Business/Finance

Quotabull

These accommodations should in no way be taken as a commentary on the quality of our media coverage.

— Doug Hattaway, campaign spokesman for Sen. Hillary Clinton, on placing press accommodations in the men’s locker room of the Berger Activity Center in Austin, Texas; March 3.

I for one do not believe that imitating Ken Starr is a way to win a Democratic primary for the presidency.

— Howard Wolfson, a top aide to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, after the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama called on Sen. Clinton to release her tax returns; March 6.

I hope you don’t get tired of seeing me or seeing my family, because I have a feeling we’ll be here a lot over the next number of weeks.

— Chelsea Clinton, 28, to a few hundred people at a question-and-answer meet ‘n’ greet at the University of Pennsylvania; March 6.

Authenticity is the thing voters want most. Here’s Bill Clinton standing up, having gone to Georgetown and to Oxford and to Yale. He now has a Ph.D. of the obvious. After 11 losses, you need a win.

— Paul Begala, a former adviser to President Clinton, on the former president’s comment in Texas last month: “If [Hillary] wins Texas and Ohio, I think she will be the nominee. If you don’t deliver for her, then I don’t think she can be”; March 6.

None of the funding requested will be used for a building, program, or project that has been named for a sitting member of Congress. Exceptions for previously named buildings, programs or projects must be fully justified.

— from a certification document on the Web site of Rep. Thelma Drake, R-Va., that places limits on what she considers acceptable as requests for earmarks; March 4.

We want to make sure everybody is treated fairly. We want to make sure you made the right decision.

— Rep. John P. Murtha, D-Pa., the chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, to Air Force procurement officials at a hearing to examine their contract award for refueling-tanker aircraft; according to The New York Times, lawmakers said “they would kill a multibillion-dollar contract to replace the fleet of Air Force fueling tankers if the Pentagon did not adequately explain why it gave the deal to a partnership between Northrop Grumman and the European parent of Airbus, instead of to Boeing”; March 6; emphasis added.

The men and women of the Department of Homeland Security can be proud of all that you have accomplished in five years. I’ve just laid out some of that which you’ve accomplished, and it took me about 30 minutes. You have built a vital and effective department that is helping to prevent dangerous enemies from striking our people. Your efforts, and all the institutions we have built since 9/11, are a lasting legacy that will give future generations and future Presidents the instruments they need to keep our country safe.

— President Bush on the fifth anniversary of the creation of the Department of Homeland Security; March 6.

Congress Must Also Take Action By Passing Responsible Legislation That Helps Homeowners – Without Bailing Out Speculators And Unscrupulous Lenders

The President remains deeply concerned about the housing issue and strongly believes that government assistance must be responsible. The President will not support legislation, like the bill recently considered in the Senate that would do more to bail out lenders and speculators than to help American families keep their homes. This measure would actually prolong the time it takes for the housing market to adjust and recover, and it would lead to higher interest rates.

— from a “fact sheet” at the White House Web site titled “Taking Responsible Action to Keep Our Economy Growing”; March 7.


CEOs and other corporate officials appear before Congress.

In short, as our company did well, I did well.

— Angelo R. Mozilo, the founder and chief executive of Countrywide Financial, defending his compensation before at a hearing by the House Committee on Oversight and Investigations, saying “our stock price appreciated over 23,000 percent” from 1982 to 2007″; a New York Times story says Mr. Mozilo took home more than $410 million in compensation from the sub-prime lender since becoming chief executive in 1999; March 7; emphasis added.

We are working with a university that has guaranteed nondiscrimination on the basis of race, religion or gender. We recognize that this university operates in Saudi Arabia. Having said that, this university recognizes that if it wants to be world-class, it has to be able to freely attract the best students and faculty from around the world.

— Peter Glynn, director of the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering at Stanford University, one of “[t]hree prominent American universities — the University of Texas at Austin, the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University — [that] are starting five-year partnerships, worth $25 million or more, with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, a graduate-level research university being built in Saudi Arabia”; March 6.

I’ve got a lot of atonement to do.

— Jim Clark, former Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski’s chief of staff, after he “pleaded guilty to conspiring with former officials of Veco, the defunct oil-field services company, to secretly channel $68,550 from Veco into Murkowski’s re-election effort. The money, used for polls and a political consultant, was illegally given because it was both a corporate donation and excessive, and illegally spent because it wasn’t reported”; March 5.

Q: Why is the administration spending all this money to tell Americans that they’re going to get a rebate check? I think they’re going to spend, like, $40 million to send out letters to tell people they’re going to get another letter in the mail with a rebate check. Why do we need to do that? …
CHAIRMAN LAZEAR: … In terms of spending, let me — I know this isn’t quite the question that you asked, but let me focus on a different aspect of the spending. What we hope will happen, of course, when these checks go out, is that people will use the money as they see fit. Some people have mentioned that they may end up using the money to pay down bills, they may use the money for other purposes, they may even save some of the money. That’s not a concern to us. We actually believe that that is consistent with the kind of stimulus that we have in mind. If they were to spend the money all right away initially, there would be nothing left to help the economy grow over the next quarter. So the fact that they pay down their debts and then have money to spend in the future is not a bad thing, and that’s the way we’re thinking about the stimulus.

— exchange between reporter and Edward Lazear, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, at a White House press briefing on the economy; March 7.

We have no sense of fairness left in America. On the playground, one boy can pick a fight by pushing and taunting another which triggers the other boy to react in self-defense. School administrators then demonize both boys and give them the same punishment. Our schools are kicking kids out because of their hair color. … These kids have grown into adults who get treated with the same injustices later in life. During a divorce, instead of having a system that benefits the children, they are faced with a court that rewards the meanest spouse with the most money and the crookedest attorney. This is followed by a totally corrupt criminal justice system that leaves 1 in 32 adults on probation, parole or in prison. America has truly gone crazy and the root is our politicians, judges and attorneys!

— from the “Never Get Busted Again” Web site of Barry Cooper, a Libertarian candidate for U.S. Congress District 31 in Texas; Cooper is promoter of “the marijuana DVDs “Never Get Busted Again” and “Never Get Raided”; March 5.

Don’t compare it to an audit. They are a sovereign government assisting us rather than someone who works for us. They are an ally. They are acting on our behalf to go after terrorists in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

— Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell, explaining why the Pentagon has reimbursed Pakistan about $1 billion a year for the past six years “for feeding, clothing, billeting and maintaining 80,000 to 100,000 Pakistani troops in the volatile tribal area along the Afghan border, in support of U.S. counterterrorism efforts” — but without receipts; Feb. 21.

Today’s consumer is charging his groceries. He’s charging his medicine. He’s charging his gasoline so he can get to work. Now he’s maxed out. He’s not a candidate to open up new lines of credit. He says, ‘Oh my gosh, what am I going to do? I’ll file for bankruptcy.’

— Gail Cunningham, spokeswoman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling; Feb. 18.

In asking the Fidelity equity trading desk for occasional help locating tickets, I never intended to do anything inappropriate, and I regret having made those requests.

— Peter Lynch, a vice chairman of Fidelity and the investor behind Fidelity’s Magellan Fund, apologizing after the Securities and Exchange Commission fined Fidelity $8 million; Lynch was one of 13 employees accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of accepting gifts from brokers; March 6.

To have led in some of those areas and now to have fallen to be the worst in the country in the gender-wage gap, something’s wrong.

— Nancy Freudenthal, wife of Gov. Dave Freudenthal of Wyoming, on the fact that “Wyoming also ranks near the bottom among states in the proportion of women who have higher education degrees or own businesses”; Mrs. Freudenthal is credited with expanding Climb Wyoming, “which takes women who have absorbed a few of life’s body blows — bad or absent men, drugs, public assistance and jail are all common stories — and combines free job training with psychological counseling”; March 6.

This experiment, this celebration, is a charade. It was a glamorous event staged for the media that shows the Bureau of Reclamation is doing something for the environment, when in fact there’s a lot more to do.

— Nikolai Lash, senior program director of the Grand Canyon Trust, a private environmental group, on a 60-hour water release from the Glen Canyon Dam, “the latest chapter in a long-running tug of war between the department’s Bureau of Reclamation, which controls the two major Colorado River dams, and the National Park Service over how to balance the Southwest’s need for hydroelectric power against the needs of an endangered fish, the humpbacked chub, for water flows that mimic the natural rhythms of the river”; March 6.

… when Representatives John D. Dingell and Bart Stupak publicly attacked my credentials and my personal integrity, they sent a chilling message to other medical experts not to participate in direct-to-consumer advertising. This intimidation is wrong.

In Lipitor ads, I said that people with several risk factors should ask their doctors about it. I am a medical doctor, I am widely known as an artificial heart inventor, and I am identified as such. Yet the congressmen say my recommendation is misleading because I do not have a medical license. This makes no sense.

I work directly with cardiac surgeons and cardiologists, and I am an expert in mechanical support of the failing heart. If an expert on the National Cholesterol Education Program panel were the spokesman for a cholesterol-lowering drug and recommended that people ask their doctors about it, what might they do? Exactly the same thing as when I made the recommendation: Ask their doctors.

— from a letter to The New York Times by Robert Jarvik, defending his participation in Lipitor ads for which he was paid $1.35 million; Dr. Jarvik was responding to a Times editorial; March 6.

Like the battle scenes in “Last Riot” (Miuccia Prada’s favorite piece at the Venice art fair, by the way), the Paris season gave the impression of being a valiant defense of the ramparts of chic. And there were good reasons for this. Faced with overwhelming shifts in the way clothes are manufactured; with the widespread dispersal and pirating of information on the Internet; with markets broadening to encompass not just familiar consumer elites, but entire swaths of the globe; and with the knowledge that their boldest efforts seem puny compared with the chess moves being enacted by the multinational titans who employ them, a lot of designers are befuddled. What should they do? Change careers? Why not, instead, reach into the costume trunks and, like the pretty combatants in “Last Riot,” take up a wooden swords and play pretend.

— from the “Fashion Diary” of The New York Times‘ Guy Trebay; March 6.

Photo credits:
• reporters in toilet: Sasha Johnson, CNN
• President Clinton in Texas: Guiseppe Barranco, Beaumont Enterprise via Associated Press
• Glen Canyon Dam: Matt York, Associated Press
• CEOs before Congress: Doug Mills, The New York Times
• fashion model: Gonzalo Fuentes, Reuters

Quotabull is a weekly feature of Scholars & Rogues.

2 replies »

  1. “In short, as our company did well, I did well.”

    Love the modesty. If only it were a world where these bastards woulda kicked back, put up their feet, lit up Cubans and said, “Suckers!” Cuz that’s what they do when the cameras are off.

  2. Another great set of quotes, Dr. D., none more damning than the first. . .

    These accommodations should in no way be taken as a commentary on the quality of our media coverage.
    Way to stick the knife in and turn it, Doug Hattaway.

    Sorry if you got wronged, Dr. Jarvis, but I’m just glad I don’t have to see your disturbing mug on TV anymore. You have the eyes of a sex criminal.

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