Defacing Obama's Photo Embarrassment to a College?

Plus Rush the Racist? and Why Won't Israel Talk to Group Committed to Its Annihilation

Defacing Obama's Photo Embarrassment to a College? Tell it to Bush

"Unchecked fervor, of course, can be a raw and fearsome thing. Last year, the Young Conservatives embarrassed the university by throwing eggs at a picture of Mr. Obama ('He'll throw away your nest egg,' was the topical message lost to history) on national television. T-shirts bearing the legend 'Beat the Hell Outta Obama,' an ad hominem twist on a football slogan, did little to improve matters." - Michael Brick, October 16 report on Obama visiting the conservative campus Texas A&M.

Shocker: Thomas Friedman Brings the Awesome

"If you want to see the true essence of America, visit any U.S. military outpost in Iraq or Afghanistan. You will meet young men and women of every race and religion who work together as one, far from their families, motivated chiefly by their mission to keep the peace and expand the borders of freedom. So for all these reasons - and so you understand that I will never hesitate to call on American soldiers where necessary to take the field against the enemies of peace, tolerance and liberty - I accept this peace prize on behalf of the men and women of the U.S. military: the world's most important peacekeepers." - Columnist Thomas Friedman, October 11.

"Balky Political Machinery" Also Known as Freedom, Democracy

"In the past decade, in fact, authorities have moved against air pollution problems with a tenacity that some environmentalists in developed nations, pitted against industry lobbyists and balky political machinery, can only envy." - Michael Wines in Beijing, October 17.

Maureen Dowd's Dan Brown Moment

"In the end, as with 'The Da Vinci Code,' there's no payoff. Brown should stop worrying about unfinished pyramids and worry about unfinished novels. At least Spielberg and Lucas gave us an Ark and swirling, dissolving humans. We don't get any ancient wisdom that 'will profoundly change the world as you know it' - just a lot of New Agey piffle about how we are the gods we've been waiting for. (And a father-son struggle for global domination, as though we didn't get enough of that with the Bushes.)" - The last paragraph of columnist Maureen Dowd's cover story review of Dan Brown's novel "The Lost Symbol," October 11 Sunday Book Review.

Former NYC Mayor Giuliani's "Incendiary" (But True) Comments on His City

"Raising the specter of a return to higher crime and greater anxiety, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani warned on Sunday that New York could become a more dangerous city if Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is not re-elected in November....during the first of two campaign events alongside Mr. Bloomberg, he said that not long ago many parts of the city were gripped by 'the fear of going out at night and walking the streets.'....Mr. Giuliani made his blunt - and to some minds, incendiary - comments a day before Mr. Bloomberg, a two-term incumbent, was scheduled to be endorsed by the city's largest police officers' union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, according to two people told of the plans. It would be a big step in his quest to secure the strongest anti-crime credentials in the mayor's race." - Reporter David Chen, October 19.

Rush the Racist?

"Limbaugh went on television Monday morning with Jamie Gangel of MSNBC, insisting he's not such a bad fellow, and surely not a racist, but let's not lull ourselves into accepting the way he spews code words to his constituency. He is not about economic conservatism or political conservatism, which have an honorable place. The quivering anger toward President Obama is quite visceral in Dave Checketts's new best friend." - From sports columnist George Vecsey's October 13 story on Rush Limbaugh's bid.

Why Won't Israel Talk to Group Committed to Its Annihilation?

"If Hamas is ready to talk, and there are lots of different strands to Hamas, if Hamas is ready to talk, what is the problem?" - Foreign affairs columnist Roger Cohen, on the October 15 edition of the PBS talk show Charlie Rose.

GOP Reduced to Southerners Who Parrot What They See on Fox

"After recent defeats, Republicans are down to 40 members in the Senate and 177 in the House, or 40 percent in each chamber. They are largely reduced to the party's base of mostly Southern and rural states and beholden both to the conservative activists there and to the cable television celebrities those activists follow. Few centrists remain. And since many centrists have been defeated by conservatives in party primaries, the survivors - or any Republicans considering compromise - operate in fear of similar challenges." - Reporter Jackie Calmes, October 16.