With the bailout of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the Reagan revolution has at last realized the robber barons’ dream: privatize the profits and socialize the debt. Nicely done, fellas.
— a letter to the editor of The New York Times from Candida Pugh of Oakland, Calif.; Sept. 10; emphasis added.
We now see the compensation wasn’t deserved. I don’t think taxpayers want their money to go to the C.E.O.’s of these very large institutions.
— Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on the exit pay packages of Daniel H. Mudd of Fannie Mae and Richard F. Syron of Freddie Mac who, The Times’ Eric Dash reports, are eligible for as much as $24 million in severance, retirement benefits and deferred compensation; Sept. 10.
The report says that eight officials in the royalty program accepted gifts from energy companies whose value exceeded limits set by ethics rules — including golf, ski and paintball outings; meals and drinks; and tickets to a Toby Keith concert, a Houston Texans football game and a Colorado Rockies baseball game.
The investigation also concluded that several of the officials “frequently consumed alcohol at industry functions, had used cocaine and marijuana, and had sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives.”
— from a Times story by Charlie Savage on reports filed with Congress by Earl E. Devaney, the Interior Department’s inspector general, on “wrongdoing by a dozen current and former employees of the Minerals Management Service, which collects about $10 billion in royalties annually and is one of the government’s largest sources of revenue other than taxes”; Sept. 10.
Education is obviously not the issue Senator McCain spends the most time on. He’s been a quiet and consistent supporter of parents and educators who he thinks are making a difference.
— Lisa Graham Keegan, a McCain adviser and former Arizona education commissioner, explaining the brevity of presidential candidate John McCain’s education plan but suggesting that it should not be interpreted as a lack of commitment to education; Sept. 9.
Galveston Island home burns as Ike strikes.
I’m really frightened. I’ve been in blizzards and tornadoes, but never a hurricane. It’s frightening, but if the Lord’s going to take you, he’s going to find you wherever you are.
— Ginger Saracco of Galveston, Texas, after watching a storm surge from Hurricane Ike slam into a seawall; Sept. 12.
That project is moving right ahead. The money for that project was not diverted anywhere else. … So (for her) to say she said, ‘Thanks, but no thanks….’ I would say she said, ‘Thanks!’
— Tony Knowles, who served as governor of Alaska from 1994 to 2002; an Anchorage Daily News story by George Bryson says Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin “still supports spending $400 million to $600 million on ‘the other Bridge to Nowhere,’ the Knik Arm Crossing, which would provide residents in Palin’s hometown of Wasilla faster access to Anchorage” according to Gov. Knowles; Sept. 11.
[Gov. Sarah Palin] strikes me as a target-rich environment.
— Saturday Night Live writer James Downey; Sept. 12.
He was on the wrong side of the rope line. It is a decision that is hard to comprehend.
— Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., about former Democratic Sen. Joseph Lieberman’s visibility as Republican pitchman for Sen. John McCain; Sept. 9.
YouTube was being used by Islamist terrorist organizations to recruit and train followers via the Internet and to incite terrorist attacks around the world, including right here in the United States. I expect these stronger community guidelines to decrease the number of videos on YouTube produced by al-Qaeda and affiliated Islamist terrorist organizations.
— from a statement by Sen. Joseph Lieberman exhorting YouTube to ban videos that “incite” violence; YouTube agreed to ban some content in response; Sept. 12.
Your prayers reached where they were meant to reach. The truth prevailed.
— Jacob Zuma, president of the African National Congress, as his theme song, “Bring Me My Machine Gun” played, after a South African judge threw out “racketeering, corruption, money laundering and fraud [charges] related to a multibillion rand government arms deal in the late 1990s”; a New York Times story says “A court in Durban convicted Mr. Zuma’s business adviser of funneling about $170,000 to Mr. Zuma in exchange for help in winning contracts”; Sept. 12; emphasis added.
[I will not] respond to the garbage from the American empire.
— Tarek El Aissami, appointed Venezuela’s interior minister on Monday, responding to a report by The Times‘ Alexei Barrioneuvo that “[a] conspiracy to cover up the intended recipient of a suitcase filled with $800,000 in cash found in Argentina last year reached the highest levels of Venezuela’s government, with President Hugo Chávez ordering the head of his intelligence service to handle the situation” according to court testimony; Sept. 9.
These settlements are a major step forward in cleaning up an industry where false and misleading advertising practices have been all too rampant. It is unconscionable for lenders to entice students into loans that are not best for them.
— Andrew M. Cuomo, New York’s attorney general, on a settlement with seven student loan companies that outlined a code of conduct and required that “a total of $1.4 million [be placed] into a fund to help educate students and their families about financial aid,” reported The Times‘ Johnathan D. Glater; Sept. 9.
Apple’s Steve Jobs at “Let’s Rock” event this week amid speculation about his health.
That statute is unconstitutionally overbroad on its face because it prohibits the anonymous transmission of all unsolicited bulk e-mails including those containing political, religious or other speech protected by the First Amendment to the United State Constitution.
— from a ruling by the Virginia Supreme Court today striking down the commonwealth’s “anti-spam” law after reconsidering the conviction of Jeremy Jaynes of Raleigh, N.C., the first person tried under the law, convicted of sending tens of thousands of e-mails through America Online servers, and sentenced to nine years in prison; Sept. 12.
Q: With another anniversary of 9/11 upon us, how does the President feel about the failure to find Osama bin Laden?
MS. PERINO: President Bush has been working and directing thousands of men and women across our intelligence community to help us find Osama bin Laden, his deputies, and to disrupt plans to attack America again, wherever they might be plotted. He has not let up on that, and that fight and that hunt will continue to go on until he is brought to justice.
— exchange between reporter and press secretary Dana Perino at a White House briefing; Sept. 10.
The Republicans talk a lot about experience. When you’re the author, architect and enabler of eight years of devastating foreign policy mistakes, that’s not experience. It’s very bad judgment.
— Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., arguing that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., lacks the temperament and judgment to be president; Sen. Reid said, “Our dangerous world calls for leaders with sound judgment, not those with a temperament prone to recklessness. Our country deserves more than token shifts and lip service to change. We need to take decisive action to reverse eight years of foreign policy mistakes”; Sept. 12.
Now let me review some of the descriptive phrases that have been used by some of you that have made my own personal interfaces with the Press Corps difficult: “dictatorial and somewhat dense,” “a liar,” “a torturer” “does not get it.” In — In some cases I have never even met those that use those comments. Yet they felt qualified to make character judgments that are communicated to the world. My experience is not unique and we can find other such examples as the treatment of Secretary Brown during Katrina. In my opinion, this is the worst display of journalism imaginable by those of us that are bound by a strict value system of selfless service, honor, and integrity.
— from an address to the Military Reporters and Editors Forum Luncheon by Lieutenant General (Ret.) Ricardo S. Sanchez; Oct. 12, 2007.
Q: Is Osama bin Laden as important now as he was seven years ago?
MS. PERINO: I think that what we have tried to do is disrupt any area from becoming a safe haven where terrorists could plot and plan attacks. The leadership of al Qaeda has largely been replaced over the years, but they have more people that keep coming up through the ranks and are trained to plot and plan against us. I think — the President believes it’s important for us to hunt and track down and bring to justice Osama bin Laden. And it would be important for Americans, but it’s important for justice most of all.
— exchange between reporter and press secretary Dana Perino at a White House briefing; Sept. 10.
The rise of a free and self-governing Iraq will deny terrorists a base of operation, discredit their narrow ideology, and give momentum to reformers across the region. This will be a decisive blow to terrorism at the heart of its power, and a victory for the security of America and the civilized world.
— from an address by President Bush at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.; May 24, 2004.
From the Gap’s Spring 2009 “Designer Collection”
I’m sitting at Eros, a Greek diner on Seventh Avenue, loving my omelette as I seek shelter from the rain, when I see a busboy remove a container of dirty dishes — with a copy of my review in today’s paper on top. Get it while it’s hot, I guess.
— from the “On The Runway” blog of New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn; Sept. 9.
• Hurricane Ike hits Galveston: Associated Press
• Sen. Joseph Lieberman leaving stage: Damon Winter, The New York Times
• Sen. Lieberman mug: Alex Wong, Getty Images
• Steve Jobs: Daniel Acker, Bloomberg News
• Gap models: Marcio Madeira, Style.com
Quotabull is a weekly feature of Scholars & Rogues.