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It’s fair to ask whether a college kid should have to wash dishes in the dining hall to pay his tuition when his college has a billion dollars in the bank.

— Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, “the ranking Republican on the Senate committee that oversees tax policy, [who] has written to the nation’s 135 leading universities, asking them to explain what they do with their tax-free endowments“; according to The New York Times, “Last year a record 76 American colleges passed the $1 billion mark in total endowments”; March 18.

I liken N.C.L.B. to a mile race. Under N.C.L.B., students are tested rigorously every tenth of a mile. But nobody keeps track as to whether they cross the finish line.

— Bob Wise, a former West Virginia governor who is president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, a group that seeks to improve schools; according to The New York Times, “… many states use an inflated graduation rate for federal reporting requirements under the No Child Left Behind law and a different one at home. As a result, researchers say, federal figures obscure a dropout epidemic so severe that only about 70 percent of the one million American students who start ninth grade each year graduate four years later”; March 20.

I want to thank you, Mr. Secretary, for working over the weekend.

— President Bush, speaking of Treasury secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.’s weekend efforts in the Federal Reserve Bank’s brokering of the takeover of Bear Stearns by JPMorgan Chase.

Fortunately, I have no stock left in Bear. But I have friends who do, and they’ve been emailing me as though someone died.

— Nomi Prins, a former employee of Bear Stearns, writing in Mother Jones magazine; March 18.

Oil and commodities became a safe haven. It was the last thing that bankers can hang their hats on. Everything else had melted before their eyes.

— Fadel Gheit, an oil analyst at Oppenheimer & Company in New York, just before prices for oil futures and gold dropped almost 10 percent in less than 36 hours; March 20.

The 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4: “A new 5.2-liter V-10 that makes 560 horsepower — up 40 from the previous slacker. This new Gallardo, 44 pounds lighter than its predecessor, can snap off 0-60 m.p.h. sprints in just 3.7 seconds — while burning less gas and emitting 18 percent less carbon dioxide. See, you too can save the planet”; the manufacturer claims the car achieves 18 miles per gallon.

All I want is someone who works to fix my country, and not destroy it.

— Hamid Saleh, 52, of Samarra, Iraq, commenting on American presidential politics during Republican candidate John McCain’s visit to Iraq; March 17.

This isn’t your average Washington politician. It’s John McCain, crusader against special interests and presidential contender. It’s more than purely coincidental that he was their top target.

— Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics; according to CRP, Airbus’ parent corporation, winner of an Air Force tanker aircraft contract, tripled its contributions to U.S. lawmakers since 2004; Sen. McCain was the top individual recipient; March 12.

America needs leadership devoted to the public interest, not the special interest, and a government that fulfills its duties with unfailing integrity, accountability, and common sense. Those who serve in positions of public trust have a patriotic duty to serve the national interest with integrity and accountability, to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the people we are privileged to serve, and to devote ourselves to America’s agenda, not that of narrow special interests.

— from the presidential campaign Web site of Sen. John McCain.

A ham sandwich, judged one of Detroit’s best by the Detroit Free Press.

The House Republican brand is so bad right now that if it were a dog food, they’d take it off the shelf.

— Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, R-Va., who chaired the National Republican Congressional Committee for four years earlier this decade, on recent revelations of financial improprieties at the NRCC; March 13.

The F.D.A. is too important to be left to the industry to fund it.

— Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s health research group, calling a proposal that the Food and Drug Administration collect fees for plant inspections a “terrible idea” because it would result in the agency being too lax with industries that would, in essence, be paying agency salaries; March 17.

The land where you dump or bury it will be infertile. No grass or trees will grow in the place. … It is like dynamite — it is poisonous, it is polluting. Human beings can never touch it.

— Ren Bingyan, a professor at the School of Material Sciences at Hebei Industrial University, on a byproduct of polysilicon production — silicon tetrachloride — that Chinese villagers in Henan Province say a “green energy company, producing polysilicon destined for solar energy panels sold around the world,” dumped in their village; March 15.

In society, in the cities, I feel like someone is choking me. In the mountains I feel free.

— Berivan, a 27-year-old female Kurdish guerrilla in Iraq; March 8.

The closer I got to the bridge, the happier I got, because all this was going to be over. And one of the weird things I thought about was, the day after I jumped people would go: ‘All right, a new day. We’ll go on with our lives.’ There would be no pain, no loss, no suffering. It’s a brutal thing to think of yourself as so minuscule in people’s lives.

— Ken Baldwin, who jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge in 1985 to kill himself but survived; according to The Washington Post, “Last year, at least 37 people died after jumping from the bridge, a suicide every 10 days. Yet for seven decades, the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District has pushed aside evidence that prompted the construction of effective barriers on other bridges and landmark” that would prevent suicide attempts; March 3.

This has got a heavyweight-fight tension. The one with the toughest defense will win it. The other guy gets worn out. That’s what Muhammad did against George Foreman in Zaire. … This situation is very interesting. Only in America, right?

— Angelo Dundee, trainer of world boxing champions Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard, discussing Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton; March 12.

First, I would hope that he’ll pick up the tab. Then I hope I can tell him that he’s got a long way to go before he’s Digger Phelps. And I mean that 100 percent.

— ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap on what he would say upon meeting former NCAA coach Bobby Knight in his new role as ESPN commentator; Knight once told Schaap in an interview that “you’ve got a long way to go to be as good as your dad,” legendary sports broadcaster Dick Schaap; March 11.

The psychological and ideological struggle, which is part — something that the President has talked about from the beginning, since we were attacked by al Qaeda on 9/11, this is also something that the President talked about in the speech, that you have a vision — two competing visions, two competing ideologies. And the ideology of freedom and democracy is winning against al Qaeda in Iraq. … And the competing visions is something that the President has said for a long time. It’s not just a military fight — and everyone else says that, people on Capitol Hill say that, that it’s a political and economic fight. And it’s an ideological struggle, and one that we are intent on winning. It’s going to take a long, long time.

— press secretary Dana Perino at a White House briefing; March 19.

Q: Can you talk a bit about what the Vice President, specifically, can bring to the whole Israeli-Palestinian discussion that the President — that differs from what the President may bring, or what Secretary Rice brought last time, or a couple weeks ago?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I can’t tell you anything different. I think he can certainly complement the kind of message that both the President and the Secretary have been consistently delivering to Israeli and Palestinian leaders about the depth of our commitment to try and make progress toward a Palestinian state, and at the same time, remind all the parties that at the end of the day, they’re the ones who are going to have to have the will to get this done; to make the kinds of really difficult — in some cases, kind of existential compromises that they’re going to have to make.

— from a White House transcript of a briefing in which the briefer was identified only as a “senior administration official”; March 15.

The 2008 Easter Egg Collection continues the tradition that began in 1994 where each state sends a decorated egg to the White House for display. Artists from across the United States created the decorated eggs, which represent each state and the District of Columbia. Each year the artists vote amongst themselves to select the artist to create the following year’s commemorative egg which is presented to the President and First Lady. The collection is coordinated by the American Egg Board.

— from the White House Web site; emphasis added.

Our mission is to increase demand for egg and egg products on behalf of U.S. egg producers. AEB is funded by a national legislative checkoff on all egg production from companies with greater than 75,000 layers. Its board is appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture …

— from the Web site of the American Egg Board.

It was incorrectly reported in Tuesday’s Tribune Chronicle that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton answered questions from voters in a local congressman’s office. Reporter John Goodall, who was assigned to the story, spoke by telephone with Hillary Wicai Viers, who is a communications director in U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson’s staff. According to the reporter, when Viers answered the phone with ‘‘This is Hillary,’’ he believed he was speaking with the Democratic presidential candidate, who had made several previous visits to the Mahoning Valley. The quotes from Viers were incorrectly attributed to Clinton.

— from a correction printed by the Tribune Chronicle of Warren, Ohio; March 19.

To me, Lindsay is the most postmodern actress there is, because she’s got all these little bits and pieces of great actresses that have come before her… You could liken her to Elizabeth Taylor in that sense: someone who started very young, and it’s all still unfolding. There’s so much that’s going to come from her that we haven’t seen.

— Jeremy Scott, fashion designer and friend, on actor Lindsay Lohan’s future; Feb. 28.

Photo credits:
Golden Gate Bridge: Eric Risberg, Associated Press
Bobby Knight:
Texas Easter egg: Chris Greenberg, White House
Lamborghini: Denis Balibouse, Reuters
ham sandwich: Marcin Szczepanski, Detroit Free Press
Lindsay Lohan: Jeremy Scott, Paper magazine

Quotabull is a weekly feature of Scholars & Rogues.


Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

March 20, 2008 at 5:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. On your first quote: I would very much like to see some of the coverage start making distinctions between the colleges with billion dollar endowments and the ones without. But I fear Congress will assume one size fits all (pretty typical) and act accordingly.


    March 21, 2008 at 6:28 am

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