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In their words

“Democrats are not about getting even. Democrats are about getting results.”

– Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat in line to become the first female speaker of the House, following Tuesday’s election in which her party took control of both the House and Senate.

“I want the parents to know we are not crazy; we see these numbers and we are going to be doing some very hard work.”

– Washington state Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson, after a report that almost half of the state’s high school juniors, the first class required to pass the Washington Assessment for Student Learning, or WASL, in order to graduate, have failed it twice.

“The rescue guys in the air said the guys are just sittin’ around the campfires, waving at the plane. They’re fine now, but eventually they’re going to come down and realize they can’t get out.”

– Lewis County Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Gene Seiber, talking about hunters in the mountains above the swollen Cowlitz River, unaware of extreme flooding at lower elevations.

“If we continue to piecemeal these things like Swiss cheese, we will not find ourselves able to build complete forces back.”

– Army National Guard chief Lt. Gen. Clyde Vaughn, talking about the adverse impact on manpower levels as a result of accelerated Reserve and National Guard troop rotations to Iraq.

“Stay the course means let’s get the job done, but it doesn’t mean staying stuck on a strategy or tactics that may not be working.”

– President George W. Bush, speaking to White House reporters at a press conference on the morning after Democrats captured control of Congress in Tuesday’s general election.

“He’s ready not to be vice president and to be out of government. You can see it in his energy levels, body language and being tired of the Washington scene. He and Don Rumsfeld are buying houses on the Eastern shore.”

– Senior fellow Gary Schmitt of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, theorizing that Vice President Dick Cheney’s decision to go hunting in the wake of midterm elections that cost his party control of Congress indicates he’s about to leave the Bush administration.

“We don’t feel we did anything wrong.”

– Valley Vista Care Center owner Scott Burpee, saying his St. Maries, Idaho, facility was vindicated when an $18 million jury verdict on behalf of the family of Delbert L. Hayward, who died there in 1995, was reduced to a $3.5 million settlement.

“I can come up with 3.5 million reasons why they did something wrong.”

– Spokane trial lawyer Richard C. Eymann, who represented the plaintiffs in the above-mentioned case.

“The death penalty is not enough. I want him to be buried alive twice as he did with my sons.”

– A 65-year-old Iraqi woman who identified herself as Um Hassan, commenting on the sentence handed down for Saddam Hussein after he was found guilty of ordering the torture and murder of nearly 150 Shiites in 1982.


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Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.