Friday, December 29, 2017

Fire And Fury

Imagine how future historians might try to summarize 2017: A U.S. president, his family and his political aides came under investigation by a special counsel for possibly helping a foreign government meddle in the election.  Talk of impeachment swirled through Congress, where the fracturing Republican Party was in the midst of an identity crisis -- and the Democrats were, too.  Twitter became a source of official U.S. policy.  A wave of sexual harassment allegations took down U.S. senators and congressmen, top judges and reporters, and high-profile political candidates -- but not the president, who had been caught on tape admitting to grabbing women "by the pussy."  We learned that the Pentagon has secretly been studying UFOs.  All while the leaders of North Korea and the United States exchanged threats to rain down nuclear "fire and fury like the world has never seen."

-- Elizabeth F. Ralph, in Politico Magazine, 29 December 2017

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Pretty Simple

Because we are rich as hell and we don’t need it all, and other people need it.  And you are an ass if you don’t give it.  Pretty simple.

-- NBA San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, on why it's important to give to charity, quoted on Twitter by Tom Osborn of the San Antonio Express-News, 27 December 2017

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Rich Period

The Twitter Archive may prove to be one of this generation's most significant legacies to future generations.  Future generations will learn much about this rich period in our history, the information flows, and social and political forces that help define the current generation.

-- The Library of Congress in a statement announcing as of 1 January 2018 it will no longer archive every public tweet, a practice dating to 2010 and encompassing every tweet since the 2006 founding of Twitter, 26 December 2017

Friday, December 22, 2017

Drawing Lots

Democrats have lost their one-vote lead in a state election that will determine control over the Virginia House of Delegates.  The race is now a tie, and the State Board of Elections will determine a winner by drawing lots.  If Democrat Shelly Simonds wins, Democrats will break the GOP’s 20-year chokehold on power in the House.  If Republican David Yancey wins, the GOP will retain unified control of the state legislature.

-- Mark Joseph Stern, at, 20 December 2017

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Pace Of Disruption

The pace of disruption has only hastened.

-- Robert A. Iger, Disney's chief executive and chairman, on how shifts in viewing habits led to his company's decision to buy most of 21st Century Fox, New York Times, 15 December 2017

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Tossed Into The Wrangling

It crushes me to think we're in an environment where kids' health is up for debate - that this somehow got tossed into the wrangling.

-- Dr Todd Wolynn, a pediatrician in Pittsburgh, on Congress's inability to agree how to fund the Children's Health Insurance Program, which ran out of money on 30 September, New York Times, 6 December 2017

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Slender Threads

Now and then it occurs to one to reflect upon what slender threads of accident depend the most important circumstances of his life; to look back and shudder, realizing how close to the edge of nothingness his being has come.

-- Upton Beall Sinclair, Jr. (1878 - 1968), prolific American author who wrote in many genres, often advocating Socialist views, 100%: the Story of a Patriot, Section 1 (1920)

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Stinging Disrespect

I have deep respect for the career Foreign and Civil Service staff who, despite the stinging disrespect this Administration has shown our profession, continue the struggle to keep our foreign policy on the positive trajectory necessary to avert global disaster in increasingly dangerous times.  With each passing day, however, this task grows more futile, driving the Department's experienced and talented staff away in ever greater numbers.

-- Elizabeth Shackelford, a political officer based in Nairobi for the U.S. mission to Somalia, in her resignation letter addressed to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, 7 November 2017

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Decency Wins

I'm standing by to hear from the loser, Roy Moore.

-- Wolf Blitzer on CNN, just after CNN called tonight's special Senate election in Alabama for Democrat Doug Jones, about an hour ago, 12 December 2017

Monday, December 11, 2017

Don't Believe It

When we say, "This is going to create eight million jobs," people don't believe it.  And they don't care.  They care about one job: their job.

-- Corry Bliss, executive director of the American Action Network, a conservative group helping lead the effort to sell the Republicans' tax overhaul to voters who doubt it will benefit them, New York Times, 7 December 2017

Friday, December 08, 2017


When you're attacking FBI agents because you're under criminal investigation, you're losing

-- White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, @SarahHuckabee via Twitter, 2:12 PM - 3 November 2016

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Some Irony

[T]oday I am announcing that, in the coming weeks, I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate.

I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party.

-- Senator Al Franken (D-MN), in a speech on the Senate floor announcing his resignation after multiple allegations of sexual impropriety, 7 December 2017

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Not Constrained By The Facts

Promoting public confidence in our work is sometimes challenging, particularly in the modern era of nonstop so-called breaking news.  Talking heads and commentators are not constrained by the need to find credible eyewitnesses and determine the facts beyond any reasonable doubt before reaching a verdict.  Sometimes critics are not constrained by the facts at all.  But we must remain focused on the things that matter.

-- Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in Opening Remarks at the 2017 Criminal Division Awards Ceremony, Washington, DC, 5 December 2017

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

RIP John Anderson

I had no great sense of failure.  I didn’t come out of the campaign with the sense that I’d thrown my career away or thrown my life away on what was a fruitless, feckless endeavor.  I felt that I had made my mark on the pages of history and laid down some markers for others possibly to follow.

-- John B. Anderson (15 February 1922 - 4 December 2017), American poliitician and social activist, Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and 1980 independent candidate for President of the United States, as quoted in No Holding Back : The 1980 John B. Anderson Presidential Campaign (2011) by Jim Mason, p. 412

I cast my first vote for president for John Anderson.

Monday, December 04, 2017

I'd Say So

When you're choosing Michigan's next attorney general, ask yourself this: Who can you trust most not to show you their penis in a professional setting?

Is it the candidate who doesn't have a penis?

I'd say so.

-- Michigan attorney general candidate Dana Nessel, in a campaign ad released on Youtube, Detroit Free Press, 30 November 2017

Friday, December 01, 2017

Set Things Right

I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right.

-- Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in a statement after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI, 1 December 2017