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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Quotes of the Morning

“George W. Bush will repair what has been damaged . […] On the first hour of the first day, he will restore decency and integrity to the Oval Office.”
-Dick Cheney, August 2, 2000

“My fellow citizens, we can begin again. After all of the shouting, and all of the scandal. After all of the bitterness and broken faith. We can begin again.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, August 3, 2000

“Barely a third of Americans -- 34 percent -- think Bush is doing a good job ensuring high ethics in government, which is slightly lower than President Bill Clinton's standing on this issue when he left office.”
-Washington Post, October 30, 2005

“Thanks to Billmon for the first few Quotes here.”

“It's amazing to me that the President of the United States would spend time trying to be a political pundit. He's so desperate to keep his legacy intact he'll say anything, just like Al Gore.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, August 1, 2000

“It was amazing I won. I was running against peace and prosperity and incumbency.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, June 14, 2001

Friday, October 28, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Harriet, Sweet Harriet

“As you may or may not know.. The President is a little down on his luck. His war in Iraq (part of the War on Terra) just hit 2,000 dead American soldiers (more than the first two years on Vietnam), and the press is starting to ask how the h*ll we got there.. His Vice President and Chief of Staff are under investigation. His attempts to gut Social Security have come to naught. His top party members in the House and the Senate (DeLay and Frist) are both dealing with their own criminal scandals. His responses to the disasters in the South were seen as insulting and inadequate, and revealed his placing of political cronies in important positions. And now this. He can’t get his personal lawyer placed on the Supreme Court. Poor guy.”

“Harriet. Harry-ette. Hard-hearted harbinger of haggis. Beautiful, bemused, bellicose butcher. Un-trust... ing. Un-know... ing. Un-love... ed? ‘He wants you back,’ he screamed into the night air like a firefighter going to a window that has no fire... except the passion of his heart. I am lonely. It's really hard. This poem... sucks.”
-Charlie Mackenzie, So I Married An Axe Murderer

“Her meeting with Sen. Arlen Specter, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was especially damaging. Specter told reporters that Miers had voiced support for key precedents in abortion case law, only to have Miers tell him that he'd misunderstood her.
For Republicans, however, there's a big difference between expressing misgivings about Miers and voting against the president's attempt to put his imprint on the Supreme Court.
The Democrats' strategy is to demand that Miers answer questions and to pressure the White House to turn over documents that shed more light on her work as White House counsel, which the White House has resisted.
Democrats have found allies in Specter and in a handful of other Republicans. Specter and Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, fired off a letter to Miers last week demanding that she expand her answers to a committee questionnaire.
-Knight Ridder Newspapers, October 23, 2005

“I guess that her responses to the questionnaire were less than adequate. The Republican party really wanted to know where she stood on the important issues.”

“Charlie: Name one bad thing you've done, and it better be evil.
Harriet: How evil?
Charlie: Really evil. Like you would say it was E-VEEL, like it's the FRU-EETS of the DEV-EEL.”
-So I Married An Axe Murderer

“Apparently she did not meet their criteria. Now this had to happen.”

“Yielding to pressure from social conservatives and to doubts by Democratic and Republican lawmakers over her qualifications, Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers Thursday withdrew her name from consideration as a justice to the high court.”
-Knight Ridder Newspapers, October 27, 2005

“They tried, but it just wasn’t enough.”

“Recognizing that conservatives might not find Miers exciting, Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove tried to lock up a few important figures who would back her, mainly James C. Dobson, head of the evangelical Focus on the Family. As Dobson later recalled it, Rove assured him ‘that Harriet Miers is an evangelical Christian [and] that she is from a very conservative church, which is almost universally pro-life.’"
-Washington Post, October 28, 2005

“Oh sweet irony. First Karl Rove was trying to lock up a few important figures. Now Karl Rove is an important figure who stands a good chance of being locked up. Still, this has got to be hard on Dubya. His reputation is on the line. He may end up a disgraced multi-millionaire when this is all over.””

“He'll be crying himself to sleep tonight, on his huge pillow.”
-Stuart Mackenzie, So I Married An Axe Murderer

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: I Am Power!

“I am power!”

“Although spending proved weaker than expected in August as auto purchases plummeted, the decline followed two months in which consumers spent freely. Economists said the fall was not particularly troubling.
‘The drop in August is just a pullback from that earlier surge in spending,’ said Gary Thayer, chief economist at A.G. Edwards and Sons in St. Louis.
The spending decline pushed up the saving rate, the percentage of disposable income saved, to negative 0.7 percent from July's record low of minus 1.1 percent. A negative saving rate shows U.S. consumers eating into their accumulated wealth to spend.”
-CNN Money, September 30, 2005

“Shares on Wall Street are set to open lower on Thursday with concerns over rising inflation weighing while worries surround GM after the automaker was subpoenaed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.”
-Reuters, October 27, 2005

“Wow. Great. Now Americans are only spending .7% more than they make, and still saving nothing for a rainy day despite rising inflation. The economy is doing just swell. Well, they can live off of their oil company stocks if times get tough.”

“Gigantic oil companies generally do not enjoy the best PR.
Pick your poison: Oil companies have caused tanker spills, proposed drilling into the Arctic wildlife ranges, crafted ties to shady nations and meddled in the affairs of others, and produced products that pollute.
Now, even as high gasoline prices continue to anger motorists and aggravate financial problems at General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., the oil companies have begun to report record quarterly profit. Yesterday, British energy giant BP PLC reported a $6.53 billion third-quarter profit, up from $4.87 billion in the same period last year. And tomorrow, analysts expect Exxon Mobil Corp. to show that it earned nearly $9 billion over the past three months -- the largest corporate quarterly profit ever.”
-Washington Post, October 26, 2005

“Remember how prices on gasoline shot up past $3 a gallon? It seems that that somehow lead to record profits. There is only one thing to do I guess.. Give them tax breaks. They’re really wealthy now, and we all know that the best way to improve the economy is not to tax people who have money.”

“Meeting the needs of our growing economy also means expanding our domestic production of oil and natural gas, which are vital fuels for transportation and electricity and manufacturing. The energy bill makes practical reforms to the oil and gas permitting process to encourage new exploration in environmentally sensitive ways.
The bill authorizes research into the prospects of unlocking vast amounts of now -- energy now trapped in shale and tar sands. It provides incentives for oil refineries to expand their capacity, and that's consumer-friendly. The more supply, the more reliable your gasoline will be and the more -- less pressure on price.
The bill includes tax incentives to encourage new construction of natural gas pipelines. It clarifies federal authority to site new receiving terminals for liquified natural gas, so that consumers across this nation can benefit from more affordable, clean-burning natural gas.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, August 8, 2005

“But there is a solution for the poor consumer.”

“Steps we're taking will help address the problem of availability, but it's not going to solve it. Americans should be prudent in their use of energy during the course of the next few weeks. Don't buy gas if you don't need it.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, September 1, 2005

“You see, Bush is an oil man. He understands the energy industry and can keep everything sensible and fair.”

“Do you realize we've got 250 million years of coal? “
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, Jun. 8, 2005

“One of the great sources of energy for the future is liquefied natural gas. There's a lot of gas reserves around the world. Gas is -- can only be transported by ship, though, when you liquefy it, when you put it in solid form.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, April 28, 2005

“I like the idea of people growing corn that gets converted into energy. Somebody walks into the Oval Office and says, there's a lot of corn being grown, Mr. President. Hopefully, that one day will mean we're less dependent on foreign sources of energy. The more corn there is, the more we have to eat. The more corn there is, the more energy there is.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, April 20, 2005

“And so while there's a shortfall because of down refining capacity, we will work with -- we have instructed EPA to leave the rules in place, or to suspend the rules that were in place, keep the suspension in place, which would make it easier to increase supply, and continue to get supply of gasoline here. And that's important for our consumers to know.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, September 26, 2005

“And he knows how to get the best advice.”

“BUSH: I appreciate the Secretary of Energy joining me today. He's a good man, he knows a lot about the subject, you'll be pleased to hear. I was teasing him -- he taught at MIT, and -- do you have a PhD?

BUSH: Yes, a PhD. Now I want you to pay careful attention to this -- he's the PhD, and I'm the C student, but notice who is the advisor and who is the President.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, June 22, 2005

“Thank the Judeo-Christian God that we have him at the helm in these times of trouble.”

“We need a energy policy.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, June 19, 2003

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Merry Fitzmas

“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”
- Clement C. Moore , The Night Before Christmas

“The prosecutor in the CIA leak case was preparing to outline possible charges before a federal grand jury as early as today, even as the FBI conducted last-minute interviews in the high-profile investigation, according to people familiar with the case.
Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald was seen in Washington yesterday with lawyers in the case, and some White House officials braced for at least one indictment when the grand jury meets today. I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, is said by several people in the case to be a main focus, but not the only one.”
-Washington Post, October 26, 2005

“The children were nestled all snug in their bed,

While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads,
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap...
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.”
- Clement C. Moore, The Night Before Christmas

“The news of the eleventh-hour moves came on the same day that Cheney himself was implicated in the chain of events that led to Plame's being revealed. In a report in the New York Times that the White House pointedly did not dispute, Fitzgerald was said to have notes taken by Libby showing that he learned about Plame from the vice president a month before she was identified by columnist Robert D. Novak.
There is no indication Cheney did anything illegal or improper, but this is the first evidence to surface that shows he knew of Plame well before she became a household name.”
-Washington Post, October 26, 2005

“Mr. Libby's notes indicate that Mr. Cheney had gotten his information about Ms. Wilson from George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence, in response to questions from the vice president about Mr. Wilson. But they contain no suggestion that either Mr. Cheney or Mr. Libby knew at the time of Ms. Wilson's undercover status or that her identity was classified. Disclosing a covert agent's identity can be a crime, but only if the person who discloses it knows the agent's undercover status.”
-New York Times, October 25, 2005

“No. I don’t know Joe Wilson. I’ve never met Joe Wilson.”
-Vice President Dick Cheney, September 14, 2003

“Apparently he meant ‘know’ in the Biblical sense. There’s an image that will be seared into my brain all afternoon.. ew…”

“A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his teams gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
‘Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!’"
- Clement C. Moore, The Night Before Christmas

“The trail has often led to Cheney's office, which officials describe as ground zero in the effort in promote, execute and defend the Iraq war and the campaign to convince the American people and the world that Saddam Hussein had amassed a stockpile of the most dangerous kinds of weapons. According to the report in yesterday's Times, the investigation also led to Cheney himself.”
-Washington Post, October 26, 2005

“This year I’m hoping Christmas comes early. We should find out today (if the news is to be believed).”

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Back of the Bus

"I knew someone had to take the first step and I made up my mind not to move."
-Rosa Parks

“Rosa Parks died yesterday at the age of 92. She didn’t do much considering her fame. Just sat on the bus. Remember, sometimes even small acts have large consequences. Live like what you do matters.”

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

"We are not makers of history. We are made by history."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

"At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”
-Rosa Parks

"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: We Didn't Start the Fire

“After a 22-month inquiry, the special counsel in the C.I.A. leak case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, is expected to announce this week whether he will seek indictments against White House officials, a decision that is likely to be a defining moment of President Bush's second term.

Karl Rove, the senior White House adviser, and I. Lewis Libby Jr., who is Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, have been advised that they are in serious legal jeopardy in a case that began as a minor irritant for the president's aides but has grown into a raging conflagration for the White House.”
-New York Times, October 23, 2005

“And you know what to do with a raging conflagration.. Bring the marshmallows and hot dogs and enjoy.”

“On Sunday, Republicans appeared to be preparing to blunt the impact of any charges. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican of Texas, speaking on the NBC news program ‘Meet the Press,’ compared the leak investigation with the case of Martha Stewart and her stock sale, ‘where they couldn't find a crime and they indict on something that she said about something that wasn't a crime.’

Ms. Hutchison said she hoped ‘that if there is going to be an indictment that says something happened, that it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality where they couldn't indict on the crime and so they go to something just to show that their two years of investigation was not a waste of time and taxpayer dollars.’"
-New York Times, October 24, 2005

“Of course, perjury is a felony, and deliberately revealing the identity of undercover agents is commonly known as ‘treason’. They used to execute people for that. And for that ‘couldn’t find a crime and they indict on something that she said about something that wasn't a crime’ comment… I have three little words. Stained. Blue. Dress. The lies that originally started this investigation, the Nigerian yellowcake story, helped leed us into the second Gulf war. Not such a small thing.”

"’I thought we ought to make it our duty to help make the world friendlier for the growth of liberal regimes,’ he said. ‘You encourage democracy over time, with assistance, and aid, the traditional way. Not how the neocons do it.’

The neoconservatives -- the Republicans who argued most fervently for the second Gulf war -- believe in the export of democracy, by violence if that is required, Scowcroft said. ‘How do the neocons bring democracy to Iraq? You invade, you threaten and pressure, you evangelize.’ And now, Scowcroft said, America is suffering from the consequences of that brand of revolutionary utopianism. ‘This was said to be part of the war on terror, but Iraq feeds terrorism,’ he said.
‘There may have come a time when we would have needed to take Saddam out,’ he told me. ‘But he wasn't really a threat. His Army was weak, and the country hadn't recovered from sanctions.’
They also argued about Iraq. ‘She says we're going to democratize Iraq, and I said, 'Condi, you're not going to democratize Iraq,' and she said, 'You know, you're just stuck in the old days,' and she comes back to this thing that we've tolerated an autocratic Middle East for fifty years and so on and so forth," he said. Then a barely perceptible note of satisfaction entered his voice, and he said, ‘But we've had fifty years of peace.’"
-The New Yorker, interview with Brent Scowcroft, national security advisor under George H.W. Bush, October 31 edition

“Let’s not forget what this war has caused, or how we were dragged into it.”

“Stepped-up attacks by insurgents over the last two days have killed at least 44 Iraqis, including 12 laborers — five of them brothers — who were gunned down at a construction site, police said Monday.
In addition, the bodies of eight Iraqis who apparently were kidnapped and killed in captivity were found in the capital on Monday, police said.
Meanwhile, the toll among American service members in the Iraq war was approaching 2,000 dead. At least 1,996 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.”
-Associated Press, October 24, 2005

Friday, October 21, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Success!

“Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday outlined a strategy for helping Iraqis clear out insurgents and build durable, national institutions as she sought to reassure jittery members of Congress about the path to peace in Iraq.
Rice said the United States will follow a model that was successful in Afghanistan.”
-Associated Press, October 19, 2005

“Ah yes.. Afghanistan, shining democratic beacon of hope. Our ‘good’ war.”

“Australian television on Wednesday broadcast footage of what it said was U.S. soldiers burning the corpses of two dead Taliban fighters with their bodies laid out facing Mecca and using the images in a propaganda campaign in southern Afghanistan.
The television report said U.S. soldiers burned the bodies for hygienic reasons but then a U.S. psychological operations unit broadcast a propaganda message on loudspeakers to Taliban fighters, taunting them to retrieve their dead and fight.
‘Attention Taliban you are cowardly dogs,’ read the first soldier, identified as psyops specialist Sgt. Jim Baker.
‘You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burned. You are too scared to retrieve their bodies. This just proves you are the lady boys we always believed you to be.’"
-Reuters, October 19, 2005

“Ok, so our troops may be a little.. harsh.. (and I shouldn’t have to tell you by now that desecrating the corpses of enemy combatants is against the Geneva Conventions), but at least its working right? We’ve installed democracy in Iraq.”

“A former regional governor who oversaw the destruction of two massive 1,500-year-old Buddha statues during the Taliban's reign was elected to the Afghan parliament last month, officials said Tuesday as results from two provinces were finalized.
Provisional results from the landmark elections have been published for several regions, but tallies from only four provinces have been finalized, including Samangan and nearby Kapisa province on Tuesday. Three former warlords still suspected of having ties to armed groups also were declared winners in those areas.
Human rights activists say many of the winning candidates are regional strongmen linked to armed groups, raising fears of more violence.
‘Many of the winners are linked to armed groups or drugs,’ said Ahmad Fahim Hakim, deputy director of the state-sponsored Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, referring to a booming trade in heroin and opium.
‘The number of elected lawmakers who are honest and interested in reform may be tiny compared to the regional strongmen who are only interested in themselves.’"
-Associated Press, October 18, 2005

“See? Sure the same people are in charge, but now they’re democratically elected Islamic extremists and armed thugs. That makes it all better. We can only hope to be as successful in Iraq.”

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Great Scott!

“An angry President Bush rebuked chief political guru Karl Rove two years ago for his role in the Valerie Plame affair, sources told the Daily News.

‘He made his displeasure known to Karl,’ a presidential counselor told The News. ‘He made his life miserable about this.’
Bush has nevertheless remained doggedly loyal to Rove, who friends and even political adversaries acknowledge is the architect of the President's rise from baseball owner to leader of the free world.”
-New York Daily News, October 19, 2005

“You know.. that sounds a little bit like Dubya looking for some political cover by saying that Karl leaked information without his knowledge. Then you remember what Dubya said when this story broke.”

“I'd like to know who leaked, and if anybody has got any information inside our government or outside our government who leaked, you ought to take it to the Justice Department so we can find out the leaker . . . I don't know who leaked the information, for starters. So it's hard for me to answer that question until I find out the truth.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, October 6, 2003

“QUESTION: Yesterday we were told that Karl Rove had no role in it. . .
QUESTION: Have you talked to Karl and do you have confidence in him . . .
THE PRESIDENT: Listen, I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action.“
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, September 30, 2003

“McCLELLAN: He wasn't involved. The President knows he wasn't involved.
QUESTION: How does he know that?
McCLELLAN: The President knows.
-Press Gaggle with Scott McClellan, September 29, 2003

"In June 2004, Bush was asked if he would 'fire anyone found to' have leaked the agent's name. 'Yes,' he replied."
-Washington Post, July 19, 2005

“Hmm.. If I’m doing the math correctly ‘two years ago’ is further back than June of 2004. That would mean that Dubya, when he said that he would fire anyone who leaked an agent’s name, was lying (based, of course, on the assumption that the New York Daily News article is accurate). What he meant to say that he would fire them if someone ELSE found out about it. He already knew. Suddenly a stained blue dress doesn’t seem like such a big deal.. I wonder how the White House is dealing with this story?”

“QUESTION: Thanks. Is it true that the President slapped Karl Rove upside the head a couple of years ago over the CIA leak?
SCOTT McCLELLAN: Are you referring to, what, a New York Daily News report? Two things: One, we're not commenting on an ongoing investigation; two, and I would challenge the overall accuracy of that news account.
QUESTION: That's a comment.
QUESTION: Which part of it?
QUESTION: Yes, that is.
QUESTION: Which facts --
SCOTT McCLELLAN: No, I'm just saying -- no, I'm just trying to help you all.
QUESTION: So what facts are you challenging?
SCOTT McCLELLAN: Again, I'm not going to comment on an ongoing investigation.
QUESTION: You can't say you're challenging the facts and then not say which ones you're challenging.
SCOTT McCLELLAN: Yes, I can. I just did. (Laughter.)”
-Press Gaggle with Scott McClellan, October 19, 2005

“It’s like listening to the old Abbot and Costello ‘Who’s on first’ routine all over again. Scotty is getting good at this kind of thing..”

“QUESTION: Is the president confident that Cheney did not leak Valerie Plame’s identity?
MCCLELLAN: Again, I appreciate any question on this but, as you know, our policy is not to comment on an investigation while it’s ongoing, and that means any question relating to it. And I’m just not going to comment on an investigation while it’s ongoing.”
-Press Gaggle with Scott McClellan, October 18, 2005

“QUESTION: You said that you were going to check to see if President Bush or either Cheney had been asked once again to go before the special prosecutor and answer questions after their initial appearance.
MCCLELLAN: No, the president has not. I provided you information when he was interviewed previously. And my understanding is the same applies to the vice president.”
-Press Gaggle with Scott McClellan, October 18, 2005

“Scotty… If every topic relating to the investigation, no matter how tangential, is ‘no comment’, then how come that last question received an answer? I mean if this question can’t be answered..”

“Q Does the President still have full confidence in
Karl Rove?
MR. McCLELLAN: Jessica, this is asking questions all in the context of an ongoing investigation. And --
Q He's one of the President's chief advisors. Does he have confidence in his ability to perform the job?
MR. McCLELLAN: Karl continues to do his duties as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the President, and you're trying to ask a question in the context of an ongoing investigation. The President has made it very clear, we're not going to comment on an ongoing investigation. What we're going to do is support the efforts of the special prosecutor --
Q But, Scott, there's a difference between commenting in a way that would interfere with an investigation and conveying the sense and the clear idea that the President is engaged and concerned --
MR. McCLELLAN: And I've already answered that question, and what I said previously still stands. So I would encourage you to go back and look at what I said previously. But you're asking this question today in the context of some grand jury testimony that's going on. So that's asking a question in the context of an ongoing investigation.”
-Press Gaggle with Scott McClellan, October 14, 2005

“..then why could the previous one? It seems that Scotty is getting a little jittery.”

“Q What do you say to reports that the White House is very jittery about everything that's been happening, and that the President is under a great strain?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think you've been covering the President today. The President has been having a pretty full day here at the White House. Like I said, we've got a lot of important work on the plate, and we are moving forward on the President's agenda.
Q Where do these reports come from, that they -- do they have any validity?
MR. McCLELLAN: From your colleagues, who write them.
Q Pardon?
MR. McCLELLAN: From your colleagues, who write them.
Q I mean, do they have any basis?
MR. McCLELLAN: What do you mean, ‘do they have any basis’?
Q That's what I'm asking.
MR. McCLELLAN: Ask those colleagues.
Q No, I'm asking you --
MR. McCLELLAN: I told you what we're doing.
Q -- you know what's going on in the White House.
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, we're focused on the priorities of the American people.
Q Come on, Scott, have you got a case of the shakes, or not? Come on. (Laughter.) Hold up the hands, let's see (Laughter.)”
-Press Gaggle with Scott McClellan, October 14, 2005

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Do As I Say, Not As I Do

“... I believe that this nation sits at a crossroads. One direction points to the higher road of the rule of law. Sometimes hard, sometimes unpleasant, this path relies on truth, justice and the rigorous application of the principle that no man is above the law.
Now, the other road is the path of least resistance. This is where we start making exceptions to our laws based on poll numbers and spin control. This is when we pitch the law completely overboard when the mood fits us, when we ignore the facts in order to cover up the truth.
Shall we follow the rule of law and do our constitutional duty no matter unpleasant, or shall we follow the path of least resistance, close our eyes to the potential lawbreaking, forgive and forget, move on and tear an unfixable hole in our legal system? No man is above the law, and no man is below the law. That's the principle that we all hold very dear in this country.”
-Tom DeLay, October 9, 1998

“A beautiful principle. Of course that was when DeLay was after Clinton. Its different now that DeLay is the one being indicted.”

“An attorney for an indicted associate of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said in court documents Tuesday that charges against his client should be dismissed because they are a result of ‘outrageous government conduct.’
The motion, on behalf of Republican fundraiser Jim Ellis, calls the case by Texas prosecutor Ronnie Earle a ‘grim spectacle of a prosecutor run amok, intent on indicting his political opponents at any cost.’
It accuses Earle of abusing the grand jury process, shoring up pretrial publicity and prosecuting Ellis and another associate, John Colyandro, ‘because they are Republicans with ties to Tom DeLay.’"
-Associated Press, October 18, 2005

“Wow. That sounds like exactly the arguments that DeLay would have scoffed at back in 1998. Odd. Oh, and please note, Ronnie Earle did not indict anyone. He gathered evidence and presented a case. A grand jury indicted Tom DeLay.”

"Democracies are peaceful countries.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, October 16, 2005

“That statement was made in relation to the recent election in Iraq. An election that was needed because we invaded them and overthrew their government. Hey, we had to. Saddam was an evil person who did evil things. We will not condone that kind of behavior.”

“President Bush decided Wednesday to waive any financial sanctions on Saudi Arabia, Washington's closest Arab ally in the war on terrorism, for failing to do enough to stop the modern-day slave trade in prostitutes, child sex workers and forced laborers.
In June, the State Department listed 14 countries as failing to adequately address trafficking problems, subjecting them all to possible sanctions if they did not crack down.”
-Associated Press, September 21, 2005

“Well, they’re an ally. We can’t go making them upset. We need to support our allies and support our troops.”

“The Pentagon has reneged on its offer to pay a $15,000 bonus to members of the National Guard and Army Reserve who agree to extend their enlistments by six years, according to Sen. Patty Murray (D-Seattle)

A Pentagon spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, confirmed the bonuses had been canceled, saying they violated Pentagon policies because they duplicated other programs. She said Guard and Reserve members would be eligible for other bonuses.
Krenke said some soldiers had been paid the re-enlistment bonuses, but she was unsure how many or whether the money would have to be repaid. Murray’s office said that as far as it knew, no active Guard or Reserve members had received the bonuses.”
-News Tribune (Tacoma, Washington), October 19, 2005

“No word yet on whether those people who signed up for six more years will be able to get out of their promises too. I’m kind of guessing they can’t.”

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: AFRaid of Radio

“Armed Forces Radio (AFR) is a station that is broadcast to American troops overseas through ‘over 1,000 outlets in more than 175 countries.’ It currently features an hour of programming from right-wing host Rush Limbaugh. There is no comparable progressive program.”
-Think Progress, October 17, 2005

“American troops listen to Rush for an hour each day? Isn’t that against the Geneva Conventions? Why does AFR hate our troops? I mean, really..”

“CALLER: ‘Once a Marine, always a Marine.’ Isn't that what they say? That doesn't mean all those things that you learned... Those things are supposed to stay with you and it doesn't seem like -- he either never had them in the first place or he's not being true and have any integrity like you've already mentioned.
RUSH: Okay, call him a staff puke if that's what you want, but civilian affairs, staff puke. Bottom line is he's running a fraudulent, deceptive campaign, and the Democrats are saying this is a bellwether election. We've got two instances of huge fraud being perpetrated here, and I'm bound and determined they're not going to get away with this, whether the guy wins or not, they're not going to get away with mis-portraying the results of this when the whole campaign has been one of total fraud and lying and deceit, fooling people.”
-Rush Limbaugh radio show, August 2, 2005

“Paul Hackett, whom Rush is slandering above, served in Iraq in the Marines for seven months. Rush Limbaugh was unable to serve during Vietnam because of a cyst on his rear end. Despite that, Rush seems to have no problem belittling Hackett’s service and that of any other troops serving in a similar manner. This is apparently a ‘conservative’ message that AFR has no problem with (I put quotes around ‘conservative’ so as not to insult the actual fiscal and moral conservatives out there). Yesterday that was supposed to change.”

“Today, that was supposed change. Ed Schultz – the most popular progressive radio show in the country — was supposed to start broadcasting on Armed Forces radio. Jones Radio, the company that syndicates the Ed Shultz show, received an email on September 29 from an Armed Forces Radio official confirming that one hour of the Ed Schultz show would begin airing today, October 17.
But morning this at 6AM, the producer of the Ed Schultz show, James Holm, received a call from Pentagon communications aide Allison Barber. She told Holm that she was calling so early to let Schultz know his show would not begin airing on AFR today. You’ll remember Barber as the aide caught coaching troops before a photo-op with President Bush last week.
Barber told Holm that the Ed Schultz show would not start on AFR today because her boss, Pentagon spokesman Larry DiRita, was out of the country and couldn’t approve it. Barber also said she was going out of the country soon for a week-and-a-half. Holm asked Barber if the show would begin when DiRita and Barber returned. Barber said she couldn’t guarantee that.”
-Think Progress, October 17, 2005

“Barber.. Barber.. Hmm.. Where have I heard that name before?”

“If he gives us a question that's not something that we've scripted, Captain Kennedy, you're gonna have that mic and that's your chance to impress us all.”
-Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Allison Barber, October 13, 2005

“Oh yeah! She was the one making sure that the last dog and pony show with the President went off smoothly. Wow, what were the chances we’d hear about her twice in the same week?”

“Here’s the really interesting part. Barber told Holm she heard Ed announced that he would begin on AFR during his show Friday. Schultz’s show Friday began with audio outtakes of Barber sounding foolish as she rehearsed the troops ‘Q&A session’ with Bush.”
-Think Progress, October 17, 2005

“I guess that the odds weren’t so bad after all. If only Ed insulted Democrats instead of picking on the Administration he’d have probably gotten away with it..”

Monday, October 17, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Lazy Monday

“Ok.. Feeling lazy again. So here are a few items that aren’t what they are except when they are.”

"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is."
-Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
-Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

"I can write better than anybody who can write faster, and I can write faster than anybody who can write better."
-A. J. Liebling (1904-1963)

"The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad."
-Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

"The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth."
-Niels Bohr (1885-1962)

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
-Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Friday, October 14, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Golly Gee, I like You!

“It was billed as a conversation with U.S. troops, but the questions President Bush asked on a teleconference call Thursday were choreographed to match his goals for the war in Iraq and Saturday’s vote on a new Iraqi constitution.
‘This is an important time,’ Allison Barber, deputy assistant defense secretary, said, coaching the soldiers before Bush arrived. ‘The president is looking forward to having just a conversation with you.’
Barber said the president was interested in three topics: the overall security situation in Iraq, security preparations for the weekend vote and efforts to train Iraqi troops.
As she spoke in Washington, a live shot of 10 soldiers from the Army’s 42nd Infantry Division and one Iraqi soldier was beamed into the Eisenhower Executive Office Building from Tikrit — the birthplace of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
‘I’m going to ask somebody to grab those two water bottles against the wall and move them out of the camera shot for me,’ Barber said.
A brief rehearsal ensued.
‘OK, so let’s just walk through this,’ Barber said. ‘Captain Kennedy, you answer the first question and you hand the mike to whom?’
‘Captain Smith,’ Kennedy said.
‘Captain. Smith? You take the mike and you hand it to whom?’ she asked.
‘Captain Kennedy,’ the soldier replied.
And so it went.
‘If the question comes up about partnering — how often do we train with the Iraqi military — who does he go to?’ Barber asked.
‘That’s going to go to Captain Pratt,’ one of the soldiers said.
‘And then if we’re going to talk a little bit about the folks in Tikrit — the hometown — and how they’re handling the political process, who are we going to give that to?’ she asked.
Before he took questions, Bush thanked the soldiers for serving and reassured them that the United States would not pull out of Iraq until the mission was complete.
‘So long as I’m the president, we’re never going to back down, we’re never going to give in, we’ll never accept anything less than total victory,’ Bush said.”
-Associated Press, October 14, 2005

“Wow. Sounds staged to me, but that can’t be right. Scottie said it wasn’t.”

“Q But we asked you specifically this morning if there would be any screening of questions or if they were being told in any way what they should say or do, and you indicated no.
MR. McCLELLAN: I don't think that's what the question was earlier today. I think the question earlier today was asking if they could ask whatever they want, and I said, of course, the President was -- and you saw --
Q And I asked if they were pre-screened.
MR. McCLELLAN: You saw earlier today the President was trying to engage in a back-and-forth with the troops.
Q But I also asked this morning, were they being told by their commanders what to say or what to do, and you indicated, no. Was there any prescreening of --
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm not aware of any such -- any such activities that were being undertaken. We coordinated closely with the Department of Defense. You can ask if there was any additional things that they did. But we work very closely with them to coordinate these events, and the troops can ask the President whatever they want. They've always been welcome to do that.”
-Press Gaggle with Scott McClellan, October13, 2005

“And their response seemed so genuine, with a positive spin not seen since Harriet Mier’s birthday card to Dubya.”

“The soldiers all gave Bush an upbeat view of the situation.
The president also got praise from the Iraqi soldier who was part of the chat.
‘Thank you very much for everything,’ he gushed. ‘I like you.’”
-Associated Press, October 14, 2005

“I guess things are looking up in Iraq.”

“Most of Iraq is in a state of anarchy, with insurgents controlling parts of Baghdad just half a mile from the so-called Green Zone, an Independent debate was told last night.

‘The Americans must leave Iraq and they will leave Iraq, but they can't leave Iraq and that is the equation that turns sand to blood. At some point, they will have to talk to the insurgents.
‘But I [Robert Fisk] don't know how, because those people who might be negotiators the United Nations, the Red Cross their headquarters have been blown up. The reality now in Iraq is the project is finished. Most of Iraq, except Kurdistan, is in a state of anarchy.’
‘Every time I go to Baghdad it's worse, every time I ask myself how we can keep going. Because the real question is: is the story worth the risk?’
-The Independent (UK), October 13, 2005

“I mean, I know that things SEEM bad, but I know that Dubya puts as much thought into the war in Iraq as he does his nominee to the Supreme Court.”

“’You had to meet her standards, which are very, very high standards, to get documents in to the president,’ said one former administration official who agreed to speak of a former colleague only on the condition of anonymity. ‘I would be fibbing if I didn't say at times that was frustrating.’
In 2001, Bush's first year in office, Miers rejected the text of the White House Christmas card and ordered a new version because, the White House said, she did not think it was written well enough.”
-Washington Post, October 13, 2005

“Yes, that would be the President of the United State’s nominee to join the Supreme Court proofreading Christmas cards three months after 9/11. Yep, she’s qualified. She also has the most positive spin seen since Dubya talked to the troops in Iraq.”

"’You are the best governor ever - deserving of great respect,’ Harriet E. Miers wrote to George W. Bush days after his 51st birthday in July 1997. She also found him ‘cool,’ said he and his wife, Laura, were ‘the greatest!’ and told him: ‘Keep up the great work. Texas is blessed.’"
-New York Times, October 10, 2005

“Does he ever talk to anyone who doesn’t kiss his ass?”

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Quotes of the Morning Add it Up

“King Arthur: Right. One... two... five.

Galahad: Three, sir.
King Arthur: Three.”
-Monty Python and the Holy Grail

“The 115 Iraqi army and special police battalions already declared battle ready […] are still well short of the 185,000 troops a Pentagon spokesman recently cited for total Iraqi security forces.
-Inside the Pentagon, September 15, 2005

“We have more than a hundred Iraqi army and special police battalions participating with us in conducting counterinsurgency operations. “
-Gen George Casey, Testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, September 29, 2005

“I think we have 86 Iraqi army battalions today that are operating with us.”
-Gen. Richard Myers, Testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, September 29, 2005

“I'm encouraged by the increasing size and capability of the Iraqi security forces. Today they have more than 100 battalions operating throughout the country.”
-George W. Bush, October 1, 2005

“Today there are more than 80 Iraqi army battalions fighting the insurgency alongside our forces.”
-George W. Bush, October 6, 2005

“Until a couple of weeks ago, [Gen. David] Petraeus was in charge of the U.S. effort to train and equip Iraqi forces. In perhaps the most detailed public account so far of the state of Iraq's forces he said 115 army combat and special police battalions were rated as being ‘in the fight.’"
-United Press International, October 6, 2005

“So there are between 80 to 115 battalions of Iraqi army and special police trained and ready to take over for the American troops so that we can get them home. This has to be accurate, because they’ve been excused of stretching numbers before and they don’t want to have it happen again, right?”

“Public statements by Bush Administration officials about the number of ISF personnel grew unrealistic a short time after the invasion, and soon skyrocketed out of control. By June 2004 […] the Administration was claiming that over 200,000 ISF troops had been trained. This estimate […] turned out to be the total number of people on the ISF payrolls, including administrative staff, deserters, and countless others unfit to fight. It also included over 70,000 Facilities Protection Service officers, which have been described as being similar to night watchmen, who had received only one week of training. The Administration was forced to revise its estimate downward to 95,000 within three months, a number which Pentagon documents later proved still to be an overly optimistic assessment.”
-Senate Democratic Policy Committee, September 12, 2005

“So, knowing that earlier numbers were inaccurate, I’m sure that they wouldn’t try to make this sound any better than it really is. I mean, they KNOW that people are going to look into this, so lying or exaggerating would be stupid.”

“GEN. CASEY: We fully recognize that Iraqi armed forces will not have an independent capability for some time, because they don't have the institutional base to support them. And so Level 1, as you'll recall from the slide, that's what's got one battalion. And it's going to be a long time before . . .
SEN. MCCAIN: Used to be three. Now we've gone from three to one?
GEN. CASEY: Pardon me?
SEN. MCCAIN: It was three before.
GEN. CASEY: Right.
SEN. MCCAIN: The previous report was you had three battalions. Now we're down to one battalion.
GEN. CASEY: Right, and things change in the battalions. I mean, we're making assessments on personnel, on leadership, on training.
SEN. MCCAIN: And you . . .
GEN. CASEY: I mean, there are a lot of variables that are involved here, Senator.
-Iraq War Hearings, September 29, 2005

“Ok, so there are 80-115 battalions of Iraqis ready. And one, that’s right one, of them can operate independently, and that number is down from what it was earlier. After two years, 2,000 dead American troops and 15,000 wounded (and that doesn’t even touch on the thousands of civilian casualties) we have one battalion trained. Super. Many thanks to the invaluable Billmon for today’s Quotes.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: The Wrong Week

“A Travis County grand jury today indicted U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Sugar Land on a single count of felony criminal conspiracy involving an exchange of money that made corporate cash available to Republican Texas House candidates in 2002.”
-Houston Chronicle, October 8, 2005

“Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking.”
-Steve McCroskey, Airplane

“Outside the blind trusts he created to avoid a conflict of interest, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist earned tens of thousands of dollars from stock in a family-founded hospital chain largely controlled by his brother, documents show.

The Tennessee Republican, whose sale this summer of HCA Inc. stock is under federal investigation, has long maintained he could own HCA shares and still vote on health care legislation without a conflict because he had placed the stock in blind trusts approved by the Senate.
However, ethics experts say a partnership arrangement shown in documents obtained by The Associated Press raises serious doubts about whether the senator truly avoided a conflict.”
-Associated Press, October 11, 2005

“Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking.
-Steve McCroskey, Airplane

“In two appearances before the federal grand jury investigating the leak of a covert CIA operative's name, Lewis (Scooter) Libby, the chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, did not disclose a crucial conversation that he had with New York Times reporter Judith Miller in June 2003 about the operative, Valerie Plame, according to sources with firsthand knowledge of his sworn testimony.”
-National Journal, October 11, 2005

“Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.”
-Steve McCroskey, Airplane

“The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg are working on stories that point to Vice President Dick Cheney as the target of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation into the leaking of CIA operative Valerie Plame's name.”
-Huffington Post, October 11, 2005

“Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines.”
-Steve McCroskey, Airplane

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Mawage

“Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam...”
-The Impressive Clergyman, The Princess Bride

“Two years ago today the lovely and delightful Mrs. Skippy and I were married. It was the luckiest, and happiest, day of my life. I hope that all of you are as lucky.”

“Grandpa: [narrating] Nothing gave Buttercup as much pleasure as ordering Westley around.

Buttercup: Farm boy, polish my horse's saddle. I want to see my face shining in it by morning.
Westley: As you wish.
Grandpa: [narrating] ‘As you wish’ was all he ever said to her.
Buttercup: Farm boy, fill these with water - please.
Westley: As you wish.
Grandpa: [narrating] That day, she was amazed to discover that when he was saying ‘As you wish’, what he meant was, ‘I love you.’ And even more amazing was the day she realized she truly loved him back.
Buttercup: Farm boy... fetch me that pitcher.
Westley: As you wish.
[Cut to them kissing]
The Grandson: Hold it, hold it. What is this? Are you trying to trick me? Where's the sports?
The Grandson: Is this a kissing book?
Grandpa: Wait, just wait.
The Grandson: Well, when does it get good?”
-The Princess Bride

"I first learned the concepts of non-violence in my marriage."
-Mahatma Gandhi

"Though marriage makes man and wife one flesh, it leaves 'em still two fools."
-William Congreve (1670-1729)

"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person."
-Mignon McLaughlin (1915-)

"Marriage is the only known example of the happy meeting of the immovable object and the irresistible force."
-Ogden Nash (1902-1971)

"The highest happiness on earth is marriage. Every man who is happily married is a successful man even if he has failed in everything else."
-William Lyon Phelps (1822-1900)

"Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do! I'm half crazy, all for the love of you! It won't be a stylish marriage I can't afford a carriage But you'll look sweet upon the seat Of a bicycle built for two!"
-Harry Dacre

“Grandpa: And as they reached for each other...

[stops reading]
The Grandson: What? What?
Grandpa: Ah, it's kissing again. You don't want to hear that.
The Grandson: I don't mind so much.
Grandpa: Oh, okay.”
-The Princess Bride

Monday, October 10, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Being Blunt

“Remember when Tommy Boy DeLay stepped down as House majority leader and Rep. Roy Blunt took his place?”

“The political committee of Rep. Roy Blunt who is temporarily replacing Rep. Tom DeLay as House majority leader, has paid roughly $88,000 in fees since 2003 to a consultant under indictment in Texas with DeLay, according to federal records.

Records on file with the Federal Election Commission show the fund linked to Blunt retains Ellis' firm, J.W. Ellis Co., and has made periodic payments for services. Political Money Line, a nonpartisan Internet tracking service, places the total at about $88,000.
Ellis is one of three political associates of DeLay, R-Texas, who have been indicted in an alleged scheme to use corporate political donations illegally to support candidates in state elections. Ellis also runs DeLay's national political action committee, Americans for a Republican Majority.”
-Associated Press, September 28, 2005

“I said that I thought nothing would change. I didn’t realize at the time how accurate that was..”

“Tom DeLay deliberately raised more money than he needed to throw parties at the 2000 presidential convention, then diverted some of the excess to longtime ally Roy Blunt through a series of donations that benefited both men's causes.
When the financial carousel stopped, DeLay's private charity, the consulting firm that employed DeLay's wife and the Missouri campaign of Blunt's son all ended up with money…
Much of the money — including one donation to Blunt from an Abramoff client accused of running a ‘sweatshop’ garment factory in the Northern Mariana Islands — changed hands in the spring of 2000, a period of keen interest to federal prosecutors.
DeLay's convention arm sent $50,000 on March 31, 2000. Eight days later, the Blunt group made a $10,000 donation to DeLay's private charity for children on April 7, 2000, and began the first of several payments totaling $40,000 to a northern Virginia-based political consulting firm formed by DeLay's former chief of staff, Ed Buckham.
That consulting firm at the time also employed DeLay's wife, Christine, according to DeLay's ethics disclosure report to Congress.”
-Associated Press, October 5, 2005

“There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, September 17, 2002

Friday, October 07, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Are You Threatening Me?

“Authorities stepped up security Thursday after receiving what city officials called a credible threat that the New York subway could be the target of a terrorist attack in coming days. But Homeland Security officials in Washington downplayed the threat, saying it was of ‘doubtful credibility.’
But in Washington, Homeland Security Department spokesman Russ Knocke said ‘the intelligence community has concluded this information to be of doubtful credibility. We shared this information early on with state and local authorities in New York.’ Knocke did not elaborate.
A counterterrorism official, who was briefed about the threat by Homeland Security authorities, said the intelligence was considered doubtful because it did not reflect ‘on-the-ground, detailed’ information. Rather, the official, who also insisted on anonymity, said the intelligence was similar to ‘what can be found on the Internet and a map of New York City.’”
-MSNBC, October 6, 2005

“So Homeland Security doesn’t think that this is a credible threat, and believes that all of this ‘warning’ is unnecessary. Does anyone remember what it used to take to make a threat credible to Homeland Security?”

“Agencies across the federal government are launching an aggressive and unusually open offensive aimed at thwarting terrorist plots before and during the presidential election in November.
Numerous law enforcement and counterterrorism officials also warned last week that a heightened threat of terrorist attack will persist through the January inauguration.
Members of the Washington area's Joint Terrorism Task Force plan to meet with other local and federal officials this week in Arlington to discuss potential election threats. Paul J. McNulty, the U.S. attorney in Alexandria, said the steps will include urging police to run the names of anyone they stop in coming weeks -- even for a traffic violation -- through the watch list at the FBI's Terrorism Screening Center in Crystal City.
‘We want law enforcement to pay attention to small things and to suspicious things,’ McNulty said. ‘We want to get down to the foot patrol, the cop on the beat level, so when a police officer responds to something or sees something curious, that officer realizes it's especially important now to take the extra step to check it out.’"
-Washington Post, September 27, 2004

“Since May U.S. officials had been warning of an al Qaeda attack on one of several major events over the summer — the Olympics and the two national political conventions — or timed to influence the election.

The March 11 bombing of commuter train stations in Madrid, in which nearly 200 died, was seen as dooming the incumbent government of Jose Maria Aznar and elevating his anti-war challenger.
In a campaign dominated by national security, the bin Laden tape came as a late surprise. It was unclear what effect it might have. A CBS News poll conducted from Thursday to Friday saw no significant change in opinions in responses on Saturday, the day after the bin Laden tape emerged.
On the campaign trail, the candidates addressed the tape within familiar language about the war on terrorism: Mr. Bush indicated that the threat was too serious to trust to Kerry, while the Democrat argued that the president had failed to capture bin Laden.
On Sunday, Mr. Bush promised, ‘we'll eventually get Osama bin Laden. In the meantime, we're destroying his network, slowly but surely, systematically destroying it.’"
-CBS News, November 2, 2004

“Any idea home many times the security level has been raised since the last election? Once, for mass transit only, and only after the London bus bombings occurred. In 2004? One time for the entire nation, one time for three major ‘markets’ (New York, New Jersey and Washington D.C., and twice they simply announced that they had ‘credible intelligence’ without raising the threat level). Does anyone else think that the New York threat wouldn’t have been dismissed so easily if this were an election year?”

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: One Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest

“White House counsel Harriet Miers has never served as a judge before, and while this career ‘hard-nosed lawyer’ (as she is invariably described) from Texas certainly deserves some kudos for a trailblazing career as a female lawyer, she's not a legal scholar, either.

But she does know better than just about anyone else where the bodies are buried (relax, it's a just a metaphor...we hope) in President Bush's National Guard scandal. In fact, Bush's Texas gubenatorial campaign in 1998 (when he was starting to eye the White House) actually paid Miers $19,000 to run an internal pre-emptive probe of the potential scandal. Not long after, a since-settled lawsuit alleged that the Texas Lottery Commission -- while chaired by Bush appointee Miers -- played a role in a multi-million dollar cover-up of the scandal.”
-Philadelphia Daily News, October 3, 2005

“Ah yes.. A political crony who ‘knows where the bodies are buried’ (though with Miers, unlike Brownie, that isn’t necessarily a literal statement). At least she would only be on the highest court in the land, rather than in charge of taking care of a major disaster. Luckily we’ve learned our lessons about how to take care of major disasters.”

“Health officials have warned for years that a virulent bird flu could kill millions of people, but few in Washington have seemed alarmed. After a closed-door briefing last week, however, fear of an outbreak swept official Washington, which was still reeling from the poor response to Hurricane Katrina.”
-New York Times, October 5, 2005

“Hmm.. A problem that the government has ignored for years. How can we turn this around to make a power grab for the Executive branch of the government?”

“President George W. Bush asked Congress on Tuesday to consider giving him powers to use the military to enforce quarantines in case of an avian influenza epidemic.
He said the military, and perhaps the National Guard, might be needed to take such a role if the feared H5N1 bird flu virus changes enough to cause widespread human infection.
‘If we had an outbreak somewhere in the United States, do we not then quarantine that part of the country? And how do you, then, enforce a quarantine?' Bush asked at a news conference.
‘It's one thing to shut down airplanes. It's another thing to prevent people from coming in to get exposed to the avian flu. And who best to be able to effect a quarantine?' Bush added.
‘One option is the use of a military that's able to plan and move. So that's why I put it on the table. I think it's an important debate for Congress to have.”
-Reuters, October 4, 2005

“President Bush, stirring debate on the worrisome possibility of a bird flu pandemic, suggested dispatching American troops to enforce quarantines in any areas with outbreaks of the killer virus.

Dr. Irwin Redlener, associate dean of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and director of its National Center for Disaster Preparedness, called the president's suggestion an ‘extraordinarily draconian measure’ that would be unnecessary if the nation had built the capability for rapid vaccine production, ensured a large supply of anti-virals like Tamiflu, and not allowed the degradation of the public health system.

‘The translation of this is martial law in the United States,’ Redlener said.”
-Associated Press, October 4, 2005

“One little problem with the idea of using the military to enforce martial law during an epidemic.. Its illegal unless an act of Congress is made.”

“SEC. 15. From and after the passage of this act it shall not be lawful to employ any part of the Army of the United States, as a posse comitatus, or otherwise, for the purpose of executing the laws, except in such cases and under such circumstances as such employment of said force may be expressly authorized by the Constitution or by act of Congress; and no money appropriated by this act shall be used to pay any of the expenses incurred in the employment of any troops in violation of this section And any person willfully violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or imprisonment not exceeding two years or by both such fine and imprisonment.”
-Posse Commitatus Act of 1878

“They’ll just have to burn that bridge when they get to it. There truly is no disaster to large that Dear Leader can’t figure out a way to benefit from it.”

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Supreme Scratch-Off

“Whew.. Back. Yesterday the internets were down here in the Fortress of Attitude, but, fortunately, they have returned, and the politicians have been kind enough to make sure that I’ve got plenty of Quotes to use. I mean, heck, one Supreme Court nominee can keep me busy for days..”

“Born and raised in Dallas, Miers, 59, is a graduate of Southern Methodist University, where she majored in mathematics. She went on to law school at SMU, earning her law degree in 1970 and going on to clerk for a federal judge in Dallas. In an era when there were few female lawyers, Miers set out for the top.
Miers, who is not married and does not have children, was active in professional organizations and eventually was elected head of the Dallas and Texas bar associations, where she was known for encouraging members to do pro bono work.
Miers met Bush in the 1980s, and was drafted to work as counsel for his 1994 gubernatorial campaign. In 1995, he appointed her to the Texas Lottery Commission. After working as a lawyer in Bush's presidential campaign, she came to Washington with him in 2001.

‘I remember seeing him in her office many years ago, before he was governor, before he was running for anything,’ Clements said. ‘So it's been a long relationship and a very loyal relationship. She really is one of those people that the practice of law and all things associated with that really has been her life.’"
-Washington Post, June 21, 2005

“Well, she seems like another Bush appointed, unqualified, appointee. No big surprise there. She’s never been a judge, but has headed the Texas Lottery Commission. Not sure that that gives you the correct background to be in the highest court in the land. She is loyal though.”

“In the White House that hero worshipped the president, Miers was distinguished by the intensity of her zeal: She once told me that the president was the most brilliant man she had ever met.”
-David Frum, National Review Online, September 29, 2005

“The President responded swiftly to the attacks on September 11th. He has our country on the offensive against terrorism. American is waging a global war on terrorism with the help of many friends and allies from around the globe. The President believed it important to confront regimes that harbored or supported terrorists as well as the terrorists. And he is also confronting outlaw regimes that pursue weapons of mass destruction, and he is committed to ensuring that the terrorists do not obtain the world’s most dangerous weapons. At the same time, the President led in the creation of the Homeland Security Department and strengthening our defenses here at home. Although I am sure the President would be the first to say more needs to be done, we are a safer Nation today than we were four years ago.
Additionally, with victories in Afghanistan and in the toppling of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and other efforts around the world, we are promoting freedom and democracy in the greater Middle East as well as elsewhere. Sowing the seeds of freedom around the world brings the goal of peace for all nations ever closer. All these efforts require great resolve and sacrifice, but we are making our Nation safer and we will leave a better world for our children and grandchildren. The last four years have been in many ways difficult years, but we have accomplished a lot and as the President has said: ‘because we have made the hard journey, we can see the valley below. Now, because we have faced challenges with resolve, we have historic goals within our reach, and greatness in our future. We will build a safer world and a more hopeful America -- and nothing will hold us back.’"
-Harriet Miers, Ask the White House, October 29, 2004

“It seems though that loyalty to Dear Leader is not enough any more. Even the conservatives seem upset by the nomination.”

“President George W. Bush on Monday nominated White House insider Harriet Miers for a Supreme Court vacancy, triggering outrage from conservatives who questioned whether she would uphold their political views.
‘It is very hard to avoid the conclusion that President Bush flinched from a fight on constitutional philosophy. Miers is undoubtedly a decent and competent person. But her selection will unavoidably be judged as reflecting a combination of cronyism and capitulation on the part of the president,’ said William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard magazine.
Manny Miranda, head of a conservative coalition called The Third Branch Conference, said Miers was ‘the most unqualified choice’ for the high court since Lyndon Johnson tried to make Abe Fortas chief justice in 1968.”
-Reuters, October 3, 2005

“Ouch. It also seems she had a little something to do with a story a while back. Remember that ‘Bin Laden Determined to Strike In US’ headline that Condi was making light of back when we were wondering how the heck 9/11 could have happened?”

“On its front page Tuesday, The New York Times published a photo of new U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers going over a briefing paper with President George W. Bush at his Crawford ranch ‘in August 2001,’ the caption reads.

USA Today and the Boston Globe carried the photo labeled simply “2001,” but many other newspapers ran the picture in print or on the Web with a more precise date: Aug. 6, 2001.
Does that date sound familiar? Indeed, that was the date, a little over a month before 9/11, that President Bush was briefed on the now-famous ‘PDB’ that declared that Osama Bin Laden was ‘determined’ to attack the U.S. homeland, perhaps with hijacked planes. But does that mean that Miers had anything to do with that briefing?
As it turns out, yes, according to Tuesday's Los Angeles Times. An article by Richard A. Serrano and Scott Gold observes that early in the Bush presidency ‘Miers assumed such an insider role that in 2001 it was she who handed Bush the crucial 'presidential daily briefing' hinting at terrorist plots against America just a month before the Sept. 11 attacks.’”
-Editor and Publisher, October 4, 2005

“Doesn’t seem like a good choice to me, but I’m sure that Dear Leader has his reasons..”

“Ken Mehlman, chairman of the Republican National Committee, yesterday held a conference call with conservative leaders to address their concerns about Miers. He stressed Bush’s close relationship with Miers and the need to confirm a justice who will not interfere with the administration’s management of the war on terrorism, according to a person who attended the teleconference.”
-The Hill, October 4, 2005

“Translation: She won’t mind a little unlawful imprisonment and torture, as long as its done for the right reasons. Fabulous.”

Monday, October 03, 2005

Quotes of the Morning

“Ah the heck with it. No politics today. It looks like the rest of the week will have plenty of quote-y goodness (the Plame investigation is wrapping up), so I’ll just throw in some random stuff for the day. I’m feeling lazy..”

"There's no such thing as a tough child - if you parboil them first for seven hours, they always come out tender."
-W.C. Fields

"But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown."
-Carl Sagan

"Truth is stranger than fiction, but that may well be because we have made fiction to suit ourselves."
-G.K. Chesterton

"Government investigations have always contributed more to our amusement than they have to our knowledge."
-Will Rogers

"I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally."
-W.C. Fields

"In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe."
-Carl Sagan

"Journalism largely consists of saying 'Lord Jones is Dead' to people who never knew that Lord Jones was alive."
-G.K. Chesterton

"A hundred years ago we were much smarter; then you lived until you died and not until you were just run over."
-Will Rogers

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