Notable Quotables - 01/02/2006

Horrified by "Big Brother" Bush

"On World News Tonight: Big Brother, the uproar over a secret presidential order giving the government unprecedented powers to spy on Americans....Today, we learned of a profound shift in policy that affects the civil liberties of Americans. The New York Times reported that the President secretly authorized the National Security Agency to monitor and record phone calls and e-mail messages of U.S. citizens in this country without having to get a warrant."
ABCs Bob Woodruff, World News Tonight, Dec. 16.

"Good evening, Im Bob Schieffer. Has the government been using its spy satellites to illegally eavesdrop on Americans?...It is against the law to wiretap or eavesdrop on the conversations of Americans in this country without a warrant from a judge, but the New York Times says that is exactly what the President secretly ordered the National Security Agency to do in the months after 9/11. The administration will neither confirm nor deny this story, but Congress is in a fury."
Bob Schieffer opening the Dec. 16 CBS Evening News.

Time to Impeach the "Dictator"

"Were seeing clearly now that Bush thought 9/11 gave him license to act like a dictator, or in his own mind, no doubt, like Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War....If the Democrats regain control of Congress, there may even be articles of impeachment introduced. Similar abuse of power was part of the impeachment charge brought against Richard Nixon in 1974."
Newsweeks Jonathan Alter in a "Web-exclusive commentary" posted Dec. 19 on his magazines Web site.

"If you listen carefully, you can hear the word impeachment. Two congressional Democrats are using it, and theyre not the only ones."
CNNs Jack Cafferty on The Situation Room, Dec. 20.

Substitute host Russ Mitchell: "Do you see this leading to impeachment proceedings against the President?"
Law professor Jonathan Turley: "Well, Russ, what I can tell you is that I do believe this is a federal crime and it would constitute an impeachable offense. The remaining question is whether that crime was committed, and whether there is a political will to actually look into whether this is a high crime and misdemeanor."
CBSs The Early Show, December 21


The Weasels Were Right
"Do you feel vindicated when you look at what Iraq is going through right now?"
CNNs Christiane Amanpour to French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, Anderson Cooper 360, Nov. 29.

Ashamed of Cheneys America
"Id like to put this personally, if I can. Youre a grandfather. Im a father. When we look at those girls and we think that the country were about to pass to them is a country where the Vice President cant say whether or not we have secret prisons around the world, whether water-boarding and mock executions is consistent with our values, and a country where the government is surveilling Americans without the warrant of a court is that the country we want to pass on to them?"
Co-anchor Terry Moran to Vice President Dick Cheney in an interview shown on ABCs Nightline, December 19.


Pushing for Rumsfelds Removal
"Its clear that there were some miscalculations going into this war, General....Clearly the way we would be greeted hasnt turned out to be the reality....So when it comes again to military commanders and troops, do you feel that they may be frustrated knowing that back home in Washington no ones lost their job over this?"
"And, again, these military people live by a code, among other things, of accountability, so do you think they want someone like Secretary [of Defense Donald] Rumsfeld or someone else to be held accountable?"
"Youve heard the drumbeat for awhile now and it seems to be intensifying again surrounding Secretary Rumsfeld. You think hes gonna hold on to his job?"
Co-host Matt Lauers questions to retired General Barry McCaffrey on NBCs Today, December 7.

"Dear Osama, Were So Sorry..."
"[Al Qaeda leader Osama] bin Laden, rightfully or wrongly, called out, called us for insulting his country [Saudi Arabia] by keeping 10,000 troops there for 10 years under the Bush, under the Clinton administration, coming into your administration, the Presidents. Are we sometimes to blame for the hell that weve raised? Thats all Im asking. Is it always the other guys fault, or do we do things that send signals that we are the enemy of those people?"
MSNBCs Chris Matthews to U.S. Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes on Hardball, December 13.


Save the Children, Soak the Rich
NPRs Nina Totenberg: "[The House of Representatives passed] some relatively minor tax cuts and fixes in the first part of the week and then came the big benefit for investors in capital gains and all of that. Now, you know, I would benefit from that...but I just think its immoral to do that, not to mention fiscally irresponsible, when youre cutting people who have nothing from children off of Medicaid and mothers who depend on childcare losing the childcare and cant work. And then what do they do? Go back on welfare? I mean, it is, I just think its immoral."
Newsweeks Evan Thomas: "...We need to raise taxes because we cannot our official house is not in order. Its going to hurt our children, and who better to raise them on than the super rich?"
Totenberg: "Right."
Exchange on Inside Washington, December 9.


41s Tax Hike Caused 90s Boom?
"True mandates for hard choices come from reaching out and compromising. Bushs father understood that. Breaking his own Read my lips promise at the 1988 Republican convention, he raised taxes in 1991 as part of a fiscal reform package that was essential to the 1990s economic boom. The tax hike probably cost the senior Bush a second term in 1992. But it was the right thing to do. Its very unlikely the son would do the same."
Newsweeks Evan Thomas and Richard Wolffe, Dec. 19.

CBSs Hopes Dashed by Reality

CBSs Gloria Borger: "Tomorrow morning, House Republicans are going to meet behind closed doors and they are going to tell their leaders in no uncertain terms, We never want Tom DeLay back as our majority leader. Theyre saying to their leaders, We want new elections in the early new year. And if you dont allow us to do it, we are going to force these elections on you. They believe that DeLays ethics issues have become a drag on all of them."
Anchor Bob Schieffer: "Do they have the votes to do this?"
Borger: "Yes, Bob."
CBS Evening News, December 6.


"We reported last night that a group of House Republicans was ready to start proceedings to permanently remove Tom DeLay from the House leadership because of his indictment on campaign money laundering charges. Well, the Republicans held a closed-door meeting today, but there was no effort to remove DeLay."
Schieffer on the December 7 CBS Evening News.

Happy Holidays, Get Out of Iraq!
"This holiday season thousands of Americans are serving overseas. And I know youve met with families of the fallen, I wonder in your experiences have you ever met with a mother whose own loss has made you question, even for a moment, whether the U.S. should be in Iraq?...Do you hope the U.S. will be out of Iraq by this time next year?"
ABCs Jessica Yellin to First Lady Laura Bush during a live segment about this years White House Christmas decorations, November 30 Good Morning America.


Hottest In 500,000 Years
"Life around the globe now appears to be under non-stop stress from the heat. NASA scientists say no natural climate cycles can explain it. The heat must be caused in large measure at least by greenhouse gas emissions.... NASA scientists now calculate, Robin, that the planet has at most ten years during which serious greenhouse gas emission cuts have to get well underway, or else by the time todays kids are reaching middle age, turning about 40, they say the Earth will start to experience temperatures higher than it has known in half a million years."
ABCs Bill Blakemore, Good Morning America, Dec. 15.


Marys Fractured Fairy Tale
"A thousand times, yes! The bogus questions about typeface used to discredit CBSs Bush/Guard story were a fraud, as Jonathan Alter wrote in reviewing my book, Truth and Duty....The overhyped typeface criticisms ingeniously hijacked the story and created a false controversy, which media competitors gleefully exploited as proof that CBS had fallen short. In fact, ALL the evidence supported the documents genuineness and that holds true today."
Fired CBS producer Mary Mapes in a letter to the New York Times Book Review published December 18.

Bush [Bleeped] Up America

Boston Globes Suzanne Ryan: "President George W. Bush has declined to be interviewed by you. What would you ask him if you had the chance?"
CBSs Mike Wallace [ellipses in original]: "What in the world prepared you to be the Commander in Chief of the largest superpower in the world? In your background, Mr. President, you apparently were incurious. You didnt want to travel. You knew very little about the military....The governor of Texas doesnt have the kind of power that some governors have....Why do you think they nominated you?...Do you think that has anything to do with the fact that the country is so [expletive] up?"
Exchange published in the December 8 Boston Globe.