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Four Color Politics

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

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Going to Denny's

“Ok.. I have no shame. I am blatantly ripping these next two off from Billmon over at the Whiskey Bar. Too good not to use. Apparently Denny Hastert, head of the House of Representatives, has looked into the current scandal and has found that this is, in the words of Shakespeare, much ado about nothing.”

"I have understood what my staff's told me, and I think from that response they've handled it as well as they should. However, in 20-20 hindsight, probably you could do everything a little bit better. But if there is problem, if there was a coverup, then we should find that out through the investigation process. They'll be under oath, and we'll find out. If they did cover something up, then they should not continue to have their jobs."
-Representative Denny Hastert, October 10, 2006

“May I take this opportunity of emphasizing that there is no cannibalism in the Royal Navy. Absolutely none, and when I say none, I mean there is a certain amount, more than we are prepared to admit, but all new ratings are warned that if they wake up in the morning and find toothmarks at all anywhere on their bodies, they're to tell me immediately so that I can immediately take every measure to hush the whole thing up.”
-Sir John, Monty Python’s Flying Circus

“So there is no problem (except for that little scandal). Still, Hastert is on top of things (or is that a bad thing to say in this case?).”

"’I'm deeply sorry this has happened,’ Hastert, R-Ill., said outside his district office, ‘and the bottom line is we're taking responsibility.’
‘Ultimately, the buck stops here,’ Hastert said of the controversy enveloping the House, former Republican Rep. Mark Foley of Florida and the page program, an institution almost as old as Congress itself.”
-Associates Press, October 6, 2006

“So Hastert is taking full responsibility.”

"The buck stops here," he said at a press conference outside his office in Batavia, but added: "I haven't done anything wrong, obviously."
-Chicago Tribune, October 5, 2006

“Except of course that, no matter what went wrong, he obviously did nothing wrong.”

“’I think ... they've handled [the Foley matter] as well as they should,’ Hastert said of his aides in Aurora, Ill., where he delivered a speech on the economy. Still, he said, ‘If anybody's found to have hidden information or covered up information, they really should be gone.’"
-LA Times, October 11, 2006

“Still, Mr. ‘Buck Stops Here’ Hastert wants to make sure that you know: If something went wrong in his office, he promises to fire someone on his staff. After all, this is the Administration that promised personal responsibility, so something will be done (to a staffer). They don’t seem to be buying it though in the Press.”

"’It would be very hard to believe if Palmer knew that kind of detail, he wouldn't have acted upon it, and it's hard to imagine [Hastert's chief of staff] Scott Palmer would have spared the speaker that knowledge,’ said one former Republican leadership aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of jeopardizing his lobbying contacts.

Within Hastert's operation, some staff members appear to point accusingly at Van Der Meid, who is in charge of ethics matters and is widely believed to have steered Hastert wrong before.
Van Der Meid, a former chief Republican counsel for the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, helped engineer the failed effort to change GOP ethics rules to allow an indicted lawmaker to remain in the leadership. The power play was designed to keep then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) at his post, but it backfired spectacularly, embarrassing many Republicans and leaving a blemish on Hastert's record.”
-Washington Post, October 12, 2006

“Luckily Fearless Leader is all over this story and instinctively understands its importance to the Republican Party.”

“President Bush, maintaining that the congressional page scandal has neither hampered his party's chances on Election Day nor hurt the credibility of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, said Wednesday that his party's commitment to cutting taxes and protecting national security will ‘drive the election.’"
-Chicago Tribune, October 12, 2006

“So, as the Republican Party seems to do these days when things seem bad, they have fallen back on their weapon of first resort: Attack!”

“Republican Rep. Christopher Shays defended the House speaker's handling of a congressional page scandal, saying no one died like at Chappaquiddick in 1969 when Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy was involved.
‘I know the speaker didn't go over a bridge and leave a young person in the water, and then have a press conference the next day,’ the embattled Connecticut congressman told The Hartford Courant in remarks published Wednesday.
‘Dennis Hastert didn't kill anybody,’ he added.”
-Associated Press, October 11, 2006

“I’m sure that everyone will sleep easier knowing that no matter how much the Republicans in charge of the House of Representatives have covered up the scandal of a Republican congressman molesting boys for up to the last six or so years.. well, that still isn’t as bad as what Ted Kennedy did accidentally 37 years ago. And when we torture people that isn’t so bad because Saddam was worse. You know, for a party that prides itself on their absolute morality, it sure seems that they are a bunch of moral relativists. Can’t they ever just do something right because it is.. right? It seems that instead of doing the right thing they keep doing the wrong thing and then comparing it to something else that they think will make it look better. Confusing.”


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