Peretz's nervy question:

Wow. It takes some “nerve” indeed, to ask this:

I know that the president believes himself a good man. My nervy query to him is: “Does he believe America to be a good country?”

THIS takes some nerve, too:

For the first time since 1991, the [Dalai Lama] will visit Washington this week and not meet with the president. Since 1991, he has been here 10 times. Most times the meetings have been “drop-in” visits at the White House. The last time he was here, in 2007, however, George W. Bush became the first sitting president to meet with him publicly, at a ceremony at the Capitol in which he awarded the Dalai Lama the Congressional Gold Medal, Congress’s highest civilian award.


What I mean is,
it took some nerve for George W. Bush to do what no other president before or since has done: publicly bring forward the Dalai Lama as a champion of Human Rights. But then appeasement was never Bush’s style:

The U.S. decision to postpone the meeting appears to be part of a strategy to improve ties with China that also includes soft-pedaling criticism of China’s human rights and financial policies as well as backing efforts to elevate China’s position in international institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund. Obama administration officials have termed the new policy “strategic reassurance,” which entails the U.S. government taking steps to convince China that it is not out to contain the emerging Asian power.

Before a visit to China in February, for example, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said advocacy for human rights could not “interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate-change crisis and the security crisis” — a statement that won her much goodwill in Beijing. U.S. Treasury officials have also stopped accusing China of artificially deflating the value of its currency to make its exports more attractive. (Italics mine; things look so different when one is actually in power, don’t they?) -admin]

Yes, it takes nerves and balls to be a Human Rights and Liberty sort of president. To appease, soft-pedal and hang with Anti-Semites? Not so much:

The Obama team clearly lacks an internal warning system to identify when it’s going drastically off course. And the president plainly lacks the gut instinct to figure it out for himself — as well as savvy advisers with enough influence to steer him clear of fiascos like Honduras.

I’m feeling mildly distracted by a few things going on over here, so let’s have a post full of quotes – and you’ll have to go to the link to figure out who said them!

1) “Goodbye, Dalai!”

2) “I must say, that is some truly impressive toadying”

3) “Angela Merkel’s targeted, small stimulus, the one economists said will be a disaster, has proven itself effective according to Boston Consulting Group Survey:

Berlin – The German economic stimulus package is seen as highly effective in combating the effects of the global recession and stabilizing the country’s economy. A recent survey by the Boston Consulting Group found that the measures implemented in Germany were effectively stimulating domestic demand and lacked protectionist tendencies. “

4 ) “Privately, Mr. Obama’s economic advisers are sifting options for a new package of tax cuts and other job creation measures to be unveiled in next year’s State of the Union address — or earlier if pressure for action becomes irresistible.”

5) “3 Americans win the Nobel Prize in Medicine, and I don’t suppose that creates an occasion to talk about how our health care system might not be so terrible. Does it?”

6)”if you happen to be someone who was giddy about the president of the United States having a shoe thrown at his head, maybe you should also be a little hesitant to play the “the president’s critics are anti-American” card this time around.”

7)”‘The White House attempted to use federal agencies for political gain,’ I blurted out.”

*8) (A must-read)

“After John F. Kennedy was elected, President Dwight D. Eisenhower spent many hours with him. One of the key lessons was this: “All the decisions you will make,” said Eisenhower, “will be hard decisions.” Dwight went on to explain that the easy things will be tended to by cabinet secretaries and others of the administration with executive authority. But the tough ones will always be kicked to higher levels to be decided. At every level, the decisions become more and more difficult until, at last, the presidential inbox is filled with nothing but the most difficult items.

Fortunately for Kennedy and the country, he already had some experience facing very difficult decisions and for the most part was prepared for the inbox. Yet he was not so proud that he never asked his predecessor for advice. The photo at left won the 1962 Pulitzer Prize. It shows JFK and DDE walking at Camp David during the Cuban Missile Crisis after the Bay of Pigs fiasco (see endnote). Kennedy had asked Eisenhower to come there to give advice. It’s worth noting that Eisenhower was a Republican but it didn’t matter to Kennedy.”

9) “The Democrats and their cheerleaders in the punditocracy used to scream for President George W. Bush to listen to his generals. Then Bush got better generals, listened to them, and avoided defeat in Iraq. ‘Obama, it seems, is bent on ignoring his generals. . .The public already trusts the generals more than Obama to make decisions about Afghanistan.”

10) “Now, with evidence of apparent theft of federal grant money and blatantly partisan political work, what else must be exposed before Congress gets off the dime and conducts a full-fledged investigation?”

11) “Feel better about that giant database of sensitive health care information that the tax-and-spend Democrats want to create when they nationalize health care? The feds holding your family’s most personal information? What could possibly go wrong?

12) “White House negotiating for public option behind the scenes

13) “Who says do nothing? The GOP plan calls for elimination of the walls that separate health insurance companies across state lines greatly increasing competition, as well as tort reform since it is malpractice insurance that is driving up healthcare costs. Obamacare is a disease, not a cure. It will lead to rationing and the lowering of quality. It will make healthcare more expensive, not cheaper.”

14) “And he presented various priests, Biblical quotations, and movie footage from “Jesus of Nazareth” to make the argument that Christianity requires socialism.”

15) “There is an enormous difference between a few dozen people voluntarily giving up their worldly goods for communal living, and forcing people to participate in such a society against their will. The first brings freedom for those who choose it. The second, historically, has brought tyranny, poverty, slaughter and the gulag.”

16) “…if we’re living only for ourselves it’s not going to get better. The ego grows by staring at it.”

17) “Norway’s consistently high rating for desirable living standards, is, in large part, the result of the discovery of offshore oil and gas deposits in the late 1960s.”

18) “The new resolution, championed by the Obama administration, has a number of disturbing elements. It emphasizes that “the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities . . .” which include taking action against anything meeting the description of “negative racial and religious stereotyping.” It also purports to “recognize . . . the moral and social responsibilities of the media” and supports “the media’s elaboration of voluntary codes of professional ethical conduct” in relation to “combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”

19) “Is Virginia denying military voters the chance to vote in its state election this November?”

20) (These are connected)

He began, “I hate George Bush, but . . .” — then he criticized the production. He had to assure me, you see, that he was not a Neanderthal or prude. He needed to assure me that he did not have horns and a tail. So he said, “I hate George Bush” — out of nowhere, to a complete stranger

(and)

Suffice it to say that this injection of politics into all things apolitical represents a kind of “mission creep” of the Left. Been on any federal-government websites lately? I’ve been to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service site only to find a government agency attacking the “failed policies of the last eight years.” I work in the environmental field and have never seen such overtly political content in my entire 20-year career. . .

21) …the so-called stimulus has not worked at all, and the December projections of Larry Summers and the administration’s economic team have been shown to be completely off base. The structural imbalances that exist in the world economy are apparently coming home to roost, and it is not yet clear what can be done to restore a more stable economic situation.”

22) “The totality of his life has been the promotion of homosexuality, and much of it within education,” says King. “He has focused on nothing else during the last two decades, and that is not the focus that our schools need to be on.”

23) “Given the current economic and political climate, it’s not surprising that the globe’s climate ranks dead last when Americans are asked to name the “most important issue facing the country right now.”

24) “Whereas Bush was excoriated by the left whenever he cited God, Obama’s religious imagery receives silence from both sides of the aisle. The left won’t criticize him, while the right ignores any politician invoking the Almighty. But it’s how he invokes the Lord’s name, so to speak, that’s unprecedented.”

25) “These ideas linked a series of associations. Mary’s womb-blood that nourished the unborn Christ-child became the milk that later fed Him at her breast. This in turn became Christ’s redemptive blood, which worshipers drank like milk as they suckled at His wounded side. This cleft led to a womblike cavity wherein Christians could take refuge to be formed into other Christs.”

26) “Words to live by: ‘Turn off the news!’

<27) "I confess I was once of the same opinion, or at least affected to be. I don’t know if I ever really disliked Bruckner’s music, but I certainly knew I should dislike it, and set about doing so with a sense of mission.”

28) (Late addition):
“Parent Pam Harris didn’t choose to lead a revolt against Big Labor. ‘We’re not boat-rockers. We struggle to keep it together. There’s little time to deal with union organizing and gag orders and privacy invasions of the state. Do you know how blown away I am that a bureaucrat is phoning me and sending me e-mail?’”

About Elizabeth Scalia

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