Only the best quotes, certified to really have been said. Work in progress.

“What greater expression of faith in the American experiment than this, what greater form of patriotism is there than the belief that America is not yet finished, that we are strong enough to be self-critical, that each successive generation can look upon our imperfections and decide that it is in our power to remake this nation to more closely align with our highest ideals?” – Barack Obama, Remarks on the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Marches

“Mr. Speaker, it is no business or inclination of mine to defend Martin Van Buren in the war of extermination now waging between him and his old admirers. I say, ‘Devil take the hindmost’—and the foremost.” – Abraham Lincoln, political humorist

“No one is more romantic than a cynic. I do think that you don’t become cynical or ‘unsentimental’ unless there’s a core of romanticism or sentiment that’s had a few chips nicked into it.” – Nora Ephron

“I’ve always thought that an optimist was a person who knew exactly how sad a place the world could be and a pessimist is a man who found out anew every morning.” – Peter Ustinov

“There are two ways of living. There’s growth and there’s death.” – Unknown (probably lots of people!)

This The West Wing exchange between Toby and Will:

T: “You think we should run a counter-ad.”

W: “We have to.”

T: “Saying what?”

W: “Oh. I don’t know.”

T: “What do you mean?”

W: “What do you mean?”

T: “We’ve been sitting here for 20 minutes.”

W: “I came in to show you the spot and to tell you I think we should run a counter-ad. I don’t have an idea for one.”

T: “Well get one. Have an idea! Don’t come in here with half a thing and not be able to, you know, after you walk me to the brink, and say ‘we’ve got to do this, it’s important, though I have no earthly idea how’! Like one of those guys who buys a big new thing but doesn’t really know how to get the most out of it!?”

“There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke…” – Herman Melville

“When action grows unprofitable, gather information. When information grows unprofitable, sleep.” – Ursula K. LeGuin