Verbatim: Mar. 27, 2006

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"This is certainly more serious than anything President Clinton was accused of doing." RUSSELL FEINGOLD, Senator from Wisconsin, after introducing a resolution to censure President Bush for his no-warrant-spying program. Feingold's fellow Democrats blocked a hasty vote on his proposal, wary of challenging Bush on a national-security issue

"My friend, whether there's a civil war or not, we don't want you to intervene." MUQTADA AL-SADR, Iraqi Shi'ite cleric and militia leader, in response to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's comment that the U.S. would let Iraqi forces deal with any civil war

"People who wear Christ on their sleeves and vote against helping people are the biggest hypocrites." CHARLIE MELANCON, Democratic Congressman from Louisiana, after the House approved $4.2 billion in aid to states affected by Katrina but rejected an amendment he sponsored to boost funding for repairs to New Orleans' levees

"How is it that they conclude that the great evil in this country is discrimination against white people?" THEODORE SHAW, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, about colleges that have opened scholarship programs previously reserved for minority students to everyone, fearing legal challenges to race-based preferences

"There's no way you can protect the U.S. by building a big cage around it." MICHAEL JOHANNS, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, on the inevitability of the arrival of avian flu

"It is as if you have asked me to go back five years or 10 years and asked me not only what I got for Christmas but what order I opened the presents." DAN BROWN, The Da Vinci Code author, in a London court to fight charges that he plagiarized, responding to a lawyer's questions about the order in which he had bought books to research the thriller

"I'm not going to retire with a thousand dollars." AMANDA NEWKIRK, pregnant teenage waitress in Roanoke, Va., who was grateful but realistic after getting a huge tip on a $26.35 bill. The woman who left the tip said that doing so "changed my life"

Sources: New York Times; Washington Post; New York Times (2); Times-Picayune; Guardian Unlimited; AP