FRONT PAGE
CONTENTS
ARCHIVES
FAVORITES
GET PASSWORD

Copyrighted material

ALBION MONITOR: QUOTE OF THE DAY ARCHIVE


LAST ISSUE
of Albion Monitor


"If we had pursued what President Nixon declared in 1970 as the war on cancer, we would have cured many strains. I think Jack Kemp would be alive today. And that research has saved or prolonged many lives, including mine"

-- Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, who cited his backing of medical research as one of the reasons he left the GOP. Face the Nation, May 3, 2009


"All you moderates out there, y'all come. I mean, that's the message...[but] understand that when you come into someone's house, you're not looking to change it"

-- RNC Chairman Michael Steele, telling the audience at the May 1, 2009 Wisconsin GOP convention that the party's "big table" is only inclusive-ish


"We are the party of the revolutionaries"

-- Mitt Romney at a May 2, 2009 rally for the Republican faithful, adding that Democrats are "the party of the monarchists"


"It's interesting that people say the right has taken over the Republican Party -- but no one can say what we've done. We've been closeted for the last eight years; it's time for the right to come out of the closet"

-- Right-wing talker Michael Reagan, NY Times, April 29, 2009


"I think the Vice President misrepresented what the Vice President wanted to say, and what he meant to say was what others have said recently"

-- White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, not clarifying what VP Joe Biden said about swine flu precautions. April 29, 2009


"By definition, if it was authorized by the president, it did not violate our obligations under the Convention Against Torture"

-- Condoleezza Rice, agreeing with Nixon that the president has imperial power to ignore any laws. April 27, 2009


"Every generation has to rise up to the specific challenges that confront them. We happen to have gotten a big set of challenges, but we're not the first generation that that's happened to. And I'm confident that we are going to meet these challenges just like our grandparents and forbears met them before"

-- Barack Obama press conference, April 29, 2009. "If you could tell me right now that, when I walked into this office that the banks were humming, that autos were selling, and that all you had to worry about was Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, getting health care passed, figuring out how to deal with energy independence, deal with Iran, and a pandemic flu, I would take that deal... I'm always amused when I hear these, you know, criticisms of, Oh, you know, Obama wants to grow government. No. I would love a nice, lean portfolio to deal with, but that's not the hand that's been dealt us"


"I'm a loyal Democrat. I support your agenda"

-- Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter to Obama, switching to the Democratic party, April 28, 2009. By lunchtime, Specter declared he would vote against Obama's pick to head the Office of Legal Counsel and declared his opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act


"Poor judgment would have been a nice way to put it"

-- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the White House-approved photo op that involved a jumbo jet flying low over Manhattan. A city employee failed to pass on FAA notification about the event. "It scared a couple of million people," an airport official told ABC News, April 27, 2009


"This was, in my view, the unfinished Bobby Kennedy campaign -- the idealism, the passion, the inspiration he gave to people, it was organic"

-- McCain chief strategist Steve Schmidt on Barack Obama. Schmidt also said at a University of Delaware conference, April 23, 2009, that a McCain win was "the strategic equivalent of throwing a football through a tire at 50 yards"


"I have absolutely no confidence in the ability of the existing Pakistan government to do one blessed thing"

-- Rep. David Obey (D-Wisconsin) head of the House Appropriations Committee. "I don't know what the Taliban's game plan is, but what seems apparent is the state has no game plan," Christine Fair, a senior research associate at RAND also told the NY Times, April 23, 2009. "The Pakistani state is not able to stop them and they expand where they can"


"I think that the Pakistani government is basically abdicating to the Taliban and to the extremists"

-- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, April 22, 2009, the same day that Taliban forces advance within 60 miles of capital


"We have created wards of the state. The wards of the state are these big banks. They knew that they're too big to fail, they keep telling us that they're too big to fail"

-- Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize economist on CNBC, April 22, 2009. "They have even claimed that they're too big to be financially restructured, which is extending the corporate safety net even further. My view is we have to create an economic structure that allows us to wean these corporations off of the corporate safety net"


"We have also strongly opposed the overly coercive interrogation techniques, including waterboarding"

-- Senator Joe Lieberman, in a letter to Obama co-authored with Senators McCain and Lindsey Graham, April 22, 2009


"We ought to be able to use something like waterboarding"

-- Senator Joe Lieberman on Fox News, April 20, 2009


"It's unlikely that as a consequence of me shaking hands or having a polite conversation with Mr. Chavez that we are endangering the strategic interests of the United States"

-- Barack Obama, following right-wing outrage over his greeting to Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez at the Summit of the Americas. "Its defense budget is probably 1/600th of the U.S.," Obama added, April 20, 2009


"The idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical. Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide. Every cow in the world, you know, when they do what they do, you've got more carbon dioxide"

-- House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) on ABC, April 19, 2009


"Talk of secession is an attack on our country. It can be nothing else. It is the ultimate anti-American statement"

-- Texas state Rep. Jim Dunnam (D-Waco), April 16, 2009, after Gov. Rick Perry refused to apologize for suggesting that Texas might consider dissolving the union "if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people"


"I'm grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old"

-- Barack Obama, thanking Nicaragua's president for giving him a pass in Ortega's diatribe against the long history of U.S. meddling in Latin affairs. Summit of the Americas, April 18, 2009


"We're American seamen. We're union members. We stuck together, and we did our jobs. And that's how we did it"

-- John Cronan, a crew member of the Maersk Alabama on how they kept Somali pirates from taking control of the ship. NBC News. April 16, 2009


"Anyone that has ever experienced degradation or intolerance would understand the solemn duty and how important it actually is... We stand to tell the world that we want equality for everyone. We stand to tell the world that we want marriage equality in New York State"

-- NY Governor David Paterson, announcing a same-sex marriage bill for the state, comparing opponents to racists and anti-semites. April 16, 2009


"Most of the [Sahwa militia members] were in al-Qaeda or in the Islamic Army of Iraq and it is easy for them to switch back"

-- A Sunni resident of west Baghdad, on fears that the Maliki government will move against them after Americans pullout. Although Iraq agreed to assume payments to Awakening Council members last October, the government has been reluctant to write checks or give the Sunnis promised jobs. Independent/UK, April 13, 2009


"In [Fox News host Neil] Cavuto's defense, if you are planning simultaneous tea bagging all around the country, you're going to need a Dick Armey"

-- MSNBC's Countdown guest host, David Shuster, April 13, 2009. Former House majority leader Armey's lobbying group, FreedomWorks, admits that it is one of the "main driving forces" behind the supposedly grassroots tea bag tax protests


"Today there is much focus on our rights. Indeed, I think there is a proliferation of rights. I am often surprised by the virtual nobility that seems to be accorded those with grievances. Shouldn't there at least be equal time for our Bill of Obligations and our Bill of Responsibilities?"

-- Clarence Thomas, Justice of the Supreme Court, at a March 31 event for students devoted to the Bill of Rights. "One thing about this job," he also said, "You get a little tired." Thomas hasn't asked a single question from the bench in over three years


"We made a lot of progress through the Eighties but then we turned into the Nineties and the internet came along and a new president came along and all of that went away and now we are absolutely awash in evil "

-- James Dobson farewell address as Focus on the Family chairman. "We are right now in the most discouraging period of that long conflict. Humanly speaking, we can say that we have lost all those battles." Telegraph/UK, April 10, 2009


"He's secure in the place he's in. He's confident in the decisions he made. There's none of that 'Shoulda, woulda, coulda' "

-- Former senior Bush aide Dan Bartlett, telling the Washington Post, April 11, 2009, that the ex-President continues living in a bubble where his views are spared the insult of being challenged


"You should not exaggerate and lie like this when you are the Vice President of the United States"

-- Karl Rove on Fox News, April 9, 2009, calling VP Joe Biden a liar for recounting a conversation with Bush that took place when Rove was not present


"Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese -- I understand it's a rather difficult language -- do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?"

-- Texas State Rep. Betty Brown at testimony on voter identification legislation, April 8, 2009. Later, her spokesman refused to apologize and said critics "want this to just be about race"


"One part me says it's against my Christian beliefs. Another part of me says they should have equal rights"

-- Iowan Sheila Engel on the state supreme court ruling approval same-sex weddings. The governor has vowed voters will have an opportunity to 'weigh in' on gay marriage by possibly voting for a constitutional convention. Christian Science Monitor, April 6, 2009


"I would encourage everybody to think in terms of what your reader wants. These are ultimately consumer businesses and if you piss off enough of them, you will not have any more"

-- Google CEO Eric Schmidt to newspaper bosses at the NAA annual conference in San Diego, April 7, 2009. Wall Street Journal managing editor Robert Thomson later compared news aggregators such as Google News as, "parasites or tech tapeworms in the intestines of the Internet"


"This is not just the flogging of the girl; it is an indication of what is in store for us"

-- Asma Jahangir, head of the Human Rights Commission in Pakistan, on the release of a video showing a 17-year-old girl being publicly whipped for refusing to marry a Taliban commander in the Swat Valley. "The Taliban are forcing their brand of Islam on us, and we have to resist that," she told the LA Times, April 4, 2009


"Iowa is considered a Midwest state in the mainstream of American thought.. As they say during the presidential caucuses, 'As Iowa goes, so goes the nation'"

-- Richard Socarides, a senior adviser to President Clinton on gay rights to the Des Moines Register, April 3, 2009


"Saving the New York Times now ranks with saving Darfur as a high-minded cause"

-- NYT executive editor Bill Keller, April 2, 2009. He added, "If you're inclined to trust Google as your source for news -- Google yourself"


"This, of course, a legitimate brand of journalism, has been practiced ever since television news was invented in the '60's when the bad guys won't comment, when they run and hide"

-- Bill O'Reilly, defending his "ambush journalism" to the Washington Times, April 1, 2009. Columbia Journalism Review editor in chief Mike Hoyt told Think Progress, "[This has] everything to do with grabbing whatever out-of-context quote that he can use to make you look stupid. It borrows the form of journalism but it isn't journalism; it's fake, like those digital fireplace fires that provide no heat"


"If you really want to pull something off, don't do it on a day where people are going to immediately doubt it. It's absolutely silly. Car and Driver has a phony page on the website saying Obama has banned Ford, Chevy, and a bunch of others from NASCAR. Well, now, who's going to believe this?"

-- Rush Limaugh on April Fool's jokes, April 1, 2009. Car and Driver pulled the phony story after several anti-Obama websites quoted the story as fact and Ann Coulter wrote a column in outrage


"I think of you as a goon"

-- David Letterman to Bill O'Reilly on CBS' Late Show, March 31, 2009. "You're too smart to believe what you say"


"I hope that Afghanistan will not be Obama's war, because it should be owned by all of us"

-- NATO Secretary-General Scheffer to the New York Times, March 29, 2009


"We succeeded in keeping the financial system from collapse, but people were unhappy because we didn't prevent a recession. It's hard to get kudos for what didn't happen"

-- Former treasury secretary Hank Paulson, miffed that ungrateful Americans aren't thankful enough to the Bush admin for its excellent stewardship of the economy. Wall St. Journal, March 28, 2009


"It's plant food...if we decrease the use of carbon dioxide, are we not taking away plant food from the atmosphere?"

-- Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ilinois) at the House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing on climate change, March 25, 2009. Shimkus also read Bible verses and said, "The earth will end only when God declares its time to be over. Man will not destroy this earth"


"President Bush had become extremely unpopular, and politically he was sort of a millstone around our necks"

-- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, March 27, 2009, telling reporters a comeback "always happens at some point"


"I have experienced that throughout my political career, being labeled a kook...This is not Michele Bachmann being a kook"

-- Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota), claiming on Glenn Beck's radio show, March 27, 2009, that the Obama administration was endorsing a "One World" currency. "If we give up the dollar as our standard, and co-mingle the value of the dollar with the value of coinage in Zimbabwe, that dilutes our money supply"


"I want to see what the landscape looks like. I want to see who yells the loudest. I wanted to know who says they're with me but really isn't"

-- RNC Chairman Michael Steele, telling CNN, March 25, 2009, that he intended to denounce Rush Limbaugh, then retract his position and embrace Rush Limbaugh. "It helps me understand, you know, where the enemy camp is and where those who are inside the tent are... It's all strategic"


"Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade. Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians"

-- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, vowing to stand "shoulder to shoulder" with Mexico in its violent struggle against drug cartels. March 25, 2009


"You don't want to think if you get in bed with Uncle Sam he's going to strip you naked, chain you to the bed, leave you there and then take nasty pictures of you and then put them on the Internet. Because that's what's been happening"

-- Fox Business Network anchor Dagen McDowell on the proposal to tax AIG bonuses. March 24, 2009


"How many terrorists have actually been brought to justice under the philosophy that is being promoted by Vice President Cheney? It hasn't made us safer. What it has been is a great advertisement for anti-American sentiment. Which means that there is constant effective recruitment of Arab fighters and Muslim fighters against U.S. interests all around the world"

-- Barack Obama on 60 Minutes, March 22, 2009


"All the feeling throughout all this operation of many of the soldiers was of a war of religions"

-- "Rahm," a squad commander in Israel's Givati Brigade to the Israeli newspaper Maariv, March 20, 2009, that he struggled to explain to soldiers that the assault on Gaza wasn't a religious war. "The military rabbinate brought many magazines and articles with a very clear message: 'We are the Jewish people, a miracle brought us to the land of Israel, God returned us to the land, and now we have to struggle so as to get rid of the gentiles who disturb us from conquering the holy land.'"


"No one was arguing that Saddam Hussein somehow had something to do with 9/11"

-- Condi Rice on PBS, March 18, 2009, the eve of the 6th anniversay of the Iraq invasion that was justified because Saddam Hussein somehow had something to do with 9/11


"We kept requesting. It didn't happen. I wish these troops have arrived at that time. They're seven years too late"

-- Afghan President Hamid Karzai on the deployment of 17,000 additional American troops, March 19, 2009


"I would rather be a good president taking on the tough issues for four years than a mediocre president for eight years"

-- Barack Obama at a California town hall-style meeting, March 18, 2009


"You all worked for change, you wanted to see change. Well that wasn't a hard thing to try to communicate to the American people...Congress's approval rating doubled since the Democrats are in office -- not because they're very popular right now, but because they took action"

-- VP Joe Biden at a DNC fundraiser, March 16, 2009. Biden also said Obama "has inherited the most difficult first 100 days of any president, I would argue, including Franklin Roosevelt"


"The first thing that would make me feel a little bit better towards them if they'd follow the Japanese model and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say I'm sorry, and then either do one of two things - resign, or go commit suicide"

-- Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), on news that AIG is about to pay $165 million in bonuses to executives who led the world economy into the weeds. WTOP radio interview, March 16, 2009


"I don't think you can blame the Bush administration for the creation of those circumstances"

-- Dick Cheney interview on CNN, March 15, 2009, denying any responsibility for the "economic circumstances" facing the nation, claiming that they had to spend money on the Katrina disaster and wars. "Stuff happens"


"There's a lot of people in Congress who drink a lot of alcohol. And they won't vote to legalize hemp... because they're afraid of the political consequences"

-- Rep. Ron Paul on CNN, March 13, 2009


"In the face of our enormous economic challenges, top White House aides decided to pee on Mr. Limbaugh's leg. This is a political luxury the country cannot afford, and which Mr. Obama would be wise to forbid"

-- Karl Rove, former top White House aide who peed on more legs than anyone can count. Column in the Wall St. Journal, March 12, 2009


"It's an executive assassination ring...they've been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That's been going on, in the name of all of us"

-- Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersch, revealing that the Bush Admin setup a secret Joint Special Operations Command to assassinate foes. "They reported directly to the Cheney office... Congress has no oversight of it." University of Minnesota speech, March 10, 2009


"My experience in Iraq is that despite having been shot seven times, it is very great"

-- Moses Matsiko, one of the 10,000+ Ugandans working as private security guards in Iraq. Christian Science Monitor, March 6, 2009


"Our economic problems are enormously serious, more serious than is publicly disclosed. And I think we're on the brink of a depression"

-- Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania), March 9, 2009


"We've been through worse. Reagan had a worse recession, and arguably George W. Bush"

-- Mary Matalin, consultant to Cheney, Fred Thompson, and numerous other Republican heavyweights, explaining why she has no credibility whatsoever. "I was there in that pre-9/11. We inherited a recession. We acted quickly, and the recession, in combination with 9/11, was shallow and short, and we went on to have 52 months of consecutive growth. I'm not doing talking points here," she said on the Hugh Hewitt radio show, March 9, 2009


"It's fallen off a cliff"

-- Billionaire Warren Buffett on the U.S. economy, CNBC interview, March 9, 2009. "America's best days are ahead, but how fast we'll go there is in question"


"We've got eight years of science to make up for, now the silly restrictions are lifted"

-- Dr. Curt Civin, director of the University of Maryland Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, on Obama's executive order lifting the Bush limits on funding for embryonic stem cells. Harvard Crimson, March 9, 2009


"I wanted people to see that the Supreme Court isn't all male. I also wanted them to see I was alive and well, contrary to that senator who said I'd be dead within nine months"

-- Supreme Ct. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on her appearance at Obama's speech to joint sessions of Congress, and also slapping down Senator Jim Bunning (R-Kentucky), who said in Feb. that she has "Bad cancer. The kind that you don't get better from." Ginsburg interview in USA TODAY, March 6, 2009


"The people have the raw power to define rights"

-- Kenneth Starr, lead attorney asking the California Supreme Court to not overturn Proposition 8. "I know there is an enormous amount of humanity and emotion involved in this," he said March 5, 2009, "but the people are sovereign ... As long as it is in fact clear to the people what they're voting on, we govern ourselves"


"We're past the Harry and Louise moment. We're at the Thelma and Louise moment. We're in the car heading for the cliff"

-- Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) at the White House health care summit, March 5, 2009. Obama joked at the summit conclusion, "Now I just want to be clear if you actually saw the movie, they did drive over the cliff. So, just want to be clear, that's not our intention"


"This is the same old style politics that we grew to really dislike in the 1990s, when the White House thought everything through from a political perspective"

-- Karl Rove on Fox News, March 4, 2009, amazingly charging the Obama administration with putting politics over policy


"We may not have realized it at the time, but in the period from late 2001-January 19, 2009, this country was a dictatorship"

-- Columbia Law professor and Harper's contributor Scott Horton, on the release of secret legal opinions crafted by the Office of Legal Counsel, including the deployment of military units on American soil. "John Yoo's Constitution is unlike any other I have ever seen. It seems to consist of one clause: appointing the President as commander-in-chief" Harper's, March 3, 2009


"I know some folks in Washington feel that they're kind of on the outside of this...And that's exactly how I like it"

-- RNC Chairman Michael Steele, telling Politico, March 4, 2009, that he is in the process of completely reorganizing the party organization. "If I told folks what I really thought, I'd probably be in a lot more trouble"


"There is the possibility in the next few months of a global new deal that will involve all the countries of the world in sorting out and cleaning up the banking system"

-- British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, following his White House meeting with Obama, March 3, 2009. "A bad bank anywhere can affect good banks everywhere," Brown said


"The entire fly fishing community is appalled and disgusted. "We all need money, but to apply green lipstick to this Darth Vader of fish and wildlife is whoring, it's grotesque"

-- Ted Williams, conservation editor at Fly Rod & Reel magazine, on the invitation to Dick Cheney to speak at a fundraiser for the American Museum of Fly Fishing. "It's as if the Holocaust museum held a dinner to honor Klaus Barbie," Williams told the NY Daily News, March 1, 2009


"Where is the compromise between good and evil? Should Jesus have cut a different deal? Serious. From the standpoint of what we have to do, folks, this is not about taking a policy or a process that the Democrats have put forward and fighting around the edges"

-- Rush Limbaugh closing speech at CPAC convention, February 28, 2009. "To us, bipartisanship is them being forced to agree with us after we politically have cleaned their clocks and beaten them." At the event right-wingers Mark Levin, Michelle Malkin, and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) joined Limbaugh in hoping that Obama's policies fail


"Let me say this as plainly as I can: By August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end"

-- President Barack Obama, February 27, 2009


"I don't think we can figure out how to outlaw recessions any more than we can outlaw tornadoes or outlaw hurricanes... It's a part of freedom. Sometimes freedom can be messy. Sometimes freedom has reversals"

-- Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) on C-SPAN, February 26, 2009, calling for more tax cuts to solve the economic crisis. Hensarling is on the House Budget and Financial Services Committees and is touted by Republicans as being the successor to former Senator Phil Gramm


"We have a tougher job than our friends across the aisle. They've been offering Americans a free lunch for the last 80 years, rather successfully"

-- House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), explaining to the Christian Science Monitor, February 25, 2009, why Republicans have never, ever, been in charge since the triumphant Hoover administration


"If anyone has any charges they want to bring, we have had a system for the last 800 years which has proved perfectly satisfactory, and they should put up or shut up. If anyone wants to put him on trial, in the immortal words of George Bush, bring them on"

-- Clive Stafford Smith, the lawyer representing torture victim Binyam Mohamed. released after seven years in detention, more than four of them at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo, February 24, 2009


"There are two models that Republicans are looking at. One is 1990, [President George H.W.] Bush gets together with the Democrats at Andrews Air Force Base, raises taxes and loses the next election. The other is 1993, Democrats have a series of proposals to spend and tax. Republicans vote no and regain the House and Senate "

-- The insight of Grover Norquist, who is apparently behind the Republican Party drive to oppose every Obama proposal. Politico, February 23, 2009


"We failed to look beyond the next payment, the next quarter, or the next election. A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future"

-- President Barack Obama address to joint session of Congress, February 24, 2009


"It mimics very much the old days of darkness"

-- Former Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi, comparing Maliki's efforts to setup a permanent special forces group answerable only to him to Saddam's presidential guard. "The danger is ... he'll use it to target his political enemies," said Army colonel Peter Mansoor (ret.) who served as Executive Officer to Gen. Petraeus. USA Today, February 23, 2009


"I personally believe, based on my experience over the years with the economy, that if we moved aggressively on this home problem a year and a half ago, even a year ago, as much as 90 percent of the current crisis could have been avoided"

-- Bill Clinton to ABC News, February 19, 2009


"I'll take it"

-- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, to the handful of Republican governors who say they will reject some of the federal stimulus money earmarked for their states. February 22, 2009


"I don't remember any time, maybe even in the Great Depression, when things went down quite so fast, quite so uniformly around the world"

-- Paul Volcker, head of Obama's Economic Recovery Board, February 20, 2009


"I'm not worried about the truth, so long as what we're talking about is the truth and things don't become politicized"

-- Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, saying that he'd conditionally cooperate with a Congressional truth commission on Gonzales' politiciziation of the Justice Department. February 19, 2009


"I felt that this person is the killer of the people, the prime murderer"

-- Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi, on trial for throwing his shoes at Bush. Al-Zaidi said he spontaneously decided to throw shoes because he was enraged by Bush's "icy smile." February 19, 2009


"Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and I believe continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards"

-- Eric Holder, the nation's first black attorney general February 18, 2009. "If we're going to ever make progress, we're going to have to have the guts, we have to have the determination, to be honest with each other. It also means we have to be able to accept criticism where that is justified"


"He went to the mat and came back and back and back at Bush. He was still trying the day before Obama was sworn in"

-- A "Cheney defender," describing the former VP's intense campaign to get Bush to grant a full pardon to Scooter Libby. The NY Daily News also reported, February 17, 2009, that sources said Cheney is "furious" with Bush over not getting his way


"You have absolutely no reason, none, to trust our word or our actions at this point"

-- RNC Chairman Michael Steele, agreeing with Fox News host Glenn Beck that conservatives are justified in being "pissed" at Republicans. February 13, 2009


"We know the dollar is going to depreciate, so we hate you guys but there is nothing much we can do"

-- Luo Ping, a director-general at the China Banking Regulatory Commission, speaking at a February 13, 2009 summit on risk management. "Except for US Treasuries, what can you hold?" he asked. "Gold? You don't hold Japanese government bonds or UK bonds. US Treasuries are the safe haven. For everyone, including China, it is the only option"


"A new world economic order might seem rhetorical, but it is a true goal we should be aiming towards... today right here in Rome we've embarked on a very significant journey"

-- Italy's Finance Minister Tremonti after a February 14, 2009, summit for G7 leaders in Rome


"This is the bill that the Republican Party will be running against in 2010 and 2012 and 2014"

-- Grover Norquist, and one of the most influential Republicans in the country, vowing that the Obama stimulus plan is going to be the signature GOP campaign issue. Tampa Bay Times, February 13, 2009


"Possibly in his law office, his feet on a cluttered desk, his sons playing around him, his clothes a bit too small to fit his uncommon frame -- maybe wondering if somebody might call him up and ask him to be commerce secretary"

-- Barack Obama, honoring Lincoln a few hours after Republican Sen. Judd Gregg abruptly withdrew as the commerce nominee, citing "irresolvable conflicts" with Obama's proposals. February 12, 2009


"I've never seen things as bad as they are. When you open the newspaper, unless you want to be a topless dancer, there's nothing"

-- Lifelong Elkhart, Indiana resident Yvonne Sell to CNN, February 10, 2009. The unemployment rate in the area is 15.3 percent, but the official rate is generally half of the true number if part-timers, discouraged workers and others included


"The Bush White House, was criticized for being tight-lipped. We didn't leak"

-- Karl Rove at Loyola University, February 3, 2009. Aside from Rove personally leaking the name of CIA covert agent Valerie Plame, Bush personally authorized Scooter Libby to leak classified information from a pre-war intelligence report to sympathetic NY Times reporter Judy Miller in 2003


"There are some reporters, you know, in that briefing room, you can imagine, Bill, you get a lot of dot coms and other oddballs who come in there. They're screened"

-- Former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer, telling Bill O'Reilly, February 9, 2009, on President Obama calling on a writer from Huffington Post at his first press conference. In 2003, Fleischer's office gave White House press credentials to Jeff Gannon, a male prostitute


"We need to be able to read the page before we turn the page. We need to come to a shared understanding of the failures of the recent past"

-- Senate Judiciary Committee chair Patrick Leahy, calling for a "truth commission" to investigate Bush administration abuses. "I'm doing this not to humiliate people or punish people but to get the truth out," he said, February 9, 2009


"I'm telling you he told us yes and our independent investigation said no"

-- Elizabeth Warren, chairwoman of the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel, diplomatically refusing to directly call former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson a liar for telling the panel that the U.S. was paying a fair price for bank assets. The panel discovered that Paulson overpaid $78 billion. Warren also said on the "Early Show," February 6, 2009, "if we're going to subsidize [the banks], then we need to call it subsidization and we need to have that good old-fashioned debate about whether that's the right way to spend our money here. You don't get to call it one thing and sell the American people on it by calling it that thing and actually have it be something very different"


"It seems to me that the president is rather casually throwing out some careless language"

-- Senator Jon Kyl (R-Arizona), telling the NY Times, February 7, 2009, that Obama has "really used some dangerous words dangerous words" in describing our economic crisis at risk of becoming a catastrophe. A day earlier, the government reported that unemployment was at 14% if part-timers, discouraged workers and others were included


"I think they're optimistic. All new Administrations are optimistic. We were"

-- Dick Cheney interview with Politico, February 4, 2009, warning that the Obama administration would be reckless to change Cheney's policies of terror. "I think they're likely to find - just as we did - that lots of times the diplomacy doesn't work. Or diplomacy doesn't work without there being an implied threat of something more serious if it fails"


"We're looking at a scenario where there's no more agriculture in California"

-- Energy Dept. Secretary Steven Chu, on the possible effects of global warming by the end of the century. "I don't think the American public has gripped in its gut what could happen," he also told the LA Times, February 4, 2009


"There was no Plan B "

-- Senior Obama adviser David Axelrod, admitting the White House has no other candidate for Health and Human Services secretary now that Tom Daschle has pulled out. NY Times, February 3, 2009


"Let me be clear: Those ideas have been tested, and they have failed. They've taken us from surpluses to an annual deficit of over $1 trillion. And they've brought our economy to a halt. And that's precisely what the election we just had was all about. The American people have rendered their judgment, and now's the time to move forward, not back. Now's the time for action"

-- Barack Obama, February 5, 2009, to Congressional Republicans pushing for Bush-era economic policies based on tax cuts


"I gift wrapped and delivered the largest Ponzi scheme in history to them and somehow they couldn't be bothered to conduct a thorough and proper investigation...If you flew the entire SEC staff to Boston, and sat them in Fenway Park, they wouldn't be able to find first base"

-- Former Boston fund manager Harry Markopolos, testifying to the House Financial Services Committee, February 4, 2009, that the SEC was scared of confronting big Wall Street investors including Bernie Madoff. "They were a captive regulator. Mr. Madoff was too big"


"Madoff was running such a large scheme of unimaginable size and complexity, and he had a lot of dirty money. And let me describe dirty money to you. When you're that big and you're that secrective, you're going to attract a lot of organized crime money, and which we now know came from the Russian mob and the Latin American drug cartel, and when you are zeroing out mobsters, you have a lot to fear. And he could not afford to get caught"

-- Harry Markopolos, the whistle-blower on the Berrnard Madoff case, testifying to Congress, February 4, 2009


"You don't want to be the last sailor protecting Captain Queeg's strawberries"

-- George Washington University's Jonathan Turley on MSNBC, February 3, 2009, predicting that other Bush administration officials will start speaking to investigators, now that Karl Rove's attorney has stated his client will cooperate in the fired U.S. attorney probe


"It was really one step above, 'Joan, you ignorant slut.' And it bothers me that nobody pays a penalty for this. I'm sure he'll be back on all the shows within a week or two"

-- CNN media commentator Howard Kurtz, on former GOP House majority leader Dick Armey, February 1, 2009. Armey had snapped at Salon editor Joan Walsh during a Jan. 28 MSNBC debate, "I'm so damn glad that you can never be my wife because I surely wouldn't have to listen to that prattle from you every day"


"He's from Hawaii, okay? He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there"

-- Obama senior adviser, David Axelrod, explaining to the New York Times, January 29, 2009 why Obama has been photographed without a suit coat in the Oval Office. The same day, right-wing columnist Michelle Malkin accused Obama of "eco-hypocrisy" while former Bush White House chief of staff Andrew Card sniffed, "I'm disappointed to see the casual, laissez faire, short sleeves, no shirt and tie, no jacket, kind of locker room experience that seems to be taking place in this White House and the Oval Office"


"We have this thing called impeachment and it's bleeping golden, and we've used it the right way"

-- Illinois State Senator James Meeks at Blagojevich's impeachment hearing, January 29, 2009


"Of course you ask that question the whole time. You'd be weird if you didn't ask that question"

-- Tony Blair, admittng to The Times, January 31, 2009, that he reflects many times a day on his decision to go to war in Iraq. "I regret saying some things I shouldn't have said, like 'dead or alive' and 'bring 'em on'" -- George W. Bush, November 11, 2008


"There are tens of thousands of people across America just like me who are losing their jobs"

-- Rod Blagojevich, January 29, 2009, shortly after being removed from office by the Illinois legislature


"Eliminating the Bush system will mean that we will get no more information from captured al Qaeda terrorists"

-- Former Justice Dept. lawyer John Yoo, who wrote the arguments justifying torture. " Every prisoner will have the right to a lawyer (which they will surely demand), the right to remain silent, and the right to a speedy trial," he wrote in his January 29, 2009 Wall St. Journal editorial


"We heard him say that he we shouldn't paint Islam with a broad brush. Who does? That's a straw man"

-- Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, on Fox News, January 27, 2009, critical of Obama's interview with Al-Arabiya was too "apologetic and defensive." In his December 6, 2002 column, "Violence and Islam," Krauthammer wrote, "...some of the worst, most hate-driven violence in the world today is perpetrated by Muslims ...murderers speak in the name of Islam"


"We wish President Bush well. But frankly, we will not have to be carrying that sort of political burden that we carried the last two elections"

-- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, early front runner for the 2009 "Et tu Brute" award. Comment from the Today Show, January 27, 2009, exactly one week after Bush left office


"Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk"

-- House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan), issuing a subpoena, January 26, 2009, for Rove to testify on the firings of U.S. attorneys


"The commanders and soldiers sent to Gaza should know they are safe from various tribunals and Israel will assist them on this front and defend them"

-- Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, January 25, 2009. Top UN officials and rights groups have accused Israeli troops of war crimes for use of phosphorous bombs, destroying UN humanitarian aid, and refusing to allow civilians a way to leave a war zone (MORE)


"Throughout his war on terrorism, and our war on terrorism, President Bush often had to walk like a knowing lion -- like a knowing lion, Mr. Speaker, through the chattering of hyenas. And endure the incessant insults and thoughtless criticisms of those whose vision only reached to the selfish partisan advantage of the moment"

-- Rep. Trent Franks (R-Arizona), who wept at one point of his January 22, 2009, floor speech in praise of George W. Bush. "If I could just talk to him face-to-face, I think I would just say something like this: I would say, 'Thank you, Mr. President, for protecting my two babies'"


"[My arrest on] December 9 to my family, to us, to me, is what Pearl Harbor Day was to the United States"

-- Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, January 22, 2009, clearly preparing to compare his upcoming impeachment to the Battle of Stalingrad and his eventual conviction to the bombing of Hiroshima. The same day, Blagojevich's attorney resigned, saying "I never require a client to do what I say, but I do require them to at least listen"


"We will try to have a relationship that is respectful and where you guys feel like you're actually getting answers"

-- Barack Obama making a surprise visit to the White House press room, January 22, 2009


"Mr. Bush, a man of core decency and integrity, was right not to reply in kind when Democratic leaders called him a liar and a loser. The price of trying to change the tone in Washington was to be often pummeled woothers to blame anyone but themselves for dividing the nation along partisan lines during his administration"

-- Karl Rove, January 21, 2009 Wall St. Journal op/ed. "He didn't get everything right -- no president does -- but he got the most important things right. And that is enough"


"Let there be no doubt about America's commitment to lead. We can no longer afford drift, and we can no longer afford delay, nor can we cede ground to those who seek destruction. A new era of American leadership is at hand, and the hard work has just begun"

-- Barack Obama to State Department workers, January 22nd, 2009


"[This time] we're going to do it very slowly"

-- Barack Obama, retaking the oath of office at a private White House gathering, January 21, 2009. After Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts flubbed the precise Constitutional wording during the inauguration, White House Counsel Greg Craig said that the oath was resdone "out of an abundance of caution, because there was one word out of sequence." Fox News and other right-wing media were already raising disputing whether Obama was legitimately the president because of the mistake


"I always felt it was important to tackle the tough issues today and not try to pass them on to future presidents, and future generations...I gave it my all"

-- Former president George W. Bush to a a small welcoming crowd at the Midland, Texas airport, January 20, 2009. The final vacation tally was 977 days spent at his ranch or at Camp David - equivalent to exactly one-third of his presidency


"Anything is possible in America"

-- Barack Obama, January 19, 2009


"Suddenly today, when there was hope for ceasefire...Suddenly, they bombed us; is that how we treat a doctor who takes care of Israeli patients. Is that what's done? Is this peace?"

-- Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Ashi, a Palestinian doctor who works at an Israeli hospital and has been reporting for Israel's channel 10 television, as he witnessed three of his daughters killed as Israeli shells hit his home in Gaza. Israel claimed that sniper fire came from the house. Speaking from his phone during a live studio broadcast, Dr. Ashi screamed, "Everybody in Israel knows that I was talking on television and on the radio," said Dr. Ashi, January 17, 2009. "That we are home, that we are innocent people" (MORE)


"A legacy of President George W. Bush will be that he saved 10 million lives around the world... The bottom line is: George Bush is a healer"

-- Former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, op/ed on CNN, January 16, 2009. Frist's "10 million lives" referred to the AIDS initiative announced in the 2003 State of the Union Address, which actually diverted funds from condom programs to abstinence-only initiatives and allowed the U.S. government to fund missionaries in Africa (MORE)


"Afghanistan has gone from a nation where the Taliban harbored al Qaeda and stoned women in the streets to a young democracy that is fighting terror and encouraging girls to go to school"

-- Bush Farewell Address to the Nation, January 15, 2009. The same day that was the deadline given by the Taliban to girls in Pakistan who attend school. After Jan. 15, the Taliban vowed any girls in school will be killed


"I think so"

-- Dick Cheney on PBS, January 14, 2009, response to the question: "4,500 Americans have died, at least 100,000 Iraqis have died. Has it been worth that?"


"I think someone should acknowledge that mistakes were made, and that they hurt the effort, and take responsibility for it"

-- Retired judge Susan J. Crawford, the official charged with deciding whether to bring Gitmo detainees to trial, who told the Washington Post, January 14, 2009, that there was not question that prisoners were tortured. "We learn as children it's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is for permission. I think the buck stops in the Oval Office"


"When we start asking about, 'what is your commitment to civil rights?' ... [H]ow do you prove that? Usually by membership in some crazy liberal organization or by some participation in some crazy cause...I mean, I just want to make sure we don't start confining ourselves to, you know, politburo members because they happen to be a member of some, you know, psychopathic left-wing organization designed to overthrow the government"

-- Justice Department civil-rights division head Bradley Schlozman, who directed that only "right-thinking" conservative lawyers should be hired instead of "crazy libs" who were "disloyal" and not "on the team." DoJ inspector general report, January 13, 2009


"I am disappointed by the tone in Washington, D.C. I tried to do my part by not engaging in the name-calling and -- and by the way, needless name-calling. I have worked to be respectful of my opponents on different issues"

-- George W. Bush final press conference, January 12, 2009


"I've thought long and hard about Katrina -- you know, could I have done something differently, like land Air Force One either in New Orleans or Baton Rouge. The problem with that and -- is that law enforcement would have been pulled away from the mission"

-- George W. Bush final press conference, January 12, 2009. Bush, who flew overt the aftermath at least once every five days to demonstrate just how very much he cared, created air traffic snafus because of the presidential security bubble, which in at least one instance, blocked a major delivery of emergency supplies (MORE)


"For the last eight years I've had a national security briefing every day but Sunday. And when you get a national security briefing, it is a reminder of the responsibilities of the job. It's just a daily reminder about what may or may not happen"

-- George W. Bush final press conference, January 12, 2009. Besides the now-famous Aug. 6 2001 briefing titled, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States," the 9/11 commission revealed that in the months before the attack, Bush was also given briefing papers headlined, "Bin Laden Planning Multiple Operations," "Bin Laden Threats Are Real" and "Bin Laden's Plans Advancing"


"My view is the techniques were necessary and are necessary...I firmly reject the word 'torture'"

-- George W. Bush interview on Fox News, January 11, 2009. Bush also admitted he personally authorized the torture of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, after being reassured that the "tools [that] are available for us to find information from him" were deemed to be legal by his advisors


"We've got a few days left yet"

-- Dick Cheney, flippantly telling CNN, January 9, 2009, that they still have eleven days left to capture or kill Osama bin Laden


"We never think of the fact that something like this can happen"

-- Ousted FEMA director Michael "Heck of a Job" Brown, among those evacuated by a wildfire in Colorado. Boulder Daily Camera, January 8, 2009


"There was never any question about who was in charge. It was George Bush. And that's the way we operated"

-- Dick Cheney, CBS Radio, January 6, 2009. "This whole notion that somehow I exceeded my authority here, was usurping his authority, is simply not true. It's an urban legend, never happened"


"It would be a tragedy if they threw over those policies simply because they had campaigned against them"

-- Dick Cheney, warning that Obama will rue the day that America shifts from Bush policies on "terrorist surveillance or interrogation of terrorist prisoners." Cheney continued chiding Obama on CBS Radio, January 6, 2009, "If I had advice to give it would be, before you start to implement your campaign rhetoric you need to sit down and find out precisely what it is we did and how we did it, because it is going to be vital to keeping the nation safe and secure in the years ahead"


"I think that [Obama's] task will be to develop an overall strategy for America in this period, when really a 'New World Order' can be created. It's a great opportunity. It isn't such a crisis"

-- Henry Kissinger on CNBC, January 6, 2009


"With the banks in a state of catatonic fear now, they're just sitting on the capital... this shows Wall Street they're safer, but then this doesn't get you much improvement. If you're taking money from the public purse, we should get something in return, and we're really not"

-- Alan Blinder, former Federal Reserve vice chairman and now an economics professor at Princeton, on why the massive bank bailout has not loosened credit. Bloomberg News, January 5, 2009


"There is no humanitarian crisis, and therefore there is no need for a humanitarian truce"

-- Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, January 1, 2009 (MORE)


"Bush's policies failed utterly...replacing the Saddam regime with extreme chaos was not right. I did not imagine the political process would eat itself from inside or that it would abandon the rule of law and establish political sectarianism"

-- Former Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi interview in the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, January 2, 2009. "In a few days, Iraq will radiate with stability and security." -- Former Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi, June 28, 2004


"Hamas has held the people of Gaza hostage ever since their illegal coup against the forces of President Mahmoud Abbas"

-- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, January 2, 2009


"[The] Palestinian people have apparently voted for change"

-- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, January 26, 2006, after Hamas won a decisive victory over the forces of President Mahmoud Abbas in a closely-monitored election. The same day that President Bush said the the election showed "democracy at work" (MORE)


"It allowed everybody to believe that this Sarah Palin-like president -- because, let's face it, that's what he was -- was going to be protected by this national-security elite, tested in the cauldrons of fire"

-- Lawrence Wilkerson, top aide and later chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, on the selection of Cheney as VP. "He became vice president well before George Bush picked him," Wilkerson told Vanity Fair, for a Bush retrospective in the February, 2009 issue. "And he began to manipulate things from that point on, knowing that he was going to be able to convince this guy to pick him, knowing that he was then going to be able to wade into the vacuums that existed around George Bush -- personality vacuum, character vacuum, details vacuum, experience vacuum"


"Katrina to me was the tipping point. The president broke his bond with the public. Once that bond was broken, he no longer had the capacity to talk to the American public. State of the Union addresses? It didn't matter. Legislative initiatives? It didn't matter. P.R.? It didn't matter. Travel? It didn't matter"

-- Matthew Dowd, Bush's pollster and chief strategist for the 2004 presidential campaign, in the Vanity Fair, February, 2009 issue


"What is it that I did that is so fundamentally wrong, that deserves this kind of response to my service?"

-- Alberto Gonzales, complaining to the Wall St. Journal, December 30, 2008, that no law firm will hire him. "For some reason, I am portrayed as the one who is evil in formulating policies that people disagree with. I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror"


"You have a such stunningly superficial knowledge of what went on it's almost embarrassing to listen to you"

-- Former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski to MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, who was trying to blame the lack of meaningful Israel-Palestinian peace talks in the last 8 years on the Clinton administration. Morning Joe show, December 30, 2008


"We have nothing against Gaza residents, but we are engaged in an all-out war against Hamas and its proxies"

-- Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, December 29, 2008. At least 51 civilians, including children, have died as a result of the Israeli airstrikes, according to the UN


"I think generations pretty soon are going to start to thank this president for what he's done. This generation will"

-- Condoleezza Rice on CNN, December 28, 2008


"Look, if I'd have known people were listening, I probably wouldn't have said some of the things you say in private conversations"

-- Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who understands that a crime is only a crime when it is overheard by federal prosecutors. I think there's probably tens of millions of people across America who talk like that from time to time...If somehow that's impeachable, then I'm on the wrong planet and I'm living in the wrong place," he said, December 26, 2008


"Our new shows will feature themes of affirmation and accomplishment. Our shows are going to focus less on loud and silly hooks and more on young people proving themselves. These are themes that are consistent with the Obama generation"

-- Brian Graden, president of entertainment at MTV Networks music channels, Variety, December 19, 2008


"You didn't hand it out to younger guys, but it could be a silver bullet to make connections to the older ones"

-- A retired CIA agent on the Agency's new bribe of choice given to Afghan tribal leaders: Viagra. "You're trying to bridge a gap between people living in the 18th century and people coming in from the 21st century," Jamie Smith, a veteran of CIA covert operations in Afghanistan told the Washington Post, December 25, 2008, "so you look for those common things in the form of material aid that motivate people everywhere"


"In this climate, in this foreclosure crisis, with everything we all went through, to get a pardon? It made me relive everything we've been going through the last 10 years. It's like living a nightmare you can't wake up from, and then he walks away like it never happened"

-- Maxine Wilson, among the many suing Isaac Toussie for mortgage and real estate fraud. Toussie was given a pardon by Bush that was withdrawn the next day when it was revealed that Toussie's father recently contributed $30,000 to the GOP and McCain. "Because of him, I had to let my home go and I haven't been able to get another one since. That man ruined a whole lot of people's lives," victim Pamela Jones also told the NY Times, December 24, 2008


"The Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman and asks that this order of creation be respected...the tropical forest deserves our protection, but no less so than does man as creation"

-- Pope Benedict XVI, using his December 23, 2008 Christmas message not to call for an end to war, hunger, or poverty, but to denounce transsexuals and sanctioning violence by urging followers to "protect man against destruction by himself." George Broadhead of the UK Pink Triangle Trust told the Independent, "This must be the most outrageous and bizarre claim yet made by the Pope, who has already got a well-deserved reputation as one of the most viciously homophobic world leaders, on a par with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and Robert Mugabe"


"What exactly separates Madoff's operation from those of the banks rewarded for their shady follies by a $700 billion bailout?"

-- Alexander Cockburn column, December 19, 2008 (MORE)


"We absolutely wanted to increase homeownership, but we never wanted lenders to make bad decisions"

-- President Bush, quoted by White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto in a December 21, 2008, New York Times feature, "White House Philosophy Stoked Mortgage Bonfire." The Times reports that Bush first learned of the scope of the ecomic collapse at a a crucial Sept. 18 meeting with his economic advisors. "How did we get here?" Bush mused aloud


"The 'gotcha' moments in my campaign in the past were few and far between"

-- President Bush, who likely won the 2000 election because the press was only seeking "gotcha" moments from opponent Al Gore. Interview with RealClearPolitics, December 19, 2008 (MORE)


"The farther we got away from September the 11th, the harder it was for people to see the connection between al Qaeda in Iraq and their own security"

-- President Bush, grand-champion winner of the George W. Bush falsehood prize, in an interview December 19, 2008. All together now: 1) There was no connection between 9/11 and Iraq; 2) al Qaeda had no presence in Iraq until Bush invaded; and 3) Al Qaeda in Iraq, or even Iraq under Saddam, posed no threat to the security of Americans


"I will fight. I will fight. I will fight until I take my last breath. I have done nothing wrong"

-- Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose defense will apparently rest on convincing a judge that FBI wiretaps proving he did a whole bunch of things wrong were illegal, illegal, illegal


"I came with the idea of changing the tone in Washington, and frankly, didn't do a very good job of it"

-- President Bush comment at a December 18, 2008, event hosted by the American Enterprise Institute. "I have never used my position as president to personally denigrate somebody," he added, declaring his are the only hands clean in an administration with a staggering record of savage attacks


"Of course, he's very quick... He's such a natural athlete"

-- Laura Bush, proud of her man's prowess in dodging thrown footwear. USA TODAY, December 18, 2008


"The excesses of the past have caused a lot of folks to hurt when it comes to, like, their 401(k)'s or, you know, their jobs"

-- President Bush to Fox News, December 17, 2008, blaming the economic downturn on anything but his own leadership


"I've abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system, to make sure the economy doesn't collapse"

-- President Bush to CNN, December 16, 2008, joining former Fed chief Alan Greenspan in writing the final epitaph for Ayn Rand, kicking over her tombstone, and salting the soil over the grave


"[I thought,] wait a second. We assume that what they are doing is illegal? I don't understand that. Why are we part of that? I just stepped back and said, 'This is crazy'"

-- Former Justice Department lawyer Thomas Tamm, the 2005 whistleblower on the Bush warrantless wiretapping program. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show, December 15, 2008


"Yeah, that's right, [but] so what? The point is that al Qaeda said they're going to take a stand"

-- President Bush, admitting to ABC, December 14, 2008, that it doesn't matter to him that al Qaeda didn't come to Iraq until after the U.S. invaded


"The guy wanted to get on TV and he did. I don't know what his beef is"

-- President Bush to ABC, December 14, 2008,


"If you lived in Iraq and had lived under a tyranny, you'd be saying: God, I love freedom"

-- President Bush at a Baghdad press conference, December 14, 2008. A few moments later, an Iraqi television journalist took off his shoes and threw them at Bush, shouting in Arabic, "This is a farewell kiss, you dog"


"It may just prove that when I have a lot of morphine in my system, I make the right decisions"

-- John Ashcroft, recalling the March 2004 incident when Alberto Gonzales visited Aschroft's hospital room after surgery and tried to get then-Attorney General Aschroft to re-authorize the Bush domestic spying program. "Maybe I should have kept one of those [morphine drips] at my desk throughout my administration. Make better decisions." Interview on Fora.tv, November 19, 2008


"They should have wiped that stuff out, [but] given the way the campaign was run, this is not a surprise"

-- A contact for the McCain-Palin campaign, whose phone number was still on a Blackberry sold by the former McCain HQ for $20. Hundreds of e-mails were also on the device, according to the Fox News Washington D.C. affiliate, December 11, 2008


"[Sarah Palin] had something of a polarizing effect when she talked about how small town values are good. Well, most of us don't live in small towns. And I was raised in the South Bronx, and there's nothing wrong with my value system"

-- Colin Powell, CNN interview, December 11, 2008


"I've got this thing and it's fucking golden, and, uh, uh, I'm just not giving it up for fuckin' nothing. I'm not gonna do it. And, and I can always use it. I can parachute me there"

-- Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, in an FBI-taped call November 5, 2008, attempting to sell Obama's ex-seat in the U.S. Senate or else he would appoint himself. The governor's lawyer said later that day that the governor did nothing wrong, and has no plans to resign


"I asked him [McCain] some pretty direct questions. Some of the answers you guys are gonna receive -- they appalled me, absolutely. I was angry. In fact I wanted to get off the bus after I talked to him"

-- Joe Wurzelbacher, now to be known as "Joe The Disgruntled Plumber," on the Glenn Beck radio show, December 9, 2008


"Let me just get one thing straight here: There's a lot of talk about well, General Motors doesn't make the right kind of cars or General Motors built trucks too long. At $1.50 per gallon, the American public wants sport utilities and large pickup trucks...The small cars are not selling at $1.50 a gallon"

-- GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz on Fox News, December 9, 2008, the day after GM published a statement admitting "we lost adequate focus on the core U.S. market...we also biased our product mix toward pick-up trucks and SUVs"


"We acknowledge we have disappointed you. At times we violated your trust by letting our quality fall below industry standards and our designs become lackluster"

-- GM unsigned ad in Automotive News, December 8, 2008. "We have proliferated our brands and dealer network to the point where we lost adequate focus on the core U.S. market," the ad said. "We also biased our product mix toward pick-up trucks and SUVs"


"I could walk into our communications director's office on any one day and there would be six or seven truly horrific stories sort of bubbling away on the stove"

-- Trevor Potter, the McCain campaign's top lawyer, revealing that the legal team spent much of its time preparing spin for scandals in McCain's past. "This journalistic entity was doing an expose on Cindy McCain. This journalistic entity was doing an expose on John McCain's military record in Florida in the 1960s. On they went," he said at a panel discussion hosted by the University of California, December 4, 2008


"This is maybe one of the worst jobs reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics has ever produced"

-- BLS commission Keith Hall, December 5, 2008. The Bureau was founded 124 years ago


"The Comforter-in-Chief is always the comforted person"

-- George W. Bush interview with ABC News, December 1, 2008. "I'll miss meeting with the families whose son or daughter have fallen in combat, because the meetings I've had with the families are so inspirational. They -- I mean, obviously, there's a lot of sadness, and we cry, and we hug, and we occasionally laugh. And we share -- I listen to stories"


"We haven't been a real social first couple. A lot of it had to do with the war. There were periods of the presidency where it was just inappropriate to be big entertainers. But we had a lot of friends and family here in the White House and it's been really a lot of fun"

-- George W. Bush, probably the only planet that would call his White House years as "fun." Interview with NBC News, December 4, 2008


"Never forget, the press is the enemy. The establishment is the enemy. The professors are the enemy. Professors are the enemy. Write that on a blackboard 100 times and never forget it"

-- Nixon to Kissinger in a newly-released tape from December 14, 1972, six weeks after his landslide re-election


"You know, I'm the President during this period of time, but I think when the history of this period is written, people will realize a lot of the decisions that were made on Wall Street took place over a decade or so, before I arrived in President"

-- George W. Bush interview with ABC News, December 1, 2008, blaming others for the economic crisis. The same day, it came out that in 2005 the Bush administration bowed to pressure from WaMu and other banks and dropped a proposal to regulate risky mortgages


"9/11 unified the country, and that was a moment where Washington decided to work together. I think one of the big disappointments of the presidency has been the fact that the tone in Washington got worse, not better"

-- George W. Bush interview with ABC News, December 1, 2008, blaming others for dividing the nation along partisan lines


"A lot of people put their reputations on the line and said the weapons of mass destruction is a reason to remove Saddam Hussein. It wasn't just people in my administration; a lot of members in Congress, prior to my arrival in Washington D.C., during the debate on Iraq, a lot of leaders of nations around the world were all looking at the same intelligence. And, you know, that's not a do-over, but I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess"

-- George W. Bush interview with ABC News, December 1, 2008, blaming others for believing the misinformation supplied by his administration


"At least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse. The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001"

-- Matthew Alexander, a pseudonym for a USAF veteran who took part in 1,300 interrogations in Iraq during 2006. " How anyone can say that torture keeps Americans safe is beyond me -- unless you don't count American soldiers as Americans," he wrote in a Washington Post op/ed, November 30, 2008


"I'd like to be a president (remembered) as somebody who liberated 50 million people and helped achieve peace"

-- George W. Bush in an archival interview with his sister, released November 28, 2008. "I would like to be a person remembered as a person who, first and foremost, did not sell his soul in order to accommodate the political process"


"It is not just Murdoch (and everybody else at News Corp.'s highest levels) who absolutely despises Bill O'Reilly...but [Fox News chief executive] Roger Ailes himself who loathes him. Success, however, has cemented everyone to each other"

-- Author Michael Wolff's forthcoming biography of Rupert Murdoch, "The Man Who Owns The News," quoted in Politico, November 28, 2008. "The embarrassment can no longer be missed. He mumbles even more than usual when called on to justify it"


"He's created havoc in the marketplace by changing the rules. It was the stupidest statement on Earth"

-- Ken Rosen, a real estate hedge fund manager and UC/Berkeley professor of real estate economics, on Treasury Secretary Paulson's sudden reversal on using some of the $700 billion bailout to buy up bad securities from banks and insurance companies. As a result, the already tight credit market has completely locked up. AP, November 27, 2008


"This war has gone on for seven years, the Afghans don't understand anymore, how come a little force like the Taliban can continue to exist, can continue to flourish, can continue to launch attacks"

-- Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, critical of the U.S. and NATO efforts, particularly in dealing with their bases in Pakistan. "In the last seven years there was no attention to this issue," Karzai said., November 26, 2008. "And instead they threatened: 'You should be quiet, keep quiet, keep quiet, and don't talk about this issue'"


"Understand where the vision for change comes from first and foremost: it comes from me"

-- Barack Obama, November 26, 2008, press conference, answering a question on whether there was a 'recycling' of players from the Clinton era. "It would be surprising if I selected a Treasury secretary who had had no connection with the last Democratic administration because that would mean the person had no experience in Washington whatsoever," Obama said


"This is also part of the new way of doing business: When we make mistakes, we admit them"

-- Barack Obama, November 24, 2008, press conference


"This is as ugly as it gets: an agency operating outside of the law, covering it up and getting away with it as long as they did"

-- Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Michigan) on the November 20, 2008 release of a CIA inspector general's report showing that between 1995-2001, the Agency's drug-interdiction program ordered aircraft shot down over Peru without first being identified and without warning. The CIA's top attorney advised Agency managers to avoid producing written reports "to avoid both criminal charges against agency officers and civil liability"


"I think he's impatient. I think, my summation: He doesn't like homework. And homework means reading or getting briefed or having a debate"

-- Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, explaining on MSNBC, November 23, 2008, why he has said Bush "shows little intellectual curiosity"


"Well, I do - I regret it. I mean, you know, I'm going forward. You can take from the word 'regret' what you will. I wish I had not said some of the things I've said. But again, we all do it"

-- Joe Lieberman on Meet The Press, November 23, 2008, refusing to apologize for attacks on Obama while he was campaigning for McCain


"The only reason that Mr. Ziegler's original survey got stupid answers from Obama's supporters is because he asked stupid questions"

-- Polling expert Nate Silver on the results of a Zogby poll now being widely touted on Fox News and other right-wing media outlets. The poll, commissioned by former radio talk show host John Ziegler, asked Obama voters questions that had no correct answer, such as "Which candidate started their political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground?" "Which candidate said their policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket?" and "Which candidate said they could see Russia from their house?" (Palin said that Russia could be seen from Alaska, but it was Tina Fey who changed it to "house")


"I said, oh, my! Ted's got an airport! That's neat"

-- Sen. Larry Craig (R-Wide Stance) recalling his excitement as his cab pulled up to the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. November 20, 2008


"Couldn't you all have downgraded to first class or jet-pooled to get here? It would have at least sent the message that you do get it"

-- Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) to the CEOs of the Detroit Big Three, who all flew to Washington on private jets to ask for a $25 billion bailout. All vowed to Congress that they would be "leaner" in the future, November 18, 2008


"The truth is that you're living in a world that no longer exists. I, along with millions of Americans, clearly see the world the way it as - and we embrace what it can be. You, on the other hand, seem incapable of looking for new ideas or moving beyond what worked in the past"

-- Candace Gingrich, November 22, 2008, open letter to her brother, Newt, who a few days before warned of a threat of "gay and secular fascism" in the United States


"I think there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, to use harassment. I think it is prepared to use the government if it can get control of it. I think that it is a very dangerous threat to anybody who believes in traditional religion"

-- History Ph.D, former college history professor and history book author Newt Gingrich, on the threat to America from peaceful protests against passage of Proposition 8. Fox News, November 14, 2008


"Engagement is not appeasement, diplomacy is not retreat. Somehow too many in this town and in this country have disconnected all of that"

-- Retiring Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska), November 18, 2008. "You know, I wish Rush Limbaugh and others like that would run for office," a sarcastic Hagel continued. "They have so much to contribute and so much leadership and they have an answer for everything. And they would be elected overwhelmingly. [The truth is] they try to rip everyone down and make fools of everybody but they don't have any answers"


"What's the G20?"

-- United States President George W. Bush to Australian PM Kevin Rudd, during an Oct. 10 call on the global economic crisis. Rudd was trying to convince Bush that the situation needed input from nations such as China that were outside the Euro-centric G7. Bush subsequently called a G20 summit that occurred this past weekend. The Australian, October 25, 2008


"I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that. I have said repeatedly that America doesn't torture. And I'm gonna make sure that we don't torture. Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America's moral stature in the world"

-- Barack Obama on 60 Minutes, November 16, 2008


"The only good thing about McCain is that he gave us a genuine conservative, Sarah Palin. He's like one of those insects that lives just long enough to reproduce so that the species can survive"

-- Ann Coulter, now officially the craziest damn person in the world. November 5, 2008 column


"Do you want to end up like Bush?"

-- French president Sarkozy, talking Vladimir Putin out of hanging Georgian president "Saakashvili by the balls." In the Aug. 12 exchange, Putin pointed out that the Americans had hanged Saddam. "Yes, but do you want to end up like Bush?" Sarkozy asked. "Ah - you have scored a point there," Putin replied. London Times, November 14, 2008


"What the American economy has going for it is the innate optimism of the public. Americans get optimistic at the drop of a hat"

-- Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, November 12, 2008, after a poll that found 7 in 10 Americans say they are optimistic about next four years after Obama's election


"Sitting here in these chairs that I'm going to be proposing but in working with these governors who again on the front lines are forced to and it's our privileged obligation to find solutions to the challenges facing our own states every day being held accountable, not being just one of many just casting votes or voting present every once in a while, we don't get away with that"

-- The breathless Sarah Palin. CNN interview, November 12, 2008. The following day she had a very brief press conference at the Republican Governors Association conference, and reviewed events of the last year: "I had a baby; I did some traveling; I very briefly expanded my wardrobe; I made a few speeches; I met a few V.I.P.'s, including those who really impact society, like Tina Fey"


"Hillary went through the same thing, of course"

-- Sarah Palin, repeating twice that she was "not complaining," but that "there were certainly double standards" in the way she and Clinton were treated by the media. Fox News interview, November 12, 2008


"I regret saying some things I shouldn't have said, like 'dead or alive' and 'bring 'em on'"

-- George W. Bush to CNN, November 11, 2008. "My wife reminded me that, hey, as president of the United States, be careful what you say"


"We're all nervous about saying that this was illegal because of our fears about the marketplace. To the extent we want to try to publicly stop this, we're going to be gumming up some important deals"

-- A congressional aide, who spoke to The Washington Post, November 10, 2008 on condition of anonymity about the Treasury Dept. quietly reversing a 1986 section of the tax code to allow banks a windfall worth up to $140 billion per bank


"Did the Treasury Department have the authority to do this? I think almost every tax expert would agree that the answer is no"

-- George K. Yin, former chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, to The Washington Post, November 10, 2008. "They basically repealed a 22-year-old law that Congress passed as a backdoor way of providing aid to banks"


"There were times when we wanted to seal our presence on every inch of land -- and I was one of those people -- but we were wrong"

-- Outgoing Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, November 10, 2008. "If we are determined to preserve the Jewish and democratic character of the state of Israel, we must inevitably relinquish, with great pain, parts of our homeland, and we must relinquish Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem"


"She was just frantically ... trying to sort stuff out. That's the problem, you know, the kids lose underwear, and everything has to be accounted for"

-- Sarah Palin's father, Chuck Heath, telling AP, November 10, 2008, that his daughter the governor spent her Saturday going through clothes that she said were already boxed up and she didn't want at the demand of Republican National Committee lawyers that she said weren't demanding they be returned


"You got half the party waiting for Sarah Palin to come rescue them. The other half waiting for Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana governor, to come rescue them. But no set of beliefs, really a decayed conservative infrastructure. It's just a world of pain"

-- NY Times conservative columnist David Brooks on the state of the Republican Party. He also said on Face the Nation, November 9, 2008, "In '64, [the GOP had] coherent belief system. They lost, they didn't persuade the American people about it, but they understood where they wanted to take the country. Now it's just a circular firing squad"


"I don't know if I will die of happiness"

-- Sarah Obama, step-grandmother of the president-elect, at her home in the village of Kogelo, Kenya. Guardian/UK, November 6, 2008


"So bawdy jokes are okay, if they're really good?"

-- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, goofing around, November 4, 2008, as the court heard arguments about "fleeting" obscenity on the airwaves, with the Justice Dept. lawyer claiming it could lead to "Big Bird dropping the F-bomb on Sesame Street"


"Everyone, including you, wants to have a coffee here. I don't know what the fuck I'm going to do"

-- William Ayers, joking to the New Yorker, November 4, 2008, that there's a new demand for him to host living-room events


"It was almost like 1862, December 31, you knew the next day the Emancipation Proclamation would be signed and people couldn't sleep"

-- An emotional Jesse Jackson on election night, 2008, telling ABC News that he hadn't slept much for two days


"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still question the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer"

-- President-elect Barack Obama, November 4, 2008. "The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America -- I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you -- we as a people will get there"


"[Obama] talked about, there you go, the bitter clingers, the Klingons, all of us, I guess, you know holding onto religion and guns"

-- Sarah Palin, November 3, 2008, giving a shout-out to Trekkies on the final day of the campaign. Batlh Daqawlu'tah!


"John McCain! Not Hussein!"

-- Audiences at Sarah Palin rallies during the last weekend before the election, chanting the final, desperate theme of the McCain campaign. New York Times, November 1, 2008


"You are witnessing something quite unique: a man who is about to talk to you while he has his foot in his mouth...I have done my best and I apologized to the McCain people"

-- Lawrence Eagleburger, secretary of State under Poppy Bush, retracting his comments on Sarah Palin on Fox News, October 31, 2008. The day before, Eagleburger was asked on NPR if Palin could serve as president in a crisis. "It is a very good question," Eagleburger he said, then laughed and added, "I'm being facetious here. Look, of course not"


"I think it has very much undermined the whole question of John McCain's judgment. You know what most Americans I think realized is that you don't offer a job, let alone the vice presidency, to a person after one job interview. Even at McDonald's, you're interviewed three times before you get a job"

-- Former Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein, October 31, 2008


"I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media"

-- Sarah Palin, apparently claiming that her free speech rights are being infringed by criticism from the media, October 31, 2008. Blogger Brian Beutler countered, "If the conservative media convinces enough voters that Barack Obama is a Muslim, does that violate his right to freedom of religion?"


"If Mr. McCain is down by 3%, his task is doable, if difficult. If he's down by 9%, his task is essentially impossible"

-- Karl Rove op/ed in the Wall St. Journal, October 29, 2008. The same day, a FOX News poll showed Obama's lead had slipped to 3% among likely voters, where it was 9% the week before. The new poll, however, had about 6% more Republicans as well as about 6% fewer Democrats


"I'm not in the business about talking about media bias but what if there was a tape with John McCain with a neo-Nazi outfit being held by some media outlet? I think the treatment of the issue would be slightly different"

-- John McCain interview, October 29, 2008, complaining that the LA Times won't release a videotape of a 2003 banquet where Obama talked about his friendship with a noted Palestinian scholar. Until at least 1986, McCain was on the advisory board for the "U.S. Council for World Freedom," which was the U.S. wing of the "World Anti-Communist League," which involved former Nazi collaborators and ultra-right-wing death squads in Central America


"The way that Senator Obama envisions ... [a] union organizer goes to your house and says, 'Hey, Joe, can I sign you up for the union?' That is -- we all know what that opens the door to. It's dangerous for America, it's dangerous to small business. And I think it's a threat to one of the fundamentals of democracy"

-- John McCain interview with CNBC, October 28, 2008


"This whole thing with the wardrobe, you know I have tried to just ignore it because it is so ridiculous"

-- Sarah Palin, who said it was a "waste of time" and "double standard" to discuss her GOP-purchased $150,000 wardrobe, as she spent four minutes of her speech in Tampa on that very topic. "[These] were not the remarks we sent to her plane this morning," a senior McCain adviser told CNN, October 27, 2008


"This vote on whether we stop the gay-marriage juggernaut in California is Armageddon"

-- Evangelist and former counsel to Nixon Charles Colson, in a video promoting California's Proposition 8, which would ban gay marriage in California


"Everyone is trying to distance themselves from responsibility for the campaign going south. Why wouldn't she do the same?"

-- A GOP strategist quoted by the NY Post, October 26, 2008, one of several stories appearing in that news cycle claiming that the Pailin camp was breaking away from the McCain campaign. "She's a lot savvier, politically speaking, than people give her credit for"


"Harming innocent Americans or facilities that uh, it would be unacceptable. I don't know if you're going to use the word terrorist there"

-- Sarah Palin, refusing consider an abortion clinic bombing as an act of domestic terrorism. NBC interview, October 21, 2008


"I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interest of organizations, specifically banks and others, was such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders"

-- Former Fed chief Alan Greenspan, writing the final epitaph for Ayn Rand, kicking over her tombstone, and salting the soil over the grave. October 23, 2008


"The reasons why we set up your agencies and gave you budget authority to hire people is so you can see problems developing before they become a crisis"

-- Rep. Henry Waxman, Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to SEC Chair Christopher Cox, former Fed chief Alan Greenspan, and former Treasury Secretary John Snow. "To say you just didn't see it, that just doesn't satisfy me," Waxman said, October 23, 2008


"The far southwestern corner over there near Pittsburgh and the suburbs, that's coal country, and that's the kind of people who really do cling to their guns and their faith"

-- Karl Rove on Hannity & Colmes, October 22, 2008, agreeing with Obama about bitter conservatives. When co-host Colmes pointed out that he was agreeing with Obama, Rove stammered and claimed that he intended to use "air quotes" to show he was quoting Obama


"Senator Obama's supporters have been saying some pretty nasty things about Western Pennsylvania lately, and you know, I couldn't agree with them more"

-- John McCain, winner, worst gaffe at a 2008 campaign appearance. McCain tried to recover from his mistake in front of a stunned Western Pennsylvania audience, October 22, 2008, by continuing, "I couldn't disagree with you, I couldn't agree with you more than the fact that Western Pennsylvania is the most patriotic, most god-loving, most, most patriotic part of America, and this is a great part of the country"


"Sure, I'm the underdog. Every time I've been ahead, I've messed up"

-- John McCain to The London Times, October 20, 2008, adding that he had "started turning it around the other night." The same day, Obama held a composite poll lead of 8+ points, it was reported that 26 newspapers that backed Bush in 2004 are now endorsing Obama, and a senior advisor told CNN that key states of Colorado, Iowa and New Mexico were "gone"


"The media think[s] ...that he's not the old McCain. But he is the old McCain. He just doesn't know what happened to the old press corps"

-- Mark Salter, McCain's closest adviser, October 20, 2008, lamenting the good ol' days of uncritical media coverage


"This goes too far. And I think it has made the McCain campaign look a little narrow. It's not what the American people are looking for. And I look at these kinds of approaches to the campaign and they trouble me. And the party has moved even further to the right, and Governor Palin has indicated a further rightward shift"

-- Colin Powell, endorsing Obama for president as he denounces "this Bill Ayers situation that's been going on for weeks became something of a central point of the [McCain] campaign." Meet the Press , October 19, 2008.


"We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation"

-- Sarah Palin at an October 17, 2008 North Carolina campaign appearance. When it was pointed out that it was a tad elitist to judge some parts of America as more pro-America than others, she dug the hole deeper, replying, "I was just reinforcing the fact that there, where I was, there's good patriotic people there in these rallies"


"Don't underestimate the capacity of Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Don't underestimate our ability to screw it up"

-- Barack Obama, October 17, 2008, urging supporters to not become complacent with predictions of a landslide victory. "I want everybody running scared"


"The stinging accusations like what on our part?"

-- Sarah Palin, surprise expressing at a question of slinging mud Obama upon. Wall St. Journal, October 16, 2008


"We have to change the culture of America. Those of us who are proudly pro-life understand that"

-- John McCain at the October 15, 2008, presidential debate. "Obama. He's -- health of the mother. You know, that's been stretched by the pro-abortion movement, in America, to mean almost anything. That's -- that's the extreme pro-abortion position, quote, 'health'"


"My friends, we've got them just where we want them"

-- John McCain, October 13, 2008, as three polls showed Obama with a double-digit lead


"When I was criticizing Bush, 80% of the public approved of him, and now it's more like 80% of the public disapproves. That's the vindication"

-- Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman to Reuters, October 13, 2008


"How dare they boo Piper"

-- Sarah Palin, who told supporters at a fundraiser that she planned to minimize the expected booing at a Philadelphia Flyers hockey game later that day by dressing her 7-year-old daughter Piper in a team jersey. Foxnews.com, October 11, 2008 (MORE)


"What I am seeing reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history. George Wallace never threw a bomb, he never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans"

-- Rep. John Lewis (D - Georgia) statement, October 11, 2008, on McCain's smear campaign against Obama. "Senator McCain and Governor Palin are playing with fire"


"Where was John McCain when George Wallace was spreading his hate and segregationist policies at that time? He was in a Vietnam prison camp serving his country with his civil rights also denied. Nobody knows sacrifice like John McCain does"

-- McCain campaign manager Rick Davis on Fox News Sunday, October 12, 2008, rising to the challenge of working a POW reference into everything, no matter how irrelevant


"He is not the McCain I endorsed. He keeps saying, 'Who is Barack Obama?' I would ask the question, 'Who is John McCain?'"

-- Former Michigan Gov. William Milliken and lifelong Republican, who endorsed McCain in the presidential primary. Grand Rapids Press, October 10, 2008


"I am surprised that, you know, we've being seeing some pretty over-the-top attacks coming out of the McCain campaign over the last several days, that he wasn't willing to say it to my face"

-- Barack Obama to ABC News, October 8, 2008. Since the day before the Oct. 7 debate, virtually the entire McCain-Palin advertising budget is now being spent on attack ads


"I don't believe the First Amendment is any guarantee to those who wish to disrupt the government"

-- Thomas E. Hutchins, former Maryland police superintendent, who authorized the Maryland State Police to classify 53 nonviolent activists as terrorists, entering their names and personal information into state and federal databases that track terrorism suspects. Washington Post, October 8, 2008


"Our country is facing huge challenges. Suck it up and be serious"

-- Reagan speechwriter and Wall St. Journal columnist Peggy Noonan on Sarah Palin. "Don't be doing this cute colloquial stuff. It doesn't sit right with me. And it doesn't seem fitting," she added, on The Laura Ingraham Show, October 6, 2008


"[Obama's] not exactly an open book. It's as if somehow the usual rules don't apply, and where other candidates have to explain themselves and their records"

-- John McCain, October 6, 2008, less than a week after 2,700 concerned doctors signed a petition asking for release of McCain's full medical records noting that he has had 6 episodes of melanoma, including a form that could possibly kill him within two years


"It's a dangerous road, but we have no choice. If we keep talking about the economic crisis, we're going to lose"

-- A top McCain strategist, telling the NY Daily News, October 5, 2008, that the campaign intends to "turn the page" from economic issues and ramp up attacks on Obama


"If you are going to end visits to the state by McCain/ Palin, do it. Just don't formally announce that you are 'pulling out' of Michigan, and then come back two days later asking the base core of support to 'keep working' "

-- Emmet County Michigan GOP chairman Jack Waldvogel, quoted in Politico, October 5, 2008. "What a slap in the face to all the thousands of people who have been energized by the addition of Sarah Palin to the ticket. I've been involved in County Party politics and organization for 40 years, and this is the biggest dumbass stunt I have ever seen" (MORE)


"Perhaps Mr. Bush has, on behalf of the modern Republican party, raised the white flag in surrender to bigger government"

-- Grover Norquist, noticing the Bush administration's irresponsible behavior a bit late in the game. Financial Times, October 1, 2008. Norquist is head of Americans for Tax Reform, one of the most influencial special interest groups in Washington, and holds a weekly strategy session known as "the Wednesday Meeting" that guided the administration's agenda. "There isn't an us and them with this administration," Norquist said shortly after Bush entered the White House, "They is us. We is them"


"We're not going to let John McCain distract us. We're not going to let him hoodwink ya, and bamboozle ya, we're not going to let him run the okie doke on ya"

-- Barack Obama, October 5, 2008, after Sarah Palin accused Obama of "palling around with terrorists" and said he didn't "see America as a force of good in this world."


"[Obama] is not a man who sees America like you and I see America. We see America as a force of good in this world"

-- Sarah Palin, October 4, 2008


"[Obama] is someone who sees America it seems as being so imperfect that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country"

-- Sarah Palin, October 4, 2008


"I'm sure I'm not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, 'Hey, I think she just winked at me.' And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America"

-- National Review editor Rich Lowry, who really, really, needs to get out more. October 3, 2008


"When we talk about the Bush administration, there's a time, too, when Americans are going to say, 'Enough is enough with your ticket,' on constantly looking backwards, and pointing fingers, and doing the blame game"

-- Sarah Palin at the October 2, 2008 VP debate. "Look, past is prologue," Joe Biden replied. "The issue is, how different is John McCain's policy going to be than George Bush's? I haven't heard anything yet"


"It's time that normal Joe Six-pack American is finally represented in the position of vice presidency...I know what Americans are going through. Todd and I, heck, we're going through that right now even as we speak, which may put me again kind of on the outs of those Washington elite who don't like the idea of just an everyday, working-class American running for such an office"

-- Sarah Palin to right-wing radio talker Hugh Hewitt, September 30, 2008. An AP analysis the following day found that Palin and her husband appear to be worth at least $1.2 million, have no credit card debt, and even without adding in her Alaska-paid per diem benefits, enjoy an income 5x above "normal Joe Six-pack American" who has nearly $10,000 in credit card debt


"Andrew, I watch you at these debates with no notes, no papers and yet when asked questions you spout off facts, figures and policies and I'm amazed. But then I look out into the audience and I ask myself, 'Does any of this really matter?' "

-- Sarah Palin to fellow 2006 candidate for Alaska governor Andrew Halcro, who came to the debates armed with statistics on agricultural productivity. Halcro op/ed in the Anchorage Daily News, September 27, 2008


"There's a terrible crisis affecting the American economy. We have come together on a bill to alleviate the crisis. And because somebody hurt their feelings, they decide to punish the country"

-- Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, after GOP leaders claimed that some House Republicans voted against the $700 billion bailout because they were offended by Speaker Pelosi's remarks blaming Bush policies for the economic meltdown. "I'll make an offer," Rep. Frank continued, September 27, 2008, "Give me those 12 people's names and I will go talk uncharacteristically nicely to them and tell them what wonderful people they are and maybe they'll now think about the country"


"I came back because I wasn't going to phone it in"

-- John McCain on ABC's This Week, September 28, 2008, on why he rushed back to Washington before the debate


"He can effectively do what he needs to do by phone"

-- Mark Salter, McCain's closest adviser, explaining to the NY Times, September 27, 2008, why the candidate stayed away from Capitol Hill that day, as Congressional leaders tried to hammer out a bailout deal. Except for a one-minute drop-in to his campaign HQ around the corner, McCain stayed in his apartment all day until he had dinner with Sen. Lieberman at one of DC's top restaurants


"I'm told that the reason the Treasury Secretary doesn't want limits on executive compensation is because he believes that an executive then won't bring his company in to partake in any program that is set up. Well here's my response to that. We can put that executive on his boat, take that boat out in the ocean and set it on fire if that's how he feels. That's what should happen, or his company doesn't come in"

-- Sen. Dianne Feinstein, September 26, 2008


" Can't we just all go out and say things are OK?"

-- President Bush, after the Sept. 25 White House economic crisis meeting collapsed into disarray. AP, September 27, 2008


"For the sake of the altar of the free market system, do you accept a Great Depression?"

-- A GOP lawmaker, telling Politico September 26, 2008, some House Republicans are saying privately that they'd rather "let the markets crash" than sign on to a massive bailout


"If money isn't loosened up, this sucker could go down"

-- President Bush to members of Congress and his cabinet at the Sept. 25 White House economic crisis meeting. New York Times, September 26, 2008


"I think, with Ahmadinejad, personally, he is not one to negotiate with. You can't just sit down with him with no preconditions being met...I've never heard Henry Kissinger say, 'Yeah, I'll meet with these leaders without preconditions being met'"

-- Gov. Sarah Palin, explaining to Katie Couric, September 25, 2008, why Barack Obama is "naive" in saying he would meet with Iran


"I am in favor of negotiating with Iran. And one utility of negotiation is to put before Iran our vision of a Middle East, of a stable Middle East, and our notion on nuclear proliferation at a high enough level so that they have to study it'"

-- Henry Kissinger, September 20, 2008


"I don't think he understands or knows much about any of this and it shows"

-- Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill on Bush and the economic crisis. He further told ABC News, September 25, 2008, that Bush and his administration are pushing hard for this plan "because they're in a panic and they haven't thought about it very well"


"It certainly does because our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They're in the state that I am the executive of"

-- Gov. Sarah Palin, explaining to Katie Couric, September 25, 2008, why Alaska's proximity to Russia qualifies as foreign policy experience. Palin also said she was surprised that her claims of diplomatic skills for living next to Russia were "...kinda made to, I don't know, you know? Reporters --" Couric interjected: "mocked?" Palin said, "yeah mocked, I guess that's the word"


"It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency"

-- Conservative columnist George Will, September 23, 2008. "For McCain, politics is always operatic, pitting people who agree with him against those who are 'corrupt' or 'betray the public's trust,' two categories that seem to be exhaustive -- there are no other people"


"It's not based on any particular data point. We just wanted to choose a really large number"

-- A Treasury spokeswoman on the $700 billion price tag for the proposed Wall St. bailout. Forbes.com, September 23, 2008


"My first instinct was to let the market work until I realized, upon being briefed by the experts, of how significant this problem became. And so I decided to act and act boldly. It turns out that there's a lot of interlinks throughout the financial system. The system had grown to a point where a lot of people were dependent upon each other"

-- Harvard MBA George W. Bush, September 20, 2008


"Greenspan was considered a master. Now we must ask ourselves whether he is not, after bin Laden, the man who hurt America the most"

-- Italian finance minister Giulio Tremonti in the Los Angeles, September 20, 2008. In an interview a few days earlier with an Italian newspaper, Tremonti compared the U.S. economic to the collapse of the Ponzi scheme that created anarchy in Albania in 1997. "The system is collapsing, exactly like the Albanian pyramids collapsed"


"America needs prunes. It may not be a young, sexy plum. Granted, it's shriveled and at times hard to swallow. But this dried-up old prune has the experience we need"

-- Stephen Colbert at the September 21, 2008 Emmy Awards


"They picked our bones clean. In spite of what you see, that's not what the American people are saying and what they are believing"

-- Cindy McCain at a September 13, 2008 GOP fundraiser, still distressed that cast members of "The View" asked husband John tougher questions than he has yet encountered from the mainstream media


"No one in this democracy -- unelected -- should have $800 billion to dispense as he sees fit"

-- Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee on learning that Bernanke has legal authority to use the central bank's reserves to make loans to any entity of any size. "It may be that there is so much bad debt out there clogging our system that we may have to have some intervention. But it shouldn't be the unilateral decision of the chairman of the Federal Reserve with the backing of the secretary of the Treasury." Washington Post September 18, 2008


"They are like looters after a hurricane"

-- New York State attorney general Andrew M. Cuomo to the New York Times, September 18, 2008, on short-selling, where traders bet that share prices will fall. "It almost feels like people scour the books and say who is the next likely target that we can put a short on, and that spreads continuous fear," John O'Brien of MKM Partners in Cleveland told Reuters, September 17


"I fear the government has passed the point of no return. We have the irony of a free-market administration doing things that the most liberal Democratic administration would never have been doing in its wildest dreams"

-- Financial historian Ron Chernow, quoted in the New York Times, September 17, 2008. "It's pure crisis management. It's the Treasury and the Federal Reserve lurching from crisis to crisis without a clear statement on how financial failures will be handled in the future. They're afraid to articulate such a policy. The safety net they are spreading seems to widen every day with no end in sight" (MORE)


"The fundamental business of the country, that is the production and distribution of commodities, is on a sound and prosperous basis"

-- Herbert Hoover, October 25, 1929, the day after "Black Thursday"


"Our economy, I think, still, the fundamentals of our economy are strong"

-- John McCain, September 15, 2008, the day already called "Black Monday"


"Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book: You pass the buck to a commission to study the problem. But here's the thing: This isn't 9/11. We know how we got into this mess. What we need now is leadership that gets us out. I'll provide it; John McCain won't"

-- Barack Obama, September 16, 2008, after McCain called for creating "a 9/11 commission" to study the economic meltdown


"I deserved better than to be bullshitted by the vice president"

-- Former House Majority Leader Republican Dick Armey, who was personally told by Cheney that Saddam not only had direct ties to al-Qaeda, but was close to developing a suitcase nuke. In the new book, 'Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency,' Armey continues: "Had I known or believed then what I believe now, I would have publicly opposed [the Iraq war] resolution right to the bitter end, and I believe I might have stopped it from happening"


"This is a once-in-a-half-century, probably once-in-a-century type of event"

-- Former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan on ABC's "This Week," September 14, 2008. "There's no question that this is in the process of outstripping anything I've seen, and it still is not resolved and it still has a way to go"


"I'm still proud of Sarah, but she scares the bejeebers out of me"

-- Laura Chase, campaign manager for Sarah Palin's first run for mayor in 1996. New York Times, September 14, 2008


"She knew what he was doing, but what was she guilty of? Of being Julius's wife"

-- Morton Sobel, co-defendant with Julius Rosenberg, admitting September 11, 2008 giving military secrets to the Soviets during WWII, but agreeing with scholars that Ethel Rosenberg was framed by an over-zealous prosecutor


"I am prepared. I am prepared. I need no on-the-job training. I wasn't a mayor for a short period of time. I wasn't a governor for a short period of time"

-- John McCain, October 21, 2007


"[Sarah Palin] knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America"

-- John McCain, September 10, 2008


"I am not convinced that we're winning it in Afghanistan... frankly, we are running out of time"

-- Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, September 10, 2008 testimony before the House Armed Services Committee. "We can't kill our way to victory"


"I can go into a whole day of meetings at the Department of State and actually rarely see somebody who looks like me"

-- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the dearth of African-Americans in her own offices. "And that is just not acceptable," she added, without explaining who is at fault for the lack of diversity. September 8, 2008


"That is no way for a responsible power to conduct itself"

-- Irony-free Dick Cheney, condemning Russia for using "brute force" in the Baltic States. September 6, 2008 press conference


"You can call it a bailout, you can call it a safety net or you can call it a rescue package, but the bottom line is the American taxpayer is left footing the bill"

-- Richard Yamarone, director of economic research at Argus Research on the historic government bailout of mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. USA TODAY, September 8, 2008


"When you've been taking all these earmarks when it's convenient, and then suddenly you're the champion anti-earmark person, that's not change. Come on! I mean, words mean something, you can't just make stuff up"

-- Barack Obama, September 7, 2008, on Sarah Palin's new-found opposition to pork barrel projects. As Governor of Alaska, Palin requested earmarks worth about $300 per Alaskan resident, almost 10x the average of other states (MORE)


"They really got adrenalized and there was this horrible inevitability to it. They've got their toys and they want to use them"

-- Jan Nye, a 62 year-old Minneapolis protester at the GOP convention, where police attacked the crowds with percussion grenades and other hi-tech devices. AP, September 3, 2008 (MORE)


"[Jack Abramoff is] a modern-day 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'"

-- Abramoff attorney Abbe Lowell, defending his client at a September 4, 2008 hearing. Lowell's court filing intended to show Abramoff's charitable 'Dr. Jekyll' side included his financial support of Jewish schools and a Washington D.C. kosher restaurant. Curiously, the letter to the judge did not mention the money spent on a sniper school for radical Israeli settlers in the West Bank, as well as funding for their camouflage suits, night-vision binoculars, and other "security" equipment


"The most qualified? No. I think they went for this, excuse me, political bullshit about narratives and youthfulness and the picture. Every time Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and it's not what they're good at, they blow it"

-- Former Reagan speechwriter and Wall St. Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, caught offering her true opinion of Sarah Palin on an open microphone at MSNBC, September 3, 2008. In her WSJ column the same day, Noonan wrote, "She could become a transformative political presence"


"What you can expect from John McCain as President is precisely what he has done this week "

-- Joe Lieberman at the Republican National Convention, September 2, 2008


"This election is not about issues. This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates"

-- McCain campaign manager Rick Davis, hoping that voters dismiss any GOP leadership accountability for the last 8 years and ignore McCain and Palin's history of position flip-flops. "We are in the worst Republican environment since Nixon in 1972," Davis also told the Washington Post, September 2, 2008. "We take that seriously. We get the joke"


"They needed a small victorious war"

-- Russian Prime Minister Putin, charging that the Bush administration encouraged Georgia's actions in South Ossetia. "Someone in the United States created this conflict on purpose to stir up the situation and create an advantage for one of the (presidential) candidates," he told CNN, August 28, 2008


"Let me just say from the outset that I don't consider [John] Bolton credible"

-- President Bush, "bitterly" denouncing his former UN ambassador whom he appointed in a recess appointment. "I spent political capital for him," Bush told a group of conservatives in a June meeting in the Oval Office. NY Times, August 29, 2008


"She's going to learn national security at the foot of the master for the next four years, and most doctors think that he'll be around at least that long"

-- Charlie Black, one of McCain's top advisers, brimming with confidence that the candidate will survive long enough to tutor Sarah Palin. New York Times, August 29, 2008


"When you get to know her, you're going to be as impressed as I am"

-- John McCain, introducing Sarah Palin at a August 29, 2008 rally. Prior to his selection of Palin, they had met once last February at a meeting of governor and spoke together for the second time last weekend


"I think we're going to have to examine our tag line, 'dangerously inexperienced'"

-- A top McCain official after Sarah Palin tapped as the GOP's candidate for Vice President. AP, August 30, 2008


"As for that VP talk all the time, I'll tell you, I still can't answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day?"

-- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on CNN, August 1, 2008. Palin also said she would not accept the VP role in a June appearance i with CNN's Glenn Beck


"It is that American spirit - that American promise - that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend"

-- Barack Obama, August 28, 2008 acceptance speech


"They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 "

-- The only line removed by the Obama camp from the convention speech by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio). The Hill newsletter, August 26, 2008


"Look, I owe the American people an apology. If I had beaten the old man, you'd of never heard of the kid and you wouldn't be in this mess "

-- Michael Dukakis, jokingly apologizing for losing to Poppy Bush in 1988. CBS News, August 27, 2008


"I don't think she did too well on saying I love America. That wasn't adequate enough"

-- Karl Rove, Fox News commentator, McCain advisor, and arbiter of Michelle Obama's patriotism. August 25, 2008 Fox coverage of the Democratic Convention


"The U.S. is now losing the war against the Taliban"

-- Anthony Cordesman, of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, August 21, 2008. So far this year, 101 American soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan, on track to pass the 111 killed in 2007


"I don't have any need to show that I'm different than President Bush"

-- John McCain, August 20, 2008 interview with Politico


"These times require more than a good soldier - they require a wise leader"

-- Sen. Joe Biden, at his first appearance as Obama's VP pick, August 23, 2008


"I don't think we're ever going to put the suspicions to bed. There's always going to be a spore on a grassy knoll"

-- Vahid Majidi, head of the FBI's division on WMDs, on the Bureau's case against accused anthrax killer Bruce E. Ivins. Majidi and others appeared at an unusual August 18, 2008, press conference to defend the Bureau's mishandling of evidence and exaggerated claims that Ivins was the only possible suspect


"We will do whatever is necessary, and no one should have any illusion"

-- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, August 19, 2008. From reports appearing in the English-language press, it was unclear if this was part of his vow to maintain "security throughout the region," or a threat of "shattering" consequences if Russian soldiers or civilians in two Georgian breakaway regions are killed


"Russia is a state that is unfortunately using the one tool that it has always used, that will make it - that - when it wishes to deliver a message, and that's its military power. That's not the way to deal in the 21st century"

-- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, August 18, 2008, apparently believing that the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan happened in some other century


"This guy [Obama], numerous times, three times in Illinois voted for legislation that would allow doctors and patients to murder babies who survived abortions and were out of the womb. Radical stuff. Three times he voted for this"

-- Rush Limbaugh, repeating on August 15, 2008, the new right-wing meme that Obama supports murdering newborns. Jerome Corsi, author of "The Obama Nation" has repeated the lie at least 3 times on Sean Hannity shows. The "babies" referred to were really non-viable fetuses


"I have to be against tax increases, as you know"

-- John McCain, stumbling through an answer on whether he still supported the Bush tax cuts that he once opposed, and still opposed higher payroll taxes which he used to support. August 14, 2008


"What can the Americans do to us? A big country like Russia doesn't fear America"

-- Russian Gen. Vyacheslav Nikolayevich, one of the commanders of the invasion of Georgia, on White House "warnings" to Russia not to interfere. NY Times, August 13, 2008


"I can see by the language he uses why people think [Obama] could be the antichrist"

-- Tim LaHaye, co-author of the apocalyptic "Left Behind" series, adding that he he doesn't think Obama actually meets the criteria. "There is no indication in the Bible that the antichrist will be an American," he told Christian Newswire, August 8, 2008


"In the 21st century, nations don't invade other nations"

-- John McCain, enthusiastic supporter of the Iraq invasion. August 13, 2008


"Not every wrong, or even every violation of the law, is a crime"

-- Attorney General Mukasey, August 12, 2008, insisting that Monica Goodling's litmus-test questions on Bush loyalty and GOP partisanship for hiring U.S. attorneys were "only violations of the civil service laws."


"The security of our peacekeepers and civilians has been restored. The aggressor has been punished"

-- Russian President Medvedev, announcing August 12, 2008, the end of military actions in Georgia, where 2,000 Georgians were killed (MORE)


"I believe we would have won Iowa, and Clinton today would therefore have been the nominee"

-- The alternative reality of former top Hillary advisor Howard Wolfson, where John Edwards cheated Hillary out of the nomination by not revealing his affair before the primaries. In truth, Obama was the pick among Iowa supporters of Edwards by almost a 2:1 margin over Hillary. Wolfson comment to ABC News, August 11, 2008


"They chose to make this a test case. But they never imagined that it would result in such a stunning rebuff"

-- Attorney David Remes, who represents 15 Gitmo prisoners at Guantanamo, saying that the light sentence given to bin Laden's driver Salim Hamdan is a "slap in the face" to the Bush administration (MORE)


"There's a reason you've never heard of 'Bus Rage'"

-- Former Greyhound slogan, which was dropped after a passenger stabbed, beheaded and cannibalized a fellow traveler on a bus in Canada


"That breast, that little nipple, ends up right in the shots that TVs make during press conferences"

-- Paolo Bonaiuti, Italy government spokesman, after a reproduction of a 18th-century painting was retouched to hide the woman's nipple. The painting, "The Truth Unveiled by Time," often appears in the background at news conferences. The prime minister, Berlusconi, owns Italy's 3 largest TV stations, where full nudity is common. New York Times, August 5, 2008


"I hope the day comes when you return to your wife and your daughters and your country"

-- Gitmo military tribunal judge Navy Capt. Keith Allred, after the jury sentenced bin Laden's driver Salim Hamdan to 5 1/2 years in prison. Allred gave Hamdan credit for the years that he has been held at the prison, so he could finish his sentence in five months. "After that, I don't know what happens," he told Hamdan. The Pentagon also stated August 7, 2008, that the U.S. would continue to hold him after he served his sentence and review his case annually (MORE)


"It's like these guys take pride in being ignorant"

-- Barack Obama, August 5, 2008, on the McCain's campaign attempt to ridicule him for suggesting that proper tire inflation could save fuel. McCain dropped the theme after it was widely pointed out that AAA, NASCAR, and every auto owner's manual agreed with Obama. "They think it's funny that they're making fun of something that is actually true"


"They're not going to like this downtown"

-- Then-CIA Director George Tenet in February 2003, worried about the White House reaction to learning on the eve of the Iraq invasion that Saddam definitely had no WMDs. On learning that the head of Iraqi intelligence was cooperating with the British, Bush reportedly asked, "Why don't they ask him to give us something we can use to help make our case?" Quotes from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind's new book, "The Way of the World"


"People will ask where they've been and 'What have you been doing with them?' They'll all get lawyers"

-- Dick Cheney at a 2005 White House meeting, fighting the release of prisoners at Gitmo and elsewhere because it could lead to prosecution of Bush administration officials. Excerpt from Jane Mayer's new book, The Dark Side


"A generation shaped by Vietnam must remember the lessons of Vietnam: When America uses force in the world, the cause must be just, the goal must be clear, and the victory must be overwhelming"

-- Texas Gov. George W. Bush acceptance speech at the GOP National Convention, August 3, 2000. "Behind every goal I've talked about tonight is a great hope for our country. A hundred years from now this must not be remembered as an age rich in possession and poor in ideals....We are now the party of ideas and innovation, the party of idealism and inclusion, the party of a simple and powerful hope. My fellow citizens, we can begin again"


"I am not a stupid person. They were telling me how to vote"

-- A Wal-Mart customer-service supervisor from Missouri, among the thousands of Wal-Mart store managers and department heads that have been recently summoned to mandatory meetings and told that voting for Obama would be tantamount to unionizing the company. "The meeting leader said, 'I am not telling you how to vote, but if the Democrats win, this bill will pass and you won't have a vote on whether you want a union,'" the employee told the Wall St. Journal, August 1, 2008


"We have an epidemic here. Women serving in the U.S. military today are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq"

-- Rep. Jane Harman (D-California), after visiting a VA hospital and learning that at least 2 in 5 women are sexually assaulted while in the military. CNN, July 31, 2008


"There was a dozen ideas proffered about how to trigger a war... [including plans to] build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up. Might cost some lives. And it was rejected because you can't have Americans killing Americans"

-- Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh on a meeting held in Cheney's office following the January incident in the Strait of Hormuz when Iranian speedboats approached a U.S. Navy ship. The White House believed that the incident showed there was public support for "retaliation" against Iran if attacked. Hersh remarks from a Q&A session at a journalism conference, July 9, 2008


"They don't need more money, but they are having a difficult time, apparently, spending the money that they have"

-- Special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction Stuart Bowen, whose quarterly report says Iraq is supposed to contributing over $50 billion to rebuild the country, but no data is available on how much has been spent. The July 30, 2008, report says Iraqis have refused to accept U.S. transfer of hundreds of infrastructure projects


"I'm trying to save the planet; I'm trying to save the planet"

-- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi interview with Politico, July 29, 2008, on her refusal to compromise with House Republicans on offshore oil and gas exploration


"But she's pro-choice"

-- Former DoJ White House liaison Monica Goodling, showing dismay when a job applicant stated he admired Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. A July 28, 2008 Justice Dept. report charges she broke federal law by asking politicized questions, such as, "Why are you a Republican?" or "What is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him?"


"It's not the reason why I'm running for president of the United States"

-- John McCain, at the beginning of a Olympics-class double backflip-flop. In less than ten seconds of an interview on ABC News' "This Week," July 27, 2008, McCain said that gay adoption wasn't a campaign issue, followed by, "it is important for us to emphasize family values...families that are of parents that are the traditional family," followed by, "I'm running for president of the United States because I want to help with family values"


"For those who oppose the death penalty and want to see it end, our best bet is to vote for Barack Obama because his supporters have been working behind the scenes to end this practice. God bless America; it's been great living here. That's all"

-- Last words of Dale Leo Bishop, executed by the state of Mississippi, July 23, 2008


"Tell the governor he just lost my vote"

-- Last words of Christopher Scott Emmett, executed by the state of Virginia, July 24, 2008. Emmett's attorneys unsuccessfully asked the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the state's method of lethal injection because it appears that 1 in 7 inmates were not fully unconscious when the heart stopping drug was administered. "Y'all hurry this along, I'm dying to get out of here," he also said


"It would be natural that a large percentage of them would watch Fox. There's the sense that Fox covers the war in Iraq and the situation in Iraq in a more balanced way"

-- Rudy Giuliani, after Obama remarked that TVs at army bases in Iraq and Afghanistan were always tuned to Fox News. The only U.S. news channel available continuously on the Pentagon's satellite system is Fox News. A study also found that Fox News offered significantly less coverage of Iraq than other networks. Giuliani quote from "Fox & Friends," July 24, 2008


"Pakistan is a nuclear-armed state that is unstable. In Saudi Arabia, the fight between the ruling famliy and the clerical class has yet to play itself out. The clerical class' theological frame is essentially Osama bin Laden's ideology"

-- General John Abizaid (ret), CENTCOM commander 2003-2007, identifying key threats in the War on Terror. As for Iraq, he told the Pacific Council, July 22, 2008, "We can't be in Iraq more than the Iraqis want us to be there"


"There's no question about it. Wall Street got drunk -- that's one of the reasons I asked you to turn off the TV cameras -- it got drunk and now it's got a hangover. The question is how long will it sober up "

-- George W. Bush at a Texas fundraiser, July 18, 2008. Bush did not explain why he wanted the Houston audience to turn off cameras before he revealed his insightful economic analysis


"We're borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that has to change"

-- Al Gore, July 16, 2008


"Here's a thing about innovation: Nobody has ever predicted the next innovation"

-- Sir Harold Evans, author of the definitive 5-volume series on newspapering, "Editing and Design," and editor of The London Sunday Times, 1967- 1981. Quote from an interview in the Independent/UK, July, 2008


"I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, 'Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot"

-- Talk show host Michael Savage, syndicated on over 300 radio stations nationwide, July 16, 2008 (MORE)


"You know, God bless him, bless his heart, president of the United States, a total failure, losing all credibility with the American people on the economy, on the war, on energy, you name the subject"

-- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on CNN, July 17, 2008, responding to Bush criticism of the Democratic-led Congress


"OK, listen up. Viagra is used to help a medical condition. That's why it's covered. Birth control is not a medical condition. It is a choice. Why should I or anybody else have to pay for other people's choices? Do I have to buy you dinner before you use the birth control?"

-- The indefatigable Bill O'Reilly, July 17, 2008


"I must admit, it's been difficult for me sometimes to distinguish between what I in fact recall as a matter of my own experience, and what I remember from the accounts of others"

-- John Ashcroft, making the remarkable admission that a former Attorney General of the United States cannot be trusted as a witness. House Judiciary Committee hearings, July 17, 2008


"It doesn't say naked...removal of clothing is different from naked"

-- Doug Feith at the July 15, 2008, House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on torture, defending the Rumsfeld-approved guidelines for military interrogations. "I imagine you can apply them in a humane fashion"


"I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself"

-- John McCain, telling the New York Times, July 13, 2008, that "I am becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information that I need." The following day, conservative talk show host Michael Smerconish asked, "Where does he get his porn? That's what I want to know"


"It's just lampooning all the crazy ignorance out there"

-- Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune, defending the New Yorker cover cartoon showing Barack Obama in Muslim garb and his wife as a gun-toting militant. Recent polls show about 1 in 8 Americans believe he is a Muslim, and 1 in 100 thinks he is a Jew. Page comment on CNN, July 13, 2008 (MORE)


"Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter"

-- President Bush at his final meeting of the G8 summit in Japan. According to the Telegraph/UK, July 10, 2008, Bush said it while grinning and punching the air, as Gordon Brown, Nicolas Sarkozy, and other world leaders looked on in shock


"Their mood is that of the fatally ill patient who says 'Let's get this over with'"

-- Right-wing ideologue Richard Viguerie, saying at FreedomFest, July 11, 2008, "...some conservatives who are considering voting for Barack Obama, because they fear McCain as president would destroy what's left of the Republican brand"


"It appears that they're cooking the books in regards to the value of life"

-- S. William Becker, executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, on news that the EPA has changed the "value of a statistical life" to $6.9 million, $1 million less than five years ago. By devaluating the "value," the Bush administration can claim statistically there is less proven harm from pollution, and thus no need for tighter regulations. AP, July 11, 2008


"Phil Gramm does not speak for me"

-- John McCain, distancing himself from his top economic adviser after Gramm was quoted as saying, "We have sort of become a nation of whiners...[suffering from only a] mental recession." At the same time that McCain was distancing himself, Gramm was meeting with the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board on McCain's economic policies. July 10, 2008


"I don't recall ever saying that experience as a bomber pilot equipped me to be very strong on how to run a war, how to command the armed forces"

-- Former presidential nominee and WWII hero George McGovern, Boston Globe, July 9, 2008


"I'm not out to get the telephone companies... the American people ought to know who in the White House said, 'go break the law"

-- Senator Patrick Leahy (D - Vermont) on telcom immunity for warrentless wiretapping, July 8, 2008


"At this rate, by 2050 the world will be cooked"

-- Atonio Hill, spokesman for Oxfam International, on the sham agreement by G8 leaders to cut greenhouse gas by half by the year 2050. (MORE)


"If you know anybody who was a P.O.W. for any time, they can be going on for years and all of a sudden something will happen that will trigger all those bad memories"

-- Bill Clinton on lifelong emotional problems of ex-POWs, but not naming names. Aspen Ideas Festival, July 5, 2008


"The man is Ted Baxter"

-- Rush Limbaugh, comparing Bill O'Reilly to the pompous and ignorant windbag on the old Mary Tyler Moore show. "Somebody's got to say it," Limbaugh told the New York Times, July 6, 2008


"If bin Laden takes over and becomes king of Saudi Arabia, he'd turn off the tap. He said at one point that he wants oil to be $144 a barrel"

-- Petroleum industry consultant Roger Diwan, quoted by the New York Times, October 14, 2001. On July 3rd, oil hit a new record of $146.69 a barrel. The bin Laden quote is from a book, "Bin Laden, Al-Jazeera - And I," by Jamal Abdul Latif Ismail, which includes a transcription of a bin Laden interview from 1998, when oil averaged $11 a barrel


"Helms has been anti-black, anti-gay, anti-woman and anti-progress. He was perfectly willing to use his power for partisan nastiness and for petty provincial politics. His main claim to fame is that he protected Big Tobacco and his home-state textile industry. I have liked a lot of outspoken conservatives over the years. Helms is not one"

-- Molly Ivins on the late, monstrous Jesse Helms, August 8, 2001 (MORE)


"It would be ridiculous to name the destructive forces one by one"

-- Russian president Dmitri Medvedev, making the customary disclaimer of a new leader of a nuclear superpower that he isn't worried about being murdered by foes. "I am not an adherent of conspiracy theories. In real life, everything is so much simpler, if not banal," he told the New York Times, July 3, 2008


"Everyone has a nice watch, a nice car. It's not enough to just have a Ferrari anymore"

-- Abdullah Al-Mannaei, who organizes the monthly auction of low-digit license plate numbers for status-seeking men in Abu Dhabi. The number "5" recently sold for $9 million, which was a bargain compared to the $14 million his cousin paid for "1." Wall St. Journal, July 1, 2008


"It's really more like a Boy Scout camp than it is a prison camp...They get up to 12-hours of exercise time a day and they have all kinds of activities. They can play ping-pong, basketball, soccer. They have their own garden. They can check out library books"

-- Former Judge Advocate General (JAG) Kyndra Miller Rotunda describing the great conditions at Guantanamo Bay on the "Hannity's America" show, June 29, 2008. According to a new report from Human Rights Watch, 2 of 3 Gitmo prisoners spend 22 hours a day alone in small cells, have little human interaction with anyone other than interrogators and prison staff, and are able to communicate with other prisoners only by shouting through the gaps underneath their cell doors


"Well, I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president"

-- General Wesley Clark (Ret.) on McCain, June 29, 2008 "Face the Nation." The McCain campaign countered with a conference call that included members of the anti-Kerry "Swift Boat" ads


"The party has veered, and shifted, and come loose of its moorings. It's not the party that I first voted for in 1968. I'm an Eisenhower Republican, and the party today is not an Eisenhower Republican Party"

-- Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) on Bloomberg TV, June 27, 2008, adding that he won't support McCain. "Will it come back? I don't know. Will we have a new party? Maybe"


"I don't want you to take out of context what I said during the campaign"

-- Lanny Davis, introducing himself to Barack Obama after a meeting with some of Clinton's top donors, June 26, 2008. During the primaries, Davis was the most visible Hillary supporter hammering away on the theme that Obama was unelectable, including "The Top Ten List of Undisputed Facts Showing Barack Obama's Weakness in the General Election Against John McCain"


"You don't necessarily have to use a computer to understand, you know, how it shapes the country... John McCain is aware of the Internet"

-- Mark SooHoo, John McCain's "deputy e-campaign manager" explaining at the Personal Democracy Forum, June 23, 2008, that it's not important that the candidate doesn't use the Internet, or even a computer


"So he's kind of a barnacle?"

-- Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee), seeking clarification from Dick Cheney Chief of Staff David Addington, who told the House Judiciary Committee, June 26, 2008, "the Vice President belongs neither to the executive nor to the legislative branch, but is attached by the Constitution to the latter"


"I don't do cowering"

-- Barack Obama, asked how he might respond to harsh attacks from Republicans that have "cowered" other Democrats. Rolling Stone interview, June 25, 2008


"[Islamists] understand that they can manipulate politics as they tried to in the Spanish election with the attacks there. And to say, 'Yes, you can manipulate our politics, come and do it,' is an invitation that the McCain campaign shouldn't be anywhere near"

-- Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism czar under Presidents Clinton and Bush, on McCain's chief strategist Charlie Black saying that a terrorist attack would be a "big advantage" for McCain. Clarke's comments on MSNBC's Countown, June 23, 2008


"When you are in that kind of position, as the CEO of one the primary players who have been putting out misinformation even via organizations that affect what gets into school textbooks, then I think that's a crime"

-- James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute, calling for oil company execs to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity for downplaying global warming, comparing them to tobacco companies who knowingly suppressed links between smoking and cancer. Guardian/UK, June 23, 2008


"Poppy fields in Afghanistan are (like) the cornfields of Ohio. When we got here they were asking us if it's OK to harvest poppy and we said, 'Yeah, just don't use an AK-47'"

-- Staff Sgt. Jeremy Stover to AP, June 21, 2008. Most of the Afghan farmer's profits go to the Taliban, who extort "taxes" and demand they protection money for safe passage


"The continuing cloud of suspicion over the White House is not something I can remove, because I know only one part of the story. Only those who know the underlying truth can bring this to an end. Sadly, they remain silent"

-- Scott McClellan testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, June 20, 2008


"He has managed to stonewall everyone. I'm not sure there's anything we can do"

-- Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, on Cheney. The Hill, June 19, 2008


"Once we removed the Saddam Hussein regime it was clear we were going to have to put some government in its place...We didn't go to war because we wanted to bring democracy to the Iraqi people"

-- Doug Feith interview on National Review Online, June 19, 2008


"How on earth did we get to the point where a senior U.S government lawyer would say that whether or not an interrogation technique is torture is 'subject to perception,' and that if 'the detainee dies, you're doing it wrong'?"

-- Senate Armed Services Committee head Carl Levin, quoting an Oct. 2002 memo on a meeting between CIA lawyers and Gitmo staffers. June 17, 2008 hearings


"These are the same guys who helped to engineer the distraction of the war in Iraq at a time when we could've taken down the people who actually committed 9/11. So I don't think they have much standing to suggest that they've learned a lot of lessons from 9/11"

-- Barack Obama, striking back at the McCain campaign foreign policy adviser's charge that Sen. Obama is weak on terrorism, and is "a perfect manifestation of a Sept. 10th mindset." June 17, 2008


"I feel your determination after two terms of the Bush-Cheney administration to change the direction of our country. In looking back over the last eight years, I can tell you that we have already learned one important fact since the year 2000. Take it from me, elections matter"

-- Al Gore, endorsing Obama at a June 16, 2008 Detroit rally


"We don't know if we were told to remove the photo, and if we were told to remove the photo, we're not sure we could tell you"

-- Wu Zhiwei of the Museum Cluster Jianchuan, which is currently showing photographs of the aftermath of China's earthquake. One picture, which showed a twisted piece of steel rebar that looked no thicker than a pencil, was pulled from display. The photo was taken in the ruins of a school nearly 300 students died. AP, June 13, 2008


"If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun"

-- Barack Obama, telling supporters to push back against Republican smears attempting to make him look "scary." June. 13, 2008


"That's all for today. We'll be back next week at our regular time. If it's Sunday, it's 'Meet The Press'"

-- Tim Russert's final words on his final Sunday morning broadcast, June. 8, 2008


"To do what he did politically to us is unforgivable. It will take generations to recover. I don't know how long; maybe never"

-- Rep. Tom Tancredo, one of several Republicans who condemn Karl Rove in a new book, "Machiavelli's Shadow," by former Time magazine reporter Paul Alexander. "I think the legacy is that Karl Rove will be a name that'll be used for a long, long time as an example of how not to do it," said long-time GOP strategist Ed Rollins


"The photos were 'to show Washington it's healing'"

-- Gitmo prisoner Binyam Mohamed, whose genitals were slashed repeatedly with a scalpel while in U.S. custody in 2002. Pictures of his wounds were taken by an American female photographer in 2004. "When she saw the injuries I had she gasped. She said: 'Oh, my God, look at that!' Then all her mates looked at what she was pointing at and I could see the shock and horror in her eyes." AP, June 11, 2008


"The Americans are making demands that would lead to the colonization of Iraq. If we can't reach a fair agreement, many people think we should say, 'Goodbye, U.S. troops. We don't need you here anymore'"

-- Sami al-Askari, a senior Shiite politician close to Prime Minister Maliki to the Washington Post, June 11, 2008. The Bush administration is demanding 58 permanent bases, almost twice as many as currently exist. Askari said he believes Bush is preparing to use Iraq as a base to attack Iran


"You know, basically it's a Google"

-- John McCain, awkawardly joking that his campaign is using the Internet to screen potential VP candidates. June 9, 2008


"Don't hide your temper. Show it. Apparently, when you explode, it's a beaut. I think it shows your passion. And people respect passion. And who cares if they think it's nutty. I'll tell you what, dictators ain't exactly the Rock of Gibraltar. Nuts respect tempers. Winston Churchill had a huge temper, and it didn't hurt him any!"

-- Fox News host Neil Cavuto advice to John McCain, June 6, 2008


"A lot of people are waiting for Senator McCain to snap; for him to do something crazy and that just as he's on the verge of winning this, he's gonna go, you know, kinda like a Norman Bates deal"

-- Fox News host Neil Cavuto on John McCain, exactly four months earlier


"McCain is the classic opportunist. He's always reaching for attention and glory. After he came home, Carol walked with a limp. So he threw her over for a poster girl with big money from Arizona. And the rest is history"

-- Ross Perot, who paid for years of operations for Carol McCain after she was seriously injured in a 1969 auto accident while her husband was in a Vietnam POW camp. Ex-wife Carol was 5 inches shorter and crippled when McCain returned to America in 1973. London Mail, June 8, 2008


"Well, this isn't exactly the party I planned"

-- Hillary Clinton endorsing Obama, yet still refusing to actually concede, June 7, 2008


"There is a fundamental difference between relying on incorrect intelligence and deliberately painting a picture to the American people that you know is not fully accurate"

-- Sen. Jay Rockefeller, on the June 5, 2008 release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report that found that Bush and Cheney "led the nation to war on false premises." (MORE)


"They did a lot wrong, but they also did a few things right. I wish I had the Taliban as my soldiers"

-- Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai interview with Der Spiegel, June 2, 2008. Karzai said "foreign allies" brought back Afghans that were under their control, which made it difficult for him "to find a way that can enable Afghanistan's administration to function"


"We pledged to support her to the end. Our problem is not being able to determine when the hell the end is"

-- Rep. Charlie Rangel (NY - D), New York Times, June 5, 2008


"Who will be ready to take back the White House and take charge as commander in chief and lead our country to better tomorrows? ...on election day after Election Day, you came out in record numbers to cast your ballots. Nearly 18 million of you cast your votes for our campaign"

-- Hillary Clinton, still refusing to actually concede to Obama, June 3, 2008


"You can say those things when you're not running for re-election"

-- Dick Cheney, noting that he head had ancestors on both sides of his family named Cheney, even though "we don't even live in West Virginia." Later on June 2, 2008, he apologzied for making an incest "joke"


"Kick ass! If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them!"

-- President Bush in a 2004 videoconference on Iraq with his national security team and generals, as quoted by retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, then commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, in his new memoirs. Calling Bush's pep talk "confused," Sanchez writes that the president continued, "There is a series of moments and this is one of them. Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!"


"This is the stupidity of Blackberry politics. They get caught in this day to day. No one's going to care what John McCain says about the fact levels"

-- New York Times conservative columnist David Brooks on ABC's "This Week," June 1, 2008


"How in the world can we attract new business when the workforce just wants to grow or harvest pot?"

-- Ross Liberty, a Mendocino County welding shop owner seeking to repeal the county's Y2000 measure easing limits on pot growing, that now results in an annual $1.5 billion marijuana crop. "I see them driving $50,000 tricked-up trucks all over town," he told the San Francisco Chronicle, May 31, 2008, "I can't compete with that. Nobody can"


"It's almost like they should every once in a while have allowed an attack to get through just to remind us"

-- Newt Gingrich, telling a bookstor audience, April 29, 2008, that "one of the great tragedies of the Bush administration" was that they were just too good at "intercepting and stopping bad guys." Except for the (unsolved) anthrax case, there is no evidence of any attempted domestic terror attack since 9/11


"[Hillary Clinton] is the drunk party guest who won't go home, the cab's idling out front, and she's opening a new bottle of wine"

-- MSNBC senior campaign correspondent Tucker Carlson, who also compared Sen. Clinton to a screeching cat fighting being placed inside a carrier. May 27, 2008 appearance on "Morning Joe"


"The higher the president's approval ratings, the more pressure I had from news executives...to put on positive stories about the president"

-- Jessica Yellin, on her experience as White House correspondent at MSNBC, 2002-2003. "[T]hey would edit my pieces. They would push me in different directions. They would turn down stories that were more critical," she told CNN, May 28, 2008


"Being evasive is not the same as lying in Bush's mind"

-- Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan is his book, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception." A 1999 ancedote has Bush telling him that he was at "pretty wild parties back in the day" but didn't remember whether he used cocaine or not. "I felt I was witnessing Bush convincing himself to believe something that probably was not true, and that, deep down, he knew was not true," McClellan wrote. "And his reason for doing so is fairly obvious - political convenience"


"The 'liberal media' didn't live up to its reputation. If it had, the country would have been better served"

-- Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan is his book, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception." McClellan writes that the media shouldn't have been surprised when the excuses for invading Iraq turned out to be false. "If anything, the national press corps was probably too deferential to the White House and to the administration in regard to the most important decision facing the nation during my years in Washington"


"They had already invited O'Reilly, and they didn't want the embarrassment of uninviting him because they're scared of him. He's a thug"

-- Barry Nolan, a veteran TV news anchor who was fired by Comcast's CN8 network for protesting a local Emmy Award given to Bill O'Reilly. Nolan told ABC News, May 23, 2008. "We've been through an awful dark time in our history where there are a lot of people telling you to sit down and shut up. From Dick Cheney to Bill O'Reilly, I'm done with bullies"


"The Bush-McCain saber rattling is the most self-defeating policy imaginable. It achieves nothing. But it forces Iranians who despise the regime to rally behind their leaders. And it spurs instability in the Middle East, which adds to the price of oil, with the proceeds going right from American wallets into Tehran's pockets"

-- Sen. Joe Biden (D-Delaware) editorial in the Wall St. Journal, May 23, 2008. "Beyond bluster, how would Mr. McCain actually deal with these dangers? You either talk, you maintain the status quo, or you go to war. If Mr. McCain has ruled out talking, we're stuck with an ineffectual policy or military strikes that could quickly spiral out of control"


"By 2008, I think I might be ready to go down to the old soldiers home and await the cavalry charge there"

-- Sen. John McCain on PBS' "News Hour," August 1, 2000


"We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California"

-- Sen. Hillary Clinton offering an example of why she continues to seek the nomination. Clinton soon apologized for the May 23, 2008 remark, explaining that she was just using that as an example of a situation where a party presidential candidate was not chosen until June, and happened to be thinking of Sen. Ted Kennedy because of his medical diagnosis. However, she said the same thing in a March interview with Time magazine


"[You have] just a litany of complaints that you're all just hapless victims of a system, yet you rack up record profits ... quarter after quarter after quarter"

-- Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) to the oil industry executives testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, May 21, 2008. Exxon Mobil executive J. Stephen Simon conceded that profits have been huge "in absolute terms," but claimed they need big profits "in the current up cycle" to tide them over in lean times


"There was a bucket of water. And they stick my head in it and at the same time, punch me into my stomach"

-- Former Gitmo prisoner Murat Kurnaz, revealing that U.S. interrogators used "water treatment" on him and others. The CIA maintains only 3 prisoners were "waterboarded." Testimony before the House Foreign Affairs' Oversight Subcommittee, May 20, 2008


"When the world was on the brink of nuclear holocaust, Kennedy talked to Khrushchev and he got those missiles out of Cuba. Why shouldn't we have the same courage and the confidence to talk to our enemies? That's what strong countries do, that's what strong presidents do, that's what I'll do when I'm president of the United States of America"

-- Barack Obama, May 19, 2008. "What are George Bush and John McCain afraid of?"


"This has been the most slanted press coverage in American history"

-- Bill Clinton, May 19, 2008


"Books on Iraq don't sell. Over and over, when I was shopping it around, editors would say, 'Gee, it's about Iraq'"

-- CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier, on the troubles she had finding a publisher for a book on her experiences in Iraq, which included a near fatal injury in a blast that killed two of her CBS colleagues. Dozier also told the Baltimore Sun, May 12, 2008, "When we put Iraq on TV, people are changing the channel... Every chance we get, it seems like we turn away from Iraq"


"That was Barack Obama. He just tripped off a chair. He's getting ready to speak and somebody aimed a gun at him and he -- he dove for the floor"

-- GOP yuckster Mike Huckabee, as his NRA speech was interrupted by a loud noise offstage. Later on May 16, 2008, Huckabee apologized for the assassination "joke"


"What people don't understand about Appalachia is that we've heard all this 'hope' and 'change' stuff since the English kicked the Scotch-Irish out in the 1700s. We're 'hoped' out. Nothing ever changes out here"

-- Virginia Democratic strategist Dave "Mudcat" Saunders on Obama's poor showing in West Virginia. The Politico blog, May 12, 2008


"This is bullshit, this is malarkey, this is outrageous, for the president of the United States to go to a foreign country, to sit in the Knesset ... and make this kind of ridiculous statement"

-- Sen. Joe Biden, on Bush's comments in Israel, dismissing "some people" who want to talk with enemies as "appeasers," May 15, 2008. "We have heard this foolish delusion before," Bush said. "As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939"


" It's almost like she's the Al Sharpton of white people"

-- The unfiltered mouth of Chris Matthews, May 13, 2008


" I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal"

-- President Bush, who doesn't want "some mom whose son may have recently died" to see a picture of him on a golf course. "I feel I owe it to the families to be as - to be in solidarity as best as I can with them." Interview with The Politico blog, May 13, 2008


"Wouldn't taking his advice be a little like getting health tips from a funeral home director?"

-- Obama press secretary Bill Burton, on Karl Rove's recent nuggets of campaign advice he's offered on Fox News programs. New York Times, May 12, 2008


"I heard that Obama is a Muslim and his wife's an atheist"

-- Leonard Simpson. a lifelong Democrat and retired W Virginia coalminer to The Financial Times, May 11, 2008. None of the Democrats interviewed by the paper at a Clinton rally said they would vote for Obama if he were the nominee, several repeating the Muslim rumor and others citing his ex-pastor as a reason


"It's a bit like dropping off a lot of orchestra instruments on the ground, and then expecting a symphony to come out of that"

-- Eric John, U.S. ambassador to Thailand, on Burma's refusal to allow outsiders to distribute emergency relief aid to cyclone victims. The junta relabeled boxes of supplies with the names of army generals. TIME, May, 9, 2008


"Our government...tells us that democracy and Islam are compatible. But Islam is less compatible with democracy than is Christianity"

-- Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), bristling at new government guidelines advising against the use of terms such as "Islamo-fascism" as offensive. Santorum seems unaware that Indonesia is both the world's largest Muslim majority country and third-largest democracy. Philadelphia Inquirer, May. 8, 2008


"It's still early"

-- Hillary Clinton, May 7, 2008, adding that Bill didn't secure the nomination in 1992 until June. But on this date in 1992, there were 14 state primaries remaining, including California. In 2008, there are only five state primaries left, and none with a large population


"We don't know enough about Senator Obama yet. We don't need an 'October Surprise,' and (the chance of) an October Surprise with Hillary is remote"

-- Harold Ickes, one of the top Clinton strategists, revealing his main argument to superdelegates as well as the ethical basement that her campaign has reached. TIME magazine blog "The Page," May 6, 2008


"One came down this morning, and she was 98, and she said, 'I don't want to go do that'"

-- Sister Julie McGuire, who had to tell 12 fellow nuns that they would have to get a state or federal ID with a photograph in order to vote. On April 28, the Supreme Court refused to strike down Indiana's voter ID laws. All of the nuns are 80 or older and none of them drives. "You have to remember that some of these ladies don't walk well. They're in wheelchairs or on walkers or electric carts," Sister McGuire told AP, May 6, 2008, turning the nuns away from a polling place


"Elite opinion is always on the side of doing things that really disadvantages the vast majority of Americans"

-- Hillary Clinton on ABC's "This Week" program, May 4, 2008, defending the "gas tax vacation," although no economist endorses the idea. "I'm not going to put in my lot with economists"


"When you're in national politics, it's always good to pull the Band-aid off quick, but life's messy sometimes"

-- Barack Obama on Meet the Press, May 4, 2008, on why he did not repudiate Wright completely until last week


"Presidency of a woman in a country that boasts its gunmanship is unlikely"

-- The always undelightful President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who also predicted, "We don't think Mr. Obama will be allowed to become the U.S. president." April 29, 2008 press conference


"When the history is written, it will be said this is a safer country and more hopeful world because George Bush was president"

-- Dick Cheney at the Oklahoma Republican Party convention, May 2, 2008


"If the campaign's surrogates called Governor Bill Richardson, a respected former member of President Clinton's cabinet, a 'Judas' for endorsing Senator Obama, we can all imagine how they will treat somebody like me"

-- Joe Andrew, DNC head under Bill Clinton, who edorsed Hillary last year but now endorses Obama. "They are the best practitioners of the old politics, so they will no doubt call me a traitor, an opportunist and a hypocrite," he wrote in a May 1, 2008 statement. "I will be branded as disloyal, power-hungry, but most importantly, they will use the exact words that Republicans used to attack me when I was defending President Clinton"


"You're like me"

-- Bill O'Reilly to Hillary Clinton, April 30, 2008. "You're a more polarizing personality. You're like I am -- and I hate to say that, with all due respect. But you are"


"I think we're making good progress. I do, yes"

-- President Bush, answering an April 29, 2008 press conference questionon whether he thought we were winning the war in Afghanistan. The following day, the State Dept. released a report showing last year was the bloodiest since 2001, and admitting al-Qaeda has "reconstituted some of its pre-9/11 operational capabilities" and expanded "affiliates throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe"


"He said, 'We can't have acquittals, we've been holding these guys for years. How can we explain acquittals? We have to have convictions'"

-- Air Force Col. Morris Davis, former chief prosecutor at Gitmo and now a defense witness, testifying to pressure from the Pentagon's top lawyer, April 28, 2008. Davis also told the court that top Pentagon officials made it clear that there was "strategic political value" in bringing some prisoners to trial before the Nov. elections


"Has anybody ever referred to torture as punishment? I don't think so"

-- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia insisting torture doesn't violated the 8th Amendment's ban on "cruel and unusual punishment" on 60 Minutes, April 27, 2008. "When he's hurting you in order to get information from you, you wouldn't say he's punishing you. What is he punishing you for?"


"You cannot do terrorism on other people and expect it never to come back on you. Those are biblical principles, not Jeremiah Wright bombastic principles"

-- Rev. Jeremiah Wright speaking before the National Press Club, April 28, 2008


"Is this 1955 Alabama?"

-- William Bell at a April 26, 2008 meeting in Harlem to express outrage over the acquittals of New York City policemen who killed his unarmed son, Sean Bell. The court ruled that none of the eyewitnesses were truthful, and that the officers were justified in firing 50 bullets at Bell and two friends because they thought one of the men might have a gun (MORE)


"It's obvious our economy is in a slowdown. Fortunately, we recognized the signs early and took action"

-- President Bush, April 25, 2008.


"Just this week, he spouted off again -- I can't imagine why he does this"

-- Debbie Crane, a North Carolina PR consultant who told the Wall St. Journal, April 26, 2008, that Bill Clinton was "more of a liability than an asset" to his wife's campaign. Five days before, Clinton charged that critics "played the race card on me" by criticizing his comparison of Obama to Jesse Jackson after the South Carolina primary, then cut off the interview saying, "I don't think I should take any shit from anybody on that"


"There are African-Americans who have reached the decision that the Clintons know that she can't win this, but they're hell-bound to make it impossible for Obama to win"

-- Rep. James Clyburn (D-South Carolina), House Majority Whip to Reuters, April 24, 2008. The same day, he told the NY Times that he thought Bill Clinton's Apr. 21 comparison of Obama to Jesse Jackson was "bizarre"


"There is a sense at times that we are always joining Chris Matthews already in progress, and he has no idea when it stops and starts. My responsibility sometimes is to grab the wheel when he doesn't hold it"

-- Keith Olbermann on his co-anchor in MSNBC's political coverage. According to New York Times Magazine, April 13, 2008, sometimes during commercial breaks, Matthews boasts of having restrained himself during the prior segment. "And I reward him with a grape," Olbermann said


"I'm thrilled to be anywhere with high ratings these days"

-- President Bush, making a guest appearance on NBC's "Deal or No Deal" game show, April 22, 2008. As it turned out, that broadcast matched the lowest ratings in the show's history, down 27% from the season average


"The army is very good at what they do, they just have a problem with sleeping in"

-- Lt. Col. William Zemp, leading a platoon of U.S. soldiers on patrol near the town of Mahmudiya because the Iraqi platoon expected to guard the area overslept. Sheikh Amash Saray, head of the Mahmudiya local council, said that the Iraqi soldiers need more equipment and support. "I need [American forces] here until 2015," he told the New York Times, April 21, 2008


"We can calculate and poll-test our positions and tell everyone exactly what they want to hear. Or we can be the party that doesn't just focus on how to win, but why we should"

-- Barack Obama, April 22, 2008, concession speech after losing the Pennsylvania primary


"It was them [the Bush administration] saying, 'We need to stick our hands up your back and move your mouth for you'"

-- Robert Bevelacqua, a retired Green Beret and former Fox News analyst, regretting his participation as a media military analyst recruited by the Pentagon in a secret propaganda program. Participants - almost all with jobs representing defense contractors - were given access to classified materials, high level briefings, and VIP tours of Gitmo and Iraq. New York Times, April 20, 2008


"It's salty and it has butter and you don't know you're eating dirt"

-- Olwich Louis Jeune, among the many destitute Haitians now eating a mixture of mud, oil and sugar. "It makes your stomach quiet down," Jeune told the New York Times, April 18, 2008


"A lot of our problems today, as you know, are psychological -- the confidence, trust, the uncertainty about our economic future, ability to keep our own home"

-- John McCain on Fox News' Your World, April 16, 2008. Over 400,000 families last year had the psychological problem of losing their homes to foreclosure


"They went off the rails. That's it. They took a majority that took 16 years to build and they destroyed it"

-- Newt Gingrich, explaining the collapse of the GOP to GQ, April 16, 2008. "There was a fundamental misunderstanding about how to govern. The concept of red versus blue is a tactic, not a strategy. In the long run, in order to mobilize your base, you tend to become more intense and your positions become more vitriolic, and you drive away the independents. Then you are no longer a majority"


"We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq"

-- Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli leader of the right-wing Likud party, telling the newspaper Ma'ariv, , April 16, 2008, that terrorism "swung American public opinion in our favor"


"You weren't told that by the administration. Absolutely not"

-- Doug Feith, one of the Iraq war architects, insisting that the public was never misled into believing that the Iraq war would be a "cakewalk." When challenged on the whopping lie by WNYC talk show host Brian Lehrer, April 15, 2008, Feith still maintained, "the initial reaction of many of the Iraqis was to greet us as liberators"


"The rest of the military did a pretty good job"

-- John McCain, putting the best possible spin on news that 1,000+ Iraqi soldiers and policemen deserted during the recent combat in Basra. "Maybe I'm digging for the pony here," McCain added in his MSNBC appearance, April 15, 2008


"Candidates just can't do enough. They'll promise you anything. They'll give you a long list of proposals and even come around with TV crews in tow and throw back a shot and a beer"

-- Barack Obama, April 14, 2008, snarking at Clinton for tossing back Canadian whiskey and a beer in a Penn. bar. Two weeks earlier, TV crews filmed Obama at a Penn. bowling alley. "My economic plan is better than my bowling," he promised other bowlers, March 30


"Yes, I'm aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved"

-- President Bush to ABC News, April 11, 2008, admitting that he and other top administration officials approved specific CIA torture in 2002


"I was loyal, but I don't think that loyalty is transferable to his wife. ... You don't transfer loyalty to a dynasty"

-- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, telling the LA Times, April 12, 2008, that the Clinton camp "really ticked me off" with calls telling him that he "owed" Hillary his endorsement


"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them...And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not"

-- Barack Obama, April 6, 2008. "it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations"


"This is a machine city, and ward leaders have to pay their committee people. Barack Obama's campaign doesn't pay workers, and I guarantee you if they don't put up some money for those street workers, those leaders will most likely take Clinton money. It won't stop him from winning Philadelphia, but he won't come out with the numbers that he needs"

-- Carol Ann Campbell, a Philadelphia ward leader and Democratic superdelegate who supports Obama, explaining that his campaign would have to hand out $400,000-500,000 in "street money" to win the Pennsylvania election. In 2004, Kerry's campaign paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to Philadelphia's Democratic Party apparatus. LA Times, April 11, 2008


"Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly"

-- Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, at one of the autumn 2002 National Security Council's Principals Committee meetings where CIA torture were specifically approved. ABC News, April 9, 2008


"We are in the throes of a recession"

-- Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan on CNBC, April 8, 2008. "I have no regrets on any of the Federal Reserve policies that we initiated back then...our anticipations of what would happen as a consequence of those policies were off, but there's no way of avoiding that"


"We haven't seen any lights at the end of the tunnel. The champagne bottle has been pushed to the back of the refrigerator. And the progress, while real, is fragile and is reversible"

-- Gen. David Petraeus at Congressional hearings on Iraq, April 8, 2008


"I have advocated conditions-based reductions, not a timetable. War is not a linear phenomenon; it's a calculus, not arithmetic"

-- Gen. David Petraeus at Congressional hearings on Iraq, April 8, 2008. Petraeus said nothing at the hearings about milestones that were established last year and have been missed. Lacking data on such important variables makes any equation unsolvable


"The Chinese have made sure that for a few hours, Paris will look like Tiananmen Square"

-- Robert Menard, head of Reporters Without Borders, on efforts by French police to protect the Olympic torch relay from disruption. BBC, April 7, 2008


"The paranoia of Nixon, the ethics of Harding and the good sense of Herbert Hoover... God willing, this will go down as the nadir of American politics"

-- One of the 109 professional historians surveyed by George Mason University in March, 2008, on the Bush presidency, where 98% said it was a failure and 61% believe it is the worst in the nation's history. Another historian surveyed remarked, "[Bush's] denial of any personal responsibility can only be described as silly"


"Laura Bush intimidates me. All the Bushes -- well, most of the Bush men marry incredibly strong women, and they all intimidate me. Barbara Bush I've lived in fear of for 37 years"

-- Karl Rove GQ interview, April 2, 2008


"Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals"

-- Former media mogul Ted Turner looking "30 or 40 years" into the future. PBS interview, April 1, 2008


"I have to ask why... the firefighters who went there and everyone in the City of New York needs to come to the federal government for the dollars versus, quite frankly, this being primarily a state consideration"

-- Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), calling for an end to funding for emergency responders who became ill after working at Ground Zero. The victims weren't sickened by a dirty bomb or chemical weapon, Issa continued, April 1, 2008, "It simply was an aircraft, residue of the aircraft and residue of the materials used to build this building"


"The problem with moral authority [is] people who should know better, like yourself, siding with the assholes, to put it crudely"

-- Doug Feith, who views asking questions about torture a greater threat to America's moral authority than violations of the Geneva Conventions. Vanity Fair, May 2008 issue


"When more than 1 million students a year drop out of high school, it's more than a problem, it's a catastrophe"

-- Colin Powell, announcing the founding of America's Promise Alliance, a drop-out prevention group, March 31, 2008


"I have a very different impression of Hillary Clinton today, and it's a very favorable one indeed"

-- Richard Mellon Scaife, publisher of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the billionaire who funded "the Arkansas Project" in the 1990s to smear the Clintons. Among the rumors spread by Scaife's group was that Hillary ordered Vincent Foster murdered. Scaife quoted in the New York Times March 31, 2008, the day hell froze over


"It's like one of those movies where you think you know the end, but then you watch with your fingers over your eyes"

-- A "leading Democrat" on the Hillary Clinton campaign quoted in the Maureen Dowd column, March 23, 2008. "It's impossible to imagine The Terminator, as a former aide calls her, giving up. Unless every circuit is out, she'll regenerate enough to claw her way out of the grave, crawl through the Rezko Memorial Lawn and up Obama's wall, hurl her torso into the house and brutally haunt his dreams"


"We have no intention of prosecuting Rush Limbaugh because lying through your teeth and being stupid isn't a crime"

-- Leo Jennings, a spokesman for Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann, who isn't bringing charges against Limbaugh for encouraging listeners to vote for Clinton and disrupt the presidential primary. Columbus Dispatch March 28, 2008


"I thought it would be tough, but I didn't think it would be this tough"

-- Condoleezza Rice on Iraq, March 27, 2008


"[General Odierno] said he flew over Baghdad 15 months ago and he couldn't see a single soccer game. On his final flight last month, he counted more than 180. It is a sign normalcy is returning back to Iraq"

-- President Bush, March 27, 2008. The same day 2 U.S. soldiers were gunned down in Baghdad, another was killed by an IED, one of Iraq's two main oil pipelines was blown up in the first attack since 2004, combat raged in Basra, Kut, and Baghdad, where Iraqi forces were reported surrendering to the Mahdi Army as U.S. embassy workers were ordered to "remain under hard cover"


"We're succeeding. I don't care what anybody says. I've seen the facts on the ground"

-- John McCain, March 24, 2008, the same day that four U.S. soldiers were killed in Baghdad. Over the following three days, at least 62 Iraqis were killed and over 300 wounded just in combat between government forces and Shiite militias. "In a minute, in a second, just like that... we can fall into hell again," Iraq parliament member and Green Zone resident Mithal Alusi told TIME the same day as McCain's quote


"Occasionally, I am a human being like everybody else"

-- Senator Hillary Clinton, excusing herself for falsely claiming that she faced danger in a 1996 visit to Bosnia. "for the first time in 12 or so years, I misspoke," she added. March 25, 2008, KDKA Pittsburgh radio interview


"America has been the best country on earth for black folks"

-- Pat Buchanan, doing his part to sustain the cliche of old, white men being utterly clueless on race. "It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known," he wrote in his syndicated March 21, 2008 column. "[Obama pastor Rev. Jeremiah] Wright ought to go down on his knees and thank God he is an American"


"If they don't have anything to hide, then why are they making foreign journalists leave?"

-- Vincent Brossel, who heads Reporters Without Borders' Asia desk, on China expelling the last two foreign reporters from Tibet . "It's clear that they don't want any witnesses," he told AP, March 21, 2008


"Let me tell you: we've had better conversations"

-- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson on his phone call to Hillary Clinton to inform her that he would be endorsing Obama for president. "Mr. Richardson's endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic," Clinton adviser James Carville told the New York Times, March 22, 2008


"The American people have input every four years and that's the way our system is set up"

-- White House spokeswoman Dana Perino, asserting that the American people have no say in the Iraq war because they reelected George W. Bush in 2004. Press briefing, March 20, 2008


"He might have pulled off something that seemed almost impossible: He not only ventured into the minefield of race and made it back alive, but he also marked a path for the rest of us to follow"

-- Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson on the Obama speech on race, March 19, 2008


"So?"

-- Dick Cheney's response to news that 2 out of 3 Americans say the Iraq war is not worth fighting. The monosyllabic Dick also replied "no" when asked if he cared what the American people think. ABC's Good Morning America interview, March 19, 2008


"They would do anything to win, and that means anything. There is a frenetic energy around them to commandeer this election in any way they can"

-- David Axelrod, Obama's chief strategist, to politico.com, March 17, 2008. "She is the ultimate Washington inside player. She is always asking, 'How do we wire the vote? How do we wire the system to get the results we want?'"


"We can play Reverend Wright's sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she's playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies. We can do that. But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we'll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change. That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, 'Not this time'"

-- Barack Obama, March 18, 2008


"The most pressing question on investors' minds: who's next?"

-- Jeffrey Rosenberg, head of credit strategy at Bank of America Securities. Financial Times, March 16, 2008


"The United States is on top of the situation"

-- President Bush, assuring the nation, March 17, 2008, that his administration knows what it's doing in the economic crisis


"I don't know. You're going to have to ask the experts that. I'm just a simple president"

-- George W. Bush, Harvard MBA, uncertain if an increased oil supply would bring down petroleum prices. PBS interview, March 12, 2008


"It must be exciting for you ... in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger"

-- President Bush in a March 13, 2008 videoconference with U.S. military and civilian personnel serving in Afghanistan. "I must say, I'm a little envious," Bush said. "If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed."


"My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators"

-- Dick Cheney on the upcoming invasion of Iraq, March 16, 2003


"Anyone who had the misfortune of watching it will know how hard it is to do the Lord's work in the city of Satan"

-- John McCain on the Senate's failure to pass his moratorium on pork-barrel spending. Springfield, Pennsylvania campaign appearance, March 14, 2008


"The House Republican brand is so bad right now that if it were a dog food, they'd take it off the shelf"

-- Retiring Virginia Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, who chaired the NRCC for 4 years. Washington Post, March 13, 2008


"I think when people take a look back at this moment in our economic history, they'll recognize tax cuts work. They have made a difference"

-- President Bush to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, March 12, 2008. The same day, a survey of economists agreed that the U.S. economy had ground to a halt and was probably in recession. The next day, gold passeed $1,000 an ounce for the first time and the dollar hit a 12 year low against the Yen


"The best job I ever had in preparation for running for office was a job I had sliming fish"

-- Hillary Clinton campaigning in Cheyenne Wyoming, March 7, 2008


"She's going to lose a whole generation of people who got involved in politics believing it could be something different"

-- Bill Bradley, former senator and Obama supporter, accusing the Clintons of ruthless campaign tactics. "The bigger the lie, the better the chance they think they've got. That's been their whole approach," he told the London Sunday Times, March 9, 2008


"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position"

-- Geraldine Ferraro, Clinton advisor and 1984 VP candidate, complaining to the dailybreeze.com, March 7, 2008, that the "sexist" media has been "uniquely hard on her." When critics called for Hillary to denounce or reject the comment, Ferraro dug in deeper by saying on Mar. 11, "I really think they're attacking me because I'm white. How's that?"


"If I'm not ready, how is it that you think I should be such a great vice president?"

-- Barack Obama, March 10, 2008. "With all due respect, I've won twice as many states as Sen. Clinton. I've won more of the popular vote than Sen. Clinton. I have more delegates than Sen. Clinton. So, I don't know how somebody who's in second place is offering the vice presidency to the person who's in first place"


"I don't know there was much she did apart from accompanying Bill [Clinton] going around"

-- David Trimble, former First Minister of Northern Ireland on Hillary Clinton's foreign policy experience claim, "I helped to bring peace to Northern Ireland." Trimble told the Telegraph/UK March 8, 2008, "She visited when things were happening, saw what was going on... being a cheerleader for something is slightly different from being a principal player"


"Please keep running those 3:00AM ads about who you want to answer the phone, because we like those"

-- Randy Scheunemann, foreign policy advisor to McCain, March 7, 2008


"I for one do not believe that imitating Ken Starr is the way to win a Democratic primary election for president"

-- Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson, March 6, 2008, oddly comparing the special prosecutor who probed Bill's sexual peccadilloes to Obama's demand that Hillary release her tax returns. In 2000, Wolfson attacked Hillary's senate race opponent for delaying release of his taxes for 3 months


"It's a bad thing to do. But not everything that is bad is unconstitutional"

-- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on torture. University of Central Missouri, March 4, 2008


"If Hillary ekes out close wins, stays alive, gains the nomination and the White House, will Rush hold the Bible at her Inauguration?"

-- Talk radio host Hugh Hewitt, March 4, 2008. Limbaugh told listeners to vote for Clinton in the primaries to "sustain this soap opera," and Clinton won the Texas primary by about 98,000 votes. According to the exit polls, about 618,000 Hillary voters were conservatives


"I'd be interested to know how is this any different from the series of complaints that you've registered against every caucus that you lose"

-- Obama campaign lawyer Bob Bauer, confronting Clinton's campaign communications director as he was charging Texas caucus irregularities in a conference call to reporters. Clinton spokesman Phil Singer told ABC News that it was a sign that the Obama campaign is distraught. "They are unhinged. Seriously." March 4, 2008


"I'm not making a 'read my lips' statement, in that I will not raise taxes. But I'm not saying I can envision a scenario where I would, OK?"

-- John McCain, envisionary. The Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2008


"We've had a 'red phone' moment. It was the decision to invade Iraq. And Senator Clinton gave the wrong answer. George Bush gave the wrong answer. John McCain gave the wrong answer"

-- Barack Obama, February 29, 2008, on the controversial Clinton "red phone at 3AM" ad. The ad was designed by Roy Spense, and is virtually identical to an ad he designed for Walter Mondale in 1984


"This is a positive ad. Very soft images"

-- Mark Penn, chief strategist for Hillary Clinton, on their controversial "red phone at 3AM" ad. When a reporter compared it to the infamous LBJ "daisy" commercial with a nuclear war theme, Penn said, "It poses a question to people -- who do they want to pick up the phone? Let them make their own judgment. This is a spot that puts [the question] in the hands of voters." February 29, 2008


"It can hire fit and competent people"

-- Jeffrey Fisher, attorney for the Alaskans seeking damages from the Exxon Valdez oil spill, after Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts asked, "what can a corporation do to protect itself against punitive-damages awards such as this?" The audience laughed at his answer; Roberts did not. February 27, 2008


"That's interesting, I hadn't heard that"

-- President Bush, expressing surprise over a reporter's comment that fuel prices are approaching $4/gallon. A few minutes later, Bush ducked a question by saying, "I, frankly, have been focused elsewhere, like on gasoline prices." The average cost of diesel fuel in the Washington D.C. area was $3.69 on the day of the February 28, 2008 press conference


"It's very hard to criticize Senator Obama without being accused of playing the race card"

-- Lanny Davis, who frequently appears as a TV commentator supporting Sen. Hillary Clinton, on MSNBC, February 27, 2008. In 2006, Davis wrote a Wall St Journal op/ed charging that many Democrats opposed to Sen. Joe Lieberman were anti-semitic bigots


"She has essentially presented herself as co-president during the Clinton years. Every good thing that happened she says she was a part of, and so the notion that you can selectively pick what you take credit for and then run away from what isn't politically convenient, that doesn't make sense"

-- Barack Obama, February 24, 2008


"If I may, I'd like to retract 'I'll lose'"

-- John McCain, February 25, 2008, after he told reporters that if he can't convince Americans that the troop surge is working, "then I lose. I lose"


"[Obama's] riding a wave of euphoria. She needs to puncture it. The way you puncture euphoria is reality, or to be more blunt, fear. I recommend to Senator Clinton the politics of fear"

-- New York Times columnist Bill Kristol on Fox News Sunday, February 24, 2008


"It's a largely unscientific hoax. And it's a political concoction"

-- Mary Matalin, Republican consultant and former advisor to Fred Thompson explaining that McCain is out of step with conservatives because he believes the scientific consensus on global warming. CNN, February 20, 2008


"It's almost as if they went to a camp where these black geniuses got together and figured out how to beat the political system"

-- Geraldo Rivera on Senator Barack Obama and Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick. "Let's reference the civil rights movement, let's talk about change, it's almost formulaic," Rivera said on Fox News' Fox & Friends, February 22, 2008


"I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that's how she really feels -- that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever -- then that's legit"

-- Bill O'Reilly on the Radio Factor, February 20, 2008. O'Reilly invoked lynching the wife of a black Presidential candidate after she told supporters, "For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country. Not just because Barack is doing well, but I think people are hungry for change." O'Reilly's executive producer later made matters worse by insisting that he was defending Mrs. Obama


"If you want to call it 'significant undercounting,' I guess that's a euphemism for fraud"

-- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, on NYC primary results that initially gave Obama no votes at all in 78 election districts. Recounts in the Harlem 94th district changed from a 141-0 Clinton victory to 261-136. NY Post, February 20, 2008


"You don't want to pile up money"

-- Mark Dybul, White House global AIDS coordinator, explaining why Bush is contributing $500 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, although Congress had approved $841 million. Bush is currently in Africa and touting his good works in fighting AIDS and malaria. Washington Post, February 18, 2008


"Hillary is a candidate; Obama is a movement"

-- Bob Gardner, a veteran political ad man and Republican who has worked for Gerald Ford and Dick Cheney. San Francisco Chronicle, February 14, 2008


"I think it's funny"

-- Ann Coulter, explaining why she referred to Barack Obama as "B. Hussein Obama" or "President Hussein" five times in two minutes on Hannity & Colmes, February 14, 2008. Contest: Can you think of a "funny" middle name for Ann Coulter?


"As a minimum, a state official must at least have a head"

-- Russian President Putin, responding to the comment from Senator Clinton that he "has no soul" because of his career in the KGB. New York Times, February 15, 2008


"It is not like putting burning coals on people's bodies. The person is in no real danger. The impact is psychological"

-- Senator Joe Lieberman in praise of waterboarding, February 14, 2008


"When I was here, I didn't take any courses at all on international law, and frankly I don't think I missed a thing"

-- Former UN ambassador John Bolton to Yale law students, February 14, 2008. A poll of ambassadors released a day earlier found 97% said Bolton undermined UN reforms


"The feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama's speech, my, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often"

-- MSNBC's Chris Matthews during coverage of the February 12, 2008 presidential primaries. A few minutes later, network anchor Brian Williams quipped, "Let's talk about that feeling Chris gets up his leg when Obama talks ... That seems to be the headline of this half hour"


"Is it really so easy to determine that smacking someone in the face to determine where he has hidden the bomb that is about to blow up Los Angeles is prohibited in the Constitution? It would be absurd to say you couldn't do that. And once you acknowledge that, we're into a different game. How close does the threat have to be? And how severe can the infliction of pain be?"

-- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, unclear on the whole "slippery slope" thing. BBC interview, February 12, 2008


"Terrorists kill people. Weapons of mass destruction have the potential to kill an enormous amount of people, [but] global warming in the long term has the potential to kill everybody"

-- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to reporters after his address to the UN General Assembly, February 11, 2008


"Everybody was telling him, 'You're crazy, don't do this.' You get the chills. He's really unafraid to take the hits if he thinks he's doing the right thing"

-- Former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, February 10, 2008, revealing that 4 out of 5 of Bush advisors opposed the Iraq troop 'surge.' In his national address last January, Bush promised the nation that "Our military commanders reviewed the new Iraqi plan ...[and] report that this plan can work"


"I have nothing else to do"

-- Mike Huckabee, on why he hasn't dropped out of the race. He also told reporters, February 9, 2008, he wasn't concerned that it was statistically impossible for him to win the nomination. "I didn't major in math. I majored in miracles," said Huckabee, a Baptist minister


"The Democrats have it exactly wrong. Hillary is the easier candidate, Mr. Obama the tougher. Hillary brings negative; it's fair to hit her back with negative. Mr. Obama brings hope, and speaks of a better way. He's not Bambi, he's bulletproof"

-- Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, February 8, 2008. "The Democrats continue not to recognize what they have in this guy. Believe me, Republican professionals know. They can tell"


"If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror"

-- Mitt Romney, February 7, 2008. Search results for "uniter" on the Romney campaign website: 0


"This is the first time we've covered her for a long time"

-- CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, defending his upcoming program on Britney Spears. Cooper was promoting his show on "Larry King Live," February 6, 2008, when guest Michael Moore interrupted to comment, "it would be less sad if we just left her alone. Why don't we just leave her alone and let her go on with her life?" Cooper further claimed "we haven't been following it much," although his show had broadcast a Spears segment just five days before


"We hope and pray every night to run against Hillary Clinton"

-- Ari Fleischer on CNN, February 5, 2008


"When I was the age of a lot of the young people in this audience, in 1968, I supported Robert Kennedy for president. And a lot of people said, a lot of people on the other side, they say, 'Oh, but the other guy was against the Vietnam war longer, and he's better, and we like him better, he gives us a better feeling.' And I said, 'Robert Kennedy cares about people like the people I grew up with. He cares about people without regard to race. He cares about people nobody is fighting for'"

-- Bill Clinton, staking his own claim to the magic of Camelot, February 4, 2008. Awkwardly, Clinton made his remarks on the eve of the California primary, which was when RFK was assassinated 40 years ago


"Look, the only people for Hillary Clinton are the Democratic establishment and white women... White women are a problem, that's, you know -- we all live with that"

-- NY Times columnist Bill Kristol on Fox News Sunday, February 3, 2008. "For the record, I like white women," volunteered Fox News anchor Brit Hume


"I always get asked the God questions"

-- Mike Huckabee, sulky Baptist minister, who followed by telling the MTV audience that his religion "helps me to understand what is right." February 3, 2008


"If you've got a Hillary and McCain race, you've got a third option: That's the pistol on the bed table"

-- The irrepressible Pat Buchanan on MSNBC, February 2, 2008


"I'm confident I'll get her votes if I win the nomination. It's not clear that she would get the votes I'd get if she wins it. And that's a fundamental difference"

-- Barack Obama, February 1, 2008


"I mean, which of your kids do you like best?"

-- Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher, refusing to answer Senate questions about prioritizing between Afghanistan or Iraq, January 31, 2008


"Rudy didn't even care enough about conservatives to lie to us"

-- GOP consultant Nelson Warfield on Giuliani. New York Times, January 30, 2008


"Women have just experienced the ultimate betrayal"

-- The National Organization for Women's New York chapter on Senator Ted Kennedy's endorsement of "Hillary Clinton's opponent." The January 28, 2008 press release also denounced Howard Dean and his brother Jim, "Alternet, Progressive Democrats of America, democrats.com, Kucinich lovers and all the other groups that take women's money, say they'll do feminist and women's rights issues one of these days, and conveniently forget to mention women and children when they talk about poverty or human needs or America's future or whatever"


"How do you separate the sheep from the wool? There's no fingerprints, no DNA. You don't know if you have Osama bin Laden or Joe Shit the rag-man"

-- A former senior intelligence official who helped set up the CIA's interrogation program, admitting U.S. interrogators are still in the dark about the background and information of most prisoners. Washington Independent, January 28, 2008


"They may not have existed. But simply saying 'we didn't find them so therefore they didn't exist' is a bit of an overreach"

-- Mike Huckabee, man of faith to a fault. Fox News Sunday, January 27, 2008


"Over the years, I've been deeply moved by the people who've told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president"

-- Caroline Kennedy, NY Times op/ed, January 27, 2008. "That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama"


"The Clintons are in the process of doing the impossible: making the 2008 election a referendum on them, rather than on the Republicans"

-- The Economist editorial, January 24, 2008. "If what ought to be a stroll in the park in November becomes a real fight, then the Democrats will know who to blame"


"I don't need to go back and live in the White House. I've done that"

-- Hillary Clinton, vowing in a January 25, 2008 South Carolina campaign speech to be America's first nomadic president


"I know you think it's crazy, but I kind of like to see Barack and Hillary fight"

-- Bill Clinton, January 22, 2008, failing to note his tag-team role in the attacks on Obama. The same day, John Edwards told reporters, "While Senator Clinton and Senator Obama were hurling charges and countercharges at each other, I was thinking, 'I'm John Edwards and I represent the grown-up wing of the Democratic Party'"


"Hey buddy! How's it going? What's happening? You got some bling bling here"

-- Mitt Romney to an African-American child, January 21, 2008. According to Fox News, Romney held up a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in Florida when he "jumped off the Mitt Mobile to greet a waiting crowd, took a picture with some kids and young adults and awkwardly quipped, 'Who let the dogs out? Who who'"


"I can't tell who I'm running against sometimes"

-- Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton at the January 21, 2008 debate complaining, to loud applause, about the recent attacks on him by Bill Clinton


"I want to ride a pace car. Will you let me ride a pace car? Do I need a license for that?"

-- Rudy Giuliani, begging NASCAR officials to let him drive a car at the Daytona International Speedway, January 18, 2008. "One time. Boys, one time. We're all little boys, don't you know that?" They finally agreed to let his bus circle the track once while he sat in a passenger seat


"It's historically preposterous. It is ridiculous. The majority of military bases in this country are named after Confederate officers: Eisenhower, Nimitz. The list of southerners in our military is legion. That is what it stands for"

-- Ann Coulter, insisting that there's nothing controversial about the Confederate flag on Hannity & Colmes, January 18, 2008. President Eisenhower was born in 1890 and Admiral Nimitz was born in 1885


"Because I'm like, an ordinary person, I thought that they meant 'what's your biggest weakness?' So I said, 'Well, I don't handle paper that well. You know, my desk is a mess. I need somebody to help me file and stuff all the time.' So the other two they say uh, they say well my biggest weakness is 'I'm just too passionate about helping poor people. I am just too impatient to bring about change in America'"

-- Barack Obama, joking January 17, 2008 that he shouldn't have taken the debate question about 'your biggest weakness' so literally. "If I had gone last I would have known what the game was. I could have said, 'Well you know, I like to help old ladies across the street'"


"We may parse it legally, [but] they are not in Europe or Canada or Great Britain. They call it for what it is, torture"

-- Former JAG lawyer, Lieutenant Commander (Ret.) Charles Swift, on Canada placing the U.S. on its watch list of countries where prisoners could be tortured. MSNBC's Countdown, January 17, 2008


"I don't have lobbyists running my campaign"

-- Mitt Romney, who has three registered lobbyists on his senior staff. Romney later bickered with an AP reporter over what the word "running" meant. January 17, 2008


"If millions of people are trying to sneak into the U.S., we don't exactly have an image problem overseas"

-- Newt Gingrich, unclear either on the location of Mexico or the oceans. Fox News, January 15, 2008


"What we need to do is amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards"

-- Mike Huckabee at a Michigan campaign stop, January 14, 2008


"There should be an end to the occupation that began in 1967. The agreement must establish Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people, just as Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people. These negotiations must ensure that Israel has secure, recognized, and defensible borders. And they must ensure that the state of Palestine is viable, contiguous, sovereign, and independent"

-- President Bush, seeming to offer a manifesto for Mideast peace, January 10, 2008. In the same speech, however, Bush indicated that "current realities" don't include closing or shrinking "authorized" Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and a White House spokesman said the president didn't mean that Israel should pull out of East Jerusalem or Golan Heights


"If I had water draining into my nose, oh God, I just can't imagine how painful! Whether it's torture by anybody else's definition, for me it would be torture"

-- Mike McConnell, Director of National Intelligence, who nonetheless refused to admit waterboarding is torture. New Yorker interview, January 13, 2008


"We treat these problems as if one is guacamole and one is chips, when ... they both go together"

-- Sen. Clinton at a Mexican restaurant, finalist for the oddest campaign analogy by comparing subprime mortgage loans and foreclosures to appetizers. Clinton also qualified for offering the strangest non-sequitir, as a man told her that his wife was an illegal immigrant and the Senator responded, "No woman is illegal." Las Vegas Review-Journal, January 11, 2008


"It's one group where going back to the past really works. All you need to say in focus groups is 'Let's go back to the nineties'"

-- Sergio Bendixen, Clinton campaign pollster specializing in the Hispanic vote, explaining in the January 21, 2008 issue of The New Yorker that Clinton was counting on Latino voters to be her 'firewall' in the Feb. 5 Super Tuesday primaries. "The Hispanic voter -- and I want to say this very carefully -- has not shown a lot of willingness or affinity to support black candidates"


"If you have a social need, you're with Hillary. If you want Obama to be your imaginary hip black friend and you're young and you have no social needs, then he's cool"

-- A "Clinton adviser" quoted by the Guardian/UK, January 10, 2008


"To put it bluntly, it sounds as though the telecoms believe it when the FBI says the warrant is in the mail -- but not when they say the check is in the mail"

-- Michael German, the ACLU's national security policy counsel and a former FBI agent, on telco companies shutting down over half of the FBI wiretaps because the Bureau didn't pay their phone bills. AP, January 10, 2008.


"The reason she's a U.S. senator, the reason she's a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around. That's how she got to be senator from New York. We keep forgetting it"

-- MSNBC's Chris Matthews, January 9, 2008. "She didn't win there on her merits. She won because everybody felt, 'My God, this woman stood up under humiliation,' right? That's what happened. That's how it happened"


"Over the last week, I listened to you, and in the process I found my own voice"

-- Hillary Clinton at January 8, 2008 New Hampshire primary victory celebration. "It's the tears. She pretended to cry. The women felt sorry for her, and she won," charged neo-con NY Times columnist Bill Kristol on Fox News


"I can't make her younger, taller, [or] male. There's lots of things I can't do"

-- Bill Clinton at a January 7, 2008 campaign stop in New Hampshire. "If you want a president and need one, she would be, by far, the best." At another appearance Jan. 4, he whipped the voters into a yawn by repeatedly assuring them "Hillary's got good plans"


"I find the manner in which they've been running their campaign sort of depressing, lately. It was interesting in the debate, Sen. Clinton saying 'don't feed the American people false hopes. Get a reality check, you know?' I mean, you can picture JFK saying, 'we can't go to the moon, it's a false hope. Let's get a reality check'"

-- Barack Obama "Good Morning America" interview, January 7, 2008


"Don't turn the pharmaceutical companies into the big bad guys"

-- Mitt Romney at the January 5, 2008 GOP debate. "Well, they are," shot back Sen. McCain. Romney blames the health care crisis entirely on the uninsured; McCain pointed out the widespread Medicare fraud by the industry and denounced "the power of the pharmaceutical companies" for blocking importation of drugs from Canada


"Nobody would be happier to see all this go away than us. But you can't ask somebody who is at a breathtaking disadvantage in the information coming to the voters to ignore that disadvantage and basically agree to put bullets in their brains"

-- Bill Clinton, apparently blaming the media for Hillary's negative campaigning to a woman who asked if it wasn't time to "change the game" and end the "meanness" in politics. "Nobody would like it better than us if you could get that personal vilification out of there, because nobody's been vilified more than we have," he told a University of New Hampshire/Durham forum, January 4, 2008


"None of this worries me - September 11, there were times I was worried"

-- Rudy Giuliani, telling the NY Daily News, January 4, 2008, that he's not concerned about his sixth place showing in the Iowa caucuses. Current Google hits for "Giuliani 9/11 tourette's syndrome": about 12,100


"This feels good. It's just like I imagined it when I was talking to my Kindergarten teacher"

-- Barack Obama on his Iowa caucus victory, also taking a jab at the Clinton campaign's attempts to discredit him for being overly ambitious since childhood. January 4, 2008


"I haven't decided on my second choice, but I'm definitely not going to vote for Hillary"

-- Iowa caucus participant Patty Ryan quoted by the Des Moines Register, January 3, 2008


"On the campaign trail, nobody's going to be able, if they've been campaigning as hard as we have been, to keep up with every single thing, from what happened to Britney last night to who won 'Dancing with the Stars'"

-- Mike Huckabee, forgiving himself for recent foreign policy gaffes, including ignorance of the NIE report on Iran. He was, however, able to offer same-day opinions on Britney Spears' 16 year-old sister's pregnancy. Quote from Quad-City Times, December 31, 2007


"My mother always said democracy is the best revenge"

-- Bilawal Zardari, son of the late Benazir Bhutto. The 19 year-old student was named symbolic leader of her political party. AP, December 30, 2007


"We will run only ads that talk about why I should be president, and not why Mitt Romney should not"

-- Mike Huckabee, calling a press conference to show the negative campaign ad he wouldn't show. December 31, 2007


"Nowadays, it's all about fire in the belly. I'm not sure in the world we live in today it's a terribly good thing that a president has too much fire in his belly"

-- Fred Thompson, apparently willing to consider the presidency if it's not too much trouble and if we ask nicely. "I'm not particularly interested in running for president," he also told an Iowa town hall meeting, December 29, 2007


"It's gone. The breakup of what was the Reagan coalition -- social conservatives, defense conservatives, anti-tax conservatives -- it doesn't mean a whole lot to people anymore"

-- Ed Rollins, former Reagan campaign director and now chairman of Huckabee's national campaign. The NY Times, December 30, 2007, also quoted Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and one of the most influential Republicans in the country. "My fantasy out of this race is that Huckabee will create another Christian Coalition," he said


"I know it's very, very difficult, but we continue to work. I think it always has significance, but honestly it's how the media to a large degree portrays winners and losers and expectations and comeback kids and all that. So I would ask you: How am I doing?"

-- Sen. John McCain, breathless in Iowa, CNN December 26, 2007. Two days later, he told reporters, "I've been declared dead in this campaign on five or six occasions. I won't refer to a recent movie I saw, but I think I am legend"


"Just wanted u to know if it does in addition to the names in my letter to Musharaf of Oct 16nth, I wld hold Musharaf responsible. I have been made to feel insecure by his minions and there is no way what is happening in terms of stopping me ... cld happen without him"

-- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto e-mail to her U.S. spokesman Mark Siegel, sent about two months before her assassination. "She basically asked for all that was required for someone of the standing of a former prime minister," Siegel told CNN, December 26, 2007. "All of that was denied to her ... She got some police protection, but it was sporadic and erratic"


"See, that's what happens if you get in my way"

-- GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, joking about the pheasants he had killed in an Iowa hunting photo-op, December 26, 2007. Huckabee also wisecracked that he and his fellow hunters were thinking of the pheasants as competing candidates. "It gives us a real incentive"


"Of course, we'd like to see Guantanamo closed. There's only one problem: What are you going to do with the bad people who are there...release them again on an unsuspecting population? I don't think so"

-- Condoleezza Rice, December 20, 2007 BBC interview. Fewer than 1% of the 305 "bad people" currently held have been actually charged with any crime


"Were not moving toward Hitler-type fascism, but we're moving toward a softer fascism. Loss of civil liberties, corporations running the show, big government in bed with big business"

-- Rep. Ron Paul on Meet the Press, December 23, 2007. "We have more corporatism and more abuse of our civil liberties, more loss of our privacy, national ID cards, all this stuff coming has a fascist tone to it. And the country's moving in that direction"


"If you look at the literature, if you look at the dictionary, the term 'saw' includes being aware of in the sense I've described"

-- Mitt Romney, 2007 winner of the "What The Meaning Of 'Is' Is" award. Romney has repeatedly claimed that he watched his father, Michigan's Governor George Romney, march with Martin Luther King Jr. and has claimed on at least one occasion that he himself was a participant in a 1963 march. A search of the MLK archives found that neither Romney participated. "I did not see it with my own eyes, but I saw him in the sense of being aware of his participation in that great effort," Mitt told the Boston Globe, December 21, 2007


"If a tape is not safe in the CIA, in the office of the Director of the CIA, we're in trouble"

-- John Radsan, former CIA Assistant General Counsel, telling the House Judiciary Committee, December 20, 2007, that he doesn't buy the CIA's excuse that the torture tapes had to be destroyed . "It doesn't make sense to me that the tapes needed to be destroyed to protect identities...the CIA protects a lot of classified information. If you have tapes in an overseas location, then have the tapes moved back to headquarters"


"It's what I do during my presidency. I go around spreading good will"

-- President Bush, December 20, 2007 press conference. A recent global poll found a negative view of U.S. influence by nearly a 2:1 margin


"There's not much that entices about the job. There's no money in it, no privacy, no big houses, and from an ego standpoint, it does nothing for me"

-- Supreme Ct. Justice Clarence Thomas, suffering through his lifetime sinecure as one of the most powerful individuals in the world. "I like sports," Thomas said. "I like to drive a motor home." Orange County Register, December 18, 2007


"After 10 full years inside the GOP, 90 days among honest criminals wasn't really any great ordeal"

-- Allen Raymond, who ran the 2002 New Hampshire state Republican party phone-jamming operation to sabotage Democratic party get-out-the-vote efforts. Quote from Raymond's book, "How to Rig an Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative"


"They left me militia, they left me gangsters, and they left me all the troubles in the world"

-- Basra police chief Jalil Khalaf on the chaos left behind by British forces in southern Iraq's major city. Besides the killing of women by religious vigilantes, he told the Guardian/UK, December 17, 2007, that Shiite militas, armed by the Brits, now control Iraq's main port (MORE)


"We have fabulous health care in America...compare it with other systems around the world"

-- President Bush, December 17, 2007. According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. health system ranks 37th, just ahead of Slovenia


"We're in Constitutional crisis because of the arrogant view of some in this administration that they can decide what the policy is, write the legal opinions to justify that policy and be accountable to no one"

-- Rep. Jane Harman (D-California), Chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Intelligence, on the destroyed CIA tapes. "And by the way, when we're talking about leadership, it is the White House that believes the Constitution starts with Article II, the power of the executive. It ignores Article I, the Congress, and Article III, the courts. We have a system of checks and balances and it's broken." Fox News Sunday, December 16, 2007


"We seek your leadership, but if for some reason you are not willing to lead, leave it to the rest of us. Please, get out of the way"

-- Kevin Conrad, New Guinea representative at the Bali climate summit. Conrad's angry remarks were directed at the U.S. delegation which was stonewalling a final agreement. December 15, 2007 (MORE)


"When is the last time we elected a president based on one year of service in the Senate before he started running? In theory, we could find someone who is a gifted television commentator and let them run"

-- Bill Clinton, taking swipes at Sen. Barack Obama on PBS, December 14, 2007. "When I was 20 points down, they all thought I was a wonderful guy. Obviously things have changed," Obama responded the next day


"Our main focus, militarily, in the region and in the world right now is rightly and firmly in Iraq. It is simply a matter of resources, of capacity. In Afghanistan, we do what we can. In Iraq, we do what we must"

-- Joint Chiefs chairman Adm. Michael Mullen, on the priorities and state of the U.S. military. House Armed Services Committee testimony, December 11, 2007


"Hillary, I'm looking forward to you advising me as well"

-- Sen. Barack Obama at the December 13, 2007 presidential debate, asked about former members of the Clinton administration advising him on foreign policy. Obama's comeback was directed at Hillary after she interrupted his answer with a laugh and remark, "I want to hear that"


"I think attacking someone's religion is really going too far"

-- GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, ducking a question about Mike Huckabee's comment, "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?" Although a central tenet of LDS theology indeed holds that Jesus was Lucifer's older brother, Romney further evaded comment on NBC's "Today" show, December 12, 2007, by helpfully adding, "Actually, we prefer the name 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints'"


"Each one of these had to have the approval of the deputy director for operations. The cable traffic back and forth was extremely specific, and the bottom line was these were very unusual authorities that the agency got after 9/11. No one wanted to mess them up. No one wanted to get in trouble by going overboard. So it was extremely deliberate"

-- Retired CIA officer John Kiriakou on the use of "extreme interrorgation." ABC News, December 10, 2007.


"The strategy is to lay low and then blame them for not getting anything done"

-- Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Illinois) on GOP bipartisanship. "The truth is, we all lose. We trash each other and end up making the institution look bad," LaHood told AP, December 7, 2007. "That's why Congress' approval ratings are so low"


"Did they obstruct our inquiry? The answer is clearly yes. Whether that amounts to a crime, others will have to judge"

-- Lee Hamilton, former co-chair of the 9/11 Commission, on the CIA's destruction of waterboarding videotapes. "The CIA certainly knew of our interest in getting all the information we could on the detainees, and they never indicated to us there were any videotapes," he told the NY Times, December 7, 2007


"We are a nation of laws, not of men. This nation was founded in rejection of the royalist principles that 'l'etat c'est moi' and 'The King can do no wrong.' Our Attorney General swears an oath to defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States; we are not some banana republic in which the officials all have to kowtow to the 'supreme leader'"

-- Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D - Rhode Island) remarks to the Senate, December 7, 2007, regarding highly classified secret legal opinions from the Bush administration Office of Legal Counsel that give the president unlimited power of surveillance, as well as making any presidential executive order enforceable law


"I mean, talk about a direct IV into the vein of your support. It's a very efficient way to communicate. They regurgitate exactly and put up on their blogs what you said to them. It is something that we've cultivated and have really tried to put quite a bit of focus on"

-- Former Counselor to the President Dan Bartlett on the White House's use of right-wing blogs. Quote from Texas Monthly interview, December 5, 2007


"When W.'s history is written, he will be seen as the rebellious teenager crashing the family station wagon into his father's three most cherished spots - diplomacy, intelligence and the Gulf"

-- NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd, December 5, 2007


"If that's true, he has the most incompetent staff in modern American history, and he's one of the most incompetent Presidents in modern American history"

-- Sen. Joe Biden on Bush's claim that he wasn't told until last week that Iran dropped its nuclear weapons program in 2003


"It wasn't until last week that I was briefed on the NIE that is now public...nobody ever told me"

-- President Bush, apparently not too bothered that he was the very last person in his administration to learn that all his claims of an Iranian nuclear weapon threat were completely wrong. "In August, I think it was Mike McConnell came in and said, we have some new information. He didn't tell me what the information was," said the incurious Bush at his December 4, 2007 press conference (MORE)


"I'm older than Frankenstein and have a few scars"

-- Sen. John McCain, muffing his standard joke, "I'm older than dirt and got more scars than Frankenstein," at a December 3, 2007 MTV/MySpace forum


"I want a long term relationship. I don't want to just have a one night stand with all of you"

-- Sen. Hillary Clinton, early front-runner in the competition for the Most Cringeworthy Statement by a Presidential Candidate. Quoted by ABC News to a crowd in Iowa, December 3, 2007


"I don't care about his personal life - it's not shocking to me that he wanted to visit his girlfriend. The part that's disturbing to me is that my organization or any government organization could be used to conceal from the public how their money was being spent "

-- Brendan Sexton, chair of the New York City Procurement Policy Board in 2000, when then-Mayor Giuliani took almost $30,000 from the agency budget to pay for security during his trysts in the Hamptions. "He didn't want anybody to know what he was doing. That's the truth," Sexton told the NY Post, December 2, 2007


"What is outraging about this case is that it is being used against the Saudi government and people "

-- Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, explaining to reporters, November 27, 2007, that the Kingdom is being victimized by criticism of its punishment for the "Girl of Qatif." The young woman who was gang-raped by 7 men was sentenced to 6 months in prison and 200 lashes for being alone with a man not related to her


"If the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights, then the State of Israel is finished "

-- Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, BBC, November 29, 2007


"I own a couple of guns, but I'm not going to tell you what they are or where they are"

-- GOP presidential hopeful Fred Thompson at the November 28, 2007 debate, a bit too eager to work in a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" answer somewhere


"Shortly after the Vietnam War ended, [North Vietnamese] Colonel Tu and [U.S. Army Col. Harry] Summers met, and they were talking about this. And our -- and the American colonel said, 'You know, we never lost one battle.' And Colonel Tu, the Vietnamese says, 'Yes, but that's irrelevant'"

-- Rep. Ron Paul at the November 28, 2007 GOP debate, answering McCain and Thompson calling for "victory" in Iraq. McCain also compared the occupation of Iraq to fighting Hitler in WWII


"Mr. President, we should move from the podium so they will see us shaking hands"

-- Israeli Prime Minister Olmert, overheard on an open microphone, suggesting that the photo-op with Bush and Abbas might look ever so much better if the audience could see what the three men were vigorously doing with their hands in front of Bush's waist. November 27, 2007


"Senator Clinton is claiming basically the entire eight years of the Clinton presidency as her own, except for the stuff that didn't work out, in which case she says she has nothing to do with it"

-- Sen. Barack Obama on ABC's Nightline, November 26, 2007


"This is not Dave Petraeus' war. This is George Bush's war"

-- A senior official at the Pentagon, distancing the U.S. military from Iraq war policy. LA Times, November 26, 2007


"I thought, 'Oh my goodness, Hamas won?'"

-- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, caught unawares as Hamas won an easy victory in last year's elections. Rice told the NY Times, November 26, 2007, she heard the news from a TV news crawl as she was exercising


"America has allowed itself to become enslaved to Saudi oil. It's absurd. It's embarrassing"

-- GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee on CNN, November 25, 2007. "Every time we put our credit card in the gas pump, we're paying so that the Saudis get rich, filthy, obscenely rich, and that money then ends up going to funding madrassas that train the terrorists"


"When will politicians realize that George Orwell's 1984 was a warning, not an instruction manual?"

-- Derek Clark, British Member of the European Parliament, November 21, 2007. Clark was objecting to proposed questions on an EU census that would have asked women about their history of "consensual unions." The European Commission claimed they were seeking only data about "unmarried partnerships," and not sexual activity


"It was almost like a reflex mode. I actually remember saying to myself, 'If I was a person really deciding who should be president right now, I'd probably vote for Nixon, because I think the country would be safer with Nixon'"

-- Rudy Giuliani, clearly explaining why he voted for McGovern in 1972. Weekly Standard, November 26, 2007


"I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President's chief of staff, and the president himself"

-- Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, directly implicating Bush in the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. From an excerpt of McClellan's book released by his publisher, November 20, 2007


"TV made him a hero, and we'll use TV to take him down"

-- New York Fire Chief Jim Riches, leader of the firefighters and 9/11 family members currently in New Hampshire to publicize Giuliani's "egregious" use of 9/11 for political gain. ABC News, November 17, 2007


"Now all these people who have built these $300,000, $400,000 homes [find out they] should be higher?"

-- Tommy Do, a homeowner in the New Orleans neighborhood of Lakeview, on learning that the drainage improvements made by the Army Corps of Engineers will only protect against 6 inches of flooding, not 5.5 feet. AP, November 17, 2007


"The McCarthyite hysteria that permits the anonymous smearing of any public servant who is now, or ever may have been, a member of the Federalist Society; a person of faith; and/or a conservative (especially a young, conservative woman of color) is truly a disservice to our country"

-- U.S. attorney Rachel Paulose, winning the grand championship for victimhood by claiming 5 (or is it 7?) persecutions from her co-workers, the media, and apparently lots of others. Paulose was reassigned to Washington three days later. National Review Online, November 16, 2007


"I was just forced to watch an MSNBC segment on going green by shopping at farmers markets. We need Fox back, stat"

-- A "clearly anguished Senate GOP aide" during a Fox News outage on Capitol Hill cable. Roll Call, November 12, 2007


"It's just absolutely amazing to me that there's actually an open discussion in the United States of America about what kind of torture will be tolerated "

-- John Edwards, November 15, 2007 presidential candidate debate


"Go to Revelations in the Bible and look at the prediction for the end of the world. It's fascinating, because it does involve the Middle East, and it does involve the clash of cultures... This was written, what? Five thousand years ago? "

-- Bill O'Reilly on The Radio Factor, November 13, 2007, unclear on the concept of this New Testament-thing


"People said to me afterwards, 'Governor, you'll do that for Keith Richards, but you wouldn't do that for an ordinary person.' And my answer to that is always, 'Hey, if you can play guitar like Keith Richards, I'll consider pardoning you, too'"

-- Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who tells the story of why he pardoned Richards and Ron Wood last year for a 1975 reckless driving conviction using a "surprisingly dead-on Pirates of the Caribbean-esque impersonation." Also while governor, Huckabee oversaw the execution of 15 convicts who presumably did not play guitar like Keith Richards, and thus weren't pardonworthy. Quote from Rolling Stone, November 14, 2007


"This extremely public kind of controversy certainly isn't of much help in winning contracts"

-- Peter Singer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, on the news that the FBI found Blackwater's September killing of 14 Iraqi civilians was unjustified. Blackwater is bidding for up to $15 billion in new contracts from the Pentagon's Counter Narcoterrorism Technology Program. Quote from the Wall St. Journal, November 13, 2007


"You people are really nuts. There's kids dying in the war, the price of oil right now - there's better things in this world to be thinking about than who served Hillary Clinton at Maid-Rite and who got a tip and who didn't get a tip"

-- Anita Esterday, a waitress who said she did not see Clinton personally leave a tip after staffers had lunch at the Iowa diner Nov. 8. Clinton's campaign responded quickly that there was a $100 tip left on a $157 check, but within two days, over 25,000 Google hits could be found on the "controversy." Quote from NY Times, November 9, 2007


"They push a lot for us to establish a link with Iran...It feels a lot like, if you get something and Iran's not involved, it's a let down"

-- Micah Brose, a privately contracted interrogator working for American forces in Iraq, who told The Guardian/UK, November 11, 2007 that he has to follow a list where 60-70% of the questions are about Iran. A military intelligence official also told the newspaper, "The message is, 'Got to find a link with Iran, got to find a link with Iran.' It's sickening"


"We just don't have any idea how this is going to unfold"

-- A senior Bush administration official conceding they fear Pakistan could lose control over its nuclear arsenal of up to 115 bombs. NY Times, November 11, 2007


"How could this e-mail possibly have been sent? These journalists have sparked a major, major incident"

-- An official from Israel's Foreign Ministry on the snafu caused by a group of Israeli journalists who used babelfish.com to translate a list of questions sent to the Dutch Foreign Ministry. The website translated "Dome of the Rock" into "bandages of the knitted domes," and garbled several passages to insult the foreign minister's mother, including, "The mother your visit in Israel is a sleep to the favor or to the bed your mind on the conflict are Israeli Palestinian." The journalist's visit was cancelled. Jerusalem Post, November 6, 2007


"We're going to be having a tsunami of them eventually because the mental health toll from this war is enormous"

-- Daniel Tooth, director of veterans affairs for Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, on a study that found vets now represent 1 in 4 homeless in the United States. AP, November 7, 2007


"I don't know if they go in crazy, but they all come out crazy. All of them"

-- NY Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal, insisting that he has no intention of following in his father's footsteps and becoming executive editor. Rosenthal insisted to Radar magazine, November 2, 2007, that he wasn't joking and his father was "vastly" crazier at the end of his tenure


"If you lived in Iraq and had lived under a tyranny, you'd be saying: God, I love freedom"

-- President Bush, insisting "freedom's happening" in Iraq. November 7, 2007


"While technologically and financially you are giants, morally you are pygmies"

-- House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos (D - California) to Yahoo executives testifying that they didn't know China would imprison a journalist for ten years after Yahoo turned over information about his online activities requested by Chinese authorities. November 6, 2007


"Here's a woman of great accomplishment with a Master's degree in international conflict resolution, and I hope that you're going to talk about more than a tongue stud"

-- Dennis Kucinich to CBS Early Show anchor Hannah Storm, after she pressed Elizabeth Kucinich on details about her decade-old piercing. Storm persevered: "would you remove it if you became first lady or leave it in?" November 6, 2007


"The bloggers are talkers, commentators, not reporters. The talk-show hosts are reactors, commentators, not reporters. The search engines can search but do not report. All of them, every single one of them, have to have the news in order to exist and thrive"

-- PBS' Jim Lehrer, telling career journalists to "calm down, please" at the University of Texas, November 5, 2007.


"Thank heavens for small favors. Iraq looks pretty good"

-- An adviser traveling with Condoleeza Rice on the declaration of martial law in Pakistan. Washington Post, November 4, 2007 (MORE)


"There are still people who believe that the earth is flat. But when you're reporting on a story like the one you're covering today, where you have people all around the world, you don't search out for someone who still believes the earth is flat and give them equal time"

-- Al Gore on media inviting opposing opinions from global warming deniers. Today Show, November 5, 2007


"We tried to hide the cousin thing. Everybody has a black sheep in the family. The crazy uncle in the attic"

-- Sen. Barack Obama on being distantly related to Dick Cheney. November 3, 2007


"What does he have to show for his presidency? He is the President of the United States already talking about his library. What is he going to have in the library? A tax cut for the wealthiest people in the country at the expense of the middle class and a war without end that is a total failure?"

-- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, November 1, 2007.


"Make the American people realize they are surrounded in the world by violent extremists"

-- Rumsfeld April 2006 memo, after several retired generals called for his resignation. A selection of the 20-60 "snowflakes" that he wrote daily published by the Washington Post, November 1, 2007, also urged staffers to "keep elevating the threat," "link Iraq to Iran" and develop "bumper sticker statements" in support of the war


"The president and I saw Katrina as an opportunity to open a debate on race and poverty. Anti-government Republicans saw Katrina as an opportunity to cut off medicine to old people. It confirmed the worst image of Republicans as the party of shriveled hearts"

-- Former Bush senior adviser Michael Gerson in his book, "Heroic Conservatism." Gerson writes he often fought losing battles with Cheney's office over proposals to help the poor, sick, or incarcerated. Washington Post, October 31, 2007


"It's one thing if someone believes in what's going on over there and volunteers, but it's another thing to send someone over there on a forced assignment"

-- Jack Crotty, a senior foreign service officer who once worked as a political adviser with NATO forces, at an October 31, 2007 "town hall meeting" of State Dept. diplomats upset by the new policy requiring them to serve in Iraq. "I'm sorry, but basically that's a potential death sentence and you know it. Who will raise our children if we are dead or seriously wounded? You know that at any other [country] in the world, the embassy would be closed at this point," Crotty said to loud and sustained applause


"Rudy Giuliani is probably the most underqualified person since George Bush to run for president. He can only say 3 things in a sentence: a noun, a verb, and 9/11"

-- Senator Joseph Biden at the October 30, 2007 Democratic candidates debate


"I seriously believe we have to start asking questions about [Bush's] mental health. There's something wrong. He does not seem to understand his words have real impact"

-- Rep. Dennis Kucinich in an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer's editorial board, October 30, 2007. "There's a lot of people who need care. He might be one of them. If there isn't something wrong with him, then there's something wrong with us"


"I believe that most countries are not taking this issue too seriously, including, unfortunately, Great Britain"

-- King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who told the BBC October 29, 2007, that Britain failed to act on information provided by the Saudis that might have averted London's 2005 suicide attack. The same day, a new analysis found that 55% of foreign fighters in Iraq come from Saudi Arabia


"Both papers uncovered dishwashers, cooks and other suspect Hillary campaign contributors in New York's Chinatown, Flushing, the Bronx, and Brooklyn who were limited-income, limited-English-proficient and smellier than stinky tofu"

-- Syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin on recent stories in the LA Times and NY Post on contributions from Asian-Americans. The October 24, 2007 column by Asian-American Malkin finished, "If it's 'ethnic profiling' to be extra-careful of Chinatown donors who can't speak English, live in dilapidated buildings, have never voted, can't tell Hillary Clinton from Hunan Chicken or simply can't be found, then 'ethnic profiling' should be the standard procedure of every responsible campaign"


"They talk about sleep deprivation. I mean, on that theory, I'm getting tortured running for president of the United States. That's plain silly. That's silly"

-- Rudy Giuliani on torture at an October 24, 2007 town hall in Davenport, Iowa. Ten years ago, the UN ruled that sleep deprivation was torture and before 2003, the State Dept. explicitly described it as torture and condemned 12 nations, including Iraq, for using it. Giuliani also told Iowans that he wasn't sure waterboarding was torture, either. "It depends on how it's done. It depends on the circumstances. It depends on who does it"


"I appreciate him being here, but they could have organized this better. I'd just as soon eat"

-- Danny Chandler, one of the firefighters in San Diego County who had been fighting blazes for 24 hours, but was kept from the showers and food tent by Bush's visit. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Bush's fly-ins similarly delayed rescue and relief missions repeatedly. Quote from the San Diego Union-Tribune, October 26, 2007


"I'm a prominent conservative but no one is inviting me to speak at their campuses. I had to create an event"

-- David Horowitz on efforts to stir interest in his "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week." Horowitz interview in George Washington University student newspaper The Hatchet, October 25, 2007


"I took a city that was known for pornography and licked it to a large extent, so I have my own set of qualifications"

-- Rudy Giuliani on the campaign trail. NY Daily News, October 24, 2007. Also popular in the blogs is columnist Jimmy Breslin's old description of Giuliani as "a small man in search of a balcony"


"You know, torture is the method of choice of the lazy, the stupid and the pseudo-tough. And that should not be the United States"

-- Former Judge Advocate General of the Navy, Rear Admiral John Hutson (ret) remarks to the Senate Judiciary Committee, October 18, 2007. "Other than, perhaps the rack and thumbscrews, water-boarding is the most iconic example of torture in history. It was devised, I believe, in the Spanish Inquisition. It has been repudiated for centuries. It's a little disconcerting to hear now that we're not quite sure where water-boarding fits in the scheme of things"


"I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today"

-- CNN's Glenn Beck on the October 22, 2007 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program. The Santa Ana fire is the greatest national disaster in America since Hurricane Katrina, with about one million people evacuated


"I don't know what [Bush] knew or when he knew it, but it was clear...that there was a conspiracy by a multitude of people within the White House to undermine and discredit Joe Wilson. And I was just sort of collateral damage"

-- Valerie Plame interview on the "Today Show, October 22, 2007. Plame also said that a Sept. 1 2006 Washington Post editorial blaming her husband, Ambassador Wilson, for the end of her career, "was like reading Pravda"


"Thompson's tendency to look down and read his remarks provided the audience with some of the most prolonged views of the top of a bald politician's head in recent history. When you feel compelled to use an index card for lines like, 'We must have good laws. We must do our best to stop bad laws,' you have been spending too much of your life filming 30-second bits of dialogue"

-- New York Times columnist Gail Collins on Fred Thompson's dismal showing at the October 20, 2007 "Values Voter Summit"


"All our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all the testing says not really"

-- 1962 Nobel Prize winner and 2007 racist James Watson, explaining to the London Sunday Times Magazine October 14, 2007, why he's "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa." Watson also said he hopes everyone is equal, "people who have to deal with black employees find this is not true"


"You don't have money to fund the war or children, but you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement"

-- Rep. Pete Stark (D-California) on House Republicans who refused to join the effort to override of Bush's SCHIP veto. October 18, 2007


"I want to make sure - and that's why, when I tell you I'm going to sprint to the finish, and finish this job strong, that's one way to ensure that I am relevant; that's one way to sure that I am in the process. And I intend to use the veto"

-- President Bush, explaining why a children's health insurance program is really all about him. October 17, 2007 press conference


"The truth is, I'm okay with it. Now, I don't want to be invited to the family hunting party"

-- Sen. Barack Obama on being distantly related to Dick Cheney. October 17, 2007 Tonight show appearance


"We found out who was writing it and made a couple phone calls to the person writing it. And we said, 'You know what? We're going to find out where your kids go to school. We're going to find out who you knocked up in high school. We're going to find out what drugs you used. We're going to find out where you go to drink and do -- we're gonna find out how you paid for your house. We're going to do -- and we're going to do exact -- and we're going to say that, you know what? You are no different than [former publisher of Screw magazine] Al Goldstein. You both masturbate'"

-- Rush Limbaugh broadcast of October 15, 2007, describing how he intimidated a reporter who was writing "a cover story on me coming out of one of the big news magazines." Limbaugh boasted that he "changed the tone of the story by about 60 percent, I would say, from what it was going to be"


"Of course it's about oil, we can't really deny that"

-- Former CENTCOM head General John Abizaid (Ret), at a Stanford conference, October 13, 2007


"It's all false; it was a trap. I was a victim of my own attempts to contribute to cleaning up the Church with my psychoanalyst work"

-- Monsignor Tommaso Stenico, a high-ranking Vatican priest who was secretly filmed putting the moves on a young man by reporters from Italy's "La7" TV network as part of a program on gay priests. Stenico was quoted by AP, October 14, 2007, as telling an Italian newspaper that he's not gay and was only gathering info about "those who damage the image of the Church with homosexual activity"


"It's just stunning to me that after seven years of Republicans complaining that the president won't use his veto, [Bush and the GOP leadership] choose their big showdown to be over children's health care"

-- A veteran Republican strategist to Roll Call, October 11, 2007. " Good Lord, it probably polls at 80 percent!"


"There is no question that America is living a nightmare with no end in sight"

-- Former top commander in Iraq General Ricardo Sanchez, October 12, 2007 remarks to a convention of military journalists. "From a catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan, to the administration's latest surge strategy, this administration has failed to employ and synchronize the political, economic and military power," Sanchez said, adding that military strategy alone will only "stave off defeat"


"When there were demonstrations and soldiers on the streets, the world was watching. Now the soldiers only come at night. They take anyone they can identify from their videos. People who clapped, who offered water to the monks, who knelt and prayed as they passed. People who happened to turn and watch as they passed by and their faces were caught on film. It is now we are most fearful. It is now we need the world to help us"

-- A professional woman who watched the protesters from her Rangoon office. Independent/UK, October 11, 2007


"Minorities don't become elderly, the way white people do. They die first"

-- John Tanner, chief of the Justice Dept. Civil Rights Divisions' voting rights section, explaining why a Georgia law requiring voters to have photo ID mostly discriminates against elderly whites because they often don't have photo IDs. A day earlier, Tanner said it was a mistake to assume that the poor lack photo IDs. "When someone goes to a check cashing business God help them if they don't have a photo ID," he said. Quotes from a panel on voter disenfranchisement held by the National Latino Congreso in Los Angelest, October 5, 2007 and the Oct. 4 annual meeting of Georgia's NAACP


"Oh shit, he's dumb as hell. Fred Thompson. Who is he? He won't say anything"

-- Nixon in a May 1973 recording on the young Senate lawyer who represented Republicans on the Watergate committee. In a June 6 chat with White House counsel Fred Buzhardt, Nixon say of Thompson, "He isn't very smart, is he?" Buzhardt answered, "Not extremely so, but --" Nixon interrupted, "But he's friendly"


"I hope you get elected, cause it will make Rush Limbaugh really, really mad"

-- A voter in Maquoketa, Iowa to Hillary Clinton, October 7, 2007


"There will be no reconciliation as such. To me, it is a very inaccurate term. This is a struggle about power"

-- Iraq Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih, Washington Post, October 8, 2007. Political reconciliation was, of course, Bush's justification for the troop "surge"


"With [Blackwater] drivers honking at, cutting off, pelting with water bottles (a favorite tactic) and menacing with weapons anyone in their way, how many enemies were we creating?"

-- Janessa Gans, a U.S. official in Iraq from 2003 to 2005, on the behavior of Blackwater convoys that chauffeured her around Iraq. In her October 6, 2007 LA Times op/ed, Gans described her outrage as she watched a Blackwater vehicle push an "old, puttering sedan driven by an older man with a young woman and three children" into a barricade because the car was unable to get out of the way on a narrow road. "'Where do you all expect them to go?' I shrieked. 'It was an old guy and a family, for goodness' sake. Was it necessary for them to destroy their poor old car?'"


"You know, and there are times that you just want to dash your brains out against the wall because, I mean, he's actually, he's a very funny guy"

-- Former White House press secretary Tony Snow, decrying that the world never gets the chance to see the real George W. Bush. October 4, 2007 appearance on The Dave Letterman Show


"The Administration can't have it both ways. I'm tired of these games. They can't say that Congress has been fully briefed while refusing to turn over key documents used to justify the legality of the program"

-- Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman John Rockefeller (D-West Virginia), after White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said members of Congress, including Rockefeller, had been "fully briefed" on secret approval given to the CIA in 2005 to use harsh interrogation techniques (MORE)


"We must do whatever it takes to track down and capture or kill terrorists, but torture is not a part of the answer -- it is a fundamental part of the problem with this administration's approach"

-- Sen. Barack Obama, October 4, 2007. "Torture is how you create enemies, not how you defeat them. Torture is how you get bad information, not good intelligence. Torture is how you set back America's standing in the world, not how you strengthen it. It's time to tell the world that America rejects torture without exception or equivocation. It's time to stop telling the American people one thing in public while doing something else in the shadows"


"It was hard to read these e-mails and not come to the conclusion that the State Department is acting as Blackwater's enabler"

-- Rep. Henry Waxman (D-California) at a October 2, 2007 House Oversight hearing. After a drunken Blackwater contractor shot and killed the guard of the Iraqi vice president on Dec. 24 last year, the State Dept. advised the company on how much to pay the slain man's family, then aided Blackwater with flying the shooter out of the country just 36 hours after the shooting. "If this had happened in the United States, the contractor would have been arrested and a criminal investigation launched," said Waxman. "If a drunken U.S. soldier had killed an Iraqi guard, the soldier would've faced a court martial. But all that has happened to the Blackwater contractor is that he has lost his job"


"We have sure moved away from the day when we called them Krauts and Nips"

-- Ann Coulter, remarking that the U.S. is at war and shouldn't be offended by her remarks calling all Arabs "camel jockeys" because "they killed 3,000 Americans." Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, October 1, 2007


"Illegal migrants really degrade the environment. I've seen pictures of human waste, garbage, discarded bottles and other human artifact in pristine areas. And believe me, that is the worst thing you can do to the environment"

-- Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff to AP, October 1, 2007. The day before, the Washington Post reported that the EPA's pursuit of criminal cases against polluters has dropped by 70 percent under the Bush administration


"First of all, whenever I hear anything described as a heartless assault on our children, I tend to think it's a good idea. I'm happy that the President's willing to do something bad for the kids"

-- The dark humor of Bill Kristol, on Bush's vow to veto extend health coverage for 4 million uninsured children. Fox News Sunday, September 30, 2007


"Quite honestly, since Sept. 11, most of the time when we get on a plane, we talk to each other and just reaffirm the fact that we love each other"

-- Rudy Giulilani, explaining to the Christian Broadcasting Network, September 28, 2007, why he interrupts major speeches to take cell phone calls from his wife. Giuliani neglected to tell the Christian audience, however, that on 9/11 he was married to someone else and having an affair with the woman who's now calling to check up on him


"It was a total charade and has been exposed as a charade. I have never heard a more humiliating speech by a major leader. He was trying to present himself as a leader while showing no sign of leadership. It was a total failure"

-- A senior European diplomat who attended Bush's climate change conference. The Guardian/UK, September 29, 2007 (MORE)


"If you get into the business of committing U.S. forces on the ground in Iraq, to occupy the place, my guess is I'd probably still have people there today instead of having been able to bring them home...The bottom line question for me was: How many additional American lives is Saddam Hussein worth? The answer: not very damn many"

-- Defense Secretary Richard Cheney to the Economic Club of Detroit, September 14, 1992


"These Republicans are all upset about Petraeus? This is one newspaper ad. These are the people that ran a television ad in Georgia with Max Cleland, who lost half his body in Vietnam, in the same ad with Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. That's what the Republicans did. And the person that rode to the Senate on that ad [Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Georgia] was there, voting to condemn the Democrats over the Petraeus ad"

-- President Clinton on the GOP's "feigned outrage" over the MoveOn.org "General Betray Us" ad. Clinton also said on CNN, September 26, 2007, "these are the people that funded the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, but they're really upset about Petraeus. But it was OK to question John Kerry's patriotism"


"This is a nightmare. We had guys who saw the aftermath, and it was very bad. This is going to hurt us badly. It may be worse than Abu Ghraib"

-- A senior U.S. military official on the shooting deaths of Iraqi civilians by Blackwater emplotees Sept. 16. Washington Post, September 25, 2007


"We haven't had one hearing on this. I'm on the Foreign Relations Committee, I'm on the Armed Services Committee. We are about to vote on something that may fundamentally change the way the United States views the Iranian military and we haven't had one hearing. This is not the way to make foreign policy. It's not the way to declare war"

-- Sen. Jim Webb (D-Virginia) on the Lieberman-Kyl amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill, which contains language that could be used by Bush as approval to attack Iran. "This proposal is Dick Cheney's fondest pipe dream," Webb said, September 25, 2007. A slightly toned-down version passed the Senate the following day 76-22 (MORE)


"We don't have homosexuals like in your country. We don't have that in our country. We don't have this phenomenon I don't know who's told you we have it"

-- President Ahmadinejad at Columbia University, where members of the audience were holding up pictures of two gay Iranian teenagers as they were about to be hanged. "Why should they get sympathy?" he asked, September 24, 2007. "Don't you have capital punishment in the United States?" (MORE)


"I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship"

-- Bill O'Reilly, on The Radio Factor, September 19, 2007, astonished by his experience at a Harlem restaurant. "There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, 'M-Fer, I want more iced tea.' It was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there wasn't any kind of craziness at all"


"[Mukasey] is going into a zoo at the Justice Department. It is chaos -- he has no idea what to do there. They have vacancies there, staff. You need someone who knows where the bodies are buried, like Ted Olson"

-- Bob Novak, always in search of excellence. Bloomberg TV, September 20, 2007


"Journalism is trying to get at the truth, trying to separate bull shine from brass tacks. And the brass tacks were in that story. The story was true"

-- Dan Rather on the Bush/Texas Air National Guard story that ended his career at CBS News. Rather also told Larry King, September 20, 2007, "Nobody has proved that they were fraudulent, much less a forgery, which they're often described that way. The facts of the story, the truth of the story stands up to this day"


"You can always tell when the Republicans are getting restless, because the Vice President's motorcade pulls into the Capitol and Darth Vader emerges"

-- Sen. Hillary Clinton at a September 19, 2007 New York City fundraiser


"One, I'm too old to be out there, and two, they would notice me"

-- President Bush, explaining why he just can't personally volunteer for Iraq duty. Bush made the comment to a group of 8 conservative bloggers invited to a White House sitdown, September 14, 2007, according to participant "NZ"


"There's been real changes. In Ramadi, that has been one of worst places in Iraq, it is now one of the less bad places in Iraq"

-- American Enterprise Institute Fellow David Frum, straining, straining, to say something good about the surge on CNN's Reliable Sources, September 16, 2007


"I've been there before...I shouldn't have said the 'god' before the damn"

-- Sally Field, whose speech at the September 16, 2007 Emmy Awards was censored by Fox. Field was trying to say, "If mothers ruled the world, there would be no god-damned wars in the first place," but Fox cut the sound after, "no g-"


"If you don't want your memos to get you in trouble some day, just don't write any"

-- Dick Cheney at the Gerald R. Ford Museum, September 14, 2007. "I'm told researchers like to come and dig through my files, to see if anything interesting turns up. I want to wish them luck, but the files are pretty thin"


"I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil"

-- Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan in his memoir, "The Age of Turbulence"


"The argument that I've heard [Keith] Olbermann make in the past about Fox News -- it's not an argument that I embrace -- is that because it poses as a news organization and puts out dangerous misinformation and is, is a cheerleader for the Bush administration, that it's misinforming our society. But you know what? They're entitled to do that"

-- Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz, defending the right of ersatz news operations to dangerously misinform the public. September 12, 2007 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck


"They don't really want [democracy]. In my opinion, they just don't. They want their meals. They want to smoke. They want to go to the mosques. They want to sit around, and that's what they want to do. Do they want to vote? Do they want to get involved? Not really"

-- Bill O'Reilly on The Radio Factor, September 10, 2007. That same evening on his TV show, O'Reilly told viewers that he thought American troops should stay in Iraq for another a year, although "the USA is likely to lose another thousand killed in the process"


"It should not be just about creating alliances to deal with a guy in a cave in Pakistan. It should be about how do we create institutions that keep the world moving down a path of wealth creation, of increasing respect for human rights, creating democratic institutions, and increasing the efficiency and power of market economies? This is perhaps the most effective way to go after terrorists"

-- Colin Powell in GQ interview, September 10, 2007


"[Petraeus is] an ass-kissing little chickenshit...I hate people like that"

-- Admiral William Fallon, CENTCOM commander and boss of Gen. David Petraeus at their first meeting in Baghdad last March, according to Pentagon sources familiar with reports of the meeting. IPS, September 12, 2007 (MORE)


"We have now set the bar so low that modest improvement in what was a completely chaotic situation, to the point where now we just have the levels of intolerable violence that existed in June of 2006 is considered success, and it's not"

-- Sen. Barack Obama at September 11, 2007 Congressional hearings on the Iraq war. Obama also objected to the timing of the testimony: "I think we should not have had this discussion on 9/11, or 9/10, or 9/12, because I think it perpetuates the notion that the original decision to go into Iraq was directly related to the attacks on 9/11"


"In Afghanistan, 28 million people are free. They have their own president, they have their own parliament. Improved a lot on the streets...It's been a big success!"

-- Donald Rumsfeld in GQ interview, September 10, 2007, ignoring that Afghanistan has just produced another record-setting opium crop and that NATO has conceded entire districts in the southern part of the country to the Taliban. As for his other war front, Rummy told GQ, "The Iraqi government has not been successful as yet. And, uh, it's gonna take some time and some effort"


"The likelihood is that it doesn't become a regional war, but there's a roughly 30-40% chance that it'll spread. During the Cold War, we spent trillions worrying about infinitesimally small risks. 30-40% chance of a real, honest-to-goodness catastrophe is something that ought to factor into our policymaking now"

-- Stephen Biddle/ Council on Foreign Relations, on the risks that Iraq could become a battleground for surrounding countries to fight proxy wars once the U.S. withdraws. The New Yorker, September 17, 2007 issue


"They said, 'You gotta quit smoking'"

-- Fred Thompson, explaining why he thinks Iraqis aren't siding with al-Qaeda. "I don't know what that was about," said Jim Moran, who attended the Iowa town hall where Thompson made the comment. NY Daily News, September 8, 2007


"When people say bad things are going to happen if we leave, bad things have already happened. Where were you for the last four years?"

-- Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria on claims that U.S. forces must stay in Iraq to prevent genocide. "One of the dirty little secrets about Iraq is that Iraq has increasingly been ethnically cleansed. It's sad to say, but the American Army has presided over the largest ethnic cleansing in the world since the Balkans," he said on ABC's World News, September 5, 2007


"If a bullet went through the back of the head, it's sectarian. If it went through the front, it's criminal"

-- A senior intelligence official in Washington, detailing the new rules used by the Bush administration to claim a reduction of Iraqi sectarian violence. Washington Post, September 6, 2007


"The plural of anecdotes is not data"

-- Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the Iraq status report being prepared by the White House. "Progress is not being made," Pelosi said September 5, 2007, no matter how some "cherry pick" stories of success


"Not much surprises me anymore. I have a lot of friends who share the following problem with me: Our sense of outrage is so saturated that when a new outrage occurs, we have to download some existing outrage into an external hard drive in order to make room for a new outrage"

-- Al Gore, fearing that "I'm losing my objectivity where President Bush and Cheney are concerned." Harvard alumni magazine "02138" Sept/Oct 2007 issue


"America does not abandon its friends. America will not abandon the Iraqi people"

-- President Bush, September 3, 2007. Bush's father also famously promised to not abandon the Iraqi people if they would "rise up against the dictator, Saddam Hussein" in 1991 after the Gulf War. Bush I withdrew U.S. support when Hussein began massacring his Shiite opponents, despite the presence of hundreds of thousands of American troops stationed just miles away from the killings


"But this is my favorite television show"

-- Iraq's national security adviser, Mowaffak al-Rubaie, who refused to stop watching children's cartoons during a Green Zone briefing for U.S. members of Congress. Rep. Jon Porter (R-Nevada) told the Washington Post, August 31, 2007, that it was "annoying" that the high-ranking official couldn't be distracted from watching the large flat-panel TV provided in the meeting room. "I don't disagree it was an odd moment, but I did take a deep breath and say, 'Wait a minute, at least they are using the latest technology, and they are monitoring the world"


"To a person, they said there would be genocide, gas prices in the U.S. would rise to eight or nine dollars a gallon, al-Qaeda would continue its expansion, and Iran would take over that portion of the world if we leave"

-- Rep. Jon Porter (R-Nevada) on his recent visit to Iraq and what he was told there by Gen. Petraeus, Ambassador Crocker, and top ranking Iraqi government officials. Las Vegas Review-Journal, August 30, 2007


"We are asking more and more of our families than I would ever have thought possible"

-- U. S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey, August 26, 2007. Casey told AP he would not be comfortable extending troops beyond their 15-month deployments, but other military officials anonymously said that option is on the table


"Iran's active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons threatens to put a region already known for instability and violence under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust"

-- President Bush, always the cassandra of mushroom clouds for nations he doesn't like. August 28, 2007


"I'm 60 years old, my wife's 29. Draw your own conclusions. Diet helps"

-- Rep. Dennis Kucinich exposing his vegetarianism at a candidate's health forum in Iowa, August 27, 2007


"What color is the skin of the people in Darfur? It's black. And who do the Democrats really need to keep voting for them? If they lose a significant percentage of this voting bloc, they're in trouble"

-- Rush Limbaugh explaining to a caller, August 22, 2007, why genocide doesn't matter. "Could you tell me what vital national interest is at stake in Darfur? Nothing. Zilch, zero, nada. Darfur is not attacking us. Darfur has not said they want to attack us"


"Alberto Gonzales is the first Attorney General who thought the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth were three different things"

-- Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Illinois) on Gonzales' resignation, August 27, 2007 (MORE)


"I come from an environment where people talk 9-10 months, and there he was, talking 9-10 years"

-- Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois), shocked after visiting Iraq and receiving a briefing where General Petraeus said progress has been made, but it would take a decade to stabilize the country. Petraeus also told her, "If you don't like the humanitarian crisis, the refugees and the internally displaced people, you can't draw down. If you are concerned about these people, the humanitarian crisis, you should be for our staying here." Washington Post, August 26, 2007


"Immediately after the bombardment of Afghanistan - which actually destroyed 85 per cent of Al Qaeda infrastructure, personnel, deprived them of a safe haven - after that huge success against Al Qaeda, President Bush made terrible mistakes when he sent his troop to invade Iraq, one of the most difficult countries to be invaded, to be occupied, the worst land for democracy, human rights. And we can see the outcome"

-- Abdul Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of the London-based Arabic newspaper, Al-Quds, Australian ABC TV's Lateline program, August 23, 2007. Atwan, who interviewed bin Laden for three days in 1996, also said, "Al Qaeda is now expanding. We used to have one Al Qaeda in Tora Bora and Afghanistan, now it is like a monster, it is like Kentucky Fried Chickens, actually, opening branches everywhere in the world"


"He's saying, essentially, that 58,000 dead in Vietnam weren't quite enough, that maybe we should have twice as big a tragic memorial on the Mall. And who's saying it? A man who chose not to serve, took steps, used family friends to get out of serving in Vietnam, didn't even show up for his own Guard duty, so that better, braver men could fight that war. He stood before those better, braver men today a coward in the company of heroes"

-- Democratic strategist Paul Begala on CNN, August 22, 2007. "I can't imagine who is advising the president -- maybe it's Dick Cheney, who has a similar war record -- who is advising him to invoke Vietnam, when he has so -- so lacking in any moral standing to do so" (MORE)


"They keep on doing this. They keep on hitting it and hitting it and hitting it and it's always more and more implausible, strange and in a fantasy world. They're desperately groping for a historical analogy, and their uses of history are really perverse"

-- John Dower, author of "Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II," which was the source of a quote used by Bush Aug. 22. Dower told The Politico, August 23, 2007, "I have always said as a historian that the use of Japan [in arguing for the likelihood of successfully bringing democracy to Iraq] is a misuse of history" (MORE)


"What bothered me most is that Ari Fleischer didn't even know the guy's name. He's willing to run a multi-million dollar campaign utilizing the personal story of a soldier, and he couldn't tell you on national TV what that soldier's name is"

-- Paul Rieckhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, after former White House press secretary Fleischer presented a commercial from his new organization, "Freedom's Watch." The ad uses double-amputee Sgt. John Kriesel to link the 9/11 attacks and the invasion of Iraq. MSNBC, August 22, 2007


"[Y]ou talk to reporters. And you give them the facts the best you can. Now part of this is a classified world. The fact we're doing it this way means that some Americans are going to die"

-- National Intelligence Director Michael McConnell, telling the El Paso Times, August 22, 2007, that dead Americans are the "tradeoff" for any reporting or Congressional debate on the Bush warrantless wiretap program


"Let's face it, I mean, I'm a myth, you know, I'm Beowulf, you know, I'm Grendel. I don't know who I am. But they're after me"

-- Karl Rove on Fox News Sunday, August 19, 2007. in his farewell remarks he also compared himself to Moby Dick, and told the Wall St. Journal, "I'm a myth. There's the Mark of Rove"


"I - my recollection is, 'I've heard that, too.' So - but the point is, if, if, if a journalist had said to me, 'I'd like you to confirm this,' my answer would have been, 'I can't. I don't know. I've heard that, too'"

-- Karl Rove, insisting on Meet the Press, August 19, 2007, that he didn't out CIA agent Valerie Plame. Later in the show, TIME reporter Matt Cooper said, "[H]e was dissembling, to put it charitably. Look, Karl Rove told me about Valerie Plame's identity on July 11th, 2003. I called him because Ambassador Wilson was in the news that week. I didn't know Ambassador Wilson even had a wife until I talked to Karl Rove and he said that she worked at the agency and she worked on WMD. I mean, to imply that he didn't know about it... or he heard it as some rumor out in the hallway is, is nonsense"


"All for Jesus! All for Jesus! All for Jesus! All for Jesus!"

-- Sen. Sam Brownback (R- Kansas), winner in the competition for the least subtle pander to religious voter in a presidential stump speech. Brownback uses an ancedote about meeting Mother Teresa to let audiences know he feels, "faith is a good thing"


"I was the greatest critic of the initial four years, three and a half years. I came back from my first trip to Iraq and said, 'This is going to fail'"

-- Sen. John McCain, CNN, August 17, 2007. While McCain urged the Pentagon in 2003 to send far more troops to Iraq to pacify the country and restore services, he repeatedly made statements over the following years that "we're on the right course," "we [should] stay the course," and at the 2004 GOP convention, called the invasion "necessary, achievable and noble"


"I feel so lucky that I am now giving them such heartburn"

-- Sen. Hillary Clinton, subject of Karl Rove's frequent attacks. August 15, 2007 (MORE)


"The bottom line here is the government declares something is a state secret, that's the end of it...The king can do no wrong"

-- Federal Appeals Court Judge Harry Pregerson, on the Bush administration's position that no one can sue over government surveillance of U.S. citizens because any lawsuit could reveal state secrets. Judge M. Margaret McKeown also said, August 15, 2007, that the White House position is, "We don't do it. Trust us. And don't ask us about it"


"On 9/11 all he did was run. He got that soot on him, and I don't think he's taken a shower since"

-- New York City deputy fire chief Jimmy Riches on Giuliani. Riches spent months at Ground Zero, where his firefighter son perished. AP, August 10, 2007


"He took a chance to realign the country and to unite it in a war -- and threw it away in a binge of hate-filled niche campaigning, polarization and short-term expediency"

-- Blogger Andrew Sullivan on Karl Rove, August 13, 2007. "In the re-election, the president with a relatively strong economy, and a war in progress, managed to eke out 51 percent. Why? Because Rove preferred to divide the country and get his 51 percent, than unite it and get America's 60. In a time of grave danger and war, Rove picked party over country"


"The true division of importance in the world is not between different countries. The important division is between those who are committed to reason, to working out things, to understanding other people, to peaceful resolution of their differences ... and those who don't think that"

-- Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, AP, August 12, 2007


"I read the statement that Brent Scowcroft made, where he said 'I don't recognize this Dick Cheney' and thought 'how true.' I also knew and worked with Dick Cheney for years. He was alert, serious, sober and cautious. And nothing at all like this man who sits in the White House today. It's enough to get one thinking about the 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers.' Something happened"

-- One of the former Supreme Allied Commanders Europe to Harper's, August 12, 2007


"Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein's government, then what are you going to put in its place? That's a very volatile part of the world...It's a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq"

-- Dick Cheney at the American Enterprise Institute, April 15, 1994, defending George H.W. Bush's decision to not invade Iraq at the end of the Gulf War. "If we'd gone to Baghdad we would have been all alone. There wouldn't have been anybody else with us. There would have been a U.S. occupation of Iraq"


"I was at ground zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers. ... I was there working with them. I was exposed to exactly the same things they were exposed to. So in that sense, I'm one of them"

-- Rudy Giuliani, August 9, 2007. After heavy criticism followed, Giuliani "clarified" his stance on Aug. 10: "What I was trying to say was even those that were there less than me and the reality is that we're all in this together and I'm there with them and I feel that I have the same concerns that they have"


"I haven't seen Congress say [Al Gonzales has] done anything wrong ... Why would I hold someone accountable who has done nothing wrong?"

-- President Bush saying to Congress, "Tag, you're it." Press conference, August 9, 2007


"In order to move on impeachment now...we would effectively be paralyzed for the next six months or longer... I think we should be acquiring and accumulating all the data that is appropriate for possibly bringing criminal charges against members of this administration at a later date"

-- Senator Joseph Biden (D - Delaware), Newsweek, August 8, 2007


"I feel like I'm a death toll meter. Since the end of 2005, I've been doing a daily average of three to five funerals"

-- Um Ali, a professional mourner in Baghdad who is hired to attend funerals and add emotion to the ceremony. "I can't do more than 3-5 funerals a day because the security situation means I can't move around Baghdad easily," so Ali is now training one of her daughters and a nephew. (MORE)


"I'm kind of the Seabiscuit of this campaign"

-- Rep. Dennis Kucinich at the AFL-CIO presidential debate, August 7, 2007


"I don't support this administration"

-- Bob Novak to radio talker Diane Rehm, August 6, 2007, pouting that he wasn't invited to a Bush sit-down with right-wing columnists and radio hosts the week before. "It's like a bad marriage -- It starts nice after the honeymoon and it just gets worse." Three weeks earlier, Novak told C-SPAN he "never enjoyed such a good source inside the White House" as Karl Rove


"If you look at the domestic politics of it, we're in the end game in Iraq. We're going to be out of there in 36 months...They know we're coming out, we know we're coming out. They're all moving for position so they can survive the next stage of Iraq's history"

-- Military analyst General (ret.) Barry McCaffrey, MSNBC, August 7, 2007


"We're about to enter the seventh year of this phony war...and we're losing. None of you should believe we are winning this war. There is no evidence that we are winning "

-- Newt Gingrich at the Young America's Foundation National Conservative Student Conference, August 2, 2007. Gingrich also said that UPS and FedEx can track millions of packages daily, but U.S. authorities can't find illegal immigrants. The solution, he said, was to mail boxes to all illegal immigrants and arrest them


"We no longer need television documentaries about the Stone Age. We are actually living in it. We are in constant danger because of the filthy water and rotten food we are having"

-- Hazim Obeid, a merchant in Karbala, which has been without electricity for 3 days. AP, August 4, 2007


"Officially, we will not deal with those who have American blood on their hands. But how do you know? You don't. There's a degree of risk involved. A lot of it is gut instinct. That's what I'm going on. They didn't teach me how to do this at West Point"

-- Lt. Col. Robert Balcavage, one of the U.S. commanders now paying and arming Sunni tribesmen in Babil province who say they will fight Iraqi insurgents. "Who do you trust? Who do you not trust?" he told the Washington Post, August 4, 2007 (MORE)


"Even if we do get documents, we're told you can't talk about the documents. This is -- did you ever read 'Catch-22' when you were younger?"

-- Senator Patrick Leahy (D - Vermont) to White House deputy political director Scott Jennings who repeatedly claimed "executive privilege" to avoid answering questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee, August 2, 2007. When Jennings said he'd not read the classic book, Leahy drew laughs by noting, "You might want to go back and read it. It's very interesting. It seems to be part of your training manual"


"You expect the White House to play by the rules and they have thrown out the rule book. History will not be kind to the arrogance and indifference to law shown by this White House"

-- Senator Patrick Leahy (D - Vermont) interview in The Politico, August 2, 2007. Leahy also said that though he voted to confirm Chief Justice Roberts, Leahy now regrets that Roberts was ever nominated. "I think in his actions and the actions in which he has joined, he has made the court an arm of the Republican Party"


"You actually covered up the Tillman case for a while, you covered up the Jessica Lynch case, you covered up Abu Ghraib, so something was working for you"

-- Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) to Rumsfeld, who told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, August 1, 2007, that the White House and Pentagon "wasn't very good" at managing the media's view of the war


"He told me that he was afraid that he would die on a very, very sunny day, and I can only hope it was overcast and he got the weather he wanted"

-- Woody Allen, on the July 30, 2007 death of legendary film director Ingmar Bergman


"When we did away with the monarchy and went through democracy, there was a lot of fear that this sort of thing would happen. It took 200 years but we got there"

-- Bob Novak, aghast at the CNN/YouTube debate where the public was actually allowed to directly ask questions of the Democratic candidates. "I thought it was really disgusting." Bloomberg TV, July 29, 2007


"Whatever authority a vice president has is derived from the president under whom he serves. There are no powers inherent in the office; they must be delegated by the president. Somehow, not only has Cheney been given vast authority by President Bush -- including, apparently, the entire intelligence portfolio -- but he also pursues his own agenda. The real question is why the president allows this to happen"

-- Former vice president Mondale editorial in the Washington Post, July 29, 2007


"We invited White House officials and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to defend Attorney General Gonzales [but] we had no takers"

-- Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday, July 29, 2007


"I don't want a continuation of Bush-Cheney. I don't want Bush-Cheney Lite, I want a fundamental change"

-- Senator Barack Obama on Sen. Clinton's foreign policy platform, July 27, 2007


"Attorney General Alberto Gonzales portrays himself as the piano player in the bordello, unaware of what is going on around him"

-- Editorial board of the Seattle Times , July 25, 2007


"When the airplane took off and the captain announced that we were heading to Baghdad, all you-know-what broke out on the airplane. The men started shouting, it wasn't until the security guy working for First Kuwaiti waved an MP5 in the air that the men settled down. They realized that they had no other choice but to go to Baghdad. Let me spell it out clearly: I believe these men were kidnapped by First Kuwaiti to work at the U.S. Embassy"

-- Rory Mayberry, a former employee of First Kuwaiti, testimony to the House Oversight Committee, July 26, 2007. Mayberry and the 51 Filipinos on the flight all had tickets marked for Dubai (MORE)


"They have plenty of people to check to make sure they aren't handing out payments to dead people, for God's sake"

-- Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N. Dakota) on learning that over 170,000 recipients of farm subsidies were deceased, receiving $1.1 billion fron the USDA between 1999 and 2005. "It's unconscionable that the Department of Agriculture would think that a dead person was actively engaged in the business of farming, added Iowa Republican Sen. Grassley. AP, July 24, 2007


"How you can say that you should stay on as Attorney General when we go through exercises like this where you're bobbing and weaving and ducking to avoid admitting that you deceived the Committee?"

-- Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to Alberto Gonzales, following a "Who's on First?" exchange at the July 24, 2007 Senate Intelligence Committee hearings. Asked about discrepancies in his earlier testimony over domestic wiretaps, Gonzales said, "I clarified my statement two days later with the reporter." Schumer asked, "What did you say to the reporter?" "I did not speak directly to the reporter," replied Gonzales. "Okay," Schumer continued, "what did your spokesperson say to the reporter?" Gonzales: "I don't know"


"Maybe the people who think there's a conspiracy out there are right"

-- Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon), who was denied access to White House plans for dealing with an act of homeland terrorism. A member of the Homeland Security Committee with clearance to read classified documents in the secure "bubbleroom," DeFazio told The Oregonian, July 20, 2007, "I just can't believe they're going to deny a member of Congress the right of reviewing how they plan to conduct the government of the United States after a significant terrorist attack"


"All they do is have Iraq votes and investigations"

-- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) yearning for the halcyon days of Republican Senate control, when there were no debates on Iraq policy and no pesky investigations. CNN Late Edition, July 22, 2007


"I think what you've seen is a declining level in the overall pace of attacks"

-- White House press secretary Tony "Baghdad Bob" Snow, July 20, 2007. A Reuters analysis released the same day found that attacks in Iraq are at the highest daily average since May 2003


"Baghdad, can you hear the U.S. Senate?"

-- Senator Joseph Biden (D - Delaware), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as a live video link from Iraq was interrupted, July 19, 2007. "Senate, can you hear the American people?" Shouted a quick-witted member of the audience


"If there is one word, I would use to sum up the atmosphere in Iraq - on the streets, in the countryside, in the neighborhoods and at the national level - that word would be 'fear'"

-- U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker testimony to Congress, July 19, 2007. Later, Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno told reporters that Petraeus' staff will need "at least until November" to evaluate progress


"If we had those 40 million children that were killed [by abortion] over the last 30 years, we wouldn't need the illegal immigrants to fill the jobs that they are doing today"

-- Tom DeLay, speaking at the College Republican National Convention in Washington, July 13, 2007


"I'm a terrible long-term planner"

-- Condoleezza "thanks for telling us now" Rice, asked about her future in a Business Week interview, July 23, 2007


"His family thought their child was learning Islamic studies"

-- Afghanistan President Karzai, issuing a pardon to a 14-year-old would-be suicide bomber from Pakistan who tried and failed to blow up an Afghan provincial governor. "Today we are facing a hard fact, that is a Muslim child was sent to madrassa to learn Islamic subjects, but the enemies of Afghanistan misled him toward suicide and prepared him to die and kill," Karzai told Reuters, July 16, 2007


"I can laugh about it now but the doctor told me it could have been serious"

-- Australian Rugby player Ben Czislowski, who wondered why he had been having shooting pains in his head and an eye infection since a doctor stitched up a forehead wound after an April 1 game. Czislowski had an opponent's tooth embedded under his skin. The Australian, July 17, 2007


"I hope I don't end up in purgatory with my severed head in my arms"

-- Bob Novak on his distinguished 45-year career as a columnist. Novak gave himself the nickname "Prince of darkness" in the late 1970s. C-SPAN interview, July 15, 2007


"If somebody is worth shooting once, they're worth shooting twice"

-- Marine corporal Saul Lopezromo testifiying at a July 14, 2007 court-martial that "dead-checking" - fatally shooting a wounded Iraqi instead of seeking medical help - was routine for his unit. Lopezromo told the court that he and fellow Marines viewed all Iraqi men as hostile. "I don't see it as an execution, sir," he told the judge. "I see it as killing the enemy"


"They are ignoring the Congress. They keep signing these signing statements which mean that he's decided not to enforce the law. This is as close as we've ever come to a dictatorship"

-- Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) on the Ed Schultz radio show, July 12, 2007. Boxer repeatedly also said impeachment should not be taken off the table, a slap at fellow Bay Area Congresswoman, House Speaker Pelosi


"This progress report is like the guy who's falling from a 100-story building and says half-way down that 'everything's fine'"

-- Senator Joseph Biden (D - Delaware) on the White House claim that the July 12, 2007 interim report on the troop "surge" has resulted in "satisfactory performance so far on 8 of the 18 benchmarks." Among the satisfactory claims is that the Iraq army has provided 3 brigades to provide security in Baghdad -- but the Pentagon's actual report found that up to two-thirds of those soldiers are AWOL, have quit the military, or are on leave


"What sectors should be on alert as a result of your 'gut feeling?' What cities should be asking their law enforcement to work double shifts because of your 'gut feeling?' Are the American people supposed to purchase duct tape and plastic sheeting because of your 'gut feeling?'"

-- Letter from Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D - Miss.), chair of the Homeland Security Committee, to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, July 11, 2007. Chertoff said the day before that he had a "gut feeling" that there was a heightened chance of an attack this summer, in part because, "Summertime seems to be appealing to them"


"Let's do this. Let me cut the ribbon ... and then why don't you all yell simultaneously. Like, really loudly. And that way, you might get noticed. I'll, like, listen, internalize, play like I'm gonna answer the question, and then smile at you and just say 'got it. Thanks. Thanks for such a solid, sound question'"

-- President Bush at ceremony reopening the press briefing room at White House , July 11, 2007


"I'm a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary. If he does something like that, I'm walking away with one thing, and it's not alimony, trust me"

-- Wendy Vitter, wife of Sen. David Vitter (R-Louisiana) denouncing President Clinton's sexual trysts in 2000. The Times-Picayune reported July 10, 2007, that the owner of a New Orleans whorehouse said the social conservative Republican was a regular customer in the mid-1990s, and the Senator also apologized the same day for a "very serious sin in my past" after phone records linked him to the "D.C. Madam's" escort service


"Our principle health problem down there is gain of weight, we feed 'em so well"

-- Karl Rove on Gitmo conditions, Aspen Daily News, July 8, 2007


"Here's why the president acted the way he did. He knew Bill Clinton was joining Hillary in Iowa on July 4th -- no, I'm serious -- So on July 2nd, Ed Gillespie, who's a very canny Republican operator, said, Let's pardon Libby. Clinton will rise to the bait, and we could spend the last half of the week debating the unbelievable Clinton pardons against the defensible Bush pardon"

-- Neo-con pundit Bill Kristol on Bush's clemency for Libby. "I regard this as an extremely clever Machiavellian move by the president. It cheers me up about the Bush White House, and I'm really heartened," he told Fox News Sunday, July 8, 2007


"People have a right to expect from the government and security agencies protection for their lives, land, honor and property. [Otherwise], the people have no choice but to take up their own defense"

-- Iraq's Sunni vice president al-Hashemi, calling for citizens to take up arms to protect themselves, since the government can't. His statement followed a July 8, 2007 bomb attack which killed 155, the worst single act of violence since the U.S. invasion


"I tried to avoid this war. I took him through the consequences of going into an Arab country and becoming the occupiers"

-- Colin Powell, who told the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado that he spent 2 1/2 hours with Bush trying to convince the president to not invade Iraq. Powell also said Iraq is now in civil war, which "will ultimately be resolved by a test of arms. It's not going to be pretty to watch, but I don't know any way to avoid it. It is happening now." London Sunday Times, July 8, 2007


"In effect they're saying is that we can't tell you whether you have been wiretapped because that's a secret. And unless you know you've been wiretapped, you can't challenge that program"

-- Steven R. Shapiro, ACLU legal director on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refusing to consider an ACLU lawsuit over Bush's domestic spying program because the ACLU couldn't prove their calls had been tapped. "This is a Catch-22," Shapiro said in a statement, July 6, 2007


"Here's a guy who is lower off in the polls than any president in modern history and he goes ahead and he does something that just flies in the face of the sensibilities of the American people"

-- Senator Joseph Biden (D - Delaware) on Bush blocking Libby from serving any jail time. "This guy is brain dead," Biden said a tcampaign event in a Des Moines backyard. "I know I'll be quoted, I'll be killed for that." NY Times, July 4, 2007


"I wish the Iranian people well, and only hope their experience with an inept, rigid ideologue president goes better than ours"

-- Oliver Stone, on learning that Iranian President Ahmadinejad has rejected his proposal for a biographical film because Stone is "part of the Great Satan." In a July 1, 2007 statement, the Oscar-winning director of anti-war and conspiracy movies replied, "I have been called a lot of things, but never a great satan"


"Before the conduct of the general elections, I was selling a minimum of seven machetes daily but can hardly sell one a day now"

-- Usman Masi, a Nigerian merchant quoted by Reuters, July 2, 2007. At least 200 people were killed in politically motivated violence during months of campaigning ahead of the April vote


"Human instinct is when someone has a serious injury to look the other way. He actually asked him to take them off. He actually touched the eye a little. It was almost as if he felt he had to confront it"

-- Rep. Peter King (R-NY), recalling a creepy moment with Bush when the president asked a soldier with an eye injury to remove his dark glasses so he could see the wound. Washington Post, July 2, 2007


"The President's decision to commute Mr. Libby's sentence is disgraceful. Libby's conviction was the one faint glimmer of accountability for White House efforts to manipulate intelligence and silence critics of the Iraq War. Now, even that small bit of justice has been undone"

-- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, July 2, 2007


"It is not often in the law that so few have so quickly changed so much"

-- Supreme Ct. Justice Stephen Breyer, opposing the Court's 5-4 ruling that schools cannot use racial quotas to maintain an integrated student population. June 28, 2007


"I'm more of a man than any liberal"

-- The enigmatic Ann Coulter to Bill O'Reilly, June 28, 2007


"It's the incredible shrinking presidency. He's lost battles in the courts. He's lost battles in Iraq. He's lost battles on Capitol Hill. His bank account is empty and there's nowhere to go for more. I think his presidency is essentially over"

-- NYU professor Paul Light, an expert on the executive branch, on the the president's declining prospects. The last week of June found Bush with an all-time low approval of 27% and 3 of 4 Americans saying the Iraq war is going "badly." Light also proposed a headline to sum up the outcome as members of his own party killed his immigration reform bill: "The president loses his legacy." McClatchy Newspapers, June 28, 2007


"If you have to kill someone, then for God's sakes, kill the right people"

-- Army col. (ret.) Douglas Macgregor, who told the Army Times, June 28, 2007 that Rumsfeld turned special operations forces into a "giant killing machine," but he expects new commanders will restore balance. "In most cases, you're not going to have to kill people and that's the great virtue of special operations. That's been lost over the last several years"


"I said, 'You're gonna like this guy -- he's humble, he's honest, he's hard-working, and he's smart.' And he's proved me wrong"

-- Former U.S. Attorney John McKay, recalling that he told lawyer friends it was good news when Gonzales was confirmed as attorney general. McKay was fired in 2005 after he refused to investigate the Democratic candidate in a close Oregon governor's race. The Oregonian, June 29, 2007


"If there is an all-out war between the United States and various radical Muslim groups worldwide, who would you rather have in charge -- Democrats or Republicans?"

-- One of the questions on the June 26-27, 2007 FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll. Respondents picked Democrats to be in charge during WWIII by 41 to 38%


"We cannot attribute all the violence in Iraq to al-Qaeda. There's a tendency now to lump it all together, and call it al-Qaeda. We have to be very careful with that. This is a very complex region. al-Qaeda is certainly a component. But there's larger components"

-- Major General (ret.) John Batiste at House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearings, June 27, 2007. Batiste also said the troop surge in Iraq is "destroying our military, with little to show for it"


"I've heard he's been called Bush's poodle. He's bigger than that"

-- President Bush on Tony Blair, June 26, 2007. "Tony's great skill, and I wish I had it, is that he's very articulate. I wish I was a better speaker. This guy can really -- he can talk"


"You had a column several years ago which made fun of the moment of Charlie Dean's death and suggested that my husband had a bumper sticker on the back of his car saying, 'Ask me about my dead son.' This is not legitimate political dialogue...I'm the mother of that boy who died. My children participate -- these young people behind you are the age of my children. You're asking them to participate in a dialogue that is based on hatefulness and ugliness instead of on the issues, and I don't think that's serving them or this country very well"

-- Elizabeth Edwards confronting Ann Coulter during a live interview on MSNBC's Hardball, June 26, 2007. Coulter claimed, "the wife of a presidential candidate is asking me to stop speaking...to stop writing books." Edwards replied, "If you can't write them without [using personal attacks], that is fine"


"If I'm gonna say anything about John Edwards in the future, I'll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot"

-- Ann Coulter on ABC's Good Morning America, June 25, 2007


"Many people think the first attack on America was on Sept. 11, 2001. It was not. It was in 1993. The United States government, then President Clinton, did not respond. Bin Laden declared war on us. We didn't hear it"

-- Rudy Giuliani, June 26, 2007


"The idea of trying to cast blame on President Clinton is just wrong for many, many reasons, not the least of which is I don't think he deserves it. I don't think President Bush deserves it. The people who deserve blame for Sept. 11, I think we should remind ourselves, are the terrorists -- the Islamic fanatics -- who came here and killed us"

-- Rudy Giuliani, September 27, 2006


"Back in the 70s, everybody was aghast at what was happening...looking back, it seems so minor compared to what the CIA is doing today"

-- Author and spook watcher James Bamford on the announcement that the CIA would release details of the Agency's "family jewels." Bamford told NPR, June 24, 2007, "The CIA held a Russian defector in a jail that was created by the CIA, a mini-prison for this person on CIA property for two or three years. Now you have the CIA keeping people in prisons all over the world, in secret prisons. It talks about the mail-opening that was done by the CIA, reading letters going from the United States to and from Russia, and also China. And that was an outrage at the time. But today the intelligence community is reading hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of e-mails of Americans"


"I said, 'Dick, you know, you're going to be doing a lot of this international traveling, you're going to be doing all this political fundraising... you'll be going to the funerals.' I mean, this is what vice presidents do"

-- Dan Quayle offering newbie Dick Cheney advice. Quayle told the Washington Post, June 24, 2007, that Cheney "got that little smile" and replied, "I have a different understanding with the president"


"I still prefer my 'Godfather' imitation, but you know, I have a lot more practice at it"

-- Rudy Giuliani on the Clinton video spoof of "The Sopranos," quoted in NY Daily News, June 21, 2007. Giuliani has used his Brando-Godfather imitation at public appearances for over a decade, most famously at his final Inner Circle dinner as mayor in 2001, where he also imitated a Radio City Music Hall Rockette in custom-made high heels and flesh-colored tights


"We're all reacting here and we're putting on shit, we have nothing going -- welcome back to Hardball"

-- MSNBC's Chris Matthews caught after a commercial in an unguarded dialog with his producer, June 20, 2007


"We are going to win this, but it's going to take time. It's a marathon rather than a sprint - we should be thinking in terms of decades"

-- Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, British ambassador to Afghanistan. BBC, June 20, 2007


"Are you going to convict Jack Bauer? Say that criminal law is against him? 'You have the right to a jury trial?' Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer? I don't think so. So the question is really whether we believe in these absolutes. And ought we believe in these absolutes"

-- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, defending the hero of Fox Network's "24," who routinely tortures suspects or their families. Three months earlier, Scalia mocked opponents who viewed the Constitution as a "living" document and not absolute, telling a university audience that "the Constitution was [once] regarded as a rock to which society was anchored. And that rock didn't move." Quotes from Toronto Globe and Mail, June 16, 2007 and Toledo Blade, March 14, 2007


"When an announcer says, 'It's a report you have to see,' you probably don't. When an anchor says, 'shocking details,' they probably aren't. When a reporter claims his news is 'fair and balanced,' it probably isn't"

-- ABC World News anchor Charles Gibson commencement address at Union College, June 17, 2007. "And, when politicians say, 'I'm going to level with you,' they probably won't"


"Blair's real concern was that there would be 'a knee-jerk reaction' by the Americans ... they would go thundering off and nuke the shit out of the place without thinking straight"

-- Former British ambassador to Washington Christopher Meyer, explaining why the UK joined the attack on Afghanistan after 9/11. Meyer's comments appear in the documentary, "The Rise and Fall of Tony Blair" appearing on British TV June 23, 2007


"I thought they wanted to know. I assumed they wanted to know. I was ignorant of the setting"

-- Ret. Army Major General Antonio Taguba, recalling a May 6, 2004 meeting with Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and other top Pentagon brass about his investigation into abuses at Abu Ghraib prison. Taguba says he was mocked by Rumsfeld, who was particularly concerned over how the report was leaked to the public. "The whole idea that Rumsfeld projects - 'We're here to protect the nation from terrorism' - is an oxymoron. He and his aides have abused their offices and have no idea of the values and high standards that are expected of them. And they've dragged a lot of officers with them." The New Yorker, June 25, 2007 edition


"I'd been in the Army thirty-two years by then, and it was the first time that I thought I was in the Mafia"

-- Ret. Army Major General Antonio Taguba, who led the Pentagon's investigation into Abu Ghraib prison torture, recalling a warning in 2004 by then-CENTCOM head General John Abizaid that "You and your report will be investigated." Taguba, who was asked to retire last year, said he soon realized that his military career was finished. The New Yorker, June 25, 2007 edition


"Do you think there's a sex appeal for this guy, this sort of mature, older man, you know? ... Can you smell the English leather on this guy, the Aqua Velva, the sort of mature man's shaving cream, or whatever, you know, after he shaved? Do you smell that sort of -- a little bit of cigar smoke? You know, whatever"

-- MSNBC's Chris Matthews on the odors of Fred Thompson, June 13, 2007


"Talk radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem"

-- Senator Trent Lott (R-Mississippi), suddenly upset with right-wing radio now that it's drumming up opposition to the Bush immigration reform bill. New York Times, June 15, 2007


"Iraq may get better; Iraq may get worse. We may be successful in Iraq; we may not be. I don't know the answer to that. That's in the hands of other people"

-- Rudy Giuliani, offering his winning "Que Sera, Sera" Iraq platform. New York Times, June 13, 2007


"The main reason why I think Murdoch wants the Journal: He loves the editorial page. In fact, he's gaga over it... I think he would like to elect a president, [Citizen] Kane style, with it"

-- CNBC host and columnist Jim Cramer on Rupert Murdoch's bid to buy The Wall Street Journal. June 18, 2007 issue of New York magazine


"Are you saying that detaining people who are plucked off the battlefields is an assault on democracy? Are you kidding me? You're talking about the people who were responsible for supporting the Taliban, somehow detaining them is an assault on democracy?"

-- White House spokesman Tony Snow, answering a question about indefinite detention of suspects and boldly showing off his ignorance of the Geneva Conventions, common law dating back seven centuries, the United States Constitution, and democracy. June 12, 2007


"The reason that CNN and MSNBC do so much Iraq reporting is because they want to embarrass the Bush administration"

-- Bill O'Reilly radio show, June 12, 2007. "CNN and MSNBC are actually helping the terrorists by reporting useless explosions. Do you care if another bomb went off in Tikrit? Does it mean anything? No! It doesn't mean anything"


"I don't think I called for a deadline. I thought I said, time -- I did? What exactly did I say? I said, 'deadline?' Okay, yes, then I meant what I said"

-- President Bush, June 10, 2007. The top White House news from the day before was Bush insisting on a deadline for a UN resolution declaring Kosovo's independence


"If it was up to me, I would close Guantanamo not tomorrow, but this afternoon. I'd close it. And I would not let any of those people go. I would simply move them to the United States and put them into our federal legal system. The concern was, 'Well, then they'll have access to lawyers, then they'll have access to writs of habeas corpus.' So what? Let them. Isn't that what our system's all about?"

-- Colin Powell on Meet the Press, June 10, 2007


"We have made a deal with the devil"

-- An intelligence officer in the 1st Infantry battalion, which has given police powers and weapons to a Sunni militia in western Baghdad. Ali Hatem Ali Suleiman, a Sunni leader says the group is fighting Al-Qaeda and Shiite militias. "Let's be honest, the enemy now is not the Americans, for the time being," he told the Washington Post, June 9, 2007


"This war is going to go on for a long time. It's a generational war"

-- Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, nominee to be the next Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman. He also told sailors at a May 8, 2007 Q&A session, "I honestly believe this is the most dangerous time in my life." Honolulu Star-Bulletin


"If Hillary Clinton were elected president, do you think Bill Clinton is likely to personally behave in ways that will get him into trouble, or do you think he will avoid those situations?"

-- One of the questions on the June 5-6, 2007 FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll. 45% of Repubs and 8% of Dems thought he "will get into trouble"


"Sometimes I think that in the U.S. we're looking at Iraq right now as though it were the last half of a three-reel movie. For Iraqis, it's a five-reel movie and they're still in the first half of it. I don't see an end game, as it were, in sight"

-- U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker on NPR, June 6, 2007


"Staying here is like committing suicide"

-- Mudher Rafid, a Baghdad University graduate who is now fleeing the country. Karar Alaa, a medical student at Babil University also told the New York Times, June 5, 2007, "Of course I will feel sad to leave my family and my friends who cannot go with me somewhere else. But it's my security. It's my life. I think after what I saw, there is no more future here"


"The candidates that can't face Fox, can't face Al Qaeda, and that's what's coming"

-- Fox News CEO Roger Ailes on the five Democratic presidential candidates that are refusing to participate in a debate managed by Fox News. Ailes remark at a June 5, 2007 awards ceremony for opinion writing


"I have myself been to meetings after which I could not remember what agency or department most of the people worked for, or even why they were there"

-- Former UN envoy and neo-con John Bolton, asking leniency for "Scooter" Libby on the basis of his own incompetency. Letter to Judge Reggie Walton, May 14, 2007


"When Lincoln ran for presidency in 1860 -- the truth is, that's why he got this honorary degree, your college was trying to help get him elected, and you wanted to give him a little boost. 146 years later, you gave Stephen Colbert a degree to give his ratings a boost. That's what Al Gore now calls an assault on reason"

-- Bill Clinton, commencement speaker at Knox College, June 2, 2007. "[Now in] 2007, you're giving me an honorary degree so I can be attacked by Stephen Colbert"


"First responders in Colorado have recently provided critical services in the face of blizzards and tornados. Since I don't think first responders have really done anything significant in comparison to their counterparts who have dealt with real natural disasters, I have no idea what else to say here"

-- Press release from Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colorado), June 1, 2007. Allard spokesman Steve Wymer later said that he wrote that section of the statement, but it wasn't supposed to be released


"Overall, I would say what I see here today is progress. Significant progress from the last time I was here in December. And, if you can see progress in war that means you are heading in the right direction"

-- Senator Joe Lieberman in a May 30, 2007 CNN interview from Baghdad. The same day, McClatchy Newspapers reported Lieberman met with a group of 30 soldiers who had discussed what they wanted to say to the Senator. We don't feel like we're making any progress," was the group's statement, and their top question was, "When are we going to get out of here?"


"Do you think, uh, do you think, Jill, he's had cosmetic surgery around the eyes, below the eyes? What do you think? ... You don't want to talk about that one? Everybody's so afraid of that one, but I think there's some work been done. It looks pretty good actually"

-- MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Al Gore, whose new book, "The Assault on Reason," condemns the media's obsession with the superficial and celebrity. May 30, 2007


"See how many people are dying in Darfur: None"

-- John Ukec Lueth Ukec, Sudan ambassador to the U.S. asked at the National Press Club about the 400,000 dead. As for the 2 million refugees, he answered "I am not a statistician." Washington Post, May 31, 2007


"There's no question that this is likelier to fail than succeed at this point"

-- Stephen Biddle, an advisor to American commander in Iraq Gen. Petraeus, on the U.S. troop "surge" in Iraq. "If I had to put a number to it, maybe it's a one in ten. Maybe it's a one in five longshot, if we play our cards right," he told CBS Evening News May 29, 2007. His prediction came a day before the second anniversary of Cheney's 2005 prediction: "I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency"


"When you have the collapse of the Republican Party, you have an immediate turn toward the Democrats, not because the Democrats are offering anything better, but on a 'not them' basis. And if you end up in a 2008 campaign between 'them' and 'not them,' 'not them' is going to win"

-- Newt Gingrich, who now compares the Bush presidency to Jimmy Carter's, and predicts that the only way Repubs can keep the White House is for its candidate to run against Bush and his record. The New Yorker, June 4, 2007 issue


"We help them in the day. They turn around at night and try to kill us "

-- Staff Sgt. David Safstrom, who said that his patrol recently killed a man setting a roadside bomb, then searched the body and found ID showing he was a sergeant in the Iraqi Army. "I thought, 'What are we doing here? Why are we still here?'" New York Times May 27, 2007


"I would like to suggest...that maybe we give Paul Wolfowitz a new job and send him [to Baghdad] as mayor, since the neocons got us in over there"

-- Rep. Walter Jones (R-N Carolina), ABC News, May 29, 2007


"He said, 'No, no, they'll be glad to see us. This will start the process of revolution around the Middle East that will transform everything' "

-- Col. Patrick Lang, quoting Paul Wolfowitz from a pre-invasion conversation on Iraq. Lang, who had been the Defense Intelligence Agency's Middle East expert, said at a May 7, 2007 University of District of Columbia forum that he warned Wolfowitz, "You know, these guys are not going to welcome you... [they] detest foreigners, and the few who really like you are the least representative of the various breeds of people there. They're going to fight you, then, if you occupy the place there's going to be a massive insurgency"


"You know what's going to happen in September? They'll bring General Petraeus back and he'll say, 'Just give me until the end of year. I think things are turning around.' And then we'll be out of session, come back in late January, February, and the fact is a thousand more troops will lose their lives in a situation that doesn't make any sense and it is hurting our military, hurting our country. This should not wait till September"

-- Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) on MSNBC, May 24, 2007


"The Middle East looked nice and cozy for awhile. Everything looked fine on the surface, but beneath the surface, there was a lot of resentment, there was a lot of frustration, such that 19 kids got on airplanes and killed 3,000 Americans. It's in the long-term interest of this country to address the root causes of these extremists and radicals exploiting people that cause them to kill themselves and kill Americans and others"

-- The mind of President George W. Bush, May 24, 2007. "A lot of the spectaculars you're seeing are caused by al-Qaeda"


"Certainly there's been an uptick in violence. It's a snapshot. It's a moment"

-- President Bush, May 24, 2007. The same day, the Washington Post reported that so far in May there has been an average of 107 bodies dumped each week in Baghdad, a greater number than in January before the "surge" began. "The level of sectarian violence is an important indicator of whether or not the strategy that we have implemented is working. Since our operation began, the number of sectarian murders has dropped substantially" -- President Bush, exactly two weeks earlier, on May 10, 2007


"This book, unlike the President's State of the Union Address, has been fact-checked"

-- Al Gore, in a May 22, 2007 conference call with bloggers. Earlier that day, Bush spokesman Tony Snow said of Gore's new book: "I don't know if they're going to do a reprinting of the book to try to get the facts straight. The fact-checkers may have to take a look at it"


"These are venal people. I'm embarrassed for them"

-- Senator Trent Lott (R-Mississippi), who is seeking to strip insurance companies of their 62-year-old exemption from federal antitrust laws. Lott was angered when State Farm ruled that he was uninsured because flood waters, not Hurricane Katrina, had destroyed his beachfront home in Pascagoula. "Disasters make for strange bedfellows," says antitrust bill cosponsor, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana). Bloomberg News, May 21, 2007


"Maybe I should wait a couple of weeks and see if it changes, because it's changed in less than a year from his position before. And maybe his solution will be to get out his small-varmint gun and drive those Guatemalans off his lawn"

-- Sen. John McCain, scoring a two-fer on Mitt Romney's devolving position on immigration and gun control. Quote from McCain's May 21, 2007 conference call with bloggers


"I remember waiting; it wasn't long, but it felt like forever. And I was thinking, 'What am I going to do? What if they get him to sign something? Do I intervene physically? What do I do?"

-- James Comey, on the tense moments in John Ashcroft's intensive care hospital room as he prepared to confront Alberto Gonzales and Andy Card. U.S.News & World Report, May 20, 2007


"Friends, the press and the government are in bed together in an embrace so intimate and wrong, they could spoon on a twin mattress and still have room for Ted Koppel. Journalists used to questions the reasons for war and expose abuse of power. Now, like toothless babies, they suckle on the sugary teat of misinformation and poop it into the diaper we call the 6:00 News. Demand more of your government. Demand more of your press"

-- "The Simpsons," May 20, 2007


"Abominable. Loyal, blind, apparently subservient"

-- President Jimmy Carter, asked by BBC Radio May 19, 2007 to describe Tony Blair's relationship to Bush. Carter added that Blair's backing enabled Bush to tell American critics of the Iraq invasion, "we must be more correct in our actions than the world thinks because Great Britain is backing us"


"What they have gotten wrong is the idea that the military will be leaving Iraq in June, which one individual said he was sure was a major factor in the diminishing attacks. Oh well, this is one time it might be best that folks don't fully understand things"

-- An internal January, 2004 document from the Coalition Provisional Authority, crediting a drop in Iraq violence on the mistaken belief that U.S. forces were about to pullout. The document was discovered by researcher Pete Moore, who found some CPA documents in Word format contained sections not for public release


"Well, I suppose that's true if you leave out the fact that she authorized it and supported it, and I said it was a bad idea"

-- Senator Barack Obama on Sen. Clinton's recent claim that she and Obama have voted mostly the same way on Iraq. New York Times, May 18, 2007


"This war will be won or lost not on the battlefield but in the minds of potential supporters who have not yet thrown in their lot with the enemy. If we forfeit our values by signaling that they are negotiable in situations of grave or imminent danger, we drive those undecideds into the arms of the enemy. This way lies defeat, and we are well down the road to it"

-- Washington Post op/ed by former military commanders Charles Krulak and Joseph Hoar on Tenet's justification of torture, May 17, 2007. Krulak was USMC commandant 1995-99 and Hoar was CENTCOM commander in chief 1991-94


"The American people are understandably fearful about another attack like the one we sustained on Sept. 11, 2001. But it is the duty of the commander in chief to lead the country away from the grip of fear, not into its grasp"

-- Washington Post op/ed by former military commanders Charles Krulak and Joseph Hoar, May 17, 2007. Krulak was USMC commandant 1995-99 and Hoar was CENTCOM commander in chief 1991-94


"If they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too"

-- Paul Wolfowitz, threatening any senior World Bank staff memors who might reveal the pay raises and promotions for his paramour Shaha Riza, according to a witness quoted in a Bank investigation released May 15, 2007


"The story is a shocking one. It makes you almost gulp"

-- Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York), after hearing testimony from James Comey, who was acting Attorney General in 2004. Comey says Alberto Gonzales and Andy Card visited John Ashcroft in his intensive care hospital room and tried to get the gravely ill man to sign documents approving domestic spying programs. "It has some of the characteristics of the 'Saturday night massacre,'" Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Penn) also said after the May 15, 2007 hearing


"He's terrible. He shouldn't be there. But there's a lot of bad people in this administration"

-- Columnist Bob Novak on the Democrat's "pounding on this poor Gonzalez who never should have been in a high government post in the first place." Novak also told Bloomberg TV, May 11, 2007, "The president is stuck with these subpar people he brought up from Texas. That's a failing on President Bush's part"


"It is clear that whatever the mission used to be, it is either accomplished or over. If there are remaining American interests, then let's spell them out"

-- Sen. Hillary Clinton on MSNBC, May 11, 2007


"I think all roads lead to Rove. I think that's why the president is circling some pretty major wagons around him to keep him from testifying under oath, which subjects him to criminal prosecution"

-- Fired U.S. Attorney David Iglesias quoted in The Albuquerque Tribune, May 10, 2007


"Obviously, the President bears the major part of the burden. He's the man with the authority to commit the force"

-- Dick Cheney, distancing himself from the responsibility for the invasion of Iraq and the deaths of 3,384 American soldiers. FOX News, May 10, 2007


"It was a very remarkable, candid conversation. People are always saying President Bush is in a bubble. Well, this was our chance, and we took it"

-- Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Virginia), one of 11 House Republicans who met with Bush May 8, 2007 to warn that their patience with the Iraq war is wearing out. Several pundits have noted that their bubble-popping visit occurred on a day Cheney was not available


"For the sake of our security, our economy, our jobs and our planet, the age of oil must end in our time"

-- Senator Barack Obama to the Detroit Economic Club, May 7, 2007. "The auto industry's refusal to act for a long time has left it mired in a predicament for which there is no easy way out," Obama said. "But 'expensive to do' is no longer an excuse for failure to do"


"If we're putting the Americans right within their arms' reach, they don't have to come to Wall Street to kill Americans. They don't have to knock down the trade center. They can do it around the corner, and convenience is a big factor when you're a terrorist"

-- Fox News commentator Dick Morris on Hannity and Colmes, May 7, 2007. "If we stay in Iraq, it gives them the opportunity to kill more Americans, which they really like"


"We're seeing the very early demise of an administration. It usually happens six months before a president leaves office in a second term, but in this case it's happening now"

-- A former White House adviser to Bush's father, quoted May 6, 2007 by U.S. News & World Report. The same day a poll found Bush with 28% approval, tying Jimmy Carter's 1979 rating and only 4 points above Nixon prior to his resignation


"Everyone has an agenda, and it has damaged the situation in Iraq. We had hoped for a dialogue. Squabble anywhere else in the world, but not on Iraqi soils"

-- Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki on the failure of Iran, Syria and the U.S. to have a diplomatic meeting at the Egypt summit, much less come to some sort of agreement on the Iraq situation. AP, May 5, 2007


"No one wanted to think about how many more soldiers would die"

-- Rep. William Delahunt (D-Mass.) on the "Wall of the Fallen" in the lobby of the Rayburn Building. No names of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan have been added since November because the memorial display is almost full. San Jose Mercury News, May 4, 2007


"You'll get your pipeline, the governor gets his bill and I'll get my job in Barbados"

-- Former Alaska state Rep. Pete Kott to executives of an unnamed company, according to a federal indictment. Republican Kott promised that he would help pass pro-oil industry legislation in exchange for bribes and a job as the warden of a private prison in Barbados being built by the same company. At one point, according to the indictment, the company's chief executive told Kott, "I own your ass." Anchorage Daily News, May 4, 2007


"I was dumbfounded. I've covered riots. I've covered chaos. I was never hit or struck or humiliated the way the LAPD violated me yesterday"

-- KPCC-FM reporter Patricia Nazario, who was covering an immigrant rights rally as she was clubbed by LA riot police and knocked to the ground. Nazario was wearing a press pass and holding a microphone at the time. Los Angeles Times, May 3, 2007 (MORE)


"Success is not, no violence. There are parts of our own country that have got a certain level of violence to it. But success is a level of violence where the people feel comfortable about living their daily lives "

-- President Bush, May 2, 2007. "[We cannot] think of our goal in this war in the way Senator Kerry described it yesterday in The New York Times. Quote: 'We have to get back to the place,' he said, where terrorism is 'a nuisance'...This is naive and dangerous." -- Vice President Cheney, October 11, 2004


"Al Gore's not going to be rounding up Jews and exterminating them. It is the same tactic, however"

-- Radio and CNN host Glenn Beck, comparing global warming to eugenics and Gore to Adolph Hitler. "The goal is different. The goal is globalization. The goal is global carbon tax. The goal is the United Nations running the world. That is the goal. Back in the 1930s, the goal was get rid of all of the Jews and have one global government." April 30, 2007 radio broadcast


"The whole idea of weapons of mass destruction was never the issue...the media made that the issue because they knew Saddam Hussein had used weapons of mass destruction. So we knew that they were there. But that was incidental to the fact we were going after terrorist camps"

-- Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), finalist in the White House competition to stuff as many lies as possible into a single statement. Tulsa World, April 28, 2007


"She just can't say no to that man"

-- Clara Rice, stepmother of Secretary of State Condoleeza, on the latter's relationship with President Bush. Condi is also quoted herself in a new book, "Twice As Good: Condoleezza Rice and Her Path To Power," on why she was drawn to Bush: "I thought he was wonderful to be around. He was warm and funny and easy to be around. I thought he had just an incredibly inquisitive mind ... You could barely finish an explanation before he was digging into it." Book excerpted in Newsweek, May 7, 2007 issue


"The idea of launching preemptive strikes into Afghanistan in July of 2001, this is a new fact..I don't know what we were supposed to preemptively strike in Afghanistan"

-- Condoleeza Rice on Face the Nation, April 29, 2007, denying that ex-CIA Director Tenet warned her in the summer of 2001 that an attack on Americans was imminent and urging preemptive action against al-Qaeda. The Clinton administration had also prepared 5 separate operations to kill or arrest Osama in Afghanistan during 1998 and 1999, according to the 9/11 Commission report


"Listening to this for almost three years, listening to the vice president go on 'Meet the Press' on the fifth year [anniversary] of 9/11 and say, 'Well, George Tenet said slam dunk' as if he needed me to say 'slam dunk' to go to war with Iraq. And you listen to that and they never let it go. I mean, I became campaign talk. I was a talking point. 'Look at the idiot [who] told us and we decided to go to war.' Well, let's not be so disingenuous ... Let's everybody just get up and tell the truth. Tell the American people what really happened"

-- Ex-CIA Director George Tenet on 60 Minutes, April 29, 2007


"I'm just envisioning what it would be like to be a young soldier in the middle of Iraq and realizing that politicians have all of the sudden made military determinations. And in my judgment, that would put a kid in harm's way, more so than he or she already is"

-- President Bush, apparently telling the troops that staying in Iraq indefinitely is safer than withdrawl. April 27, 2007


"These are Iraqis killing each other. So what did we do? If you're saying it's our fault that we unmasked them as knuckle-dragging savages from the 10th century -- fine! I'll take credit"

-- Fox News Radio's John Gibson, April 23, 2007 broadcast


"The Bush Administration has redefined the famous challenge of President Kennedy's inaugural address. Instead of 'Ask not what your country can do for you,' it has become 'Ask what your government can do for our party'"

-- Rep. Rahm Emanuel, chair of the Democratic Caucus. Speech to the Brookings Institution, April 25, 2007


"The crueler the war gets, the crueler the attacks get on anybody who doesn't salute or play the game. And then one day, the people who are doing the attacking look around and they've used up their credibility"

-- Pulitzer-prize winning Vietnam War reporter David Halberstam, who died April 23, 2007. "I think the truth will always out," Halberstam also said, November 20, 2006. "The people who attacked us are mostly forgotten; most of them have apologized"


"The President on Friday used the word 'progress' no fewer than ten times when he gave his Iraq update... The White House transcript says the President made those remarks in the State of Michigan. I believe he made them in the state of denial"

-- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, April 23, 2007


"They've been doing it in Florida, and the old people seem to like it"

-- Sgt. Charles Schmitt, leader of a platoon building walls around Baghdad neighborhoods. In some sealed-off areas, according to the Washington Post, April 23, 2007, troops armed with biometric scanning devices will compile a neighborhood census by recording residents' fingerprints and eye patterns and will perhaps issue them special badges (MORE)


"I don't think you're ever going to get rid of all the car bombs. Iraq is going to have to learn -- as did, say, Northern Ireland -- to live with some degree of sensational attacks"

-- Gen. David Petraeus, top U.S. commander in Iraq, on what passes for progress these days in Baghdad. "He's actually watering the grass!" Petraeus said with a laugh, peering down at a man tending a soccer field, with children playing nearby. Washington Post, April 22, 2007


"I wish the war were over. I wish the war never existed"

-- Karl Rove, who repeatedly pressed Republican candidates during the 2002 elections to "focus on the war" in their campaigns. Asked during a Q&A whose idea it was to start a pre-emptive war in Iraq, Rove answered, "I think it was Osama bin Laden's." Akron Beacon Journal, April 19, 2007


"The Court's hostility to the right Roe and Casey secured is not concealed. Throughout, the opinion refers to obstetrician-gynecologists and surgeons who perform abortions not by the titles of their medical specialties, but by the pejorative label 'abortion doctor.' A fetus is described as an 'unborn child,' and as a 'baby;' second-trimester, previability abortions are referred to as 'late-term;' and the reasoned medical judgments of highly trained doctors are dismissed as 'preferences' motivated by 'mere convenience'"

-- Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg on the court's right-wing rhetoric in the 5-4 decision to ban some types of abortion. April 18, 2007


"This president doesn't care one whit about the fiscal situation, doesn't worry at all about deficits or debt. His father did and his father paid a heavy political price for it. So I really think there's almost nothing -- there's nothing between the two of them in terms of fiscal policy"

-- Bruce Bartlett, domestic policy adviser to Reagan and a treasury official under George H.W. Bush, on PBS, April 17, 2007. "If I didn't know with a certainty they were related, I wouldn't think that they were"


"The pressure must be taken off the current force and their families who have already sacrificed so much. If the President insists on continuing the current operational tempo and policy, then he should call for a military draft. That is the responsible thing to do"

-- Rep. John Murtha (D-Penn) to the Defense Appropriations subcommittee, April 18, 2007


"We're all concerned, as we should be, about these events at Virginia Tech today. In Iraq this is a daily event. Imagine how horrible it would be if this kind of massacre were occurring every single day"

-- Mideast expert and blogger Professor Juan Cole on PBS Newshour, April 16, 2007


"You can listen to simplistic statements of the administration, appealing to emotion and fear, or you can take an analytical approach and see the reality of the world. I live in an entirely different world of reality than President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other members of the administration"

-- Retired Brig. Gen. John Johns at an April 16, 2007 press conference, shortly after Bush delivered a speech laced with dark threats of "enemies that could just as easily come here to kill us," bring "death and destruction...here in America," "bring further destruction to our country," as well as repeated invocations of 9/11


"Yeah, I have a timetable, it's called now"

-- Rep. Dennis Kucinich at a April 10, 2007 candidates' forum hosted by MoveOn.org. "There's no reason why Democrats should give the president any money, they have the power to end the war now"


"Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening?"

-- Former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca in an excerpt from his new book, "Where Have All the Leaders Gone?" Iacocca accuses Bush of leading the nation to war "on a pack of lies" and writes, "Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, 'Stay the course'"


"By all accounts, Dick Cheney is one of the most powerful vice presidents in our history, if you define power as influence over policy. We need to ask ourselves: What does it mean for our country when the vice president's words lack credibility, but he still wields great power?"

-- Senator Carl Levin (D - Michigan) on Cheney's repeated lying about Saddam links to al-Qaeda. Los Angeles Times op/ed, April 12, 2007


"The American people have wanted change in Iraq, and they got it. The president announced a new policy on January 10th that was quite different and divergent from where we were before"

-- White House Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino, blaming the troop surge on the 2 of 3 Americans who polls show oppose increased U.S. troops in Iraq. April 10, 2007


"We find very nice things to play with in the hospital rubbish. We find syringes, cotton and empty bottles. Once we found a fetus -- that was amazing! We play like we're doctors"

-- Ali Hassan, a 9-year-old who plays with Iraq hospital waste at the garbage dump. Hospital waste is no longer burned because fuel is too expensive (MORE)


"I thought commencement would be a spiritual, uplifting exercise in which I could take advice from someone I held in the highest esteem. It seems that was an extremely idealistic notion"

-- Tricia Campbell, one of many Republican, Mormon seniors at Brigham Young University protesting the commencement speaker invitation to Cheney. "The problem is this is a morally dubious man," Andrew Christensen also told the New York Times April 10, 2007. "It's challenging the morality and integrity of this institution"


"The very fundamental issue is, they don't know where the hell they're going"

-- Former top NATO commander and Marine General (ret.) John J. "Jack" Sheehan, one of at least three generals who turned down a White House offer to be "War Czar." Sheehan told the Washington Post, April 11, 2007, that he believes that Cheney and other hawks are still calling the shots. "There's the residue of the Cheney view -- 'We're going to win, al-Qaeda's there' -- that justifies anything we did. And then there's the pragmatist view -- how the hell do we get out of Dodge and survive? Unfortunately, the people with the former view are still in the positions of most influence"


"The president is inviting us down to the White House with preconditions...We are an independent branch of this government, and by our Constitution we have equal say that he has. And he's got to listen to us. Because we are speaking for the American people; he isn't"

-- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Bush's invitation to discuss, but not compromise, Iraq war funding authorization with Congressional Democrats. Asked why lawmakers should attend the meeting if Bush won't negotiate, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino replied, "Maybe they need to hear again from the president about why he thinks it is foolish to set arbitrary timetables for withdrawal." April 10, 2007


"Neither has the U.S. failed, nor the Taliban coming back. Al-Qaeda is defeated"

-- Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai to ABC News, April 9, 2007. In the preceeding week, a suicide bomber killed 4 in Afghanistan's capitol, the Taliban lynched 3 as 'NATO spies,' a U.S. soldier was killed by an Afghan IED, 6 Canadian soldiers were killed by another IED, the translator for an Italian journalist was beheaded, and a Taliban commander vowed that he had thousands of suicide bombers ready to blow


"Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that"

-- An airlines employee to Princeton Prof. Walter F. Murphy, a constitutional law expert who discovered that his name was on the Terrorist Watch List when he tried to board a flight. Murphy told the agent that he hadn't marched, but had delivered a lecture last year highly critical of Bush for his many violations of the Constitution. "That'll do it," Murphy was told


"I've been a hunter pretty much all my life. I've never really shot anything terribly big. I used to hunt rabbits. Shooting a rabbit with a single-shot .22 is pretty hard, and after watching me try for a couple of weeks (my cousins) said, 'We'll slip you the semiautomatic. You'll do better with that.' And I sure did."

-- GOP presidential candidate and power weapon bunny blaster Mitt Romney, Boston Herald , April 9, 2007. A few days before, he told another group that he had only one hunting experience in his life prior to last year


"The corroded and corrupt state of Saddam was replaced by the corroded, inefficient, incompetent and corrupt state of the new order"

-- Ali A. Allawi, who served as Iraq's trade, defense and finance minister at various times since 2003 in a new book, "The Occupation of Iraq." Today, Allawi concludes, "America's only allies in Iraq were those who sought to manipulate the great power to their narrow advantage. It might have been otherwise"


"They did it jointly because they couldn't stand her anymore"

-- A source in the office of Minnesota's U.S. Attorney Rachel Paulose, where four of her top aides resigned management positions reportedly to send a signal to Washington that she is incompetent. Paulose, whose management style included quoting Bible verses, was formerly a special assistant to Alberto Gonzales. "This is a decapitation of the office," the source told the Pioneer Press, April 6, 2007. "I've never heard of anything like this. People work all their lives to be at these high levels in the office. This is an extraordinary event."


"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

-- The illogical zen of Doug Feith, as revealed in a newly declassified presentation that Feith's office used to "prove" Iraq-Al-Qaeda links in 2002. The same slide claimed that the intel community was making a mistake assuming "secularists and Islamists will not cooperate, even when they have common interests," a prediction that indeed came true, but with them allied against the occupation


"Actually he helped the Iraqi economy quite a bit, bought a number of carpets, in fact. And he haggled with the merchants himself, with an interpreter...it was a fairly routine stop out there, in terms of just sort of strolling through a market, albeit with, you know, squads of guys out there in that marketplace"

-- General David Petraeus on John McCain's visit to a Baghdad market. NPR, April 4, 2007


"They were just making fun of us and paid this visit just for their own interests. Do they think that when they come and speak few Arabic words in a very bad manner, it will make us love them? This country and its society have been destroyed because of them and I hope that they realized that during this visit"

-- Jaafar Moussa Thamir, a storekeeper at Baghdad's Shorja market, where Senators McCain and Lindsey Graham (R-S Carolina) visited Apr. 1 protected by over 100 soldiers. "We went to the market and were just really warmly welcomed. I bought five rugs for five bucks," Graham later told reporters. Thamir quote from AP, April 3, 2007


"The base isn't interested in Iraq. The base is for Bush. If Bush said tomorrow, we're leaving in two months, there would be no revolt"

-- Grover Norquist on the devolution of the GOP into a Bush cult. April 3, 2007, American Prospect


"I served 29 years. How many did you serve? Where did you teach the Geneva Conventions?"

-- Army Colonel Ann Wright (ret.) to Bill O'Reilly on The Factor, March 30, 2007, shortly before O'Reilly ordered the producer to "Cut her mic." Wright was invited as a guest to talk about the Iran hostage situation and the Geneva Conventions, which she taught to troops at Fort Bragg, but O'Reilly turned hostile when she urged diplomacy. During the segment, the Fox News crawl banner evolved from "U.S. Army (Ret.) Col. Ann Wright" to "Col. Ann Wright retired from State Dept. in opposition to Iraq war" and ended with "Anti-war activist Col. Ann Wright"


"People learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto"

-- Newt Gingrich, calling for an end of bilingual education and multi-language ballots at a speech to the National Federation of Republican Women, March 31, 2007


"When you fall in love like that and then you notice some things that don't exactly go the way you thought, what do you do? Like in a relationship, you say 'No no, no, it'll be different.' "

-- Matthew Dowd, a disillusioned former member of Bush's inner circle and the 2004 chief campaign strategist. Dowd told the NY Times April 1, 2007, that he saw Bush's views hardening with the reinforcement of his inner circle. "I really like him, which is probably why I'm so disappointed in things. I think he's become more, in my view, secluded and bubbled in"


"Where can we live after such an attack? What about my children? There is no police. No life"

-- Khalil Ibrahim, a schoolteacher in Tal Afar, where at least 220 were killed this week in suicide bomb attacks and a revenge massacre by Iraqi police. Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 29, 2007. "See, if you're a resident of Tal Afar today, this is what you're going to see: You see that the terrorist who once exercised brutal control over every aspect of your city has been killed or captured, or driven out, or put on the run. You see your children going to school and playing safely in the streets. You see the electricity and water service restored throughout the city. You see a police force that better reflects the ethnic and religious diversity of the communities they patrol... The example of Tal Afar gives me confidence in our strategy." -- President Bush almost exactly a year earlier, on March 20, 2006


"Firing a prosecutor for failing to find wide voter fraud is like firing a park ranger for failing to find Sasquatch"

-- March 29, 2007 Washington Post op/ed by Michael Waldman and Justin Levitt of the NYU School of Law on the Bush administration excuse for firing or downranking U.S. attorneys. "Allegations of voter fraud -- someone sneaking into the polls to cast an illicit vote -- have been pushed in recent years by partisans seeking to justify proof-of-citizenship and other restrictive ID requirements as a condition of voting. Scare stories abound on the Internet and on editorial pages, and they quickly become accepted wisdom... But the notion of widespread voter fraud, as these prosecutors found out, is itself a fraud"


"I have to admit we really blew the way we let those attorneys go. You know you've lost it when people sympathize with lawyers"

-- President Bush, sharing a yuk about possibly impeachable offenses at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association dinner, March 28, 2007


"I think if the president would agree for his close advisers in the White House to testify before Congress under oath, he'd be making a huge mistake. There is a thing called executive privilege"

-- Sen. Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) on "Fox News Sunday," March 25, 2007. "I think they've made a mistake by [invoking executive privilege]. I think it will damage the credibility. It looks like they are hiding something." -- Sen. Lott on NBC's "Meet the Press" almost exactly nine years earlier, on March 22, 1998. Later the same day, Lott said of the Clinton White House: "I think for the first time they're doing some things that looks like what happened in Watergate, and they may wish they had not done that before it's over"


"We do serve at the pleasure of the president. But in this case, it looks like the authority was delegated down through Harriet Miers, Karl Rove, Judge Gonzales and all the way down to a bunch of 35-year-old kids who got in a room together and tried to decide who was the most loyal to the president"

-- Fired Arkansas U.S. attorney Bud Cummins on CBS's "Face the Nation," March 25, 2007


"We have clearly a situation where the president has lost the confidence of the American people in his war effort. It is now time, going into the fifth year of that effort, for the Congress to step forward and be part of setting some boundaries and some conditions as to our involvement"

-- Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) on ABC's "This Week," March 25, 2007. "This is not a monarchy. There are ways to deal with it. And I would hope the president understands that"


"A lot in American politics is up for grabs"

-- Karl Rove at an April 7, 2006 speech in Washington to the Republican National Lawyers Association, where he also listed 11 states that he believed would be pivotal in next year's elections. Bush has appointed new U.S. attorneys in nine of them since 2005. McClatchy Newspapers, March 23, 2007


"This is a failed policy wrapped in illusion. We don't have the troops, we don't have a strategic reserve to be able to react to a future national threat to this great country. The troops can only do so much"

-- Tearful Rep. John Murtha (D-Penn) as the House voted for a timeline to remove troops from Iraq. "We're gonna make a difference with this bill, we're gonna bring those troops home, we're gonna start changing the direction of this great country," he said, March 23, 2007, to a standing ovation


"Let me submit to you the problem we have today is not that we didn't listen enough to people like The Washington Post. It's that we listened too much. They endorsed going to war in the first place. They helped drive the drumbeat that drove almost two-thirds of the people in this chamber to vote for that misbegotten, stupid, ill-advised war that has destroyed our influence over a third of the world"

-- Rep. David Obey (D-Wisconsin), comment on a March 23, 2007 Post op/ed critical of the House Democrats' Iraq pullout legislation. "...we're going to end the permanent long-term dead-end babysitting service. That's what we're trying to do. And if The Washington Post is offended about the way we do it, that's just too bad," said Obey


"This is a dark chapter in our history. Whatever else happens, our country's international standing has been frittered away by people who don't have the foggiest understanding of how the hell the world works"

-- Four-star Gen. Tony McPeak (retired), former USAF chief of staff and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War. McPeak added, at a panel discussing Iraq in the March 22, 2007 issue of Rolling Stone, "America has been conducting an experiment for the past six years, trying to validate the proposition that it really doesn't make any difference who you elect president. Now we know the result of that experiment. If a guy is stupid, it makes a big difference"


"The campaign goes on; the campaign goes on strongly...we know from our previous experience that when this happens, you have a choice: You can go cower in the corner and hide or you can be tough and go out there and stand up for what you believe in. And both of us are committed to the cause, we're committed to changing this country that we love so much. And we have no intention of cowering in the corner"

-- John Edwards, March 22, 2007


"The planet has a fever. If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don't say, well I read a science fiction novel that tells me it's not a problem. If the crib's on fire, you don't speculate that the baby is flame-retardant. You take action"

-- Al Gore refuting global warming skeptic Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) at Congressional hearing, March 21, 2007 (MORE)


"My choice is to make sure that I safeguard the ability for presidents to get good decisions. If the staff of a president operated in constant fear of being hauled before various committees to discuss internal deliberations, the president would not receive candid advice and the American people would be ill-served"

-- President Bush, March 20, 2007. "Persons talking with the President would [not] ... want to advance tentative ideas that might later seem unsound... I shall continue to oppose efforts which would set a precedent that would cripple all future Presidents by inhibiting conversations between them and those they look to for advice" -- President Nixon, August 15, 1973


"It's because the Iraqi army is so scared that we have to come here to die"

-- A 9th Cavalry Regiment vehicle commander on Baghdad patrol after learning their deployment in Iraq could be extended. "95% of Iraqis are good but 5% are bad. But the 95% are too weak to stand up to the 5%." AFP, March 19, 2007


"I really regret bringing down the statue. The Americans are worse than the dictatorship. Every day is worse than the previous day"

-- Kadhim al-Jubouri, leader of the crowd that famously toppled the Saddam statue in Baghdad in 2003. Guardian/UK March 19, 2007


"I got called a commie. A lot of middle fingers are going up. I try to respond with a peace sign"

-- Bethany Louisos, among the anti-war protesters in Washington DC Mar. 17 forced to pass a gauntlet of obscenity-shouting and sometime violent anti-march demostrators, with signs that included, "Go to hell traitors" and "Peace Sucks." Counter-protester Angie Frederick told the Washington Post, March 18, 2007 "There was a lot of cussing, but we also sang the national anthem"


"Either I'm a genius, or I'm an idiot. Only an idiot would spread trash like that and expect to do their candidate any good"

-- Karl Rove, insisting at a March 16, 2007 appearance in Troy, Alabama that it was "absolutely not true" that the Bush/Cheny campaign was behind an infamous dirty trick against John McCain in 2000, when the Senator held a 19-point lead over the heavily favored Bush before the crucial South Carolina primary. McCain lost after an anonymous telephone "push poll" called voters to ask if they would be more or less likely to vote for McCain if they knew he had fathered an illegitimate child who was black. "The Bush campaign endeavored to stamp out those kinds of things because they hurt George Bush and helped John McCain, not the other way around," Rove said, adding, "I take offense"


"While I helped to manage and run secret worldwide operations against this WMD target from CIA headquarters in Washington, I also traveled to foreign countries on secret missions to find vital intelligence. I loved my career, because I love my country. I was proud of the serious responsibilities entrusted to me as a CIA covert operations officer"

-- Valerie Plame Wilson, concisely debunking right-wing media spin that she was not a real covert agent, which would make those who revealed her identity guilty of treason. Committee on Oversight and Government Reform testimony, March 16, 2007


"I know it is against American Constitution, against American law. But they said every law, they have exceptions, this is your bad luck you have been part of the exception of our laws"

-- Khalid Sheik Mohammed on U.S. human rights violations of prisoners. According to the transcript released as part of his March 10, 2007 tribunal hearing, he also admitted he and others are enemies of America, but "[I] ask you to be fair with people." The confessed 9/11 planner has endured lengthy waterboarding sessions and had his 7 and 9 year-old sons kidnapped by the CIA for interrogation


"[I'd ask] Where the hell were you in the Vietnam War?"

-- Max Cleland, former senator and former VA director, picking the one question he would ask Cheney. He also said on CNN, March 12, 2007, "If you had have gone to Vietnam like the rest of us, maybe you would have learned something about war. You can't keep troops on the ground forever. They've got to have a mission. They've got to have a purpose. You can't keep sending them back and back and back with no mission and no purpose"


"It's the worst of Bush -- it's intense loyalty for all the wrong reasons. There will be other things that come up, and we don't have a guy in whom we can trust"

-- A GOP adviser to the White House speaking to the Washington Post, March 11, 2007, about Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. "This attorney general doesn't have anybody's confidence"


"He was offering me a deal: you stay silent and the attorney general won't say anything bad about you"

-- Former U.S. attorney John McKay on a telephone call from a "clearly nervous" top Justice official, Michael Elston, asking if he intended to speak to the press about his firing. Another fired attorney said Elston threatened the Justice Dept. would "pull their gloves off" if the fired attorneys didn't keep quiet. Newsweek, March 19, 2007 issue


"Good decision-making requires creating an environment where people can walk in and tell you what's on their mind. The problem with the Oval Office, it is the kind of place where people stand outside and say, I'm going to walk in and tell him what for; they walk in, and they're overwhelmed by the environment, and they say, man, you're looking beautiful today, Mr. President -- precisely the kind of environment that is not good for making decisions"

-- President Bush, March 7, 2007


"We did not go public with these concerns, because we did not want to undermine the confidence of the patients and their families and give the Army a black eye while fighting a war"

-- Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-Florida), former chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, admitting he had personally witnessed patient abuses at Walter Reed Hospital for years, but kept quiet to avoid embarrassing the military. Congressional Quarterly, March 7, 2007


"If those 45 million children had lived, today they would be defending our country, they would be filling our jobs, they would be paying into Social Security"

-- Zell Miller, former Democratic Senator from Georgia, denouncing a woman's right to abortion at a March 6, 2007 fund raiser for Sav a Life Center of Macon, Georgia. "How could this great land of plenty produce too few people in the last 30 years?" Miller asked. "Here is the brutal truth that no one dares to mention: We're too few because too many of our babies have been killed"


"What are we doing with this guy? Where's Rove? Were are these other bad guys? It seemed like Libby was the fall guy"

-- "Scooter" Libby jury spokesman Dennis Collins at a post-trial press conference, March 6, 2007. Collins added, "Some jurors commented 'this sucks' for Libby"


"The president says, 'I don't care.' He's not accountable anymore, which isn't totally true. You can impeach him, and before this is over, you might see calls for his impeachment. I don't know. It depends how this goes"

-- Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska), Esquire magazine, March 6, 2007


"They weren't just attacking my opponent -- they were, bit by bit, destroying a reputation that I had spent years and years building"

-- Ray Meier, among several 2006 Republican candidates angry over attack ads on his opponent produced by the National Republican Congressional Committee. The NRCC, which refused to pull the ads even if asked by their own candidates, spent $77 million attacking Democrats while spending $6.6 million in positive ads boosting Republicans, according to the Boston Globe, March 4, 2007


"I don't want to be caught in the quicksand of this ancient civil war, because we can't fix that"

-- Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Oregon), who has visited Iraq twice, most recently in May. Smith told a GOP audience that both times he saw the same thing: U.S. troops would go out, "shoot it up" and come back to the Green Zone, often missing a soldier. "That's what I don't support any more," Smith said. "Tactics that don't equal victory." The Oregonian also reported, March 3, 2007, that Smith said he recently spoke with new top general in Iraq David Petraeus, who told him the troop surge has only a 1 in 4 chance of succeeding


"I have been called -- my kids are all aware of this -- dumb, crazy man, science abuser, Holocaust denier, villain of the month, hate-filled, warmonger, Neanderthal, Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun, and I can just tell you that I wear some of those titles proudly"

-- Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) at the Conservative Political Action Conference, March 2, 2007


"How can you have the mess we have in New Orleans, and not have had deep investigations of the federal government, the state government, the city government, and the failure of citizenship in the Ninth Ward, where 22,000 people were so uneducated and so unprepared, they literally couldn't get out of the way of a hurricane?"

-- Newt Gingrich at the Conservative Political Action Conference, March 3, 2007


"I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot,' so I -- so kind of an impasse, can't really talk about Edwards"

-- Ann Coulter at the Conservative Political Action Conference, March 2, 2007


"We didn't create the war in Iraq. We didn't create the war on terror"

-- White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, March 1, 2007


"You know what? If the Democrats don't use their power, when we're in the majority in both houses, we're going to start owning this war. It is George Bush's war"

-- Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) on MSNBC, March 1, 2007


"The scene is very tense. They are working round the clock. Endless cups of tea with the Iraqis. But they're still trying to figure out what's the plan. The president is expecting progress. But they're thinking, what does he mean?"

-- A former senior administration official familiar with the efforts of U.S. commander in Iraq General Petraeus and his "Baghdad brains trust" to fix the country within six months. UK/Guardian, March 1, 2007


"I know that you were not drafted -- you volunteered. You went to Vietnam. You were wounded. Highly decorated. Senator, you're a hero. And there isn't anybody or anything that's going to take that away from you. But yet 527s tried to"

-- Major GOP contributor Sam Fox, nominated to be ambassador to Belgium, to Senator John Kerry at February 27, 2007 Senate hearings. Fox donated $50,000 to the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" in 2004 to smear Kerry. Under intense questioning from Kerry, Fox justified the donation as needed to combat liberal 527 groups like MoveOn.org: "I did it because politically, it's necessary if the other side is doing it"


"We volunteered to make a difference, not just be part of an experiment"

-- Sgt. Ronn Cantu, reminding 60 Minutes, February 25, 2007, that the Iraqis aren't the only ones endangered by the chaos of their civil war. "Our lives are hanging in the balance of a flip of a coin"


"This president is really taking his notion of executive privilege to the absolute limit here, running covert operations, using money that was not authorized by Congress, supporting groups indirectly that are involved with the same people that did 9/11"

-- Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh on CNN's Late Edition, February 25, 2007. Hersh says the U.S. is funding Sunni jihadist groups connected to al Qaeda because they "want to take on Hezbollah"


"My complaint about this is what you're listening to when you hear [CNN's Anderson Cooper] lecture the audience, is you're listening to news-guy snobbery. Essentially saying, 'I'm better than you. I know what you want to hear about, but I'm better than that story. I'm too high class for that story. I won't stoop to what you want to hear about.' I'm not playing that. People want to hear about the Anna Nicole story, I'm happy to tell them"

-- Fox News host John Gibson, mocking other journalists for war coverage. The John Gibson Show, February 23 2007


"Keep in mind this is the same guy that said we'd be greeted as liberators, the same guy that said that we're in the last throes. I'm sure he forecast sun today"

-- Senator Barack Obama, on the Vice President's comments that Britain's decision to pull troops from Iraq is a sign that the situation in Iraq is improving. "When Dick Cheney says it's a good thing, you know that you've probably got some big problems," Obama said, February 23, 2007


"Remember, more than half the rooms were actually perfectly OK"

-- Army surgeon general Lt. General Kevin Kiley, putting the best possible spin on the shocking reports of mold, cockroaches, rat infestation, and holes in walls at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. PBS Newshour February 21, 2007


"I think clearly we're in a period of warming. Where there does not appear to be a consensus, where it begins to break down, is the extent to which that's part of a normal cycle versus the extent to which it's caused by man, greenhouse gases, et cetera"

-- Vice President Dick Cheney on global warming in a February 23, 2007 ABC News interview, where he later said, "I'm not a scientist. I talk with people who supposedly know something about it. You get conflicting viewpoints." A recent survey of Congressional Republicans found that only 13% thought humans were the cause of global warming, down ten percent from the same survey taken a year ago


"If Fergus Cullen has the courage of his convictions, he should go enlist, because they're having trouble meeting their quota. He's young, he's single and he's healthy. If he needs to know where the recruiters are, call me"

-- Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-New Hampshire) challenging the state's GOP Chairman after he made several swipes at her opposition to the war. Concord Monitor, February 21, 2007


"There's a cloud over the vice president. We didn't put that cloud there. That cloud's there because the defendant obstructed justice. That cloud is something you just can't pretend isn't there"

-- Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's closing arguments to the "Scooter" Libby jury, February 20, 2007


"We are paying a very heavy price for the mismanagement -- that's the kindest word I can give you -- of Donald Rumsfeld, of this war. The price is very, very heavy and I regret it enormously"

-- Sen. John McCain at a February 19, 2007 campaign appearance. "I think that Donald Rumsfeld will go down in history as one of the worst secretaries of defense in history"


"This war is a serious situation. It involves the worst foreign policy mistake in the history of this country"

-- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on CNN, February 18, 2007. Asked whether he considers it a worse blunder than Vietnam, Reid responded, "Yes"


"Our mission now is to support the commander in chief"

-- Outgoing Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, February 15, 2007. Schoomaker also said that the U.S. military is "in a dangerous period" because it is so overstretched in Iraq that it would be unable to respond to other conflicts, adding that his Chinese counterpart has made it clear that China is scrutinizing U.S. capabilities


"I was wrong. This is my mea culpa. Not only has Bush cracked that list, but he is planted firmly at the top"

-- Al Neuharth, USA TODAY founder, apologizing for criticizing Hillary Clinton last President's Day for saying the "[Bush] administration will go down in history as one of the worst." At that time Neuharth rated the 5 worst presidents, adding, "It's very unlikely Bush can crack that list." February 16, 2007


"There is an air of suspense throughout the city, expectation if you will, and we believe there's no question about it -- many of these extremists are laying low and watching to see what it is we do and how we do it"

-- Army Maj. Gen. Joseph Fil, commander of Multi-National Division Baghdad, on the quiet first day of the crackdown. "We do not believe that that is going to continue... this enemy, they understand lethality and they have a thirst for blood like I have never seen anywhere before," Fil told reporters in a February 16, 2007 videoconference from Baghdad


"I agree with it more than I would the Big Bang Theory or the Darwin Theory. I am convinced that rather than risk teaching a lie why teach anything?"

-- Georgia state Rep. Ben Bridges, who is linked to a group that seeks a ban on teaching evolution. A memo sent under his name states, "so-called 'secular evolution science' is the Big-Bang 15-billion-year alternate 'creation scenario" of the Pharisee Religion. This scenario is derived concept-for-concept from Rabbinic writings in the mystic 'holy book' Kabbala." Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 15, 2007


"There is a seasonal character to the war in Afghanistan, and there always has been. You know, we call it a 'spring offensive.' They call it 'spring' "

-- David Kilcullen, chief strategist in the State Department Counter-Terrorism Office, poo-poohing the 10,000 Taliban forces amassing in the southern part of the country. "Every spring, someone is launching an offensive," he told RFE/RL, February 15, 2007


"I fear that radical Muslims who want to control the Middle East and ultimately the world would love to see 'In God We Trust' stricken from our money and replaced with 'In Muhammad We Trust' "

-- Rep. Virgil Goode (R-Virginia) speaking during the February 15, 2007 House debate on Iraq. In December, Goode attacked Muslim Rep. Keith Ellison's (D-Minnesota) election, warning that "if American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office"


"I know a lot of people are complaining about that, but a lot of people are also watching"

-- CNN's Wolf Blitzer, blaming the victim for cable news' fixation on the death of Anna Nicole Smith. According to a Project for Excellence in Journalism study, coverage filled half of the entire newshole for February 8-9. "Her death was tabloid gold and apparently, we just couldn't help ourselves," Blitzer told PEJ


"This debate should not even be about the Iraq war to date, mistakes that have been made, or whether we can, or cannot, win militarily. If we let Democrats force us into a debate on the surge or the current situation in Iraq, we lose"

-- Reps. John Shadegg (R-AZ) and Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) February 13, 2007 letter to House colleagues, warning that Republicans "lose" if accountability becomes an issue


"When a fossil fuel company refuses to become an energy company and bamboozles the public with advertisements such as 'you call CO2 pollution, we call it life,' it is time to stop patronizing that company. When a politician accepts money from fossil fuel interests and then describes global warming as 'a great hoax,' it is time to draw attention to that and help vote him out. When our government stands on the side of polluters in court and connives with industries to continue pollution, characterizing it as a 'clear skies' policy, it is time to help draw attention to the truth"

-- NASA Institute for Space Studies chief James Hansen on accepting the WWF Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Medal, November 21, 2006


"Cheney was almost a deputy president with a shadow operation. He had his own source of advice. He had his own source of access. He was making his own decisions"

-- NYU professor Paul Light, an expert in the bureaucracy of the executive branch, on what the Scooter Libby trial has revealed about Cheney's office. "What didn't he touch? It's almost like there was almost nothing too trivial for the vice president to handle," he told AP, February 11, 2007


"We are very fortunate to have President Bush. Presidents ... have to make decisions and move the country forward, and that's the kind of president I would like to be"

-- Rudy Giuliani, at the California GOP convention, where he also said Bush will have "a very strong place in history." San Francisco Chronicle, February 11, 2007


"The late Murray Kempton once described editorial writers as 'the people who come down from the hill after the battle to shoot the wounded.' Nowadays, media analysts are the guys who follow behind them, going through the pockets of the dead looking for loose change"

-- LA Times media columnist Tim Rutten on the media frenzy over the death of Anna Nicole Smith, February 10, 2007


"Next week we are going to steal their mascot and short-sheet their beds"

-- Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), after House Republicans wasted almost two hours attempting to gin up a controversy over Speaker Nancy Pelosi's non-request for luxury air transport. New York Times, February 8, 2007 (MORE)


"I don't want my 17-year-old son to have to pick tomatoes or make beds in Las Vegas"

-- Karl Rove, explaing the Bush amnesty/open-borders proposal at a Republican women's luncheon. White House Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino later said his remark was taken out of context, that Rove really meant every parent wants their child to have a high-skilled, high-wage job. Rove quoted in National Review Online, February 9, 2007


"Let's make a bet. I predict that Iraq won't have a civil war, that it will have a viable constitution, and that a majority of Iraqis and Americans will, in two years time, agree that the war was worth it"

-- National Review Online Editor Jonah Goldberg, February 8, 2005, challenging Mideast scholar Dr. Juan Cole to a $1,000 put-up or shut-up wager


"For some reason, the military seems more afraid of gay people than they are against terrorists, because they're very brave with the terrorists. I mean, if the terrorists ever got a hold of this information, they'd get a platoon of lesbians to chase us out of Baghdad"

-- Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), pointing out that at least 322 language specialists with "some skills in an important foreign language such as Arabic, Farsi and Korean" had been discharged from the military for being gay. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearings, February 7, 2007


"[Bush's neo-con advisers] are effectively saying, 'Invade Iran. Then everyone will see how smart we are' "

-- Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and one of the most influential Republicans in the country in the March 2007 Vanity Fair


"Who in their right mind would send 363 tons of cash into a war zone?"

-- Rep. Henry Waxman (D-California), on learning that the U.S. shipped $4 billion from the oil-for-food program funds to Iraq in cash. The money was loaded on giant pallets and delivered at the end of 2003 and early 2004. An audit the following year found that $8.8 billion was unaccounted for after being given to the Iraqi ministries. House Government Reform Committee hearings, February 6, 2007


"There has been no cop on the beat, and when there is no cop on the beat, criminals are more willing to engage in crimes"

-- Rep. Henry Waxman (D-California), new chairman of the House Government Reform Committee. Waxman also told the NY Times, February 5, 2007, "I don't think we've ever seen the magnitude of money that's being wasted through fraud and abuse and just pure lack of competence. There are criminal investigations going on right now about fraud, about billions of taxpayer dollars"


"[The public wants] legislation that says that here's a time frame during which this war needs to end, let's say six months from the enactment of the bill, and that the Congress is going to cut off the funding for the war. If we, as Democrats, don't start talking like that, and respond to what the public really thinks, then we're only going to have ourselves to blame for the Republican ability to sort of finesse this and massage it"

-- Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) on MSNBC, February 5, 2007. "[Our proposal] wouldn't take away their equipment. That's just one of the red herrings or phony arguments that the Republicans use, and usually effectively scare the Democrats into not standing up for what is right, and that is to end this mistaken war and get back to fighting the real issue, which is those that attacked us on 9/11"


"Molly didn't have readers; she had a constituency. She was such a sucker for the little guy who stood up against the bullies and the bastards"

-- Lou Dubose, co-author of two books with Molly Ivins at her memorial service. Billy Porterfield also recalled when he and Ivins encountered the Harlem Globetrotters outside a bar. "She was a good-looking woman, and one of them walked up behind her and pinched her bottom," Porterfield said. "But she thought I did it, so she turned around and punched me. She knocked out two of my teeth. I never had them replaced, because it was such a good story." Austin American-Statesman, February 5, 2007


"The resolution [to go to war] was a resolution that authorized the president to take that action if he deemed it necessary. Had I been more true to myself and the principles I believed in at the time, I would have openly opposed the whole adventure vocally and aggressively. I had a tough time reconciling doing that against the duties of majority leader in the House. I would have served myself and my party and my country better, though, had I done so"

-- Former House majority leader Dick Armey, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, February 4, 2007


"This whole thing is totally misleading. They're not even stranded on an ice floe that's broken apart. They're just out there just playing around. They're just out there. You know, just like your cat goes to its litter box. When's the last time your cat got stranded in its litter box?"

-- Rush Limbaugh on accounts of polar bears drowning after being trapped on melting arctic ice floes. February 2, 2007


"I like to be around people that keep expectations low"

-- President Bush, congratulating the underdog NHL champion Carolina Hurricanes. UPI, February 2, 2007


"People (in America) think it's bad, but that we control the city. That's not the way it is. They control it, and they let us drive around. It's hostile territory"

-- Army Lt. Dan Quinn, a platoon leader who says it's known that Sadr's Mehdi Army has heavily infiltrated the U.S-trained Iraqi police and army units. "Half of them are [Mehdi Army]. They'll wave at us during the day and shoot at us during the night," he told the McClatchy newspapers, February 1, 2007


"This is a baby. This is a blessing from God. It is not a political statement. It is not a prop to be used in a debate, on either side of a political issue. It is my child"

-- Mary Cheney, objecting to Wolf Blitzer asking her father what he thought of administration supporters like Dobson's Focus on the Family criticizing her pregnancy. Dobson, who wrote a "Two Mommies Is One Too Many" op/ed last month in TIME, is widely credited as delivering key votes for Bush/Cheney that decided the 2004 election. Although she ran her father's side of the reelection campaign, she told the NY Times, January 31, 2007, "[Dobson]'s not someone whose endorsement I have ever drastically sought"


"You know that the [Jane] Fondas and [Sean] Penns are going to say, 'Listen, I'm as American as you are'...And I'm willing to give them the benefit of that doubt. I don't want to say that they're anti-American"

-- Bill O'Reilly, January 29, 2007 edition of The O'Reilly Factor. A few minutes earlier, text shown during O'Reilly's "Talking Points" had referred to Penn as "anti-American actor Sean Penn"


"We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. Raise hell. Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous. Make our troops know we're for them and trying to get them out of there. Hit the streets to protest Bush's proposed surge. If you can, go to the peace march in Washington on Jan. 27. We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, 'Stop it, now!'"

-- Final paragraph of Molly Ivins final column, January 11, 2007 (MORE)


"It was a big 'so what.' It was like a lot of things that I said to the press. It had no impact"

-- Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, testifying at the "Scooter" Libby trial that he had trouble getting reporters interested in his untrue tip about CIA operative Valerie Plame being responsible for sending her husband to Niger. Fleischer said he had just recently learned of Plame's secret identity from Libby and Dan Bartlett. January 29, 2007


"The idea that somehow I was trying to needle the Democrats, it's just -- gosh, it's probably Texas. Who knows what it is? But I'm not that good at pronouncing words anyway"

-- President Bush, denying he meant to insult anyone with his reference to "the Democrat majority" in the State of the Union speech. "I am surprised, frankly, at the amount of distrust that exists in this town," he also innocently proclaimed in an NPR interview, January 29, 2007


"The United States has no strategic interest in the fact that there's one Iraq, or three Iraqs"

-- Former UN envoy John Bolton, neatly tossing away the very last possible justifications for the invasion and continued occupation of Iraq. Interview with Le Monde translated in the International Herald Tribune, January 29, 2007


"I don't see this enemy as needing any more emboldening or getting it from any resolution. They're emboldened now"

-- Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) on Fox News Sunday, January 28, 2007, after Joe Lieberman repeated the White House claim that foes of Iraq war escalation are emboldening terrorists.


"I suggested we put the vice president on 'Meet the Press,' which was a tactic we often used. It's our best format"

-- Cathie Martin, former Cheney communications director on 2004 White House plans to spin the reporting on the Plamegate scandal. Jurors were shown her notes at the time with a list of pros and cons of Cheney agreeing to an interview with Tim Russert. Under "pro," she wrote: "control message." Washington Post, January 26, 2007


"I asked him at the White House, 'Mr. President, why do you think this time it's going to work?'"

-- Speaker Nancy Pelosi, asking Bush about his plans to escalate the number of troops in Iraq, although he had tried it twice before and it failed both times. She told CBS News, January 25, 2007, that the President answered, "Because I told them it had to"


"I don't think we've ever had a coherent strategy. In fact, I would even challenge the administration today to show us the plan that the president talked about the other night. There is no plan.... There is no strategy. This is a ping-pong game with American lives"

-- Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska), Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, January 24, 2007


"The question I asked in 1971 is still relevant today: How do you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake? "How many of you around this table believe what's happpening there [in Iraq] is a mistake?"

-- Sen. John Kerry, Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, January 24, 2007


"They're trying to set me up. They want me to be the sacrificial lamb. I will not be sacrificed so Karl Rove can be protected"

-- I. Lewis Libby's attorney Theodore Wells, recounting for the jury what Libby told Cheney as the Plamegate investigation heated up in 2003. January 23, 2007


"As I look at Iraq, I recall the words of former general and soon-to-be President Dwight Eisenhower during the dark days of the Korean War, which had fallen into a bloody stalemate. 'When comes the end?' asked the General who had commanded our forces in Europe during World War Two. And as soon as he became President, he brought the Korean War to an end...tonight we are calling on this President to take similar action, in both areas. If he does, we will join him. If he does not, we will be showing him the way"

-- Senator Jim Webb (D-Virginia) closing of the Democratic response to the 2007 State of the Union speech, January 23, 2007


"It's so irresponsible that they can't be quiet for six or nine months"

-- Neo-con pundit Bill Kristol on Iraq war critics. Fox News Sunday, January 21, 2007


"Unbeknownst to me, certain people in the White House were thinking, 'We had to federalize Louisiana because she's a white, female Democratic governor, and we have a chance to rub her nose in it. 'We can't do it to Haley (Barbour) because Haley's a white male Republican governor. And we can't do a thing to him. So we're just gonna federalize Louisiana'"

-- Former FEMA Director Michael Brown, revealing that the White House considered placing the federal government in charge of all emergency services for Louisiana, but not Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina. AP, January 20, 2007


"I've seen some of the planning ... You're not talking about a surgical strike, you're talking about a war against Iran"

-- Wayne White, a top Middle East analyst for the State Department's bureau of intelligence and research until March 2005. "We're not talking about just surgical strikes against an array of targets inside Iran. We're talking about clearing a path to the targets," he told Reuters, January 19, 2007, adding that plans include taking out Iranian firghter jets, submarines, and anti-ship missiles that could target commerce or U.S. warships in the Gulf, and maybe even Iran's ballistic missile capability


"I don't think he understands the world. I don't think he's particularly curious about the world. I don't think he reads like he says he does"

-- Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W Virginia) on Bush. "Every time he's read something he tells you about it, I think," he told the New York Times, January 19, 2007


"The president knows that because the troops are in harm's way that we won't cut off the resources. That's why he's moving so quickly to put them in harm's way"

-- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on ABC's "Good Morning America," January 19, 2007


"There is no express grant of habeas [corpus] in the Constitution"

-- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales at the January 18, 2007 Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. When confronted on his lack of knowledge on Constitutional basics, Gonzales spun in dialectical circles by claiming that stating habeas corpus can't be taken away (Article I) is different than explicitly granting it


"They don't want anyone knocking the president. He's really over the coals right now, and he's worried about his legacy"

-- Comedian Rich Little, who will entertain at this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner. The 70s-era impersonator told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, January 17, 2007, that organizers of the event made it clear they don't want a repeat of last year's controversial appearance by Stephen Colbert. "I won't even mention the word 'Iraq,'" Little vowed


"As it got to the Vice-President's office, the old mantra of 'We don't talk to evil'... reasserted itself"

-- Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's former chief of staff, on a secret 2003 letter sent by Iran shortly after the invasion of Iraq offering everything the Bush admin now demands: cut off aid to Hezbollah and Hamas and full transparency on its nuclear program. BBC interview, January 17, 2007


"I don't quite view it as the broken egg; I view it as the cracked egg, where we still have a chance to move beyond the broken egg... you know, if I didn't believe we could keep the egg from fully cracking, I wouldn't ask 21,000 kids - additional kids to go into Iraq to reinforce those troops that are there"

-- President Bush, running amok with the metaphor that Iraq might be a "broken egg." PBS Newshour, January 16, 2007


"We are implementing a strategy to embolden a government that is actually part of the problem. We are being played like a pawn"

-- An American military official in Baghdad involved in negotiations over the mission of additional U.S. troops in Iraq. New York Times, January 15, 2007


"I fully understand [Congress] could try to stop me from doing it, but I made my decision, and we're going forward"

-- President Bush on the escalation of U.S. troops in Iraq. 60 Minutes, January 14, 2007


"You are proposing a mixture of national police, national army and U.S. military to operate out of neighborhood police stations to go into neighborhoods and apprehend criminals and to begin to clear and build. And you have not the slightest idea of how many days, weeks or months this is going to take. What on earth leads you, or the President to believe this will work anywhere in the world?"

-- Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) chairman of the Armed Forces subcommittee at January 12, 2007 hearings


"Condoms don't belong in school, and neither does Al Gore. He's not a schoolteacher"

-- Frosty Hardison, who won a ban on showing Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth" at any school in Federal Way, Washington. Hardison, a parent of seven who believes the Earth is 14,000 years old, also told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, January 11, 2007, "The information that's being presented is a very cockeyed view of what the truth is...The Bible says that in the end times everything will burn up, but that perspective isn't in the DVD"


"When we say the strategy is new, we mean we -- us and the Iraqis -- weren't doing it before, say, November 7"

-- A White House official, noting that all of the core ideas in Bush's "new direction" for Iraq were found in a memo from national security adviser Stephen Hadley distributed on Nov. 8, the day after the elections. Washington Post, January 11, 2007


"It's viewed as a temporary surge, but I think no one has a really clear idea of how long that might be"

-- Secretary of Defense Gates, January 11, 2007 press conference


"This is a reckless plan -- it is about saving the Bush presidency, not about saving Iraq"

-- Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland), January 10, 2007. "The Bush Administration has called this a 'surge,' but make no mistake -- this is not a surge; it is an escalation"


"She constantly gets a pass. Who knows if the whole question of race and gender come into it, but ... I can't account for it, except to say she isn't up to the mark"

-- Rep. Neil Abercrombie, new chairman of the Armed Forces subcommittee, on Secretary of State Rice. Abercrombie also told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, January 9, 2007, that Rice was "the most overrated, underperforming individual in executive authority that I have ever seen"


" Iraq is George Bush's Vietnam"

-- Senator Edward Kennedy at National Press Club, January 9, 2007. "In Vietnam, the White House grew increasingly obsessed with victory, and increasingly divorced from the will of the people and any rational policy. The Department of Defense kept assuring us that each new escalation in Vietnam would be the last. Instead, each one led only to the next. There was no military solution to that war. Echoes of that disaster are all around us today"


"I don't understand what he thinks is going on in Iraq, but whatever it is, he doesn't care about politics or the Congress or his successor when it comes to Iraq. He wants to either win the war or, since that is an impossibility, pass it on to his successor"

-- Richard Holbrooke, UN ambassador in the Clinton administration. Washington Post, January 9, 2007


"I think what happened was, is, we overestimated the availability of Iraqi security forces initially; we didn't have enough here. So we have to be able to make sure we have enough forces, Iraqi and coalition, in order to do it this time"

-- Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the new #2 commander in Iraq, revealing the new Bush plan is to embrace the playground rule of unlimited do-overs. Washington Post, January 8, 2007


"No one will ever forget the way in which Saddam was executed. They turned him into a martyr"

-- Egyptian president Mubarak, quoted in the New York Times, January 5, 2007. "The Arab world has been devoid of pride for a long time," Ahmad Mazin al-Shugairi, TV news host in Saudi Arabia. "The way Saddam acted in court and just before he was executed, with dignity and no fear, struck a chord with Arabs who are desperate for their own leaders to have pride too"


"A lot of conservatives are already hammering Ms. Pelosi. I don't think that's fair"

-- Bill O'Reilly, January 5, 2007. A few moments later, O'Reilly told his TV audience, "Pelosi is about the most liberal woman in the world"


"A 'surge' or 'targeted increase in U.S. troop strength' or whatever the politicians want to call dispatching more combat troops to Iraq isn't the answer. Adding more trainers and helping the Iraqis to help themselves, is. Sending more U.S. combat troops is simply sending more targets"

-- Oliver North in Human Events column, January 5, 2007


"If we surge and it doesn't work, it's hard to imagine what we do after that. "But we're already in a very bad spot, and if we don't do anything, defeat is imminent"

-- Frederick W. Kagan of the neo-con American Enterprise Institute, author of the plan to send a "surge" of U.S. forces to secure Iraq. Wall St. Journal, January 2, 2007


"[The Bush administration] thoughtlessly engineered a political and social revolution as intense as the French or Iranian one and then seemed surprised that Iraq could not digest it happily, peaceably and quickly. We did not give them a republic. We gave them a civil war"

-- Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek Jan. 8, 2007 issue


"The big question is what do they want us to do with these troops, exactly, that we're not doing already?"

-- A U.S. commander at Baghdad headquarters on the expected plan to send a "surge" of U.S. forces to secure Iraq. U.S. News & World Report, December 31, 2006


"I drove him in life, and I drove him in death. I can't say no to Mr. Brown"

-- William Murrell, James Brown's chauffeur of 15-years who drove Brown's body 800 miles after flight snafus that would have delayed a ceremony at Harlem's Apollo Theatre. Murrell drove non-stop from Georgia to Harlem with the Rev. Al Sharpton, the funeral home director, and Brown's 24-karat gold-plated coffin in back of his van. We talked the whole time. Old times, the good old days, all the fun that we had, all the people he touched, the lives that he changed. It went on and on." NY Daily News, December 29, 2006


"Allahu Akbar. The nation will be victorious and Palestine is Arab"

-- Saddam Hussein's last statement. According to cameraman Ali Al Massedy who filmed the execution, Saddam also said, "Iraq without me is nothing." December 30, 2006


"Saddam Hussein was hanged until death ensued. A black page in the history of Iraq has been turned"

-- Iraq state television, December 30, 2006


"It's a success that hasn't occurred yet. I don't know that I view that as a failure"

-- White House homeland security adviser Fran Townsend, putting the best possible spin on the failure to capture Bin Laden. CNN's The Situation Room, December 28, 2006


"I can understand the theory of wanting to free people...I just don't think we should go hellfire damnation around the globe freeing people, unless it is directly related to our own national security"

-- Former president Ford in a July, 2004 interview with Bob Woodward. "I don't think I would have ordered the Iraq war. I would have maximized our effort through sanctions, through restrictions, whatever, to find another answer." Washington Post , December 28, 2006


"I have come to the conclusion that this is no longer America's war in Iraq, but the Iraqi civil war where America is fighting"

-- Major William Voorhies, U.S. commander of a unit training Iraqi soldiers in Baghdad. He told the NY Times December 27, 2006 that Iraqi politicians are using troops as proxies in the sectarian war


"The stress of the job -- so well hidden for much of the past six years -- has begun to show on Bush's face. He often looks burdened, distracted, haunted by a question that has no good answer"

-- Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, December 27, 2006


"Even toward the bad days of Vietnam, Lyndon Johnson still believed this war had to be fought. He couldn't argue in the end that it was working, but what he could argue to himself was that if it hadn't been fought, that somehow we would have been fighting the enemy somewhere else"

-- Presidential biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin, NY Times December 24, 2006


"I don't think a year will be long enough to break their bad habits. It gets pretty frustrating when you're hitting it every day that you're not making more progress"

-- Marine Lt. Col. Mark Winn, a U.S. military advisor to the Iraqi Army who believes the Iraqis Won't be prepared to take control next spring, or even the one after. "If we're not there, trash accumulates, nobody's shaving or wearing uniforms, and we're back where we started," Winn told the LA Times December 23, 2006


"Most women who like artificial [Christmas] trees have artificial breasts"

-- Bill O'Reilly, presumably showing his idea of a joke on The Radio Factor, December 19, 2006. "There was a study done ... at UCLA in L.A."


"From the point of view of not just the monetary cost but the sacrifice of American lives a lot has been sacrificed for Iraq, a lot has been invested in Iraq...this is a country that is worth the investment, because once it emerges as a country that is a stabilizing factor you will have a very different kind of Middle East"

-- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to AP, December 19, 2006


"There's not a lot of people saying, 'Get out now.' Most Americans are saying, 'We want to achieve the objective'"

-- President Bush interview with the Washington Post, December 19, 2006. A poll taken the previous week found 55% want U.S. forces out of Iraq in year, but only 18% think it will happen


"Terrorists can't be God-believing people"

-- President Bush at the Dec. 18 White House Chanukah meeting with Jewish education leaders. JTA newswire, December 19, 2006


"He couldn't get elected to statewide office in Georgia. I cannot imagine him winning a presidential race in the United States"

-- Merle Black, a professor of government at Emory University and an authority on Southern politics on Newt Gingrich's feint that he would consider a White House bid if no strong GOP candidate emerges by next September. NY Times, December 18, 2006


"Let's be clear ... There really are no additional troops. All we would be doing is keeping some of the troops who were there, there longer and escalating or accelerating the arrival of other troops"

-- Colin Powell debunking talk of sending more troops to Iraq as part of a "surge." Powell also said on "Face the Nation," December 17, 2006, the "active Army is about broken"


"If the greatest army in the world with the U.S. Marine Corps cannot handle the military situation in Baghdad, who ever thinks we could ever train the Iraqi army to do so?"

-- Newly-elected Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pennsylvania), a former Navy admiral on ABC's "This Week," December 17, 2006


"I must tell you, I'm sleeping a lot better than people would assume"

-- President Bush in People magazine interview, December 14, 2006


"He was the primary architect of the war plan. He was no scapegoat. He deserves the blame he received"

-- Michael O'Hanlon, military analyst at the Brookings Institution. "I think his epitaph will be a dark one," said Justin Logan, a foreign policy analyst with the libertarian Cato Institute. "Rumsfeld's one-line epitaph will be, 'The man who was at the helm of the Defense Department and supported what was doomed to be a losing war effort that Americans will remember as a national tragedy.'" Associated Press, December 14, 2006


"Victory is still an option"

-- Frederick W. Kagan of the neo-con American Enterprise Institute, author of the plan to send a "surge" of U.S. forces to secure Iraq. December 14, 2006


"I think we'll see less of him than ever. Iraq is now Bush's baby, and Cheney doesn't want to be tarred with it in the eyes of historians."

-- A "former associate who worked closely with Cheney for years" on the VP's lack of public appearances since the Iraq Study Group report's release. U.S. News & World Report, December 12, 2006


"You know, it's interesting, if you take a look at poll data -- and there's a lot of discussion about that -- what's interesting is that a majority of the American public not only thinks that we're capable of winning, but we should"

-- White House press secretary Tony Snow, December 12, 2006. A LA Times/Bloomberg poll released the same day found only 26% favor Bush's option of keeping troops on the ground until Iraq secure


"You have a President that's in deep shit. He got us into the war, and all the reasons he gave have been proven invalid, and the whole electorate was so pissed off that they got rid of anyone they could have, and then they ask, 'What is the Democrats' solution?'"

-- Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), New York Observer, December 18, 2006 edition


"I don't think I would have called it the war on terror... the word 'war' conjures up World War II more than it does the Cold War. It creates a level of expectation of victory and an ending within 30 or 60 minutes of a soap opera. It isn't going to happen that way"

-- Donald Rumsfeld to columnist Cal Thomas, December 11, 2006. The former Secretary of Defense repeatedly cast it as a conventional war, such as in an August 2, 2005 address to a civic group: "[T]here has been comment in the press of late about whether or not we're even engaged in a war on terror, or whether our purpose might be better explained in a different manner. Let there be no mistake, we are a nation at war, against terrorist enemies who are seeking our surrender or our retreat. It is a war"


"It's the fault of the liberals and the media and the Democrats, that from the very beginning have tried to undermine the will of the American people to fight this"

-- Tom DeLay explaining the root cause of problems in Iraq on Hannity & Colmes, December 11, 2006


"Our Arab region is besieged by a number of dangers, as if it was a powder keg waiting for a spark to explode"

-- Saudi King Abdullah, at the opening of an Gulf Arab summit. "The condition in Palestine and the continuing Israeli aggression, the fight in Iraq where a brother is still killing his brother, and the political tussle in Lebanon that threatens to push the nation into instability are the three key issues that are of great concern." Gulf News, December 12, 2006


"The White House is totally constipated. There's not enough adult leadership, and the 30-year-olds still think it's 2000 and they're riding high"

-- A former aide quoted in Thomas DeFrank's NY Daily News column, December 10, 2006


"He's trying to position himself in history and to justify those who continue to stand by him, saying sometimes if you're right you're unpopular, and be prepared for criticism"

-- Senate Majority Whip-elect Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) on the Dec. 8 White House meeting between Democratic members of Congress and Bush, where the president compared the war in Iraq to Truman's conflict with Communism. When Durbin challenged Bush's analogy by reminding him that Truman had NATO support and negotiated with his enemies, Durbin said, "reacted very strongly. He got very animated in his response" and emphasized that he is "the commander in chief." McClatchy Newspapers, December 8, 2006


"He's trying to move out of his apartment and he's making calls to get his people placed... [he said to me,] 'I'm so busy, I don't know how I'm going to be down there'"

-- Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) on best friend Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY), who only appeared on the House floor for 4 votes after losing the Nov. election. Sessions also told the Albany Times Union, December 10, 2006, his friend is "frustrated and angry" because he partially blames bad health for his defeat. During congressional trips to Iraq and Afghanistan, "A bug got into his system and lodged in his brain"


"We have a classic case of circling the wagons. If President Bush changes his policy in Iraq in a fundamental way, it undermines the whole premise of his presidency. I just don't believe he will ever do that"

-- A former adviser to Bush the elder to U.S. News & World Report, December 8, 2006


"His reaction was, 'Where's my drink?'"

-- Former secretary of state and Iraq Study Group member Lawrence Eagleburger on Bush's reaction to the commission's White House visit. "He was a little loaded. It was early in the morning, too, you know," he told the Washington Post, December 7, 2006. Reporter Dana Milbank added, "The retired diplomat certainly did not mean that the president had fallen off the wagon"


"This is highly unusual. It's one thing for people inside the administration to tell the president what to do. But for an outside group to say, 'Here, son, let us give you a road map for your foreign policy,' that's remarkable"

-- An advisor to the Iraq Study Group, LA Times, December 7, 2006. Although Bush is not required to follow the group's recommendations, "At least, after this report, Bush will now be prevented from painting a rosy picture," the advisor said


"There he sat, surrounded by his father's friends, looking absolutely lost. And despite the years of experience and wisdom represented at that table, the report contains no magic potion to get us out of, arguably, the biggest, deadliest, costliest and potentially most dangerous mess that this country has been in since World War II. And President Bush caused it"

-- CNN commentator Jack Cafferty on "The Situation Room, December 6, 2006


"I would urge the president not to -- to try to separate out the personal issues of being blamed in history for this mistake and instead recognize it's not about him. It's about our country and we all have to find a way to get our troops home and to prevent a regional conflagration there"

-- Al Gore NBC interview, December 6, 2006


"Keeping us up here eats away at families. Marriages suffer. The Democrats could care less about families -- that's what this says"

-- Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Georgia), dismayed that House Democrats will institute a 5-day workweek starting in January. Kingston typically flies home on Thursdays and returns to Washington on Tuesdays, according to the Washington Post, December 6, 2006


"For me, diplomacy and leadership went hand in hand...and you're much less apt to have 2 ships passing in the night -- dark ships passing in the night -- if you have a personal relationship with the other side"

-- Former President George Herbert Walker Bush at a private forum in honor of son Jeb. Tampa Bay 10 News, December 4, 2006


"It's unfair to claim that George W. Bush is the worst president of all time. He's merely the fifth worst"

-- Michael Lind of the New America Foundation, one of five scholars who debate whether Bush ranks at the bottom in the December 3, 2006 Washington Post. Another said Bush ties with Hoover, and another insisted Nixon holds the record. The remaining pair waffled that it's too early to tell


"If I were an average Iraqi obviously I would make the same comparison -- that they had a dictator who was brutal but they had their streets, they could go out, their kids could go to school and come back home without a mother or father worrying, 'Am I going to see my child again?"

-- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, BBC interview, December 3, 2006. On the question of whether the Iraq conflict should be called 'civil war,' Annan said, "When we had the strife in Lebanon and other places, we called that a civil war -- this is much worse"


"I am baffled by what I saw. This was an expression of the Americans in deep trouble, but Bush's approach to dealing with the Iraqi problem also bore the signs of someone out of touch with what is going on"

-- Abdel Moneim Said, director of the Ahram Center for Strategic Studies in Cairo, one of several Arab analysts who expressed dismay at Bush's apparent unwillingness to change strategy in Iraq during the summit in Jordan. "I did not see a coherent strategy that really deals with the situation," he told the NY Times, November 30, 2006, "I did not see Bush realizing how bad it is"


"Would you have allowed him to choose, you know, Hitler's Mein Kampf, which is the Nazi bible? In other words, where does this stop?"

-- Sean Hannity, outraged that incoming Rep. Keith Ellison's (D-Minnesota) reportedly intendes to be sworn in using the Koran instead of the Bible. Hannity & Colmes, November 30, 2006


"I know there's a lot of speculation that these reports in Washington mean there's going to be some kind of graceful exit out of Iraq. This business about a graceful exit just simply has no realism to it at all"

-- President George W. Bush, November 30, 2006. "I'm a realist because I understand how tough it is inside of Iraq," he added


"It was going to be more of a social meeting anyways"

-- White House counselor Dan Bartlett, downplaying the surprise last-minute cancellation of a meeting between Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki, November 29, 2006. Earlier that day a Nov. 8 memo surfaced written by national security adviser Stephen Hadley. "His intentions seem good when he talks with Americans... but the reality on the streets of Baghdad suggests Maliki is either ignorant of what is going on, misrepresenting his intentions, or that his capabilities are not yet sufficient to turn his good intentions into action"


"My thoughts on the president's representations are well-known. The 9/11 Commission dismissed that notion a long time ago and I feel sad that the president is resorting to it again"

-- House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi, on Bush continuing to blame Iraqi insurgent violence on al-Qaeda


" 'Stay the course' is gone. We're going to try and devise some new strategies, hopefully with the President's concurrence. Our soldiers, sailors and airmen should not be in there, risking their lives, losing their lives to stop a Civil War"

-- Sen. John Warner (R-Virginia), outgoing chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, at a November 27, 2006 Charlottesville Chamber of Commerce meeting. The following day, Bush declared, "There's one thing I'm not going to do, I'm not going to pull our troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete"


"I think Bush is the last neo-con in power. The truth is, it was always Bush"

-- Neo-con pundit Bill Kristol in Newsweek, Dec. 4, 2006 issue


"We could possibly imagine going into 2007 and having three civil wars on our hands"

-- King Abdullah of Jordan, running down the list of Iraq, Lebanon, and Israel/Palestine on ABC's "This Week," November 26, 2006


"The allegations against Russia in this respect are nothing but nonsense. Nothing but nonsense. It's really nonsense and it's so silly and unbelievable that it is not worth commenting on by officials"

-- Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, on the absurd possibility that the Kremlin could have any connection with the death of their most prominent critic with an exotic radioactive poison. (MORE)


"I think that's weird and it's nuts. To suggest that everything we do is because we're hungry for money, I think that's crazy. I think you need to go back to school"

-- George HW Bush, confronted by a student in Abu Dhabi who charged that U.S. war goals were to expand globalization for the profit of American companies. AP also reported, November 21, 2006, that Bush appeared "stunned" when a woman said that there is no respect for President Bush. "My son is an honest man," he replied


"Almost every comedy show or satire show I see uses the same talking points against George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. The other side hasn't been skewered in a fair and balanced way"

-- Joel Surnow, co-creator of "24," who is shooting two half-hour pilots for a Fox News comedy program he describes as "'The Daily Show' for conservatives," Forbes, November 19, 2006


" There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way"

-- Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), who will propose a return to the military draft in the next Congress. "Face the Nation", November 19, 2006


" There are a lot of lives that are lost. A country's at stake. A region's at stake. This is a gigantic situation. . . . This didn't have to be managed this bad. It's just awful"

-- Kenneth Adelman, the former member of the Cheney-Rumsfeld brain trust, who wrote in Feb. 2002 that "liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk." Washington Post, November 19, 2006


" The people who complain always get the headlines... this strategy not only works, it works in states Democrats have given up on for 30 years. We cannot give up on anybody"

-- Democratic party chairman Howard Dean, who was hammered by Clinton strategist James Carville for not dumping more money in the election in hopes of gaining a larger congressional majority. "It was a great win for what I call the new Democratic Party," Dean also said at a November 17, 2006 getaway for party leaders, who gave Dean a vote of confidence resolution


"Now look, God's still up there. We still have these natural changes, and this is what's going on right now. New science comes out... they came out with a great discovery just a few weeks ago. And this came from the geophysical research letters and you know what they said? Hold on now! They said the warming is due to the sun. Isn't that remarkable?"

-- Global warming nay-sayer and outgoing chairman of the Senate environment committee James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) on Fox and Friends, November 17, 2006. "The other side, the far left, the George Soros, the Hollywood elitists, the far left environmentalists on the committee that I chair, all of them want us to believe the science is settled and it's not"


"When you get to that degree of obfuscation, then you get a little depressed"

-- Senator John McCain, remarks to a D.C. audience November 16, 2006, on the Bush administration's failure to release a NOAA report on global warming that was required to be published in 2004. "They're simply not complying with the law. It's incredible"


"You've got to remember, whatever the Democrats say, it's Bush still calling the shots. He believes it's a matter of political will. That's what Kissinger told him. And he's going to stick with it"

-- A former senior administration official to the UK/Guardian November 16, 2006. "[Bush] is in a state of denial about Iraq. Nobody else is any more. But he is. But he knows he's got less than a year, maybe six months, to make it work. If it fails, I expect the withdrawal process to begin next fall."


"Heck, even the white rednecks who go to church on Sunday didn't come out to vote for us"

-- Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Florida) on the GOP's crumbling base. The Hotline, November 16, 2006


"Three Americans killed yesterday, four British; 150 Iraqis taken out of that building and kidnapped; 1,800-plus went through that one Baghdad morgue but that doesn't count all the dead,. My displeasure with the president, he doesn't understand the urgency of this. It's all victory for him, but I don't know what that means anymore in Iraq"

-- Senate majority leader Harry Reid, Washington Post , November 15, 2006


"What do you [do,] punch little buttons and things?"

-- Larry King, revealing to Roseanne Barr November 14, 2006, that he's never used the Internet. "You just click on this thing," Barr explained. "The thing is you got to be able to read, so you have to have strong glasses when you've over 50 and then you just scroll down and click. It's not that hard. I can show you how to do it." King replied, "No, thanks"


"He knows too much. The last thing the president wants is another published memoir and book tour of life inside the White House"

-- White House source on Karl Rove's job security, November 14, 2006 Insight magazine


"When Tom [DeLay] and his bunch first ran, they campaigned against the cesspool in Washington. After a while they looked around and said, 'Hey, this isn't a cesspool, it's a hot tub'"

-- Richard Viguerie, godfather of the conservative movement. Houston Chronicle, November 12, 2006


"He's the guy who can hold the reins, get confirmed and get through the next two years without the Democrats cutting off the money"

-- A "defense source" on Bush hopes for Rumsfeld replacement Robert Gates, London Sunday Times, November 12, 2006


"The most difficult thing will be to pick and choose."

-- Rep. Henry Waxman (D-California), new chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, pondering what to investigate first. Top priorities included the response to Hurricane Katrina, government contracting in Iraq and on homeland security, decision-making at the EPA and the FDA, and allegations of corporate profiteering, he told the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, November 10. 2006


"Bob Sherwood's seat [in Pennsylvania] would have been overwhelmingly ours, if his mistress hadn't whined about being throttled"

-- Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and one of the most influential Republicans in the country. The Financial Times also asked, November 10. 2006, if there were any lessons from the campaign? "Yes. The lesson should be, don't throttle mistresses"


"They bugged us with... all her calls, Jennings, Jennings, Jennings, I wouldn't have voted for that woman if she were the only one running"

-- Betty Beatty, who voted for the Republican candidate instead of Democrat Christine Jennings in the southwestern Florida race. The National Republican Congressional Committee spent almost $60,000 for "robo-calls" in the district that deceived many voters into believing the repeated messages were coming from Jenning's campaign. Sarasota Herald-Tribune, November 10. 2006


"I will say this -- it is very clear that the major combat operations were an enormous success. It's clear that in Phase II of this, it has not been going well enough or fast enough"

-- Don Rumsfeld at Kansas State University, November 9, 2006. In Pentagon jargon, Phase I-III covered everything up to the successful overthrow of Saddam. Rumsfeld and others at the Pentagon dismissed plans for "Phase IV," of occupied Iraq. (MORE)


"Never let the new class of Democrats forget that they're there in considerable part because of the war the American public has now turned against"

-- Former senator and Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern. "The Democratic leadership is wise enough to know that if they're going to follow the message that election sent, they're going to have to take steps to bring the war to a conclusion...There isn't going to be any decisive victory in Iraq." AP, November 8, 2006


"I feel liberated, and I'm going to tell you as plainly as I can why. I no longer am going to have to carry the water for people who I don't think deserve having their water carried"

-- Rush Limbaugh, justifying deceiving his audience about Republicans "because the stakes are high." November 8, 2006. "Words mean things." -- Rush Limbaugh, 35 Undeniable Truths, 1994


"I'd call it a 'Texas whupping,' that's for sure"

-- Convicted ex-Rep. Tom DeLay on MSNBC, November 8, 2006. "Over the last couple of years we just played not to lose...we didn't fight for the things that we really believe in"


"Last week, the vice president said [that] regardless of the outcome, the administration would go full speed ahead in the same direction. Well, I think the American people have said, 'Not so fast'"

-- Sen. Hillary Clinton to cheering supporters, November 7, 2006


"There would be the Iraqis who needed medicine for their dying mothers, there would be the Iraqis who told you they had nuclear documents in their basement and would you like to come and look. You know, there was almost that pang when you turned somebody away, [you were] thinking, 'Damn, maybe this guy really does have nuclear weapons in his basement, but I don't have time.' So you never really knew"

-- Jane Arraf/CNN, on the lines of Iraqis who appeared outside their doors every day after the invasion. Columbia Journalism Review oral history, "Into the Abyss"


"They didn't even mention that he's also an obnoxious jerk and a war criminal"

-- CNN "Situation Room" commentator Jack Cafferty on the "Military Times" editorials calling for Rumsfeld's ouster. November 6, 2006


"At the end of the day, this comes down to bringing Jesus into politics. Right now, it's not Ted Haggard on trial. It's Jesus"

-- David Kuo, author of "Tempting Faith" on the fall of the powerful gay-bashing evangelist. "Jim Dobson's response was particularly telling," Kuo also told TIME, November 4, 2006. "He basically blamed the controversy on gays and Democrats. When evangelical leaders can't see beyond Tuesday on any question, what on earth is happening?"


"It reeks, it really does. It just amazes me that after sixty some years, that just with the swipe of a pencil the thing could all go away"

-- Joseph Stehr, a former FBI agent and investigator for the House Appropriations Committee, whose chairman Jerry Lewis (R-CA) abruptly fired 60 investigators last month. Stehr, who worked on a now-stalled study of Katrina relief spending as well as on the Pentagon budget, also told CQ.com November 3, 2006, "who is going to look into all of this? GAO? I don't think so. They're slow-pitch Wiffle ball, where we throw 90 miles an hour"


"A lump of clay can become a sculpture, blobs of paint become paintings which inspire. The final test of our efforts will not be the isolated incidents reported daily but the country that the Iraqis build"

-- Major General William Caldwell, chief military spokesman, told his weekly Baghdad news briefing, November 2, 2006. "Every great work of art goes through messy phases while it is in transition"


"[Bush] thinks that, in twenty years, he's going to be recognized for the leader he was -- the analogy he uses is Churchill. If you read the public statements of the leadership, they're so confident and so calm... It's pretty scary"

-- Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersch, McGill Daily (Canada), November 2, 2006


"For them to suggest that somebody who served their country as I did and has a record like I have in the United States Congress of standing up and fighting for the troops would ever, ever insult the troops is an insult in and of itself. And they owe us an apology for even daring to use the White House to stand up and make this an issue again. Shame on them. Shame on them. And may the American people take that shame to the polls with them next Tuesday"

-- Senator John Kerry, October 31, 2006


"The only way Bill Nelson could lose this is if he got himself in a drug-induced stupor and ran naked down the main street of his home town"

-- Darryl Paulson, a political scientist (and Republican) at the University of South Florida, on GOP Senate candidate Katherine Harris, who is 35 points behind Sen. Nelson. Harris told the Washington Post, October 31, 2006, that she is writing a tell-all about the many people who have wronged her, including the Republican leaders who didn't want her to run, the press that has covered her troubled campaign, and the many staffers who have quit her employ


"None of the Iraqi police are working to make their country better. They're working for the militias or to put money in their pocket"

-- Brig. Gen. Salah al-Ani, chief of police for the western half of Baghdad. Seventy percent of the Iraqi police force has been infiltrated by militias, primarily Sadr's Mahdi Army, according to U.S. military police trainers. Washington Post, October 31, 2006


"In the past, conservatives let liberal entertainers kind of have a free ride. Now they're saying, under George W. Bush, if you get involved in politics, we're going to come after you and the Democrats you're supporting"

-- ABC News political director Mark Halperin, justifying on the October 29, 2006 edition of ABC's World News Sunday, Rush Limbaugh's mocking of Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's disease. On Oct. 25, one-time journalist Bernard Goldberg told Bill O'Reilly, "I love Rush Limbaugh. He made one mistake that I wish he hadn't. He did that spastic dance. If he didn't do that we wouldn't be talking about Rush Limbaugh"


"There is a particular danger with a war that God commands. What if God should lose? That is unthinkable to the evangelicals"

-- Garry Wills essay, "A Country Ruled by Faith," in the November 16, 2006 issue of the NY Review of Books. "Thus, in 2006, when two thirds of the American people told pollsters that the war in Iraq was a mistake, the third of those still standing behind it were mainly evangelicals (who make up about one third of the population). It was a faith-based certitude"


"Well, Wolf, could we talk about a children's book for a minute?"

-- Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick, trying to steer an October 27, 2006 CNN interview towards her new kid's book and away from her lurid 1988 novel "Sisters," which featured attempted rapes and a Republican vice president who dies of a heart attack while having sex with his mistress. Wolf Blitzer asked questions about her novel because the major Republican talking point that day was "demeaning descriptions of women" in 30 year-old novels by the Democratic challenger to Virginia GOP Sen. Allen


"You can read Lynne Cheney's lesbian sex scenes if you want to get graphic on stuff"

-- Jim Webb, Democratic challenger to Virginia Sen. George Allen, whose new TV ads center on "chauvinistic attitudes and sexually exploitative references" in Webb's Vietnam-era novels. Washington Post, October 27, 2006


"The frustration is that the definition of success has now gotten to be, how many innocent people are dying? And if there's a lot dying, it means the enemy is winning. That doesn't mean they're winning"

-- President Bush, giving a confab of conservative journalists a peek at his unclear views about "winning" and "success." He also told them, October 25, 2006, "If we can't win, I'll pull us out. If I didn't think it was noble and just and we can win, we're gone"


"Everyone knew how Rumsfeld acts, everyone knew 43 didn't have an attention span. Everyone knew Condi wouldn't be able to stand up to Cheney and Rumsfeld. We told them all of this, and we were told we don't know what we're doing"

-- A "key assistant" to President George Bush "41" on son George Bush "43." NY Daily News, October 15, 2006


"We went back and looked today and could only find eight times where he [Bush] ever used the phrase 'stay the course'"

-- White House press secretary Tony Snow on Fox News, October 24, 2006. A search of Bush press conferences, remarks, and speeches on the GPO web site turns up 52 instances, the earliest being May 2, 2003, the day after his "Mission Accomplished" speech on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln


"Well, hey, listen, we've never been 'stay the course'"

-- President Bush on ABC's This Week, October 22, 2006. Bush has repeatedly vowed to 'stay the course,' most recently on Aug. 30


"We rightly criticize that in most Islamic states, the role of religion for society and the character of the rule of law are not clearly separated. But we fail to recognize that in the USA, the Christian fundamentalists and their interpretation of the Bible have similar tendencies"

-- German ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in his new memoirs. "What bothered me, and in a certain way made me suspicious despite the relaxed atmosphere, was again and again in our discussions how much this president described himself as 'God-fearing'"


"The higher you climb up the tree, the more your ass shows"

-- Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage's zen koan on the perils of politics. Allentown Morning Call, October 19, 2006


"Now that it's kind of accumulated it doesn't have as much of a shock value"

-- Max Boot, a senior fellow of national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, on the U.S. media's inside-page reporting of American deaths in Iraq. "This is reminiscent of Stalin's phrase about how 'one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.' There's some truth to that." Reuters, October 20, 2006


"He leads in a way that the good Lord tells him is best for our country"

-- General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Donald Rumsfeld. AFP, October 19, 2006


"It will make you feel better to say, I didn't lose the election; Foley lost it for me. Your wife and kids will believe it"

-- Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and one of the most influential Republicans in the country, who also told the NY Times, October 19, 2006, that the Iraq war is the biggest drag on Republican candidates. "Some people think we did it just to prove we could do it, like people who go running with weights on their ankles"


"Everything our Party has achieved in the past six years is at risk of being lost in just one day"

-- Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) commentary on the October 19, 2006 Republican National Committee mailing list


"We now have a capability of someone to radicalize themselves over the Internet...Those are the kind of terrorists that we may not be able to detect with spies and satellites"

-- Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, Reuters, October 17, 2006. The same day the FBI director called for ISPs to track user activity on the Internet


"As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else. It's being drawn to Iraq and it's not being drawn to the U.S."

-- Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania) to Bucks County Courier Times, October 17, 2006. "You have to really question the judgment of a U.S. senator who compares the war in Iraq to a fantasy book," said Larry Smar, spokesman for Democratic opponent Bob Casey Jr.


"If you look at the general overall situation, they're doing remarkably well [in Iraq]"

-- Cheney on the Rush Limbaugh radio show, October 17, 2006. The same day, it was announced that at least 91 people had been slaughtered in Balad, over 3,000 policemen accused of abuse, corruption were fired in a complete overhaul of the Iraq National Police, and Iraqi leaders debated a proposal to create a 5-man junta to rule country


"[President Bush] reminds me of one of those guys at the gym who plays about 40 chessboards at once"

-- White House press secretary Tony Snow, revealing the Bush administration's very, very, best kept secret. New York Times, October 15, 2006


"Uh, I haven't thought about that enough to give an answer"

-- Independent cum Democrat Sen. Joe Lieberman, asked in the October 15, 2006 Hartford Courant whether America would be better off if the Democratic party regained control of the House of Representatives


"I see it really as a marriage of convenience. We are not without significant gains by working with this administration"

-- Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, telling the Washington Post, October 14, 2006, that he really doesn't care that Republican politicians are "dismissive," and make derisive comments behind Christian leaders' backs. The next day Perkins and other evangelists joined in a special broadcast to churches nationwide asking the faithful to turn out to vote because of threats to "people's religious liberties" such as gay marriage


"I saw probably 600 pictures of really gross, perverted stuff. The bottom line was it was sex. . . . It wasn't primarily about torture"

-- Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) on Abu Ghraib torture, quoted in The Stamford Advocate, October 13, 2006. Later the same day, Shays sought to clarify his views to AP: "It was torture because sex abuse is torture. It was gross and despicable ... This is more about pornography than torture"


"I know the speaker didn't go over a bridge and leave a young person in the water"

-- Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) both defending House speaker Hastert's handling of the Foley-page scandal and winning the 2006 award for most vicious election year nonsequitur. "This just makes clear the real need for change in November. Beyond that I'm not going to dignify such a desperate attack with a response," said Sen. Ted Kennedy's spokeswoman. AP, October 11, 2006


"I am, you know, amazed that this is a society which so wants to be free that they're willing to, you know, that there's a level of violence that they tolerate"

-- President Bush October 11, 2006 press conference, blaming the victims for being abused. The same day, a study found that 655,000 Iraqis have been slain during the occupation (MORE)


"It's a metaphor for what's going on. Hang up when somebody has a different point of view or information you don't want to deal with"

-- Author Bob Woodward, telling Meet the Press, October 8, 2006, that Cheney called him a few days earlier, angry that Woodward had used quotes from an on-the-record interview with the Vice President. Woodward said Cheney hung up on him after cursing


"Nothing says 'I am ashamed of you, my government' more than 'Stewart/Colbert '08' "

-- Jon Stewart to those at the New Yorker Festival calling for him to run for president. "[It's] a real sign of how sad people are" with the state of the country, Stewart told AP, October 8, 2006


"As a critic of the administration, I will be damned if you can get away with calling me the equivalent of a Nazi appeaser. No one has the right to say that about any free-speaking American in this country"

-- MSNBC "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann to AP, October 8, 2006


"I have the highest respect for law enforcement. My father was a police officer"

--California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the October 7, 2006 TV debate with Democrat Phil Angelides. The governator's father, Gustav, was a volunteer member of the feared Nazi thugs known as the SA, or "brown shirts"


"This is the lens through which Iraqis will now see America: incompetence, profiteering, arrogance, and human waste oozing out of ceilings as a result "

-- Rep. Henry Waxman (D-California), on a federal audit that found work by U.S. contractors on the $75 million police academy in Baghdad was so shoddy that much of it much of it must be demolished. Washington Post, September 29, 2006


"This isn't an isolated situation. It is only the most recent example of Republican House leaders doing whatever it takes to hold onto power. If it means spending billions of taxpayers' dollars on questionable projects, they'll do it. If it means covering up the most despicable actions of a colleague, they'll do it"

-- Richard Viguerie, godfather of the conservative movement, calling for the immediate resignation of House GOP leaders in his newsletter, October 4, 2006


"I'm not going to take a lecture on morality from a party that took hush money from a child predator"

-- Democratic Tennessee Senate candidate Rep. Harold Ford, answering GOP charges that he once attended a party where "Playboy bunnies" were present. USA Today, October 5, 2006


"Staying the course isn't good enough because a course has to have an end"

-- Former Secretary of State Colin Powell at a October 4, 2006 lecture at the University of Minnesota


"All I know is what I hear and what I see. I saw Bill Clinton's advisor, Richard Morris, was saying these guys knew about this all along"

-- House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who apparently doesn't know Clinton fired Dick Morris almost a decade ago, and that Morris has been the resident Clinton-basher on FOX News for years. In his October 5, 2006 interview with the Chicago Tribune, Hastert also said of the Foley scandal, "the people who want to see this thing blow up are ABC News and a lot of Democratic operatives, people funded by George Soros"


"The briefing was intended to 'connect the dots' contained in other intelligence reports and paint a very clear picture of the threat posed by bin Laden"

-- An official who helped prepare a July 10, 2001 CIA briefing for then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, who said Oct. 1 she didn't recall "the supposed meeting," and anyway, it didn't warn about an impending attack. The official also described the tone of the report as "scary" and "10 on a scale of 1 to 10." McClatchy Newspapers October 2, 2006


"It's vile, it's more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction"

-- Rep. Mark Foley (R-Florida) on Bill Clinton. St. Petersburg Times, September 12, 1998


"Yeah, look, I hate to tell you but it's not always pretty up there on Capitol Hill. There have been other scandals, as you know, that have been more than simply naughty e-mail"

-- White House Press Secretary Tony Snow on Rep. Mark Foley. In one "naughty" instant message session with an underage Congressional page, the 54 year-old Foley told the boy to measure the size of his erect penis, "gra[b] the one eyed snake," and gushed that their online chat gave him "totally stiff wood." CNN, October 2, 2006


"Congress did exercise its authority; they just did it in an unconstitutional, wrongheaded way"

-- Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania), who opposed the Bush torture bill until the final senate vote, where he voted with the rest of the GOP bloc. "Congress could have done it right, and didn't," he told the Philadelphia Inquirer, September 30, 2006, "but the next line of defense is the court. And I think the court will clean it up"


"After the election, there will be a lot more candid observations about Iraq"

-- Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania), predicting trouble for Bush war plans even if Republicans hold Congress. Newsweek, September 29, 2006


"The insurgents know what they are doing. They know the level of violence and how effective they are. Who doesn't know? The American public"

-- Author Bob Woodward, saying that the Bush administration is covering up the number of attacks on American forces in Iraq. "It's getting to the point now where there are 8-900 attacks a week. That's more than 100 a day. That is four an hour attacking our forces," he told 60 Minutes, October 1, 2006


"It's hard for Americans, all of us, including me, to understand what's wrong with these people. Why do they kill people of other religions because of religion? Why do they hate the Israeli's and despise their right to exist? Why do they hate each other? Why do Sunnis kill Shiites? How do they tell the difference? They all look the same to me"

-- Sen. Trent Lott (R-Mississippi), September 28, 2006


"When Sadr says you can't do this, for whatever political reason, that's when they start to go rogue"

-- A senior coalition intelligence official telling the New York Times, September 28, 2006, that Moqtada al-Sadr has lost control of as many as a third of his Mahdi Army militia. Members are splintering off into freelance death squads, criminal gangs, and are "very open to alternative sources of sponsorship," such as Iran


"He's Jewish and Monday is Yom Kippur"

-- Brynn Slate, spokeswoman for the National Association of Women Business Owners, explaining to Roll Call, September 26, 2006, why Sen. George Allen (R-Virginia) rescheduled a Senate hearing. After years of dodging media questions about his family, Allen announced just six days earlier that he had Jewish grandfather


"You don't have to drive very far from Kabul these days to find the Taliban"

-- Lead sentence of "Losing Afghanistan," the cover story found in European, Asian, and Latin American editions of Newsweek, October 2, 2006 issue.


"Annie Leibovitz is tired and nursing a cold, and she' s just flown back to New York on the red-eye from Los Angeles, where she spent two days shooting Angelina Jolie for Vogue"

-- Lead sentence of "My Life in Pictures," the cover story found in the U.S. edition of Newsweek, October 2, 2006 issue.


"I like to tell people when the final history is written on Iraq, it will look like just a comma because there is -- my point is, there's a strong will for democracy"

-- President Bush on CNN, September 24, 2006, just two days after the number of Americans killed in Iraq for his "historical comma" hit 2,700. Combined with soldiers killed in Afghanistan, U.S. war fatalities have now passed the 9/11 death toll


"Bush has called me worse things -- tyrant, populist dictator, drug trafficker, to name a few"

-- Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez to TIME, September 22, 2006. Earlier in the week told the UN general assembly that Bush is "the devil," and later called him an "alcoholic, a sick man with a lot of hang-ups"


"At least I tried. That's the difference in me and some, including all of the right-wingers who are attacking me now"

-- President Clinton, answering a question on "Fox News Sunday" about steps taken to kill or capture bin Laden. "If you want to criticize me for one thing, you can criticize me for this: after the Cole, I had battle plans drawn to go into Afghanistan, overthrow the Taliban and launch a full-scale attack search for bin Laden. But we needed basing rights in Uzbekistan -- which we got after 9/11," Clinton said on the September 24, 2006 broadcast


"[It's] just an interesting nuance to my background. I still had a ham sandwich for lunch. And my mother made great pork chops"

-- Sen. George Allen (R-Virginia), confirming that he had a Jewish grandfather. Allen, who always emphasized his deep Southern roots in earlier campaigns, is now calling his opponent anti-semitic for bringing the topic up. Allen is trying to divert attention from the recent furor of his calling a dark-skinned man "Macaca," Mark F. Rozell of George Mason University told the Richmond Times Dispatch, September 20, 2006. "He's been wanting to change the dialogue in this campaign. At one point, he's been defending himself against charges of being a bully. Now he can play the victim and say he's the one that's being bullied and being treated with prejudice."


"You don't start wars just because you don't like somebody... I wouldn't even start a war with Rupert Murdoch"

-- CNN founder Ted Turner on the invasion and occupation of Iraq. "It will go down in history, it is already being seen in history, as one of the dumbest moves that was ever made by anybody. A couple of others that come to mind were the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and the German invasion of Russia," he said at a Reuters Newsmaker forum, September 19, 2006


"I keep reading that Bush is incurious, but when he talks to me he asks a lot of questions, so I can't give him a bad grade on curiosity"

-- President Clinton in The New Yorker, September 18, 2006. "I think both he and his father, because they have peculiar speech patterns, have been underestimated in terms of their intellectual capacity. You know, the way they speak and all, it could be, it could just relate to the way the synapses work in their brains"


"I am sick of Karl Rove's bullshit. Nixon was a Communist compared to this crowd"

-- President Clinton on Bush/Rove marketing far-right viewpoints as "compassionate conservatism." New Yorker, September 18, 2006


"Most people just think it's pathetic. It's a sad story about someone who needs a lot of help, which is made even worse by the fact that he could have been something"

-- A member of Republican leadership, disgusted that Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) plead guilty Sept. 15 to Abramoff-case corruption charges after avowing his innocence to party members four months earlier. "Ney stood up in front of the entire [GOP] Conference and said that he was innocent and that he was taking on these allegations and it was the media's fault and that he would clear his name. . . . He lied to everybody." Roll Call, September 18, 2006


"Somebody mentioned the Jon Stewart program, I've never seen that in my life and I will go to my grave never having seen it...I don't see any reason for it. It's a comedian, self-righteous comedian taking on airs of grandeur and I really don't need that. Politicians are funny enough without a professional comic"

-- Columnist Bob Novak on C-SPAN, September 17, 2006


"[Geneva Conventions] Article III says that there will be no outrages upon human dignity. It's very vague. What does that mean, 'outrages upon human dignity?' That's a statement that is wide open to interpretation"

-- President Bush at September 15, 2006 press conference, passing the buck to Congress to interpret if waterboarding suspects, forcing arrestees to pose naked for photographs, or having prison guards place dog collars around the necks of prisoners constitutes an 'outrage,' and thus a war crime.


"I make decisions on what I think is right. That's what leaders do"

-- President Bush May 5, 2006, in one of many comments this year to his boasting of his decision-making prowess


"President Bush is very sincere in wanting the tools he needs to fight the war on terror. I don't want the tools they are given to become clubs to be used against our people"

-- Senator Lindsey Graham (R- South Carolina), one of three Senators on the Armed Services Committee who led the GOP opposition against Bush legislation to reinterpret the Geneva Conventions. Graham also made clear to the NY Times, September 17, 2006, that their objection was not an outright revolution against Bush. "It's not a question of defiance or intransigence... [but] there are three branches of government, not one."


"Simply stated, short of a crime, anything goes at the highest levels of the Department of the Interior"

-- Earl Devaney, inspector general of the Interior Dept. testimony before the House Government Reform's energy subcommittee, September 13, 2006. "Over the course of this seven-year tenure, I have observed one instance after another when the good work of my office has been dynamically disregarded by the department. Ethics failures on the part of senior department officials, taking the form of appearances of impropriety, favoritism and bias have been routinely dismissed with a promise 'not to do it again.'"


"I certainly don't think President Nazarbayev and Mr Bush will share a joke about the film...we want people to know that [Borat] does not represent the true people of Kazakhstan"

-- Roman Vassilenko, a spokesman for the Kazakhstan Embassy in London, on the upcoming White House visit where the president will discuss the damage caused his country's image by "Borat," a character created by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. Responding as Borat, the star of HBO's "Ali G" show wrote on his website, "Since the 2003 Tuleyakiv reforms, Kazakhstan is as civilized as any other country in the world. Women can now travel on inside of bus, homosexuals no longer have to wear blue hats, and age of consent has been raised to eight years old." UK/Daily Mail, September 12, 2006


"A lot of people in America see this as a confrontation between good and evil, including me... It seems to me that there's a Third Awakening"

-- President Bush, telling a group of conservative journalists that he believes the Terror War has sparked the long-awaited revival of religious fevor among evangelicals. Washington Post, September 13, 2006


"If we're not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation"

-- Air Force secretary Michael Wynne, encouraging testing of nonlethal weapons, such as high-power microwave devices, on U.S. protesters. AP, September 12, 2006


"Liberty grows from the ground -- it cannot be dropped from the air by an unmanned drone"

-- Tory leader David Cameron, vowing that his party would be more independent from the U.S. "We must not turn a blind eye to the excesses of our allies -- abuses of human rights in some Arab countries, or disproportionate Israeli bombing in Lebanon. We are fighting for the principles of civilization -- let us not abandon those principles in the methods we employ," he also told the Belfast Telegraph, September 12, 2006


"Although I am not one to easily believe in conspiracy theories and have spent a great deal of time debunking them, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the errors in this screenplay are more than the result of dramatization and time compression. There is throughout the screenplay a consistent bias and distortion seeking to portray senior Clinton Administration officials as holding back the hard charging CIA, FBI, and military officers who would otherwise have prevented 9-11. The exact opposite is true"

-- Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism czar under Presidents Clinton and Bush, and current ABC News consultant on the ABC/Disney production of "The Path to 9/11." Press release, September 10, 2006


"They've trotted that dog out for the last three elections -- and it's got mange all over it"

-- Bill Clinton on the GOP campaign strategy of frightening voters before elections. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 9, 2006


"[Saddam] wasn't going to attack us. He would've been isolated there. He would have been in control of that country but we wouldn't have depleted our resources preventing us from prosecuting a war on terror which is what this is all about"

-- Senator John Rockefeller (D-W Virginia), telling CBS News September 9, 2006 that he regrets voting to give Bush authority to invade Iraq. "[It was] deliberately cynical manipulation to shape American public opinion and 69 percent of the people, at that time, it worked, they said 'we want to go to war'"


"The secretary of defense continued to push on us ... that everything we write in our plan has to be the idea that we are going to go in, we're going to take out the regime, and then we're going to leave. We won't stay"

-- Army Brig. Gen. Mark Scheid, who was chief of CENTCOM logistics war plans during the run-up to the Iraq War. Scheid told the Hampton Roads (Virginia) Daily Press September 8, 2006 that planners wanted to work on post-invasion plans. "I remember the secretary of defense saying that he would fire the next person that said that... he said we will not do that because the American public will not back us if they think we are going over there for a long war"


"Gaza is a jail. Neither people nor goods are allowed to leave it. People are already starving. They try to live on bread and falafel and a few tomatoes and cucumbers they grow themselves"

-- Dr Maged Abu-Ramadan, mayor of Gaza City, to the Independent/UK, September 8, 2006. "It is the worst year for us since 1948"


"This may be another reason why you might question the reliability of polling data"

-- U.S. Attorney Kevin O'Connor on the conspiracy and fraud guilty plea of the manager of a company that conducted campaign polls for Bush, Lieberman and other political candidates. According to the federal indictment, responses were altered to meet quotas and sometimes completely made up, with employees told to interview "cats and dogs." Newsday, September 7, 2006


"I'm not aware of any situation in the world where there is a system of jurisprudence that is recognized by civilized people where an individual can be tried and convicted without seeing the evidence against him. I don't think the United States needs to become the first in that scenario"

-- Brig. Gen. James Walker, U.S. Marine Corps staff judge advocate testimony to the House Armed Services Committee, September 7, 2006. Under the White House plan for military tribunals, hearsay could be allowed against "unlawful enemy combatants" and evidence could be kept from the defendants


"If the country doesn't survive this, it will go under"

-- Iraqi parliament speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, September 6, 2006. "Let's start talking the same language. We have three to four months to reconcile with each other"


"He's one of the most powerful men in the world. He's got a lot more important things on his mind. To remember something relatively meaningless in the grand scheme of things . . . it's pretty impressive"

-- St. Louis Cardinals member Gary Bennett, awfully impressed that the Decider stole time away from his short workday, usually interrupted by a nap or 2-hour exercise regime, to watch a recent baseball game where Bennett made a winning catch. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 6, 2006


"It becomes necessary to reach back into our history, for yet another quote, from yet another time and to ask it of Mr. Bush: 'Have you no sense of decency, sir?'"

-- MSNBC "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann September 5, 2006, on Bush's speech earlier that day that attempted to confound Osama with Lenin and Hitler, as well as linking the occupation of Iraq to the Cold War and WWII


"The problem is we get oil from some parts of the world and they simply don't like us. And so the more dependent we are on that type of energy, the less likely it will be that we are able to compete, and so people have good, high-paying jobs"

-- President Bush, terrorist of subject, predicate, and verb agreement. September 4, 2006 Labor Day speech


"Somebody walked up and said, 'You corrupt bastards,' and that name stuck"

-- Alaska House Finance Co-Chairman Mike Chenault, one of 11 Alaskan Republicans linked to large campaign contributions from an oil field services company. The warrant for the FBI raid of offices for the company and several of the legislators specifically mentioned they were looking for "any physical garments (including hats)" including the names 'CBC,' 'Corrupt Bastards Club,' or 'Corrupt Bastards Caucus.' AP, September 1, 2006


"The security of the civilized world depends on victory in the war on terror, and that depends on victory in Iraq"

-- President Bush, implying that Cheney and Rumsfeld are understating the conflict by insisting that the Iraq war is merely about fighting against "fascism." August 31, 2006, and repeated in his weekly radio address Sept. 2


"It's sort of a one step forward, two steps back"

-- Dan Senor, former senior advisor to the Iraq Coalition Provisional Authority and spokesman for Presidential Envoy Paul Bremer on The O'Reilly Factor, August 31, 2006. "If we withdraw right now, we have some 140,000 troops in Iraq right now, just take that engagement alone, and if we withdraw it would be the single largest engagement that was withdrawn immediately or according to a timetable in American military history. And imagine the signal that would send to the war. It's an important moment"


"Had he or his president perhaps proven any of their prior claims of omniscience -- about Osama Bin Laden's plans five years ago, about Saddam Hussein's weapons four years ago, about Hurricane Katrina's impact one year ago -- we all might be able to swallow hard, and accept their 'omniscience' as a bearable, even useful recipe, of fact, plus ego. But, to date, this government has proved little besides its own arrogance, and its own hubris"

-- MSNBC "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann August 30, 2006, on Rumsfeld's comparisons of the Terror War to the buildup of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and charging critics of the Bush White House are ignoring "history's lessons." Olbermann continued, "The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack. Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet"


"Only by adopting the techniques of the big lie can the vice president make his case that those opposed to the Iraqi war fail to understand the importance of a firm response to terrorists"

-- Rep. Barney Frank (D - Mass) editorial in the Boston Globe, August 30, 2006. "The fact that the Bush-Cheney claims that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks have been totally repudiated does not stop the administration and its allies from equating willingness to combat terror with support for the war in Iraq"


"The key thing for me is to keep expectations low"

-- President Bush slipping out a little secret after becoming flustered over questions from Brian Williams/NBC about the books he was reading this summer. Williams noted that instead of recent lightweight fare such as a biography of Joe DiMaggio, the president was now reading Albert Camus' existentialist novel, "The Stranger." Bush explained that he had a very "ecelectic" [sic] reading list that also included "three Shakespeares." August 29, 2006


"He's much more a normal person than his public persona"

-- Stephen Hayes, authorized biographer of Dick Cheney. Hayes, who writes for the neo-con magazine Weekly Standard and author of several discredited op/eds attempting to link al-Qaeda with Saddam, also told U.S. News & World Report August 28, 2006 that Cheney is a strong advocate for the "softer side of the Bush doctrine, advocacy of democracy"


"I'd love to be Santa Claus. I'm not"

-- Defense Secretary Rumsfeld making no promises to wives and other family members of the 172nd Stryker Brigade that the soldiers will be home by Christmas. The Alaska-based forces just compled a year's duty in Mosul and were immediately ordered to Baghdad for at least four months of patrol duty. Rumsfeld told AP, August 26, 2006, that he didn't understand why the families were upset by his refusal to say when their loved ones might return home. "I'm not going to get into the promises business. That isn't my style...these people are all volunteers. They all signed up. They all are there doing what they're doing because they want to do it. They're proud of what they do. They do it very, very well"


"Violence has decreased and our security ability is increasing. We are not in civil war and will never be in civil war. What you see is an atmosphere of reconciliation"

-- Iraq Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, CNN, August 27, 2006. The same day at least 60 Iraqis were reconciled to death by gunmen, roadside bombs, snipers, and suicide bombers


"Donald Rumsfeld is still at the helm of the Department of Defense, which is absolutely outrageous. He served up our great military a huge bowl of chicken feces, and ever since then, our military and our country have been trying to turn this bowl into chicken salad. And it's not working"

-- General John Batiste (Ret), former commander of the First Infantry division in Iraq. MSNBC Harball, August 25, 2006


"You guys in New York can't get a hole in the ground fixed and it's five years later. So let's be fair"

-- New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin after CBS reporter Byron Pitts pointed out unrepaired damage from Hurricane Katrina. August 24, 2006


"[Bush is] a funny, earthy guy who, for example, can't get enough of fart jokes. He's also known to cut a few for laughs, especially when greeting new young aides"

-- U.S. News & World columnist Paul Bedard, August 20, 2006

"I will swear to uphold the honor and the dignity of the office to which you elect me, so help me God"

-- George W. Bush stump speech campaign pledge, 2000


"We thought it was just a little ball"

-- Hassan, a 10 year-old girl in the intensive care ward at a hospital in Tyre, Lebanon, because her abdomen was blown open by an Israeli cluster bomb. "We're finding them in orange plantations, on streets, in cars, near hospitals -- pretty much everywhere," Chris Clark of the UN Mine Action Coordination Centre in Tyre told the Guardian/UK, August 21, 2006. Clark said 210 bombs were found around the town hospital in Tibin. "That's about as inappropriate [a use of cluster bombs] as you can get"


"Stuff happens, mission accomplished, last throes, a few dead-enders. I'm just more familiar with those statements than anyone else because it grieves me so much that we had not told the American people how tough and difficult this task would be"

-- Senator John McCain press conference, August 22, 2006. "Americans feel [frustration] today because they were led to believe this could be some kind of day at the beach"


"We're not leaving [Iraq] so long as I'm the president"

-- President Bush press conference, August 21, 2006


"Both sides believe that a balance of terror has been established. They have demonstrated to each other that they can inflict pain on each other, and neither can get rid of the other"

-- U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad on the balance of terror between Shiites and Sunnis. Khalilzad also told CBS News, August 20, 2006, that the Iraqi government has "another three or four months" to stop the sectarian violence. On June 1, Khalilzad told USA TODAY that Iraq had 3-6 months to stabilize the country or it faced collapse


"Fixing weapons has turned into a thriving business these days, thanks to the bad security situation"

-- Karem al-Faham, a neighborhood gunsmith in Najaf, who says he has a steady stream of customers seeking to get every weapon they have in working order. "Some weapons are just called 'English' because they were used to fight the British troops during the 1920 Revolution," Faham told AFP, August 18, 2006


"We must first note that the Office of the Chief Executive has itself been created, with its powers, by the Constitution. There are no hereditary Kings in America and no power not created by the Constitution. So all 'inherent power' must derive from that Constitution"

-- U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, ruling the NSA warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional. August 17, 2006


"They seem to be anxious to tie it to al Qaeda. ... If that's true, how come we got seven times as many troops in Iraq as in Afghanistan?"

-- President Bill Clinton on Bush White House efforts to politicize the terror threat. "Why have we imperiled President [Hamid] Karzai's rule and allowed the Taliban to come back into the southern part of Afghanistan? Why was Iraq deemed to be seven times more important than finding the al Qaeda leaders for the last five years?" August 16, 2006


"The big complaint now in the intelligence community is that all of the important stuff is being sent directly to the top -- at the insistence of the White House -- and not being analyzed at all, or scarcely. It's an awful policy and violates all of the NSA's strictures, and if you complain about it you're out"

-- A Pentagon consultant explaining to Seymour Hersh at The New Yorker, August 14, 2006, that the White House is grabbing raw data about Hezbollah and Iran in exactly the same way as it mishanded intellegence about Iraq in 2002 and early 2003. "Cheney had a strong hand in this"


"We told Israel, 'Look, if you guys have to go, we're behind you all the way. But we think it should be sooner rather than later -- the longer you wait, the less time we have to evaluate and plan for Iran before Bush gets out of office'"

-- A former intelligence officer to Seymour Hersh at The New Yorker, August 14, 2006. Cheney's point, the source also said, was "What if the Israelis execute their part of this first, and it's really successful? It'd be great. We can learn what to do in Iran by watching what the Israelis do in Lebanon"


"If the most dominant military force in the region -- the Israel Defense Forces -- can't pacify a country like Lebanon, with a population of four million, you should think carefully about taking that template to Iran, with strategic depth and a population of seventy million"

-- Richard Armitage, Deputy Secretary of State in Bush's first term, to Seymour Hersh at The New Yorker, August 14, 2006. "The only thing that the bombing has achieved so far is to unite the population against the Israelis"


"I marvel at their ability to get away with it. I have to grudgingly admit to some envy. I admire their chutzpah"

-- Lanny Davis, White House special counsel for Clinton on White House barring the press from Bush's frequent fundraisers, which in turn has led to media organizations cutting back on the number of reporters covering the President. "Go back 20 or 25 years and say we're at war and the president is traveling around the country and there are only, what, three people with him?" Joe Lockhart, Clinton's White House press secretary told the Washington Post, August 12, 2006. "That would have been unthinkable"


"I don't take anything he says seriously anymore. I think that he has been a very counterproductive, even destructive, force in our country"

-- Senator Hillary Clinton on comments by President Cheney, who said Aug. 9 that Lieberman's defeat was "disturbing" because "al Qaeda types [hope] they can break the will of the American people in terms of our ability to stay in the fight and complete the task." Clinton quote WNYC, August 11, 2006


"This shows what blind loyalty to George Bush and being his love child means"

-- Representative Rahm Emanuel (D - Illinois) leader of the Democratic House Congressional campaign, on the defeat of Joe Lieberman to anti-war candidate Ned Lamont in the Connecticut primary. "This is not about the war. It's blind loyalty to Bush," he told the NY Times, August 9, 2006


"It seems fairly clear that the Pentagon brass has decided the only way they can succeed with the Army museum is to make a museum wrapped in an amusement park"

-- Fairfax (Virginia) County Supervisor T. Dana Kauffman on plans to help underwrite the cost of the $300 million museum by allowing a private developer to build a military theme park next door. The proposal from a Florida developer would include bars like the "1st Division Lounge" and several "4D" rides: "You can command the latest M-1 tank, feel the rush of a paratrooper freefall, fly a Cobra Gunship or defend your B-17 as a waist gunner." Washington Post, August 8, 2006


"If the Democrats can't stand up to all the mistakes that Bush has made here, we're not much of a party"

-- Senator Russ Feingold (D - Wisconsin) to Newsweek, August 7, 2006. "It was an enormous failure of the Democratic Party to not stand up to George Bush when he was dead wrong. Without this voice being given in Connecticut and other places, we are going to suffocate our own base. And our base will turn away from us. We could end up with a third party pretty soon"


"I'm flabbergasted -- This finding just has to cause despair among those of us who hope for an informed public able to draw reasonable conclusions based on evidence"

-- Media critic Michael Massing on a new poll that shows half of Americans now believe Saddam had WMDs in 2003, up from 36 percent last year. Pollster David Krane said the increase may be linked to people feeling a need to justify the war. "As perception grows of worsening conditions in Iraq, it may be that Americans are just hoping for more of a solid basis for being in Iraq to begin with," he also told AP, August 7, 2006 (MORE)


"If we have such good information in Lebanon, how come we still don't know the hideout of missiles and launchers?... If we don't know the location of their weapons, why should we know which house is a Hezbollah house?"

-- A "well-connected Israeli expert" on anger within Israel over their army's inability to stop Hezbollah retaliation. Israel's chief of staff, Major-General Dan Halutz, had vowed to wipe out Hezbollah's missile threat within 10 days. Observer/UK, August 6, 2006


"It doesn't say my new address, but I do live here now. My name is Cindy and Bush killed my son"

-- Cindy Sheehan, newest resident of Crawford, Texas, showing ID to a Secret Service agent. Sheehan was trying to pass a roadblock to visit a neighbor. August 6, 2006


"We were told that everybody on this island was hostile. They were known al Qaeda insurgents, and we're going to kill all military-age males"

-- Pfc. Corey Clagett, one of four U.S. soldiers under investigation for killing three Iraqi suspects on Thar Thar Lake island near Tikrit on May 9. The prosecutor charges that the men were released from their bonds, then shot dead as they tried to flee. "They cut them loose and murdered them in cold blood"


"How incompetent, how ignorant, how worthless is an adult that can't earn more than the minimum wage? You have to really, really, really be a pretty pathetic human being to not be able to earn more than the human wage. Uh -- human, the minimum wage"

-- Hate radio talkshow host Neal Boortz, August 3, 2006


"I have never painted a rosy picture. I have been very measured in my words, and you'd have a dickens of a time trying to find instances where I have been excessively optimistic. I understand this is tough stuff"

-- Defense Secretary Rumsfeld testimony on the Iraq situation before the Senate Armed Services Committee, August 3, 2006. Rumsfeld was answering a question from Committee member Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who later released a dozen examples of false optimism, and called for him to resign


"How the hell did this flaming left-winger pull this off? It's not like my position on the issues have changed."

-- Pennsylvania Green candidate Carl Romanelli, whose campaign is funded entirely by GOP money, according to TPMmuckraker.com. Asked if supporters of incumbent Sen. Rick Santorum might be using him to lure votes away from the Democratic challenger, Romanelli said, "I respect the fact that people on the complete opposite side of an issue could respect my point of view." August 3, 2006


"There is a danger in a policy in which there is no daylight whatsoever between the government of Israel and the government of the United States. Bush One and James Baker would never have allowed that to happen"

-- Aaron David Miller, an Arab-Israeli negotiator for both Bush administrations. New York Times, August 2, 2006


"It's really a proxy war between the United States and Iran. When viewed in that context, it puts everything in a different light"

-- David J. Rothkopf, a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on the Israel- Lebanon conflict. Washington Post, July 31, 2006


"An opportunity? Lord, spare me. I don't laugh a lot. That's the funniest thing I've heard in a long time. If this is an opportunity, what's Iraq? A once-in-a-lifetime chance?"

-- Richard Haass, former Bush State Department policy planning director and now leader of the Council on Foreign Relations. In his July 29 radio address, Bush called Israel's assault on Lebanon "a moment of opportunity for broader change in the region." Washington Post, July 31, 2006


"They're not allowed to ask for more troops. If you say something you're gone, you're relieved, you're not in the Army anymore"

-- A U.S. defense official in Iraq on news that 3,700 U.S. soldiers are being sent to Baghdad from from Kuwait and other assignments in Iraq. The official, who spoke to McClatchy Newspapers, July 30, 2006 on the condition of anonymity, said Rumsfeld's reluctance to increase U.S. deployments in Iraq or the overall size of the Army has resulted in a doomed strategy of reaction to the latest outbreaks of violence instead of operations that would shut down an area, piece by piece, and establish long-term security


"Anywhere else in the world, throwing a few million dollars in the back of a Mazda and driving from the Central Bank is crazy"

-- Hussein al-Uzri, president and chairman of the Trade Bank of Iraq, explaining that banks are transporting cash using ordinary cars instead of armored cars to attract less attention. NY Times, July 28, 2006


"These places are not villages. They are military bases in which Hezbollah people are hiding and from which they are operating"

-- Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon, justifying the bombing of Lebanon villages before ground forces enter. At least 434 people, most of them civilians, have been killed by Israeli operations in Lebanon, and the following day an airstrike demolished a home in Nabatiyeh, killing a mother and her five children. AP, July 27, 2006


"I've got an 'R' here, a scarlet letter... If this race is about Republicans and Democrats, I lose"

-- Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, the GOP candidate for Senate for that state. Steele also told the Washington Post July 25, 2006, that he was agitated by Bush's unwillingness to admit failure. "I don't know why the people around him don't see that," he said. "It is a frustration, to say the least. I think it is a lost opportunity to bring the American people along on a mission that is incredibly important"


"I am just waiting in a queue to die"

-- Ahmed, a Baghdad resident who had two relatives kidnapped last year and are now presumed dead. His sister-in-law was killed a few months later when militia members shot her several times in the head at home, and his wife recently narrowly escaped death when an IED exploded as a police patrol drove past their house, leaving her with servere injuries. Ahmed told Reuters, July 24, 2006, that he now receives text messages from someone who threatens to kill him if he doesn't join a militant group


"It is horrific. I did not know it was block after block of houses. It makes it a violation of humanitarian law"

-- UN emergency relief coordinator Jan Egeland on viewing the destruction of Israel's bombing of Beirut. "It's bigger, it's more extensive than I even could imagine," he told Reuters, July 23, 2006


"It kind of reminds [me of] the Third Reich, the big lie. You say something over and over and over and over again, and people will believe it, and that's their strategy"

-- Senator Jim Inhofe (R - Oklahoma), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, refuting the existence of global warming. "I know the text, and I know they are using old stuff that has been totally discredited," Inhofe told the Tulsa World, July 22, 2006. "Everything on which they based their story, in terms of the facts, has been refuted scientifically"


"There will be no legacy for Mr. Bush...If you had a European prime minister who experienced what we've experienced it would be expected that he would retire or resign"

-- Conservative movement godfather William F. Buckley, CBS News, July 22, 2006


"He thinks he is playing in a longer-term game than the tacticians"

-- A former senior Bush administration official on the president ignoring pressure from the UN and Europe to call for a cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah. Washington Post, July 21, 2006


"Is this the price we pay for aspiring to build our democratic institutions? Is this the message to send to the country of diversity, freedom and tolerance? Only last year, the Lebanese filled the streets with hope and with red, green and white banners shouting out: Lebanon deserves life! What kind of life is being offered to us now? I will tell you what kind: a life of destruction, despair, displacement, dispossession, and death. What kind of future can stem from the rubble? A future of fear, frustration, despair, financial ruin and fanaticism"

-- Lebanon Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, quoted in the Lebanon Daily Star, July 20, 2006


"It sends a clear message to every Arab reformer and every Arab politician who's thinking of allying with the United States and going out on a limb in order to push reform. And that message is: Don't count on the United States. They don't really mean democracy. What they really mean is 'I want you to go and hunt terrorist for me. And if you don't hunt those terrorists for me, I'm going to bomb you'"

-- Syria expert and professor Joshua Landis/Oklahoma University on damage done to Bush foreign policy by Israel's unrestrained assault on Lebanon. In March, 2005, Bush praised Lebanon as a beacon of democracy and freedom in the Middle East, promising, "The American people are on your side." Nieman Watchdog Project, July 19, 2006


"I'm going to let myself know what I think a little bit later"

-- National security adviser Steve Hadley, asked for comments on Putin's remark that Russia "will not participate in any crusades, in any holy alliances." Hadley and Putin spoke at separate July 15, 2006 press conferences at the G8 summit


"Personally, I could care less that a grown man used a swear word when speaking to another grown man. I'm more disturbed that the President used 'irony' to describe what seemed to be an entirely unironic situation. Have we learned nothing from Alanis Morrisette? "

-- Time TV critic and blogger James Poniewozik on Bush comments to Blair captured by an open microphone at the G8 summit luncheon, July 17, 2006: "See, the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit, and it's over."


"We certainly would not want to have the same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq, I will tell you quite honestly"

-- President Vladimir Putin's comeback to Bush at July 15, 2006 press conference, after Bush spoke about his "desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world like Iraq where there's a free press and free religion... a lot of people in our country would hope that Russia would do the same thing"


"I also say we need to do a few other things on top of that wall, and one of them being to put a little bit of wire on top here to provide a disincentive for people to climb over the top. We could also electrify this wire with the kind of current that would not kill somebody, but it would be a discouragement for them to be fooling around with it. We do that with livestock all the time"

-- Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), showing on the House floor a model he designed for a new fence along the Mexican border. King spokeswoman Summer Johnson told The Hill July 13, 2006 that her boss didn't mean to compare immigrants to livestock, just border fences to Iowa farm fences


"It took me about, you know, a second and a half to realize that, obviously, there was massive corruption going on, because the numbers just didn't add up"

-- U.S. Comptroller General David Walker, telling the House Government Reform subcommittee "a lot of theft going on" in Iraq's oil industry, July 11, 2006. Walker said 40% of the combined domestic and imported refined oil is being stolen


"The President is always right"

-- Steven Bradbury, head of the Justice Department's office of legal counsel, to the Senate Judiciary Committee, July 11, 2006. Bradbury was asked whether Bush's position on military tribunals for Guantanamo prisoners was right or wrong. The recent Supreme Court Hamdan decision specifically ruled that Bush was wrong (MORE)


"I am out in the middle of nowhere. We are nothing but a bunch of Amish buggies and tractors out here"

-- Brian Lehman, owner of "Amish Country Popcorn," on learning that his 5-employee company was on a Department of Homeland Security list of "critical infrastructure and key resources" that could be potential terrorism targets. Also among the more than 77 thousand entries were Nix's Check Cashing, Old MacDonald's petting zoo, Bourbon Festival, and a Mule Day Parade. New York Times, July 11, 2006


"We are a society built on blood feud. For every Shiite killed there will be a Sunni killed -- and vice versa"

-- An unnamed official from one of the main Shiite political groups in Iraq. Reuters, July 10, 2006


"We need to realize that we could actually fail here. Think of the psychological victory for Bin Laden and his ilk if we failed and the Taliban came back"

-- Lieutenant-General David Richards, British commander of the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Afghanistan. London Sunday Times, July 9, 2006


"One of the things that really slowed down the western response to Sunni extremists, but al-Qaeda specifically, is that when intelligence agents looked at a group made up of Yemenis, Egyptians, Saudis, Algerians and converts, the natural response was to say, 'That is not going to last 10 minutes. They can't get along together'"

-- Michael Scheuer, who once led the now-closed CIA's unit that hunted for bin Laden. " It took a long time for people to realize we were seeing an animal of a very unique nature. We haven't even begun to understand where our enemy is coming from." Guardian/UK, July 8, 2006


"The U.S. Congress simply should not have to play Twenty Questions to get the information that it deserves under our Constitution"

-- Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Michigan), House Intelligence Committee chairman in a May 18 letter to president Bush. The letter, reported in the New York Times July 9, 2006, complains that the White House has not even told the Committee about all secret operations. "If these allegations are true, they may represent a breach of responsibility by the administration, a violation of the law, and, just as importantly, a direct affront to me and the members of this committee who have so ardently supported efforts to collect information on our enemies"


"Every 'Mohammed' is a terrorist now?"

-- Qadir Khan, who told AP, July 6, 2006, that Western Union blocked his attempt to wire money to his brother Mohammed in Pakistan. Western Union routinely delays or blocks transfers to names that appear on a Treasury Dept. blacklist. "Just because Ahmed is a common name on their list, everyone with that name is suddenly stuck," says Corey Saylor, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations


"They don't want to make a big deal again about neo-Nazis in the military because then parents who are already worried about their kids signing up and dying in Iraq are going to be even more reluctant about their kids enlisting if they feel they'll be exposed to gangs and white supremacists"

-- Scott Barfield, a Defense Department gang investigator in a July 7, 2006 report from the Southern Poverty Law Center. "Recruiters are knowingly allowing neo-Nazis and white supremacists to join the armed forces, and commanders don't remove them from the military even after we positively identify them as extremists or gang members."


"If we bomb Iran, they cannot retaliate militarily by air, only on the ground or by sea ... What if 100,000 Iranian volunteers came across the [Iraq] border?"

-- William Nash, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and Army Major General (ret.) "Their first possible response would be to send forces into Iraq. And, since the Iraqi Army has limited capacity, it means that the coalition forces would have to engage them." New Yorker issue of July 10, 2006


"My loyalty to the Democratic Party goes back a lot further than his. Ned Lamont is less about his party than himself and his point of view"

-- Ultra-Democrat Sen. Joe Lieberman, who is currently gathering signatures to run as an independent if Connecticut Democrats pick challeger Lamont in the August primary. Danbury News Times, July 5, 2006


"I don't think U.S. intelligence really has a clue where Bin Laden is... the analogy I use, is when you search your entire house for your car keys, maybe the car keys are in the car. When you search Pakistan high and low and you can't find him, maybe that's because he's not there"

-- Former Bush terrorist advisor Richard Clarke on NPR Morning Edition, July 3, 2006. Clarke says he believes bin Laden may be in ex-Soviet Central Asia, Somalia, or Iran


"Well, if you define the word 'smart' in an antiseptic and clinical way that excludes any ethical dimension, then, yeah, I guess it was smart"

-- Al Gore, asked in the July 13, 2006 issue of Rolling Stone if he thought Bush's 2000 campaign pledge to limit CO2 emissions was a smart strategic move. "[His] statement on global warming, and the specific pledge to reduce CO2 emissions with the force of law, was part of a larger pattern. He was completely fraudulent from head to toe"


"It is a rebuke for the process. It's a return to our fundamental values. And that return marks a high water point in American history. It means that we can't be scared out of who we are. And that's victory, folks"

-- Lieutenant Commander Charles Swift, the military attorney for Gitmo prisoner Salim Ahmed Hamdan. The Supreme Court ruled June 29 that Bush cannot ignore U.S. law and the Geneva Conventions by holding war crimes trials for Hamdan and the others. Quote from CNN Live, June 29, 2006 (MORE)


"At first, the dominant presence of the U.S. military -- with its towering vehicles rumbling through Baghdad's streets and its soldiers like giants with their vests and helmets and weapons -- seemed overwhelming. The Occupation could be felt at all times. Now in Baghdad, you can go days without seeing American soldiers. Instead, it feels as if Iraqis are occupying Iraq, their masked militiamen blasting through traffic in anonymous security vehicles, shooting into the air, angrily shouting orders on loudspeakers, pointing their Kalashnikovs at passersby. Today, the Americans are just one more militia lost in the anarchy"

-- Nir Rosen, a fellow at the New America Foundation and author of "In the Belly of the Green Bird: The Triumph of the Martyrs in Iraq." Washington Post, May 28, 2006


"I am not suggesting that every progressive suddenly latch on to religious terminology. Nothing is more transparent than inauthentic expressions of faith by politicians who come and they're clapping kind of off-rhythm to the choir. We don't need that"

-- Senator Barack Obama (D - Illinois) at a June 28, 2006 address to Sojourners magazine's Call to Renewal conference in Washington. "[But] ...If we don't reach out to evangelical Christians and other religious Americans and tell them what we stand for, the Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons and Alan Keyes's views will continue to hold sway"


"Fuck, I'm stunned"

-- Margaret Beckett to Tony Blair, after he told her that she would replace Jack Straw as the UK's foreign secretary. Guardian/UK, June 28, 2006


"Bush the Elder wept as he talked, with Paula Zahn, about what it was to send men to war. Bush the Younger would breastfeed the military if he could. Hillary is like someone who would know she should be moved but wouldn't be"

-- Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, exhibiting her uncanny skills as a psychic and mind reader. "[Senator Hillary Clinton] seems like someone who might calculatedly go to war, or not, based on how she wanted to be perceived and look and do. She does not seem like someone who would anguish and weep over sending men into harm's way." WSJ, June 29, 2006


"Well, you kind of had to be there"

-- Ann Coulter, forgiving herself for twice calling Iranians "ragheads" in a February speech to the Conservative Action Political Conference. Coulter also told the NY Observer July 3, 2006 issue, "I don't think I've said anything offensive"


"Thank you for your opinion. But I was hoping this would be an interview of me rather than an interview of you"

-- Senator Carl Levin (D - Michigan) to Fox & Friends anchor Brian Kilmeade, June 27, 2006. Kilmeade hectored Senator Levin after he asked if Republicans would call General Casey "Cut-and-Run George" for saying there will be substantial Iraq troop reductions later this year. Kilmeade cut short the interview saying, "Well, you know what, I did interview you. I listened to you talk. I watched you read," before the segment ended with Kilmeade shaking his head and muttering


"Here's a man who is a sitting U.S. senator, who has been a candidate for vice-president. He ran for president. And he's behaving like some lowlife"

-- Political consultant Tom D'Amore on Senator Joe Lieberman's attacks against Democratic primary challenger Ned Lamont. Lieberman, whose lead in the polls has dropped to 9 percent, is using attack ads on TV and in glossy direct-mail flyers. "It's just amazing. This is, pardon, the pun, really Bush-league policy," said D'Amore, who has worked for Lamont. New Haven Independent, June 26, 2006


"I don't think he kissed me, he leaned over and gave me a hug and said 'thank you for being a patriotic American'"

-- Sen. Joe Lieberman (D - Connecticut), denying that Bush gave him a peck on the cheek following the 2005 State of the Union address. The kiss has become a reelection campaign issue as a symbol of Lieberman's support for the President. "I didn't kiss him back," he also told a group of Democrats. TIME, June 25, 2006


"No, I don't want to respond to him. He's at 20 percent in the polls. No one listens to him. He has no credibility. It's ridiculous"

-- Senator Joseph Biden (D - Delaware), asked by Wolf Blitzer if he'd like to respond to a recent comment from Cheney that, "The worst possible thing we could do is what the Democrats are suggesting...packing it in, going home, persuading and convincing and validating the theory that the Americans don't have the stomach for this fight." CNN Late Edition, June 25, 2006


"The worst thing we could possibly do is what Vice President Cheney and President Bush did, which was take us into an unnecessary war that had nothing to do with 9/11 on false pretenses. They have done the worst thing that's ever been done in this regard. The question is, do we just keep making the same mistake over and over again? Do we just stay in Iraq so that Cheney and Bush can say that, that they were right?"

-- Senator Russell Feingold (D - Wisconsin) commenting on the same quote from Cheney. Meet the Press, June 25, 2006


"We're not blindly united like the other side is, where they are like the three monkeys -- 'hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.' They're not going to say anything negative about the president, the vice president, the secretary of defense or anybody else. I think that's irresponsible. It's negligent"

-- Senator Hillary Clinton, Washington Post, June 24, 2006


"Unlike me, [Senator John Kerry] is a combat veteran, so he gets some props. But in the last 35 years, I've seen a hell of a lot more combat than John Kerry"

-- Geraldo Rivera on The O'Reilly Factor, June 22, 2006. Rivera also said the U.S. has to "stay the course" in Iraq, and Kerry's amendment to redeploy U.S. troops from Iraq by July 2007 "only aids and abets the enemy, and the Democrats are at their own self-destructive behavior once again"


"It can't get out. He's Christian Coalition. It wouldn't look good if they're receiving money from a casino-operating tribe to oppose gaming. It would be kind of like hypocritical"

-- William Worfel, former vice-chairman of the Lousiana Coushatta tribe, on directions given to them concerning Ralph Reed. The tribe was told by Jack Abramoff to work with the former Christian Coalition Executive Director to financially support evangelical conservatives, even though the groups were opposed to gaming expansion. Final report on the tribal lobbying investigation for the Committee for Indian Affairs, June 22, 2006


"The British used to make a big deal of walking around in their berets in the south [of Iraq]. Now they won't even go to the latrines without their helmets"

-- Former U.S. deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage in an interview with The Australian, June 21, 2006. "The south has got much rougher, it's mainly Shia on Shia violence"


"If you want your taxes low, keep Denny Hastert and Bill Frist as leaders of the House and the Senate... I want to thank you for helping make sure that Denny Hastert and Bill Frist remain in their positions in the Senate and the House"

-- President Bush at the June 19, 2006 "President's Dinner" GOP fundraiser. Senator Bill Frist is retiring at the end of this year


"He's sitting in his air-conditioned office on his big, fat backside saying, 'Stay the course.' That's not a plan"

-- Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania) on Karl Rove's repeated "cut and run" swipe against Democrats. "Meet the Press," June 18, 2006


"People have a right to make a living, but working virtually immediately for a company that is bidding for work in an area where you were just setting the policy -- that is too close. It is almost incestuous"

-- Clark Kent Ervin, former inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, observing that 2 out of 3 of the department's former senior executives are now working for domestic security companies that collectively do billions of dollars' worth of business. New York Times, June 18, 2006


"I don't think this way of doing politics and making policy is good for America. We've got to find ways to get back to evidence-based politics"

-- Bill Clinton at the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies convention, June 17, 2006. Clinton also said "ultra-conservative, white Southerners" have "demonized" those who disagree with them, and that he sincerely believes Bush has "an intuitive intelligence"


"[The Internet] has proven to be a tool on our side to sort of unite Conservatives and have a healthy intra-movement dialogue... the Internet for the Left of the Democratic Party has served as a way to mobilize hate and anger"

-- Karl Rove, June 16, 2006 interview, VictoryNH.com


"There probably are not 72 virgins in the hell he's at. And if there are, they probably all look like Helen Thomas"

-- Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), drawing laughter and applause for his comments on the death of Zarqawi at a Des Moines GOP rally for presidential hopefuls. King also said that he prayed that Supreme Court Justice Stevens and Justice Ginsberg fall madly in love and elope to Cuba so Bush can appoint two more Justices like Alito and Roberts. Radio Iowa, June 17, 2006


"They did not anticipate how powerful the Iraqi security forces are"

-- Iraq national security adviser Mowaffaq al-Rubaie, telling a June 15, 2006 press conference that Zarqawi's death was the "beginning of the end" for al-Qaeda in Iraq. The Pentagon stopped releasing estimates on the number of Iraqi security forces capable of fighting without U.S. support after a February estimate found that not a single battalions was ready to fight rebel forces on their own. A spokeswoman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force Maj. Almarah Belk, told Hearst newspapers June 12, 2006 that the Pentagon has classified the report to prevent "letting the enemy know exactly what the Iraqi security forces' capabilities are"


"It's kind of ironic that just about every phrase Stewie from Family Guy uses to describe Lois could easily be applied to Ann Coulter"

-- Conservative RedState.org blogger Mike Krempasky, quoted by Editor & Publisher, June 15, 2006. Krempasky was commenting on a recent Coulter statement that ex-war hero Rep. John Murtha was "the reason soldiers invented 'fragging.'"


"You know, it's a number, and every time there's one of these 500-benchmarks, people want something"

-- White House Press Secretary Tony Snow on the 2,500th U.S. soldier killed in Iraq. June 15, 2006


"I think -- tide turning -- see, as I remember -- I was raised in the desert, but tides kind of -- it's easy to see a tide turn -- did I say those words?"

-- President Bush, answering the question, "Is the tide turning in Iraq?" at a June 14, 2006 press conference. Six days earlier, Bush called Zarqawi's death "an opportunity for Iraq's new government to turn the tide of this struggle." Until Bush was sent to an East Coast boarding school, he was raised in the city of Houston and upscale suburbs of Midland, Texas


"I cannot talk with you -- I haven't joined a party and no militia is protecting me"

-- Sajid Saad Hassan, a professor at Basra University's agriculture college, to the New York Times June 13, 2006. "It's mafia-type politics down here," Brig. James Everard, commander of the British forces in Basra, also told the Times


"Congress long ago did away with the literacy test qualification to vote. Apparently, Members of Congress acknowledge you shouldn't have to pass a test to vote for them, but they don't want you to contact them without taking a quiz"

-- Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office on the math or logic questions that must be answered before sending e-mail to some Senators and Representatives from their websites. According to the Washington Post, June 12, 2006, only about 1 out of 5 proceed and send the e-mail. To conact Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), visitors must use a pop-up menu to "select the word 4th on the list from bottom to top." One wordlist shown contained, "wefts, sensual, reassigns, incestuous, octets, roistered, humming, tediums"


"They have no regard for human life, neither ours nor their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation but an act of asymmetric warfare against us"

-- Guantanamo Bay base commander Navy Rear Adm. Harry Harris on the suicide of three prisoners who had been captive for about four years. All had joined the recent hunger strike to protest their indefinite incarceration and had been force-fed before quitting their protest, Harris told reporters at a telephone press conference, June 11, 2006


"Like too many Democrats it strikes me they are ready to give the green light to go to war, but when it gets tough, they fall back of that party's old platform of cutting and running. They may be with you for the first few bullets but they won't be there for the last tough battles"

-- Karl Rove on Senator John Kerry and Rep. John Murtha. Rove was speaking at a June 12, 2006 New Hampshire fundraiser to help pay legal bills of Republicans convicted of jamming Democratic phone lines during the 2002 U.S. Senate race in the state


"Well, 'stay the course' is 'stay and pay.' This is the thing that has worried me right along. We're spending $8 billion dollars a month, $300 million dollars a day... Whose going to pay for this down the road? Our children and grandchildren are paying for this war. And then you have the emotional strain, the people who are being hurt"

-- Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania) on Meet the Press, June 11, 2006


"A lot of people look at politics and see it as the guy who wins is the guy who unifies the most people. I would disagree. I would say the candidate who wins is the candidate who polarizes the right bloc of voters. You always want to polarize somebody"

-- Allen Raymond, who held several key posts with the Republican National Committee and is one of three political operatives who recently finished prison terms for jamming Democratic phone lines during the 2002 U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire. Boston Globe, June 10, 2006


"His ideas are still alive. People in the Middle East look at him as a model now. The black cap he wore has become a symbol and young Muslims wear it everywhere"

-- Saiel, Zarqawi's older brother and a former militant at a memorial service near the Jordanian town of Zarqa. The Guardian/UK, June 10, 2006


"We're trying not to get into too many values judgment type issues"

-- Top Army media spokesman in Iraq Maj. Joseph Todd Breasseale, on Grand Ayatollah Sistani's fatwa for Iraqi gays to be "killed in the harshest way." Breasseale added, "It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, when we're in a fledgling time like this, to go in and say, 'Here's these issues that are going to repel 80 percent of the population and this is what we want to inflict on you.'" Washington Blade, June 8, 2006


"I don't think that Zarqawi is himself responsible for the killings of hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq. I think George Bush is"

-- Michael Berg, whose son Nick was beheaded by Zarqawi in 2004. Berg also argued on Fox & Friends, June 8, 2006, that Bush authorized policies that led directly to his son's gruesome murder. "Yeah, like George Bush didn't OK the torture and death and rape of people in the Abu Ghraib prison for which my son was killed in retaliation?"


"It's the ugliness of the charge that she's making and the ugliness of the words she's using that are drawing attention to her, but it's almost like she's a figure in a circus and you say, 'Oh my God, can you believe that?'"

-- Former White House adviser David Gergen on Ann Coulter, who calls 9/11 widows millionaire "witches" and "harpies" who are "enjoying their husbands' deaths" in her new book, while further suggesting their husbands planned to divorce them. NBC News, June 7, 2006


"We're not buying it. We're going to go and watch the dog-and-pony show, [but] it's too little, too late"

-- Joe Glover, president of the Family Policy Network, telling the LA Times June 3, 2006, that Bush's recent push for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage is a "ruse." Grover also told AFP that "[Bush] thinks that he can hold one speech ... the day before the vote, which is a clear expression of weakness, and appease conservatives as if he's done something significant"


"If America cuts and runs in Iraq, who's going to tell the families that their loss was in vain?"

-- Karl Rove, quoted in the St. Petersburg Times, June 2, 2006. Current Google hits for the combination of words, "actions," "consequences," "responsibility," and "Bush administration:" about 3,870,000


"There were problems in Kilo Company with drugs, alcohol, hazing, you name it. I think it's more than possible that these guys were totally tweaked out on speed or something when they shot those civilians in Haditha"

-- The wife of a staff sergeant in the Marines battalion under suspicion in the Haditha massacre. Also reported in the June 12, 2006 issue of Newseek, the "Thundering Third" long had been given liberal rules of engagement to make sure people who looked like civilians didn't trigger hidden roadside bombs. "If you see someone with a cell phone," said one of the commanders, half-jokingly, "put a bullet in their fucking head"


"It's impossible to believe they didn't know"

-- A senior Marine general familiar with the Haditha investigation saying midlevel and senior officers knew within days that Iraqi civilians had died from gunfire, not a roadside bomb as the Marine squad reported, but the officers involved did not investigate further. "You'd have to know this thing stunk," he told the New York Times, June 3, 2006 (MORE)


"Ishaqi is just another reason why we shouldn't trust the Americans"

-- Abdullah Hussein, an engineer in Baghdad to Reuters, June 3, 2006. The Pentagon said there was no wrongdoing in the March 15 raid where 5 children, 4 women, and 2 men were bound and shot in the head, according to video and press reports from the BBC, AP, and AFP news services. The U.S position is that shots were fired from the house and a following airstrike killed an insurgent, 2 women and a child


"This is a phenomenon that has become common among many of the multinational forces. No respect for citizens, smashing civilian cars and killing on a suspicion or a hunch. It's unacceptable"

-- Iraq prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, calling the Haditha killings "a horrible crime" and saying that there is a long list of other abuses. June 1, 2006 (MORE)


"If you ask anybody in Basra, they would tell you most of the crimes committed, the assassinations, they are carried out by policemen in police cars"

-- Major General Abdul Latif Thua'Aban, head of Iraqi army's 10 division. Independent/UK, June 1, 2006 (MORE)


"One thing I don't want to hear anymore is people like Laura Ingraham spewing about us not leaving our balconies in the Green Zone to cover what's really happening in Iraq"

-- NBC News president Steve Capus after two CBS crew members were killed and a reporter seriously injured by a Baghdad IED on Memorial Day. "For people to criticize what we do is just monstrous," he told the New York Times, May 31, 2006


"If you have a renegade band of right-wing extremists who get hold of power, the whole thing goes to the right"

-- Al Gore on the shift of American politics in the Bush/Cheney era. UK/Guardian, May 31, 2006


"The premise of that 'Saturday Night Live' skit was the existence of an alternate universe and there are people who sort of voluntarily say now it feels as if we've entered an alternative universe. I would not have imagined, for example, that Americans could be routinely torturing helpless captives in the name of the American people and to continue it day after day. It's going on right now without an ongoing outrage and the demand that it stop. I would not have imagined that the government could routinely eavesdrop on tens of millions of Americans without a warrant and not have an ongoing outrage. I would not have imagined that we, the American people, would tolerate the locking up by the executive branch of American citizens without right to trial, without right to inform their families, to be held in secret, without being charged. These are offenses against the Constitution and the rule of law that I would never have imagined could take place, much less be allowed to continue after they came to light"

-- Al Gore interview on NPR's "Fresh Air," May 31, 2006


"One of the things I would do if I were President would be to sit the Shiites and the Sunnis down and say, 'Stop the bullshit'"

-- Senator John McCain at a private New York City meeting with top political donors. New York Observer, May 29, 2006 edition


"The concern is that the Administration says, 'We're going to do this,' and he does it -- even if he knows better"

-- A senior congressional staff aide on General Michael Hayden, current head of the NSA and nominee for DCIA. Former Senator Bob Kerrey and member of the 9/11 Commission also dismissed Hayden's claim that the 9/11 attacks could have been stopped if the NSA had its current wiretapping powers. "That's patently false and an indication that he's willing to politicize intelligence and use false information to help the President," Kerrey told Seymour Hersh in the May 29, 2006 edition of The New Yorker


"What the companies are doing is worse than turning over records. They're providing total access to all the data"

-- A security consultant working with a major telecommunications carrier, explaining to Seymour Hersh in the May 29, 2006 edition of The New Yorker that the NSA has access to phone conversations, not just records of which numbers were dialed. "This is not about getting a cardboard box of monthly phone bills in alphabetical order," a former senior intelligence official also told Hersh. "The NSA is getting real-time actionable intelligence"


"Gore believed in global warming almost as much as Hitler believed there was something wrong with the Jews"

-- Bill Gray, professor emeritus Colorado State University, and a leading nay-sayer of global warming. "I've been in meteorology over 50 years. I've worked damn hard, and I've been around. My feeling is some of us older guys who've been around have not been asked about this. It's sort of a baby boomer, yuppie thing." Washington Post Magazine, May 28, 2006


"I will not excuse murder, and this is what happened. This investigation should have been over two or three weeks afterward and it should have been made public and people should have been held responsible for it"

-- Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania), "This Week" on ABC-TV, May 28, 2006


"I heard Younis speaking to the Americans, saying: 'I am a friend. I am good,' but they killed him, and his wife and daughters"

-- Aws Fahmi, a Haditha resident who said he heard his neighbor, Younis Salim Khafif, plead to Marines in English for the lives of his family. Washington Post, May 27, 2006


"Saying, 'bring it on,' kinda tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal to people. I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner, you know, 'wanted dead or alive,' that kind of talk. I think in certain parts of the world it was misinterpreted. And so I learned -- I learned from that"

-- President Bush at May 25, 2006 press conference, answering a reporter's question on regret


"If [Bush] acknowledged that he made mistakes, well then that's a good thing. Better late than never, as long as they learn from it. I mean, everybody makes mistakes but these are costly ones. These are really costly ones"

-- Carol McKeever of Buffalo NY, whose son died in Iraq just weeks before he was due to return home to his wife and baby son. AP, May 26, 2006


"Hey, John, what kind of hole are you in? There's something that's really wrong with you... We'll send you psychiatric help because you really need it"

-- Rudy Giuliani taunting a caller on his radio show who complained about city cuts to aid for the disabled. The caller was attorney John Hynes who suffers from Parkinson's disease and was running out of medicine after his benefits were cut off. From the documentary "Giuliani Time" quoted by the Washington Post, May 26, 2006


"I didn't see [the meeting] as ... an exchange of ideas as much as it was an exchange of arguments"

-- Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on the May 24, 2006 meeting between Karl Rove and House Republicans on immigration policy. L.A. Times, May 25


"Quite frankly, I don't think that's really practical. Ninety days to register 12 million people. Do the math"

-- Emilio T. Gonzalez, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, on the Senate's proposed guest-worker program. Gonzalez said the government is still litigating eligibility cases from Reagan's 1986 amnesty for 3 million immigrants. Washington Times, May 22, 2006


"When [Bush] says 'God is on our side', it's very different from Lincoln saying 'We have to be on God's side'"

-- -- Former secretary of state Madeleine Albright , Reuters, May 21, 2006. "I worked for two presidents who were men of faith, and they did not make their religious views part of American policy," she said, referring to Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. "President Bush's certitude about what he believes in, and the division between good and evil, is, I think, different"


"Afghanistan is teetering on becoming a narco-state...it is not the resurgence of the Taliban but the linkage of the economy to drug production, crime, corruption and black market activities which poses the greatest danger"

-- NATO's top military commander in Europe General James Jones. Nonetheless, Jones told the International Herald Tribune, May 20, 2006, "You will not see NATO soldiers burning poppy fields. This is not our mandate"


"The attorney general got caught in a linguistic snare. He took 'national' language to mean what we describe as 'official' language"

-- White House spokeswoman Dana Perino, splitting hairs over Attorney General Gonzales' May 19, 2006 gaffe that "The president has never supported making English the national language." Confusing matters further, the Senate voted the same day to make English the 'unifying' language of the United States


"There was no firefight, there was no IED that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood"

-- Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania), telling the press May 17, 2006, that military sources have informed him that a Pentagon probe will show U.S. Marines murdered 15 unarmed Iraqi civilians last November, including seven women and a 3 year-old girl, the day after a comrade died from a roadside bomb in the area


"It used to be very hard and complicated to do this, but it no longer is in the Bush administration"

-- A senior federal official, telling ABC News bloggers Brian Ross and Richard Esposito that the FBI is seeking reporters' phone records in leak investigations, but it was wrong to say that they were "tracking" calls from journalists. "Think of it more as backtracking," the source said. "The Blotter," May 16, 2006


"It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick"

-- A senior federal law enforcement official telling reporters at ABC News that the government is tracking the phone numbers they call to expose whistleblowers. "The Blotter" ABC News blog by Brian Ross and Richard Esposito, May 15, 2006


"I'm a recovering politician. But you always have to worry about a relapse"

-- Al Gore after a May 15, 2006 Atlanta screening of "An Inconvenient Truth." Five days later he told an audience at the Cannes Film Festival, "I don't plan to be a candidate again for national office... I don't see any circumstances that would cause me to change my mind." Quotes from Atlanta Progressive News, UK/Guardian


"We're doing a heck of a job -- lot better job at getting, at getting, uh, the -- the problem of [immigrant] catch-and-release under control"

-- Karl Rove to the American Enterprise Institute, May 15, 2006, stumbling on realizing he'd just reminded the audience of the last time the administration boasted of "doing a heck of a job"


"The American people like this president. His personal approval ratings are in the 60s... they're just sour right now on the war"

-- Karl Rove to the American Enterprise Institute, May 15, 2006. Just the week before, the CBS News/New York Times poll found Bush personal approval ratings at 29%


"If you have hundreds of millions of phone calls you're trying to track a day, what do you get out of it? Remember, this is the same administration that had the information that could have stopped 9/11 from happening. They didn't translate it until September 12"

-- Senator Patrick Leahy (D - Vermont) on CNN, May 14, 2006


"To put it bluntly, we need more babies. Forget about that zero population growth stuff that my poor generation was misled on"

-- Fox News' The Big Story host John Gibson, May 11, 2006. "Half of the kids in this country under five years old are minorities. By far, the greatest number are Hispanic. You know what that means? Twenty-five years and the majority of the population is Hispanic. Why is that? Well, Hispanics are having more kids than others. Notably, the ones Hispanics call 'gabachos' -- white people -- are having fewer"


"They told (Qwest) they didn't want to do that because FISA might not agree with them"

-- Why government lawyers didn't seek warrants from the FISA court to obtain phone records of all domestic calls made by Qwest customers, according to a person involved with the negotiations between the NSA and Qwest. The NSA also rejected Qwest's suggestion of getting a letter of authorization from the U.S. attorney general's office, according to USA TODAY, May 11, 2006


"We are on our way to a major constitutional confrontation on Fourth Amendment guarantees on unreasonable search and seizure"

-- Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) on the NSA obtaining phone records of tens of millions of Americans without a warrant. "What's the big deal? Don't they watch Law & Order?" -- GOP strategist Rich Galen. Both quotes from San Francisco Chronicle, May 12, 2006


"I cannot conceive of a basis in the law for the government to do what it did"

-- Daniel Solove, a privacy law expert at George Washington University, on the NSA obtaining phone records of tens of millions of Americans without a warrant. San Francisco Chronicle, May 12, 2006


"The ultimate test [for Bush will be if he] walks away from the vice president on this"

-- Former NSA and CIA director Ret. Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, who believes Cheney is behind the Bush Administration's policy on unauthorized domestic wiretaps. Inman told a panel that Cheney, who was chief of staff to President Ford, never really agreed with the 1978 FISA restrictions established under Carter. Wired News, May 9, 2006


"We never thought that we would reach a day when we would see Shiites and Sunnis fighting"

-- Halale Ubaidi, a Shiite woman in Baghdad who married a Sunni. Both sons were kidnapped because they were raised as Sunnis, and 29 year-old Haitham was found dead five days later in a Shiite neighborhood dump. His captors had shot him 14 times, gouged one of his eyes, cut his face with a razor, smashed his skull, broken his jaw, slit his back and cut off his penis. LA Times, May 7, 2006


"This administration may be over"

-- Lance Tarrance, a chief architect of the Republicans' 1960s and '70s Southern strategy, on Bush's dismal approval ratings. Washington Post, May 7, 2006. The following day, a USATODAY/Gallup Poll reported Bush at a new low of 31/65% approval/disapproval. This -34 point gap surpasses Carter's worst of -31 points, and Bush's poor ratings are now exceeded only by Nixon's (-42 point gap) and Truman's (-43 points)


"We're losing our piñata -- and we never got any candy"

-- A White House correspondent at the going away party for Press Secretary Scott McClellan. Slate, May 5, 2006


"War is terrible. But it, war brings out, you know, in some ways it - it - it - it touches the core of Americans who volunteer to go in to combat to protect their - their souls. It touches something unique, I think about our country that there are people who in the face of danger say 'I want to help. I want to - I want to save lives. I want to, uh, serve my country.' And, um, we see that here. We've seen that throughout our nation's history. And we're seeing it here in the 21st century"

-- President Bush on CNBC, May 5, 2006


"I believe that it was the first counter-attack to World War III"

-- President Bush on the 9/11 actions of passengers on United flight 93. CNBC, May 5, 2006


"They are making a big deal out of nothing... of course he doesn't know how to use it. It's our gun"

-- Army Special Forces colonel ret. Mario Costagliola on the Pentagon's distribution of a Zarqawi outtake video showing him fumbling with an automatic weapon. Experts told the NY Times, May 6, 2006 that the M-249 is hard to use, and even U.S. soldiers need days of training to achieve the most basic competence with it. Zarqawi was also using an early model that often malfunctioned. "He doesn't look as stupid as they said he looks," Costagliola says


"Why did you lie to get us into a war that caused these kind of casualties and was not necessary?"

-- Ray McGovern, a 27-year CIA veteran analyst confronting Rumsfeld at an event in Atlanta, May 5, 2006. Rumsfeld responded: "I'm not in the intelligence business. They gave the world their honest opinion. It appears that there were not weapons of mass destruction." McGovern: "You said you knew where they were." Rumsfeld: " I did not. I said I knew where suspect sites were and --" McGovern: "You said you knew where they were [in] Tikrit, Baghdad, northeast, south, west of there. Those are your words"


"Almost every day we sent a package to the White House that had overhead imagery of the house [Abu Musab al-Zarqawi] was staying in. It was a terrorist training camp... experimenting with ricin and anthrax... any collateral damage there would have been terrorists"

--

-- Michael Scheuer, who formerly led the CIA's hunt for bin Laden, saying on an ABC-TV program May 1, 2006 that "Mr. Bush had Zarqawi in his sights almost every day for a year before the invasion of Iraq and he didn't shoot because they were wining and dining the French in an effort to get them to assist us in the invasion of Iraq"


"Yeah, we take different routes so that 'The Jackal' can't get me'"

-- Dick Cheney to a friend who noted that his motorcade took different routes every day. In Frederick Forsythe's 1971 thriller, disgruntled military officers seek to assassinate their nation's leader for mishandling the occupation of a Muslim country. Cheney quote from June issue of Vanity Fair


"I've been there before, and I can see that he is [angry] -- he's got that look that he's ready to blow"

-- A former top aide to Bush on the president's reaction to Stephen Colbert's biting humor at the White House Correspondents Association dinner. U.S.News & World Report, May 1, 2006


"The sound of enemy gunfire is nothing new to them. I'm sure in battle it's a truce -- GDs [Gangster Disciples] and P Stones are fighting a common enemy. But when they get home, forget about it"

-- Joe Sparks, a retired Chicago Police gang specialist on the concern that gang-affiliated soldiers might bring street-fighting skills from Iraq back to the U.S. Gang graffiti is appearing on walls and military equipment in Iraq, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, May 1, 2006


"Enough is enough. Rice's trip to Iraq at this critical time is just another desperate move by the Americans to try to impose themselves on our new government. But they have lost their influence"

-- Sheik Mahmoud Sudani, an Iraqi politician affiliated with Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, on the surprise Apr. 26 visit by Rice and Rumsfeld. "We didn't invite them," said Kamal Saadi, a Shiite legislator close to the new prime minister-designate, Nouri Maliki. Los Angeles Times, April 27, 2006


"There's two kinds of Iraqis here, the ones who help us and the ones who shoot us, and there's an awful lot of them doing both"

-- Staff Sgt. Jason Hoover, quoted in The Washington Post, April 29, 2006. "Is it frustrating? Yes, it's frustrating. But we can't just stop working with them"


"The invasion of Iraq hasn't only been devastating to the Iraqi people, but it has been detrimental to the rest of the world... now that Iraq has to import many petroleum products, it's a double whammy"

-- Saadallah al-Fathi, a former OPEC official who advised Iraq's oil ministry under Saddam, when the average oil production was 2.5 million barrels/day, 700,000 more than today. "Oil production was more successful under Saddam, he told AP, April 29, 2006. "There were technical problems. But they were contained. Things were improving slowly. We didn't have sabotage. We had full security in the oil fields"


"Those kids are so well trained, they were just stone faced. They didn't say anything"

-- Deborah Myers, a participant in an exercise session at a Washington DC sports club who saw the Bush daughters "cringing" as the instructor handed out a DVD of "Bushisms," some of which he impersonated for the class. "[Afterwards] I went up to him and said, 'How's it going, dude? Did you know they were in class?' He was horrified," Myers told Roll Call, April 25, 2006. Jenna's boyfriend later called the club and demanded an explanation for the offending comments


"There is no such 'pride of lions' roaming among us today. It is not entirely our fault, our jobs are harder then they were. Our corporate superiors regard our beliefs as quaint, wasteful. Our mission is more daunting than that of our predecessors. It is to save journalism. You and I know this isn't going to be easy"

-- Former LA Times Editor John Carroll on the disappearance of strong editors, such as Ben Bradlee and Gene Roberts, who could stand up to management and focus newspapers on hard news coverage. Carroll told the ASNE conference April 26, 2006 he recently saw "Does Jessica Simpson have a butt double?" as a newspaper headline. "This is a game we can't get into"


"We are in the early stages of what the Pentagon, these days, is calling 'the long war.' There is no end in sight. Our enemies are recruiting and planning and preparing all over the world and we are closing our foreign [news] bureaus down"

-- Ted Koppel speech to the Overseas Press Club, April 20, 2006. "Television news has devolved into essentially what the public would like it to be, and the public, we are told, does not much care for foreign news"


"You just got to recognize there are limits to how much corn can be used for ethanol. After all, we got to eat some. And the animals have got to eat"

-- President Bush, April 25, 2006


"Let me remind you that only 3 percent of the reactor fuel was released into [the] atmosphere 20 years ago. The rest of it still represents the most horrible explosive device undermining the safety of the whole of Europe"

-- Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oleh Shamshur, addressing a conference on Chernobyl in Washington DC, April 25, 2006 (MORE)


"Only the best residents should return"

-- HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson on the kind of former tenants from New Orleans' former St. Thomas housing complex that should be allowed into the mixed-income development that replaced it. Less than 20% of the new low-rent apartments are set aside for the previous residents, who were already being screened to make sure they were employed and didn't have criminal records. New Orleans Times-Picayune, April 24, 2006


"There stretch ahead for Bush a thousand days of his own. He might use them to start the third Bush war: the Afghan war (justified), the Iraq war (based on fantasy, deception and self-deception), the Iran war (also fantasy, deception and self-deception). There is no more dangerous thing for a democracy than a foreign policy based on presidential preventive war"

-- Historian and JFK adviser Arthur Schlesinger Jr. Washington Post, April 24, 2006


"The president has to be like Moe Howard: At some point in every Three Stooges short, Moe slaps both Curly and Larry and says, 'Get to work'"

-- Bill Whalen, a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, on the closing window of opportunity for Bush. LA Times, April 24, 2006


"I think that it will be ludicrous to limit yourself to just building a wall. We're going back to the Stone Ages here"

-- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, calling for unspecified hi-tech solutions to stop illegal immigration. "We are landing men on the moon and in outer space using all these great things. I think that other technology really can secure the borders," he said on ABC's This Week April 23, 2006


"Half of the service members listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall died after America's leaders knew our strategy would not work. It was immoral then and it would be immoral now to engage in the same delusion"

-- Senator John Kerry, calling April 22, 2006 for the Iraqis to have an "effective unity government" in place by May 15 or the face an immediate U.S. pullout. "If Iraqis aren't willing to build a unity government in the five months since the election, they're probably not willing to build one at all. The civil war will only get worse, and we will have no choice anyway but to leave"


"It's an amalgamation of a knife fight, a gun fight and three-dimensional chess -- and that assumes that the enemy plays by our rules, and he doesn't"

-- Army Col. David Gray, a brigade commander in the 101st Airborne Division, on the difficulty in keeping peace in the relatively peaceful area surrounding Kirkuk. Reuters, April 21, 2006


"Americans must be prepared for violence to continue in Iraq, even after a government is formed. There will be no Iraqi equivalent of V-E Day or V-J Day"

-- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, April 19, 2006. In Oct. 2003, Rice also told the group that Americans must be patient. "Our own history should remind us that the union of democratic principle and practice is always a work in progress," she said at the time


"The current secretary of defense is dismissive, contemptuous and arrogant. Many of us have worked for far tougher and more aggressive men, but those leaders understood leadership, the value of teamwork and that respect is a two-way street"

-- Retired Maj. Gen. John Batiste, former commander of the 1st Infantry Division, which fought in Iraq for about two years. Batiste is one of six retired generals who have publicly criticized Rumsfeld this week. AP, April 19, 2006


"He didn't worry about the culture in Iraq, he just wanted to show them the front end of an M-1 tank. He could have been in Antarctica fighting penguins. He didn't care, as long as he could send the message that you don't mess with Hopalong Cassidy. He wanted to do to Saddam in the Middle East what he did to Shinseki in the Pentagon, make him an example, say, 'I'm in charge, don't mess with me'"

-- Retired Marine general and Cobra II co-author Bernard Trainor on Rumsfeld. Quoted in the April 19, 2006 Maureen Dowd NY Times column


"I'm the decider, and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense"

-- President Bush, April 18, 2006. "I listen to all voices, but mine is the final decision, and Don Rumsfeld is doing a fine job. He's not only transforming the military, he's fighting a war on terror. He's helping us fight a war on terror. I have strong confidence in Don Rumsfeld"


"Like a colonial power, the Bush administration took Iraq's oil money, and wasted it. The Iraqis well know that. That's one reason why they're shooting at U.S. soldiers"

-- Attorney Alan Grayson, who is suing the security contractor Custer Battles, which a federal jury last month found guilty of $3 million in fraudulent billings in Iraq. Grayson says the Coalition Provisional Authority turned the country into a 'free-fraud zone' by giving U.S. contractors in Iraq immunity from prosecution. Boston Globe, April 16, 2006


"I didn't need Wilson to tell me that there wasn't a Niger connection. He didn't tell us anything we didn't already know. I never believed it"

-- Colin Powell to columnist Robert Scheer, April 12, 2006. When pressed further as to why the president played up the Iraq nuclear threat, Powell said it wasn't the president: "That was all Cheney" (MORE)


"I don't think anyone should own 17 alternative papers. And I particularly don't think a company run by people who despise activism, who are not activists and don't think of themselves journalistically as activists, who don't endorse candidates, who don't take stands on issues, who haven't even come out against the war, should be taking over the Village Voice"

-- Tim Redmond, executive editor at the San Francisco Bay Guardian, on the Voice's merger with New Times Media, a chain of weekly newspapers based in Phoenix. Soon after the takeover, James Ridgeway, the paper's Washington correspondent and one of its chief investigative reporters was fired. Democracy Now! broadcast, April 13, 2006


"Why did Flight 93 ever get off the ground? I mean, you know, it got off the ground after two other planes hit. Why didn't somebody call all these pilots and tell them to stop or close their doors? Why didn't these things happen? What is the responsibility of the airline industry?"

-- Investigative reporter James Ridgeway, author of the recent book, "The Five Unanswered Questions About 9/11." Democracy Now! broadcast, April 13, 2006


"A guy goes over and serves his country fighting for eight or nine months, and then we come home and put up with this crap?"

-- Marine Staff Sgt. Daniel Brown, who found he was on the government's secret "watch list" when he tried to board a flight after a tour of duty in Iraq. Brown believes he was red-flagged because Transportation Security Administration screeners found gunpowder residue on his boots that he had picked up during his previous stint in Iraq. Pioneer Press, April 12, 2006


"He does his homework. He works weekends. He works nights... nobody works harder than he does"

-- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace, defending boss Rumsfeld at an April 11, 2006 press conference. The following day, the fourth retired general in a month called for Rumsfeld to quit. "It speaks volumes that guys like me are speaking out from retirement about the leadership climate in the Department of Defense," Army Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who commanded the 1st Infantry Division in Iraq in 2004-2005 told CNN   (MORE)


"We will jealously guard the real phrasing the way Kleenex and Coca-Cola do. We will sue anyone who says it wrong and make lots of money"

-- Grover Norquist, who is seeking a trademark on "K Street Project" because he says Democrats, and even Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), are using the name in a negative way. The Hill, April 12, 2006


"'Leaker in chief' is something that could stick"

-- A senior GOP aide, who declined to be named for fear of angering the president in the April 17, 2006 issue of Newsweek. The term applied to Bush was coined by Rep. Jane Harman (California), the senior Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, in an Apr. 7 Washington Post story. In the following three days it appeared in over a dozen other newspaper articles and editorials, including a widely-reprinted AP report


"The most worrisome thing is that this guy has a messianic vision"

-- A senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, telling the New Yorker, April 17, 2006, that Bush has quietly briefed a few key senators and members of Congress, including at least one Democrat, on plans to attack Iran. The House member said that no one in the meetings "is really objecting" to the talk of war. "The people they're briefing are the same ones who led the charge on Iraq"


"I was shocked when I heard it, and asked myself, 'What are they smoking?'"

-- A former defense official who still deals with sensitive issues for the Bush Administration, on learning that the White House has ordered plans for "a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government." New Yorker, April 17, 2006 issue


"People think Bush has been focussed on Saddam Hussein since 9/11, [but] in my view, if you had to name one nation that was his focus all the way along, it was Iran"

-- A military planner on White House plans for a pre-emptive air strike against Iran. Another Pentagon insider quoted in the April 17, 2006 issue of the New Yorker said that Bush was "absolutely convinced that Iran is going to get the bomb" if it is not stopped, and believes "that saving Iran is going to be his legacy"


"These numbers are scary. We've lost every advantage we've ever had. The good news is Democrats don't have much of a plan. The bad news is they may not need one"

-- GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio on the April 7, 2006 AP/Ipsos poll showing the public favors Democrats over Republicans when asked which party should control Congress by a 49-33 margin. Bush had a Bush 36% approval rating, and only 30% approved of Congressional job performance


"I feel like, despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administration. And I would hope, from time to time, that you have the humility and the grace to be ashamed of yourself"

-- North Carolina resident Harry Taylor to Bush, at an April 6, 2006 town hall meeting. "I'm not your favorite guy," the president said. "What's your question?"


"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"

-- President Bush on Sept. 30, 2003, about ten weeks after he secretly authorized Scooter Libby to leak classified information from a pre-war intelligence report in order to strike back at administration critics. According to Libby's testimony released April 6, 2006, "Presidential authorization to publicly disclose a document amounted to a declassification of the document," even though the information was not made available to the public, only sympathetic NY Times reporter Judy Miller


"How can we discharge our oversight if, every time we ask a pointed question, we're told the program is classified?"

-- Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, accusing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales of "stonewalling" for refusing to answer questions about Bush administration wiretaps. April 6, 2006


"What are we doing? Just drifting day after day after day... People have been able to make mistake after mistake after mistake, and people want to come to the Senate floor and defend it as somehow justifiable"

-- Senator John Kerry on the Senate floor, April 6, 2006. Earlier Kerry's resolution for a withdrawl was attacked by Senator Wayne Allard (R-Colorado) as "not anything that we should take very seriously"


"They couldn't stand each other. They both had huge egos"

-- A former FBI agent and al Qaeda specialist on the rocky relationship between bin Laden and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Testimony at the Moussaoui trial revealed for the first time some details from interrogations of Mohammed, the architect of the 9/11 attacks. Los Angeles Times, April 5, 2006   (MORE)


"Iraqi politicians should be told that they have until May 15 to put together an effective unity government or we will immediately withdraw our military. If Iraqis aren't willing to build a unity government in the five months since the election, they're probably not willing to build one at all. The civil war will only get worse, and we will have no choice anyway but to leave"

-- Senator John Kerry op-ed in the NY Times, April 5, 2006. "So far, Iraqi leaders have responded only to deadlines -- a deadline to transfer authority to a provisional government, and a deadline to hold three elections. Now we must set another deadline to extricate our troops and get Iraq up on its own two feet"


"Nothing worse than a woman know-it-all"

-- Rep. Tom DeLay on Senator Hillary Clinton, April 4, 2006. DeLay was chatting off-camera with MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews, who told him that a focus group on possible Democratic presidential candidates called Hillary a "know-it-all," thought of Edwards as a "rich lawyer," but had good things to say about Kerry


"I was impressed with his comedy routine and ability to tap dance without music. But I was impressed with nothing else about him. He's supposed to be Mr. Straight Talk?"

-- John Wasniewski, an attendee at speech to union leaders by Sen. John McCain, who threatened to walk out over boos and catcalls. McCain told the AFL-CIO group he supported a guest worker program and not withdrawing "prematurely" from Iraq. AP, April 4, 2006.


"You know, ever since the end of the first Gulf War, there have been -- there's been planning by serious officers and planners and others, and policies put in place. Ten years worth of planning, you know, were thrown away; troop levels dismissed out of hand; General Shinseki basically insulted for speaking the truth and giving a, an honest opinion; the lack of cohesive approach to how we deal with the aftermath; the political, economic, social reconstruction of a nation, which is no small task; a belief in these exiles that anyone in the region, anyone that had any knowledge would tell you were not credible on the ground; and on and on and on. Decisions to disband the army that were not in the initial plans. I mean there's a series of disastrous mistakes. We just heard the secretary of state say these were tactical mistakes. These were not tactical mistakes. These were strategic mistakes, mistakes of policy made back here. Don't blame the troops. They're the ones that perform the tactics on the ground. They've been magnificent. If anything saves this, it will be them"

-- Retired Marine Gen. and former head of CENTCOM Zinni on Meet the Press, April 2, 2006


"To say that this threat was imminent or grave and gathering, seemed like a great exaggeration to me"

-- Retired Marine Gen. and former head of CENTCOM Zinni on the threat posed by Saddam before the invasion. "I'd be the first to say we had to assume [Saddam] had WMD left over that wasn't accounted for: artillery rounds, chemical rounds, a SCUD missile or two. But these things, over time, degrade. These things did not present operational or strategic level threats at best." Also on Meet the Press, April 2, 2006, Zinni called for Rumsfeld to resign


"Had the Senate or House, or both, censured or somehow warned Richard Nixon, the tragedy of Watergate might have been prevented. Hopefully the Senate will not sit by while even more serious abuses unfold before it"

-- John Dean, Nixon's White House counsel, at the Senate hearings to censure Bush. March 31, 2006


"The millions of young men who are prisoners around our country can pick the fruits and vegetables. I say, let the prisoners pick the fruits"

-- Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California), one of several House conservatives who denounced liberalizing immigration rules. March 30, 2006


"That's the problem in America -- we're always having elections"

-- Senator John Cornyn (R - Texas) on CNN American Morning, March 29, 2006


"No one should play on people's fears or try to pit neighbors against each other"

-- President Bush, speaking specifically on immigration March 27, 2006


"Our faith has always been in direct conflict with the values of the world"

-- Rep. Tom DeLay at the "War on Christians and the Values Voter in 2006" conference in Washington, March 29, 2006. "We are, after all, a society that provides abortion on demand, has killed millions of innocent children, degrades the institution of marriage and all but treats Christianity like some second-rate superstition. Seen from this perspective, of course there is a war on Christianity"


"If you start looking at them as humans, and stuff like that, then how are you going to kill them?"

-- Iraq war veteran Jody Casey, who joined peace marchers in New Orleans five days after leaving the military. Casey told the Guardian/UK March 29, 2006, that it was "the total disregard for human life" that bothered him most during his tour of army duty. "I have seen innocent people being killed. IEDs go off and [you] just zap any farmer that is close to you. You know, those people were out there trying to make a living, but on the other hand, you get hit by four or five of those IEDs and you get pretty tired of that, too"


"I can't defend it. It's a fuckin' disaster"

-- Deborah Howell, Washington Post ombudsman on the two-day career of conservative blogger Ben Domenech at the newspaper's web site. The 24 year-old co-founder of RedState, the leading Republican blog, resigned after he was exposed as a serial plagarist. Howell was speaking to Star Tribune reporters and editors March 24, 2006


"Iraq is a thousand times more significant than Clinton's worst scandal. Yet the pitch of the Washington war coverage doesn't approach that of the Clinton impeachment. The press corps seems weary and beaten down. Somehow, even when this president is riding low with the public, he still has a way of making the journalists who cover him seem small and powerless"

-- National Journal columnist William Powers, March 24, 2006


"You don't think that I haven't been to the U.S. military and the State Department and the embassy and asked them over and over again, let's see the good stories, show us some of the good things that are going on? Oh, sorry, we can't take to you that school project, because if you put that on TV, they're going to be attacked about, the teachers are going to be killed, the children might be victims of attack"

-- Laura Logan, chief foreign correspondent for CBS News on CNN's Reliable Sources March 26, 2006


"More Iraqis are dying from the militia violence than from the terrorists. The militias need to be under control"

-- U.S. ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad, March 25, 2006


"The government could end up being only a few buildings in the Green Zone"

-- A senior Arab minister, who asked not to be named in the March 24, 2006 article in the Independent/UK about Iraq's failure to form a government. "The fighting will only stop when a new balance of power has emerged," Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff of Massoud Barzani, the Kurdish leader, said. "Sunni and Shia will each take control of their own area," adding that sectarian cleansing was already underway


"The army will disintegrate in the first moments of the war because the soldiers are loyal to the Shia, Sunni or Kurdish communities and not to the government"

-- A senior Iraqi official on the coming "Battle for Baghdad." Also quoted in the March 24, 2006 article in the Independent/UK was Fuad Hussein, chief of staff of Kurdish leader Barzani. "Where you have 3,000 soldiers there will in fact be only 2,000 men [because of ghost soldiers who do not exist and whose salaries are taken by senior officers]," he said. "When it comes to fighting only 500 of those men will turn up."


"Mrs. Bush wanted to do something specifically for education and specifically for the thousands of students flooding into the Houston schools"

-- Jean Becker, spokesperson for former first lady Barbara Bush, who donated to the Katrina Fund with restriction that the money be spent on educational software from a company owned by her son Neil. The controversial software, which cost $10,000 per school, presents short segments on U.S. history using rap music. "[Mrs. Bush] honestly felt this would be a great way to help the [evacuee] students," Becker told the Houston Chronicle March 22, 2006


"It's strange that the former first lady would want to do this. If her son's having a rough time of it, couldn't she write him a check?"

-- Daniel Borochoff, founder of the American Institute of Philanthropy, a Chicago-based charity watchdog group. Houston Chronicle March 24, 2006


"I was taught that it's the Congress that makes the laws and the president is supposed to sign them and he's supposed to enforce them. He's not just supposed to make them up. And on this illegal wiretapping, he apparently just decided that he didn't like things the way there were, and made up his own law. I don't think we can let him get away with that"

-- Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) on "The Daily Show," March 22, 2006. "I think it's a pretty mild step to say, by resolution, Mr. President, you did the wrong thing. How about admitting it, and maybe apologizing?"


"They say only two things happen when you wrestle a pig: You get muddy and the pig enjoys it"

-- Jeff Bruce, editor of the Dayton Daily News on Bill O'Reilly, who charged that the newspaper is "friendly to child rapists" because it said due process should be followed to remove a bad judge, exactly as O'Reilly went through the courts when he was sued in 2004 by a former employee for sexual harassment. Bruce added in the March 21, 2006 article, "His producer threatened that unless we published an apology they would resort to their 'bully pulpit.' That's what they've done. This isn't about being 'soft' on child molesters. It's about Bill O'Reilly getting even"


"In 2003 and 2004, I thought the violence would pass and we would be OK. Now I feel as if this will never will end. The situation seems to be only getting worse"

-- Mohammed Hussein, a Baghdad grocer who created a no-parking zone in front of his shop with red packing cord and a couple of metal stands to keep car bombers at bay. Chicago Tribune, March 19, 2006


"The example of Tal Afar gives me confidence in our strategy"

-- President Bush, who spent considerable time at his March 20, 2006 Cleveland appearance praising military operations that restored order in the northern Iraq town. "See, if you're a resident of Tal Afar today, this is what you're going to see: You see that the terrorist who once exercised brutal control over every aspect of your city has been killed or captured, or driven out, or put on the run. You see your children going to school and playing safely in the streets." According to Tal Afar residents interviewed the same day by the Washington Post, Sunni-Shiite secular murders have increased, al-Qaeda has returned and is killing Iraqis who cooperated with the Americans, and two gangs are now active that specialize in kidnapping children. "The Tal Afar mission failed," said Yasir al-Efri, a law student at Mosul University. "The city will turn back to how it was before the battle within two months. The Americans are busy putting cement barriers and barbed wire around their bases and no one is taking care of the infrastructure"


"I flew for an hour and 15 minutes over desert. Wasn't a soul. And that's the territory I guess they're talking about"

-- Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania), on Bush's recent claim that Iraqi forces would be in control of more than half of the country by the end of the year. Meet the Press, March 19, 2006


"I think we are going to succeed in Iraq, I think the evidence is overwhelming"

-- Dick Cheney on Face the Nation, March 19, 2006. The same day three Iraqi policemen were gunned down in Latifiya and Mosul where two civilians were also killed, another policeman was killed by a Baqouba IED, eight Iraqis, including a child, were killed in crossfire in Duluiyah, two more died in crossfire in Ramadi, an Iraqi man was shot to death leaving a Shiite mosque in Baghdad, 14 executed bodies were found in Baghdad and two Iraqi soldiers were found dead in Kirkuk. Total death toll for the day: at least 33


"It is unfortunate that we are in civil war. We are losing each day as an average 50 to 60 people throughout the country, if not more. If this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is"

-- Former Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi in a BBC interview aired March 19, 2006. Allawi added that not only was Iraq moving toward "the point of no return," but "sectarianism will spread throughout the region, and even Europe and the United States would not be spared all the violence that may occur as a result of sectarian problems in this region"


"Turning our backs on postwar Iraq today would be the modern equivalent of handing postwar Germany back to the Nazis"

-- Defense Secretary Rumsfeld op/ed in the Washington Post, March 19, 2006. "This could in the long term create an environment in which an Iraqi Hitler could emerge," predicted then-Iraqi President Ghazi Yawar in Dec. 2004


"Mr. Rumsfeld has put the Pentagon at the mercy of his ego, his cold warrior's view of the world and his unrealistic confidence in technology to replace manpower"

-- Army major general (ret.) Paul D. Eaton, who was in charge of training the Iraqi military from 2003 to 2004. In his March 19, 2006 op/ed in the NY Times, Eaton also called for Rumsfeld's resignation and warned that the Army is "relying on the shell game of hiring civilians to do jobs that had previously been done by soldiers, and thus keeping the force strength static on paper. This tactic may help for a bit, but it will likely fall apart in the next budget cycle, with those positions swiftly eliminated"


"Anyone who thinks the country's most prominent lawyers reflect the views of the people needs a reality check"

-- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in a Mar. 15 speech to New England School of Law students and faculty, saying judges are no better qualified than "Joe Sixpack" to decide moral questions such as abortion and gay marriage. "I brought three speeches, and I decided to give the most provocative one, because this seems to be too happy a crowd." AP, March 15, 2006


"This is not the time to sell guns, only to buy guns"

-- A gun dealer in Baghdad, who says the demand for guns "went way up" after the shrine in Samarra was bombed last month and average Iraqis began stockpiling arms. San Francisco Chronicle, March 15, 2006


"I thought I had worried about everything, about me being killed, about my wife being killed. I never thought my son would be killed at his school"

-- Essam Abdulamir, a Baghdad shopkeeper whose 10 year-old son was killed when a mortar hit his school, one of the best in the city. The Iraq Ministry of Education says that 64 children have been killed and 57 injured in 417 attacks on schools since November. Children are also targets for criminal kidnap gangs who snatch them for ransom, with 47 kidnapped since November. London Times, March 14, 2006


"Imagine one cartoon, one cartoon showing Mohammad with a turban with a missile out of it. I mean, we have stuff like that, that is vastly worse against our politicians all the time. It's part of free expression. The fact that this elicited this incredible outpouring of rage just shows the kind of people we're dealing with. These people are crazed fanatics, and I want to say it now: I believe it's motivated by demonic power; it is satanic; and it's time we recognize what we are dealing with"

-- Televangelist Pat Robertson on The 700 Club broadcast of March 13, 2006. The segment was removed from the Christian Broadcasting Network website "out of concerns they could be misinterpreted if taken out of context," according to a Robertson spokesperson, who also told AP the following day it was "very clear" that Robertson was "talking about radical Islam"


"May God damn you. You said in the past that civil war would break out if you were to withdraw, and now you say that in case of civil war you won't interfere"

-- Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr message to Rumsfeld. March 13, 2006 interview in Journal of Turkish Weekly reported by UPI


"Bill O'Reilly's agent calls the head of NBC week after week saying, you have got to get Olbermann to stop this, as if for some reason there are rules here"

-- MSNBC Countdown host Keith Olbermann, who has nominated Bill O'Reilly the "Worst Person in the World" 15 times. C-SPAN interview, March 12, 2006


"The president was so excited about Tom Friedman's book, The World is Flat. As soon as he saw the title, he said, 'You see? I was right'"

-- Sen. Barack Obama (D- Illinois) at the annual Gridiron dinner, March 11, 2006


"When you hear about a White House official getting busted, you'd hope it would be for something so much better than this, like securities fraud or embezzlement. But robbing a Target? Are you kidding me?"

-- A White House aide, who asked for anonymity to avoid embarrassing the administration, on the shoplifting arrest of Bush's top domestic-policy adviser. Claude Allen, who earned $161,000 a year before he resigned abruptly on the day of his arrest, is charged with defrauding a Target store of over $5,000. Newsweek, March 20, 2006 issue   (MORE)


"You could almost split the Americans into two groups: ones who were complete crusaders, intent on killing Iraqis, and the others who were in Iraq because the Army was going to pay their college fees. They had no understanding or interest in the Arab culture. The Americans would talk to the Iraqis as if they were stupid... the Iraqis detested them"

-- Ben Griffin, a former member of Britain's SAS counter-terrorist team that worked in Iraq alongside its American equivalent, Delta Force. "As far as the Americans were concerned, the Iraqi people were sub-human, untermenschen." UK/Sunday Telegraph, March 12, 2006


"The Americans had a well-deserved reputation for being trigger happy. In the three months that I was in Iraq, the soldiers I served with never shot anybody. When you asked the Americans why they killed people, they would say 'we were up against the tough foreign fighters'. I didn't see any foreign fighters in the time I was over there"

-- Ben Griffin, a former member of Britain's SAS counter-terrorist team that worked in Iraq alongside its American equivalent, Delta Force. "I said to my troop commander 'would we have behaved in the same way in the Balkans or Northern Ireland?' He shrugged his shoulders and said 'this is Iraq', and I thought 'and that makes it all right?'" UK/Sunday Telegraph, March 12, 2006


"For a guy who did all these evil things that have been so widely reported, it's pretty amazing, considering I didn't know anyone. You're really no one in this town unless you haven't met me."

-- Jack Abramoff, in the April 2006 issue of Vanity Fair. "Any important republican who comes out and says they didn't know me is almost certainly lying"


"Here's Newt. Newt. Newt. Reagan. More Newt... but Newt never met me. Ollie North. Newt. Can't be Newt - he never met me. Oh, Newt! What's he doing there? Must be a Newt look-alike. I have more pictures of him than I have of my wife. Newt again! It's sick! I thought he never met me"

-- Jack Abramoff, pawing through a box of old photographs with author David Margolick. April 2006 issue of Vanity Fair


"Part of me that likes this. And some of you might say, 'Rush, that's horrible. Peace activists taken hostage.' Well, here's why I like it. I like any time a bunch of leftist feel-good hand-wringers are shown reality"

-- Rush Limbaugh, November 29, 2005 broadcast. On Mar. 10, one of the hostages, American Quaker Tom Fox, was found shot to death after being tortured. "These people are liberals, they're warped. Well, I mean, that's why there's -- I'm telling you, folks, there's a part of me that likes this," Limbaugh added


"They're saying, 'All we've done for you guys, all our purchases, we'll stop it, we'll just yank it'"

-- A source close to the Dubai royal family on their anger at Congressional hostility toward the port protection deal. The UAE has one of the world's best equipped militaries with a $3.7 billion budget for this year alone, most of it projected for U.S. arms purchases. The Hill, March 9, 2006   (MORE)


"This administration has engaged in secrecy at a level we have not seen in over 30 years"

-- David Gergen, presidential advisor to Nixon, Ford, and Reagan, on CNN's Reliable Sources, March 5, 2006. "We haven't seen it since the days of Nixon. And now what they're doing -- and they're using the war on terror to justify -- is they're starting to target journalists who try to pierce the veil of secrecy and find things and put them in the newspapers"


"That would make Taliban Afghanistan look like child's play"

-- U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad, telling the LA Times March 7, 2006, that "we have opened the Pandora's box" by overthrowing Saddam, and that Islamist extremists could take over sections of Iraq and expand to other nations in the region


"No matter where you look -- at their military, their police, their society -- things are much better this year than they were last"

-- General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on NBC's Meet the Press, March 5, 2006. "I wouldn't put a great big smiley face on it, but I would say they're going very, very well from everything you look at." Asked about the General's statements on CBS' Face The Nation the same morning, Rep. Jack Murtha remarked, "Why would I believe him with all the misstatements and mischaracterizations they've made over the last two years?"


"If all-out civil war breaks out, we could lose our army"

-- Former Senator Gary Hart speaking at the National Constitution Center, March 2, 2006. " If Sunnis and Shiites take to the streets by the thousands, it could literally be impossible to get [the soldiers] out. ... I know that sounds apocalyptic, but it's not out of the question"


"With one simple move the president has blown a hole in the nuclear rules that the entire world has been playing by"

-- Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), March 2, 2006, after Bush signed a deal to allow India to make nuclear weapons unchecked. "It empowers the hawks in every rogue nation to put their nuclear weapons plans on steroids now that they can no longer be isolated as non-signers of an agreement that has been shredded"   (MORE)


"Under Saddam, if you agreed to forgo your basic right to freedom of expression and thought, you were physically more or less OK. But now, no. Here, you have a primitive, chaotic situation where anybody can do anything they want to anyone"

-- John Pace, former director of the human rights office at the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, on the growing incidents of torture and killings. "It is certainly as bad," he told AP, March 2, 2006. "It extends over a much wider section of the population than it did under Saddam"


"I believe that a prosperous, democratic Pakistan will be a steadfast partner for America, a peaceful neighbor for India, and a force for freedom and moderation in the Arab world"

-- President Bush televised address to India, March 3, 2006. Pakistan is not an Arab country, is a military dictatorship ruled since General Musharraf took power in a 1999 coup, and has ignored years of demands that it close the madrassas linked to terrorist indoctrination since before the 9/11 attacks


"There are 50,000 professors [in the U.S.]... who are anti-American, they're radicals, they identify with the terrorists, they think of them as freedom fighters. It's a huge danger for the country"

-- David Horowitz, right-wing author on MSNBC's Scarborough Country, March 2, 2006. With 1 out of 8 professors a terrorist sympathizer, Horowitz has thus uncovered even more anti-Americans than Senator Joe McCarthy


"I want to assure the folks at the state level that we are fully prepared to not only help you during the storm, but we will move in whatever resources and assets we have at our disposal after the storm to help you deal with the loss of property. We pray there's no loss of life, of course"

-- President Bush in a teleconference Aug. 28, the day before Hurricane Katrina struck. "I have kind of a sinking feeling right now in my gut. I mean, I was listening to what people were saying [in the days after the hurricane] and I was believing them that they didn't know, "New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin told Reuters, March 1, 2006. "From this tape it looks like everybody was fully aware"


"The mindset downtown was that people were willing to accept that things were pretty bad, but not that they were going to get worse"

-- Robert Hutchings, chairman of the National Intelligence Council from 2003 to 2005, when a "steady stream" of dozens of reports warned Bush and others that Iraq's insurgency was intensifying and expanding. "Frankly, senior officials simply weren't ready to pay attention to analysis that didn't conform to their own optimistic scenario," he told Knight Ridder, February 28, 2006


"And they say there is no sectarian war? What do you call this?"

-- An Iraqi man at the Baghdad's main morgue, where hundreds of unclaimed bodies await identification. Most of the 1,300 bodies that arrived in the five days since the Feb. 22 bombing of the Shiite holy site in Samarra were executed. The morgue totals are over 3x higher than estimates reported by the U.S. military. Washington Post, February 28, 2006


"Those who serve in the prisons of Iraq deserve to know clearly the difference between legal and illegal orders. Soldiers on the ground need a commander in chief who does not seek strained legalisms that 'permit' the use of torture"

-- Anthony Lagouranis, who spent a year in Iraq as an Army interrogator and used dogs to terrify prisoners, on Bush's remarks after signing the McCain amendment on banning torture. Bush said "The executive branch shall construe these sections in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President." Lagouranis quote from NY Times commentary, February 28, 2006


"Suddenly, I was part of the inner circle. Do you know how many people in the country -- how many people in the world -- call me 'Brownie?' One"

-- Ousted FEMA director Michael Brown, on his 15 minutes of basking in the presidential glow. "I'm willing to take the fall for the president, but I wish I hadn't been left on the battlefield," he told NBC News, February 27, 2006


"Bush has his inner compass and doesn't want to disturb it. That's what denial can do to a man"

-- Bruce Buchanan, political analyst and veteran Bush-watcher at the University of Texas on the president's reluctance to clean house, as Reagan did in his secound term. "Instead, he remains in the same loop. It takes a certain kind of self-confidence to shake up your comfort level and bring in new people who might challenge you." Philadelphia Inquirer, February 27, 2006


"[Bush and LBJ] are similar, if you look at Iraq and Vietnam. Johnson got locked into a position on his war, and he couldn't let go of it. And of course, this was ruinous for his presidency. Bush is similarly very stubborn and single-minded - 'I don't accept criticism, I can't be wrong'"

-- LBJ biographer Robert Dallek, Philadelphia Inquirer, February 27, 2006. Three days earlier, Bush praised Iraq's 'liberation' and its 'incredible progress' toward democracy even as most of Iraq was under 24-hour curfew to preven the outbreak of full civil war


"One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed"

-- William F. Buckley Jr. February 24, 2006 in National Review Online. "Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans"


"People don't need to worry about security"

-- President Bush, speaking February 23, 2006 on the UAE port protection deal, after it was revealed that the White House had promised loose oversight, including allowing the company to keep records offshore, where they would not be subject to U.S. court order. "This deal wouldn't go forward if we were concerned about the security of the United States of America," Bush continued


"It was going to be an interview on contraceptives...I had no idea I was going to be asked if I was 'the gay governor'"

-- Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who hadn't watched "The Daily Show" prior to his appearance on the program to discuss his executive order requiring pharmacists to fill prescriptions for emergency birth-control pills despite their religious beliefs. At one point in the phony interview, Blagojevich is genuinely startled, turning to an aide off-camera and saying, "Is he teasing me or is that legit?" St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 22, 2006


"I think in the popular imagination, declaring war does seem to equate with making war or starting war"

-- Former Justice Dept. lawyer John Yoo, arguing in a February 22, 2006 Heritage Foundation speech that it's a myth that only Congress has power to start a war. "Note that the declare-war clause uses the word 'declare.' It doesn't use the word 'begin,' 'make,' 'authorize,' 'wage' or 'commence' war." Yoo is most famous for his hair-splitting memos redefining "torture" and declaring the Geneva Conventions don't apply to terrorism detainees


"It seems very unlikely that history will judge either the intervention [in Iraq] itself or the ideas animating it kindly"

-- Francis Fukuyama, neo-con and author of the forthcoming book, "America at the Crossroads," where he says the doctrine "is now in shambles" and that its failure has demonstrated "the danger of good intentions carried to extremes"   (MORE)


"My message to those who work here is we want you to know how important your work is. We appreciate what you're doing and we expect you to keep doing it, and we want to help you keep doing it"

-- President Bush to workers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, where 32 workers were laid off earlier in the month, then rehired the day before Bush's February 21, 2006 visit. None of the (not) fired researchers were invited to attend the event


"The problem is the Republicans always want to protect Bush. They don't want to expose him to independent-thinking audiences. They want to shelter him from the truth"

-- Rev. Joseph Lowery, on conservatives who still criticize his comments at the funeral of Coretta Scott King. "The Republicans played politics during Reagan's funeral. Look how political it was. They are just trying to shelter Bush from reality," he told the Washington Post, February 22, 2006


"Mr. O'Reilly will be able to fly first class with the very best satellite phones and fill his water bottles with San Pelegrino"

-- Nicholas Kristof, announcing in his February 21, 2006 NY Times column that readers have pledged $727,568 to send Bill O'Reilly to Darfur. O'Reilly earlier called the columnist a "left-wing ideologue," and refused to consider Kristof's invitation to "visit the world's most awful place" because he was too busy: "I do three hours of daily news analysis on TV and radio. There's no way I can go to Africa"


"It doesn't make sense to create a category of documents that are classified but that everyone already has"

-- Meredith Fuchs, general counsel of the National Security Archive, a research group at George Washington University, on the reclassification of over 55,000 previously released public documents, including some that were even printed in the State Department's history series. Among the memos and papers are some dating back as far as 1948. NY Times, February 21, 2006


"Don't mess with me Condoleezza. Don't mess with me, girl"

-- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on his weekly broadcast February 19, 2006 after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice described the country as one of the "biggest problems" for the Western Hemisphere


"It's no accident that we are seeing such an extensive suppression of scientific freedom -- it's part of the theory of government now"

-- Nobel Prize-winning biologist David Baltimore, speaking February 18, 2006 at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting. Last week James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute went farther and said the current climate "seems more like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union than the United States"   (MORE)


"We got to deal with issues, of course, when they come up. That's part of -- it's part of Washington. It's part of being the President. There's -- issues come, they go, and they -- but I hope that when it's all said and done, people see me as a strategic thinker"

-- President Bush, February 17, 2006


"If he'd been in the military, he would have learned gun safety"

-- Senator Chuck Hagel (R - Nebraska), a Vietnam war veteran, on five-time draft deferment champ Dick Cheney. AP, February 17, 2006


"Terrorism is coming. I told the Americans a long time before August 2 and told the British as well ... that in the future there will be terrorism with weapons of mass destruction"

-- Saddam Hussein in a mid-1990s meeting with top aides, heard on tapes obtained by ABC News, February 15, 2006. "In the future, what would prevent a booby-trapped car causing a nuclear explosion in Washington or a germ or a chemical one? This is coming, this story is coming but not from Iraq"


"In the Empire, Congress is irrelevant. They come, they talk, they rant, they rave, they vote, but it doesn't mean anything because the emperor controls it all. He doesn't care about the democracy part of it"

-- Filmmaker George Lucas explaining how House Republicans are missing several points in their gag video of virtuous GOP rebels fighting House Minority Leader "Darth Nancy" Pelosi. "The emperor works behind Darth Vader, he doesn't actually stand in front - I say that in fear of getting hit with a lot of buckshot." San Francisco Chronicle, February 15, 2006


"They raise the quail on a farm. It's hardly a sport. The quail are slow. You have to stomp on the ground to get them to get up and fly. And you can't not get your limit. If it was that kind of farm, then, whatever the facts are, the Vice President shouldn't have done that. Because he was going to get his limit"

-- Bill Clinton advising Dick Cheney on the sport of shooting caged animals. NY Daily News February 15, 2006


"In retrospect it looks like I got off easy"

-- Senator Patrick Leahy (D - Vermont), who Cheney told to "Go fuck yourself" during a 2004 Senate photo shoot. Roll Call, February 14, 2006


"You shot a guy. Don't blame the sun or the wind or the rotation of the Earth. And for goodness' sake, don't blame Harry Whittington"

-- Mike Leggett , outdoors columnist for the Austin American-Statesman writing February 14, 2006 that Cheney should "Be a man. You shot a guy... unless he pulled the trigger himself, it wasn't his fault. Unless he was invisible, it wasn't his fault. And it wasn't his fault that he didn't 'announce his presence,' either. He was supposedly 30 yards behind you. His only fault was being a human being standing on two legs. He's in the hospital. You're in Washington. And others are making excuses for you. You shot the guy." On Feb. 15 -- five days after the accident and after heavy criticism from conservatives -- Cheney broke his silence and accepted full blame for the shooting


"I'm not sure there is a standard protocol when the vice president shoots someone, but it's fair to say reporters prefer that news be disclosed in a timely fashion"

-- Washington Post White House reporter Peter Baker on the 18-hour delay before anyone in the media was informed about Cheney's hunting accident that left a companion badly wounded. Baker added that the DC press corps was "flabbergasted" by the shooting. Editor & Publisher, February 13, 2006


"You would have to be an idiot to believe that"

-- Supreme Ct. Justice Scalia, on opponents who believe in the concept of a "Living" Constitution. "The Constitution is not a living organism, it is a legal document. It says something and doesn't say other things." February 14, 2006 speech sponsored by the Federalist Society


"The general rolling over on the part of the American press allowed the war to happen...I think we all know how bad it was"

-- Daniel Okrent, ex-NY Times ombudsman on the media's failures in the lead-up to the Iraq invasion. Okrent told the Williams College audience February 13, 2006 that he thinks the press is "extremely chastened" by its role


"My first reaction: We're a little late here"

-- Ret. Army Major General Paul Eaton, who was ordered a week after Bush's "mission accomplished" speech to rebuild Iraq's military. "I was very surprised to receive a mission so vital to our exit strategy so late," Eaton told the NY Times, February 11, 2006. "I would have expected this to have been done well before troops crossed the line of departure"


"I'm not sure we won't miss Saddam"

-- Yuval Diskin, head of Israel's domestic security agency, Shin Bet, saying an Iraqi dictatorship would be preferable to the present situation. "When you dismantle a system in which there is a despot who controls his people by force, you have chaos." BBC, February 9, 2006


"I don't really know (how they got away with it). The assumption that we had was that they had to have high political top cover"

-- British Col. Philip Wilkinson, on contractor Custer Battles, which is accused of bilking the U.S.-run Coalition Provisional Authority out of $50 million. One of their contracts was to provide Wilkinson with trucks for moving cash around the country, but some of the trucks were in such bad shape that they were delivered via tow truck. CBS' 60 Minutes, February 12, 2006


"Contrary to Franklin Roosevelt - 'We've got nothing to fear but fear itself'- this crowd is 'All we've got is fear and we're going to keep playing the fear card'"

-- Sen. Hillary Clinton to a convention of United Auto Workers, February 8, 2006. The next day, Rove's top aide had a strategy meeting with the Yonkers mayor expecting to challenge her in this year's election. "While national Republicans don't expect Spencer can beat Clinton, they hope he can do enough to bloody her in anticipation of a possible 2008 presidential run," reported the NY Post


"Well, you can't anticipate everything"

-- VP Dick Cheney on the Bush administration's failure to plan for an Iraqi insurgency following the invasion. PBS Newshour, February 7, 2006


"I'm not sure the pharaoh went to Moses' funeral"

-- Rev. Jesse Jackson on President Bush's attendance at the funeral for Coretta Scott King. Usually protected from critics, Bush heard, "We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there. But Coretta knew, and we knew, that there are weapons of misdirection right down here," said Rev. Joseph Lowery, a friend of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and co-founder of the SCLC. Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 8, 2006


"You know what happened to Nixon when he broke the law"

-- Reporter Helen Thomas, asking White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan if President Bush thinks he should obey the laws on seeking warrants for wiretaps. "This is a very different circumstance, and you know that," McClellan responded. "No, I don't," said Thomas. February 6, 2006


"They told me if I didn't give over the piece of paper I would go to jail and I refused and I went to jail"

-- Caitlin Childs, who was arrested for writing down the license plate number of an undercover Homeland Security officer conducting surveillance of a demonstration. Childs and other vegans were picketing a HoneyBaked Ham store in Georgia to protest meat eating. WXIA-TV Atlanta, January 25, 2006


"Especially with politics, it gets more and more borderline on what's in bad faith or good faith"

-- Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, on the new policy blocking anyone using House of Representatives computers from altering Wikipedia content. Wales told the Washington Post, February 4, 2006, that profiles of members of Congress had been altered by political foes and to remove campaign pledges. Examples included a Rep's office deleting a promise to step down after four terms and a prankster who changed Sen. Robert Byrd's age to 180


"This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA"

-- Oct. 2005 memo from George Deutsch, a 24-year-old Bush appointee to the NASA press office, demanding that the word "theory" be added after every mention of the Big Bang found in a web tutorial for students about Einstein. "It is not NASA's place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator." Deutsch resigned Feb. 7 when it was revealed that he faked his resume to falsely show he had graduated from Texas A&M. Quote from NY Times, February 4, 2006


"I participated in a hoax on the American people, the international community and the United Nations Security Council. How do you think that makes me feel?"

-- Former Colin Powell chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson on PBS' "Now," February 3, 2006. "It makes me feel terrible. I've said in other places that it was -- constitutes the lowest point in my professional life"


"Just as the Cold War lasted a long time, this war is something that is not going to go away"

-- Defense Secretary Rumsfeld on "The Long War" described in the Pentagon blueprint for the future known as the Quadrennial Defense Review. AP, February 1, 2006


"After 25 years as a foreign correspondent I know what the U.S. wants from the rest of the world: to forget about it"

-- Newsweek's Paris bureau chief Christopher Dickey, who told a media conference February 3, 2006 that "There's this idea that the U.S. media is controlling the agenda. In fact the U.S. media is dying. Resources, money and staff are being cut back," he said. "Twenty years ago Newsweek had 25 staff in Paris, today it has one: me"


"One day he's going to be aiming nuclear weapons; and what's coming across the Gulf isn't going to be Katrina, it's going to be his nukes"

-- Televangelist Pat Robertson, informing Hannity & Colmes February 2, 2006 that Venezuela is now apparently a nuclear power and president Chavez is an "extreme danger" to the United States that should be taken out "not now, but one day, one day, one day. My premise is, and I think as -- you know, until that comment came out, everybody thought Chavez was a fellow having to do with table grapes in California"


"The President, in using that example, was to just simply do that, to give an example of what would be accomplished if we are successful"

-- Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, clarifying in a February 1, 2006 press conference that State of the Union promises that the U.S. would "move beyond a petroleum-based economy and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past" depended upon multiple best-case scenarios, including a successful hydrogen car in the year 2025


"Unfortunately, the (Iraqi) officers here are much like their soldiers -- they're not in it for any sense of patriotism. They're doing this to get paid"

-- Marine Col. Daniel Newell, head of a squad of U.S. military advisers to Iraq forces. About 500 members of the Iraqi brigade he oversees deserted when they faced combat for the first time, and the Iraqi battalion commander was recently fired for incompetence The casualty rate for advisers in Newell's squad is 20 percent. AP, February 1, 2006


"2245, how many more?"

-- T-shirt showing the number of U.S. soldiers killed to date in Iraq, worn by Cindy Sheehan as Capitol Police rushed her from the House gallery, January 31, 2006. Sheehan, who was invited to attend the State of the Union speech by Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-California), was later arrested for unlawful conduct -- a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. Sheehan's arrest prevented her from hearing the prolonged applause that greeted Bush when he said, "Let us never forget the sacrifices of America's military families"


"You can't please some people no matter what you do. Half the time, they say I'm isolated and don't listen. Then when I do listen, they say I need a warrant"

-- President Bush, joking at the annual Alfalfa Club dinner. Washington Post, January 29, 2006


"You know, one of the -- yeah, I don't think a president can tort -- get -- can order torture, for example. I don't think a president can order the assassination of a leader of another country with which we're not at war. Yes, there are clear red lines, and -- it -- you -- you -- you just asked a very interesting constitutional question. The extent to which a president, during war, can exercise authorities in order to protect the American people, and that's really what the debate is about"

-- President Bush, elucidating his grasp of the limits of presidential power in an interview with CBS News, January 27, 2006


"We are left with a picture of a White House that was plagued by the fog of war"

-- David Marin, the Republican staff director to the House committee investigating the government's response to Hurricane Katrina. "The committee is likely to find a disturbing inability by the White House to de-conflict and analyze information -- and that had consequences." NY Times, January 28, 2006


"The first time you read the 'White Paper,' you feel like it is describing a foreign country guided by an unfamiliar constitution"

-- Legal analyst Andrew Cohen on the 42-page Justice Dept. defense of Bush domestic wiretapping. "The third time you read it, you wonder if the conservative Supreme Court won't, in the end, somehow recognize its breathtakingly broad view of executive power." CBS News, January 22, 2006


"We're not fighting terrorism in Iraq. We're fighting a civil war in Iraq. We've got to give them an incentive. We fought our Civil War. Let them fight their civil war"

-- Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania), Pittsburgh Tribune-Review January 26, 2006


"Truth no longer matters in the context of politics and, sadly, in the context of cable news"

-- Aaron Brown, whose four-year period as anchor of CNN's NewsNight ended in November, when network executives gave his job to Anderson Cooper in a bid to push the show's ratings closer to front-runner Fox News. Brown told the Palm Beach Daily News that he tried to give viewers a balanced diet of light and serious news with NewsNight. "But I always knew when I got to the Brussels sprouts, I was on thin ice," he said January 26, 2006


"So the Palestinians had an election yesterday, the results of which remind me about the power of democracy...we're watching liberty begin to spread across the Middle East"

-- President Bush comments on the Palestinian election, January 26, 2006. Also at the press conference, Bush made it clear he intends to ignore the election results. "We'd like [Abbas] to stay in power. I mean, we'd like [him] to stay in office. He is in power; we'd like him to stay in office"


"Maybe he wants something from somebody at the White House, or he wants someone at the White House not to do something"

-- Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff, confirming it is Jack Abramoff who is showing magazine editors photos of himself with President Bush. "As a general rule, if you're the president, you don't like pictures out there of you with convicted felons... maybe [Abramoff is] sending some sort of signal out here: 'Hey, I've got this stuff.'" MSNBC Hardball, January 23, 2006


"You really begin to wonder just how much stress and strain there is on the Army, how much longer it can continue"

-- Defense analyst Andrew Krepinevich, author of a new Pentagon study that concluded that the U.S. military is stretched to the breaking point, and cannot sustain high enough troop levels to win in Iraq. AP, January 24, 2006


"Look, you want us to risk the lives of all our team to come and film the opening of a bridge that was intact before it was bombed in this war anyway, or a school that's had new windows being put in and has been painted. I mean, those are just not reasons to risk the lives of all the people that are involved in trying to tell the story"

-- CBS journalist Lara Logan answering the frequent complaint by the Bush Administration that there aren't enough good-news stories about Iraq. PBS Newshour, January 18, 2006


"The first is, 'It'll never happen to me.' The next is, 'It might happen.' The third is, 'I've been here long enough it's probably going to happen.' And the fourth is, 'I've got to get out of here'"

-- NBC News correspondent Richard Engel, on the fears of kidnapping shared by reporters covering Iraq. Engel told USA TODAY January 22, 2006 that he is personally between "two and three"


"We set out to find an entertaining, engaging talk show host, and his brand of humor and lighthearted approach was one we liked... we want a cordial atmosphere"

-- Ken Jautz, executive VP of CNN Worldwide, on the hiring of right-wing radio talker Glenn Beck to host a new program on CNN Headline News. On Jan. 10, the humorous and cordial Beck called Cindy Sheehan a "prostitute" and "tragedy pimp." Jautz quote from LA Times, January 23, 2006


"This is a significant Pandora's box [Pentagon officials] don't want opened. What we're looking at is hints of what they're doing"

-- Intelligence analyst and author William Arkin on the Pentagon's top-secret Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA) program spying on Americans in the name of national security. According to documents obtained by Arkin, the database lists anti-war activity such as protests at a strip-mall recruiting office as a "credible" threat. Newsweek, January 30, 2006 issue


" I'm going to go over a lot of things today, and I can take all of your questions, but let me give you the all-encompassing rule: Golf is bad"

-- Instructor at an ethics training session for FBI special agents. Lavish golf outings were Jack Abramoff's lobbying gift of choice. NY Times, January 22, 2006


" Bin Laden ridiculed the president's arguments that we're fighting them in Iraq so we don't have to fight them here. I think he raises that as a foreshadowing of what's coming"

-- Michael Scheuer, who formerly led the CIA's hunt for bin Laden, warning that the Bush administration would shrug off the newly released bin Laden audiotape at its peril. Reuters, January 20, 2006


"If you're an optimist, Osama's deep down in a cave. If you're a pessimist, he's in downtown Islamabad two doors down from the president"

-- Ret. Gen. Russ Howard, who headed the counterterrorism program at West Point. Reuters, January 20, 2006


"He sounds like an over the top Michael Moore here, if not a Michael Moore. You think that sells in America -- that this war is being fought for the 'Daddy Warbucks?'"

-- Hardball's Chris Matthews, yukking over Osama bin Laden's taped comment that the Iraq War benefits "influential people and war merchants in America, who supported Bush's election campaign with billions of dollars." January 19, 2006


"Criminal elements within Iraqi society have had almost free rein... criminal elements flourish ... Baghdad is reportedly divided into zones controlled by organized criminal groups-clans"

-- U.S. Agency for International Development (USAid) "conflict assessment" released January 2, 2006. Comments appeared in an attachment to a report asking contractors to bid on a project rehabilitating Iraqi cities


"Paper media today are more like sailing ships around 1860 -- still dominant but enjoying their last hurrah. I think it's late in the magazine era"

-- Time Inc. editor-in-chief John Huey, on the decline of interest in news magazines and as pop culture media interest grows, with People magazine now bringing in 30% of Time Inc.'s profits. "TIME magazine is about everything that matters. People is about things that don't matter but everybody cares about," he told New York Magazine, January 23, 2006


"It's time for us to come together. It's time for us to rebuild New Orleans -- the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans. This city will be a majority African American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have New Orleans no other way"

-- New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, January 16, 2006. Nagin later denied the statement was devisive, saying, "New Orleans was a chocolate city before Katrina. It is going to be a chocolate city after. How is that divisive? It is white and black working together, coming together and making something special"


"The President and I agree on one thing. The threat from terrorism is all too real...Where we disagree is that we have to break the law or sacrifice our system of government to protect Americans from terrorism. In fact, doing so makes us weaker and more vulnerable. Once violated, the rule of law is in danger. Unless stopped, lawlessness grows"

-- Martin Luther King Day address by Al Gore, January 16, 2006


"We had an opportunity to say to the world and Iraqis after the hurricane disaster that Mother Nature has not treated us well and we find ourselves missing the amount of money it takes to help these poor people out of their homeless situation and rebuild some of our most important cities in the United States. Therefore, we are going to have to bring our troops home"

-- Walter Cronkite, saying Bush lost an opportunity to gracefully withdraw from Iraq after Hurricane Katrina. AP, January 15, 2006


"Wouldn't it be interesting to know who Bob Novak was calling in the month that Valerie Plame's name came out? How about Patrick Fitzgerald's phone calls?"

-- Blogger John Aravosis, who legally purchased a list of cell phone calls made by former presidential candidate Gen. Wesley Clark to demonstrate loopholes in privacy laws. Federal law does not specifically outlaw the unauthorized acquisition of telephone customers' personal data. Chicago Sun Times, January 13, 2006


"Thank God we were able to save the walls from the looters, because everything else was stolen"

-- Iraqi Salahuddin province Gov. Hamed Shekti on the looting of Saddam's most lavish palace compound, which was turned over by Americans Nov. 22 as a symbol of progress made by the new Iraqi government. "The palace was turned over to the Iraqi army units...two weeks later I heard the place was looted. Now who can I accuse of the looting?" Washington Post, January 13, 2006


"Nominees now... come before the United States Congress and resolve not to let the people know what they think about the important issues"

-- Sen. Joseph Biden (D - Delaware) on the Alito confirmation hearings. "The system's kind of broken," Biden told other member of the Judiciary Committee. January 12, 2006


"You're going to see a plan for withdrawal"

-- Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania), predicting on 60 Minutes January 15, 2006, that most U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of the year. "I think the political people who give (Bush) advice will say to him, 'You don't want a Democratic (controlled) Congress. You want to keep a Republican majority, and the only way you're going to keep it is by reducing substantially the troops in Iraq'"


"We should make the government stop this bird migration. This song should be ended. No more flying to the north. Let them stay in the south. All birds should be shot. All our men, our troops, should be called up from Sochi [on Russia's Black Sea coast] to the Crimea [in Ukraine], and all migratory birds should stay where they are. This is not a joke"

-- Vladimir Zhirinovsky, deputy speaker of the Russian Duma, on preventing bird flu. Radio Free Europe, January 12, 2006


"The contract is still open - just not with Mr. Robertson"

-- Avi Hartuv, a spokesman for Israel's tourism minister, saying that Israel invites any Christian leaders other than televangelist Pat Robertson to continue plans to develop a $50 million "Christian Heritage Center." Robertson said Jan. 5 that Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine punishment for returning land to the Palestinians. "We want to see who in the group supports his (Robertson's) statements. Those who support the statements cannot do business with us," Hartuv told the London Times, January 11, 2006


"If you picked the word 'jihad' out of a conversation, the technology exists that you focus in on that conversation, and you pull it out of the system for processing"

-- NSA whistelblower Russell Tice, who says the Agency probably spied on millions of Americans, not just a few. "That would mean for most Americans that if they conducted, or you know, placed an overseas communication, more than likely they were sucked into that vacuum," he told ABC News, January 11, 2006


"LSD spoke to me. He came to me and said, 'You must find me.' He told me, 'Don't give me to the pharmacologist'"

-- Albert Hofmann, the father of LSD, on the Friday afternoon in April 1943 when he first experienced the effects. Hofmann turns 100 Jan. 11. NY Times, January 7, 2006


"We're looking at what we really started on 30 years ago, reconstruction of a court system gone awry"

-- Televangelist Jerry Falwell, urging followers to pressure their Senators to demand confirmation of Alito. "What we've done through these years is coming to culmination right now," he said at a televised January 8, 2006 rally


"The country's on the verge of a civil war"

-- Former top commander in Iraq General Ricardo Sanchez, Jan.3 remarks to soldiers preparing to deploy to Iraq during a ceremony held in Heidelberg, Germany.

"This level of violence, I think as we've seen, is an anomaly. We see these spikes periodically...I don't think it's on the brink of civil war"

-- Current top commander in Iraq General George Casey, Jan. 5. Both quotes from Reuters, January 8, 2006


"We really didn't see the insurgency coming"

-- Former Iraq czar Paul Bremer on Dateline NBC, January 8, 2006. "I believe I did everything I could do... The president, in the end, is responsible for making decisions"


"[Ariel Sharon] was dividing God's land and I would say woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU, the United Nations, or the United States of America"

-- Televangelist Pat Robertson, charging Sharon's stroke was divine punishment for withdrawing Israeli forces fom Gaza. In his January 5, 2006 broadcast of "The 700 Club," Robertson also said Rabin's 1995 assassination was the result of his negotiations with the Palestinians. "It was a terrible thing that happened, but nevertheless he was dead"


"I didn't double-source these reports, I sourced them [100 times]"

-- Fox News star reporter Geraldo Rivera, defending inaccurate reporting that 12 W Virginia coal miners survived. Rivera spent about 3 hours at a local church among jubilant friends and relatives of the mine workers. St. Petersburg Times, January 5, 2006


"Family members said he rushed into the church and started waving his arms and shouting 'They're alive, they're alive'"

-- Charleston Gazette reporter Scott Finn, writing January 8, 2006 that Geraldo Rivera invaded "the families' only media-free sanctuary, the church, to stick microphones in their faces and share with them the news that their loved ones were still alive"


"I thought I was having a bad dream"

-- NY Post editor Col Allan, who was awakened by his office around 2:50AM and told that the miners were dead. Allan ordered the headline for the final press run changed from "ALIVE!" to "CHAOS." New York Times, January 5, 2006


"I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap"

-- David Letterman to Bill O'Reilly on CBS' Late Show, January 3, 2006. The following night O'Reilly played segments on his FOX program and claimed it was another example of the "culture war" in America. In his Feb. 27, 2001 column, O'Reilly praised Letterman as "a smart guy who can spot a phony with telescopic accuracy"


"The ones that stay up are completely patriotic and innocuous, and they're fine if you want to read the flag-waving and how everything's peachy keen in Iraq"

-- National Guard Spc. Jason Hartley, who was fined $1,000 and demoted from sergeant for writing a blog while in Iraq. Most blogs now "get shut down almost as fast as they're set up," Hartley says, and required to be approved by the chain of command. Newsday, January 2, 2006

2005


"Everybody lost their minds. Jack was cutting deals all over town. Staffers lost their loyalty to members [of Congress] -- they were loyal to money"

-- A former congressional staffer who worked as a lobbyist with Jack Abramoff. Washington Post, December 29, 2005


"[Bush] began the year proclaiming "a turning point" in Iraq. In every crisis he faced, he assumed that everything would turn his way, as it always had in the past. He ended the year declaring "victory" within reach...Since the election of the Shia slate that will hold power for four years, dedicated to an Islamic state allied with Iran, the president and his advisers have fallen eerily silent. As his annus horribilis draws to a close, Bush appears to have expended the turning points. Welcome to victory"

-- Sidney Blumenthal December 30, 2005 column in The Guardian/UK


"Perhaps our nation's leaders can find some truth in this fiction and more carefully ponder the road we're traveling"

-- Oakland Tribune editorial, which asks readers to send the newspaper their copies of George Orwell's "1984" for forwarding to the White House and members of Congress. Readers are encouraged to inscribe the book with a note, "reminding these fine people that we Americans take the threat to our liberties seriously." December 23, 2005


"Our prudish video coverage makes war easier to support, and journalists long ago became complicit with governments in making conflict and death more acceptable to viewers. Television journalism has thus become a lethal adjunct to war"

-- Journalist Robert Fisk, December 27, 2005 op/ed in the LA Times. American television, he wrote, presents war as a "bloodless sandpit in which the horrors of conflict -- the mutilated bodies of the victims of aerial bombing, torn apart in the desert by wild dogs -- are kept off the screen. Editors in New York and London make sure that viewers' 'sensitivities' don't suffer, that we don't indulge in the 'pornography' of death (which is exactly what war is) or 'dishonor' the dead whom we have just killed"


"What do we do in a world of free?"

-- Peter Zollman, head of Classified Intelligence, a Florida-based consulting firm, on the dilemma facing newspapers who are seeing their monopoly on classified ads siphoned away by Craigslist and other websites. Chicago Tribune, December 25, 2005


"Kirkuk is Kurdistan; it does not belong to the Arabs. If we can resolve this by talking, fine, but if not, then we will resolve it by fighting"

-- Hamid Afandi, a leader for one of the main Kurdish groups who reportedly have infiltrated the Iraqi army with over 10,000 militia members preparing to seize the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and possibly Mosul as the first step of creating an independent Kurdistan. "It doesn't matter if we have to fight the Arabs in our own battalion," Gabriel Mohammed, a Kurdish soldier in the Iraqi army also told Knight Ridder, December 27, 2005. "Kirkuk will be ours"


"It's disheartening. Everyone knows that people are dying in Iraq, but to walk past this on the way to work every day is too much"

-- Staff Sgt. Gary J. Capan, who is trying to force removal of a sign near the Duluth Army recruiting office titled "Remember the Fallen Heroes," that shows the number of American troops killed in Iraq, the number wounded, the number of days since the Iraq invasion. New York Times, December 27, 2005


"Like other parts of our new diplomatic effort, it was not seen as something credible"

-- Steven Cook, Council on Foreign Relations on news that the U.S. State Dept. had cancelled publication of "Hi," a glossy monthly magazine aimed at young Arabs. The magazine, which had a $4.5 million annual budget, published articles on topics such as male grooming. Only 2,500 copies were purchased monthly out of 55,000 distributed. Toronto Star, December 23, 2005


"Only a few people were told about it. Everyone else in the agency went around telling people that they don't spy on Americans. Around their back, they find out that the director has authorized that"

-- NSA expert James Bamford, on Bush's secret authorization of the Agency to spy within the U.S. without court orders. "It is continually drilled into us that the very first law chiseled in the SIGINT (Signals Intelligence officer) equivalent of the Ten Commandments is that 'Thou shall not spy on American persons without a court order from FISA,'" said former NSA analyst Russell Tice. Knight Ridder, December 23, 2005


"Any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution"

-- President George W. Bush, April 20, 2004


"For FISA, they had to put down a written justification for the wiretap. They couldn't dream one up"

-- A government official, who spoke to the Washington Post December 22, 2005 on the condition of anonymity, saying that the administration complained bitterly that the FISA process demanded too much: to name a target and give a reason to spy on it


"We hold that the ID ["Intelligent Design"] policy is unconstitutional"

-- U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones III, ruling December 21, 2005 against teaching ID next to evolution in Pennsylvania classrooms. "The seminal question [is] whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents." A G.W. Bush appointee, Jones anticipated charges that he was an activist judge: "This case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID"


"The president's dead wrong. It's not a close question. Federal law is clear. When the president admits that he violated federal law, that raises serious constitutional questions of high crimes and misdemeanors"

-- Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor and surveillance law expert on the possibility of Bush impeachment for authorizing domestic eavesdropping without court approval. Knight Ridder, December 19, 2005


"Nobody, nobody thought when we passed a resolution to invade Afghanistan and to fight the war on terror ... that this was an authorization to allow a wiretapping against the law of the United States"

-- Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) on NBC's "Today" show, December 19, 2005. "This is just an outrageous power grab"


"Today, what Bush said is he went around the law, which is a violation of the law -- which is illegal"

-- NSA expert James Bamford, on Bush's secret authorization of the Agency to spy within the U.S. without court orders. "I didn't hear him specify any legal right, except his right as president, which in a democracy doesn't make much sense," Bamford told AP, December 17, 2005


"U.S. forces guarded Cheney with weapons at the ready while Iraqi soldiers, who had no weapons, held their arms out as if they were carrying imaginary guns"

-- Part of AP coverage of Cheney's December 18, 2005 visit to the Taji Air Base. Cheney also spoke to troops gathered in an aircraft hangar, where his speech was interrupted a few times with shouts of "hooah!" But, reporter Nedra Pickler noted, "when he delivered the applause line, 'We're in this fight to win. These colors don't run,' the only sound was a lone whistle"


"Canada is a sweet country. It is like your retarded cousin you see at Thanksgiving and sort of pat him on the head. You know, he's nice, but you don't take him seriously. That's Canada"

-- Tucker Carlson on MSNBC's The Situation with Tucker Carlson, December 15, 2005


"There was no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the attack of 9/11. I've never said that and never made that case prior to going into Iraq"

-- President Bush interview on PBS' Online NewsHour, December 16, 2005


"[Given] the sorry state of our Army, the erosion of the U.S. credibility in the world, and the deficits far as the eye can see, you've got to believe President Reagan is turning over in his grave"

-- Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania) response to Bush December 14, 2005 speech at the Ronald Reagan Building. According to the Washington Post, for the 22nd time, Bush said in a speech we would not "cut and run" in Iraq; for the 28th time, he said Iraq was "the central front" in the war on terrorism; and, for the 100th time, Bush promised that "we will prevail" against the terrorists. "He keeps saying the same thing over and over," Murtha said in his rebuttal


"It's no wonder this 'War on Christmas' (now in its second successful year) is a production of Fox News Channel -- the very network that has made accusation, recrimination and confrontation the gold standards of cable 'news'"

-- Charlie Reina, a former Fox News Channel producer in the on-line Poynter Forum, December 14, 2005. "The network is, after all, ground zero in the culture wars that polarize so much of America these days. Make no mistake about it: Fox is on a mission"


"To dampen the noise outside the hotel because of the floor we were on, we had mattresses that our production crew had put up against the windows"

-- NBC Anchor Brian Williams, describing on Hardball, December 13, 2005 how he conducted an interview with President Bush as protesters were chanting outside, "Shame! Shame!" In the interview, Bush denied he was isolated in a bubble with little outside contact


"He's a great reporter, but he's become a great reporter of official history"

-- Howard Fineman, Newsweek's chief political correspondent on Bob Woodward, who he says went from a "burning the beltway" outsider in the Nixon era to being, "an official court stenographer of the Bush administration." [New Jersey] Daily Record, December 13, 2005


"The defining quality of the Iraq story is the horror. It is a war, and it is awful, and bloody, and vicious, and brutal on all sides. To devote your energies to making that day's story the opening of a health clinic is almost irresponsible"

-- Michael Ware, TIME Baghdad correspondent, on Rumsfeld's Dec. 5 comments that the media needs "to hold itself to account" for coverage of Iraq war carnage but ignoring "the full story." Ware quote in the Washington Post, December 12, 2005


"I think they're wondering: 'Is a movie star, a man who was playing the Terminator at the local movie theater 10 minutes ago, now deciding the fate of this man?"

-- David Willis, West Coast correspondent for the BBC on European interest in the "Tookie" Williams death sentence. "It's got a lot of gosh-wow to it, doesn't it?" LA Times, December 11, 2005


"It's time for the Bush comeback story! The perfect storm has receded. We have better news in Iraq, oil prices are down, and Katrina has kind of fallen off the radar screen in terms of public concern"

-- A White House strategist, coaching TIME reporters who were preparing a cover story on the state of the Bush presidency. December 11, 2005


"I got the sense that his staff was not telling him the bad news. This was not a case of him thinking positive. He just didn't have any idea of the political realities there. It was like he wasn't briefed at all"

-- A House Republican recalling a summer meeting between members of Congress and Bush, where the President spoke enthusiastically about his Social Security reform plan, which was already dead in the water. Quoted in Newsweek, December 19, 2005 issue


"We call our stuff information and the enemy's propaganda"

-- Col. Jack N. Summe, former commander of the Fourth Psychological Operations Group, which writes pro-U.S. "truthful messages" for placement in Iraqi media. Even in the Pentagon, he told the NY Times, December 11, 2005, "some public affairs professionals see us unfavorably [...and call us] lying, dirty tricksters"


"It's just astounding. It came through loud and clear from the Bush people -- they wouldn't sign the deal if Clinton were allowed to speak"

-- A source involved with the negotiations at the Climate Change Conference on the threat by U.S. officials to walk out at the last minute. Clinton said he wouldn't speak and risk harming negotiations but conference organizers convinced him to speak anyway. "The organizers decided to call the administration's bluff. They said, 'We're gonna push [the Bush people] back on this.' New York Magazine, December 9, 2005


"The Mayor did call them gangsters, and that's right. But your prime minister is an accomplice"

-- Cindy Sheehan, at a December 7, 2005 anti-war bash in London, where mayor Ken Livingstone referred to the Bush Administration as a "a gang of thugs" and "Murder Incorporated." Reported on afterDowningStreet.org


"I've spoken to Joe Lieberman and he knows he's out there alone. I mean, literally alone. Joe is a fine man, he has strong feelings, but he's just alone. Even Republicans don't agree with Joe"

-- Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid on the Bill Press Show, December 9, 2005


"We were in the, like, hall or whatever, on restroom break. This kid I know, he's like, 'Me prestas un dolar?' ['Will you lend me a dollar?'] Well, he asked in Spanish; it just seemed natural to answer that way. So I'm like, 'No problema'"

-- 16-year-old Zach Rubio, who was suspended from his Kansas City, Kansas high school for speaking Spanish at school. Washington Post, December 7, 2005


"Bin Laden said he attacked the United States because of the troops in Saudi Arabia. That's terrorism.. That's completely separate from what's going on in Iraq. Iraq is an insurgency"

-- Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania) press conference, December 7, 2005. "Rumsfeld denied there was an insurgency. He said it was a gang of something or another. But they wouldn't admit that they were having real problems over there. They kept being unrealistic, illusionary about what was going on in Iraq"


"The Mahdi army's got the Iraqi police and Badr's got the commandos. Everybody's got their own death squads"

-- A high-ranking U.S. military officer speaking on anonymity about the two main Shiite factions that hold sway within the Iraqi police forces, which have received little training from occupation forces. "The priority was first placed on building the Iraqi army and at the same time allowing the Iraqi police force to evolve," Army Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch told the Los Angeles Times, November 29, 2005   (MORE)


"We do not know the exact quantity of oil we are exporting, we do not exactly know the prices we are selling it for, and we do not know where the oil revenue is going to"

-- An official of the Oil Ministry in Baghdad quoted in ISN Security Watch, December 7, 2005   (MORE)


"[Senator John Murtha is] a lovable guy, [but] he's never been a big thinker; he's an appropriator"

-- Senator John McCain, quoted in The New Republic, December 12, 2005 issue. "As we get older, we get more sentimental," McCain says. "And [Murtha] has been very, very affected by the funerals and the families. But you cannot let that affect the way you decide policy"


"Whatever quality control mechanisms were in play on September 10th were eliminated on September 11th"

-- A former senior intelligence official on the CIA's struggle to interpret the flood of tips that came in after 9/11. In one case of "erroneous rendition" now under investigation, agents snatched an innocent college professor who had given an al Qaeda suspect a bad grade. "They picked up the wrong people, who had no information. In many, many cases there was only some vague association," a CIA officer told the Washington Post, December 4, 2005


"It was the Camelot of counterterrorism...and it was fun"

-- A former counterterrorism official recalling the post-9/11 heyday of the CIA's Counterterrorist Center, when the staff quickly ballooned from 300 to 1,200. Key to the operations was the Rendition Group, which kidnapped suspects and took them to Agency-run "black sites" or prisons in friendly countries. Washington Post, December 4, 2005


"The Pentagon and our guys over there have got every right to have good news put into the media and get to the people of Iraq, even if it's got to be planted or bought"

-- Pat Buchanan on "Hardball," December 1, 2005


"Otherwise I have to declare him a moron, an idiot or a nefarious bastard"

-- Former Powell chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson, telling AP that Cheney must have sincerely believed that Iraq could be a spawning ground for new terror assaults. November 28, 2005


"I am obviously deeply chagrined that I ever write anything that turns out to be incorrect. I'm deeply sorry that the stories were wrong"

-- Former NY Times reporter Judy Miller on BBC Newsnight, November 30, 2005. Asked if Rove was another source in the Plame leak scandal, Miller said, "I can't talk about the specifics of this case as I might be a witness in a criminal trial"


"We will always be Muslims, Serbs or Croats, but one thing we all have in common is Bruce Lee"

-- Veselin Gatalo of the youth group Urban Movement Mostar, as a statue of the kung-fu film star was unveiled in the Bosnian city of Mostar. The life-size statue of Lee, holding the martial arts nunchucks weapon, was commissioned as a symbol for ethnic unity, according to a November 26, 2005 BBC News article. But within hours, the nunchucks were stolen from the statue's hand. "Once again we've shown what Balkan savageness is!" said a disgusted citizen to Sky News   (MORE)


"Terrorists could take over part of this country and expand from here. And given the resources of Iraq, given the technical expertise of its people, it will make Afghanistan look like child's play"

-- U.S. ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad, quoted in Newsweek, December 5, 2005 issue


"The President is more determined than ever to stay the course, [but] he doesn't feel any pain. Bush is a believer in the adage 'People may suffer and die, but the Church advances'"

-- A former defense official, quoted in The New Yorker, December 5, 2005 issue. Bush has become detatched, leaving more issues to Rove and Cheney, according to the source. "They keep him in the gray world of religious idealism, where he wants to be anyway"


"[Bush is talking more] about his feelings about manifest destiny, about a higher calling that he was talking about three, four years ago... is this president going to be capable of responding to reality?"

-- Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh on CNN's Late Edition, November 27, 2005. "Is he going to accept... a bad assessment or is he simply going to see it as something else that is just a little bit in the way as he marches on in his crusade that may not be judged for 10 or 20 years?"


"It's the most helpless feeling I have ever felt... we were the walking dead. It was no longer a matter of making it home alive and in one piece. Just alive would be fine"

-- U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Barker, describing how morale plummeted after 4 men in his unit were killed in 9 days. Los Angeles Times, November 23, 2005


"Morale is a roller coaster. We were all idealistic to begin with, wanting to find Osama bin Laden and Zarqawi, and bring them to justice -- whatever that means. Now we just want to go home"

-- Lt. Rusten Currie, who has spent 10 months in Iraq. Los Angeles Times, November 23, 2005


"If I can help people focus on preparedness... then I hope I can help the country in some way"

-- Ousted FEMA director Michael Brown, who is now offering consulting services in emergency planning. Rocky Mountain News, November 23, 2005


"This is very good indeed ... Encouraging ... Not like the crap we are all so used to getting out of CIA"

-- Notes by Cheney found on the margin of a pre-Iraq invasion report by Doug Feith claiming proof of links between Al Qaeda and Saddam. National Journal, November 22, 2005


"By turning the discussion of the war into a for-us or against-us proposition, the White House last week showed exactly what kind of debate it wants on the future of Iraq -- none"

-- Senator Barack Obama (D - Illinois) in a speech to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, November 22, 2005   (MORE)


"Everybody wants to be at Versailles. Versailles is Washington ... they want to be part of the power structure, and if taking the leak from the official source gets you credit within your news organization ... getting close to Cheney, getting close to Rumsfeld ... if that brings you credit and gets you more promotions, it's a great way to live"

-- John MacArthur, president and publisher of Harper's Magazine, quoted in a new book, "Feet to the Fire, the Media After 9/11." AFP, November 22, 2005


"I didn't advocate invasion [of Iraq] ... I wasn't asked"

-- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on ABC's This Week, November 20, 2005. According to numerous sources, Rumsfeld repeatedly advocated attacking Iraq as early as January, 2001. "Sanctions are fine," he is quoted by ex-Treasury Sec'y Paul O'Neill in The Price Of Loyalty, "But what we really want to think about is going after Saddam"


"I have never seen such an outpouring in the 32 years I've been in Congress of support and people with tears in their eyes, people walking along clapping when I'm walking through the halls of Congress, saying something needed to be said"

-- Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania) on Meet The Press, November 20, 2005   (MORE)


"We have crossed the line into dangerous territory. I am embarrassed that the USA has a vice president for torture. I think it is just reprehensible"

-- Former CIA Director Admiral Stansfield Turner on Britain's ITV news, November 18, 2005


"You guys are pathetic. Pathetic"

-- Rep. Marty Meehan (D-Mass), one of several Democrats who jumped to the defense of Rep. Murtha from Republican attacks, which included a call for an ethics probe. The heated debate extended to the Senate. "I won't stand for the swift-boating of Jack Murtha," said Senator John Kerry. November 18, 2005   (MORE)


"It just looks really bad. It looks like what people have been saying about Bob Woodward for the past five years, that he's become a stenographer for the Bush White House"

-- Eric Boehlert, a Rolling Stone contributing editor and author of a forthcoming book on the administration and the press, quoted in the Washington Post, November 17, 2005


"I don't see anything wrong with that. He doesn't have to disclose every goddamn thing he knows"

-- Former Washington Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee, defending Bob Woodward for failing to tell his editor that he also knew Plame's identity in 2003. Editor & Publisher, November 16, 2005


"This investigation has cast a constant searchlight that the White House can't turn off the way it has succeeded in turning off the press"

-- Carl Bernstein in The Huffington Post, November 14, 2005. "Their dishonesty and their disingenuousness -- particularly about how we went to war -- as well as their willingness to attack and rough up people who don't agree with them are now there for all to see. They can't turn off this searchlight, which is shining on a White House that runs a media apparatus so sophisticated in discrediting its critics it makes the Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Ziegler press shop look like a small-time operation"


"I think a lot of us would really stop and think a moment before we would ever vote for war or to go and take military action"

-- Senator Pat Roberts (R- Kansas), head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on "Fox News Sunday," November 14, 2005. "We don't accept this intelligence at face value anymore," he added. "We get into preemptive oversight and do digging in regards to our hard targets"


"Going after a lefty audience would be futile. For some strange reason, probably genetic reasons, [liberals] don't listen to a lot of radio and they don't watch a lot of television"

-- NBC Universal President Bob Wright, explaining at a media conference there will never be a cable news channel with a liberal viewpoint. Broadcasting & Cable, November 13, 2005


"America's leaders -- all of us -- need to accept the responsibility we each carry for how we got to this place"

-- Former Senator and VP candidate John Edwards op/ed in the Washington Post, November 13, 2005. "It was a mistake to vote for this war in 2002...The world desperately needs moral leadership from America, and the foundation for moral leadership is telling the truth"


"I would rather see burning cars than suicide bombings. Next time, though, it could be Kalashnikovs"

-- Hamid Senni, who earned an MBA and worked for Ericsson in Sweden and BP in England, but could not even get a job interview from a French company. Senni, a descendant of poor Algerian immigrants who grew up in France's housing projects, told the Independent/UK, "What's holding us back is discrimination, pure and simple...The kids in those areas see people like me struggling to get a job and say, 'What's the point of going to school?'" November 13, 2005


"He became what we wanted him to be. We put him there, not the jihadists"

-- Loretta Napoleoni, author of "Insurgent Iraq," who says the Bush administration created the myth around Iraq rebel leader Zarqawi in order to support the fiction of a link between al-Qaeda and Saddam. In the current issue of Foreign Policy, she explains this elevated Zarqawi from a little-known training camp instructor to someone with the power to surpass bin Laden and transform al-Qaeda "from a small elitist vanguard to a mass movement." UPI, November 10, 2005


"We exist to put commercials on the air. The programming that is put on between those commercials is simply the bait we put in the mousetrap"

-- Ted Koppel, who is retiring from ABC's Nightline after 26 years of broadcasting. Washington Post November 8, 2005


"What are editors for?"

-- Former NY Times reporter Judy Miller, suggesting that she was the scapegoat for false WMD stories. "I think the editors who were in charge of the WMD reporting and of the other pre-war intelligence had left the paper by the time [a recent critical] editor's note appeared. It was the new management that came in and made a determination on the basis of what, I don't know, that there was insufficient vetting and editing of these stories." NPR's "Morning Edition" interview, November 11, 2005


"If I was to make another Terminator movie, I would tell Terminator to travel back in time to tell Arnold not to have another special election"

-- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at a November 10, 2005 news conference. His spokesman insisted that voters were rejecting the special election itself, not the anti-union, redistricting initatives that the governor forced on the ballot


"This is just the beginning. It's not going to end until there are two policemen dead"

-- Moussa Diallo, a 22 year-old unemployed French-African man in Clichy-sous-Bois, the working-class Parisian suburb where the riots started Oct. 27 following the deaths of two youths reportedly being chased by police. Diallo and others in these towns often have complained about police abuse. "If you're treated like a dog, you react like a dog," Diallo told the NY Times, November 7, 2005


"A whole generation of children just died"

-- Nauman Jahangir, a MD just returned from the Himalayan earthquake region, where UNICEF estimates 17,000 were killed in the Oct. 8 quake, which hit just as the school day was starting. "We didn't see many children between the ages of 7 and 15," Jahangir told the Las Vegas Review-Journal November 7, 2005


"Before, I sold water, flowers, shoes, cars -- but not weapons. We didn't know anything about weapons"

-- Ziad Cattan, a former used-car dealer before U.S. authorities made him procurement chief for the Iraq Defense Ministry. Cattan, who has fled the country and is facing corruption charges by the Iraq government, paid nearly $1.3 billion in sacks of cash for questionable military equipment. LA Times, November 7, 2005


"There was a visible audit trail from the Vice President's office through the Secretary of Defense, down to the commanders in the field that in carefully couched terms ... [stated] 'We're not getting enough good intelligence and you need to get that evidence, and, oh, by the way, here's some ways you probably can get it'"

-- Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell. Wilkerson says he was assigned to investigate who authorized practices that led to the abuse of prisoners. Wilkerson also told NPR November 3, 2005, that Cheney's office ran an "alternate national security staff" that sought to undermine the NSC


"The wackos get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees. Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them"

-- Memo from Michael Scanlon, former business partner of Jack Abramoff and aide to Rep. Tom DeLay. The memo, which was read into the public record at a hearing of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee November 2, 2005, was sent to an Indian tribe to explain how he would protect their casino by tricking Christian voters into supporting gambling


"The difference from after the Miers nomination was like being at a morgue versus being at a combination of a wedding reception, Super Bowl party and bar mitzvah"

-- Jordan Lorence, a lawyer for the Christian conservative Alliance Defense Fund, on the Alito nomination. NY Times, October 31, 2005


"Again and again, they were asking questions about this article. We had to explain that this was a satire. It was really pathetic"

-- Badr Zaman Badr, an Afghani who was just released from Guantanamo after 35 months in captivity. Badr was arrested for a 1998 humor piece offering $113 for the arrest of President Clinton. Badr told Newsday October 31, 2005, that when one team of interrogators "began to accept that this was satire," another agency would take over questioning and it would start all over again


"If you'll look at my lovely FEMA attire you'll really vomit. I ama [sic] fashion god"

-- Former FEMA director Michael Brown August 29, 2005 e-mail, one of several messages concerned with his TV appearance and finding a dog-sitter sent to / from his aides as the New Orleans crisis unfolded


"God, they're an odd bunch, these Republicans"

-- Nancy Sladek, editor of Britain's Literary Review, which has an annual contest for bad sex writing in fiction, commenting on passages from a 1996 novel by I. "Scooter" Libby. "The Apprentice" includes a description of a 10 year-old girl forced to have intercourse with a trained bear. The New Yorker issue of November 7, 2005


"[Bush] has done a terrible job as president. I think he is going to be known for being, perhaps, the Millard Fillmore of the last 100 years. I think he has a big hole to climb out of"

-- Senate minority leader Harry Reid, Christian Science Monitor, November 1, 2005


"Suspected liberals had become the new 'Communists' ...What in the world would Edward R. Murrow think of his network now?"

-- Mary Mapes, the CBS News producer who lost her job after the disputed "60 Minutes II" Bush/National Guard report. Quote from her article in the upcoming December issue of Vanity Fair reported in Editor and Publisher, October 31, 2005


"The long nightmare won't really be over until journalists ask themselves: what did we know, when did we know it, and why didn't we tell the public?"

-- NY Times columnist Paul Krugman, October 31, 2005. "These days, there is much harsh, justified criticism of the failure of major news organizations, this one included, to exert due diligence on rationales for the war. But the failures that made the long nightmare possible began much earlier, during the weeks after 9/11, when the media eagerly helped our political leaders build up a completely false picture of who they were"


"The unfortunate thing about this special prosecutor's investigation is that it took him hauling reporters in to court before a lot of the relevant questions about the president were raised in the press"

-- Carl Bernstein in Editor and Publisher, October 28, 2005


"He's old enough to know better. He watched Watergate and Iran-Contra"

-- John Dean, Nixon's White House counsel on Libby's indictments. "To try to pull the leg of the grand jury was really quite remarkable." TIME, October 30, 2005


"He is right back to where he was on Sept. 10, 2001"

-- A former White House official on Bush's declining fortunes, quoted in the NY Daily News, October 28, 2005. Two polls taken that same day show Bush with an average 40% approval and 57% disapproval ratings. A poll taken shortly before the 9/11 attacks show Bush actually had far better ratings at that time: 56% approval and 36% disapproval


"You can't say, 'Please don't be mean to me. Please let me win sometimes.' Give me a break here -- If you don't want to fight for the future and you can't figure out how to beat these people then find something else to do"

-- Bill Clinton at the Texas Book Festival, October 29, 2005


"There's all this talk about the Republican base ... and how it's important to play to the base and please the base and fawn over the base. And look what it gets President Bush. It just gets him a kick in the rear. That's what they've done to him, and they've done it to him at a time when he's vulnerable, and they've done it at the expense of a perfectly fine human being"

-- UN ambassador and former GOP senator John Danforth on conservative opposition to Harriet Miers' nomination. NY Times, October 28, 2005


"The question becomes: Is there a Howard Baker moment?"

-- GOP historian and head of the Lincoln Presidential Library Richard Norton Smith, comparing Bush's crisis to Reagan's decision to shake up the White House staff and change policies during the Iran-Contra investigation by appointing respected former senator Baker as chief of staff. "And if there's a Howard Baker moment, who's Howard Baker? There aren't as many 'wise men' around Washington as there were 20 years ago." NY Times, October 28, 2005


"Everybody just wants this week over"

-- White House official quoted by the Washington Post, October 26, 2005


"What did the vice president know, and when did he know it?"

-- CBS correspondent Bill Plante shouted question to president Bush at a October 25, 2005 photo-op. Bush did not respond


"At least once a week, it seemed, Powell trooped over to the Oval Office and cleaned all the dog poop off the carpet. He held a youthful, inexperienced president's hand. He told him everything would be all right because he, the secretary of State, would fix it... It wasn't enough, of course, but it helped"

-- Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell from 2002 through 2005. LA Times, October 25, 2005   (MORE)


"It's quite healthy to have staff turnover"

-- GOP strategist and Bush's first-term scheduling director Brad Blakeman, puttling the best possible face on White House fears of Karl Rove's indictment. NY Times, October 24, 2005


"I think we are -- we do have the beginning of adjustments that I think puts us on the right path to succeeding in Iraq"

-- U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad brimming with confidence on PBS News Hour, October 25, 2005


"This is not some manager at McDonald's chewing out the help. This is the President of the United States, and it's not a pleasant sight"

-- A source with close White House ties on recent Bush outbursts to junior staff members. NY Daily News, October 24, 2005


"I've never maintained that the administration deliberately misled [the public]. I think they misled themselves, that we can see. And then they misled the world"

-- Former United Nations chief weapons inspector Hans Blix. Boston Globe, October 22, 2005


"White House senior staff are starting to ask outside people, saying, 'We're not discussing pulling out her nomination, but if we were to, do you have any advice as to how we should do it?'"

-- A conservative Republican with ties to the White House quoted in The Washington Times, October 22, 2005


"They're always accusing us of repressing their speech - I say let's do it. Let's repress them"

-- Life of the (Republican) party Ann Coulter, earning her $30,000 speaker's fee with her trademark, neo-fascist humor about Americans who "whine" over free speech. Later at the October 20, 2005 GOP fundraiser in Gainesville, Coulter proclaimed, "Frankly, I'm not a big fan of the First Amendment." Quoted Oct. 21 in the Independent Florida Alligator


"Just tell her that I just ate an MRE and crapped in the hallway of the Superdome, along with 30,000 other close friends, so I understand her concern about busy restaurants"

-- FEMA regional chief Marty Bahamonde August 31, 2005 response to an e-mail from Michael Brown's aide that the director was unavailable. "It is very important that time is allowed for Mr. Brown to eat dinner," Sharon Worthy wrote. "Given that Baton Rouge is back to normal, restaurants are getting busy. He needs much more that [sic] 20 or 30 minutes. We now have traffic to encounter to go to and from a location of his choise [sic], followed by wait service from the restaurant staff, eating, etc. Thank you."


"I can't -- we can't -- really identify where we went wrong in the approach, other than that we misjudged the Democrats, and particularly the leadership, and the AARP"

-- Top White House economic advisor Allan Hubbard on the opposition's success in thwarting Bush's social security plans. Wall St. Journal October 20, 2005


"That's a difference between Democrats and Republicans - we don't want them next door molesting children and murdering women"

-- Jeanine Pirro, GOP senate candidate from New York, accusing Sen. Hillary Clinton and other Democrats of coddling criminals. Pirro's campaign manager later said the quote was taken out of context. October 19, 2005, Elmira Star-Gazette


"Bush did not feel misled so much by Karl and others as believing that they handled it in a ham-handed and bush-league way"

-- A "well-placed source" who told the NY Daily News, October 19, 2005, that Bush was angered because the White House damage-control team did a clumsy job in their efforts to discredit Plame's husband, Joseph Wilson


"There is a resignation among the soldiers that they are in it for the long haul... [the Iraqi police] that they trusted can no longer be trusted and that they must fall back on their own resources"

-- British defense analyst Paul Beaver, Independent/UK, October 18, 2005


"If he felt there was someone who he felt had done him or his family or the nation wrong, I would have done that for him"

-- Hit-man wannabe Bill O'Reilly, describing his e-mail offering to settle old scores for Peter Jennings. O'Reilly told Newsday, October 18, 2005, he wrote to the anchorman three weeks before he died. "'If you want me to take care of anybody for you ...' I was serious"


"It is a bizarre and cruel trial, taking place in the midst of a civil war when one of the main protagonists in the war is the accused"

-- Chibli Mallat, a founder of Indict, an organization that tried for years to get Saddam indicted. "It will inevitably be a victors' trial. Victors' trials are never of the standard they would have been if a special court had been set up before. This is not at all the ambition we had hoped for." Christian Science Monitor, October 19, 2005


"Set him free on the streets... the people would give him a fair trial. Let them pick apart his flesh, one piece at a time"

-- Ahmad Raza, a lawyer in northern Iraq, on the Saddam trial. Raza's 18 year-old brother was accused of supporting Kurdish rebels and executed in 1985. Dallas Morning News, October 18, 2005


"She is a very good bowler. For someone her size, she actually gets a lot of action out of the pins"

-- Office of Management and Budget director Joshua Bolten on Harriet Miers. "I was racking my brain trying to think of something specific," he told the NY Times, October 16, 2005. Bolten preceeded Miers as Bush's deputy White House chief of staff


"This is one of the stages of civil war we are right in now"

-- Former prime minister Allawi to the Sunday Telegraph/UK, October 16, 2005. "What you have is killings, assassinations, militias, a stagnant economy, no services... on a daily basis there are assassinations and liquidations. In Jordan, I was told that the official figures of Iraqi students trying to move to Jordanian universities is 14,000. We have an exodus of doctors from Iraq. These are all the ingredients of much wider problems"


"WMD - I got it totally wrong. The analysts, the experts and the journalists who covered them - we were all wrong. If your sources are wrong, you are wrong. I did the best job that I could"

-- NY Times Reporter Judith Miller. New York Times, October 16, 2005


"Just let us have our constitution and elections in December and then we will do what Saddam did - start with five people from each neighborhood and kill them in the streets and then go from there"

-- Iraqi Army Sgt. Ahmed Sabri, among the mostly-Shiite armed forces vowing to take revenge on Sunni Iraqis. "Thousands and thousands of Shiites are being killed, which is why they're joining the army." Knight Ridder, October 12, 2005


"The army should execute the Sunnis in their neighborhoods so that all of them can see what happens, so that all of them learn their lesson"

-- Iraqi Army Major Swadi Ghilan, who told Knight Ridder he wants to hunt down and kill not only Sunni guerrilla fighters but also Sunnis who give those fighters shelter and support. By that, he means killing most Sunnis in Iraq. "There are two Iraqs; it's something that we can no longer deny," Ghilan said. His unit is responsible for security in western Baghdad, where many Sunnis live. October 12, 2005


"I don't think that they outright detested him -- until now"

-- Peter D. Hart, on of the pollsters on the NBC/Wall Street Journal survey that found only 2% of African Americans approve of Bush job performance, the lowest known rating of any president. After 9/11, the same poll found Blacks approved of him by 51%. Washington Post, October 13, 2005


"In the States, if police burst into your house, kicking down doors and swearing at you, you would call your lawyer and file a lawsuit. Here, there are no lawyers. Their resources are limited, so they plant IEDs instead"

-- U.S. Army Lt. Col. Todd Wood, on aggressive tactics used by U.S. forces in door-to-door searches looking for Iraqis suspected of planting IEDs. San Francisco Chronicle, October 13, 2005


"I wish I could be there to see you face to face and thank you personally. Probably a little early for me to go to Tikrit. Perhaps one of these days the situation will be such that I'll be able to get back to Iraq"

-- President Bush to a small group of U.S. soldiers in a October 12, 2005 teleconference. Six days earlier, Bush said of Osama bin Laden, "What this man who grew up in wealth and privilege considers good for poor Muslims is that they become killers and suicide bombers... though he never offers to go along for the ride"


"We don't confirm justices of the Supreme Court on a wink and a nod. And a litmus test is no less a litmus test by using whispers and signals"

-- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) on Bush and others in the administration who praise Harriet Miers' strong religious views when asked about her qualifications for the Supreme Court. New York Times, October 12, 2005


"If Rove gets indicted, that could bring down the Bush administration"

-- Bill O'Reilly on "The O'Reilly Factor," October 11, 2005


"One can only hope that history will show that some good will come from the invasion of Iraq... but whatever happens, the issue for journalists is how they performed in the run-up to war"

-- Michael Getler, in his final column as Washington Post ombudsman, chiding the media for playing down or ignoring stories that challenged White House WMD claims. "That is by far the single most important and most disappointing performance by the press, including The Post ... it was nowhere near good enough." October 9, 2005


"What you saw on the floor this afternoon was a shameless display of the culture of corruption"

-- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi on GOP Republican leadership holding open a vote on pro-industry energy bill for 45 minutes until they could get the two votes needed for passage. Rep. Henry Waxman asked, "Doesn't this make the House a banana republic?" October 7, 2005


"Sometimes the problem with being a Democrat is being a Democrat"

-- Political consultant and pundit James Carville, on the Democratic party's belief that it has to endorse a laundry list of causes and special interests to win elections. The Demos should drop the "Kumbayah crap," he told students at Northwestern College, October 7, 2005


"How many of you, I wonder, have heard a friend or a family member in the last few years remark that it's almost as if America has entered 'an alternate universe?'"

-- Al Gore at the "We Media" conference in New York, October 5, 2005


"The odds are not great of our prevailing there"

-- Bill Clinton on Iraq, in an interview to appear in the November issue of Ladies Home Journal. "Since the end of World War II, the only major foreign power that succeeded in putting down an insurgency was the British putting down the Malay insurgency, but the British stayed 15 years"


"God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did"

-- President Bush to Palestinian leaders at June, 2003 summit, as recalled by Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, according to Haaretz, June 26, 2003. "Now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them." On Oct. 6 2005 White House spokesman Scott McClellan said "He's never made such comments," although Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath recalls the same thing in the upcoming BBC program, "Elusive Peace"


"She is on the extreme end of the anti-choice movement"

-- Lorlee Bartos, who managed Harriet Miers' only political campaign when she ran for Dallas City Council in 1989. "I think Harriet's belief was pretty strongly felt," Bartos told the Dallas Morning News, October 3, 2005. "I suspect she is of the same cloth as the president"   (MORE)


"It's not like IBM, a monolith that's centralized. It's much more like McDonald's. It's franchised"

-- CENTCOM head General John Abizaid, explaining why the U.S. has been unable to stop Al-Qaeda forces in Iraq. Congressional testimony, September 29, 2005


"I would like to believe he's sick rather than just mean and evil"

-- Rep. Charles Rangel (D - New York) on Dick Cheney. In a September 30, 2005 interview on NY1, a New York City-based cable news channel, Rangel added, "He should never have stepped up in the first place. He's too old for the job and doesn't have the experience... sometimes I don't even think Cheney is awake enough to know what's going on"


"The invasion of Iraq I believe will turn out to be the greatest strategic disaster in U.S. history"

-- Former NSA head and retired Army Lt. Gen. William Odom, now a scholar with the Hudson Institute. Lowell [Massachussets] Sun, September 29, 2005


"There are an awful lot of people chasing the wrong rabbit here, it seems to me. The idea that the country could get fixated on one and three battalions out of 100 is really unfortunate because it totally misses what's important and the big picture"

-- Donald Rumsfeld at news conference September 30, 2005, a day after General George Casey told Congress that just one Iraqi battalion is capable of operating independently. He had previously claimed three were ready for combat


"It's not going to be as black as it was for a long time, if ever again"

-- HUD secretary Alphonso R. Jackson on the future of New Orleans, Houston Chronicle, September 29, 2005. The Cabinet member also told the paper, "I wish that the so-called black leadership would stop running around this country, like Jesse and the rest of them, making this a racial issue"


"If you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down"

-- William Bennett, author of "The Book of Virtues" and Secretary of Education under Reagan on his September 28, 2005 radio show, "Bill Bennett's Morning in America." Bennett made it clear that it was no faux pas by continuing, "that would be an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down"


"Thank God it's not September, 2006"

-- GOP consultant Scott W. Reed, on the indictment of Tom DeLay and other roiling ethical scandals. "If you're a Republican going home to your district, this is an 'Excedrin moment,'" John J. Pitney Jr., a political scientist at Claremont McKenna College also told the Business Week newsletter, September 29, 2005. "You want to talk about tax cuts, but the first questions are about Katrina, Iraq, and ethics"


"This is one of the weakest, most baseless indictments in American history"

-- (Former) House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, on the first indictment of a Congressional leader in American history. September 28, 2005   (MORE)


"Here is an administration that didn't do its job and now is trying to dig itself out by making right-wing groups happy"

-- Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, on the announcement that FEMA will make large-scale payments to religious groups for helping hurricane refugees. "We've never complained about using a religious organization as a distribution point for food or clothing or anything else," Lynn told the Washington Post, September 27, 2005. But "direct cash reimbursements would be unprecedented"


"I know what I'm doing, and I think I do a pretty darn good job of it"

-- Former FEMA director Michael Brown, testifying before a special panel set up by House GOP leaders, September 27, 2005. "My biggest mistake was not recognizing by Saturday that Louisiana was dysfunctional," Brown also said, "So I guess you want me to be the superhero, to step in there and take everyone out of New Orleans." Rep. Christopher Shays (R - Connecticut) shot back, "What I wanted you to do is do your job and coordinate"


"When they got to Houston, people were just seeing for the first time how they were portrayed in the media. It was so upsetting for them to be up on a roof for two days, with their kids in soiled diapers, and then see themselves portrayed as looters"

-- Damien Randle, a financial adviser and one half of the "Legendary K.O." The Houston duo recorded a rap, "George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People" that has been downloaded an estimated 500,000 times in less than three weeks. Two videos have been created for the music by others. "A. J. Liebling famously commented that freedom of the press belongs to those who own one. Well, we all own one now," Mike Godwin of free-speech advocacy group Public Knowledge told the NY Times, September 25, 2005


"Some days we would just get bored, so we would have everyone sit in a corner and then make them get in a pyramid. This was before Abu Ghraib but just like it. We did it for amusement"

-- An Army sergeant who is one of three former members of an elite division that has told HRW they routinely beat and abused Iraqi prisoners in 2003 and 2004 with full knowledge of their commanders. ""As long as no PUC's [persons under control] came up dead, it happened," the sergeant is quoted in the report released September 23, 2005. "We kept it to broken arms and legs"   (MORE)


"If this makes the climate loonies in the States realize we've got a problem, some good will come out of a truly awful situation"

-- Sir John Lawton, chairman of Britain's Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, calling the two massive hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast in September "the smoking gun" to prove global warming. Asked about his reference to "loonies," Lawton added, "I'd liken them to the people who denied that smoking causes lung cancer." Independent/UK September 23, 2005


"They should be treated like any other business. That's the way we do it in Mississippi"

-- Republican Gov. Haley Barbour, endorsing White House plans to allow the gambling industry to take huge tax write-offs for hurricane damage to casinos. Alberto Lopez, a spokesman for Harrah's told the Washington Post, September 22, 2005, "We're actually scratching our heads. We can't ever remember an instance of being offered a tax credit -- ever"


"It's a sad world when they have to worry about people filling themselves up with radiation so they can blow themselves up"

-- Pro golfer David Toms, who set off radiation alarms when dining at the White House with other Presidents Cup players Sept. 20. Toms had residual radiation in his body from medical tests a few days earlier. New York Times, September 22, 2005


"I think it's a concern that Bush disappears during times of stress. He spends so much time on his ranch. It's very frightening"

-- Dr. Justin Frank, a psychiatrist and author of "Bush On The Couch: Inside The Mind Of The President," quoted in a September 21, 2005 National Enquirer article claiming Bush has resumed drinking because of stress. Frank told the tabloid that he believes the charge is true


"You run down the list of things we thought we could accomplish and you have to wonder what we thought we were thinking"

-- A four-year veteran of the Bush Administration quoted by The American Spectator, September 19, 2005. "You get the impression that we're more than listless. We're sunk"


"This is the Katrina administration"

-- Senator John Kerry, September 19, 2005. "Katrina is a symbol of all this administration does and doesn't do. Michael Brown -- or Brownie as the President so famously thanked him for doing a heck of a job -- Brownie is to Katrina what Paul Bremer is to peace in Iraq; what George Tenet is to slam dunk intelligence; what Paul Wolfowitz is to parades paved with flowers in Baghdad; what Dick Cheney is to visionary energy policy; what Donald Rumsfeld is to basic war planning; what Tom Delay is to ethics; and what George Bush is to 'Mission Accomplished' and 'Wanted Dead or Alive.' The bottom line is simple: The 'we'll do whatever it takes' administration doesn't have what it takes to get the job done"


"There's no one with the nerve to tell the president when things are not going well. You saw that on Social Security, and you saw it in dealing with Katrina"

-- A GOP strategist who formerly worked in the administration, quoted by U.S. News & World Report, September 26, 2005 issue. According to the Sept. 19 issue of Newsweek, Bush didn't realize the extend of the hurricane's damage until counselor Dan Bartlett made him a DVD of news reports on the disaster, four days after New Orleans flooded


"It is possibly one of the largest thefts in history"

-- Ali Allawi, Iraq's Finance Minister on the estimated $1 billion siphoned from the country's defense budget, mostly as old or inferior military equipment was purchased for top dollar. "Huge amounts of money have disappeared. In return we got nothing but scraps of metal," he told The Independent/UK September 19, 2005


"Every single day of the year, our government goes into the market and borrows money from other countries to finance Iraq, Afghanistan, Katrina, and our tax cuts. We have never done this before. Never in the history of our republic have we ever financed a conflict, military conflict, by borrowing money from somewhere else"

-- President Bill Clinton on ABC News' "This Week," September 18, 2005. "We depend on Japan, China, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Korea primarily to basically loan us money every day of the year to cover my tax cut and these conflicts and Katrina. I don't think it makes any sense"


"If we knew anybody that owned a business that lost life in the storm, that would be something we could push back with"

-- Senator Jeff Sessions (R- Alabama), hoping to find a Poster Child for repeal of the federal estate tax among the victims of Hurricane Katrina. With just the top 1.4 percent of all estates subject to taxation, Sessions has not yet found a candidate among the people who were too poor to flee the disaster. TIME, September 17, 2005


"I know how he feels, there are times in these big meetings when all eyes are on you and yet below your cheery smile you are bursting"

-- Tory MSP Brian Monteith on the widely-circulated photo of Bush writing a memo to Condoleezza Rice during a session at the UN that read, "I think I may need a bathroom break? Is that possible?" Monteith also told the Washington Post, September 15, 2005, "I've been telling people for years that George Bush is human and not some alien or automaton, but no-one would listen"


"How is he behaving? Has the place blown up?"

-- President Bush Sept. 13 to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on U.S. ambassador John Bolton, who once said ten floors of the UN building could disappear without making a difference. Washington Post, September 15, 2005


"You're not entitled to the job here, God love you. Without any knowledge of your understanding of the law -- because you will not share it with us -- we are rolling the dice with you, judge"

-- Sen. Joseph Biden (D - Delaware) to Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, September 14, 2005. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D - NY) told Roberts he had turned the hearing room into a "cone of silence." September 14, 2005   (MORE)


"Would you agree that the opposite of being dead is being alive?"

-- Sen. Tom Coburn (R - Oklahoma), seeking to get Supreme Court nominee John Roberts to express any kind of opinion about abortion. Roberts hesitated: "Yes ... I don't mean to be overly cautious in answering." September 14, 2005


"Above all else, it proves the governor doesn't dance so well at times"

-- Schwarzenegger spokesman Rob Stutzman on the discovery that muscle magazines publisher American Media purchased a 1983 Playboy video showing the future governor fondling a woman's buttocks before she pushes his hands away. The tape was purchased in September 2003, soon after Schwarzenegger entered the governor's race. "We were protecting him," a former executive at the company told the LA Times, September 12, 2005


"You have to understand these people were going to die anyway"

-- A New Orleans doctor who told the Mail on Sunday/UK, September 11, 2005, that hospital workers euthanized critically-ill patients whom they believed could not live through evacuation. "This was not murder, this was compassion. They would have been dead within hours, if not days. We did not put people down." The doctor was quoted anonymously because euthanasia is illegal in Louisiana


"Our intent is to approach the evacuees at the right time for them"

-- Army spokesman Douglas Smith, explaining that the 10 Army recruiters aiding Katrina evacuees at Houston's Astrodome are also available to offer exciting job opportunities in today's Army Of One. Wall Street Journal, September 9, 2005


"We really thought we had won"

-- A top Afghan official quoted by Reuters, September 9, 2005, on the growing influx of well-armed fighters coming into the country from Pakistan. Rebels are also adapting tactics successful in Iraq, with over 1,100 people killed so far this year in Afghan bomb blasts and shootings, compared with 850 for all of 2004


"How can it be that Mr. Bill was better informed than Mr. Bush?"

-- Senator Mary Landrieu (D - Louisiana), noting that long-running public service announcements featuring the clay animation character have warned that the levees could break. Press conference, September 8, 2005


"Those who want to see this city rebuilt want to see it done in a completely different way: demographically, geographically and politically"

-- James Reiss, who lives in an exclusive gated New Orleans neighborhood protected by an Israeli security company he helicoptered in after the hurricane. Reiss says he and about 40 other business leaders are meeting in Dallas to map out the city's future with better services and fewer poor people. Wall Street Journal, September 8, 2005


"FEMA hired the best of the best firefighters, got them together and gave them secretary jobs"

-- Thomas Blomgren, one of several hundred firefighters waiting days at the Atlanta airport hotel and now told that they will be sent to South Carolina to do paperwork. "On the news every night you hear [hurricane victims say], 'How come everybody forgot us?' " said Joseph Manning, another firefighter. "We didn't forget. We're stuck in Atlanta drinking beer." AP, September 7, 2005


"We were expressly told that we were just waiting for someone to climb on an APC. After a day or two, a 12-year-old climbed on one of the APCs. There were a lot of guesses about his age. First they said he was eight, later that he was 12. In any case, he climbed on an APC, and one of our sharpshooters killed him"

-- Moshe, a whistleblower and former sergeant in the Israeli military describing the "pressure to get kills" as his unit was ordered to set up ambushes in Gaza during May 2003. "So kids got killed. For a soldier it means nothing. An officer can get a 100 or 200 shekel [$23-47] fine for such a thing." UK/Guardian, September 6, 2005


"The commanders said kill as many people as possible... Gaza was considered a playground for sharpshooters"

-- Rafi, a whistleblower and former officer in an elite Israeli military unit in Gaza ordered to shoot anyone seen touching the ground, or on a roof or balcony. After 2 children were killed with a single bullet to the head as they were collecting laundry from a rooftop clothes line, the Israeli army insisted the children had been blown up by a roadside bomb. UK/Guardian, September 6, 2005


"We wanted soldiers, helicopters, food and water - They wanted to negotiate an organizational chart"

-- Denise Bottcher, press secretary for Louisiana Gov. Blanco, on frustration of dealing with FEMA officials. New York Times, September 5, 2005


"So many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this -- this [chuckling] is working very well for them"

-- Barbara Bush, on a tour of hurricane relief centers in Houston. "What I'm hearing which is sort of scary is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality." American Public Media's "Marketplace" program, September 5, 2005


"It's just so much like Iraq, it's not funny, except for all the water, and they speak English"

-- Arkansas National Guard member Frank Atkinson, part of an infantry company assigned Friday to patrol central New Orleans. Washington Post, September 5, 2005


"It's like Baghdad on a bad day"

-- Arkansas National Guard member Brian McKay, part of an infantry company assigned Friday to patrol central New Orleans. "The fear in the eyes of the people, the uncertainty... people shooting and killing over little bitty things... it surprised me. I didn't think it would be that bad in my own country." Washington Post, September 5, 2005


"If one person criticizes them or says one more thing, including the president of the United States, he will hear from me"

-- Senator Mary Landrieu (D - Louisiana) on Bush administration officials blaming the state for the New Orleans disaster. "One more word about it after this show airs and I might likely have to punch him. Literally." ABC's "This Week," September 4, 2005


"They've had press conferences - I'm sick of the press conferences. For God's sakes, shut up and send us somebody"

-- Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish, just south of New Orleans, who broke down on NBC's "Meet the Press" September 4, 2005. "They were told like me, every single day, the cavalry's coming, on a federal level. The cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming. I have just begun to hear the hoofs of the cavalry"


"When I have officers committing suicide I think we've reached a point when I don't know what more it's going to take to get the attention of those in control of the response"

-- New Orleans superintendent of police P. Edwin Compass III to The New York Times, September 4, 2005. For nearly a week, many of its 1,500 policement worked around the clock. An estimated 200 walked away from their jobs, and 2 committed suicide


"Touring [the breached 17th Street levee] yesterday with the President, I saw what I believed to be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this catastrophe. Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment"

-- Senator Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) press release, September 3, 2005


"This place is going to look like Little Somalia"

-- Brig. Gen. Gary Jones, commander of the Louisiana National Guard Joint Task Force. "This will be a combat operation to get this city under control," he told Army Times, September 2, 2005


"It doesn't need to be seen, it's a make-shift morgue in there. We're not letting anyone in there anymore. If you want to take pictures of dead bodies, go to Iraq"

-- National Guardsman to Reuters photographer seeking to take pictures inside the Superdome. Reuters, September 2, 2005


"If we can't respond faster than this to an event we saw coming across the Gulf for days, then why do we think we're prepared to respond to a nuclear or biological attack?"

-- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to AP, September 1, 2005. "It puts into question all of the Homeland Security and Northern Command planning for the last four years"


"[Bush] flew down here one time two days after the doggone event was over with TV cameras, AP reporters, all kind of goddamn -- excuse my French everybody in America, but I am pissed"

-- New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin in WWL radio interview, September 1, 2005


"This is a national emergency. This is a national disgrace. FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control"

-- Terry Ebbert, head of New Orlean's emergency operations. "We are out here like pure animals. We don't have help," Rev. Issac Clark said outside the city's Convention Center, where corpses lay in the open. AP, September 1, 2005


"What you're seeing is revealing weaknesses in the state, local and federal levels... by diversion into terrorism"

-- Eric Tolbert, who was FEMA's disaster response chief until February. A disaster drill was planned for this year that would have covered evacuating people from the Superdome and housing tens of thousands of stranded citizens, but funding was cut. "I don't know if it would have saved more lives. It would have made the response faster. You might say it would have saved lives." Knight-Ridder, September 1, 2005


"This is 2005 -- It should not be like this for no catastrophe. This is pathetic"

-- John Murray, a hurricane victim outside the New Orleans convention center, next to the dead, abandonded body of 91 year-old Booker Harris propped on a lawn chair. Times-Picayune, August 31, 2005


"Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands"

-- New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, on the rising death toll from Hurricane Katrina. "We know there is a significant number of dead bodies in the water," and others dead in attics, he told AP August 31, 2005


"A lot of people are sawing through attics"

-- Senator Mary Landrieu (D - Louisiana) on New Orleans residents who sought refuge from Hurricane Katrina in attics only to find themselves trapped. In at least one case, storm victims used shotgun blasts to create an escape route to their roof. "Some of them, it was their last night on earth," Terry Ebbert, chief of homeland security for New Orleans, said of people who ignored orders to evacuate the city. "That's a hard way to learn a lesson." August 30, 2005


"This is our tsunami"

-- Biloxi Mayor A. J. Holloway, August 30, 2005


"It is not just about the Sunnis anymore. It is about all those who do not want Iraq to break up, including the Shiites"

-- Saleh al-Motlag, a top Sunni negotiator who seeks to organize widespread opposition to the draft constitution. "We would like to cooperate with Moqtada al-Sadr and very soon we will start negotiations with him," Motlag told AFP, August 30, 2005


"If he'd met with me, then I would have gone home, and it would have ended there"

-- Cindy Sheehan to AP, August 30, 2005. "I look back on it, and I am very, very, very grateful he did not meet with me, because we have sparked and galvanized the peace movement"


"It was pretty obvious what happened with the police. Their police stations got blown up and a lot of them were murdered"

-- Army Major William Fall, who oversees Iraqi security-force operations in Anbar Province. In Hit, a city of 130,000, there has been no police force since January, when police turned over to Americans all patrol cars, uniforms, and other supplies. The ex-police chief was assassinated in April. Knight Ridder, August 28, 2005


"He's got heart disease, but the disease is not restricted just to that part of his body. He grunts a lot, so you never really know what he's thinking"

-- Rep. Charles Rangel (D - NY) on Dick Cheney. NY Daily News, August 27, 2005


"We are quickly losing our ability to gather the news, especially at the White House"

-- Susan Walsh, President of the White House News Photographers' Association, in a letter to top Bush aides, complaining that the administration increasingly is refusing to allow news photographers into some events and releasing instead photos shot by staffers. Reported in The Washington Post "White House Briefing" column August 26, 2005


"Oh, please - if I had a political agenda, I wouldn't pick fetal pain"

-- Dr. Catherine DeAngelis, editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association, which published a review article Aug. 24 that found fetuses don't feel pain until the 7th month. DeAngelis told AP August 26, 2005 she has since received dozens of "horrible, vindictive" messages, such as "You're hypocrisy," "You should get a real job," and "Eternity will definitely bring justice for you"


"We have lost all the gains we made over the past 30 years"

-- Safia Taleb al-Souhail on Iraq's draft constitution, which will allow the creation of Islamic courts. The Iraqi women's right activist who sat next to Laura Bush at the 2005 State of the Union speech and flashed a two-fingered victory sign, Souhail told Reuters, August 24, 2005, "We were not backed by our friends including the Americans. They left the Islamists to come to an agreement with the Kurds"


"This is like Chicago in the '30s: You don't like somebody, you drop a dime on them"

-- Col. Austin Schmidt, who oversees Camp Bucca, one of three U.S. prisons in Iraq. Schmidt estimates a quarter of the 10,600 people behind bars "were just snagged in a dragnet-type operation" or were victims of personal vendettas. Washington Post, August 24, 2005


"I realized, these guys have been fighting riots and wars a lot longer than we have. These guys have been fighting this way for hundreds of years"

-- 1st Lt. Shawn Talmadge, one of the soldiers who tried to quell an April prison riot at Camp Bucca in Iraq. The riot lasted 4 days, with prisoners shooting pieces of cinderblock with slingshots made from thin food service gloves. "The violence, it was just absolutely incredible. The sheer volume of rocks and the accuracy of them throwing the rocks -- it was just a full-out battle." Washington Post, August 24, 2005


"It just seems a little brazen that that's put on stones. It seems like it might be connected to politics"

-- Jeff Martell, owner of a company that has been making gravestones for Arlington and other national cemeteries for nearly 20 years, on the addition of "Operation Enduring Freedom" or "Operation Iraqi Freedom" to government-furnished headstones. The slogan-like operation names used by the Pentagon are supposed to be engraved only at the family's request. AP, August 23, 2005


"We put out the welcome mat and we were trampled upon. We all wanted to help, but we never thought this would become a case against Aruba"

-- Julia Renfro, editor of the newspaper Aruba Today, on the U.S. cable TV media frenzy over missing American teen Natalee Holloway. "CNN used to be held in high regard. Today we don't even consider them respectable media," Aruba's government spokesman, Ruben Trapenburg also told the St. Petersburg Times, August 22, 2005


"It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don't think any oil shipments will stop"

-- Televangelist Pat Robertson, calling for the U.S. to assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. "We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability," Robertson told 700 Club viewers August 22, 2005


"Nothing would take the wind out of the sails of the insurgents more than being able to say that the so-called American occupation will end at a reasonable time and that you could point to a time. You see, this is how they're recruiting people"

-- Senator Russ Feingold (D - Wisconsin) recounting on Hardball, June 16, 2005, what he was told by a military source during a recent tour of Iraq. Feingold repeated the quote on Meet The Press Aug. 21, clarifying that the comment came from "one of the top generals in Iraq"


"(Powell) came through the door ... and he had in his hands a sheaf of papers, and he said, 'This is what I've got to present at the United Nations according to the White House, and you need to look at it.' It was anything but an intelligence document. It was, as some people characterized it later, sort of a Chinese menu from which you could pick and choose"

-- Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell from 2002 through 2005 on CNN's "Dead Wrong -- Inside an Intelligence Meltdown," August 21, 2005


"George actually did call the Secretary, and said, 'I'm really sorry to have to tell you. We don't believe there were any mobile labs for making biological weapons.' This was the third or fourth telephone call. And I think it's fair to say the Secretary and Mr. Tenet, at that point, ceased being close. I mean, you can be sincere and you can be honest and you can believe what you're telling the Secretary. But three or four times on substantive issues like that? It's difficult to maintain any warm feelings"

-- Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell from 2002 through 2005 on CNN's "Dead Wrong -- Inside an Intelligence Meltdown," August 21, 2005


"He loved explosions"

-- Anita Thompson, widow of Hunter S. Thompson, whose ashes were packed into fireworks that exploded above his Colorado home, August 20, 2005. "We had talked a couple of times about his last wishes to be shot out of a cannon of his own design," Johnny Depp told AP last month. "All I'm doing is trying to make sure his last wish comes true. I just want to send my pal out the way he wants to go out"


"We were all under the assumption that things in the country were under control"

-- Afghanistan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak, on the unexpected emergence of "neo-Taliban" forces with new, modern weapons, including portable anti-aircraft missiles. Knight Ridder, August 19, 2005   (MORE)


"The president said the other day that we ought to be teaching 'intelligent design' in our schools. I think we ought to be getting some intelligent design in our policy in Iraq"

-- Senator John Kerry speech to Democratic state legislators, August 19, 2005. "We don't need some great lurch to the right or lurch to the left or redefinition of the Democratic Party. The last thing America needs is a second Republican Party"


"So how do we measure this? Are we winning or are we not winning?"

-- Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) on CNN's "The Situation Room," August 18, 2005. "All I can do is, based on the matrix and the measurements that are plain to the American people -- are casualties rising? Yes. We lost four more people yesterday, four more the day before. Yes. They're increasing at a very significant rate: more dead, more wounded, less electricity in Iraq, less oil being pumped in Iraq, more insurgency attacks, more insurgents coming across the border, more corruption in the government"


"People ask how we'll distinguish ourselves from the competition. What competition? There's literally not another show on American television that deals only with foreign affairs - you know, the other 95 percent of humanity"

-- Newsweek reporter Fareed Zakaria, on the launch of his weekly PBS news series, "Foreign Exchange." Village Voice, August 16, 2005


"Our image isn't the best in some corners of the world, [but] the Florida brand is extraordinarily strong"

-- William Talbert III, president of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, after the state's tourism agency said they are changing the state's marketing slogan from "FLA USA" to "Visit Florida." The state's tourism industry depends on visitors from countries such as Germany, where favorable views of the United States have declined from 78% to 41% in the last five years. Miami Herald, August 16, 2005


"If you lose a page in your speech, you should be able to ad-lib if you know why you're running against Hillary"

-- NY Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long, critical of Jeanine Pirro's announcement that she was a GOP candidate for Clinton's Senate seat. Pirro's speech halted for 35 seconds as she looked for the page describing her reasons for seeking office. NY Post, August 15, 2005


"Far from being aging hippies, American liberals are... African-Americans"

-- Jason Alderman, director of the non-partisan Bay Area Center for Voting Research, who found that cities with the most liberal voting patterns also tend to have large black populations. Liberal cities that are mostly white are "reminiscent of penguins clustered together around a shrinking iceberg than of a vibrant and growing political movement," the report said. Quote from Santa Rosa (California) Press Democrat, August 14, 2005


"I think the people want the president to be in a position to make good, crisp decisions and to stay healthy, and part of my being is to be outside exercising"

-- President Bush, explaining August 14, 2005 why he was riding his bicycle while Cindy Sheehan was holding a vigil outside his ranch waiting to speak with him. "I think it's important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say, but I think it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life"


"Cluck, cluck, cluck"

-- Taunting protesters as the presidential motorcade sped past their vigil outside the president's ranch. Bush was headed to a nearby GOP fundraiser as he passed Cindy Sheehan, holding a sign that read: "Why do you make time for donors and not for me?" August 12, 2005   (MORE)


"Foreign cars are more dependable and less costly... Like Henry Ford did decades earlier, the foreign automakers have found a better and more efficient way to produce automobiles"

-- James Briggs, columnist and news editor at the Adrian, Michigan Daily Telegram, who was fired by the publisher three days after his August 5, 2005 column appeared. "He said it was insensitive for me to write such a column given our proximity to the Big Three [automakers]," Briggs told Editor & Publisher Aug. 10


"How about telling Mr. Rumsfeld to leave the memories of Sept. 11 victims to the families?"

-- Monica Gabrielle, who lost her husband in the 9/11 attacks, on learning that the Pentagon is sponsoring a Washington DC "support the troops" march and country music concert on September 11. New York Daily News, August 10, 2005


"He was Mr. Spock to Brokaw's folksy Bones McCoy and Rather's impetuous Captain Kirk -- an alien intelligence from the planet Canada"

-- Newark Star-Ledger columnist Matthew Zoller-Seitz on the late Peter Jennings, August 9, 2005


"We cannot kill all our enemies"

-- Bill Clinton interview in Le Monde, August 9, 2005


"Part of their brilliance is they're not as guilt-ridden about it"

-- Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, on Fox News' relentless coverage of missing young, white, female and pretty women. "It's just a classic tabloid story that they're milking and if that's the way you want to make your living, fine," he told AP, August 7, 2005


"I want to ask the president, 'Why did you kill my son? What did my son die for?'"

-- Cindy Sheehan, who is holding a vigil outside the Crawford ranch until Bush speaks to her. Casey Sheehan was killed April, 2004, in Sadr City, Iraq. Quote from AP, August 6, 2005   (MORE)


"It seems that President Bush is falling into the Nixon trap... people who support him can do no wrong. Palmeiro is above suspicion, Rove is not to be questioned, John Bolton is a stand-up guy"

-- Presidential historian Robert Dallek, after Bush came to the defense of a baseball player caught using steroids. Bush said Aug. 1, "Rafael Palmeiro is a friend. He testified in public... [that] he didn't use steroids, and I believe him." In his 2004 State of the Union address, Bush demanded that major league sports crack down on athletes using drugs. Knight Ridder, August 4, 2005


"These poor Iraqis - ragged people, with their sandals, with their Kalashnikovs, with the lightest and most basic of weapons - are writing the names of their cities and towns in the stars"

-- British MP George Galloway comments during a recent tour of the Middle East. Galloway was expelled from the Labour Party over his outspoken remarks about the Iraq war and is now a member of the anti-war Respect Party. BBC, August 4, 2005


"I wandered about in a daze. At one point, I noticed a voice shouting for water. The sound came from a deformed face that looked like a flabby lump of white boiled tofu. My memories of that day fade and are incoherent fragments, but I still hear that man begging for water. I wonder if he forgave the 16-year-old-boy who failed to respond to his dying request"

-- Hiroshima survivor Satoru Konishi, speaking at a conference on August 4, 2005


"In World War II, the Nazis experimented on human beings in horrible ways in the concentration camps, and I imagine, if you wanted to take the time to read about it, there would have been some discoveries there that benefited mankind"

-- James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, on the August 3, 2005 broadcast of the Focus on the Family radio show comparing stem cell research to Nazi experiments on live prisoners


"We created the civil war when we invaded; we can't prevent a civil war by staying"

-- Former NSA director Lt. Gen. William Odom (Ret.) in an essay, "What's wrong with cutting and running?" Nieman Watchdog, August 3, 2005


"Many of them are happy to be there"

-- Rep. Jon Porter (R-Nevada) following a tour of the prison at Guantanamo. "Many of these detainees have never had dental treatment ever. Now they have anesthesia and they have all the modern technology treatments, so a lot of them are actually very pleased because they are living better than they ever have," Porter told the Las Vegas Review-Journal August 3, 2005


"I had told him in advance that we were going to ask him about the CIA leak case"

-- CNN correspondent Ed Henry, who was hosting "Inside Politics" August 4, 2005 when commentator Robert Novak abruptly left the stage saying, "Well, I think that's bullshit and I hate that." Henry had a copy of "Who's Who in America" on the desk in preparation for the segment. Novak told Henry "Just let it go" as he stormed off


"It's like the prairie dog who sticks his head up and goes back down again into the dark, where you can't ask him any more questions"

-- Michael Hoyt, executive editor of Columbia Journalism Review, on Robert Novak's Aug. 1 column. Novak broke his silence over the Plame scandal to claim he could have found the name of Wilson's wife in "Who's Who in America." The book does not reveal identities of CIA operatives. Hoyt quoted in The Baltimore Sun, August 2, 2005


"When I was put face down on the ground to be cuffed, I heard one Marine ask me, 'How's it feel to make that contractor's money now?'"

-- Matt Raiche, a former employee of Zapata Engineering, one of the companies doing ammunition-disposal work in Iraq. There is a growing resentment between low-paid U.S. soldiers and private contractors who can make over $250,000 a year. USA TODAY, August 1, 2005


"The version they give me when we're on the air is gung-ho, we're doing the right thing, everything is moving along. The version they give me off the air is, Rumsfeld is crazy"

-- Hardball talk host Chris Matthews, August 1, 2005. "What I keep doing here is asking people on and off camera who come on this program, high-ranking officers, enlisted, former officers. I get sometimes, not all the time, two different versions"


"I expected there would at least be a minimal effort to establish a fair process and diligently prepare cases against significant accused. Instead, I find a half-hearted and disorganised effort by a skeleton group of relatively inexperienced attorneys to prosecute fairly low-level accused in a process that appears to be rigged"

-- Captain John Carr, a former military prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay. In an e-mail complaint to supervisors in the Office of Military Commissions written in March 2004, Carr also wrote, "You have repeatedly said to the office that the military panel will be handpicked and will not acquit these detainees and that we only needed to worry about building a record for the review panel." ABC News Australia, August 1, 2005


"Why wouldn't the President appoint Boulton over the objections of most of the country? Isn't that how he originally got his job?"

-- LA talk show host and embittered humorist Steve Young, August 1, 2005   (MORE)


"What's going on in Guantanamo Bay and other places is a disgrace to the USA"

-- Former President Carter at a July 30, 2005 news conference at the Baptist World Alliance's centenary conference in Birmingham, England. "I wouldn't say it's the cause of terrorism, but it has given impetus and excuses to potential terrorists to lash out at our country and justify their despicable acts"


"We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant or deny the defendant the right to counsel. The message to the world from today's sentencing is that our courts have not abandoned our commitment to the ideals that set our nation apart"

-- U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour, while sentencing "millenium bomber" Ahmed Ressam to 22 years for plotting to bomb the LA airport. Coughenour also said July 28, 2005 that "[some believe the terrorism] threat renders our Constitution obsolete ... If that view is allowed to prevail, the terrorists will have won"


"Everybody tells dirty jokes. When you think about what America is, it's perfect - it's freedom of speech"

-- Illusionist Penn Jillette, quoted in the NY Post July 28, 2005, on presidential obscenities told to a mutual friend. "George W. Bush tells dirty jokes. And Kinky Friedman tells them to me. They're never any good, but they're dirty"


"If you think of the Army as a watershed, their reservoir is about to run dry -- they have nothing left in reserve"

-- Loren Thompson, an analyst at the Lexington Institute in Arlington, Virginia. The pool of Army recruits who sign up as much as a year before they report for training is dwindling, with less than half of the 7,200 recruits expected to be in the pool by October first. In 2004, the Army had more than 33,000 enlistees ahead of time. USA TODAY, July 27, 2005


"Can anyone argue with a straight face that Congress has time to look at steroid use in baseball but doesn't have the will to provide congressional oversight of the leak of a CIA agent's name?"

-- Senator John Kerry press release, July 25, 2005


"You're going to love who the president picks"

-- Chief of Staff Andrew Card to Justice Clarence Thomas on July 18, the day before nominee Roberts was announced. Quoted in the Washington Post, July 25, 2005


"Before we were oppressed by invaders. Now it's getting worse"

-- Imam Abdul Majid of Falluja on widespread belief that the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government is persecuting the city with continued raids and arrests. "Shops are broken into at night," a worshiper at his mosque told Mother Jones, July 27, 2005. "Tell me, if there is a curfew and the army and the police control the streets, who is breaking into our shops?"


"The reason they shot us is just because the Americans are reckless. Nobody punishes them or blames them"

-- Iraqi police Brig. Gen. Majeed Farraji, chief of the major crimes unit in Baghdad. On July 6, a U.S. military convoy opened fire without warning on his car as his passengers were getting out, killing one and wounding another. Farraji was hit in the head by two bullet fragments. The Americans soldiers drove on without stopping. LA Times, July 25, 2005


"Now, after they killed my husband, I hate them. I want to blow them all up"

-- Raghad al Wazzan, a physician and widow of an Iraqi special correspondent for Knight-Ridder newspapers who was killed by a U.S. sniper as he was returning home in his car. Wazzan told the LA Times, July 25, 2005 that she accepted the American soldiers' presence when they first arrived in Iraq because "they came and liberated us"


"The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the ISF and all of Iraq. They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now take the fight to the terrorists"

-- An unidentified Iraqi man quoted July 24, 2005, in a statement from Task Force Baghdad 3rd Infantry Division. Eleven days earlier, another news release from the same military group quoted an unidentified Iraqi man saying: "'The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the children and all of Iraq. They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now take the fight to the terrorists"


"The real question now is, 'Who did the chief of staff speak to?' Did the chief of staff pick up the phone and call Karl Rove? Did the chief of staff pick up the phone and call anybody else?"

-- Senator Joe Biden (D-Delaware) on Face the Nation, July 24, 2005, after it was revealed that in 2003, then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales gave Chief of Staff Andrew Card 12 hours advance warning that the Justice Dept. was investigating the leak of Plame's CIA identity and all documents would have to be preserved


"Each time the political machine made up of prime-time patriots and partisan ninnies display their ignorance by deriding Valerie Plame as a mere paper pusher or belittling the varying degrees of cover used to protect our officers or continuing to play partisan politics with our national security, it's a disservice to this country"

-- Former CIA case officer Jim Marcinkowski on the GOP smear campaign against former ambassador and CIA envoy Joseph Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame. Marcinkowski was one of several former U.S. intelligence officials who testified at a July 22, 2005 hearing sponsored by Congressional Democrats


"This is wrong. This should stop. And it could stop in a heartbeat if the president would simply put a stop to it -- he hasn't. That speaks volumes"

-- Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson on the GOP smear campaign against former ambassador and CIA envoy Joseph Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame. Johnson was one of several former U.S. intelligence officials who testified at a July 22, 2005 hearing sponsored by Congressional Democrats


"Just as a bad movie is often followed by a worse sequel, so it is with the Patriot Act. The irony is cruel: In defense of freedom, we are undermining freedom"

-- Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-California) July 22, 2005 press release on House passage of extensions for provisions in the USA Patriot Act. Woolsey called the bill "constitutional graffiti"


"If we don't understand the young earth and how God created it in six 24-hour days, then our values are skewed"

-- Rev. Jerry Falwell at the 2005 "Creation Mega-Conference," July 17-22 in Lynchburg, Virginia. Sessions included "Rocks Around the Clock: The Eons That Never Were," and "Hubble, Bubble, Big Bang in Trouble"


"It was a product of nervous energy back then. It came out of a city room with noise and typewriters and thick smoke all through the joint. It was horrible, terrible and unhealthy, and now they have computers that can do wondrous things and everybody sits at them and bores the world"

-- Jimmy Breslin on the bygone era of newspapering. "There used to be newspaper bars where everyone hung out and talked. Now they go to health clubs," he told The New York Times July 22, 2005


"The Americans recruited and trained Osama Bin Laden, taught him how to kill, to make bombs... they didn't give any thought to the fact that once he'd done that he might turn on his creators"

-- London mayor Ken Livingstone on BBC Radio 4's Today, July 20, 2005. "If at the end of the First World War we had done what we promised the Arabs, which was to let them be free and have their own governments, and kept out of Arab affairs, and just bought their oil, rather than feeling we had to control the flow of oil, I suspect this wouldn't have arisen"


"[Supreme Court nominee Roberts] enjoys the kind of respect Kenneth Starr had before embarking on his anti-Clinton crusade, as a safe, sound man, not an ideological zealot"

-- Yale law professor and legal historian Robert W. Gordon. "These qualities are going to make Roberts's confirmation easier. They are also what make him dangerous." July 19, 2005, tpmcafe.com


"There is no way they can try Saddam. It is too dangerous because they will have to close every street to prevent violence"

-- Abed Jassim, a Baghdad soft drink vendor to Reuters, July 18, 2005. "If they do try him, they will have to get Iraqi leaders out of the country for their own safety. The killing will escalate"


"Hey, I did one of those for the pope, too"

-- David Pecker, head of American Media, which rushed "Arnold, the American Dream" to supermarket checkout stands before the California recall election, although neither the publisher or its relationship with the candidate were identified. Until last week, American Media was paying Gov. Schwarzenegger a minimum of $1 million/yr to be the figurehead for their muscle magazines. The New York Times, July 18, 2005   (MORE)


"If Karl survives, he does so at the president's political expense"

-- A former Republican official who retains close ties to the White House, quoted in The New York Times, July 17, 2005. "George W. Bush came into office promising two tenets that are in competition now: straight talk, non-parsing - and loyalty. He's either got to choose loyalty or straight talk. He can't do both"


"The Iraqi Army is not trained. They're killing people. They're shooting people in the head. You're not in the street. You don't see what's happening"

-- Sheik Thaier Diyab al-Arsan, one of 23 Iraqi leaders in the Falluja area on their concerns for plans to turn over security in the city to a 1,200-man Iraqi police force. NY Times, July 15, 2005


"Reasonable people always suspected these techniques weren't invented in the backwoods of West Virginia"

-- Tom Malinowski, Washington director of Human Rights Watch, on discovery that Rumsfeld personally approved abusive interrogation techniques, including attaching leashes to prisoners, sleep depravation, and threatening them with snarling dogs. The methods were first used in Guantanamo Bay interrogations in late 2002. Washington Post, July 14, 2005


"Our troops deserve to eat their dinner without worrying it is spoiled or contaminated with bits of shrapnel"

-- Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N Dakota) July 13, 2005 letter calling for a formal Pentagon investigation of Halliburton's food service contracts in Iraq. In June, Dorgan and other Democrats were told by a former manager that troops were given food that expired as much as a year earlier, and workers were told to pick out bullets and shrapnel before serving it. In May, Halliburton received a $72.2 million performance bonus for its work in Iraq


"The book is uninteresting to Fox News. We've moved on"

-- Fox spokesman Paul Schur on Edward Klein's "The Truth About Hillary." Klein said that MSNBC, CNN, and ABC have likewise passed on interviews after the book was panned by conservative critics such as Peggy Noonan and John Podhoretz. "It's just been a total blackout," Klein told the Washington Post July 11, 2005, adding that it's talk radio and websites like the Drudge Report that's driving sales. "I definitely think there's something organized going on here"


"Who is Karl Rove as it relates to this administration?"

-- April Ryan, White House correspondent for the American Urban Radio Networks, asking one of the 35 questions about Rove that Scott McClellan refused to answer at the half-hour July 11, 2005 press briefing


"The safer and more Jewish Jerusalem will be, it can serve as a true capitol of the state of Israel"

-- Haim Ramon, Israel minister in charge of Jerusalem, on plans to route the separation wall so it "makes Jerusalem more Jewish." Current plans will exclude 55,000 Palestinians from the Jerusalem side, but include an Israeli colony of about 30,000 Jews. AP, July 11, 2005


"The whole place appears to be one giant human experiment"

-- Baher Azmy, a lawyer representing a detainee at Guantanamo Bay, where psychologists and psychiatrists in Behavioral Science Consultation Teams, or BSCTs (commonly called "biscuits") are devising new interrogation strategies that meld psychology and military intelligence. The New Yorker, July 11, 2005


"The policy should be of building national unity in Iraq. Without this we will most certainly slip into a civil war. We are practically in stage one of a civil war as we speak"

-- Former interim Iraq prime minister Iyad Allawi. London Sunday Times, July 10, 2005


"We're at the point where jihad is self-sustaining"

-- Michael Scheuer, former CIA analyst in charge of the hunt for bin Laden, on the fading importance of al-Qaeda in the global insurgency. Scheuer told AP July 9, 2005 he forsees "endless" war, but "I don't think it's even started yet"


"Only in Wal-Mart's America can they think it's right to hire Eugene Scalia to defend them against the same whistle-blower law he was supposed to help enforce"

-- Chris Kofinis, a spokesman for "Wake Up Wal-Mart." From 2002-2003, Scalia, son of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, was in charge of enforcing the whistle-blower protections under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act at the Labor Dept. He is now defending Wal-Mart against two lawsuits filed under the Act. Washington Post, July 9, 2005


"It's like the children's story, the Emperor's Clothes: Everybody knows he's in his underwear and nobody will say it"

-- Senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio) on Congressional resistance to voting on John Bolton's UN nomination. Dayton Daily News, July 9, 2005


"Some people might argue that you're being chicken-shit. Well, I, I can respect that"

-- Cleveland's Plain Dealer Editor Doug Clifton, whose paper is holding back investigative stories because its lawyers warn that they might face arrest because of use of illegally leaked documents. "The reporters say, 'Well, we're willing to go to jail, and I'm willing to go to jail if it gets laid on me,'" Clifton added, "but the newspaper isn't willing to go to jail. That's what the lawyers have told us. So this is a Time Inc. sort of situation." Editor & Publisher, July 8, 2005


"The leaders of the world's richest countries are finally talking about finding ways to improve the lives of some of the poorest people in the world. To send a message that this is in someway wrong, is shocking and obscene"

-- UK Green leaders Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Monica Frasson, presuming the London attacks were linked to the G8 meeting in Scotland, that the timing was "particularly cynical." IPS, July 7, 2005   (MORE)


"Journalists must honor their promises which protect the bad along with the good. We can't separate them like the darks and the whites in the laundry"

-- TIME columnist Margaret Carlson, writing to the court on behalf of fellow magazine reporter Matthew Cooper facing jail for contempt over revealing sources in the Plame case


"Two of my soldiers have been killed in six weeks. To you Americans, that's nothing"

-- Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Williams, senior British commander at Abu Naji. "In the previous six months, not one British soldier was killed here. The security situation is worse than it was two, three months ago." Village Voice, July 5, 2005


"It was much higher than I expected"

-- Pollster John Zogby, on the 42% of voters who said they would support impeaching President Bush if he lied about his reasons for the Iraq war. In October 1998, as the House moved to impeach President Bill Clinton, a Zogby poll found that 39% of voters supported impeachment. Washington Post, July 3, 2005


"The crucial difference between Vietnam and Iraq is that there is no Cronkite to call Bush's bluff"

-- USA TODAY Founder Al Neuharth in a June 30, 2005 op/ed. After CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite declared in 1968 "There is no way this war can be justified any longer," LBJ told aides, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America"


"It looks a little loose to me "

-- Rep. Christopher Shays (R - Connecticut), looking at a photograph of smiling officials from the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority standing in front of a pile of cash said to be worth $2 million. The June 21, 2005 House Government Reform Subcommittee was told contractors picked up their payments in cash from the back of pick-up trucks   (MORE)


"You have a DNI who is in charge of mostly secret foreign intelligence and now is also in law enforcement. So does that mean we have a secret police? "

-- Timothy Edgar, ACLU national security policy counsel on the announcement that DNI (director of national intelligence) John Negroponte will oversee a new FBI national security section. Knight Ridder, June 29, 2005


"It's not a pay raise -- It's an adjustment so that they're not losing their purchasing power"

-- House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on June 28, 2005, after the House defeated an effort to block a $3,100 pay raise for members of Congress next year


"Setting an artificial timetable would send the wrong message to the Iraqis"

-- President Bush, June 28, 2005. "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." -- Candidate George W. Bush, criticizing Clinton's Kosovo policies, April 9, 1999


"I think two years will be enough and more than enough to establish security"

-- Iraqi Prime Minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, June 27, 2005. "In a few days, Iraq will radiate with stability and security." -- Former Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi, June 28, 2004


"I think the American problem is that they're not just wanted [in Iraq] and anything that is done by them is immediately counterproductive"

-- David Hartwell, a Middle East expert with the London-based Jane's Sentinel Security Assessment, June 27, 2005   (MORE)


"It doesn't make any difference to me [who will win] because I don't consider these elections to be free"

-- Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi in an interview with Radio Farda, June 24, 2005. "My reason for not participating in the elections is to protest against the [screening process] and the actions by the Guardians Council, which deprived a number of candidates, including women [of their right to be elected]"


"Saddam [Hussein] used to kill the people who opposed him, but the killing nowadays is random"

-- Yahya Salem, a retired government worker in Karada, a middle-class district of Baghdad where at least 15 people were killed and 50 injured by four car bombs June 23. "We have transformed from a dictatorship into something far worse. We have lost our country." Los Angeles Times, June 24, 2005


"Isn't it time for you to resign?"

-- Sen. Edward Kennedy to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld at June 23, 2005 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. "In baseball, it's three strikes, you're out. What is it for the secretary of defense?" Rumsfeld shot back that he has offered to quit twice, but Bush refused to accept his resignation


"If Houston, Texas, was held to the same standard as Iraq is held to, nobody'd go to Houston, because all this reporting coming out of the local press in Houston is violence, murders, robberies, deaths on the highways"

-- House Majority Leader Tom DeLay Houston Chronicle, June 22, 2005


"Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war"

-- Karl Rove at NY Conservative Party's annual dinner June 22, 2005


"It seems there are lots of secrets they want to hide"

-- Iraq Justice Minister Abdel Hussein Shandal, charging U.S. officials are are restricting access to Saddam and delaying his trial. "There should be transparency and there should be frankness, but there are secrets that if revealed, won't be in the interest of many countries," he said. "Who was helping Saddam all those years?" AP, June 21, 2005


"Like a moth to a flame, Democrats can't help themselves when it comes to denigrating and demonizing Christians"

-- Rep. John Hostettler (R-Indiana) denouncing NY Democratic Reps Israel and Obey after they proposed Congress go on record against "coercive and abusive religious proselytizing" at the U.S. Air Force Academy. AP, June 20, 2005


"The political capital he thought he had has dwindled to very little, and he overstated how much he had to begin with"

-- Allan J. Lichtman, a presidential historian at American University in Washington. "The Democrats don't fear him anymore, and they're getting greedy, because they think they can beat him. The attitude you see among Republicans in Congress is, my lifeboat first." New York Times, June 20, 2005


"Things aren't getting better; they're getting worse. The White House is completely disconnected from reality"

-- Sen. Chuck Hagel (R - Nebraska) on Iraq. "More and more of my colleagues up here are concerned." U.S. News & World Report, June 27, 2005 edition


"Maybe the smarter thing is to execute everyone down there, because if you're going to send them back to the Arab world or the Islamic world angry as hell at us, they're going to be doing dirty stuff against us, right?"

-- Hardball/MSNBC spokesmouth Chris Matthews, offering solutions for Guantanamo Bay. June 16, 2005


"It's our position that, legally, they can be held in perpetuity"

-- Deputy Associate Attorney General J. Michael Wiggins explaining to Sen. Biden that the Justice Dept. does not see an end to conflict. "If there is no definition as to when the conflict ends, that means forever, forever, forever these folks get held at Guantanamo Bay," Biden said at the June 15, 2005 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing


"She certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli"

-- Senate majority leader and heart surgeon Bill Frist on March 17, 2005, questioning the persistent vegetative state diagnosis of Terri Schiavo after viewing a video provided by her parents. The June 15 autopsy revealed Schiavo not only had irreversible brain damage but was blind


"We already fought that battle [over Bush's veracity] and we lost. He got elected again. So even though the memo is important, there's a sense that people don't want to revisit the lead-up to war. Although I'm not sure I agree with that, when you look at the number of Americans dead today"

-- Democratic strategist David Axelrod on the party's wariness over the Downing St. Memo. Philadelphia Inquirer, June 12, 2005


"We had our first revolution 100 years ago after the introduction of the telegraph; we got the Islamic revolution (in 1979) through the telephone and cassette tapes, and now we have the Internet"

-- Mohsen Sazegara, a regime official turned dissident who is organizing an Internet campaign for a referendum to replace Iran's Islamic constitution. USA TODAY, June 12, 2005


"We can't kill them all. When I kill one I create three"

-- Lt. Col. Frederick P. Wellman, who told Knight-Ridder June 13, 2005 that tribal members seem to have no trouble finding new recruits among Iraqis seeking revenge for relatives killed in fighting


"I'm hearing: 'How much do we have to do? We're giving blood. We're giving money. What is the final chapter for our involvement?'"

-- Rep. Walter Jones (R - North Carolina), reporting dwindling support for the Iraq War by his constituents. "If I knew [then] what I knew today, I would not have voted for the resolution," Jones told the Boston Globe, June 11, 2005


"I hope Governor Dean will remember that he didn't get elected to be a wimp"

-- DNC member Gilda Cobb-Hunter, a South Carolina state representative. "We have been waiting a long time for someone to stand up for Democrats." Dean was criticized last week for calling the GOP "pretty much a white, Christian party" and saying Republicans "never made an honest living in their lives." Reuters, June 11, 2005


"We love the President. He's a Christian and these people are evil"

-- Toni Brandon, an Ohio resident unhappy with protesters attempting to confront the president before an appearance at the state's Highway Patrol Academy. "I wish we had a flag to wave," she told the Toledo Blade June 10, 2005


"I can say with certainty they won't be ready before I leave. And I know I'll be back in Iraq, probably in three or four years. And I don't think they'll be ready then"

-- 1st Lt. Kenrick Cato, part of an Army platoon training Iraqi soldiers. Washington Post, June 10, 2005


"Why do they hate you? They don't hate you, they just don't like your policies"

-- Adel al-Jubeir, top foreign policy adviser for Saudi Arabia on why Saudis aren't Bush boosters. Washington Post, June 9, 2005


"We want what the Michael Jackson, Paris Hilton and Star Wars stories have gotten: endless repetition until people have heard about it"

-- David Swanson, one of the organizers of a Democrats.com $1,000 bounty to the first reporter who gets Bush to answer 'yes or no' to the question of whether his administration "fixed the intellegence" to justify the Iraq War. USA TODAY, June 7, 2005


"It's very hard to stop people who have no shame about what they're doing"

-- Sen. Hillary Clinton at June 6, 2005 fundraiser. "It is very hard to tell people that they are making decisions that will undermine our checks and balances and constitutional system of government who don't care. It is very hard to stop people who have never been acquainted with the truth"


"You know, we have a lot of perverts on today, and I know that, but is that really news? I mean, come on. I guess you've got to cover Michael Jackson, but not three stories about perversion that we do every day as well"

-- Ted Turner, speaking to CNN employees on the 25th anniversary of his founding the station, June 1, 2005


"I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency"

-- Dick Cheney on "Larry King Live," May 31, 2005. "They know that once you've got a democratically elected government in place that has legitimacy in the eyes of the people of Iraq, they're out of business. That will be the end of the insurgency." -- Dick Cheney at Iowa campaign rally, October 28, 2004


"We need someone like that who is highly placed to tell us what's really going on. We know that we were misled on Iraq"

-- George McGovern on the need for a modern-day Deep Throat. McGovern told Fox News Radio, June 2, 2005, that Bush "...claims to be Christian, following the will of God, and then he misleads the whole nation on a totally fraudulent enterprise in Iraq that we should have never been attached to"


"Some damn fool went into the Oval Office and did what he was told, because Nixon didn't mean these things to be carried out. And he didn't really order them. He would say these things rhetorically"

-- Henry Kissinger, quoting Nixon counselor Bryce Harlow on the cause of Watergate. Nixon can also be heard on tapes suggesting break-ins at the Brookings Institution and Republican headquarters, which he wanted setup to implicate the Democrats. "You have to understand that Nixon had a habit of making grandiloquent statements. This was his way of letting off steam to prove that he was macho," Kissinger said on MSNBC's Hardball, June 1, 2005


"President Nixon once suspected him. I'm surprised he didn't end up dead somewhere because of that"

-- Nixon Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger on "Deep Throat." CNN Crossfire, May 31, 2005


"The thing that stuns me is that the goddamn secret has lasted this long"

-- Former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, who was the only other person at the paper besides Woodward and Bernstein who knew the identity of "Deep Throat." May 31, 2005


"We try to avoid complicated operations. What if the patient dies? You're face to face with relatives with guns"

-- A doctor in Baghdad, where 1 physician in 10 has stopped seeing patients in the last year because of the increasing violence. New York Times, May 30, 2005


"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda"

-- President Bush at a May 24, 2005 "town hall" held in Greece, NY


"I do congratulate Congressman DeLay for switching the spotlight from his own problems to an episode of a television show"

-- "Law & Order" creator/executive producer Dick Wolf, after the House Majority Leader complained to NBC about a character wisecracking, "Maybe we should put out an APB for somebody in a Tom DeLay T-shirt" in a story line about the shooting death of a federal judge. AP, May 27, 2005


"What I need most now is someone who can say this is a good guy and this is a bad guy"

-- Marine Col. Stephen W. Davis, commander of the 1000+ U.S. soldiers in northern Iraqi Sunni town of Haditha. Only 4 Iraqi soldiers are assigned to the operation, and all are Shiites from southern Iraq. AP, May 27. 2005


"As of this month, more time has passed since 9/11 than the time between Pearl Harbor and the defeat of Japan... but today Osama bin Laden is still on the loose, our homeland is still not secure, and we're still not energy-independent, and - in many ways - Americans are less safe than we were before 9/11"

-- Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, May 26, 2005


"An embryo is the size of a pencil dot. It's not a fetus, it's a cluster of cells"

-- Sen. Tom Harkin (D - Iowa) during his May 26. 2005 weekly telephone news conference with state newspapers. Two days earlier, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said stem cell research was "the dismemberment of living, distinct human beings for the purposes of medical experimentation"


"We hold people accountable when there's abuse. We take steps to prevent it from happening again"

-- White House spokesman Scott McClellan, May 25. 2005. The following day, the Pentagon ruled that a U.S. soldier who shot two Iraqis 60 times 'in self-defense' will not face murder charges


"International Law does apply, Geneva Conventions do not apply. You have been designated as an enemy combatant"

-- Military Tribunal President to Guantanamo prisoner Feroz Abbasi during July 29, 2004 hearings. The transcript of his proceedings are part of a set obtained recently by AP under a Freedom of Information request. Some 558 tribunals were held before they were declared illegal in Feb. 2005   (MORE)


"How could I be an enemy combatant if I was not able to stand up?"

-- A prisoner at Guantanamo, testifying at his Tribunal hearing that he hasn't been able to walk in more than 15 years. Charged with planning rocket attacks against U.S. forces, the older man admitted he owned an AK-47, a BB gun and a broken antique rifle. The transcript of his proceedings are part of a set obtained recently by AP under a Freedom of Information request   (MORE)


"I wish it had never happened"

-- Rep. Walter Jones (R-Alabama) on his push to have the U.S. House cafeteria rename french fries as "freedom fries." Jones now says we went to war "with no justification." N Carolina News & Observer May 24. 2005


"They won't get any help from us - none. We busted our hump to get a president who would appoint judges who would be more just. Republican senators betrayed us"

-- Norman Pawlewski of the Iowa Christian Coalition, among many conservatives upset over the seven Republicans who helped negotiate the filibuster compromise. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said, "There will be repercussions." AP, May 25, 2005


"James Dobson: Who does he think he is, questioning my conservative credentials?"

-- Sen. Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) in USA TODAY May 22, 2005. Last week the head of Focus on the Family slammed Lott for his role in bi-partisan talks to avoid a filibuster showdown. "If Republicans consent to this disaster, they'll not only be abandoning the men and women who put them in office, they'll be demonstrating that they do not deserve the leadership entrusted to them," Dobson told Roll Call


"They were more against the elections in Afghanistan. They were more against the progress in Afghanistan. They were more against the strategic partnership with the United States"

-- Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, telling a May 23, 2005 White House press conference that a Newsweek article about abuse of the Koran was not the cause of riots that killed at least 17   (MORE)


"The military let him down. The administration let him down... The fact that they lied about it afterward is disgusting"

-- Mary Tillman, mother of former NFL player Pat Tillman who was killed in an Afghanistan friendly-fire incident that the Army covered up for over a year. "I think they thought they could control it, and they realized that their recruiting efforts were going to go to hell in a handbasket if the truth about his death got out. They blew up their poster boy," his father told the Washington Post, May 23, 2005   (MORE)


"I don't think they realize how bad the U.S. image is."

-- Professor Richard Sennett, an American sociologist at the London School of Economics, on why the U.S. public hasn't reacted strongly to reports of Iraq prison abuses. "It's still the 'rotten apple theory' when this stuff happens. This is an administration which has practiced a lot of denial. Criticism is swept under the carpet by being treated as anti-Americanism." Guardian/UK May 21, 2005


"You have more chance of dying here in the United States at, what is it, 36 percent die, kill rate here in the United States, people here just dying left and right, you have more chance of dying over here than you do over there"

-- An Army recruiter captured on tape by WLWT-TV, Cincinnati. Reporter Dave Wagner followed by noting, "The U.S. does not have a 36-percent kill rate. If that were true, more than 100 million people, one-third of the U.S. population, would be killed each year." May 18, 2005 broadcast


"It's like footballers on the Net getting a buzz out of knowing somebody's transferred from Chelsea to Liverpool"

-- British researcher Paul Eedle, who monitors Islamic web sites recruiting suicide bombers by profiling those who have already died in Iraq terror attacks. Another researcher has collected a list of 235 names, over half of them from Saudi Arabia. Washington Post, May 15, 2005


"I am thinking, well, America has finally got to us"

-- A woman in the Russian village of Bolotnikovo, where a local lake disappeared overnight, apparently from a sinkhole. Reuters, May 19, 2005


"This President has never ever sought or heeded the advice of the Senate. But now he demands our consent. That's not how America works"

-- Minority Leader Harry Reid statement on the Senate floor, May 19, 2005


"In everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong, and 100,000 people have paid with their lives - 1,600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies"

-- Member of Britain's Parliment and Blair foe George Galloway to Sen. Norm Coleman (R - Minnesota) at the Senate subcommittee investigations of the Saddam-era oil-for-food program, May 17, 2005   (MORE)


"They're still in their Michael Jackson phase"

-- Jim Lehrer, explaining that declining viewership of the Big 3 evening newscasts has helped NewsHour, which beats CNN, FoxNews, and MSNBC in the time slot. Jackson's trial "is not news every night on a 19-minute broadcast. It just isn't. Not when there are young Americans overseas, and people are worried about their future retirement." Philadelphia Inquirer, May 17, 2005


"You are either with me -- or you are my enemy"

-- Darth Vader, Star Wars: Episode III.   "You're either with us or against us in the fight against terror" -- President Bush, November 6, 2001


"[DeLay] ought to go back to Houston where he can serve his jail sentence"

-- Democratic National Party chairman Howard Dean at May 14, 2005 Massachusetts Democratic party convention


"The only way DeLay would be damaged is if his friends walked away from him"

-- Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and one of the most influential Republicans in the country, speaking shortly before a May 12, 2005 tribute dinner in support of the House majority leader. Not attending the dinner were Norquist, anyone of significance from the White House, or any conservative radio or TV commentator.   (MORE)


"This is their style of governing. You build upon the base and pressure the middle and you ignore the other side. You push across the finish line and you move on. In their mind a win is a win, regardless of how narrow or polarizing it is"

-- Marshall Wittmann, former aide to Sen. McCain and now a DLC fellow, on the bloody political fight over John Bolton, whose UN nomination left the Senate Foreign Relations Committee without endorsement. "The vote demonstrated again Bush's willingness to live on the political edge -- to accept achingly narrow margins in Congress and at the ballot box to pursue ambitious changes that sharply divide the country," writes LA Times analyst Ronald Brownstein, May 12, 2005


""This is a thinking and adapting adversary ... I wouldn't look for results tomorrow. One thing we know about insurgencies, that they last from three, four years to nine years"

-- Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, May 12, 2005 press conference


"The longer they keep going on the better they will get. The best school of war is war"

-- Pat Lang, former top Middle East intelligence official at the Pentagon, on the growing number of attacks by the Iraq rebellion. "They understand what the deal is here," Lang told Newsday, May 12, 2005, "to start applying maximum pressure to the economy and the government and make sure it will not work"


"It's just political rhetoric to say we are not in a civil war. We've been in a civil war for a long time"

-- Pat Lang, former top Middle East intelligence official at the Pentagon. Newsday, May 12, 2005


"John Bolton is the poster child of what someone in the diplomatic corps should not be"

-- Senator George Voinovich (R - Ohio) at the Foreign Relations Committee May 12, 2005 hearings on Bolton's UN ambassador nomination. "Why in the world would we want to send anyone to the UN who has to be kept on a short leash?" Voinovich asked, referring to comments by Secretary of State Rice that she would closely supervise Bolton at the UN.   (MORE)


"Why destroy Hitler? If to liberate Germans, it was not worth it. After all, the Germans voted Hitler in"

-- Pat Buchanan, May 11, 2005 Creators Syndicate column. "The war Britain and France declared to defend Polish freedom ended up making Poland and all of Eastern and Central Europe safe for Stalinism"


"There were times when some people were really aggressive about raising it, and we said, 'For that?'"

-- Former Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge describing at a May 10, 2005 forum how his office was pressured into raising the terror threat level on flimsy evidence


"It's like TV Land going to Auschwitz and proposing to erect a statue of Colonel Klink"

-- John Carr, a former member of the Salem, Mass. Historic District Commission, on plans by the cable channel to donate a bronze statue of "Bewitched" character Samantha Stephens. "Putting this statue in the park near the church where this all happened, it trivializes the execution of 19 people." Washington Post, May 10, 2005


"This is a radical, radical departure from our history and our traditions, and it amounts to an assault on the judicial branch of government"

-- Former Whitewater independent counsel Ken Starr opposing the GOP's threated ban on Senate filibusters. CBS Evening News, May 9, 2005


"But they had flowers in their minds"

-- Doug Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy, arguing that the invading Americans weren't greeted with flowers because some Iraqis were still too intimidated by the remnants of Saddam's Baath Party to express their emotions openly. New Yorker, May 9, 2005


"We do have reasons to be worried, Mr. Danger, about the U.S. arms buildup, about U.S. threats, about the presence of U.S. soldiers in Colombia"

-- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, lashing out at Presient Bush in a May 6, 2005 speech. Chavez said he hopes the United States will "leave me in peace so that I can work"


"The man's father is a wonderful human being, [but] I think this guy is a loser"

-- Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid on President Bush. Reid later spoke to Karl Rove on May 6, 2005 and expressed regret for his remarks to Las Vegas high school students


"[He would send photos of] these beat-up prisoners and blood and talk about how cool it was - look what daddy gets to do"

-- Staci Morris, ex-wife of Charles Graner, who is serving 10 years for prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. Morris told Reuters May 5, 2005, she would not let their two pre-teen children see the e-mail from their father. Graner described the frequent beatings in another message as, "The whup-ass ran like a river"


"We can't ignore that our nation is based on Christianity, not science"

-- Kathy Martin, Kansas state board of education member now holding hearings on the teaching of evolution. National and state science organizations are boycotting the hearings. "Public hearings and votes are not how the 'truth' of science is determined," Harry McDonald, president of Kansas Citizens for Science told the Los Angeles Times, May 6, 2005


"It was a piece of cake. It was such a low-flying election, no one was paying attention"

-- Rev. Terry Fox, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Wichita, Kansas, explaining to the Los Angeles Times, May 6, 2005 how religious conservatives turned out to elect Kathy Martin to the state board of education last fall. Martin is spearheading the hearings on the teaching of evolution   (MORE)


"The argument was always in the past the monkey-ancestor deal. Today there are many more arguments that kids bring to class, a whole fleet of arguments, and they're all drawn out of the efforts by different groups"

-- Brad Williamson, a science teacher at an Olathe Kansas high school, on books and videos encouraging students to challenge teachers on evolution. "I don't want to ever be in a confrontational mode with those kids ... I find it disheartening as a teacher." Christian Science Monitor, May 3, 2005


"Now students think they're informed without having ever really read anything... they'll say, 'I don't believe a word you're saying'"

-- John Wachholz, a biology teacher at a Salina Kansas high school, on the problems of discussing evolution with students who tune out: "They'll put their heads on their desks and pretend they don't hear a word you say." Christian Science Monitor, May 3, 2005


"It now seems that 616 was the original number of the beast"

-- Ellen Aitken, a professor of early Christian history at McGill University, on the discovery of a manuscript 100 years older than any others known. As for the more famous 666, Dr. Aitken said, "They can have mistakes in the copying, changes for political or theological reasons ... it's like a detective story piecing it all together." National Post, May 4, 2005


"I think if Bill O'Reilly didn't have the New York Times he might be selling Ginsu Knives on late-night TV"

-- Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times, who told a Pomona College alumni that O'Reilly has bashed the newspaper at least 60 times in the last year. Inland Valley Daily Bulletin April 29, 2005


"Unfortunately, the mainstream media in the United States was too busy with wall-to-wall coverage of a 'runaway bride' to cover a bombshell report out of the British newspapers"

-- Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) May 2, 2005 statement calling for Congressional inquiry after the London Sunday Times printed a memo apparently confirming that Bush and Tony Blair had secretly agreed in the summer of 2002 to attack Iraq


"My guess is that torture will go down at the U.S. facilities, but what will go up is torture at the Afghan facilities. It's the usual shell game"

-- M. Cherif Bassiouni, former UN human rights expert for Afghanistan, who was fired a day after the release of his report charging U.S. troops with prisoner torture and arbitrary arrests. NY Times, May 1, 2005


"Both sides are sharpening their knives. They are saying, 'we've got to protect our own people'. It is not a good situation"

-- Sabah Kadhim, an advisor to the Iraq Interior Ministry, on tensions between Sunni and Shi'ite groups. "I do not want to say civil war, but we are going the Lebanese route, and we know where that led." Reuters, April 27, 2005


"Those were the two dumbest words I ever said"

-- Former CIA Director George Tenet, telling a Kutztown (Pennsylvania) University forum April 27, 2005 that he regretted assuring Bush in 2002 that he had "slam dunk" evidence of Saddam's WMDs


"From my point of view, they are the Antichrist of the world"

-- Senator Ken Salazar (D - Colorado) on Focus on the Family and its founder James Dobson, who have urged followers to pressure Salazar into supporting Bush judicial nominees. The next day Salazar regretted calling them demonic, and said he meant to say they were "unchristian, meaning self-serving and selfish." Salazar quote from KKTV/Colorado Springs interview, April 26, 2005. (See also: April 20, 2005 quote)


"In terms of the number of incidents, it's right about where it was a year ago"

-- Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on the lack of progress stopping the Iraq resistance. Meyers told reporters April 26, 2005, Weeks will differ, and months will differ a little bit. But if you look at the scope of this, over time since May of 2003, that's the conclusion you draw"


"After the apologies comes the slap in the face"

-- Italian journalist and former Iraq hostage Giuliana Sgrena, on that the U.S. military's decision to not charge American soldiers who wounded her, one of her negotiators, and killed another. In an April 26, 2005 editorial in Il Manifesto, Sgrena wrote that the U.S. ignored testimony from the two survivors. "Obviously, our two testimonies given to the American commission were useless. Or will I be charged with perjury?"


"During the days of Saddam, I used to make one coffin a day. Now, I make scores of them"

-- Hussein Mohammed, a Baghdad coffin-maker. "The demand increases with every suicide car bomb that explodes," he added. AFP, April 25, 2005


"Some damn fool wrote this piece and attached your name to it"

-- Fax from former Senator Bob Dole to Washington Post book critic Jonathan Yardley, who panned his autobiography and suggested that Dole was "trying to climb aboard the highly lucrative "Greatest Generation" bandwagon." The Hill, April 25, 2005


"The thing about the Clintons, both of them, is they tend to drive Republicans crazy, and then we do silly things"

-- NY state GOP advisor Nelson Warfield, warning Republicans to "not become involved in the conspiracy theories." Currently both the party chairman and advisor Arthur Finkelstein are running "Stop Hillary Now" fundraising campaigns. AP, April 23, 2005


"I'm getting it, aren't I?"

-- President Bush to Charles P. 'Chuck' Blahous III, his tutor on Social Security and author of the talking points used by Bush and others in the administration. Wall Street Journal, April 22, 2005


"It's important that we don't confuse a decrease in the attack on American soldiers and American interests with some sort of significant shift in the war"

-- Knight Ridder's Baghdad Bureau Chief Hannah Allam, interviewed on WNYC's "On the Media," April 22, 2005. "When people hear that I live in Baghdad, they say, 'Oh, well, you're in Baghdad, but at least it's so much better there now.' And that's not the case. I mean Iraqis are still dying every day by the dozens, in some cases. You know, things are still very, very dangerous"


"I am sick and tired of a bunch of people trying to tell me that God wants a bunch of conservative judges on the court and that's why we have to change the rules of the United States Senate"

-- Senator John Kerry, quoted by the Boston Herald, April 21, 2005


"The kind of attack that is being used against [Democratic senators] and against me has the potential of moving our country to abandoning the freedom of worship which we enjoy in this country, and moving toward the creation of a theocracy"

-- Senator Ken Salazar (D-Colorado), at a April 20, 2005 press conference. "I do think that what has happened here is there has been a hijacking of the U.S. Senate by what I call the religious right wing of the country. . . I think what has happened is Focus on the Family has been hijacking Christianity and become an appendage of the Republican Party, I think it's using Christianity and religion in a very unprincipled way"


"I think maybe my English, I still have to go back to school and study a little bit"

-- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger claiming April 20, 2005 he made "a total screw-up" by saying the day before that U.S. should "close the borders" when he meant "securing" the border with Mexico. In the governor's full comments he twice said, "close the borders" and that it was "unfair...to have the borders open the way that it is"


"If your responsibility is to protect the homeland from these domestic terrorists, then you have an obligation to identify all of them -- not just some of them"

-- Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Mississippi) noting that an internal Homeland Security document names Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front as possible domestic terrorists, but does not list any right-wing groups. AP, April 20, 2005   (MORE)


"Judges can serve as long as they serve with good behavior"

-- House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on Fox News, April 19, 2005, adding, "We want to define what good behavior means"


"[Goldwater] said, 'in your heart, you know he's right.' In your heart, you know this guy doesn't deserve to go to the UN"

-- Senator Joseph Biden (D - Delaware) Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on John Bolton, April 19, 2005


"So I can't bust the bottom of my little grandson?"

-- Texas Rep. Debbie Riddle, making sure a proposed state law approving corporal punishment specifically included grandparents. The bill was authored by a lawyer who defended a Houston woman arrested for whipping her 14-year-old granddaughter. Houston Chronicle, April 18, 2005


"It's not a happy six miles. So, you know, they earn their money"

-- New York Times reporter Dexter Filkins on the $35,000 charged for a ride to the Baghdad airport. Meet The Press, April 17, 2005


"Nine thousand homes and buildings in Fallujah were destroyed when the Marines went in in November. There have been 32,000 claims against the government by homeowners and business owners. Of those 32,000 claims, only 2,400 have been paid off so far. And when you walk in and - let's say your house is worth $10,000. They will only give you 20 percent of the amount of your claim for now. It's because - and those funds are controlled by the Iraqi government. They're husbanding those funds for use in the future. And as I stood next to the line of those claimants, all you have to do is ask them what their complaint is, and within seconds, their rage surfaces"

-- Jim Miklaszewski, NBC News on Meet The Press, April 17, 2005


"For the first time in our history, the weird, the stupid, the coarse, the sensational and the untrue are becoming our cultural norm -- even our cultural ideal"

-- Journalist Carl Bernstein, doubting that he and Bob Woodward would have backing to pursue a story like Watergate in today's newsrooms. Lawrence (Kansas) Journal-World, April 16, 2005


"The news business on television has moved increasingly toward manipulating emotions, which used to be more or less forbidden...we saw it in spades with the coverage of the pope"

-- CNN analyst and "Reliable Sources" guest Jeff Greenfield on TV coverage of the death and funeral of Pope John Paul II, with the networks using non-stop images of people weeping or praying. "Brian Williams and Aaron Brown began sounding more Catholic than the cardinals," quipped program host Howard Kurtz. April 10, 2005


"The fighters will think I'm with the coalition forces and I'll probably be killed, but I have my orders, so I have to do it"

-- Mutsam Ubade, a civilian in Mosul ordered by U.S. forces to remove "Zarqawi is the prince!" graffiti painted on the side of his house. Iraqis like Ubade are in a no-win situation because U.S. soldiers believe residents agree with any graffiti that appears on their walls. AP, April 14, 2005


"'Ever' is a very strong word"

-- House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's answer to a question from The Washington Times: "Have you ever crossed the line of ethical behavior in terms of dealing with lobbyists, your use of government authority or with fundraising?" April 14, 2005


"The constitution is not a living organism, it's a legal document"

-- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, telling a gathering of NYU law students that he believes the Constitution's interpretation should be fixed in stone. Law student Eric Berndt pointed out that Scalia also does not believe privacy is constitutionally protected and asked, "Do you sodomize your wife?" Washington Square News, April 13, 2005


"We got shafted. We come home from war, and this is what we get"

-- Sgt. Roberto Orozco, one of about 35 members of the Florida National Guard who were in Iraq when the federal government cancelled their full-time jobs in "Operation Guardian," a program that used soldiers from the Guard to search cargo and mail at airports and seaports for drugs. Unable to find equivalent-paying jobs, many are considering volunteering for active duty and a return to combat. South Florida Sun-Sentinel, April 13, 2005


"DeLay's problem isn't with the Democrats. DeLay's problem is with the country"

-- Newt Gingrich on CBS Evening News, April 12, 2005. The House Majority Leader has urged GOP senators to blame Democrats if asked about his ethics controversy and denounced the press for revealing his wife and daughter were paid over $500,000 in PAC and campaign money


"He's a quintessential kiss-up, kick-down kind of guy [whose conduct] brings real question to my mind about his suitability for high office"

-- Carl Ford, former head of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, on UN ambassador- nominee John Bolton. Ford, who told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee April 12, 2005, that he was a "loyal Republican," described Bolton as a "serial abuser" of subordinates. "I've never met anyone like him ... in terms of the way he abuses his power and authority over little people," Ford said


"I'm surprised the nominee wants the job he's been nominated for, given the many negative things he's had to say about the UN"

-- Senator John Kerry on the nomination of John Bolton for UN ambassador. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings, April 11, 2005   (MORE)


"As dumb as they are, [the Democrats] kind of catch on quick"

-- Karl Rove, quoted by the NY Post April 11, 2005. Rove was speaking at a private Minneapolis fundraiser Apr. 9 as Hillary Clinton raised $200,000 at a major rally across town


"He made the last election an election not about policies or positions or even about values or national security -- he made it about decisiveness. Who else has ever won the presidency on a message that basically says, 'You may not like what I stand for, but at least I stand for something'"

-- James Carville on Karl Rove, Time Magazine April 18, 2005


"The Constitution is not what the Supreme Court says it is"

-- Phyllis Schlafly at the "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith" conference, where lawyer-author Edwin Vieira called for the impeachment of Justice Anthony Kennedy and said his "bottom line" for dealing with the Supreme Court came from a slogan Stalin used "whenever he ran into difficulty: 'no man, no problem.'" The full quote is, "Death solves all problems: no man, no problem." Washington Post, April 9, 2005


"What's happening right now could be the beginning of civil war in Baghdad"

-- Haider Jawad, an Iraqi soldier based near Baghdad's Haifa Street area, where gang-like violence between Shiite and Sunni militias is common. Many worry the spread of militias could launch a civil war. Knight Ridder, April 6, 2005


"Tenet said he doesn't remember ... Where is the responsibility?"

-- Senator Carl Levin (D - Michigan), on former DCIA George Tenet's defense for not knowing the claims that Saddam had mobile biological weapons labs came from a defector code named "Curveball." Last week Bush's intelligence commission report found that CIA officials repeatedly tried to tell Tenet and others at the Agency that the ex-scientist was a suspected fabricator and may have been mentally unstable. AP, April 6, 2005   (MORE)


"It's just another seedy attempt by the liberal media to embarrass me"

-- House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, after the NY Times revealed April 6, 2005 that his PAC and campaign committees have paid his wife and daughter over $500,000 since 2001


"This is like being for the Civil Rights Bill in 1960. You may not win but it makes you feel good and you're on the right side"

-- Rep. Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma) on his support of Bush's dream of phasing out Social Security. AP, April 6, 2005


"What did (Bush) expect to see there? Gold?"

-- Dean Baker, economist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research quoted by USA Today, April 5, 2005. That day the president visited the U.S. Bureau of the Public Debt to view the Social Security Trust Fund and later said, "There is no 'trust fund,' just IOUs ... stacked in a filing cabinet. Imagine -- the retirement security for future generations is sitting in a filing cabinet"


"To my Republican colleagues: you are playing with fire, you are playing with lives, and you must stop"

-- Rep. John Conyers Jr (D - Michigan) blog entry April 4, 2005, the same day Senator John Cornyn (R - Texas) said "[federal] judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public... [so] people engage in violence." Later this week Tom DeLay and two GOP senators will speak at the "Confronting The Judicial War On Faith" conference that "will address the rising tide of judicial despotism, of which the Schiavo case is the latest and most poignant example"


"Jim, you think he's with Jesus now? We only have 30 seconds"

-- Larry King to actor Jim Caviezel, who met the Pope after he played Jesus in "The Passion of the Christ." April 3, 2005


"Iraq is the motor. It's making them all go crazy, want to be [martyrs]"

-- A senior French anti-terrorism official quoted by the LA Times, April 2, 2005. Islamic boys as young as 13 are now joining the jihad against America. "The danger of suicide attacks in Europe and the United States increases as you have younger guys who are fervent and easily manipulated"


"Any politician who hopes to have conservative support in the future had better be in the forefront as we attack those who attack Tom DeLay"

-- Morton Blackwell, RNC member and American Conservative Union board member, threatening payback for any Republicans who don't defend the House Majority Leader facing possible indictment. Washington Times, March 31, 2005


"I've never witnessed such an attempt to globalize bigotry"

-- Hagai El-Ad, executive director of Jerusalem Open House, a gay and lesbian group planning an August 10-day WorldPride festival in Jerusalem. Israel's two chief rabbis, patriarchs of all 3 versions of the Catholic church, and 3 senior Muslim prayer leaders are trying to block the celebration. Opposition was organized by Rev. Leo Giovinetti, an evangelical pastor from San Diego. "This is not the homo land, this is the Holy Land," he told the NY Times, March 31, 2005


"As a senator, I worried every day about the size of the federal deficit. I did not spend a single minute worrying about the effect of gays on the institution of marriage. Today it seems to be the other way around"

-- Senator John Danforth (R - Missouri), writing in a March 30, 2005 NY Times op/ed that Christian conservatives have taken over his party. "The problem is not with people or churches that are politically active. It is with a party that has gone so far in adopting a sectarian agenda that it has become the political extension of a religious movement"


"I've already yielded more than a cheerleader at a drive-in"

-- Texas state senator Kel Seliger, reacting with anger after his colleagues wouldn't seriously debate his resolution that the chuck wagon be named the official state vehicle. According to the March 31, 2005 Austin American-Statesman, a hush fell over the chamber as jaws dropped. The Republican senator later blamed his outburst on "incipient Tourette's syndrome"


"Say, 'I'm not going to be distracted by silliness.' How's that? Does that help you? Look into that camera. Look at me when I'm talking"

-- Sean Hannity coaching one of Terri Schiavo's former nurses during commercials on "Hannity and Colmes," March 31, 2005. The day before, Hannity was caught in off-air remarks calling Democratic Rep. Jim Moran an "asshole" for bringing up Medicare in talking about Schiavo's plight


"I think it's absolutely classic America. Everything is for sale in America, every type of personal information"

-- Robert Gellman, a privacy and information policy consultant, on the parents of Terri Schiavo selling the list of their financial supporters to a conservative direct-mailing firm. New York Times, March 28, 2005


"We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture"

-- Pastor and parent Ray Mummert, who supports the Dover, Pennsylvania school board's requirement that high school biology teachers dispute evolution. Other parents have sued to overturn the decision. "If we continue to indoctrinate our young people with non-religious principles, we're headed for an internal destruction of this society," Mummert was quoted by AFP, March 27, 2005


"I applaud her willingness to go to jail to protect her sources, but this does feel a bit like part of Judy Miller's rehabilitation project"

-- Sandy Tolan, instructor at Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. "Maybe that's because she keeps saying, 'I'm no martyr, I'm no martyr, I'm no martyr.'" LA Times March 27, 2005


"[A] liberal network probably couldn't reach the same sort of an audience, because liberals tend to like to sample a lot of opinions. They pride themselves on that. And you know, they don't get too worked up about anything. And they're pretty morally relativistic. And so, you know, they allow for a lot of that stuff"

-- New CNN President Jonathan Klein explaining that progressives aren't angry enough to support a counterpart to Fox News, which taps into "mostly angry white men" conservatism. PBS's Charlie Rose Show, March 25, 2005


"We're talking about the sanctity of life, and (they're) threatening my life"

-- Florida state Senator Frederica Wilson (D-Miami) who received numerous death threats after voting against a measure to reinsert Terri Schiavo's feeding tube. Other legislators have also received threats, including a voice message to State Sen. Nancy Argenziano wishing she would die from stomach cancer. Knight-Ridder, March 25, 2005   (MORE)


"The 'D' word is the farthest thing from my mind"

-- Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey at a March 24, 2005 press conference on the possibility of restarting a military draft. The Army missed its February recruiting goal by 27 percent, the first time it had missed a monthly goal in nearly 5 years


"This is Gray Davis on steroids"

-- Jamie Court, president of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who collected a record $26 million in contributions last year, mostly in corporate checks from special interests. He has now raised more money than Davis, whose fund-raising was a central complaint leading to his recall. AP, March 23, 2005


"This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy"

-- Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Connecticut) on GOP efforts to press through an emergency law for Terri Schiavo. "There are going to be repercussions from this vote. There are a number of people who feel that the government is getting involved in their personal lives in a way that scares them." New York Times, March 23, 2005


"I'm generally nice, in spite of what people are writing about me"

-- Paul Wolfowitz interview with Le Monde, quoted by Reuters March 23, 2005


"I will continue to stand on the side of those defending life for all Americans, including those with disabilities"

-- President Bush, on signing the emergency bill to keep Terry Schiavo alive. In 1999, Bush also signed the "Advance Directives Act," which gave hospitals the right to pull the plug against the family's wishes when there is no hope for improvement. An "irreversible condition is defined as one that cannot be cured and leaves a person unable to care for or make decisions for himself, and that, without life-sustaining treatment, is fatal"   (MORE)


"They don't have any clue who Terri is. They should all be ashamed of themselves"

-- Michael Schiavo, husband of the brain-damaged Florida woman, who called Rep. Tom DeLay a "little slithering snake" pandering for votes. "Come down, President Bush," Schiavo said. "Come talk to me. Meet my wife. Talk to my wife and see if you get an answer. Ask her to lift her arm to shake your hand. She won't do it." St. Petersburg Times, March 20, 2005


"The all-volunteer force is close to breaking right now. When it does break, that's when you'll see the draft come back"

-- Retired Maj. Gen. Edward Atkeson, author and senior fellow at the Institute of Land Warfare, who told Stars and Stripes March 20, 2005 cracks are already showing with the use of stop loss to keep troops in beyond their active contracts and massive reserve mobilizations. "The worst-case scenario is that things just continue as they are"


"It's quackery. It'd be hilarious if it weren't so grotesque, how his presidential ambitions and pandering to the right wing is clashing with his life's work"

-- Democratic strategist Jim Jordan on Senate Majority Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), a renowned heart surgeon, disputing the diagnosis of Terri Schiavo after spending an "hour or so" looking at amateur home videos of the Florida woman who has been in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years. Frist will be in New Hampshire again this weekend meeting voters. Quote from Washington Post, March 19, 2005


"I could be going to jail for a story I didn't write, for reasons I don't know, for something that may not actually even be a crime"

-- NY Times reporter Judith Miller, who is facing jail for not revealing who she spoke to while gathering material for an abandonded story about the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. All 8 pages of briefs filed by the federal prosecutor were redacted by the government and entirely blank. "It's become kind of Kafkaesque," Miller said. UC Berkeley News. March 18, 2005


"There's more than one way to skin a cat, and there's more than one way to take a black robe off the bench"

-- Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, at a March 17, 2005 Washington conference organized by the group


"One of the consequences of our prediction is that Social Security does not appear to be in nearly as bad a shape as we think"

-- University of Illinois researcher S. Jay Olshansky, author of a study that found obesity will reduces life expectancy up to 5 years by mid-century. UPI, March 17, 2005


"He is a big hunk of stud meat -- even if he is Satan"

-- Syndicated liberal talk radio host Stephanie Miller, who was caught hugging Sean Hannity at an industry event. Quoted in the Washington Post, March 16, 2005, which did not credit Monitor columnist Steve Young as the author of the original item.   (MORE)


"When you get halfway through the CBS Evening News, the rest of it you can turn off. There's nothing there you need to know. It's an attempt to entertain people and pump up ratings"

-- Tom Fenton, former senior CBS foreign correspondent and author of "Bad News," which slams the network for poor international news coverage. "Edward R. Murrow rolls over in his grave every five minutes. I don't think it will ever end," said Marcy A. McGinnis, CBS senior vice president for news coverage. Quotes from The Buffalo News, March 16, 2005


"If death comes from a thousand cuts, Tom DeLay is into a couple hundred, and it's getting up there"

-- A Republican political consultant close to key lawmakers quoted by the Washington Post March 14, 2005. "The situation is negatively fluid right now for the guy. You start hitting arteries, it only takes a couple"


"It turns out that we were all wrong"

-- Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, forgiving himself for telling Congress in 2001 that Bush tax cuts were justified because the economy was about to boom. "Just for the record, we were not all wrong," Sen. Hillary Clinton shot back to Greenspan at the Senate hearing, March 16, 2005


"He must have forgotten that his army is occupying Iraq"

-- Sa'ad Abdul Aziz, an engineering student at Baghdad University, on the irony of Bush demanding Syria withdraw its troops from Lebanon. Knight-Ridder, March 15, 2005


"Democracy has a lot longer roots and a lot more friends than just the current campaign of President Bush"

-- Mark Malloch Brown, UN Sec'y Gen. Kofi Annan's chief of staff, at a March 10, 2005 news conference. Brown added he "slightly resent[ed] this question that somehow democracy is President Bush's invention"


"No wonder the Bushes, who play for the deepest of keeps, love having Clinton around. The former president has become the family's favorite hunting trophy, a symbol of their (and the GOP's) successful, decades-long rise to power"

-- MSNBC commentator Howard Fineman on George H.W. Bush's new best buddy, Bill Clinton. March 9, 2005


"It doesn't matter how many body bags come back. I'm not saying he's indifferent to it, but at some level he thinks he will be vindicated"

-- New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh speaking about Bush at Brown University, March 9, 2005. "He's convinced he's doing the right thing. I don't know whether he thinks he's doing it on behalf of God or trying to do what his father didn't do, or more likely, he's a true believer in the ideology of the neo-conservatives." Quoted in the Providence Journal (Rhode Island)


"I think he's one of the biggest political hacks we have in Washington"

-- Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid on Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, who told Congress in 2001 the Bush tax cuts were justified because the economy was about to boom, and last week told Congress that he backs Bush plans for Social Security and a regressive national consumption tax. CNN March 4, 2005


"If they didn't want the answer, the kid shouldn't have asked the question. It's me. What can I do?"

-- Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, who told a fourth-grade class he'd want a bottle of gin with him if he was marooned on a desert island. "I'm the George Washington of mayors. I can't tell a lie." Las Vegas Sun, March 3, 2005


"When I was hired, nobody ever asked me what my religious beliefs were. What they were really looking for were my professional skills"

-- Anne Lown, who worked 24 years for the Salvation Army's Social Services for Children division. She resigned after the mission statement was changed in 2003 to declare the program's top goal was "to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ," employees were required to list religious affiliation. and an effort was made to compile a list of homosexual employees. Lown and others are suing for discrimination; the Justice Department's civil rights division has taken sides with the Salvation Army. LA Times, March 7, 2005


"There's no such thing as the United Nations"

-- United Nations ambassador-nominee John Bolton at a 1994 panel discussion sponsored by the World Federalist Association


"Dan's strengths are also his weaknesses"

-- Bob Schieffer, who becomes interim anchor of "CBS Evening News" Thursday. Schieffer told Newsday March 6, 2005, that Rather's problems "go back to a time when decided to make him the logo for the network expected him to go everywhere and do everything, and he was willing to do everything. But I think he had too much on his plate, and from time to time, he was just worn out"


"The fact that the Americans don't want negotiations to free the hostages is known"

-- Italian journalist and former hostage Giuliana Sgrena, who was wounded by U.S. forces after her release by kidnappers. "The fact that they do everything to prevent the adoption of this practice to save the lives of people held hostages, everybody knows that. So I don't see why I should rule out that I could have been the target." AP, March 6, 2005


"We know what they're doing and we're going to tell the world that it's the Bush team, with the Bush tactics, and Karl Rove pulling the strings that's trying to defeat us"

-- Washington state party Chairman Paul Berendt, warning in a mailing that "right-wing attorneys" are determined to overturn the 304-vote victory of Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire. "I am not an alarmist. This is not Chicken Little crying: 'The sky is falling'"


"They beat this man in front of all these kids then tased him in my sister's lap. They had no regard for the effect this would have on the kids. This is Chuck E. Cheese, you know"

-- Felicia Mayo, who saw Aurora, Colorado police twice stun a man with tasers in the restaurant packed with families and young children. Officers were dispatched on a report of a "larceny in progress" after employees saw the father of two "loading" his salad plate without a receipt. Rocky Mountain News March 1, 2005


"We're seeing something new: Potemkin-village journalism"

-- Larry Gross, head of the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California, quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer, February 28, 2005. "Richard Nixon hated the press, Bill Clinton hated the press - but they accepted the basic rules of the game. Bush has a strategy of discrediting, end-running, and even faking the news. Those prepackaged videos sent to local TV stations 'looked' like news, much the way Gannon 'looked' like a reporter"


"Today's original Boondocks strip presents inaccurate information as fact. Please enjoy this substitute"

-- The Chicago Tribune, one of 3 major newspapers that did not print the February 28, 2005 comic strip. Aaron McGruder's cartoon has one character saying, "Bush got recorded admitting that he smoked weed." Another character replies: "Maybe he smoked it to take the edge off the coke"


"I'm trying to tell the truth and taking positions that I hope are godly positions"

-- Saintly Bob Novak, better known in Washington as the "prince of darkness," a nickname he apparently gave himself in the late 1970s. Novak quote from April, 2005 Vanity Fair


"Politicians believe that fear and anxiety is the way to win votes"

-- Guy Goodwin-Gill, a professor of international refugee law at Oxford University, on Tony Blair's willingness to win the upcoming election in Britian by playing the fear card. "This government has been very keen to ensure that people stay worried," Goodwin-Gill told AFP February 27, 2005


"We didn't criticize you when you fired those reporters at CBS"

-- Vladimir Putin comeback to Bush criticism about freedom of the press in Russia. Reported in the March 7, 2005 issue of Newsweek


"Press passes can't be that hard to come by if the White House allows that old Arab Helen Thomas to sit within yards of the president"

-- Ann Coulter February 23, 2005 column for Universal Press Syndicate. In the version distributed by the wire service via its website, "old Arab Helen Thomas" was replaced with "that dyspeptic, old Helen Thomas." A respected journalist for six decades, Thomas is of Lebanese descent


"The White House gets what the White House really wants. It never really wanted the 'poor people stuff'"

-- David Kuo, former deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and now contributing editor of beliefnet.com, where this appeared in a Feb. 2005 column. "Unfortunately, sometimes even the grandly-announced 'new' programs aren't what they appear," the disillusioned Kuo wrote, noting that the $150 million "gang prevention" effort Bush promised in the State of the Union was to be paid for by the "already meager" Compassion Capital Fund


"They're anticipating what is coming down the road. It's an acceptance of the fact that countries are going to be withdrawing"

-- Daniel Goure, a former Pentagon official, on the Administration's new use of "multinational force" instead of "coalition" to avoid answering questions about which countries still have troops in Iraq. AP February 18, 2005   (MORE)


"We're shooting ourselves in both feet, with .44 Magnums. There are no toes left"

-- Michael McDonald, a retired special agent for the IRS's criminal investigation division, warning that U.S. efforts to regulate the $28 billion/yr money transfer industry will send the business into an underground market where terrorist financiers can flourish "It will substantially increase the risk of terror financing," McDonald told Reuters, February 23, 2005


"If someone were to see 'GOPUSA,' there's an instant built-in bias"

-- Bobby Eberle, Texas GOP activist and founder of Talon News, which employed journalist cum $200/hr escort "Jeff Gannon." Eberle told the NY Times February 18, 2005 that his goal was to build a news agency that would appear more objective. The Talon News website shut down Feb. 24 after evidence of repeated plagarism was found and Democrats called for a Congressional inquiry


"Don't be mad at us if some nasty question comes up"

-- Wolfgang Ischinger, Germany's Ambassador to the U.S. explaining to the NY Times February 20, 2005 that his country wouldn't be screening questions asked to Bush at a much-touted "town hall" Q&A session with "normal Germans" in Frankfurt. After the February 20, 2005 article appeared, the event was scrubbed by the White House and replaced with a meeting between the president and about 20 hand-picked "young leaders"


"Without mincing words, the fragile nation [Afghanistan] could easily tumble back into chaos"

-- Conclusion of a February 21, 2005 UN report that also noted the county has the worst education system in the world, low adult literacy, and high unemployment. The next day, a group of Senators touring Afghanistan called for permanent U.S. military bases throughout the country


"He stomped terra"

-- Statement by the family of Hunter S. Thompson, 1937 - 2005


"It's me versus the world. The good news is, the world is on my side. Or more than half of it"

-- President Bush, in secretly taped 1998 conversations with Doug Wead, a friend and former aide to Bush's father. New York Times, February 19, 2005


"I haven't denied anything"

-- President Bush, when a friend remarked that Bush had publicly denied using cocaine. The future president was secretly taped by Doug Wead, an author and former aide to Bush's father. "If nobody shows up, there's no story. And if somebody shows up, it is going to be made up," Bush said, about concerns that cocaine rumors might arise. New York Times, February 19, 2005


"Defense is a lot broader than swaggering around saying you're going to kick Saddam's butt"

-- Howard Dean, new DNC chairman, in a February 17, 2005 debate with neo-con Richard Perle. "We picked the low hanging fruit in Iraq and did nothing" about the other, more dangerous regimes, he said, according to AP. Later in the debate, a protester hurled a shoe at Perle


"It seems so strange to have our own country fighting us on this"

-- Retired Air Force Col. David W. Eberly, senior officer among 17 former Gulf War POWs tortured by Saddam who are trying to sue Iraq for about $1 billion in damages. The Bush administration is fighting the war heroes, arguing that today's Iraqis are good guys, and they need the money. LA Times, February 15, 2005


"I have always believed in the Mr. Magoo factor with Bush. Everything seems to be falling down around him, but he always seems to get by and things work out"

-- Marshall Wittmann, a senior fellow at the Democratic Leadership Council and former aide to Sen. John McCain. Last week Bush declared, "I'm doing pretty good, feeling pretty spunky." Houston Chronicle, February 15, 2005


"What we saw, I know the American population wouldn't stand for"

-- Retired Army Rangers Captain Bill Craun who worked briefly as a private security operator in Iraq for contractor Custer Battles. Craun, a Bronze Star recipient, recalled a Nov. 8 incident when another member of the convoy began firing on passenger cars to clear a traffic jam. Later, he says a teenager walking by the road was gunned down for no reason. "It was chaos and carnage and destruction the whole day." NBC News, February 15, 2005


"The Iraqis are free to choose whatever vision of Iraq they want. That's entirely up to them. It's entirely up to us, the United States, who we choose to support. We can use these funds elsewhere"

-- A diplomat in Baghdad warning the Bush Administration is prepared to withhold billions in reconstruction aid unless Iraq's newly-elected Parliment follows American wishes. U.S. News & World Report, February 14, 2005


"This is not the outcome that the United States was hoping for"

-- Juan Cole, University of Michigan professor and expert on Iraq, on the sweeping election victory by the Shiite coalition with close ties to Tehran. "If the United States had decided three years ago to bomb Iran, it would have produced joy in Baghdad," he added. "Now it might produce strong protests from Baghdad." Washington Post, February 14, 2005   (MORE)


"What kind of an example are we setting, if we do not hold the CPA accountable for serious mismanagement? Should the Iraqis be held to a higher standard than our own government?"

-- Senator Byron L. Dorgan (D - N Dakota) opening statement at the Senate Democratic Policy Committee Hearing on fraud by contractors in Iraq and mismanagement by the Coalition Provisional Authority. February 14, 2005


"We have had people sent here who I would not trust at all. I have discovered that the Americans have made no checks on these men. Do you wonder why police stations and army barracks get blown up?"

-- An Iraqi police colonel to the Independent/UK, February 13, 2005


"You can't jam change down the American people's throat unless they perceive there really is a problem"

-- House Speaker Dennis Hastert, telling the Chicago Tribune February 11, 2005, that Social Security is "a Ponzi scheme," but quickly adding that he did not mean it in derogatory way


"There is no breakthrough yet. There is a change in rhetoric, a change in style, a change in tone, but not yet any change in substance"

-- Fraser Cameron, European Policy Centre, on Condoleezza Rice's meetings with European leaders, February 11, 2005   (MORE)


"Either you have the honor, as officers, to defend this country, as your oath says, until the last drop of your blood, or you go to work for mafia bosses"

-- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko to police officers in the eastern city of Donetsk. RFE/RL News Service, February 10, 2005


"I wish I could assure that everything is going to turn out well [in Iraq], but I can't"

-- Rumsfeld speech to U.S. sailors February 9, 2005. He also said, "instead of talking about killing people... what is happening in Iraq today is politics." Not discussing politics that same day were 6 Iraqis killed for voting, 3 members of a Kurdish political party shot dead in a Baghdad ambush, an assassinated Housing Ministry Official, an Iraqi journalist killed along with his 3 year-old son, and 4 policemen that were gunned down


"This now puts Rove not necessarily in the king's seat, but on stage with the king"

-- Lawrence R. Jacobs, a University of Minnesota political scientist who has written books on the executive branch, on Karl Rove's promotion to deputy chief of staff with oversight of the NSC and other policy councils. Rove will keep his job as Bush's chief political strategist, giving him combined political and policy control that may be unique in the history of the Presidency. Quote from LA Times, February 9, 2005


"Our job is to keep the train on the tracks. It's not to tell the President, 'Here are the ways to avoid the law"

-- State Department legal adviser William Taft IV, who in early 2002 fought White House lawyers claiming that the Geneva Conventions didn't apply in Afghanistan because it was a "failed state." Taft warned that this policy meant that U.S. soldiers -- and even President Bush -- could be prosecuted for war crimes. The New Yorker, February 8, 2005


"I don't think anyone's thought through what we do with these people"

-- John Radsan, former attorney at the CIA general counsel's office, on the problems the U.S. faces with Terror War suspects who have been tortured. Evidence obtained that way would not be allowed in a criminal trial, and even in military tribunals, "there are still constitutional requirements that you can't bring in involuntary confessions." The New Yorker, February 8, 2005


"What are we now, the Huns? If you don't talk to us, we'll kill you?"

-- Dan Coleman, a retired FBI agent who worked with the CIA on counter-terrorism for 10 years, on the Bush Administration's "New Paradigm" policy allowing terror suspects to be "rendered" to foreign countries where they are tortured. "We're taking people and keeping them in our own custody" so they do not even have rights under that nation's laws, Coleman says. "We have no method over there other than our laws -- and we've decided to ignore them." The New Yorker, February 8, 2005


"The Saudis currently want to unload the firebrands they have at home"

-- Michael Scheuer, who led the CIA's Osama bin Laden section in the 1990s, charging the Saudis with releasing imprisoned Islamic radicals to fight in Iraq. The Saudi's Sunni government doesn't want a Shiite state next door, "so they think it is a great thing for their people to do." Scheuer adds that Saudi Arabia and Algeria also released prisoners in the 1980s to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan, where hopefully "they would die in the process." Washington Post February 6, 2005


"We went from a few dead-enders to killing or capturing 15,000 in the period of a year, and that's why there's a certain credibility problem here as to what the size and nature of the enemy we face"

-- Senator John McCain, confronting Paul Wolfowitz at Senate Armed Services Committee hearings, February 3, 2005. The Deputy Defense Secretary testified, "our enemy in Iraq is not the Iraqi people. It is not a nationalist insurgency. It is an unholy alliance of old terrorists and new terrorists drawn from across the region"


"Halliburton has played fast and loose with billions in taxpayer dollars, and instead of a slap on the wrist, they are getting a pat on the back from the Bush administration"

-- Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D- New Jersey) on news that the Pentagon will not dispute the $400 million monthly bill from subsidiary KBR, which provides support services in Iraq and elsewhere. Last year the Army considered withholding $60 million/mo because of billing disputes. Associated Press February 3, 2005


"People just never got Kerry. He was unable to explain the essence of his persona and unwilling to talk about himself personally. I watched him speak everyday and am still unsure of what he is about"

-- Jodi Wilgoren, who reported on the Kerry campaign for the New York Times. "I asked him what his cocktail of choice was on the plane once and he said he didn't know and that he wasn't sure," she told the Yale Daily News February 3, 2005


"You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for 5 years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them"

-- Marine Lt. Gen. James Mattis, leader of the 1st Marine Division in Iraq, at a February 1, 2005, San Diego panel. "Actually, its a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot. I like brawling." As Muslim and interfaith groups called for his resignation, the Marine Corps commander said he "should have chosen his words more carefully"


"It's an amazing media error, a huge blunder. I'm sure the Bush administration is thrilled by this spin"

-- Democratic party adviser Robert Weiner on the widely-repeated claim that 60% of eligible Iraqis voted in Sunday's election. The number is meaningless because no one actually knows how many people were eligible to vote, or even how many Iraqis are adults. Weiner quote from the Washington Post, February 1, 2005


"It's human nature to be happy about a happy ending. And if this is indeed one step on the route to a happy ending in Iraq, well, you can't help but reflect that in your work"

-- NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams to USA TODAY, January 30, 2005. "I still can't walk freely out in the street," he added


"We were rising in the polls up until the last day when the tape appeared. We flat-lined the day the tape appeared and went down on Monday"

-- Sen. John Kerry on "Meet The Press," January 30, 2005, blaming his election loss on the Osama Bin Laden videotape that appeared 4 days before the vote   (MORE)


"[Kerry] tried to emphasize his role as a Vietnam War hero and downplay his role as an anti-Vietnam War hero, which he was. Had he admitted, owned up to it, I think actually the outcome could have been different"

-- George Soros at World Economic Forum in Davos, January 29, 2005. "Kerry did not, actually, offer a credible and coherent alternative," he also said. "That had a lot to do with Bush being re-elected"


"I'm actually aghast at the hatred stemming from such an important person in our government... Her first official act was to denounce my family, and to denounce PBS for putting on a program that shows my family as loving, moral, and committed"

-- Karen Pike, who appeared with her same-sex partner and daughter in a children's show "Postcards From Buster." PBS yanked the episode after the new education secretary, Margaret Spellings, denounced PBS for spending public funds to tape the program because "many parents would not want their young children exposed to the lifestyles portrayed in the episode." Boston Globe, January 27, 2005


"I fully understand the power of those who want to derail a Social Security agenda by scaring people"

-- President Bush news conference, January 26, 2005, where he also said a few moments earlier that Social Security "will be in the red in 13 years, and in 2042 the system will be broke," claims that have been since repeated by other Republicans. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, both statements are false.


"The influence of the elections for us as [pro-democracy activists] is disastrous. When you marginalize wide sections of society from the political process ... this is not democracy"

-- Syrian human rights activist Haytham Manna told Reuters, January 28, 2005. "With this example, all the Arab extremists will say to us: 'You democrats, go to hell, because you haven't been able to solve our problems with your democracy and elections'"


"We hang posters around the city telling people how important it is for them to vote but they rip them up as soon as we turn our backs"

-- Staff Sgt. Russ Spike, among the heavily-armed U.S. troops encouraging Iraqis in Samarra to vote until a mortar hit nearby, apparently aimed at the convoy's Humvee blasting pro-election messages in Arabic. "Let's get out of here. This place is no good," Spike told Reuters, January 28, 2005


"How much fear is there? A lot of fear. A whole lot of fear"

-- Dhikra Hussein, an Iraqi who lives a block from a Baghdad voting place. "Our neighbors are all gone. We've bought 3 kilos of everything we need." Knight Ridder reported January 27, 2005 that stores are sold out of rice and other basic foods as residents locked themselves in their homes two days before the curfew began


"If you've got a satellite truck in front of a school for three days, and it's known in advance where TV cameras are going to be, where do you think the bombers are going to go?"

-- David Wright, foreign correspondent for ABC News, on rules that TV crews covering the Iraq election "may only approach and enter one of the specifically enabled electronic media approved polling centers," which means that satellite trucks will be parked outside select and well-publicized voting sites, according to the New York Observer, January 26, 2005


"Our apologies for not mentioning the names of all the candidates. But the security situation is bad, and we have to keep them alive"

-- Campaign leaflet for the United Iraqi Alliance, listing the names of only 37 out of its 188 candidates. Village Voice, January 25, 2005


"There are a lot of times when we should say this person isn't telling the truth, but that's impolite, so we say only that this person's story may have been challenged by someone. I don't mean you go into a room and insult them, but when you come back to your typewriter, it's courage time"

-- Pulitzer Prize winner Sydney Schanberg on media reluctance to confront Bush administration officials. Village Voice, January 25, 2005


"[It] doesn't do much reporting any more. What it does is called packaging"

-- Veteran CBS foreign correspondent Tom Fenton on the network's London bureau, which is now mostly assembling video and facts gathered by outside organizations. Fenton told the Washington Post January 24, 2005 that despite 9/11, coverage of foreign news is minimal, noting that in the first 10 months of 2004, the CBS Evening News offered only 4 stories from China, two of them about pandas


"It's just one more example of how the Bush administration likes to control the story"

-- Chicago Tribune reporter Jeff Zeleny, among the journalists trailed by officials as they tried to speak to partygoers at the inaugurial balls. Washington Post reporter Peter Carlson told his newspaper January 24, 2005 that he was even followed in to the restroom, as if it were "Saddam-era Iraq."


"No one I know believes that we are not going to be in Iraq with significant forces right through the end of [2004]"

-- Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz testimony at House Armed Services Committee, September 25, 2003. Yesterday the Pentagon announced it is now planning to keep at least 120,000 troops in Iraq until at least 2007


"I am sorry to say that the corruption here is worse now than in the Saddam Hussein era"

-- Mowaffak al-Rubaie, the Iraqi national security adviser, who said he had not been informed that $300 million in American bills was withdrawn from Iraq's Central Bank and sent on a charter jet to Lebanon. The Iraq Defense Minister says the money was to buy arms, but will not reveal who the money was paid to. New York Times January 22, 2005


"If people were expecting Bush to rein in his ambitions and enthusiasms after the first term, they are discovering that they were wrong"

-- Robert Kagan, co-founder of the neo-con Project for the New American Century (PNAC), on Bush's inaugurial promise to promote democracy "in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyrannyin our world," Bush said. "This is real neo-conservatism," Kagan told the Los Angeles Times January 22, 2005


"It was a God-drenched speech. This president, who has been accused of giving too much attention to religious imagery and religious thought, has not let the criticism enter him. God was invoked relentlessly"

-- Peggy Noonan, famed Reagan speechwriter and Wall Street Journal columnist, in her January 21, 2005 op/ed. "It left me with a bad feeling, and reluctant dislike"


"Would I rather be somewhere else on Thursday, Jan. 20 at noon?"

-- John Kerry, when asked how he felt being back in Congress as Senator Barbara Boxer chimed in with a reply known to parents everywhere: "Duuuuh." Quoted by The New York Times, January 18, 2005


"Baghdad is the city of science, city of kings, city of believers. It has now become the city of explosions and hideout of criminals"

-- Mohammed al-Sumeidi, a Baghdad cleric. Quoted by AP, January 20, 2005


"And, for God's sake, don't listen to Rumsfeld -- he doesn't know what in the hell he's talking about on this"

-- Senator Joseph Biden (D - Delaware) advising Condoleezza Rice to be picky about her advisors on Iraq. Secretary of State hearings, January 19, 2005


"None of us knows any fighters... but we are the people who suffer from this"

-- Kareem, a local mechanic in a rural area outside Baghdad, who told IPS January 18, 2005 that U.S. forces bulldozed an orchard of date palms after outsiders hid behind the trees and fired on soldiers. Collective punishment is a condemned tactic used by Israeli troops against Palestinians.   (MORE)


"In dictatorships their actions don't matter, because we don't expect any respect for human rights. But in a democracy we are handing victory to terrorists if we change our way of life and abandon human rights"

-- Richard Goldstone, the first chief prosecutor at the war crimes tribunals for former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Toronto Star, January 17, 2005


"We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 election"

-- President Bush in the January 16, 2005 Washington Post. The question was, "The postwar process hasn't gone as well as some had hoped. Why hasn't anyone been held accountable, either through firings or demotions, for what some people see as mistakes or misjudgments?"


"[Iraq] is a disaster because it's a result of blunder after blunder after blunder. And it is George Bush's Vietnam"

-- Senator Edward Kennedy on Face The Nation, January 16, 2005


"I am not a civil rights activist"

-- Gerald Reynolds, the new chairman of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. Reynolds and his mentor, commission vice chairman Abigail Thernstrom, both oppose college affirmative action programs. Reynolds quote from NPR's "All Things Considered," December 30, 2004   (MORE)


"Iraq is just one campaign. The Bush administration is looking at this as a huge war zone. Next, we're going to have the Iranian campaign"

-- A former high-level intelligence official quoted by The New Yorker, January 16, 2005. The Seymour Hersh article says a commando force has been working inside Iran at least since last summer with the goal of identifying targets


"It doesn't mean that we're scraping the bottom of the barrel -- It means that we're doing a prudent thing with American resources"

-- Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, a spokesman for the Army personnel department explaining why it is a Good Thing that at least 320 retirees, some in their late 60s and possibly older, are returning to active service. USA TODAY, January 13, 2005


"We have simply stopped buying food beyond rations"

-- Raqia, a Baghdad housewife telling Reuters January 13, 2005 that tomatoes and onions have become luxury items, and even rationed rice and sugar are becoming harder to find. A propane gas cylinder used for cooking now costs about 20x more than the 35-cent price under Saddam's regime


"I speak plainly sometimes, but you've got to be mindful of the consequences of the words. So put that down. I don't know if you'd call that a confession, a regret, something"

-- President Bush, sort-of regretting his July 2003 taunt to Iraqi rebels to "Bring 'em on." Bush also said at a January 13, 2005 round-table interview with reporters, "Sometimes, words have consequences you don't intend them to mean"


"We cannot become Republican clones. If we do, we will lose again, and deserve to lose"

-- Sen. Edward Kennedy speaking to the National Press Club, January 12, 2005. "We cannot move our party or our nation forward under pale colors and timid voices"


"Somebody has been reading too many spy novels and went off in flights of fancy"

-- Donald Rumsfeld at a January 12, 2005 press conference, dismissing as "nonsense" a Newsweek report that the Pentagon was intensively debating a "Salvador option" of forming death squads to hunt down and kill rebel leaders and sympathizers   (MORE)


"The Americans have destroyed our city"

-- Mohsen Abdul-Ghani, a professor at Baghdad's Islamic Law University who returned to his home in Falluja two weeks ago and found everything inside in shambles from a search by U.S. troops. "When I came back the next day I found the house totally burnt although there were no weapons in it," he told AP January 11, 2005


"Don't cheerleaders all over America form pyramids six to eight times a year? Is that torture?"

-- Guy Womack, court-martial attorney for Charles Graner, former prison guard at Abu Ghraib and accused ringleader of the prisoner abuse scandal. Womack also justified the famous picture of a naked Iraqi man with a leash around his neck. "You're keeping control of them. A tether is a valid control to be used in corrections," he also said in his January 10, 2005 opening statement


"We are left with a bad choice in holding [Iraq] elections and a worse choice of not holding it"

-- Senator Joseph Biden (D - Delaware) on CNN, January 9, 2005


"You can make the argument that we're better off [not catching Osama bin Laden]"

-- AB "Buzzy" Krongard, who recently resigned as the CIA's #3 most senior executive. "If something happens to Bin Laden, you might find a lot of people vying for his position and demonstrating how macho they are by unleashing a stream of terror ...He's turning into more of a charismatic leader than a terrorist mastermind." London Sunday Times, January 9, 2005


"We have to find a way to take the offensive against the insurgents. Right now, we are playing defense. And we are losing"

-- A senior military officer quoted by Newsweek, January 8, 2005, on intense Pentagon discussions of using "the Salvador option" in Iraq. Facing defeat from guerrillas in El Salvador, the Reagan administration approved death squads to hunt down and kill rebel leaders and sympathizers


"The Iraqi elections, rather than turning out to be a promising turning point, have the great potential for deepening the conflict"

-- Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser for President George H.W. Bush speaking to the New America Foundation, January 7, 2005


"We must consider the point at which we confuse 'volunteer to become an American soldier' with 'mercenary'"

-- Army Reserves Commander Lt. Gen. James R. Helmly December 20, 2004 memo to the Army chief of staff. Helmly warned that the Army Reserve is "rapidly degenerating into a 'broken' force," in part because it is offering larger and larger bonuses to recruits and re-enlistments


"You wonder where are the people? What has happened to them?"

-- U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan viewing the tsunami destruction in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, January 7, 2005


"Get some devastation in the back"

-- Senate majority leader Bill Frist to an aide taking his picture during a tour of tsunami-hit areas of Sri Lanka. "Many people come here; they just take photographs, but we don't get anything," said Ramzan Mohideen, a businessman now living in a homeless camp. AP, January 7, 2005


"This is not about your intelligence, this hearing is not about your competence, it's not about your integrity - it's about your judgment and your candor"

-- Senator Joseph Biden (D - Delaware) to Attorney general nominee Alberto Gonzales during his January 6, 2005 confirmation hearings. The White House has refused to release documents that show Gonzales' full role in crafting presidential orders on policy for captives. "We're looking for candor, old buddy. I love you, but you're not very candid so far," Biden said


"This is the opening round in the battle for electoral justice"

-- Senator Barbara Boxer (D - California) press conference in advance of historic challenge to electoral vote. After interrupting certification of the election returns with an hour-long debate, the Senate voted 74-1 to accept the disputed Ohio vote with Boxer casting the only vote against it. "They didn't expect us to do this. Where's the hearing on the paper trail? It's been over a year since it was [proposed]...You can't look away from this and say we are the greatest democracy in the world," Boxer said. January 6, 2005


"I have been in war and I have been through a number of hurricanes, tornadoes and other relief operations, but I have never seen anything like this"

-- Secretary of State Colin Powell on the devastation in Sumatra, January 5, 2005


"I think the resistance is bigger than the U.S. military in Iraq. I think the resistance is more than 200,000 people"

-- Iraqi intelligence service director General Mohamed Abdullah Shahwani. His estimate includes at least 160,000 part-time fighters and volunteers who have helped rebels turn city neighborhoods and small towns around central Iraq into virtual no-go zones, he also told AFP, January 3, 2005


"The figures look much higher than they really are. What will end up on the ground will be much less"

-- Robert Smith, spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), explaining that only a portion of the $2 billion of aid promised for the Asian tsunami crisis will actually be paid. Rudolf Muller, also of UN OCHA, told the Guardian/UK January 3, 2005, "There is definitely double accounting going on. A lot of the money will be swallowed up by the military or will have been been diverted from existing loans"

2004


"Politically it's a hot potato"

-- Gail Burns-Smith on the Justice Dept. medical new guidelines for treating rape victims, which has no mention of emergency contraception, the standard precaution against pregnancy after rape. The manual says to take victims' pregnancy fears "seriously," give a pregnancy test, and "discuss treatment options, including reproductive health services." The retired director of a sex assault crisis service, Burns-Smith told the Philadelphia Inquirer, December 31, 2004, that contraception was included in early drafts


"I just about went through the roof when I heard them bragging about $35 million. We spend $35 million before breakfast in Iraq"

-- Senator Patrick Leahy (D - Vermont) on Bush promised aid to Southeast Asia tsunami victims. Bush has since promised $350 million, which still makes the United States fifth in relief aid, and represents less than what the U.S. spends in two days in Iraq. NY Times December 30, 2004


"If anyone gets too close to us we fucking waste them. It's kind of a shame, because it means we've killed a lot of innocent people"

-- A U.S. Marine lieutenant stationed in Falluja, explaining the constant fear of suicide bombers. "It gets to a point where you can't wait to see guys with guns, so you start shooting everybody...It gets to a point where you don't mind the bad stuff you do." The Economist, December 29, 2004


"We would say, 'Where do you want us to take these people?' The mindset of the bureaucracy was, 'Let someone else do the dirty work."

-- Michael Scheuer, a former CIA counterterrorism officer, on the practice of "rendition" -- flying captives to countries that use harsh interrogation methods outlawed in the United States. Washington Post, December 27, 2004


"A lot of business groups have been waiting for years, if not decades, for all the political stars to be aligned"

-- Stephen Moore, head of the Club for Growth, on the current lobbying frenzy in Washington. In just the first half of the year, $1.1 billion was spent by lobbyists, an amount expected to increase in Bush's second term. LA Times, December 29, 2004


"When that many human beings die -- at the hands of terrorists or nature -- you've got to show that this matters to you, that you care"

-- Leslie H. Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, on Bush's failure to make any public comment for three days about the Asian earthquake disaster. The president remained at his Texas ranch, clearing brush and bicycling. "It's kind of freaky," a senior career official told the Washington Post, December 29, 2004


"For 14 years we have been independent, but now we are free. This is a victory for the Ukrainian people, for the Ukrainian nation"

-- Viktor Yushchenko claiming victory in Ukraine's historic presidential election runoff with a 15+ point lead. December 27, 2004


"We don't want to be used as props"

-- Former Washington Post White House correspondent Dana Milbank, on the press corps' frustration of knowing in advance that Bush will only take questions from certain reporters. "It's not so much that we're not doing our jobs well, it's that we don't even have any impact when we do our jobs well." WNYC's On the Media, December 24, 2004


"We want Bush because with him the American troops will stay in Iraq and that way we will be able to develop"

-- Former hostage Georges Malbrunot, recalling that his captors in Iraq cheered for Bush to win the election because they thought his victory would boost their cause. AP, December 24, 2004


"What do they want from Falluja? This is the crime of the century. They want to destroy Islam and Muslims. But our anger and resistance will increase"

-- Yasser Satar, one of the first Falluja civilians to return and see the damage to their city. Residents will receive up to $10,000 for destroyed homes, less than Iraqis say will be needed to rebuild. "Is this freedom and democracy that they brought to Falluja?" Reuters, December 24, 2004


"We have been called away from our homes and families for hostile operations. We are owed a chance to be trained properly and given the tools to obtain that objective"

-- Comments in an "After-Action Review" by a National Guard sergeant with extensive military experience. Among other complaints from his unit were that nearly half of the "good to go" trucks developed problems within 10 miles, and some soldiers arrived in Iraq without ever having fired some of the weapons they would use. Los Angeles Times, December 23, 2004


"[Is there] anyone who doesn't think there are certain advantages to being in the steam room? Two people naked sitting next to each other ... access always helps"

-- Jack Buechner, a former Missouri Republican congressman, describing how former members of Congress work the system in a lobbyist afterlife. They are allowed into the member cloakrooms just off the floors, use the gyms and even keep parking privileges on the Capitol grounds. Knight-Ridder, December 22, 2004


"Social Security is like a car with a flat tire. There is a problem. We need to fix the flat tire. But we don't need to replace the car"

-- Peter Orszag, economist at the Brookings Institution and former Clinton adviser quoted by AP, December 21, 2004


"Another vicious battle in the American culture war. Somewhere Jesus is weeping"

-- Fox News celebrant Bill O'Reilly, claiming December 21, 2004 that he is under attack by "secularists" in the media. On Dec. 7 O'Reilly pronounced "Christmas [was] under siege" by progressives who wanted to ban "the Christmas greeting, 'Merry Christmas'" as one of the first steps to gain legal status for gay marriage, partial birth abortion, euthanasia, legalized drugs, and income redistribution


"You're a religious person, right? Thou shalt not steal... And then you stole 3 million votes"

-- Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko to Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych during a live televised presidential debate, December 20, 2004


"If the United States were to attack Iran, it would be a catastrophic mistake"

-- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, quoted in Der Spiegel, December 20, 2004. "Terror and violence would be imposed throughout the Middle East and shortly afterwards in the whole world"


"This issue of the secretary of Defense not personally signing the letters is just astounding to me and it does reflect how out of touch they are and how dismissive they are"

-- Senator Chuck Hagel (R - Nebraska) on CBS's "Face the Nation" December 19, 2004. Until now, Rumsfeld's office used a machine to stamp his signature on condolence letters sent to families of soldiers killed in action


"He's like the cross-eyed archer. He may hit the mark, but he'll scare the hell out of everybody"

-- One of 38 "Hollings-isms" released by the office of Senator Fritz Hollings (D - South Carolina) on his retirement, December 16, 2004. He made the remark in December 1983 in reference to his friend Jesse Jackson when both were running for the Presidential nomination. "Sometimes I wish I weren't in this race, so I could coach Jesse," Hollings said at the time. "I could really fine-tune him. He's having a fine time"


"This is the best $40,000 investment made by any political group, but it was only because of the news coverage that it got where it did"

-- Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill on the impact of the "Swift Boat Veteran" ads, speaking December 15, 2004 at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. "For me, this was a very big change. The fact that it was disproved and it was still shown every day as part of the [campaign] coverage," she added


"[The trade deficit is] easy to resolve. People can buy more United States products if they're worried about the trade deficit"

-- President Bush, December 15, 2004. The next day it was announced that trade deficits for the 3rd quarter had hit a record high of $164.7 billion


"Today we are seeing a cemetery of democratic freedoms"

-- Vladimir Ryzhkov, one of hundreds of lawmakers who gathered Dec. 12 to protest Putin's new powers to appoint all governors and to dissolve regional legislatures if they refuse to confirm his nominees. "We really have voluntarily given up our freedom, and we've gotten what people always get when they give up their freedom: a boot in the face." AP December 14, 2004


"He's no different than a street hooker in Manchester. If he's guilty, then I find his crime as offensive as any other crime"

-- U.S. Magistrate Judge James Muirhead, ordering James Tobin to surrender his passport and warning that he faces jail for any offense before his trial begins Feb. 1. Tobin is the former New England chairman of Bush's re-election campaign who was indicted for jamming the Democrats' get-out-the-vote phone lines on Election Day 2002. Disrupting the electoral process is an "outrage against the Constitution," Muirhead told AP December 14, 2004


"This could in the long term create an environment in which an Iraqi Hitler could emerge"

-- Iraqi President Ghazi Yawar on the chaos in Iraq, quoted by the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, December 13, 2004.


"We sent 14,000 people into Ohio from elsewhere. They had 14,000 people from Ohio talking to their neighbors, and that's how you win in rural states and in rural America"

-- Howard Dean on Meet The Press, December 12, 2004


"My first reaction was disbelief. It never occurred to me that they would call a 70-year-old"

-- Dr. John Caulfield, a retired physician who has been ordered to serve in Afghanistan. Caulfield, who left the Army in 1980, is one of about 100 over the age of sixty known to be serving. Marion (Ohio) Star, December 11, 2004


"We have an ideological press that's interested in the election of Republicans, and a mainstream press that's interested in the bottom line. Therefore, we don't have a vigilant, independent press whose interest is the American people"

-- Bill Moyers, preparing for his signoff on "Now," the weekly PBS newsmagazine he began in 2002. "I'm going out telling the story that I think is the biggest story of our time: how the right-wing media has become a partisan propaganda arm of the Republican National Committee, he told AP December 10, 2004. The program airs Dec. 17


"It doesn't help you win the hearts and minds of the public if you put a bullet in their hearts and another in the minds"

-- Mark Garlasco, senior military analyst for Human Rights Watch, quoted by AP December 10, 2004, the same day that a U.S. soldier was found guilty of murdering a wounded Iraqi teenage boy in a "mercy killing." Garlasco said there were 1,000 "questionable deaths" of civilians in just the first 3 weeks of the invasion, and it has been impossible to count civilian deaths since that time


"By that logic, we should send our troops into battle on bicycles "

-- Senator Joseph Biden (D - Delaware) comeback to Rumsfeld's comment that "all the armor in the world" still might not protect a soldier from a roadside bomb. Biden also told the Baltimore Sun December 9, 2004, "And why is it that, 20 months after Saddam's statue fell, our troops still don't have the protection they need?"


"What we basically have is what we call hillbilly steel, hillbilly armor"

-- National Guard Col. John Zimmermann on ABCNews, December 8, 2004, describing the makeshift armor that U.S. soldiers are adding themselves to military vehicles in Iraq. Earlier that day a soldier in his regiment drew shouts of approval and applause after confronting Rumsfeld at a Q&A session in Kuwait, asking "Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles?"


"Wasn't Social Security designed to be a safety net for old people? When did it change from something designed to keep you from being poor into something to supposedly help make you rich?"

-- Washington Post columnist Allan Sloan December 7, 2004


"If the networks haven't done anything illegal, if they haven't done anything indecent, why do they care what we say?"

-- Lara Mahaney, spokeswoman for Parents Television Council. Except for complaints about Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" during the Super Bowl, 99.9 percent of indecency complaints made to the FCC come from this activist group. Mediaweek, December 6, 2004


"You have to say, 'Here are the rules,' and you are firm and fair. That radiates stability"

-- Marine intelligence officer Lt. Col. Dave Bellon on U.S. plans to install a spirit for democracy in Falluja. Ways to radiate stability in the city of 300,000 currently under discussion include DNA testing and retina scans, badges that must be worn at all times, and forced labor for all males in military-style battalions. Boston Globe December 5, 2004


"We need to be the benevolent, dominant tribe"

-- Marine intelligence officer Lt. Col. Dave Bellon on U.S. plans to install a spirit for democracy in Falluja. Bellon told the Boston Globe December 5, 2004 that the U.S. had telegraphed weakness by asking, 'What are your needs? What are your emotional needs?' All this Oprah [stuff]. They want to figure out who the dominant tribe is and say, 'I'm with you'"


"I know what country I live in, I know what the authorities here may try to do. Regarding my poisoning, I was expecting something like that, for me it was just a matter of time"

-- Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko, speaking through a translator on BBC television's 'Breakfast with Frost,' December 5, 2004   (MORE)


"We will now see an assault on the law which will set the U.S. in the direction of becoming a Third World country in terms of environmental protection"

-- Philip Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust, on the Bush and GOP agenda to rewrite the country's most important environmental laws. Quoted by Independent/UK, December 5, 2004


"There's this ominous sense of change for the worse, of impending doom"

-- Andy Rooney, quoted by USA TODAY, December 5, 2004, on the atmosphere in the CBS newsroom as they await the independent panel's report on Dan Rather's controversial "Memogate" piece on "60 Minutes II." Rooney and others worry that the network will use the findings to cut back on its news operation, which has been last in the ratings for years


"That career ended because, at the end of the day, nobody was watching"

-- LA Times columnist Tim Rutten on the resignation of Dan Rather, December 4, 2004. Election night polls found that CBS News finished with 9% of the viewers, behind FOX, CNN, and both networks


"For the life of me, I cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply because it is so easy to do"

-- Outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, generously offering tips to bin Laden and friends. "We are importing a lot of food from the Middle East, and it would be easy to tamper with that," he added, December 3, 2004


"I don't think we ought to lie to our children about science. Something is seriously wrong when federal tax dollars are being used to mislead kids about basic health facts"

-- Rep. Henry Waxman (D-California) on misleading information being taught by federally funded abstinence-only programs. Falsehoods cited by Waxman's investigators included claims that a 43-day-old fetus is a "thinking person," HIV can be spread via sweat and tears, and half the gay male teenagers in the U.S. have AIDS. Washington Post, December 2, 2004


"What we're afraid is happening is that these cities and towns can get federal anti-terrorism money by identifying local groups as threats"

-- ACLU's associate legal counsel Ann Beeson, who is asking the FBI why groups such as the Quaker-affiliated American Friends Service Committee are monitored by Denver police and listed as an "active case" by a local terrorism task force. AP December 2, 2004   (MORE)


"Right now, all they're doing is looking out the window and making sure the bad guys aren't coming to get them"

-- A U.S. military official in Mosul to the NY Times November 30, 2004 describing the lack of Iraqi police in the city. Almost the entire force deserted after rebels stormed the police stations Nov. 11 and the police chief was fired after reports that police were joining the insurrection


"The court understood that if bigots have a 1st Amendment right to exclude gays, then enlightened institutions have a 1st Amendment right to exclude bigots "

-- E. Joshua Rosenkranz, lead counsel for a coalition of over 25 law schools that Nov. 29 won a ruling in federal court restricting on-campus recruiting by the military because of the Pentagon's policy on gays and lesbians. LA Times, November 30, 2004


"We can live with winning and losing. We cannot live with fraud and stealing"

-- Rev. Jesse Jackson, who is calling for an investigation of the voting process in Ohio. Jackson told the Cincinnati Post, November 29, 2004, that he thought it was possible a recount could change the outcome of the election. No recount could not start until Dec. 11, only two days before the state's presidential electors cast their votes for Bush


"If the war on terror is such a realigning issue, how come Bush only got 51 percent of the vote?"

-- Political analyst Ruy Teixeira, who told the Washington Post, November 28, 2004 that Bush had the advantage of an incumbency which was magnified by wartime, and deftly skipped over plans on such issues as overhauling Social Security, which would make voters feel uneasy


"On the one hand, we see the sabbath of witches who have been fattened up with oranges and who pretend that they represent the whole of the nation, on the other hand we see the peaceful power of constructive forces that has gathered in this hall"

-- Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov on the Ukrainian election crisis, broadcast by Russia's NTV television and translated by AP November 28, 2004. The orange-fattened witches are presumably opposition leader Yushchenko and his supporters


"They started to beat voters and election officials, trying to push through towards the ballot boxes. People's faces were cut from blows to the head. There was blood all over"

-- Vitaly Kizima, one of many election observers in Ukraine who reported thugs attacking voters and election workers last Sunday. About 11,000 fraud complaints have been lodged so far with regional courts. UK/Telegraph November 28, 2004


"When the courts make unconstitutional decisions, we should not enforce them. Federal courts have no army or navy... The court can opine, decide, talk about, sing, whatever it wants to do. We're not saying they can't do that. At the end of the day, we're saying the court can't enforce its opinions"

-- Rep. John Hostettler (R-Indiana), whose copy of the Constitution sadly doesn't include article III, speaking at the September annual Christian Coalition meeting in Washington DC. The November 2004 newsletter from Americans United For Separation of Church and State reports the Coalition discussed using "court stripping" to block federal courts from upholding same-sex marriages or ordering removal of religious displays


"What is happening today is leading to a split of Ukraine. I am not afraid to make such a bold statement because it is true"

-- Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma on November 26, 2004 after meeting with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana in Kiev


"We are not lying anymore"

-- Journalists on Ukraine's state-owned channel UT-1 announcing live November 26, 2004 on the evening news that the entire news team was joining protests by the opposition. Earlier in the day, the sign language interpreter for the news broadcast ignored the presented text and signed to viewers, "The results announced by the Central Electoral Commission are rigged. Do not believe them. Our president is Yushchenko. I am very disappointed by the fact that I had to interpret lies. I will not do it any more. I do not know if you will see me again"


"When American public diplomacy talks about bringing democracy to Islamic societies, this is seen as no more than self-serving hypocrisy"

-- Part of a sharply-worded report by the Defense Science Board critical of Bush actions in the Middle East. "Muslims do not hate our freedom, but rather they hate our policies," the panel stated. The report was delivered to the Penatgon September 23, 2004, but not released to the public until the day before Thanksgiving, the time of year that Americans traditionally pay the least attention to the news


"The Bush administration had over a year of planning before going to war in Iraq. An ammunition shortage is not an exercise in tough love"

-- Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor who has acted as a defense lawyer in military courts, on equipment shortages and poor training given to reservists and National Guard troops being called back to active duty. One group of 200 soldiers were given only an hour of training with night-vision goggles, sharing 30 pairs which they had to pass around quickly, according to the Los Angeles Times November 22, 2004. "We are going to pay for this in blood," one soldier said


"Hitler's sheer animal confidence and power of will [entranced me]. He sent an electric current through my body"

-- G. Gordon Liddy, talk show host and former burglar, quoted in the UK/Independent November 22, 2004. Liddy said he was taught in the 1930s to salute the American flag Nazi-style by the nuns at his school. "Even now," he admits, "at assemblies where the national anthem is played, I must suppress the urge to snap out my right arm"


"We didn't know they had that room to grow. It's like, 'Crunch all you want -- we'll make more.' They just make more Republicans"

-- Kerry campaign Ohio spokeswoman, Jennifer Palmieri, on the post-election shock of discovering that they had badly underestimated GOP strength in exurbia, particularly 10 crucial counties, where Christian conservatives were now living in new town houses and McMansions. "They just came in droves," she said. NY Times Magazine, November 21, 2004


"I don't believe it is our fault. That's an opinion. It's as sound as any scientist's"

-- Rep. Don Young (R- Alaska), rejecting the work of about 300 scientists who participated in writing the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report. Created by an international commission representing eight countries, it is the first comprehensive study of global warming threats to the Arctic. Anchorage Daily News, November 21, 2004


"When the Iraqi man in the mosque posed a threat, he was your enemy; when he was subdued he was your responsibility; when he was killed in front of my eyes and my camera -- the story of his death became my responsibility"

-- NBC cameraman Kevin Sites, writing a November 21, 2004 open letter to the U.S. soldiers he covered in Falluja. Sites, who filmed one of them shooting an unarmed, wounded Iraqi man in a mosque, has received death threats for filming the execution-style killing   (MORE)


"You want to get down to the nub of how this democracy is going to defend itself. We've got to have an intelligent electorate and we're not going to have it because our education system is in a shambles right now"

-- Walter Cronkite quoted at a Florida charity appearance by the Miami Herald, November 19, 2004. Cronkite also predicted the Iraq war will eventually make public revulsion to the war in Vietnam look "like peanuts"


"[The media] are incapable of regulating themselves. What's at stake is our democracy. If you think that American democracy can survive without an ethical media, then you are wrong"

-- Howard Dean, on the need for government regulation of media ownership. "The media is a failing institution in this country... [it] is trained to get the entertainment value and screw the facts." Quoted at a November 17, 2004 symposium by Yale Daily News


"After we had had a chance to have good and fulsome discussions on it, we came to mutual agreement that it would be appropriate for me to leave at this time"

-- Colin Powell recalling his conversations with President Bush at a November 15, 2004 press conference. Synonyms for "fulsome" include unctuous, oily, and smarmy


"It could have been worse. It could have been some nut case"

-- A senior diplomat on the nomination of Condoleezza Rice to secretary of state. Newsday, November 17, 2004


"Never has a secretary of State taken office with such great expectations and left with such meager results"

-- Joseph Cirincione of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. LA Times, November 15, 2004


"He's fucking faking he's dead"

-- A U.S. Marine in a Falluja mosque, shortly before he fires a bullet into the head of a wounded Iraqi man. "Well, he's dead now." The November 13, 2004 incident was filmed by an embed NBC cameraman. "I would have shot the insurgent too. Two shots to the head," Sgt. Nicholas Graham told Reuters three days later. "You can't trust these people. He should not be investigated. He did nothing wrong."   (MORE)


"It is like that nice guy in America - what's his name again? - who spoke about 'old Europe.' It has no sense. It's a lack of culture to imagine that"

-- French President Jaques Chirac on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Speaking to British reporters November 15, 2004, Chirac also said, "I am not sure, with America as it is these days, that it would be easy for someone, even the British, to be an honest broker"


"Two-thirds of the Democrats are condemning me -- how dare they?"

-- San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom on party leaders and pundits who blame Kerry's defeat on national reaction to the city's same-sex marriages last spring. "If this party is going to have a vibrancy it had before, you have to stand up on principles. Like us or don't like us. The reason George Bush is president is because he was strong. He may have been wrong, but he was strong -- as we were increasingly weak, even though we are right. And we have to find a balance between the two." SF Chronicle, November 14, 2004


"Our idea of a 'negative frame' is to say, 'Bush is taking us in the wrong direction.' Their idea of a negative frame is to say, 'Kerry is a coward, liar, and not fit to be president of the United States.' They're hitting us with a baseball bat and we're spitting on them"

-- A senior Kerry adviser looking back on the campaign. Quoted by the Boston Globe, November 14, 2004


"Until you give these people something to do with their lives, they're going to be more likely to take that 50 or 200 dollars to take a shot at a coalition soldier"

-- A military officer in Samarra, where unemployment is about 70 percent. AFP, November 13, 2004


"I considered suggesting Noam Chomsky as a guest, but our studio couldn't accommodate the 86 right-wingers we would have needed for balance"

-- Jeff Cohen, senior producer on the cancelled Donahue show, recalling November 12, 2004, how MSNBC required the show to use a formula to book guests: "If we booked two guests on the left, we had to book three on the right. At one meeting, a producer suggested booking Michael Moore and was told that she would need to book three right-wingers for balance"


"If we can't win this damn election, with a Democratic Party more unified than ever before, with us having raised as much money as the Republicans, with 55% of the country believing we're heading in the wrong direction, with our candidate having won all three debates, and with our side being more passionate about the outcome than theirs, if we can't win this one, then we can't win [anything]! And we need to completely rethink the Democratic Party"

-- James Carville at an October 21, 2004 gathering, quoted by Arianna Huffington's Nov. 11 column. Three days later on 'Meet The Press' he smashed a raw egg on his head to express that he had 'egg on his face'


"I never expected to see something like that after being out of the service for 13 years"

-- David Miyasato, who was discharged from the U.S. Army Reserve in 1991 and is suing the Secretary of the Army for recalling him to active duty. "My belief is that the Army is hard-pressed to recruit enough troops to send to Iraq and they're activating reserves as means to avoid implementing the draft," he said. "I think problems will increase as more and more people are resistant to participating in the war." Honolulu Advertiser, November 6, 2004


"All we can do now is clear through the city and look for survivors. Air power is our best friend"

-- Marine Sgt. Michael Carmody on the the massive U.S. airstrikes on Falluja, including dropping bombs up to 2,000 pounds. Between 60-150,000 civilians are believed to be still in the city. AP, November 11, 2004   (MORE)


"From a humanitarian point of view it's a disaster, there's no other way to describe it. And if we don't do something about it soon, it's going to spread to other cities"

-- Firdoos al-Ubadi, an official from the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, on civilian casualties in Falluja. Between 60-150,000 residents were left without medical care when U.S. forces attacked, resulting in preventable deaths from trivial shrapnel wounds to pregnancy complications. Reuters, November 11, 2004


"Every minute, hundreds of bombs and shells are exploding. The north of the city is in flames. I can also see fire and smoke. Falluja has become like hell"

-- Fadril Badrani, a correspondent for Reuters and the BBC, on the intense artillery and bombing by the U.S. The same day, Rumsfeld told a press conferences that "there aren't going to be large numbers of civilians killed... innocent civilians in that city have all the guidance they need as to how they can avoid getting into trouble." AP, November 9, 2004   (MORE)


"The political center has disappeared, and the Republican Party has become the party of the Christian right more so than in any other period in modern history"

-- Arthur Finkelstein, a GOP consultant who has worked for extremist candidates in both the U.S. and Israel, including Ariel Sharon and Jesse Helms. "From now on, anyone who belongs to the Republican Party will automatically find himself in the same group as the opponents of abortion, and anyone who supports abortion will automatically be labeled a Democrat," Mr. Finkelstein told the Israeli daily Maariv. Quoted in the NY Times, November 10, 2004


"Once the minority of House and Senate are comfortable in their minority status, they will have no problem socializing with the Republicans. Any farmer will tell you that certain animals run around and are unpleasant, but when they've been fixed, then they are happy and sedate. They are contented and cheerful. They don't go around peeing on the furniture and such"

-- Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and one of the most influential Republicans in the country. Norquist's invitation-only "Wednesday Meeting" brings together about 100 conservative special interests and politicians, including representatives for both Bush and Cheney. Quoted in the Washington Post, November 4, 2004.


"The enemy has got a face. He's called Satan. He's in Falluja and we're going to destroy him"

-- Col. Gary Brandl, part of about 15,000 U.S. troops attacking the city. AP, November 6, 2004   (MORE)


"We love doing the death of the parties and the death of great movements. It's just a good, sexy story to say, 'Are the Democrats through?' If we didn't write about process, my God, we'd have to start writing about policy"

-- Roger Simon of U.S. News & World Report, quoted in the Washington Post November 4, 2004


"[President Bush] very rarely calls me 'Boy Genius.' He generally calls me the other name"

-- Karl Rove on Fox News Sunday November 7, 2004. Bush's other endearing diminutive for his chief political adviser is "turd blossom"


"It was complete chaos. It was looting like L.A. during the Rodney King riots"

-- A U.S. Army officer among about a dozen soldiers trying to guard Al Qaqaa in the weeks after the fall of Baghdad. Outnumbered by looters, they dashed from one side of the compound to the other side, trying to kick people out. "On our last day there, there were at least 100 vehicles waiting at the site for us to leave." Los Angeles Times, November 4, 2004


"I hope I am not responsible for Armageddon"

-- A U.S. soldier who was "devastated" to learn that a mob attacked and looted the Iraqi equivalent of the Centers for Disease Control shortly after the fall of Baghdad, taking lethal materials such as live HIV and black fever virus. U.S. troops stationed across the street but did not intervene because they didn't know the building was important. Anecdote told by former ambassador Peter W. Galbraith in a Boston Globe commentary, October 27, 2004


"Their army is how much bigger than mine? Three percent? Well shucks, Bubba. Now is the time to establish a network and an attitude"

-- Hunter S. Thompson quoted in the Aspen Daily News, November 4, 2004. "You make friends in moments of defeat. People in defeat tend to bond because they need each other. We can't take the attitude that it's over and we give up. We're still here."


"I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style"

-- President Bush, November 4, 2004 press conference, where he also claimed "I've got the will of the people at my back" twice. "All he talked about today were things that will increase the deficit," said Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N Dakota). "He's going to have to at some point confront reality."


"Now comes the revolution"

-- Richard Viguerie, the dean of conservative direct mail, quoted in the NY Times November 3, 2004. "If you don't implement a conservative agenda now, when do you?"


"The Republican Party is a permanent majority for the future of this country"

-- House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, November 3, 2004. "We're going to be able to lead this country in the direction we've been dreaming of for years. And we're going to put God back into the public square." The same day House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told the Sacramento Bee, "We have lost just about everything we can lose"


"President Bush now has a mandate to affect policy that will promote a more decent society, through both politics and law. His supporters want that, and have given him a mandate in their popular and electoral votes to see to it. Now is the time to begin our long, national cultural renewal... It is, after all, the main reason George W. Bush was reelected"

-- Bill Bennett, National Review Online column, November 3, 2004


"One day last May, I assigned the election to John Kerry. I said it early, and often... Now I am so sure that I am not even going to bother to watch the results tonight. I am going to bed early"

-- Jimmy Breslin in his last column for Newsday, November 2, 2004. "When I figured in the people shocked by the dead bodies of young Americans in Iraq, and brutalized here by unemployment, there was no way to make the election seem close...When published reports showed a million new voter registrations in Florida and about 800,000 in Ohio, I made the election a lock. They were not rushing out for George Bush"


"We don't understand America now. Are they getting different news than us about the scandals in the Iraqi prisons, and the children and civilians who are getting killed?"

-- Wagner Markues, a 54 year-old man in Sao Paulo, Brazil, wondering why the U.S. presidential race was even close. Quoted by AP November 2, 2004


"The only time you waste a vote is when you vote for someone you don't believe in. A vote of conscience is never a wasted vote. If you don't vote for what you want, you'll never get it."

-- Ralph Nader to supporters on election night, November 2, 2004


"It's Orwellian to believe that criticism of the president is not allowed or that the president is somehow immune from criticism"

-- Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP, on a letter that the organization received from the IRS warning that they could lose tax-exempt status because it "distributed statements in opposition of George W. Bush for the office of presidency" at its July convention. "This shows that the IRS is increasing its monitoring of potentially improper political activities by officials of these groups," Jan Baran, a Republican tax and election lawyer who could not recall a similar recent probe told the Washington Post. Bond quoted in the NY Times October 29, 2004


"Unless George Bush has changed his position on human cloning, it's got to pull this fundamentally dishonest ad immediately"

-- Kerry spokesman Joe Lockhart on the new Bush-Cheney '04 commercial "Whatever It Takes," which includes a doctored photo of a military audience apparently listening to Bush. A close examination of the picture reveals the same 5 soldiers are replicated several times. The Bush campaign pulled the ad October 29, 2004 after it had aired for only two days


"I'm not just some guy that's stoned out and happened to write a song, and even if I were, it would still be a problem"

-- John Hall, who co-wrote the 1976 pop hit "Still the One," now being played at Bush rallies. A former Democratic county legislator in upstate New York and Kerry supporter, Hall told AP October 29, 2004, that his lawyer would be in touch


"To rephrase the so-called pottery barn rule: If you open an arms bunker, you own it. You have to provide security"

-- Former chief weapons inspector David Kay on CNN, October 28, 2004. Earier that day a videotape surfaced that was made at Al-Qaqaa on April 18, 2003, nine days after the U.S. seized Baghdad. Seen are American soldiers opening locked bunkers to discover barrels of HMX explosives sealed by the IAEA. "To me the most frightening thing is not only was the seal broken, lock broken, but the soldiers left after opening it up," Kay said


"That was one of numerous times when Iraqis warned us that ammo dumps and other places were being looted and we weren't able to respond because we didn't have anyone to send"

-- A senior U.S. military officer who served in Iraq, recalling that an Iraqi spy alerted U.S. troops stationed near Al-Qaqaa that the installation was being robbed shortly after the fall of Baghdad. The Pentagon sources told Knight-Ridder October 28, 2004 that no efforts were made to stop the looting


"A political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not a person you want as your commander in chief"

-- President George W. M. D. Bush, October 27, 2004.


"Let's face it. You got to the head of the FCC, you got to the front of the class the way George W. Bush got out of the draft"

-- Howard Stern, a surprise call-in to a radio talkshow interviewing FCC chairman Michael Powell, October 26, 2004. "I think it's a cheap shot to say just because my father's famous, I don't belong in my position," he replied. Powell was a surprise nominee to the FCC commission made by Sen. John McCain in 1997, and his appointment was widely viewed as a deal made with his father Colin Powell - then a power broker within the GOP - before McCain ran for president in 2000.


"I don't know what that is. I mean, it is, uh, it is, it's a -- I'm embarrassed to say it's a poorly tailored shirt"

-- President Bush on "Good Morning America" interview, October 26, 2004, explaining the T-shaped lump between his shoulder blades seen during the first debate. Three days later a senior research scientist for NASA and JPL with 30 years experience in image analysis produced enhanced images that additionally show a wire running up to Bush's neck from the T-shape. "I am willing to stake my scientific reputation to the statement that Bush was wearing something under his jacket during the debate," Dr. Robert M. Nelson told Salon


"We're not in the least bit biased, we're a fair and balanced company, we're, our slogan is 'fair and balanced.' And you decide."

-- Rupert Murdoch at News Corporation's annual general meeting, October 24, 2004


"What the hell were WE doing in the year and a half from the time we knew the stuff was gone, is obviously a huge question, and you can imagine why no one [in the Administration] wants to face up to it, certainly not before the election"

-- A Bush Administration official on the stolen 377 tons of plastic explosives, suspected to be used in Iraqi bombs that have killed and injured thousands of American troops. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said security at the site was the responsibility of the Iraqi government, even though the site was looted over a year before the interim government took power. Quote in The Nelson Report newsletter, October 24, 2004


"Here's a big word for today: dehumanization. When you are interested in someone only on the basis of physique, you're dehumanizing him or her, seeing that person only as an attractive object"

-- Bill O'Reilly, "The O'Reilly Factor for Kids." A former FoxNews producer sued O'Reilly October 13, 2004, for sexual harassment including alleged phone calls with "disgusting, lewd, and disturbing monologues concerning his sexual fantasies with her." O'Reilly also wrote in his advice book for children, "if you exploit a girl, it will come back to get you. That's called 'karma'"   (MORE)


"If you cross Fox News Channel, it's not just me, it's [Fox president] Roger Ailes who will go after you. I'm the street guy out front making loud noises about the issues, but Ailes operates behind the scenes, strategizes and makes things happen so that one day BAM! The person gets what's coming to them but never sees it coming. Look at Al Franken, one day he's going to get a knock on his door and life as he's known it will change forever. That day will happen, trust me"

--Bill O'Reilly, as alleged by a former FoxNews producer suing O'Reilly for sexual harassment. The complaint says O'Reilly "bizarrely rambled" further about the comic during the April 13, 2004 conversation, telling her that "very powerful people...[are] watching him and will be for years. [Franken's] finished, and he's going to be sorry he ever took Fox News Channel on"


"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors. . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

-- A senior adviser to Bush, explaining to author Ron Suskind that guys like him were stuck "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality...That's not the way the world really works anymore." NY Times Magazine, October 17, 2004


"[Bush has become] a messianic American Calvinist. He doesn't want to hear from anyone who doubts him."

-- Jim Wallis, an evangelical pastor who led a 30-member interfaith group advising Bush during the weeks before his inauguration, describing the transformation of the president between Dec. 2000 and Feb. 2002. 'When I was first with Bush in Austin, what I saw was a self-help Methodist, very open, seeking," Wallis told the NY Times Magazine, October 17, 2004. Wallis is no longer invited to the White House


"George Bush's God is a very strange God. This is a God who wants everyone to be free. That's a very, very peculiarly frustrated God. That is a God that has been apparently frustrated for centuries in George Bush's imagination"

-- MSNBC Senior Political Analyst Lawrence O'Donnell, Jr. on the cable network's 'Scarborough Country' October 19, 2004. "He says that's a gift from the almighty, that the Afghan people got this gift from the almighty this year. What was George Bush's God doing to those people up to now? You see, that's the problem with this. For very simple-minded religious people, that stuff works. That is a minority of the American population"


"Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties"

-- President Bush in March 2003 on the eve of the Iraq invasion, as quoted by Pat Robertson. The evangelist said on CNN's "Paula Zahn Now" October 19, 2004, that Bush was "the most self-assured man I've ever met in my life," but he warned him to prepare the American people for deaths. "The Lord told me it was going to be A, a disaster, and B, messy"


"You're on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls. What is wrong with you?"

-- Jon Stewart, on CNN Crossfire October 15, 2004, after Tucker Carlson chided him for not asking John Kerry "pointed questions" in his interview on The Daily Show. Stewart also called Carlson and co-host Paul Begala "partisan hacks" and said, "If you want to compare your show to a comedy show, you're more than welcome to... [but] I wouldn't aim for us. I'd aim for 'Seinfeld.'" (TRANSCRIPT)


"PUBLIC SPLIT ON WHETHER BUSH IS A DIVIDER"

-- CNN Scrolling Banner, October 15, 2004 (courtesy Eric Alterman)


"Casey was screaming, 'Where is our Phase 4 plan?'"

-- a senior defense official, recalling how the director of the Joint Staff, Army Gen. George Casey, repeatedly pressed Central Command leader Gen. Tommy Franks for a "Phase 4," or plan for postwar Iraq. Just days before the invasion began in March 2003, a presentation by war planners included a "Phase 4-C" slide that read: "To Be Provided." Casey is now commander of the multinational force in Iraq. Knight Ridder, October 17, 2004


"It's biased political propaganda, with clear intentions to sway this election"

-- Jon Leiberman, Sinclair Broadcast Group's lead political reporter and Washington bureau chief, on the broadcasting company's plan to show an anti-Kerry program just days before the election. "I have nothing to gain here -- and really, I have a lot to lose," Leiberman told The Baltimore Sun October 18, 2004. "At the end of the day, though, all you really have is your credibility." Leiberman was fired the next day


"I wanted to see if I would be able to make a statement that I feel is important, but not offensive, in a rally for my president"

-- Janet Voorhies, one of three Medford, Oregon schoolteachers who attended a Bush rally wearing "Protect Our Civil Liberties" t-shirts. The women were threatened with arrest and escorted from the event. AP, October 14, 2004


"[Ariel] Sharon just has him wrapped around his little finger. I think the president is mesmerized"

-- Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to Bush's father, quoted in the October 14, 2004, Financial Times. "When there is a suicide attack [followed by a reprisal] Sharon calls the president and says, 'I'm on the front line of terrorism,' and the president says, 'Yes, you are . . . ' He [Sharon] has been nothing but trouble." Asked for a followup interview the next day, Scowcroft's office said he supported Bush's re-election and thinks he is the " best qualified to lead our country."


"You read those stories where the Americans, we take a city, we had a combat, a hundred and fifteen insurgents are killed. You read those stories. It's shades of Vietnam again, folks, body counts"

-- Journalist and The New Yorker writer Seymour Hersh, speaking at UC/Berkeley October 8, 2004. Hersh was contacted by an officer who watched another platoon shoot in cold blood Iraqis who were simply guarding a grain elevator. "His people were screaming, stop. And he said they just shot them one by one... [when he complained his] company captain said, 'No, you don't understand. That's a kill. We got thirty-six insurgents.'" (MORE)


"The truth concerning the true organizers of the terrorist attack might be so horrible that making it public could cause new bloody conflicts"

-- Yurii Savelev, a member of Russia's commission investigating the Beslan school hostage massacre. Savelev was quoted October 12, 2004, as the traditional 40-day mourning period ended for the families of North Ossetia, who blame the Ingush, a rival ethnic group whose members were among the terrorists, for the deaths of about 340, mainly children. "I can promise you there will be violence," a mourner told AP


"This cowboy behavior cannot be accepted. The Americans seem to have lost their senses and have gone out of control"

-- Muslim cleric Abdullah Abu Omar, on U.S. and Iraqi forces raids of seven mosques in Ramadi. U.S. command says the mosques were suspected of being used "for military purposes," such as hiding suspects, storing weapons, and encouraging the resistance. Angry residents accused Americans of breaking down doors to the houses of worship. AP, October 12, 2004


"I would not bring my two sons to the Capitol between now and the election"

-- Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minnesota), warning his constituents to stay out of Washington until after the election. Dayton said October 12, 2004 that he decided to close his D.C. office after a top-secret briefing by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. "I take this step out of extreme, but necessary, precaution to protect the lives and safety of my Senate staff and my Minnesota constituents, who might otherwise be visiting my Senate office in the next three weeks," he said.


"The reality right now is that the most dangerous opinion in the world is the opinion of a U.S. serviceman"

-- Lance Cpl. Devin Kelly, quoted in a October 10, 2004 Washington Post profile of a Marine platoon based in Iskandariyah, 30 miles southwest of Baghdad. "We're basically proving out that the government is wrong," said Lance Cpl. Alexander Jones. "We're catching them in a lie."


"Every day you read the articles in the States where it's like, 'Oh, it's getting better and better. But when you're here, you know it's worse every day"

-- Lance Cpl. Jonathan Snyder, quoted in a October 10, 2004 Washington Post profile of a Marine platoon based in Iskandariyah, 30 miles southwest of Baghdad. "Stuff's going on here but they [government officials] won't flat-out say it," said Pfc. Kyle Maio. "They can't get into it."


"When this election's over, you'll see us move very vigorously... once you're past the election, it changes the political ramifications"

-- A senior administration official involved in strategic planning, telling the LA Times October 11, 2004 that the Bush administration is delaying major assaults on rebel-held cities in Iraq until after Nov. 2.


"[it is] the worst example of the influence of special interests that I have ever seen"

-- Senator John McCain (R - Arizona) on Congressional passage of the $145 billion corporate tax cut, October 11, 2004. The bill will give new tax breaks to U.S. corporations that outsource jobs, but at the last minute, House Republicans killed a tax credit for companies who continued paying salaries to employees of the Reserves or National Guard called to active duty.


"If that's not Big Brother or Big Sister, I don't know what is"

-- Retired UCLA professor Gary Nash, co-chairman of the effort to develop the National Standards for History. Over 300,000 copies of a guide called "Helping Your Child Learn History" were destroyed after the wife of Dick Cheney found they contained several brief references to the voluntary guidelines. Ten years ago, Lynne Cheney led a campaign against the UCLA standards, arguing that weren't positive enough, citing references to slave Harriet Tubman, the Ku Klux Klan, and Sen. Joseph McCarthy. LA Times, October 8, 2004


"There is no credibility for the next election. They said, 'It doesn't matter because the next government is a transitional one'"

-- Sadoun al Dulame, executive director of the Iraq Center for Research & Strategic Studies, whose recent poll found that 2 out of 3 Iraqis would "very likely" vote in January's election, down over 20% since June. Knight-Ridder, October 7, 2004


"It's ironic that Republicans have no problem with allowing assault weapons out on our streets, yet they don't want to put clean underwear in the hands of our slacker youth"

-- Michael Moore quoted by AP, October 6, 2004. The day before, Greg McNeilly, executive director of the Michigan GOP, asked county prosecutors to charge the filmmaker for offering gag gift to students who promise to vote. Gifts include clean underwear, a year's supply of Tostitos and a package of Top Ramen.


"If you go, for example, to factcheck.com, an independent webite sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania, you can get the specific details with respect to Halliburton. It's an effort that they've made repeatedly to try to confuse the voters and to raise questions"

-- Dick Cheney at the October 5, 2004 VP debate. The factcheck.com website, owned by a for-profit company based in the Cayman Islands, redirected visitors to a George Soros web site presenting the header, "Why We Must Not Re-elect President Bush." Cheney apparently meant to say, "factcheck.org"


"I have always disagreed with America as an occupation force or not. This is an American election. What I want is Iraqi elections, free and fair, and I would call on the international community to monitor those elections."

-- Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, in an October 4, 2004 interview with Lebanon's Al-Manar TV


"Gaza is one thing, but if he touches Jerusalem... he'll lose virtually all Evangelical support, and they will go and form a third party"

-- TV Evangelist Pat Robertson, warning Bush to not consider asking Israel to return East Jerusalem to the Palestinians. Robertson also said at an Oct. 4 Jerusalem press conference that the God of the Koran is a different God from the one worshipped by Christians and Jews. Jerusalem Post, October 3, 2004


"The single most important change -- the one thing that would have improved the situation -- would have been having more troops in Iraq at the beginning and throughout [the occupation]"

-- Former Iraq Administrator Paul Bremer speaking at an insurance conference October 4, 2004. "We never had enough troops on the ground." Once the speech became public, an aide said that his remarks were intended for a private audience and were supposed to have been off the record. Bremer later told members of the press that he believes that we "currently have sufficient troop levels in Iraq," and that he endorses Bush for President


"Who needs Germany when we have Iraq?"

-- John Pike, director of GlobalSecurities.org, quoted in the Chrisitan Science Monitor, September 30, 2004. The Pentagon is building 14 "enduring bases" inside Iraq to station U.S. troops in the country indefinitely. Two Americans beheaded last month were civil engineers constructing one of these bases north of Baghdad   (MORE)


"There are fewer attacks here because we're out on the road less. But you shouldn't conclude from that that things are any safer"

-- Reaction from an officer at the Marine headquarters near Falluja to Prime Minister Allawi's Sept. 23 remark that "for now the only place which is not really that safe is Falluja, downtown Falluja. The rest, there are varying degrees. Some -- most -- of the provinces are really quite safe." According to the Washington Post, September 26, 2004, U.S. Marines stationed in Anbar province have sharply reduced patrols for safety reasons, which has allowed insurgent cells to expand in the region


"I have come to the conclusion that we cannot win here for a number of reasons. Ideology and idealism will never trump history and reality"

-- Al Lorentz, a 20-year veteran Army Reserve staff sergeant now serving in Iraq. On September 20, 2004, Lorentz posted an analysis on a conservative antiwar website explaining five significant reasons why the occupation of Iaq will fail. In an e-mail to Salon, Lorentz wrote that he is now under investigation for "disloyalty" charges and could face 20 years in prison   (MORE)


"I swear I saw dogs eating the body of a woman"

-- Eyewitness account of conditions in Samarra from a man who gave his name as Abu Qa'qa to Reuters, October 3, 2004. The operation to retake the city left at least 150 dead, and residents said bodies were left in the streets from fear of snipers. Families tried to bury their dead on Sunday, but the road to the cemetery was blocked off by U.S. troops, witnesses told Reuters


"We have insurgents, terrorists, Muslim terrorists in Baghdad murdering children to make sure Kerry's elected"

-- Popular radio personality and scold Dr. Laura Schlessinger on her September 30, 2004 program. Also on that show, she said, "This is not a political show, and I don't want it to be a political show, but there are certain things, as a mother, that really offend me." Cited by watchdog group Media Matters for America


"You have to distinguish between terrorism and resistance. The guerrilla war is justified"

-- Simona Torretta, one of the Italian aid workers kidnapped by Iraqi rebels 3 weeks ago and released Tuesday, adding that she is "against the kidnapping of civilians". Torretta also called the Allawi administration "a puppet government in the hands of the Americans," and predicted "it will take decades to put Iraq back on its feet." Quoted by Reuters, October 1, 2004


"It's just amazing that you can do everything right for 30-plus years, and you have one, albeit not small, incident, and you're crucified for it forever"

-- Theresa LePore, elections supervisor of Palm Beach County Florida, quoted in the UK/Independent September 29, 2004. In the 2000 election, LePore was responsible for the confusing "butterfly ballot," which resulted in Al Gore losing thousands of votes and thus the presidency


"The question I keep thinking about is how did eight or nine neo-cons, utopians, take control of the government?"

-- Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh at a September 28, 2004 lunch hosted by the American Society of Magazine Editors. "At least [with Henry Kissinger] you knew there was some rationality somewhere. There isn't with these guys."


"Let them talk to each other. It's like a huge fight, and you don't let them hit each other."

-- Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Jimmy Breslin on the restrictive guidelines for the Kerry-Bush debates. "The entire setup [is] a fraud." Editor and Publisher, September 28, 2004


"Whether you drive a truck or are medical personnel or a Special Forces person, the risks are more evenly distributed. So the likelihood of being exposed to war-zone trauma is greater"

-- Dr. Matthew J. Friedman, executive director of the VA's National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, on the large number of returning Iraq veterans who've sought help for mental health issues. Of the 5,400 treated, nearly 1 in 3 is suffering from PTSD, which can cause debilitating flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety and uncontrollable anger. Knight Ridder, September 29, 2004


"As a photographer, I couldn't find one positive image in Iraq. Isn't it obvious that there were no positive outcomes to this war?"

-- David Swanson, photographer for The Philadelphia Inquirer, at a public forum of journalists who have covered the war on Iraq. The Daily Pennsylvanian, September 29, 2004


"Forget about democracy, forget about [Iraq] being a model for the region, we have to salvage Iraq before all is lost"

-- An Iraqi scholar intervewed by Wall St Journal reporter Farnaz Fassihi, whose extraordinary report of current conditions in Iraq circulated among friends before being published on the Poynter Institute website, September 29, 2004   (MORE)


"We had a theme in our minds, a strategic idea, of liberation rather than occupation, giving them more authority even at the expense of having things done with greater efficiency [by coalition forces]"

-- Dough Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy, complaining to the Philadelphia Inquirer, September 28, 2004. that U.S. military officials and others shot down his plans for post-war Iraq. "We decide virtually nothing. We provide advice to the secretary [Rumsfeld] and he decides things."


"If [the Iraq] elections take place in the current disorder, the best organized faction will be the extremists"

-- Jordan's King Abdullah II quoted in Le Figaro September 28, 2004. "The results will reflect this advantage of the extremists. In such a scenario, there will be no chance that the situation gets better."


"Soon after the regime fell, porno discs were all the rage. Now it's beheadings"

-- Attallah Zeidan, co-owner of a bookshop in Baghdad's Old City. AP September 27, 2004


"I do not remember a time I felt as unhopeful about politics and journalism as I do now"

-- Former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein, telling an Auburn University audience that the media is "not doing enough to report on the untruth" from the White House. "There is plenty of information for voters to make a choice. There is not enough information on talk television ...Television, both local and national, is ceasing to serve the public." Montgomery (Alabama) Advertiser, September 22, 2004


"We seem to be in a time when people only want to hear that which they agree with"

-- CNN lead anchor Aaron Brown on the rise of Fox News. "If you look at the rise of conservative talk radio, and the rise of Fox, and this has nothing to do with whether they're entertaining or not, it just has to do with people only wanting to hear one side of things." September 30, 2004, Seattle Post-Intelligencer


"The real debate is going on at CNN and MSNBC. Both have flirted to a degree with forms of Foxification. With a competitor succeeding with a point of view, it's a real dilemma for them"

-- CBS News President Andrew Heyward on the stir caused by Fox News top ratings during the GOP convention, when CBS trailed Fox by an average of 1.6 million viewers. "You just can't ignore those numbers," David Bernknopf, a media consultant and former CNN executive also told the Chicago Tribune, September 19, 2004. "I think this signals the start of a lot of discussions in executive boardrooms. We might see executives saying, 'We need to align ourselves to a particular political party -- that's the only way to succeed in this media environment."


"Everyone's watching it. It's shaping a lot of people's image of Bush"

-- A Marine corporal in Ramadi, quoted in the Christian Science Monitor, September 21, 2004, on the popularity of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9-11" among soldiers in Iraq. "[For] 9 out of 10 of the people I talk to, it wouldn't matter who ran against Bush -- they'd vote for them," a U.S. soldier in Najaf also said


"I'm going to be blunt and plain: If one ever looks at me like that, I'm going to kill him and tell God he died"

-- Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, warning his TV audience September 12, 2004 what would happen to any gay man who gave him the eye. Swaggert later apologized to AP, although he didn't believe anyone was offended. "It's a humorous statement that doesn't mean anything. You can't lie to God -- it's ridiculous"


"When you order elements of a U.S. Marine division to attack a city, you really need to understand the consequences of that, and not, perhaps, vacillate in the middle"

-- Lt. Gen. James Conway, outgoing commander of Marines in Iraq. Conway told a September 12, 2004 press conference that he was ordered against his will to attack Falluja in early April following the killing of 4 U.S. civilian contractors. "We felt like we had a method that we wanted to apply to Falluja, that we ought to probably let the situation settle before we appeared to be attacking out of revenge." Three weeks later, he was ordered to retreat against his will.


"The people of Iraq have been liberated and they understand that they've been liberated. And it is getting easier every day for Iraqis to express that sense of liberation"

-- Neo-con thinkmaster Richard Perle, speaking at an American Enterprise Institute luncheon, September 20, 2004. That same day, Iraqis expressed themselves by beheading a U.S. citizen and 3 Kurd hostages, taking 10 Turkish truck drivers hostage, assassinating 2 Sunni clerics, detonating a car bomb that killed 3, and killing an American soldier. "A year from now, I'll be very surprised if there is not some grand square in Baghdad that is named after President Bush," Perle said


"The CIA laid out several scenarios. It said that life could be lousy, life could be OK, life could be better. And they were just guessing as to what the conditions might be like"

-- President Bush on September 21, 2004, putting the best possible face on the findings in the National Intelligence Estimate for Iraq, which predicted a shaky political and security future at best, to civil war at the worst.


"Without justice, I don't see any possibility of healing the wounds in this society. These people turned Iraq into a 'massgrave-istan' by the scale of their crimes. They made an industry of murder."

-- Bakhtiar Amin, Iraqi human rights minister, on upcoming trials of Saddam and other leaders in his regime. "This [Saddam] was a man whose regime used a shredder to turn human bodies into ground beef. And now he sits there in his cell and asks for muffins and cookies and cigars." NY Times, September 21, 2004


"[The Americans] say that Saddam is the man of mass graves, but they are the ones responsible for these mass graves"

-- Mahmoud Sheil, a tribal sheik near Falluja, on recent U.S. airstrikes on the city that killed at least 44 over two days. AP September 18, 2004


"I was very optimistic when the Americans entered Iraq ... but then I was so shocked by their practices that I even joined Falluja residents in their war against them"

-- Haqi Esmaiel Ibrahim, an accountant at a Baghdad stationery store. "Because of the bad security situation and kidnap cases, I had to make my two sisters quit school and stay at home." AP September 16, 2004


"He showed pathological lying habits and was in denial when challenged on his prejudices and biases. He would even deny saying something he just said 30 seconds ago"

-- Harvard Business School professor Yoshi Tsurumi, recalling student George W. Bush. Tsurumi told Salon on September 16, 2004, that in 1973-74 Bush didn't like being challenged in class by other students. "After class, he sometimes came up to me in the hallway and started bad-mouthing those students who had challenged him. He would complain that someone was drinking too much. It was innuendo and lies. So that's how I knew, behind his smile and his smirk, that he was a very insecure, cunning and vengeful guy."


"Bush hasn't found the WMD. Al-Qaida, it's worse, he's lost on that front. That he's going to achieve a democracy there? That goal is lost, too. It's lost."

-- Retired general William Odom, former head of the National Security Agency, to columnist Sidney Blumenthal, September 16, 2004. "This is far graver than Vietnam... we're in a region far more volatile, and we're in much worse shape with our allies."


"Our committee heard blindly optimistic people from the administration prior to the war and people outside the administration what I call the "dancing in the street crowd," that we just simply will be greeted with open arms. The nonsense of all of that is apparent. The lack of planning is apparent"

-- Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar (R - Indiana) on Iraq, September 15, 2004


"It's beyond pitiful, it's beyond embarrassing. It is now in the zone of dangerous"

-- Senator Chuck Hagel (R - Nebraska) on the situation in Iraq. Hagel also said Bush's plans to divert $3.46 billion from Iraq reconstruction funds to security was "an acknowledgment that we are in deep trouble." Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings, September 15, 2004


"It is worth it. It is worth it. And those who suggest to the contrary are not only wrong, but they will be proved wrong"

-- Donald Rumsfeld on the war on terror. The Defense Secretary also assured the National Press Club September 10, 2004 that "time will tell, but so far, so good." Five days later, the National Intelligence Estimate for Iraq found prospects range from a tenuous political and security future at best, to civil war at the worst. The conclusions were the same as the British Royal Institute of International Affairs, which predicts a major civil war as the mostly likely outcome


"I wish he was half as good a president as he is a campaigner"

-- Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D - Illinois) on the "looser and livelier [President Bush], a former Andover cheerleader who has learned how to rouse the crowd in the argot of ordinary America." NY Times, September 13, 2004


"What I'm looking for is a Karl Rove and I don't know where our Karl Rove is"

-- Tony Coelho, former Congressman and Gore campaign manager, on the "civil war within the Kerry campaign" between its original leadership and newcomers drawn from the Clinton teams. "There is nobody in charge and you have these two teams that are generally not talking to each other." CBSNews, September 15, 2004


"There's a big differences coming back from Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt -- and falling asleep against Karl Rove and a sitting president who is in control of the government."

-- Joe Trippi, former campaign manager for Howard Dean. "Kerry's campaign has two gears: coast and fight," Trippi told the SF Chronicle, September 13, 2004


"If we only included bake sales and how much money kids make at lemonade stands, this economy would really be cooking."

-- VP candidate John Edwards, commenting on Cheney's Sept. 9 remark that economic indicators overlook hundreds of thousands of people who make money selling on eBay. AP, September 10, 2004


"John, I didn't know you wanted to lose this election."

-- Senator Ernest Hollings joking to John Kerry after finding Kerry with campaign advisor Bob Shrum, who has worked on Democratic campaigns since McGovern and has a 0-7 win-loss record in presidential elections. During the Boston convention, Kerry speechwriters kept a picture of Shrum on the wall with the caption, "Reverse the Curse." Washington Post, September 10, 2004


"Only an idiot wouldn't like this. Of course, there are idiots."

-- Teresa Heinz Kerry, telling the Intelligencer Journal (Lancaster, PA) September 9, 2004 what she thinks of opponents to John Kerry's health care plan


"At its core, he is a very weak man"

-- Al Gore on President Bush in the New Yorker, September 9, 2004. "He projects himself as incredibly strong, but behind closed doors he is incapable of saying no to his biggest financial supporters and his coalition in the Oval Office. He's been shockingly malleable to Cheney and Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz and the whole New American Century bunch. He was rolled in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. He was too weak to resist it."


"I think he is a bully, and, like all bullies, he's a coward when confronted with a force that he's fearful of"

-- Al Gore on President Bush in the New Yorker, September 9, 2004. "His reaction to the extravagant and unbelievably selfish wish list of the wealthy interest groups... saying 'yes, yes, yes, yes, yes' to whatever these people want, no matter the damage and harm done to the nation as a whole -- that can come only from genuine moral cowardice"


"I have no doubt in my mind that it was George W. Bush, that he made his drills. He was very professional. He came in uniform. He signed in. He was very low-key."

-- Former Alabama Air National Guardsman James "Bill" Calhoun On ABCNews, September 8, 2004. Calhoun first came forward in February to claim that he met Bush 8-10 times for about eight hours each between May-October 1972. Bush did not even request transfer to the Alabama base until September of that year, and no one but Calhoun has claimed to see Bush on the base. ABCNews did not mention this discrepancy in his story


"They were like cancer cells. They didn't care about the truth. They had an agenda. I'd never seen anything like it. They deformed everything."

-- Retired Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, who worked in the Pentagon's Near East and South Asia desk during the buildup to the Iraq war, on Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz. Rolling Stone, August 25, 2004


"He does not understand that when you act recklessly, your mistakes will come back and bite you on the ass"

-- Chas Freeman, former ambassador to Saudi Arabia under George H.W. Bush, on Dick Cheney. "It was clear from the start that Bush required adult supervision -- but it turns out Cheney has even worse instincts." Rolling Stone, August 25, 2004


"Too many good docs are getting out of business. Too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country"

-- President Bush on why limits are needed on malpractice lawsuits, September 6, 2004


"It appears that no one wanted to hold him accountable"

-- Retired Major General Paul A. Weaver Jr, former Pentagon director of the Air National Guard, on the gaps in George W. Bush's military service record, including his failure to join a Boston area Air Force Reserve unit while attending Harvard Business School. Under a standard agreement signed twice by Bush, his failure should have been punished with up to 2 years of active service. Boston Globe, September 8, 2004


"I just said to Shirley, offhand, I said, 'You know, if he ever does that to me, I'm going to pop him!'"

-- Senator Zell Miller, recalling how he promised his wife that he would never let Chris Matthews interrupt him during an interview. The night before, Miller told the MSNBC talk host that he wished "we lived in the day when you could challenge a person to a duel." Reported in the September 13, 2004 edition of The New York Observer


"Did you get to hit any of them?"

-- Ann Coulter to NYC police officer "Robert," after asking him if he had "run into" any protesters during the GOP convention. Reported in the September 13, 2004 edition of The New York Observer


"[It] would draw a direct line between the terrorists and the government of Saudi Arabia, and trigger an attempted coverup by the Bush administration"

-- Senator Bob Graham, writing in his book 'Intelligence Matters,' about the Senate Intelligence Committee discovery that men working for the Saudi government were financial backers of two 9/11 hijackers. Details of the arrangement were part of the 27 pages of the final report that were blocked from release by the Bush White House. "A nation-state that had aided the terrorists should not be held publicly to account. It was as if the president's loyalty lay more with Saudi Arabia than with America's safety"


"It was one of the most offensive things I have witnessed. Having recently attended the funeral of an American soldier killed in Iraq, who left behind a young wife and two preschool-age children, I found nothing funny about a deceitful justification for war."

-- Senator Bob Graham, writing in his book 'Intelligence Matters,' about Bush's March 24, 2004 remarks at a dinner for TV and radio journalists. One slide showed the president looking behind Oval Office furniture, joking: "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere... nope, no weapons over there... maybe under here?"


"I don't know that we share that point of view"

-- Laura Bush, asked by NBC September 2, 2004 to comment on Senator Zell Miller's convention speech. Shortly after Miller's savage attack on Kerry in his keynote address, Miller and his wife were removed from the list of dignitaries invited to sit in the first family's box during the president's acceptance speech the next night


"Look! She's got Cheney and Halliburton on!"

-- GOP delegates surprised by Code Pink protester Gael Murphy, who infiltrated the convention concealing a cloth banner reading, "Cheney and Halliburton, Making a Killing in Iraq." As she was tackled by security guards, she heard delegates yelling, "Cover her up! Cover her up!" SF Chronicle, September 4, 2004


"Not since 1968 in Chicago did police get this involved in media access"

-- Jerry Gallegos, in charge of press credentials at the GOP convention, on the treatment of Michael Moore. The filmmaker, writing a daily column for USA TODAY, was told that his credentials weren't valid, then stopped repeatedly by guards, who kept him surrounded at a press table. "When you have the police force telling individuals what access they are going to have, and it is not based on a safety issue, that is scary," Gallegos told Editor & Publisher September 2, 2004


"When you have a campaign designed around 'echo politics,' we try to get our message out there every which way possible"

-- Bush campaign spokesman Kevin Madden on their efforts to "flood the zone" by making top administration officials available to radio talk shows in swing states such as Ohio. "We're not concerned with politics," White House spokesman Ken Lisaius told the Boston Globe August 26, 2004. "It's the Bush-Cheney campaign that's focused on politics."


"I saw tanks in the streets. I saw communism with my own eyes"

-- Arnold Schwarzenegger telling the GOP convention that "as a kid, I saw the socialist country that Austria became after the Soviets left." Only conservatives were in control of the Austrian government between the end of WWII to 1970. The British, not the Soviets, controlled the section of Austria where Schwarzenegger grew up.


"I felt bad that McCain got set up by the Bush people to comment on a film he hasn't seen. Anytime McCain wants a screening, I'd be happy to do that because I think he'd like it."

-- Michael Moore, after Senator John McCain called him "a disingenuous film maker" at the GOP convention. McCain admitted later that he actually hadn't seen "Fahrenheit 9/11." NY Daily News, September 1, 2004


"I can't believe they're dumb enough to bring up the film and help its box office."

-- Michael Moore on the plug for "Fahrenheit 9/11" at the GOP convention, when Senator John McCain called him "a disingenuous film maker who would have us believe that Saddam's Iraq was an oasis of peace." McCain's comments prompted prolonged booing and chants and nearly two minutes of TV time on Moore. August 30, 2004


"I don't think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that the -- those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world"

-- President Bush on winning the War on Terror, on NBC's "Today" show, August 30, 2004. That same night at the GOP convention, former NY mayor Giuliani compared Bush fighting terrorism to Winston Churchill fighting Hitler.


"I love Republican conventions. In America, celebrity trumps ideology, so people in the hall will say, 'I hate everything you stand for. Would you sign my credentials?'"

-- Al Franken in USA TODAY, August 29, 2004


"[Karl] Rove lives for this stuff. Not just attacking Kerry's strengths but also doing something that distracts reporters' attention from looking for the real stories."

-- James Moore, co-author of "Bush's Brain," on the media attention given to anti-Kerry veterans. "Democrats always make the mistake of believing the media will be a referee and truth will prevail. It's as if they have learned nothing from Paula Jones and Whitewater," added media critic James Wolcott. Both quotes from The Washington Post, August 26, 2004


"I got a young man named George W. Bush into the National Guard when I was lieutenant governor of Texas, and I'm not necessarily proud of that, but I did it"

-- Former Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes, who told AP, August 28, 2004 that he became ashamed after walking through the Vietnam Memorial and looking at the names of those who died. "The worst thing I did was get a lot of wealthy supporters and a lot of people who had family names of importance into the Guard." Bush has always denied that family influence kept him out of Vietnam


"Ah, we did? I don't think so"

-- President Bush on being told that his administration had quietly reversed its position on global warming, and now admits that CO2 emissions are the only likely cause. Bush quoted in the NY Times, August 27, 2004   (MORE)


"If we have the political will and stamina to stay, I could see this going on for 10 years"

-- Randolph Gangle, head of the Marine Corps' Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities, on the occupation of Iraq. Col. Dusty Rhoades, a Marine intelligence officer in Iraq, told USA TODAY, August 23, 2004 that "the insurgency will wear itself out" in another year or so.


"There wasn't a lot happening, and reporters were bored with everything else. They had Michael Jackson and Laci Peterson, and then they had the swift boats."

-- Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, on the heavy media attention give to the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" ads during the slow mid-August news cycles. Although the ads only aired in 3 states for less than a week, excerpts have been replayed over and over on TV news programs. Nearly 60% of the public knows about the anti-Kerry ad. Sacramento Bee, August 25, 2004


"It's amazing how similar this type of attack is to the pattern of attacks I have seen over two decades"

-- Wayne Slater, senior political writer at the Dallas Morning News and co-author of the book "Bush's Brain' on recent slurs against Kerry as Bush distances himself from the attacks. "In every case, the approach is the same: You have a surrogate group of allies, independent of the Bush campaign, raising questions not about the opponent's weakness but directly about the opponent's strength," Slater told the SF Chronicle, August 24, 2004. "In every case, it works."


"There's respect there. We were in the Senate together. But we're talking about the presidential race, and I tweaked him a little on the Purple Hearts."

-- Former Senator Bob Dole, who told CNN a day earlier that although Kerry won three Purple Hearts, he "never bled that I know of. I mean, they're all superficial wounds." During the Vietnam War-era Dole was known as "Nixon's hatchet man," then later President Gerald Ford's "hatchet man" during the 1976 campaign. Dole finally got to be his own hatchet man when he ran against Clinton in 1996. Dole "tweak" quote from AFP, August 23, 2004


"Once you accept the 'anybody-but-Bush' position, the brain really does close down"

-- Ralph Nader quoted in The Independent/UK, August 23, 2004


"Iraq as a team does not want Mr. Bush to use us for the presidential campaign. He can find another way to advertise himself."

-- Iraqi Olympics soccer teammate Salih Sadir, objecting to Bush/Cheney TV ads showing Iraqi and Afghani athletes as representing "two more free nations." Coach Adnan Hamad said, "The American army has killed so many people in Iraq. What is freedom when I go to the [national] stadium and there are shootings on the road?" Sports Illustrated, August 19, 2004


"The image of the Iraqi soccer team playing in this Olympics, it's fantastic, isn't it?"

-- President Bush at an Aug. 13 rally in Beaverton, Oregon. The entire Iraqi soccer team says Bush/Cheney TV ads featuring them are offensive. "How will he meet his god having slaughtered so many men and women?" Ahmed Manajid told Sports Illustrated, August 19, 2004. "He has committed so many crimes"


"It's just bizarre that you disagree with them and it all turns evil"

-- Glen Hiller, who was fired from his job at a West Virginia advertising company after he attended a GOP rally and heckled President Bush. AP, August 21, 2004


"I really, truly wanted to have the experience of having seen the president and hear him speak, which is very important to me as a social studies teacher. How can anyone in the United States deny someone entry? Isn't this a democracy?"

-- Kathryn Mead, a 55-year-old Traverse City, Michigan teacher. Mead became "visibly upset" after Bush campaign staffers tore up her ticket and refused her admission to the event because she was wearing a small Kerry/Edwards sticker. Traverse City Record-Eagle, August 19, 2004


"Iraqis want us to respect their sovereignty, but the problem is we will be blamed for leaving the fox in charge of the henhouse. We did not generally put good people in."

-- Michael Rubin, scholar at the neo-con American Enterprise Institute and a former adviser to the interim Iraqi government. On June 29 - the day after the "hand-over" of power - U.S. soldiers posted at the Interior Ministry were ordered by superior officers to not intervene as they watched blindfolded and bound prisoners being tortured and beaten. The Oregonian, August 8, 2004


"Maybe they're going to pray for rain"

-- Joe Conn, a spokesman for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, noting that even the Department of Agriculture now has its own office of faith-based initiatives. A study by the Rockefeller Institute found that there are faith-based branch offices operating out of 10 federal agencies. San Francisco Chronicle August 17, 2004


"Now, you think it's a coincidence that on Sept. 11th, 2001, we were struck by terrorists an evil that has at its heart the disregard of innocent human life? We who have for several decades killed not thousands but scores of millions of our own children, in disregard of the principle of innocent human life -- I don't think that's a coincidence, I think that's a warning. I don't think that's a coincidence, I think that's a shot across the bow"

-- Alan Keyes May 7 speech in Provo, Utah, reported in the Chicago Sun Times August 17, 2004


"The Illinois Republicans are not just guilty of tokenism. They are guilty of last-minute scraping- the- bottom- of- the- barrel tokenism"

-- Editorial in The Economist on the Senate candidacy of Alan Keyes, August 17, 2004


"When I hear this coming from Dick Cheney, who was a coward, who would not serve during the Vietnam War, it makes my blood boil"

-- Sen. Tom Harkin (D - Iowa) on the VP's ridicule of Kerry. "He'll be tough, but he'll be tough with someone else's kid's blood," Harkin, an ex-Navy fighter pilot told the NY Daily News, August 17, 2004


"A nation full of people who know more about Scott Peterson's defense strategy than they do about Donald Rumsfeld's is not a nation that shows much ability to govern itself"

-- Editorial in the August 5, 2004 Salt Lake Tribune on the media frenzy over the Lori Hacking missing person case. "Every minute spent by Larry King or Fox News on Lori Hacking or Laci Peterson is a minute they don't spend on health care, education, environmental quality, national security, the economy or other real issues that should be the center of public attention, especially in an election year"


"If you want something done right today, you have to run for Congress yourself -- or at least send your grandmother"

-- Doris "Granny D" Haddock, who is running for the Senate in New Hampshire. The 94 year-old great-grandmother calls incumbent Senator Judd Gregg "an enabler of George Bush's neo-con scourge" and is polling at 20% of the vote despite a campaign budget of only $50,000 compared to Gregg's $2 mllion. "I am not a nice old lady," she told AP August 15, 2004


"Doesn't it make sense to have public policy aimed at helping people own their own home? I can't think of a better use of resources."

-- President Bush, August 11, 2004, praising the Indian Housing and Guarantee Fund. Three days later, the Bush Adminstration slashed the program's annual funding from $5.3 million to $1 million.


"Tribal sovereignty means that -- it's sovereignty. I mean, you're a -- you're a -- you've been given sovereignty and you're viewed as a sovereign entity."

-- President Bush, muffing a simple question about his opinion on Native American sovereignty at the Unity convention of minority journalists. "Why does Kerry get such grief for not being a good speaker?" An Asian journalist told Newsweek in its August 7, 2004 edition. "During his speech the president looked like he was getting a tooth extracted."


"Don, I guess that's one reason I like serving with you in this administration. When you're around, suddenly people start seeing me as a softie, all warm and fuzzy"

-- Dick Cheney to Donald Rumsfeld at a ceremony honoring ex-president Ford. Reported August 12, 2004, NY Daily News


"There's nothing wrong with helping someone with other views get on the ballot"

-- Dave Carney, a New Hampshire GOP activist who hired 15 to 20 temporary workers to gather signatures for Ralph Nader. On Wednesday, Nader turned in nearly twice as many signatures as needed to qualify for the November election. "You can't trust the GOP to act legally or in an ethical manner anymore," State Democratic Party Chairwoman Kathy Sullivan told WPTZ-TV in Manchester NH August 10, 2004


"Wives, daughters, husbands -- you just know you're destroying that tomb. It doesn't feel right sometimes"

-- Sgt. Hector Guzman, 28, of the 1st Cavalry Division's 5th Regiment, fighting rebels in the vast cemetery in Najaf where as many as 2 million Muslims are buried. "We feel bad that we're destroying, that we're desecrating graves and such," Staff Sgt. Thomas Gentry also told The Washington Post August 10, 2004. "That's not what we want to do"


"Islam is a peaceful religion - just as long as the women are beaten, the boys buggered and the infidels are killed"

-- Jerry Corsi, co-author of anti-John Kerry book "Unfit for Command," writing on a conservative Web site last year. Corsi told AP August 10, 2004, "I don't stand by any of those comments and I apologize if they offended anybody"


"As I travel around this state, I don't get asked about gay marriage, I don't get asked about abortion. I get asked, 'How can I find a job that allows me to support my family.' I get asked, 'How can I pay those medical bills without going into bankruptcy"

-- Democratic candidate for Senate Barack Obama, responding to GOP rival Alan Keyes' charge that his views on abortion are "the slaveholder's position." Keyes also defended his belief that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice. "We as human beings cannot assert that our sexual desires cannot be controlled." AP August 9, 2004


"I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton's willingness to go into a state she doesn't even live in and pretend to represent people there. So I certainly wouldn't imitate it"

-- Alan Keyes on Fox News March 17, 2000. At the time, the GOP was asking Keyes to drop out of the presidential primaries and oppose Clinton in New York. Keyes lives in Maryland


"As this gets out, any effort to encourage people to full compliance with the census is down the tubes"

-- James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute on news that the Census Bureau provided statistics on Arab-Americans to the Department of Homeland Security. In 2000, the Bureau issued a formal apology for providing similar data during WWII which was used to send Japanese-Americans to internment camps. "In World War II we violated our principles even if we didn't violate the law, and we assured people we wouldn't do it again," former census director Kenneth Prewitt told The NY Times, July 30, 2004


"We fish and we love to fish, and George Bush fishes and that's the end of it. There's always some dirty little Democrat trying to be nasty out there"

-- Bass fishing master Walt Reynolds, complaining about reporters grilling him about his relationship with George H.W. and George W. Bush. Reynolds appeared with President Bush on a Outdoor Life Network fishing show that aired earlier this month. New York Observer, August 4, 2004


"He told us that he was a conservative activist. We did just a minimal amount of checking"

-- Washington state GOP chairman Chris Vance on Will Baker, the Republican candidate for state auditor. According to AP August 5, 2004, Baker is roadside flower salesman who has been arrested almost 20 times since 1992, mostly for refusing to stop speaking at city or county council meetings, and was last released from jail less than two months ago


"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we"

-- President George W Bush August 5, 2004


"Trust me, if there was such a threat, we would know about it. It didn't happen"

-- Earl Morgan, director of the Indiana Counter-Terrorism and Security Council, on claims by Florida Rep. Katherine Harris that a terrorist planned to blow up a power plant in an Indianapolis suburb. Harris, who recently visited the state, said she learned of the plot "second-hand" from the town's mayor, although city officials denied the mayor spoke with her. Harris later told AP on August 5, 2004, that she had classified information showing the Bush Administration had thwarted over 100 potential terrorist attacks


"The Bush White House tells people to be vigilant of terrorists on one hand, then slashes funding for police officers and firefighters with the other"

-- Senator Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia), saying that the Bush administration has proposed cutting funds for first responders by $729 million. Also on August 4, 2004, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge led a press tour of a new training center for police, firefighters, and EMT workers that included a 2,800-feet long, 4 story- high tunnel filled with wrecked cars, buses, and a NYC subway car


"We're going to be careful not to break the law, but we are also going to be careful not to be intimidated by left-wing thugs"

-- Rev. Jerry Falwell, advertising an upcoming seminar that will teach how to be active in politics and stand up to liberals and civil libertarians who want to "intimidate evangelical pastors into silence," yet still keep their churches' tax-exempt status. Robert Boston, a spokesman for Americans United for Separation of Church and State told AP August 5, 2004 that "Any pastor who would accept legal advice in this area from Jerry Falwell is playing with fire." Falwell paid $50,000 in back taxes for improper political activity in 1986 and 1987


"I can't believe the president would pull such a cheap stunt"

-- Senator John McCain, condemning a TV ad for Bush/Cheney04 that cast doubt on John Kerry's military service by featuring three anti-Kerry Vietnam veterans who did not even serve on Kerry's boat. "It was the same kind of deal that was pulled on me" in the 2000 campaign for the GOP nomination, McCain told AP August 5, 2004


"I am concerned that every time something happens that's not good for President Bush, he plays this trump card, which is terrorism"

-- Howard Dean, on the Homeland Security Dept. raising the terror alert level two days after the Democratic convention. The information used to justify the alarm turned out to be 3-4 years old. "We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security," Secretary Tom Ridge said. Dean quoted on CNN August 3, 2004


"Each of [the two men] used the same expression: 'We have emerged from hell'"

-- Jacques Debray, attorney for the two Frenchmen released Friday after nearly 2 1/2 years detention at Guantanamo. The lawyer said inmates were subjects of "medical experiments" and "bizarre" medicines, including one that caused some prisoners to break out in spots. Reuters, July 30, 2004


"I say to Senator John Kerry: call off your dogs"

-- Ralph Nader quoted by Reuters, July 30, 2004. Nader said Kerry "underlings" were "harassing, obstructing and impeding" efforts to get him on the ballot in every state. A week earlier, Nader almost failed to qualify in Michigan, submitting less than 20% of the 30,000 signatures required. He made the ballot only after about 43,000 more were turned in by Michigan GOP on his behalf


"I got to thinking this is not right. They're excluding people -- that's what has me so upset"

-- John Wade, an Albuquerque Democrat who wanted tickets to hear Dick Cheney speak at a rally, but found that he was to required to give his name, address, phone number, e-mail address, driver's license number, and sign a pledge to endorse the Bush/Cheney ticket. Another Democrat told AP July 30, 2004, that he was also asked if he associated with veterans, pro-life, gun rights or teacher groups. "Secret Service stuff," a campaign worker gave as a reason


"My hero is Jon Stewart. If I could ever get his audience..."

-- Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's Hardball in TV Guide interview, July 26, 2004. "My natural audience is the red-faced Irish and Italian guys in their late fifties. People will say to me, 'My dad just died. He watched you every night'"


"Groups like [the Intelligence Service of the Iraq Interior Ministry] are developing their own police force, enforcement and jail so they don't have to answer to anyone"

-- Dan Waddington, a senior American adviser to the Iraqi police. Waddington also told Newsday July 27, 2004, that he has received reports of police commanders outside Baghdad, where oversight is harder to conduct, hiring their friends and family members so that their local police stations are essentially becoming well-armed tribal fortresses. There is "going to be a need to rein in some of these guys," he said


"I don't think it will be close...I think we'll have the largest vote turnout in my lifetime. It's Kerry's to lose. He'd have to blow it."

-- Michael Moore, quoted July 28, 2004 by the Guardian/UK. "The Democrats are very skilled at blowing it," he added


"You just have to hope he has a sense of decency left in him, that's all"

-- Sen. Joe Biden (D-Delaware) on Ralph Nader, telling CBS July 27, 2004, that "...if toward the end he has 2 percent of the vote, in a close race and the polls are showing that, my guess is he'd bargain. I think that is what this is about"


"I've had this job two months and this was my first big idea"

-- USA TODAY Op-Ed page editor, John Siniff, boasting that he had hired Ann Coulter to write a week of columns about the Democrats and Michael Moore to cover the GOP convention. The newspaper spiked Coulter's very first article because of "basic weaknesses in clarity and readability." Coulter's rambling column called it the "Spawn of Satan" convention for the "French Party" and lamented that protesters outside the hall "won't be fighting to the death." Siniff quoted in New York Observer July 27, 2004


"I couldn't join a party that, frankly, tolerates members who are bigots for one thing. Homophobes, racists. You know, there's no way I could be a part of a party like that. Just no way"

-- Ron Reagan in June 24, 2004 CNN interview explaining why he's not a Republican. Asked about Rev. Jerry Falwell's remark that President Reagan served as a mentor to bush, he said, "My father really didn't know George W. Bush from Adam. He met him, of course. He was the son of his vice president"


"Given that Nader is running on the Pat Buchanan Reform Party ticket and is openly accepting both financial and organizational help from Republicans and their allies, the answer is no"

-- Democratic National Committee spokesman Jano Cabrera explaining why Ralph Nader's request to attend the Convention was denied. Nader told CNN July 24, 2004 that he wanted "to see the Democrats and how they toe the line to all those corporate hospitality suites, wine and dine them for political favors... You can't feel it until you're there. It's pretty disgusting."


"We have pins on a map. We have reports"

-- A senior CIA official on the recent pledge by acting CIA Director John McLaughlin that bin Laden will still be caught. "It is the same as always. They have a general idea, but they don't have specifics. They can put a pin on a map, but that pin is going to cover 40 square miles, and there is no guarantee he is in the pin area," Vince Cannistraro, a former CIA counterterrorism chief told AP July 23, 2004


"It's a problem only if a lot of people see it"

-- Former Gingrich right-hand man and GOP operative Joe Gaylord on Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," An estimated 12 million tickets have been sold to date. "If it moves 3 or 4 percent [of the voters] it's been a success," added GOP consultant Scott Reed. AP July 22, 2004


"This is his quotes: 'Cuba has the cleanest and most-educated prostitutes in the world'"

-- President Bush on Castro, speaking in Tampa, Florida July 16, 2004. The White House admitted later that the Castro quote was taken from a paper written by a college undergraduate that offered no source. The Bush speech "was vetted the same way all the president's speeches are vetted," White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan told the LA Times July 20


"I'm tired of every time we go out the gate, someone tries to kill me"

-- Staff Sgt. Sheldon Rivers, on duty in Ramadi, Iraq. Troops no longer do neighborhood patrols, according to the July 21, 2004 Knight-Ridder story, instead moving in heavily armed convoys to other bases or to guard key locations


"We're uneasy with this kind of exposition. Somebody's personal sex life should have nothing to do with any kind of a policy"

-- Bill O'Reilly denouncing a web site that names gay workers for politicians who oppose gay marriage. On the same July 19, 2004 show, O'Reilly referred to the dissenting "lesbian judge" on the Massachusetts Supreme Court that ruled in favor of gay marriage. The office of the only dissenting woman judge says she is not a lesbian


"My only gripe with Fox is they made 'fair and balanced' nothing more than an arrogant and cynical parody of journalism"

-- David Korb, one of the former Fox employees who criticizes the network in "Outfoxed," Quoted in The New York Sun, July 20, 2004


"Ms. Ronstadt was hired to entertain the guests of the Aladdin, not to espouse political views"

-- Statement by the Las Vegas Aladdin casino, after officials escorted performer Linda Ronstadt out of the hotel and told her she would "not be welcomed back." The singer dedicated her performance of the rock classic "Desperado" to Michael Moore, causing some in the audience to spill drinks, rip posters from the walls and demanded refunds, according to AP, July 19, 2004. "I keep hoping that if I'm annoying enough to them, they won't hire me back," Ronstadt told a local newspaper


"It's really a lot easier than you think. You read before you write, and not many reporters do. If you do a lot of work, if you read a lot, you get stuff"

-- Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersch, explaining the art of investigative journalism. Interview in Star-Telegram July 18, 2004


"There was no orderly transition. Nothing gradual. Just, 'Here you go. Here's Iraq. Take it'"

-- A mid-level American administrator in Baghdad interviewd by the Toronto Star, July 17, 2004. Speaking on anonymity, he said that the June 28 transfer of power caught them by surprise, leaving over $1 billion in contracts and plans on the table. "We didn't hand over power to the Iraqis. We threw it at them"


"We did not see it coming. And we were not properly prepared and organized to deal with it. . . . Many of us got seduced by the Iraqi exiles in terms of what the outcome would be."

-- Gen. John Keane, who served as the Army's vice chief of staff during the war and who has since retired, to the House Armed Services Committee, July 15, 2004


"I don't think he gets it"

-- Rep. Albert Wynn (D-Maryland), describing a tense meeting last month between Nader and members of the Congressional Black Caucus. "We told him how at strategic level, his candidacy defeats a common goal [of defeating Bush]," Wynn told The Hill, July 14, 2004. Nader later demanded an apology from Rep. Melvin Watt (D-N Carolina) charging that Watt called him "just another arrogant white man, telling us what we can do. It's all about your ego, another [expletive] arrogant white man."


"It is rather extraordinary that (the report) comes to the conclusion that everybody behaved entirely properly and nobody made any mistakes and nobody should take the blame"

-- Former British foreign secretary Robin Cook, who resigned when Tony Blair joined Bush in the invasion of Iraq. The report found British intelligence used to justify the war was "seriously flawed" and "unreliable," but concluded Blair had not deliberately misled the nation. AFP, July 15, 2004


"I favor the death penalty for abortionists and other people who take life"

-- Former Congressman Tom Coburn, currently running in Oklahoma for the U.S. Senate. As a physician, Coburn performed two abortions. Coburn also opposes abortion in cases of rape, noting that he is the descendant of a law enforcement officer who raped his great-grandmother. AP, July 9, 2004


"The Republicans' campaign is all about scapegoating John Kerry for the ills of modernity. It's about exploiting homophobia, provincialism and cultural insecurity. Or, as they put it, values"

-- Harold Meyerson, op/ed writer for The Washington Post, July 14, 2004


"It's not about lawn care, it's about politics. Mayor Bloomberg has rolled out a red carpet for the Republicans, and we don't have anything"

-- William Dobbs, spokesman for United for Peace and Justice, which plans a large anti-Bush demonstration during the GOP Convention in New York City. The group wanted to hold its rally in Central Park, but the city turned them down, saying a huge crowd would damage the grass. USA TODAY, July 13, 2004


"Is there not a way to do without the euphonium player?"

-- Rep. Vic Snyder (D- Arkansas), asking a Pentagon official whether it is necessary to even call up discharged military musicians from the reserves. According to the Los Angeles Times July 8, 2004, Gen. Richard A. Cody, the Army's vice chief of staff explained that the bands have been busy, with an increased number of services and funerals. "Our bands are being stressed quite a bit."


"Here's the truth: the ownership debate is about nothing but content"

-- FCC Chairman Michael Powell interview by broadcasting newsletter FMQB, July 7, 2004. "We wouldn't have had as much steam in the media ownership debate if Rupert Murdoch hadn't come into the world... Now, all of a sudden, one news channel has gotten a whole new community of people freaked out."   (MORE)


"This embassy is going to have a thousand people hunkered behind sandbags. I don't know how you conduct diplomacy in that way."

-- Edward L. Peck, US ambassador to Iraq from 1977 to 1980 quoted in the Boston Globe, June 26, 2004. "What will be the function of an American Embassy in a country which is run by America?"


"John Kerry has the right resume but lacks the Kennedy charisma. John Edwards has charisma but lacks the Kennedy portfolio. Like pieces of a puzzle, the two Johns might just make one Jack. That is the party bet"

-- Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi, July 8, 2004. The night before, Kerry told a rally in St Petersburg, Florida, "We're both lawyers. He's a lawyer, Im a lawyer. His name is John, my name is John. He was named People magazine's sexiest person of the year. I read People magazine."


"It would be best if the arrest or killing of [any high-value target] were announced on 26, 27, or 28 July"

-- A White House aide to the director of Pakistan's ISI intelligence agency, quoted in The New Republic issue July 19, 2004. Those are the first three days of the Democratic National Convention. The article says that Pakistan fears the U.S. will hold the nation accountable for sale of nuclear secrets to N Korea, Iran, and Libya. (LINK) "If we don't find these guys by the election, they are going to stick this whole nuclear mess up our asshole," a Pakistani general is quoted


"It's like if you have two kids and one's 12 and one's 7, and you leave them with the baby sitter and then all hell breaks loose"

-- Michael Moore on the relationship between Blair and Bush, quoted by Bloomberg, July 7, 2004. "You come back and you don't blame the 7-year-old, you blame the 12-year-old. You say, 'Now, you knew better.' What were you doing, Tony Blair, involving yourself in invading a sovereign country?"


"Here was the most loving, real family I'd ever seen in politics -- behaving the way people should behave -- and the press wanted to know what was wrong with them"

-- Howard Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi, in a forthcoming book, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." Quoted in The Washington Post July 5, 2004


"I'm appalled that the Bush-Cheney campaign would intrude on a local congregation in this way"

-- Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, after a memo surfaced from the Bush-Cheney campaign asking religious voters to send in copies of church directories. "I suspect that this will rub a lot of pastors' fur the wrong way," Land said. USA TODAY, July 4, 2004


"Let's not have a double standard. OK? If we are going to pick, pick, pick, at everything Michael Moore says, let's pick, pick, pick at everything Bill O'Reilly says, Rush Limbaugh says, Sean Hannity says, and everybody else on the right."

-- Bill Press, political analyst for MSNBC and author of the new book, "Bush Must Go" on CNN, July 4, 2004


"I've been at him for years, saying 'you've got to lose weight.' Now, he's doubled... He's over 300 pounds. He's like a giant beach ball."

-- Ralph Nader on Michael Moore, quoted in the Washington Post, June 27, 2004. Nader had just posted an open letter to the filmmaker chiding him for inviting the "Democratic political establishment" instead of his "old friends" to the Washington premiere of Fahrenheit 9/11. "It is just sad," the Post quoted an associate of Moore


"Here he is castigating the NY Times for misleading its readers, and he was misleading his viewers. I wish the show had been live because I'd love for his viewers to see what he was up to"

-- Georgetown law professor David Cole, who was a guest on "The O'Reilly Factor" when host Bill O'Reilly stopped taping to replace "a balanced sound bite" with a misleading summary of his own. Cole confronted O'Reilly on the deception and says O'Reilly "exploded" and called him an SOB. The confrontation was also edited out of the program. Washington Post, June 30, 2004


"This was a new one on us. We weren't aware there were databases that could be destroyed just by copying them"

-- Bob Williams, Center for Public Integrity. The Justice Dept. refused to release its database on foreign lobbyists because "Implementing such a request risks a crash that cannot be fixed and could result in a major loss of data, which would be devastating," according to Thomas J. McIntyre, chief of the DOJ office for information requests. AP, June 30, 2004


"I thought he was unreliable and corrupt, but just because someone is a sleazebag doesn't mean he might not know something or that everything he says is wrong"

-- Chris Hedges/ NY Times on Ahmad Chalabi, quoted in an article about Chalabi and the media in the Columbia Journalism Review, July/Aug 2004. Hedges said Chalabi offered an "endless stable" of defectors for interviews. "He had defectors for any story you wanted. He tried to introduce me to this guy who said he knew about Iraqi spies on the UN inspection teams: the guy was a thug. I didn't trust either of them." Hedges also said, "We tried to vet the defectors and we didn't get anything out of Washington that said 'these guys are full of shit'"


"Clear Channel for years has been defending me...I criticize Bush and then I'm fired...They acted out of politics."

-- Radio personality Howard Stern quoted by CNN June 30, 2004. Clear Channel dropped Stern from six of its stations after the FCC fined the broadcasting giant $495,000 for indecent remarks by Stern. "Clear Channel is very tied to the Bush administration" Stern said


"On the eve of his recent sojourn in Europe, President Bush had an unpleasant run-in with a species of creature he had not previously encountered often: a journalist."

-- Capital Times (Madison, WI) associate editor John Nichols, June 29, 2004. The White House complained that Irish public television correspondent Carole Coleman "overstepped the bounds of politeness" by pressing Bush to answer questions related to Iraq.


"There are 11,000 plus Iraqi citizens that are dead and each one's family is as affected as I was, but the American media doesn't cover these people. It doesn't cover the people who are suffering the most"

-- Michael Berg, whose son Nick was beheaded by Iraqi terrorists in May. "People like George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld don't see the pain that people have to bear -- they don't know what it feels like to have your guts ripped out." Quoted by Reuters, June 29, 2004


"I felt so bad. Cheney brought my mother up to the casket, so she could pay her respects. She is in her 80's, and she has glaucoma and has trouble seeing. There were steps, and he left her there. He just stood there, letting her flounder. I don't think he's a mindful human being. That's probably the nicest way I can put it"

-- Ron Reagan Jr., New York Times Magazine, June 27, 2004


"I remember the king and queen thing, but we have the king and queen of the prom, the king and queen of 4-H, the Mardi Gras and all sorts of other things. I had no idea what he was king of."

-- Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R- Maryland, one of several members of Congress who attended a March 23, 2004 ceremony in a Senate office building, where ornate gold crowns were placed on Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his wife. Moon afterward "declared to all heaven and earth that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is none other than humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent." Another congressman said they were duped into attending out of respect for the Moon-owned Washington Times. Bartlett quoted in NY Times, June 24


"Go fuck yourself"

-- VP Dick Cheney to Senator Patrick Leahy (D - Vermont). According to congressional aides quoted by Reuters June 24, 2004, Leahy said hello to Cheney after a photo session, shortly after the Senate passed the "Defense of Decency Act." Four years ago, Cheney repeatedly promised voters that he and Bush would "restore a tone of civility and decency to the debate in Washington."


"I encourage all teenagers to come see my movie, by any means necessary. If you need me to sneak you in, let me know"

-- Michael Moore, on the R rating for Fahrenheit 9/11. "Some of the images are disturbing, but in a year or two, if kids are off to war, they're going to be faced with those disturbing images for real," Jonathan Sehring, president of IFC Films told AP June 23, 2004


"I don't need proof of involvement in September 11th to be concerned that Saddam Hussein is providing mutual support to Al Qaida. It seems to me it's like saying if someone breeds Rottweilers and leaves the gate open but doesn't tell the dog who to attack that he's not operationally involved in the thing"

-- Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, reaching, reaching, reaching, for a reason to justify invading Iraq in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, June 23, 2004. Lost on Wolfowitz was the irony that a week earlier, it was revealed the Pentagon had ordered using unmuzzled dogs to threaten Iraqi prisoners


"Frankly, part of our problem is a lot of press are afraid to travel very much. So they sit in Baghdad, and they publish rumors."

-- Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, curiously ignoring reasons why reporters could be afraid. On June 21, 2004, the Boston Globe profiled its reporters in Iraq: "Two months ago, I could drive to Nasiriyah and in turn visit every faction that had been engaged in a recent shootout . . . and not worry about kidnapping or worse," said reporter Thanassis Cambanis. Wolfowitz testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, June 23


"One of the reasons he [Kenneth Starr] got away with it is because people like you only ask me the questions [about Monica Lewinsky]. You gave him a complete free ride. Any abuse they wanted to do. They indicted all these little people from Arkansas, what did you care about them, they're not famous, who cares that their life was trampled. Who cares that their children are humiliated. Nobody in your line of work cared a rip about that at the time. Why, because he was helping their story. And that's why people like you always help the far-right, because you like to hurt people, and you like to talk about how bad people are and all their personal failings"

-- Bill Clinton to BBC television interviewer David Dimbleby, June 22, 2004


"When the Berlin Wall fell, the perpetual right in America, which always needs an enemy, didn't have an enemy anymore. So I had to serve as the next best thing"

-- Bill Clinton after a screening of the documentary, "The Hunting of the President" June 16, 2004


"It was reminiscent of Spiro Agnew's attacks on the media back in the 60s and early 70s"

-- Boston Globe Washington bureau chief Peter Canellos, one of many journalists surprised when Cheney denounced the NY Times for a "outrageous," "distorted," and possibly "malicious" editorial asking Bush to apologize for falsely claiming there was a Saddam- al Qaeda link. "We have never said that. You can't find any place where I said it, where the President said it," Cheney insisted on CNBC June 16, 2004   (MORE)


"Most of the people in Mississippi came up to me and said: "Thank Goodness. America comes first.' Interrogation is not a Sunday-school class. You don't get information that will save American lives by withholding pancakes"

-- Republican Senator Trent Lott on the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal, NY Times Magazine, June 20, 2004


"Bush switched from alcoholism to religion. It takes responsibility out of his hands. Being born again is a way of denying the past"

-- Justin Frank, author of "Bush on the Couch" and a clinical professor of psychiatry at George Washington University. "He reminded me of my more disturbed patients," Professor Frank told the Guardian/UK June 22, 2004


"One way to keep the Republicans in power is to mount an attack that would rally the country around the president"

-- "Anonymous," a senior U.S. intelligence official and author of soon- to- be- released book "Imperial Hubris." In a June 19, 2004 interview in The Guardian, he is identified as centrally involved in the hunt for Bin Laden. "I'm very sure they can't have a better administration for them than the one they have now," he said.


"People won't help build a new Iraq unless they can walk to a police station -- much less a voting booth -- without fear of getting killed"

-- Retired Marine Gen. and former head of CENTCOM Anthony Zinni, quoted in a Rolling Stone panel, June 16, 2004. "Security is the most important issue short-term. I'm talking probably at least a year and twice the number of boots."


"'About six months ago, the president said to me, 'Well, at least I make strong decisions, I lead.' I said, 'Mr. President, look behind you. Leaders have followers. No one's following. Nobody'"

-- Senator Joseph Biden (D- Delaware), quoted in a Rolling Stone panel, June 16, 2004


"'Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld are bright guys, really patriotic, but they've been dead wrong on every major piece of advice they've given you. That's why I'd get rid of them, Mr. President -- not just Abu Ghraib.' They said nothing. Just sat like big old bullfrogs on a log and looked at me."

-- Senator Joseph Biden (D- Delaware), recalling a recent Oval Office meeting at a Rolling Stone panel, June 16, 2004. "'Look, Mr. President, would I keep Rumsfeld? Absolutely not'" he recalled saying. "And I turned to Vice President Cheney, who was there, and I said, 'Mr. Vice President, I wouldn't keep you if it weren't constitutionally required'"


"Bush came to office as a politician whose name was Bush. And I think the similarities [with Reagan] end pretty much right there"

-- CBS News White House correspondent Bill Plante, in a CNN discussion of Bush efforts to morph himself into the former president during the week of Reagan's funeral. June 13, 2004


"I'm really very worried for the planet"

-- Ron Oxburgh, Chairman of Shell/UK interview with the Guardian, June 17, 2004. Also a member of the House of Lords and chair of its science and technology select committee, Oxburgh believes the only solution to stop global warming is capturing and storing C02, known as "carbon burial" or sequestration. "Sequestration is difficult, but if we don't have sequestration I see very little hope for the world"   (MORE)


"I would like to know if he is ashamed of signing the bill that made it illegal for people with HIV to become citizens, ashamed of signing the Defense of Marriage Act, ashamed of vetoing needle exchange, and ashamed of doubling the rate of gay discharges from the military. I bet you he barely acknowledges he did any of them"

-- Andrew Sullivan, one of several pundits asked by the (suburban New York) Journal News what issues they hope Clinton to discuss in his autobiography. June 13, 2004


"I think we will in time come to be very ashamed of this period in history, and of the role some people in the administration played in setting the tone and setting the rules"

-- Charles W. Freeman Jr., former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, one of 27 retired diplomats and military commanders signing a letter calling for Bush's ouster. "Never in the 2 1/4 centuries of our history has the United States been so isolated among the nations, so broadly feared and distrusted," the group letter stated. Quote from Washington Post, June 17, 2004


"What we would tell the children of Iraq is that the noise they hear is the sound of freedom."

-- Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, answering a reporter's question about children frightened by U.S. helicopters, which fly low over the cities throughout the night with no lights. According to the June 16, 2004 Rolling Stone, Kimmitt begins each daily briefing in Baghdad with almost the same words: "The coalition continues offensive operations to establish a stable Iraq in order to repair infrastructure, stimulate the economy and transfer sovereignty to the people of Iraq"


"Don't you want to stay and watch the whole film?"

-- Michael Moore to Bill O'Reilly, as the filmmaker ran in to O'Reilly walking out halfway through the New York City premiere of "Fahrenheit 9/11." The week before on his radio show, O'Reilly had compared Moore to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. New York Daily News June 15, 2004


"Dad was also a deeply, unabashedly religious man, but he never made the fatal mistake of so many politicians - wearing his faith on his sleeve to gain political advantage"

-- Ron Reagan Jr., presumably referring to President Bush in a eulogy for his father, June 11, 2004. Reagan Jr. has made several negative comments about Bush in recent years, including his remark at the Y2000 GOP convention: "What's his accomplishment? That he's no longer an obnoxious drunk?"


"There's a reason why we sign these treaties... so when Americans are captured, they are not tortured"

-- Senator Joseph Biden (D - Delaware) in a testy exchange with John Ashcroft before the Judiciary Committee, June 9, 2004. The Attorney General refused to hand over Bush Administration documents on its torture policies claiming executive privilege. "You are not allowed under the Constitution to not answer our questions. You all better come up with a good rationale because otherwise it's contempt of Congress," Biden told Ashcroft.


"You know, I think I'm the only person who sat in this Oval Office who understood what he looked like photographed from every angle"

-- President Reagan on his last day in the White House, answering a question from Tim Russert: "Mr. President, is there anything you believe that you uniquely brought to this Oval Office?" Russert on The Rush Limbaugh show, June 10, 2004


"It's not easy work to take a country from tyranny to a free society. And we'd been there a little over a year. And it's-- you might recall if you're looking for parallels in WWII, it took about four years to get an active reconstruction effort going"

-- President Bush interview with NBC's Tom Brokaw, June 7, 2004. The Marshall Plan funded reconstruction in 16 countries over 4 years while Bush spent the equivalent amount of money just in Iraq in just a few months. Unlike the Marshall Plan, Bush is spending up to half of the money in providing security to reconstruction workers


"I spent several years in a North Vietnamese prison camp, in the dark, fed with scraps. Do you think I want to do that all over again as vice president of the United States?"

-- Senator John McCain on "The Late Show with Conan O'Brien," May 27, 2004


"They basically quit. They told us, 'We're an army for external defense and you want us to go to Falluja?'"

-- Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, who was in charge of training 200,000 army, police and civil defense troops. "It hasn't gone well. We've had almost one year of no progress," Eaton told AP June 9, 2004. The previous day, Paul Wolfowitz editorial appeared in the Wall Street Journal, promising Iraqis would "take local control of the cities" in coming months


"I've been dreading this every election year for three cycles. Bush has totally attached himself to Ronald Reagan. He's going to turn Reagan into his own verifier"

-- Jim Jordan, former campaign manager of John Kerry, quoted in the New York Times, June 7, 2004


"We'd been at this for a year-plus and got nothing out of them [so Guantanamo interrogators concluded] we need to have a less-cramped view of what torture is and is not"

-- A military official who helped Bush administration lawyers prepare a report stating that neither the president nor anyone following his instructions was bound by the federal Torture Statute. Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2004


"The infliction of pain or suffering per se, whether it is physical or mental, is insufficient to amount to torture"

-- Part of the conclusions of a March 2003 report prepared by Bush administration lawyers, advising that suffering must not cross the line to being "severe." A military official involved with the report told the Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2004 that acceptable Guantanamo interrogation techniques included depriving subjects of sleep for 96 hours, shackling them in stress positions, and telling prisoners, "I'm on the line with somebody in Yemen and he's in a room with your family and a grenade that's going to pop unless you talk."


"I do know a little bit about the vast right-wing conspiracy... That didn't happen by accident"

-- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton at the "Take Back America" conference, June 3, 2004. "It happened because people with a very particular point of view ... created think tanks, invested in endowed professorships, they set up other media outlets, on and on and on. They very slowly but surely started to change American politics. And you've got to give them credit; they've done a good job. They got themselves a president and a vice president and lots of other people who march to their drumbeat."


"It's about time someone in the administration resigned"

-- Howard Dean on the resignation of CIA Director George Tenet. "Take Back America" conference in Washington, June 3, 2004


"He is a self-admitted atheist, he was a Jew who figured out a way to survive the Holocaust"

-- Washington Times editorial page editor Tony Blankley on financier and philathropist George Soros. The day before, Roll Call reported that the Republican National Committee called Soros the "Daddy Warbucks" of the Democratic party and called on GOP members of Congress to attack him in floor speeches. Blankley quote from Hannity & Colmes, June 3, 2004


"It is easier to raise money for ads attacking Kerry than for pro-Bush ads"

-- Stephen Moore, president of the conservative group Club For Growth, which raised over $10 million in 2002, much of it given to defeat candidates it calls RINOs - Republicans in Name Only. It was thought that only half of the members attending a New York City meeting contributed to Bush. The NY Times, June 4, 2004


"I think in the start the concept was wrong. The original idea that we would change the Middle East, that was wrong."

-- Retired Marine Gen. and former head of CENTCOM Anthony Zinni, interviewed by Knight-Ridder May 28, 2004. In his book, "Battle Ready," Zinni writes, "In the lead-up to the Iraq war and its later conduct I saw, at a minimum, true dereliction, negligence and irresponsibility; at worse, lying, incompetence and corruption."


"I've never been angry at the French. France has been a longtime ally... If [French President Jacques Chirac] wants to come [to my ranch] and see cows, he's welcome to come out here and see some cows"

-- President Bush flip-flopping during a June 2, 2004 interview with Paris Match. Over a year earlier, Bush told NBC's Tom Brokaw on April 25 that "I doubt he'll be coming to the ranch any time soon. On the other hand, you know, there are some strains in the relationship, obviously, because of -- it appeared to some in our administration and our country that the French position was anti-American."


"In your wildest dreams you couldn't imagine Franklin Roosevelt behaving this way 30 seconds before declaring war, with grave decisions and their consequences at stake"

-- Michael Moore on a scene from "Fahrenheit 9/11," showing Bush playing peek-a-boo with someone off-camera as he waits to announce that the invasion of Iraq. "But that may be giving him credit for thinking that the decisions were grave," Moore added in the May 23, 2004 column by New York Times writer Frank Rich


"President Bush commands the same stature as men like Lincoln and Churchill. I believe the President's service in the [Texas Air National] Guard has played into his ability to be a great leader."

-- Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi, quoted in The Washington Post, May 30, 2004


"We didn't have no weapons; I had two rocks and a can of ravioli to fight with"

-- Shane "Nitro" Ratliff, a former trucker in Iraq for Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root. Ratliff and other drivers said they routinely risked their lives driving empty trucks while the the government was billed for hauling what they called "sailboat fuel." Knight Ridder, May 21, 2004


"He is just unwinding. Don't take him too seriously."

-- White House Chief of Staff Alexander Haig to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, March 20, 1974. Nixon had just asked Haig to "get the football" so he could drop a nuclear bomb on Congress because of its Watergate investigation. Haig also told Kissinger in that newly-released transcript that Nixon wanted "to go after the Israelis" after "he is through with the Europeans."


"Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged -- or failed to emerge"

-- The New York Times, May 26, 2004, offering a sort-of mea culpa over its reporting of Saddam WMD in the run up to the war on Iraq. The Times wrote that "editors at several levels" were to blame as well as reporters, but did not name Judith Miller, who wrote or co-wrote 4 of the 6 stories that the Times used as examples of misleading journalism   (MORE)


"Who did this? Why would the Saudis want to get out of the country? They said [those questions have] been part of their inquiry and they haven't received satisfactory answers yet and they were pushing"

-- Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) on White House stonewalling questions from the 9/11 commission. Although Saudi Prince Bandar said he asked the FBI for permission to evacuate Saudi nationals on Sept. 13, 2001, the FBI denies it had any "role in facilitating these flights one way or another." Quotes from The Hill, May 22, 2004   (MORE)


"I would be the first to acknowledge we allowed the liberation (of Iraq) to subside into an occupation. And I think that was a grave error, and in some ways a continuing error"

-- Former chair of the Defense Policy Board and a leading neo-con advisor to the Bush administration, Richard Perle. Quoted in the Toronto Sun, May 26, 2004


"We had heard that there were a lot of weapons in Iraq, but nothing anyone ever told us could prepare us for seeing all of this stuff"

-- Capt. Kevin Baird, on the U.S. weapons buyback program in Baghdad that doles out up to $350,000 per day in small payments, such as $200 for an AK-47. The same day, the Pentagon announced that it was shipping 26,000 AK-47s to Iraq for the new security forces. Blair quote in SF Chronicle May 24, 2004


"There are a lot of people across this country who are very, very worried about how this is progressing, what the endgame is, whether or not we are going to achieve even a part of our goals here -- and the growing fear that we may in fact have in some ways a worse situation if we're not careful at the end of all this"

-- Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) at Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings, May 19, 2004


"U.S. Emphasizes Intent to Transfer Full Power to Iraqis -- With Limits"

-- LA Times headline perfectly capturing the vague guidelines, May 25, 2004. To clarify the situation, the article quoted Colin Powell: "...If it comes down to the United States armed forces protecting themselves or in some way accomplishing their mission in a way that might not be in total consonance with what the Iraqi interim government might want to do at a particular moment in time, U.S. forces remain under U.S. command and will do what is necessary to protect themselves."


"The most likely outcome of this race is a landslide victory for John Kerry. The second most likely outcome is a landslide victory for George Bush. The least likely outcome is a close race."

-- Chuck Todd, editor-in-chief of the nonpartisan political briefing The Hotline, quoted by U.S.News & World Report, May 24, 2004


"The Christian in me says it's wrong, but the corrections officer in me says, 'I love to make a grown man piss himself'"

-- Spec. Charles A. Graner Jr. as quoted in testimony from another soldier stationed at Abu Ghraib prison. In civilian life, Graner is a Pennsylvania prison guard. Washington Post, May 22, 2004


"I was tortured under Saddam, but the torture was much more preferable to this"

-- Saddam Saleh, who says he is one of the naked men in the Abu Ghraib prison photos, quoted by the Chicago Tribune, May 16, 2004. Saleh said he was nude for 18 days, and once asked a fellow prisoner to help him peek under the hood covering his head. "I quickly told him to put the hood back on," Saleh said. "I became hysterical. I couldn't believe what I saw. Everyone was naked in the room. I never saw such a thing under Saddam."


"We decided we were not going to leave it up to the Democrats to fuck it up again and lose it."

-- Michael Moore on the motivation behind his new film, "Fahrenheit 9/11." Moore said that Democrats were unable to inspire voters in 2000, giving the election to Bush -- "the dumbest man who ever ran for the presidency." Variety, May 15, 2004


"Wilson is an asshole and his wife is a CIA operative -- his wife, Valerie Plame is a CIA operative"

-- Former ambassador and CIA envoy Joseph Wilson, recounting what Bob Novak reportedly told a friend of Wilson's who approached the columnist on a Washington DC street to ask his opinion of Wilson's op/ed debunking Bush's Saddam-uranium claims. The encounter apparently happened the same day Novak spoke to Karl Rove. Wilson account from Democracy Now! interview May 14, 2004


"I find it amusing that opinions disturb Rush Limbaugh"

-- Palm Beach (Florida) Post editor Edward Sears to AP, May 13 2004. That day the talk show host railed on his show that a Post columnist was unfair by contrasting Limbaugh's sympathy for MPs accused of Iraqi prisoner mistreatment to his claimed "harassment" from law enforcement seeking to prosecute him for drug abuse.


"I appreciate the Timken family for their leadership, their concern about their fellow associates. They're working hard to make sure the future of this company is bright, and therefore, the future of employment is bright for the families that work here, that work to put food on the table for their children."

-- President Bush to employees of Timken Co, the largest employer in Canton, Ohio, April 24, 2003. Just over a year later, the company announced it is laying off 1,300 employees rather than strike a deal with the union covering hospitialization insurance. Many workers are from families who had worked there three or four generations. "It's just all about being competitive," a Timken spokesman told AP May 14, 2004


"These aren't discussions -- they're arguments"

-- Menzies Campbell, Member of Parliment and opposition leader for foreign affairs describing the talks with Coalition partners on whether Britian will send another 4,000 soldiers to Iraq. Spain's 1,300 troops are now gone, the Dominican Republic and Honduras are pulling their forces out, and Poland has called for a "progressive reduction" of its 2,400 troops. Campbell quote in NEWSWEEK, May 24, 2004 edition


"There was a debate after 9/11 about how to make people disappear"

-- A former intelligence official on the CIA's secret deals to use lockups in friendly countries to stash so-called "high value" prisoners indefinitely. New York Times, May 13, 2004


"We have 20th-century industrial-age planning tools in terms of force management. They're making major efforts to improve them and they're getting better, but they're far from perfect."

-- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, (not) answering a simple question posed by a soldier in Baghdad: "Is there a plan for stability?" May 13, 2004


"I look at Iraq and all I can say is, I hope it comes out well, and I believe it will"

-- A defensive Donald Rumsfeld asking the Senate Appropriations Committee for an additional $25 billion to fund the Iraq War, May 13, 2004. "Will it happen right on time? I think so. I hope so. Will it be perfect? No ... Is it possible it won't work? Yes"


"I'm much more concerned about the fact that newsmen are trying to act like entertainers than I am by the fact that entertainers are pretending to be news people"

-- Ted Koppel, interviewed May 12, 2004, before his commencement address to UC/Berkeley graduates


"When you are the good guys, you've got to act like the good guys"

-- Senator Lindsey Graham (R-Georgia) Senate Armed Service Committee hearings, May 11, 2004


"Soon the coalition of the willing will become the coalition of the desperate and nowhere to go"

-- A State Dept. official quoted by the LA Times, May 10, 2004. "By next week, every national assembly [of every nation] that has forces in Iraq is going to demand an accounting of what their forces were doing, and specifically, of what they were doing with the prisons. And some governments are going to say: 'This is more trouble than it is worth'"


"I deserve a second term because, first, I've showed the American people I'm capable of handling tough times"

-- President George W. Bush quoted in the Washington Times, May 10, 2004


"It's not a question of six or seven kids doing something wrong. The photograph I published today was from a completely different unit... What you have to do is look at the policies, look at the people, the generals in charge, the people on top... We have to start taking this up the chain of command immediately."

-- New Yorker investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, quoted by Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, May 10, 2004


"You get a burning in your stomach, a rush, a feeling of hot lead running through your veins, and you get a sense of power. Imagine wearing point-blank body armor, an M-16 and all the power in the world, and the authority of God. That power is very addictive."

-- Sgt. Kelly Strong, a medic for the 870th MP Company, which worked at Abu Ghraib prison. "The thing with the soldiers there, they think because we're Americans you can do whatever you want," said another company member, Spc. Ramon Leal, both quoted by Knight- Ridder May 9, 2004


"Iraq might have been worth doing at some price. But it isn't worth doing at any price. And the price has gone very high."

-- Defense consultant Michael Vickers, quoted in the Washington Post, May 9, 2004


"People who haven't undergone this [training] don't realize what they are doing to people. It's a shambles in Iraq"

-- A British former officer explaining that military intelligence soldiers undergo mock exercises where they are sexually humiliated and exposed to other degradation. The purpose of the training is to help the officers resist if captured and to help them develop empathy. The Guardian/U.K. May 8, 2004


"That's what we're going to remember about Iraq. It's just not going to go away"

-- Political scientist James Thurber of American University, comparing the Iraq images to the infamous Vietnam pictures of a naked young girl fleeing a napalm attack and a Viet Cong prisoner being executed on a Saigon street. AP, May 8, 2004


"There is a frustration factor dealing with the Iraqis. Everybody wants to choke them"

-- Army National Guard Lt. Michael Drayton, commander of the 870th MP Company at Abu Ghraib prison from Nov-Mar. "You got to understand, although it seems harsh, the Iraqis they only understand force," he told Reuters May 4, 2004. "If you try to talk to them one on one as a normal person, they won't respect you, they won't do what you want, prisoner or just normal person on the street."


"This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation and we're going to ruin people's lives over it... I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You [ever] heard of need to blow some steam off?"

-- Rush Limbaugh on the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, May 4, 2004. Also this week, guests on Hannity & Colmes and Dennis Miller conservative TV talk shows compared treatment of the prisoners to fraternity hazing and college pranks.


"My impression is that what has been charged thus far is abuse, which I believe technically is different from torture"

-- Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld, May 4, 2004. "I don't know if the -- it is correct to say what you just said, that torture has taken place, or that there's been a conviction for torture. And therefore I'm not going to address the torture word"


"[We are] celebrating the end of a nightmare we have suffered from for months ... We want independence. [The Americans] refuse."

-- Ismail Zayer, former editor-in-chief of the U.S. funded Al-Sabah newspaper. Zayer and most of his staff resigned May 3, 2004 in protest of interference from Harris Inc., a Florida-based company that won a $96 million Pentagon contract in January to develop Iraq media. Harris even blocked ads they deemed "too political." AP, May 3


"The new administration seems to be paying no attention to the problem of terrorism. What they will do is stagger along until there's a major incident and then suddenly say, 'Oh my God, shouldn't we be organized to deal with this'"

-- Iraq overseer Paul Bremer in a speech six months before the 9/11 attacks. His comments were made at the Feb. 26, 2001 conference after Bremer had chaired the bipartisan National Commission on Terrorism formed by Clinton to evaluate U.S. counterterrorism policies. On May 2, 2004, Bremer said he regretted his comments because they were unfair to the Bush Administration


"Pimps...don't do what the Americans do. Who takes a bearded man, a Muslim, and lays him down with his face in another man's genitals? They want jihad (holy war)."

-- Abdel Wadoud Muhbal, a former officer in the Iraq army. "They came to destroy Islam, and what they are doing to the Palestinians they now do to us -- throw us in prison, rape us and try to destroy our honor." Reuters, May 1, 2004


"That picture showed exactly the type of torture that Saddam's thugs used. The Americans promised us that things would be different than they were under Saddam. They lied"

-- Hassan Saeed, a 27 year-old Iraqi angered over the photos of U.S. soldiers humiliating and torturing prisoners. "These are the things that make Iraqis pick up a weapon and want to kill American soldiers," said another man, quoted by Newsday, May 1, 2004. "When I saw those pictures, I wanted to pick up a weapon, too"   (MORE)


"There is literally nothing happening in Iraq that was not fully predictable"

-- James Webb, secretary of the Navy under Reagan, speaking April 28, 2004 at Kansas University. "Under what circumstances will the United States military withdraw from Iraq? If you can't answer the question, then you shouldn't have been there in the first place." Webb blamed the drive to war on Cheney, whom he called "The Godfather." Lawrence Kansas Journal-World, Apr. 29


"What gives these people the right to throw away our flag, to change the symbol of Iraq?"

-- Salah, a Baghdad building contractor with moderate political views, quoted by the UK Independent, April 28, 2004. "It makes me very angry because these people were appointed by the Americans. I will not regard the new flag as representing me but only traitors and collaborators." After a day of outrage across Iraq, Governing Council president Massoud Barzani said the new flag was only temporary


"As I was telling my husb -- as I was telling President Bush.."

-- Condoleezza Rice slip of the tounge at a dinner party with New York Times Publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. and other Times people. The national security adviser has never married. Reported in New York Magazine April 26, 2004


"I wish the banner was not up there"

-- White House mastermind Karl Rove on the "Mission Accomplished" banner behind the president on the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier, where he declared "major combat operations" over on May 1, 2003. About 730 U.S. troops have now died in Iraq since the war began. Rove quoted in an April 15, 2004 editorial board meeting with The Columbus Dispatch


"I was sitting outside the classroom, waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower -- the TV was obviously on. And I used to fly myself, and I said, 'Well, there's one terrible pilot.'"

-- President Bush's version of the events of 9/11 as he recalled them at two town-hall meetings in Dec. 2001 and Jan. 2002. No TV was on at the elementary school, and no footage of the first plane hitting the tower was available until later that evening, according to the March 22, 2004 Wall St. Journal. After being told that a second plane had hit, Bush remained in the classroom for another 7 minutes, listening to children read aloud


"We are at risk of moving into the summer period with the repairs not complete, which means we are going to have massive demand and not very good provision. So from that point of view, it is a disaster"

-- A coalition source quoted by the UK Guardian, April 27, 2004, on the stoppage of reconstruction work in Iraq due to fears of kidnapping or murder of foreign workers. "The best figure we've got is that about 25% of contractors had currently pulled out of country, albeit temporarily. However, that is putting a brave face on it because the other 75% have pulled back to base. They will argue that they are doing essential activities in the base like getting the paperwork straight. Yeah, well give me a break"


"God, they're doing the work of the Republican National Committee"

-- John Kerry, muttering as he removed his microphone after an April 26, 2004 appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America." Kerry was quizzed on the show on whether he had misled people about throwing Vietnam War decorations away during a 1971 protest. "This is a controversy that the Republicans are pushing, the Republicans have spent $60 million in the last few weeks trying to attack me. And this comes from a president and a Republican party that can't even answer whether or not he showed up for duty in the National Guard. I'm not going to stand for it," he said later


"I think this conviction is the official death of this church"

-- Mark Potok, a spokesman for the Southern Poverty Law Center, on the April 26, 2004 conviction of neo-Nazi and white supremacist Matthew Hale, who sought to kill a federal judge after losing a trademark fight over the name "World Church of the Creator"   (MORE)


"[Bush] was worried in Aug. and Sept. of 2002 that they had not established the diplomatic role: What was Powell going to do? What was the UN going to do?"

-- Bob Woodward on Meet The Press, April 25, 2004. By September 2002, the White House had spent nine months secretly developing plans for an invasion of Iraq and diverted over $700 million from the conflict in Afghanistan


"How do you deal with the army? How do you deal with the security services? ... the Saudis would say, 'Look, it's cheap. You give people three months' pay'"

-- Bob Woodward on Meet The Press, April 25, 2004. Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar reportedly told Bush that the Iraqi military's loyalty could be bought for a total cost of $200 million. Instead, the U.S. disbanded the entire army without compensation


"It was just like that movie 'Black Hawk Down'"

-- Specialist Dee Foster, an Army driver describing how soldiers were lured into ambushes in Sadr City last week, where 7 U.S. soldiers were killed and 24 wounded in one day. Many of the troops had been in Iraq less than a week, and Foster's officer had formally taken command just 15 minutes before the attack, reports Newsweek April 26, 2004 issue


"I say to the [Israeli security services], you didn't succeed to break me...you didn't succeed to make me crazy."

-- Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, on being freed April 21, 2004 after serving an 18-year jail term for revealing Israel's nuclear secrets   (MORE)


"That is a really pathetic gesture"

-- Rep. John Tanner (D-Tennessee) on the House waiving savings account early-withdrawl penalties for any National Guard or Reserve soldier deployed at least for six months. Money taken out of these 401K or pension accounts would still be taxed. "Active duty guard and reservists and their families are the only people in this country who have been asked to sacrifice anything, anything whatsoever," said Tanner, after the bill passed unanimously April 21, 2004


"A large UN contingent in Iraq ... would do more harm than good"

-- Richard Perle testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee April 20, 2004. The former chair of the Defense Policy Board and a leading neo-con advisor to the Bush administration also said that UN involvement in Iraq should be kept at "an absolute minimum"


"Iraqis aren't going to stand up and cheer and say, 'This is my government'"

-- Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, testifying April 20, 2004 before the Senate Armed Services Committee, that the June 30 handover of government "will not be broadly legitimate." The last time Wolfowitz testified to Congress about Iraqi cheering was February 25, 2003, when he said after the fall of Saddam "you're going to find Iraqis out cheering American troops"


"When you see a child five years old with no head, what can you say?"

-- A doctor in Falluja, April 20, 2004. An estimated 1000 Iraqis have been killed in recent fighting near the city, at least 200 of them civilians, including children   (MORE)


"When we first got here, we tried making friends. We did everything we could to make friends with these people. Then I started evacuating my friends [who had been killed or injured], and it wasn't cool anymore."

-- Marine Jeremy Heidrick in Iraq, quoted in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 19 2004


"It doesn't look like the White House is as astute as we thought they were"

-- Richard Viguerie, one of several conservative ideologues who have recently turned critical of Bush for not finding a way to resolve the war on Iraq. William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, said that his magazine now "has as much or more in common with the liberal hawks than with traditional conservatives." New York Times, April 19, 2004


"We always want any president who is in office to be reelected"

-- Prince Bandar, Saudi Ambassador to the U.S, diplomatically explaining to Larry King that they are hoping for another four years of Bush/Cheney. CNN, April 19, 2004


"I'm tired of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney and a bunch of people who went out of their way to avoid their chance to serve when they had the chance. I'm not going to listen to them talk to me about patriotism"

-- Senator John Kerry, April 16, 2004


"History? We don't know. We'll all be dead"

-- President Bush, telling author Bob Woodward he has no interest on how posterity will judge the war on Iraq. Woodward also asked Bush if he asked his father for advice before ordering the war to begin. "You know he is the wrong father... there is a higher father that I appeal to"


"I am satisfied that I never saw any intelligence that indicated there was going to be an attack on America"

-- President Bush, April 13, 2004 press conference. Besides the now-famous Aug. 6 2001 briefing titled, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States," the 9/11 commission revealed that in the months before the attack, Bush was also given briefing papers headlined, "Bin Laden Planning Multiple Operations," "Bin Laden Threats Are Real" and "Bin Laden's Plans Advancing"


"We will all die one day. Nothing will change. If by Apache or by cardiac arrest, I prefer Apache"

-- Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi, who was killed April 17, 2004 by an Israeli missle fired from an American-made Apache helicopter


"We were willing to support Bush in Afghanistan and over the Patriot Act. We backed the invasion of Iraq and agreed that Saddam needed to be removed. Even when no weapons of mass destruction turned up, the American people still supported Bush. But last week's polling suggests that Americans are not prepared to sacrifice their sons and daughters to assure democracy in Iraq. That nation, which has never known freedom, may or may not be able to achieve democracy. But Americans are not willing to bet our children on the outcome. Nor should Bush wager his presidency."

-- Dick Morris, former Clinton advisor and now regular guest on the conservative talk show circuit. New York Post, April 13, 2004


"Blood and tears, the smell of gunpowder and sound of bullets drown out the sound of democracy"

-- Cemil Cicek, Turkey's justice minister. Associated Press, April 13, 2004


"As to whether or not I make decisions based upon polls, I don't. I just don't make decisions that way"

-- President Bush, April 13, 2004 press conference, where he repeatedly refused to apologize or even admit having made any mistakes since 9/11. According to the Apr. 15 New York Times, an adviser said the White House used polls and focus group studies to decide if it was politically wise for Bush to admit mistakes


"What is striking is how much has changed in a week -- a week. No one can talk about the Sunni Triangle anymore. No one can seriously talk about Sunni-Shiite fragmentation or civil war. The occupation cannot talk about small bands of resistance. Now it is a popular rebellion and it has spread"

-- Wamid Nadhmi, a political science professor at Baghdad University quoted in the Washington Post, April 13, 2004


"During the Vietnam War, they accused Lyndon Johnson of employing a strategy of guns and butter. Well, now we're employing the strategy of guns and pork"

-- Republican Senator John McCain on Meet The Press, April 11, 2004. "Look at the highway bill that had 3,000 pork-barrel projects on it, including bridges to nowhere in Alaska... We can't do everything we were planning on doing; otherwise Medicare goes broke, Social Security goes broke"


"Change the channel. The stations that are showing Americans killing women and children are not legitimate news sources"

-- Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, complaining April 11, 2004, that Al-Jazeera and other Arab satellite channels are reporting on civilian casualties in Iraq. The Falluja hospital director said that there were at least 450 dead, 1,000 injured in the city


"It has been the perfect storm"

-- An official with the Iraqi occupation authority quoted in the Washington Post, April 10, 2004. U.S. forces were fighting on several fronts last week as they attempted to arrest Shiite cleric al-Sadr while fighting united Shiite and Sunni insurgents in Falluja. "Did we have to go after him right now?" the official said. "It should have been delayed. Dealing with both these problems at one time is crazy, if not suicidal."


"Dr. Condoleezza Rice is giving good brains a bad name

-- Columnist Richar Reeves, April 9, 2004. "Her testimony to the 9/11 commission on Thursday demonstrated that it is not enough to know everything. You have to understand something. She didn't get it and still doesn't."


"Six months of work is completely gone. There is nothing to show for it."

-- An official in the Iraqi occupation authority quoted in the NY Times, April 8, 2004. In the recent chaos, the man said that government buildings, police stations, and other installations built up by the Americans had been overrun and then stripped bare, of files, furnishings and even toilet fixtures


"The only unequivocally good policy option before the American people is to dump the president who got us into this mess, who had no trouble sending our young people to Iraq but who cannot steel himself to face the Sept. 11 commission alone"

-- Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson April 7, 2004


"It's time to bail out. If it wasn't obvious beforehand, it ought to be more obvious now that we are in a situation that is no longer in control, and we can't make the fairy tale outcome that we would like to see happen in Iraq."

-- Charles V. Pena, director of defense policy studies at the conservative Washington think tank Cato Institute. Los Angeles Times, April 8, 2004


"[Bush] is a messianic militarist that can jeopardize our country in other parts of the world. As he has turned the world from being supportive of us after 9/11, to largely being against us"

-- Ralph Nader speech, Columbia College/Chicago, April 6, 2004


"Iraq. Jobs. Medicare. Schools. Issue after issue. Mislead. Deceive. Make up the needed facts. Smear the character of any critic."

-- Senator Ted Kennedy, April 5, 2004. "This president has now created the largest credibility gap since Richard Nixon"


"If you take the (White House) counterterrorism and Middle East offices, you've got about a dozen people ... who came to this administration wanting to work on these important issues and left after a year or often less because they just don't think that this administration is dealing seriously with the issues that matter"

-- Flynt Leverett, who served on the National Security Council 2002 - 2003. "I'm kind of hoping for regime change," one official who quit told Reuters April 7, 2004


"This is what happens when you hire historians"

-- 9/11 Commission chairman Thomas Kean, joking that Bush might regret appointing University of Virginia historian Philip Zelikow to the panel. When Rice and others in the White House were insisting that there was no precedent for her testifying in public and under oath, Zelikow faxed the White House a 1945 photo of presidential chief of staff Admiral Leahy appearing before a special congressional panel investigating Pearl Harbor. Zelikow also faxed a note that the photograph would "be all over Washington in 24 hours" if they didn't allow her to testify. Newsweek, April 4 2004


"We can't afford to have documents that are relevant to our inquiry being withheld on a technicality. This is not litigation. This is finding facts to help the nation, and we should not treat this as if we're adversarial parties here."

-- Jamie Gorelick, member of the 9/11 Commission and deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration. As noted in the Washington Post April 3, 2004, the Bush White House has feuded with the commission repeatedly over access to documents and witnesses


"Kidnappings are made for 24 hour news... We see this time and time again, the saturation of coverage. It's sensationalism"

-- Poynter Institute scholar Kelly McBride on the heavy TV coverage of Audrey Seiler, a college student who was later discovered to have faked her abduction. ABC and NBC morning news shows placed coverage of the search for her above the gruesome killings of 4 Americans in Falluja that same day. Network news analyst Andrew Tyndall says the producers are selective about missing-person cases: "They have to be women and they have to be pretty." Tydall quoted in USA Today, McBride in Wisconsin State Journal, April 3, 2004


"Nineteen men with $350,000 defeated every single defensive mechanism we had up on the 11th of September, 2001, and they defeated it utterly"

-- Former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey and member of the 9/11 Commission


"The evidence is overwhelming that George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney have engaged in deceit and deception over going to war in Iraq. This is an impeachable offense."

-- John Dean, legal counsel to Richard Nixon, quoted on NOW with Bill Moyers, April 2, 2004. "That is worse than Watergate. No one died for Nixon's so-called Watergate abuses."   (MORE)


"This reminds me so much of Vietnam, it's scary"

-- Lawrence Korb, an assistant defense secretary under President Reagan. "Every time in Vietnam that we kept saying there was light at the end of the tunnel, then something horrible would happen." Quoted in the Washington Post April 1, 2004, the day after the gruesome mutilation of American corpses in Falluja   (MORE)


"Well, it - you - then I'll - I'll let - I think I've explained what the vice president had in mind, but I'm sure he - he'd be willing to - to expand on what I've said. But - but - but here's the thing. He said that Mr. Clarke was - was not part of this system yet"

-- Secretary of State Colin Powell, trying hard to explain what Cheney meant by saying anti-terrorism chief Richard Clarke was "out of the loop." Powell finally said "a new loop was in place." Asked why a new loop was needed, Powell answered, "I - I - I have no idea what he - what he claims not to know. I mean, he was doing his job." Face the Nation, March 28, 2004


"The secrecy in this administration has reached the highest levels. That's never been seen before. Everybody has to be on board with this president. Nobody plays devil's advocate... There is no search for answers in this president"

-- Veteran White House journalist Helen Thomas, quoted in March 24, 2004 issue of Seattle Weekly. "We've always been manipulated and managed, back to when I began with Kennedy and certainly before, but never to this extent"


"John Kerry has got to get loose. He cannot allow political consultants to put handcuffs on his mind and his imagination. He's got to stop talking Senate-ese and be the old John Kerry I knew 23 years ago."

-- Ralph Nader, quoted by AP March 30, 2004. "The Democrats should just stop whining and go to work," Nader also said. "They should be landsliding Bush."


"Principle be damned. Change your principles"

-- Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist message to the White House, quoted by a senior aide in the Los Angeles Times, March 31, 2004. A senior Senate Republican aide said GOP lawmakers were puzzled by Bush stonewalling on Rice testimony before the 9/11 panel. The administration "thought it could tell the American public that 9/11 wasn't important enough to send an advisor up to talk?" the aide told the Times. "Are you kidding me?"


"I'd love to be Rush. It's an easy job, no wonder the guy was stoned all the time."

-- Robert McChesney, media critic and author of "The Problem of the Media," quoted March 26, 2004 in the Buffalo News. "You don't have to be on your toes to do what he does. You memorize 20 statements and keep repeating them. It's really not difficult"


"I think we were very deferential because ... it's live, it's very intense, it's frightening to stand up there. Think about it, you're standing up on prime-time live TV asking the president of the United States a question when the country's about to go to war. There was a very serious, somber tone that evening, and no one wanted to get into an argument with the president at this very serious time."

-- Elisabeth Bumiller, The New York Times White House correspondent, on criticism that reporters were too easy on Bush on the eve of the Iraq war. Quoted in Baltimore Sun, March 22, 2004   (MORE)


"I don't blame Judy Miller for the lack of finding weapons of mass destruction. I blame the administration for believing its own story line to such a point that they weren't prepared to question the authenticity of what they were told."

-- NY Times publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. According to the March 22, 2004 report in Editor & Publisher, he said Miller "has fabulous sources... Were her sources wrong? Absolutely. Her sources were wrong."   (MORE)


"Let's declassify everything"

-- Richard Clarke on NBC's "Meet the Press" March 28, 2004. Clarke said that he "would welcome" declassification of his July 2002 briefing as well as release of Rice's private testimony before the 9/11 Commission, plus all of his correspondence with Rice. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist charges that Clarke "has told two entirely different stories under oath," and Newt Gingrich has accused Clarke of perjury


"I realized with almost a sharp physical pain that Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were going to try to take advantage of this national tragedy to promote their agenda about Iraq... It was as if Osama bin Laden, hidden in some high mountain redoubt, were engaging in long-range mind control of George Bush, chanting 'invade Iraq, you must invade Iraq.'"

-- "Against All Enemies," by former Bush terrorist advisor Richard Clarke


"Condoleeza Rice is more than happy to go on the talk shows and spin her point of view, but why doesn't she go before the commission publicly? And Bush, he's the big decision-maker. If he won't talk and take questions publicly, then who will?"

-- Carole O'Hare, 9/11 Family member quoted in the SF Chronicle, March 24, 2004


"If Condi Rice had been doing her job and holding those daily meetings the way Sandy Berger did, if she had a hands-on attitude to being national security adviser when she had information that there was a threat against the United States ... [the information] would have been shaken out in the summer of 2001"

-- Former Bush terrorist advisor Richard Clarke on CNN's Larry King Show, March 24, 2004. Clarke and others have slammed Rice for ordering a lengthy review of Clinton-era counterterrorism efforts which was not completed until Sept. 4, 2001


"I've got tapes with plenty of people speaking on background. Can I go