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Steve Michel: Politics

Last Build Date: Mon, 01 Jan 2007 19:07:02 GMT

Copyright: Copyright 2007 Steve Michel

THE LIST: Great thoughts of George Bush

Sat, 30 Dec 2006 00:33:12 GMT

"I promise you I will listen to what has been said here, even though I wasn't here." - at the President's Economic Forum in Waco, Texas, Aug. 13, 2002

"We spent a lot of time talking about Africa, as we should. Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease." - Gothenburg, Sweden, June 14, 2001

"You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.'' - Townsend, Tenn., Feb. 21, 2001

"I glance at the headlines just to kind of get a flavor for what's moving. I rarely read the stories, and get briefed by people who are probably read the news themselves." - Washington, D.C., Sept. 21, 2003

"I'm the commander - see, I don't need to explain - I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being president." - quoted in Bob Woodward's Bush at War

"I am here to make an announcement that this Thursday, ticket counters and airplanes will fly out of Ronald Reagan Airport." - Washington, D.C., Oct. 3, 2001

"Do you have blacks, too?" - to Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso, Washington, D.C., Nov. 8, 2001

"This foreign policy stuff is a little frustrating." - as quoted by the New York Daily News, April 23, 2002

"It is white." - after being asked by a child in Britain what the White House was like, July 19, 2001

"I couldn't imagine somebody like Osama bin Laden understanding the joy of Hanukkah." - at a White House menorah lighting ceremony, Washington, D.C., Dec. 10, 2001

"I'm the master of low expectations." - aboard Air Force One, June 4, 2003

"People say, how can I help on this war against terror? How can I fight evil? You can do so by mentoring a child; by going into a shut-in's house and say I love you." -Washington, D.C., Sept. 19, 2002

"I wish you'd have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it…I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with answer, but it hadn't yet. . . - President George W. Bush, after being asked to name the biggest mistake he had made, Washington, D.C., April 3, 2004

- "My plan reduces the national debt, and fast. So fast, in fact, that economists worry that we're going to run out of debt to retire." - radio address, Feb. 24, 2001

- "I try to go for longer runs, but it's tough around here at the White House on the outdoor track. It's sad that I can't run longer. It's one of the saddest things about the presidency." -interview with "Runners World," Aug. 2002

- "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job." - to a group of Amish he met with privately, July 9, 2004

-. "There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again." - Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002

-. "Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country." - Poplar Bluff, Mo., Sept. 6, 2004

- "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." -ashington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004


~Compiled by Daniel Kurtzman


Daily Kos: TOP 20 All-Time Stupid Republican Quotes

Sun, 24 Dec 2006 00:42:06 GMT

I feel the best way to ensure Americans' freedom is to tighten restrictions on that freedom in any way possible. Only through wiretaps, illegal searches and seizures, unfettered government intrusion, a controlled media and a complete crackdown on free speech can we ensure the liberties of all people." -- Attorney General John Ashcroft

Scientific Republican Magazine

Sat, 23 Dec 2006 21:53:56 GMT


From Clusterflock.

(via Kottke)

(Via Cynical-C Blog.)

Great Moments In Presidential History By George W. Bush

Fri, 22 Dec 2006 16:44:53 GMT

"I encourage you to go shopping" - George W. Bush 12/20/06

From "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" to this. Wow, what a disaster.

(Via Oliver Willis - Like Kryptonite To Stupid.)

GOP Bigot Eruption: Rep. Virgil Goode Hates Muslims

Fri, 22 Dec 2006 16:44:02 GMT

Once again, conservative Republicans have the courage to tell us what they really believe. Encouraged by our campaign for cons to speak truth to power, Rep. Virgil Goode says straight up how much he hates:

In a letter sent out to select supporters earlier this month reacting to the controversy (among certain extreme conservatives, at least) over Muslim representative-elect Keith Ellison's (D-MN) decision to be sworn in on the Koran, Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) warned that the U.S. must close its borders to guard against the influx of still more Muslims. In it, he also proudly recounts his retort to a Muslim student who asked him why he did not include the Koran with The Ten Commandments on his wall. "As long as I have the honor of representing the citizens of the 5th District of Virginia in the United States House of Representatives, The Koran is not going to be on the wall of my office," he says he told the student.

(Via Oliver Willis - Like Kryptonite To Stupid.)

Rudy Giuliani & The Memory Hole

Thu, 21 Dec 2006 06:36:14 GMT

Wannabe presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani somehow omits his first two wives and children from his online bio.

(Via Oliver Willis - Like Kryptonite To Stupid.)

Christian Groups Profit from "War on Christmas" [Dispatches from the Culture Wars]

Thu, 21 Dec 2006 06:15:27 GMT

From the Department of the Painfully Obvious, the Religion News Service reports that Christian advocacy groups are using the fake "war on Christmas" to make big money from donors:

The Mississippi-based American Family Association says it has sold more than 500,000 buttons and 125,000 bumper stickers bearing the slogan "Merry Christmas: It's Worth Saying."

The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal aid group that boasts a network of some 900 lawyers standing ready to "defend Christmas," says it has moved about 20,000 "Christmas packs." The packs, available for a suggested $29 donation, include a three-page legal memo and two lapel pins.

And Liberty Counsel, a conservative law firm affiliated with the Rev. Jerry Falwell, says it has sold 12,500 legal memos on celebrating Christmas and 8,000 of its own buttons and bumper stickers.

What a shock. Scare people with a trumped up and mythical threat and get them to buy stuff from you. Welcome to the world of demagoguery.

Read the comments on this post...

(Via ScienceBlogs : Combined Feed.)

Mass Extinction Underway

Tue, 19 Dec 2006 16:41:48 GMT

Human beings are currently causing the greatest mass extinction of species since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. If present trends continue one half of all species of life on earth will be extinct in less than 100 years, as a result of habitat destruction, pollution, invasive species, and climate change.

Osama Bin Neocon

Mon, 18 Dec 2006 17:14:32 GMT

I found this on Newt Gingrich's website in the comments section. FRAMEBORDER="0" NAME="ttablew" HEIGHT="950" WIDTH="620" SRC="">If you can see this, your browser is crap.

(Via ..)

Blame and Run

Wed, 13 Dec 2006 01:30:25 GMT

This Financial Times piece seems to have it about  right. The exit strategy seems to be to blame the Iraqis for not establishing a real government after we so graciously invaded, then use that as an excuse to get out. We were right, the Iraqis are just not worthy of us.

It is a consensus that was crystallised last week by the Iraq Study Group, which called on Mr Bush to withhold US assistance from Baghdad unless it made progress on fulfilling a long list of US-imposed “milestones”. It is also shared by many senior officials in the Bush administration, which had already drawn up an earlier list of milestones for Mr Maliki.

“You could call it ‘blame and run’, ” said Zbigniew Bzrezinski, a former national security adviser now at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. “It is based on a pervasive illusion that there is such a thing as an Iraqi government. The more we blame it for doing things it cannot do, the more impotent it will become. ‘Blame and run’ is self-fulfilling.”

Which One is the Real Threat?

Mon, 11 Dec 2006 16:55:28 GMT

Interesting thing. There were two domestic terrorist incidents that happened within the last few weeks. One involved a Muslim in Illinois. One involved an angry white guy in Tennesse. One involved bombs and a mall. One involved making sarin nerve agent and buying C4 explosive. One got into the national news. One didn't. Guess which one is which.

Muslim case:

Investigators said Derrick Shareef, 22, an American citizen from Rockford, was acting alone and never actually obtained any grenades. He was arrested Wednesday when he met with an undercover agent in a parking lot to trade a set of stereo speakers for four hand grenades and a gun, authorities said.

"He fixed on a day of December 22nd on Friday ... because it was the Friday before Christmas and thought that would be the highest concentration of shoppers that he could kill and injure," said Robert Grant, the agent in charge of the Chicago FBI office.

White guy.

Demetrius "Van" Crocker of McKenzie, convicted in April of attempting to obtain a chemical weapon and possession of stolen explosives, was sentenced to 30 years in prison Tuesday by U.S. District Judge James Todd in Jackson.

The 40-year-old farmhand and father of two was convicted of accepting what he thought were ingredients to make Sarin nerve gas and a block of C-4 explosive from undercover agents in October 2004.

Crocker, who told undercover FBI agents of his desire to explode a briefcase bomb while Congress was in session, was found guilty by a jury in about 90 minutes in April.

Both were Americans. One caught the eye of the national media - and it wasn't the sarin nerve agent case. Wasn't newsworthy enough, I guess.

(Via Armchair Generalist.)

News Hounds: Chickenhawk Dennis Miller: What's Wrong In Iraq, Quite Frankly, Is That We're Not Brutal Enough To The Insurgents

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 03:58:00 GMT

Dennis Miller, moral midget:

“But here at home, we’re proving ourselves soft and the enemy knows it. What’s wrong in Iraq, quite frankly, is that we’re not brutal enough to the insurgents… But you know as well as I do, that if we don’t fight back, it will be the end of us. Now I think it’s hard to get your head around the fact that your country might have to destroy some folks, I know I found it unsettling when it first crept into my frontal lobes.”

(Via News Hounds.)

Worst. President. Ever.

Sun, 03 Dec 2006 04:54:32 GMT

Eric Foner, professor of history at Columbia University, in the Washington Post: “Historians are loath to predict the future. It is impossible to say with certainty how Bush will be ranked in, say, 2050. But somehow, in his first six years in office he has managed to combine the lapses of leadership, misguided policies and abuse of power of his failed predecessors. I think there is no alternative but to rank him as the worst president in U.S. history.”

(Via Think Progress.)

The Friedman Unit

Wed, 29 Nov 2006 17:14:58 GMT

Does Tom Friedman ever read his old stuff? The guy's an idiot.

On The Brink of Repeating History

Tue, 28 Nov 2006 05:12:23 GMT

"In speaking of the consequences of a precipitate withdrawal, I mentioned that our allies would lose confidence in America.

"Far more dangerous, we would lose confidence in ourselves. Oh, the immediate reaction would be a sense of relief that our men were coming home. But as we saw the consequences of what we had done, inevitable remorse and divisive recrimination would scar our spirit as a people..."--Richard Nixon, 1969 (Neo-neocon)

(Via Pajamas Media.)

Pajamas Media acts like this is some kind of good thing. But how many tens of thousands of Americans and Vietnamese died over the 5 years between the time Nixon took office and when he was driven from it in disgrace? Did Nixon do anything to give us "confidence in ourselves?" The dire consequences of what we have done don't come from not realizing we've made a hideous mistake and trying to find the best way to get out of it. The terrible consequences come from acting like everything we do is right, and pursuing a course that is so clearly a disaster.

Glenn Reynolds vs. The Facts, Part 2,347,432

Sun, 26 Nov 2006 02:05:47 GMT

The facts continue their domination of the game.


(Via Oliver Willis - Like Kryptonite To Stupid.)

U.S. Finds Iraq Insurgency Has Funds to Sustain Itself

Sun, 26 Nov 2006 00:41:09 GMT

The insurgency is raising tens of millions of dollars a year from oil smuggling, kidnapping, counterfeiting, corrupt charities and other crimes, a classified U.S. report has concluded.

(Via The New York Times > Home Page.)

It's the American Taxpayer that's going broke.

Molly Ivins: Thanks—No, Seriously

Thu, 23 Nov 2006 18:29:48 GMT

In keeping with the season, we can start by expressing our appreciation to the right-wingers for the chuckles they’ve given us since Election Day.


(Via Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines.)

Never send a Republican to do a Democrat’s job

Wed, 22 Nov 2006 16:58:59 GMT

Perhaps the biggest flaw of Republican rule of Congress wasn’t the misguided legislation, unhinged rhetoric, or dictatorial style; it was the GOP’s inability to actually govern. Even when lawmakers have no real policy agenda to pursue, there are certain measures Congress needs to pass — such as a federal budget.

In this respect, 2006 Republicans were almost comical in their ineptitude. Spending bills were nearly two months overdue by the time the election rolled around, and now the outgoing congressional majority is giving up and asking Dems to clean up their mess.

Republicans vacating the Capitol are dumping a big spring cleaning job on Democrats moving in. GOP leaders have opted to leave behind almost a half-trillion-dollar clutter of unfinished spending bills.

There’s also no guarantee that Republicans will pass a multibillion-dollar measure to prevent a cut in fees to doctors treating Medicare patients.

The bulging workload that a Republican-led Congress was supposed to complete this year but is instead punting to 2007 promises to consume time and energy that Democrats had hoped to devote to their own agenda upon taking control of Congress in January for the first time in a dozen years.

It’d be amusing if it weren’t so sad. As Kevin Drum put it, “It’s like watching a bunch of first graders stomp off the playground after the teacher has told them to break up a fight.”

(Via Crooks and Liars.)

One Of These Things Just Doesn't Belong...

Mon, 20 Nov 2006 20:10:43 GMT

Senator Russ Feingold on our misplaced priorities in a post-9/11 world:

Feingold said that he supported the war in Afghanistan, saying that he thought it was necessary and was handled well.

"Then out of the blue came Iraq. But that just didn't seem to fit with 9/11," he said.

Feingold displayed a list, consisting of countries where al-Qaeda was operating, that he said circulated around the White House after 9/11. He said that of the 45 countries on that list, Iraq was not one.

"Iraq was not even on the White House list -- just to give you an idea of how bizarre (the decision to go to war in Iraq) is," Feingold said.

(Via Daily Kos.)


Mon, 20 Nov 2006 01:04:59 GMT

AP - Attorney General Alberto Gonzales contended Saturday that some critics of the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program were defining freedom in a way that poses a "grave threat" to U.S. security. Gonzales was the second administration official in two days to attack a federal judge's ruling last August that the program was unconstitutional. Vice President Dick Cheney on Friday called the ruling "an indefensible act of judicial overreaching." Gonzales told about 400 cadets from the Air Force Academy's political science and law classes that some see the program as on the verge of stifling freedom rather that protecting the country.

"But this view is shortsighted," he said. "Its definition of freedom — one utterly divorced from civic responsibility — is superficial and is itself a grave threat to the liberty and security of the American people."

Gonzales and Cheney's attacks on the court order came as the administration was urging the lame-duck Congress to approve legislation authorizing the warrantless surveillance. The bill's chances are in doubt, however, because of Democratic opposition in the Senate, where 60 votes are required to end debate and vote.


November 19, 1863

Sun, 19 Nov 2006 19:19:26 GMT

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

(Via Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal.)

for I was hungry, and ye gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink

Fri, 17 Nov 2006 21:41:09 GMT

or not. Whatever you didn't do for the least of my brothers, it was probably a paperwork error.
A key government report on hunger in America has eliminated that word from its findings, but not because there are no longer people in need of nutrition.

...Last year, families without enough money to buy food, or where parents skip meals so their children can eat were labeled as having "food insecurity with hunger" and now they simply have "very low food security."

...Hundreds of miles away in Chicago, at the Holy Family Food Pantry, the people lining up for assistance know exactly what hunger means.

"I'm running out of food, so I got to find somewhere to get some food," Terry Sutton said.

But according to the new government report, that doesn't necessarily make him hungry.

Sutton and others like him have "very low food security."

People who have "very low food security" die.

Just so we're clear what doesn't bother the people who have been running things for the last four years.

I don't believe in the vengeful God they do.

Sometimes when I read what they've been doing I wish I did.(image)

(Via Sisyphus Shrugged.)

Presidential Speeches Tag Cloud

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 22:03:40 GMT

This is a very nice use of the tag cloud concept: a cloud that shows the most prominent words used in Stae of the Union (and other) speeches over the last couple centuries. It's interesting to see how different things are emphasized over time. The times change, and presidents empasize different things. Fascinating.