Loose cannons

Issue 

Defence

"We are just doing this to keep some defence contractors who put out big political contributions, I think, alive." — US member of Congress Pat Schroeder on why the Congress voted to buy two more B-2 Stealth bombers, at US$1.2 billion each, which the Pentagon said it didn't need.

Republican revolution

"We're in the clutches of a bunch of folks trying to turn the US into a third world country. Two hundred billionaires, and 260 million poor people." — Garrison Keillor, American Radio Theater, June 3, on the Republican Congress.

Like the first seven

"I don't think there is any doubt that employers who are dealing with unions in their workplaces will be happy with the new Accord package." — Minister for employment, education and training Simon Crean on Accord Mark VIII.

Hasn't a chance

"He was a brilliant banker, but never developed a taste for tailor-made suits or fashionable neckwear." — An anonymous former colleague on the earlier career of John Redwood, now challenging British PM John Major for the Tory leadership.

Details, details

"The only figure I was able to find in the entire package was a reference to the 21st century." — Economist Nobuya Nemoto, disappointed at the lack of specifics in a Japanese government package designed to support the stock market.

Got that?

"It's just bloody gigantic the implications of what's involved here and the bloody problem is always that you can't talk about it and explain with examples which would make it absolutely clear to you." — Foreign minister Gareth Evans, arguing for (or against?) the government's planned legislation to bar the media from disclosing "national security" information, such as whose embassies are illegally bugged.