"Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it." --John Adams
"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." --French economist, statesman and author Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)
"You don't make the poor richer by making the rich poorer." --Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
"Wars in old times were made to get slaves. The modern implement of imposing slavery is debt." --American poet Ezra Pound (1885-1972)
"Until the 1930s, the Constitution served as a major constraint on federal economic interventionism. The government's powers were understood to be just as the framers intended: few and explicitly enumerated in our founding document and its amendments. Search the Constitution as long as you like, and you will find no specific authority conveyed for the government to spend money on global-warming research, urban mass transit, food stamps, unemployment insurance, Medicaid, or countless other items in the stimulus package and, even without it, in the regular federal budget." --Independent Institute senior fellow Dr. Robert Higgs
"Americans have long ago abandoned respect for the constitutional limitations placed on the federal government. Our elected representatives represent that disrespect." --economist Walter E. Williams in a worthwhile read
"[W]hat could possibly be more reckless than spending a trillion dollars you don't have on a plan that you have no evidence will work? What could be more irresponsible than doubling the generational debt for your partisan pet projects in a time of crisis? And what could be more selfish than stifling debate by deploying fear to induce voters into supporting it all?" --columnist David Harsanyi
"A tell-tale sign in politics is when people get angry. It means they are losing the argument. Obama is angry." --The Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti
"I think this is the introduction to a disaster. We're going to face a big inflation. Everybody talks about how much we need to do now. But no one talks about how we're going to unwind what we're doing now. Keynesian theory is wrong. It doesn't work." --economist Allen Meltzer of Carnegie Mellon University
"[Sens.] Specter, Collins and Snowe sold out their 38 GOP colleagues and every Republican member of the House by cutting a deal and giving Harry Reid the 60 votes he needed for this 'trillion dollar turkey' to go through. In doing so, they not only assured the socialist-Democrats now running the country a huge and expensive political and legislative victory, but they stopped dead in its tracks the momentum Republicans had been successfully building with the American people against this proposal. Why, oh why, did we ever stop the practice of tar-and-feathering?" --columnist Chuck Muth
"President Obama has started to play the 'catastrophe' card to sell his economic stimulus plan, using [last week's] terrible January jobs report to predict doom unless Congress acts. ...[T]he tragedy of this first great effort of the Obama Presidency is what a lost opportunity it is. ... The stage was ... set for the popular President to forge a bipartisan consensus that combined ideas from both parties. A major cut in the corporate tax favored by Republicans could have been added to Democratic public works spending for a quick political triumph that might have done at least some economic good. Instead, Mr. Obama chose to let House Democrats write the bill, and they did what comes naturally: They cleaned out their intellectual cupboards and wrote a bill that is 90% social policy, and 10% economic policy. ... So there it is: Mr. Obama is now endorsing a sort of reductionist Keynesianism that argues that any government spending is an economic stimulus." --The Wall Street Journal
The government is here to help: "[T]he federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back to life. It is only government that can break the vicious cycle where lost jobs lead to people spending less money, which leads to even more layoffs. And breaking that cycle is exactly what the plan that's moving through Congress is designed to do." --President Barack Obama
Not poll tested: "[T]he question I think that the American people are asking is: Do you just want government to do nothing, or do you want it to do something? If you want it to do something, then we can have a conversation. But doing nothing -- that's not an option, from my perspective." --Barack Obama
So there: "Number one, when they say, 'Well, why are we spending $800 billion [when] we've got this huge deficit?' -- first of all, I found this deficit when I showed up, number one. I found this national debt, doubled, wrapped in a big bow waiting for me as I stepped into the Oval Office." --Barack Obama **"And now that I'm president, damned if I'm not going to double it again, and any Republican who stands in my way is a partisan!"--James Taranto
The BIG Lie: "I know that there are a lot of folks out there who've been saying, 'Oh, this is pork, and this is money that's going to be wasted,' and et cetera, et cetera. Understand, this bill does not have a single earmark in it, which is unprecedented for a bill of this size. ... There aren't individual pork projects that members of Congress are putting into this bill." --Barack Obama
At least he's (sort of) honest: "If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, if we stand up there and we really make the tough decisions, there's still a 30 percent chance we're going to get it wrong." --Vice President Joe Biden **"You know, I don't remember exactly what Joe was referring to, not surprisingly."--Barack Obama
Non Compos Mentis: "I do think that there was some spending in the [stimulus] bill that was makeup for a starvation diet under the Bush administration, some important priorities of our party [read: pork]." --Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Clueless: "And let me say this to all of the chattering class that so much focuses on those little, tiny, yes, porky amendments: the American people really don't care." --Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Grammar challenged, among other things: "Well, there is no very good approach because, frankly, a philosophy of let the private market do whatever it wants, don't regulate capital, keep capital -- keep the, the government out of it -- Alan Greenspan acknowledged, the leader of that philosophy, it caused a lot of problems. And we now have to try and fix them." --Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)
Sympathetic questions: "How do you prevent the lesson from being that, no matter how lofty the goals of the new guy coming in, Washington wins, in the end?" --NBC's Brian Williams to Obama
Do something: "The debate on Capitol Hill has been all about the size of the stimulus. Should it be merely big? Bigger? A behemoth? But there's another school of thought that's getting less attention. Call them the do-nothings. In these free-spending times, there's a growing movement among economists who say the best way out of this recession is to do nothing. Nothing at all." --ABC's Bill Weir, who thinks little or no government action would be a bad thing
This just in: "George Stephanopoulos has never advised Rahm Emanuel nor anyone else in the administration." --ABC News spokeswoman Emily Lenzner **Should there be any question?
From the Sick Sycophants: "What a mind he has, and I love his ability to do it on television. I love to think with him." --MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who's father didn't hug him enough
Off the deep end: "And tonight, former Vice President Dick Cheney on the prospects of future terrorism here. When he was in office, we kind of had to take this from him. He is in office no longer, so we don't. He has caused far more terror in this country in the last seven years than any terrorist." --MSNBC's Keith Olbermann
Step 1: Pay Your Taxes: "How to Avoid a Tom Daschle Tax Problem" --The New York Times
We Blame Global Warming: "Media Worldwide Face Climate of Fear, Report Says" --Associated Press
Help Wanted: "San Francisco Officials Seek Toilet Torcher" --MSNBC.com
Everything Seemingly Is Spinning Out of Control: "Court: Giant Inflatable Rat Has Free-Speech Rights" --MSNBC.com
News You Can Use: "Losing Sleep? Don't Stash Your Money Under the Mattress Advises TD Waterhouse" --TD Bank Financial Group press release
Bottom Stories of the Day: "PETA Compares Kennel Club to KKK" --New Zealand Herald
(Thanks to The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto)
Burn down the village...: "Being a socialist is no longer defined by how much you think we should tax the richest Americans, but by being unwilling to give virtually unlimited amounts of money to failed executives of failed businesses. ... Barack Obama ... is not a socialist. He is trying to do something similar to what President Roosevelt did more than 70 years ago, to save capitalism, not destroy it." --Columbia University assistant professor Lincoln Mitchell
Skin pulled a little too tight: "[Obama's] intelligence is so great and his spirit is so great, I believe he will be able to do as much if not more than anyone could possibly do. ... He brings something more in his spirit than maybe another president could be even with the same intelligence. ... Republicans almost killed me. ... I try to be charitable and there are some really good Republicans, but I just don't understand how anyone would want to be a Republican. I just can't figure it. I don't understand. If you're poor, if you're any kind of minority -- gay, black, Latino, anything. If you're not a rich -- I don't know. If you're not a rich born-again-Christian, I don't get it." --singer Cher
From the gun grabbers: "[T]his [is a] great moment of opportunity ... to have conversations with people, instead of screaming matches ... over what is the best way to keep the American people safe. Nobody wants to repeal the Second Amendment, and nobody wants to keep you out of the deer woods, but wouldn't it be nice if your children didn't have to worry about being mowed down by an assault weapon when they turn the corner?" --Bill Clinton on a problem that isn't exactly epidemic
"If he'd stuck around Congress a little longer, President Obama might have learned just how messy the legislative process can get without strong executive leadership. Now he's stuck trying to convince Americans that his radioactive crap sandwich is just what the doctor ordered. Good luck with that." --radio talk-show host Laura Ingraham
"Many actually believed Obama's own hype. This was the moment for this, that and the other thing. This was the time when we, as Americans, were going to have our cake and eat it too. Future generations were going to look back and remember how Republicans and Democrats, cats and dogs, Klingons and Romulans came together and marched to the sunny uplands of history, where shopping carts have no wobbly wheels; airplane food is free, delicious and filling; and we get all of our energy from 100 percent renewable Loch Ness Monster poop." --National Review editor Jonah Goldberg
"I got a little muddled over two adjoining newspaper clippings -- one on the stimulus, the other on those octuplets in California -- and for a brief moment the two stories converged. Everyone's hammering that mom -- she's divorced, unemployed, living in a small house with parents who have a million bucks' worth of debt, and she's already got six kids. So she has in vitro fertilization to have eight more. But isn't that exactly what the Feds have done? Last fall, they gave birth to $850 billion of bailout they couldn't afford and didn't have enough time to keep an eye on, and now, four months later, they're going to do it all over again, but this time they want trillionuplets. Barney and Nancy represent the in vitro fertilization of the federal budget. And it's the taxpayers who'll get stuck with the diapers." --columnist Mark Steyn
"Lately, it seems every time I turn around I hear about some politician or bureaucrat who is absolutely indispensable. As often as not, these people are talking about themselves. And, frankly, if this keeps up, I'm going to have to stop turning around." --columnist Burt Prelutsky
In Hawaii, a billion-dollar Navy warship has run aground, and they can't get it unstuck. Its name? The USS Economy.
The economy is so bad right now Barack Obama's new slogan is "Spare Change You Can Believe In."
The jobless rate has jumped to 7.6 percent, the worst since 1974, and economists are now worried this could lead to a resurgence of disco.
It looks like more than 13,000 people were caught up in that Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. You know what a Ponzi scheme is? That's where you throw good money after bad, or as the government calls it, a stimulus package.
It came out today that the House Democratic Caucus spent $500,000 of taxpayer money for retreats at luxury resorts and spas -- though Democrats say that the time was used for "strategic planning for the country." Really? Then what's the Capitol building for?
President Obama, getting very tough now, has imposed a $500,000 salary cap for executives getting federal bailout money. And, listen to this: Now on weekends, they can only play miniature golf.
See, the whole theory behind this salary cap is if you're not performing well, and you're taking taxpayer money, then that should be reflected in lower wages. Of course, under that criteria, everybody in Congress should get like, what, two bucks an hour?
Veritas vos Liberabit!
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus, et Fidelis!
Mark Alexander, Publisher, for The Patriot's editors and staff.