Category Archives: Verbatim

What to Make of Ryan?

“And what to make of Ryan (R-WI)? I have been a consistent defender of his good intentions. But after the 17th time saying “He knows better,” it dawns that he may not. By his recent actions, the speaker has provided political cover for a weakening of the constitutional order. He has been used as a tool while loudly insisting he is not a tool. The way Ryan is headed, history offers two possible verdicts: Either he enabled an autocrat, or he was intimidated by a fool.”

Michael Gerson

Decorated Veteran Says Not Clapping for Trump Is Not Treason

“We don’t live in a dictatorship or a monarchy. I swore an oath—in the military and in the Senate—to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, not to mindlessly cater to the whims of Cadet Bone Spurs and clap when he demands I clap.”

— Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), on Twitter, in response to President Trump’s suggestion that not applauding at the State of the Union was treasonous.

Trump Adviser Says You Don’t Need a Flu Shot If You Have God

“Inoculate yourself with the word of God.”

— Gloria Copeland, a controversial minister on President Trump’s evangelical advisory board, saying flu shots aren’t necessary when you have Jesus, the HuffPost reports. She said the faithful who don’t have the flu can ward off the infection by repeatedly saying, “I’ll never have the flu. I’ll never have the flu.”

Page Bragged About Russian Ties in 2013

“Over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their Presidency of the G-20 Summit next month, where energy issues will be a prominent point on the agenda.”

— Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, bragg in a letter dated Aug. 25, 2013, obtained by Time, that he was an adviser to the Kremlin that raises new questions about the extent of Page’s contacts with the Russian government.

Toobin: Nunes Memeo an ‘Absolute Disgrace’

“An absolute disgrace. It is an embarrassment to the United States Congress. It is part of an effort to discredit the investigation of the president. That is its only purpose, and it doesn’t even work on those terms.”

— Jeffrey Toobin, discussing on CNN the release of the Nunes memo.

What Franklin Graham’s Father Said in 1981 about Mixing Religion and Right-Wing Politics

“I don’t want to see religious bigotry in any form. It would disturb me if there was a wedding between the religious fundamentalists and the political Right. The hard Right has no interest in religion except to manipulate it.”

Billy Graham, Parade Magazine, 1981

Russians Promoted GOP Shutdown Talking Points on Twitter

“The White House branded the federal budget impasse… as the ‘Schumer Shutdown’ in its attempt to pin the blame on Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY). … But it wasn’t just Republicans using that phrase during the weekend government shutdown. Independent analysts said Twitter accounts linked to Russia have spread the same message.”

Los Angeles Times

Sanders: Democrats Are ‘Obstructionist Losers’

“This is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators.”

— White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, quoted by Politico, after the Senate failed to prevent a government shutdown.

Shutdowns Are a Part of GOP Brand

“This is so basic and runs so deep that people ignore it. But it’s worth repeating: shutdowns are part of the Republican brand. The facts, in this case, show the GOP is at fault. But even if they didn’t, even if the facts showed the opposite, the GOP would still have a hard time because again: shutdowns are part of the Republican brand. They invented them as a policy and legislative cudgel. They’ve used them consistently under Democratic presidents. And because Republicans are generally inimical to the idea that government is a positive force in people’s lives and valorize dramatic and high stakes political gambits they have consistently embraced the concept and strategy of government shutdowns.”

Josh Marshall

Durbin Recalls ‘Offal Office’ Meeting

“After Lindsey and I left the room and got in the car together to come back to Capitol Hill, it was silence in the car. We had just witnessed something that neither one of us ever expected.”

— Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), quoted by the New York Times, on the Oval Office meeting where President Trump referred to “shithole” countries.