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

web posted December 22, 2008

"Is there any system of governance or economics that can withstand rampant corruption or self-entitlement? ... Has the astounding success of American capitalism spawned people who consider themselves completely removed from the ethical guidelines that govern mere mortals? Has the wholesale abandonment of religion for secularism produced a moral vacuum? ... No system can survive when its prime movers and shakers are fundamentally corrupt -- most especially when they don't consider themselves to be so." -- columnist Arnold Ahlert

"So, do the rest of you now have some idea of the depth of corruption in Chicago and Illinois, and why some of us were so concerned about electing a president who emerges from this cesspool? ... Brazen, appalling, unbelievable, they say. But for those of us who have spent a lifetime covering the news here, it's how it works." -- Chicago columnist Dennis Byrne

"Reality check: The chances of House Democrats opening an ethics investigation into either [the junior Jesse] Jackson's or [Rahm] Emanuel's involvement [in the "Blago" scandal] is exactly zero. Ethics. Democrats. Say that three times fast." -- columnist Rich Galen

"The automakers' contention that they pay workers $73 an hour takes into account the cost of pensions and health insurance for retirees. Still, no one disputes that Detroit's unionized active workers cost a good $10 an hour more than the nonunionized work forces that build Toyotas, Hondas and BMW's in the largely nonunionized South." -- columnist William Murchison

"[Illinois Gov. Rod] Blagojevich allegedly assumed someone would be willing to pay dearly to be a U.S. senator. I'm sure he was right. But if government were less important in our lives, politicians would have fewer goodies to trade. In return, we'd have more money and more freedom. That's one more reason to limit government power." -- ABC News' "20/20" anchor John Stossel

"It looks as if we are going to have to relive all of the mistakes of the 20th century one more time -- let's hope it is one last time -- before we relearn the big lesson of that century: the moral and material superiority of capitalism and the disastrous consequences of socialism in all its forms." -- columnist Robert Tracinski

"A charismatic Democratic President takes office promising to extend health insurance to all Americans. His party enjoys majorities in Congress, and the GOP is at sea. The press corps finds policy a bore and instead files stories that draw facile analogies to the heyday of FDR... Any taxpayer commitment this large ought to require a social consensus reflected in large majorities, but Democrats are determined to plow ahead anyway. They know that a health-care entitlement for the middle class will never be removed once it is in place; and that government will then dominate American health-care choices for decades to come. That's all the more reason for the recumbent GOP to get its act together." -- The Wall Street Journal

"If I had my druthers right now, we would convene a special session of Congress, amend the Constitution and move up the inauguration from Jan. 20 to Thanksgiving Day. ... Just get me a Supreme Court justice and a Bible, and let's swear in Barack Obama right now -- by choice -- with the same haste we did -- by necessity -- with L.B.J. in the back of Air Force One." -- New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman

"Mother Nature, of course, is oblivious to the federal government's machinations. Ironically, 2008 is on pace to be a slightly cooler year in a steadily rising temperature trend line. Experts say it's thanks to a La Nina weather variation. While skeptics are already using it as evidence of some kind of cooling trend, it actually illustrates how fast the world is warming." -- AP writer Seth Borenstein with what we assume was a straight face

"It is unacceptable for this un-American, frankly, behavior of these U.S. Senators to cause this country to go from a recession into a depression." -- Michigan Demo Gov. Jennifer Granholm objecting to the defeat of the "bridge loan" bailout of U.S. auto companies

"But the other point I would make is this: The purpose of this is to be able to get the federal government the hell out of it. They need us for now. But the federal government is there to try to make the federal role unnecessary within a few years." -- Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) on the bailouts

"I reject and denounce 'pay-to-play' politics... I thought I deserved to be the senator because I earned it." -- Jesse Jackson Jr., a.k.a. "Senate Candidate #5" in the Rod Blagojevich scandal

"The time for delay is over; the time for denial is over. We all believe what the scientists have been telling us for years now that this is a matter of urgency and national security and it has to be dealt with in a serious way." -- Barack Obama on global warming

"Unions ... have been the vehicle for economic growth, economic equity and the American Dream. ... The Republican attack on the auto workers is an attack on the American Dream for all workers." -- Chris Chafe, executive director of Obama-linked Leftist political agitator group Change to Win

"In fact the UAW has given concession after concession.... But even doing all that wasn't enough to satisfy the bastard Republicans. These Senate vampires wanted blood. Blue collar blood. You see, they weren't opposed to the bailout because they believed in the free market or capitalism. No, they were opposed to the bailout because they're opposed to workers making a decent wage. In their rage, they were driven to destroy the backbone of this country." -- Leftist filmmaker Michael Moore

"We don't do enough in this country to keep dangerous people from getting dangerous weapons. A murderer came very close to getting a concealed carry permit. ... But it raises the alarm that people who are dangerous are getting concealed carry permits and endangering our families and communities." -- Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, using the fact that convicted murderer Andrew Golden was prevented from receiving a concealed carry permit -- even after changing his name -- to argue that "dangerous people are getting concealed carry permits"

"I didn't know what the guy said, but I saw his sole." -- U.S. President George W. Bush on the Iraqi reporter who threw two shoes at him

"Congress has insisted that auto company executives achieve performance standards or be financially penalized. The CEOs of Chrysler, Ford and GM are all working for $1 per year. Shouldn't congressional pay be adjusted the same way?" -- columnist Oliver North

"Government officials are said to be concerned at the risk that the collapse of Santa Claus could pose to the nation's intricately related system of holiday happiness. Though a failure by Santa Claus poses the largest systemic risk, the government is also prepared to step in to bail out Christmas trees, caroling parties and mistletoe producers. ... Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson personally concluded, however, that 'Santa Claus is too big to fail.'" -- columnist Daniel Henninger

"But Mr. Obama, eager to get where it is he may be going, is surely the first president to arrive with fresh scandal. New presidents usually get to unpack their suitcases and learn the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night before they have to explain why what the rest of us see is not really there." -- Washington Times editor Wesley Pruden

"There are so many things to love about the Rod Blagojevich scandal it's hard to know where to begin. Wait. That's not right. There are so many bleeping things to love about this bleeping-bleep Blagojevich scandal it's hard to know where to begin." -- Jonah Goldberg

"As you know, [over the weekend] in Iraq, President Bush was attacked by a "shoe-icide" bomber. You got to admit, whatever you think of the guy, he's got good reflexes. Even Bill Clinton was impressed. You know, Clinton's an expert at ducking shoes, ashtrays, lamps. Everything." -- Jay Leno

web posted December 15, 2008

"I'm going to keep [Barack Obama's] Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain. You hear what I'm saying? And if I don't get what I want and I'm not satisfied with it, then I'll just take the Senate seat myself. ...[The seat] is a f***ing valuable thing -- you just don't give it away for nothing." -- Illinois Democrat Gov. Rod Blagojevich in secretly taped phone conversations about filling Obama's Senate seat

"I had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening." -- Barack Obama, friend and ally of Gov. Blagojevich

"I know he's talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them." -- Obama adviser David Axelrod on 23 November (Axelrod now says he was "mistaken" when he said that)

"You know, the days of just pork coming out of Congress as a strategy, those days are over." -- Barack Obama, announcing his plan for $700 billion in "public works"

"I believe in common-sense gun safety laws, and I believe in the Second Amendment. Lawful gun owners have nothing to fear. I said that throughout the campaign. I haven't indicated anything different during the transition. I think people can take me at my word." -- Barack Obama, who still promises to make the so-called "assault weapons" ban permanent

"Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi can stop clucking now. For the last three years, Democratic leaders cheered GOP ethics woes. Dean accused Republicans of making 'their culture of corruption the norm.' Pelosi touted cleanliness as a liberal virtue. But with the eye-popping pay-for-play and bribery case against Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich topping a year of nationwide Democratic scandals, the corruption chickens are coming home to roost." -- columnist Michelle Malkin

"[T]here are enough connections between the worlds of [Rod] Blagojevich and [Barack] Obama that the whole thing has the potential to grow beyond a colorful Chicago tale of corruption to entangle members of the Presidential transition team [and] to test Obama's carefully cultivated reformist image." -- Massimo Calabresi

"So, do the rest of you now have some idea of the depth of corruption in Chicago and Illinois, and why some of us were so concerned about electing a president who emerges from this cesspool?" -- columnist Dennis Byrne

"Where is ... optimism today in the midst of the sharp economic downturn? One doesn't hear much of it from politicians and especially not from the media, which trades exclusively in gloom and doom. ... OK, so the economy is weak. Who thinks this is a permanent condition? Americans have always been optimists. Where is that optimism when we need it most?" -- Cal Thomas

"Whatever else historians will say about Washington's response to today's crisis, they are not apt to say the government did too little." -- columnist George Will

"Is there any way to look at this and think to yourself that maybe what people are beginning to say is that this president-elect should be president now? I mean, there seems to be this pressure, people are saying why isn't Barack Obama leading the fight about the automakers? Why isn't he -- I saw a poll where his approval rating was higher for his handling of the Mumbai attacks than President Bush's, even though he didn't do anything." -- PBS's Gwen Ifill

"You know, it's interesting, because he has said so often, President-elect Obama, that there's only one president at a time. But every time I turn on the news, the only person I'm really seeing, the only person who looks like they have their hands on the wheel, it looks like the president-elect." -- CBS's Harry Smith

"The gay marriage debate moves to the Midwest this week as the Iowa Supreme Court hears arguments in a challenge to the state's ban on same-sex marriage. If the high court rules in favor of the half-dozen gay couples who sued, it would make Iowa the fourth state after Massachusetts, California and Connecticut to uphold the right of same-sex couples to legally marry." -- the Associated Press using the word "uphold" as if the "right" preexisted judicial diktat

"We don't dispute [the gun sales hike] because the numbers from the federal system certainly confirm that there is increased activity out there. We just think it's a bit stupid. Anyone who thinks they need to rush out and buy a firearm clearly has not been paying attention to how quickly we make progress on this issue. We don't think these are first-time buyers. We think they are people who already have more than enough guns at their homes to protect themselves and are buying more." -- Peter Hamm, spokesman for the Brady Campaign against Gun Violence, on "how quickly they make progress"

"Our research suggests that people may not need to worry too much about power corrupting Obama. His newfound power might enable the change he desires rather than that power changing him instead. This is contrary to what most people think: that the longer he works in Washington the more he will be influenced by the same old ways of doing things." -- researcher Joe Magee of New York University

"In the recently concluded presidential race, I was unwillingly thrust upon the stage and asked to play a role in a profoundly dishonest drama. ... I was cast in the 'unrepentant terrorist' role." -- unrepentant Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers in The New York Times

"Laura Bush presided over the White House Christmas tree lighting ceremony last week on the South Lawn. The ceremony was especially moving this year. The Nativity Scene depicts Three Wise Men from Detroit asking the Baby Jesus for his first miracle." -- comedian Argus Hamilton

"What 'entitlements' for some people mean is forcing other people to work for their benefit. As a bumper sticker put it: 'Work harder. Millions of people on welfare are depending on you.'" -- Hoover Institution economist Thomas Sowell

"If it were up to me, I'd reverse things entirely. I'd give Social Security to the young, as they're the only ones who can possibly support themselves on it, and I wouldn't set them on their career paths until they were at least 30 and ready to settle down. Under my system, there'd be no retirement age. Old folks, as we all know, are the only people really eager to serve in the work place, and the only ones who, in response to a customer's complaint, would never think of saying, 'Why are you telling me? I only work here!'" -- columnist Burt Prelutsky

"The lesson seems to be: If you get away with murder, make a point of being on your best behavior. People may not be so forgiving the next time around." -- columnist James Taranto on O.J. Simpson's Las Vegas sentencing

"This year, the Treasury Department is holding its annual holiday party inside something called the cash room. You know what that is in Washington, the cash room? That's a big room where the Treasury Department holds all its cash it has on hand. Of course, these days it's empty, so plenty more room to party." -- Jay Leno

web posted December 8, 2008

"One of the weirdest, most perceptually jarring things about the economic crisis is that everything looks the same. We are told every day and in every news venue that we are in Great Depression II, that we are in a crisis, a cataclysm, a meltdown, the credit crunch from hell, that we will lose millions of jobs, and that the great abundance is over and may never return. ... And yet when you free yourself from media and go outside for a walk, everything looks . . . the same." -- Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan

"Unemployment is still below 7 percent; it was around 25 percent when Franklin Roosevelt became president. Less than 20 banks have failed, not the 4,000 that went under in the first part of 1933." -- Hoover Institution historian Victor Davis Hanson

"There is a condign symmetry about this financial crisis. A government-induced crisis is getting a government-insured resolution. The excesses of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are being mopped up by huge federal spending, made all the more massive by all the reckless endeavors of the politicians, the regulators and the financiers who frivoled with the intemperance of Freddie and Fannie." -- American Spectator editor in chief R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

"I desperately hope that circumstances will force Obama to repudiate his past. At present we do not know whether this will happen; and so far, I have seen nothing to suggest that it will. Unlike those who see in the emerging shape of his administration evidence that he will be a pragmatic centrist, I do not think it necessarily shows anything of the kind." -- British journalist Melanie Phillips

"If we don't know the constitutional limits placed on Congress and the White House, politicians can do just about anything they wish to control our lives, from deciding what kind of light bulbs we can use to whether the government can take over our health care system or bailout failing businesses. We just think Congress can do anything upon which they can get a majority vote." -- George Mason University economics professor Walter E. Williams

"Two initially surprising centrist choices for [Barack Obama's] so-called team of rivals -- Senator Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, and of course Bush Defense Secretary Robert Gates. In a way, this inoculates President-elect Obama from criticism that he is somehow soft in the area of foreign policy, doesn't it?" -- CBS News anchor Katie Couric

"[T]here are many who had such an optimistic and hopeful opinion of things, and you certainly can't expect things to change on a dime overnight, but there are many who suggested that with the outgoing Bush administration and the incoming Obama administration there would be something of a lull in terrorism attacks. There had been such a global outpouring of affection, respect, hope, with the new administration coming in, that precisely these kinds of attacks, it was thought -- at least hoped -- would be dampered [sic] down." -- MSNBC's Alex Witt on the Mumbai attacks

"I mean this is an enormous crisis, you've got to hit it with an enormous stimulus to buck the economy up. I'm still worrying that they're going to be a little bit short, because you just have to put all your notions of what is prudent aside. Being cautious is actually a very foolish thing right now." -- former Enron advisor Paul Krugman in The New York Times

"Understand that I will be setting policy as president. The buck will stop with me." -- Barack Obama

"What exactly is this foreign policy expertise? Was she negotiating treaties? Was she handling crises? The answer is no. ... It's what's wrong with politics today. Hillary Clinton will say anything to get elected. ... She'll say anything and change nothing. ... The question is, what kind of judgment will you exercise when you pick up that phone ... In fact, we've had a red-phone moment. It was the decision to invade Iraq. Sen. Clinton gave the wrong answer." -- Barack Obama during the campaign on his pick for secretary of state, Hillary Clinton

"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. Things that we postponed for too long, that were long-term, are now immediate and must be dealt with. This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before." -- Obama chief-of-staff select Rahm Emanuel

"We have an FBI and, and, and, and, and we're not prejudiced against somebody who's worked at the FBI. It's an honorable place to work. And the KGB, I think, was an honorable place to work. And it, it gave people in the former Soviet Union, a communist country, an opportunity to do something important and worthwhile." -- CNN founder Ted Turner

"Get rid of the phrase 'war on terrorism.' Ask for a creative solution in which we all participate. ... You know, terrorists call mechanized death from 35,000 feet above sea level with a press of a button also terror. We don't call it that, because our soldiers are wearing uniforms. They don't see what is happening, and innocent people are being killed. So, you know, terror is a term that you apply to the other." -- author Deepak Chopra

"I think, really, what we're seeing here right now with them, with the banks, we're seeing the end of capitalism -- the end of capitalism as we know it. And I say good riddance -- it hasn't helped the people or the planet." -- documentarian Michael Moore

"In the old days -- from the Venetian Republic to, oh, the Bear Stearns rescue -- if you wanted to get rich, you did it the Warren Buffett way: You learned to read balance sheets. Today you learn to read political tea leaves. If you want to make money on Wall Street (or keep from losing your shirt), you do it not by anticipating Intel's third-quarter earnings but by guessing instead what side of the bed Henry Paulson will wake up on tomorrow." -- columnist Charles Krauthammer

"We've moved beyond show me the money. This is throw me the money." -- economist Lawrence Kudlow

"The costs of Washington's bailout fiesta are now so huge, you can see them from space. The latest number, which includes the Citigroup rescue, is $7.7 trillion. That's roughly half of America's GDP." -- National Review editor Jonah Goldberg

"Bill Clinton agreed to extensive scrutiny to help get Hillary the secretary of state post. He may have to give up his speaking engagements. As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton will have to grapple with age-old battles between mortal enemies, like Sunnis and Shiites, Israelis and Palestinians, and Bill Clinton and spare time." -- comedian Argus Hamilton

"In political news, President-elect Barack Obama has named Hillary Clinton as his secretary of state. I am no political expert. I don't pretend to know much about international affairs. But speaking strictly as a late-night talk show host, a Clinton back in office? Yes!" -- Jay Leno

"In 1993, a Department of Education survey found that among college graduates 50 percent of whites and more than 80 percent of blacks couldn't state in writing the argument made in a newspaper column; 56 percent could not calculate the right tip; 57 percent could not figure out how much change they should get back after putting down $3.00 to pay for a 60-cent bowl of soup and a $1.95 sandwich, and over 90 percent could not use a calculator to find the cost of carpeting a room. But not to worry. A 1999 survey taken by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni of seniors at the nation's top 55 liberal-arts colleges and universities found that 98 percent could identify rap artist Snoop Dogg and Beavis and Butt-Head, but only 34 percent knew George Washington was the general at the battle of Yorktown. With limited thinking abilities and knowledge of our heritage, we Americans set ourselves up as easy prey for charlatans, hustlers and quacks." -- George Mason University economics professor Walter E. Williams



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