Pundit Wire

November 2011

November 1, 2011

“We’ve been told since our childhoods, ‘Politics is bad, don’t get into politics.’ But the point is that somebody has to clean it up. We can’t just scold people.”

- Partho Nag, on a new activism among the middle class in India, New York Times, October 29, 2011

November 2, 2011

“Redistricting has made a tiny slice of ideological activists the power brokers in who gets sent to Congress.”

- Norm Ornstein, a congressional scholar at American Enterprise Institute, Reuters, Jul. 25, 2011

November 3, 2011

“This is not John Wayne’s America. This is Gordon Gekko’s America. In fact, I’m pretty sure that if [John Wayne] faced one of these CEOs in a John Ford film, he’d kick some ass and force the leech to start treating his workers fair.”

– Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” opinion contributor, Politico, Aug. 9, 2011

November 4, 2011

“I am troubled by the demonization of immigrants, legal or illegal, in our party. We’ve got a country that was built on immigrants and immigration, and we’ve kind of lost sight of that.”

- Representative Blake Farenthold, on shifting attitudes toward immigration, New York Times, October 28, 2011.

November 5, 2011

“The things that divide us are not new, yet there’s a sense now that the glue that held us together for more than two centuries has thinned and cracked with age. That it was allowed to thin and crack, that the modern era wore it out.”

- Columnist Peggy Noonan, on modern American society, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 29, 2011

November 6, 2011

“Being a world leader is less about destiny than focused determination, and it is there that we have faltered.”

- Charles M. Blow, New York Times, October 28, 2011

November 7, 2011

“It’s just amazing how long this country has been going to hell without ever having got there.”

- Commentator Andy Rooney, from Andy Rooney: 60 Years of Wisdom and Wit, published in 2009

November 8, 2011

“The financial interdependence of the world’s banks is like the interlocking alliances that predated World War I.”

- Dick Morris, former adviser to Sen. Lott and Pres. Clinton, on collective financial risk, op-ed in The Hill, Nov. 2, 2011

November 9, 2011

“Let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”

- President John F. Kennedy, in his inaugural address, Jan. 20, 1960

November 10, 2011

“Like an odorless gas, [inequality] pervades every corner of the United States and saps the strength of the country’s democracy. But it seems impossible to find the source and shut it off.”

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

November 11, 2011

“Freedom is never granted. It is earned by each generation.”

- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in remarks to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Kansas City, Missouri, Aug. 20, 2007

November 12, 2011

“My personal view is, why don’t you get out there and try to do something about the things that you don’t like, create the jobs that we are lacking, rather than just yell and scream. But if you want to yell and scream, we’ll make sure you can do it.”

– New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, on the Occupy Wall Street protesters, New York Times, Nov. 3, 2011

November 13, 2011

“[W]e the government are having our stomach stapled.”

- GSA chief Martha Johnson, on America’s budgetary ‘diet,’ Federal Times, Nov. 1, 2011

November 14, 2011

“I refuse to accept that Western civilization is like some hopeless old version of Microsoft DOS, doomed to freeze, then crash. I still cling to the hope that the United States is the Mac to Europe’s PC, and that if one part of the West can successfully update and reboot itself, it’s America.”

- Niall Ferguson, in an essay adapted from his book Civilization: The West and the Rest, Newsweek, Nov. 7 & 14, 2011

November 15, 2011

“[T]here’s a genuine disconnect between the anti-choice movement and people who identify as ‘pro-life’ but aren’t in the movement. …[S]aying you’re ‘pro-life’ is more about marking you as a member of a tribe, pledging fealty to your faith or to your identity as a ‘conservative,’ for a lot of people.”

- Amanda Marcotte, on the demise of Mississippi’s personhood ballot initiative, Slate, Nov. 10, 2011

November 16, 2011

“[The media can be] the greatest force for peace on the earth [for] it is how we come to understand each other.”

- Amy Goodman, host of the newscast Democracy Now!, as reported by the New York Times, Oct. 23, 2011

November 17, 2011

“All things civic, it seems some days in this country, are being replaced by all things narcissistic.”

- Journalist Brian Williams, speaking at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, Nov. 18, 2009

November 18, 2011

“Governmental assistance can prevent the certainty of a hungry night and a homeless tomorrow. It can mean the difference between the comfort of stability and the ravages of poverty.”

– Columnist Charles M. Blow, New York Times, Nov. 11, 2011

November 19, 2011

“Now, after I have published a few books, I can clearly feel the impact of censorship when I write. For example, I’ll think of a sentence, and then realize that it will for sure get deleted. Then I won’t even write it down.”

- Murong Xuecun, a novelist in China, New York Times, Nov. 6, 2011

November 20, 2011

“If the Constitution was designed to create gridlock, and we’ve discovered the Congress and the president are in gridlock now, who should we really blame here?”

- MIT political scientist Charles Stewart III, New York Times, Aug. 12, 2011

November 21, 2011

“It’s easy to throw stones, but it’s not easy to chart a new course. Our hard work begins tomorrow.”

- Ibrahim Haridy, an Egyptian citizen, on the Egyptian revolution, The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 12-13, 2011

November 22, 2011

“Power is mass multiplied by cohesion.”

- Edward Luttwak, author and military strategist, on Lenin’s teachings of the social strength of groups, Tablet Magazine, Sep. 6, 2011

November 23, 2011

“Why was the ‘super committee’ doomed to fail? Mainly because the gulf between our two major political parties is so wide. Republicans and Democrats don’t just have different priorities; they live in different intellectual and moral universes.”

- Paul Krugman, New York Times, Nov 17, 2011

November 24, 2011

“I realize the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war, and frequently the words of the pursuers fall on deaf ears. But we have no more urgent task.”

- President John F. Kennedy, in a commencement address at American University, Jun. 10, 1963

November 25, 2011

“If an alien with an accounting degree touched down in America, it might conclude that we’re a weird cult that spends 11 months living frugally and four crazy weeks buying tons of stuff we don’t need. It wouldn’t be entirely wrong, either.”

- Adam Davidson, New York Times, Nov 16, 2011

November 26, 2011

“We mistake the errors of our own overblown estimations for broken promises. And instead of learning, reasonably, that one person can’t do everything, we persuade ourselves that no person can do anything.”

- Rebecca Traister, New York Times, Nov 18, 2011

November 27, 2011

“The path to prosperity, the way to win the future, is to invest wisely in schools, remembering that children get only one chance at an education.”

- Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, op-ed in the Denver Post, Sep. 28, 2011

November 28, 2011

“Activists measure progress against the standard of perfection, or at least the most perfect possible choice. Historians gauge progress against what came before it.”

- Liberal writer Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine, Nov. 20, 2011

November 29, 2011

“The fall of regimes was not the revolution, but just a way to establish the foundations for the Arab Spring. Freedom and democracy need time.”

- Sateh Noureddine, columnist for the Lebanese newspaper Al Safir, quoted in the New York Times, Nov. 27, 2011

November 30, 2011

“Once you can express yourself, you can tell the world what you want from it. All the changes in the world, for good or evil, were first brought about by words.”

- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, on her love of literature, The Best Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, circa 1980