American Culture


It’s good that everybody knows that the people involved in the pro-life movement are directly responsible for the decline in abortions.

— Wanda Franz, president of the National Right to Life Committee, on a report that the abortion rate nationally has fallen 25 percent from 1990 to 2005.

Yes, we won 35 years ago — but women have been losing ground, losing rights, losing options, losing access, losing availability and just plain losing nearly every day since.

— Nancy Keenan, head of NARAL Pro-Choice America, in a recent speech.

Q: Does it not worry you that the legacy of this administration is going to be hundreds of billions of dollars of extra debt?
MS. PERINO: I think we’re still on track to get a balanced budget by 2012.

— exchange between reporter and press secretary Dana Perino at a Jan. 23 White House press briefing.

I have asked people from the business world, the faith world, the non-profit world, to join this council in order to come up with recommendations as to how to better educate people from all walks of life about matters pertaining to their finances and their future. … You know, it’s interesting that if we want America to be as hopeful a place as it can be, we want people owning assets. We want people investing. We want people owning homes. But oftentimes, to be able to do so requires literacy when it comes to financial matters. And sometimes people just simply don’t know what they’re looking at and reading.

— President Bush, announcing formation of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy; Jan. 22.

Q: Does what you call the “do-nothing Congress of 2007” — do they share some of the blame for the fact that we are facing this [economic] slowdown?
MS. PERINO: I’m not blaming anyone. But what I am saying is anyone who is suggesting that this President should have done more on housing should not be saying that if it is, in fact, the Congress who hasn’t acted at all. That’s my point. I’m not blaming this on anybody.

— exchange between reporter and press secretary Dana Perino at a Jan. 23 press briefing.

The economy is working these things out. We’ve got the housing crisis and the subprime, and all these things take a while to settle. The government just doesn’t have the discipline to kind of let things work out.

— David R. Henderson, a libertarian economist at the Hoover Institution at Stanford, on the Bush administration’s plan to revitalize the economy; Jan. 24; emphasis added.

You also have a housing crunch as housing prices are dropping for the first time in living memory. And what that means is a lot of people, who are counting on their houses, as both their cash cow and also their — their retirement nest egg, can no longer count on them. So, a lot of consumers are getting very concerned, very worried. Job figures are not very good. So all of this has the makings of a fairly severe recession. Let’s hope not. But what Ben Bernanke did and what Congress is about to do with the stimulus package are really small potatoes relative to the size of the potential problem.

— Robert Reich, former Labor secretary in the Clinton administration, in a Jan. 24 CNN interview; emphasis added.

This is a victory for the truth, and a victory for all South Carolinians who want to turn the page on the divisive politics of the past. Obviously the deceptions go beyond this one radio ad. It’s time for the distortions of Senator Obama’s record to stop.

— Obama supporter and former Clinton administration official David Agnew after the Clinton campaign pulled a controversial ad critical of presidential candidate Barack Obama one day after it launched.

We are trafficking in our final closing messages for the campaign and that explains the change in traffic.

— Howard Wolfson, top strategist of the Clinton campaign, explaining that pulling an ad critical of Sen. Obama one day after it was launched was just part of the normal rotation of ads.

We need a president who will run the government and manage the economy. The American people don’t hire a president to talk about our problems, but to solve them.

— Sen. Hillary Clinton, criticizing the President Bush’s economic stimulus plan in a Jan. 24 speech at Furman University.

I want to go to the Senate to fight for the men and women who work in this plant and the other good people I have been meeting with throughout western New York. I want to be a strong advocate for the manufacturing sector, for small business, and I have a plan with specific ideas about how to do that.

— Senate candidate Hillary Clinton in an October 2000 visit to a Bethlehem steel plant in Buffalo that had seen 22,000 jobs dwindle to 850. Her economic plan for upstate New York promised to yield 200,000 upstate New York jobs over six years, which critics argue has not happened.

We’re not backing up all events in puberty. We’re backing up the starting point. … Over the course of a few decades, the childhoods of U.S. girls have been significantly shortened.

— Sandra Streingraber, biologist and visiting scholar at Ithaca College, on her research that shows the age of onset of puberty in girls to be falling.

These people have just had it. A lot of them are being really mean about it, and I don’t blame them.

— Mike Lanz, Franke’s director of sales for Franke Coffee Systems North America in Seattle, about the 247 coffee lovers on a waiting list for the La Marzocco GS/3 home-use expresso machine who had expected to pay $4,500; they just found out it would cost $7,500.

The kids are very enthusiastic. You know, in our community, you have to be really creative to get some students interested.

— Mike Robinson, the principal of Creekside High School in Fairburn in Georgia, whose school is “offering students who are weak in math and science eight dollars an hour to go to study hall and review their pet peeve subjects” and will pay them another $125 is they get B’s in those courses.

Quotabull is a weekly feature of Scholars & Rogues.

3 replies »

  1. With all due respect to Wanda Franz, I’ve read Freakonomics, and suspect that author Steven Levitt could imagine a possible alternate explanation for the drop in abortions.

  2. The government just doesn’t have the discipline to kind of let things work out.

    I always wondered: What do libertarians do when they fall on hard economic times? Take it like a man? More likely they’ll take a handout, just like anybody else.