December 2011

December 1, 2011

“We have entered an era in which politics increasingly revolves around the ugly question of who will bear how much pain.”

– Conservative writer David Frum, New York Magazine, Nov. 20, 2011

December 2, 2011

“[T]he media’s a little bit like the Jurassic Park dinosaur, it notices movement in the polls and it moves in to kill it.”

– Republican strategist Mike Murphy, on popularity surges that go up and down in the polls, Meet the Press, Nov. 20, 2011

December 3, 2011

“One guiding principle of traditional journalism is to ‘comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.’”

– Senior writer Nick Summers, Newsweek, Nov. 28, 2011

December 4, 2011

“Occupy Wall Street has altered the geography of consciousness, taking back part of the mental real estate of Manhattan from the death shadow of the fallen towers and the squandering greed of the bankers.”

– Writer James Wolcott, Vanity Fair, Nov. 15, 2011

December 5, 2011

“People talk about how a rising tide lifts all boats. For some people a rising tide is a very bad thing. For people who don’t have a boat and who are standing on their tip toes to keep their heads above water, a rising tide is not a welcome prospect.”

– Barney Frank, Financial Services Committee hearing, Dec 9, 2009

December 6, 2011

“Revolution is like a love story. When you are in love, you become a much better person. And when you are in revolution, you become a much better person.”

– Alaa Al Aswany, Egyptian novelist, on the Arab Spring, Washington Post, Feb. 4, 2011

December 7, 2011

“If the middle class dream flickers and dies, it’s a different America.”

– Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Newsweek, Oct. 31, 2011

December 8, 2011

“The most permanent thing is an education. They can steal your car, they can burn your house, [but what] you have in your head, nobody can take away from you.”

– Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Time, Sep. 30, 2011

December 9, 2011

“Ours is a government ‘of the people, by the people, and for the people.’ It is not a government of, by, and for some of the people.”

– Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), on the influence of money in politics and its corrosive effects, in a Senate floor speech on the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, Mar. 20, 2002

December 10, 2011

“Remember when campaigns were the interval between governing? Now governing has become the brief interval between campaigns.”

– Bob Schieffer, CBS’ Face the Nation, Dec. 4, 2011

December 11, 2011

“The business model of the conservative media is built on two elements: provoking the audience into a fever of indignation (to keep them watching) and fomenting mistrust of all other information sources (so that they never change the channel).”

– Conservative writer David Frum, New York Magazine, Nov. 20, 2011

December 12, 2011

“Peace, prosperity, and democracy cannot endure if imposed from the outside. We should cease to make false distinctions between peacekeeping and prevention; they are in fact inextricably linked.”

– U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, speaking at a meeting of the UN Security Council in New York, Sep. 22, 2011

December 13, 2011

“Congresses do two things best. Nothing and overreact.”

– Tom Korologos, former ambassador and Republican strategist, Politico, Nov. 22, 2011

December 14, 2011

“[T]here is a vast difference in the attitude of a man with a gun in his hand and that of one without a gun in his hand. When a man does not have a gun in his hand, or a woman for the matter, he or she tries harder to use his or her mind, sense of compassion, and intelligence to work out a solution.”

– Aung San Suu Kyi, interview in Rangoon, Burma (Myanmar) on nonviolence, 1999

December 15, 2011

“Muddling actual crooks with the innocent affluent makes it hard to claim that raising their taxes isn’t punishment for some form of misbehavior. Taxes are not a punishment; they are a source of necessary revenue. But if you tie them to the financial scandal, they sound pretty punitive.”

– Michael Kinsley, LA Times, Dec 9, 2011

December 16, 2011

“I have more power than anybody other than the president, in the sense that I can get things changed, quickly.”

– Bill O’Reilly, on the power of influence, Newsweek, Sep. 26, 2011

December 17, 2011

“[C]onflict makes good politics, but it doesn’t make very good policy.”

– Former President Clinton, CBS Face the Nation, Sep. 18, 2011

December 18, 2011

“I beg you, stop using the bankrupt and meaningless term ‘post-racial!’ There’s no such thing as ‘post-racial.’ There’s no place that fits the description ‘post-racial America.’ There’s no ‘post-racial era.’ It’s a term for a concept that does not exist. There’s no there there.”

– Toure, New York Times, Nov. 8, 2011

December 19, 2011

“Think of civil society and the state as joined in a marriage of necessity. You already know who the wife is, the one who is supposed to love, cherish and obey: that’s civil society. Think of the state as the domineering husband who expects to have a monopoly on power, on violence, on planning and policymaking.”

– Rebecca Solnit, op-ed in the L.A. Times, Nov. 22, 2011

December 20, 2011

“My whole life, I had been doing everything everybody told me. I went to the right school. I got really good grades. I got all the internships. Then, I couldn’t do anything.”

– Rebecca Chapman on her life after graduating college, The New York Times, Nov. 30, 2011

December 21, 2011

“Nations die or thrive on the ability and judgment of their leaders to stir them at perilous times.”

– Chris Matthews, in his book Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero, 2011

December 22, 2011

“Iraq may still have a decent outcome…but even if it becomes Switzerland, we overpaid for it.”

– Columnist Thomas L. Friedman, op-ed in The New York Times, Oct. 25, 2011

December 23, 2011

“Inequality saps the will to conceive of ambitious solutions to large collective problems, because those problems no longer seem very collective.”

– George Packer, staff writer for The New Yorker, in an essay published by Foreign Affairs, Nov./Dec. 2011

December 24, 2011

“There is something special about receiving a piece of first-class mail, knowing that it comes from someone you care about. I really believe that if someone would begin to market the value of sending a written letter to someone you love, you might be surprised what it will do for your Christmas season.”

– Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), on an effort to save the postal service by suggesting an advertising campaign urging Americans to send more letters to each other, as reported by The New York Times, Sep. 6, 2011

December 25, 2011

“Peace is not just the absence of war. True peace depends upon creating the opportunity that makes life worth living. And to do that, we must confront the common enemies of human beings: nuclear weapons and poverty; ignorance and disease.”

– President Barack Obama, speaking before the UN General Assembly in New York, Sep. 21, 2011

December 26, 2011

“Europe is not a choice, it is a necessity, but it needs to be rethought, refounded.”

– French President Nicolas Sarkozy, on the financial crisis in the EU, at debt talks in Paris, Dec. 2, 2011

December 27, 2011

“If we amplify everything, we hear nothing.”

– Jon Stewart, Rally to Restore Sanity, Oct. 30, 2010

December 28, 2011

“We only value something when we measure it.”

– Taylor Ricketts, World Wildlife Foundation director of conservation science, on placing an economic value on the environment, Time, Feb. 21, 2011

December 29, 2011

“We are exceptional not because of who we are but because of what we do and how we put the ideals of human dignity, individual freedom, and liberty under law into action.”

– Historian Jon Meacham, on American exceptionalism, Time, Nov. 21, 2011

December 30, 2011

“The fear of missing out means today’s media, more than ever before, hunts in a pack. In these modes it is like a feral beast, just tearing people and reputations to bits. But no-one dares miss out.”

– Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Reuters, Jun. 12, 2007

December 31, 2011

“The search for human freedom can never be complete without freedom for women.”

– Former First Lady Betty Ford, speaking at the International Women’s Year Conference in Cleveland, OH, Oct. 25, 1975