A garden variety of current quotations. . . .
Author and Pepperdine University senior fellow Joel Kotkin, likening today's liberal-conservative split to the Cavalier-Roundhead split (crown supporters vs. Puritan supporters of Cromwell) in 17th century England:
"On the economic and demographic levels, America's Roundheads seem to have the long-term advantage in this struggle. For more than a generation, the U.S. population has been shifting not only to the 'red' states of the once declasse South, but also generally to the suburbs, particularly the outer rings, and to smaller cities, where Roundheads tend to congregate. These outlying districts, and especially certain states - Nevada, Utah, Georgia, Texas and North Carolina - are gaining residents, representatives and electoral votes, giving the Roundheads growing clout."
President Bush, on why the U.S. went into Iraq:
"In Iraq, I saw a gathering threat. The world saw a gathering threat. The United Nations saw a threat. I went to the United Nations. I said, Listen, you have been calling upon this guy to disarm for 10 years. He has chosen not to. Now let's give him one more final chance to do so. And unanimously the Security Council stepped up and said disarm or face serious consequences."
Investor's Business Daily, in an editorial:
"Three months before the war began, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned Israelis that intelligence showed Iraq was moving large amounts of military materiel into Syria. [This past April], Israeli Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, Israel's military chief, told an Israeli newspaper his nation's intelligence concluded Iraq had chemical weapons and the means to deliver them before the war. . . . [And] last year, when former chief weapons inspector David Kay delivered his report on Iraq, he said it was likely that the weapons had existed, but that they were shipped somewhere else - most likely, again, Syria."
From a Washington Post news story about higher transportation costs in the D.C. area:
"Whether it's on the roads, the rails or on buses, the cost of moving around the Washington region grew more expensive this week. Gas prices are near all-time highs, taxi rates in the District just rose and downtown parking rates are increasing. For the second year in a row, Metro [mass transit] riders had to pay more to park at a station or board a train or bus yesterday, a development that left many of Metro's 1.1 million daily bus and rail passengers steaming."
John O'Neill, who took command of John Kerry's swift boat in Vietnam following Kerry's departure for home after just four months in country:
"[Shortly after his return stateside in 1971], Kerry crossed an important line, fully and finally breaking loyalty with those of us who were still under the fire of combat in Vietnam - first by falsely accusing us of war crimes and then by allowing himself to become a surrogate spokesperson for our enemies. More than 250 sailors from Coastal Squadron One, many of whom served alongside John Kerry, have joined together in signing a protest of our own. We have come together in a solemn statement that we who served with John Kerry do not consider him to be fit to be our Commander-in-Chief."
Al Gore, campaign surrogate for Kerry:
"This lie about the invented connection between al-Qaida and Iraq was and is the key to justifying the current ongoing constitutional power grab by the president. So long as their big flamboyant lie remains an established fact in the public's mind, President Bush will be seen as justified in taking for himself the power to make war on his whim."
Columnist Mark Steyn, in a book review:
"Is there anything interesting in 'My Life' by Bill Clinton? Oh, yes. Page 870. The Clintons are in New Zealand and finally get to meet Sir Edmund Hillary, who had explored the South Pole in the 1950s, was the first man to reach the top of Mount Everest, and, most important, was the man Chelsea's mother had been named for. Hmmm. Edmund Hillary reached the top of Everest in 1953. Hillary Rodham was born in 1947, when Sir Edmund was an unlikely inspiration [as a mere beekeeper] for two young parents in the Chicago suburbs."
Wall Street Journal sports columnist Stefan Fatsis, on NCAA President Myles Brand and a continuing controversy in collegiate sports:
"It's [not the money side but] the other side of college sports - the one involving, you know, books and tests and stuff - where Dr. Brand's opponents say he has stopped short of the goal line. He maintains the opposite, that he's doing more to clean up the academic sinkhole of college sports (not that he'd call it that) than has been done before. [Controversy came to a head] in an op-ed column by Dr. Brand. It was written ostensibly to defend new NCAA rules designed to punish schools that screw up in the classroom. But its main target was the NCAA's critics - 'self-anointed radical reformers and incorrigible cynics,' in Dr. Brand's words."
Associated Press writer John Gerome, on country music and Iraq:
"While Toby Keith, Darryl Worley and Charlie Daniels have scored hits with patriotic, war-themed songs, others such as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Nanci Griffith released anti-war, or at least questioning, songs that went nowhere. 'Country radio does enough research that they understand listeners are supportive of the military in Iraq and just don't want to get involved with those songs,' said John Hart, president of Nashville-based Bullseye Marketing Research. 'I work with 32 stations, and I have not seen one test any of these anti-war songs.' "
Historian Paul Johnson, in Forbes:
"Saudi Arabia is another country where intolerance has held back economic advance. No nation has received more cash from its natural resources than has this Sunni Muslim state, with its ferocious tradition of Wahhabi fundamentalism. What's happened to the wealth? Gone with the wind of bigotry. Some of the other oil-rich Gulf states have done a little better, but in none of them do enterprise and free-market capitalism flourish. . . . On the evidence of the second half of the 20th century, it would appear that Islamic state control is a formula for continuing poverty, and Islamic fundamentalism a formula for extreme poverty."