Beachwood Reporter on Daley II: "Corruption and scandal have been part and parcel of this mayor's tenure; he tolerates it because he, like Ryan, believes in it. Daley is a slightly more complicated man than Ryan, but not so complicated that we should be confused about who he is and what he's about. Daley's flowers are Ryan's Death Row prisoners. It's not important what they really believe in, only what they hope to gain by said beliefs."
Michael Bérubé on the convergence of Christianists and Islamists: "According to [Dinesh] D’Souza [in The Enemy at Home], 9/11 was brought to you by people legitimately outraged by the sexual liberty of women, gay marriage, birth control, and no-fault divorce. Not to mention Bill Moyers." (Hat tip to Project Sanguine.)
Echidne of the Snakes on conservatives' attempts to make us feel better about the super-rich: "Suppose that income differences really don't matter that much anymore, that it's in fact quite comfy to be poor or at least middle-class. If this is true, why would the rich want to get rid of the estate tax? Why would they want their taxes lowered? What do they have to gain by trying to have more than the iPods and the cars and the cell phones? Clearly nothing much. And then add to that the sadness that follows greater incomes, and you have a fairly drastic case for a more progressive system of taxation."
Hunter at Random on the notion that "strict constructionism" supports the ultraconservative political agenda: "The whole point of the Bill of Rights is not that it 'grants rights' to the people . . . but that it limits what restrictions the government may impose on the behavior of the people and under what circumstances. . . . So the correct approach to the question of same-sex marriage is not whether the U.S. Constitution (or any state constitution) specifically grants such a right, but whether any government has the authority to deny it."
University of California--Berkeley economist Brad DeLong on Bush's unkept promise to cut taxes: "As Milton Friedman puts it, to spend is to tax. Bush's spending increases--defense, Iraq, the Republican porkfest, the Medicare drug benefit--are still there, just as things you have charged to your Visa don't go away if you make only the minimum monthly payment. What George W. Bush has done has been to shift taxes from the present to the future--and also made future taxes uncertain, random, and thus extra-costly from a standard public-finance view."
Bob Park on Bush's euphemism of "alternative procedures" for "torture": "How’s this for an 'alternative procedure': inform prisoners of the charges, treat them humanely, try them openly to expose their crimes to the entire world. This is America."