Quote-a-palooza

“Let the pulpit resound with the doctrine and sentiments of religious liberty. Let us hear of the dignity of man’s nature, and the noble rank he holds among the works of God.” – John Adams

“The Nativity story of nearly twenty centuries ago is known by all faiths as a hymn to the brotherhood of man. For Christians, it is the fulfillment of age-old prophecies and the reaffirmation of God’s great love for all of us. Through a generous Heavenly Father’s gift of His Son, hope and compassion entered a world weary with fear and despair and changed it for all time. On Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Christ with prayer, feasting, and great merriment. But, most of all, we experience it in our hearts. For, more than just a day, Christmas is a state of mind. It is found throughout the year whenever faith overcomes doubt, hope conquers despair, and love triumphs over hate. It is present when men of any creed bring love and understanding to the hearts of their fellow man. The feeling is seen in the wondrous faces of children and in the hopeful eyes of the aged. It overflows the hearts of cheerful givers and the souls of the caring. And it is reflected in the brilliant colors, joyful sounds, and beauty of the winter season. Let us resolve to honor this spirit of Christmas and strive to keep it throughout the year.” – Ronald Reagan

“The concerted effort to minimize Christmas has resulted in it being our national Happy Holiday holiday. The Christmas season is now the holiday season. Christmas parties are now holiday parties. Christmas is a time for giving and receiving presents and in many homes, nothing more. Who is this fellow, Jesus Christ, anyway?” – Lyn Nofziger

“Democrats who supported a House resolution to honor Ramadan voted against a similar resolution to honor Christmas and Christianity… 18 Democrats voted ‘nay’ or ‘present’ on a resolution to ‘recognize the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith.’ An eagle-eyed Republican House staffer points out that those same members, with one exception, voted to ‘recognize the commencement of Ramadan,’ a Muslim religious observance in October. Nine Democrats voted against the Christmas resolution. They are: Rep. Gary Ackerman (N.Y.), Rep. Yvette Clarke (N.Y.), Rep. Diane DeGette (Colo.), Rep. Alcee Hastings (Fla.), Rep. Barbara Lee (Calif.), Rep. Jim McDermott (Wash.), Rep. Robert Scott (Va.), Rep. Pete Stark (Calif.) and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (Calif.). Another nine Democrats chose to vote ‘present.’ They are: Rep. Hon Conyers (Mich.), Rep. Barney Frank (Mass.), Rep. Rush Holt (N.Y.), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), Rep. Peter Welch (Vt.) and Rep. John Yarmuth (Ky.) Each of them supported the Ramadan resolution except for Rep. Lee, who did not vote.” – Amanda Carpenter

“We could focus on the latest worrisome news in education: the results of an international test released last week that show American 15-year-olds don’t know much about science and are falling behind their peers in other industrialized nations. But why get depressed? There is an aluminum foil lining: The test also found that our teens don’t let their ignorance bother them. They may not know as much as students in Finland, Canada or New Zealand, but they think they do. When asked to rate their own scientific abilities, they put themselves at the top with their better-educated peers. This is the real trend in American education. No one can match us when it comes to self-esteem.” – Los Angeles Times

“Oregon has a very interesting provision in its constitution, a ‘kicker law.’… It has to do with giving money back to taxpayers. When revenues exceed economist-predicted amounts- amounts which determine the size of each year’s mandated balanced budget- by 2 percent or more, the extra funds are to be returned to the taxpayers. I think the ‘kicker’ part is that a refund ‘kicks in’ automatically. I could be wrong… It could be that the law really kicks politicians in the pants if their economists don’t do a good job of predicting a year’s revenue. Like any good kick in the pants, one hears a lot of howls. Basically, a whole lot of people in Salem, the capital, believe the money shouldn’t be given back. Why, the government taxed it fair and square. The fact that bigger taxpayers get back bigger refunds bothers some people a lot, too. Steve Buckstein- of Oregon’s innovative Cascade Policy Institute- recently defended Oregon’s taxpayers and their refund against the claims of, well, envy. ‘Envy is a powerful emotion,’ he wrote, ‘but it should not trump reason. If we can find a better way to restrain runaway government spending, we should do so. But until that day arrives, the kicker law,’ Buckstein says, retains enough kick to keep politicians in line.” – Paul Jacob

“After many false prophecies, [Howard] Dean circa 2008 has finally arrived. He is former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Not because he will inevitably blow himself up in Iowa. But because, like Dean, his nomination would represent an act of suicide by his party. Like Dean, Huckabee is an under-vetted former governor who is manifestly unprepared to be president of the United States. Like Dean, he is rising toward the top of polls in a crowded field based on his appeal to a particular niche of his party. As with Dean, his vulnerabilities in a general election are so screamingly obvious that it’s hard to believe that primary voters, once they focus seriously on their choice, will nominate him. The GOP’s social conservatism inarguably has been an enormous benefit to the party throughout the past 30 years, winning over conservative Democrats and lower-income voters who otherwise might not find the Republican limited-government message appealing. That said, nominating a Southern Baptist pastor running on his religiosity would be rather overdoing it. Social conservatism has to be part of the Republican message, but it can’t be the message in its entirety. Someone needs to tell Huckabee.” – Rich Lowry