In their own words

For real conservatives, no first time for anything

“Things like this don’t happen once if they didn’t happen before.” — US Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, on reports that Secret Service agents assigned to protect the US president when he was in Colombia spent their time with sex workers.

The second strongest Liberal Party?

“The task for us is to do everything in our power to recover, to rebuild and to renew and to be everything this party has been for more than a century.” — Anna Bligh after the ALP was wiped out in the Queensland state election.”

Or for the previous century

“I do think it’s important the Queensland parliament has a balance of political viewpoints. We certainly don’t have that now.” — Anna Bligh

As a Liberal stronghold

“I will always look back on my time as premier, as minister, as deputy premier, as a time when we were busy reshaping and transforming Queensland.” — Anna Bligh

Affection

“I hope this judgment won’t change the profound affection that the French people still rightly have for Jacques Chirac.” — Defence counsel Georges Kiejman, after the former French president was convicted of corruptly paying salaries for fake jobs to political allies when he was mayor of Paris.

That came later

“We didn't join Labor in our youth because we didn’t have opinions.” — PM Julia Gillard at the ALP national conference.

As long as someone else ensures it

“Labor says yes to the future.” — Gillard at the ALP conference again.

Of sound and fury, signifying nothing

“Carbon pricing is a major economic and environmental reform in a Labor tradition.” — Climate change minister Greg Combet at the ALP national conference.

Chutzpah man

“We have asked for it back. We’ll see how the Iranians respond.” — US President Barack Obama, on the US drone spy plane captured while flying over Iran.

Stop press

“When it comes to banking in Australia a strong tradition is emerging ... of taking from the poor to give to the rich.” — Michael West in the December 7 Sydney Morning Herald.

Forthright

“We’ve been very forthright in acknowledging that this is a relationship that needs to work.” — US State Department spokesman Mark Toner, quoted in the December 26 New York Times on why the Pakistan government shouldn’t react too strongly to US invasions and killings of Pakistani soldiers.

And vice versa

“Increasingly organised criminal groups operate as private businesses do.” — Ethan Burger, of the University of Wollongong’s Centre for Transnational Crime Prevention, on “business secrecy” among criminal gangs “skimming” ATMs.

Socialists, watch out!

“I will continue to fight to defeat the president’s [Barack Obama’s] agenda of socialism.” — Michele Bachman, withdrawing from the contest for the US Republican presidential nomination, after finishing last among six lunatics campaigning in Iowa.

There’s a difference?

“They targeted companies, they raided them, and thousands of workers lost their jobs. This is not capitalism; this is predatory.” — Rick Tyler, a former adviser to Newt Gingrich, on the business career of Mitt Romney, also a candidate for the US Republican presidential nomination. In the 1980s, the company Romney headed bought up, looted and bankrupted dozens of other companies.

Direct Action — April 15, 2012