Selected quotations on topics currently in the news...

Ross Mackenzie
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Posted: Oct 21, 2005 12:05 AM

First lady Laura Bush, on whether any of the opposition to Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers derives from sexism: "I think that's possible. . . . (She is) an extraordinarily accomplished woman (who has) broken the glass ceiling."

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Eleanor Smeal, president and founder of the Feminist Majority Foundation, while reserving her right to oppose Harriet Miers if she does not make clear her judicial philosophy on such matters as abortion and sex discrimination: "I think essentially that this hue and cry that (Harriet Miers) isn't qualified, there's a sexist basis to it. Does she have mental capacity? Give me a break. Would they say that about a man? I don't think they would."

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The New York Times' United Nations reporter, Warren Hoge, on the rise of U.N. members' acceptance of Israel as measured by such things as (a) Israel's submission of its candidacy for a two-year seat on the Security Council and (b) the warm U.N. reception given to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon: "For any of the 190 other nations in the world organization, those would be routine events. But in Israel's case, (they suggest) an end to the disdain with which the country has historically been treated at the U.N. . . . 'These are steps that could not have happened even two years ago,' said Dan Gillerman, Israel's ambassador."

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Syria's U.S. ambassador, Imad Moustapha, on the alleged suicide (or government murder?) of Syria's interior minister - Major General Ghazi Kanaan in his Damascus office just days before an expected U.N. report implicating Syria in the car-bomb assassination of Lebanon's former prime minister Rafiq Hariri: "The Syrian government was shocked by this death."

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Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, in 1998, on Bill Clinton and special prosecutor Kenneth Starr: "Incredibly, (Clinton) actually blamed Kenneth Starr for his troubles. He might as well have said that the devil made him do it. Ken Starr was simply doing his job. . . . This isn't about Ken Starr. This is about a president who lacks the character to tell the American people the truth."

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DeLay, September 28, on his own troubles with a prosecutor: "This morning, in an act of blatant political partisanship, a rogue district attorney in Travis County, Texas, named Ronnie Earle charged me with one count of criminal conspiracy, a reckless charge wholly unsupported by the facts. This is one of the weakest, most baseless indictments in American history. It's a sham, and Mr. Earle knows it. It's . . . the product of a coordinated, premeditated campaign of political retribution - the all-too-predictable result of a vengeful investigation led by a partisan fanatic."

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Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, on such entities as the U.S. and Canadian Episcopal churches regarding - among other issues - homosexuality: "They are the ones who are tearing apart the fabric of our Anglican family, not the Nigerians."

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Katherine Freberg, a lawyer for more than 100 individuals accusing priests in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles of sexual molestation of children, on documents recently released by the archdiocese in the hope of quieting critics who have accused it of stonewalling: "What these documents don't include is the witness testimony about what the priests knew, what the bishops knew, what the cardinal knew. These sanitized documents don't begin to touch what we will be disclosing through the litigation process."

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Rutgers anthropology professor Lionel Tiger, on the news of drug use by model Kate Moss: "There is an ineluctable relationship between physical integrity and human performance. The doping scandals in baseball reveal a curiously archaic but finally anchoring passion about level playing fields and players on the level. The Kate Moss episode - in which the ethereal supermodel was photographed ingesting cocaine by a London tabloid, and was, as a result, fired by those companies whose wares she hocked on billboards - is another version of the persistent public hankering for Truth in Representation."

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President Bush, speaking Sept. 15 in New Orleans: "As all of us saw on television, there is also some deep, persistent poverty in this region, (with) roots in a history of racial discrimination . . . .(We pledge) not just to cope, but to overcome."

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Sen. John Kerry, in a Sept. 15 statement responding to the president's New Orleans remarks: "Leadership isn't a speech or a toll-free number. Leadership is getting the job done. No American doubts that New Orleans will rise again; they doubt the competence and commitment of this administration. Weeks after Katrina, Americans want . . . to know that their government will be there when it counts with leadership that keeps them safe, not speeches in the aftermath to explain away the inexcusable."