meant that there was less money coming in, and it required us to spend even more." --Barack Obama in his prime time speech Monday



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