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Lingua publica

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

web posted June 27, 2011

"What the economy is missing is commercial loan activity or a willingness by corporate boards to part with cash. It's missing those components because bankers and board members generally aren't dopes when it comes to business decisions. Nope, we have enough money to get out of the doldrums. The problem isn't liquidity. The problem is that we have way more Obama than our economy can stand. ... Not a day goes by that I don't see several stories about how the administration is trying to either sue some business or impose new regulations on them. It's absolutely impossible for business owners to make competent plans to hire people under the Obama administration." --columnist John Ransom

"Trying to put everyone back in the position they once thought they were in simply won't work. But it does sound attractive politically. People can remember what life was like in the past. We don't, however, know what it will be like in the future. Republicans want less government spending and more leeway for entrepreneurs to create new businesses and jobs. No one knows what innovative products and services will emerge. That's the beauty of free enterprise, but it also makes it a hard sell politically. Unless voters have figured out no amount of government spending is going to restore the old status quo." --political analyst Michael Barone

"Far more disturbing than the salacious details of [Anthony] Weiner's dalliances is the fact that apparently his mother-in-law is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Furthermore, [his wife] Huma Abedin's brother, Hassan, 'is listed as a fellow and partner with a number of Muslim Brotherhood members.' Hassan works at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS) at Oxford University. The Egyptian Al-Azhar University, well-known for a curriculum that encourages extremism and terrorism, is active in establishing links with OCIS. ... Is the Weiner scandal really covering up a far more disturbing scenario whereby jihadists continue to infiltrate and influence American universities, military installations, homeland security, even local police forces, all while the press ignores the steady encroachment of these radicals who seek to overturn and destroy America?" --columnist Eileen F. Toplansky

"If doting progressives stopped gazing longingly into 'Obama's face' for just a moment, they might notice that in Benghazi 'democracy activists' have been rounding up Libyan blacks and immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa. In Bahrain 'democracy activists' have attacked hundreds of Bangladeshis and Pakistanis, ripping the tongue out of one muezzin and leaving him brain damaged. What's so 'multicultural' about the pampered middle-aged narcissists of the West's leisurely 'activist' varsity pretending that the entire planet is just like them? You can learn a lot from the deceptions a society chooses to swallow. ... That's because the liberal worldview is a fiction." --columnist Mark Steyn

"Three quarters of a trillion dollars [the Republicans] slash from Medicaid. That's almost exactly the tax cut they want to give to the wealthiest people in our country." --House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

"I didn't run for president just to be president. It was never about me. It was about us." --Barack Obama

"My administration is committed to ensuring that the United States continues to be the most attractive place for businesses to locate, invest, grow, and create jobs." --Barack Obama

"We had lost four million jobs in the six months before I was sworn in; lost another four million during the period probably six months after I was elected. And so as a consequence, we had to do some things that we didn't expect we would have to do, just to save the economy -- stabilize the financial system, make sure that states and local governments didn't have to lay off police officers and cops and firefighters. We had to save an auto industry. I never expected to be a automobile executive. As a consequence of that swift, decisive, and sometimes difficult period, we were able to take an economy that was shrinking by about 6 percent and create an economy that is now growing, and has grown steadily now over many consecutive quarters. Over the last 15 months we've created over 2.1 million private sector jobs." --Barack Obama, who has grown government more than any of his predecessors

"We're going to give you the government you expect and deserve." --Joe Biden

"Look at the images that came out of Greece this week as you've got ... big cuts in public spending. And this is the result, rioting in the streets.... Could we have that kind of reaction here?" --NBC's David Gregory

"Conservatives now resemble the old Marxists who refuse to look at actual experience. I know it works in practice, the old saw goes, but does it work in theory? Republicans often praise businessmen. Well, one of the first steps any business now takes when confronting a problem is to ask how are other companies around the world handling this? Is there a best practice we can learn from? But in any area, from infrastructure to health care to education, that is heresy on the right. It's a shame. I think we need smart, market-friendly conservative reforms that streamline government, cut costs in health care, empower individuals, but they need to be rooted in reality, drawn from best practices around the world and based on practical measures of what seems to work. What we have instead are policies that are simply recitations of some free-market theory taken out of some book based on no actually existing national economy." --CNN's Fareed Zakaria, who apparently played Rip van Winkle during the Reagan economic boom

"You talk about money the U.S. spent fighting this global war on terrorism. I think, which is a terrible misnomer, it's like a war on fear or something like that. And I think in many ways it has been a war of fear." --NBC's Richard Engel

"We all own the economy. We all work together in Washington to devise policies to improve the economic situation." --White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, responding to DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz's comment that Democrats "own" the economy

"I would like Barack Obama to be re-elected president of the United States maybe more than someone else. If another person becomes U.S. president, then he may have another course. We understand that there are representatives of a rather conservative wing there who are trying to achieve their political goals at the expense of inflaming passions in relation to Russia, among other things. But what use is criticizing them? This is simply a way of achieving political goals." --Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

"[Barack Obama is] one of the most consistent people that I've ever met. ... I find it as cool to be an Obama supporter." --White House adviser David Axelrod

"Politics has no place -- no place -- in the impartial and effective administration of justice. Decisions about how, where, and when to prosecute must be made by prosecutors, not politicians and this is true for every case ... whether it involves white-collared criminals or brutal terrorists. So long as I am privileged to serve as the attorney general, I will defend the exclusive right of the executive branch to determine appropriate venues and mechanisms for all criminal trials. ... There is quite simply no more powerful tool than our civilian court system." --Attorney General Eric Holder, who often finds that leftist politics suit him just fine

"If lying is now the unpardonable political sin, we may at last have found a way to limit congressional terms. If lying is sufficient reason to expel a member, then the halls of Congress may soon be vacant of all but the janitorial crew who empty the trash and mop the floors at night." --columnist Cal Thomas

"[P]resident Obama has chosen to engage in a Clintonian parsing of terms. This time, it's not a question of what the meaning of 'is' is: it's a question of how you can bomb and strafe people without engaging in 'hostilities.' ... Whether or not it is constitutional, of which there is considerable doubt, Obama's parsing of the War Powers Resolution's terms stands on Clinton's foundation. I'm not saying that launching a Tomahawk missile is the wartime equivalent of oral sex, but I do insist that firing a missile or dropping a bomb is an act of war regardless of whether the people on either end of the act are wearing Kevlar or condoms." --columnist Jed Babbin

"President Obama's re-election campaign announced it'll raffle off a dinner with President Obama for five dollars per ticket. If you win they make you undergo a background check. Is it really in good taste to take people out to dinner after giving them a government colonoscopy?" --comedian Argus Hamilton

"Officials still can't say what happened to $6.6 billion that was sent to Iraq for reconstruction. That's money we could have wasted and mismanaged right here at home." --comedian Jay Leno

"If you don't touch revenues and you leave in place the tax cuts for the top 2 percent that were put in place by President Bush ... and you're trying to bring our deficits down over time, then you have to do exceptionally deep cuts in benefits for middle-class Americans and you have to shrink the overall size of government programs." --Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner

"If the Constitution was intended to limit the federal government, it sure doesn't say so." --Time magazine's Richard Stengel, who also asks if it even still matters

web posted June 20, 2011

"We are in the midst of a once-in-a-generation debate about the nature of the welfare state (entitlement versus safety net) and, indeed, of the social contract between citizen and state (e.g., whether Congress can mandate -- compel -- you to purchase whatever it wills). Let's finish that debate. Start with Obama's abysmal stewardship, root it in his out-of-touch social-democratic ideology, and win. That would create the strongest mandate for conservative governance since the Reagan era." --columnist Charles Krauthammer

"Though the cost of gasoline and diesel eased a few cents with the opening of TransCanada's Keystone pipeline, the price of crude oil jumped again [last] week when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries -- chaired by Iran's oil minister, Mohammad Aliabadi -- rejected any increase in production. And of course, the U.S. still has no strategic energy policy. Little of this news garnered much interest from America's political princes and media elites [last] week." --columnist Oliver North

"Because we are so out of practice at condemning even utterly shameful conduct, we look for security in law. 'Remember,' a constituent cautioned, '[Anthony Weiner] has broken no laws. He has not used campaign funds...' Ah, well, that's all right then. Weiner himself, explaining his decision not to resign, said, 'I don't believe that I (did) anything that violates any law or any rule.' Is legality the only relevant standard? The question is not whether Weiner deserves to go to jail, but whether he merits the honor of holding elective office. And actually, Weiner is mistaken on the matter of rules. According to the rules of the House of Representatives, members are required to conduct themselves at all times in 'a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.' Anyone think this is a close call?" --columnist Mona Charen

"The problem is that Weinergate goes to the heart of the Democrats' cultural liberalism. Try as they might to disown him, he embodies the party's moral rot. Mr. Weiner is a progressive crusader. He has championed almost every secular leftist cause. ... The result has been a coarsening of our culture, the breakdown of the family and the disintegration of a moral consensus. Mr. Weiner is simply a product of modern liberalism -- self-absorbed narcissism combined with an obsession for sexual gratification." --columnist Jeffrey T. Kuhner

"Today the single most serious economic problem we face is getting people back to work. We stabilized the economy, we prevented a financial meltdown, an economy that was shrinking is now growing. We've added more than 2 million private sector jobs over the last 15 months alone. But -- I'm still not satisfied. I will not be satisfied until everyone who wants a good job that offers some security has a good job that offers security. I won't be satisfied until the empty store fronts in town are open for business again. I won't be satisfied until working families feel like they're moving forward again, that they're progressing again. That's what drives me every day when I walk down to the oval office." --Barack Obama

"We were able to, under President Obama's leadership, turn this economy around." --congresswoman and DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)

"Targeting waste and making government more efficient have been a priority for my administration since day one. But as we work to tackle the budget deficit, we need to step up our game. ... No amount of waste is acceptable. Not when it's your money; not at a time when so many families are already cutting back." --Barack Obama

"Shovel-ready was not as, uh, shovel-ready as we expected." --Barack Obama in North Carolina making light of his shovel-ready lie

"[A]t the moment there's a pretty good case that there is a kind of Laffer curve in which more is less and less is more. Namely, there's a good case that fiscal stimulus right now would actually improve the long-run fiscal situation, while fiscal austerity makes it worse." --New York Times columnist Paul Krugman

"A recent poll shows that a majority of voters -- a majority of whom don't really know anything about the economy -- don't believe that the economy is recovering and blame President Obama for the struggling economy." --MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell

"There's also an economist at the University of Michigan who has studied diversity and decision making and has found that in every business decision diversity leads to better decisions. In other words, a group of all white men are not going to reach the best decisions." --ABC's Claire Shipman

"I'm not going to show up at the polls pretending to be Michelle Obama or Oprah Winfrey. That does not happen and that is what this Voter ID law purports happens, but it doesn't happen." --Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor Cynthia Tucker

"Excuse me for asking, but why exactly should Anthony Weiner resign? He flirted with women in a crude, dorky and easily traceable way. And he lied about it, which is what married men usually do in such circumstances. Who cares? As far as we know, he violated no law or congressional ethics rule. There's been no allegation of sexual harassment. It's entirely possible that his constituents would reelect him if given the chance. So why is he being hounded from office?" --The Daily Beast's Peter Beinart

"You won't meet any smarter people in politics than those two guys. Just won't." --Time Magazine's Mark Halperin on Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner

"I see the sadness and worry that's creasing his face. He reads every word, every memo, so he is better prepared than the people briefing him. This man doesn't take a day off." --Michelle Obama

"The president feels, we feel at the White House this is a distraction. As Congressman Weiner has said himself, his behavior was inappropriate, dishonesty was inappropriate. But the president is focused on his job which is getting this economy continuing to grow, creating jobs and ensuring the safety and security of the American people. ... We think it's a distraction from the important business that this president needs to conduct and Congress needs to conduct." --White House Press Secretary Jay Carney

"My thought on Weiner is that he is a very busy man. Like most, although not all, politicians, he probably spends a great deal of time going to meetings, raising campaign funds and seizing upon every opportunity to remind people of how great he is as a public servant and a human being. It's exhausting. ... Like other politicians, he needs something to take the edge off. ... Weiner is the modern, high functioning man. ... Appointment sex with your spouse doesn't always arrive when you need it most." --actor Alec Baldwin

"Your grandfather's shotgun has no place in today's civilian gun market. The gun industry has created a unique American civilian firearms bazaar which arms thousands of criminals, dangerous extremists, and drug traffickers throughout the world. If Congress wants to find the real causes of the gun traffic to Mexico, it needs to look upstream to the gun industry's callous transformation of the American gun market into one more suited to warfare than sport. The world's bad guys come here for their guns because they are cheap and plentiful." --Tom Diaz, Senior Policy Analyst at the Violence Policy Center

"What America needs desperately today is massive economic growth. That's what will pay off our debt, sustain our entitlements and continue to improve the environment. Almost as important, it will annoy all the right people." --columnist Jonah Goldberg

"Obama was in Toledo to 'celebrate' the sale of the government's remaining stake in Chrysler to Fiat. That's 'Fiat' as in the Italian car manufacturer rather than 'an authoritative or arbitrary decree (from the Latin "let it be done"),' which would be almost too perfect a name for an Obamafied automobile. ... This is Main Street, Obamaville: All bumps, no road. But shimmering on the distant horizon, beyond the shuttered diner and the foreclosed homes, is a state-of-the-art electric car, the new Fiat Mirage, that should be wheeling into town in a half-decade or so provided it can find somewhere to charge." --columnist Mark Steyn

"The N.Y. Supreme Court ruled to allow a Times Square street vendor to sell condoms with the president's image on the packet. Everyone's buying them. Half the country wants to be protected by President Obama while the other half wants to be protected from President Obama." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have agreed to play a round of golf together. Imagine the two of them at the end of that golf game? Boehner will be crying over his score and Obama will be giving three explanations as to why his score is actually better than it appears." --comedian Jay Leno

"Any of the people on this stage would be a better president than President Obama." --Mitt Romney

"We own the economy. We own the beginning of the turnaround and we want to make sure that we continue that pace of recovery, not go back to the policies of the past under the Bush administration that put us in the ditch in the first place." --DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz

web posted June 13, 2011

"You can only expect a robust economic recovery for so long before you figure out, as Herbert Hoover eventually did, that it is not around the corner. Exogenous factors explain some part of the current economic stagnation. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan caused a slowdown in manufacturing. Horrendous tornados did not help. Nor did bad weather, though only a few still bitterly cling to the theory that it's caused by manmade global warming. But poor public policy is surely one reason why the American economy has not rebounded from recession as it has in the past. And political posturing has also played a major role." --political analyst Michael Barone

"Many in the GOP of today are fatally underestimating the power of today's mainstream media and how effective they can be in helping Team Obama win a second term. A myth has taken hold in the GOP: that because of the Internet, the explosion of conservative bloggers and the still-substantial power of talk radio, that the mainstream media have been marginalized. Bull-feathers. That's just ridiculous and is believed by those who don't have a clue about what real Americans have to deal with every day in their real lives." --columnist Douglas MacKinnon

"Healing is a term that has been co-opted from the emotive, liberal, psychobabble crowd and misapplied by politicians to serious situations so often that it has lost any semblance of meaning. ... It is impossible to heal a community suffering from the devastation of a tornado or any other disaster. ... Politicians do not have the power to remove the experience or the suffering. They only have the power to direct resources that alleviate the problem, but do not erase the problem. To think otherwise is pure hubris." --columnist Tom Roberson

"Liberals always cater to man's lowest base instincts. They hate standards for behavior, labeling all rebuke of bad behavior as being intolerant and judgmental. And yet, they believe without divine influence, man is capable of someday achieving universal peace. Totally absurd." --singer, songwriter and columnist Lloyd Marcus

"Now, my administration has a job to do as well, and that job is to get this economy back on its feet. That's my job, and it's a job I gladly accept. I love these folks who helped get us in this mess and then suddenly say, well, this is Obama's economy. That's fine. Give it to me." --Barack Obama

"The unemployment numbers are obviously disturbing. Are they an anomaly as some people suggest because of the disasters in the South and the Midwest and the rest, or is this something systemic that we have to accommodate in a different way?" --House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

"What the president has done has improved the situation from where it may have been." --Nancy Pelosi

"Let's allow our unions and their organizers to lift up this country's middle class again. We can do that." --Barack Obama

"What we are fighting for -- and I'm a member of the Budget Committee -- is the concept of shared sacrifice. No, you don't balance the budget on the backs of the sick and the elderly and the poor and the vulnerable. You do ask the wealthiest people in this country and the large corporations -- many of whom are making huge profits and paying nothing in taxes -- that they've got to contribute to deficit reduction as well." --Sen. Bernie Sanders (S-VT), the only admitted socialist in Congress

"[I]f you go back to the year 2000, when we had an obvious disaster and saw that our voting process needed refinement, and we did that in the America Votes Act and made sure that we could iron out those kinks, now you have the Republicans, who want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws and literally -- and very transparently -- block access to the polls to voters who are more likely to vote Democratic candidates than Republican candidates. And it's nothing short of that blatant." --Rep. and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), who needs to look up the definition of "literally"

"I am deeply regretting what I have done, and I am not resigning. I am deeply sorry for the pain this has caused Huma, my wife, and my family." --Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) on the Twitter photo scandal that has plagued him for the last two weeks

"You know better than anybody what it was like particularly in the south of this country in 1965. But I think what it shows is what the Republicans mean when they say they want to take back America. Yeah, they want to take America back to 1965, if not to 1950 before Brown v. Board of Education." --radio talk-show host Bill Press to Al Sharpton

"[Monday's press conference] was a masterful performance. I thought [Anthony Weiner] was very contrite; he was very direct; he let people ask him a lot of very tough, personal questions. ... It's going to be used by crisis management trainers for businessmen who have done something wrong." --MSNBC's Chrystia Freeland on the Weiner Twitter scandal

"Obviously the momentum has been with the debt reduction crowd, so to speak. Is that at the expense of real huge effort on job creation? In other words, what's more toxic, billions of dollars of stimulus, or these kind of unemployment numbers?" --ABC's Christiane Amanpour

"This looks like one of those things you read about in third-world countries or in India or somewhere or Pakistan, where they get someone who's been out of office a couple of years, get them while they're down, hit them with some incredible charge with campaign funding that nobody's ever heard of before and put them away for a while. It just looks like revenge against the party -- against somebody that lost an election." --MSNBC's Chris Matthews on John Edwards

"In my house growing up, The [New York] Times substituted for religion. If The Times said it, it was the absolute truth." --Jill Abramson on being named editor of The New York Times come September, which she said was like "ascending to Valhalla"

"It is not a 'jobless recovery.' That is an incorrect phrase. After the last recession, in this comparable period post-recession, we had lost 100,000 jobs. We have added more than 200,000 jobs. There's a major difference between a jobless recovery and a very deep hole that were climbing out of. ... We've come a million miles from the moment that the president took office." --outgoing White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee

"You know what I'd rather have them do -- this will make my Republican friends puke -- as gas is going to go down here now, we ought to just slap a 50-cent or a dollar tax on a gallon of gas." --General Motors CEO Dan Akerson

"[GOP presidential candidate Rick] Santorum today said that America was great before 1965 in his announcement. I mean, what is he talking about? Was he talking about the Voting Rights Act?" --"The Reverend" Al Sharpton, who interprets everything through the race-colored glasses

"Overall, I think [Barack Obama has] done an extraordinary job. I think he's going to go down probably as one of our great presidents. He's been able to juggle -- let's think of all of the problems that he's had in his presidency. You know, natural disasters, or international issues, domestic. He has found a way to change and flow to learn from every situation. ... He engages on a personal level almost every day. We're coming out of this terrible economic crisis. We're turning the corner on terrorist situations. I think his engagement with the Chinese is starting to flower now, the strength within him is starting to emerge. I think he's doing a terrific job." --actor Richard Gere

"Surely it's time for climate-change deniers to have their opinions forcibly tattooed on their bodies. ... On second thoughts, maybe the tattooing along the arm is a bit Nazi-creepy. ... OK, maybe the desire to see the painful, thrashing death of one's opponents is not ideal. But, my God, these people are frustrating." --columnist Richard Glover

"Unless America gets back to buying military ships, planes and vehicles soon, the industries that provide these goods will dry up and blow away. Then, when the next war comes, we'll be back to 1917: anxious to spend billions, but no place to spend them. Well, maybe the Chinese will sell us something." --Heritage Foundation's James Jay Carafano

"The House of Representatives voted not to raise the debt ceiling. But as the debt ceiling subsides -- or, at any rate, stays put -- we see the dreary steeple of Anthony Weiner emerging from his Twitpic crotch shot. ... Confronted by his Twitpic, one is tempted to channel Mae West: Is that a debt-ceiling increase in your Fruit of the Looms or are you just pleased to see me? Alas for America, it's both." --columnist Mark Steyn

"The White House says that the unemployment rate is good news because it means more people are looking for jobs. More good news like that, and everyone at the White House will be looking for jobs." --comedian Jay Leno

"U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz accused the Republicans of trying to make it a crime to be an illegal immigrant. She sees a conspiracy. First Republicans want to say that illegal aliens are illegal, then next they're going to want to take away their voting rights." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"We don't know yet what happened in terms of this particular blip..." --Barack Obama responding to a question about last week's dismal jobs report

web posted June 6, 2011

"Senate Democrats haven't passed their own budget plan in more than two years, despite having strong control of that body. Meanwhile, the nation is teetering on bankruptcy. I don't make that statement lightly. Our national debt is $14.3 trillion, and our federal deficit is $1.65 trillion. ... Republicans will make a mistake if they continue to be in counterattack mode, waiting for the latest Democratic broadside to respond. They should be on the airwaves every morning and every night presenting the nightmarish facts and their proposal to end the nightmare and exposing the Democrats for the reckless rogues they are. Time's running out." --columnist David Limbaugh

"Obama and his policymakers told the country that we would recover from the deep recession by vastly increasing government spending and borrowing. ... Employers aren't creating any more new jobs than they were during the darkest days of the recession; unemployment has dropped slowly because they just aren't laying off as many employees as they did then. In the meantime many potential job seekers have left the labor market. If they re-enter and look for jobs, the unemployment rate will stay steady or ebb only slowly. We tend to hire presidents who we think can foresee the future effect of their policies. No one does so perfectly. But if the best sympathetic observers can say about the results is that they are 'unexpected,' voters may decide someone else can do better." --political analyst Michael Barone

"The U.S. intervention in Libya's civil war ... is now taking a toll on the rule of law. In a bipartisan cascade of hypocrisies, a liberal president, with the collaborative silence of most congressional conservatives, is traducing the War Powers Resolution. Enacted in 1973 over President Nixon's veto, the WPR may or may not be wise. It is, however, unquestionably a law, and Barack Obama certainly is violating it. ... 'No president,' says Sen. John McCain, 'has ever recognized the constitutionality of the War Powers Act, and neither do I. So I don't feel bound by any deadline.' Oh? No law is actually a law if presidents and senators do not 'recognize' it? Now, there is an interesting alternative to judicial review, and an indicator of how executive aggrandizement and legislative dereliction of duty degrade the rule of law." --columnist George Will

"Congressman Barney Frank, former Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, helped his then-lover Herb Moses land a nice, lucrative 'government job' working at Fannie Mae back in the 1990's. Even though it happened several years ago, this 'news' raises some very legitimate questions about a 'conflict of interest,' because in his position as an elected member of Congress, Mr. Frank had direct governmental oversight of Fannie Mae. ... This type of 'political favoritism' has become flagrant, and is out in the open in many parts of the country. What is not so out in the open is the way taxpayer dollars get spent by government agencies and bureaucracies 'behind the scenes.'" --columnist Austin Hill

"I think the president was clearly articulating that his position -- the Democrats' position -- is that we need comprehensive immigration reform. We have 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country that are part of the backbone of our economy. And that is not only a reality but a necessity. And that it would be harmful if -- the Republican solution that I've seen in the last three years is that we should just pack them all up and ship them back to their own countries, and that in fact it should be a crime and we should arrest them all." --Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), who is also DNC chairwoman

"All I know is, whenever you have any type of a problem and the problem is one that you spend more than you are actually bringing in then you have to bring in more and spend less. It just makes so much sense ... it's all we have to do." --Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) on raising taxes

"Well, when [Democrats] were in charge, when the president of the United States wouldn't let you do some of the things you wanted to do, Bill Clinton was there to veto things, we had a surplus for four years in a row and we didn't increase the debt [limit] once. Under George [W.] Bush we increased it seven times. I yield back the balance of my time and urge a no vote on this irresponsible piece of legislation that should have been handled in bipartisan way." --House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

"You know, I'm 70 years old. And I can tell you; people don't like to deal with it, but the fact of the matter is, the president's problems are in large measure because of the color of his skin." --Assistant Minority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), who later insisted that his comments were about racism

"We have a leader with the backbone of a ramrod." --Joe Biden

"I'd say the relationship is pretty good, very -- better than it was with Bush because the military hated the fact that he wasn't really doing the job in Iraq." --Time Magazine's Joe Klein on the military's supposed love for Obama

"What about raising taxes? ... At some point, do you have to look at raising taxes, and do people have to pay more for what's needed in this country?" --NBC's Erica Hill to GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty

"Paul Ryan has shown considerable guts, but [Democrat Congressman Chris Van Hollen is] correct that nobody on the Republican side is showing any courage on the tax front. And unless taxes are part of the mix, every grown-up knows it can't reach a solution." --NBC's Andrea Mitchell

"My favorite detail though of the whole Gingrich-Paul Ryan kerfluffle was not even two days had gone by before a White House aide sat up and said, 'Well this just proves that destroying Medicare is the new litmus test for the Republican Party primary.' So they see an opportunity here to just drive that whole debate further and further to the right toward the Tea Party, away from the center, and that's why they were happy about what happened." --Time Washington Bureau Chief Michael Duffy

"Our plan is for Congress to pass the debt limit [increase]. Our fallback plan is for Congress to pass the debt limit, and our fallback to the fallback plan is for Congress to pass the debt limit." --Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

"You shouldn't draw the conclusion that the New York race means that nobody can do anything to slow the rate of Medicare costs. I just don't agree with that. ... You should draw the conclusion that the people made a judgment that the proposal in the Republican budget is not the right one. I agree with that." --Bill Clinton

"Last month, of the 242 counties in Texas, 202 of them were on fire simultaneously. Last August, in Russia, the largest drought, followed by the largest fires in their history, resulted in the removal of all the grain from Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan from world markets, leading to the historic all-time spike in food prices. These events have been just within the last 12 months. And the scientists are now in a shift; theoretic saying that, if you ask the question, would these events have occurred in the absence of manmade global warming, the answer is almost certainly no." --Anthropogenic Al Gore

"Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is launching a $500 million program to teach kids how to 'sit still' in Kindergarten. Maybe they should take the money from Michelle Obama's 'Let's Move' initiative." --former Senator Fred Thompson

"Oh, yeah, federal regulation. So this EPA directive requiring milk to be treated the same as petroleum for the purposes of storage and transportation has been around since the Seventies, and it's only taken the best part of four decades to get it partially suspended even though it's udderly insane? Hallelujah!" --columnist Mark Steyn

"President Obama spoke to a combined House of Commons and Lords at Westminster Hall after Tuesday's banquet. The president got along especially well with Queen Elizabeth. They enjoyed comparing notes on ways the Tea Parties are always trying to end their rule in America." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"President Obama arrived in France for the G8 summit, a meeting of the world's top economic powers. To give you an idea of how bad our economy is doing, when the president arrived, the other countries were like, 'What are you doing here?'" --comedian Jay Leno

web posted May 30, 2011

"The poor have been used as human shields behind which the expanding welfare state can advance. The goal is not to keep the poor from starving but to create dependency, because dependency translates into votes for politicians who play Santa Claus. We have all heard the old saying about how giving a man a fish feeds him for a day, while teaching him to fish feeds him for a lifetime. Independence makes for a healthier society, but dependency is what gets votes for politicians. For politicians, giving a man a fish every day of his life is the way to keep getting his vote. 'Entitlement' is just a fancy word for dependency." --economist Thomas Sowell

"Unemployment remains near double-digits. Obama economic advisers Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein infamously vowed the stimulus would stay below 8 percent. Highway jobs have not materialized. Investor's Business Daily notes that a new study by economists Timothy Conley of the University of Western Ontario and Bill Dupor of Ohio State 'found that despite the influx of all that federal money, highway construction jobs actually plunged by nearly 70,000 between 2008 and 2010.' Indeed, the researchers found that the stimulus actually 'destroyed or forestalled' a whopping one million private sector jobs by crowding them out with make-work public jobs and programs. Recovery.gov? More like Wreckovery.gov." --columnist Michelle Malkin

"For those who do not have a map in front of them, Obama's insistence that 'the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps' means at its narrowest point the country would be only 8 miles wide -- and utterly indefensible. It means Israel, the only state in the region that meets the president's criteria for 'self determination' -- an honest judiciary; an independent media; credible political parties; free and fair elections -- must now negotiate its fate with those who want none of those things. Barack Obama has become Yasser Arafat's dream come true." --columnist Oliver North

"As fallout continues over President Obama's calls for Israel to go back to its 1967 borders last week, Obama, as usual, is claiming his speech was 'misrepresented.' ... It seems that the President of the United States shouldn't have to 'clarify' remarks given in a major foreign policy speech, yet over and over again we see this Administration clarifying controversial remarks when issues get heated. Taking into account Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's response to the calls for 1967 borders, it was quite clear what message President Obama sent to the Jewish State last week." --columnist Katie Pavlich

"There's no need to have a Democratic budget in my opinion. It would be foolish for us to do a budget at this stage." --Senate Majority "Leader" Harry Reid (D-NV)

"You can't do $2 trillion just in cuts. There has to be a mix of spending cuts, including defense. There has to be a more fair apportionment of tax policy in this country." --Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (By "fair apportionment" of course, he means taxing the "rich" even more than they already are.)

"We've had no proposal from the Republicans except in their budget they wanted to take Medicare away from future seniors by making it a block grant, and they wanted to cut the Medicaid program which cuts a big hole in the safety net for the poor to get their health care needs which means people in nursing homes would be dumped out of those nursing homes." --Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA)

"The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state." --Barack Obama

"We face a historic opportunity. We have a chance to show that America values the dignity of a street vendor in Tunisia more than the raw power of the dictator. As Americans have been seared by hostage taking, violent rhetoric, and terrorist attacks that have killed thousands of our citizens -- a failure to change our approach [in the Middle East] threatens a deepening spiral of division between the United States and Muslim communities." --Barack Obama

"The first time I had Guinness is when I came to the Shannon [Ireland] airport. We were flying into Afghanistan and so stopped in Shannon. It was the middle of the night. And I tried one of these and I realized it tastes so much better here than it does in the States." --Barack Obama (If it was the first time, how did you know it tasted better than in the States?)

"This may be the summer that we see more clearly that the working class has developed a lingering sense of disillusionment, that right-wing politicians have developed an unshakeable immunity to empathy and that corporations have developed a taste for blood squeezed from turnips. And it may be the summer for seeing through the right-wing squawk machine that hopes to distract us from the damage the rich and the right are doing by manically hurling torches at the Obama administration to see if something catches fire. This week, Representative Paul Ryan, a Republican of Wisconsin, suggested to the Economic Club of Chicago that the president's attempt to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans amounted to 'class warfare' and promoted 'class envy.' Ha! The war is already being waged against the poor and vulnerable, and the envious have-nots didn't start it. The right and its cabal of economic cannibals did." --New York Times columnist Charles Blow

"[Benjamin Netanyahu] got a standing ovation [in Congress], but the Palestinians were not impressed. ... The Palestinians are not buying his peace plan." --CBS's Russ Mitchell

"What about climate change? You have many people who see these severe storms, and not just the tornados, but the strength of hurricanes and even severe storms, we're getting hail and high winds right now from Texas, I believe, all the way through the Midwest. Is this a result of climate change or an effect of climate change?" --MSNBC's Tamron Hall

"Is this it, this is the evidence of a kind of preview of life under global warming?" --ABC's Diane Sawyer opining on the tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri

"I feel that my role as a former president is probably superior to that of other presidents. Primarily because of the activism and the injection of working at the Carter Center and in international affairs, and to some degree, domestic affairs, on energy conservation, on environment, and things of that kind. ... And the Carter Center has decided, under my leadership, to fill the vacuums in the world." --Jimmy Carter

"The far-right is what I call the 'Hate Wing' of the Republican Party. They're over-represented in primaries, and of course when elections come along, they generally don't win. But they can cause enormous trouble in the primaries. They hate Muslims, they hate gays, they hate immigrants, and the rhetoric in the primaries shows that." --former DNC chief Howard Dean

"If you want to look at the [campaign finance] system, the system is broken. The Supreme Court helped break it even more with Citizens United. The system needs to be changed so that average, ordinary Americans can have as strong a voice as ExxonMobil does in the Congress. ... The campaign finance laws need to be changed, so I for one would be for an overhaul. I'd start at the Supreme Court probably because they believe that money equals free speech. That's what their decision said." --AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

"I've learned to pick my fights, and also, to be more strategic about my fight plan. It doesn't mean it's not the same fight, but it means I'm a different and I'm a more seasoned fighter. ... [a] 'refined agitator.'" --the "Rev." Al Sharpton

"So, Barack Obama thinks Israel should give up the land it acquired in the Six-Day War, rolling back to its 1967 borders. ... I was talking to a friend last night who had this alternative suggestion. Leave Israel alone and roll back the U.S. Government to its 1967 size. I wish he had said 1965." --columnist Roger Kimball

"The best way to hear this President denounce those [crony capitalist] things, instead of imposing them on us, is to become the citizens of a foreign country. If we just pull America back to its pre-1776 borders, we'll immediately gain Barack Obama's energetic support for entrepreneurial risk, economic growth, resource development, and limited, accountable government." --columnist John Hayward

"The death of Osama bin Laden ... has apparently damaged our relationship with al-Qa'ida. Al-Qa'ida has released a statement vowing to make America pay for bin Laden's death. I'm pretty sure we did pay for his death. We paid for the whole thing and even took care of the funeral arrangements. Maybe a thank you would be nice." --comedian Jimmy Kimmel

"President Obama addressed a party fundraiser in New York Tuesday where he promised Democrats he'll get immigration reform passed. He spoke at length about how immigration is good for the United States. Maria Shriver has been granted equal time to deliver the rebuttal." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"Just because politicians take their own clichés seriously and deliver them with great solemnity doesn't mean that any of us are under any obligation to feign interest. It's time that Republicans running for office realized that it's not illegal to occasionally break the law of gravitas." --columnist Burt Prelutsky

"I just want you to know that we are working on [gun control]. We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar." --Barack Obama earlier this year, as reported by Fox News last week

 

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