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The good and the bad...

web posted March 27, 2006

"I believe it is fair to say most Republicans did not think George W. Bush was motivated to run for the presidency for the primary reason of cutting or controlling spending. But it is also fair to say that they did not think he was Lyndon B. Johnson. And that's what he's turned into." -- Peggy Noonan

"The Senate vote increased the debt ceiling for the fourth time in five years. The statutory debt limit has now risen by more than $3 trillion since President Bush took office. That any Republican majority could preside over such fiscally irresponsible spending ought to be grounds for revoking their party membership." -- Cal Thomas

"[L]obbyists are not the main problem. After all, they don't get to vote on the legislation. The main problem is lawmakers passing bills they haven't read, and pretending they don't know about the pork that gets slipped in when they pretend they're not looking." -- Paul Jacob

"Enough generations of socialist policies have now passed for us to judge their effects. They are bleak. Socialism undermines the character of a nation and of its citizens. In simpler words, socialism makes people worse." -- Dennis Prager

"The Bush Doctrine is the plinth on which American national security is built. It is the monument that tells the rest of the planet that September 10th is over. It is what warns those who would threaten us that we are serious about Islamist terrorism -- that we understand our enemies are not rational, are not corrigible, cannot be bargained with, and need, as circumstances dictate, to be bombed, bled or squeezed wherever we find them." -- Andrew McCarthy

"If blacks come to embrace triumph, rather than grievance, the wound to liberal Democrats would be mortal. It wouldn't take much of a desertion of the black vote to make Democrat hopes of recapturing Washington a permanent pipe dream." -- Walter Williams

"You think everyone over there is a college graduate? They're 19 and 20-year-old kids who couldn't get a job... You know, the soldiers are not scholars, they're not war experts... They're not the best people to ask about the war because they're gonna die any second." -- Actor Richard Belzer, formerly a favourite actor of ESR's editor

"Hamas now wishes to consolidate its political gains, maintain domestic order and stability, and refrain from contacts with Israel. It will be a tragedy if it promotes or condones terrorism." -- Jimmy Carter on terrorist group Hamas

"We voted for Bush not because we liked him, but because we knew it would really agitate boomers. Boy, has he turned out to be the gift that keeps on giving." -- Tom Purcell

"Let me be the first to say: Congratulations, Mr. [Claude] Allen! The New York Times really hates you. Welcome to my world. We're so happy to have you in our club." -- Ann Coulter

"'V for Vendetta'...combines all of the celluloid left's paranoid fantasies -- Christian conservatives in charge of a brutal regime, the war-on-terrorism as an excuse for the suppression of civil liberties, homosexuals harassed and killed by conservative Christians, a pedophile priest (who works miter-in-had with the regime) and an attack blamed on terrorists that's really a right-wing conspiracy. All that's missing is a Halliburton connection." -- Don Feder

"Should you be worried about bird flu? Yes. No. And maybe; it depends. Like the creatures who might bring the plague, it's all up in the air." -- James Lileks

"Mexican president Vicente Fox climbed on top of an offshore rig Thursday and announced a ten-billion-barrel oil strike in the Gulf of Mexico. You can already imagine the gasoline commercials. Your SUV will look years younger with Oil of Ole." -- Argus Hamilton

"[O]ur new national debt is $9 trillion, not million, not billion. To put $9 trillion in perspective, that is more than Oprah makes in a week." -- Jimmy Kimmel

Saddam Hussein took the witness stand for the first time in his trial. He spent most of his testimony ignoring all the evidence and insisting he was the real president of Iraq. Among legal experts, this is known as the Al Gore strategy." -- Jay Leno

"Violent extremists plan and design their headline-grabbing attacks using every means of communication to intimidate and break the collective will of free people. [The most crucial battles in OIF are being fought in] newsrooms in places like New York and London and Cairo." -- U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

"What should Democrats do? They ought to stand up and say the tools we're using to protect the American people shouldn't be used. They ought to take their message to the people—and say 'Vote for me, I promise we're not going to have a terrorist-surveillance program'." -- U.S. President Bush, calling the Democrats' bluff on their anti-surveillance complaints

"I am not an infidel or a fugitive. I am a Christian." -- Abdul Rahman, an Afghani man facing the death penalty for converting to Christianity

web posted March 20, 2006

"The tempest over DP World was unnecessary. This particular deal seems to have rubbed people the wrong way, and it wasn't handled by the Bush administration as well as it should have been. But the deal wouldn't have affected homeland security in any way... Worse, this episode threatens to put a crimp in our commitment to free trade. The fact is, foreign investment is a good thing, and we should encourage it." -- Ed Feulner

"You and I must live within our means, but Washington politicians act as if they have absolutely no responsibility to do something as basic as paying their own way -- to make sure they don't spend more than they have, confident that somebody else will foot the bill when the party ends." -- Rebecca Hagelin

"Our government today is larger than it ever has been in history. Spending has grown more in the past five years than any time since Franklin Roosevelt was in the White House. And our leaders in Washington have created new entitlements for the first time in decades. Lyndon Johnson would be proud." -- Steve Forbes

"Once born, a government program is nearly impossible to kill. That's mostly because politicians are spending our money and not their own." -- Cal Thomas

"Simply put, Democrats believe they can ask voters to give them control of the legislative branch [in November] without revealing any sort of policy or plan to deal with the most pressing issue before the country today: the war in Iraq... Not only do Democrats not have a plan, they're proud of not having a plan." -- Byron York

"Most of the world today not only is in denial concerning the truly appalling likely consequences of the rise of radical Islam, it often refuses to even accept unambiguous evidence of its existence." -- Tony Blankley

"Most liberalism is angst-and guilt-ridden, seeing moral equivalence everywhere." -- Charles Krauthammer

"I haven't ruled anything out or anything in at this point. I'm encouraged by the strong support many people have voiced for my candidacy around the country and in South Dakota. I'll make a decision at some point later on this year." -- former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle on entering the race for the 2008 Democratic nomination

"You know there are all these conspiracy theories that Dick [Cheney] runs the country...or Karl [Rove] runs the country. Why aren't there any conspiracy theories that I run the country? Really ticks me off." -- President George W. Bush

"A recent survey shows that Americans can name more of the Simpsons than the rights protected by the First Amendment. (For the record, we can name all 12: Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie, O.J., religion, speech, press, assembly, petition and partial-birth abortion.)" -- James Taranto

"Nowhere else [besides education] do people think that it is OK to engage in politics instead of doing the job for which they are being paid. When you hire a plumber to fix a leak, you don't want to find your home being flooded while he whiles away the hours talking about Congressional elections or foreign policy." -- Thomas Sowell

"Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer revealed Tuesday there's been a lot more discussion during court deliberations since the new guys got there. He said he believes it's because they are younger. You know how people talk when they're awake." -- Argus Hamilton

"Iran said they will inflict harm and pain on the United States if we try to stop their nuclear program. Who's writing their speeches now -- Mr. T?" -- Jay Leno

"Liberals love to divide us by economic class, and discuss policies in terms of which class will benefit or suffer by their passage. The problem is that class is a moving target. What are the magical income levels that define poor, middle, and rich?" -- Herman Cain

"Despite claims that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, poverty is nowhere near the problem it was yesteryear -- at least for those who want to work. Talk about the poor getting poorer tugs at the hearts of decent people and squares nicely with the agenda of big government advocates, but it doesn't square with the facts." -- Walter Williams

"[A]fter all, it's one thing to mock Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Catholics, Evangelicals, blacks, gays, whites, Mexicans, Asians, Canadians, Frenchmen, people with birth defects, women, transsexuals, Democrats, Republicans, lawyers, cops, cows, people with red hair and freckles, goths, the handicapped and fat kids. But satirizing Scientology -- that's just intolerant!" -- James Taranto on Scientologist Isaac Hayes leaving South Park due to an episode painting an unflattering portrayal of the cult

web posted March 13, 2006

"The Clooney generation in Hollywood is not writing and directing movies about life as if they've experienced it, with all its mysteries and complexity and variety. In an odd way they haven't experienced life; they've experienced media. Their films seem more an elaboration and meditation on media than an elaboration and meditation on life." -- Peggy Noonan

"We are...living in a free society without the faith that built that society -- and without the conviction and dedication needed to sustain it... We still have the cathedral of freedom but how long will it last without the faith?" -- Thomas Sowell

"While most of what is offered as children's programming at the movies and on television is wholesome in its innocence, it is also true that even here, even in the programming produced for the youngest of the young, there are cultural land mines everywhere... First there's the violence... There is the ever-present 'potty humor.'... Euphemisms for obscene language are also prevalent... And there's sexual content, too... All of which begs -- screams -- the question: Why? There is no market demand for this. It is clearly out of bounds, offensive and dangerous. It shatters the innocence of childhood deliberately. And yet there are people out there writing these scripts. There are people -- not companies, people -- producing this garbage. And there are people distributing it with the goal to reach, and influence, as many millions of little boys and girls as possible." -- Brent Bozell

"That my alma mater would embrace an ambassador from one of America's declared and defeated enemies and in the same breath keep ROTC and military recruiters off campus shows where Yale's allegiance falls. Yale's actions show that they consider the U.S. military more evil than the Taliban." -- Former Army Captain and Yale alumnus Flagg Youngblood on the admission of former Taliban ambassador Sayyid Rahmatullah Hashemi to Yale

"What was true for the Cold War is no less true today. It's not enough to say that we fight tyranny. It is essential to say that we fight for what is right, and what is by any measure better than the enemy will ever deliver to even its most loyal followers." -- Jed Babbin

"Anyone who's ever filed a tax return or visited the Department of Motor Vehicles understands that government does two things well: spend our money and waste our time." -- Ed Fuelner

"Given the rate at which it's abandoning the traditional role of organized labor in favor of political activism, the AFL-CIO might as well drop the pretense and merge with the Democrats to form an honest-to-goodness Labor Party. At least that would represent truth in advertising." -- John Fund

"It is easier to find moderate Muslims who are willing to speak out than to find journalists who will pay much attention to what they have to say. Afghans, Iraqis and Lebanese struggling for liberty and democracy are given short shrift because to give them proper credit would be to give indirect credit to George W. Bush." -- Jack Kelly

"Once in power [in 1994], the Republicans set about to get their share of plunder that had been a Democrat preserve for so long. Resolve and discipline evaporated. Restraint gave way to greed. Big government and insensate spending, which were high crimes and misdemeanors when the Democrats did it, suddenly became Republican virtues. Power corrupts, in Lord Acton's famous formulation..." -- Wes Pruden

"Justices rejected a free-speech challenge from law schools and their professors who claimed they should not be forced to associate with military recruiters or promote their campus appearances." -- AP mischaracterization of the U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous decision upholding the Solomon Amendment defending the free speech rights of military recruiters on campus against the attempted censorship of law schools

"In the 1970's, during the Nixon Adminstration [sic], serious political curruption [sic] arose and the Republican leadership stepped up and took responsibilty [sic] by holding hearings and subpoening administration officials. Eventually, the President was forced to resign rather than face impeachment preceedings [sic] that likely would have been successful... The arrogance of this C student who maligns his opponents' crediblity [sic] by calling them flip floppers..." -- Barbra Streisand, with 13 total spelling errors in her anti-Bush missive

"Audiences aren't so mindless as movie-makers think." -- Actor Sir Anthony Hopkins

"The Academy Awards aired live from the Kodak Theater in Hollywood Sunday. It was very festive. Outside, the red carpet was awash in glittering evening gowns and low-cut cocktail dresses, and those were just the guys who arrived on horseback." -- Argus Hamilton

"'Ethics' is suddenly the congressional mantra, though looking for an ethic in Congress is as foolish as looking for a virgin in a bordello... H.L. Mencken warned of expecting too much when three wolves and two sheep discuss what's for lunch." -- Wes Pruden

"The ports deal, as it's known, will probably go through after enough congresspersons get the chance to model the latest fashions before the cameras, and harrumph enough in front of witnesses to make us all feel secure." -- James Lileks

"I don't have a problem with the Patriot Act per se, so much as the awesome powers claimed on its behalf by everybody from car salesmen to the agriculture official who demanded proof from my maple-sugaring neighbor that his sap lines were secure against terrorism... Apparently, there's a big problem with al-Qa'ida putting anthrax in the maple supply. You don't notice it on your pancake because it blends in with the confectioners' sugar." -- Mark Steyn

"Democrats not only can't get their act together, they can't decide on who should write the sketch; what it should be about; who should play which parts; nor where, when, or how the act should be staged... When the question of themes leading up to the election were being discussed: 'Reid said they had narrowed the list to six, and proceeded to talk about them. Then Pelosi offered her six -- not all the same as Reid's.' Oh, yeah. Twelve themes will work. Along with 24 strategies, 237 tactics and 1,567 projects. Have at it." -- Rich Galen

web posted March 6, 2006

"This [Dubai Ports World] transaction needs a long, careful look. It doesn't need stone-throwing from opportunists who would be better advised to check their own glass houses. And it doesn't need bully-pulpit demagoguery." -- Andrew McCarthy

"Other justifications for the sale appear to be reasonable -- not least that Dubai Ports World is reputedly competent at managing ports -- and might be convincing if only someone bearing the title President of the United States would articulate those reasons in a spirit of respect rather than as a dismissive parent managing an impudent child." -- Kathleen Parker

"The attitude of people associating guns with nothing but crime, that is what has to be changed. I grew up at a time when people were not afraid of people with firearms." -- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

"Our problem is not a temporary explosion of spending either because of a war or hurricanes or disasters. It's our entitlements which are draining our economy and which everybody, particularly the liberals, will not index for income." -- Charles Krauthammer

"In some ways, I'm the luckiest person in the world. I could have ended up in Guantanamo Bay. Instead I ended up at Yale." -- Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, former ambassador-at-large for the Taliban, now studying at Yale on a U.S. special-student visa.

"Never has an article made me blink with astonishment as much as when I read in yesterday's New York Times magazine that Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, former ambassador-at-large for the Taliban, is now studying at Yale on a U.S. student visa. This is taking the obsession that U.S. universities have with promoting diversity a bit too far." -- John Fund

"Once threatened, [Europe] will either react with a newly acquired Churchillian maturity to protect its civilization, or cave, in hopes that even more Chamberlain-type appeasement will satisfy the Islamists. It should be a fascinating spring ahead." -- Victor Davis Hanson

"The media are so full of themselves -- among other things that they are full of -- that they act as if the government exists to provide them with something to publicize. The time is long overdue to put these people in their place." -- Thomas Sowell

"The original Patriot Act is a case study in the perils of speed, herd instinct and lack of vigilance when it comes to legislating in times of crisis. The Congress was stampeded, and the values of freedom, justice and equality received a trampling in the headlong rush... This new proposal would erase too many of our freedoms guaranteed to the American people. In essence, this legislation says that the Bill of Rights is right no more." -- Sen. Robert Byrd, who is against the Patriot Act after he was for it

"Say what you like about the Islamic world, but they show tremendous initiative and energy and inventiveness, at least when it comes to threatening death to the infidels every 48 hours for one perceived offense or another. If only it could be channeled into, say, a small software company, what an economy they'd have." -- Mark Steyn

"The main reason that our bipartisan tax code is slightly larger than Maureen Dowd's therapy notes is that every congressman in the country is trying to amend it to spare his special friends from having to play on a level field." -- Mac Johnson

"For some reason the Left has become convinced Cheney will leave soon, if they concentrate hard enough. It's the modern-day version of the hippies levitating the Pentagon." -- James Lileks

"Surely even the Saudis see the true picture -- that Al Gore is a bitter politician who, sadly, seems to be one slice short of a loaf these days." -- Kathleen Parker

"Peacock Network News correspondent David Gregory, whose self-absorption rivals the leading brand of paper towels, threw a snit fit over the 18-hour delay in public disclosure of the [Cheney shooting] incident. His exchange...with White House press secretary Scott McClellan was a walking advertisement for beta blockers." -- Michelle Malkin

"Bill Clinton is looking for 25 interns to work at his library. Now what could go wrong here?" -- Jay Leno

"In the last decade since the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives after a 40-year sojourn in the wilderness, total federal spending in inflation-adjusted terms has increased 33 percent... We must all be aware of an old axiom, which is that any institution that is not philosophically and ideologically conservative will over time become liberal. It will happen to a university; it will happen to the Ford Foundation; it will happen to the Republican Party, unless it adheres to a set of principles about limited government." -- George Will

"If a citizen of the UAE walked into an airport in full burnoose and flowing robes, speaking only Arabic, Democrats would be deeply offended, and might even sue, if the security people were to give him any more scrutiny than they would to my sweet 84-year-old mother. Democrats loudly denounce any thought of racial profiling. But when that same Arab, attired in business suit and MBA, and with a good record running ports in 15 countries, buys P&O, Democrats howl at the very idea of allowing Arabs to run our ports. (Republicans are howling too, but they don't grandstand on the issue of racial profiling.)" -- Charles Krauthammer

web posted February 27, 2006

"There is too much power in Washington and too much power in government, and not enough power at the grassroots and not enough power with the average American." -- Newt Gingrich

"Like the Nazis in the 1930s and the Soviet communists in the Cold War, the Islamofascists are emboldened by appeasement and submissiveness. Give the rampagers and book-burners a veto over artistic and editorial decisions, and you end up not with heightened sensitivity and cultural respect, but with more rampages and more books burned. You betray ideals that generations of Americans have died to defend." -- Jeff Jacoby

"For [Al] Gore to make his anti-American remarks in Saudi Arabia is at least as bad as what Nazi sympathizers said in this country and abroad leading up to and during World War II. One definition of 'treason' is: Violation of allegiance toward one's country or sovereign, especially the betrayal of one's country by waging war against it or by consciously and purposely acting to aid its enemies. By any objective standard, Al Gore's remarks in Saudi Arabia appear to fit the definition." -- Cal Thomas

"To the extent that government is pursuing policies that restrict free people and erode free markets, the government is, indeed, headed in the wrong direction. The right direction for government is always in policies that advance the principles of freedom." -- Henry Lamb

"The 'minimum wage' is...a legal barrier to trade in labor. As economists have long argued, higher minimum wage laws lead to less employment." -- Paul Jacob

"This story is never going away. Harry Whittington is Dick Cheney's Monica." -- Bob Herbert, NY Times

"Look, she is the worst of both worlds -- and I like her a lot -- for the Democratic Party, because she keeps trying to move to the center." -- Bill Maher on Hillary Clinton

"The 'offense to Islam' ruse is merely an excuse for Muslims to revert to their default mode: rioting and setting things on fire. These people have a serious anger management problem. So it's not exactly a scoop that Muslims are engaging in violence. A front-page story would be 'Offended Muslims Remain Calm'." -- Ann Coulter

"One can only hope others agree...that the reprehensible [Dick] Cheney will be hounded from public life the way [Ted] Kennedy was all those years ago. One would hate to think folks would just let it slide and three decades from now this Cheney guy will be sitting on some committee picking Supreme Court justices and whatnot." -- Mark Steyn

"Bulletin: According to a Center for Immigration Studies report, 48 foreign-born al-Qa'ida members were involved in domestic terrorism in the last 10 years, and 25 percent were illegal aliens. Mohamed Atta at one point violated the terms of his visa. Good thing we didn't 'indiscriminately round him up.' Thank the stars he wasn't held in 'unforgivable conditions'." -- James Lileks

"When I was a kid everyone knew who [George] Washington was and what he accomplished, but few kids know about him today -- few understand how unique our political system is and how the incredible bounty we enjoy can be laid at the feet of Washington. Thus, all that Presidents Day is for a lot of folks is the best day of the year to get good deals on furniture and linen." -- Tom Purcell

"Hillary said that she finds the administration's refusal to level with the American people 'troubling.' She also finds it somewhat nostalgic. ... She now has her own wax likeness at Madame Tussaud's. It has a 'do not touch' sign on it. Just like the real Hillary." -- Jay Leno

"In this war, this very long war, it is very important we strengthen the bonds of friendship and security with our friends and allies around the world, particularly in the Arab world." -- U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England

"Most experts seem to agree on only one major point: The gaping holes in security at American ports have little to do with the nationality of who is running them." -- The New York Times



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