Lingua publica

The good and the bad...

web posted October 24, 2005

"The income tax is not an example of a good idea gone bad. It was bad from the beginning, and it just keeps getting worse." -- Chris Edwards

"The solution to poverty...doesn't lie in a collective movement. It lies in the will and discipline of individual people who dedicate themselves to living moral lives, striving to improve their circumstances, and providing greater opportunities for their children." -- Mark Goldblatt

"If Harriet Miers can easily set aside her faith on the job, what is the point of nominating someone with such faith? Why not nominate someone of no faith and the question would never come up? Is faith good only for the confirmation process, but not the job? I'm all for 'people of faith' in government, but what kind of faith? Is it faith in a God who is hauled out at convenient moments and then returned to His box when He isn't needed, or is it a God who informs, converts, strengthens and directs in every area of one's life?" -- Cal Thomas

"Now is, in short, the time for a return to first principles. Properly labeling the present conflict is not a panacea. But making it clear that we are engaged in nothing less than a War for the Free World will make it easier to take the steps necessary, both at home and abroad, to secure the victory we literally cannot live without." -- Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

"Do you think, you obviously, there's no love lost between the two of you, that's very, very clear. Do you think your personal animus might be coloring your professional perspective so much that you can't be objective about what was really going on during the administration?" -- Katie Couric to Louis Freeh on his book, My FBI, concerned with his credibility rather than Bill Clinton's

"Wow, did you know [Harriet] Miers was a Dallas City Council member who dealt with 'real world issues'? Did you know she headed the Texas Lottery Commission? We've heard rumors that she's a woman to boot. If that pans out, she'll be confirmed 150-0!" -- J ames Taranto

"The only sexism involved in the Miers nomination is the administration's claim that once they decided they wanted a woman, Miers was the best they could do. Let me just say, if the top male lawyer in the country is John Roberts and the top female lawyer is Harriet Miers, we may as well stop allowing girls to go to law school." -- Ann Coulter

"I owe it to my readers and the people who attend my speeches to give the principal reason for my political conversion [from Democrat to Republican]. And here it is: Republican women are simply more attractive than Democratic women." -- Mike Adams

"Ted Kennedy attempted to rescue six men trapped by a high tide on a jetty at Hyannisport Sunday but had to leave it to firefighters. He tried to rescue the men using a thirteen-foot boat until rough waters forced him back. He should have taken the car." -- Argus Hamilton

"[T]he race baiters, class warfare mongers and group-think generals do not want people to have the right information. They want all people, not just blacks, to stay, as General Honore so eloquently puts it, stuck on stupid." -- Herman Cain

"[I]n fact, Iraq is a great American success story. You know, free Iraq... it's done. Free Afghanistan... it's done. Democrats have been driving around with free Tibet stickers for fifty years, and it's no nearer than it was when they stuck them on their 1962 Volvos." -- Mark Steyn

"Al Gore said this week he is ruling out ever running for president again. He said he has no desire to be a presidential candidate ever again. Apparently sounds like he might have had some bad experience in the past." -- Jay Leno

"Look, the president's entitled to his denials. This is a president that makes public denials from time to time. We know that." -- former FBI director Louis Freeh, discussing his new book on "Meet the Press," in which he takes former President Bill Clinton to task for having exercised poor leadership toward a growing terrorist threat

web posted October 17, 2005

"The immigration issue has nothing to do with race, ethnicity, religion, or country of origin insofar as I am concerned. Rather, it is a simple question of numbers, costs and perhaps most importantly, social and cultural cohesion." -- Rep. Tom Tancredo

"I think this idea that it's important to have a woman's perspective, or something of that sort, begins to treat the Supreme Court like a legislature, in which...all groups have to be represented in some way. And that's exactly the wrong message to send. The court is not supposed to be a legislature. It's been a legislature for too much of our history." -- Robert Bork

"Well, look, the problem with this nomination is illustrated by Senator Specter, who in his gallant defense of her against the lynch mob of unelected columnists said, 'they should be quiet because they don't know anything about her,' which is the point." -- George Will on the nomination of Harriet Miers

"Democrat leaders jumped on DeLay in ways meant to advertise their own 'virtue.' House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi...said DeLay represents a 'culture of corruption' and hopes a 'level of shame would set in on the Republicans.' I'm glad Pelosi has reintroduced the words 'corruption' and 'shame' to the political vocabulary, for who would know more about those subjects than the Democrats, who shamelessly defended the corruption of the last Democrat president, William Jefferson Clinton." -- Cal Thomas

"The Constitution's framers intended to restrict central authority to the few areas that could not be handled by states. The drafters would be horrified at how the present court misapplies what they designed." -- Doug Bandow

"Should SUVs?... I mean it... They want to set an example. Should they drive gas-guzzling SUVs, if they're going to be liberals?" -- Chris Matthews to Howard Dean

"Sometimes the people who talk the most know the least." -- Howard Dean

"The American people stand behind our troops, but they believe, as we do, that America can do better in Iraq." -- Sen. Dick Durbin, who recently compared American soldiers to Nazis

"[President] Bush, for good or ill, believes in himself as the real Third Way deal: It's a remarkable achievement to get damned day in and day out as the new Hitler when 90 percent of the time you're Tony Blair with a ranch." -- Mark Steyn

"'Trust me,' Lucy says to Charlie Brown, holding the football... 'Trust me,' says President Bush in defense of his nomination of the virtually unknown Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court. Those two words are cause for a quick mental accounting when almost anyone says them. When said by someone from the federal government, the proper response is a spit-take." -- Paul Jacob

"Harriet Miers...was born Catholic and raised Presbyterian, then educated Methodist. She goes to an evangelical church in Dallas as well as St. John's Episcopal in Washington. President Bush said he nominated her because she will never change." -- Argus Hamilton

"It doesn't matter to Harriet Miers that conservatives are suspicious of her, not so long as George W. Bush ad-Miers her." -- Lyn Nofziger

"Mediocre people are, of course, entitled to representation. That's what Congress is for. But the federal courts are not a representative institution, and the charge of elitism is a strange one in this context. After all, it's called the Supreme Court, not the Court of Common Place." -- James Taranto

"The Washington Times reports that Karl Rove was 'very involved' in President Bush's selection of Harriet Miers to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court. This should put to rest the notion that Mr. Rove is a political genius." -- Jack Kelly

"President Bush is out defending his Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers. He said that Miers has a good heart. Well sure, compared to Dick Cheney." -- Jay Leno

"President Bush isn't here to cut the size of government, he's here to perhaps have government more reflect the values of the people. But at times like is incumbent upon us to cut the spending that is not absolutely necessary, not just make it reflect this value or that value." -- Rep. Dana Rohrabacher

"The energy and transportation bills signed by the president are budget busters, and the just-announced spending to 'rebuild New Orleans' is likely to make 2006 another record-breaker. If government is too big, as Republicans love to chant, why is it growing larger and at a record pace with a Republican president and Republicans in control of both houses of Congress? Why did it grow at a slower rate when Bill Clinton was in the White House?" -- Joseph Bast of the Heartland Institute

"I have absolutely no plans...of ever being a [presidential] candidate again." -- Al Gore

web posted October 10, 2005

"[I]t is well to remember that an indictment is not a conviction. An indictment is a tool the government and its representatives too often use to intimidate and persecute citizens against whom it may have a grudge." -- Lyn Nofziger

"[I]t's interesting to think that many of those who are gleeful over the unproven charges against DeLay have spent the past few years arguing strenuously that it would be better if Saddam Hussein were still in power." -- James Taranto

"Something has been left unachieved by the Miers nomination. A Republican president has yet to erase the stigma of the Robert Bork hearings and the David Souter nomination. The nomination of Harriet Miers has not rid us of the repugnant situation that a jurist with a clear and distinguished record will not be nominated for higher service. The nomination did not rid us of the apprehension of stealth nominees." -- Manuel Miranda

"[President] Bush could very much use a brisk confirmation battle right now... Confirmation battles over big ideas are clarifying in ways that are good for the public and good for a president whose principles are getting blurry. The Miers pick comes along at precisely the wrong moment. Bush is saying 'trust me' at exactly the time when conservatives want to be reassured they can trust him. The last thing he needs right now is to dip into his house credit one more time." -- Jonah Goldberg

"Republicans were put on this earth to cut spending and to cut taxes. That's why God created them, but we haven't been doing this on the spending side... The president has not served us well when it comes to spending, when it comes to trimming the bureaucracy. When government tries to be all things to all people, it fails at the essentials." -- Former House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich

"Bill Clinton has been traveling the country and television airwaves attacking President Bush for his fiscal response to Katrina... Mr. Clinton has gained applause from the media for opining that wealthy people like himself can afford to pay higher taxes--and should. This has prompted some enterprising Republicans in Congress to call for a new 'Clinton tax,' in which only Bill and Hillary's tax rate would rise back to 39.6% but the rest of us would keep our lower tax rates." -- Stephen Moore

"I broke up with Bill a long time ago. It's always hard to remember love--years pass and you say to yourself, was I really in love or was I just kidding myself?... Was I really in love or was I just desperate? But when it came to Bill, I'm pretty sure it was the real deal. I loved the guy." -- Hollywood writer Nora Ephron on Bill Clinton

"Explain to them that evacuating a city is the job of the mayor and the governor, not the federal government. Explain that the president is very powerful but he still can't whip a Category 5 hurricane." -- Ann Coulter

"The results are in, and it's official. Katrina also drove politicians crazy. I don't mean it unnerved them. I mean it drove them stark-raving, rubber-room bonkers... It is usually Democrats who drown problems in money, distracting criticism with feel-good platitudes. But this time, it is a Republican chief executive buying into the Great Society-style excess, following what another Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham called a 'Marshall Plan' for the region. This is insane." -- Mark Davis, Dallas Morning News

"USA Today reported Friday that gasoline sales are down fifteen percent. They said high gas prices are wiping out cigarette, candy and soft drink sales. There's a risk everyone could live to a hundred and bankrupt the entire Social Security system." -- Argus Hamilton

"You can't say George W. Bush isn't carin' and compassionate. He finally found a date for David Souter." -- Wesley Pruden on Harriet Miers

"According to the National Enquirer, President Bush has started drinking again. Boy, he'll do anything to get Ted Kennedy's support for that Supreme Court nominee. ... You know who I feel sorry for--Barbara Bush. Her son's hitting the bottle and her husband's hanging out with Bill Clinton. She's the one who should be drinking!" -- Jay Leno

"[T]he fact remains that on the major legal debates of her time, Ms. Miers has remained largely silent, perhaps this is because she hasn't had the public opportunity to express her views, but a rational worry is that she doesn't have well developed opinions about the reach into state prerogatives of the Commerce Clause, the separation of powers, the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, the breadth of the right to privacy, and so on. The lesson of other Republican nominees without such fixed views—Harry Blackmun, [David] Souter, Anthony Kennedy—is that they always drift to the left once they get on the Court." -- The Wall Street Journal

"The president would have been politically better served by...a bench-clearing brawl. A fractious and sparring base would have come together arm in arm to fight for something all believe in: the beginning of the end of command-and-control liberalism on the U.S. Supreme Court. If in the end President Bush lost, he'd lose while advancing a cause that is right and doing serious damage to the other side. Then he could come back to win with the next nominee. And if he won he'd have won, rousing his base and reminding them why they're Republicans." -- Peggy Noonan

web posted October 3, 2005

"In a season of talk about tax cuts, there is a major one we could enact that would boost our prospects for economic growth without adding to the deficit. I'm talking about the 'litigation tax.' Recently proposed federal legislation to reform class actions has been described as a battle between 'trial lawyers' and 'business.' The truth is more complicated--and troubling. Tort reform is about cutting the litigation tax, which is large and affects millions of us, not just a handful of corporate defendants. Indeed, businesspeople and consumers on both the Right and the Left have recognized the benefits of tort reform." -- Glenn Hubbard, dean of Columbia Business School

"Generally speaking, the Left and the secularists venerate, if not worship, law. They put their faith in law--both national and international. Law is the supreme good. For most on the Left, 'Is it legal?' is usually the question that determines whether an action is right or wrong... [W]hy is the Left so enamored of law?... Laws are the Left's vehicles to earthly salvation." -- Dennis Prager

"What Daniel Webster termed the miracle of our Constitution is not something that happens in every generation, but every generation in its turn must accept the responsibility of supporting and defending the Constitution and bearing true faith and allegiance to it." -- Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., speaking after his swearing-in ceremony

"We have a constitution, we had presidential elections last October, and now, with these parliamentary elections, we are starting to build walls around the [political] foundation. We will work to further improve the bureaucratic and judicial systems in Afghanistan and the ability of the Afghan government to deliver better services to the people." -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai



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