A sampler of quotations strange and sound

Ross Mackenzie
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Posted: Mar 11, 2004 12:00 AM

Quotations on topics currently in the news.

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan, advocating making President Bush's tax cuts permanent, on the need to reconcile revenues and expenditures: "I've always argued the problem is on the expenditure side."

Harvard economics professor Martin Feldstein, chairman of President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers: "There is no reason to consider a tax increase at this time."

Washington Post reporters John Ward Anderson and Molly Moore, writing from Ramallah on the West Bank: "Three years and five months after Palestinians began their second uprising against Israel, the Palestinian Authority is broke, politically fractured, riddled with corruption, unable to provide security for its own people, and seemingly unwilling to crack down on terrorist attacks against Israel, according to Palestinian, Israeli and international officials. The turmoil within the Palestinian Authority is fueling concern that the agency - created almost 10 years ago to govern the West Bank and Gaza Strip - is disintegrating and could collapse, leaving a political and security vacuum in one of the Middle East's most volatile regions, many of those officials said."

ABC's "20/20" co-anchor John Stossel: "Where I work at ABC, people say 'conservative' the way people say 'child molester.' "

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, on exorbitant CEO pay: "The bottom line is that pay in corporate America is like manure in agriculture. Spread it around, and it does a lot of good. But pile it up in one place, and it stinks."

Jane Fonda, after attending a "Vagina Monologues" theatrical performance for the first time: "I had resisted (going to see) it. You know with my kind of controversies, I don't need to add vaginas. . But it changed my life. I began to own my vagina, and I realized the extent to which I hadn't owned it before." And on her son Troy Garity, from her marriage to Tom Hayden: "He is a vagina-friendly young man. When people say, 'Imagine a world where there was no violence against women,' I always say, 'Men would be like my son.' "

Financial columnist Lawrence Kudlow, in a piece in "Investor's Business Daily" headlined, "Market's Main Risk Is Kerry Presidency, Not Dollar or Rates": "The stock market has known much greater challenges than a rebounding dollar. This year, for example, the dollar adjustment will pale in comparison to the threat posed by Sen. John Kerry's presidential run. His anti-growth proposals to steepen tax rates and move toward trade and job protection would impoverish, not benefit, the American workforce. What's more, his longtime voting record in the Senate against defense and intelligence appropriations suggests that a President Kerry would weaken national security and safety."

Veronica Atkins, wife of the late diet guru Dr. Robert Atkins, on vegetarian opponents of the high-protein low-carb Atkins Diet: "They're the vegetarian Taliban. Oh, I mean, I shouldn't insult vegetarians. But they're like the Taliban, these people. They're nasty."

New York University law professor Stephen Gillers, in a New York Times op/ed column proposing the best possible running-mate for Kerry: "Bill Clinton. (His) strengths would compensate for Mr. Kerry's weaknesses almost perfectly. Not only is Mr. Clinton the most talented campaigner of his generation, but he is also a Southerner - and since 1948 ... every successful Democratic ticket has included a Southern politician. . The first objection, the constitutional one, can be disposed of easily. The Constitution does not prevent Mr. Clinton from running for vice president. The 22nd Amendment, which became effective in 1951, begins: "No person shall be elected to the office of the president more than twice." No problem. Bill Clinton would be running for vice president, not president. ... (He) cannot be elected president, but nothing stops him from being elected vice president."

The Wall Street Journal, in an editorial about the damage the bulking-up of some players with illegal steroids is doing to big-league baseball: "This is what comes from putting the lunatics in charge of the asylum. By that we mean Donald Fehr and his Players' Association. For years the union chief has fought drug testing, and the tests that were finally put in place last year were allowed only because they were so feeble. Though Mr. Fehr's obstructionism has succeeded in insulating his players from any consequences for steroid use, the result has been to protect the dirty players at the expense of the clean while casting an Enron-like shadow over the game. Maybe it's (also) true that baseball's owners haven't really wanted to ask too many questions either, since the home-run fests of the past decade have helped revive a national pastime badly damaged by the 1994 strike. . But the union response tells you something."

Author Christopher Ruddy, on the final warning from his friend - the recently deceased Thomas Moorer, an esteemed and much-decorated admiral who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Vietnam War: "Inevitably, he argued, China would be in conflict with the United States. China's enormous population made this likely and worrisome. Admiral Moorer's concern was that Chinese leaders might someday believe they could absorb a nuclear attack, lose 200 million people, and still have 800 million left. The U.S. could not withstand such a loss. China's population made naught the concept of mutually assured destruction - which had helped maintain lukewarm peace with Russia for decades. So, when we honor and remember this great warrior, we should remember his last warning: Beware of China. To the very end, this heroic American was looking out for his country with his certain clarity of thinking."