Lingua publica

The good and the bad...

web posted December 13, 1999

"I have been so fed up with the rhetoric of anti-smokers I've been tempted to take up smoking just to show my independence." -- Calgary alderman Jon Lord on new law in Alberta fining youth $100 if they are caught smoking

"It seems he has for a minute, for a second, for half a minute, forgotten that Russia has a full arsenal of nuclear weapons. He has forgotten about that. I want to tell Clinton not to forget . . . what world he lives in, and that he doesn't have the right to dictate to people how to live." -- Russian leader Boris Yeltsin after Bill Clinton chastised him for Russian army tactics in Chechyna

"We must remember that only a very small percentage of living Americans ever had to put their lives at risk to defend their liberties. Could this fact, coupled with two decades of nearly uninterrupted prosperity, have softened us on freedom -- the condition necessary to produce prosperity in the first place?" -- David Limbaugh

"One benefit of free trade is that regulatory costs are revealed." -- Walter E. Williams

"Bill Clinton has made an art of twisting words and persuading people to accept that in the English language, fixed definitions are a thing of the past." -- John Nowacki

"Bush is using this term 'compassionate conservative' as he campaigns, which is an interesting juxtaposition of two seemingly contradictory terms." -- ABC's Charles Gibson. Yup, no media bias.

"Judge [Starr], when you are alone with your thoughts and memories and you look back, can you identify in all truthfulness a moment of zealotry, two moments of zealotry?" -- MSNBC's Brian Williams. Yup, no media bias.

"I've had more blacks who've served in my Cabinet, more Hispanics who've served in my Cabinet. More people, more people from Asia...." -- Bill Clinton when asked why "not a single person of color" has held one of the top seven West Wing jobs

"Clearly, there are Asian-Americans who felt they were singled out through the process [of investigating campaign-finance violations by Democrats], Asian-Americans who felt they were drug in front of Republican-controlled congressional committees who would have not have been drug in front of them but for the fact of their race or nationality." -- Democratic National Committee Chairman Joe Andrew with some good old-fashioned race baiting

"It's hard to shine when you're standing next to the sun." -- Democratic strategist David Axelrod, on why Al Gore and Hillary Rodham-Clinton are distancing themselves from Bill Clinton

"Aboard Air Force One, Clinton, upon learning that Hillary had said she would be moving into the house in Westchester as soon as it is ready, broke out -- for the first time in over a year -- the cigars and bongos." -- Rich Galen

"I wouldn't vote for Gore for anything...because he's basically a deranged liar." -- Comedian Jackie Mason

"It was announced today that Hillary Clinton will spend Christmas at the White House and then move to her new home in New York. She's already busy packing boxes. It's got to be hard, packing up a lifetime of shredded documents." -- Jay Leno

"Yesterday at a Christmas party in Washington, Hillary Clinton posed for a picture with Santa Claus. It was a cute picture. But later, Santa was quoted as saying 'Man, and I thought the North Pole was cold.'" -- Conan O'Brien

web posted December 6, 1999

"For some, the attacks on economic openness are part of a broader assault on internationalism -- on foreigners, immigration, a more pluralistic and integrated world. Anti-globalization becomes the latest chapter in the age-old call to separatism, tribalism and racism." -- former New Zealand prime minister and current World Trade Organization secretary general Michael Moore.

"The basic structure is autocratic. The basic structure is to subordinate (below trade) the most important living standards countries have given to their folks. What I would like to see is the United States to initiate the six-month notice of withdrawal and initiate a complete renegotiation." -- Ralph Nader on the WTO

"By creating the WTO, global capitalism has solved the left's collective-action problem. The WTO is the only international organization that stands any chance of evolving into an institution of global governance, setting rules not only for how countries will trade and invest with one another, but also for how they will deal with issues like labor standards and the environment." -- Francis Fukuyama

"I think when historians get a little space, they will say, 'I don't know how those people stood up to that, but, boy, I'm glad they did because it preserved the Constitution.' So I think that history will view this much differently. They will say I made a bad personal mistake, I paid a serious price for it, but that I was right to stand and fight for my country and my Constitution and its principles, and -- and that the American people were very good to stand with me. So I'm not worried about that. I think that over the long run, the fact that we accomplished as much as we did in the face of the most severe, bitter, partisan onslaught, with the tools that were leveled against us and the money that was spent, I think we'll, in a way, make many of the things we achieve seem all the more impressive. I'll leave that to historians to judge." -- Bill Clinton on his impeachment

"We have no higher value than family." -- Bill Clinton on his political motivations

"The four pillars of the Democrat party are African Americans, labor, women and what I call our ethnic minorities. The emerging constituencies are environmentalists, gays and lesbians, and those with physical disabilities." -- Donna Brazile, Gore 2000 campaign manager.

"I think the Chinese will in fact be bending over backwards to make sure that they run it in a competent and able and fair manner. .. I would be very surprised if any adverse consequences flowed from the Chinese running the canal." -- Bill Clinton on the handover of the Panama Canal

"I am appalled that the president would make such a statement, and that his advisers would mislead him to this degree. If...the Chinese are allowed to remain and increase their presence, the results will be catastrophic for the U.S." -- former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Thomas Moorer.

"Maybe Republicans should be given a federally funded handicap to help make electoral contests equal. The most recent example [of their disability] was their budget surrender, which not only broke the spending caps but also eliminated the tax cut that was supposed to be the centerpiece of their campaign in 2000 to maintain control of the House." -- David Horowitz

"We ought to be concerned because taxis avoid picking up black males at night. But we ought to be concerned about what causes it, not just seize another opportunity for self-righteous denunciation." -- Thomas Sowell

"Registration and gun bans constitute de facto 'infringement' upon a person's right to bear arms, especially if that person has committed no crimes and is a citizen of good standing." -- Jon E. Dougherty

"In terms of my political views, I hold them in check. I don't think that someone who watches is inclined to think that I'm one way or the other." -- Bryant Gumbel

"That was long in the past...see this is all inside baseball...people who are professionals in helping you with accounting or helping you with some other professional task, what clients they had in the past, I mean people don't care about that." -- Al Gore on the fact that his top media advisor was recently the chief strategist for tobacco companies

"It seems to many of us that if we are to avoid the eventual catastrophic world conflict we must strengthen the United Nations as a first step toward a world government patterned after our own government with a legislature, executive and judiciary, and police to enforce its international laws and keep the peace. To do that, of course, we Americans will have to yield up some of our sovereignty. That would be a bitter pill. It would take a lot of courage, a lot of faith in the new order." -- Walter Cronkite, accepting the Norman Cousins Global Governance Award at the UN

"I think it's much cheaper just to buy a Yankee hat and to run for Senate in New York." -- Arnold Schwarzenegger, saying the expense of running for Governor in California is too great

"Things are so bad for Hillary Clinton now, yesterday in New York City, Danny Glover got a cab before she did." -- Jay Leno

"Hillary Clinton announced today that next year she will announce that she is running for the Senate. In a poll, 53 per cent of the people said they do not want Hillary to run. And YES, Hillary that is our final answer." -- David Letterman

"Al Gore is better than George W. Bush at naming the presidents of tiny countries because he has hit up all of them for contributions to the Democrat National Committee." -- George Melloan

"It's sad how far Gore will go to distance himself from Clinton. Asked in a pop quiz to name the current U.S. president, he said he didn't know." -- Humorist Doug Gamble

"A curfew was imposed last night in Seattle. It is not true that this is in response to a long-standing request by Hillary that a curfew be imposed in any city where Bill is traveling without her." -- Rich Galen

"Once again, all the talk about reducing the size of government and getting it out of our lives, businesses and pocketbooks proves to be pure hokum." -- Linda Bowles

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