Friday, January 08, 1999

The sheer spectacle of the Clinton impeachment is just overwhelming, isn’t it? Rehnquist in his personally designed comic opera robes, Strom Thurmond in his personally designed comic opera hair and comic strip (Li’l Abner) accent. The senators were required to keep silent under pain of imprisonment. I personally saw three senatorial heads explode. Each senator signed something or other and got a souvenir pen. A cigar would have been more appropriate. An exploding cigar would have been still more appropriate. Clinton still hasn’t been allowed to see all the evidence against him. But remember, folks, this is not a trial, no matter what they call it, even if it is the trial of the century of the week. It is essentially an administrative procedure. If they don’t want to show him evidence, they can. There has never been a standard of proof established for impeachments (beyond a shadow of doubt, a preponderance of evidence, whatever). I personally think they could order Clinton to testify without any right of non-self-incrimination, because it is not a trial.

The most popular boy’s name in California and Texas last year was Jose. Elsewhere, Austin is big (groovy, baby). I don’t know what the most popular baby’s name in China is, but it’s certainly a boy’s name, since they’re producing fewer girl babies than ever before.

Linda Tripp has established a legal defense fund. So send your letter bombs to...

Who are these unnamed US officials who are confirming to every newspaper that will listen to them that the CIA used the UNSCOM inspectors as cover to spy on Iraq? On the one hand, the US’s blatant abuse of the UN will definitely make sure that weapons inspection will not be re-established in Iraq or anywhere else (North Korea might have been a candidate). The UN’s credibility is especially damaged by the fact that the information flow came entirely through the US, which passed on only what it felt like, only to the UN folks it liked (Scott Ritter, to name one, was out of the loop), and for all we know tampered with it before doing so. On the other hand, whose idea was it to give the UN essentially espionage duties, for which it had no capabilities whatsoever? What did anyone expect it to do, other than to subcontract the job out?

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