Surging GOPers 'Are to Varying Degrees Yahoos'

Plus: London rioters were spurred by "altars to consumption and greed," and the lefty "99 Percent" slogan compared to "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death."

Surging GOPers 'Are to Varying Degrees Yahoos'

'The candidates who surged before [Gingrich] are to varying degrees yahoos. They proved it anew last week. Michele Bachmann seemed to be under the impression that we had an embassy in Iran, and Rick Perry was definitely under the delusion that the voting age in this country is 21 instead of 18.' – Former White House correspondent, now columnist Frank Bruni, December 4.

Herman Cain 'Seems Like Someone Who ...Has Never Opened a Newspaper'

'Let us pause here to make a necessarily severe assessment: to say that Herman Cain has an imperfect grasp of policy would be unfair not only to George W. Bush in 1999 but also to Britney Spears in 1999. Herman Cain seems like someone who, quite frankly, has never opened a newspaper.' – T.A. Frank in the November 13 edition of the Times Sunday Magazine.

London Rioters Spurred By 'Altars to Consumption and Greed'

'As the riots in London and elsewhere in August seemed to show, the profound gulf between haves and have-nots has been magnified by the inequalities and envies of a society that has built its newest altars to consumption and greed.' – Alan Cowell, November 14.

NYT Stringer Proudly Tosses Aside Pretense of Objectivity

'I was in complete agreement when, last month, the triumvirate of right-wing firebrands Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Andrew Breitbart all condemned me for being more than just a journalist. They are correct, and I agree with every pundit who argues that I have no place in the mainstream media.' – Former NYT freelancer Natasha Lennard in an article for Salon, November 15. Lennard had contributed to the paper's reporting on Occupy Wall Street, then participated in a left-wing panel discussion of Occupy Wall Street tactics in front of protest supporters.

Occupy's '99 Percent' Slogan Like 'Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death'

'Slogans have emerged from American protest movements, successful and otherwise, throughout history. The American Revolution furnished the world with 'Give me liberty or give me death' and the still-popular 'No taxation without representation.' The equal rights movement in the 1960s used the phrase '59 cents' to point out the income disparities between women and men. The civil rights movement embraced the song 'We Shall Overcome' as a slogan. During the Vietnam War, protesters called on politicians to 'Bring 'em Home' and 'Stop the Draft.' More recently, supporters of Mr. Obama shouted 'Yes, we can.'' – Media reporter Brian Stelter in a front-page story December 1 headlined 'Camps Are Cleared, but '99 Percent' Still Occupies the Lexicon.'

Collins: GOP Attracted to 'Nutjobs'

Gail Collins: 'Don't you think this says something about the current state of the Republican party? It has a base that's intensely attracted to candidates who are nutjobs.'

David Brooks: 'Well, yes, and I know Mitt is in a lull...' – Columnist (and former opinion page editor) Gail Collins and 'conservative' columnist David Brooks discussing Herman Cain in an online Q&A, November 30.

Another First Lady Fawnathon

'In an administration in which so much has gone awry, Michelle Obama has become a dependable source of good news....The prospect of Mrs. Obama riding to her husband's rescue has a certain twist to it: Will the president's no-nonsense wife, who never wanted to be in politics in the first place, save the day for him?' – Jodi Kantor, author of an upcoming book, 'The Obamas,' in a November 18 profile of the first lady.

Deranged Stat of the Day

'Congress remains only 16 percent female, and Massachusetts has an especially long and rotten history of women in politics. Since Puritans settled there in the early 17th century, more Massachusetts women have been hanged in the Salem witch trials (14) than have been elected to the House of Representatives (4), the Senate (0) or the governor's mansion (0, though Jane Swift served as acting governor from 2001 to 2003).' – Contributing writer Rebecca Traister, in 'Heaven Is A Place Called Elizabeth Warren,' her November 20 profile for the Sunday Magazine.

Still Insisting Obama's 'Stimulus' 'Created Or Saved' 2 Million Jobs

'The Web site PolitiFact, the Pulitzer-winning fact-checking service, recently did a thorough debunking of Republican claims that Obama's 2009 stimulus program created, quote, 'zero jobs.' In fact, the checkers established, using still-trustworthy sources like the Congressional Budget Office, that the stimulus created or saved a couple of million jobs. Case closed? No, the Republicans just went on repeating the claim.' – Executive Editor turned columnist Bill Keller, November 28.

'Dangerous' for GOP to Mock Occupy Wall Street Lefties

'Is that a potentially dangerous tactic, since even most Republican voters are more likely to be among the 99 percent than the one percent?' – Times 'Caucus' podcast host Sam Roberts, responding to reporter Trip Gabriel's observation that GOP candidates are using the Occupy Wall Street movement as a 'foil.' Recorded December 1.

First '99 Percent,' Now the 'Robin Hood Tax'

'They call it the Robin Hood tax - a tiny levy on trades in the financial markets that would take money from the banks and give it to the world's poor. And like the mythical hero of Sherwood Forest, it is beginning to capture the public's imagination.' – Opening to a December 7 story by Steven Greenhouse and Graham Bowley.