Notable Quotables - 10/30/1989


Earthquake: It's Reagan's Fault, As Usual

Michael Kinsley: "If they had spent the money, which they are now planning to spend to fix the Bay Bridge, beforehand, which they didn't, in part because of Proposition 13 and other Republican budget-cutting programs, that bridge wouldn't have collapsed, there would be people alive today."
Pat Buchanan: "The California budget is about two and a half times what it was in 1978. What are you talking about?...Why don't you blame it on Reagan? That would be consistent."
Kinsley: "I'm blaming it on Reagan, you, and all the other cheap Republicans who don't understand the good things government does."
- exchange on CNN's Crossfire, October 18.

Earthquake: It's Proposition 13's Fault

"We all remember a few years ago Proposition 13 which rolled back taxes and at the same time the point was made you roll back the taxes. That's fine, but that means there are going to be fewer funds available for necessary projects. Any instances where the money that was not spent because of the rollback of Proposition 13, where that money would have made a difference?'"
- Ted Koppel on Nightline, October 18.

"California's roads and bridges aren't funded by property taxes but by state and federal gasoline taxes. Both have been raised at least 30% in recent years, even while the price of gasoline has fallen. Dragging Prop. 13 into this story is a pretty long stretch."
- Wall Street Journal editorial, October 24.


Poverty By The Numbers

"Poverty Level Stabilizes at 31 Million"
- Washington Post, October 19.

"Number Of Nation's Poor Remains at 32 Million for a Second Year"
- New York Times, same day.

"Per capita income up, but experts say poor get poorer"
- Chicago Tribune, same day.

"Number of poor fell, Census Bureau says"
- Washington Times, same day.

"Economic expansion skips the poor"
- Boston Globe, same day.

"New method to count poor: Census report makes 'em disappear"
- New York Daily News, same day.


Massacre for Democracy

"The incident is now known throughout the country as 'Bloody Sunday' and marked a desperate moment in the leadership's attempts to win public confidence in its movement for democratic change."
- Washington Post reporter David Remnick on Soviet troops killing peaceful protesters in Georgia, Oct. 12.


Lenin to Friedman

"It would be a shame if the Eastern Europeans, in their justifiable eagerness to shake off Lenin, went to the other extreme and embraced the worst excesses of Milton Friedman."
- Washington Post Writers Group columnist Bob Kuttner in The Boston Globe, October 13.


Earthquake Red Tape, Version I

Reporter Bob Jamieson: "Diane spent an hour at the center making ten separate stops to complete her application for aid. She learned that, as a renter, she could receive a check for emergency housing within a week and may qualify for money to replace her possessions. It was not the ordeal she had expected."
Diane Rilek: "And I was anticipating longer lines and maybe a little more red tape, but everybody was really helpful and just moved you from section to section. Basically, they can't do enough for you."
- NBC Nightly News, October 23.


Earthquake Red Tape, Version II

Deborah Norville: "NBC's David Burrington is in San Francisco, where residents are trying to get their lives back to normal despite miles of red tape."
David Burrington: "The current set-up does provide for grants and loans to people who've been wiped out, but only if they qualify and only if they can get through the red tape....[FEMA's] rules are complicated, lots of red tape."
- NBC's Today, next morning.


Lure of Despotic Communism

"Student Radicalism: South Koreans Feel Lure of North: Unhappiness with government, Western culture, unequal wealth boosts North Korea's appeal"
- Chistian Science Monitor, October 13.


George Mitchell, Superstar

"He talks about the record of legislation the Senate Democrats are building, the substantive progress on issues from oil spills to rural development, which so often gets overlooked in the day-to-day political analysis of 'up or down, winner or loser.' His logic is crisp, unassailable, his manner far removed from the thrust and parry of contemporary politics. He is the soul of judiciousness, highminded in his concern for governance. But some in his party would like for a bit more of the street fighter."
- Reporter Robin Toner in The New York Times, October 17.


Jesse Jackson, Conscience of America

"Jackson's gift is his uncanny radar for emerging issues that strike the country's conscience. Last week he literally was at the forefront of the crusade against homelessness, helping to lead a huge Washington protest rally on the eve of his 48th birthday. He's still brimming with ideas: school-based training for parents who accompany their kids to school, anti-drug education programs that enlist disc jockeys and entertainers as leaders."
- Newsweek reporter Howard Fineman, October 16.


So Prosperous They're Fleeing

"Erich Honecker: A Life in the Party: Architect of East German Prosperity - and the Berlin Wall"
- Washington Post, October 19.


Flag Amendment

"Americans realized the assault on freedom of speech such an amendment would constitute would be far more offensive than flag desecration itself. Unfortunately, common sense has not prevailed among members of the U.S. House and Senate....The drive for a constitutional amendment, or at least new flag-desecration legislation, has taken on a life of its own, totally oblivious to the desires of most Americans."
- American Society of Newspaper Editors "Press Alert" published in Editor & Publisher, October 7.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Jim Heiser, Stewart Verdery, Dorothy Warner; Media Analysts
- Allison Dyer; Administrative Assistant