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Quotations on topics currently in the news...

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, in a 1995 piece for the University of Chicago Law Review: "When the Senate ceases to engage nominees in meaningful discussion of legal issues, the confirmation process takes on an air of vacuity and farce, and the Senate becomes incapable of either properly evaluating nominees or appropriately educating the public."

Billionaire (and major gold-bug) Thomas Kaplan, on global economic instability: "I've reached a point where I feel the only asset I have confidence in is gold."

Screenwriter, director, and song scribbler Jonathan Kahn (aka Jon David) -- a rare Hollywood conservative: "In Hollywood, being a conservative is the kiss of death."

Middle East Forum director Daniel Pipes, discussing Israel's May 30 boarding of a Gaza bound blockade-runner -- on Turkey's support of a home-grown group linked to terror: "(Until now,) the Turkish government has been very careful to abide by the rules and keep its nose clean and keep itself totally removed from violent groups. Now the true face of the regime is coming to light."

Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, on the Gaza blockade-runner incident: "The choice of evils that endlessly confronts Israeli policy-makers is not something they can simply wash their hands of by 'ending the occupation.' They tried that before -- in Gaza. Is there (an American) liberalism that is capable of recognizing this? Or are we again at the stage where it has been consumed by its instinct for fellow-traveling? In 1968, Eric Hoffer wrote: 'I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish, the holocaust will be upon us.' By 'us' he meant liberals, too, and maybe most of all."

Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, at a Senate Environment Committee hearing -- on the Deepwater Horizon undersea oil gusher: "We in Louisiana...not only have our eyes on (the environment), we have our heart invested in it and we are making a living on the (Mississippi River) delta. But we need the oil that comes from offshore to keep this economy moving. We must examine what went wrong, weigh the risk and rewards, fix what is broken, and move on...If we could do without this oil, we would. But we simply cannot -- not today, not in the near future."

Glenn Beck

The late New York Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan: "Never pass major legislation that affects most Americans without real bipartisan support. It opens the door to all kinds of political trouble."

President Obama: "I'm not exaggerating. Leaders of the Republican Party...called the passage of (Obamacare) Armageddon. Armageddon! End of freedom as we know it! So after I signed the bill, I looked around to see if there were any asteroids falling or some cracks opening up in the earth. Turned out it was a nice day. Birds were chirping. Folks were strolling down the Mall."

Weekly Standard columnist P.J. O'Rourke: "Barack Obama is more irritating than the other nuisances on the left. Nancy Pelosi needs a session on the ducking stool, of course. But everyone with an ugly divorce has had a Nancy. She's vexatious and expensive to get rid of, but it's not like we give a damn about her. Harry Reid is going house to house selling nothing anybody wants. Slam the door on him and the neighbor's Rottweiler will do the rest. And Barney Frank is self-punishing. Imagine being trapped inside Barney Frank. The secret to the Obama annoyance is snotty lecturing."

Author ("Liberal Parents, Radical Children") and lecturer Midge Decter: "We once had something of a friend in Iran -- the shah -- and far too calmly witnessed his ouster by radical fanatics. Next we sat by for 14 months as U.S. diplomats were held prisoner in Tehran. Now Iran is going nuclear, under the leadership of men who have openly declared that they care less for the survival of their population than for the spread of their religion...As millions learned to their immense sorrow in places named Munich and Yalta, it does only great evil to deceive oneself about a threat."

Abigail Thernstrom, author and vice chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, on President Obama having checked the "black" box on his census form: "The obvious contrast is between the president and Tiger Woods, who calls himself 'Cablinasian -- Caucasian-black-Indian-Asian. But Mr. Woods plays the game of golf, not that of race. He has never encouraged his fans to celebrate him as the first great black golfer. Yet 'first black president' was always part of candidate Obama's sales pitch. Thus, in at least this one important respect, Mr. Woods -- unlike President Obama -- is the free man blacks through the centuries of bondage yearned to be."

Karl Rove, author ("Courage and Consequence"), political operative, and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush: "Things look bleak for Democrats right now. And if Republicans connect the dots among record spending, skyrocketing deficits, rising taxes, and a weak recovery, Democrats will suffer a midterm loss from which the Obama presidency may never fully recover."

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