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Buchwald leaves us laughing

Art Buchwald, who died Wednesday at the age of 81, was a master of political satire, as well as a droll observer of life in general. Here are a few of his timeless witticisms:

The good old days: “We seem to be going through a period of nostalgia, and everyone seems to think yesterday was better than today. I don’t think it was, and I would advise you not to wait ten years before admitting today was great. If you’re hung up on nostalgia, pretend today is yesterday and just go out and have one hell of a time.”

Taxes: “Tax reform is taking the taxes off things that have been taxed in the past and putting taxes on things that haven’t been taxed before.”

Tolerance: “People are broad-minded. They’ll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn’t drive, there’s something wrong with him.”

Politics: “I always wanted to get into politics, but I was never light enough to make the team.”

Creative inspiration: “Just when you think there’s nothing to write about, Nixon says, ‘I am not a crook.’ Jimmy Carter says, ‘I have lusted after women in my heart.’ President Reagan says, ‘I have just taken a urinalysis test, and I am not on dope.’ ”

His life: “People ask what I am really trying to do with humor. The answer is, ‘I’m getting even.’ ”

* * *

Who said it? “Welcome, you guys. Make this thing happen.” (Answer below)

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Political bulldog: As a new congressman, Rep. Heath Shuler (D-Waynesville) is getting a lot of visitors to his Washington office. But many of them aren’t there to have their photo taken with the handsome former NFL player or even to seek a favor for the folks back home. According to an item in The Hill, they’re more interested in checking out Shuler’s resident canine adviser, an 8-week-old bulldog named Reese.

Reese belongs to Shuler legislative assistant Rob Ellsworth, and the dog named after the candy treat has been attracting “legions of admirers,” the newspaper says.

When Reese isn’t taking part in canine caucuses, he spends time in a doggie crate, and “he sleeps a lot” on the job, according to Shuler spokesman Andrew Whalen.

Shuler himself is no yellow-dog Democrat. He favors Laborador retrievers and raises and trains the breed back at his home in the mountains of North Carolina.

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Senatorial pork: When Wake Forest University lost to the University of Louisville in the Orange Bowl, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr had to pay up.

Burr, who attended Wake, had placed a friendly wager on the outcome with Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. McConnell had offered up some Kentucky Fried Chicken should Wake Forest win. When the Demon Deacons lost, Burr staffer Chris Wall cooked up a mess of barbecue. Burr hand-delivered it to McConnell and fixed a proper sandwich (with cole slaw) for his colleague.

* * *

Who said it: The quotation is from Commission Chairman Arnold Chamberlain, after the board approved an incentives program for Toyota Racing Development’s move to Rowan.

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