Notes: April 2015

The use of quotes and persons cited does not imply endorsement of persons or ideas cited.

April 30, 2015


“It’s not like a crowd — it’s a junk drawer of presidential candidates…and you keep trying to close it and Rick Perry keeps getting stuck.” Peter Sagal, opining about the vast, multitudinous Republican 2016 field (NPR; Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me)

“I want y’all to get justice for my son but don’t do it like this here. Don’t tear up the whole city now just for him. That’s wrong.” Gloria Darden, mother of Baltimore’s Freddie Gray (PBS NewsHour)

“It is not the fact of liberty but the way in which liberty is exercised that ultimately determines whether liberty itself survives.” Dorothy Thompson, quoted by President Obama at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner (White House Speeches and Events)

“Every single individual in this society chooses, if they can, their sexual orientation or who to marry or not marry. I suspect even with us giving gays rights to marry that there are some gay people who will choose not to just as there are some heterosexual couples who choose not to marry. So we’re not taking anybody’s liberty away.” Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, speaking during arguments on 04/28/2015 (PBS NewsHour)

“You know, I’ve got some good friends who are opposed to this trade agreement [the Trans-Pacific Partnership] but when I ask them, specifically what is it that you oppose, they start talking about NAFTA…That’s not the trade agreement I’m passing. So you need to tell me what’s wrong with this trade agreement, not one that was passed 25 years ago…If there was a trade agreement that undercut working families, I wouldn’t sign it. The Chamber of Commerce didn’t elect me twice— working folks did.” President Obama, speaking on 04/23/2015 (White House Speeches and Events)

“And the groups that the U.S. is trying to defeat or eliminate [with drone strikes] either stay the same in size or grow or they move to other countries, so the real question is how effective has this been as part of the comprehensive strategy.” Micah Zenko of the Council of Foreign Relations (NBC; Meet the Press)


One Fourth – The number of U.S. 8th-graders who demonstrated solid understanding in the subjects of U.S. history, civics, and geography during a national assessment in 2014. This is relatively unchanged since the last national assessment in 2010. (U.S Department of Education; PBS NewsHour)

0.7 – The number of inches of legroom Southwest Airlines recently announced it was adding to its seats, so go ahead and stretch out. (Business Insider; NPR; Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me)

2- The number of African-American citizens currently serving in the U.S. Senate: Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Tim Scott (R-SC). (Public Record)

12 – The rank of the U.S. among other nations in the quality of its infrastructure. The U.S. ranks 24th in quality of electricity supply and 101st in mobile telephone services and subscriptions. (World Economic Forum; CNN; Fareed Zakaria GPS)

25 – The number of seamstresses who worked more than 8,000 hours to make the costumes for the production of Wolf Hall in the U.S. The Broadway adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s novels has just been nominated for eight Tony awards, including those for Best Play and Best Costume Design. (PBS NewsHour)

April 24, 2015


“The dinner that is supposed to be a celebration of great journalism has instead become a lavish display of bacchanalia.” Paul Singer, describing the White House Correspondents’ Dinner (Gannett; USA Today)

Governor Pence “can fix his governorship. But to do so, he is going to have to completely reexamine his understanding of the needs of the entire state.” Bill Oesterle (Indianapolis Star)

“I remember when Walter Mondale tried to tell the truth and said ‘they’re not going to tell you they’re going to raise your taxes but I will.’ He wasn’t President Mondale.” Gloria Borger (PBS Washington Week Webcast Extra)

…”There’s a real lack of respect for the office. And if you have a lack of respect for the office, you have a lack of respect for the people who elected the people to this office.” Karen Tumulty (WAMU; Diane Rehm Show)

“Officially the administration and the Fed say the recession was over in 2009. The reality was that that was not true. 95% of the gains that accrued in our economy after the official end of the recession in the three years 2009 to 2012 went to the top 1%. And that meant the bottom 99% saw things just as bad as they were before and they were losing their homes, losing their jobs, losing their retirement accounts — all because of the way the system works.” Joseph Stieglitz (WAMU; Diane Rehm Show)

“What concerns me is that, as I look at the economic and other data about the [migration] crisis that is sweeping North Africa and the Middle East, I don’t see it letting up…We have wars across the region. We have slowing economic growth. We have these enormous refugee flows that are straining social services everywhere and we have a sharp decline in oil prices which means that even Saudi Arabia is expected to suffer current account deficit this year and is going to go into the red in its budget this year and next year. In other words, there just isn’t any money to bail out a region of the world that is in a terrible situation, so as grim as this week’s refugee flight was, I fear we’re in for a continuation, even a worsening, of that in the coming not just months but years.” David Ignatius (WAMU; Diane Rehm Show)


1- The number of Northern White Rhino males still in existence. There are only 4 other Northern White Rhinos living; they are females. Rhinos have been alive on this planet for 50 million years. According the the World Wildlife Fund, half of Earth’s wildlife has been lost in the past 40 years. (CNN; Fareed Zakaria GPS)

6- To date, the number of U.S. Secretaries of State who have later become president: Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, James Madison, John Quincy Adams, Martin van Buren, and James Buchanan. (CNN; Fareed Zakaria GPS)

7- The percentage of U.S. smartphone owners who are “smartphone-dependent,” meaning they do not have home broadband access and have limited options for being online other than their mobile device. (Pew Research Center)

>170,000- The number of migrants from North Africa and the Middle East who arrived in Italy alone in 2014. (BBC Global News)

April 22, 2015


“…[Indiana] lawmakers, I mean they were just as responsible as [Governor Pence] was for passing the Religious Freedom Act, but [Pence] is taking most of the blame, I think, and so I see them distancing themselves somewhat from him.” Lesley Weidenbener (Indiana Week in Review)

“It was like a Flomax ad for someone who can’t stop running for president.” Peter Sagal, describing Hillary Clinton’s “I’m Ready” campaign-announcement video. (NPR; Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me)

“I thought [Hillary Clinton] created a bunch of opportunities to be unscripted and spontaneous and then didn’t take them.” Chuck Todd, commenting on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s “Scooby van” tour of Iowa via Chipotle (NBC, Meet the Press)

“[The GOP candidates] didn’t disagree with each other or anything and the degree to which they were taking shots at each other, they were very veiled, very indirect, so by the end of the weekend— where there were 17 candidates that I counted — it really was, I think, just pretty much of a blur for this room full of 600 activists and party leaders in New Hampshire.” Karen Tumulty, describing last weekend’s “GOP Granite State Cattle Call” (PBS NewsHour)

“Well, my family is a consideration and number two, most important thing, what does The Lord want me to do with my life? You know, he puts us on Earth, all of us upon Earth, to achieve certain purposes and I’m trying to determine is this what The Lord wants…We’ll see what happens.” Ohio governor and possible GOP presidential candidate John Kasich, answering the question “Why wouldn’t you run for president?” (NBC, Meet the Press)

“People think they know Africa but I’ve been to all the countries in Africa. I don’t know Africa because there’s no such thing as Africa. Africa is a construction. The only thing that is real is the shape of the continent…Definitions are terrible because there’s always a counter-definition.” Simon Njami (PBS NewsHour)


23- The percentage of U.S. smartphone owners who have canceled or suspended their mobile phone service because the cost was too expensive. 80 percent of smartphone owners say their device is worth the cost; 19 percent describe it as a financial burden. (Pew Research Center)

585- The number of magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes in Oklahoma during 2014. If smaller earthquakes are included, Oklahoma experienced more than 5,000 during that year. So far in 2015, the state is averaging two 3.0 or greater earthquakes per day. Until 2008, Oklahoma averaged one or two 3.0 or greater earthquakes per year. The increased seismicity is most likely man-made, caused by changes in oil and gas production. (Rivka Galchen; The New Yorker; National Geological Survey)

919- The expected average number of dollars spent by an American teenager in the process of going to the prom this year. (Visa; APM Marketplace)

And here’s that corporate sponsorship opportunity you’ve been dreaming about all your life:

“After 13 years Alex Trebek has grown back his mustache. We have a plan to take advantage of the seemingly neverending interest in his upper lip and monetize the interest that will be generated when he shaves it off again so, yes, we are looking for someone…to be the official razor of Alex Trebek’s mustache.” Jeopardy’s executive producer, Harry Friedman (Wikileaks; Sony; APM Marketplace)

April 19, 2015


“The [Capitol] office I’m in is not my office. That’s Indiana’s office. If you’re out there [in Washington], come by. We have coffee. We have soda.” Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) in 2014. (Indianapolis Monthly)

“Can I propose a lightning round for the [GOP presidential] debates? I think they should do like a super-fast Sunni versus Shi’ite test of the various groups. Just, like, throw different things at the candidates: the Houthi, ISIS, Saudi Arabia, everybody…the Shabab. I don’t want to take the test but I want them all to pass it. It seems really important.” Emily Bazelon (Slate Political Gabfest). And, in case you need to pass the lightning round, here’s the cheat sheet: Houthi rebels in Yemen are Shia; ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State are Sunni; Saudi Arabia is a majority Sunni country; and Al-Shabaab are Salafi/Sunni.

“But, like, when you’re the ayatollah, the distance between posturing and your actual view is pretty short. I mean, that’s the deal with being a fundamentalist.” John Dickerson regarding Iran’s religious leader’s statements on the potential nuclear deal. (Slate Political Gabfest)


6.6- The percentage of trash in the U.S. which was recycled in 1970. In 2008, 33% of American trash was recycled. There has not been a significant increase since 2008. (National Resources Defense Council; Gannett; USA Today)

23- Senator Dan Coats’ (R-IN) ranking among 100 senators, from most to least conservative. Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) was ranked 48th most conservative. (2013 figures; National Journal; Indianapolis Monthly)

24- The location of the candy desk in the U.S. Senate since at least the 97th Congress (1981-1983). (Wikipedia)

61- The percentage of total increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration since the pre-industrial era which has occurred since 1970. (; EPA; Gannett; USA Today)

>90- The approximate percentage of internet searches in EU countries which are performed using Google. Around 70 percent of internet searches in the U.S. are handled by Google. (PBS NewsHour)

5,217- The number of so-called zombie homes (in foreclosure limbo, abandoned by owners and not being maintained in any way; considered magnets for crime as well as a cause of dropping home values) in Indiana as of January 31, 2015. This is the seventh highest number among the states in the country. (Indianapolis Star)

125,000- The estimated number of deaths in the U.S. annually attributed to failures to correctly take medications. The estimated cost to the U.S. health care system of these medication/patient errors is 300 billion dollars. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Time)

April 17, 2015


“What used to be seen as an act of statesmanship — trying to forge a consensus across the aisle to move the country forward — is now viewed by many as a betrayal of your party.” Former Indiana senator Evan Bayh (D), 2012 (CBS 60 Minutes; WBUR On Point with Tom Ashbrook)

“There would be no greater tribute to our maturity as a society than if we can make these [government] buildings around us empty of workers — silent monuments to the time when government played a larger role than it deserved or could adequately fill.” Former Governor Jeb Bush (R-Fla) in 2003. (Time)

“Every time I hear about him being a moderate, I start to laugh. Jeb [Bush] is not a populist. And he’s not a demagogue. Some of his policies were unpopular and he pursued them anyway. He’s not one of those guys who wants or needs to be loved. He knew what he wanted, promoted it agressively, and rarely lost. Dan Gelber (Time)

“What we’re looking at is a totally transformed electoral landscape where two or three people can put up unlimited amounts of money for what might be marginal candidates and totally giving them life.” Neil King, Jr. (WAMU The Diane Rehm Show)

“Recent droughts such as the ongoing drought in California or in the Southwest, or even historical droughts such as the Dust Bowl in the 1930s, these are naturally occurring droughts that typically last several years or sometimes almost a decade. And our projection for what we’re seeing is that, with climate change, many of these types of droughts will likely last for 20, 30, sometimes even 40 years.” Ben Cook of NASA (Washington Post; WBUR On Point with Tom Ashbrook)


42- The percentage of U.S. workers who earn less than $15.00 per hour. (National Employment Law Project; PBS NewsHour)

47- The share of U.S. jobs which are considered to be at high risk for automation within the next 20 years. (Oxford University; Time)

57- The number of blocks of cheese that a Tennessee couple was alleged to have stolen from a Walmart store. (Time)

3,909- The number of adults in Indiana who received TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) benefits in February of 2015. During that month, 17,194 children received TANF funds. The average monthly payment per recipient varied between $53.23 (two-parent family) to $88.30 (child-only or single-parent household). The number of TANF recipients in Indiana has declined 48.9 percent since December 2011, even though the number of Indiana residents living in poverty has increased 57 percent during that time. (Indianapolis Star)

4 Billion- The number of tons of cement manufactured per person every year, globally. This is one half of a ton per year for every person on Earth. (PBS NewsHour)

April 11, 2015


“The 2016 election is shaping up, so far, to be the biggest joke under the campaign finance laws. It’s an arms race.” Larry Noble, former general counsel at the FEC. (APM Marketplace)

“I grew up listening to classic rock. My music taste changed on 9/11. I didn’t like how rock music responded and country music, the way they responded, resonated with me. I had an emotional connection that said ‘these are my people.'” Senator – and presidential candidate- Ted Cruz (R-Texas). (CBS This Morning)

“But would continued sanctions halt Iran’s nuclear program? That’s highly unlikely. Iran has expanded its nuclear program under sanctions for the last two decades. In 2003, Iran had under 200 centrifuges. Today it has 19,000 — all built under sanctions.” Fareed Zakaria (CNN, Fareed Zakaria GPS)

“We [the federal government] classify now about 100 million documents each year, which is up 950 percent from the beginning of the century.” FAO Schwartz, Jr. (WAMU The Diane Rehm Show)

“No business should be able to deny service to anybody on the basis of sexual orientation but businesses definitely shouldn’t have to provide services to people whose sexual orientation they don’t like.” Senator- and expected presidential candidate – Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) (MSNBC)

“We believe — and I certainly believe — that there is room for religious protections and GLBT equality to coexist…The idea that you have to pick one is a false choice.” South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) (Indianapolis Star)

“…the majority of Americans have moved astonishingly quickly to support the idea of gay marriage and civil rights in general for gay people. Most Americans are not aware of the fact that in all but 22 states a business can still discriminate against gay people in terms of hiring and employment. There are big issues still out there.” Doyle McManus (WAMU The Diane Rehm Show)

“It’s important to clarify something though: we’ve had a couple of references to forcing churches or pastors to do [same sex] weddings. We don’t need a RFRA [Religious Freedom Restoration Act] for that. That’s already flatly unconstitutional under the First Amendment. There is no possibility that a church would be forced to perform any sort of marriage that’s against its religion.” Steve Sanders, IU School of Law (WBUR On Point with Tom Ashbrook)

“So numerous and so powerful are the causes which serve to give a false bias to the judgment that we, upon many occasions, see wise and good men on the wrong side as well as on the right side of questions of the first magnitude to society.” Alexander Hamilton (Federalist Papers, #1)

Miscellaneous: For the Ladies

Advice from a Singer Sewing Manual, 1949:

“Prepare yourself mentally for sewing. Think about what you are going to do…never approach sewing with a sigh or lackadaisically. Good results are difficult when indifference predominates. Never try to sew with a sink full of dirty dishes or beds unmade. When there are urgent housekeeping chores, do these first so your mind is free to enjoy your sewing…When you sew, make yourself as attractive as possible. Put on a clean dress. Keep a little bag of French chalk near your sewing machine to dust your fingers at intervals. Have your hair in order, powder and lipstick put on…If you are constantly fearful that a visitor will drop in or your husband will come home and you will not look neatly put together, you will not enjoy your sewing as you should.”



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s