Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Quotes of the day

It takes a peculiarly bureaucratic sort of mendacity to dream up the idea of using taxpayer money to promote a contest in which taxpayers are asked to make videos celebrating the way their tax dollars are being used to make their lives more expensive.--Radley Balko

James Madison owned 5,000 acres. George W. Bush ran an oil business. But no president amassed more wealth than our first one. George Washington's net worth was equal to $525 million in 2010 dollars, according to a study from 24/7 Wall Street. By comparison, eight presidents -- including Lincoln, Grant and Wilson -- had net worths below one million dollars.--Derek Thompson

No doubt you will share, as I do, the [New York] Times disapproval of such dissembling, if it was, in fact, intentional. That would be an easy call. The Times, however, fails to dwell on why service in Vietnam is, today, so important that a politician would want to have served there. Here there is a lesson to remember. There was a time when the Times itself has scoffed at the idea that Vietnam had any higher purpose. The war, "then, as now, seemed to lack any rationale except the wrecking of as many lives as possible on both sides," is how the Times put it in one editorial. Yet 35 years after we lost the war, it seems that for voters today, Vietnam did have some meaning, or such a brilliant figure as Mr. Blumenthal wouldn’t be trying to give people the impression that he served in Vietnam. It is something to think about should you ever be called for the draft in the midst of an unpopular war.--NY Sun Editorial

Away from the field, it was a good 24 hours for the Patriots. First, on Tuesday night, senator Arlen Specter was defeated in a Democratic primary in Pennsylvania. Specter became a thorn in the side of the Patriots when he publicly questioned NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s inquiry into the 2007 videotaping scandal in the days leading up to Super Bowl XLII. In a press conference, he said he had a problem with a number of things surrounding the investigation, including the destruction of the videotapes. ... Two, a lawsuit filed against the Patriots in 2007 following the incident at the Meadowlands (saying New England had deceived the public as a result of their association with the affair) was tossed out on Wednesday when the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia upheld a ruling by a lower court that dismissed the lawsuit. A group of fans, led by Carl Mayer (a Jets season ticket holder from Princeton, N.J.), was seeking $185 million, claiming fans had purchased tickets to see rigged games. The three-judge panel says it doesn’t condone the conduct of the Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick. The judges suggest that fans can protest by refusing to buy tickets or NFL merchandise. But they say fans have no legal right to seek damages in court.--Christopher Price

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