“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.” - House Speaker John Boehner addressing Republicans after his Plan B vote failed Thursday.
“We live, let’s imagine, in a city where children are dying of a ravaging infection. The good news is that its cause is well understood and its cure, an antibiotic, easily at hand. The bad news is that our city council has been taken over by a faith-healing cult that will go to any lengths to keep the antibiotic from the kids. … We do live in such a city. Five thousand seven hundred and forty children and teens died from gunfire in the United States, just in 2008 and 2009.” - New Yorker writer Adam Gopnick writing on the Newtown, Conn., massacre
"Being a Catholic kid growing up, I always watched Notre Dame and everybody in my family was interested in what Notre Dame did." - Alabama Coach Nick Saban discussing next month’s BCS title game between Alabama and Notre Dame.
“The number of Americans who say they ‘always’ or ‘often’ walk or bike instead of driving is at its highest recorded level (25%) and has risen considerably since March (up 14 points). Americans today are also more likely say they use public transportation or carpool (17%), returning to a level last observed in November 2008 (18%).” - Yale Project on Climate Change Communication titled Americans’ Actions to Limit Global Warming in September 2012.
“The New York Times debuted a new multimedia feature Thursday so beautiful it has a lot of people wondering — especially those inside the New York Times — if the mainstream media is about to forgo words and pictures for a whole lot more.” - The Atlantic’s Rebecca Greenfield writing on the buzz-heavy Times story headlined Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek.
“You’re an unbelievably stupid man, aren’t you?” - CNN talk-show host Piers Morgan speaking to Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America
“It seems to me you are morally obtuse.” - Pratt responding to Morgan on Tuesday evening
“He is not going to need a lot of on-the-job training.” - President Obama, discussing Sen. John Kerry, who the president nominated to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state
“Obstructionism is not unique to the United States. Most parliamentary democracies, including Great Britain's and Japan's, have also faced gridlock. In 1992, the Japanese opposition tried to stall a vote on whether Japanese self-defense forces should assist UN peacekeeping missions by introducing five motions that had to be brought to a vote first. They then resorted to ushi aruki (cow-walking), or taking as long as humanly possible to make one's way from one's seat to the ballot box 20 feet away. For some legislators, the pace was less than one foot per minute. Some votes took over 11 hours. The opposition, nevertheless, lost.” - Lauren C. Bell writing in Foreign Affairs on proposed filibuster reform in the U.S. Senate
“This year, Aleppo will produce no soap. The late-medieval souks in which craftsmen fashioned blocks of the famous olive oil and laurel savon d’Alep succumbed to a conflagration during battles at the end of September. The Jubayli family’s soap factory inside the Mamelukes’ thirteenth-century Qinnasrin Gate survived the inferno, but re-lentless combat has left it inaccessible to workers and owners alike. By late November, following the harvest in the groves west of Aleppo, residue from the olive oil presses should be boiling in vats and poured onto carpets of wax paper stretched over stone floors. Sliced into two-by-three-inch blocks, the bars would be stacked to dry for six months before being sold. Deprived by war of the soap, fabrics, processed foods, and pharmaceuticals its region has so long produced, Aleppo is drawing on reserves of basic commodities, as well as cash and hope. All three are dwindling rapidly.” - Charles Glass writing on Syria internal strive in The New York Review of Books
“Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.” - The New York Sun’s famous response to 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon in 1897