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

web posted January 25, 2010

"It really is the people's seat, and yesterday the people took it back." --columnist Jeff Jacoby on Scott Brown's Senate win in Massachusetts

"Voters in the often wayward Cradle of Liberty looked danger in the eye, stood up, and said, 'Enough.' Tuesday's takeaway is this: if Obama & Co. can't sell their agenda there, it's an epic fail everywhere." --columnist Tom Blumer

"[Scott Brown's] message of lower taxes, smaller government and fiscal responsibility clearly resonated with independent-minded voters in Massachusetts who were looking for a solution to decades of failed Democrat leadership." --RNC Chairman Michael Steele

"Democrats are settling on a new strategy to blame the defeat not only on Coakley's inept campaign but also on her personality and strained relations with both the Kennedy family and President Obama." --columnist Byron York

"[Nancy] Pelosi met with House Democrats yesterday to tell them how the negotiations on a compromise health care bill between the House and Senate were going. As she spoke, one Democratic member whispered to another, 'It's like talking about your date on Friday, but the date's in the emergency room.' ObamaCare went into the emergency room in Massachusetts and didn't make it out alive." --columnist Fred Barnes

"[T]the American people are losing confidence in Team Obama because quite simply they are tiring of being lied to, and treated like children in need of Ivy-League Platonic guardians." --columnist Victor Davis Hanson

"Obama was supposed to be a great persuader. It turns out that's only half true. He did persuade most of us that he should be president. But in Year One, he has failed to persuade most of us to support his major proposals. He's even moved us in the other direction." --political analyst Michael Barone

"Increasing numbers of Americans are saying that they are having trouble recognizing the country in which they were born and grew up. They will have even more trouble recognizing America if the Washington juggernaut does not lose a substantial part of its power in this year's elections." --economist Thomas Sowell

"We can't win them all." --Barack Obama

"Regardless of the size of their minority caucus, Senate Republicans have always had an obligation to join us in governing our nation through these difficult times. [Tuesday's] election doesn't change that. In fact it is now more important than before for Republicans to work with us rather than against us if we are to find common ground that improves Americans' lives." --Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), himself in election trouble, on how Republicans should now shut up and help pass health care "reform"

"Massachusetts has health care and so the rest of the country would like to have that too. So we don't [think] a state that already has health care should determine whether the rest of the country should." --House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), telling voters what's good for them

"You know how politics is. At times like this, there are always some who are eager to exploit that pain and anger to score a few political points. There are always folks who think that the best way to solve these problems are to demonize others. And, unfortunately, we're seeing some of that politics in Massachusetts today." --Barack Obama, who specializes in demonizing George W. Bush at every opportunity

"One thing the Democrats have done wrong? We haven't kept the focus on this disaster on the Republicans who brought it upon us. We've tried too hard to do that right thing, and that's to fix it, as opposed to spend more of our time and energy pointing the finger at who got us [here] in the first place." --Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), campaigning for who he kept calling "Marcia" Coakley and doing just what Obama said we shouldn't do

"Health care was the cause of my friend Ted Kennedy's life. So it sickens me that the Republican running to take Ted's place is vowing to be the 41st vote to kill health care reform." --Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT)

"We're all pretty unpopular. Why? Because people don't feel good, and we're the leaders and we're in office, and they expect us to do something about it." --House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

"If you are looking for an analogy for a Republican victory in Massachusetts, the best one for Democrats may well be the stock market crash of 1929. ... [Y]ou could have Democrats jumping out windows and off roofs." --Roll Call's Stu Rothenberg

"It's that rare election where voters know exactly what they're voting on. If they're with Democrat Martha Coakley they get health care reform. If they go for Republican Scott Brown it's deliberate, premeditated murder for health care!" --MSNBC's Chris Matthews

"I wanted to apologize for calling Senator-elect Scott Brown an 'irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, tea bagging, supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees.' I'm sorry, I left out the word 'sexist.'" --MSNBC's Keith Olbermann

"I tell you what, if I lived in Massachusetts, I'd try to vote 10 times. I don't know if they'd let me or not, but I'd try to. Yeah, that's right, I'd cheat to keep these bastards out. I would. 'Cause that's exactly what they are." --MSNBC's radio talk-show host Ed Schultz

"You have top Democrats like Barney Frank of Massachusetts who said flatly if Martha Coakley, the Democrat, loses, health care is dead. So what kind of planning is the White House doing right now for backup? What's their Plan B?" --ABC's George Stephanopoulos

"[It would be] a tragedy of Greek proportions if Ted Kennedy's successor ... is the one who was responsible for the death of health care." --PBS's Judy Woodruff

"This isn't the Democratic party of our fathers and grandfathers. This is the party of Woodstock hippies. I was at Woodstock -- I built the stage. And when everything fell apart, and people were fighting for peanut-butter sandwiches, it was the National Guard who came in and saved the same people who were protesting them. So when Hillary Clinton a few years ago wanted to build a Woodstock memorial, I said it should be a statue of a National Guardsman feeding a crying hippie." --actor John Ratzenberger

"I went to the White House and was star-struck by our president and first lady. ... I think it is thrilling to have someone who is thoughtful and can articulate with a certain amount of passion and dispassion, the necessary choices that we have in the world." --actress Meryl Streep, admiring the actor in the White House

"What is happening in Haiti seriously concerns me as U.S. troops have already taken control of the airport." --Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega

"I read that 3,000 soldiers are arriving, Marines armed as if they were going to war. There is not a shortage of guns there, my God. Doctors, medicine, fuel, field hospitals, that's what the United States should send. They are occupying Haiti undercover." --Venezuela's Hugo Chavez

"Televangelist Pat Robertson said the earthquake in Haiti happened because they were cursed. He says when they were a French colony, they made a pact with the devil to get rid of the French. Pat, please! You don't need a pact with the devil to beat the French." --comedian Jay Leno

"I've been out of the country for a couple of days, so let me see if I've got this right: America's preparing to celebrate the first anniversary of Good King Barack the Hopeychanger's reign by electing a Republican? In Massachusetts? In what the tin-eared plonkers of the Democrat machine still insist on calling 'Ted Kennedy's seat'?" --columnist Mark Steyn

"The Cambridge Chronicle reports that the union representing policemen in the college town near Boston has endorsed Scott Brown for Senate. This is especially amusing because Martha Coakley has intimate ties to the Cambridge police: 'Ms. Coakley along with some of her campaign workers have talked publicly about how her husband is a retired Cambridge Police Officer, giving appearances that she is being endorsed by the Cambridge Police,' the endorsement reads in part. President Obama did not say whether he thinks the Cambridge police acted stupidly." --Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto

"Democrats regularly say things that would end the career of any conservative who said them. And still, blacks give 90 percent of their votes to the Democrats. Reid apologized to President Obama, and Obama accepted the apology using his 'white voice.' So now all is forgiven. Clinton also called Obama to apologize, but ended up asking him to bring everybody some coffee. Now the only people waiting for an apology are the American people who want an apology from Nevada for giving us Harry Reid." --columnist Ann Coulter

"Martha Coakley's resounding defeat in the Massachusetts Senate race is hardly the sort of anniversary gift President Barack Obama could have predicted. Yet there it was, wrapped in a bow and plopped on his doorstep like a flaming bag of dog poo to mark the end of his first year in office." --Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch of Reason magazine

"I don't see any reason why [banks] should be paying a special tax. ... I don't see the rationale for it. ... Look at the damage Fannie and Freddie caused, and they were run by the Congress. Should they have a special tax on congressmen because they let this thing happen to Freddie and Fannie? I don't think so." --billionaire investor and philanthropist Warren Buffet

web posted January 18, 2010

"[Harry Reid] was wowed by Obama's oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama -- a 'light-skinned' African American 'with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,' as he said privately." --excerpt from the book "Game Change," by journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin

"We can think of several reasons for Harry Reid to resign as Senate Majority Leader, though the flap over his obtuse racial comments isn't one of them. The uproar is nonetheless instructive about the perils of identity politics. Mr. Reid is apologizing to all and sundry for saying in private in 2008 that Barack Obama should run for President because he was 'light-skinned' and spoke with 'no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.' Republicans are calling for Mr. Reid to resign, on grounds of the Trent Lott precedent. When the Republican leader in 2002 joked at a birthday party for Strom Thurmond that America might have been better off had the one-time Dixiecrat won his 1948 Presidential campaign, Democrats demanded Mr. Lott's resignation. An Illinois state senator with a big political future went so far as to suggest at the time that Republicans needed to 'drive out' Mr. Lott in order to 'stand for something.' Mr. Lott resigned, notwithstanding his profuse apologies. In contrast, Mr. Obama and various black Democrats have rushed to Mr. Reid's defense. ... In any event, this is hardly Mr. Reid's worst rhetorical offense. That prize goes to his all too public comments in April 2007 that 'the war is lost' in Iraq, even as the surge was finally making victory possible. That was a betrayal of American soldiers risking their lives in Iraq, and to the extent it emboldened the enemy, it may have cost American lives. If Mr. Reid has apologized for that defeatism, we don't recall it. That's reason enough to resign." --The Wall Street Journal

"If you tell ethnic jokes in the back room, it's that much easier to say ethnic things publicly. I've always practiced how I play." --Harry Reid in 2002 after Trent Lott's resignation from leadership after similar racially insensitive remarks

"I don't know why people are making such a fuss about this. What is the big fuss about the word 'Negro'? I support the United Negro College Fund. I support the National Council of Negro Women. We still use those two terms because they have been a part of our history for a long time. So I don't know what all this fuss is about." --Rep. James Clyburn, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and current House Majority Whip

"Senator Reid's record provides a stark contrast to actions of Republicans to block legislation that would benefit poor and minority communities -- most recently reflected in Republican opposition to the Health Bill now under consideration." --Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus

"A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee." --Bill Clinton in 2008, as reported in "Game Change"

"The Senate thinks [their health care bill] is fairer. We think ours is. We'll see which mirror cracks. But we will proceed in a way that is fair to the American people." --House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who has anything but fairness to the American people on her mind

"I'm not worried about them touching my private parts." --Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) on airport screening procedures

"White liberals have built a political culture that is little different from the plantations of another generation. African-Americans are given just enough to help them survive, but not opportunity which will allow them to escape and become independent of government programs." --columnist Cal Thomas

"We know two thousand pages of 'gov-speak' is one of the largest compendiums of bribes, favors and pork ever devised. We know that in all two thousand pages, there's not a single word about tort reform because the Democratic party is owned by the trial lawyers. We know the overwhelming majority of Congress won't even bother to read the bill before voting on it. And above all, we know the very same people who are foisting this boondoggle on the rest of us will never be subjected to its mandates, because they have their own Rolls Royce health care coverage. ... 2010 can't come soon enough." --columnist Arnold Ahlert

"The special deals and payoffs are incidental to the [health care] bill in one sense; if they were all removed it would still be a bad bill. But in another sense, they reveal something essential about a government takeover of health care: it is all about looting, about how one group of people can tax and regulate others in an attempt to get something for nothing. All statist programs are rife with this kind of scheming, and they have to be, because whenever wealth is seized by force, there is a battle among the looters over how to divide the spoils." --columnist Robert Tracinski

"The White House is ... being completely dismissive ... concerning legitimate questions about the constitutionality of Obamacare. Consider this: No fewer than 13 state attorneys general signed a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, expressing their 'grave concern' over the constitutionality of one provision of the bill. This provision would cause the federal government to grant special favors to Nebraska (subsidizing its Medicaid costs) pursuant to the Democrats' bribe to secure Sen. Ben Nelson's support. ... How did the White House respond when asked about this letter? Well, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, after admitting he hadn't even read the letter, said, 'I do not believe that anybody has legitimate constitutional concerns about the legislation.' That settles it then. Chief Justice Gibbs has spoken." --columnist David Limbaugh

"The most startling news since Barack Obama's colossal victory over Hillary Clinton in Iowa was the Democratic poll in Massachusetts the other day showing the little-known Republican Scott Brown beating the state's attorney general, Martha Coakley, in the special contest for the late Ted Kennedy's Senate seat by a point. A subsequent poll by the Boston Globe had the Democrat winning by 15. Somebody is very wrong here, obviously, and we won't know until next Tuesday's election which poll got the Massachusetts electorate right. But if the Democratic poll is closer to the truth, and if Coakley can't come up with something to pull Brown's numbers down over the next week, she is going to lose and a Republican is going to win an ineffable symbolic victory against Barack Obama and especially against health care." --columnist John Podhoretz

"Is it possible it's not what he said but what he didn't say? Isn't Harry Reid implying that a dark-skinned African-American who speaks in a way that some would consider more stereotypical would not be electable?" --NBC's Matt Lauer

"And they're monochromatic right? ... Every picture I see shows them to be. ... Meaning they're all white. All of them, every single one of them is white." --MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Tea Party protesters

"There are a lot of interesting ways to talk about the right way to respond to [climate change], but instead, it's ClimateGate, it's all made up. Following the Republican framing into nonsense land and we've ended up talking about stuff that is not real instead of talking about policy. I want to have policy fights. I don't want to be fighting with people who refuse to acknowledge reality." --MSNBC's Rachel Maddow

"[E]ven George Bush said that, you know, we could be attacked tomorrow. He didn't like to talk about it. I knew him well and knew that he was counting the minutes and the days until he got out of there and could claim he kept us safe." --Newsweek's Howard Fineman

"I think that we have inspired more jihadis against us." --NBC's Andrea Mitchell on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

"Our professorial president is no feckless W., biking through Katrina. He is no doubt on top of the [the Christmas bomber] crisis in terms of studying it top to bottom. But his inner certainty creates an outer disconnect. He's so sure of himself and his actions that he fails to see that he misses the moment to be president -- to be the strong father who protects the home from invaders, who reassures and instructs the public at traumatic moments. He's more like the aloof father who's turned the Situation Room into a Seminar Room." --New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd

"Most of the domestic groups that we pay attention to here are white supremacist groups. They're anti-government, in most cases anti-abortion, they are usually survivalist type in nature, identity oriented. ... Those groups are groups that claim to be extremely anti-government and Christian identity oriented." --TSA nominee Erroll Southers

"I think that one only has to step outside here or visit where I used to work in Chicago to understand that climate change, and the record temperature that climate change is likely causing, is with us.... I would say that eve in places that are used to getting very cold weather, record cold ... our weather patterns have been affected by change in our climate." --White House climatologist Robert Gibbs

"I'm blacker than Barack Obama. I shined shoes. I grew up in a five-room apartment. My father had a little laundromat in a black community not far from where we lived. I saw it all growing up." --former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich

"It's a stupid metaphor to say I'm blacker than Barack Obama, that I apologize for. It's not appropriate for me, a white person, to stand out somehow and claim to be a black person, that's just wrong." --Rod Blagojevich

"President Obama ordered airport passenger scanners upgraded Thursday. It's all tied in with health care reform. If you don't have a personal physician you just fly somewhere and the TSA screener will tell you if your gall bladder looks all right." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"In an effort to calm people after the latest security problems, the White House said it is working even harder to find Osama bin Laden. The frustrating part is that we almost had him. Earlier this year, he snuck into the White House state dinner." --comedian Jay Leno

"Thus, one of the most unsavory troikas in the history of American politics -- Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama -- are cobbling together a take-it-or-leave-it takeover of one-sixth of the American economy. Moe, Larry and Curly couldn't have done a better job of mocking transparent government." --columnist Arnold Ahlert

"How do you explain why anyone in a theoretically free society would willingly surrender his brain to Soviet-like thought control? The best answer I can come up with is that there's a herd instinct among human beings that's akin to the one that governs the behavior of cattle, sheep and lemmings. To think like a liberal, a conservative merely needs to get down on all fours and then bang his head on a wall until he's managed to knock 50 points off his IQ." --columnist Burt Prelutsky

web posted January 11, 2010

"There has never been a more open process for any legislation." --House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on the "transparency" of legislating the health care bill

"I don't know if there is a senator that doesn't have something in this bill that was important to them. And if they don't have something in it important to them, then it doesn't speak well of them." --Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on making offers that Democrats couldn't refuse

"Why all this discord and discourtesy, all this unprecedented destructive action? All to break the momentum of our new young president. [Republicans] are desperate to break this president. They have ardent supporters who are nearly hysterical at the very election of President Barack Obama. The birthers, the fanatics, the people running around in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups, it is unbearable to them that President Barack Obama should exist. That is one powerful reason. It is not the only one." --Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) calling opponents of the health care bill racists

"I listened to you and took a common-sense approach to improve the bill. Now it lowers costs for families and small business, protects Medicare, finally guarantees coverage for pre-existing conditions and reduces the deficit. And it's not run by the government. I'm convinced this is right for Nebraska." --Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) on voting for the health care bill after a grand show of playing hard to get

"This was a screw up that could have been disastrous. We dodged a bullet but just barely. It was averted by brave individuals -- not because the system worked -- and that is not acceptable. While there will be a tendency for finger pointing, I will not tolerate it." --Barack Obama, on the Christmas bomber, who tolerates the blame game well enough when his finger is forever pointed at George W. Bush

"Barack Obama's quest for historic health care legislation has turned into a parody of leadership. We usually associate presidential leadership with the pursuit of goals that, though initially unpopular, serve America's long-term interests. Obama has reversed this. He's championing increasingly unpopular legislation that threatens the country's long-term interests. 'This isn't about me,' he likes to say, 'I have great health insurance.' But of course, it is about him: about the legacy he covets as the president who achieved 'universal' health insurance." --columnist Robert Samuelson

"The president's health care monstrosity is an even more unwieldy government effort than Homeland Security. Its goals are more various and vaguer. Its protocols are already in chaos. The lesson the president should have learned from last week's 'systemic failure' is that government is a very imperfect instrument. A government that takes over 16 percent of our economy promising to bring us good health at a reasonable cost is an instrument doomed to failure and at a catastrophic cost." --American Spectator editor in chief R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

"It's a (literally) bloody disgrace that our ragtag enemies innovate faster and more effectively than our armed forces and the legion of overpaid contractors behind them. They ask themselves, 'What works?' We ask ourselves what the lawyers will say. The crucial difference? Our enemies believe in victory, even if we don't." --columnist Ralph Peters

"The question should not be how to make terrorists like us, but how to find them, eliminate them and, most important of all, keep them from entering the country in the first place. The Obama administration, like the Clinton administration, continues to view terrorists as criminals who ought to be subject to the American judicial system. In fact, they are soldiers in a war unlike any this country has ever faced. Until we start treating these people as soldiers and not criminals, there will be more incidents like this, as there have been previous ones. Without a serious approach to domestic terrorism, the next attempted attack on an airliner might succeed, as did the ones during another less serious time which gave us 9-11." --columnist Cal Thomas

"For its part, the Obama administration should frankly acknowledge that the 'war on terror' wasn't a Bush-Cheney construct to scare and manipulate the American public. The same Napolitano who initially portrayed the near-miss on Christmas as a vindication did her utmost to avoid even uttering the word 'terror' at a congressional hearing earlier this year, preferring the absurd neologism 'man-caused disaster.' That's a phrase best applied to the shoeless shuffle at the airport security lines, not the heinous acts of war plotted by Abdulmutallab and his inevitable successors." --National Review editor Rich Lowry

"[A]s we approach this new year and reflect upon 2009 and think of ways to improve our situations in 2010, I ask that my fellow Republicans join together to have a respectful debate during our upcoming primary process and then give their full support to our selected nominees even if there remain some philosophical differences. I know this is the approach my father personally took and I cannot think of a better beacon of light than his legacy to help us once again find our way." --radio talk-show host Michael Reagan

"What ... if terrorists were killing 45,000 people every year in this country? Well, the current health care system, the insurance companies, and those who support them are doing just that. ... Those fighting health care reform -- not those debating its shape or its nuance -- people who demand the status quo, they are killing 45,000 Americans a year. ... Remind me again, who are the terrorists?" --MSNBC's Keith Olbermann

"The law [in Switzerland], finally approved in a 1994 national referendum, guaranteed health care for everyone by requiring everyone to have insurance. It amounted to a law recognizing health care as a human right.... They choose their own doctors and their own insurance company, and the whole country is covered. True to its national reputation, Switzerland devised a health care system that's been praised as efficient and neutral. Basic insurance is the same price for everyone. Also true to the Swiss reputation, it's turned out to be expensive. ... Given an aging population and high-tech medicine, some say costs are bound to rise three percent or four percent a year. Health care reform [in Switzerland] has been more expensive than reformers predicted." --CBS's Richard Roth

"The most overrated [political concept] is freedom. When faced with economic uncertainty, people don't want freedom. When they can't see their economic future, they want the nanny state." --John McLaughlin, long-time moderator of 'The McLaughlin Group'

"If we can't catch a Nigerian with a powerful explosive powder in his oddly feminine-looking underpants and a syringe full of acid, a man whose own father had alerted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a traveler whose ticket was paid for in cash and who didn't check bags, whose visa renewal had been denied by the British, who had studied Arabic in Al Qaeda sanctuary Yemen, whose name was on a counterterrorism watch list, who can we catch? We are headed toward the moment when screeners will watch watch-listers sashay through while we have to come to the airport in hospital gowns, flapping open in the back." --New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd

"Put enough money on the table and just about any Democratic U.S. Senator will think, gulp, blink, and drag the pot with the rationalization that 'this is all for the greater good.' Pelican Pellets. This is no different than putting a horse's head into Jack Woltz' bed to force him into giving Johnny Fontaine a part in his movie in The Godfather. It was a deal [Senator Ben] Nelson couldn't refuse." --political analyst Rich Galen

"And just to make sure even the dimmest understand, Obama banishes the term 'war on terror.' It's over -- that is, if it ever existed. Obama may have declared the war over. Unfortunately al-Qa'ida has not. Which gives new meaning to the term 'asymmetric warfare.' ... More jarring still were Obama's references to the terrorist as a 'suspect' who 'allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device.' You can hear the echo of FDR: 'Yesterday, December 7, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- Japanese naval and air force suspects allegedly bombed Pearl Harbor.'" --columnist Charles Krauthammer

"President Obama was ripped Tuesday for responding slowly to the failed airline bombing. He did everything he could. When word got to him on the fifteenth hole that the country had been attacked he asked the next three groups if he could play through." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"All I know is that at my age, I can do without blankets, pillows and even honey-roasted peanuts. But I think the airlines better rethink those bathroom restrictions. The last thing they're going to want is a planeload of seniors sounding like cranky four-year-olds, screaming for the last 500 miles of the flight, 'Are we there yet?'" --columnist Burt Prelutsky



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