Heâ€™s about as much an outdoorsman as Woody Allen. He canâ€™t row.
â€” Dr. O. H. Frazier of the Texas Heart Institute, a longtime collaborator of artificial heart pioneer Dr. Robert Jarvik who, in a television ad for cholesterol medication Lipitor, is depicted as “among other outdoorsy pursuits, rowing a one-man racing shell swiftly across a mountain lake”; a stunt double actually did the sculling scenes.
You and I know the American people are not under-taxed. The problem is Washington spends too much of your money.
â€” from remarks by President Bush to the the Conservative Political Action Conference; Feb. 8.
I will not be in the Cabinet. I will not be on the staff full time. I will not in any way interfere with the work of a strong vice president, strong secretary of state, strong secretary of treasury.
â€” former President Bill Clinton in a Today Show interview, downplaying any role he would play if his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, became president; Feb. 8.
There was mass pandemonium, people running. One officer â€” the first into the classroom â€” told me he could still smell gunpowder.
â€” Baton Rouge Sgt. Don Kelly after a 23-year-old woman killed two fellow students in a second-floor classroom at Louisiana Technical College, then killed herself; Feb. 8.
In the past year, Federal, State, and local governments have worked to enhance our Nation’s ability to prepare for and respond to natural disasters. The Federal Government has conducted an extensive review of preparedness and response efforts, and actions are being taken at every level to improve communications and coordination and strengthen emergency response capabilities. The American people can know that our government is working hard to be prepared to protect life and property should we face another such challenge.
â€” from a proclamation by President Bush declaring Aug. 29, 2006, a “National Day of Remembrance of Hurricane Katrina.”
Prayers can help, and so can the government.
â€” President Bush, touring tornado-ravaged rural areas in Tennessee; Feb. 8.
It looks like the Lord took a Brillo pad and scrubbed the ground.
â€” Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen after viewing the northern Tennessee damage by helicopter; Feb. 7.
Q: What’s different in the response today with the storms here versus Katrina?
MR. STANZEL: Well, I think over time the federal government has â€” we learned a lot of lessons from that time. We have improved our procedures in terms of working with state and local authorities. We’ve also improved our ability to â€” and changed the mind-set of being very much leaning forward.
â€” exchange between reporter and White House spokesman Scott Stanzel aboard Air Force One enroute to storm-ravaged Tennessee; Feb. 8.
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave our nationâ€™s infrastructure an overall grade of â€œD.â€ Having just sent a child off to college, I wouldnâ€™t be satisfied with that outcome, nor should we as a nation be willing to allow the first class transportation infrastructure system we developed over the last several decades to disintegrate and risk harm to our citizens. ASCEâ€™s most recent estimates of the total cost needed by all levels of government to update our infrastructure â€“ airports, bridges, roads and transit, brownfields, dams and levees, drinking and wastewater and inland waterways â€“ is $1.6 trillion.
â€” Kathleen Novak, mayor of Northglenn, Colorado, addressing the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on behalf of the National League of Cities; Sept. 5, 2007.
Our Nation is living with a serious infrastructure deficit, and events of the past year have shown us the danger of allowing that deficit to deepen. Despite the collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis, despite the latest mobility report from the Texas Transportation Institute, despite the newly released report of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, this Administration continues to deny the breadth and depth of our infrastructure crisis.
â€” Rep. James Oberstar, chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, arguing that “the Bush budget plan for Fiscal Year 2009 shortchanges highways, transit, rail, and air transportation programs, as well as emergency preparedness, inland water transportation, and environmental infrastructure development.”
One important provision in the Senate bill provides transitional assistance to farmers to produce bioenergy crops, an issue Congressman Frank Lucas and I have worked together to accomplish. While Oklahoma has long been a leader in oil and natural gas production, we are quickly emerging as a leader in the field of cellulosic biofuels. Today, world-class scientists and farmers across Oklahoma are working to develop high-yield feedstocks to fuel cellulosic biorefineries.
â€” from a press release on the Senate Web site of Sen. James Inhofe, explaining his vote on the Senate Farm Bill; Dec. 14.
When you take this into account, most of the biofuel that people are using or planning to use would probably increase greenhouse gasses substantially. Previously thereâ€™s been an accounting error: land use change has been left out of prior analysis.
â€” Timothy Searchinger, a researcher in environment and economics at Princeton University and lead author of one of two studies that, reports The New York Times, show that “[a]lmost all biofuels used today cause more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels if the full emissions costs of producing these â€œgreenâ€ fuels are taken into account“; Feb. 8; emphasis added.
I’m very upset. You just don’t really want to get me upset. When I’m upset I’m known to do certain things, like win championships.
â€” tongue-in-cheek comment from 35-year-old NBA star center Shaquille O’Neal after being traded by the Miami Heat to the Phoenix Suns; Feb. 8.
We are making a ton of money from them.
â€” from an internal e-mail written by Linda Pera, a Wachovia bank executive in 2005 “about a company that was later accused by federal prosecutors of helping steal up to $142 million.”
Earning the trust of our customers is at the heart of what we do every day and we regret this situation occurred. We took this issue very seriously, and senior management, led by C.E.O. Ken Thompson, was actively involved in directing aggressive steps to correct the processes related to this situation. We are confident that the changes weâ€™ve implemented will help protect our customers.
â€” from a Wachovia statement; according to The New York Times, “Last spring, Wachovia bank was accused in a lawsuit of allowing fraudulent telemarketers to use the bankâ€™s accounts to steal millions of dollars from unsuspecting victims. When asked about the suit, bank executives said they had been unaware of the thefts. But newly released documents from that lawsuit now show that Wachovia had long known about allegations of fraud and that the bank, in fact, solicited business from companies it knew had been accused of telemarketing crimes.” [emphasis added]
Skinny, skinny, skinny. Everybodyâ€™s shrinking themselves.
â€” Dave Fothergill, a director of Red Model Management, on a trend among male models described thusly by New York Times “fashion diarist” Guy Trebay: “Where the masculine ideal of as recently as 2000 was a buff 6-footer with six-pack abs, the man of the moment is an urchin, a wraith or an underfed runt. Nowhere was this more clear than at the recent menâ€™s wear shows in Milan and Paris, where even those inured to the new look were flabbergasted at the sheer quantity of guys who looked chicken-chested, hollow-cheeked and undernourished.”
Today I skipped the Bryant Park tents for a photo shoot for V Magazine. The photographer was Mario Sorrenti, who always make girls look gorgeous. Our shoot was amazing and I wish I could give you the details but I canâ€™t spoil the surprise.
â€” from The New York Times: “This weekâ€™s guest blogger is the 22-year-old supermodel Hana Soukupova, who has been treading catwalks since she was 13. Soukupova is the face of Gucci Envy, she appears in the current Gap campaign, and she has closed shows for such designers as Valentino, John Galliano, Dior, Celine, Gucci, Michael Kors, Roberto Cavalli, Alexander McQueen, Calvin Klein, Donna Karen and Zac Posen. But at The Moment, we love her for her sharp eye, which is why we slipped a digital camera into her handbag and asked her to cover Fashion Week through the lens of a model”; Feb. 7.
â€” the percentage of respondents in an Associated Press-Ipsos poll conducted Feb. 4-6 who rated Congress’ job performance favorably; President Bush’s rating dropped 4 percentage points to 30 percent.
I donâ€™t think a member could be corrupted by an $8 hamburger.
â€” Democratic lobbyist Jack Quinn of Quinn Gillespie & Associates on new fundraising rules that limit lobbyists’ ability to take legislators to lunch; Feb. 6.
Photo credits: tornado victim, Mike Wintroath/Associated Press; male models, Eric Johnson for The New York Times.
Quotabull is a weekly feature of Scholars & Rogues.