Verbatim

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'This may be the only shovel-ready project in America.'

DICK CHENEY, former U.S. Vice President, referring to the groundbreaking of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, while scoffing at President Obama's stimulus initiatives

'It's a risk, but it's a calculated risk.'

GERRY ADAMS, firebrand Northern Irish politician and Sinn Fein president, announcing that he will quit his seats in British government and seek election to the Parliament of neighboring Ireland

'If you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested.'

JOHN TYNER, a software engineer, during a videotaped argument with a TSA agent over the necessity of a physical pat-down at the San Diego airport; the footage, which went viral, has sparked a debate over new screening methods

'We'd been told we were going to be released in 10 days almost every 10 days for nine months.'

PAUL CHANDLER, a British citizen, describing the 13 months of captivity he and his wife Rachel endured at the hands of Somali pirates; they were released in exchange for an undisclosed ransom

'Professional psychiatrists in China are like pandas. There are only a few thousand of us.'

ZHANG YALIN, a mental-health professional, on the lack of psychiatric resources in China, which was beset by a freak wave of knife attacks on schoolchildren this year

'I am particularly glad to no longer be asked when the Beatles are coming to iTunes.'

RINGO STARR, on Apple's announcement that it would finally begin to sell the band's songs and albums through its music service

'He's an Iraqi Christian, and he's also an elderly person, over 70 years old.'

JALAL TALABANI, Iraqi President, refusing to sign an order to execute former Saddam Hussein deputy Tariq Aziz, who was sentenced to death in October by an Iraqi court

TALKING HEADS

John Avlon

Explaining why Nancy Pelosi should give up her position as Democratic House leader, on the Daily Beast:

"She was always an awkward choice ... because she embodies the elite 'San Francisco Democrat' stereotype that Republicans have been successfully running against for more than a generation ... If Pelosi stays on, [it] could end up hurting Barack Obama further by depriving him of the clear contrast he needs with the Republicans' control of Congress."

--11/12/10

David Schenker and Christina Lin

Writing in the Los Angeles Times about China's growing influence in the Middle East:

"Beijing did not choose Iran, Syria and Turkey as the focal point of its regional 'outreach' by accident. These northern-tier Middle Eastern states all have complicated if not problematic relations with the United States ... What is of concern [is] that the rapid rate of Chinese progress occurs amid a growing regional perception that the United States is withdrawing from the Middle East."

--11/16/10

Vladimir Ryzhkov

Deploring recent violence against private citizens in Russia, in the Moscow Times:

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