Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to students at the University of Florida: “This is the election of our lives. . . . The stakes have never been higher,” she said. “We have to make sure that the extremists don’t take control of our country…They are so controlled by the extremists in the Tea Party now, they would just let Pell Grants wither on the vine, because they really believe that people should fend for themselves. They believe, if you listen to (Republican presidential candidate) Mitt Romney, that corporations are people.”
Al Gore: “We need to have an American spring, you know, the Arab spring. The non-violent part of it isn’t finished yet, but we need to have an American spring. A kind of an American Tahrir Square. Non-violent change where people from the grassroots get involved again. Not the, you know, not in the Tea Party style.” Just not real grass roots; just not grass roots movements that disagree with him.
The ACLU legal director Rebecca Glenberg. to the Pittsylvania Board of Supervisors: “The ACLU of Virginia has learned that opening invocations at the Pittsylvania Board of Supervisors meetings are consistently Christian in nature; that is, they explicitly refer to Jesus Christ. I write to inform you that such sectarian prayers by a government body violate the First Amendment under the clear precedent of the United States Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and to ask that you cease the practice immediately.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD): “There’s another thing the press seems to not get. A lot of African-Americans that I’ve talked to, most of them say that they `feel this President has been treated unfairly.’ They believe he has done every single thing in his power to try to create jobs, to try to make sure this economy moves forward. He’s gone against just fierce opposition. I think, I mean if you look at the evidence, that’s true. He’s accomplished a lot in the short time he’s been President. But the fact is, it has not been easy and will not continue to be easy.”
Former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and senior economic adviser to President Obama, Goolsbee: “Now, at the beginning of this year we get earthquakes, tsunamis, revolutions in the Middle East, European financial crises, now they even have earthquakes out of Washington, D.C. I mean, we’ve had a series of things that have put some heavy blows and slowed the economy back down again. But, I think it’s a little – I don’t think you want to confuse something that is way down and starting to grow out.” Apparently, all of the greatest disasters have taken place during Obama’s administration.
Kerry Emanuel, an expert on the issue at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: “On a longer time scale, I think – but not all of my colleagues agree – that the evidence for a connection between Atlantic hurricanes and global climate change is fairly compelling.”
Richard Tumpka: “We don’t have a short-term deficit crisis; we have a short term job crisis.”
Richard Trumka, president of union giant AFL-CIO, and member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, may have gone a little off the reservation, when he said: “This is a moment that working people and quite frankly history will judge President Obama on his presidency; will he commit all his energy and focus on bold solutions on the job crisis or will he continue to work with the Tea Party to offer cuts to middle class programs like Social Security all the while pretending the deficit is where our economic problems really lie,”
The Compliant Obama Press Corps:
George Will: It’s hard to look like a leader when you look like Alibi Ike, the character from a Ring Lardner short-story who wasn’t a very good baseball player, but it was never his fault. This president has blamed George W. Bush, the Japanese tsunami, the Euro, Greece, the Arab Spring, Republicans, the Tea Party, and ultimately James Madison for giving us the separation of powers for all his problems. And that does not project leadership.
Jake Tapper, Host: Donna?
Donna Brazile: Well, George is in rare form today. I thought you were going to mention media, George. You forget that one.
Will: They’re not his problem!
NY Times columnist Maureen Doud: “WHY is it not a surprise to learn that Dick Cheney’s ancestor, Samuel Fletcher Cheney, was a Civil War soldier who marched with Sherman to the sea? Scorched earth runs in the family. Having lost the power to heedlessly bomb the world, Cheney has turned his attention to heedlessly bombing old colleagues. Vice’s new memoir, “In My Time,” veers unpleasantly between spin, insisting he was always right, and score-settling, insisting that anyone who opposed him was wrong. His knife-in-her-teeth daughter, Elizabeth Cheney, helped write the book. The second most famous Liz & Dick combo do such an excellent job of cherry-picking the facts, it makes the cherry-picking on the Iraq war intelligence seem picayune. Cheney may no longer have a pulse, but his blood quickens at the thought of other countries he could have attacked. He salivates in his book about how Syria and Iran could have been punished.” And she goes on and on and on. The tough thing to decide is, should this be under the heading Liberal Civility or under The Compliant Obama Press Corps (which the president may pronounce as corpse).
Forbes Magazine named Barack and Michelle Obama as the world’s most powerful couple.
MSNBC cable host and fervent Obama supporter, Ed Schultz: “I’ve had lunch with President Obama. I mean, he calls me Schultzy.”
WTTG-TV reporter Tucker Barnes, covered in a greenish sea foam, which is probably ocean waters mixed with human waste: “Our chief meteorologist back at the station tells us that, that it is some sort of organic matter, I guess, uh, plankton or something, and mixed in with sand and salt. And I can tell you first hand that, it doesn’t smell great…never seen anything like it.”
MSNBC contributor Touré wonders on MSNBC if Hurricane Irene is an example of global warming. He speculated, “When you talk about an unusual weather event happening in New York and this sort of thing, is this really evidence of global warming to see this sort of a massive storm happening here?”
Liberals from the past:
Candidate Barack Obama on July 3, 2008, at a campaign event in Fargo, N.D.: “The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion dollars for the first 42 presidents – number 43 added $4 trillion dollars by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion dollars of debt that we are going to have to pay back – $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.”
Columnist and commentator Thomas Friedman: “Despite the carping by critics, I’m glad the president went on vacation because one of the most useful things he could do right now is play golf – a lot of golf – …Obama is smart, decent and tough, with exactly the right instincts about where the country needs to go. He has accomplished a lot more than he’s gotten credit for – with an opposition dedicated to making him fail. But lately he is seriously off his game. He’s not Jimmy Carter. He’s Tiger Woods – a natural who’s lost his swing. He has so many different swing thoughts in his head, so many people whispering in his ear about what the polls say and how he needs to position himself to get re-elected, that he has lost all his natural instincts for the game. He needs to get back to basics.”
Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D- FL): “Let us all remember who the real enemy is. the real enemy is the Tea Party. the Tea Party holds the Congress hostage.”
Al Gore: “[When racist comments would come up in the course of conversations,] There came a time when people said, `Hey man, why do you talk that way? That’s wrong, I don’t go for that, so don’t talk that way around me. I just don’t believe that.’ That happened in millions of conversations, and slowly the conversation was won; and we still have racism, God knows, but it’s so different now and so much better. And we have to win the conversation on climate.”
Nearly forgotten son of Ronald Reagan, liberal Ron Reagan: “But the fact of the matter is . . . [Dick Cheney‘s] a war criminal. Torture is a crime and this is a guy who can’t travel to Europe anymore for fear of being – ending up in the Hague.”
Several liberal bloggers spreading joy and love to their loyal opposition. I decided not to post these, as I would have to spend 10 minutes editing out all of the swearing. However, for those of you who think every sentence ought to be peppered with the f-word, enjoy:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: “Iran believes that whoever is for humanity should also be for eradicating the Zionist regime (Israel) as symbol of suppression and discrimination.” This is, of course, because “[Israel is an] infectious tumor and this regime full of rascality.”
Protestors at the Cairo, Egypt rallies: “Jews, remember the Battle of Khaybar (an oasis north of Medina which was inhabited by Jews who were murdered by the forces of Muhammad -ed.), the Army of Muhammad is already here”
“Oh Zionists, please be patient, there’s an Egyptian digging your grave,”
“There is no god but Allah, Zionism is the enemy of Allah and so are the Americans.”
Abu Ibrahim on the Shoumokh Al-Islam jihadi forum: “Allah has struck New York and the capital city Washington by an earthquake as a punishment for their disbelief…[T]his earthquake is a warning to the crusaders to stop their infidel policy, abandon their crusader religion and convert to the true Islamic religion. If they don’t listen and don’t stop, Allah will strike them again by an earthquake or a hurricane. You have no other way but to repent and move away from your path that will take you to the abyss.”
The leader of the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah movement, Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah: “We stand by Syria’s side and by the leaders to support them in their reform process.”
Liberals making sense:
Richard Trumka, about the job’s council he sits on: “I don’t know whether the commission’s making a difference or not . . . it’s a legitimate question whether that commission has done anything worthwhile.”
Great headline from the LA Times:
On Day 938 of his presidency, Obama says he’ll have a jobs plan in a month or so
On Obama’s promise that his Stimulus bill would lower unemployment, Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.): “I think if you asked them now they will say that was the stupidest thing that basically any administration probably ever said because that’s not something they can necessarily control.”
Representative Barney Frank, on the Same topic: “President Obama, whom I greatly admire . . . when the economic recovery bill – we’re supposed to call it the `recovery bill,’ not the `stimulus’ bill; that’s what the focus groups tell us – he predicted or his aides predicted at the time that if it passed, unemployment would get under 8 percent. That was a dumb thing to do.”
Conservative Refocus’s Barry Secrest’s teenage daughter, who has very little interest in politics: “Dad, how is it that the President of the United States can take so many vacations, and you don’t have the time to even take one vacation in over two years?”
CNN host Howard Kurtz: “Given the limitations in what we’ve seen in Obama’s governing style—he comes in late, his critics say he is too much of a compromiser, what does he stand for—[Did] the media blow it in portrayal of candidate Obama in 2007? Were we swept along by the emotion of the Obama oration ”
Thomas Friedman: “Way too soon to tell that.”
Willie Geist: “Andrea, Alzheimer’s runs in her family. Her mother had this problem as well. But she says she will carry on through the season, says she’ll lean a little harder on some of her assistant coaches. And she basically said at points this season, she felt like things just weren’t clicking right. So she went out to the Mayo clinic to get it checked out.”
Andrea Mitchell: “Well, she’s handling this the way all of us fans, Pat Summitt fans, she’s an icon for women in sports in particular. Title IX, you know, was so important as I was growing up.” Andrea was 25 when Title IX was passed.
Chinese Student addressing Joe Biden: “Public speaking, and English public speaking, in particular, is getting all the more popular in China. So my question is twofold: First of all, what role has public speaking played in your life? Because we say that public speaking is the language of leadership. And secondly, what role do you think public speaking will play among our youth of the two countries and to our bilateral relations? Thank you very much. (Applause.)”
Vice President Joe Biden [I forgive you if you do not read all of what Joe had to say]: “That’s a very good question. Let me order my thoughts here to make this as brief as I can. The commodity that is worth a lot more than public speaking is sincerity when one speaks. I mean this sincerely now. (Laughter.) There are great orators that have come along in the world history who have been charlatans. So the most important thing to look to in a leader’s speech is not the elegance or the rhetorical flourish of his or her comments, but the judgment of whether or not you believe they are sincere in what they’re saying.
Secondly, you compliment me by saying I’m an accomplished public speaker. I don’t know whether you’ve had an opportunity to see a movie that has gotten worldwide circulation called “The King’s Speech.” Well, but for the royal blood and the money, that could have been me. I was a serious stutterer when I was in school as a child, as a high school student, and even into college. And I practiced very, very hard by myself, standing in front of a mirror, trying to annunciate without contorting my face.
When you think about it, whether it’s China or America, the only impediment people feel free to make fun of and humor of is a stutterer. If I had a deformed face, you would not make fun of my face. But if I stood before you and ta-ta-talked to-to-to you like that, you’d do what you’re now — you’re smiling. And it’s offensive. It’s offensive. Because it is a serious impediment. When one stutters, people believe they are stupid. People believe they are not worth much. And there’s tens of millions of people around the world trapped with a keen mind and big heart, trapped inside of a body that cannot articulate what they feel.
And the reason I bother to mention that to you is to get to the third and most important point. Speech, communication — to state the obvious — is the currency of understanding. It’s the currency with which we exchange ideas. It’s stuff from which flows the sense of whether one is being truthful or honest or sincere. We judge from the way people speak whether they’re being transparent and open, whether they’re being cramped and cabined. And so the thing that I’m most embarrassed about in my career of 38 years of having an opportunity to literally meet every major world leader in the last 38 years. I was elected as a 30 — 29-year-old, young man from modest means. And I’ve had that opportunity. The thing that always embarrasses me is — and in the back of my head, I’m embarrassed in front of you — I’m embarrassed I can’t speak to you in Chinese. I would — seriously — I would rather be able to honor you and show my respect for you by speaking your language, as you honor me by speaking mine.
And so language, the ability not only to master the ability to put your ideas into words succinctly on a platform to communicate ideas to your own people, it is even more impressive when you have the capacity to do that and communicate your ideas, especially as future business and political and moral leaders of the world in the language of the people to whom you are speaking.
So I think there is no greater resource that a nation could seek than having a group of people who were able to communicate in the same idiom, the same dialect, the same — the same pattern as the people to whom as they’re speaking. Because this is all about — all about — understanding one another.
Let me conclude by saying this. My father was a high school-educated man. He never went to a university and — nor did my mother or anyone in my family at that time. But my father was an elegant, decent man — eloquent and elegant, decent man. My father used to have an expression, and maybe it’s the best way for me to conclude my comments with you all, and I wish I could stay later — longer, sincerely wish I could. He used to say, Joe, the only conflict that is worse than one that is intended is one that is unintended. The only conflict worse than one that is intended is one that is unintended.
Language, speech, interchange, openness, communication — that is the material that can be used to lessen the possibility of the unintended, the unintended conflict. I have great faith in all of you. I mean this sincerely. You’re an incredible country, an incredible people. And the fact there’s a hundred thousand students here at this great university, the fact that there are millions of Chinese at universities throughout — throughout this country; the fact that there’s 130,000 Chinese nationals speaking — citizens, going to American universities is the stuff which gives me faith.
Believe in yourselves. Believe in yourselves. You have the capacity to do anything, anything anyone in the world has ever done. And the more you do, the better off my granddaughter and my great granddaughter’s generation are going to be.
Thank you for the honor of being here. (Applause.) Thank you, all, very much. (Applause.)”
Florida Republican Congressman John Mica offered up the following Amendment:
“Amendment requires that the rules of engagement [ROE] allow any military service personnel assigned to duty in a designated hostile fire area to have rules of engagement that fully protect their right to proactively defend themselves from hostile actions.”
143 out of 185 Democrats present – 77% – voted against this amendment; 217 out of 235 Republicans present – 92% – voted for it.
U. S. Senator Tom Coburn: “His (President Obama’s) intent isn’t to destroy. It’s to create dependency because it worked so well for him. As an African American male, coming through the progress of everything he experienced, he got tremendous benefit through a lot of these programs. So he believes in them.”
The Virginia State NAACP Conference calls the comments racist. “People like Coburn attempt to create the myth that only African (Black) people receive food stamps or other forms of public assistance. White women do as well along with Wall Street, the banks, the auto industry, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, and many others that live on the public dole to the tune of trillions of dollars over time. Coburn implies that the President benefitted from this dependency on the government. White males have been the beneficiaries of the greatest affirmative action program in U.S. history. Yet, the face of government programs is the African welfare queen and now the President himself. This kind of racist propaganda is perpetuated through those with a platform to tell their lies to the people. The comments of Senator Tom Coburn are unconscionable, unfathomable and unacceptable. They should be condemned by all, especially those in the Republican Party. The Virginia State Conference NAACP condemns these remarks that are racist to the core!”
Ed Schultz,teasing segment: “Florida Senator Marco Rubio got some good press this week for saving Nancy Reagan from a fall at a Reagan Library event. But when it comes to the rest of the American senior citizens, Rubio wants to leave them high and dry. He’s coming up in Psycho Talk. Stay with us.”
Schultz: “And in Psycho Talk tonight, Florida Senator Marco Rubio. He’s on the attack against the Big Three. Now Rubio is an early favorite to take the number two spot on the Republican presidential ticket next year thanks to his Tea Party ideology and his pretty boy looks. But his policies are downright ugly. During a speech at the Reagan Library this week, Rubio had this to say about programs like Social Security and Medicare.”
(Begin video clip)
Sen. Marco Rubio (R), Florida: “These programs actually weakened us as a people. You see, almost forever it was institutions and society that assumed the role of taking care of one another. If someone was sick in your family, you took care of them. If a neighbor met misfortune, you took care of them. You saved for your retirement and for your future because you had to. But all of that changed when the government began to assume those responsibilities. And as government crowded out the institutions in our society that did these things traditionally, it weakened our people.”
(End video clip)
Schultz: “I’ll tell you what’s weakening our people, political hacks like Marco Rubio, who want to get rid of social safety nets. Before Medicare — check this out — half of American seniors didn’t have hospital insurance. Almost a third of Americans lived in poverty. But after Medicare was signed into law, the poverty rate among senior citizens plummeted from 30 percent to around 10 percent in just 30 years. And it’s the same story with Social Security. According to the Census Bureau data, 20 million more Americans would live below the poverty line if Social Security did not exist. Forty five percent of senior citizens would be poorer. And in Rubio’s state of Florida alone, Social Security lifts more than — count it — a million people out of poverty.
But these right wingers remain determined to dismantle the Big Three, no matter how many Americans suffer. For Marco Rubio to say programs like Medicare and Social Security weaken Americans is flat out Psycho Talk.”
American pop star Katy Perry tweets to Israel: “My prayers are for you guys tonight, Shalom!!! Please pray with us.”
Responses of pro-Palestinian supporters to her tweet:
“Katy Perry prays for Israel but spits on Gaza and its murdered children.”
“Go to hell with Israel.”
“[I hope your plane will] crash land in Palestine so they can stamp on you like the whore you are. See if Israel come help you.”
George Will: “[Obama is] going to say if it weren’t for Congress, I could spend more money. Now, I’m not sure that is going to be a good selling point. He’s going to say that Congress is stopping me from another stimulus. He is going to say, in fact, that the government is too frugal. These are hard arguments to make, particularly when you consider, in Keynesian terms, we’ve not just had an $862 billion stimulus. Keynes said deficit spending is a stimulus, so we’ve had $5 trillion in stimulus in the last three years. Progressives, who used to be called liberals, want more investment, which used to be called spending. And I don’t think that resonates with the country. ”
George Will to Jake Tapper: “You referred to the Hoover Dam, great achievement of the ’30s. You couldn’t build the Hoover Dam today because they’d discover a snail darter in the Colorado River and would stop it. ”
Texas Governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry: “I not only pledge to protect unborn life, but have a record of doing so in Texas. I have signed legislation requiring parental consent for a minor to obtain an abortion, and have long advocated adoption as an alternative to abortion in order to protect unborn children.”
Rick Perry on Social Security: “It is a Ponzi scheme for these young people The idea that they’re working and paying into Social Security today (and) the current program is going to be there for them is a lie. It is a monstrous lie on this generation, and we can’t do that to them.”
Michele Bachmann: “As the stock market continues to sink deeper, unemployment lines are growing longer and the debt is increasing by millions, President Obama seems more interested in checking his own poll numbers than he is in providing any real leadership to create jobs and fix our economy. And the Democratic leadership in Congress is no better. Earlier this week, Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters shouted, `the tea party can go straight to hell.’ The Democrats would rather attack honest, patriotic Americans than try to rein in government spending or reduce the deficit. President Obama’s failed leadership and Maxine Waters’ socialist policies have driven our economy into a deep financial hole. If the United States is going to get back on a path to prosperity it begins by ensuring Obama is a one-term president.”
Ann Coulter: “Our hearts and prayers go out to those who lost their balance in the earthquake.” [quoted from memory]
Mitt Romney: “Do I think the world’s getting hotter? Yeah, I don’t know that but I think that it is. I don’t know if it’s mostly caused by humans. What I’m not willing to do is spend trillions of dollars on something I don’t know the answer to.” For being sort of a squishy conservative, Romney redeems himself in the end; maybe that is the idea here, given the attacks on Perry as being anti-science.
Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann: “The United States is the number one country in the world for energy resources. That doesn’t even include. . . all the oil in Alaska. Instead of thinking we are beggars out here begging for oil and for energy, we are the king daddy dogs when it comes to energy…The radical environmentalists have demanded that we lock up all our energy resources. President Bachmann will take that key out of the door. I will unlock it.”
Conservatives from the Past:
I missed this quote from before. Rep. Raul Labroador to David Gregory: “You asked David Plouffe a very simple question. Will the military be paid? Instead of telling you the truth, what he did is he demagogued. I want to show you real leadership. In 1985, the president of United States, Ronald Reagan, was asked the same question. And his Treasury Department said, ‘The Secretary of the Treasury does have the authority to choose the order in which to pay obligations of the United States.’ This is an official document from Department of Treasury. ‘We are aware of no statute or any other basis for concluding that Treasury is required to pay outstanding obligations in order in which they are presented for payment unless it chooses to do so.’ And this president has not been willing to tell the American people that Medicare recipients and the military will be paid, as long as we receive sufficient money in the Treasury. We have to solve this problem. I want to solve this problem. But there has been a failure of leadership from this president. And all he’s doing is demagoguing and scaring the American people.”
Conservatives not making any sense:
Candidate Jon Huntsman: “Well, I would say that there’s going to have to be a shared sacrifice in this country. And I think that people at all levels are going to have to step up, whether it’s recognizing that Medicare is going to be done a little differently; Social Security is going to be done a little differently. And as president, I wouldn’t hesitate to call on sacrifice from all of our people, even those at the very highest end of the income spectrum.” Is anyone shocked that, of all the Republican candidates, the liberal press seems to like him the most?
Ron Paul on Islamists who hate the U.S.: “I don’t see Islam as our enemy. I see that motivation is occupation and those who hate us and would like to kill us, they are motivated by our invasion of their land, the support of their dictators that they hate…After 9/11, (people said) `Oh yeah, it’s those very bad people who hate us,’ but 15 of (the hijackers) came from Saudi Arabia. One of the reasons they attacked us, is we propped up this Sharia government and the fundamentalists hated us for it.”
A retired math teacher who spends most of his time exegeting the Old Testament and, once a week, puts out an ezeen.