And Brian will be back in our next hour with a look at the life- and-death question that is now being asked in Utah. Is it possible for those trapped miners to still be alive?

Well, they are cute, colorful, and they may be dangerous to your kids. Mattel is recalling more than 20 million toys made in China. They include Polly Pocket dolls, Batman action figures, and Sarge toy cars.

— a transition from a Aug. 14 story on six miners trapped more than week at a Utah mine to a story on the recall of children’s toys tainted by lead paint, by Suzanne Malveaux, subbing for Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”

There is absolutely no excuse for lead to be found in toys entering this country. It is totally unacceptable and it needs to stop.

— an Aug. 14 comment on CNN by Nancy Nord, acting chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a federal agency with 400 full-time staff, halved primarily during the Reagan administration because of industry complaints about the agency, and whose most recent nominee as chair was pulled by President Bush “after strong opposition from some Senate Democrats because of his career as a manufacturers’ lobbyist.”

Our brand is clearly made in Vermont. So people understand almost inherently that what is going on in China is different from what we’re doing.

— Mike Rainville, owner of Maple Landmark toys in Middlebury, Vt., in an Aug. 15 New York Times story that says for American toymakers “recent recalls of Chinese-made toys found to contain lead in their paint has been good for … business.”

I always try to hide it and it’s always on vibrate.

— Arizona Rep. Trent Franks, in an Aug. 8 story in The Hill about fashionable wearing of Blackberry devices.

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, and if you take down the central government of Iraq, you could very easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off: part of it, the Syrians would like to have to the west, part of it — eastern Iraq — the Iranians would like to claim, they fought over it for eight years. In the north you’ve got the Kurds, and if the Kurds spin loose and join with the Kurds in Turkey, then you threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey.

It’s a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq.

The other thing was casualties. Everyone was impressed with the fact we were able to do our job with as few casualties as we had. But for the 146 Americans killed in action, and for their families — it wasn’t a cheap war. And the question for the president, in terms of whether or not we went on to Baghdad, took additional casualties in an effort to get Saddam Hussein, was how many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth?

— Dick Cheney, April 15, 1994, in remarks at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

The notion that No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is an ‘unfunded mandate,’ as many critics have charged, is simply not true. It is a myth, and several independent studies confirm this. The Department, through the No Child Left Behind Act, provides significant resources to schools. The fact is that in the last five years, President Bush and the Congress have increased federal K-12 spending by over 40 percent. … No Child Left Behind is not a mandate; it’s a partnership between states and the federal government.

— Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings in an online “Ask the White House” chat on Jan. 8, the fifth anniversary of President Bush’s signing the act into law.

He has one of the best minds in modern politics, and underneath the veneer, I have often found him to have a decency that gets lost to view in the hurly burly. As he steps back from the fray, he could well become an advocate of a better politics. Remember Lee Atwater’s conversion?

— David Gergen, a White House adviser to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton, writing Aug. 13 in Anderson Cooper’s “360” blog on the legacy of White House political adviser Karl Rove.

I’ve found Jesus Christ. It’s that simple. He’s made a difference, and I’m glad I’ve found Him while there’s still time.

— a 1991 statement, shortly after treatment for inoperable brain cancer, by Lee Atwater, who developed “a political style heavy on ad hominem attacks and what came to be known as ‘wedge issues,’ i.e., ‘simple, impressionistic issues that appealed to attitudes, created a reaction, not a thought.'”

When it comes to judging Mr Rove’s political career, I am reminded of Chinese premier Zhou Enlai’s meeting with Henry Kissinger in the 1970s, when Mr Kissinger asked, “What do you think of the French Revolution?” Zhou replied: “It’s too soon to tell.” If the trends hold, the one thing that we can be sure of is that Mr Rove’s political grave will receive no lack of irrigation from future Republicans.

— Democratic political strategist James Carville, writing in the Aug. 14 Financial Times.

As we head into a major political year, now’s a good time to remember: Please keep your personal politics to yourself.

— Seattle Times executive editor Dave Boardman after staffers at a meeting began cheering at news White House adviser Karl Rove had resigned.

Q: Conservatives applauded the Senate when it voted a few years ago to toss out the Kyoto protocol from consideration. However, thanks to Al Gore and others it seems to be making a comeback. What is your position on so called Global Warming that is being pushed by so many on the left and is even creeping into the GOP now?

Hunter: While historic measurements of temperatures do indicate that warming has occurred [according the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration the mean temperature for the contiguous U.S. has increased by 1.1 degree Fahrenheit] the apportionment of warming to man’s activities versus the natural cycle is unclear. The Kyoto Protocol would have been disastrous for those who advocate less greenhouse gasses as well as Americans who want to maintain the industrial base of the United States.

… I believe strongly in achieving energy independence for the U.S. This should be accomplished by cutting taxes on the production of alternative energy systems, including geothermal, nuclear, wind, solar, etc. In the meantime, ANWR should be open for U.S. petroleum development. I reject Al Gore’s and others’ doomsday alarmism on the subject.

— An Aug. 13 exchange between presidential candidate Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) and a participant in a “virtual press conference” at

$890,398 [raised]
$768,750 [spent]
$121,648 [cash on hand]
$127,434 [debts]

— Republican Tommy Thompson’s financial legacy as a failed presidential candidate.

$63,075,927 [raised]
$17,849,095 [spent]
$45,226,832 [cash on hand]
$3,026,522 [debts]

— Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton’s financial status as a not-yet-failed presidential candidate.

Here’s how President Karzai put it: ‘The Taliban do pose dangers to our innocent people …. [But] they are not posing any threat to the government of Afghanistan, they are not posing any threat to the institutions of Afghanistan, or to the buildup of institutions of Afghanistan.’ He continued: The Taliban ‘is a force that’s defeated’ and it is ‘acting in cowardice by killing children going to school.’ In other words, the Taliban fighters can still launch attacks on the innocent, but they cannot stop the march of democracy in Afghanistan.

— President Bush reporting during his weekly radio address Aug. 11 on his meeting with the president of Afghanistan.

[The goal is] to guarantee to the people the largest amount of happiness possible.

— Venezuela’s communication minister, Willian Lara [sic], at an Aug. 14 press conference explaining President Hugo Chavez’s plan to remove presidential term limits from his nation’s constitution, allowing him to be re-elected indefinitely.

Quotabull is a regular Thursday feature of Scholars & Rogues.

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