Verbatim

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'I think the Vatican--they've got more to talk about than the Beatles.'

RINGO STARR, responding to a Vatican newspaper editorial praising the band on the 40th anniversary of its breakup

'It's like dancing at the edge of a volcano.'

ANNE SEIDEL, a German architect working for the U.N., on the thriving nightlife in Kabul, where restaurants and bars are surrounded by security guards and 20-ft. (6 m) blast walls

'Something is definitely wrong when you need more documentation to rent a movie than to get a million-dollar home loan.'

TOM COBURN, Republican Senator from Oklahoma, during a hearing with former executives of Washington Mutual. The Senate panel found that the company--the largest bank in U.S. history to fail--made loans it knew would be difficult to repay

'It's like we've turned back the clock.'

MARIO ANDRESOL, Haiti's national police chief, on the more than 4,000 inmates who escaped from Port-au-Prince's National Penitentiary during January's earthquake and are now terrorizing neighborhoods and stealing aid supplies

'What he told us was, he was hot, he was from Canada, and he didn't realize you couldn't jump into a pond.'

SCOTT GAY, police officer, on the arrest of a man who leaped into a pond at the conclusion of the Masters tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club

'Now I think we are going to be forced to hear only the horrific sounds of the gunfire and the explosions.'

KHADIYA OMAR, a 22-year-old Mogadishu resident, after Somali Islamists banned music from private radio stations on April 13

'The good news: I will be doing a show on TBS starting in November! The bad news: I'll be playing Rudy on the all-new Cosby Show.'

CONAN O'BRIEN, joking about his impending return to late-night television

TALKING HEADS

Josh Marshall

Discussing the right's aversion to the Census, on Talking Points Memo:

"There's nothing the right, particularly the sectarian right, loves more than the federal constitution ... But I'm not sure there's any better example of what nonsense this is, or the way that the 'constitution' has just become a fetish ... than the paranoia and rage against the Census. If you're really devoted to the constitution, by all rights responding to the Census should make you something close to giddy."

--4/8/10

Ross Douthat

Comparing Pope Benedict XVI with his predecessor, in the

New York Times:

"The last pope was a great man, but he was also a weak administrator, a poor delegator, and sometimes a dreadful judge of character. The church's dilatory response to the sex abuse scandals was a testament to these weaknesses ... So the high-flying John Paul let scandals spread beneath his feet and the uncharismatic Ratzinger was left to clean them up."

--4/11/10

Ta-Nehisi Coates

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