Pundit Wire

December 2012

December 1, 2012

“Professors rarely speak of the place of eros or the erotic in our classrooms. Trained in the philosophical context of Western metaphysical dualism, many of us have accepted the notion that there is a split between the body and the mind. Believing this, individuals enter the classroom to teach as though only the mind is present, and not the body.”

-bell hooks, author, “Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom,” 1994

December 2, 2012

“America’s special strength lies not in frightening the weak and challenging the strong, but in strengthening the weak and illumining the strong.”

-Sri Chinmoy, founder of the Sri Chinmoy Centre, “America The Beautiful,” 2010

December 3, 2012

“You don’t say, ‘I’m the speaker, so I should be the speaker forever.’ I had this opportunity. What did we accomplish with it in the time we had? Now, as leader, how do we protect what we have done? It’s not about an office or gavel.”

-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Politico, Dec. 21, 2010

December 4, 2012

“We have got to be functional enough as a nation to be able walk back Muslim radicalization without labeling all Muslims and fostering a climate that increases fear of Muslims. Our founding fathers had healthy critical debates about religious diversity within Christianity and it built this great nation. We should be able to do the same.”

-M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D., President and Founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, from a statement during U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security hearing, March 10, 2011

December 5, 2012

“Though they purport to be a new form of journalism, these aggregators are primarily parasites living off journalism produced by others.”

-Len Downie, Vice President of the Washington Post, in a speech at the City University in London, Sept. 22, 2010

December 6, 2012

“The United States Senate has long enjoyed worldwide respect as the greatest deliberative body in the world. But recently that deliberative character has too often been debased to the level of a forum of hate and character assassination sheltered by the shield of congressional immunity.”

-Margaret Chase Smith, Declaration of Conscience speech to Congress, June 1, 1950

December 7, 2012

“Even if bipartisanship doesn’t always work, even if ‘moderate’ legislation is often weak, even if centrists sometimes fail completely, it doesn’t matter: We are condemned to cross-party compromise. Without it, our system doesn’t work: That’s what ‘checks and balances’ means.”

-Columnist Anne Applebaum, The Washington Post, Oct. 26, 2010

December 8, 2012

“Politicians, like generals, are loyal to the demands of the corporate state in power and retire to become millionaires as lobbyists or corporate managers.”

-NPR commentator and author Chris Hedges, Death of the Liberal Class, Nation Books, 2010

December 9, 2012

“Our political differences shouldn’t degenerate into demonization, in the sense that if you don’t agree with me you’re not a good American.”

-Former President Bill Clinton, BBC, Jan. 11, 2011

December 10, 2012

“Our republic was established to guarantee liberty to all people. It is our role as elected representatives to protect all of the people that live in our state.”

-Republican New Jersey State Senator Jennifer Beck on the vote to legalize same-gender weddings in New Jersey, New York Times, Feb. 13, 2012

December 11, 2012

“Freedom is a messy affair, and sometimes people get their feelings hurt but we think the trade-off is worth the aggravation.”

-Kathleen Parker, The Washington Post, Sept. 13, 2010

December 12, 2012

“Having sex doesn’t make you a slut and speaking out for women’s health care certainly doesn’t. Standing up for your rights doesn’t mean someone gets to rhetorically rip your top off in hopes to send you running from the public square in shamed humiliation, a cautionary tale for any woman who dares forget her place.”

-Krystal Ball, The Huffington Post, March 2, 2012

December 13, 2012

“The Senate can’t agree to cross the street.”

-Senator Lindsey Graham, New York Times, March 3, 2012

December 14, 2012

“Leadership is tested not by one’s capacity to survive politically but by the ability to make tough decisions in trying times.”

-Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmbert, The New York Times, Sep. 21, 2011

December 15, 2012

“One can always lament, you know — but to laugh in the face of life, that’s very hard.”

-Martha Graham, founder of the Modern Dance Movement, New York Times, March 31, 1985

December 16, 2012

“Success is not about who never fails. It is about who can spring – or even stagger – back up.”

-Samantha Power, commencement address at Pitzer-Claremont College, May 22, 2008

December 17, 2012

“We have a political system that has become allergic to compromise and practical solutions.”

-Fareed Zakaria, Time, March 14, 2011

December 18, 2012

“I do believe in their heart of hearts they know it’s a value and they know by getting rid of public media it’s not going to make one iota’s difference in the deficit.”

-Patricia S. Harrison, president and chief executive of Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Feb. 27, 2011

December 19, 2012

“The only things that get 90% support in the United States Senate these days are Mom, apple pie and chocolate ice cream.”

-Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council, on the fact that the payroll tax cut extension got 90% support in the Senate, State of the Union, CNN, Dec. 18, 2011

December 20, 2012

“If every member of Congress who behaved inappropriately towards his wife and lied about it were to resign, we would be hard pressed to find a quorum.”

-Democratic strategist Julie Roginsky, Politico, June 17, 2011

December 21, 2012

“There’s nothing more powerful in the media than a black-and-white headline.”

-Anonymous, New York

December 22, 2012

“It shouldn’t take a constitutional crisis, a terrorist attack, or a financial calamity to summon from each of us and from this body collectively the greatness of which we are capable. Nor can America afford to wait.”

-Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), farewell speech on the Senate floor, Dec. 15, 2010

December 23, 2012

“We cannot improve on the system of government handed down to us by the founders of the Republic. There is no way to improve upon that. But what we can do is to find new ways to implement that system and realize our destiny.”

-Barbara Charline Jordan, 1976 Democratic National Convention

December 24, 2012

“In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!”

-Dave Barry, American humorist, “Christmas Shopping: A Survivor’s Guide.”

December 25, 2012

“A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.”

-Garrison Keillor, American humorist, “Leaving Home,” 1987

December 26, 2012

“Christmas is an awfulness that compares favorably with the great London plague and fire of 1665-66. No one escapes the feelings of mortal dejection, inadequacy, frustration, loneliness, guilt and pity. No one escapes feeling used by society, by religion, by friends and relatives, by the utterly artificial responsibilities of extending false greetings, sending banal cards, reciprocating unsolicited gifts, going to dull parties, putting up with acquaintances and family one avoids all the rest of the year…in short, of being brutalized by a ‘holiday’ that has lost virtually all of its original meanings and has become a merchandising ploy for color TV set manufacturers and ravagers of the woodlands.”

-Harlan Ellison, American Writer, “The Harlan Ellison Hornbook,” 1972

December 27, 2012

“Americans have an egalitarian approach to inequality: they want every one to have an equal chance to become better-off than everyone else.”

-Dr. Louis Menand, Professor of English, Harvard University, The New Yorker, December 17, 2012

December 28, 2012

“Mostly there’s no trouble as long as you are within the borders of an accepted paradigm. But be aware when you start to discuss the paradigm. Then it starts to be only twenty-five per cent discussion of facts and seventy-five per cent psychology.”

-Frans Vera, Director of the “rewilding” Oostvaarderplassen project (Netherlands), The New Yorker, December 24 & 31, 2012

December 29, 2012

“For change to occur, our leaders must understand that there is not only strength in compromise, courage in conciliation and honor in consensus-building — but also a political reward for following these tenets.”

-Senator Olympia Snow (R-ME), The Washington Post, March 1, 2012

December 30, 2012

“In a world awash in information, knowing how to question and challenge our own certainties are the most important disciplines anyone can master.”

-Professor Amanda Pustilnik, University of Maryland, The New York Times, December 16, 2011

December 31, 2012

“In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, but never in want.”

-Irish Proverb