Thursday, November 04, 2010

Quotes of the day

So even the regulator with the best intentions comes to see issues in much the same way as the corporate officers he deals with every day. You require both an abrasive personality and considerable intellectual curiosity to do the job in any other way. And these are not the qualities often sought, or found, in regulators.--John Kay

... the damage done to the Air Force’s reputation, and indeed to the entire military procurement system, may be longstanding. The people who know this [refueling tanker] contract well believe that military officials are being influenced by members of Congress, who have taken sides in the deal along party lines. Politics has always factored into Pentagon programs, but never on a contract of this size that was already stained by corruption and criminality.--Shane Harris

This brilliant line* revealed many enduring truths about political humor: that the true challenge is to determine the worst thing an opponent might say about and then to find a way to say it about yourself. That in politics, things are only as bad as things you can’t joke about. That jokes that concede the obvious cost little and earn back something valuable in terms of likeability and credibility. And that if these rules are adhered to, that the resulting joke can be as Machiavellian as anything Machiavelli might have schemed up.--Mark Katz

*Jack – Don’t spend one dime more than is necessary. I’ll be damned if I am going to pay for a landslide.--Joe Kennedy, in a fictional telegram to his son

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