Lingua publica

The good and the bad...

web posted September 13, 1999

"Gun control? It's the best thing you can do for crooks and gangsters. I want you to have nothing. If I'm a bad guy, I'm always gonna have a gun. Safety locks? You will pull the trigger with a lock on, and I'll pull the trigger. We'll see who wins." -- Sammy "The Bull" Gravano during an interview with Vanity Fair

"We certainly understand that ... [China] has not renounced the use of force and is prepared to use force in the event that Taiwan declares independence," said Susan Shirk, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, in a statement. "We believe that even in such an eventuality the use of force would be catastrophic for China as well as for Taiwan, and of course disastrous for U.S.- China relations, and would, no doubt, pit us in an actual war. So even in such an eventuality we would urge China not to use force. Any military action, no matter how small, is likely to trigger a United States reaction."

"No matter how grim the situation is, no matter how tortuous the road is, the Chinese Government and the Chinese people will surmount all difficulties and ultimately complete the great cause of reunifying the motherland." -- said China's People's Daily in response

"This was an effort by the president, by the first lady, to manipulate politics in New York. I think it blew up in their face." -- Sen. Phil Gramm on Bill Clinton's clemency offer to Puerto Rican terrorists

"We have civil rights, human rights, women's rights, children's rights, rights of the disabled -- sorry, differently-abled -- gender rights, gay-lesbian rights, animal rights, rights of persons with limited English proficiency, and environmental rights. 'Patients' rights' are about to be added. ... None has a foundation in the Constitution of the United States because the Constitution deals with the rights of 'The People' or of persons' -- not groups." -- Balint Vazsonyi

"I am waiting; isn't anybody going to ask Hillary Rodham Clinton if she ever used cocaine? ... And I do wonder why the Clintons feel they don't have any right to a vacation without turning it into a series of fund-raisers. Aren't they as tired as everybody else?" -- The New York Post's Liz Smith

"In our day, liberals are forever demanding that conservatives be more tolerant of everything from abortion to communism. But liberals don't merely tolerate such things; they approve and promote them -- a very different matter." -- Joseph Sobran

"Contrary to those to whom politics is an ego trip, both citizens and criminals have common sense. That is why there are more shootings when only one side has guns." -- Thomas Sowell

"This being the age of Clinton, Louis Freeh is being set up as the fall guy for a cover-up of the disastrous Waco assault. Never mind that he didn't take over the FBI until nearly four months after the assault and crucial decisions on how to investigate it. What matters is that he's been a politically independent thorn in the side of Mr. Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno. ... The only way Ms. Reno can begin restoring confidence in Justice is to resign forthwith." -- Wall Street Journal

"I can't imagine people being gullible enough to buy any of it." -- Fox's Brit Hume on Hillary Rodham-Clinton's new position against pardoning FALN terrorists

"Now that I'm a homeowner I'll have to get one of these. I've never seen one of these before." --Bill Clinton, using a cordless screwdriver for a "community improvement" photo-op. Remember when they jumped on George Bush's ignorance to the existence of scanners at supermarket cash registers?

"A woman's place is in her union." -- Al Gore

"A computer hacker from Washington State was charged with causing $40 000 worth of damage to Vice President Al Gore's Web site. What's worse, the hackers did so much damage, technicians had to stop and reboot Al Gore." -- Conan O'Brien

"I love NYC. I was in my cab this morning and my Pakistanian cab driver was complaining that Hillary Clinton is an outsider." -- David Letterman

"The Clintons have bought a new house...The house was built in 1889 -- back in the quaint old days when Senators used to run for office in the state where they actually came from." -- Jay Leno

web posted September 6, 1999

"Of all the people I have known in public life, the ablest, the smartest and the most publicly committed is the person who wants to be the next United States Senator from New York." -- Bill Clinton on wife Hillary

"I hate it when people blame other people, and don't take responsibility for what they've done for themselves." -- Bill Clinton

"His glib pretensions at racial unity, his musings about race and his recognizing Al Sharpton as a legitimate political leader smack of the oldest strain of paternalism -- which is itself a form of racism. This trek to Harlem to kiss the ring of Al Sharpton shows up Bradley as the kind of white liberal pol who doesn't understand that to pander to Al Sharpton as the black people's leader is a racial insult and absolute disgrace." -- Michael Meyers, director of the New York Civil Rights Coalition, on Bill Bradley's visit to Harlem last week

"I can't remember any specific books." -- George W. Bush to a child after being asked what his favourite book was. Hopefully he did read a book during the past twenty five years

"Well, $10 000 -- I don't know what that buys you here." -- White House Deputy Press Secretary Jake Siewert, suggesting that $10 000 -- the amount GOP-proposed tax cuts would save the average family over a decade -- was just loose change

"What we had at Waco were a bunch of guys with a lot of neat killing stuff and a hankering to see what the weapons could do against a collection of weird, but harmless, religious nuts. With no Baptists, Methodists or Episcopalians with friends in high places to worry about, the FBI and the ATF imagined the weirdos were ideal targets for their game." -- Wesley Pruden

"With any other administration, it would be absurd to suspect that a president had acted against national security interests and perverted the course of justice to help his wife get out of the house and into the Senate. Ah, but this is the Clinton administration...." -- Michael Kelly

"The solution to the educational fraud is competition and parental choice. But the U.S. Department of Education, in cahoots with the education establishment, fights tooth and nail to maintain our corrupt education monopoly." -- Walter E. Williams

"Yet his achievements as a Senator have towered over his time, changing the lives of far more Americans than remember the name Mary Jo Kopechne....He deserves recognition not just as the leading Senator of his time but also as one of the greats in the history of this singular institution.... -- New York Time's Adam Clymer on Ted Kennedy

"I want independence. I want to be judged on my own merits." -- Hillary Rodham-Clinton

"One of our inspectors told me that he was talking to a food handler today, and the person was confused about what the expiration date means." -- Jack Breslin, assistant director of San Francisco's Bureau of Environmental Health, investigating why elementary school students were served three-month-old milk on their first day of school

"If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and the impersonators would be dead." -- Nevada GOP Chairman John Mason

"Return to Sender. You must be morons to send me this letter." -- Words written by Bernard Lewinsky, father of "Monica," on a mail solicitation to rich Democrats from the Clinton legal defense fund

web posted August 30, 1999

"Clinton is campaigning for Al Gore who wants to be our next president and Clinton says that Al Gore was involved in everything this administration did. I'm no legal expert, but I believe the term for that is 'accessory'." -- David Letterman on Bill Clinton's statement while campaigning for Gore that "The record of this administration is his record"

"The president has never done cocaine. That applies to his entire life," -- White House counsel spokesman Jim Kennedy. Of course, at one time he never inhaled either...or had extramarital affairs

"What is inexplicable to me is how anyone with a brain would write, direct or participate in a film that promotes violence. They have a clear image of what a civil society is like. Why not spend your career promoting that vision rather than working against it? . . . The tragedy is it's the irresponsibility of artists that invites the government to take a position on artists. Freedom from censorship is very recent and fragile, and if you abuse it, you lose it." -- David Puttnam, producer of the Oscar-winning movie "Chariots of Fire."

"I am ready to fight, especially with Westerners." -- Boris Yeltsin while meeting with China's Jiang Zemin

"[McCain's] grand passion, campaign finance reform, would enhance the media's power by leaving them, unlike most other advocates of political causes, exempt from government regulation of political advocacy." -- George Will

"[Bush's] temptation is to stonewall [the cocaine question] and not say another word about it. That won't work without a lying staff, an enabling wife and a fawning press." -- Cal Thomas

"Ol' Dubya's showing a disconcerting talent for parsing sentences that heretofore most people imagined was peculiar to Hot Springs." -- Wes Pruden

"What, after all, are the characteristics of bigotry? A venomous rejection of any view contrary to one's own, a refusal even to entertain an opposing view with detachment, a denial of the legitimacy of disagreement, a total contempt for ancient tradition, and a militant eagerness to coerce those who disagree -- such attitudes are the very essence of bigotry, liberal-style." -- Joseph Sobran

"...[W]e need to stand against the hijacking of science to promote a destructive philosophical agenda." -- Charles Colson

"Democrats are desperate to define Republican deviancy down to Clinton levels." -- Paul Gigot

"The gun control debate is now so entirely drenched in the emotive sludge that is the principal intellectual food of our political establishment." -- Alan Keyes

"Mr. Clinton seems determined to greatly extend federal influence over the quintessential state-and-local role in education. In a sop to the teachers unions and on the dubious theory that smaller classes generate better results, the president wants to use federal taxpayer money to pay for local teachers. This, despite overwhelming evidence from around the world that other nations' students routinely taught in larger classes consistently outperform U.S. students. ... Meanwhile, by opposing vouchers that would permit low income families to exercise the options they selected for their own children, Mr. Clinton and Vice President Gore would continue to condemn the nation's neediest students to the worst schools." -- Washington Times

"We in the press have an enormous obligation to help the voters understand the...morality and the character of the people who want to be President." -- USNWR's Steve Roberts on pressing cocaine questions...and who never asked those same questions of Clinton

"The next time you get a drug question, the only appropriate answer is 'What part of no don't you understand'." -- James Carville's advice to Bush on the cocaine question

"I'm going to admit that I did all that stuff [sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll]. But the most important thing is to learn from your past." -- Former Steely Dan band guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, mulling a run for Congress as a Republican

"I like to hit people." -- Democratic Rep. Jim Moran. Alexandria, VA, police have responded on several occasions for "domestic disturbance" calls at the Moran residence.

"Once, every kid in class had to bring in a picture of his mom or dad doing something interesting at work. My kid brought in this thing of me spitting blood into a crowd. What other kid could top it?" -- Gene Simmons of the band Kiss on the joys of being a rock star's son

"He shot about 90. I think his scorecard said 84." -- Georgia Tech golf star Bryce Molder on his round with Bill Clinton

"I mean, obviously, one of the strongest arguments against evolution and selection of the fittest and progress, which is part of evolution, is the current field of the presidential candidates. We started off with Washington and Adams and Jefferson and then we had Lincoln, and now we moved ahead and look where we are now." -- Bill Kristol

"If guns cause crime, then logic follows without question that; cameras cause pornography, matches cause arson, automobiles cause accidents, bathing suits cause drowning, computers cause email, baseball bats cause home runs, blenders cause margaritas, elections cause corruption and, of course, grandmothers cause adultery." -- Federalist member

web posted August 23, 1999

"Somebody floats a rumor and it causes you to ask a question, and that's the game in American politics, and I refuse to play it. You just fell for the trap. I refuse to play." -- George W. Bush on rumours of cocaine use

"It was an unguarded moment to a writer who was doing a story for Esquire. What I said was entirely deserved -- make no mistake." -- Democrat Sen. Bob Kerry when asked about oft-cited comment, "Clinton is an unusually good liar."

"Mr. President, there is no honest reason to veto this [$792 billion] commonsense tax relief legislation," House Speaker Denny Hastert, and Senate Majority Leader Chester Lott, in a letter to Clinton. "You have implied that we ignore Social Security and Medicare, yet our plan reserves $2.2 trillion for Social Security and Medicare reform over the next decade. You have said that the (budget) surplus should be used to pay down the national debt, yet our plan reduces the national debt by $2 trillion in the next 10 years -- even more than your plan."

" ...[S]adly, when I challenge folks to sacrifice for their children, I usually get the telephonic version of a blank stare. That's where we are. And that's why our children are out of control. They learned it from us." -- Dr. Laura Schlessinger

"This is no time for a third party. The Republican Party still deserves conservative support, and will get the vast majority of it." -- William Rusher

"Yes, the ABA's guest list offers all kinds of exciting possibilities. Good taste may have its limits, but bad is boundless. And to think, the American Bar Association was once concerned about preserving the reputation of lawyers." --Paul Greenberg on Bill Clinton lecturing the ABA on "Constitutional Law."

"How can people who want credit for honoring the Contract With America be taken seriously when they violate a contract with their wives?" -- Cal Thomas on Newt Gingrich's "mistress problem."

"It is the monopoly of guns by people with evil intentions that is dangerous. Some of the most dangerous places in America are places where strict gun-control laws provide assurance to violent criminals that their victims will not be able to defend themselves." -- Thomas Sowell

"When it comes to values though, I mean Al Gore is pretty squeaky clean, wouldn't you say?" -- Katie Couric. If you igore that fundraising and covering for Bill Clinton thing

"After all the painful gun violence we have seen in America, I say to all those who would seek to lead this nation: Stop trying to pass special protections for the gun manufacturers." -- Al Gore

"I think this is a time when it's possible to raise too much money." -- Bill Bradley. In the 1990 N.J. Senate race, Bradley's challenger suggested they cap their Senate campaign spending at $3 million; Bradley refused.

"This is not the time to approve a big tax cut and forget about our obligations to all of our children. These are not somebody else's children. These are all our children." -- Hillary Clinton

"No to cocaine. No to marijuana. And a question mark over Jack Daniels." -- Pat Buchanan

"It looks like they were reinventing accounting rules." -- Rep. Dan Burton on Al Gore's "reinventing government" claim of $21.8 billion in savings, disputed by the General Accounting Office

"The difference between Democrats and Republicans is that under Democrats, man exploits man. Under Republicans, it's just the reverse." -- Idaho Republican Liberty Caucus newsletter

"On my way to Indianola to attend a Bush event Friday night, I passed a highway sign, an arrow pointing straight ahead, reading: 'Church of Compassion.' This Bush staff DOES have Iowa organized." -- Rich Galen

"Bill Bradley is so boring, his Secret Service code name is Al Gore." --Jay Leno

web posted August 16, 1999

"I urged him to bomb; I supported him. ... What do we have NATO for if not to defend our way of life?" -- Hilary Clinton on bombing Kosovo

[The GOP tax plan] imperils the prosperity that has brought real benefits to American families." -- Bill Clinton, claiming that leaving more of our money in our pockets "imperils prosperity."

"To me, [the tax cut] is a no-brainer. It increases Americans' income by $800 billion. The president's always saying he wants to increase people's income. Well, here's his chance. He's not interested in this. He wants to spend it. ... To suggest we can't afford to cut income taxes when we are running a $3 trillion surplus is ludicrous." -- Democrat Sen. Robert Kerrey

"One of the things the Clinton administration has done is to renew my capacity for being shocked. In my opinion, the misconduct of President Clinton and his White House is more egregious by far than the misconduct of the Nixon White House with respect to the misuse of the IRS. We found that in fact there was some misuse of the IRS [by Nixon], but it was not part of an overall systematic plan, as has been the case with the Clinton White House. ... For the IRS thing alone, it seems to me that the leaders of my party as well as the rank-and-file Democratic members of Congress are hypocrites in their shameless defense of Clinton." -- Jerome Zeifman, who headed the Democratic drafting team for the articles of impeachment of Richard Nixon

"You know, I counted up actually the number of days left in the Clinton administration. Just count them...just 597 days from now we may not have to put up with this garbage anymore." -- Morton Kondracke

"Welcome to your presidency, America, now it's getting close to gross. ... [Hillary Clinton's explanation of Mr. Clinton's behavior is] a disingenuous attempt to create excuses, a First Lady who is cynical and smug and with her husband calculating, trying to run for Senate and spin an ending to a gross chapter in the history of the White House." -- MSNBC's Brian Williams

"The Marxist ideal is at last reached. We live, finally, in a classless society: No one has any class at all." -- Michael Kelly on "a culture...impossible to offend."

"The vocabulary has changed so that tax cuts now look like irresponsible spending and spending on investments and education and Medicare looks like the responsible thing to do...." -- Time's Margaret Carlson, on her vocabulary

"I've known Al Gore since the day he was born and he's never done anything bad in his life. He's been the best boy." -- ABC's Cokie Roberts

"The president has said he will pay the fine, and his lawyers have said that he will pay the fine. ... The president has said that he will pay the fine that she's imposed, and I don't have anything to add to that. ... Well, he's going to pay the fine." -- White House chief of staff John Podesta, when asked repeatedly by NBC's Tim Russert, "In this era of accepting responsibility...does the president accept the judge's decision that he lied under oath?"

"I don't think anybody's going to be saying, 'Oh, she's such a nice Jewish girl'." -- Democractic consultant Jeffrey Plaut, on the revelation that Hillary Clinton's grandmother's second husband was Jewish

"How's Pat Buchanan going to build a 2 000-mile wall along the Mexican border without Mexican labor?" -- Comedian Will Durst

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