Dispatches > Quotables


Memorable things they said

Issue: "Africa, Inc.," Oct. 10, 2009

"It wouldn't be days. It would be hours."

Somalian member of Parliament Asha A. Abdalla on how quickly the government would fall if the 5,000 African Union troops in the country were to leave.

"Contrary to reports, all options [are] on the table on the issue of preventing Iranian nuclear-weapons capability."

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Sept. 20 that he had received assurances from Israel that Israeli forces would not strike Iran.

"I am proud and humbled to be your humble servant as labor secretary."

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Hilda Solis, U.S. secretary of labor, in a Sept. 14 speech at the AFL-CIO's annual convention. Solis referred to outgoing AFL-CIO President John Sweeney as "our president."

"I was excited to be onstage because I just won the award. And then I was excited that Kanye West was onstage. Then, I wasn't excited anymore."

Taylor Swift on having her acceptance speech at the MTV Music Awards interrupted by fellow singer Kanye West, who told the audience that Beyonce should have won the award.

"Did I miss anything?"

The former Washington, D.C., mayor and current city councilman Marion Barry, on showing up late to a meeting where the council drafted an ethics bill. Barry has served a prison sentence on drug charges, pleaded guilty to tax filings, and other violations.

"It gets to the point where we don't have a word that we use to call people racist who actually are."

John McWhorter, who studies race and language at the Manhattan Institute, on charges led by former President Jimmy Carter that opponents of President Obama's political agenda are motivated by racism.


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