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Exchange of the day

Published Wednesday, April 23, 2014 @ 9:59 AM EDT
Apr 23 2014

Conservative pundit and author George Will was plugging his new book about Wrigley Field on The Colbert Report last night, and jokingly made the claim that the Chicago Cubs won the Cold War.

George Will: In 1919, William Wrigley bought Catalina Island off Southern California. In 1921 the Cubs began to do spring training there. In 1937 a Des Moines, Iowa radio broadcaster named Dutch Reagan decided he would go out and cover spring training for his radio station. He took a movie test with Warner Brothers, became an actor, became President of the United States, and won the Cold War... therefore, the Cubs get credit for winning the Cold War.

Stephen Colbert: By that same logic, did not the Chicago Cubs also sell arms to Iran?

Categories: Colbert Report, Exchange of the day, George F. Will, Politics, Sports, Stephen Colbert


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Quotes of the day: George F. Will

Published Saturday, May 04, 2013 @ 6:46 AM EDT
May 04 2013

George Frederick Will (born May 4, 1941) is an American newspaper columnist, journalist, and author. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winner best known for his conservative commentary on politics. (Click for full Wikipedia article.)


A politician's words reveal less about what he thinks about his subject than what he thinks about his audience.

All I remember about my wedding day in 1967 is that the Cubs lost a doubleheader.

All politicians are to some extent salesmen.

All politics takes place on a slippery slope. The most important four words in politics are "up to a point."

Americans are overreachers; overreaching is the most admirable of the many American excesses.

As advertising blather becomes the nation's normal idiom, language becomes printed noise.

Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are crated equal.

Being elected to Congress is regarded as being sent on a looting raid for one's friends.

Childhood is frequently a solemn business for those inside it.

Conservatives define themselves in terms of what they oppose.

Creative semantics is the key to contemporary government; it consists of talking in strange tongues lest the public learn the inevitable inconveniently early.

Football combines the two worst things about America: it is violence punctuated by committee meetings.

Freedom means the freedom to behave coarsely, basely, foolishly.

Hyperbole expands in societies where articulateness atrophies.

I grew up in central Illinois midway between Chicago and St. Louis and I made an historic blunder. All my friends became Cardinals fans and grew up happy and liberal and I became a Cubs fan and grew up embittered and conservative.

I suppose there's a melancholy tone at the back of the American mind, a sense of something lost. And it's the lost world of Thomas Jefferson. It is the lost sense of innocence that we could live with a very minimal state, with a vast sense of space in which to work out freedom.

If your job is to leaven ordinary lives with elevating spectacle, be elevating or be gone.

In government the sin of pride manifests itself in the recurring delusion that things are under control.

In the lexicon of the political class, the word "sacrifice" means that the citizens are supposed to mail even more of their income to Washington so that the political class will not have to sacrifice the pleasure of spending it.

Leadership is, among other things, the ability to inflict pain and get away with it - short-term pain for long-term gain.

Patrick Buchanan wants to build a better yesterday.

Pessimism is as American as apple pie - frozen apple pie with a slice of processed cheese.

Politicians fascinate because they constitute such a paradox; they are an elite that accomplishes mediocrity for the public good.

Politics should share one purpose with religion: the steady emancipation of the individual through the education of his passions.

Populism is always pandering, and pandering is always the reverse of leadership.

Ronald Reagan has held the two most demeaning jobs in the country- President of the United States and radio broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs.

Sports serve society by providing vivid examples of excellence.

The business of America is not business. Neither is it war. The business of America is justice and securing the blessings of liberty.

The future has a way of arriving unannounced.

The future is usually just like the past- right up to the moment when it isn't.

The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.

The problem with intelligent design theory is not that it is false but that it is not falsifiable: Not being susceptible to contradicting evidence, it is not a testable hypothesis. Hence it is not a scientific but a creedal tenet- a matter of faith, unsuited to a public school’s curriculum.

The pursuit of perfection often impedes improvement.

The strongest continuous thread in America's political tradition is skepticism about government.

There is an elegant memorial in Washington to Jefferson, but none to Hamilton. However, if you seek Hamilton's monument, look around. You are living in it. We honor Jefferson, but live in Hamilton's country, a mighty industrial nation with a strong central government.

There may be more poetry than justice in poetic justice.

This is an age in which one cannot find common sense without a search warrant.

Umpires would be natural Republicans- dead to human feelings.

Voters don't decide issues, they decide who will decide issues.

When you don't know where you're going, any gust of wind will take you there.

World War II was the last government program that really worked.

You don't want your mind so open that your brains fall out.

Categories: George F. Will, Quotes of the day


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