- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 31, 2003

“I’ve resisted pronouncing a sentence before guilt is found … I still have this old-fashioned notion that even with people like Osama, who is very likely guilty, we should do our best not to, in positions of executive power, not to prejudge jury trials.” — Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean, explaining why he would not ”prejudge” whether Osama bin Laden was guilty of the September 11 attacks.

“I have slept in a bed with many children.” — Michael Jackson.

If Saddam Hussein “were to acquire [nuclear weapons], he would be a danger … So, we got rid of him, and there’s no doubt the world is a safer, freer place as a result of Saddam being gone.” — President Bush.

“The crew of the shuttle Columbia did not return safely to earth, yet we can pray that they all are safely home.” — President Bush.

“The jubilation in Baghdad put the Arab media to shame. America, for this brief moment at least … is a liberator and not an occupier. I can’t help being smug, since what I saw gave me back some confidence in the possibility of justice in this world. I had almost lost hope. It took George Bush to give me that back… . He will go down in Arab history as the liberator of Baghdad, even if the whole mission in Iraq comes to nothing more than this.” — Columnist Muhammad al-Rasheed, writing in the Saudi daily Arab News, following the American capture of Saddam Hussein.

“Just so you know, we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas.” — Natalie Maines, Dixie Chicks singer.

“The Palestinian people want a better life. They want homes for themselves. They want education for their children. They want jobs. And they’re not going to get it following a terrorist path. So, we’re looking for leaders who recognize that the day of terrorism is over and that they have to lead the Palestinian people in a new direction.” — Secretary of State Colin Powell.

“We face significant challenges … from terrorist-sponsoring regimes that are developing weapons of mass destruction in many forms. Rogue states such as Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya and Cuba, whose pursuit of weapons of mass destruction makes them hostile to U.S. interests, will learn that their covert programs will not escape detection or consequences … If rogue states are not willing to follow the logic of nonproliferation norms, they must be prepared to face the logic of adverse consequences. It is why we repeatedly caution that no option is off the table.” — Undersecretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton.

“I sit here before you guys embarrassed and ashamed for committing adultery.” — Kobe Bryant.

“Look at the elections we’ve had in the last year alone, where tax increases have been on the ballot in Alabama, Oregon, Washington state, and I would add, the gubernatorial election in California, where the tripled car tax was a big issue in Gov. Gray Davis’ defeat … In each election, the voters have said, we want lower taxes, not higher taxes.” — Stephen Moore of the Club for Growth.

“He’s got another 50 or 60 years to think about what he did every day while he sits in that cell … What a colossal waste. Seven people are murdered by this drug punk.” — U.S. attorney Thomas DiBiagio, commenting on the sentencing of Darrell Brooks to life without parole for the murder of seven people in a Baltimore rowhouse.

“Mike Busch can talk about a sales tax increase all he wants… But the governor has his polls, and the polls show he’s popular. And one of the reasons he’s popular is that he says, ‘No new taxes.’ ” — Maryland Senate President Mike Miller.

“This syndrome, SARS, is now a worldwide health threat.” — World Health Organization Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland.

“This is not the time to falter. This is the time for this House, not just this government or indeed this prime minister, but for this House to give a lead, to show that we will stand up for what we know to be right, to show that we will confront the tyrannies and dictatorships and terrorists who put our way of life at risk, to show at the moment of decision that we have the courage to do the right thing.” — Prime Minister Tony Blair, speech to the House of Commons.”

“It happened to us so quick. The voltage was lower than we wanted and then … boom. It just dropped. It was like a heart attack. It went straight down from 300 megawatts to zero.” — Jim Majer, commissioner at Cleveland Public Power, on the Aug. 15 blackout.

“The politicians are fiddling, fumbling and failing … The man that is failing the people more than anyone is Gray Davis. He is failing them terribly, and this is why he needs to be recalled and this is why I am going to run for governor.” — Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“This may be the worst disaster the state has ever faced and is likely to be the costliest.”— Gov. Gray Davis on California’s wildfires.

“Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy and is not an option.” — President Bush in the State of the Union speech.

“We’ve gotten rid of [Saddam Hussein], and I suppose that’s a good thing.” — Howard Dean, after the Iraqi regime was toppled in April.

“Democratic leaders are as nervous as a long-tailed cat around a rocking chair when they travel south.” — Georgia Democratic Sen. Zell Miller.

“We cannot afford to have a leader who weaseled out of going to Vietnam on a medical deferment for a bad back and wound up on the ski slopes of Aspen like Howard Dean.” — Former Georgia Democratic Sen. Max Cleland, a Vietnam War hero.

“I think this is his last laugh.” — Delaware Democratic Sen. Joe Biden, commenting on the eulogy he was picked by Strom Thurmond to deliver at his funeral.

“It is targeted bombing and I am the target.” — Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf regarding the attempts on his life last month.

“How much more can you pile on to pay for this government? I don’t want to give this government another dollar.” — D.C. Council member Jack Evans, on the mayor’s proposal to raise taxes.

“Now, I see that what is happening will not end without blood … I have never been untrue to my people. So, now I declare that it is better that the president resigns, that everything ends.” — Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, announcing his resignation.

“His fierce independence and free spirit, balanced with his love of family, children and his fellow man, will stand as a shining example of what it means to be human.” — Kris Kristofferson in a statement on the death of singer-songwriter Johnny Cash.

“Ultimately, I’m accountable. That’s why I got my butt out on a limb here pushing this — because I am ultimately accountable.” — Mayor Tony Williams, after testifying on Capitol Hill on vouchers.

“Walter Washington was a fantastic person. He loved people; he genuinely loved the city — it wasn’t a pretense with him. He loved public service, and he was an inspiration to us even though he and I had our political differences from time to time.” — Marion Barry, on the late former Mayor Walter Washington.

“It was an atmosphere on edge. It was not a healthy atmosphere to produce a happy organization or a winning team.” — Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin, in his first in-depth interview after firing Michael Jordan.

“Too often red-light cameras seem to be primarily a fundraising tool for cash-strapped local governments. They reap fines big enough to razzle-dazzle financially strapped communities’ politicians … the truth appears to be that we are not interested in just nabbing the egregious violators — it’s the blink-of-an-eye-violator, it’s the unintentional that bring in the big bucks.” — AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman Lon Anderson, criticizing current systems of photo-traffic enforcement.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we got him,” Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq, announcing the capture of Saddam Hussein.

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