Quotabull

I had to cheat, steal, beg, borrow and lie. Exxon’s happy. BP’s happy. I’ll sell my soul to the devil.

— Pete Kott, the former Republican speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives, speaking while secretly being taped by federal agents who charge that he took a bribe to engineer the defeat of a tax bill opposed by oil companies.

These are people who were altar boys and altar servers and altar girls. These are people who tried to tell their story, and in many instances were beaten or told to shut up and told, ‘How can you say such things about a man of God?’

— Ken Roosa, a lawyer for the victims, on a settlement that requires the Jesuit Order to pay $50 million to 100 Alaska Natives who say they were abused by Jesuit priests.

Together, former Merrill chief executive E. Stanley O’Neal and former Citigroup chief executive Charles O. Prince have lost more than $20 billion in company money. Yet they left with $360 million in their own pockets.

— from a Nov. 11 Washington Post op-ed column on CEO accountability by William S. Lerach, who says he pled guilty to conspiracy charges “involving payments made to plaintiffs in lawsuits against major corporations [and] agreed to pay the government $8 million in fines and penalties and to serve at least one year in federal prison.”

But for Goldman’s chief executive, Lloyd C. Blankfein, this is turning out to be a very good year. He will surely earn more than the $54.3 million he made last year. If he gets a 20 percent raise — in line with the growth of Goldman’s compensation pool — he will take home at least $65 million. Some expect his pay, which is directly tied to the firm’s performance, to climb as high as $75 million.

— from a Nov. 19 New York Times story explaining how investment bank Goldman Sachs has escaped significant losses caused by the subprime mortgage crisis.

We have nothing left. Not a single thing.

— Lu Youbing, whose mountain farmhouse in Jianmin Village, China, was destroyed, along with 20 other homes, in a landslide caused by rising waters behind the Three Gorges Dam, largest in the world, “projected as an anchor in a string of hydropower “mega-bases” planned for the middle and upper reaches of the Yangtze River. By 2020, China wants to nearly triple its hydropower capacity, to 300 gigawatts” to provide power for its surging economy.

In about 30 minutes we all became paupers.

— Abdul Jalil, a Bangladeshi fisherman who lost his mother, son, a nephew and two fishing trawlers in one of worst cyclones in the country’s history that killed at least 3,500 people.

Absolutely not. This is what we do for mostly everybody in this position. In fact, 30 to 50 women are granted early releases from the facility every day.

— Los Angeles County Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore, denying that actor Lindsay Lohan received special treatment during her 84-minute incarceration (two minutes longer than Nicole Richie) for a drunk-driving conviction; Nov. 16.

If you push someone and they agree to testify, now they’re your responsibility. You’ve got to keep them from disappearing or getting hurt. Can we protect them? Maybe. But God forbid that two years later you have to tell someone their husband or father got killed. I don’t want to have to live with that.

— Detective Sgt. Ronald Hampton of the New Jersey State Police, explaining why testimony of civilian witnesses is considered evidence of last resort in cases involving gang violence, Nov. 19.

We love to ski more than we love to hate.

— Albanian skier Lutfi Alozi, drinking slivovitz and watching Serbian music videos with Ivan Milosavljevic, the Serbian owner of a ski lodge in Kosovo, Nov. 19.

You know, I made some bad decisions that I’ve actually written about. You know, got into drinking. I experimented with drugs. There was a whole stretch of time that I didn’t really apply myself a lot. It wasn’t until I got out of high school and went to college that I started realizing, ‘Man, I wasted a lot of time.’

— presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, speaking to students in a study hall at at Manchester (N.H.) Central High School, Nov. 20.

If I’m your nominee and Senator Clinton is the nominee of the other party, the country will face as clear a choice as any in recent memory. She will be a formidable candidate. And while our differences are many and profound, I intend this to be a respectful debate. She and I disagree over America’s direction, and it is a serious disagreement. But I don’t doubt her ability to lead this country where she thinks it should go.

— Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain at Franklin Pierce University, Nov. 18, seeking to demonstrate his “stated desire for a respectful contest.”

You can be tough, but you should never degrade or ridicule anyone who is seeking public office. But we see too much of it.

— Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain at Franklin Pierce University, Nov. 18.

The trendy Web retailer CafePress, which allows people to design and sell their own T-shirts and other products online, reports that it’s already carrying 122,000 unique anti-Hillary items, including a “Hillary Is the Devil” Christmas ornament. Anti-Barack Obama products? Just 7,600. Negative books are stacking up in stores. And a flurry of websites are joining old-guard conservative publications in attacking Clinton. Hillaryhater.com—origins unknown—is under construction, while stophernow.com has been operating since December. Typing in a similar Website, stophillarynow.com, brings you to the site of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which bought the address when Clinton first ran for the Senate. Now the committee has resurrected it …

— from a Sept. 28 U.S. News & World Report story headlined “Behold the Hillary Haters: A hostile army prepares its own campaign.”

All she has to do is not be riding a broom and people say, ‘Gee, she’s more pleasant than they made her out to be.’

— Paul Begala, a political analyst and former adviser to President Bill Clinton, on Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sept. 28.

Typically, when people talk about services for caregivers, they mean respite care, support groups and things like that. They don’t think of the financial side being tied into the burden. If you’re spending 10 percent of your income, that’s part of what’s weighing on you, and policymakers haven’t paid enough attention to that.

— Gail Gibson Hunt, president of the National Alliance for Caregiving, discussing a study conducted by her organization that says “out-of-pocket cost of caring for an aging parent or spouse averages about $5,500 a year … , a sum that is more than double previous estimates and more than the average American household spends annually on health care and entertainment combined”; Nov. 19.

[Shepard Smith is] a trendsetter in bringing presentational techniques seen in nonserious TV journalism — think ‘Entertainment Tonight’ or ‘SportsCenter’ — and applying them to hard news.

— Andrew Tyndall, who has analyzed newscasts for 20 years for his online Tyndall Report, discussing Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, who just “signed a new contract for a little more than three years at a salary of $7 million to $8 million a year”; Nov. 19.

I have eaten dinner in several homes and even went to a wedding. None of this would have been feasible six months ago. I hesitate to say we have turned a corner. Insurgencies tend to be fairly resilient and can come back if the underlying causes of the insurgency are not addressed in the political realm.

— Lt. Col. Dale Kuehl, the U.S. battalion commander in western Baghdad’s Amiriyah district, Nov. 1.

Great is the truth and it prevails.

— motto of the Horace Mann School, one of the nation’s most academically respected high schools, which refused to renew the contract of a history teacher who wrote “a satirical novel, ‘Academy X,’ about an elite school where students and parents resort to bribery and blackmail to ensure Ivy League college admission.” The teacher is suing the school.

Q: What does the President think of Karl Rove being a columnist?
MS. PERINO: Well, I think that he misses his friend Karl and wishes him the best.

— exchange between White Houses press secretary Dana Perino and a reporter at a Nov. 20 press briefing; Karl Rove now writes a column for Newsweek.

The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby. There was one problem. It was not true. 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, from his new book, “What Happened.”

You cannot take the heat, and you’re definitely going to stay out of the kitchen.

— President Bush, pardoning May and Flower, the national Thanksgiving turkeys, at the 60th annual turkey pardoning at the White House.

Quotabull is a weekly feature of Scholars & Rogues.

5 comments on “Quotabull

  1. Like McClellan, others on Bush’s staff, like Frances Townsend, one of his terrorism advisors who just resigned, were true believers. They couldn’t help but have their illusions shattered.

  2. Pingback: Scholars and Rogues » Blog Archive » 2007 in Review: When in the course of current events…

  3. Pingback: Scholars and Rogues » Blog Archive » 2007 in Review, pt. 5: Politics, whores and the media who love them…

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