[C]learly this was not something that we expected to happen, given the history of this bridge, the inspection process, and how this bridge was rated.

— Mary Peters, secretary of Transportation, during an Aug. 4 White House press briefing about the collapsed Minnesota I-35W bridge that “[s]tate bridge inspectors [had] warned for nearly a decade before its collapse that the Interstate 35W bridge had ‘severe’ and ‘extensive’ corrosion of its beams and trusses, ‘widespread cracking’ in spans and missing or broken bolts … [with] certain components were ‘beyond tolerable limits’ … ”

This record is not tainted at all, at all. Period. You guys can say whatever you want.

— San Francisco Giants right fielder Barry Bonds at a press conference after breaking Hank Aaron’s career home-run record of 755 home runs Tuesday night.

Tonight, Barry Bonds etched his name into baseball’s history books and took his rightful place among the sport’s immortals. … As a season ticket holder, I am particularly glad it happened on the Giants’ Italian night.

— excerpt from statement by Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House, who represents the Eight Congressional District in California, which includes San Francisco.

Absolutely, absolutely. I’m a big Hank Aaron fan. He did it the right way — he earned it.

— House Minority Leader John Boehner, a Republican, asked if he would put an asterisk after Barry Bond’s record 756 home runs.

Nowadays, around baseball, when you say ‘Henry,’ that’s enough. There’s only one of him in this game. And that’s enough, too, for my dough. I mean, why be greedy? Beethovens don’t come by the dozen. Baseball is not the philharmonic, but it is like it in that when you get someone who doesn’t need the music right in front of him, people pay to see him. As for you Willie Mays fans — Liberace, baby. My man is not the sequined-suit type. No vulgar flash. Just hits the right notes. And the high curveballs.

— Closing paragraph of an Oct. 3, 1963, column on Hank Aaron by the late Jim Murray, Pulitzer-winning sports columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

We have a very different expectation of our heroes than we used to. They have to somehow tickle us in the short term, as well as provide sustenance for the long. They have to be clever. They have to do things on the field that amuse. It’s not enough to hit 756 home runs. We need to be entertained.

— sports historian John Thorn.

I dreamed about this as a kid. Unfortunately, when I dreamed about it, I was the one hitting the homer.

— Washington National Mike Bacsik who threw the two-out, 3-2 fastball that Barry Bonds hit over the fence in right center field in the fifth inning for his 756th home run.

Our Nation is grateful for the bold leadership of American women who have opened doors of opportunity for women of future generations. On Women’s Equality Day we honor the suffragists and all those who seek to expand equality in our world.

— from an Aug. 6 proclamation designating Aug. 26 as Women’s Equality Day by President Bush, whose administration sought last year to eliminate the Equal Opportunity Survey, begun by President Clinton to compel “companies to disclose data … on affirmative action performance and pay by gender and race.”

This is a shadowy enemy, unbound by morality or the rules of war, operating in stealth, and setting up networks within networks.

— from an Aug. 6 address to the 84th national convention of the Marine Corps League by Vice President Dick Cheney, who was presumably speaking about terrorists and not the Bush administration.

The Administration’s mid-year budget update showed that we’re making good progress in driving down the deficit to half of what it was three years ago – and just 1.5 percent of our total economy. The Federal budget deficit is now estimated to fall to $205 billion in 2007, a reduction of $43 billion or 18 percent from last year.

Pro-growth economic policies, including tax relief, has been good for American taxpayers and the American economy, allowing small businesses, entrepreneurs and American workers to save more of their hard-earned money. And, this has helped fuel our economic growth, resulting in higher than expected tax receipts and driving down the federal deficit. We are on a path to achieving the President’s goal of a balanced budget by 2012, with a $33 billion surplus.

— Steve McMillin, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, in a July 19 “Ask The White House” online chat.

President Clinton announced Wednesday that the federal budget surplus for fiscal year 2000 amounted to at least $230 billion, making it the largest in U.S. history and topping last year’s record surplus of $122.7 billion.

— From a Sept. 27, 2000, CNN story, quoting President Clinton as saying this was “the largest one-year debt reduction in the history of the United States.”

Since we began cutting taxes in 2001, our economy has expanded by more than $1.9 trillion.

— from an Aug. 9 press conference by President Bush, under whose administration the national debt has risen from $5.95 trillion in 2001 to approximately $11 trillion in 2007.

Put another way, it’s about $1,300 in higher spending every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every year for the next five years. Now, somebody is going to have to pay for it. And that, of course, will be the hardworking American people. . . . I will use the veto to keep your taxes low and to keep federal spending under control.

— excerpt from Aug. 8 press conference remarks by President Bush as he “accused Democrats of plotting the largest tax increase in history to fund an additional $205 billion in discretionary spending over five years.”

New York is the safest large city in America since Mayor Giuliani turned it around — it is not a haven for illegality of any kind. The mayor’s record speaks for itself.

— Katie Levinson, communications director for Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign, responding to a charge by fellow GOP candidate Mitt Romney that Mr. Giuliani supported illegal immigration while he was mayor of New York City.

I’ll challenge myself and each member of Congress to wake up each morning and ask ourselves: will we remember today as the finest day of our public life; the day we worked just for you, not for us?

— excerpt from the presidential candidacy announcement of Sen. John McCain, who has missed 149 of 310 Senate votes, or 48 percent, in the 110th Congress.

There is no more fundamental American right than the right to vote.

— from the presidential campaign Web site of Sen. Barack Obama, who has missed 59 of 310 Senate votes, or 19 percent, in the 110th Congress.

We live in times of great uncertainty when men of faith must stand up for our values and our traditions lest they be washed away in a sea of fear and relativism. As you likely know, I am running for President of the United States, and I am asking for your support. … I have worked tirelessly to defend and restore those rights for all Americans, born and unborn alike. The right of an innocent, unborn child to life is at the heart of the American ideal of liberty. My professional and legislative record demonstrates my strong commitment to this pro-life principle.

— excerpt from July 21 “Statement of Faith” by Rep. Ron Paul, who voted Aug. 1 against a bill that would have added 6 million lower-income children to a federal health-insurance program. The bill, an extension of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, passed the House, 225-204.

Victoria Beckham tries the hardest of the WAGs, and you have to give her credit for staying slim for so long. They set a bad example that women are just there to look beautiful. But I do like to flick through magazines and have a look at what they are wearing.

— Oliya Kalashnikova, 22, a student in London commenting on the Brits’ love of WAGs — wives and girlfriends — of “footballers.”

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