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The good and the bad...

web posted February 20, 2006

"[T]he argument of flexibility...goes something like this: The Constitution is over 200 years old and societies change. It has to change with society, like a living organism, or it will become brittle and break. But you would have to be an idiot to believe that." -- Justice Antonin Scalia

"Let's not just limit special projects earmarked for specific congressional districts. Make porkbarrel illegal, period. Let the federal government deal only with things that have national import, as defined by the enumerated powers in the Constitution." -- Paul Jacob

"[H]ere's the bottom line on the surveillance program. It was going to work, and help lessen the chance of another atrocity in our America, only if it stayed secret. The odds of it staying secret would diminish as its existence spread through the Congress and judicial system. Now it is public, and its utility is about zero." -- Daniel Henninger

"It would be far better if the threat of force [against Iran] were credible enough that actual force would not have to be used. But divisive politics have undermined the credibility of any such threat. That can narrow the choices to killing people in Iran or leaving ourselves and our posterity at the mercy of hate-filled and suicidal fanatics with nukes." -- Thomas Sowell

"Today's left quotes the text of the Constitution as if it means what it says on searches and seizures, though when it comes to behavior the left wishes to condone, the Constitution morphs into a 'living document' in constant need of updating to suit the times. Which is it?" -- Cal Thomas

"I don't know." -- Helen Thomas when asked by White House spokesman Scott McClellan, "Are we at war, Helen?"

"What happened to me, I think, and to all of us at CBS, was that the perception of truth became that these documents were not real; that there were flaws in the typeface and all kinds of sort of dry and extremely dull details about proportional spacing and superscript and all that... I feel that if they had been forged there would have been a flaw. And I have not been able to find the flaw." -- former CBS producer Mary Mapes

"[T]he mighty American media doesn't want to think itself spineless. So they close their eyes, rationalize their fear and call it the responsible thing to do." -- Tony Blankley

"We are fighting to find a voice under difficult circumstances, and I'm confident, over the next few months, you are going to see that happen. Our megaphone is just not as large as their megaphone, and we have a harder time getting that message out, even when people are on the same page." -- John Kerry, who is ignoring the megaphone of the "mainstream media"

"[Arabs in the United States have been] indiscriminately rounded up, often on minor charges of overstaying a visa or not having a green card in proper order, and held in conditions that were just unforgivable... Unfortunately there have been terrible abuses and it's wrong. I do want you to know that it does not represent the desires or wishes or feelings of the majority of the citizens of my country." -- Al Gore in Saudi Arabia

"Muslims are the only people who make feminists seem laid-back." -- Ann Coulter

"President Bush unveiled his new $2.2 trillion budget. Yeah, the president settled on $2 trillion after being told that $2 bazillion was not a real number." -- Conan O'Brien

"The era of big government is over. The era of REALLY BIG government is just getting started, to be followed eventually by the era of government so big that it blocks out the sun and has its own gravitational field." -- James Lileks

"Senator [Lincoln] Chafee likes to call himself a Republican, but then he is a tax-and-spend Republican. Where I come from, we have another word for that. It's called a Democrat." -- Cranston, RI, Mayor Steve Laffey, who is challenging Chafee in this year's GOP primary contest

"President Bush said in a speech in Washington Thursday that al-Qa'ida once plotted a terrorist attack on Los Angeles. It makes no sense at all. People who want to destroy America would never attack Hollywood, if only out of professional courtesy." -- Argus Hamilton

"In a world in which Danish cartoons insult the prophet and Disney Piglet mugs insult the prophet and Burger King chocolate ice-cream swirl designs insult the prophet, maybe it would just be easier to make a list of things that don't insult him." -- Mark Steyn

"Some Democrats are furious that their party doesn't have its own ideas. Others say they do have ideas; they're just keeping them secret for now. That sounds a lot like the high school geek who insists that his girlfriend is really hot but lives in an undisclosed location in Canada." -- Jonah Goldberg

"They added a new [Olympic] event this year called the Danish freestyle -- five cartoonists skate as fast as they can away from an angry mob. ... I feel bad for Marmaduke. He's a cartoon and a Great Dane! He's in double-danger." -- Jay Leno

"You should console me in this situation. This is a big burden and a position of difficulties." -- Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jafari

"In the absence of any pressing news these days—other than Iran's nuclear-weapons development crisis, the election of Hamas terrorists in Palestine, ongoing worldwide Muslim riots and killing in reaction to a cartoon, Al Gore's near sedition while speaking in Saudi Arabia, the turning over of our East Coast ports to be managed by a United Arab Emirates firm, the criminal leaking of vital NSA secrets to The New York Times, Mexican military incursions across our southern border, the Iraqi crisis, Congress's refusal to deal with the developing financial collapse of Social Security and Medicare, inter alia—the White House press corps has exploded in righteous fury over the question of the vice president's little shooting party last weekend." -- Tony Blankley

web posted February 13, 2006

"Government cannot achieve the efficiencies of a business. Trying to get government to be as efficient as business is as hopeless as trying to teach cats to bark and dogs to meow." -- Walter Williams

"Washington is the only place where people break the law and then call for changing the law." -- Senator Norm Coleman

"[I]t is frankly shocking that there is anyone in Washington who would politicize the Patriot Act. It is an insult to those who died to tell the American people that the organization posing the greatest threat to their liberty is not al-Qa'ida but the FBI. Hearing any member of Congress actually crow about 'killing' or 'playing chicken' with this critical legislation is as disturbing today as it would have been when Ground Zero was still smoldering." -- Debra Burlingame

"Christians, Jews, Buddhists, [and] Mormons...don't lash out in violence when their religious sensibilities are offended. They certainly don't expect their beliefs to be immune from criticism, mockery, or dissent. But radical Muslims do." -- Jeff Jacoby

"Any suggestion that a program designed to track the movement, locations, plans or intentions of our enemy -- particularly those that have infiltrated our borders -- is equivalent to abusive domestic surveillance of the past is ludicrous." -- Senator Pat Roberts

"It was the first State of the Union Mr. Bush has given in which Congress seemed utterly pre-9/11 in terms of battle lines drawn... It seemed a metaphor for the Democrat Party: We don't know where to stand or what to stand for, and in fact we're not good at standing for anything anyway, but at least we know we can't stand Republicans." -- Peggy Noonan

"Tasers Not Recommended to Subdue Small Children, Grand Jury Says" -- Associated Press

"I did meet with some of the same Hamas members in Ramallah and I think they told me they want to have a peaceful administration." -- Jimmy Carter

I think most of them were voting for peace, they were voting for better conditions, they were voting for an honest government." -- UN's Kofi Annan on the Palestinian elections

"[Republicans'] idea of equal rights is the American flag and the Confederate swastika [sic] flying side-by-side." -- NAACP Chairman Julian Bond

"There comes a point, sometimes, when logic is denied, reason is abandoned, and that vital connection to reality is severed. Once upon a time, we called this a nervous breakdown and prescribed a rest cure. Now, we call it a press conference and take notes." -- Diana West

"Burger King...withdrew its ice cream cones from its British menus because Rashad Akhtar of High Wycombe complained that the creamy swirl shown on the lid looked like the word 'Allah' in Arabic script. I don't know which sura in the Koran says don't forget, folks, it's not just physical representations of God or the Prophet but also chocolate ice cream squiggly representations of the name, but ixnay on both just to be 'sensitive'." -- Mark Steyn

"You know, they really ought to hold hearings on Supreme Court nominees on the other coast, in La-La Land, because they are so detached from reality. It isn't just the questions that are a sham. The 'questioning' itself is a sham, since the senators are so consumed with their own importance that they spend much more time declaring their greatness than asking questions." -- Taylor Armerding

"[M]embers of the United States Senate take their title, 'Senator,' very seriously. If they thought they could get away with it, they would wear togas." -- Rich Galen

"Worse than denial is denying you have been in denial." -- Cal Thomas

"President Bush was blasted by Democrats for not mentioning global warming in his State of the Union address. They just weren't listening. This morning, the Weather Channel announced that the long-range forecast for Iran is ten thousand degrees and cloudy." -- Argus Hamilton

"Hillary Clinton said this week that she doesn't agree with either the people who say we should be in Iraq or her friends who say we should be out. Thanks for clearing that up. Think she's running for president? Even John Kerry said, 'Pick a position!'" -- Jay Leno

"We might also consider whether, and to what degree, dependence on essentially permanent government programs serves to create a large number of Americans who are 'united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.' That is the definition of what James Madison in Federalist 10 called a faction, and a majority faction is what the American Founders thought to be the greatest threat to republican government." -- Matthew Spalding

"Where to start is so obvious. Start everywhere." -- Former Senator Phil Gramm on where to cut federal spending

"Our enemy is listening. I cannot help but wonder if they aren't shaking their heads in amazement at the thought that anyone would imperil such a sensitive program by leaking its existence in the first place, and smiling at the prospect that we might now disclose even more or perhaps even unilaterally disarm ourselves of a key tool in the war on terror." -- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, defending domestic surveillance

web posted February 6, 2006

"Along the way [in Iraq], we have benefited from responsible criticism and counsel offered by Members of Congress of both parties... Yet there is a difference between responsible criticism that aims for success, and defeatism that refuses to acknowledge anything but failure. Hindsight alone is not wisdom. And second-guessing is not a strategy." -- U.S. President George W. Bush during his State of the Union address

"Our offensive against terror involves more than military action. Ultimately, the only way to defeat the terrorists is to defeat their dark vision of hatred and fear by offering the hopeful alternative of political freedom and peaceful change.... Elections are vital, but they are only the beginning. Raising up a democracy requires the rule of law, and protection of minorities, and strong, accountable institutions that last longer than a single vote." -- U.S. President George W. Bush during his State of the Union address

"President Bush made health care a big part of his State of the Union address last night, which is rare for a Republican. Thankfully we're not talking about another new entitlement like the Medicare drug benefit, which is being implemented this year to far less fanfare than the GOP had hoped. Instead, the President wants to fix defects in the market for health care. This is an area where he can do a great deal of good at little cost to the Treasury. And it's high time. The inefficiencies of the current system are a drag on wage growth that's being felt now even by the United Auto Workers union. And health care costs may partly explain why many Americans don't feel as good as they might about the current economic expansion. Longer term, it's also increasingly obvious that the U.S. is approaching a tipping point where the reforms needed to preserve an innovative, market-based health system may become politically impossible. That's because almost half of our health-care dollars are already spent by government. Do nothing and the inevitable growth of Medicare alone will lead us far down the path toward government-rationed health care a la Europe or Canada... But there's still a chance to change course. Republicans in Congress should join Mr. Bush in seizing it." -- The Wall Street Journal

"Why don't you just report the news instead of what might be the news?" -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, rebuking a reporter at a press conference

"[Bill Clinton's lying was] poignant and endearing... [W]hen Bill Clinton would deceive, he would throw in a semantic clue that let you know he was deceiving. He would let you know he was lying, and then the right wing would come down so hard on him and over-punish him." -- Maureen Dowd

"[Y]ou can't ignore those social, cultural values voters. You don't have to switch on their issues, but you have to talk to them. You can't go around and just ignore them... We should be able to address that with equal credibility with the Republicans, but when you simply ignore it, you're going to lose." -- Bill Clinton

"Led by Ted Kennedy, the Senate Democrats hoped to trip Judge Alito up in the Judiciary Committee hearings. Instead, they ended up tripping over each other like Larry, Moe & Curley in the pie-throwing scene." -- Rich Galen

"I think even for a Senator, it takes some pretty serious yodeling to call for a filibuster from a five-star ski resort in the Swiss Alps." -- Scott McClellan

"Sen. John Kerry, hanging out with other French-speakers at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, is busy between rounds of hot-buttered rum before the crackling fire at the people's chateau, organizing a filibuster of the Alito nomination. Mr. Kerry is assisted in this romantic endeavor by the Hon. Ted Kennedy, who was drawn by the prospect of the ski-slope bunnies who are said to congregate around the hot-buttered rum bowl." -- Wesley Pruden

"Every time someone tells Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid that he, too, took money from Jack [Abramoff's] clients, he starts jumping up and down like Rumpelstiltskin yelling, 'This is a Republican scandal!"' -- Daniel Henninger

"The four most common words a feminist uses are 'I,' 'me,' 'my,' and 'mine.'... 'I feel this' or 'I feel that.' 'Keep your laws off MY body.' 'It's MY body, MY choice.' Feminists are the only people in society who actually use these four words more in adulthood than they did when they were two years old." -- Mike Adams

"Al Gore announced he is finishing up a new book about global warming and the environment. Yeah, the first chapter talks about how you shouldn't chop down trees to make a book that no one will read." -- Conan O'Brien

"President Bush gave his State of The Union address. He...[repeated] several universal truths; all people deserve to be free, democracy is good, and the most important truth -- never lie to Oprah!" -- Jay Leno

web posted January 30, 2006

"Republicans promised the American people two things in 1994. First, we promised to rein in the size and scope of the federal government. Second, we promised to clean up Washington. In recent years, we have fallen short on both counts." -- Rep. John Shadegg

"When you spread food out on a picnic table, you can expect ants. When you put $3 trillion on the table, you can expect special interests, lobbyists and pork-barrel politicians. As long as the federal government has so much money and power to hand out, we'll never get rid of the Abramoffs. Restrictions on lobbying deal with symptoms, not causes." -- David Boaz

"The United States faces a ruthless enemy. And we need a commander in chief and a Congress who understand the nature of the threat and the gravity of the moment America finds itself in. President Bush and the Republican Party do. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for many Democrats." -- Karl Rove

"[P]ro-lifers shouldn't let their discouragement over Roe v. Wade's 33-year history as settled law keep them from pursuing laws that will at least cut down on the number of abortions. It shouldn't be 'all or nothing'." -- Rebecca Hagelin

"[T]he former vice president's accusations of criminal behavior against [President] Bush threaten serious damage. It's a pattern of speech that is becoming increasingly prevalent in the Democrat party, potentially destructive to the morale of our Armed Forces and inherently dangerous for the American people." -- Oliver North

"The Founding Fathers did not foresee a permanent political class, out of touch with the people and in touch only with their careers and self-interests." -- Cal Thomas

"The current scandals in Washington should remind us just how far we have strayed from the vision of limited government the Founders handed down to us." -- John Fund

"I don't support our troops. This is a particularly difficult opinion to have, especially if you are the kind of person who likes to put bumper stickers on his car." -- Los Angeles Times columnist Joel Stein

"I told all my Senate Democratic [sic] colleagues that are on the Judiciary Committee, I said, 'I don't know what the [heck] you were talking about.' So anyway, I think they did a good job." -- Sen. Harry Reid, Democratic minority leader

"[Democrats are] prepared to eavesdrop wherever and whenever necessary in order to make America safer." -- John Kerry, who is also against eavesdropping

"[A]s you go to the polls on Monday, you do so while a man running the nation to the south of you is hoping you can lend him a hand by picking Stephen Harper because he's a man who shares his world view. Do you really want to help George Bush by turning Canada into his latest conquest?" -- Michael Moore before the recent Canadian election

"I won't trust [Osama bin Laden], but anything that gives me the opportunity to seek peace, I would at least check it out. People make deals with the devil all the time. We make deals with people we don't like... What do we have to lose to check it out?" -- TV Talk show host, Star Jones advocating "let's make a deal" foreign policy

"[Judge Robert] Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court was derailed so effectively that 'bork' became a verb meaning to ruthlessly savage a nominee's record in order to defeat his confirmation. And now [Sen. Ted] Kennedy complains that judicial nominations are too politicized? If chutzpah were an Olympic event, he would walk away with the gold." -- Jeff Jacoby

"The notion of [Ted] Kennedy joining any club which didn't allow women...would be like Norm Peterson going to a bar which didn't serve beer." -- Rich Galen

"Tabloids are reporting that Sen. Ted Kennedy has an illegitimate 21-year-old son. Apparently, Kennedy isn't denying the report, but the kid is." -- Conan O'Brien

"But don't worry, [the EU is] not escalating this thing any more than necessary. Initially, Britain is considering 'narrowly targeted sanctions such as a travel ban on Iranian leaders.' That'll show 'em: Iranian missiles may be able to leave Iranian airspace, but the deputy trade minister won't. No more trips to Paris for the spring collections or skiing in Gstaad for the A-list ayatollahs." -- Mark Steyn

"The White House gave Cuba permission Friday to compete in the World Baseball Classic in San Diego. For safety's sake let's hope there's no swimming pool at the team's hotel. Any Cuban player who can swim already plays for the United States." -- Argus Hamilton

"NBC has cancelled the 'West Wing.' That's when you know things are bad - when even fictional Democrats aren't doing well. Can't even get elected on TV anymore." -- Jay Leno

"Some look at the challenges in Iraq and conclude that the war is lost, and not worth another dime or another day. I don't believe that. Our military commanders do not believe that. Our troops in the field, who bear the burden and make the sacrifice, do not believe that America has lost, and not even the terrorists believe it. We know from their own communications that they feel a tightening noose and fear the rise of a democratic Iraq." -- U.S. President George W. Bush

"If I wanted to break the law, why was I briefing Congress?" -- U.S. President George W. Bush on the NSA surveillance program

"The Americans and the Europeans say to Hamas: either you have weapons or you enter the legislative council. We say weapons and the legislative council. There is no contradiction between the two." -- Ismail Haniya, a Hamas candidate in the Palestinian elections



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