Pundit Wire

January 2013

January 1, 2013

“[T]he fiscal responsibility mantle is still available for anyone to grab. It probably won’t be either party but a bipartisan group of courageous leaders who understand that continuing to punt on these necessary budget changes isn’t a good strategy for either party and it certainly isn’t good for the nation.”

-Maya MacGuineas is the president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, The New York Times, Feb. 14, 2011

January 2, 2013

“For most of our history, we have become rich while remaining restless. Rather than resting on our laurels, we have feared getting fat and lazy. And that has been our greatest strength. In the past, worrying about decline has helped us avert that very condition. Let’s hope it does so today.”

-Fareed Zakaria, Time, March 3, 2011

January 3, 2013

“Fame has two sides for me. One is when fame is an inspiration for other people. The other is when fame is an inspiration for you. … In the second case, it becomes an ego thing. … In the first, you see children calling you, and your image is an inspiration for them to accomplish things.”

-Gustavo Dudamel, Venezuelan conductor and music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Newsweek, Feb. 13, 2012

January 4, 2013

“Double-dip concerns are well founded. The government changed a flat tire in 2008 and now we’re driving around without a spare.”

-Jack Ablin, CIO of Harris Private Bank in Chicago, The Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2011

January 5, 2013

“It is totally unacceptable for the N.R.A., desperate to hang on to its mission and its members after achieving its Second Amendment triumph at the Supreme Court four years ago, to be calling the tune on judicial nominations for an entire political party,”

-Linda Greenhouse, New York Times, Dec 26, 2012

January 6, 2013

“This land has seen untold suffering and death. We have been bombed enslaved and treated worse than a refugee in our own country. We have to forgive, though we will not forget.”

-South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, on the brand-new country’s bloody history, The New York Times, July 10, 2011

January 7, 2013

“Although the world is sadly marked by hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor, by the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism, as well as by various forms of terrorism and crime, I am convinced that the many different efforts at peacemaking which abound in our world testify to mankind’s innate vocation to peace.”

-Pope Benedict XVI, in a homily on the World Day of Peace, January 1, 2013

January 8, 2013

“There are so many ways for speakers of English to see the world. We can glimpse, glance, visualize, view, look, spy, or ogle. Stare, gawk, or gape. Peek, watch, or scrutinize. Each word suggests some subtly differently quality: looking implies volition; spying suggests furtiveness; gawking carries an element of social judgement and a sense of surprise. When we try to describe an act of vision, we consider a constellation of available meanings. But if thoughts and word exist on different planes, then expression must always be an act of compromised.”

-Joshua Foer, The New Yorker, December 24, 2012

January 9, 2013

“Like our colonial forefathers, we are pursuing the freedom to practice our faith as we see fit, not as it is dictated to us by a self-proclaimed religious authority who threatens to take our property unless we relinquish our beliefs.”

-Episcopal Bishop Mark Lawrence of South Carolina, after filing a lawsuit to keep the national Episcopal Church from laying claim to more than $500 million in church property and assets after the diocese disaffiliated itself from the national church, in a press release, January 4, 2013

January 10, 2013

“Whenever Letterman hints that he’ll retire, I roll my eyes. They’ll just pick another white guy. Perhaps it’ll be a Conan-like ironist, or someone boyish, like Jimmy Fallon, but it will be a distinction without a difference.”

-Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker, December 24, 2012

January 11, 2013

“I hate to say it, but I think a good number of Americans, among those that have even heard of Al Jazeera, are suspicious of it by default. There’s a certain segment of the population that’s just going to be automatically suspicious of anything that starts with ‘Al,’ like Al Qaeda — or Al Gore, for that matter.”

-Former Vice President Al Gore, founder of Current TV, on Current’s sale to Al Jazeera. ABC News, January 3, 2013

January 12, 2013

“A man in love is incomplete until he has married. Then he’s finished.”

-Zsa Zsa Gabor, actor, Newsweek, March 28, 1960

January 13, 2013

“Somebody once said to me, ‘If you want to be understood, don’t write fiction.’”

-Mary Gaitskill, American author, NPR’s All Things Considered, April 19, 2009

January 14, 2013

“Congress has a lot to do: Appropriations, Tax Reform, Health Insurance, Campaign Finance Reform, Housing, Environmental Protection, Energy Sufficiency, Mass Transportation. Pettiness cannot be allowed to stand in the face of such overwhelming problems.”

-Barbara Charline Jordan, Statement on the Articles of Impeachment to House Judiciary Committee, July 25, 1974

January 15, 2013

“The question, though, isn’t whether you, you take symbolic acts. The question is whether you make progress.”

-Former White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod, on Congressional action, Meet the Press, Dec. 4, 2011

January 16, 2013

“But charity is no solution to poverty. Charity only perpetuates poverty by taking the initiative away from the poor. Charity allows us to go ahead with our own lives without worrying about the lives of the poor. Charity appeases our consciences.”

-Muhammad Yunus, Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty, 1999

January 17, 2013

“It is strange that we can verbally attack anyone else without restraint and with full protection and yet we hold ourselves above the same type of criticism here on the Senate Floor.”

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

January 18, 2013

“I am coming to feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than the people of goodwill. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people. We must come to see that human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability.”

-Martin Luther King Jr., Letter From Birmingham Jail, 1963

January 19, 2013

“The rules say: everyone in our society should contribute their fair share.”

-Geraldine Ferraro, Vice Presidential Nomination Acceptance Address at the Democratic National Convention, July 19, 1984

January 20, 2013

“True leadership will not be measured by the ability to muzzle dissent, or to intimidate and harass political opponents at home. The people of the world want change. They will not long tolerate those who are on the wrong side of history.”

-President Barack Obama, speech to the UN General Assembly, Sept. 23, 2010

January 21, 2013

“If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”

-Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, “This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa’s First Woman President”

January 22, 2013

“Our challenges may be new, the instruments with which we meet them may be new, but those values upon which our success depends, honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old.”

-President Barack Obama, Inaugural Address, January 21, 2013

January 23, 2013

“When a congresswoman can be shot in a parking lot and a professor who falls short of Glenn Beck’s standards of political correctness can be, however anonymously, targeted for execution, we have moved well beyond democracy to a tyranny of the heavily armed.”

-Barbara Ehrenreich, The Los Angeles Times, January 26, 2011

January 24, 2013

“Liberty is precious. But so is life. It should not be so difficult for men and women of good will and good heart and sound mind to find the right balance between the two.”

-Jon Meacham, PBS, January 14, 2011

January 25, 2013

“I’m actually for gun control — use both hands.”

-Governor Rick Perry (Texas), Speech at Tim Scott’s (R-SC) town hall event in Conway, SC, September 5, 2011

January 26, 2013

“Population is key. If you don’t take care of population, schools can’t cope, hospitals can’t cope, there’s not enough housing — there’s nothing you can do to have economic development.”

-Peter Ogunjuyigbe, New York Times, April 14, 2012

January 27, 2013

“If they quote you, make damn sure they heard you.”

-First Lady Barbara Bush, Newsweek, November 30, 1992

January 28, 2013

“I might as well be myself. Everyone else is taken.”

-Oliver Stone, film director, The New York Times, Sept. 10, 2010

January 29, 2013

“Washington, D.C., has essentially become an open bar affair: Congress hands out ‘free stuff’ without concern for the bill.”

-Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), in an op-ed for UnionLeader.com, Nov. 14, 2010

January 30, 2013

“Long-term joblessness is a personal and economic disaster.”

-Peter Dreier, Los Angeles Times, Dec. 7, 2011

January 31, 2013

“Rapid failure functions like the draft of a chimney: The fast exit of failures sucks in new entrants.”

–Daniel Isenberg, on policymaking and entrepreneurship, Harvard Business Review, April 2011