"And here I am today at Howard, a historically black college. Here I am, a guy who once presumed to discuss a section of the Civil Rights Act. Some have said that I’m either brave or crazy to be here today. I’ve never been one to watch the world go by without participating. I wake up each day hoping to make a difference. I take to heart the words of Toni Morrison of Howard University, who wrote: 'If there is a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.'" —If you've been waiting for the sketch comedy bit where Rand Paul [...]
"I get so bummed out when I see a lot of these archconservatives saying, 'They give these kids trophies just for playing. Those are loser trophies! You gotta teach 'em!' If it makes you feel any better, they will end up an asshole, hard and cynical like you, trust me. Just give 'em a few years."
"One high-profile Republican strategist, who refused to be named in order to avoid inflaming the very segments of the party he wants to silence, said there is a deliberate effort by party leaders to 'marginalize the cranks, haters and bigots — there’s a lot of underbrush that has to be cleaned out.'"
"'You can't do anything without hearing about it,' Ms. Viorst said, recalling how it invaded a recent Hanukkah visit to friends. 'It weaves its way into your lexicon,' she said." —Guess what it is! Guess GUESS GUESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!
“I like people, I just don’t have to see them all the time." —Neil Young seems like a particularly difficult person to interview. But I was very happy to read that Bukowskian quote in the profile David Carr wrote for Sunday's Times Magazine. Because it reminded me of the lyrics of my favorite Neil Young song, "On the Beach." "I need a crowd of people/But I can't face them every day…" Neil sings, sounding miserable—torn between the insecurity, the hunger for approval that fuels so many performing artists, and misanthropy. ("Though my problems are meaningless/That don't make them go away.") Man, and the stuff about how the [...]
"It is not true that my book Guns, Germs and Steel, as Mr. Romney described it in a speech in Jerusalem, 'basically says the physical characteristics of the land account for the differences in the success of the people that live there. There is iron ore on the land and so forth.' That is so different from what my book actually says that I have to doubt whether Mr. Romney read it. My focus was mostly on biological features, like plant and animal species, and among physical characteristics, the ones I mentioned were continents’ sizes and shapes and relative isolation. I said nothing about iron ore, which is so [...]
"I think the basic answer to your question is you have to have a revolution among the voters. You cannot expect, at a state, federal or city level, the elected officials to go and to do something that will keep them from being able to feed their families. And this is a job for them. It's just not gonna happen. There's no chance whatsoever. So where you can have a referendum, that's where you have a chance of changing things." —The mayor's "fuck you"s are getting more and more meta.
“Zinging the chubby does not require a shift in our daily conversation. Plenty of Americans are already more than willing to chide their fellow fatties about their weight.” —The head of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center expresses opposition to the idea that shaming the obese might cause them to lose weight.
"Books, I think, are dead. You cannot fight the zeitgeist and you cannot fight corporations. The genius of corporations is that they force you to make decisions about how you will live your life and then beguile you into thinking that it was all your choice. Compact discs are not superior to vinyl. E-readers are not superior to books. Lite beer is not the great leap forward…. I also believe that everything that happens to you as you grow older makes it easier to die, because the world you once lived in, and presumably loved, is gone." —Humorist Joe Queenan has some thoughts on books, and also describes Ayn [...]
"Romney, who criticizes President Obama for dividing the nation, divided the nation into two groups: the makers and the moochers." —Oh no! Yesterday, Mitt Romney lost the David Brooks vote.
"Justice Antonin Scalia told law students on Monday evening that the Voting Rights Act is now an 'embedded' form of 'racial preferment.'… Scalia criticized Supreme Court precedents that expanded the number of protected minority groups, according to the Law Blog account. There are 'all sorts of minorities,' he said, but minority status alone should not insulate people from majority policy choices. Scalia then gave an example, the Law Blog says. Child abusers are a minority, Scalia said, but they should not receive special protection."
The zen master of Texas has not one but two custom marriage-equality graphics for the Internet war against bigotry. Helms Workshop in Austin produced these custom equal signs featuring Willie Nelson's trademark braids and his trademark gigantic Rasta Outlaw joints, which also look like his braids, but with one end lit for your meditative pleasure.
Texas Monthly asked Willie about gay marriage and he answered in his usual delightful manner:
Texas Monthly: With same-sex marriage legal in some states and not in others, equality means different things different places.
Willie Nelson: For same-sex couples, taxes are different, benefits are different, survivor benefits are different. It's crazy.
TM: You've [...]
"Once you’ve got this thing baked, you’ve got to get it out of the oven and into the refrigerator and start eating it pretty quickly. Because if you let it sit on the table — I’m going to beat the metaphor to death — the ants will start eating the cake up."
Politics apparently continued over the winter holidays. What did that crafty Barack Obama do while the rest of us were worshiping the Baby Jesus or whatever? He is suggesting that America allow Chuck Hagel to be the Secretary of Defense, that's what! Who would let Chuck Hagel do something as important as overseeing the continued American defeat in Afghanistan, when he has controversial opinions about The Gays and Israel?
But, like all cabinet battles, the controversy around Chuck Hagel is both a) limited to Politico reporters/editors and the people who actually read the Politico, and b) not really about the Defense Department but actually about right-wing Christians who hate gays [...]
"You can’t expect to be a leader of all the people and be divisive. Someone asked me, Why did Mitt Romney lose? And I said because he got less votes than Barack Obama, that's why." —New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has decided to keep his new, post-Sandy personality.