'It may be his prerogative to be dumb, but that's really not a very good idea.'
TERRY O'NEILL, president of the National Organization for Women, referring to Anthony Cucolo III, a U.S. Army general in Iraq who directed that female soldiers who become pregnant--as well as the male soldiers who impregnate them--be punished
'I hate to sound cold and uncaring and contract breaking, but I'm really O.K. with it.'
HEATHER BAKER, a suburban-Washington homeowner who is purposely defaulting on her mortgage despite having the money to pay it. She cites the property's devaluation as her reason
'This is for my friend Ted Kennedy: aye!'
ROBERT BYRD, 92-year-old Democratic Senator from West Virginia, dedicating his vote in favor of the chamber's health care bill, which passed on Dec. 24, to the late Massachusetts Senator, who made health care reform the hallmark issue of his career
'The Israeli government proves every day that it is not ready for peace.'
NABIL ABU RDAINAH, a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, after Israel announced plans to build nearly 700 homes in East Jerusalem. The decision prompted criticism from U.S. and E.U. officials
'The system worked.'
JANET NAPOLITANO, Homeland Security Secretary, defending the department in the wake of a failed terrorist attack aboard a Northwest Airlines flight on Dec. 25. Napolitano later said screening measures did not work "in this instance"
'If this country does not stop its prattling, it will receive a slap in its face.'
MANOUCHEHR MOTTAKI, Iranian Foreign Minister, threatening Britain for allegedly fomenting the unrest that has erupted in Iran after a spate of opposition protests
'I said, "You can call me Dad," and he didn't say anything.'
DAVID GOLDMAN, after winning a five-year custody battle for his 9-year-old son Sean. The child had been living with his deceased mother's family in Brazil when a judge ordered on Dec. 22 that he be returned to his father
Writing about Iran in the Times of London:
"For all the concern about a fitful and still highly vulnerable nuclear program, a far greater prize is in sight: the Iranian people and their manifest aspirations for a freer society and an accountable government. The question is whether a Western policy of pressure, threats and further isolation aimed at forcing a nuclear deal with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will risk [the] promise of real change."
Discussing President Obama's willingness to cut deals with his political opponents, in the New York Times:
"The upside of this approach is obvious: It gets things done. Between the stimulus package, the pending health care bill and a new raft of financial regulations, Obama will soon be able to claim more major legislative accomplishments than any Democrat since Lyndon Johnson. The downside, though, is that sometimes what gets done isn't worth doing."