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

web posted February 23, 2009

"[T]he state is getting more and more deeply involved in business, even taking controlling interests in some private companies. And the state is even trying to 'make policy' for private companies they do not control, but merely 'help' with 'infusions of capital'.... So state power is growing at the expense of corporations. But that's not socialism. Socialism rests on a firm theoretical bedrock: the abolition of private property. ... It's fascism." --columnist Michael Ledeen

"The idea that even the brightest person or group of bright people, much less the U.S. Congress, can wisely manage an economy has to be the height of arrogance and conceit. Why? It is impossible for anyone to possess the knowledge that would be necessary for such an undertaking." --economist Walter E. Williams

"The amount of money involved [in the stimulus bill] is staggering. With 90 million tax filers who actually pay taxes, the $787 billion means the average taxpayer will pay over $8,700. By itself, adding $8,700 to the average tax bill should get everyone's attention. But that is on top of everything else that we are spending this year. ...[T]his year's deficit is already at about $1.7 trillion -- almost $19,000 per taxpayer." --economist John Lott

"The big story last week was the incredible Congressional rush to pass a bill that was more than a thousand pages long in just two days -- after which it sat on the President's desk for three days while the Obamas were away on a holiday. There is the same complete inconsistency in the bill itself." --economist Thomas Sowell

"Not that long ago, Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were taking potshots at President George W. Bush for supporting deficit spending. Now that they're in power, they're spending money at record speed that Washington doesn't have. And they're still blaming the Republicans. Will they ever be responsible for the choices they make?" --columnist Debra Saunders

"Even if the Republicans were the worst hypocrites in the history of the universe, would that make it any more prudent for President Obama to embark on a mission to trump them? Indeed, that he is citing GOP fiscal profligacy as an excuse and license for more just confirms that debt is not on his mind; government debt is never on a liberal's mind except as a tactic to win arguments or elections." --columnist David Limbaugh

"In my opinion, you have to say that Obama is a winner this week because he got through an, a, a huge, complicated, almost $800 billion spending rescue bill in record time. I mean, this doesn't happen in Washington. And, and you know, sure, the beginning of an administration is the time when you really want to spend some political capital and, and, and, and those chips, but wow." --Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson

"[Obama] achieved more of his aims in this single legislation than many presidents will achieve in an entire term. I mean there's more new net public investment here on things the Democrats consider essential for long-term growth like education, scientific research, alternative energy, than Bill Clinton was able to achieve in two terms." --Atlantic Media's Ronald Brownstein

"A lot of economists now saying that what is really -- could be needed is bite-the-bullet nationalization." --ABC's George Stephanopoulos

"There are a lot of economists who look at these banks and they say all that garbage that's in them renders them essentially insolvent. Why not just nationalize the banks?" --ABC's Terry Moran to Barack Obama

"So the big rolling stone following Indiana Jones is coming down. And somebody says 'let's go to the left and escape it.' And someone says, 'that's the wrong direction, let's go to the right.' Do you just sit there? No, you go to the left if that's what the majority wants to do." --ABC's Sam Donaldson

"You know, I think if you go back to the 1990s, what you saw is essentially a partnership between the Republican Party, the right wing, and establishment media venues. And this partnership was formed when they were essentially engaged in their lynch mob over the Lewinsky affair. And that partnership, those methods that were so successful then, translated into the media being blindly supportive and reverent of the Bush administration." --Salon's Glenn Greenwald, remembering a different recent history then everyone else

"I don't think [$50 billion] will be enough, but in fairness, we won't know that for a while. But we can't kick people out of their houses. If $50 billion's not enough, we're coming back for more." --Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) on bailing out homeowners

"We reject the failed Bush administration economic policies which got us where we are today. The proposals that the Republicans put forth were more of the same. We will not go back." --House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

"[T]his idea of nationalizing banks is not comfortable, but I think we have gotten so many toxic assets spread throughout the banking and financial community throughout the world that we're going to have to do something that no one ever envisioned a year ago, no one likes -- but, to me, banking and housing are the root cause of this problem. And I'm very much afraid that any program to salvage the bank is going to require the government... I would not take off [the table] the idea of nationalizing the banks." --Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

"Hell, no.... My question to them is do any of them seriously believe that if I had been president and my economic team has been in place the last eight years that this would be happening today? And I think they know the answer to that's no." --Bill Clinton responding to NBC's Ann Curry, who asked, "This week you've been reading this article in Time magazine, lists you as number 13 on the list of who is to blame for our current economic crisis. Should you be 13 on that list?"

"Today it's even less clear what, if anything, Obama believes -- and, even more critically, whether he has the wit or authority to impose those beliefs on a Congress whose operating procedure for the new era seems to be business as usual with three extra zeroes on the end." --columnist Mark Steyn

"Never have so few spent so much so quickly to do so little." --Oklahoma Republican Rep. Tom Cole

"Only in Washington can adding $20 billion to an $817 billion House bill earn you praise as a deficit hawk." --The Wall Street Journal

"If the stimulus plan were a Thanksgiving dinner entree, it would be a Turbaconducken -- the heart attack-inducing dish of roasted chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey, all wrapped in endless slabs of bacon." --columnist Michelle Malkin

"Hearing [Treasury Secretary Tim] Geithner and looking at the reaction of the financial markets brings a whole new meaning to the term weapons of mass destruction." --The Heritage Foundation's James Carafano

"Senate Democrats refused to co-sponsor a bill protecting free speech on radio last week. They want the Fairness Doctrine back. Liberals are convinced their economic program will work if they can just get Rush Limbaugh to stop pointing out why it won't." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"Prosecutors have asked a Federal judge to send Marion Barry, the former mayor of Washington, DC, to jail for failing to file tax returns for the eighth time in nine years. ... So for Barry, it's either jail or a cabinet position in the Obama administration. Either one." -- Jay Leno

web posted February 16, 2009

"Until the 1930s, the Constitution served as a major constraint on federal economic interventionism. The government's powers were understood to be just as the framers intended: few and explicitly enumerated in our founding document and its amendments. Search the Constitution as long as you like, and you will find no specific authority conveyed for the government to spend money on global-warming research, urban mass transit, food stamps, unemployment insurance, Medicaid, or countless other items in the stimulus package and, even without it, in the regular federal budget." -- Independent Institute senior fellow Dr. Robert Higgs

"Americans have long ago abandoned respect for the constitutional limitations placed on the federal government. Our elected representatives represent that disrespect." -- economist Walter E. Williams in a worthwhile read

"[W]hat could possibly be more reckless than spending a trillion dollars you don't have on a plan that you have no evidence will work? What could be more irresponsible than doubling the generational debt for your partisan pet projects in a time of crisis? And what could be more selfish than stifling debate by deploying fear to induce voters into supporting it all?" -- columnist David Harsanyi

"A tell-tale sign in politics is when people get angry. It means they are losing the argument. Obama is angry." -- The Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti

"I think this is the introduction to a disaster. We're going to face a big inflation. Everybody talks about how much we need to do now. But no one talks about how we're going to unwind what we're doing now. Keynesian theory is wrong. It doesn't work." -- economist Allen Meltzer of Carnegie Mellon University

"[Sens.] Specter, Collins and Snowe sold out their 38 GOP colleagues and every Republican member of the House by cutting a deal and giving Harry Reid the 60 votes he needed for this 'trillion dollar turkey' to go through. In doing so, they not only assured the socialist-Democrats now running the country a huge and expensive political and legislative victory, but they stopped dead in its tracks the momentum Republicans had been successfully building with the American people against this proposal. Why, oh why, did we ever stop the practice of tar-and-feathering?" -- columnist Chuck Muth

"President Obama has started to play the 'catastrophe' card to sell his economic stimulus plan, using [last week's] terrible January jobs report to predict doom unless Congress acts. ...[T]he tragedy of this first great effort of the Obama Presidency is what a lost opportunity it is. ... The stage was ... set for the popular President to forge a bipartisan consensus that combined ideas from both parties. A major cut in the corporate tax favored by Republicans could have been added to Democratic public works spending for a quick political triumph that might have done at least some economic good. Instead, Mr. Obama chose to let House Democrats write the bill, and they did what comes naturally: They cleaned out their intellectual cupboards and wrote a bill that is 90% social policy, and 10% economic policy. ... So there it is: Mr. Obama is now endorsing a sort of reductionist Keynesianism that argues that any government spending is an economic stimulus." -- The Wall Street Journal

"[T]he federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back to life. It is only government that can break the vicious cycle where lost jobs lead to people spending less money, which leads to even more layoffs. And breaking that cycle is exactly what the plan that's moving through Congress is designed to do." -- U.S. President Barack Obama

"I do think that there was some spending in the [stimulus] bill that was makeup for a starvation diet under the Bush administration, some important priorities of our party [read: pork]." -- Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)

"And let me say this to all of the chattering class that so much focuses on those little, tiny, yes, porky amendments: the American people really don't care." -- Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

"Well, there is no very good approach because, frankly, a philosophy of let the private market do whatever it wants, don't regulate capital, keep capital -- keep the, the government out of it -- Alan Greenspan acknowledged, the leader of that philosophy, it caused a lot of problems. And we now have to try and fix them." -- Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)

"How do you prevent the lesson from being that, no matter how lofty the goals of the new guy coming in, Washington wins, in the end?" -- NBC's Brian Williams to Obama

"The debate on Capitol Hill has been all about the size of the stimulus. Should it be merely big? Bigger? A behemoth? But there's another school of thought that's getting less attention. Call them the do-nothings. In these free-spending times, there's a growing movement among economists who say the best way out of this recession is to do nothing. Nothing at all." -- ABC's Bill Weir, who thinks little or no government action would be a bad thing

"George Stephanopoulos has never advised Rahm Emanuel nor anyone else in the administration." -- ABC News spokeswoman Emily Lenzner

"What a mind he has, and I love his ability to do it on television. I love to think with him." -- MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who's father didn't hug him enough

"And tonight, former Vice President Dick Cheney on the prospects of future terrorism here. When he was in office, we kind of had to take this from him. He is in office no longer, so we don't. He has caused far more terror in this country in the last seven years than any terrorist." -- MSNBC's Keith Olbermann

"Being a socialist is no longer defined by how much you think we should tax the richest Americans, but by being unwilling to give virtually unlimited amounts of money to failed executives of failed businesses. ... Barack Obama ... is not a socialist. He is trying to do something similar to what President Roosevelt did more than 70 years ago, to save capitalism, not destroy it." -- Columbia University assistant professor Lincoln Mitchell

"[Obama's] intelligence is so great and his spirit is so great, I believe he will be able to do as much if not more than anyone could possibly do. ... He brings something more in his spirit than maybe another president could be even with the same intelligence. ... Republicans almost killed me. ... I try to be charitable and there are some really good Republicans, but I just don't understand how anyone would want to be a Republican. I just can't figure it. I don't understand. If you're poor, if you're any kind of minority -- gay, black, Latino, anything. If you're not a rich -- I don't know. If you're not a rich born-again-Christian, I don't get it." -- singer Cher

"[T]his [is a] great moment of opportunity ... to have conversations with people, instead of screaming matches ... over what is the best way to keep the American people safe. Nobody wants to repeal the Second Amendment, and nobody wants to keep you out of the deer woods, but wouldn't it be nice if your children didn't have to worry about being mowed down by an assault weapon when they turn the corner?" -- Bill Clinton on a problem that isn't exactly epidemic

"If he'd stuck around Congress a little longer, President Obama might have learned just how messy the legislative process can get without strong executive leadership. Now he's stuck trying to convince Americans that his radioactive crap sandwich is just what the doctor ordered. Good luck with that." -- radio talk-show host Laura Ingraham

"Many actually believed Obama's own hype. This was the moment for this, that and the other thing. This was the time when we, as Americans, were going to have our cake and eat it too. Future generations were going to look back and remember how Republicans and Democrats, cats and dogs, Klingons and Romulans came together and marched to the sunny uplands of history, where shopping carts have no wobbly wheels; airplane food is free, delicious and filling; and we get all of our energy from 100 percent renewable Loch Ness Monster poop." -- National Review editor Jonah Goldberg

"I got a little muddled over two adjoining newspaper clippings -- one on the stimulus, the other on those octuplets in California -- and for a brief moment the two stories converged. Everyone's hammering that mom -- she's divorced, unemployed, living in a small house with parents who have a million bucks' worth of debt, and she's already got six kids. So she has in vitro fertilization to have eight more. But isn't that exactly what the Feds have done? Last fall, they gave birth to $850 billion of bailout they couldn't afford and didn't have enough time to keep an eye on, and now, four months later, they're going to do it all over again, but this time they want trillionuplets. Barney and Nancy represent the in vitro fertilization of the federal budget. And it's the taxpayers who'll get stuck with the diapers." -- columnist Mark Steyn

"Lately, it seems every time I turn around I hear about some politician or bureaucrat who is absolutely indispensable. As often as not, these people are talking about themselves. And, frankly, if this keeps up, I'm going to have to stop turning around." -- columnist Burt Prelutsky

"It came out today that the House Democratic Caucus spent $500,000 of taxpayer money for retreats at luxury resorts and spas -- though Democrats say that the time was used for 'strategic planning for the country.' Really? Then what's the Capitol building for?" -- Jay Leno

web posted February 9, 2009

"As you can well imagine, I am deeply embarrassed and disappointed by the errors that required me to amend my tax returns. I apologize for the errors and profoundly regret that you have had to devote time to them." -- Tom Daschle in a letter to Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA)

"Make no mistake, tax cheaters cheat us all, and the IRS should enforce our laws to the letter." -- then-Sen. Tom Daschle on 7 May 1998

"And when [Tom Daschle] ended up losing an election, he didn't cash in and leave. He lost an election ending his public career. His net worth was less than a million dollars at that point. And here he went out in the private sector, and now he's found himself having made a mistake and admitted to it. He took the steps necessary to start paying the taxes, make sure they're paid. Now, that's the right thing to do. I believe Tom Daschle's one of the most honest people I've ever known or worked with in public life." -- Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)

"The bar that we set is the highest that any administration in the country has ever set." -- White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs

"I didn't come here to be partisan, I didn't come here to be bipartisan. I came here ... to be nonpartisan, to work for the American people, to do what is in their interest." -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

"If it was left up to me ... I would nationalize the whole [mortgage] industry." -- Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)

"[Tom] Daschle's problems are more than a 'speed bump,' as one of his defenders called it. They constitute a large and growing sinkhole for this administration. Most presidents encounter difficulties with possibly one cabinet nominee or other high-level official, but Obama has had three in less than a month. Daschle could have been confirmed, given the Senate's Democratic majority, but it appears someone showed him the door rather than add to Obama's difficulties in cleaning up Washington." -- columnist Cal Thomas

"There was no way, on the same day that a woman named Nancy had to leave because of a $900 [tax lien], that a man named Tom could be allowed to continue after screwing up his taxes by an amount which includes the words 'one hundred' and 'thousand.'" -- political analyst Rich Galen

"Americans now know that the 'change we can believe in,' which President Obama promised, means a taxes-optional administration." -- columnist Debra Saunders

"When moralizing conservatives get caught, say, cheating on their wives or challenging stall mates to robust Greco-Roman wrestling in airport bathrooms, liberals justifiably howl at the hypocrisy of it all. When liberals fail to pay taxes it's merely, to borrow an old catchphrase from Daschle, 'sad and disappointing,' but ultimately not that big a deal. If Democrats are serious about their arguments for raising taxes, shouldn't they be downright giddy about paying what they already owe? And shouldn't they loathe tax cheating more than anything?" -- columnist Jonah Goldberg

"Even if the spending could give the economy a jolt, at what price? I don't mean the legislation's overt price tag. I mean the production lost because the money borrowed by the government won't be available for private investment aimed at satisfying consumers. Do we want politicians directing how scarce resources are used? I'd rather have those decisions made by entrepreneurs who must please consumers or go bankrupt." -- columnist John Stossel

"Using long, drawn-out processes to put money into circulation to meet an emergency is like mailing a letter to the fire department to tell them that your house is on fire. If you cut taxes tomorrow, people would have more money in their next paycheck, and it would probably be spent by the time they got that paycheck, through increased credit card purchases beforehand." -- economist Thomas Sowell

"Big government is where nations go to die -- not in Keynes' 'long run,' but sooner than you think." -- columnist Mark Steyn

"You campaigned to change the culture in Washington, to change the 'politics as usual' culture here. Are you frustrated? Do you think it is much, much harder to do that than you ever anticipated?" -- CBS's Katie Couric to Barack Obama on Tom Daschle

"[T]his does read to the public as though the Republicans went after [Tom Daschle], someone that the president very much wanted, and brought him down." -- MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell

"Not one Republican voted for [the House stimulus package], turning a cold shoulder to the president's appeal for bipartisan support." -- ABC's Charlie Gibson

"Have the Republicans no shame? After swarming around President Obama like adolescent girls swooning over the Jonas brothers, getting their picture taken with him and accepting his invitation to a White House cocktail party, every Republican in the House still voted like Rush Limbaugh instructed them to -- registering a big fat 'no' on Obama's stimulus plan." -- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift

"But don't you think that right now ... it behooves the Republicans to be a little bit more in the middle? I mean ... their voices aren't going to be heard anyway, as we saw with this economic stimulus plan. ... So doesn't it behoove them to be more bipartisan and meet in the middle?" -- CBS's Maggie Rodriguez to Ann Coulter

"This isn't socialism. ... This is time for all Americans to step up to the plate and give." -- former ABC reporter Jami Floyd on the "stimulus" package

"There is another riddle inside a second enigma tonight. A detainee released from Guantanamo Bay is now found to be leading al-Qa'ida operations in Yemen. The knee-jerk questions: Since the guy went back to his terrorist ways, does that not mean we can never close Gitmo? But perhaps the real question is: Since we never tried him, never found him guilty, and the Bush administration set him free, what if he wasn't a terrorist in the first place but we turned him into one by sending him to Gitmo?" -- MSNBC's Keith Olbermann

"So you've been president twelve days. So let me ask you the question that's on everyone's mind right now: How's it going living with your mother-in-law?" -- NBC's Matt Lauer to Obama

"I think we will work our way towards a position that says that having more than two children is irresponsible." -- global warming alarmist Jonathon Porritt, who chairs the British government's Sustainable Development Commission

"Environmentalism and the global warming alarmism is challenging our freedom. ... I'm afraid that the current crisis will be misused for radically constraining the functioning of the markets and market economy all around the world. I'm more afraid of the consequences of the crisis than the crisis itself." -- Czech President Vaclav Klaus

"There's a lot of work to do and we're going to need you. The children of this country are counting on all of us. ... I am a product of your work. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for the public schools that nurtured me and helped me along." -- Michelle Obama, who put her own kids in private school, to the employees of the Department of Education, which didn't exist until 1980 -- her junior year in high school

"It is easy for the other side to advocate for higher taxes because, you know what? They don't pay them." -- House GOP Whip Eric Cantor

"For all the promises of a revolution in ethics, President Obama has created a new syndrome: The well-off can be made to stop evading their taxes by nominating them for cabinet posts." -- Victor Davis Hanson

"'Stimulus' comes from the verb stimulare, which is Latin for 'transfer massive sums of money from what remains of the dynamic sector of the economy to the special interests of the Democratic Party.' No, hang on, my mistake. Stimulare means 'to goad.' And, on that front, the Democrats are doing an excellent job. They've managed to goad 58 percent of the American people into opposing the 'stimulus' package." -- columnist Mark Steyn

"Didn't you ever wonder if the witch doctors themselves thought dropping a virgin in the volcano would really bring good crops? I'm thinking they didn't. But it kept them in their witch-doctor jobs and gave them a few final moments in private with the virgins. And that, boys and girls, is how government works." -- columnist Randall Hoven

"Tom Daschle, whom President Obama wants as secretary of health and human services, apparently did not pay $128,000 in taxes that he owes the government. Did you realize President Obama hasn't had a cabinet member with an embarrassing tax problem like this since the last guy he appointed?" -- Jay Leno

"The year Kentuckians first sent me to Washington ... the Republican candidate for president won 49 of 50 states. That same year you could walk from Maine to California and from Oregon to Florida, without leaving a state that had a Republican in the Senate. You would have found Republican governors on the East Coast, the West Coast, the Great Plains, and above and below the Mason Dixon Line. We were everywhere.... In politics, there's a name for a regional party: it's called a minority party. And I didn't sign up to be a member of a regional party. I know no one in this room did either. As Republicans, we know that commonsense conservative principles aren't regional, but I think we have to admit that our sales job has been [regional]. And in my view, that needs to change." -- Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell at the GOP's National Committee winter meeting

web posted February 2, 2009

"The stimulus package being discussed is politically smart but economically stupid. It's that bedeviling, omnipresent Santa Claus and Tooth Fairy problem again. ... A far more important measure that Congress can take toward a healthy economy is to ensure that the 2003 tax cuts don't expire in 2010 as scheduled. If not, there are 15 separate taxes scheduled to rise in 2010, costing Americans $200 billion a year in increased taxes. In the face of a recession, we don't need that." -- economist Walter E. Williams

"Bashing Rush Limbaugh last week, Obama urged GOP lawmakers to ignore the voices of obstructionism and sign on to his behemoth stimulus package: 'We shouldn't let partisan politics derail what are very important things that need to get done.' ... History has shown us that 'Get Things Done' is mindless liberal code for passing ineffective legislation and expanding government for government's sake." -- columnist Michelle Malkin

"More government spending by Hoover and Roosevelt did not pull the United States economy out of the Great Depression in the 1930s. More government spending did not solve Japan's 'lost decade' in the 1990s. As such, it is a triumph of hope over experience to believe that more government spending will help the U.S. today." -- two hundred economists in an open letter disseminated by the Cato Institute

"We all know how we got into this economic mess. We spent too much, borrowed with abandon, and acted like the bills would never come due. So what's the prescription for getting out? Spending more, borrowing more, and acting like the bills will never come due." -- columnist Steve Chapman

"For those of you not shouting hosannas, it might have occurred to you that we are suffering from a rampant sickness in American life that casts government as the author of your dreams and an Illinois politician as the linchpin of your hopes." -- Denver Post columnist David Harsanyi

"[I]n a meeting [last week] with senior White House staffers, President Obama showed a lot of love. That's right. The president is a man hugger. We counted nine man-to-man hugs. ... We think the president could be setting a new trend here." -- CBS's Julie Chen

"[B]y far the lion's share of the [federal budget] surpluses went into the tax cuts. It was the most profoundly un-conservative act of the Bush presidency. Rather than pay down the debt or save in the good times for the inevitable bad times, Bush squandered it all, so that all of us, particularly the high-income earners, could indulge in a bit more consumption." -- Newsweek editor Fareed Zakaria, who must have missed the fact that federal revenue increased faster than inflation because of the tax cuts

"As he has done so often, Obama pronounced debates about the size of government as irrelevant. What matters is 'whether it works.' Quietly but purposefully, he was overturning the Reagan revolution." -- Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne

"Does President Barack Obama finally have the cajones, that some Democrats haven't had in the past, in saying to other Republicans 'you don't have to listen to Rush Limbaugh'?" -- MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell

"Now, the [Kristen] Gillibrand pick [for U.S. Senate from New York] is not without controversy itself. She is a conservative Democrat, favoring gun rights. And the pick has upset some more liberal Democrats." -- ABC's "Good Morning America" reporter John Berman on a politician who has an American Conservative Union rating of 8, and a NARAL endorsement

"I'm a liberal, I was born a liberal, I'll be one 'til I die, what else should a reporter be when you see so much and when we have such great privilege and access to the truth?" -- White House reporter Helen Thomas

"If we don't get this done we [the Democrats] could lose seats and I could lose re-election. But we can't let people like Rush Limbaugh stall this. That's how things don't get done in this town." -- Barack Obama, more concerned with re-election that America

"What I told [Middle East 'envoy' George Mitchell] is start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating. ... My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy." -- Barack Obama in his first official presidential TV interview -- with Saudi-owned, Dubai-based Al Arabiya news channel

"There is a great exhalation of breath going on in the world as people express their appreciation for the new direction that's being set and the team that is put together by the president. We have a lot of damage to repair. It not any kind of repudiation or indictment of the past eight years so much as an excitement and an acceptance of how we are going to be doing business." -- the new secretary of state, Hillary Clinton

"If there was no Martin Luther King Jr. and no Roland Burris, there would be no Barack Obama in the White House today." -- Sen. Roland Burris, who was appointed to take Obama's Senate seat

"I am concerned, as I'm sure many of you are, that these jobs not simply go to high-skill people who are already professionals or to white male construction workers. I have nothing against white male construction workers. I'm just saying that there are a lot of other people who have needs as well..." -- former Labor Secretary Robert Reich

"I have believed for some time that military power is no solution to terrorism. ... So let me suggest a truly audacious hope for [the Obama] administration: How about a five-year time-out on war -- unless, of course, there is a genuine threat to the nation?" -- former presidential candidate George McGovern advising Obama on appeasement

"He is a man with good intentions; he has immediately eliminated Guantanamo prison, and that should be applauded. I am very happy and the world is happy that this young president has arrived ... [We] welcome the new government and we are filled with hope." -- Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez on Obama

"Yes, I do. I think [Hamas can be trusted]. Because of their own self-interest. Not because they're benevolent or kind or that sort of thing. But yes, I do. I think they can. And they've never betrayed any commitment that they've made to me or publicly, as a matter of fact." -- Jimmy Carter

"More than 144 hours into Barack Obama's presidency, the economy is still in recession, the country is still at war, and in many parts of the country it's still cold outside. Citizens are growing impatient: Wasn't President Obama supposed to bring change?" -- Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto

"During his upcoming administration, Obama has promised to out-do FDR by putting an additional 2.5 million people on the federal payroll. He has also threatened -- I mean, promised -- to create some sort of civilian paramilitary group that sounds suspiciously like Hitler's brown shirts, but I could very well be mistaken. For all I know, Obama may dress them in blue." -- columnist Burt Prelustsky

"This week the Left arrived in Washington, excited about the wonderful things it will do to us -- I mean, for us. They always do it for us." -- ABC "20/20" co-anchor John Stossel

"Let's start a new group: PETT: People for the Ethical Treatment of Taxpayers." -- political analyst Rich Galen

"If Nancy Pelosi wants fewer births, I have the way to do this, and it won't require any contraception. You simply put pictures of Nancy Pelosi in every cheap motel room in America. That will keep birth rates down, because that picture will keep a lot of things down." -- radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh

"Former French President Jacques Chirac was rushed to the hospital after being mauled by his clinically depressed poodle. See that's how you know that the French are not fighters, okay -- when their leader is attacked by a maniacal poodle." -- Jay Leno



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