Verbatim

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'We say to hell, hell, hell with them.'

ROBERT MUGABE, President of Zimbabwe, at the funeral of his sister, one of his closest allies, denouncing Western powers that are critical of his 30-year rule of the country

'Tragically, we have locked ourselves into a cycle of violence where protest leads to death, leading to further protests and further casualties.'

OMAR ABDULLAH, chief minister of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, as 1,900 new paramilitary forces were dispatched to quell the latest in a weeks-long series of separatist protests

'He's just obsessed with the limelight, and I got played.'

BRISTOL PALIN, announcing that she and Levi Johnston, the father of her son, have ended their engagement for a second time

'If I put fish in a barrel of water and poured oil and Dove detergent over that and mixed it up, would you eat that fish?'

RUSTY GRAYBILL, commercial oyster, crab and shrimp fisherman, contesting government claims that seafood harvested in the Gulf waters near the BP oil spill is safe to eat

'We want to create an egalitarian society through political means.'

ALFONSO CANO, leader of FARC, the violent Colombian rebel group, saying he is willing to hold talks with the government of President-elect Juan Manuel Santos in an attempt to resolve the 46-year-old conflict

'The international community, which Pakistan belongs to, is in the process of losing the war against the Taliban.'

ASIF ALI ZARDARI, Pakistani President, responding to claims that his government is secretly negotiating with militants. Zardari said that the war in Afghanistan is failing because "we have lost the battle for hearts and minds"

'You are the chosen one dun dun dun.'

KANYE WEST, tweeting to the only person, a young British man, that he has chosen to follow on Twitter. The rapper has amassed more than 435,000 followers since creating an account on July 28

TALKING HEADS

Leonard Pitts

Writing in the Miami Herald about the need for greater teacher accountability:

"When you can't get fired for doing bad work, what's your impetus for doing good? ... No, I don't hate unions ... And no, I don't think teachers bear sole responsibility for the failure of our kids to excel ... Ultimately, what is at stake here is not grades, not jobs and not blame. No, this is an argument about the future--and whether this country will have one."

--7/31/10

Robert Reich

Describing in the Wall Street Journal what he calls Obama's "enthusiasm gap" with voters:

"Whatever the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections, the activist phase of the Obama administration has likely come to a close. The president may have a fight on his hands even to hold on to what he's already achieved because his legislative successes have been large enough to fuel strong opposition but not big enough to strengthen his support. The result could be disastrous for him and congressional Democrats."

--8/3/10

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