Quotables: by Woodward, Steele, Courson, Ramirez, T.R., etc.

Ross Mackenzie
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Posted: Jan 19, 2006 9:05 AM

Quotable observations on issues high and low . . . .

Ultimate newsman Bob Woodward, on the leak about Valerie Plame (wife of Joseph Wilson) and the investigation into it by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald: "Remember. The investigation and the allegations that people have printed about this story are that there's some vast conspiracy to slime Joe Wilson and his wife, really attack him in an ugly way that is outside the boundaries of political hardball. The evidence I had firsthand - a small piece of the puzzle, I acknowledge - is that that was not the case."

Bill Boettge, president of the National Shoe Retailers Association, on the soaring sales of women's shoes: "Women love footwear, and they use it for a psychological boost. It's almost like they're saying, 'The hell with everything else, I'm going out and give myself a lift. Enough of this war, and gas prices, and worries about terrorism and hurricanes.'"

Wall Street Journal reporters Jacob Hale Russell and Jess McCuan: "While the causes and implications of climate change are hugely divisive issues, few dispute that the world on average has been getting warmer - the 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1990. (And 2005) was the second-warmest globally since accurate thermometer readings began around 1880, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration."

Joanne Corzine, former wife of Democratic Sen. Jon Corzine, on his (successful) candidacy for governor of New Jersey: "Jon did let his family down and he'll probably let New Jersey down, too."

Republican Michael Steele, Maryland's first Republican lieutenant governor - in 2002, on why the state's Democratic establishment, including Democratic African-Americans, are so vehemently hostile to him and his candidacy for the U.S. Senate: "You know why I annoy them? I annoy them because I'm an independent-thinking black man who has not bought into their lies and rhetoric."

Bill Clinton, violating the unwritten rule that former presidents do not criticize their incumbent successors, particularly on matters of war and foreign policy, on President Bush's enterprise to remove Saddam Hussein and establish a democracy in Iraq: "It was a big mistake. The American government made several errors . . . one of which was how easy it would be to get rid of Saddam and how hard it would be to unite the country."

The terrorist group al-Qaida in Iraq, led by (Jordanian) Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, on the hotel bombings in Amman, Jordan: "After studying and observing the targets, the places of execution were chosen to be some hotels which the tyrant (king) of Jordan has turned into a back yard for the enemies of Islam, such as the Jews and Crusaders."

The late Steve Courson, an early 1980s offensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers who became one of the first National Football League players to acknowledge using steroids - in 1990, on steroid use: "It's as much drug abuse to take steroids as heroin or cocaine. . . . To say that anabolic steroids didn't play in the Steelers' (1980s) success would be a falsehood. But this isn't a Steelers problem. It's a league-wide problem."

Republican Congressman Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, on a leak about secret U.S. prisons overseas holding captured members of al-Qaida: "The seemingly endless stream of leaks in Washington poses a growing and insidious threat to U.S. national security. . . . The clear issue at hand is our ability to conduct the nation's secret business in secret. The reality is, we are a nation at war."

Syndicated Pulitzer Prize cartoonist Michael Ramirez on his removal as editorial cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times: "I can't help but think it's . . . a philosophical parting of the ways . . . . You have a newspaper that has such a grand tradition of editorial cartooning. I think it makes (the Times) a lesser product and I think the readers lose."

President Theodore Roosevelt, in 1919: "We should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming an American, and nothing but an American. . . . There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag . . . and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."