Quotenik
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politics

“The stupidity and blindness of American power, which, in its own terms is perfectly ‘logical’—and yet its terms are fantastically arbitrary and respond only to the ‘reality’ of a thinking that goes on within an artificial and closed system. To defend your own reality and then impose it forcefully on the outside world is paranoia.”

Thomas Merton

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source: October 25, 1967 journal entry in The Other Side of the Mountain: The End of the Journey (New York: HarperCollins, 2010), 5.

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medium: Journal

“Usually when people talk about the trickle-down theory, it has to do with economics. The richer people at the top of a society become, supposedly, the more wealth there is to trickle down to the people below. It never really works out that way, of course, because if there are two things people at the top can’t stand, they have to be leakage and overflow.”

Kurt Vonnegut

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source: Hocus Pocus (New York: Putnam, 1997), 201–2

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medium: Fiction

via: Kevin Lippert

“And they saw hope pass by in a train.”

Paul Fusco

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source: Description of mourners lined up along the railroad tracks, as the train carrying RFK traveled from New York City to Washington, in “April 23, 1969: R.F.K. Assassin Sirhan Sirhan Sentenced to Death,” April 23, 2012. Stunning slideshow of photographs here. (Thanks, DW!)

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medium: Newspaper article

“…I’m extremely happy with her, and part of it has to do with the fact that she is at once completely familiar to me, so that I can be myself and she knows me very well and I trust her completely, but at the same time she is also a complete mystery to me in some ways. And there are times when we are lying in bed and I look over and sort of have a start. Because I realize here is this other person who is separate and different and has different memories and backgrounds and thoughts and feelings. It’s that tension between familiarity and mystery that makes for something strong, because, even as you build a life of trust and comfort and mutual support, you retain some sense of surprise or wonder about the other person.”

President Barack Obama

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source: “A Couple in Chicago,” interview by Mariana Cook, The New Yorker, January 19, 2009.

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medium: interview

notes: Interview originally conducted on May 26, 1996 by Mariana Cook, who visited the Obamas in Hyde Park as part of a photography project on couples in America.

“Last year, Romney went on Letterman’s show to read ‘Things You Don’t Know About Mitt Romney,’ including: ‘I’m the guy in the photo that comes with your picture frame.’”

Maureen Dowd

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source: “Hunting, Dear Sir? Delighted!” New York Times, January 17, 2012.

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medium: Op-Ed

“Authenticity can be overrated, especially in a rabid conservative.”

Maureen Dowd

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source: “Fed Up With the Author of ‘Fed Up!’?” New York Times, September 24, 2011.

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medium: Op-Ed

“When our leaders take these anti-science positions, or when they happily plead ignorance about some of the most important issues of our time—our energy use, global warming, genomics, all the revolutions unleashed by computer science—they’re not just being anti-intellectual. They’re also being un-American. The people who founded this country were serious science geeks. We should be celebrating this fact, not running away from it.”

Steven Johnson

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“My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.”

Warren Buffett

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source: “Stop Coddling the Super-Rich,” The New York Times, August 14, 2011.

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medium: Op-Ed

“This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as we do when the baby gets hold of a hammer. It’s just a question of how much damage he can do with it before you can take it away from him. Well, in eighteen months these babies have left a record of devastation.”

Will Rogers

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source: “Congress Session, Rogers Says, Is Like Baby Getting a Hammer,” Letter to the Editor, The New York Times, July 5, 1930.

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medium: Letter to the Editor

“I think my problem is that I do have the fire in my belly. I am so adamantly supportive of the good, traditional things about America and our free enterprise system, and I want to make sure that America is put back on the right track, and we only do that by defeating Obama in 2012. I have that fire in my belly.
        It’s a matter for me of some kind of practical, pragmatic decisions that have to be made. One is, with a large family, understanding the huge amount of scrutiny and the sacrifices that have to be made on my children’s part in order to see their mama run for president. But yeah, the fire in the belly? It’s there.”

Sarah Palin

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source: On the Record w/Greta Van Susteren, Fox News, May 19, 2011.

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medium: Interview

“If you’re going to go after the household help, get a ‘Yes’ first.”

Bill Maher

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source: Hardball with Chris Matthews, May 17, 2011.

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medium: Cable news

“What a week. As some of you heard, the state of Hawaii released my official long-form birth certificate. Hopefully this puts all doubts to rest. But just in case there are any lingering questions, tonight I’m prepared to go a step further. Tonight, for the first time, I am releasing my official birth video.”

President Barack Obama

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source: The White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, April 30, 2011.

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medium: Speech

notes: Obama's

“If this party has a message, it has done a hell of a job of hiding it tonight.”

James Carville

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source: CNN, August 25, 2008

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medium: Television news

“These days you don’t just throw your hat in the ring. You put the hat on a coat rack in the general vicinity of the ring, and then you have your supporters move the coat rack closer and closer, until it is finally time to take the hat down, put it right next to the ring and wait for a strong gust of wind.”

Gail Collins

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source: “What’s in a Nickname,” The New York Times, March 25, 2011.

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medium: Op-Ed

“You realize that one reason nothing gets done in America is that one of the political parties puts so much more into fantasy problems than real ones. Governing this country with Republicans is like rooming with a meth addict. You want to address real-life problems like when the rent is due, and they’re saying, ‘How can you even think of that stuff when there’s police scanner voices coming out of the air conditioning unit?’”

Bill Maher

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source: Real Time With Bill Maher, HBO, Episode 206, March 18, 2011.

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medium: TV talk show

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