Verbatim

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'The heroes who rushed to Ground Zero in the hours and days after the attacks will not be forgotten.'

CHARLES SCHUMER, New York Senator, on a $4.3 billion bill to help cover health costs for 9/11 emergency workers. President Obama signed it into law on Jan. 2 while on vacation in Hawaii

'Today reality set in. I'm not destroyed about it.'

GENO AURIEMMA, coach of the University of Connecticut women's basketball team, on the end of its record 90-game winning streak; UConn lost to Stanford on Dec. 30

'It is possible that the birds [were] stressed so bad that it could have killed them.'

KEITH STEPHENS, spokesman for the Arkansas game and fish commission, on the possibility that fireworks caused more than 4,000 red-winged blackbirds in Beebe, Ark., to fall dead from the sky on New Year's Eve

'The dream is over.'

EDISON PENA, one of the 33 Chilean miners who spent 69 days trapped underground, on having to return to work in the mines following the cancellation of his disability pay because of excessive travel abroad

'He's had a six-year stretch now where basically he's been going 24/7 with relatively modest pay.'

PRESIDENT OBAMA, on Robert Gibbs' announcement that he will step down from his position as White House press secretary at the end of January. Gibbs will continue working as an adviser to Obama through the 2012 election

'I will never confirm whether I worked in intelligence.'

ANNA CHAPMAN, who achieved minor-celebrity status after she and nine others were accused of being Russian sleeper agents last June and deported from the U.S.

'The butt was really hard to sculpt.'

LISA MURPHY, a Toronto artist who created erotic images in relief for her book Tactile Mind, which she refers to as "porn for the blind"

TALKING HEADS

Ross Douthat

Writing about abortion, in the New York Times:

"In every era, there's been a tragic contrast between the burden of unwanted pregnancies and the burden of infertility. But this gap used to be bridged by adoption far more frequently than it is today ... Some of this shift reflects the growing acceptance of single parenting. But some of it reflects the impact of Roe v. Wade. Since 1973, countless lives that might have been welcomed into families ... have been cut short in utero instead."

--1/2/11

Joanna Weiss

Discussing the debut of Oprah's new network, in the Boston Globe:

"At best, it's inspirational and affecting, brain candy for people affluent enough to worry about self-actualization ... It was easy to be cynical about her book club, too, but she got people to read. And yet something feels missing from OWN--a sense of purpose sufficient to justify the ambition. After all, there's already plenty of inspirational fare on TV."

--1/2/11

Andy Kessler

On how multiplayer online video games will change the way professionals do their jobs, in the Wall Street Journal:

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