Oil Spill Plan: Nationalize Industry, Execute the Bosses
"Why doesn't the President go in there, nationalize an industry and get the job done for the people? There's a national interest in this, not just a BP interest.... In China, it's a more brutal society, a more brutal society, Kate, but they execute people for this, major industrial leaders that commit crimes like this."
- MSNBC's Chris Matthews to Kate Jones, environmental reporter for the left-wing Mother Jones magazine, May 17 Hardball. [Audio/video (1:21): Windows Media  | MP3 audio ]
What's "Real Excuse" for Afghan War - and No Bushisms!
"When are you going to get out of Afghanistan? Why are we continuing to kill and die there? What is the real excuse - and don't give us this Bushism, 'If we don't go there, they'll all come here!'"
- Longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas to President Obama at his May 27 press conference. [Audio/video (0:19): Windows Media  | MP3 audio ]
Slamming Arizona = "Tear Down This Wall"
Host Jake Tapper: "President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, came to the White House and he came to Congress. And in both places he criticized the Arizona immigration law....Now I'm the spring chicken at the table, but I cannot remember a head of state from another country coming to the Congress and criticizing American laws."
ABC's Sam Donaldson: "President Bill Clinton went to the Great Hall of the People and when Jiang Zemin was President of China. I heard President Clinton say, 'What you did in Tiananmen Square was wrong.'... I'm not comparing a massacre in Tiananmen Square to what's happening in Arizona. But you raised the subject of having someone come to another country and lecture them...."
ABC's Cokie Roberts: "Our presidents certainly do it. Israel about settlements. You know, 'Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.'"
- ABC's This Week, May 23.
ABC Touts "Poignant" Question; NBC Kid: "Have a Heart"
"Illegals in America: The Mexican president criticizes Arizona, and a child's fear brings a new focus to the debate....We turn next to the extraordinary day in the polarized debate about illegal immigrants in America....The complex problem reached right into a second grade classroom, where the First Lady had to respond to a child's poignant question."
- ABC anchor Diane Sawyer on World News, May 19, talking about the young girl who told Michelle Obama: "My mom, she says that Barack Obama is taking everybody away that doesn't have some papers." [Audio/video (0:45): Windows Media  | MP3 audio ]
Telemundo correspondent Maria Celeste Arraras: "They are teens you might see anywhere: 14-year-old Kathy, a competitive swimmer; 16-year-old Matt, a star soccer player; 19-year-old Jonathan, a pre-med student. All three born in the United States and raised in South Florida, living the American dream until three years ago when a family secret turned into a federal case. Their mother Claudia, illegal in the U.S., was arrested for violating immigration laws by overstaying her visa....[to kids] What would you say has been the hardest thing of having your mom away?"
Matt Ramirez: "Not having a mother figure there, you know, looking over you and helping you out."
Kathy Ramirez: "I have to wake up knowing that my mom is not gonna be here...."
Arraras: "Some people may say, 'Well, this is a very sad case but too bad, your mother should not have come here in the first place.' What, what would you say to that?"
Kathy Ramirez: "Have a heart."
- NBC's Today, May 26, kicking off a full day of immigration coverage on NBC, MSNBC, CNBC and Telemundo. [Audio/video (1:29): Windows Media  | MP3 audio ]
"Spectacular" Elena Kagan, Nina's "Superman"
"We know she [Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan] was a spectacularly successful dean at Harvard Law School where she was the first female dean - that she just moved the place, got it really moving again. Students loved her. She knocked heads on the faculty to get hires done. She was a spectacularly successful policy bureaucrat in the Clinton White House."
- NPR's Nina Totenberg on Inside Washington, May 14.
Legal correspondent Nina Totenberg: "In some ways, the descriptions of Elena Kagan as dean sound a little bit like the beginning of the old Superman TV series."
Introduction to 1950s version of Superman: "Superman, who can change the course of mighty rivers! Bend steel in his bare hands!"
Totenberg: "Translate that to Harvard, and you can almost hear the music. [Superman theme music in background] Kagan, who can raise money by the millions! Kagan, who can end the faculty wars over hiring! Kagan, who won the hearts of students!"
- Report on NPR's Morning Edition, May 18. [MP3 audio  (0:27)]
Horrified Textbooks Won't Tilt As Far to the Left
"The [Texas Board of Education's] new standards require that textbooks mention pillars of the conservative movement, like the Moral Majority, the National Rifle Association, and the Contract with America...with no liberal counter balance.... [to Texas education official] What do you say to people who say that you are, in essence, imposing your political and religious views on school children?"
- ABC correspondent Dan Harris on World News, May 21. [Audio/video (0:22) Windows Media  | MP3 audio ]
Worshipping at the Altar of Obama
"....What is the President really like on the job and off-hours, using what his best friend called 'a Rubik's Cube in his brain?' These questions are answered here for the first time. We see how a surprisingly cunning Obama took effective charge in Washington several weeks before his election....[Author Jonathan] Alter takes the reader inside the room as Obama prevents a fistfight involving a Congressman, coldly reprimands the military brass for insubordination, crashes the key meeting at the Copenhagen Climate Change conference, and bounces back after a disastrous Massachusetts election to redeem a promise that had eluded presidents since FDR...."
- From Simon & Schuster's promotional language  for The Promise: President Obama, Year One, a book released May 18, by Newsweek Senior Editor Jonathan Alter.
Post Picks Longtime Limbaugh Basher to Review New Bio...
"It might seem ominous for an intellectual movement to be led by a man who does not think creatively, who does not respect the other side of the argument and who frequently says things that are not intended as truth. But neither Limbaugh nor [biographer Zev] Chafets is troubled: 'Over the years, [Limbaugh] has endeavored to carry forward the banner of Ronaldus Maximus, which he always credits as 'Reaganism.' But as time moves on the memory of Reagan fades. It is Limbaugh's voice conservatives now identify with. For millions, conservatism is now Limbaughism.' That is Limbaugh's achievement. It is Chafets's story line. And it is American conservatism's problem."
- Ex-Bush speechwriter David Frum, author of a 2009 Newsweek cover story "Why Rush Is Wrong," in his May 25 Washington Post review  of Chafets' new biography of Limbaugh.
...While Times Sees "Stockholm Syndrome" at Work
"How much of a cheerleader is Mr. Chafets? 'Republican success in 2010 can be boiled down to two words: Rush Limbaugh,' he wrote in an op-ed article in the Times on Thursday....Mr. Chafets shoos unwanted facts and individuals out of the way relentlessly, in accordance with what seems like a case of Stockholm syndrome. He devotes little or no space to the Tea Party movement (it gets two pages), Sarah Palin (he calls her a lifelong Limbaugh fan and says that her best lines are borrowed from him) or even President George W. Bush ('Whatever happened to him, anyway?' Mr. Chafets asks)."
- New York Times critic Janet Maslin in her May 24 review .
"Cool Cucumber" Obama vs. Limbaugh the "Jerk"
"Up next, the right wing constantly goes to absurd extremes to demean President Obama. I mean absurd. They'll call him anything: Nazi, Soviet - they don't limit it. What do we make of it? Amid the madness, the President just stays cool as a cucumber. Is he too cool for his nasty, heated enemy?"
- Chris Matthews, May 20 Hardball. [Audio/video (0:19): Windows Media  | MP3 audio ]
Chris Matthews: "[The oil spill is] the scariest thing I've ever seen, and, you know, I don't know where to start. I mean, Halliburton. Sound familiar? Cheney. Cheney was head of Halliburton. When he got to be Vice President, when he was signed for Vice President, the oil company gave him a $34 million signing bonus to become Vice President...."
Host Jay Leno: "Now, what do you think of this Rush Limbaugh saying that environmentalists should clean this up, it's their fault?"
Matthews: "Well, he would say that. He's a jerk."
- NBC's Tonight Show, May 20.
Our Forces = Civilian-Killing "Kids with Joysticks"
"America's knickers are into a bunch to the point it's ready to throw everybody out because we're taking people to the Caribbean without giving them proper rights and putting them in prison - but having kids with joysticks in New Jersey and Las Vegas dropping predator bombs on civilians willy-nilly is a valid foreign policy!"
- Host Dylan Ratigan on MSNBC's The Dylan Ratigan Show, May 12. [Audio/video (0:50): Windows Media  | MP3 audio ]
It's Tin Foil Hat Time
"Do you think BP could end this oil gushing out of the ocean if they just blew up the well and tapped it, and they are not doing so because there's still money to be made from the oil coming out of the well?"
- Bill Maher on HBO's Real Time, May 21.
In Spite of Obama's "Disdain," Media Still There for Him
"[NBC's Chuck Todd] has a theory about Obama's frequent criticism of the 24/7 media culture. Once Obama was elected to the Senate in 2004, 'he didn't need to woo the press anymore. The press was there at the drop of a hat. To him, almost all the experience with the press is invasive....He's developed this disdain for us.'"
- Quote from a May 24 profile  of Todd by Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz.
"In one sense, the press, or at least some members of the press, have only themselves to blame. Obama treats them with contempt because he knows that when big tests come, they've always been on his side. There's no reason for him to think they won't be there in the future. 'Most of you covered me,' he told the media elite at the 2009 White House Correspondents' Association dinner. 'All of you voted for me.' That's the attitude coming out of the Oval Office every day. Why does Obama do it? Because he can."
- The Washington Examiner's Byron York in a May 25 column .
TV's Lost "Dovetailed" with Obama's "Youthful Sunshine"
"Finally, in the spring of 2007....Lost started making some sense. Which, for some, dovetailed nicely with the youthful sunshine that accompanied Barack Obama's election - the 'hopey-changey' stuff, to borrow a phrase from Sarah Palin."
- The Washington Post's Hank Stuever in a front-page preview  of Lost's series finale, May 21.
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