I feel like I’m going to get to the Oval Office and pick up the rug and say, ‘Oooh my goodness, look at the mess they’ve left!’

— Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Oct. 9, criticizing President Bush in a stump speech in Maquoketa, Iowa.

It’ll never happen. They all want to take care of themselves and the people who are backing them with all that money. I think they’ve forgotten about us. They should throw a tent over Washington. The whole town is a circus.

— Jim Konrad, a retired Firestone worker and lifelong Democrat, listening at a barbershop in Indianola, Iowa, to each Democratic presidential candidate at their Dec. 13 debate rattle off a list of what they would accomplish in their first year as president.

Iowans look for and expect a commitment from candidates during this process, including having an office, having staffers, polling at 1 percent and higher.

— Des Moines Register publisher Laura Hollingsworth, explaining that Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich was not invited to participate in the newspaper’s Dec. 13 debate because he did not have office space; GOP candidates Alan Keyes and Duncan Hunter, who have lower poll numbers than Rep. Kucinich, were allowed to participate in the Dec. 12 GOP debate.

[T]hese organizations and lobbyists are a real part of the democratic legislative process. Associations are merely a structural means for individuals and companies with similar interests and purposes to band together and support one another. It certainly is a smoother and more effective operation than if 50 or more voices were all arguing for the same principle without any coordination.

— former Sen. John Breaux, who has left his post as senior counsel at Patton Boggs LLP to form a new lobbying firm with his son, explaining the purpose of lobbying in the March 20 “K Street Insiders” column of The Hill newspaper; Sen. Breaux, whose speaking fees reach $50,000, who is expected to be joined by Sen. Trent Lott (retiring before the one-year “cooling off” period becomes two years) and who is but one of many examples of revolving door legislators and lobbyists who promote corporate interests, has long been a principal source of campaign largesse to his colleagues.

Each passing day means lost economic opportunities for American farmers, manufacturers, service providers and their workers and a loss of Latin America’s confidence in America’s interest in our own hemisphere.

— Harold McGraw III, chairman, president and CEO of the McGraw-Hill companies, in a Dec. 12 letter from the Emergency Committee for American Trade to both House and Senate leaderships urging passage of a free trade agreement with Columbia; 19 chief executive officers, including leaders of Microsoft and Wal-Mart, signed the letter.

Like many fans, I’ve been troubled by the steroid allegations. I think it’s best that we not jump to any conclusions on individual players. Steroids have sullied the game, and players and the owners must take the Mitchell report seriously; I’m confident they will. And my hope is that this report is a part of putting the ‘steroid era’ of baseball behind us.

— President Bush, who became a minority owner of the Texas Rangers franchise in April 1989; Dec. 14.

The story we have to tell the Congress … in terms of where we are with testing, in terms of our willingness to implement the recommendations of Sen. Mitchell, is a very positive story, and we’ll be happy to share that story with Congressman Davis or anyone else who wants to hear it on the Hill.

— Bob DuPuy, Major League Baseball’s chief operating officer, Dec. 13.

I remember that day better than my birthday. I was not only a billionaire but the richest man in Turkey. It’s a great feeling, but your responsibilities increase. … If I can have an impact on one million Turkish people in the next 10 years, I will be happy.

— Husnu M. Ozyegin, who sold controlling interest in his bank for $2.7 billion in 2006, has spent more than $50 million of his own money, building 36 primary schools and girls’ dormitories in the poorest parts of Turkey.

Life is competitive. Kids compete for attention. They compete for grades. You compete for a job. You compete from the time you’re little all the way to the end. They’re kids. They are competitive. They can play jump rope and jacks and make it competitive.

—Shari Clewell, the mother of a fifth grader, complaining that the principal’s ban on traditional recess play fails to prepare children for adulthood; Dec. 14.

We (also) apologize for telling reporters that a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University doesn’t, in fact, make Huckabee more qualified to fight the war on terror than say … Fred Thompson.

— Karen Hanretty, deputy communications director for Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson, in a “sarcastic” statement that repeated “her boss’s criticism of Huckabee for offering in-state college tuition rates to illegal immigrants, supporting an end to the Cuban embargo and raising some Arkansas taxes”; Dec. 13.

The colonel has become a familiar figure cruising about town in a white, very stretched limousine and a 20-car motorcade. On Thursday traffic was halted as he went shopping, with his posse of formidable female guards in battle dress. Unshaven and in a scruffy anorak and sweatshirt, he then dropped into the Louvre to admire the Venus de Milo while tourists were herded out like a fire emergency.

— from a description in The London Times of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s state visit to France this week.

There has been no attempt to alter/change any information that has been posted anywhere. That would be unethical.

— Lt. Col. Edward Bush, a spokesman for the Joint Task Force-Guantánamo command’s public affairs office, denying reports that computers linked to the command had been used “suspicious online activity, including: ‘deleting detainee ID numbers from Wikipedia last month, the systematic posting of unattributed ’self praise’ comments on news organization web sites in response to negative press, boosting pro-Guantánamo stories on the internet news site Digg and even modifying Fidel Castro’s encyclopedia article to describe the Cuban president as ‘an admitted transexual’ [sic].'”

USA executes its citizens every 10 days

— headline in Pravda, the Russian daily newspaper, over a section containing stories about capital punishment in the United States.

We are deeply concerned that a daily newspaper has to discontinue publication of its print edition not because of economic issues, but because of the existence of a government-imposed regime of exchange control.

— Gonzalo Marroquín, from the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), on the Venezuelan government’s refusal to grant access to U.S. dollars that the newspaper, Correo del Caroni, needs to import newsprint.

To be forced back into the heterosexual cage of coupledom is not a step forward but a step back into state-imposed definitions of relationship. With all that we have learned, we should be helping our heterosexual brothers and sisters out of their state-defined prisons, not volunteering to join them there.

— Jane Rule, author of “Desert of the Heart,” called a “landmark work of lesbian fiction,” in BC Bookworld, a Canadian trade periodical, in 2001; Ms. Rule died Nov. 27.

Quotabull is a weekly feature of Scholars & Rogues.

1 reply »

  1. “Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

    – George Orwell