Pundit Wire

November 2012

November 1, 2012

“Some people are your relatives but others are your ancestors, and you choose the ones you want to have as ancestors. You create yourself out of those values.”

-Ralph Waldo Ellison, Novelist, Time Magazine March 27, 1964

November 2, 2012

“The most extreme types, like Murray Rothbard, are at least honest. They’d like to eliminate highway taxes because they force you to pay for a road you may never drive on. As an alternative, they suggest that if you and I want to get somewhere, we should build a road there and charge people tolls on it. Just try generalizing that. Such a society couldn’t survive, and even if it could, it would be so full of terror and hate that any human being would prefer to live in hell.”

-Noam Chomsky, philosopher, The Common Good, 1998

November 3, 2012

“I learned compassion from being discriminated against. Everything bad that’s ever happened to me has taught me compassion.”

-Ellen DeGeneres, television host, on The Oprah Show, November 9, 2009

November 4, 2012

“The faith that education would destroy intolerance is false. It may be partly true, but people find that intolerance is fun.”

-Richard Summerbell, Canadian Artist, in The Ubyssey (student newspaper of the University of British Columbia), February 9, 1979

November 5, 2012

“One may not like the electoral college (I don’t), but I don’t like the fact that a basketball rim is 10 feet off the ground either.”

-Columnist Paul Begala, on the winner-take-all system, Newsweek, Dec. 12, 2011

November 6, 2012

“On Election Day, the messy sport of politics turns very human. It’s an emotional time in a clinical business — all swathed in the chaos of final chores, so it won’t sink in until some quiet moment after a little sleep.”

-Journalist Mike Allen, Playbook, Politico, Nov. 2, 2010

November 7, 2012

“Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come.”

-President Barack Obama, Acceptance Speech, Nov. 6, 2012

November 8, 2012

“We’re thirsty for narratives of hope in difficult times.”

-Journalist Catherine Mayer, Time, April 29, 2011

November 9, 2012

“History will judge the character of our country in large part by the way we answer these challenges to human dignity.”

-Former President George W. Bush, on some of the tougher questions of his presidency, Decision Points, 2010, p. 125

November 10, 2012

“Violence, or the threat of violence, has no place in our Democracy.”

-Keith Olbermann, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, MSNBC, Jan. 8, 2011

November 11, 2012

“What we are witnessing is another stage in the evolution of the permanent campaign, where the policy arguments and partisan battles advanced during an election are continued long after the voting is over.”

-Anthony Corrado, campaign finance expert, on the lasting effects of the Citizens United decision, Politico, March 18, 2011

November 12, 2012

“While GOP voters were proud to assert their support with lawn signs, Democratic professionals were quietly organizing, data mining and turning out the vote. Their effort was a bit of a masterpiece; it will likely change national politics forever. Mr. Obama was perhaps not joyless but dogged, determined, and tired.”

-Peggy Noonan, columnist The Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2012

November 13, 2012

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

-Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Speech at the Riverside Church, April 4, 1967

November 14, 2012

“The Republican Party, is a ‘Mad Men’ party in a ‘Modern Family’ America. And it just doesn’t fit anymore.”

-Matthew Dowd, Campaign Advisor to President George W. Bush, ABC’s Good Morning America, November 7, 2012

November 15, 2012

“It is only when we speak what is right that we stand a chance at night of being blown to bits in our homes. Can we call this a free country, when I am afraid to go to sleep in my own home in Mississippi?”

-Fannie Lou Hamer, voting and civil rights activist, testimony before the United States House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Elections, September 13, 1965

November 16, 2012

“I do not hope for a model of ‘civil bipartisanship’ in this second term of the Obama presidency. I would like to see him, and more importantly us, push for a redemption of the American Dream. I would like to see us not reaching out to people who so openly despise women’s rights, Hispanics, Muslims, African-Americans, and the poor, but rather setting a higher and loftier ground for what We as a people can be.”

-Omid Safi, Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Chapel Hill, Religion News Service Blog, November 7, 2012

November 17, 2012

“I’m sure one reason that so many Greek myths deal with terrifying, powerful women — Medea, Electra, the Erinyes, the Bacchae, — is that at some point in the misty past, women held a power that was terrifying — terrifying not because they were women whom men felt threatened by, but because they wielded that power in terrifying rituals that almost certainly involved human sacrifice. This would not be a popular platform on which to base a feminist agenda.”

-Elizabeth Hand, Poet, “Apocalypse Descending”, 2002

November 18, 2012

“I wish to live because life has within it that which is good, that which is beautiful and that which is love. Therefore, since I have known all of these things, I have found them to be reason enough and — I wish to live. Moreover, because this is so, I wish others to live for generations and generations and generations.”

-Lorraine Hansberry, playwright, “To Be Young, Gifted and Black: Lorraine Hansberry in Her Own Words,” 1969

November 19, 2012

“I’ve been in Washington 35 years…and I’ve never seen a time when people have put their own personal political feelings over how we can get the economy moving.”

-Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, in an interview to Newsweek, Oct. 31, 2011

November 20, 2012

“The walls may be filled with screens beaming the latest news, but there is typically an obliviousness as to what is happening across the street.”

-Kenneth Froewiss, a retired JPMorgan Chase investment banker and former finance professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, on the Wall Street trading floor, Reuters, Nov. 18, 2011

November 21, 2012

“Freedom is fragile and must be protected. To sacrifice it, even as a temporary measure, is to betray it.”

-Feminist Germaine Greer, The Female Eunuch, published in 1970

November 22, 2012

“America is a land of abundance, prosperity, and hope. We must never take for granted the things that make our country great: a firm foundation of freedom, justice, and equality; a belief in democracy and the rule of law; and our fundamental rights to gather, speak, and worship freely.”

-President George W. Bush, Proclamation by the President, November 27, 2003

November 23, 2012

“The point is no longer whether or not Black Friday tarnishes the holidays. The point is that Black Friday has become a holiday of its own.”

-Bob Greene, on the tradition of shopping the day after Thanksgiving, CNN, November 18, 2012

November 24, 2012

“The nation’s ideology can be described in five words: liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism, and laissez fair.”

-Seymour Martin Lipset, in American Exceptionalism: A Double-Edged Sword, 2010

November 25, 2012

“The call for revolution sounds weird in good times, but when things are bad, upending the status quo feels irresistible.”

–Shankar Vendantam, Slate, Oct. 11, 2010

November 26, 2012

“I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization.”

-Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr, Supreme Court Justice, as quoted by Felix Frankfurter in, “Mr. Justice Holmes and the Supreme Court,” 1961

November 27, 2012

“For the first time, there was a traffic jam in the Senate women’s bathroom. There were five of us in there, and there are only two stalls.”

-Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Washington Post, November 14, 2012

November 28, 2012

“Wow, stores do everything possible to accommodate big crowds waiting to buy crap. We should totally try that with voting.”

-@PourMeCoffee, anonymous micro-blogger, Twitter, November 23, 2012

November 29, 2012

“The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play; it does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything in short except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.”

-John F. Kennedy, President of The United States, Speech at The University of Kansas, March 18, 1968

November 30, 2012

“The idea of opening an independent bookstore, a lot of people were like, ‘Oh, that’s a nice, slightly crazy a thing to do.’ You kind of have to be a cock-eyed optimist to make anything happen, and you sort of create the world you image.”

-Jessica Bagnulo, co-owner, Greenlight Bookstore, MSNBC’s “Up With Chris Hayes” November 24, 2012