Verbatim: Jan. 30, 2006

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"When you look at the way the House of Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation." HILLARY CLINTON, Democratic Senator from New York, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, comparing the Republican-controlled House to a slavery-era operation in which any dissenting voices are squelched

"It's a ridiculous comment." LAURA BUSH, First Lady, on Senator Clinton's remark

"If the term legitimate medical purpose has any meaning, it surely excludes the prescription of drugs to produce death." ANTONIN SCALIA, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, in a dissent to the 6-to-3 ruling last week upholding the Oregon law that allows doctors to help terminally ill patients end their lives

"It is like asking John Gotti to do what he can to clean up organized crime." HARRY REID, Senate minority leader, on the Republican proposal to rewrite House rules governing lobbying

"How do you make chocolate? You take dark chocolate, you mix it with white milk, and it becomes a delicious drink." RAY NAGIN, New Orleans mayor, fighting charges of racism after he called for "chocolate New Orleans" to be rebuilt. He later apologized

"This is almost as good as being an Oprah book." WILLIAM BLUM, historian, on the spike in sales of his book Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, after Osama bin Laden said in his recently released audio message that Americans ought to read it for its perspectives on international interference

"I was--what do they call it? I was unavailable." JOSEPH LOMBARDO, 77, who finally went before a federal judge last week after evading authorities for nearly nine months following his indictment, along with 13 others, in what prosecutors described as a historic sweep of Chicago's organized-crime leaders

"Wendy's had always been my family's favorite fast-food restaurant. For all the shame I brought upon them, I am sorry. I am so sorry." ANNA AYALA, who got nine years in jail for an extortion scheme that started with planting a severed finger in a bowl of Wendy's chili

Sources: New York Times; AP; Los Angeles Times; New York Times; CNN; Washington Post; AP; USA Today