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Dispatches Quotables

Quotables

"More than any president in the history of our country has ever received."

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest on the 63.4 million votes cast for the show's two finalists. Taylor Hicks from Birmingham, Ala., won this year's contest.

"I truly hope that my bet on you being OK out in society is not misplaced."

Nebraska District Judge Kristine Cecava on sentencing convicted sex offender Richard W. Thompson, 50, to 10 years probation. She said the 5-foot-1 Mr. Thompson, who assaulted a child, was too small to survive in prison and would be electronically monitored during the first four months of his probation.

"Yes, the situation in Iraq today is messy. Births always are."

Middle East journalist AMIR TAHERI in Commentary, arguing that the situation in Iraq is not "a quagmire, a disaster, a failure." Mr. Taheri writes: "Of all the adjectives used by skeptics and critics to describe today's Iraq, the only one that has a ring of truth is 'messy.'"

"The swimming."

Seven-year-old Braxton Bilbrey of Glendale, Ariz., when asked what was the hardest part of swimming the 1.4 miles from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco's Aquatic Park. Asked about being a "brave little boy," Braxton said, "I think I am."