By Leno, Tuttwak, the Cronkites, Rumsfeld, McCain, etc.

Posted: Apr 23, 2004 12:00 AM

Miscellaneous quotes on topics more or less in the news:

JAY LENO: "John Kerry's victory over Howard Dean has completely changed the presidential race around. Now instead of the rich white guy from Yale who lives in the White House facing off against the rich white guy from Yale who lives in Vermont, he may have to face the rich white guy from Yale who lives in Massachusetts. It's a whole different game."

FORMER SENATOR AND 1996 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BOB DOLE: "On Fox News recently, my friend John Kerry stated: 'I've never made any judgments about any choice somebody made about avoiding the draft, about going to Canada, going to jail, being a conscientious objector, going into the National Guard.' Sen. Kerry did make a judgment, in 1992, when Bill Clinton - who did not serve - was running against Sen. Bob Kerrey, a Vietnam veteran. After Bob Kerrey criticized Gov. Clinton, John Kerry said, 'We do not need to divide America over who served and how.' He should stick to his previous position by acknowledging the honorable service of President Bush and the hundreds of thousands of other National Guard members defending America every day."

ANDREW GREELEY, A PRIEST AND AUTHOR OF 'PRIESTS: A CALLING IN CRISIS' AND THE FORTHCOMING NOVEL 'THE PRIESTLY SINS': "These are hard times for priests. They are under attack as perverts. More people are making more demands on fewer priests. ... Denial, research shows, is a major factor in clerical culture - the dark side of the priesthood. ... In general, priests are more likely to affirm that they are happy in their lives and satisfied with their work than are doctors, lawyers, teachers, professors and even married Protestant clergy. Priests, on average, seem to be about the happiest men in the country. Abusers, it seems clear, aren't being driven to crime by celibacy but by their own demons."

'NEW YORK TIMES' REPORTER DAVID KIRKPATRICK, ON PATRICK HENRY COLLEGE IN LOUDOUN COUNTY, VA. - THE NATION'S FIRST FOUR-YEAR COLLEGE PRIMARILY FOR HOME-SCHOOLERS: "Thanks to the generosity of its donors, Patrick Henry operates with no debt, eschews federal financial support and charges about $15,000 per student a year for tuition, about $10,000 less than some comparable small colleges. The average SAT score is about 1,320, roughly comparable to Notre Dame or the University of Virginia."

EDWARD LUTTWAK, SENIOR FELLOW AT THE CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: "It must be said: Spanish voters have allowed a small band of terrorists to dictate the outcome of their national elections. This is not how democracies are supposed to react when they are attacked by fanatics. Americans were visibly united and hardened by Sept. 11; the Italians overcame deep political differences to unify in their determination to crush the Red Brigades; Israeli cohesion has only been increased by decades of terrorism. When threatened by a violent few, democratic political communities will normally react by enforcing the will of the many. For many years, this has been the Spanish answer to the Basque separatist movement. But it was not the response to (the recent Madrid) bombings."

'WASHINGTON POST' MEDIA WRITER HOWARD KURTZ: "A lengthy report released (recently) by the Project for Excellence in Journalism makes clear that serious reporting is in retreat: 'Americans think journalists are sloppier, less professional, less caring, more biased, less honest about their mistakes, and generally more harmful to democracy than they did in the 1980s.' One example: Those who believe news organizations try to cover up their mistakes rose from 13 percent to 67 percent."

FORMER CBS ANCHORMAN WALTER CRONKITE, IN THE 'SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE,' WHEN ASKED WHY HIS MARRIAGE TO BETSY CRONKITE HAD LASTED SO LONG: "I do think one of the factors was we were of different sexes. That doesn't mean I wouldn't have been happy to be married to several friends I had of the same sex. It just never came up in our particular relations."

BETSY CRONKITE, ELSEWHERE: "Errol Flynn died on a 70-foot yacht with a 17-year-old girl. Walter's always wanted to go that way, but he's going to settle for a 17-footer and a 70-year-old."

KENNETH WOODWARD, 'NEWSWEEK' CONTRIBUTING EDITOR AND AUTHOR OF 'THE BOOK OF MIRACLES,' ON JESUS AS DEPICTED IN MEL GIBSON'S 'THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST': "Like Jeremiah, Jesus is a Jewish prophet rejected by the leaders of his own people, and abandoned by his handpicked disciples. Besides taking an awful beating, he is cruelly tempted to despair by a Satan whom millions of church-going Christians no longer believe in, and dies in obedience to a heavenly Father who, by today's standards, would stand convicted of child abuse. In short, this Jesus carries a cross that not many Christians are ready to share."

CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY LECTURER JOSHUA ZEITZ: "Though The Pill surely made contraception easier, and while it gave women more power and responsibility in family planning, it hardly created a sexual revolution. American sexual habits had been changing long before The Pill found its way onto the market. Early sex surveys revealed that about half of all women who came of age in the 1920s admitted to engaging in premarital sex, a figure that held steady for women in later decades."

'TIMES' SCIENCE WRITER KENNETH CHANG, ON THE EARLY UNIVERSE: "Astronomers at (a recent) meeting said that 3 billion years after the Big Bang, one of the largest structures in the universe, a string of galaxies 300 million light-years long and 50 million light-years wide, had already formed. A light-year is the distance that light travels in one year, or almost 6 trillion miles. That means the string is nearly 2,000 billion miles long."

DEFENSE SECRETARY DONALD RUMSFELD: "As we mark the one-year anniversary of the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, it is useful to recount why we have fought. ... Americans do not come easily to war, but neither do Americans take freedom lightly. But when freedom and self-government have taken root in Iraq, and that country becomes a force for good in the Middle East, the rightness of those efforts will be just as clear as it is today in Korea, Germany, Japan and Italy. ... Today, as we think about the tens of thousands of United States soldiers in Iraq - and in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world fighting the global war on terrorism - we should say to all of them: 'You join a long line of generations of Americans who have fought freedom's fight. Thank you.' "

AN EXCHANGE BETWEEN SEN. JOHN MCCAIN AND FORMER UN WEAPONS INSPECTOR DAVID KAY: McCain: "Saddam Hussein developed and used weapons of mass destruction - true?"

Kay: "Absolutely."

McCain: "He used them against the Iranians and the Kurds?"

Kay: "Oh, yes."

McCain: "And UN inspectors found enormous quantities of banned chemical and biological weapons in Iraq in the '90s?"

Kay: "Yes, sir."

McCain: "We know that Saddam Hussein had once a very active nuclear program?"

Kay: "Yes."

McCain: "And he realized and had ambitions to develop and use weapons of mass destruction?"

Kay: "Clearly."

McCain: "If he were in power today, there is no doubt that he would harbor ambitions for the development and use of weapons of mass destruction?"

Kay: "There's absolutely no doubt."

McCain: "You agree ... that what we did was justified and enhanced the security of the United States and the world by removing Saddam Hussein from power?"

Kay: "Absolutely."