Obama regulatory czar Cass Sunstein, on helping us make “right choices”: “[T]here’s a little Homer Simpson in all of us. Sometimes we have self-control problems, sometimes we’re impulsive and that in these circumstances, both private and public institutions, without coercing, can make our lives a lot better. Once we know that people are human and have some Homer Simpson in them, then there’s a lot that can be done to manipulate them.”
President Barack Obama: “I’m a Christian by choice, My family didn’t — frankly, they weren’t folks who went to church every week. And my mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew, but she didn’t raise me in the church. I came to my Christian faith later in life and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead — being my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper, treating others as they would treat me. And I think also understanding that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility we all have to have as human beings, that we’re sinful and we’re flawed and we make mistakes, and that we achieve salvation through the grace of God. But what we can do, as flawed as we are, is still see God in other people and do our best to help them find their own grace.”
Obama: “[Fox News has] a point of view that I disagree with. It’s a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world.”
Joe Biden: “[I want to] remind our base constituency to stop whining and get out there and look at the alternatives. This president has done an incredible job. He’s kept his promises.”
More from Joe (who appears to be on message, nowadays): “And so those who don’t get – didn’t get everything they wanted, it’s time to just buck up here, understand that we can make things better, continue to move forward and – but not yield the playing field to those folks who are against everything that we stand for in terms of the initiatives we put forward.”
Barack Obama: “What I’m seeing out of the Republican leadership over the last several years has been a set of policies that are just irresponsible, and we saw in their Pledge to America a similar set of irresponsible policies. . [Although GOP leaders] say they want to balance the budget, they propose $4 trillion worth of tax cuts and $16 billion in spending cuts, and then they say we’re going to somehow magically balance the budget. That’s not a serious approach.”
Barack Obama: “People need to shake off this lethargy. People need to buck up. . If people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren’t serious in the first place. . It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in this midterm election. . The idea that we’ve got a lack of enthusiasm in the Democratic base, that people are sitting on their hands complaining, is just irresponsible.”
ABC’s Christiane Amanpour (whose ratings are tanking): “People don’t appreciate some of the amazing legislative agenda that [Barack Obama has] accomplished. Is this a failure of leadership? Has he allowed the opposition to define him?”
Bill Maher in an interview with Bill O’Reilly: “…for example, I mean the teabaggers. They’re the ones, who are so upset about the debt. Most of the debt came from Bush. That’s just a fact. Under Bush, Cheney said it, ‘Deficits don’t matter.’ Nobody was angry about the deficit when it was President Bush.”
Bill Maher: “When it comes to voting, when we only have two choices, you got to grow up and realize there’s a big difference between a disappointing friend [Democrats] and a deadly enemy [Republicans].”
White House spokesman Bill Burton: “…somebody like Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow…helps to keep our government honest and pushes and prods to make sure that folks are true to progressive values, then he thinks that those folks provide an invaluable service.”
In the same interview, Bill Maher said: “…at some point in the last 20 years, the left moved to the center and the right moved into a mental institution. I mean, there used to be ideological differences that were understandable and there used to be moderate Republicans. That has gone away. I mean, the Republican Party now is just a bunch of religious lunatics, flat earthers and civil war re-enactors.”
There’s crazy and then there’s crazy. Code Pink activist Cindy Sheehan: “I am a 9/11 Truther. I do think it was an inside job. We just don’t know – I don’t know – how far inside it went. But, you know, I’m sure Dick Cheney had something to do with it.” The week previous had Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suggesting that we look into what really transpired on 9/11.
Joe Madison, making the definitive statement at the D.C. union rally: “I just found out…they sent in a satellite image of the crowd. Somebody go tell Glenn Beck, there are more people here, right now than there was on the 29th…somebody go and tell that to the TEA party folk.” And somebody go tell Joe Madison that the Beck D.C. honor rally was on the 28th.
Homemade sign at the D.C. union rally: Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin are racists.”
Former California governor Jerry Brown: “I now have a wife; I come home at night. I don’t try to close down the bars in Sacramento like I used to do when I was governor of California.”
Osama bin Laden raised the terror warning level to green, saying: “This is a message to the whole world about those responsible for climate change and its repercussions – whether intentionally or unintentionally – and about the action we must take…Speaking about climate change is not a matter of intellectual luxury – the phenomenon is an actual fact”
More from bin Laden: “We should stop dealings with the dollar and get rid of it as soon as possible, I know that this has great consequences and grave ramifications, but it is the only means to liberate humanity from slavery and dependence on America…Noam Chomsky was correct when he compared US policies to those of the Mafia; they are the true terrorists.”
Ground Zero Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf: “I’m extremely sensitive to the feelings of the families of 9/11.”
Liberals Making Sense:
Senator Mary Landrieu: “”The president’s policies right now are doing much more harm than the [BP] spill itself to the economy of the South coast. … It’s just gotten to a point where people in Louisiana ask, `Do they even understand what is going on down here?’ They have the entire offshore industry virtually shut down.”
Senator Joe Lieberman: “It is time to retire our ambiguous mantra about all options remaining on the table. Our message to our friends and enemies in the region needs to become clearer: namely, that we will prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability — by peaceful means if we possibly can, but with military force if we absolutely must.”
Joe Biden again, but off-message: “[I]f we allow this to be a referendum on whether people are happy where they are now, we’ll lose.”
Bill Clinton: “People have a right to be angry. They have a right to be disappointed. But they still have to be make a choice. An election is not a referendum on their anger. It’s a choice between two candidates.” Note the subtlety here; one might apply this easily to anger toward Obama’s policies. This is more of Bill Clinton getting out there and politicking for his wife, but without clearly doing so.
The SF Chronicle: “The incumbent, Democrat Barbara Boxer, has failed to distinguish herself during her 18 years in office. There is no reason to believe that another six-year term would bring anything but more of the same uninspired representation.” (They, of course, did not endorse Republican Carly Fiorina either).
Jake Tapper (reporter): David Axelrod said something that the president has been saying for a long time, which is that Republicans are holding the middle-class tax cuts hostage. I understand it, Democrats haven’t introduced a bill in the Senate, and the Republicans have. Wouldn’t there have to be a bill that Republicans are threatening to block or blocking before anything is being held hostage?
Robert Gibbs (the White House Press secretary): I don’t know what bills have been introduced in the Senate. Obviously, I think the — the posture of — I don’t think the bill would have to be the existence of — I mean, I think their rhetoric alone, from Senator McConnell and others, have been that the price of — there’s a $700 billion price tag on moving forward on the tax cuts for the middle class. That’s the tax cuts for the wealthy.
TAPPER: So there doesn’t have to be an actual…
GIBBS: Well, absolutely. And, you know, look, we — I’ve said this — it’s now been a couple of weeks, obviously, but, you know, we — we — we agree on — we agree on the middle-class part of this, or so they say. Their price tag for the middle class was the $700 billion. We could have passed the middle class alone, provided some much needed certainty to — to the economy and to middle-class families, and had — still had plenty of time to debate the $700 billion price tag for — for the other cuts.
TAPPER: Why not do that? Why not introduce the bill…
REPORTER: Why not get Republicans on the record?
TAPPER: … and — and force Republicans to filibuster that?
GIBBS: They were unwilling to do that. They were unwilling to…
REPORTER: But who has the power to introduce the bill?
GIBBS: No, no, guys, what I’m — my original answer was, I don’t think the bill is the existence of the — of the fight. It is that — look, John Boehner said…
TAPPER: But you’re not — you’re not even fighting –
GIBBS: But — but John Boehner said quite clearly on Sunday that he would go along with the middle-class stuff, right? Then fury rained down, and quickly we crawfished back over to, well, well, wait,
middle- class, it’s going to — the price for doing middle-class is tax cuts for the wealthy. And — and we could have done middle-class.
TAPPER: Isn’t the real problem the fact that there are Democrats who agree with the Republicans on the issue? There are 47 –
GIBBS: I think we could have done middle class, but the Republicans weren’t interested.
TAPPER: Yeah, but –
REPORTERS: But the Democrats –
TAPPER: — you don’t need the support of the Republicans in the House to pass anything.
GIBBS: No, but to play along with your — if a bill has to become — you’ve got to pass them in both houses. And you were not going to get 60 votes to go and just do middle-class tax cuts, were
TAPPER: Yeah, but I guess my question is, why not try? If you actually think that this is a winning campaign issue –
GIBBS: It wasn’t — because the Republicans were — the Republicans said they weren’t going to do it.
Chris Wallace: “…after Ahmadinejad’s statement about 9/11 possibly being an inside job, the State Department called him delusional. We just heard the president calling his remarks hateful. And yet, Brit, the president still talks about diplomacy with Iran. Why is it that Mr. Obama refuses to take no for an answer from the Iranians?”
Brit Hume, Fox News Sr. Political Analyst: “It is a little hard to imagine at this stage that he hasn’t gotten the message. It’s really sad and worrisome that he can’t see that this guy is a crude little thug, that there is no point in having a negotiation with, because you probably can’t trust anything he says or agrees to.
He’s totally mercurial. He changes from one day to the next on the things he says. But he tends towards saying outrageous and yes, indeed, even delusional things.
There is no indications that the mullahs who run the country behind the scenes are dissatisfied with him and would rather have some other spokesman out there. None whatever.
The public in that country may be dissatisfied with him, but the president has done nothing to discourage that. In my view, he continues to almost legitimize the guy. I think it’s very foolish behavior on the president’s part.”
Michelle Malkin, speaking of those President Obama has thrown under the bus: “The wheels on the bus go thump, thump, thump in the Obama White House.”
Greta Susteren (who is more of a moderate than a conservative): Democratic Senators and Congressmen “are not out bragging, they’re out defending” their votes.
Dennis Miller: Obama is “not a Muslim; he’s an ineffectual civil servant.”
Ann Coulter: “This week, all we’ve heard about is how [Christine] O’Donnell once said she went on a date with a guy in high school who claimed to be a witch. (So what? Bill Clinton married one!)”
Comedian Argus Hamilton: “President Obama signaled a change in U.S. policy toward the Third World Thursday in a U.N. speech. He said he intends to promote commerce and free trade with poor nations rather than just give them money. If it works there, he’s going to try it here.”
Glenn Beck (this is paraphrased from memory): “What progressives want to do first is, take away personal responsibility from us.”
Matthew Dowd: “The public doesn’t judge a president by the legislation he passes.” (From memory)
John Stossel: “Progressives want to raise taxes on individuals who make more than $200,000 a year because they say it’s wrong for the rich to be `given’ more money. Sunday’s New York Times carries a cartoon showing Uncle Sam handing money to a fat cat. They just don’t get it. As I’ve said before, a tax cut is not a handout. It simply means government steals less. What progressives want to do is take money from some – by force – and spend it on others. It sounds less noble when plainly stated.”
Austin Hill: “Americans are learning once again that campaign rhetoric is no substitute for sound economics. And any American President who promises to make your life better by vilifying your fellow countryman, is a very dangerous character indeed.”
Victor Davis Hanson: “What optimistic Americans used to call a rising tide that lifts all boats is now once again derided as trickle-down economics. In other words, a newly peasant-minded America is willing to become collectively poorer so that some will not become wealthier.”
Burt Prelutsky: “Obama and his cronies keep referring to `the last decade’ in their sorry attempt to blame the Republicans for the present state of the nation. The truth, however, is that the GOP only ran things for the first six of those 10 years. Once the liberals took control of Congress in 2006, it was Dodd, Frank and Obama, along with their good friends at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who brought about the housing meltdown and the ensuing financial collapse. Since 2008, it’s been the Obama administration that has sent the national deficit soaring through the stratosphere.”
Neil Cavuto: “President Obama’s chief-of-staff, jumping ship; President Obama’s economic team jumping ship, his vice president voter the stimulus, jumping jacks.”
James Madison: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.”
President Calvin Coolidge (1873-1933): “We demand entire freedom of action and then expect the government in some miraculous way to save us from the consequences of our own acts.. Self-government means self-reliance.”
Many of these quotes came from: