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The good and the bad...

web posted February 19, 2001

"George W. Bush may sincerely want to 'reach out' to congressional Democrats, but the Democrats don't want to reach back." -- Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich

"Less than a month in office, George W. Bush faces a test. Does he stick to total repeal of the estate tax as he and the Republican national platform promised? Or does he bow to powerful interests who profit from a complicated tax code? The choice will be duly noted by the lobby." -- Robert Novak

"Today there is the beginning of another entering wedge, with politicians deciding how much each of us needs and deserves. If they take on this God-like role, are we still free Americans or just their serfs and supplicants, begging for what we ourselves have earned?" -- Thomas Sowell

"There's not a single, solitary shred of evidence that I did anything wrong, or that [fugitive financier] Marc Rich's money changed hands. There's certainly no evidence that I took any of it." -- Bill Clinton

"I'm no economist, but how big does our surplus have to be before we stop hoarding these trillions of dollars and start giving some of them back to the people they belong to?" Mr. Miller, who cosponsored Mr. Bush's tax cut in the Senate, adds, "I've been in politics for four decades and I thought I'd seen it all. But when I came to Washington last year, I was not prepared for the shock of how matter-of-factly both parties in Congress slurped up the surplus without hesitation. I understand clearly that if we don't send this overpayment of taxes back to those who paid it, politicians can always find a new way to spend it. ... Yes, this plan gives refunds to wealthier Americans -- as it should. But who are we to pick and choose among our taxpayers? All of them combined have paid more than it takes to run this government. All of them combined should get a break." -- Georgia Democrat Sen. Zell Miller

"For shameless showmanship, it would be hard to top Clinton's Harlem press conference Tuesday in front of the building where he intends to write his $100,000 speeches." -- Walter Shapiro

"I love [the Left]. They put up with [Clinton] through perjury, suborning perjury, obstruction of justice [and] use of the military to cloud discussion of his problems. [Then] he steals the toaster and they say, 'That's it, we've had it'." -- George Will

"[Despite the Left's din of disapproval today] the Clinton tidal wave will begin to move back, washing away all little remonstrances and misgivings and alarms about violations of the Constitution, the laws and the Ten Commandments as pettifoggery, desperate twitches of clerical resistance to the royal parade of William Jefferson Clinton through American history." -- Wm. F. Buckley

"Where is a society headed that holds its most productive members up to ridicule and makes mascots out of its least productive and parasitic members?" -- Walter Williams

"We can't turn America around overnight. But if we don't separate ourselves from the political prostitutes and stand up for what's right, we will never turn it around." -- Harry Browne

"It's been three long weeks since Bill Clinton left the White House, and still the wails of agony, the cries of outrage and the shouts of denunciation continue. And that's from the former President's friends. The rest of the country has moved on to the Bush era, to debating tax cuts and missile defenses. But these new 'Clinton haters,' if we may borrow a phrase, can't seem to let go. ... Every [Leftist] columnist and Democrat seems to want to get his moment of moral distancing on the public record." -- Wall Street Journal

"Cynics believe that the loss of faith in Clintonism may have something to do with the fact that the founder no longer occupies his throne. Nonbelievers tend to welcome the new skepticism toward the old faith, even if it is years late. 'It's worth noting that once upon a time such uninhibited resentment (toward Clinton) on the part of the media elite might actually have meant something,' said the Washington Times. But look at the good side: Some separation at last between the Clinton Church and its acolytes in the fourth estate." -- John Leo

"I can only say that all the gifts were appropriately dealt with." --Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) on several $3,000 beaded handbags in her possession, which are among many items never claimed on gift disclosure forms

"George W Bush is like a bad comic working the crowd, a moron.... I have such an enormous love and respect for [Clinton], a heroic man." -- Martin Sheen, who plays a president on "The West Wing"

"[Salon's] Scott Holden Smith urges writers to boycott the letter W as a protest against President Bush. Wow, how weird. We wonder: Who in the world would want to work with such a witless wacko? When he wrote these words, was he waging war or waxing whimsical? Why did this worrywart worm his way out of the woodwork and onto the World Wide Web, and when will he wear out his welcome?" -- Wall Street Journal Online

"...[S]how me a man's [browser] bookmarks, and I will tell you his philosophy of life." -- Justin Raimondo

"It was hard for me to concentrate in the conversation with Condoleezza Rice because she has very nice legs." -- Israeli prime minister-elect Ariel Sharon on Mr. Bush's national security adviser

"I think Clinton is going to turn into a human ATM." -- Jack Valenti, a Hollywood lobbyist, on Bill Clinton's speaking fees

"Some college student has sold his soul on eBay for four-hundred-dollars. Hillary said, heck four-hundred-dollars, at least when I did it I got furniture and a Senate seat!" -- Jay Leno

"An armed gunman was caught shooting at the White House [recently]. They had air commandos in the helicopters, they had cops in combat gear swarming everywhere, they had Secret Service agents surrounding the White House.... And I'm thinking: 'Where were these guys when the Clintons were [taking] all the furniture out of the place?'" -- David Letterman

web posted February 12, 2001

"Our society does not teach patriotism to the young. The media do not teach it or suggest it or encourage it. When they refer to it at all, it's to show patriotism as vulgar or nave or aggressive." -- Peggy Noonan

"Some in Congress view this as an opportunity to load up a tax relief plan with their own vision of tax relief. I want the members of Congress and the American people to hear loud and clear: This is the right size plan, it is the right approach, and I'm going to defend it mightily. ... We need tax relief now. In fact, we need tax relief yesterday...." -- George W. Bush on his $1.6 trillion tax cut

"I happen to be a Senator who believes that when it comes to judges, they ought to be conservative. ... Mr. President, send us conservative judges. That is the one department of the Government that I think should be conservative. It should not make the laws. It should not consider itself a perpetual and traveling constitutional convention. It should construe the Constitution and the laws that the legislature makes. ... I think that when it comes to the appointment of Federal judges, I hope [Bush] will nominate conservatives. That is what he ought to do. ... I think appointments to the Federal bench should be of a conservative bent. Judges have no business trying to make the laws." --Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd

"It is estimated there were more than 29,000 pages of so-called midnight regulations put in place before Clinton left office. Jimmy Carter currently holds the record of 24,531 pages of these last-minute rules, nearly 4,500 pages less than Clinton's record level." -- Citizens Against Government Waste

"Mathematicians use the term 'rational numbers' for numbers that can form a ratio. By this definition, there is a lot of irrationality in California, where many people seem incapable of forming a ratio or proportion between different things. California's electricity crisis is a result of years of refusing to have any sense of proportion between the desirability of environmental goals and the desirability of having electricity." -- Thomas Sowell

"I haven't really said this is the time. But, you know, the bottom line is if [California Gov. Gray] Davis goes on the way he is -- then eventually there will be a vacuum.... When the time is right, I will announce." -- Arnold Schwarzenegger hinting a future run for the top job in California

"When the administration of justice goes awry, citizens are doomed to tyranny." -- Paul Craig Roberts

"Charity properly falls to the citizen, not the government." -- Larry Elder

"It's silly to think that any policies or spending or income redistribution decided today will stay fixed for 10 years. Wake up from such faith-based economics and smell the reality." -- William Safire

"Tax cuts are only controversial where rich liberals dwell. Everyone else yearns for them and most even understand their value to a weakening economy." -- Bob Tyrrell

"School choice is not about punishing schools or teachers. It is about ensuring that all children, even those from the humblest of backgrounds, have the opportunity to succeed. This is the real civil rights issue of our time. It is time to unchain the schoolhouse door." -- Pete du Pont

"Unless everyone is free to speak, everyone else's freedom is in jeopardy." -- Charley Reese

"Holding folks accountable for misdeeds in Washington has flat gone out of style." -- David Hackworth

"Something extraordinary happened when the Democratic Party voted to approve Bill and Hillary Clinton's hand-picked choice as chairman. In selecting Terry McAuliffe, Bill Clinton's big pal and major moolah-man, Democrats officially embraced a leader determined to win elections by any means necessary: by lying, by smearing, by inflaming, by undermining and, very possibly, by upending the foundations of the republic. This is no secret plot hatched in a Chappaqua living room. Mr. McAuliffe made his dishonorable mission public in an official acceptance speech last weekend that crossed -- and burned -- the boundary between pulse-quickening campaign rhetoric and the most mendacious kind of propaganda. ... Any chance of neutralizing Mr. McAuliffe's aggressive propaganda machine will depend less upon sometimes-diligent reporting than upon Republicans speaking the truth loud, clear and often." -- Washington Times

"For the New York Times (in a lead editorial last weekend) to call on Hillary to end her 'bunker mentality' is hilarious, since both the Times and the Washington Post let her get away with that for years.... Because she was so pampered and coddled by her cooing apologists, Hillary is now disastrously ill-prepared for public life. Stripped of her White House entourage last month, she began her Senate committee work looking like a bug-eyed, droopy derelict flushed out of a train tunnel." -- Camille Paglia

"The Clintons have long dismissed the criticism of those in the vast right-wing conspiracy whom they don't respect. But how do you dismiss the views of those you do respect --who insist you would never sink so low, until they are silenced by proof of your grasping? ... There may be no connection between the disgraceful pardon Clinton gave Marc Rich and the coffee table Denise Rich gave the Clintons. But I'd never be comfortable putting my feet up on it." -- Margaret Carlson in Time Magazine

"A 48-year-old mother has been convicted of shooting a man she mistakenly thought murdered her son. The jury found Barbara Graham guilty on various charges, including aggravated assault with intent to kill." -- Washington Post, forgetting to include that Graham was a speaker at the Million Mom March oppopsing handguns

"This just in: price controls cause shortages. Another 'Dog Bites Man' story has once again taken the American press corps by surprise. California's electricity crisis is treated in the media as if it were some sort of natural disaster, like a hurricane. But the only fact of nature operating here is the hard-and-fast rule that whenever you come across a screw-up this big, you know the government is behind it." -- Ann Coulter

"Not so long ago no television screen was safe from the faces of James Carville, Lanny Davis, Paul Begala and George Stephanopoulos, elbowing each other out of the way to testify to Clinton's political virtue and moral rectitude. But where are they now? Somebody said they saw James Carville hiding out under the Taft Bridge over Rock Creek, roasting a dead crow on a stick and eating cold beans out of the can." -- Wes Pruden

"I wouldn't waste the 25 cents to buy the cartridge that would propel the bullet.... I despise him." -- G. Gordon Liddy, on former Nixon aide John Dean, who sued Liddy for defamation

"Wiley's Dictionary: Barak! The sound somebody would make if they tried to cough up something the size of Jerusalem." -- Johnny Hart in the comic strip "B.C."

"All the New York papers are gossiping. They say now that since Hillary Rodham Clinton is a senator, she has stopped wearing makeup and nail polish. She stopped having her hair done. She's also wearing less fashionable clothes. Isn't she worried that maybe her husband will lose interest? I hope this doesn't give Bill a wandering eye." -- Jay Leno

"The New Mexico Legislature has formally asked their governor to pardon Billy the Kid. Apparently, Billy the Kid's ex-wife was a big contributor to Hillary's campaign." -- Conan O'Brien

web posted February 5, 2001

"Republicans, as a recent Free Congress Foundation report shows, are far less effective at promoting judicial restraint than Democrats are at advancing judicial activism. Clinton's judges have struck down parental consent for abortion laws, overturned bans on partial-birth abortion, struck down teen curfews, prohibited city seals containing crosses, ruled that the Ohio state motto violates the Constitution, and blocked school voucher programs because they include religious schools. They have issued rulings that vastly expand the jurisdiction of the federal courts and change the meaning of federal statutes. ... Now is the time for Republicans to finally let their actions match their rhetoric." -- John Nowacki

"The Clinton era was marked by four major developments in Washington: the failure of his health care plan, enactment of welfare reform, arrival of a balanced budget, and impeachment. Not one of these was sought by Clinton -- quite the opposite. A wiser politician would not have turned his most significant domestic initiative, national health care, over to his wife. Nor would he have spurned reasonable compromises offered by leading Republicans. Clinton wound up with nothing. Now he claims it was impossible, given the circumstances, for national health care to have won approval by Congress [then controlled by Democrats]. Shouldn't a politician with his supposed gifts have sensed that at the time? Clinton brags about welfare reform and a balanced budget. But he had little to do with either. Sure, he talked about ending welfare 'as we know it.' The bill written by Republicans, terminating the welfare entitlement altogether, was far from what he envisioned, however. He signed it reluctantly and only after political adviser Dick Morris warned he'd lose the 1996 election if he didn't. He and his aides vehemently opposed a balanced budget -- until pressure by congressional Republicans made that position untenable. So, as with welfare reform, Clinton acquiesced. And impeachment? Clinton says it's a badge of honor. Right. In any case, he didn't seek it." -- Fred Barnes

"The opposition's one reason is the fear of not being chosen. School choice works, it's popular, and people like it. Parents now have come to think of the program as one of the amenities of living in our city." -- Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist

"I don't think he's a racist, but at certain instances, I don't think he has shown enough sensitivity." -- Sen. Chuck Schumer on John Ashcroft

"I have no opinion. I had no opinion before. I had no opinion at the time. I have no opinion now. That's a constitutional authority given exclusively to the president, and, you know, I really don't have any opinion about it." -- Hillary Clinton on her husband's pardoning of Marc Rich

"Your contribution to Straight Talk America will not only be a big help, it will send a clear message that we have the strength and resources to get our reform agenda passed." -- Sen. John McCain in a letter to supporters asking for money for his PAC to eliminate PACs

"Are police worried about vigilantism?" -- CBS reporter, Randy Golson, questioning Chattanooga, Tennessee's police spokesman after a victim of that city's 45th recent home invasion robbery shot and killed one of the two perpetrators.
"Protecting your home is not vigilantism. Check the definition." -- replied a police spokesman

"As Chief Prosecutor of South Carolina, I am today declaring open season on home invaders. That season is year-round. Citizens protecting their homes who use force, even deadly force, will be fully safeguarded under the law of this State and subject to no arrest, charge or prosecution. In South Carolina, would-be intruders should now hear this: invade a home and invite a bullet." -- South Carolina Attorney General Charlie Condon

"Want to drive liberals crazy? Try suggesting that tax dollars go to faith-based organizations to help the poor, treat drug addicts or reform criminals." -- Linda Chavez

"It is time 'public service' meant just that -- not the public serving our elected leaders." -- John LeBoutillier

"And if there's anything that I think people believe about John Ashcroft, it is that when he puts his hand on the Bible and says, 'I will uphold the Constitution and the law,' he is a man of his word, he'll do so." -- Sen. Jon Kyl

"The coolly crafted character assassination of John Ashcroft by the left-wing coalition attacking his nomination as attorney general has gone largely unanswered by passive Republican senators who are supposed to defend him." -- Robert Novak

"When politicians all agree on something, it usually involves picking your pocket or interfering with your life. In this era of bipartisanship, we can look forward to plenty of both." -- Jacob Sullum

"By now there can't be a soul in America who doesn't know that somewhere in his adult life, George W. Bush got religion. And thanks to the Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, John Ashcroft had to answer questions about his. With due respect to both men, however, it strikes us that their belief in the Almighty doesn't begin to match the fervor of their critics, whose own belief in government as the solution to all problems remains unaffected by experience." -- Wall Street Journal

"When George Bush aspires to move the world of public primary and secondary education with the lever of federal aid, he is doing the best he can, given the tool at hand and the impediments in front of him. The tool is federal money, just 7% of all spending on public education from kindergarten through 12th grade. However, the threat of losing it can be an incentive for failing schools to change their behavior. Impediments to Bush include the public school industry, and the complacency of the American majority." -- George Will

"Under circumstances which have never before existed in our country, and I pray to God never will again, [Al Gore's] shown us a strength of character that very few of us could emulate." -- Bill Clinton...who should now

"When the government gives things names, you should keep your sense of irony handy." -- Joseph Sobran

"As everyone now knows--too late--the Clinton presidency was a racket and a shakedown operation. I don't begrudge Sidney his small share of it. It's the price of his soul. Worse people have gotten better advances." -- Christopher Hitchens on Sidney Blumenthal's $650 000 advance for his "memoir"

"Have you seen the scary ad for the movie 'Hannibal,' the 'Silence of the Lambs' sequel? 'He's on the loose again.' So apparently, it's another one of those last-minute Clinton pardons." -- Jay Leno

"Clinton is going to be me and Paul's neighbor! He has an office right here in Manhattan, like two blocks from here on the 56th floor of a high-rise office building. He rented the whole floor! Well, I guess he can furnish it all with the stuff he stole from the White House." -- Dave Letterman

web posted January 29, 2001

"John Ashcroft's public ordeal is almost over, and a good thing, too. He promised to reinvent himself to bipartisan specifications, to leave Roe v. Wade alone, to learn to hate guns and obey all laws dear to Democratic hearts. ... Maybe with an evenly divided Senate boiling in a climate of ideological intimidation and partisan terror, this is the only way a man of conscience and character can assure himself of confirmation by a Senate infested with moral frauds. It's nevertheless enough to make an honorable man throw up, and a pity he can't throw up on Chuck Schumer and Teddy Kennedy (who probably wouldn't notice)." -- Wes Pruden

"I wish I could say it was my charming personality or the ability to string a couple sentences together. The truth of the matter is I'm sitting here because I took firm positions on important issues and didn't back off. And I'm not backing off.... Quite the contrary." -- George W. Bush

"It obviously would have been far better, less expensive, less divisive, if his acknowledgement [that he lied under oath] would have come...much earlier, say, in January of 1998. But better late than never...." -- Ken Starr on Bill Clinton's admission to perjury, resulting in the loss of his Arkansas law licence for five years and a $25 000 fine

"I left the White House, but I'm still here. We're not going anywhere." -- Bill Clinton in his final remarks at Andrew AFB before boarding Air Force One

"It's not that he'll speak out on every issue that George Bush is dealing with, but I think on the big issues, whether it's foreign affairs or the economy, that are really important to Bill Clinton, he is going to let the American people know what he thinks." -- Former Clinton chief of staff Leon Panetta, "clarifying" Clinton's comment

"In the past, they shook hands, the [former] president went to a helicopter, and that was it. This was different. He had a rally at the airport, a rally in New York and a rally at his home. That's his style. He wanted two or three more parties. You have to respect the office. That was President Bush's day. It wasn't Clinton's day or Al Gore's day." -- Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, brother of Gore's campaign chair, William Daley, criticizing Clinton's departure fanfare

"I don't think about any legacy. I just do, every day, what comes up that day for me to do to help people. ... I just do what I have to do, every day sending out more seeds. And hope some of them take root." -- Jesse Jackson speaking at a Martin Luther King Jr. tribute in New York the night before the "Love Child" bomb was dropped

"Jesse Jackson's sin may have lacked the sheer cruddiness of Bill Clinton's. He may have owned up to it manfully. But the reverend's greatest innovation will probably turn out to have been his pioneering use of drive-by penance. Having dropped out of public life on Thursday, he began dropping back in on Saturday. ... The public knows him as a civil rights agitator, preacher and presidential candidate. But the history books may remember him as the impresario of a great bazaar, offering Corporate America racial protection in exchange for financial opportunities for the black entrepreneurs and professionals who make up his personal network." -- Holman Jenkins

"Get used to it, Washington. President Bush does not believe that all money belongs to the government, and the people get to keep what the government lets them. The government gets to keep what the people let the government receive. It's going to be a sea change, and he's proud to lead it." -- White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer

"Maybe we shouldn't make students take science tests anymore. We'll just let the Florida Supreme Court decide their scores." -- Bill Nye, "Science Guy," after U.S. eighth-graders placed 17th in the TIMMS international science tests

"Few Americans realize it, but the Democratic Party adheres to the basic premise of Marxist political parties. The defining characteristic of a Marxist party is class warfare." -- Paul Craig Roberts

"Squabbling has replaced debating. Unlike our ancestors, we don't want to discuss basic questions of political philosophy." -- Joseph Sobran

"Kennedy demonstrated gross ignorance about the [the Second Amendment]. To throw such an intemperate, public hissy-fit, he must have counted on -- and correctly so -- the ignorance of his senatorial colleagues, the news media and most Americans." -- Walter Williams

"If his name is Lieberman and he is Jewish, his nomination evokes celebration. If his name is Ashcroft and he is Christian, his nomination evokes a hue and cry about 'divisiveness' and mobilizes a wall-to-wall liberal coalition to defeat him." -- Charles Krauthammer

"Shhh. Listen. There: That sound you're not hearing is the Rev. Jesse Jackson's prophetic voice. It's probably been stilled for only a week, but we'll take what we can get." -- National Review Online

"While egotistical nonsense can be expected from most presidents, Clinton, in prime form, has managed to take it to a trashy new level. ... There was never enough exposure for Clinton and his pathological need for attention." -- Ryan McMaken

"Well, you know, Attorney General is actually an important job. Why can't they buy off the right wing with unimportant jobs? I mean, this is a sop, I assume, to buy off the wing nuts." -- Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas on the "right wing."

"News Flash: James C. Hormel, of the Hormel meat family, who became the nation's first openly gay ambassador, is urging the Senate to reject John Ashcroft's nomination to be attorney general. Reality Check: No one cares." -- Rich Galen

"Bill Clinton sitting on Air Force One getting his hair cut while people around the country cooled their heels and waited for him, became a metaphor for a populist president who had gotten drunk with the perks of his own power." -- Former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers

"It's early yet, but I think we already have the father of the year for 2001--Jesse Jackson." -- Lyn Nofziger

"In the most disturbing news to celebrity watchers on the left since Lenin and Trotsky split, Oscar-winning actress Kim Basinger and actor Alec Baldwin have filed for divorce after seven years of marriage." -- Gene Callahan

"Hypocrite of the month goes to Sen. Paul Wellstone. He was one of the loudest voices about congressional term limits. When he ran, he said he would only serve two terms and then get out. He announced yesterday that he is running for a third term. I guess two terms wasn't enough time to break all his campaign promises." -- Jay Leno

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