Quote-a-palooza

“Religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of public liberty and happiness.” – Samuel Adams

“The most unresolved problem of the day is precisely the problem that concerned the founders of this nation: how to limit the scope and power of government. Tyranny, restrictions on human freedom, come primarily from governmental restrictions that we ourselves have set up.” – Milton Friedman

“Liberals have for years been talking about how they are really the champions of the Constitution. They’re not, but they talk like they are. And year after year people fawn over their claims and vote for them because they actually believe that acting counter to almost everything the Constitution itself stands for is supporting and preserving the Constitution. The Constitution is a pretty simple document. It says that the federal government has very limited authority. And it goes on to say that every authority not granted to the federal government through it is reserved by the States and the people.” – J.J. Jackson

“The presidential campaign currently underway has missed the historically rare opportunity to engage the candidates for president in a serious discussion about how they would respond to a very likely impending recession brought on by twin banking and currency crises… After all, in 10 months, one of them- either McCain, Obama or Clinton- will be president and quite likely will be facing one of the worst financial and economic conditions of recent decades. Instead, we get yet more discussion on who is for hope, who has experience, and who is better able to answer the phone at 3 a.m. Why not have a novel three-way debate on one of the networks for two hours and see what the three great minds who would be president have to say about what they would do if the likely turns out to happen?… I have the first question for them. Since World War I, economic historians divide the world’s financial history into three parts: interwar (1919-1939); the Bretton Woods period (1945-1971); and the present period. In reaction to the Great Depression of the interwar period, Bretton Woods provided strict regulations of financial institutions. As a result, there were few financial crises. Then we liberalized and deregulated during the present period and have had several deep crises. Questions for the candidates: In 2009, should we re-regulate or not? And should we try to ease the pain of the crisis if it comes or let natural economic forces clear out the dry rot and find the natural bottom? No points for slogans. Extra credit for honest, thoughtful responses. Or we continue with Obama’s people suggesting Hillary is a monster and her people suggesting Obama is a Muslim (and McCain off in the margin somewhere).” – Tony Blankley

“The sub-prime mortgage collapse is another tale of unintended consequences. The crisis has its roots in the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, a Carter-era law that purported to prevent ‘redlining’ – denying mortgages to black borrowers- by pressuring banks to make home loans in ‘low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.’ Under the act, banks were to be graded on their attentiveness to the ‘credit needs’ of ‘predominantly minority neighborhoods.’…[T]o earn high ratings, banks were forced to make increasingly risky loans to borrowers who wouldn’t qualify for a mortgage under normal standards of creditworthiness. The CRA, made even more stringent during the Clinton administration, trapped lenders in a Catch-22. ‘If they comply,’ wrote Loyola College economist Thomas DiLorenzo, ‘they know they will have to suffer from more loan defaults. If they don’t comply, they face financial penalties… which can cost a large corporation like Bank of America billions of dollars.’ Banks nationwide thus ended up making more and more ‘sub-prime’ loans and agreeing to dangerously lax underwriting standards- no down payment, no verification of income, interest-only payment plans, weak credit history. If they tried to compensate for the higher risks they were taking by charging higher interest rates, they were accused of unfairly steering borrowers into ‘predatory’ loans they couldn’t afford. Trapped in a no-win situation entirely of the government’s making, lenders could only hope that home prices would continue to rise, staving off the inevitable collapse. But once the housing bubble burst, there was no escape. Mortgage lenders have been bankrupted, thousands of sub-prime homeowners have been foreclosed on, and countless would-be borrowers can no longer get credit. The financial fallout has hurt investors around the world. And all of it thanks to the government, which was sure it understood the credit industry better than the free market did, and confidently created the conditions that made disaster unavoidable.” – Jeff Jacoby

“In this age, when it is considered the height of sophistication to be ‘non-judgmental,’ one of the corollaries is that ‘personal’ failings have no relevance to the performance of official duties. What that amounts to, ultimately, is that character doesn’t matter. In reality, character matters enormously, more so than most things that can be seen, measured or documented. Character is what we have to depend on when we entrust power over ourselves, our children, and our society to government officials. We cannot risk all that for the sake of the fashionable affectation of being more non-judgmental than thou. Currently, various facts are belatedly beginning to leak out that give us clues to the character of Barack Obama. But to report these facts is being characterized as a ‘personal’ attack. Barack Obama’s personal and financial association with a man under criminal indictment in Illinois is not just a ‘personal’ matter. Nor is his 20 years of going to a church whose pastor has praised Louis Farrakhan and condemned the United States in both sweeping terms and with obscene language. The Obama camp likens mentioning such things to criticizing him because of what members of his family might have said or done. But it was said, long ago, that you can pick your friends but not your relatives. Obama chose to be part of that church for 20 years. He was not born into it. His ‘personal’ character matters, just as Eliot Spitzer’s ‘personal’ character matters- and just as Hillary Clinton’s character would matter if she had any.” – Thomas Sowell

“Patriotism is a species of unity that has some redeeming moral and philosophical substance to it. In America, patriotism- as opposed to, say, nationalism- is a love for a creed, a dedication to what is best about the ‘American way.’ Nationalism, a romantic sensibility, says, ‘My country is always right.’ Patriots hope that their nation will make the right choice. If you read the speeches of leading Democrats before the Vietnam War, it’s amazing how comfortable they were with patriotic rhetoric… ‘Suicide’ might be strong, but the Left certainly amputated itself from full-throated patriotic sentiment. Most Democrats speak mellifluously about unity but get tongue-tied or sound as if they’re just delivering words plucked from a political consultant’s memo when they talk of patriotism… When Democrats do speak of patriotism, it is usually as a means of finding fault with Republicans, corporations or America itself. Hence the irony that questioning the patriotism of liberals is a grievous sin, but doing likewise to conservatives is fine… Better that our politics be an argument about why and how we should love our country, not about whether some do and some don’t.” – Jonah Goldberg

“Obama’s 100-day agenda would be designed, in part, to improve America’s global image. But there is something worse than being unpopular in the world- and that is being a pleading, panting joke. By simultaneously embracing appeasement, protectionism and retreat, President Obama would manage to make Jimmy Carter look like Teddy Roosevelt. Which is why President Obama would probably not take these actions- at least in the form he has pledged. Sitting behind the Resolute desk is a sobering experience that makes foolish campaign promises seem suddenly less binding. But it is a bad sign for a candidate when the best we can hope is for him to violate his commitments. And that’s a good sign for John McCain.” – Michael Gerson

“So now we are in this silly situation, in which at one time Obama was happy enough to remind some that his middle name was Hussein and now it is a slur for other less well-intentioned to do so; in which his wife’s browbeating of America was salve to guilty liberals and now it is considered illiberal to question her assumptions; in which a candidate who rose to prominence as a ‘black’ candidate and garners majority margins of 90% among African-American against a very liberal female opponent insists that he has transcended race and to suggest otherwise is, well, racist. Nothing is new in all this: all candidates expand beyond their base and try to play down their former zealotry, on issues as diverse as abortion to guns to gay rights. But what is unique is that the usual flak that meets a politician’s readjustments and opportunism in the case of Obama is additionally questioned as being racist or at least insensitive.” – Victor Davis Hanson

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