In their own words

He moves in mysterious ways

“This is why God made banks, for this kind of transaction.” — A surprised US factory owner, whose bank unexpectedly refused him a loan to expand his business.

Hard work on the border

“We have a lot of work to do, and I’m afraid that it’s a very hard struggle, particularly given the situation on the Iraq-Pakistan border.” — US Republican presidential candidate John McCain in a July 21 TV interview, trying to prove he is a suitable replacement for Dubya.

Like exploding?

“They all have their own eccentricities.” — Dr Ron Cameron, acting chief executive of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, on its new $400 million reactor, which is leaking water.

Fundamentally resilient

“The nation’s economy has continued to expand and remains fundamentally resilient.” — The White House budget office, predicting a US government deficit next year of US$482 billion, not counting $80 billion in Iraq war costs.

Credibility gap

“I’m only 10 years old and even I know that is a lie.” — Darin Sullivan, daughter of a NSW firefighter, to the state treasurer, Michael Costa, after Costa defended a cap on firefighters’ pay by saying they were paid more than in any other state.

2003 not in the 21st century

“In the 21st century, nations do not invade other nations.” — US Senator John McCain, a staunch defender of the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq, commenting on Moscow’s response to the Georgian military assault on the breakaway nation of South Ossetia.

Bad bet

“I have staked my country’s fate on the West’s rhetoric about democracy and liberty.” — Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Foresight like Saakashvili’s

“All I know is, there is water where it didn’t used to be, and I’m responsible for dealing with that.” — Admiral Thad Allen, head of the US Coast Guard, lamenting insufficient preparation for militarising the Arctic Ocean when it thaws.

Not unusual

“A bunch of guys are persistently pitching an idea to government and some in government agree and others don’t. What’s so unusual or sinister about that?” — Michael Easson, former secretary of the NSW Labor Council, now head of a consortium seeking the state Labor government’s backing for a proposed multi-billion-dollar railway between Penrith and Sydney. Newspapers have reported that NSW treasurer Michael Costa is trying to keep the project alive after it was rejected by the premier, transport minister and coordinator-general.