Dispatches > Quotables


Issue: "A vacation from PC," June 3, 2000

It's big, it's historical, and it felt good.

David Wilkins, speaker of the South Carolina House, on the new law signed last week removing the Confederate battle flag from above the Statehouse along with Confederate banners now hanging in the House and Senate chambers. When the Statehouse flag comes down July 1, a square battle flag will rise on a 30-foot bronze pole at the Confederate Soldier Monument outside the Statehouse.

I thank God that I have the opportunity to be here.

Justice Clarence Thomas to former President George Bush, who asked him whether-if he knew then what he knows now-he would have been willing to face the bruising confirmation process (complete with the unsubstantiated allegations of sexual harassment by ex-employee Anita Hill) to join the Supreme Court. Justice Thomas says he answered, "Yes, in a heartbeat."

Baseball is one way to leave the country.

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Mario Miguel Chaoui, who defected from Cuba minutes after a baseball team from three Cuban universities arrived at the airport in Minneapolis to play a game against a U.S. school team. He said his decision to apply for political asylum in the United States came when his great-uncle Arturo Espina showed up at the airport and persuaded him to go to Florida. "Maybe I'll stay here and everything will turn out perfectly, God willing," the 21-year-old student said. "But maybe things will turn out badly ... everything has its risks."

The week's events make pretty clear which of the lawyers in this battle, Mr. Starr and Mr. Clinton, was the one with the ethical problems.

The Washington Post, noting the irony of a judge's dismissal of a misconduct complaint against former independent counsel Kenneth Starr and then days later an Arkansas recommendation that President Clinton lose his law license.

Please give me a break. I'm drunk.

Nancy Lang, who faces drunk-driving charges, to Lorain, Ohio, patrolman Joseph Kopronica, who pulled over Ms. Lang and ordered her to take a battery of sobriety tests. She failed, but then did five jumping jacks, one push-up, and started to do a cartwheel, whereupon the officer stopped her "for her safety and mine."


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