Tuesday, January 19, 1999

State of Union/impeachment & whatnot

So Bob Barr didn’t go to the State of the Union speech (see below). I’m guessing it’s for a reason similar to that of Andrew Cuomo, the single Cabinet member who traditionally doesn’t go, so that if the Capitol blows up, after the partying dies down, the Department of Health and Urban Development can go on. Similarly, Barr didn’t go so that even if Clinton, Gore, all but one member of the Cabinet, and most of the House and Senate and Supreme Court get blown up, the impeachment hearings can continue.

In 1940 a German firing squad executed a French horse that kicked a German soldier to death.

The Supreme Court lets stand a 25-year sentence under the Calif. 3 Strikes law for someone who shoplifted some vitamins.

During the Address, there seemed to be applause for everything. Who but a politician would applaud “putting a human face on the global economy”?

A quick read through Salon, the free parts of Slate and the Washington Post show no one else making the obvious observation, so I will: Clinton said that Boomers like himself have a fear of becoming a burden on their children, which is why Social Security should be shored up by investing a lot of money in the stock market. An interesting sentence for someone who last week sent a large chunk of Chelsea’s inheritance to Paula Jones.

In the speech and in today’s impeachment hearings, the day was surprisingly abject-apology free. Maybe we’re done with all the groveling. Today, Ruff pointed out two obvious holes in last week’s case: the call from Betty Currie to Lewinsky that proved there was a Clinton conspiracy to hide gifts, actually occurred after the gifts were given to Currie, not before. And Vernon Jordan’s meeting with Lewinsky that proved the job assistance was a bribe in exchange for false testimony because it occurred immediately after the judge in the Jones trial ruled that testimony from other girlfriends was admissable, actually occurred before--Jordan was on a plane to Europe by the time the ruling came down.

Quick excerpt from a Washington Post story:

There were tricky moments. At one point, Ruff found himself explaining that Clinton could not possibly have been obstructing justice when he lied about his affair to various top aides. Why not? Because he was lying to everyone else too. If you had a television, the president lied to you. The aides were nothing special.

He said it so calmly, so smoothly, that it passed by entirely unremarkably.

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