Wednesday, September 1, 2010


"It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn." --George Washington

The Demo-gogues

Oval Office speech: "[T]onight, I am announcing that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended. Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country. This was my pledge to the American people as a candidate for this office." --Barack Obama, in his Oval Office speech about the war in Iraq using the words "ended" and "over" to describe it instead of "completed" and "won"

"I'm mindful that the Iraq war has been a contentious issue at home. Here, too, it's time to turn the page. This afternoon, I spoke to former President George W. Bush. It's well known that he and I disagreed about the war from its outset. Yet no one can doubt President Bush's support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security. As I've said, there were patriots who supported this war, and patriots who opposed it. And all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women, and our hopes for Iraqis' future." --Obama

That was then: "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse." --Obama in 2007, opposing the surge that made last night's speech possible

And now for domestic politics in a speech about national security: "Unfortunately, over the last decade, we've not done what's necessary to shore up the foundations of our own prosperity. We spent a trillion dollars at war, often financed by borrowing from overseas. This, in turn, has short-changed investments in our own people, and contributed to record deficits." --Obama, who certainly knows how to make record deficits

Chutzpah: "We must jumpstart industries that create jobs, and end our dependence on foreign oil." --BO, the guy who placed a moratorium on offshore drilling, which kills jobs and increases dependence on foreign oil

Yeah, right: "I'm not spending a lot of time thinking about a second term." --BO

"I can't spend all of my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead." --Barack Obama, taking a shot at the so-called "birthers"

Flip flopper of the year: "I would have voted for [the health care bill]. But I think it can be done better, I really do." --Florida Senate candidate Charlie Crist last Friday

Later that same day: "If I misspoke, I want to be abundantly clear: the health care bill was too big, too expensive, and expanded the role of government far too much. Had I been in the United States Senate at the time, I would have voted against the bill...." --Charlie Crist

Editorial Exegesis

"For now, we have transformed Iraq from a hostile, terrorist-supporting dictatorship destabilizing the region into a ramshackle democracy that is an ally in the war on terror. To get Iraq to this point, in January 2007 President Bush had to order tens of thousands of additional troops into a failing war, in the teeth of gale-force opposition from the political establishment, public opinion, and the balance of the military brass. To capitalize on the opportunity we have bought in Iraq with blood and treasure, President Obama has to do something much easier: resist a strategically witless urge to turn his back on Iraq as being merely the site of 'Bush's war.' The president's Oval Office address wasn't confidence-inducing. Appropriately, he saluted the troops for 'completing every mission they were given in Iraq,' and he promised Iraqis they will 'have a strong partner in the United States.' But he spoke particularly forcefully of removing 100,000 troops from Iraq, closing or transferring hundreds of bases, and moving millions of pieces of equipment out of the country -- indices of ending a war, not necessarily winning it. He talked up the growing capabilities of the Iraqis, but in the spirit of declaring victory -- or, more precisely, the end of combat operations -- and coming home. He exhorted us to 'turn the page,' before arguing that we must honor the troops by uniting around his domestic agenda. In its failure to credit explicitly Bush's surge for turning around the war, the speech was graceless; in its cursory treatment of Iraq, it lacked strategic vision; and in its attempt to hijack the troops for Obama's domestic priorities ('we must tackle ... challenges at home with as much energy and grit, and sense of common purpose, as our men and women in uniform'), it was shameless. Altogether a poor performance." --National Review


"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." --British historian Alan Bullock (1914-2004)

"It is discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit." --British playwright Noel Coward (1899-1973)

"Conservatives were brought up to hate deficits, and justifiably so. We've long thought there are two things in Washington that are unbalanced -- the budget and the liberals." --President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)


"Are you opposed to Obamacare or illegal immigration? You're a racist. Are you opposed to gay marriage? You're a homophobe. Did you oppose Elena Kagan's appointment to the Supreme Court? You're a sexist. After less than two years of complete Democrat control of government, there aren't many Americas progressives haven't accused of some sort of bigotry for simply having an opinion different from theirs. The politics of 'hope' and 'change' have devolved into exactly what those espousing them claimed they would end. Is this really Democrat's plan to win votes in November?" --writer Derek Hunter

"The Democrats are going to get beaten badly in November. Not just because the economy is ailing. And not just because Obama overread his mandate in governing too far left. But because a comeuppance is due the arrogant elites whose undisguised contempt for the great unwashed prevents them from conceding a modicum of serious thought to those who dare oppose them." --columnist Charles Krauthammer

"Those who mocked George W. Bush for openly declaring his faith in God and sharing that he prays to God for strength squawked about the horrors in Bush's allowing his beliefs to influence his governance. Apart from the mockers' misunderstanding of the proper intersection of faith and governance, let me pose another question. Are you more comfortable with a chief executive who, along with the overwhelming majority of Americans, humbly admits to reliance on God or one who projects the impression that he himself is messianic?" --columnist David Limbaugh

"Alan Simpson violated a taboo last week when he likened Social Security to 'a milk cow with 310 million tits.' But contrary to the dictionary-deprived critics who accused him of sexist vulgarity, the former Wyoming senator's transgression had nothing to do with his use of a perfectly acceptable synonym for teat. Simpson's real sin was 'belittling a bedrock program,' as the AARP put it -- i.e., showing insufficient reverence for a sacred cow." --columnist Jacob Sullum

"To those who say 'I paid into Social Security for years and all I want is what I'm entitled to,' I reply, 'You've been robbed -- get over it.' If you want to know who robbed you, it's called Congress. If you're angry about that then go into the voting booth and throw them out. Meanwhile some poor young fry cook at McDonald's is having his wages garnished to support the lifestyle of tennis playing Botox dowagers in Palm Springs. Is this right?" --venture capitalist Bill Frezza



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