Verbatim: Dec. 5, 2005

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"We are not interested in dignifying something so outlandish and inconceivable with a response."

SCOTT MCCLELLAN, White House spokesman, on British reports of a leaked document alleging that President Bush had expressed an interest in bombing the headquarters of the Arabic television network al-Jazeera. When critics called this a classic non-denial denial, a White House official said the allegations were false and "absurd"

"They will pressure me enough, and then I will blow somebody's head off."

OVOD GOLAYEV, Muslim citizen of Karachayevsk, Russia, warning against his government's increasing surveillance of those who practice Islam outside state-sanctioned mosques

"Between the local people and the top seem to be about seven or eight layers of people who need to get a life."

BILL WHITE, Houston mayor, on bureaucratic FEMA officials' belated realization of the need to extend the Dec. 1 deadline requiring hurricane evacuees still living in government-subsidized hotel rooms to find other housing

"The fundies want it all taught in a science class, but this will be a nice slap in their big fat face by teaching it as a religious-studies class under the category 'mythology.'"

PAUL MIRECKI, chairman of the University of Kansas religious-studies department, in a private e-mail, on adding a course titled "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and Other Religious Mythologies" after the Kansas State Board of Education adopted new school science standards that question evolution

"After being notified of the situation and after researching the matter ... I came to the conclusion that I was not drafted by the A's."

BILL RICHARDSON, New Mexico Governor, retracting the biographical detail he had maintained for nearly four decades: that he had been drafted to pitch for the Kansas City Athletics in 1966 before an injury compelled him to bow out of baseball

"I doubt the boss will be in a mood to attend."

GENERAL GUILLERMO GARIN, spokesman for General Augusto Pinochet, on the former Chilean dictator's decision last week to cancel a luncheon celebrating his 90th birthday after being indicted on human rights charges and placed under house arrest, hours after he had made bail on unrelated corruption charges filed a day earlier

Sources: Washington Post; New York Times (2); AP; Washington Post; New York Times