The unique perspective and provocative opinions of Joe O’Neill
“Barbados could be a tipping point. If Barbados is successful in taking this step, it would inspire other countries to do the same.”—Richard Drayton, professor of imperial history at Kings College London, on the announcement that Barbados would remove Queen Elizabeth as its head of state and become a republic next year.
“If totalitarianism comes, it will almost certainly not be Stalinism 2.0., with gulags, secret police and an all-powerful central state. … The power of surveillance technology, woke capitalism and fear of losing bourgeois comfort and status will probably be enough to compel conformity by most.”—Rod Dreher, the American Conservative.
“It makes me despondent about America. The country we have looked to for leadership has descended into an ugly brawl.”—Former British diplomat and chief of the British Security Intelligence Service (M16) John Sawers, on the optics of the presidential debate.
“The biggest surprise was that the president of the United States was the single largest driver of misinformation around Covid. That’s concerning in that there are real-world, dire health implications.”—Sarah Evanega, director of the Cornell Alliance for Science.
“A negative test isn’t enough to break quarantine. Isolation is the key.”—Dr. Leana Wen, emergency physician and former health commissioner of Baltimore.
“(Republicans’) monomaniacal drive to confirm Judge Barrett at all costs needlessly threatens the health and safety of senators, staff and all those who work in the Capitol complex.”—Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“(Trump) may be vulnerable to financial blackmail from a hostile foreign power, and God knows what else.”—Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
“Americans should be concerned about the president’s debt because it’s a national security risk for our country.”—Donald Sherman, deputy director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
“The main reason Trump could avoid paying income taxes is that he was a lousy businessman.”—Jonah Goldberg, The Dispatch.
“The unpaid-taxes story may be more of a threat to Trump than the Access Hollywood tape. The president never pretended to be a good guy around women; he has pretended, however, to be a brilliant businessman—and the knowledge of all that debt, and all those losses, could pull out the block that will send his Jenga-tower reputation toppling.”—Molly Roberts, Washington Post.
“Trump is becoming more frantic and unhinged by the day. He is staring not only at a possible landslide defeat, but potentially also economic ruin and criminal prosecution.”—Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post.
“There are some break-glass options available to us if there really is an extremely chaotic and, worse still, violent set of circumstances.”—Nick Clegg, Facebook’s head of global affairs, in underscoring that the company was war-gaming election night scenarios.
“I am confident that your vital energy, high spirits and optimism will help you cope with the dangerous virus.”—Russian President Vladimir Putin to Donald Trump.
“This is a sobering reminder that COVID-19 is not a hoax, and this pandemic is far from over. Continue to wear a mask.”—Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.
“I hope that everyone saying maybe once somebody is sick, they can be off limits for criticism.”—Brian Ballard, prominent Florida lobbyist and Trump fundraiser.
“The larger the crowd, the greater the probability that someone in that group is positive, including asymptomatically.”—Jay Wolfson, professor of public health at USF.
“There’s not going to be any type of closure in Florida.”—Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“I’m sorry for wasting your time, and thanks again for doing such a great job keeping us safe each and every day.”—Florida Republican (lame duck) Congressman Ross Spano, after security workers found a loaded pistol in his bag at a TSA checkpoint at TIA. Spano has a concealed carry permit.
“Job growth, investment, is driven by the access to talent. That talent wants to be downtown. Jobs and investments will follow. … Everyone we’re working with expects this formula to be fully in place.”—David Dixon, vice president of Stantec, the urban planning group that is a lead figure in the development of Water Street Tampa.
“I’m not playing. We’re going to implement them across the board.”—Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, in announcing plans for body cameras for deputies.
“This is the best hockey town ever.”—Steven Stamkos.