Tom DeLay, One Mean Guy

A weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the New York Times
Tom DeLay, One Mean Guy "But [DeLay] was also a man who, perhaps more than any other, embodied the fierce partisanship of his era - a prime mover behind the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, a practitioner of take-no-prisoners electoral politics and a legislative strategist who many Democrats asserted saw no real role for the minority in the legislative process. Scholars and analysts disagree over the extent to which Mr. DeLay created - or reflected - the intense polarization of his times....At his peak, Mr. DeLay enforced iron party discipline, built on loyalty, political assistance and, critics said, a heavy dose of fear."
- Robin Toner on the retirement of Rep. Tom DeLay, April 5.

Saddam's "Illegitimate" Trial? "Bombarded with questions during the first cross-examination in his trial, Saddam Hussein admitted Wednesday that he had signed an order of execution for 148 men and boys with only a cursory glance at the evidence. The testimony appeared to bolster the case of the prosecution in a tumultuous six-month trial that has been plagued by problems ranging from assassinations to political in-fighting, and that is still widely seen as illegitimate by international observers and human rights advocates."
- Edward Wong from Baghdad, April 6.

"Voracious" Wal-Mart
"Wal-Mart Stores, whose voracious, all-in-one retailing model has crippled thousands of competitors over the last 40 years, is turning to an unusual business plan: helping its rivals."
- Business reporter Michael Barbaro in an April 4 online filing.

Really Bored at the Movies "For amusement's sake, it is possible to read 'Basic Instinct 2' as a metaphor for contemporary American-British political relations (a psychotic Yank lures a decent Brit into a web of deceit and murder), but this is a poor reward for two hours of drift and sludge."
- From Manohla Dargis' review of "Basic Instinct 2," March 31.
Condi Rice's "Public Embarrassment" "Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice faced more protests and public embarrassment here on Saturday that have turned a trip meant to be a friendly follow-up to an American trip by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw into a two-day run through a raucous, mishap-ridden gantlet."
- Joel Brinkley on the Secretary of State in Blackburn, England, April 2.

On Weinberger's Death, Taking Another Crack At Reagan "Caspar W. Weinberger, who held high positions under three Republican presidents and oversaw the biggest and costliest military buildup in peacetime history as Ronald Reagan's secretary of defense, died yesterday in Bangor, Me., after a brief illness."
- From David Stout's March 29 obituary for Caspar Weinberger.

Joshua Bolten, Comforting Incompetent "But the question is whether [Joshua] Bolten is the man to right a listing presidency, and whether his skills, instincts and access to Mr. Bush are enough to overcome public anger over the war in Iraq and the growing questions in Washington about the competence of the West Wing staff. Mr. Bolten, after all, has been with Mr. Bush from his first days as a presidential candidate, and in the last three years has presided over the biggest budget deficits in the history of the United States."
- White House reporter Elisabeth Bumiller on Joshua Bolten, who replaced Andrew Card as Bush's new chief of staff, March 29.

Osama Bin Who? "[Donald Rumsfeld's] visit was his first to the site where passengers of Flight 93 overpowered their hijackers and sent an airliner crashing into the countryside instead of its intended target, the Capitol in Washington. His gesture was intended to link that event, through the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, to the wars started by the Bush administration in Afghanistan and Iraq."
- Pentagon reporter Thom Shanker, March 28.

Well, That Settles That Debate "Maryland is joining a regional consortium of Northeast states committed to reducing smokestack emissions that cause pollution and contribute to global climate change."
- Lead sentence in reporter Anthony DePalma's April 7 article.