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In their words: A selection of quotations in recent news stories

“Shoot, they get guilted into thinking, ‘I’m a burden, I’ve got to go.’ “

Marshall Mitchell, coordinator of disability studies at Washington State University, saying an assisted suicide law could put pressure on terminally ill people to end their lives.

“I’m lucky. I’ve been married for about 20 years, and me and my wife still actually like each other.”

– Former Washington state legislator John Serben, explaining that after discussing a return to politics with his family, he has decided not to seek his old House seat in Spokane’s 6th District this year.

“I always think of the cowboy poet who said the courts are the one place where the smallest dog can lift his leg against the biggest tree.”

– Washington Supreme Court Justice Debra Stephens, of Spokane, during her swearing in.

“Yeah, watch me.”

– Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire after being asked if she has the authority to tear down Seattle’s earthquake-damaged Alaskan Way Viaduct if local and state officials can’t or won’t agree on a replacement plan by the 2010 deadline she has imposed.

“If he’s doing that to me, I should have a third ear coming out of my forehead. I should be pulling tractors with my teeth.”

– Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens, interviewed on “60 Minutes” after his former personal trainer, Brian McNamee, claimed that he had injected the seven-time Cy Young Award winner with steroids.

“They are a gateway drug on the road to spending addiction.”

– U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., as quoted by the Wall Street Journal about the adverse effect on the federal budget of earmarks, a method by which members of Congress slip pet spending projects into appropriations bills.

“It appears that Mr. West was determined to meet Mr. Small’s champagne lifestyle, glass for glass.”

– U.S. Sen Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, commenting on the $48,500 self-portrait W. Richard West had commissioned before retiring as director of the National Museum of the American Indian, a branch of the Smithsonian Institution, whose previous secretary, Lawrence Small, resigned last March under questions about lavish spending.

“They will have a lot of salvage material left over, including many doors. Rest assured, they won’t go to the dump.”

– Idaho state construction manager Jan Frew, saying the public may be able to purchase some of the original materials that aren’t reused in the scaled-back state Capitol restoration project.


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