Notable Quotables - 05/06/1996


The Sinister Gas Price Conspiracy...

"Good evening. It's the question every American driver is asking with every trip to the pump. Why is the price of gasoline going up and up and up. Is it the free market at work, the law of supply and demand? Or, is it greed, or possibly even something more sinister?"
- Dan Rather, April 30.


...But If Clinton Raises Beef Prices, It's Helpful

"President Clinton is giving some election-year help to America's ranchers and farmers. The President took action today to try to boost cattle prices, which have fallen to their lowest level in ten years."
- Rather, same show, same night.


"A CBS News exclusive. The hush-hush plan afoot in Congress that could make your milk prices soar....CBS News has been told that a secret deal is making its way through Congress that would increase the additives in your milk and increase the retail price of milk about 40 cents a gallon."
- Rather on dairy-state Republicans' plans to help dairy farmers, February 2 Evening News.


Let's Raise the Minimum Wage to Cover Higher Beef Prices

Give 'Em a Raise, Bob
Republicans may abandon Dole and agree to raise the minimum wage. It's O.K., say some economists
- April 29 Time headline

"They need to raise the minimum wage and I don't think the argument that some low-income people will be put out of work will wash. I think it's long overdue."
- Los Angeles Times senior correspondent and former Washington Bureau Chief Jack Nelson in the weekly Washington newspaper The Hill, April 3.

"Yes, it is time to increase the minimum wage....considering the plight of the working poor, and the annual increase in the cost of living, a minimum of five dollars an hour or so is hardly outlandish."
- Time contributor and former Deputy Washington Bureau Chief Laurence Barrett, same issue.

"This is a moral issue. I wouldn't pay anybody less than five dollars and twenty-five cents an hour or fifteen cents an hour to do anything."
- NPR reporter Nina Totenberg, April 27 Inside Washington.

"You know President Clinton said, I think it was in the State of the Union, Alan [Murray], that the average Congressman, in Washington, made more money during the period of time that the government was shut down than a minimum wage worker makes in a year. Now that's a pretty compelling political case to make."
- PBS Washington Week in Review host Ken Bode, April 26.


How Many Are There?

"About 3.7 million Americans, wage-earning Americans, are paid the minimum wage or less."
- ABC economics correspondent Tyler Mathisen, April 23 Good Morning America.

"On Capitol Hill today, the minimum wage and how best to embarrass your opponent. For ten million Americans, it's a very personal issue."
- Peter Jennings, April 23 World News Tonight.

"In fact, only about 330,000 employees, most of them part-timers, today work for the minimum."
- ABC reporter Bob Zelnick, April 24 Good Morning America.

"An estimated 9.7 million Americans make the minimum wage or close to it."
- ABC anchor Carole Simpson, April 28 World News Sunday.


Jim Wright: One Warm, Wry, Wise Crook

"Like the man, Mr. Wright's book is courtly, gentle, warm, wry, wise - and florid. But this is not a volume without virtue, just as Mr. Wright was not, as Mr. Gingrich portrayed him, a man without virtue....his role in winning peace in Central America is beyond debate....There are also some striking asides about politics, and about the personal price of politics. More than anything, Mr. Wright is an expert in that. He, after all, was the man who gave back to the House, as `a propitiation for this season of ill will,' the job he sought so lustily, enjoyed so thoroughly, departed so tragically - and, this book shows us, misses so desperately."
- Boston Globe Wash. Bureau Chief David Shribman on Wright's Balance of Power, April 21 New York Times.


Welcome to Willie Horton Week in Review

"Judge Baer is a judge who recently ruled that a lot of evidence in a big drug trial was inadmissible and immediately the Republicans seized on Judge Baer, perhaps thinking he might be another Willie Horton."
- NPR reporter Mara Liasson on the PBS show Washington Week in Review, March 22.

"He invalidated the search of a car in a drug-ridden neighborhood and he's really become the poster child, or the Willie Horton, if you will, of the presidential campaign so far."
- New York Times legal reporter Linda Greenhouse on Judge Baer on the same program, April 5.

"So federal judges are going to become this year's Willie Horton?"
- Washington Week in Review moderator Ken Bode, April 26.

The Unabomber: One Courageous Anonymous Killer

"It could be argued that the Unabomber at least had the courage of his convictions. He - again, assuming the feds have the right man - lived in `wild nature.' He battled the machine."
- Los Angeles Times columnist Peter H. King, April 10.


Educate Illegal Aliens or Else

"The Supreme Court has held that such children have a constitutional right to a public education and many critics say the Republican plan is a mean-spirited political gesture that will throw hundreds of thou- sands of children into the hands of violent street gangs."
- New York Times reporter Eric Schmitt, April 9.


Saving the World

"I wanted to be a journalist because I wanted to change the world. Yes, I came of age in the '60s. All of the people I knew had a social conscience, and wanted to make a difference, no matter what profession they aspired to. It was hell in the '60s; between the civil rights demonstrations, the anti-war protests, the assassinations, the divisions between black and white, rich and poor, young and old, it seemed sometimes the country would be torn asunder. And it was my belief that as a journalist, and especially as a minority journalist, I could communicate what the problems were to the American people in a compelling fashion and I felt that once they were aware of why people were protesting, why they were angry, they could understand the problems and we could begin to solve them. All I dreamed of, as corny as it sounds, was Superman's logo: `truth, justice, and the American way,' for all people in this country."
- ABC's Carole Simpson accepting an award at the April 2 Radio & TV News Directors Foundation dinner, on C-SPAN.

True Confessions About the Republican Primaries

"For a really good time, take the Candidate Rate-O-Matic quiz, which asks a series of multiple choice questions about where you stand on the issues...When you're done AllPolitics sorts the candidates according to how well they match your views, giving each a score. The closer to zero, the closer the match. I took the test and couldn't get a candidate within 3,000, which isn't surprising, I guess, since (full disclosure) I'm a Democrat just like everyone else I know in the mainstream media."
- Syndicated cyberspace columnist Daniel Akst on Republican presidential candidates on the Time-CNN web site, March 18 Los Angeles Times.