Verbatim: Apr. 4, 2005

  • "Have you ever heard the thunder real loud? It was like 10 times that." CHARLES GREGORY, oil-refinery worker, on the deadly explosion at a BP refinery in Texas City, Texas, that claimed 15 lives

    "Freedom has finally come to us." KURMANBEK BAKIYEV, Kyrgyzstan's new acting Prime Minister and President, on the wave of popular unrest that led longtime ruler Askar Akayev to flee the Central Asian republic after being accused of election fraud

    "We used to be under sanction, and the economic conditions were dire, but never was the city so ugly.  Between the chopped trees and the burned houses, it's a total mess."   FADHILA DAWOUD, Iraqi schoolteacher, on the physical state of Baghdad

    "The D word is the farthest thing from my thoughts." FRANCIS HARVEY, Secretary of the Army, discounting the possibility of a draft despite the likelihood that the Army will fall short of its recruitment goals for March and April

    "I do not want to end up with an American style of politics with us all going out there beating our chest about our faith." TONY BLAIR, British Prime Minister, discussing the role of religion in his country's politics

    "Social Security benefits are adjusted yearly for increases in the cost of living--a feature not present in many private plans." THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION'S WEBSITE, SSA.GOV, presenting the advantages of Social Security benefits over individual retirement accounts, which President Bush is pushing as part of his Social Security--reform plan

    "You guys wanted to hurt me bad enough; you finally got there. You wanted me to jump off the bridge; I finally have jumped." BARRY BONDS, slugger for the San Francisco Giants sidelined by knee surgery, at a press conference after the San Francisco Chronicle reported that a woman testified before a grand jury that he told her several years ago he was using steroids, a charge he has denied

    Sources: AP (3); Knight Ridder; The Guardian; New York Times; New York Daily News