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Dispatches Quotables


Raúl Labrador (Otto Kitsinger/AP)

‘One of my proudest moments in Congress.’

U.S. Rep. Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, on the overwhelming passage of the First Step Act, a sweeping criminal justice reform bill. The bill brought together a rare coalition of supporters that included Prison Fellowship, Southern Baptist leaders, the ACLU, and the NAACP.


Andres Leighton/AP

Andres Leighton/AP

‘The government makes lousy parents.’

Lynn Johnson, assistant secretary at Health and Human Services, on the Trump administration’s reversal of its policy of requiring background checks on adults who sponsor migrant children. The extra screening caused the number of minors at government-run shelters to grow to a record 14,700 as of Dec. 17 without increasing safety, Johnson said.

Andrew Seng/The New York Times

Anthony Mancinelli (Andrew Seng/The New York Times)

‘I advise a lot of people not to quit working. Keep busy. Some retire too soon and they get old fast.’

Anthony Mancinelli, 107, on working 40 hours a week as a barber in Windsor, N.Y. He began working as a barber when he was 11: “I wanted to help out in the family.”

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Trevor Lawrence (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

‘Just putting my identity in what Christ says and who He thinks I am and who I know that He says I am.’

Trevor Lawrence, quarterback for Clemson University, on not letting football or opinions about his performance on the field define him. Clemson had just defeated Notre Dame 30-3 to make it to the college football championship game.

Fox News/YouTube

Bre Payton (Fox News/YouTube)

‘She was eager to learn, to write, and to go places—not because of ambition, but because she wanted to change the world.’

Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist, on Federalist writer Bre Payton, who died suddenly on Dec. 28 at age 26, reportedly from H1N1 flu and possible meningitis.